Dealing with a stampede requires a considerable number of awakeners.
So why did Lark and Ryan agree to this plan easily?
Firstly, this island was an important resource for raising Meta-rankers.
Awakeners' association would maintain the number of every species within reasonable numbers.
This was more so when Ward's examination was happening here.
This test was surprise for everybody, but every awakener here was a talented person. Any death here would cripple Earth's already exhausted forces even more.
Secondly, if an unforeseen accident happens, the bracelet will make sure nobody dies.
I was thinking back to the plan while maintaining my balance on the top of a boar. Standing on a berserk boar wasn't very easy.
The sight of the stampede happening was overwhelming. No matter how well we were prepared, the real thing was above our expectations.
Hundreds of boars were rushing forward in a berserk state. Even then only a few were smashing into trees while mostly were avoiding the trees.
The boar I was standing on suddenly steered right and collided with another boar, making it fall.
Seconds later, it was crushed under the horde
One mistake and that could be our fate.
[Congratulation, you have killed a Lvl. 6 blood boar. You have gained 30 exp.]
It seemed that the system judged that I had contributed to killing the boar and gave me exp.
Now my total exp was 660. I only have to wait for this four more times to level up.
Blood boars are the best!
A little farther from me, Lark and Ryan were also jumping from one boar to another.
We were moving in the opposite direction of the horde to escape the stampede as fast as possible.
It made jumping difficult, but it was safer than going along with the horde.
I jumped toward the next boar.
This was exciting and scary at the same time. Every time I jumped my heart would beat intensely from the tension.
The boar I was landing on suddenly swung its tusks towards me.
I was about to be impaled when a rope latched onto my waist and pulled me away.
"Are you okay?"
Lark shouted, holding the other end of the rope in his hand.
He was responsible for saving us if we were to fall. But he couldn't repeat this many times due to his mana reserves.
'Something isn't right.'
While I was being saved by Lark, I had a chance to look at the surroundings more clearly.
'The horde is too organized.'
All the berserk boars were running in a single direction. A stampede of berserk blood boars should be a lot more chaotic.
If my guess was correct, it was because…
"We need to move along the horde. Let's go forward, not backward."
I shouted to get Ryan and Lark's attention at the same time.
"No, that will increase the time to escape and the risk will increase."
"I know, but we need to move. I'll explain while moving."
"Explanation first. It's too dangerous to move…."
Lark's words got quieter by the end of the sentence. He was looking at the back of the horde.
"You are right. Let's move."
As if on cue, some trees far at the back were toppled.
Cutting through the hoard, a large boar about 12 feet tall was rushing towards us. It had a large brown mane and four tusks.
It looked more savage than other blood boars.
Unlike all the boars, its eyes weren't red and still held a semblance of sanity.
At its arrival, our faces became incomparably solemn.
The boar's appearance made it clear. It was one rank higher than us.
None of us could contend against an Iota-rank Blood Boar.
Without a word, we began rushing ahead at a faster pace.
Unluckily, the same thing as me happened to Ryan.
The boar he was about to land collided with another boar and crashed.
A rope zapped through the air to catch him.
But Lark's expression turned grim.
The rope couldn't reach Ryan.
It fell short by a few feet, but it was enough to make a world of a difference.
Before something unfortunate happened, I jumped while holding the rope.
Ryan was crucial to my plan.
He managed to catch my hand in time.
Lark then controlled the rope and pulled us.
[Congratulations, you have killed a Lvl. 6 boar. You have gained 40 exp.]
The Iota-rank boar was now 200 feet away from us.
It eyes never moved away from us as it chased after us.
Ryan stopped and turned back.
Standing at the rear, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
He didn't stop even after a few seconds and kept sucking in the air.
His eyes suddenly snapped open, and he released his breath.
What came out wasn't air but….fire.
Like a dragon, he blew flame and created a wall of fire.
This was his Stigma: Flame Breadth.
Unsurprisingly, the fire wasn't enough to kill boars and was extinguished quickly.
But it had achieved its purpose.
It startled the berserk boars momentarily.
Blood boars nearest to the wall of fire halted. But the boars at the back didn't.
A domino effect happened as many blood boars fell over each another, ultimately creating a living wall of blood boars.
"Let's move... quickly when it c..an't see us."
Droplets of sweat formed on Ryan's forehead, and he was breathing heavily.
Perhaps because he still had low control over his stigma, a wisp of fire came out every time he spoke.
This area was solely occupied by mid Meta-rank boars.
We had expected a high Meta-rank boar to join the horde. But an Iota-rank boar was out of our wildest imagination.
[Congratualtions, you have killed a Lvl. 6 boar. You have gained 20 exp.]
The abrupt fire also agitated the boars on our side.
They started running more disorderly and many more boars collided with each other.
Suddenly, the familiar sound returned.
We had moved a few hundred feet away, but the Iota-rank boar was already beginning to near us.
The Iota-rank boar was charging toward us more ferociously than before.
It was covering the gap at an alarming pace.
Sighing, Lark suddenly stopped and turned to me.
He then spoke in his usual cheery tone as he walked towards me.
"That boar doesn't look like it would leave us. I think we need bait to distract it."
A thin rope launched in my direction.
I was always ready for the possibility of them betraying me. So, when Lark's temperament suddenly changed, I was ready to defend myself at any moment.
My swift action surprised Lark, and he ducked to dodge the attack.
But the attack never came.
The spear made from shadow tail fox wasn't a real weapon. This made it incompatible with my skill.
Nevertheless, a gap was created when Lark dodged.
A gap enough for me to run.
The Iota-rank boar had almost caught up to us. If I could stall for a few more moments, they wouldn't have time to deal with me.
I was running while making sure I was outside Lark's range when a hand seized me from behind.
I shook my body as hard as possible to escape. But Ryan's iron grip never loosened.
He raised my body in the air and threw me into the horde.
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