Randidly moved rapidly toward the monster, feeling Alana follow close behind him. Immediately, two of the grey balls of energy exploded, shooting rays of strange, aging based death. Randidly had heard the basics from Rose and used pure speed to blaze past them, heading straight for the body of the beast.
Growling, it leaped forwards to meet Randidly, even while two more blasts shot out from its antlers, aiming for those behind Randidly. Annie began shooting arrows at its large, soft body, causing it to use one of its final two grey energies to intercept the arrows before they could land.
Rather than getting discouraged, Annie just upped her firing speed, the shafts shooting past Randidly to strike at the monster.
When he arrived before it, Randidly didn’t bother with anything special; he just lashed out with his spear. To his surprise, the Stagbat dodged, and then swung its head, aiming to hit him with its antlers. He casually deflected the blow but was forced to use Phantom’s Embrace to dodge when the final grey energy shot outward, aiming at him from close range.
Grimacing, Randidly reset his stance and moved forward to meet the monster once more. This would be… difficult. Most of the grey beams weren’t aimed at him, but as he was the closest, he needed to move the most quickly to avoid collateral fire as it used the beams to attack other people.
If this was the wounded version of the Stagbat, Randidly was glad he had hit it with an Inspired spell. It was hard to tell whether it was the combination of monsters, the Creature’s interference, or even the power of the Regalia, but this thing was tough. Its kit was too powerful against too many things.
However, had Randidly still had access to his Mana, this would be a much easier struggle. But as it was…
His eyes brightening, Randidly sent a message into the party chat, telling Rose and Clarissa to reposition themselves around the Stagbat, out of its range, but behind it. As they moved to do so, Randidly struck again, pushing his Yggdrasil Skills to their limit as he slashed towards the Stagbat’s side.
It danced out of the way, and another grey beam slashed diagonally from keeping Alana at bay to hitting Randidly in the temple. Snorting, Randidly spun away, his leg lashing out, striking the Stagbat in the side, sending it stumbling. As it did so, its grey energy beams fizzled, flashing and then falling out of existence, leaving it open.
Two of Annie’s arrows sunk into its flank, while Alana dashed forward and scored a long scratch on its side as it dodged as quickly as it could.
Its eyes began to glow, and now 8 grey balls condensed, causing Randidly to frown. But then Ace crashed into it from behind, knocking it off its balance again, the grey lights flickering out of existence.
The Stagbat recovered itself enough to kick back like a horse, slamming Ace backward into a nearby pile of molten rock, but by then Randidly and Alana had arrived. Before it could summon and use its grey time lights, Randidly slashed towards its throat, aiming for a kill.
When it dodged, he twisted his spear and caught its antlers, knocking its head to the side. Alana plunged her spear up to the crossguard into its side, then shoved it deeper, twisting and breaking off the shaft, leaving it within its body as she backed away.
Quickly scanning it, Randidly noticed the single grey eye on the bat’s face and the way the golden horns sparkled with power, especially as it summoned the grey bits of energy. Then, the brief off balance period ended, and the Stagbat screeched, using the bat’s mouth, 8 lights shooting outward, scything left and right, driving the party backward.
“Think that will kill it?” Alana asked with a detached curiosity, producing another spear.
Randidly grimaced, then shook his head. With his Aether senses, he could feel energy moving from the two Regalias hidden within the Stagbat’s body. “That might slow it down, but we need to cut out the Regalias. One is the antlers, the other is the left eye in that bat face. This is probably going to get worse before it gets better.”
The Stagbat screeched again, and this time charged forward, aiming for Alana. With the eight grey lasers trained on her, she scrambled backward, away from Randidly, aiming to stay out of its effective range.
Randidly glanced sideways. Clarissa and Rose were in position, and Ptolemy’s crouched form over Ace would give him another anchor that he needed. Time to try this plan. Because even if he didn’t have any Mana remaining, he had plenty of Stamina and was regenerating a huge sum every minute.
He used Phantom Half-Step to teleport forward, passing the Stagbat by about 5 meters. But immediately upon landing, he launched himself forward, aiming for its back. It noticed, but simply swiveled three of its lasers to drive him away. Randidly grinned, and used Phantom Half-Step on Ptolemy, pulling himself to the side. Then he used it again on Alana, appearing almost directly over the Stagbat. His huge spear stabbed downward, aiming for the bat head on the stag’s back.
To Randidly’s surprise, the head twisted to the side, glaring up at him, its grey eye sparkling dangerously. Frowning in displeasure, Randidly drove his spear into its back, cutting deeply into its internal organs. Then, almost immediately, he activated Phantom Half-Step, avoiding the six beams that slashed towards him when he appeared over it.
With a small pat, Randidly landed on the ground, regarding the Stagbat. It was fast, and its attacks couldn’t be weathered. Also, the normal damage wouldn’t do anything to hurt it in the short term. If anything…
A ninth grey ball appeared above its antlers. Spinning slowly at first, it gradually darkened and condensed more fully.
…if anything, the danger would activate more of the Regalia’s power.
If you can buy me a minute or so, I think I can land something to hurt it seriously,
Alana said through the party chat.
Nodding slowly, Randidly stepped forward. To his surprise, Thea came forward with him, and opposite them, Ace stood, cracking his neck, and walking towards the Stagbat’s back like he hadn’t just had his rib cage broken. Ptolemy, for his part, at least had the common decency to look exhausted.
Strangely, Randidly had an image suddenly of their portraits at the edge of a map, with the dubious pronouncement “here be monsters”. Grinning slightly, Randidly rushed forward, grabbing the Stagbat’s attention. One beam each went out to Thea and Ace, likely to keep them from moving too freely, leaving 7 to focus on Randidly. Again and again, he used Phantom Half-Step, practically teleporting around the Stagbat, slashing and attacking it as best he could, keeping it at bay, earning its ire.
Annie had taken to targeting its eyes, aiming to blind it, rather than just sinking more arrows into its soft flesh. This seemed to set something off in the Stagbat, and it began to move around more rapidly, often losing its balance when it landed, but gaining a huge amount of momentum when it leaped towards its target.
Randidly narrowed his eyes. With this mobility-
But just as Randidly thought it was getting to a dangerous level, Ace twirled around his beam, dodged first one, then two, then three more beams, seeming to pirouette midair, sliding through a small opening matrix style. After a quick landing, he rushed forward and delivered a dropkick to the Stagbat’s side, sending it stumbling.
In that small opening where its beams weakened and wandered, Randidly hefted his spear and threw it. His aim was true, and it hit the Stagbat’s right foreleg, severing the leg by cracking the bone so that it dangled from its limb only by the flesh.
The monster screeched in fury and fell to its knees. Above them, an Avatar of Alana, built on a 2x scale, descended like a hammer striking the Stagbat directly in the back, crushing the bat face and cracking its spine.