Everyone became dazed for a moment, including Emery.
When he opened his eyes, he could hear a buzzing sound in his ears, lingering.
What just happened! screamed Fatty, backing himself toward a tree.
Cole could also be seen trembling.
His voice was shaking as he said, S-Something bad.
That was either a powerful spell or powerful being.
What should we do Mags asked, holding her staff close toward her chest.
Whatever that was, we need to get away here as far as possible! Let\'s return to the institute! Cole said, gripping his spear tightly.
Let me go! Silva screamed as she struggled to break free from the large roots.
Stop fooling around guys, let us—
Emery didn\'t get to finish his words when another boom entered their minds.
This time, he lost consciousness for a second while Cole, Topper, Mags and Fatty fell to their knees.
They tried to stand up but their knees were quavering.
The first time shocked them, but the second one scared everyone to their core.
Fatty was the first to get up straight and ran deep into the woods, leaving the five acolytes.
Cole was the second to stand up.
He glanced at Emery, their eyes met for a second, before turning away with Mags and Topper in tow.
Hey guys! Seriously! Emery called out to them but no one was left, not even their shadows.
It was only him and this girl with the snake-eyes.
He bit his lips, and for a moment, he thought of himself as the unluckiest person in the world.
Shouldn\'t have joined them, he thought.
He should have just gone with his original plan since getting involved with other people always seemed to mess his life.
Hmpf, those are wonderful friends you have, commented Silva.
They are not my friends! Emery snapped as he wiggled hard to the point where his entangled exposed skin was starting to burn from the tight roots.
His body was brushing up against Silva when she said, Stop wiggling, pervert!
He had forgotten how he should be honorable in front of such a lady.
He cleared his throat before looking at her and said, I am sorry, my lady.
Do you have any other plans
Silva simply stayed silent but the bushes rustled in response to Emery\'s questioning.
Emery tried to see who it was and saw Topper coming out of the bushes.
However, Emery\'s eyes widened when Topper raised his axe.
Hey, hey, hey! Emery cried out when Topper swung it down.
He closed his eyes but the thing he feared didn\'t come to pass.
Instead, he felt the roots hooked onto something so when he looked again, the back edge of the axe locked on one of the roots and Topper pulled.
Emery broke out a cold sweat as he raised his hands and said, I am sorry, Silva.
You know that wasn\'t on purpose.
I think we should be more concerned about that scary sound and get out of here.
Silva gritted her teeth before lowering the sword.
Just when Emery let out a sigh of relief, the edge of his vision noticed a flash of a hand and was once again on the ground.
His cheek now had a red mark of a palm as it stung in pain from Silva\'s slap.
Emery rubbed his burning cheek and said, Haha I think I deserve that. He then looked at Topper and added, Thank you for coming back.
Topper nodded without saying a word and turned to the direction where the institute of plant should be.
Emery and Silva went with Topper, not wanting to waste one more second in the forest.
They didn\'t know where the sound came from but it was best to stay in Elder\'s Respite where there were tons of acolytes and magi were staying.
The three of them sped through the forest but after a few hundred meters of running, another boom rang in their heads, making them stumble.
Do any one of you have an idea—
Not able to finish his sentence, a speeding object flew past them and crashed into one of the aged trees.
They all paused for a moment, looked at each other, and decided to take a detour still in the general direction of the Elder\'s Respite.
They hadn\'t gotten far yet when they heard a scream filled with terror.
Emery thought the voice was familiar so he ran to where the sound came from.
When he had arrived, however, regret quickly churned in his stomach.
In front of him, was a huge beast, thrice the size of a bear from Earth.
It was chomping on the lower half of what appeared to be the silhouette of a chubby boy.
The cloud had blocked the moon\'s light but when its ray was finally clear once more to shine on the land, it slowly showed Fatty\'s horrified, disfigured face.
Not far from him, Emery heard a cough and when he looked over, he saw a woman dressed in a magus robe holding her bleeding stomach.
Her dark skin almost blended with the tree she was leaning but Emery could clearly see the white stripe on her face.
It was Magus Erica, the one who announced the mission of gathering four-leaf moon clovers from Master Grom.
Emery placed one foot back but the crunching sound of a branch behind him rang out.
The hulking beast\'s bloodshot eyes then suddenly shifted straight to him.
It stared at Emery as it munched the broken bones of Fatty along with blood dripping from its mouth.
A chill ran from the bottom of his spine up to his nape.