137 Chapter 134 A Month Of Hunting
Stella held out her hand, and each of the six clones stepped forward, shrinking to two-inch figurines, that she then placed into her purse.
"These golems are awesome. I'm so glad you made them for me."
"Getting them to sync with your mind, so you could telepathically control them, was the hardest part. I'm just glad I was able to figure out orichalcum so they are made of such strong stuff."
"That definitely helps!" she laughed.
Zeroing in on the next location, Joseph took her hand and teleported them. They were on a ridge, overlooking a camp site below them. A group of around a hundred people were milling around, waiting on something. The source of the mana, that he had followed here, was a pit of bones, where two people were in deep trances overlooking it.
"What's going on?" asked Stella, wrinkling her nose at the stench of corruption in the air.
"They just finished something big, and it looks like the guys in charge are arguing over there," said Joseph, pointing at three men across the valley.
As they watched, it was obvious the people were waiting, that something bad must have happened, by the way everyone kept glancing around.
"We need to take out the leader's first. I can do that with my magma balls. Why don't you get your gang out and start taking out these followers down here? If those guys by the pit try to join in, I'll try and take them out next."
Stella nodded, pulling her figurines out of her purse and throwing them on the ground behind her. They flipped in midair, landing full sized and crouched.
As the first magma ball flew through the air, Stella and her gang jumped over the lip of the ledge, pulling daggers out of thin air.
The leaders never saw the balls coming, only turning when the screams erupted as Stella and her golems began slaughtering everyone. The balls hit them all, directly in their faces. They broke open, spilling magma everywhere, but the men were already dead from the impact.
Stella flitted through the crowd, stabbing and slashing as fast as she could, killing every person who was present. Blood that should have been bright red, sprayed out as thick black ick. It didn't take long for the people to turn to flee, or try to fight back. The few who tried to fight back died faster. Bodies littered the ground as the two who had been deep in trances seemed to wake. Turning to face Stella and her group of identical golem fey, they both ducked under the magma balls that Joseph sent their way.
"You are the reason we can no longer contact our god," said one, in a deep bubbling voice that brought goosebumps to Stella's arms.
"The dragon has been lost to us, we are doomed to die," said the other, with no real emotions.
"Yes, best to flee before the other factions come for us," added the first.
Joseph appeared next to Stella as the two began to cast a spell, keeping her from attacking them.
The two froze where they stood, their arms still raised to finish the last bit of their spell.
"You will think your answer as I ask it," said Joseph calmly, as the two struggled against their paralysis.
"Where were you thinking of going?"
Their thoughts betrayed them, as Joseph read them easily. These two were already possessed by demons, very weak demons, but stronger than the simple humans that had summoned them.
"The cave you were going to hide in, is there any others to this group of worshippers and followers?"
He paused briefly as they fought against the answers he wanted.
The two bodies fell to the ground, the owners long dead, as the two demons rose up into the air.
The two demons never even had a chance to flex their newfound freedom, before a portal opened up behind them and sucked them through. Joseph learned this time, and averted his eyes from the portal, so as not to be harmed from whatever sight he might see.
"What did they say?" asked Stella, glancing around the area to make sure it was still clear of any danger.
"There's five factions. They've been fighting every since they were successful in desecrating the world tree, otherwise the world would have died by now."
"I'm glad they're too chaotic to work together, then," said Stella, gathering her gang and placing them in her purse again. It was easier on Joseph to teleport if it was just the two of them.
"This faction will soon flee to the four corners, to hide until they can find a new god to gain powers from. We will have to work fast, or finding them will get harder."
Stella held out her hand, and Joseph teleported them back to the dragon's cave.
They couldn't have been gone for maybe ten minutes, maybe fifteen, and yet the entire cave already appeared different.
The dragon was sleeping in the same spot, snoring loudly, and yet all of the bodies and signs of desecration were gone. The various demonic memorabilia was missing, and there were no markings anywhere. Even the sprayed magma was gone.
As the dragon snorted in its sleep and rolled over, Joseph shook himself and focused on the next location of corrupted mana. They were all already fading as the followers and worshippers realized something catastrophic must have happened.
Stella was ready to jump into action as they teleported this time. Joseph dropped them directly in the middle of the group of demon worshippers.
They were deep in the middle of praying and sacrificing people when they showed up. Magma balls quickly found the faces of those in charge, as Stella and her six golems, which she threw at some of the groups, went to work.
Joseph swung his staff at a group of three who were too close for comfort, sending them flying.
"Ooops, sorry, I forgot my strength is higher!"
"Don't apologize for throwing them across the room!" said Stella, shaking her head as she dodged a blow from one of the armed followers, cutting his stomach open and stabbing him in the neck as he went to grab his spilling guts.
"I was apologizing to you, but you moved before they landed," he said, hitting another one in the face, then kicking a woman in the knee as she ran past. The pop could be heard over the screams and shouts.
"I saw them coming. I don't stay still for long," she said, stepping back as a man swung his sword, leaving his entire side exposed to her daggers as she stabbed him in multiple places faster than he could blink in surprise.
The two men who were about to attack him, found their swords turning in their hands and plunging into them instead. Joseph stepped to the side as a body went flying past him from one of the golems. He wasn't sure which one it was, as all six looked similar to him.
When they finished, he teleported them to the next location, not returning to the dragon's cave. It had occurred to him, when he was there the last time, that he had perfect memory, he should be able to just go from one place to the next without returning to bother the dragon each time.
They arrived, just as the leaders were teleporting away. The worshippers were all laying, dead, on the ground, fuel to power the teleport.
Joseph didn't even need a full minute to feel out the location of their teleport and follow them.
They were very surprised, when they showed up, as they had assumed, they had just managed to escape. Stella made it abundantly clear, that they were wrong.
The next two places he teleported them to, the followers were either dead or gone, having scattered. It didn't take long to hunt them down and take care of them.
By the end of a month, Joseph couldn't find any new traces of corrupted mana to follow.
"It's time," said Stella, cleaning her fingernails before smoothing down her wild hair.
"I know," said Joseph, brushing imaginary dirt and dust from his sleeves.
"We'll live, you know."
"Speak for yourself. I've dreaded this moment all month."
"It won't be that bad," she said, giving him a look.
"You don't want to be in trouble with my mom any more than I do," he said, giving her a look back.
She sighed, then nodded.