Rise Of The Infinite Sovereign -
Chapter 253 Dodge Boulder
'Since you're angry, I'll give you a place to vent'
Ezra ran in the opposite direction, infuriating the beast who was awaiting a one on one.
He ran into the beast stampede emerging from the nearby beast regions before jumping onto their heads and running away.
John followed suit.
Ezra looked behind him.
'Now, what will you do?'
The ape should understand that he was outmatched in speed, so it'll either jump, or…
Ezra nodded in appreciation as he watched the ape grab a boulder.
"John" he called.
"Make sure that you don't stop moving"
John nodded, looking at the ape as well.
The boulder was thrown.
"Wait" said Ezra, approximating when they should jump.
The boulder got closer.
They jumped aside with the boulder right in front of their faces.
They survived, but the beasts below them were squashed. The beast behind them simply circumvented the area.
Again, Ezra hitched a ride on one of those.
John did the same, staring at Ezra with eyes of inexplicable meaning.
"Shouldn't we just finish him and then finish the rest"
"I'd rather not waste energy doing something that could be done with less effort. Besides, how are we to know that this is the last one we'll be seeing"
John nodded, it was sensible reasoning.
"So, what do we do now?"
"Don't break the boulders, only dodge them. And remember, you have to make each one is a close call else it'll notice and then we'll have to waste more energy"
John was stern, but in a few minutes, he'd come to respect Ezra.
So began the game of dodge boulders.
As Ezra instructed, they only dodged, and slowly at that, so their folly wouldn't be discovered.
Meanwhile, more and more beasts were squashed, and since all of them were rabid, neither the ape nor the other beast called attention to it.
This reduced tension for the army at the fortress significantly.
Moreover, with the ape's absurd height, they could see it hurling rock after rock at something.
Experts and a few shifters could see even farther.
The top brass were now fighting from the top of the palisade because the ground level was overrun with beasts.
With slits for eyes, Theron muttered…
"That's the boss"
…prompting Valentine to swerve her head towards him.
"What did you see?" she asked.
"The boss. He's toying with that beast" Theron mouthed with a smile.
"Oh, ok" Valentine nodded and just went back to killing the beasts.
She'd been thinking a lot ever since she arrived at the fortress.
It happened the day after Ezra defeated her in a duel.
Her mother, Elisa, called her to speak.
"I know you must be hurting" she started.
"And I know you must be gloating"
"Why dear" Elisa's neutral face revealed a triumphant grin.
"Whatever are you talking about?"
Valentine suppressed her emotions.
"If you have nothing more to say, can I excuse myself?"
"I have a lot to say" Elisa replied. Her grin had all but vanished.
She pushed a chair to Valentine.
Valentine did as she was told, seeing that her mother's expression had become serious.
Cleaning her glasses, Elisa spoke…
"Tell me, what do you think about that boy?"
"Which boy?" Valentine was instantly confused.
Valentine quietened…before exploding.
"I think he's an arrogant, poupous, and an egoistic fool"
"Would you like to marry him then?"
"Would I like to-"
Valentine murmured her words before freezing as her eyes opened wide.
"What did I just hear?"
"Whatever it is I said"
"You want me to MARRY HIM?!"
"Please dear, calm down. I'm not asking you to die"
"Well, I might just do so"
"Can you give me a reason why you don't like him so much? A genuine one of course"
"He's, he's, he's…UGH! I cannot marry him!"
"Then give me a reason"
Elisa smiled at seeing her daughter raging so much, before taping her head.
"Hmph!" Valentine crossed her arms.
"If I wanted, I'd have you both engaged without your knowing, but I didn't do that"
Valentine calmed after realizing it was true.
"From what I've seen, he'll make a fine husband. He has good looks, more than enough brains, is royalty, and as for power, well I don't have to say anything"
"Mom, have you been stalking him?"
"I stalk every one of my students"
"What? How else would I be able to grade you accurately?"
"Fair enough, but I still don't want to marry him"
"Who then will you marry? Fine men don't come around so often"
"How can you call him a man? He's just turned thirteen"
She pushed down her glasses.
"And you just turned fifteen. What difference does it make?"
"Ugh! What if, what if he doesn't like me?
"So you've accepted"
"O-of course not" she stuttered, turning her red cheeks to the side.
"What if, what if, what if he dies?"
"Whatever can kill him would kill you too"
"What? It's a given"
Valentine stared for a long while before releasing pent up air.
"Does he know about this?"
"Nope" Elisa shook her index finger.
"Apparently, he doesn't have much of an impression of you"
"How would you know?"
"I asked, and he went 'Umm….'. From what I saw, he doesn't have much concern for girls"
Elisa cut her off.
"Then, you'll just have to make him concerned about you"
"For one, you'll follow him everywhere. He needs to become familiar with you before anything can happen" she tapped her chin.
"As for how to make him care though, I'm a bit stumped"
Then she laughed.
"He's a such a fine man I need to think before knowing how to help him"
"For now, I suggest you grow stronger" she told Valentine.
"He seems to have an obsession with strength, so, most likely, he'll like strong women"
"You sure did your research"
"Of course, I did. He's going to be my son-in-law. How can I be ignorant of his tastes?"
"Why are you so awfully sure?"
"Hmm, I just know" she shrugged, pulling Valentine's chair beside her.
"I'm not trying to give you out as a gift. I just think good men are few, and my daughter should marry one of them. I want you to follow him not just for him, but for you. Understand him, scrutinize him. Ask yourself 'Is this a quality I want from my husband?' every time you uncover another layer of his character. If you come back, and you have problems with his personality, we'll never need to talk about this again. You understand?"
"Hmm" Valentine nodded, rubbing her shoulders.
"What is a husband anyway?"
"He's your life partner. He's someone who'll do anything to protect you and make sure you are well taken care off"
"That sounds…a bit too good to be true"
"Oh, but it is. Regardless, follow him and become familiar with him. So, when the opportunity presents itself, you're by his side to help him. But if you don't like him, just say so. Deal?"
"Oh yes, did I mention that your husband is the father of your children?"
That was it, now she was here, fighting while secretly trying to verify Ezra's worthiness.
So far, it was a disaster, because he outclassed her in almost everything, and since yesterday, the power he showed was beyond her.
Then, something blossomed in her heart, a flick of inferiority.
Now, the tables were turning, it had gone from confirming his worthiness to confirming if she was worthy of him.
'How frustrating' she thought, but she wanted to surpass or at least match him.
But in the past day, the gap seemed to only grow wider.
Breaking through to Expert-rank suddenly seemed easy when compared with her current dilemma.
Meanwhile, Ezra and John were expertly dodging the hail of stones thrown at them.
From the start, each time the ape failed to hit them, it would increase its aggression.
Now, after five minutes of boulder dodging, it was throwing boulders consecutively.
Ezra was still breezing through it, while John was starting to have problems.
"Are you okay?"
John nodded, blood rolling down his dusty face.
"I can still do more"
They continued, this time with more risky plays, but it was all the more effective.
Every stone they dodged went on to squash a squad of beasts, and with tens of boulders being thrown…
The beasts reaching the fortress had reduced to a trinkle of what it normally was.
With its eyes bloodshot and its expression fuming, the ape plunged out a massive part of the earth.
It was so heavy, even the ape had trouble lifting it.
More importantly, the piece of land it sought to pull out would be too wide for the pesky things to dodge.
Only, it had forgotten one thing.
Those 'pesky' things could do more than just dodge.
"John, let's go"
Both men dashed for the beast, whose back lay wide open while it struggled to tear out a large chunk of soil.
Ezra twin swords lit up with blood and dark lightning.
Getting a strange feeling, the ape turned its head, but it was already too late.
Ezra was coming in fast.
The ape, sensing danger, dropped the piece of land and jumped away.
Ezra followed suit, taking a leap that made the earth crack.
From afar, only a line of black light would be discerned as Ezra reached the ape.
Mad it was, growling as it raised its hand.
Rather than cut it as they were in mid air, Ezra dodged it by a hair's breadth, stabbed the palm, and climbed aboard the arm, where he ran on towards the beast who raised its other arm to slap him to death.
Ezra ran faster, avoiding the death slap, and just past the elbow, he jumped.
The beast saw the pesky creature descend with its black sword in hand and it instinctively knew.
The next attack would be fatal.
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