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"Y-you have a gun? And it works here?" Mary asked, feeling as if she has been lied to all of her life.

"Yes, but now is not really the time to explain. There are more important matters for us to attend to."

Roar!!

"Like those...so focus, you guys yeah?" Ashton told them.

And as much as the trio wanted to know more, what he said was correct. They don't have time for that. What should happen is more demon slaying rather than QnAs.

Ashton waved his hand and released a string of buffs which landed on his friends.

The familiar feeling of pure strength and limitless adrenaline pumping through their bodies occurred. This has always been an exhilarating experience for them and it instantly made them feel better.

Now, they didn't mind the putrid environment even more. If anything, with Ashton's buffs, they were able to focus on the matters at hand and start fighting in earnest.

"Go do your thing, kill as many as you could. I'll watch your back."

He didn't just provide support but also an encouragement to them. This made the trio feel more confident as if they were being influenced by Ashton's confidence as well.

Worry disappeared from their hearts, now they faced the enemy and raised their weapons. Their minds became focused on what must be done and nothing else.

With Ashton supporting them from behind, they felt like they could do anything.

Emboldened by confidence, the trio marched forward and began meeting the enemy.

Just in time to see more Ghouls jumping out of the fog, heading straight toward them.

Mary pulled the string of her bow and condensed a shot which flew as she released it. The projectile then multiplied halfway through its trajectory and tracked the ghouls like they had heat sensors.

The projectiles were swift, the Ghouls were barely able to avoid them. Mary didn't mind that she missed some. Instead of berating herself, she just tried it again by shooting another shot.

While Mary was busy raining down arrows at the enemy, Alice and Blake walked by her side to cover her. They were observing the movement of the enemy.

They made sure to pay close attention just in case an unexpected event occurs. Mary was agile and alert but in front of a horde, she could only do so much on her own.

The team has to remain in a formation so that they could fight more comfortably. They didn't mind that Mary wasn't able to kill all that was heading their way since they could certainly deal with it.

What's important is to pace themselves, since this is going to be a long, long battle.

Ashton, who's marching at a slower pace than they are, nodded upon seeing this. It seems that they've calmed down considerably and are now in battle mode. They should've been like this since the beginning but it's fine, better late than never in the meantime.

'This should be a good trial ground for you three.' He mused to himself. 'Only through the pressure of a real-life or death battle will your potentials truly be squeezed out of your bodies.'

'You will learn and thrive in this place. After all, you guys are destined to be the Heroes of this world.'

'To others, I might not be willing to place so much burden. After all, that might force them to their deaths. But for the three of you, this is a perfect place to become stronger.'

'Go, kill to your heart's desire. It will be tough but I'm right behind you.'

The whole reason why he's providing them all kinds of resources and training was for the sake of this anyway. This world is in dire need of Heroes. Sadly, Ashton isn't that person. He wouldn't be and he doesn't want to be.

But, even if he couldn't become a Hero, it doesn't mean that he can't create one...or 100. He had all the things needed to do just that so why not right?

He watched in satisfaction as Alice timed her strikes perfectly to when a demon was about to reach them. By doing this, not only was she ensuring to use less energy than she needs, but she was also staying calm throughout.

The three of them know that they're in for a long haul.

So far, only Ghouls appeared but there's no doubt that there's more in the depths of that Black Fog.

More importantly, just because they've killed the demons who attacked them, it doesn't mean that they won't be seeing them again.

Just a reminder, Demons are semi-immortal under the influence of the Black Fog. Even if they were killed, so long as the Black Fog is nearby, they'd just be resurrected inside at the peak state, ready to pounce again.

This resurrection does have a cost, and it's the density of the Fog itself so technically, so long as their killing speed is faster than the mobbing of the horde, then they will be able to drain the fog until it disappears completely.

That, or if they could use Offensive White Magic to land the killing blow to Demons, then they could cut this false immortality directly, nipping it in the bud. Once the demons are all dead, the Black Fog would be stuck in one place until it eventually disappears.

These are the two ways how this might go. Well, there is a third one but that's a failure, and that is something that nobody would even consider at this point.

The trio worked seamlessly together. Blake provoked and tanked many demons. He wore a shield on each hand and bashed the skulls of the demons as he marched like a madman.

Alice turned into a streak of light which sliced through demons, circling Blake and Mary to provide timely assistance. As for Mary, she focused on sniping the ones at the back, more specifically those who preferred to shoot projectiles at them as a form of harassment.

There were times when an unexpected event will happen which will force Ashton's hand but that's fine. He didn't mind that nor pointed it out. He just dealt with it while allowing the three of them to hone their skills in the middle of the battle.

"The basics are your best friend here. You have to conserve mana so try relying on your basics." He told them via telepathy.

As a result of that, the trio's rhythm changed as they began honing their basic skills. They weren't forbidden to use their skills or spells, they just have to know that by using them regularly, they will run out way before the main event happens — which is still far from now.

And it's awesome, how a simple instruction like that, turned out to be what they needed in order to become stronger.

Ashton witnessed geniuses in their natural habitat. They fought, learned, and adapt at a very ridiculous pace.

He could tell that they are improving at an alarming rate, something that they don't even realize.

It hasn't even been 10 minutes since he gave that advice yet here they were, increasing their killing rate even more despite mostly relying on their basics.

'Was I like them back then?' He asked himself.

Honestly, for him, it feels like it's been so long. He couldn't even recall how he performed against his first horde. Alas, that's not really important since he's already come this far.

'Hmm?'

Ashton raised his brow as he felt something amiss. He looked at his friends were too focused on killing demons when he suddenly saw a thin film of light covering their skin.

Due to circumstances, the film of light was barely visible. If it weren't for his excellent eyesight, he would have probably missed it.

He analyzed that light for a brief moment and felt a resonance from within. It was coming from the Dragon Vein.

'Ah! It must be because of their communion! Since they're been rightfully acknowledged as the Children of Destiny, everything they do that has something to do with their destiny will cause a reaction.'

'Them killing demons is an example. Every time they killed demons, they are stripping them of luck. The amount is minuscule but considering how there are in here and the unique circumstances, this will accumulate fast.'

'It could become nutrients for the Dragon Vein, which will make it stronger and produce more lucky chances for Humanity. Mn, not bad! This is good! Great, even!'

Ashton was of course very supportive of this development. In fact, he even highly encourages this. He couldn't do something like this himself and since Providence is an extremely important thing for Humanity as a whole of course he'd want more.

'Unless it's absolutely necessary, I won't interfere. The more of these abominations they kill, the better. That means more luck for us. And more luck means more good things!'

'In the event that they're injured, I could always cast Heal on them anyway. So long as they have even a faint breath in them, I can surely resurrect them. Mn sounds like a plan.'

'Good luck guys, kill as many as you can. I'm rooting for you.'