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The Ghouls were just the beginning, the appetizer if you will...

Deep within the chasm of the Black Fog, the other demons were getting restless too.

How can they not be? Four humans are akin to jeweled pieces of meat running circles in front of them as if purposefully whetting their appetites. Demons aren't ones to be patient, and seeing treats like this, of course, their patience was being tested.

Soon, some couldn't endure the allure anymore. It only took one close whiff of humans and they couldn't hold themselves back anymore.

"Here comes more of them." Mary warned without pausing her shots.

Her eyesight was a tad bit sharper than Alice and Blake so she was able to peer through the fog. She couldn't see everything of course but she could see enough to tell that some demons from within were starting to move.m

And as if on cue to her words, more demons leaped out of the Black Fog, barreling straight towards them with just as much ferocity and drool.

They Imps, beast demons like; crows, hounds, and boars. Insect demons like; centipedes, beetles, ants, flies, etc.

This was such a hair-raising sight, a literal horde of demons was straight at them, and there was more beyond that fog too!

Nevertheless, the trio is way passed the point of panicking at this point. There's no room for them to retreat here. If they fell here, the innocent behind them will be done for.

Thus, mustering every ounce of strength in their bodies, they braced for impact.

It was then that Ashton came through once more...

"By my authority as a Child of Mana! I grant thee, Ceaseless Energy Replenishment!"

His archaic voice sounded in their ears. What followed that was a great rush of energy as well as Mana flooding their bodies. It was so potent that they were literally having a difficult time trying to contain it.

The trio is aware of this spell. The Ceaseless Mana Replenishment is a High-Order Spell that will give the target a literally endless supply of mana at the expense of the caster's own.

It's like Ashton was personally channeling his mana over to them from a distance. The spell helps him mix his own mana with the energy of the world to multiply the supply. This was how the spell works to put it simply.

"Go bonkers, I got your back." Ashton encouraged them once more.

And in this scenario, that's more than what the three of them needed to do their thing.

Mary took a deep, deep breath and condensed a great deal of mana at her fingertips. Her bow released a resplendent light, akin to a lighthouse amidst a foggy island.

She tilted her body upwards and aimed at the sky. Her eyes were focused and her concentration was at its peak. Inwardly, she didn't feel any panic or worry, which is a regular thing for her usually whenever she tries this spell.

This attack was something she had never successfully done before. Each time she did, she'd always fail causing her to scold and berate herself.

Truthfully, she never had any thoughts of trying this out now out of all times, but for some reason, she felt compelled to do so.

'I wonder why...' she asked herself, seemingly feeling melancholic.

To her, the world seems to have slowed down as if time just went to a screeching halt. She never felt this kind of sensation before and quite frankly, she doesn't even realize that it was happening now.

She was immersed in herself. The way she held her bow, her thoughts...even the sheer amount of demons that are making their way towards them, she was acutely aware of them all.

But at the same time, she felt disconnected from everything. It's as if nothing has anything to do with her. All she cares about right now was the bow on her hand and the concentrated energy at her fingertips.

Years seem to have passed by as she held that position. She never once moved, nor did her stance give way. She remained like a statue, still aiming at the sky with her body leaning backward.

At some point, she felt that the moment has come.

After what seemed like years for her, she finally felt that the energy she has been accumulating for that long was finally ready to be released.

A sigh escaped from her lips, and when she released that arrow...

...her heart flew with it.

That shot...broke through several barriers of sound, warping space itself due to its speed and trajectory. That shot was like— no, it was a Shooting Star!

It streaked to the sky, it made a lot of noise which caused everyone's attention to be focused on it.

At the peak of its flight, it stopped.

It then exploded into a literal starry sky that enveloped everything within a 2.5-kilometer radius.

The silver beads in that sky shook, and then, one by one, they started falling at the same speed as the shooting star Mary released earlier.

After that, was chaos...

Streaks of light rained down and punched several holes into the bodies of the demons. Even the ones who were still at the Black Fog didn't escape this fate. The area covered by the attack surpassed the size of the marching Black Fog.

Mary who released this shot felt quite drained. She was pale and her arms were trembling, she was also panting. Even so, there was a smile on her face as she witnessed the pouring rain of projectiles making the demon horde suffer tremendously.

"Perpetual Rain of Light...I succeeded!" She quietly exclaimed to herself.

She felt proud and exhilarated at this achievement, she didn't expect that Warlock like her could succeed in casting a very demanding spell like this.

The Perpetual Rain of Light is a High-Order Spell exclusive to Magic Archers. As the name suggests, it is an endless rain of fire to an area in front of the caster. This rain will never cease until either Mary stops it or she runs out of mana.

Mary's mana reserves aren't that huge, to begin with, actually this is the main reason why she hadn't succeeded in her attempts before. Nothing changed much now, but with Ashton's buffs and constant supply of mana, she was finally able 5o cast it now.

She knew that this wouldn't have been possible if Ashton wasn't around so half of the credit goes to him, to be honest.

The demand for this spell doesn't just end with how tough it was to cast and the absurd mana requirements. It also forces her to temporarily sacrifice her bow, her main way of attacking.

Right now, her bow was missing for her. It's not gone, it's just something that happens when using this spell. Once the spell ends, the bow will materialize back into her hands.

Additionally, any damage dealt to her during the time she's casting will forcefully halt the rain of projectiles. Of course, that is quite the risk, but it's one that she's willing to bear if it means she could deal with this many demons.

She has other means of protecting herself, but her priority right now, is to make sure this rain of fire won't stop. Meaning she can't be hurt by anything.

Still, even with the steep requirements of the spell, its effectiveness couldn't be denied.

Agonized cries of demons echoed throughout the battlefield. The pure rain of pain was incredibly vexing for them. It didn't matter whether they were fast or slow. They will be hit due to the sheer volume of projectiles raining down at them.

It also didn't matter if they had tough hides or were fragile. The rain of fire doesn't discriminate, it brought an equal amount of pain to their kind and this will not show signs of stopping unless they figure out the stipulations of the spell itself.

...well, demons had never been the bright ones so good luck with that.

Mary's mana was being drained still by the spell but with Ashton's spell, it became stagnant. It's neither being replenished nor being drained. She still feels the sensation of the drain but she's not really running out of mana herself.

If things continue on this way, this rain of fire will truly never end.

Still, while this spell is awesome for what it does and became even stronger due to the synergy between Mary and Ashton, all it did was slow down the march of the Black Fog.

It's an inconvenience to them. Not really a roadblock, just enough to irritate them even more.

Don't forget that the demons here are under the influence of the Black Fog. All of them are blessed with false immortality. Even if this rain of projectiles kills a lot of them, they'd just be resurrected at their peak state inside the Black Fog as if nothing happened.

However, this becomes a battle of attrition now, since the false immortality of the demons wasn't permanent either. Each time they're resurrected, the Black Fog loses some of its density.

Now, it's just a matter of who's going to run out of juice faster. Would it be the combined efforts of Mary and Ashton or the Black Fog and its horde?

Of course, this is all under the premise that Blake and Alice stay put. And in a situation like this, how likely were the chances of that happening?