As Griff and James ran across the forest towards their assigned meeting spot, they heard ferocious growling behind them along with the sound of snapping branches.
"Shit I don't think we're going to make it!"
"Well, we better try! We can't take on a hoard with 2 people."
Just then they heard a very high screech. Griff was pretty much unfazed, thinking that it was just a hungry goblin, but James's face suddenly turned white as he looked at Griff in a way that he only remembered from when they were captured: pure unadulterated fear.
"That just now was either a High-Orc or Goblin King. Both are monsters at the D rank, and our party can handle at most an E rank..."
"We're fucked... running is going to be meaningless then?"
"Yeah, but we can still make it to the plains. We got a fighting chance there without being ambushed."
"Got it. I'll try covering for us."
Griff pulled out his bow, and nocked an arrow. He had accepted that he was naive and inexperienced, so he decided to make it up with tricks that he'd picked up on his way at the arena: fighting dirty.
He had wrapped cloth on some of his arrows, and had Rin enchant 10 of them to ignite on contact.
'It's now or never. Causing a forest fire can buy us some time.'
He released his arrow, which caused a small ignition, and wrapped nearby bushes and trees in fire. Losing no time, he turned around and rushed. The voices of the goblins had died down slowly, they'd gained some distance, but... not for long.
"I can see an opening! Get ready!"
James dashed towards the opening, and quickly drew out his sword where he wouldn't be restricted by the trees. Griff got behind him, and nocked another arrow. However, instead of firing towards the forest, he released it upwards.
'I hope the small ignition in the air will be some sort of signal...'
Suddenly the sound of growling grew stronger, and out came the hoard of goblins! All clad in leather armor, skeletal decorations, and ugly, rusty swords.
Slowly the goblins started encircling the duo, their green small slimy hands twitching with anticipation of the human flesh they'd soon consume.
Without a signal, James slid the throat of an unfortunate goblin that decided to take the first bite. Seeing him in action, Griff nocked another one of his flaming arrows and released it on a couple of unfortunate goblins.
"We can't hold on for much! We're about to be encircled! Where are those two?!"
Just then, the sound of an explosion was heard behind the hoard. It was Rin and Reiner! Both rushing as Rin castes her mana balls simultaneously, launching them towards the hoard to create an opening.
"Dash through that opening!"
Shouted Reiner. Just to be on the safe side, Griff nocked a couple more normal arrows and fired them towards goblins that were about to pincer strike them. As the distance grew closer, his effectiveness decreased...
Griff and James dashed through the small corridor of dead goblins towards Reiner and Rin. A goblin tried latching on to Griff's shoulder, but the kid quickly drew out an arrow and stabbed it between the eyes of the miserable creature.
As they rushed, the two felt a bit more relaxed, but nature seemed to think otherwise.
Griff's relaxed expression slowly turned to one of fear, and his face turned white. He stopped in his tracks.
His warning was, however, a bit late as Reiner who was smugly grinning turned behind him to be knocked away by a huge club.
From the forest, the 5 meter tall Goblin King emerged.
"That... THAT'S A D CLASS MONSTER! WE DON'T STAND A CHANCE!"
Rin was panicking as she ran towards her brother by kiting with mana balls towards the monster. The hideous beast, however, paid no heed. It slowly shook off the explosions and started running towards the downed adventurer.
"Not on my watch!"
James drew his sword, and sliced off a small chunk of the creature's leg.
Without stopping, he quickly turned around towards the forest, and dashed. The creature slowly followed after him, crushing its minions on the way.
"What the hell James?!"
"Stop. He's leading it away from us till we can re-group."
Reiner seemed to still be able to stand. He rose to his feet with the aid of his sister.
"You alright Reiner?"
"Yeah, I can still fight. I wouldn't be a D class adventurer if I fell after one strike by a goblin king. Come on, we better catch up."
"You're in no position to fight big brother! That man led that thing away from us so we could run!"
"No it doesn't work like that in the world of adventurer's sis. We pay back our favors."
Rin slowly nodded her head.
Without waiting for them to move, Griff decided to take things in to his own hands. He was not going to let what had happened to Humbert repeat itself. Nocking an arrow, Griff rushed through the forest.
"That kid's gonna get himself killed!"
"Shut it brother! I'm not letting you go after them. If they die it's on them. You're not the hero. It's not your job..."
James was tired. His eyes were betraying him. His vision was blurry. After he ran towards the forest he had slain a few of the small goblins, but his sword had no effect on the monstrosity towering over him right now. He was going to die, he was ready for it too. If those three decided to run, and considering the size of this thing that was the logical idea, he wouldn't die futilely.
The goblin raised its enormous club, ready to splatter James. However, the creature suddenly stopped. It turned around. James was baffled as well.
The giant goblin roared towards a tree about 40 meters away. On the tree was Griff, sweating and scared, but with a nocked arrow. As the beast turned around James saw two arrows imbedded on its back. Seems like the kid was manning up.
'Well well well, I didn't expect to see that in you kid.'
He slowly raised his head towards Griff who had a gaze of determination. Yes, he was scared, but he was not backing down.
James's face suddenly brightened, and he grinned.
'Yes! Your courage! You've found it.'
Slowly, time which had been frozen started to rewind... The goblin roared once more, and Griff? He grinned as he released his arrow...