William was prodded awake by Chris, and not gently. He immediately heard the sounds of combat, so he knew he was only out for a moment. He recalled the tail hitting him, though Chris managed to maneuver to block it slightly. William’s magical robe and his defensive ki reduced the impact… enough that William wasn’t sure whether his ribs were cracked or broken. That was an upgrade from being sure they were broken, or having a completely crushed torso.
The combat with the forest dragon was going, if not well, at least better than it had seemed at first. William saw some blood dripping down its scales, and on the weapons of the guards. However, he wasn’t quite sure if there were as many guards standing around it as before. Everything was a bit fuzzy at the moment. After a few moments of taking in the situation, William returned to the fight.
He approached from the side, because that was the most vulnerable area. It didn’t have any way to directly attack its sides, though of course it could turn head or tail towards those areas. Still, that gave an extra moment to react. William had previously gotten a bit too relaxed, and had been less wary than he should have been. Mistakes like that would happen… and William was lucky to be one of those who survived such a mistake. William picked a side with a few more bleeding injuries. This would give him slightly more options to target. William wouldn’t be contributing much to the actual blood loss factor or any kind of physical damage with his injuries, but attacking somewhere weakened was still better.
William struck out. He didn’t manage to connect directly with an injured area, but it was close enough that his attack managed to be slightly more effective, with some of his energy seeping into the nearby wound. In the end, it was probably about the same effect as when he had been uninjured… just a momentary opening for others to capitalize on. The guards did just that, with several blows solidly connecting. Unfortunately, there was so much mass in the giant lizard they were facing that even though it had lost enough blood to kill a person, or even several people, it was not even close to dying from its wounds. Still, it was slowing down somewhat, which was good because so were its opponents.
William concentrated. The sounds of combat and the pain from his broken ribs worked against him, but he managed to focus enough. His attacks needed to be stronger, they couldn’t afford to let the fight drag out longer. The world seemed to slow down, not truly, but the steady flow of energy made it feel that way. Energy in the form of ki came out from William, gathering around Chris… as well as some of it flowing through him. From inside Chris came more ki, with all of it gathering around the crystal staff to join with William’s ki in a form like mist. William quickly surveyed the battlefield. It still seemed like they could win, without resorting to anything desperate. He had only taken a few moments to gather his ki, after all. Thus, although he was certain in killing the forest dragon if he used Shattering the Soul… he decided not to. He thought that, perhaps, the strong body and especially the scales might mitigate the explosion that Shattering the Soul would cause. In addition, the soul wasn’t so much powerful as stubborn, and thus those around would have a chance to survive… or at least not have their souls destroyed. Still, William didn’t think the situation was that dire. If even one person had their soul destroyed, it would be worse than all of them dying. In fact, William thought that probably also included the forest dragon’s soul. Besides, he still planned to win.
William waited for an opening, and was soon met with one that seemed perfect… in a way. The forest dragon moved one of its biggest wounds toward William. Some might have called it something like a body slam, but it didn’t matter to William what it seemed like. He struck out, and though the wound had looked small, as it approached it became clear it was several centimeters in each direction, though of course not a perfect shape. Still, enough scales were chipped and broken to allow William to strike with Chris, completely unhindered. Without the scales, William’s ki flowed into the forest dragon relatively unhindered. The strong muscles and bones it had were much less resistant, and William’s attack flowed into the soul. Effectively, the soul overlapped with all of the living parts of something. William had found it was a bit more complicated than that, but the physical location of a soul wasn’t really a subject that made sense anyway. Regardless, William felt his attack connect. William felt the forest dragon’s soul shake, then start to tear away from the body. At least, that was the best way he could describe it. He felt that it didn’t completely disconnect, but he didn’t spend much time observing what had happened. Instead, he had kicked off of the approaching torso of the giant lizard with the name of a dragon. Using the momentum from that and his strike with Chris, he pushed himself away instead of getting crushed, or just suddenly hit with a force he wasn’t capable of handling. William found himself a good few yards away, but he avoided hitting any trees- not that there were any that were that close and still “trees”. He also landed on his feet… though he shortly sunk to one knee after that. Even with a few meters of distance, he felt like he was immediately next to the forest dragon… but it was obviously not in a good state.
William was surprised it was still conscious at all, but it was still swiping its claws and biting at the guards. Or at least, attempting to. Its movements were slow and jerky, and it was clearly having trouble moving at all. The caravan guards quickly took advantage of this, and one of them even penetrated his spear almost length deep into its side, though an open wound. It took him quite some effort to pull it back out… but when he did a fountain of blood came with it. Soon, the forest dragon fell to the ground, as pools of blood that were enough to fill a small pond poured out of it. William took a deep breath, then found himself coughing up blood. That made his ribs hurt madly… but the good news was that William determined they weren’t broken. In fact, the amount of blood he coughed up was normal… if many times more painful because of his ribs. Unfortunately, coughing up blood had been normal for some time. William hoped his wounds wouldn’t make it worse.