William’s group encountered some more dire wolves, though they weren’t a significant threat. William’s spells were more timely after some real practice, and the knights certainly weren’t insignificant. In fact, William realized that they all seemed to be going beyong the physical limits of humans. At least, the limits of his previous world. Here, he’d found that such limits were somewhat different. William wasn’t sure exactly how, but it was obvious once he saw Gerald block the paw of one of the dire wolves. He barely even got pushed back, unlike what would be expected from “normal” people. The expectation William had for people getting hit by such an attack was a broken arm behind the shield, and then a broken everything else and probably death. Instead, Gerald just got a slightly strained look and was pushed slightly back.
This gave William confidence in the squad’s abilities to fight more dangerous magical beasts. Especially since he wasn’t entirely confident in his own abilities. Though Chris was getting better at his speeds for casting magic, he still wasn’t able to make particularly fast or powerful spells. This wasn’t because he wasn’t any good at it, but because he also had to concentrate on vibrating enough to create some sound waves. Splitting his concentration made both tasks less than half as efficient.
As for his staff fighting skills, well, William just hoped he never had to use them against any kind of magical beast. He didn’t exactly have much in the way of armor, and he wasn’t sure if he could swing Chris hard enough to hurt some of the things he had heard of, even if they let him. On the other hand, Chris was an exceptionally good staff, so it might work. William would rather not find out if he could help it.
After some more battles with dire wolves, they stopped being found in the surrounding area. After meeting with the other squads, it was determined that they had been eradicated, or at least reduced in numbers enough to make them leave the area. However, there was another area a few days away that had other magical beasts that were threatening the safety of the surrounding areas. Thus, after resting and resupplying, they moved on.
The scouting reports said that the enemies were fewer in numbers than the dire wolves, but that didn’t mean they were less dangerous. The enemies were chimeras, strange creatures with various strange abilities. Generally, they were like someone had smashed a dragon, lion, and a ram together, leaving all three heads. The body was mostly that of a lion, but with the scales of a dragon providing protection. The ram… well, it just added more danger as another thing to watch out for.
Unfortunately, William was pretty sure that lightning wouldn’t do him any good. If he could fire a very powerful bolt, then it may do some good, but his weaker bolts wouldn’t do much good against the scales. If they couldn’t penetrate inside, they couldn’t stop the heart. Even if it could otherwise work, some chimeras were especially resistance to such attacks, due to their partial nature as a dragon. Fortunately, they really weren’t as strong as a real dragon, but that didn’t mean they could be underestimated.
One of their most dangerous features was that they also had draconic wings. They would have been dangerous enough if they couldn’t fly, but adding flight to the mix made them dangerous predators. Fortunately the knights had come prepared with bows and spears. This would allow them to attack it in the air, and if it came down for sweeping attacks the spears would give them a bit more reach.
The group was fortunate, or unfortunate, to come upon one on their first day in the area. The terrain was mountainous and rocky, and they had been forced to leave behind their mounts, though they would have not maneuvered well against an aerial opponent anyway. William was quite glad to get off his horse, since his thighs were hurting significantly. He also felt more comfortable on his feet in a fight.
Fortunately, they spotted the chimera far away, so they had some time to prepare. However, it was most certainly moving toward them. They had only enough time to reach an area with a cliff going up before it got close. Fortunately, with the cliff, it couldn’t attack them from every angle, limiting its options.
However, before it reached them at all, William had Chris attack with a lightning bolt. Instead of going for precision, it was just as powerful as it could be made. William might have preferred a fireball, but he wasn’t confident in hitting a moving target, especially one who could move in three dimensions, with such an attack. The lightning, however, just required him to properly aim where it currently was.
After the crack of thunder and the flash, the chimera charged. It seemed to be relatively unscathed, but not entirely unharmed. At least, a patch of its scales was blackened where it got hit directly. The chimera dived, starting directly toward William, but it instead curved around once it realized it would hit the cliff behind him. It got close enough for the knights to fire several arrows at it, some of which hit, but didn’t seem to penetrate the scales.
Then, the chimera came back around, flying parallel to the cliff face. The dragon head started roaring. that wasn’t quite enough for William to be sure something dangerous was coming, but Chris also provided a warning using several quick flashes of color. The general idea was “Magic attack coming, dodge”. This meant it was the kind of thing that Chris couldn’t block, which meant it was probably some kind of area breath. William only had enough time to shout a warning to the nearby knights before preparing to protect himself. “Area breath attack incoming, get ready to dodge!”