Disclaimer: I do not own Goblin Slayer or Star Wars.


Chapter 15


She hated them, more than the demons or the most wretched man had to offer. Looking at her battered, defiled kin, High Elf Archer could feel only an indescribable hatred for all Goblinkind. She wanted to make them suffer for their actions, to realize the folly of their ways. She wanted to see to the deaths of each and every one of them, with her bare hands if she could. Imagining, for a moment, if her sisters were in the position of the nameless elf only served to fill the elf with more burning rage.

She could not formulate her words into decipherable words or sounds, a shock for a race as emotionally adept as hers. High Elf Archer just couldn't understand why something that was alive, that was not a demon, could be so vile and vicious. She knew she had been sheltered, but why had no one warned her of the horrors creatures like goblins were capable of? Orcs at least had the decency to kill their prisoners outright, tender mercy compared to… this.

She watched in shocked silence as Deathtrooper waved away Priestess, speaking harshly and much like one would expect the legendary Deathtrooper to sound.

"Negative. We'll need those miracles for what's ahead. I can apply basic first aid, but someone will have to run her to the nearest temple." Deathtrooper ordered, pulling off his helmet and revealing his face once more. Gone was the jovial, mocking smile or the bright eyes, replaced now by a mask just as intimidating as his helmet. In an instant, High Elf Archer realized what that clerk girl had meant about this man being a weapon. Outside of combat, he was as alive, in a very awkward and blunt way, like the rest of them. Here, in the depths of enemy territory, however? He was little more than an automaton, a being dedicated to the act of killing.

Priestess sent Goblin Slayer a worried look, but the man merely agreed with Deathtrooper's prognosis with a nod. Priestess dipped her head and retreated back to High Elf Archer, comforting to elf once again. For that, High Elf Archer was thankful, it helped her control her anger and shock if only a little.

"I can handle that," Lizard Priest responded, stepping forward and pulling free bones from his bag, "I can summon a construct to carry her to the nearest town."

"Good, give me five and she'll be ready to move," Deathtrooper said, removing his gauntlets and gloves. With sure and confident moves, Deathtrooper cleaned his hands and began applying a strange, blue salve to the most vicious cuts and wounds on the elf. The majority of which was on her right, as if the goblins took some sadistic pleasure in disfiguring only one side.

High Elf Archer only silently watched as the man worked, not really hearing the hushed conversation of her compatriots. In a way, she understood now Deathtrooper's warnings and Goblin Slayer's immense hatred about goblins. Deathtrooper saw them as a proper threat, and Goblin Slayer seemed to have developed, at some point, a distinct disdain for the monsters. What had the done to wrong the man so much? High Elf Archer didn't know, and quite frankly she was afraid to ask.

"Ready, do it." Deathtrooper rose from the elf, staring down at his work with an empty expression whilst cleaning his hands of her blood. In an instant, his armor returned and so did his foreign and mysterious aura.

Lizard Priest ran through a quick chant, throwing down bones from a creature unknown to High Elf Archer. Rising from a swirling vortex of bright magic, the skeleton of a lizardman rose with its slouching posture.

"I wrote a letter, it explains everything," Priestess, ever the caring soul, said as she offered the quickly scribbled note to Lizard Priest. With a nod of thanks, the lizardman turned the letter over to his construct.

"Go, warrior," He ordered as it gathered the elf in its skeletal arms, "My Dragontooth Warrior should be able to reach the nearest village soon."

Goblin Slayer, who had begun digging into a rucksack likely belonging to one of the many cadavers in the room, rose and held a loosely rolled up piece of parchment.

"There was a map in this rucksack. It must have belonged to the elf." The man said simply, tossing the map to Deathtrooper. As the black-armored man unrolled it and quickly skimmed the contents, Goblin Slayer continued, "There's a gallery to the left. You judged right."

"What, didn't believe me?" Dwarf Shaman asked, likely trying back some of the former levity and failing miserably. He too seemed unused to the horrors goblins and their ilk was capable of.

"I did, but it's good to be sure."

"That doesn't solve our new problem," Deathtrooper growled, holding up the roughly drawn map for all to see, "Its a chokepoint all the way to the main atrium. If the goblins know we're here, we'll be fighting an uphill battle."

"The goblins will attempt to wait for us to pass. They wouldn't be foolish enough to attack us from the front." Goblin Slayer responded, redirecting his walking towards High Elf Archer.

"You say that like it's a good thing, boss."

Goblin Slayer didn't dignify the man's words with a response, instead stopping a few paces from High Elf Archer and tossing the rucksack to her feet.

"You take it." He said before addressing the group as a whole, "Let's go."

"Negative," Deathtrooper's gruff voice returned, the man having slipped the now rolled-up map into his own rucksack. He walked up to Goblin Slayer and lowered his voice to little more than a whisper, a surprising feat given his helmet's natural volume.

"She's emotionally compromised. We can't take her."

Though the others seemed to miss the man's words, High Elf Archer felt her blood run cold and her rage return full force. How dare he say-

"She comes." Goblin Slayer responded evenly, not bothering to lower his voice and staring directly up into the empty eyes of Deathtrooper's helmet.

"She could be a liability. Alert the goblins before we're ready." The man's voice returned to his usual volume, making to show to even attempt at hiding his harsh words. High Elf Archer narrowed her eyes but still did not trust herself to speak.

"She comes." Goblin Slayer repeated. Both men remained silent, staring at one another and having a battle of wills. The silences took several moments, but eventually, Deathtrooper seemed to retreat.

"It's your OP, boss. If that's what you want."

"It is."

"Fine, but if things go wrong then don't expect me to pull any punches."

At this, Priestess jumped to High Elf Archer's defense, further endearing the young woman to the distraught and increasingly enraged elf.

"S-Sir Deathtrooper, that isn't fair-"

But it was High Elf Archer was the one to cut off the young woman, rising to her feet and taking up her bow.

"No, it's fine. He's right, I could be a threat to the quest. I'll be fine, let's go." She would take out her anger on the goblins now, and Deathtrooper later. Goblin Slayer gave a swift nod, unsheathing the sword at his hip.

"We have goblins to hunt," The man agreed.

High Elf Archer moved swiftly across the catwalk overlooking the hallway between the entrance and the gallery. Nocking an arrow, she brought one of the guards into her sights. With a steady breath, she loosed the arrow and watched with bitter pleasure as it pierced the monster's eye and flew out the other end. With a gasp, it collapsed backward unto the cold concrete.

The rest of the team moved swiftly, but carefully, now far behind. They had abandoned the torch, meaning High Elf Archer and Deathtrooper were the only eyes.

Well, that was the idea, the latter had vanished into the shadows. Deathtrooper moved quietly for a man his size, and High Elf Archer could only spot the signs of his being somewhere. A goblin with a snapped neck, or one with abrasions around its neck as if someone used a rope to strangle it.

Loathe though she was to admit it, High Elf Archer recognized the man's talent for stealth. It was clear the legends surrounding him were, at least not completely, unearned.

Lost in thought as she was, High Elf Archer nearly missed a glint of steel in the shadows of a column on the main floor. Turning her head, she sucked in a gasp as the sneering visage of a goblin looked up at her. It had its crossbow raised and was making to fire when, suddenly, a black shadow passed over its neck. The creature's unhuman eyes widened as it gasped, dropping the crossbow in its desperation to pry at whatever was strangling the life out of it. Another shadowed hand shot down and caught the weapon before it could meet the ground.

Watching in a disgustedly curious manner, High Elf Archer watched Deathtrooper emerge from the shadows, goblin in one hand and crossbow in the other. Just by tightening his grip, he crushed the goblin's windpipe and spine, killing it instantly. With care equal to how had approached, the man placed the body back down in the shadow of its former cover.

Evidently noticing High Elf Archer, or maybe just acknowledging her existence, Deathtrooper indicating further down the hall as a sign they should keep moving. High Elf Archer nodded, hesitant to follow the man's orders given her growing disdain for him. She had to admit, however, he certainly made good on the name 'weapon' and 'butcher'.

As suddenly as he appeared, Deathtrooper melted back into the shadows to continue his silent work. High Elf Archer tried to find the tell-tale glint of his helmet's green 'lights', but alas they too seemed to vanish. With a defeated sigh, the elf continued her trek along the upper levels of the hall, dispatching of goblins as they appeared.

This continued for some time, the few guards showing no resistance to the phantoms that haunted their patrols and hid just beyond their lines of sight.

Perhaps there were very few guards, but High Elf Archer only found five more goblins before Goblin Slayer called for the group to stop. Her bruised ego refused to even toy with the idea that Deathtrooper was just that efficient at his job.

High Elf Archer dropped down to join the group, sitting a little way away. Deathtrooper materialized a few paces from the group, his normal weapon and the looted crossbow on his back.

"How many spells do you have left?" Goblin Slayer asked Priestess, sitting with his back to the wall and acknowledging Deathtrooper with little more than a nod.

"I still have all three," The young woman responded.

"For myself, three more. As the Dragontoother Warriors require these catalysts," He held up the bone fragments from earlier for all to see, "I can summon one more."

While Dwarf Shaman stated he had four or five spells left, priestess approached High Elf Archer with a water flask.

"Do you want a drink?" The nervous young woman asked, "I-If you're up for it, of course…"

High Elf Archer offered her the kindest smile she could manage, quite a feat given her current emotional state. She accepted the flask and made to drink with the familiar monotone voice of Goblin Slayer spoke up.

"Don't overfill your stomach. It'll slow the flow of your blood." The man warned. Priestess once again jumped to High Elf Archer's defense, looking indignant despite her clear nervousness.

"Goblin Slayer! B-Be a little more…"

"He has a point. We need everyone ready. Something is… wrong." All eyes turned to Deathtrooper, who had his helmet off and tucked under his arm.

"Wrong?" Dwarf Shaman asked incredulously, his eyebrow rising as he lowered his flask.

"These goblins have been too organized," The man growled, "That, and this isn't normal."

With that, Deathtrooper unsheathed his sword to reveal its blade to everyone. High Elf Archer blinked before looking away, her eyes struggling to adjust to the sudden light. Deathtrooper's point was made, however. While his sword had seemed to glow in the moonlight, it was doing so quite literally now. Its dull blue filled the area with light better than any torch. Like that, the light was gone, the sword was resheathed.

"It had never done that. Not against goblins, not against orcs, nor against people, not even against magic users. There is something down there that is making whatever residual magic in this sword glow."

A tense silence fell over the group, none of them daring to voice the creeping fears that had taken hold in their minds. An ancient sword, an eleven one no less, would have enchantments the likes of which had long since been lost to time. Why those enchantments were reacting only now, when they were chasing the lead on a mysterious goblin leader, served as a foreboding message to them all.

Finally, it was Goblin Slayer that roused the group.

"I see. In that case, let's go."

"And tread carefully." Deathtrooper agreed, pulling his helmet back on with a low hiss. With that, the duo continued on down the path, making brisk headway towards the gallery. High Elf Archer glared after them, the feeling of disdain not subsiding.

"Never have I seen even a dwarf locked on to one goal such as Goblin Slayer." High Elf Archer jumped and sent a sharp glance towards Dwarf Shaman, who had approached whilst she was unaware.

"Deep breaths, long ears, don't go heating Beardcutter. Goblins are no friends of dwarves either. They will pay for what they've done."

High Elf Archer sighed, loathe though she was to admit she found the dwarf's words comforting in any sense. After a moment, she realized the shaman had left out a distinct name in her 'don't hate' warning.

"Are you saying it is okay to hate Deathtrooper, then?"

Dwarf Shaman laughed, it was a relieved, jolly sound that High Elf Archer had shaken some of her angst to crack a joke, weak though it was.

"By all means. Even I do a little, but something tells me the man is used to it." High Elf Archer couldn't stop herself, she gave a genuine chuckle at the words of her stout companion. With a disbelieving shake of her head, High Elf Archer rose to her feet and returned her bow to her hand.

"Though I hate to admit I am comforted by the words of a dwarf, you're right. I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry about, High Elf Archer," This earned the elf a confused look, as this was the first time he had ever referred to her by her title, "This has been a trying time for us all… Barring those two, of course. Come, we don't want to be left behind."

The group arrived in the gallery, a titanic room that seemed to go up indefinitely. For a moment, High Elf Archer allowed herself to wonder how deep beneath the surface they were. That thought was short, however, for there was a job to do.

"They must be down there, I'll check." High Elf Archer told the group, creeping over to the edge of the catwalk they had entered on and peering down at the ground floor.

It was a ruin, tables, and chairs shattered from years of disuse and abuse from the goblins. One of the titanic columns had collapsed inwards and lay diagonally across the circular room. That was not what concerned High Elf Archer, as much as it hurt to see such an ancient and important fortress left to rot as such.

No, it was the horde of goblins below that made her blood run cold and the anger from before snap angrily once again.

"What's there?" Goblin Slayer's brusque, and now unnaturally quiet, tone came from High Elf Archer's left. She noted the man with little more than a glance but jumped when she realized Deathtrooper had appeared silently to her right.

"Just what it looks like… They are all still asleep. Quick count, maybe fifty."

"They aren't the biggest concern anymore," Deathtrooper growled, retreating a few paces and standing so as to be hidden from the bottom floor.

"Goblins are always a concern." Came Goblin Slayer's deadpan response, a sentiment High Elf Archer had been appreciating more and more with each passing minute.

"I know, they just aren't the biggest." The man pulled a small, grey ball from his bandolier, fiddling with it for a few moments until it began to glow with a small, blue light. Then, without any warning, the man hurled the ball with all his might into the pit. High Elf Archer stopped a gasp, what was the moron doing?! He was going to wake up the entire horde and-

Then the ball stopped mid-flight, floating with the help of an unseen power. It spun, slowly, counter-clockwise and continued its slow blinking. After several seconds of this, it began to descend once more, though far slower than something in freefall should have been capable of. Finally, it came to rest next to a particularly fat goblin before soundlessly rolling beneath a table.

"Fifty-three to be exact. Two on the floor above us, an extra sleeping behind the column below us. Fifty in the main group. There is a fifty-fourth unidentified target down that tunnel, towards the atrium I figure."

High Elf Archer gave the man an incredulous look, disbelieving that his bizarre orb could find, with such accuracy, the location of the hitherto unseen enemy. She voiced as much to Deathtrooper, who despite his recently abrasive behavior responded calmly and respectfully.

"That ball is the LR-21 Recon Droid, a successor to an earlier model. It sends a feed to my helmet and shows be the immediate area within a hundred kilometers or so. It also sends a movement pulse, to warn me of any unseen hostiles."

At High Elf Archer's blank look, the man shook his head and cleared his throat.

"Err… Sorry. Suffice it to say I can see whatever it sees."

"Oh…" It did little to help High Elf Archer understand the object, thusfar the man had showcased no grasp on magic, despite his staff. He seemed more a ranger or assassin, not a mage capable of such specialized magic. Perhaps whoever Deathtrooper worked for previously had an enchanter under their employ?

"What's the plan, boss?" Deathtrooper asked Goblin Slayer, setting his staff up on the edge of the catwalk and peering down its scope, "I can take out a good amount from up here, but many will get up the stairs. That'll warn whatever is in the atrium, too."

"I see… Take care of the two above. We will deal with the rest."

High Elf Archer was surprised when Deathtrooper answered without hesitation.

"Consider it done." With that, the massive man got to his feet and moved a brisk, yet silent, pace around the catwalk, likely in search of a way up.

"So…" High Elf Archer started, turning her attention back towards the now silent Goblin Slayer, "What's your plan?"

Goblin Slayer's plan, as it turned out, was to utilize a spell each from Priestess and Dwarf Shaman. The first placed a silencing miracle over the entire group of goblins, ensuring none of them could raise the alarm as Dwarf Shaman did his work. Dwarf Shaman's miracle was a distinctly dwarven one, it required him spewing alcohol over the entire room, which was supposed to ensure the goblins remained in a deep, uninterrupted sleep.

Now started the more messy part of Goblin Slayer's plan. Lizard Priest, High Elf Archer, and the titular man himself set into the task of executing each and every goblin on the first floor.

By the third goblin, High Elf Archer could barely even hold her knife, given how slick it was with the blood of fallen goblins. It sickened the elf as much as it vindicated her bubbling hatred of the goblins. It was Goblin Slayer that, accidentally, taught her the ideal manner in which to deal with the goblins. Namely, using their weapons to ensure his own was still in tip-top shape. Mimicking the man's actions, High Elf Archer turned the goblins' weapons against them and doubled her efficiency.

Soon after the group started, Deathtrooper reappeared. He had dropped from the fourth floor above and landed silently, somehow, before approaching Goblin Slayer. As the man went, he almost absently crushed the chests and necks of any goblin in his path, not even bothering to use his sword or their weapons.

"The upper floors are clear," High Elf Archer caught as the man spoke to Goblin Slayer, "I'll scout ahead and see what we're dealing with."

Goblin Slayer merely nodded, both men separating without another word and returning to their chosen tasks. High Elf Archer watched out of the corner of her eye as Deathtrooper slipped away, eventually venturing far enough into the dark cavern that even High Elf Archer's elven eyes lost him.

She returned to her horrid work with gusto, desiring to end this as quickly as possible, despite being darkly satisfying as it was. It took the trio, who were eventually joined by Priestess and Dwarf Shaman, a fair fifteen minutes to clear the room of goblins.

It was in silence that the group joined back together, Lizard Priest and High Elf Archer distinctly unsettled by all the death they had been party to within the last half-hour. Goblin Slayer, on the other hand, seemed otherwise unaffected, instead glancing towards the cavern Deathtrooper had left down.

"Something is wrong." Was all he said as he unsheathed his sword. Confused, High Elf Archer strained her ears to listen for whatever had alarmed the man. As it turned out, such an action was unnecessary as Deathtrooper appeared from the shadows, sprinting as fast as his long legs could carry him. He had his staff held under his arm and the crossbow still on his back, waving the group back with his free arm.

"Get to cover!" He snapped, faulting over the nearest column as he did so. At that moment, the entire gallery shook like there was an earthquake. High Elf Archer nearly lost her footing from the movement, but it was the deep, horrible voice from the depths of the darkness that made her retreat a few paces.

"I thought my goblins were a little quiet," The voice chuckled darkly, sounding both foreign and evil, "Should have figured I couldn't rely on them."

"Filth. Knowingly trespassing in my domain…" The beast roared, making its appearance. Deathtrooper's glowing sword and the general organization of the goblins suddenly all made sense to High Elf Archer, for the monster that had appeared was none other than an ogre, a minor demon!

"So, you're not a goblin." Goblin Slayer stated, a fact made rather obvious the utter size of the thing, "You were right."

The last part of his comment was sent towards Deathtrooper, who was still hidden and fiddling with his staff.

"Of course it isn't a goblin! Don't you know what an ogre is?!" High Elf Archer demanded, her fear countered only by her disbelief at how absolutely dense Goblin Slayer was.

"No," Came the man's typically blunt answer, "Though I know of powerful types of goblins."

"You," The ogre growled, its rage clearly growing with each word spoken by the group, "Do you look upon me, granted this host by the Demon Lord's Generals, and turn up your nose?!" The ogre brought down its sword, which was perhaps closer to a club, in an attempt to crush the entire group. They all, either by accident or speed, managed to avoid the massive weapon.

"I don't know you or any of the Demon Lord's generals," Goblin Slayer was starting to sound more… bored than anything, a fact that seemed to enrage the ogre further.

"Then allow me to introduce you-"


Silence reigned as all present watched the progress of what seemed to be a small canister hurtling through the air, directly towards the face of the ogre. Evidently surprised by such a… bizarre move, it did not dodge the projectile. It hit the ogre's face, bouncing off harmlessly with a small noise, earning further confusion for most everyone watching.

That is until it detonated. A pure white cloud of smoke spewed forth across the ogre's face, obscuring it from the group as a whole. For a moment, High Elf Archer was confused as to what had happened.

When the screams of agony and the smell of burning skin reached her ears and nose respectively, she understood to an extent. Whatever that white cloud was, it was burning the face of the ogre. High Elf Archer turned to face the one person she suspected guilty of this attack, noting the fact that Deathtrooper had retreated back into his cover and was loading another, similar canister into the end of his staff.

"The pain! What manner of sorcery is this?!" The ogre howled, hands shooting to it's seemingly melting face. It stumbled back a few paces, shaking the entire gallery as it went. Those with better than human senses of smell, namely High Elf Archer and Lizard Priest, recoiled from the smokey smell that reached their nostrils.

Deathtrooper put his staff on the column-turned-barricade.

"What are you waiting for?! Don't give him time to recover!" Then he squeezed the trigger. The roar that came from the weapon was as foreign as it was powerful, kicking all manners of dust and dirt from everything within ten feet of Deathtrooper. A flurry of familiar bolts flew up into the hands and face of the ogre, earning the man more furious roars and increasingly incoherent curses.

The group didn't need two warnings, launching into combat in their own ways. Priestess stayed back, obviously lacking any substantial ways of fighting, but the other four took the moment of distraction to throw everything they had. Lizard Priest and his newly summoned Dragontooth Warrior slashed through the right leg and heel of the ogre with reckless abandon. This onslaught forced the ogre to its knees, but the attacks did not stop there. Dwarf Shaman sent massive pieces of another portion of a downed column, the lot of it shredding the ogre's gut and chest. High Elf Archer peppered the beast's hands with arrows, hoping to force them away from its face and allow Deathtrooper's weapon to inflict more damage.

Goblin Slayer, upon reaching the left heel of the ogre, attempted to match Lizard Priest's work. Alas, his weapon was not near sharp enough to make such swift progress, but it did serve as another avenue of pain for the ogre.

"Keep up the pressure!" Deathtrooper repeated, still holding down the trigger and firing an increasingly wide spread of bolts.

"ENOUGH!" Bellowed the ogre and, with its right arm, swept from its right to the left. High Elf Archer, the nearest to that arm, deftly vaulted over it and landed in a perfected roll. Then, with a twinge of horror, she realized the next in line was Priestess, who was not near fast enough to get out of the path of the swing. Twirling, High Elf Archer tried to spot the young woman past the bloodied arm but could see nothing. For a tense moment, High Elf Archer searched for a glint of white in the resulting cloud of dust.

Relief flooded High Elf Archer's body when the glint did appear, Deathtrooper breaking the cloud with Priestess under his arm like a sack of potatoes. The young woman, for her part, just held on to her staff desperately tried to ensure she didn't swing around too much and make Deathtrooper's job more difficult.

The man slid to a stop near High Elf Archer, setting down Priestess as delicately as possible before raising his weapon once more.

"Oh you have got to fucking kidding me," He growled, lowering the weapon in disbelief. High Elf Archer, confused by the man's outburst, looked up at the ogre's completely healed and clear of wounds face.

"By the gods," High Elf Archer agreed, nocking an arrow as Deathtrooper began his barrage again. Now, however, the ogre just took the punishment and raised his hand.

"You believe your potions are powerful, Alchemist?! I will show you power!" A ball of flame took form in the ogre's hand, quickly growing in size.

"Pull back, pull back! Get over here, Priestess, we're going to need the best shield you can make!"

"R-Right!" The young woman squeaked, the three remaining members and the construct sprinting back to the trio. She held up her staff as the fireball continued to grow.

"Carbunculus…" It began its chant, the fireball beginning to pulsate angrily with barely restrained power. Priestess began her own chant, her quiet voice drowned out by the roar of the ogre.

"Crescunt…" The remainder of the group arrived, forming behind Priestess and watching with trepidation as she prepared her spell.

"Iacta!" The fireball flew out, speeding across the relatively short distance between the group of adventurers and the ogre.

"Protection!" A great wall of light materialized between the group and the fireball, impeding its progress. The fireball splashed against her shield like waves upon a cliffside, flames licking malevolently against its cracking walls.

It's going to give!

The traitorous thought was squashed as soon as it came up, High Elf Archer put all her belief into Priestess. She was powerful enough, had to be powerful enough to stop this, for all their sakes.

The ball did not stop its attack, pushing forwards and further damaging the wall.

"Do you really think to stop my magic with your feeble human miracle?!" The ogre let out a deep laugh, its voice deafening to the group as a whole, "It shall sunder and you shall burn!"

High Elf Archer watched Priestess's hands tighten around the staff and her face quickly stiffen. The girl repeated her chant, a second flash bathing them all. As the first wall shattered, another jumped up to meet the impending flames. The fireball was spent, its energies wasted on the first line of defense and unable to pierce the second. It detonated in one last attempt to destroy the adventurers, but it was to no avail.

The shield fell when the fire dissipated. Priestess, panting and sweating from the effort, collapsed into the waiting arms of Goblin Slayer.

"Thanks," The man said, and the young girl could only smile weakly.

"We'll take it from here." High Elf Archer agreed as she helped set the young woman down behind cover.

"Impudent little girl…" The ogre growled, its hand tightening around its weapon as its rage seemed to reach new heights, "Don't think you shall have it so easy as that elf!"

High Elf Archer's eyes snapped up to the ogre, her mind flooded with memories of that battered and beaten elf they had discovered. That same anger returned full force and was what pushed High Elf Archer to rise to her feet and once more take up her bow. She had missed the interaction between the rest of the group but was certainly present when they launched their attacks.

High Elf Archer ran up one of the fallen columns, running around the perimeter of the second floor. Goblin Slayer flanked around one side of the ogre while Lizard Priest and his Dragontooth Warrior went around to the other. Dwarf Shaman began the chant for one of his miracles but was stopped halfway through by the ogre focusing its attention upon him.

"Did you think I would let you finish-" That was stopped by a roar of agony, High Elf Archer's arrow finding the monster's eye and forcing to stumble a pace or two back.

High Elf Archer continued her speedy trek, calling out to Dwarf Shaman as she went.

"You dwarves are too slow!"

Dwarf Shaman did not dignify that with a response, instead opting to finishing his spell and barraging the ogre with stones. High Elf Archer took the moment to spot the last combatant of their group, noting he was not in the assault against the ogre directly nor firing at its face with his staff. Instead, the man was knelt in cover, fiddling with the bolt of his looted crossbow and… something unseen. High Elf Archer didn't know what the object was, but she knew enough that making sure Deathtrooper could finish was paramount.

Goblin Slayer and Lizard Priest seemed to have things covered in that corner, launching their attacks against the legs once more. While Lizard Priest's attacks proved to be effective, the same could not be said for Goblin Slayer's renewed attempts.

The ogre punished this foolish offensive by smashing its club-like sword into the man. While High Elf Archer could not hear the crunching of bones or the shattering of armor, she saw it well enough.

She didn't have time to check up on the man, Priestess was already rushing to the fallen Goblin Slayer's side. The ogre had begun speaking again, pulling the arrow from its eye and allowing it to near-instantly heal.

"Know this: I am no goblin," It growled, its beady eyes sweeping over the remaining fighters, "And I shall exact-"

The ogre threw its hand up and allowed a crossbow bolt, carrying a strange object strapped to it, to stick in with an almost exasperated expression.

"I would not fall for the same trick twice, Alchemist." The ogre growled, taking care to keep its hand away from its face in anticipation of the object exploding with the same white smoke from before.

"Yeah, tell me how that works out for you." Deathtrooper quipped before diving for cover, "Get down!" Dwarf Shaman, the Dragontooth Warrior, and Lizard Priest obeyed, likely fearing whatever it was Deathtrooper had concocted. High Elf Archer believed herself far enough to avoid the brunt of what he had deployed.

She was soon proved wrong.

The ogre turned its hand over to study the bolt, evidently confused as to what Deathtrooper could possibly use against it.

There was a split second when it seemed all air was dragged towards the object, dragging the breath from High Elf Archer's lungs as she stood in stunned silence. When that split second passed, an explosion comparable only to the fireball erupted across the ogre's hand and up its arm. The resulting eruption of energy sent High Elf Archer flying backward, feeling as if she were just kicked in the chest by a horse. She flopped onto the ground, trying and failed several times over to suck in a breath as her lungs seemed to forget how to breathe properly. Her entire world was spinning and a constant ringing sensation.

After perhaps fifteen seconds, she managed to get her faculties in order enough to sit up and search for the ogre. It had, again, fallen back and was clearly agonizing over the bloody stump that was once its left arm. In fact, the entire front of its body was scorched by fire which still seemed to be alight in places.

High Elf Archer jumped down from her perch, advancing on Deathtrooper who was laying on his back behind his cover and holding his helmet on his chest. For a moment, High Elf Archer was worried that the man had injured himself, based on the short breaths he was taking. However, the man quickly rose to his feet as she sprinted over.

"Why didn't you lead with that?!" She demanded, hitting the man over the head. Perhaps he was too shocked to properly react, but Deathtrooper just stared at High Elf Archer in confusion.

"What?!" The man yelled, unable to hear a word she had just said. Neither were given time to continue their conversation when the ogre gave a new roar of fury. They turned to face it, finding that, though it lacked an arm, the ogre had healed from the attack.

"I have changed my mind. I will slay your party, Alchemist, before ripping your knowledge of these weapons from your head!"

Deathtrooper blinked at the threat, not responding likely because he didn't hear it. He raised a small object, like the trigger mechanism on a crossbow but with extra parts, and started pulling the trigger. Bolts of red, smaller than those that came from his main staff, flew into the face of the ogre. It shrugged them off, instead deciding to charge Deathtrooper. The man pulled his helmet back on, pushed High Elf Archer one way, then dived the other. It was years of acrobatics that allowed High Elf Archer to roll back to her feet, a fortunate turn of events as the sword crashed down between her and Deathtrooper. High Elf Archer twisted and fired an arrow up towards the ogre's eyes again, but a slight turn of its face sent it stabbing into the side of its head.

"Not again, elf!" It growled, raising its sword once more and preparing to kill either her or Deathtrooper, who was bringing his staff around to bear.

"Fool," A monotone voice spoke in the brief silence before the attack.

Then, there was a flash of white.

When High Elf Archer came to, the first thing she wondered was: Why am I so wet?

Blinking a couple of times, the elf sat up to find herself lying atop a column that stood a few feet above a sudden pool of water. Deathtrooper was sat next to her feet, his helmet upturned and dripping with water as the man muttered to himself.

"What…" She croaked out, "What happened?"

Deathtrooper lookup up, his eyes sparkling with amusement.

"Seems you were right, those scrolls were important," Deathtrooper explained, jerking his finger back behind him before giving his helmet a good shake.

"What scrolls…" High Elf Archer muttered, following the man's finger and stopping mid-sentence. Her eyes widened as she took in the obliterated form of the ogre. Her memories came flooding back, mixing with complete disbelief. Deathtrooper's explosive didn't put that thing down, what did that?! And why in the name of the gods was there so much water?!

"You were pretty drunk at the time, so I don't blame you," Deathtrooper, seeming to be back in good spirits, chuckled as he set his helmet down next to him, "Damn shame I didn't get a warning, the seal hadn't activated properly…"

"Elves don't get drunk." High Elf Archer snapped before shaking her head, groggy memories of what she supposed was the night before flickering through her groggy mind.

"That… doesn't explain the water. Where did it come from?"

Deathtrooper made to respond when the ogre spoke.

"What… What did you do?!"

"Oh, you have got to be kidding me…" Deathtrooper growled, rising to his feet and pulling his helmet back on. High Elf Archer narrowed her eyes, watching as the stumps that were the ogre's limbs began to, albeit slowly, regrow.

Goblin Slayer was stalking up tot he ogre, holding the tattered remains of a scroll in his hand and the shattered hilt of his sword in the other.

"A gate scroll," Goblin Slayer explained simply, "Linked to the bottom of the sea."

"Bottom of the sea?!" Repeated the ogre in disbelief, as if such an idea was the single dumbest idea anyone had ever made. In a sense, High Elf Archer agreed with it, but the results spoke for themselves. The immense danger from such a scroll could not be discounted if the state of the ogre and the room were any sign.

"I intended to destroy a goblin nest with that, but you will have to do," Goblin Slayer said.

"Hey, boss," Deathtrooper called, earning High Elf Archer's attention and cutting off the enraged response of the ogre. The man had taken off the sheath of his sword, throwing it over to Goblin Slayer, "Might need a sword to finish this."

Goblin Slayer caught the weapon, studying its ornate sheathe before pulling the blade out.

"You dare- You… You… Where did you get that weapon?!" The blue glowing had increased tenfold, illuminating the entire room with its now bright light. Goblin Slayer marched right up to the ogre, who had begun writhing in a vain attempt to escape its impending doom.

"No! Stay back! Keep that thing away from me!" Goblin Slayer ignored the demands of the ogre, clambering up its eviscerated chest and atop its head. Without a word, Goblin Slayer twirled the sword around and aimed it down.

"Goblins are much stronger than you are," Goblin Slayer noted, driving the blade down into the brain of the ogre. It screams of agony and terror were deafening to the group, but what truly surprised them all was the fact its skin seemed to start glowing.

Starting from the bottom of its torso, its body seemed to evaporate and flow into the sword. Goblin Slayer, clearly not expecting this, tried to pull the sword free but it didn't budge. It was as if the ogre was being absorbed into the sword itself, and after a minute or so, Goblin Slayer was left standing in the pool of water.

The glowing had returned to it's earlier dim hue, as if it had not just absorbed the essence of a minor demon.

"That's… new." Deathtrooper commented absently, his eyes wide with shock.

That sentiment was shared by all of them.