The red mug that was full of coffee filled the room with its aromatic scent. Garth and Astrid were busy editing and putting together the escape portal that would get everyone out of Aries. They knew they had to hurry, which is why they were doing an all-nighter while Wen and the others went off on a rescue mission.
Frisk gave them updates once in a while. They heard about how Christina perished during the fight with Luna and how the poet was actually Anna. Astrid didn't like Christina, but she still felt sorry that she had to lose her life.
"What's wrong?" Garth asked when he noticed the worried look on Astrid's face.
"I just hope there won't be any more casualties," said Astrid.
Suddenly, they heard a strange rumbling sound coming from outside. The floor was vibrating a little. Astrid walked to the window to check outside. Her eyes widened at the army of hollow armor soldiers streaming steadily into the city.
"Garth! Pack up the files. We need to run," Astrid said frantically. "There's an army invading the city."
Garth cursed. "They found us already?"
The two of them took every important item from inside Wen's apartment and escaped through the back window.
Lyria was slowly making her way back to the city after heading out alone to gather herbs for another batch of medicine. Night time was dangerous, but it was the only time when the moonlight herbs spawn around the desert. She was shocked to find the city visible. The closer she got to it, the more uneasy she felt. Smoke was rising from the city.
She left her basket of herbs beside the makeshift prison they built and ran towards the city. She stopped in her tracks when she saw an army of soldiers.
"Lyria. Are you there?" Frisk's voice came from her menu tablet.
"Frisk! What's happening? I see an army in the city," Lyria asked.
"I have a message from Astrid warning you about the sudden invasion. She and Garth are going to attempt to force open a portal somewhere nearby. I'll send you the coordinates. You can lead any player there so they can escape. Sed and Tank are in the middle of the square trying to repel the invaders. They might need support."
"I'm on it!"
She borrowed the invisibility skill from the assassin skill tree and quietly made her way up the nearest building. From there, she was able to locate Sed and Tank, who were busy spamming area of effect skills to keep the soldiers away from one house where players took refuge in. A few other players were fighting with them.
"They just keep coming!" Sed shouted.
"I hope we can last," said Tank while performing a slash attack with a knockback effect.
Lyria jumped down from the building and cushioned her fall with a wind spell. Immediately, she activated Heaven's Sanctuary, which helped keep back the enemies and heal her allies.
"Lyria! Thank goodness you're here," Sed was happy to see another ally.
"They sure picked the perfect time to attack. Do you think they might've been spying on us?" Tank wondered.
"That's highly likely."
Frisk's voice came on again. "Guys, I noticed something strange outside the city. There's some kind of portal-like thing that wasn't there before. That might be a spawner for these hollow armor soldiers."
"Someone has to go check that out and destroy it," Sed said.
"Our hands are too full to even leave this spot. Is Epsilon free?" Lyria asked Frisk.
"Give me a moment," Frisk replied.
Meanwhile, Razette Epsilon was pissed off at the invading army interrupting her poison experiment. Her test subject, Magnus was strapped onto an operating table, struggling helplessly for his life. They were both trapped inside the building. A burning tree blocked the entrance.
"Did you inform them about our location?" Epsilon held Magnus' collar.
"I didn't! I swear!" he replied angrily.
"Or is there a tracking device on you?"
"Tell the truth or I'm having your clothes removed."
"This is harassment!"
A loud explosion came from outside. The ground was constantly vibrating. Both of them could tell that the fighting was getting intense.
Magnus spoke, "Look, I don't know what's happening outside, but I did not intend for this to happen. I don't agree with our ex guildmaster's plan. I wouldn't tell him to attack the city if I could help it."
"Will you fight and prove that you can be trusted?" Epsilon asked while folding her arms.
"I will," Magnus was determined.
"Epsilon, are you there?" Frisk's voice came from her menu tablet.
"Yeah. I'm inside my lab with Magnus," Epsilon replied.
"Lyria, Sed, and Tank are currently protecting the other players. They need someone to check this strange portal-like thing that appeared outside the city that might be spawning these soldiers. Destroy it if it's dangerous."
Epsilon untied Magnus. She still didn't fully trust him, but he might be useful.
Magnus was surprised to see himself untied. "Epsilon..."
She pointed at him. "This is your chance to prove yourself. Whose side are you on?"
"Let's go destroy that portal."
Epsilon punched the wall. It crumbled and became an exit for them. Magnus suddenly feared her monstrous strength. They both ran out of the building and dashed for the outskirts.
Soldiers spotted them and chased them. Epsilon summoned her giant shadow scythe and fought off the mobs. Magnus hurled fire balls at the enemies to clear the way.
"Epsilon, step back!" Magnus gathered up a large explosive fireball and threw it at the mob in front of them. It was super effective.
Epsilon smirked. "I guess you're useful after all, Maggie."
"Were you doubting my usefulness this whole time!?"
They continued running until they reached the point indicated by Frisk's coordinates. Indeed, there was a red portal there that continuously spawned soldiers.
Epsilon summoned her marionette. "Marionette, crush!" she commanded. The giant marionette attacked the portal, but it still held up.
"It's gonna need more damage," said Magnus. "Crimson Rain!" Fire bolts honed in on the portal and hit it all at once.
The two of them continued throwing whatever damaging skill they could to weaken the portal. After a long five minutes, the portal was finally destroyed. They proceeded to clean up the soldiers around the area. After finishing the job, they caught their breaths.
Epsilon slapped coupons on his face. "Here. You deserve this."
"Uhh... thanks," Magnus said as he received them.
"We should catch up with the others."