With a mighty roar, the battle officially began. Terrorhand was indeed a very formidable opponent. None of the children's attacks were dealing any damage to its body.
Even Est's sword, Rhapsody, could at most open superficial wounds that would regenerate in an instant.
"Est! Jump back!" William ordered.
Este didn't think twice and immediately obeyed William's order. A black whip made up of dark magic wrapped up around his waist. With a tug of William's hand, Est was pulled away from his location just in time to evade the red beam of light that shot out from the Cyclop's eye.
The ground exploded sending burning rocks in all directions. Isaac and Ian, who were near the area of explosion, distanced themselves while evading the dangerous projectiles that were flying all around them.
"We can't continue like this," William said as Est landed beside him. "We need to end him in one strike."
"But how?" Est asked. Suddenly, a realization struck him. "Don't tell me…"
"Yes." William raised his head and looked at the Cyclops' only eye that was looking at them in disdain. "We need to attack its eye."
Saying it was one thing, but actually doing the deed was another. The Cyclops towered above them. Fighting it at close range was very risky as well because it specialized in close combat. If not for their fast mobility, and William playing the supporting role, all of them would have already died by now.
The ground trembled as the Cyclops used its hammer to smash Isaac and Ian who were distracting it with their long range magic attacks.
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Isaac's Earth's Magic and Ian's Water Magic worked hand in hand to fire projectiles at the Cyclops's eye. These attacks didn't deal any damage to the eye itself, but it annoyed the giant to the point that it was focusing its attacks on them.
Ian jumped in the air and William's black whip pulled him out of the Cyclops' attack range. They were using hit and run tactics against the cyclops because it was very dangerous to fight it head on.
William looked at the notification with a grim expression. He was buying enough time for Ella and his herd to kill the Gasmirages so that they could help them deal with the cyclops.
'Two more small fries remain,' William thought as he glanced at the pitiful Gasmirages who were currently being ganged up on by Ella and the goats. 'At most it will be over in two minutes.'
Two minutes might seem like a short time, but when fighting against a Millennial Beast, every second counted. William also knew that even if Ella and the rest of the goats were to complete their mission, the help they could offer against the Cyclops was very limited.
Aside from Ella, the other Angorian goats would not be able to do anything. William was not foolish enough to order them to engage against a Millennial Beast. That would be just like throwing eggs on a boulder.
He had already fired over a dozen at the Cyclops, but it remained indifferent to his dark magic. It seemed that the Cyclops race was immune to any type of magic that disabled their eyesight.
An angry roar reverberated in the plains as the Cyclops went on a rampage. It swung its hammer and hurled it towards William's and Est's location.
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"Levitation," William said as he held Est's waist. He then flew up towards the sky to evade the incoming attack. Even though the attack missed, a powerful shockwave pushed the two children away as a dust cloud appeared on the area where the giant hammer fell.
"This is really hopeless," Est sighed as William and him landed on the ground. "We won't be able to kill it."
"Of course we can't kill it," William said with irritation. "But, we can beat it. Do not forget that the power of the sword is dependent on your belief. If your belief wavers then its power will also be affected."
"I know!" Est said through gritted teeth. He knows, but what of it? No matter how much he tried to hold unto his belief, he felt that he was an ant facing off against an elephant. For him to be able to remain standing was already a feat in itself, but the more he fought against the Cyclops, the more he realized that this trial was impossible to clear.
"This trial is called the Trial of Courage," William reminded him. He could tell that Est was getting frustrated and it would do him no good if he lost heart at this critical moment. "It means that this trial will measure our courage. Perhaps, killing the Cyclops is not the goal of this trial."
"Then what is the goal of this trial?"
"It is just a hunch, but I think that the goal is to have the courage to face off against an opponent that is impossible to defeat."
William had encountered similar scenarios like this in games. There were bosses and characters who were "invincible" and you will have to fight them in order to continue the story line. When the protagonist was about to be defeated, something would happen that would make the "invincible boss" run away or end the battle immediately.
'We just need to find out what the requirement is to trigger that event,' William thought as he racked his brains for any clues to tip the scales in their favor.
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"The courage to face off against an opponent that you can't defeat," Est muttered. "Perhaps you're right. Maybe we just need to keep on fighting and show our bravery?"
"Yes," William replied. 'Gavin gave me this trial so there must be a way to clear it. He couldn't possibly have given me a trial that was impossible to clear in the first place, right?"
"Gavin, is there really a way for William to beat that cyclops?" Issei asked as he looked at the projection in front of him. "Isn't this trial too hard?"
"Exactly! Are you trying to bully William?" Lily scoffed. "He still hasn't used my divinity and you're already planning to get him killed? Are you out of your mind?"
Gavin cleared his throat as he looked at the struggling red-head boy in the projection. "Actually, this was not the trial I intended for William. Astrid came to look for me earlier and asked if my follower could help her own devout believer clear a trial she prepared for him."
"So this is all that tomboy's doing?" Lily pursed her lips. "Since it's her believer's problem, why must she drag others into it?"
"Because, this is the only way for my believer to complete this mission."
A beautiful lady wearing knight's armor appeared out of thin air. Her long black hair was tied in a ponytail and her eyes, that held unwavering determination, stared at the projection. She could tell that Est was on the verge of giving up.
Only the words of the red-headed boy beside him was preventing him from losing all hope.
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"My believer is still too young and inexperienced," Astrid said in a clear and crisp tone. "It just so happened that I sensed someone with very strong divinity in his surroundings. After an in depth investigation, I found out that he was one of Gavin's followers."
Astrid paused and gave Lily and Issei a side-long glance. "I didn't expect to find out that the boy carried not only one, but three divinities in his body. This is the first time I've seen something like this, I'm very curious, why did the two of you favor another God's follower? I wonder what will happen when the other Gods learn about this secret?"
"That's none of your business!" Lily angrily placed her hands on her waist. "You think you can blackmail us? We're not breaking any rules!"
"Are you threatening us?" Issei narrowed his eyes. "I doubt that a righteous knight like you likes to gossip, but if you ever do, I'll make sure that all of your believers will become part of my followers' harem. I'm not afraid of you, nor any of the Gods. Mess with my Brother and I'll make sure that all of your believers would become my men's s*x slaves."
Astrid raised an eyebrow, but she didn't argue with Issei. Among the New Generation Gods, the Harem God was someone who held absolute power. All of his believers were very influential people in the worlds they resided in.
From the lowest commoners to the highest Kings and Emperors. His power couldn't be challenged and all the Gods were wary of him.
No one would want their devout followers to become mindless slaves who would wantonly fall into depravity.
"Be at peace," Astrid replied in a firm voice. "I have no intention of telling this to anyone."
Lily snorted and was about to nag the uptight tomboy when she saw Gavin shaking his head. She had no choice but to bottle up her retort inside her chest and return her attention to the ongoing battle at the plains.
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"Well, so how will they be able to clear this mission?" David asked as he played with his beard. "Is this really just a trial of courage? How come I don't see any chances of winning?"
"This trial wasn't supposed to be cleared in the first place," Astrid admitted.
"Huh?! What did you say?!" Lily glared at the Goddess of Knights.
"Frankly, I don't want to honor the promise I made to the Hellan Kingdom." Astrid looked at her devout follower with a gentle gaze. "It's just that Est had made an oath to offer her everything to me in exchange for a chance. When I told her that I would give her a chance if she lived her life as a man forever, she didn't even bat an eye and said Yes.
"I thought that she was just joking, but when I really turned her, and the two girls serving under her into boys, it was then that I realized that she was serious. Since that was the case then I should at least give her a winning chance."
"But you said that this trial couldn't be cleared in the first place," Issei interjected. "Doesn't this mean that you lied to your believer?"
"It is true that Est wouldn't be able to clear the trial if she was alone," Astrid answered. "That is why I asked Gavin for help."
Astrid focused her attention on William who was currently holding Est in the air. A flicker of expectation could be seen in her eyes. "Perhaps, someone who was favored by three Gods…"
"Four," David cut in. "Not three but four."
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The corner of Astrid's lips twitched as she looked at the Shepherd God who was peacefully drinking his tea at the side. "You're in on this, too, David?"
"Why not?" David answered. "William is a very interesting boy. He reminds me of when I was just born in this world. Since he is as handsome as me, he will definitely be able to find a way.
"Ah, that reminds me, there is a famous saying on his home planet that goes something along the lines of… 'If there's a Will there's a Way'. Astrid, if Will can really complete this mission, you are going to owe him a favor."
The four gods looked at David in disdain. As handsome as you? Have you seen your reflection in the mirror? Pitui!
"I'll consider it," Astrid replied as she tried her best to keep the calm expression on her face. "But first, he must show me what he can do. I really want to see if a boy that is favored by Four Gods can do the impossible."
Gavin, Issei, Lily, and David looked at the struggling William in the projection. Although they favored him, they still couldn't think of a way for the boy to overcome the obstacle he was currently facing.