Doris broke out in a cold sweat.
It felt like someone was watching her from closeby, but she was certain there wasn’t anyone behind her.
Her 'Earth Enchantment' covered almost a full square kilometer, and she would surely notice if there was someone within this range.
But the fact was that there was nothing behind her.
At the same time, Doris swore that she wasn’t hallucinating.
As a prophet, ‘Predictive’ and ‘Perceptive’ were her most important aspects, and her sense of intuition was linked to her own air of mystery.
Given her Destructive-rank ability, her intuition being off was more ridiculous than a Supreme-rank tripping over their own feet.
So, the truth was that there had to be some powerful, unknown existence with its gaze on her all this time.
But currently, Doris had no time to worry about who was watching her. The moment of distraction was the most she could afford.
From the start, her attention was entirely focused on the dream realm fissure before her that was stirring.
‘Subterranean Walker.’ That was the name of the dream beast that had broken through the dream realm fissure.
Doris had gotten its name and power level from her prophecy as well as some fragmented images.
This dream beast was a very powerful Destructive-rank, and it was likely more than what Doris could handle in this forested landscape because of the terrain as well as the dream beast’s size and qualities.
There was something peculiar about this dream realm fissure as well — it had opened from deep underground.
Therefore, their ideal scenario of ‘stitching up’ the dream fissure in advance was not viable. The only remaining option was to encircle and kill this Subterranean Walker.
However, the Subterranean Walker could move freely underground and had a very hard shell that secreted a corrosive acid. Besides the ability to escape quickly, it could also cause great damage to the surrounding environment.
The situation was a very troublesome one.
If Doris was facing the dream beast alone, she could use some large-scale destructive spells to dig three feet into the ground and force it out.
But right now, she had to protect her people as well as the forest they lived in.
This was the responsibility that came with her prophetic powers as a prophet.
Doris’ eyes widened and she looked up.
The lamprey-like worm burst out of the ground like a breaching whale and shot straight at her with its jaws wide open.
A torrent of mud, clods, and splintered trees were blown away from this explosive burst. Doris held the scepter upright in her hand, unwavering and unmoving.
There was a flash from the wooden scepter, and a thin horizontal glimmer of light appeared.
Doris reached out and assumed a posture as though she was about to fire an arrow, and the scepter transformed into a longbow. As she moved, the light coalesced to form a glowing arrow on the bowstring.
Her gaze focused on one point, and even the strong billowing wind peppering her face didn’t make her flinch.
The Subterranean Walker greedily widened its mouthpiece to its max, revealing the deep, dark throat behind rings after rings of razor-sharp teeth. At this moment, Doris released the taut bowstring.
The glowing arrow shot through the air, turning into a brilliant edge of light, piercing straight through the Subterranean Walker’s throat and into its body.
The huge worm struck hard in midair and shot up as though a fishbone was lodged in its throat. It thrashed wildly in all directions as the rings of teeth shrank back into the flesh of its jaws with every convulsion of its body.
Surrounding trees were swept aside and came crashing as the acid secreted by the worm dissolved everything it touched into murky sizzling puddles.
Only the area protected by Earth Enchantment remained safe and unscathed.
Doris bounced back several meters and drew the bowstring once more. This time, she fired three light arrows at once that streaked through the air in a flash and landed on her target which were the gaping wounds on the worm.
— Earth enchantment put the ground under the caster's control. Previously, she had hardened the earth, causing the Subterranean Walker’s hard shell to get scratched as it passed through jagged rock spikes, which was why it was so angry.
The worm was furious, and sounds unimaginable to humans came from within its body. Many tentacles unfurled, clinging to the surrounding trees and rocks as it darted toward Doris once more.
Doris took a deep breath, calmed down, and continued raining arrows at the worm while flash stepping toward the place where the ambush formation had been set up.
She was going to lead the Subterranean Walker there!
Things were going according to plan...
But after one of the attacks, Doris watched the worm come to a halt as if it were tired, and alarm bells started ringing in her head.
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Doris's face stiffened and she turned the staff back to its original form. She reached out to gather the aether around her as she chanted an incantation. A moment later, the ground roared and thundered up, one layer at a time, forming strong earthen walls.
The giant worm raised its ‘head’ and paused. Then, its body squirmed rapidly as it opened its closed mouth all of a sudden and sprayed out a stream of glowing red magma!
The dream fissure opened underground and by virtue of the Subterranean Walker’s unique body structure, it could swallow large amounts of molten magma and stored it within its body.
Molten aether-infused magma fell on earthen walls with a hiss and scorched it black before starting to melt the earth. However, magma itself couldn’t cause too much damage. As the layers crumbled, the magma instead hardened and fortified the soil, earth, and rocks.
Doris's response had certainly been the right one.
But the magma fell on trees, causing flames to sprout up in an instant and quickly turn into a raging forest fire.
From the distance came the startling cries of her people.
Doris's heart sank.
At this moment when her attention was shifted away, Doris heard a furious roar. When she turned back, the giant worm had stopped spewing magma and dived into the ground.
It seemed that the Subterranean Walker had finally figured out what its foe was up to and returned to an environment it was familiar with while Doris's power was scattered.
Akin to a fish returning back to water, the giant worm moved through the ground with frightening speed.
Greater noises of disturbance could soon be heard in the direction of the elves.
Doris was about to give up fighting the fire and go save her people, but vibrations soundly came from the ground.
For a brief instance, an image flashed across Doris's mind, depicting the underground dream realm fissure widened once more, and another Subterranean Walker emerging...
Her eyes narrowed as she came to the sudden realization that these dream beasts lived in herds!