52 Steel Determination
Greater Steel Doll
"Keep them distracted while I go to find the order. Focus on just blocking the boss' attacks, don't go for counterattacks."
The trio nodded at Shesmu's words and sprang into action.
"Kazumi, Amaterasu, take care of the fodder. I'll take the boss."
The trio slowly made their way towards the dolls. Through their prior experience, they knew that these dolls have a short aggro range. This lets the party control with more reliability the aggro of all the monsters.
In the meantime, Shesmu put down DepressedRyan on the ground gently. While looking at Ryan, Shesmu felt something sink in his heart. Ryan, just when are you going to wake up? He then stood up and made his way towards the carving. This time, the number in question was a hundred.
From the corner of his eyes, Shesmu could see that Leo was holding the aggro of the Greater Steel Doll. Its attacks were rapid and had a strong knockback effect. The monster would swipe with its claws and Leo would be pushed half a meter after a successful block.
However, even though Shesmu was worried, he couldn't do anything about it. The only thing he should have focused on was finding the order as soon as possible so as to help his comrades faster.
Shesmu ran with all his might towards the carving and activated the blue gem. The order was shown in front of him: Nine, ninety-nine, ninety, nineteen, twenty-nine, sixty-nine, zero.
Shesmu repeated the numbers in his head three times to remember them before dashing out of the crater-like carving. He scanned the monsters to check for their numbers, only to stop at the boss. Its number was zero.
"Guys, kill nine first! Leo, switch with me!"
Kazumi and Amaterasu who were handling three dolls each at this point lunged at number nine simultaneously. Two swords pierced its chest and neck before the metal doll fell on the ground, lifeless.
Shesmu ran towards the Greater Steel Doll, sword high up in the sky. The boss, seeing the massive openings left by Shesmu, switched targets and swiped its claws at Shesmu's sides. However, the crunchy feeling of breaking bones and tearing flesh never came, and the image in front of it disappeared.
Shesmu appeared next to the boss and activated CrossSlash, before swinging his sword at its left side.
Shesmu slashed at the monster with a sword full of green and black energy. He pushed it with incredible impact resulting in a reverberant noise.
Leo understood the order and looked around. Once he identified the monster numbered ninety-nine, he jumped at it and cut open its neck using a Slash Cancel.
The Greater Doll saw Shesmu barking the order and thought of it as an opportunity. It lunged at him with incredible speed, expecting to pierce his heart and end his life when he suddenly disappeared from its vision while it was mid-jump.
Shesmu looked at the flying doll and slashed at it while it was in the air, throwing it off balance.
Shesmu looked at Leo from the corner of his eyes and barked his orders. With just one look, he was able to identify that Leo already killed his target and was ready for the next. Shesmu then refocused on the boss, who was on his knees, ready to stand up.
Shesmu raised his sword and took a one-handed stance. His sword was pointing at the monster ready to strike. The doll which was at its knees dashed at Shesmu, expecting a clash with his sword. However, Shesmu was fated to disappoint it.
Shesmu turned his right leg and dodged the boss' charge. He then plunged his sword in its side before following up with a kick, pushing the monster half a meter. The monster was barely holding on its balance when Shesmu followed with a flurry of strikes. Then, with one backstep, Shesmu dodged the retaliation strike of Greater Doll.
"Nineteen, twenty-nine, sixty-nine!"
Shesmu took this opportunity to give out the remaining numbers. Due to the ferocity of the boss, he barely had the time to catch his breath.
Kazumi was holding the aggro of number nineteen when he heard the order that Shesmu declared. With one swift slash to the neck, he was able to finish off the doll. By this point, he already damaged it enough to be killed with one strike the moment Shesmu gives out his order. Leo and Amaterasu did the same with their respective monsters.
In the meantime, Shesmu was blocking the Greater Steel Doll's attacks, waiting for his cooldowns to be back. Leo, Kazumi, and Amaterasu immediately dashed in to help Shesmu. None of their cooldowns were down, so they immediately poured all of their skills on the boss.
Greater Steel Doll
After the flurry of attacks that it received, the Greater Doll was on one knee. All of its limbs were damaged from the downpour of slashes and hacks, leaving it defenseless. Looking at this scene, Shesmu decided to put it out of its misery.
"Guys, focus the head. That's its weak point."
The doll's core was in its head, and thus that was its weak point. After Shesmu pointed out this fact, the trio battered the poor doll with one strike after the other. The boss tried to defend itself, however, Shesmu blocked all of its counterattacks.
Half a minute of hacking and the boss was still alive. Leo was about to attack it another time when the doll blocked it with its claws. This time, it was way too fast for even Shesmu to react.
Black and red energy engulfed the boss giving it an ominous aura. Finally berserk, Shesmu thought. He was waiting for the boss to become berserk so that all of his damage to the critical area is further multiplied by 1.5 on top of the normal double multiplier.
Black and green energy covered Shesmu's sword. That same energy that shaved off an eighth of its health at the start of the fight was now caused by terror for the Greater Steel Doll. Black and red energy focused on the doll's feet before it disappeared from the party's view in a flash.
The moment the doll teleported away was the moment Shesmu teleported to its new location. It was a scene out of a nightmare. The black and green energy covering the Shesmu's sword triggered the doll's self-preservation mechanism. It needed to escape but all routes were sealed.
The sword slashed down like heavenly thunder from the skies. The sword slashed horizontally then vertically, forming a cross on the doll's body before it was cut down and fell apart.