CHAPTER FIVE BITCHES!!! Finally…. Whoo. Just read it, okay? Cool. Also expect my thoughts on a game I just recently completed this coming week. Did me playing that game cause this chapter to take so long? Probably! But whatever! Oh, and check the Character Profiles. Cause new character. Yeah.
As soon as I logged on, I ran downstairs, excited to see if my new weapon was ready. Lith gave me a warm smile from behind the counter when I came down. “Hey there,” I said to the elf.
“Hello madam, I hope you slept well.”
“I did, thanks.” I glanced over into the shed, wondering if Magnes and Gnatz were there. “So, uh…”
“Your weapon, right? Gnatz has them. He’s waiting for you in the Ruins of the King.”
I nodded to myself. Gnatz most likely spawned in the Ruins when the world reset. At twelve AM in the game’s time, the over world would always reset. Monsters, items, and even some NPC’s would respawn in their original locations. Noteworthy things, like major NPC’s, would be instantly moved. Gnatz was probably put directly into the Ruins so that no one would see him walking through the town. “Alright, thank you Lith. So uh, how I do I pay for the weapon?”
Lith shook her head. “You don’t have to pay for it.”
I blinked. “Why not…?”
“Gnatz paid for it himself. He said he liked you, so he took care of the cost. But, uh…” Lith looked away. “He also said if you screwed around during the quest, he’d kill you with his bare hands and take all your possessions for himself…” Lith tilted her head to the right and gave me a soft smile. “So just try your best to do a good job!”
I sighed. “Of course… Well I guess I should go now. Thanks Lith! And tell Magnes I said thanks as well.”
“Will do madam, I hope I’ll see you later.”
I waved bye to the elf and went on my way to Ruins of the King, making sure I wasn’t followed. I didn’t know if the figure from yesterday was still on my tail, but I wanted to be cautions anyways. A few minutes later, I was in the ruins. Russtle was in the middle of a large hall. A handful of level 1 players were standing before him as he told them about the world of DLO. I walked up to the High Protector, pulling him away from his spiel.
“Uh, hi, sorry, I’m looking for…” I glanced and the newbies staring at me. “For…”
Russtle glared at me. “What do you want maggot?”
“No… nothing… Carry on!” I walked away from the man, pulling out the letter from Sheol once I got far enough away. I scanned it over as Daemon appeared on my shoulder. “Where the hell am I supposed to go…? I don’t wanna say I’m looking for you know who in front of those players.”
“Hey, watch out.” Daemon said in a monotone as a rock hit my forehead.
“Ow, geez! A little late!” I looked up in the direction the rock was thrown. A brawny dwarf was standing in the back of the ruins, half his body behind a pillar. “Well there’s the answer…”
Once I got to Gnatz, I followed him down a corridor to a winding staircase. We descended the staircase and went down another corridor to a large set of double doors. Gnatz pushed open the doors with ease as I checked behind us; nothing except rubble was in sight.
“Come on human!” Gnatz bellowed. “I don’t wanna be here all day.”
I turned around, seeing Gnatz standing in the middle of the castle’s armory. Old and rusted weapons were scattered all over the racks and floor. “Is this where the hidden passageway is?” When I first spawned in the castle, I explored every corner. Just to make sure there weren’t any undiscovered secrets. I didn’t find anything though so I quickly moved on, as did many other players. But there were still a few players who would go over the castle once again after every update, no matter how minor. And they would usually post their findings online even though Absolute Medium would always post the patch notes on the official website. Some people just had to be completely sure though. Because of that, news of a hidden passageway undiscovered by player was extremely surprising.
Gnatz shook his head, “Not exactly.” The dwarf pointed to metal elevator gate at the far end of the armory. “That lift over there once led to tha castle’s forge.”
I nodded. “I know that, but the forge isn’t there anymore. The ground ate it up when the Desolate Tower surfaced. The lift just leads to a bottomless pit now.”
“Yep. That was true. But apparently the pit isn’t as bottomless as before… Come on, you’ll see when we get down there.”
After we went down the lift, we came to a small ledge overlooking the pit. I carefully glanced over the edge, seeing nothing but darkness. “So, uh…” I began, kicking a rock over the edge, “What am I supposed to see…?”
“You’ll find out when you get down there,” Gnatz said as he pushed me off the edge. Several curse words spewed from my mouth as I fell down the seemingly never-ending hole. Several minutes later, my body smacked against the ground, over half my health points depleted. I tried getting up, but I could barely move. Falling from a high place did two things in DLO, drain your health and stun your body upon impact. If my agility and dexterity were a lot higher, I would have easily been able to brace my fall with minor damage. Hell, if my defense was higher I’d be able to handle the fall easier. Just like Gnatz as he landed beside me with a loud thud, his body hardly straining.
“Well wasn’t that enjoyable!” Gnatz looked over at my limp body. “Hey get up! No time for slacking off!”
“I can’t move…” I muttered.
Gnatz grabbed me by the back of my cape, placing me on my feet. “You weak human…”
“Yeah… I don’t know why I chose human as my race…” I drank several minor health potions to return to full health. “I should have been a demon or something cooler…”
“What are you blabbering on about?”
“Nothing! Let’s just go…” I looked at our surroundings, seeing only rocky cavern walls. “Uh, Daemon… Bring up the minimap.”
Daemon appeared on my shoulder with a virtual display. A blue pointer was beside a dark gray pointer in a long, thin frame. Nothing else was displayed on the map. “I don’t have any map data so it looks like we’re in the hidden passageway.”
“Alright… Pull up the world map then layer the minimap over it.” Daemon did as I asked. The blue and the gray indicators were in the Ruins of the Kings, pointing towards the Desolate Tower. The frame the indicators were in ended right in front of the Tower. “Cool, looks like we’re in the right place. The chamber Sheol mentioned must be at the end of this passageway.”
“Uh huh,” Gnatz added. “This is the place.” He then turned to me, pulling out something wrapped in cloth parchment. “These are your weapons. Hope you like ‘em.”
I let out a girly squeal as I grabbed the parchment, pulling out the knives from within. Two identical long silver kunai. I immediately went to my gear, switching out the silver sword for the kunai. The sword went to my inventory as the kunai appeared on my hips. I then inspected my new weapons. Higher attack, higher speed, slightly reduced range, and the ability to be thrown with adequate aim. They even had gem slots! I pulled the single gem I had out of my pocket and attached it to my knives. A notification suddenly appeared in front of me. “Passive Ability Gained!“ it read, “Trump Pyre!” I opened up my menu and went to the abilities tab, selecting Trump Pyre then information.
Trump Pyre was an ability that worked as a last resort. Any attack that would kill me would only drop my health down to one percent. My body would then be engulfed in flames and teleported a few feet away, giving me a final chance to either flee the scene or deliver a sneak attack. The gem would only work once every week though… I backed out of information and reselected the ability, placing it in the passive section beside four blank slots.
I closed my menus and addressed Gnatz, a huge smile on my face. “Thanks for the weapons! For making them and paying for them!”
The dwarf smiled back, “No problem miss.”
“You know, uh… You can call me Psycho.”
“Alright Psycho. Well, you ready to start?”
I excitedly nodded. “Yeah baby!” I swung the kunai around a bit to get a sense of the weapons handling. “Let’s do this thing!”
Gantz and I went down the passageway and into the chamber. As soon as we got there, a notice popped up in front of me. “Desolate Underground” it read. “Daemon,” I said out loud. The dragon appeared once again, the virtual map still between his claws. I glanced at the map; the indicators were now in a large, square room. Several red dots suddenly popped up on the map. I looked around to see skeletons warriors with scimitars surrounding us. “Let’s test out my new weapons!”
Gnatz immediately pulled out an enormous black and gold hammer and charged at the skeletons. Fiery sparks trailing behind each swing of the massive hammer. I shook my fascination of Gnatz’s hammer away, bringing my attention back to the enemies. With my kunai withdrawn, I swept at the nearest skeleton. A flurry of slices quickly brought it down as another skeleton approached. I gave it a swift uppercut, causing the monster to stagger back. My other hand delivered a right hook and I followed up with a flying roundhouse kick, knocking it’s head clean off. A third skeleton came from above, attempting to cut me down the middle. I dashed back as it landed, throwing one of my kunai at its chest. The blade whizzed by, hitting a skeleton in the background.
“Wow,” Daemon began as I took on the skeleton before me with the sole knife. “Your aim is really terrible.”
“Shut up,” I yelled mid swipe, “At least I hit something!” With one more stab, the skeleton collapsed. A few coins landed at its feet, but I ignored them, instead rushing to the enemy my kunai was stuck in. I jumped in arc, brining my fist down on the skeleton’s skull. I pulled my kunai out of its ribcage as I sliced with my other hand. I jumped off the skeleton and took a few needles out of my pocket. Since I was close enough, each needle hit its target. I landed on my feet as the skeleton crumpled into the ground.
“The room is clear,” Daemon said, causing me to go back and collect the drops from the defeated enemies. “The next room is the main hall of the Desolate Underground. It appears to be a safe spot. There’s a teleporter there as well.”
“Cool, so that’s how we get out of here.” I looked over to see Gnatz coming to me. “So what’s the plan?”
“Well Sheol just told us to investigate. So I say to at least go into every room and see what’s down here.”
I nodded. “Great. And hopefully I’ll be level 20 by the time we’re done here. Then I’ll finally be able to attempt the tower!” I raised my hands into the air and uttered a war cry. I then rushed into the next room.
The main hall was a giant room with a large circular mound altar directly in the middle. I walked up the three marble steps of the altar to the teleporter in the middle; a stone platform with markings engraved around the edges. A faint white glow emanated from it. A notice then appeared before me, stating, “Teleporter Activated”.
“Alright Psycho,” Gnatz said, “Let’s get to investigating.” The dwarf pointed at a large set of double doors to the right, an abnormal shaped keyhole between both doors. “Since that door needs a key, we’ll go the other way first.”
“Then let’s get to it!” I followed Gnatz under the arch leading to the next room; another open space filled with skeletons. Once the low-level monsters were taken care of, a larger skeleton appeared. Wearing a bulky spiked chestplate and wielding a two-ended spear. I unsheathed my kunai and lunged forward.
The giant skeleton swept at me with its spear then followed up with a thrust. I was able to jump over the initial swing but had the block the thrust, the impact sending me back. With his hammer in his hand, Gnatz faced the skeleton head on just as I had. Holding the spear like bat, the skeleton spun around to smack the dwarf. Gnatz spun around as well, striking the spear with his hammer. The hit caused sparks the fly and the skeleton to reel back. I got up close to the skeleton as it staggered, delivering a flurry of slashes. Gnatz came up behind me, jumping into the air to bring his hammer down. The hammer smacked the skeleton back and slammed the ground, the earth ripping up beneath it.
Gnatz braced himself and yelled, “Earth Eruption!” Burning cracks spread across the ground from the hammer. Magma then exploded from the cracks, dealing heavy damage to the skeleton. The dwarf pulled his hammer out of the ground while I jumped towards the skeleton, bringing my leg down upon its skull. The monster quickly recovered after the hit and grabbed my leg before I could land. It swung me around in the air then slammed me down on the ground. The skeleton proceeded to sweep and jab with its spear again, this time nailing me just when I got to my feet. The series of attacks drained a sizable chunk of my health.
“One more attack like that and you’re dead,” Daemon informed me.
“Oh really?’ I replied, pulling a large health potion out of my pocket. I drank the whole thing, bringing my health back up to 100%. As the potion disappeared from my hand, I looked back at the skeleton. Gnatz was easily combating it, each swing of his hammer knocking off large portions of the monster’s health. “Man,” I said to Daemon, “I really need to learn some special attacks. That Earth Eruption thing that Gnatz did was awesome.”
“You know, once you get to level twenty you’ll be able to get and use special abilities.”
“Yeah, I know that! Just need to get more experience…” I tightened my grip around my knives and rushed to the skeleton yet again.
Daemon appeared before me, just as the fourth and final gargoyle fell at my feet. A virtual map was spread in front of him. “What’s up?” I asked as I picked up the coins and items dropped by the monsters.
“Someone has entered the Desolate Underground.” Daemon turned the map around so I could see it. A yellow pointer was at bottom of the map, at the entrance of the dungeon.
“Dammit…” I muttered under my breath.
Gnatz walked up beside me, peering at the map. “Who’s the yellow,” he asked.
I shook my head. “All I know is that it’s another player.” I glanced at the NPC. “I mean, another adventurer.” I looked back at the map. The virtual maps in DLO used several different colored and shaped indicators. The different indicators all meant different things; circles were for unnamed enemies and NPC’s, pointers were for players and named enemies and NPC’s, and squares were for notable landmarks. As for colors; blue was for myself, NPC’s were dark gray, enemies were red, and other players were yellow.
Gnatz gripped my shoulder, a few of my health points dropped. “How’d he get here?” The dwarf asked in a stone cold voice.
“I, uh…” My breathing sped up. “Well… Yesterday, right after my talk with The Princess… A handful of people chased me around. And, uh… I was positive I had lost everybody…”
“B-but… I noticed a figure sorta watching me as I searched for you. I think it might have been an adventurer who had followed me earlier… And now I’m guessing he followed me here… Haha…” Heat started to radiate from Gnatz, bringing up the temperature of the room.
“So… You ended up leading another adventurer down here?!”
“Um, yeah, but…” While the room began to swelter like the inside of a kiln, I could feel my own temperature dropping. “I’ll take care of him!”
“Well there are two of us, right? One of us should keep on investigating, and the other one should deal with that other adventurer.” I gave the dwarf a wide smile with a slight nod added at the end.
There was a moment of silence. The blistering heat of the room froze me in place. “Okay kid, that makes sense.” Gnatz nodded back at me. “Yeah, you deal with that guy and I’ll deal with this dungeon.”
I sighed heavily as Gnatz took his hand off my shoulder. “Oh thank god…” I muttered. “For a second there, I thought you were gonna kill me!” I said with nervous laughter.
“I probably would’ve.” Gnatz replied with booming laughter. “Well I’ll leave that intruder up to you.” Gnatz gave me one more nod before leaving the room.
“Man, I thought for sure you were gonna die this time.”
“Shut up Daemon! Just show me the map again.” Daemon shrugged as he did what he was told. “Alright, now…” The yellow pointer had entered the main hall. I thought about how I should approach the situation. The other player would see my pointer coming towards him on his own map. And considering how each room in this dungeon was pretty much a featureless cave, I wouldn’t be able to sneak attack. “Hopefully this guy is friendly then…”
I ran back though the dungeon, ignoring the low level enemies that had already respawned. When I got a room away from the other player, I stopped in place. I could hear loud electrical blasts from where the other player was. I clenched my teeth together. I hadn’t faced many elemental users yet. The only one I could remember was that nerd with the spell book. But the blasts from the other room didn’t sound like spells at all.
“Aw shit…” I took a breath, “Please be friendly…”
“He’s gonna kill you.”
“Not now Daemon!” I took another deep breath before running into the room. I immediately ducked as a skeleton flew over my head. The player was in the middle of the room, swinging a long katana at the monsters around him. Electrical explosions triggered with each hit. I couldn’t see his display because he was busy with combat, but I knew he was levels above me. I bit my lip as the player continued to fight. “Well… Either he’ll be grateful, or he’ll kill me…” I shook my head and decided to run to the other player’s side in an attempt to help him fight off the monsters.
I pulled out my knives and swiped at the first skeleton I saw. I quickly dispatched the enemy and moved onto a spider, slipping under its attack and cutting into its abdomen. The spider let out a shrill screech, stabbing at me with its front legs as I tried to get out from under it. I chopped off the legs before I rolled away. As soon as I got to my feet, the spider exploded in an electrical discharge.
I glared at the player, “Hey, I totally had that covered!”
The electric samurai laughed as he sheathed his blade. “Thanks for helping me though.”
Noticing that all the other enemies were killed, I checked the player’s display. “The Thunderous Warrior – LVL 26”. “Geez,” I muttered. I then smiled widely and sent my hand straight out, “Hey Thunder, can I call you Thunder? Yeah? Great!”
The guy glanced at my hand.
I looked as well, noticing the kunai in my palm. “Oh, sorry…” I put my weapons away and stuck my hand back out.
Thunder laughed again, shaking my hand. “Sure, you can call me that… And, uh… I’ll just call you Psycho. Nice to meet you.”
“Yeah, same, so uh…” My smile vanished as I gripped the knives at my side. “You gonna try to kill me? Cause I’ll have you know, the NPC on the map is with me and we’re pretty tight. So if you mess with me, he’ll be all over your ass!”
“Whoa, whoa! I-I won’t hurt you!”
I glared at the other player.
Thunder raised his hands, showing me his palms covered in gray cloth. “I don’t attack players under 20. I, uh… I also don’t like to…” The guy looked away from me, “attack girls…”
“Girls?” A moment passed. I then resumed glaring, “Oh, so because I’m a weak girl you won’t attack me? All you guys always act the same…” I crossed my arms under my breasts, pushing them up some. “Acting like some lame ass anime hero…”
“No! That’s not what I meant! I just meant… that, uh…”
I gave Thunder a sly smile. “I’m just messing around dude.”
The other player replied with a sheepish smile. “Oh, haha…”
“I do have a question for you though, how the hell did you get down here?” I leaned in close, staring into Thunder’s eyes. “Were you stalking me yesterday…?”
“Oh, uh… Yeah, that was me… I saw you get kicked out of Sheol’s suite then chased around by those other players.” Thunder scratched the back of his head. “I then decided to follow you around myself…” The Warrior looked around the cavern. “I didn’t except to end up down here though. I never knew there was a dungeon under the Desolate Tower.”
“Uh huh… And just why did you decide to follow me?”
“I… I was curious… about why you were in Sheol’s suite. But I decided to just follow you around instead trying to beat information out of you…”
I sighed, “Well as long as you won’t kill me, I guess it’s not terrible that you followed me down here… Just don’t tell anyone about this place!” I stuck my finger under the guys chin, pushing his head up slightly.
Thunder shook his head, “I won’t. I know how the community would react about there a dungeon being down here.”
“Yep,” I said, taking a step back and crossing my arms again.
“Sooo…” Thunder glanced at my display. “Do you want any help? Not because you’re weak! But, uh… Because I’d like to help. This just seems like a cool place to explore.”
“Sure… I’ve got someone with me though… He’s not too kind with other players though.”
“Yeah, that NPC you mentioned. I’m fine with that,” Thunder said with a genuine smile.
“Okay, one more thing… Why the hell are you so nice!? The other player’s I’ve encountered so far haven’t been nice at all. Well, I mean, I’ve pretty much jumped them all… But still!”
Thunder giggled a bit. “I don’t know. I’m just a nice guy I guess…”
I rolled my eyes.
“No, not nice guy like that! Nice guy, like… I’m a guy who’s nice…?” Thunder let out a breath. “I’m nice to people in real life and I’m nice to people in, uh… virtual life. I know it’s weird though. I’ve met some really terrible people in this game as well. But you seem good so I’m being good to you.”
“I seem… good? Yeah, sure… Let’s just finish this dungeon, I’ve got school tomorrow.”
“Alright, let’s go then. Just give me a second.” The Warrior looked over at his shoulder, “Hey Alyssa.”
A blonde angel in a white dress suddenly appeared. “Yes?” She answered in a soft voice.
I looked over the angel as Thunder talked to her. “Man,” I said to myself, “She’s so cute… I should have picked an angel instead…”
“This guy should have killed you, that’s what should have happened.”
“Oh my god, Daemon, shut the fuck up!”
Thunder and Alyssa turned their attention to Daemon and me. “Uh, you guys okay?” The player asked.
“No, but it’s fine… my guide is just an asshole.”
“And you’re just an idiot,” Daemon quipped.
“I said shut up you dumb dragon!” I looked back at Thunder. “You ready?”
With Thunder right behind me, we made our way back through the dungeon. I was still apprehensive about having him follow me though, but if he did anything, I knew Gnatz would take care of him. I didn’t know how Gnatz would react to me “befriending” the intruder however. Just before we got the next room, I paused, turning around to face the other player. “So, uh… He’s in the next room. The NPC.”
Thunder replied, “Alright.”
“And you may have heard some rumors about him… While he’s been friendly to me, he might not act the same towards you… So just be wary. Okay? Great!” I then ran into the next room.
“Didja take care of that other adventurer?” Gnatz asked as he pulled his hammer out of the ground, a hellhound smashed underneath.
“Yeah, about that…”
“What the hell…” I heard behind me. “Is this real?” Thunder ran past me, approaching Gnatz. “Are you…? You are! Gnatz! The fabled blacksmith of the Orelt Mountains!”
“And just who the hell are you!” The gray dwarf bellowed, stopping Thunder in his tracks. The same freezing heat from before slowly returned.
I quickly ran up to the dwarf, his stocky hands tightly gripping his hammer. “Hey, Gnatz, buddy! This is, uhhh….” I glanced over at Thunder. I grumbled, looking back at Gnatz. “This is my… friend. I asked him to make sure none of, the um… adventurers that had chased me around yesterday followed me down here. He accidently fell down the hole that leads down here though. So, uh… do you mind if he helps us out with the dungeon?”
Gnatz thought it over for a bit, looking Thunder over. I glanced back at Thunder while he gave me a confused look. I merely shrugged. “Why didn’t cha tell me about him then?” Gnatz questioned.
“I, uh… Well… Cause I forgot?”
“Fair enough. What’s your name, son?”
“The… The Thunderous Warrior,” the brown haired samurai replied. “You can just call me Thunder. That’s what Psycho usually calls me…”
Gnatz nodded. “Well with you here, we should be done with this place in no time. Let’s get going then. Hopefully there won’t be any more interruptions…”
“Well that went decent,” I said as the smith walked off
Thunder walked up to me. “Yeah, I guess… Why did you say we were friends though? I mean you just met me. I could be one of those terrible players, you know?”
“I… don’t have a good answer for you.” I put my hand to my head, applying pressure to my temples. “Just be grateful…”
With Thunder tagging along, we were quickly able to clear the following rooms of the dungeon. Thunder used his electrical katana to effortlessly slice through the onslaught of undead while Gnatz used his hearth of a hammer to both burn and bash the monsters in his way. Being the weakest link, however, I did less killing and more collecting. I was able to get to level 19 by the time we reached the last room and my inventory was filled with items. I hoped the final boss would give me enough exp to get to level 20.
Once the final room was cleared, a large treasure chest appeared on a pedestal in the middle of the room. “This must contain the key,” I assumed. I put my weapons away and walked up to the chest.
“It also might contain a trap,” Thunder added.
I stopped right in front of the chest, staring at it for a moment. “Hey Thunder, buddy… Thunder Buddy! Come here, and uh, open this up…”
“I, uh… what? No, you open it!”
I glared at the other player. “But you just said it might be a trap! Gnatz, help me out here!”
Gnatz looked up from the bottle of booze he had pulled out of his pocket. “What…?”
“Oh god… fiiiine…” I looked back at the chest, rubbing my hands together. “Okay…” I carefully put my fingers under the top and pulled it up ever so gently. Floating in the middle of the chest was a large skull-shaped key. The eyes of the skull gave off a reddish glow. “Yeah, this looks safe.” I put my hand right over the key and took a deep breath. I then grabbed the key, slammed the chest shut, and jumped away from the pedestal.
A moment of complete silence passed. Nothing happened. I let out a breath and looked at the key in my hand. “Alright, looks like we’re…” Before I could finish a rock smacked the back of my head. The cavern than began to shake. “Dammit…” I shoved the key in my pocket before following Thunder and Gnatz out of the room.
“I told you!” Thunder yelled as we ran back the way we came, the dungeon caving in around us.
“Yeah, yeah, no time for this!”
“I thought we were done with the running!” Gnatz yelled, still drinking from his bottle.
I glanced at Gnatz. “Why are you even drinking?!”
The dwarf flashed a drunken smile as we continued to run, the crumbling cavern closing in. Minutes later, we reached the main hall of the Underground. The shaking had stopped, leaving all exits sealed by rocks except for the locked door. Even the teleporter in the middle of the room was deactivated.
“Well it looks like we have no other choice…” My eyes were on the locked door as I pulled out the key. I looked at the key then back at the door. “You guys ready,” I asked.
“Yep,” Thunder answered as Gnatz merely burped.
“Let’s get this over with then…” I went up to the large doors with the key in hand. Once I got right up to the door, the key immediately snapped in place and turned on its own. Swirling pools of darkness rushed out of the doors as they slowly opened. A deafening roar exploded from the room within. I took a few steps back and looked over at Thunder. “You go in first…”
“But…” Thunder began to mutter.
“I opened up the chest! So you go in first!” I screeched.
“Yeah, but…” The roaring continued. “Okay fine…” Thunder slowly approached the entrance to the boss’s room. Gnatz and I followed closely behind him. Once we all entered the dark room, the doors slammed shut behind us as the pools of darkness came together in the middle of the room.
A large skeleton rose out of the darkness; a long black cloak covered its upper body. A long, bony snout was poking out of the hood. The skeletal monster roared again as a health bar appeared above its head along with the name, “The Subversive Polyskell”. Four arms quickly jutted out of the skeleton’s cloak, a falchion sword in each hand. The monster rushed towards us, each arm swinging around in a circular motion.
Thunder pointed his katana skyward as Gnatz approached the Polyskell head on. “Ionic Charge!” The player yelled, calling forth a bolt of lightning seemingly out of nowhere. The bolt struck Thunder’s sword and followed the length of his body, charging him entirely with an electrical current. Thunder then dashed towards the monster in bright flash.
“Shit that’s cool…” I gripped my knives and crossed my arms over my chest. “I better get to level 20 by the end of this…” I followed right behind Thunder, letting him be bait for the skeleton. He blocked several hits from the Polyskell until I found an opening. Right as Thunder blocked another hit, I noticed a crack in one of the arm’s joints. I rushed under the arm and wedged one of my kunai in the joint. The skeleton roared in pain, using one of its other arms to smack me away.
Thunder saw the kunai stuck in the skeleton and attacked the joint with his own weapon. A small electrical surge bursted from the hit, causing the skeleton’s arm to seize up. Gnatz swung at the paralyzed arm with his hammer, the strength of the blow knocking the arm clean off. The Polyskell roared again and jumped high in the air. As the monster hit the apex of its jump, it instantly vanished in a cloud of darkness, appearing behind me a second later.
“Oh shit…” The skeleton kicked me up in air then struck me with one of its swords, sending my body right into Thunder. It disappeared once again, reappearing by the detached arm. The monster picked its arm up and jammed it back in place.
“Come on!” I complained, pushing myself off of Thunder. “He can teleport AND fix himself!?”
“I think it’s more about breaking the arm than just knocking it off,” The other player commented.
“Oh really? There’s an idea.” With my single kunai, I ran to the Polyskell. “Gnatz,” I shouted, “use that earth eruption thing!”
Gnatz grunted in approval and ran up beside me. The dwarf raised his hammer then slammed it down, yelling “Earth Eruption!” just after the hammer hit the ground. Burning cracks spread from the impact just like before. As the magma exploded, I used Gnatz’s back as a springboard in order to attack the skeleton from above. I drove my kunai into the skull of the monster and kneed it in the face. As I fell, I grabbed the knife stuck in its arm and tried to pull it out. Before I could get my weapon out, a fifth arm shot out of the Polyskell’s cloak, grabbing me by my foot.
The skeleton swung me around as it fended off Gnatz and Thunder, two arms dealing with each attacker. “G-guys! Help… oh god… Help me!” I yelled, struggling to keep my concentration. “A-attack the… the arm!”
“Which arm?!” Thunder yelled back.
“The arm with… my… my shit in it!”
Thunder glanced at the kunai still stuck in the monster’s arm.
“Shock it, then… Knock it off! T-the arm… Like before!”
“Alright, but…” He started to respond, rolling under a swing. “But I have to charge again!”
“Just… Hurry up! I’m gonna b-barf…”
“I got this, go charge up kid,” Gnatz said to Thunder.
The player nodded and jumped back from the action, raising his katana into the air. “Ionic Charge!” Thunder’s body was charged with an electrical current once again. He then dashed up to the Polyskell, striking the same arm with a paralyzing blow. Gnatz swung his hammer around and struck the arm, sending it flying off the skeleton. The Polyskell roared in pain and threw me away before jumping into the air.
“Guys! Destroy the arm!” I yelled after hitting the ground. As Thunder and Gnatz ran past me, I checked my health. “Down to thirteen percent…“ I mumbled, getting to my feet and pulling out a potion. Right when I raised the red vial to my lips, a puff of darkness appeared in front me. “Again!?” I cried.
The skeletal boss picked me up with the arm hidden in his cloak and roared in my face. It then used the three blades it had left to pierce my gut, causing my health to drop to zero. I grimaced as I felt my body began to disintegrate. Fire consumed my entire being until nothing was left in my place. A few seconds later, I was standing beside Thunder, my health at 1%.
“How the… What?”
“Damn that was close…” I quickly pulled out another potion and consumed it on the spot before addressing the samurai. “Hey there buddy. Destroy the arm yet?” On cue, Gnatz shattered the arm with his hammer. “Great. Now only three arms left…”
Thunder glanced at the bone fragments strewn over the ground, a kunai right in the middle. “Yeah, uh, but about you…” The player started to say as I picked up my weapon and rushed back towards the Polyskell. “Wait, Psycho! I wanted to ask…!” Thunder sighed, “Oh nevermind…”
The Polyskell staggered back, it’s health bar flashing red. All four of its arms were nothing more than piles of bone fragments scattered across the ground. The boss stood still for a moment, darkness beginning to swell within its cloak.
“Looks like it’s preparing an attack…” Thunder said as he took a step back.
“Which means we have an opening!” I immediately bolted off to the skeleton, both of my kunai drawn at my side.
“Yeah, but I don’t think you should… And there she goes again.”
The Polyskell locked onto me as I approached. Its cloak suddenly flew open; a mass of skeletal arms swarming around in the dark space that was its chest. Before I could react, the skeleton teleported beside me. One arm slammed me square in the gut as two other arms hit from the left side. The Polyskell vanished once again, reappearing beside Thunder. Three arms began to pummel him into the ground while four other arms were assaulting Gnatz.
I got to my feet and ran towards the skeleton once again. The boss saw me coming and evaporated back into darkness. An arm struck me out of nowhere, sending me into two other arms that uppercutted me into the air. At the apex of my ascent, the Polyskell puffed into existence directly in front of me and slammed me back to the ground. The boss left me alone as I regained myself, focusing back on Gnatz and Thunder.
Only two potions were in my inventory. I drank both of them without a second thought, my health boosting back up to green. “We gotta kill this bitch ass boss…” I muttered. I returned my attention to the Polyskell, watching it teleport around Gnatz and Thunder. It only seemed to teleport when it was about to be attacked. I pulled a handful of needles out of my pocket and took a deep breath. “Aim, don’t fail me now!” I yelled, throwing the needles straight at the Polyskell. Right before they hit their mark, the skeleton dissipated into darkness once again. This time I was ready and immediately spun around, thrusting my kunai into the boss right as it reappeared.
The Polyskell smacked me away and attempted to teleport away. Its body began to convulse as it desperately tried to escape. The skeleton was able to disappear, but as soon as it came back I sliced at it once more, taking off the final sliver of its health bar. The Polyskell gave a final roar and teleported high into the air, it’s bony body exploding into dust, leaving the shadowy cloak to drift gently to the ground.
A large notification promptly materialized over ashes of the boss. “The Subversive Polyskell – Defeated!!” A large sum of experience points and gold was then awarded to me. Once the large notification faded out of existence, the experience gained from the boss was added to my total and smaller notification appeared right in front of me. “Level Up!! You have risen to level 20”.
“Finally!” I squealed. Several other notifications appeared as well but I quickly closed them all. I already knew what being level 20 entailed. I decided to wait until I was in a safer place to select an ability though. As soon as my view was clear, I noticed the cloak still lying on the ground. “Ooh, cool! It’s a pick up!” I said excitedly, collecting the Polyskell’s cloak. My excitement faded as I read the description. “Damn it… I can’t equip it until I get to level thirty…”
“Soooo… That’s it?” Thunder asked no one in particular. He glanced over at me staring him down as I shoved the cloak into my inventory. The player laughed, “It’s fine, I wasn’t gonna take it anyways. This was your quest so you should get the drops.”
“Thanks…” I mumbled.
“Well kid,” Gnatz said while forcefully patting my back, knocking off ten points of my health. “Looks like we’re done here,” The dwarf continued. “Now all we have to do is talk to Sheol. I’ll meetcha at her suite.” Gnatz gave me a firm nod and walked off, pulling out yet another bottle of alcohol.
As soon as he left, Thunder and I shared a glance. The electrical samurai smiled. “That was pretty fun, huh? Quick question though, you died right? When, like… the boss stabbed you? Then you were next to me in the next second…”
“Yep, my health dropped to zero alright. What of it?”
Thunder looked blankly at me. “Uh… nothing…” The warrior giggled. “You know what?” Thunder opened up his own menu, cycling through a few options.
I got an alert a second later stating that I had received a message. I opened up my inbox to see a friend request from Thunder. I gave the other player a confused look. “Really?”
“Yeah. Is, uh… there a problem…?”
I shook my head. “Nah…” I then accepted the request, The Thunderous Warrior appearing in my friend list. “Thanks buddy.”
Thunder smiled. “No problem Psycho. Hopefully I can help you on another quest soon.” The player walked off as well, leaving me alone in the boss room.
After a moment of silence, I pulled up my menu to check the time. “Ugh… I should log off and do my homework… Hey Daemon, lead me to the closest inn in the overworld.”
“You have to meet with Sheol first, remember?”
“Oh yeah… Lead me to her suite THEN to the closest inn.”