"Hey idiot, are you sure it's alright?" asked Lumia, with a self-satisfied look at a horribly-done mend on the faded tunic. After looking at it for a while, she lowered her eyes and muttered: "No, okay. I'll do it again. It sucks."
Lumia's fingers were blood-stained, as she had pricked her hands several times while mending the tunic. She had rubbed the hands together to hide from Helial the blood that was coming out of the tiny wounds. She had spent hours trying to make a decent mend, but she seemed unable to do it. She had done her best and the result was that horrid mend that was now ostentatiously bulging on the front of the fabric.
Helial looked at his sister with a raised eyebrow, he got closer and stooped down to kiss her on the forehead, while taking the tunic from her hands.
Helial ignored Lumia's reaction and put on the tunic, even though that mend could easily be defined as the biggest monstrosity ever made in the sewing world.
Lumia looked sorry, but Helial responded with a beaming smile.
Helial had always owned very few clothes, so few that they could be counted on one hand. He had never cared about his looks. He would rather get his sister something yummy to eat than a new tunic for himself.
But Lumia was not a stupid girl and she knew perfectly well how much her brother did for her. That was why she always gave it her all in every small matter. Despite this, she was really hopeless at precision work such as sewing. There was something that prevented her from having the kind of surgical precision that Helial showed in everything he did.
"It's perfect", Helial got closer to Lumia and took her in his arms. The girl's hands stained all the tunic, leaving behind tiny crimson stains.
In the present
Snowflake glanced at the tears on the tunic. His eyes focused on some tiny bloodstains on the front.
"This brat is really peculiar. You'll see if this Supreme Cat will make you pay for this, mpf! Making me babysit a fucking piece of fabric", muttered the huge furball.
Despite all the whining, even Snowflake had understood how important that tunic was for Helial, though he did not know why.
Let's see what happens now. Did the blood rush to your head?
Crack crack crack
Helial was running at breathtaking speed towards the Dungeon Boss, leaving behind a web of cracks.
This little monster is really strong, but that Boss is in the First Phase Late stage, plus it's a class Boss monster. It'll be hard for him to make it alone…, thought the cat.
Monsters were divided into different classes: from Normal to Elite to Boss, and so on for other minor subclasses. Every Class made the monster different from others. A class Elite Black Wolf was stronger than a normal one, but weaker than a class Boss one.
You can condense Mana at 400%. Your body receives damage, but the Damage inflicted increases exponentially.
You lost 80 HP!
Helial stared at the wolf, so big that it looked like a house with mighty fangs and claws.
Helial pointed his hand against the Boss' snout and shot a terrifying Mana bullet. The air whistled and deformed at its passage. That Boss, however, was not an ordinary monster. It leaped to the side, promptly dodging the bullet and got ready to hit the brat with a claw.
The Mana bullet hit the Dungeon wall with a deafening boom.
Helial's eyes were incredibly cold, while his lips were pressed so tight together they had turned livid.
The Silvery Lone Wolf seemed to have noticed something, so it immediately lowered the paw and landed far from Helial. It looked at the wall. In the stone there was a hole as big as a fist, but so deep that it was impossible to see the bottom of it. That boy was scarier than it had imagined.
The Boss suddenly grew serious: the boy was strong, it was not going to lose time with silly games.
It looked at Helial and scowled.
Defense – 200%
Your blows have a higher probability to inflict the status Bleeding.
When your health goes lower than 20% you go in Berserk mode.
In Berserk mode, you do not feel pain and your blows inflict 150% of damage, but your senses are clouded by rage and you risk losing control.
A scarlet Aura enveloped the huge body of the wolf. A terrifying Skill.
Bloodthirst? Such a weak Autobuff… and this should be a Boss? Pfui, disgraceful… Kid, hurry up and get rid of this garbage, or drop dead here and now.
The crimson eyes of the Boss met Helial's eyes as blue as death.
The Boss growled, unable to talk. Only monsters above the Third Phase could normally speak the tongue of men. Above the Fifth Phase they were also able to take on a human form.
The smile on the wolf's face seemed to be mocking Helial.
"Kid, to you want to-", tried to say Snowflake.
Helial had gotten closer to the wolf and had used Mana Pistol again, condensing Mana as much as possible, but this time he did not fire at the wolf but at the ground. He dumped Curse of the Demon and leaped in the air, jumping at least 30 feet high and almost touching the Dungeon ceiling, thanks to the kickback. The corners of his mouth curled up in a sneer directed at the monster.
Usually the kickback was absorbed by his Meridians, but this time Helial had prevented it from happening, so generating enough power to propel him up to the ceiling.
Now he was exactly above the Silvery Lone Wolf that was waiting for him to come down and tear him to pieces.
I want to see what you're planning on doing and how strong you are, thought the wolf.
Flame of the Qilin
Helial covered his body in white flames.
Snowflake stared at him wide-eyed and pricked his ears, observing attentively the scene. Those innocent-looking white tongues of fire burned to death in just a second several wolves that had let their guard down whie fighting Helial. That boy was really dangerous and devious. The cat had already seen what was coming right after that.
The Boss, however, thought it had an easy victory in sight. After all, a monster in the First Phase, as strong as it might be, was not necessarily clever. The only exceptions were those creatures with outstanding Blood Legacies, like Snowflake, whose intelligence was probably way higher than most humans.
Like an asteroid, Helial fell on top of the Boss. The Silvery Lone Wolf activated one of its strongest Skills.
Bloody Wolf Claws!
A scarlet flash surrounded the paw of the monster, which immediately launched a frontal attack on Helial.
Despite the Phase gap, the flames of the lame dragons are not something that a normal wolf can withstand.
You've just lost a limb!
The blow hit Helial straight in the chest, knocking the breath out of him and leaving him gasping for air. The claws did not sink past the ribs, but they left behind four gashes all the same, deep enough to show the bones of the ribcage. Helial was flung against the wall, like an arrow which had just left the bow, and vomited blood on the ground.
You lost 1074 HP!
Helial had received quite a lot of damage, but was not at risk yet. Body of the Qilin had given him a body able to resist a stupid wolf. The cuts slowly started to heal.
In all truth, he was not the one to have it worse.
Silvery Lon Wolf lost 4455 HP!
Silvery Lone Wolf lost 2335 HP!
Silvery Lone Wolf 3153 HP!
The Boss immediately jumped back, but it was too late. Right before being flung backwards, Helial had thrown on it Flame of the Qilin, which was not going to die out before having consumed the beast to the bone.
The wolf's health started plummeting while the tongues of fire kept eating away at its leg. But it did not move. If the flames had touched any other part of its body, it would have probably been burned alive.
Damned brat! Let's see what your flesh tastes like!, thought the Boss.
Helial looked at it coldly. "The next time think twice before ruining my clothes."
While the monster was trying its best not to let the flames catch on beyond its leg, Helial grasped Curse of the Demon and activated Mana Pistol one more time, condensing Mana as much as possible. He felt as if his Meridians were about to shatter, but he did not stop to accumulate Mana and, suddenly…
The excessive condensation increases the damage by 600% and slightly damages your Meridians. In the next few days, your Mana Control will be 5% weaker.
Outpost of Alabard
On top of the walls, Vidio and the generals were looking at the advancing Goblin army. The green little monsters were charging at full speed but, while doing it, they had activated all the booby traps that had been laid down to welcome them.
Everywhere blood was spurting like from fountains.
A stray piece of shrapnel slit a Goblin's throat.
Another Goblin was ripped in shreds by a hidden pool of explosive liquid.
Another one had fallen victim of spikes dipped in lethal poison.
What's happening?, thought Vidio. That same question was likely to be gnawing at the hearts of all the generals.
No one knew what was really happening. It almost looked as if the Goblins were throwing themselves in the arms of death, indifferent to their own lives. It was totally irrational. Goblins were humanoid creatures, as intelligent as humans, not real monsters. They enjoyed the same privileges as the higher races, after all.
Once dead, a monster would disappear in a beam of grey light, without any chance of coming back to life. Men, however, together with Goblins, Dragons, Qilins and Heavenly Star Tigers, enjoyed a great privilege above the First Phase: on the brink of death, unless their body was completely destroyed, they could keep on living by injecting themselves with Mana in the next 24 hours. After that period of time, their body would disappear in a beam of grey light, just like any other creature.
The only monsters that enjoyed such a privilege, besides the higher races, were Dungeon monsters. They were not in fact normal creatures, but beings born from great masses of unstable Mana, who came back to life after being dead for a certain period of time.
Pausan feared that the Goblin attack were just a stunt to trick them into coming out and then catch them off-guard with a trap. Who knows, maybe inside that army hid a Goblin in the Fifth Phase. After all, it was very odd that the Goblin would mobilize such a small army for an attack. Of course, even odder was the fact that the Capital had not sent any backup.
There is something so rotten in this whole business that I cannot afford to let the battlefield out of my sight for even a second.
Pausan could have fought in the battle in the frontline. Being in the Forth Phase Late stage, together with his men he could probably have slaughtered the entire enemy army without effort.
But it was all too weird.
Why did they attack? Why do they want this outpost? Why are they making this suicide move? This smells like politics and the stink carries for miles and miles. Curse them…
Pausan clenched his fists, while the air all around him started crackling. The mere idea of being a pawn in that war was driving him crazy.
After a couple of hours, the battle seemed to be drawing to a close. Pausan and his men had done nothing but launching attacks from afar and the Goblin army had been almost halved while trying to climb the walls.
Pausan approached Vidio and said: "Master, it is time to take the field. Are you ready?"
"Of course I am ready, let's fuck them up good!" said Vidio, swinging his hips and grasping the air in front of him.
Pausan stared at him in shock, then decided to ignore him.
"Open the gate! Let's clear the field!"
Too Goblins had died already and no one thought of a trap anymore. It had been just an attack too stupid to work.
While the gate was been opened by the soldiers, Vidio made a suggestion to Pausan, with a mischievous grin: "Listen, Commander… Don't you think that after the victory we could all deserve some nice girls-"
Vidio was not expecting Pausan's complicit smile to be followed by an attempt to punch him. But luckily, the master's wits were sharp enough to dodge the blow and the fist wooshed through the air.
"Ah, Commander, I should teach you how to live the life!" cried Vidio, walking past the gate, ready to engage in battle.