Sweat dripped down Randidly’s brow as he faced the enemies in front of him; he had made a terrible mistake.
If he had encountered a singular cat, there was no doubt in Randidly’s mind that he would have been able to handle it easily. And indeed, there was only a single cat in front of him.
But of course, there were also two lizardmen wielding scimitars. Randidly had stumbled across the lizardmen, and decided to risk a fight. But coincidentally, Randidly and the cat appeared at almost the same moment, ambushing the lizardmen, and had both frozen. Now an uneasy and aggressive truce existed between the three parties.
However, it seemed that the lizardmen and the cat had both come to the same conclusion and turned their eyes towards Randidly. He was the weaker party. They advanced quickly, rushing towards him, the cat turning into a blur of sharp claws and death.
After a half second of hesitation, Randidly gritted his teeth and removed something he had hoped to never use again: the strange, invigorating juice of the origin banana. It would leave him extremely weak, but…
‘The only path for a spear is forward. A man holding onto a spear cannot hesitate.’
Randidly gulped it down, and almost immediately relaxed a smile spreading across his face. Why had he even been worried…?
The cat screeched closer, its claws ripping towards him, followed by the grim eyed lizardmen.
Spinning his spear, Randidly yawned casually. And then he stepped, activating the Phantom Half Step, closing half the distance to the furthest back Lizardman, phasing entirely through the cat and appearing next to the closest lizard man.
Phantom Half Step gained a skill level. Randidly made a pleased noise; this one was very hard to raise.
The lizard man’s eyes widened, then narrowed, but Randidly had already delivered a kick to the side of its knee, sending it stumbling.
Randidly harrumphed, his spear stabbing forward, catching it in the shoulder. Although the lizardman was knocked backwards, there was only a small amount of blood from the wound. It seemed like the scales were tougher than Randidly had anticipated. But Phantom Thrust had gained a skill level, so he didn’t concern himself overmuch with the lack of damage.
He glanced casually to the side, his left hand twisting and summoning Pestilence, the insects then exploding towards the eyes of the 2nd lizard man who was rushing forward, his scimitar raised. The insects sank into the soft flesh of its eyes and nose, causing it to open its mouth and roar, and then the remainder of the insects ripped into the soft flesh of its mouth and throat.
It fell back, senseless.
All in all, Randidly gained 5 levels for Summon Pestilence controlling the insects so acutely. Raising a mana potion to his lips, Randidly turned to regard the vicious blur that was almost upon him.
He instantly activated Spear Phantom’s Footwork and Haste, throwing himself to the side, almost amused by the cat whizzing past. Strangely, and disturbingly, the cat changed directions midair, rushing towards Randidly’s face.
Frowning, he summoned Entangling Roots, completely filling the space between himself and the cat. But the cat just slashed with its claws, easily ripping a hole in the roots.
Fortunately, Randidly had anticipated this, and an empowered Phantom Onslaught rumbled forward towards the newly made hole, the dozens of stabs ripping small gashes in the cat. But still its preternatural grace overwhelmed the opposition, and it just slid cleanly through.
Only to be smashed to the side by the Magic Missile Randidly had summoned and left hidden behind the entangling roots. The cat hit the ground, for the first time off balance, and Root Manipulation exploded upwards, grasping its limbs and holding it down.
For safety, Randidly hit it with two Arcane Orbs, basically emptying his mana pool. Then he strolled forward, ignoring the Lizardman that had gotten up and was hurrying to his friends side, trying to figure out why it was screaming.
Randidly deftly cut off one of the cats claws, and raised it to the sky admiringly. Then he turned to face the two lizardmen, who were staring daggers at him. Apparently the shock had passed, or the Lizardman’s vitality was more impressive than Randidly had thought, because his connection to the pestilence had been cut. He considered summoning some more, than laughed aloud. Ah, his mana was all gone.
Instead he spun his spear and smiled at the approaching lizardmen. They spread out to surround him, but Randidly rushed forward towards the left one, that he had stabbed previously with his spear, lashing out with a Phantom Thrust.
The lizardman took it on the chest and pressed forward, swinging his huge scimitar. But Randidly calmly deflected the attack, then stepping to the side with Spear Phantom’s Footwork, positioning himself so that the lizardmen couldn’t attack him at the same time. Then he continued to attack and dodge and block, weaving his way between the two with Spear Phantom’s Footwork.
It was strange, this focus, this confidence. This was probably what Shal felt all the time, Randidly thought, his smile widening. This is what he needed, this strength.
They continued to fight, Randidly’s stamina decreasing, but his smile never wavering, until one of the Lizardman took a huge gulp of air and spat poison, splashing it all over Randidly’s arm.
The lizardman’s eyes curved upward in gleeful anticipation of victory, but Randidly simply laughed, ignoring the poison and the lost health, and instead stepping closer, too close, so close that both the scimitar and the spear were useless.
The 2nd lizardman circled around, trying to assist his friend, but the first just hissed in a gloating fashion, dropping its scimitar and reaching forward with its scaly hands, confident in its strength. And it was right to be, Randidly reflected, the strength of the lizardman was undoubtedly higher than his.
But Randidly simply reached out and drew a smile, across the lizardman’s neck with the claw of the cat, the scales parting slightly unwillingly, but cleanly. Looking down at the blood spewing from its own neck, the lizardman stilled, then fell forward.
Randidly slipped out of the way and cast Entangling Roots on the other lizard man, his mana finally restored to a small amount after the long few minutes of scuffling with the lizardmen.
It hissed, and almost instantly ripped the roots out of the ground with brute strength surging forward. Randidly shook his head sorrowfully; there was no rest for the wicked, he supposed. Relying on the distracting explosion, Randidly used the rest of his mana to hit the lizardman in the face with a fireball.
The flash of light, smoke, and heat caused it to stumble, and Randidly rained empowered Phantom Thrusts upon it, ripping hole after hole after hole in its skin.
After several desperate swipes, it finally gave up on Randidly as prey and turned and ran, abandoning the body of its comrade. Randidly watched it go, admiring how much health it must have for it to shrug off all of those attacks.
The timing was good too, because the last few Phantom Thrusts were just for show. Randidly’s whole body was trembling, and he could hardly stand. The banana serum had run off. Inwardly, Randidly resolved himself to never use it again. It could become like a drug, if he relied on it too heavily.
More than that, he wanted the strength to succeed on his own, not strength by relying on a strange potion.
Still, the results were pretty compelling…
Aside from the skill levels he had noticed at the beginning of the fight, he had also gained 1 Level of Haste, 3 of Spear Phantom’s Footwork, 1 of Physical Fitness, 2 of Dagger Mastery, 1 of Phantom Thrust, 1 Arcane Orb, 1 Entangling Roots, 3 of Magic Missile, 1 Fireball, and 2 for Edge of Decay.
Randidly considered his status screen.
Health(/R per hour): 206/279 [+6] (114 [+9])
Mana(/R per hour): 139/273 (53.25)
Stam(/R per min): 105/247 (41.5 [+3])
Vit: 33 [+3]
Agi: 42 [+3]
Equipment: Average Leather Tunic Lvl 5: (+2 Vit), Gloves of Quickness (Vit +1. Agi +3)
Skills: Running: Lvl 17, Physical Fitness Lvl 26, Sneak Lvl 20, Farming Lvl 20, Mana Bolt Lvl 28, Heavy Blow Lvl 22, Acid Resistance Lvl 22, Poison Resistance Lvl 14, Sprinting Lvl 13, Iron Skin Lvl 25, Equip Lvl 16, Plant Breeding Lvl 9, Meditation Lvl 27, Dagger Mastery Lvl 10, Entangling Roots Lvl 29, Mana Shield Lvl 23, Dodge Lvl 27, Potion Making Lvl 20, Analyze Lvl 24, Pathfinding Lvl 8, Mapmaker Lvl 4, Spear Mastery Lvl 38, Phantom Thrust Lvl 40, Pain Resistance Lvl 11, Fighting Proficiency Lvl 28, First Aid Lvl 12, Block Lvl 24, Spear Phantom’s Footwork Lvl 26, Eyes of the Spear Phantom Lvl 16, Phantom Half-Step Lvl 5, Mental Strength Lvl 8, Curse Resistance Lvl 3, Root Manipulation Lvl 24, Spear of Rot Mastery Lvl 11, Arcane Orb Lvl 20, Haste Lvl 12, Phantom Onslaught Lvl 10, Sweep Lvl 11, Spear Deflect Lvl 5, Empower Lvl 9, Calculated Blow Lvl 11, Roundhouse Kick Lvl 6, Fireball Lvl 3, Magic Missile Lvl 4, Healing Palm Lvl 5, Pollen of the Rafflesia Lvl 2, Edge of Decay Lvl 3, Summon Pestilence Lvl 10
Randidly certainly had a lot of skills now. And some PP saved up. But first things first, he picked up the cat body and the lizard man, grunting at the surprising weight, and began to trudge back towards the boundary.