Glendel watched the city, feeling slightly annoyed.
On behalf of the leader of his group, he had been sent to investigate the two newbie villages that had sprung up so close together here. In the winding, 50 mile trek up here, their group hadn’t seen a single pillar of light. Imagine their surprise when they arrived and found two.
Something was different here, and their leader was cautiously pessimistic. And thus, Glendel was planning on making contact with both. But when he had originally approached the first village, the more civilized seeming one, he had been told to turn around and leave or they would shoot. As he tried to explain himself, they had fired off warning shots, sending him scampering back.
Although he had put some points into End and Vit from finishing paths, he didn’t think he could do something as ridiculous as survive bullets.
Just as he was about to give up, disgusted, something strange happened. The bus that acted as a gate to the city pulled to the side, and a truck drove out, carefully driving in the small, thin path free of monster bodies.
As it pulled off the road and went around on a path, Glendel walked out cautiously, waving his arms. This was different, maybe they had sent someone out to talk with him…
But the truck was ready to pull right passed him, and only stopped when he shouted “Hey!”
Still, it did stop, so Glendel walked to the side, looking into the driver’s seat. A tall, athletic looking black man sat there, dressed in a police uniform. Next to him was a beautiful woman with honey colored skin, that looked oddly familiar.
Glendel offered a nervous smile. “Hey, uh, again. I was just wondering… how do you get into the city.”
The two exchanged a heavy glance.
The officer turned back to Glendel. “Unfortunately...we aren’t accepting any more refugees at this time. If you want shelter, we recommend you head to Donnyton. Actually, we are heading there now, if you need a ride.”
Glendel nodded uncertainly, then got into the back of the cab. The truck pulled away, driving around the hill in a long loop, while the two up front talked in tones too low for Glendel to hear. Instead, he turned and looked at the cargo.
It was…. Glass…?
Randidly’s left arm hung useless at his side, 4 large furrows in his flesh keeping him from being able to move it. And the slashes from the Sphinx came faster and faster. With only one arm, he blocked as well as he could, dispersing the force.
But the Sphinx just teleported behind him and attacked from a different angle. Gritting his teeth, Randidly used Spearing Roots, starting them behind him, so that the sharp attacks rushed towards his back, hidden from the Sphinx’s vision. As the huge paw descended towards him, Randidly raised his spear with his good arm, simultaneously guiding those roots around his body, hugging him as closely as they could, the attacks rushing forward.
Because of that, the Sphinx’s attack hit him almost square on, the training spear given to him by Shal bending dangerously.
But at the same time, several of the spearing roots landed on the its paw, digging into the sphinx’s flesh. It tsk’d in annoyance, shaking its paw, and Randidly used that opportunity to withdraw several potions, downing them all.
Then, as his health surged back upwards, his arm healing, Randidly leapt forward, an Empowered Phantom Onslaught rushing towards the creature.
As soon as it ripped through the roots, however, it teleported away again, his attack hitting nothing but air. Panting, Randidly adjusted his stance and waited. The sphinx just seemed disappointed.
“Heh, heh, heh, you are likely waiting for me to use up my mana, correct? But it is in vain; before the Newbie Barrier drops, I have unlimited mana, so that I would not succumb to any of the other monsters out here. I might not have any regeneration, but my well of mana and stamina will never run dry. And for you, that is bad, bad, bad….”
Randidly lowered his spear slowly. It couldn’t be accidentally doing this, right…? “...And what about your health?”
The sphinx threw its head backwards, laughing. “Hahaha! From your face, you are wondering if it is a trap, yes? That I claim to have no regeneration, and fail to mention infinite health, just infinite stamina and mana. It is no trap; although I am bound, I am still a sphinx. I have my pride. No challenger will be clueless, around me. Although it is a broad term, isn’t it, little sheep? Clueless, clueless, clueless…”
“But, but, but… “ It continued. “That is not to say I cannot heal myself. But until the barrier drops, I am stuck out here, and so I might as well play with you for a while. It gets so dull out here. And the only way to amuse myself… is to eat, eat, eat.”
Then it stretched in a very catlike manner, and began to walk towards him, its eyes gleeful.
Breathing in and breathing out, Randidly looked down the shaft of his spear towards his opponent. It blinked out of existence, and Randidly relaxed, waiting for the sign. Then he felt it, and abruptly looked up.
It had teleported above him, and several fireballs shot down towards him. God, he wished had had a higher resistance right now. He shifted his stance, raising his spear and spinning it in a Spear Deflect. The fireballs crashed against his defense, almost causing it to falter. And he felt his arm being covered in burns, lowering his health.
But he simply willed his spells into motion, Spearing Roots shooting upwards in the area obscured to him by the flames.
“Gah!” The sphinx spat, and Randidly grinned.
About time the fucking thing didn’t do that dumb three of the same words thing.
He rushed through the smoke, seeing several long scratches left on the sphinx’s side as it hopped backwards, and Randidly pursued, rushing forward.
The Sphinx teleported a dozen meters backwards, but Randidly just used Phantom Half step, covering most of that distance, his spear lashing out.
Roaring its fury, The Sphinx spat several more fireballs at him and reared up onto its hind legs, ready to meet him.
But Randidly had immediately teleported backwards with Phantom Half-Step, hopping behind a rock to drink several potions and avoid the vicious flames.
“You… You… You….” The sphinx said, seemingly amused.
Ignoring it, Randidly drank the potions and then opened up his menu.
Spear Mastery up 1, Eyes of the Spear Phantom up 1, Spear Phantom’s Footwork up 2, Phantom Half Step up 3, Dodge and Block both up 2, Haste up 1, Spear Deflect up 3, Empower up 2, Spearing Roots up 1, Root Manipulation up 1, Mana Strengthening up 3, Physical Fitness and Running up 1, Sprinting up 2, and Fire Resistance up 1.
26 pp all told, and he dumped it all into his path, finishing it off.
Congratulations! You have completed the The Meditation Path! +5 to Perception and Reaction. Your mind is clear and your eyes are focused. That path lies ahead may be fraught with difficulties, but you will meet it directly. Effectiveness of Meditation improved. Regeneration has increased to +1.5% per skill level.
There was a slight hesitation then, as Randidly considered what to put his PP into next, but that horrible voice spoke again. “My, my, my…. What is taking so long? Don’t you want to play? Play? Play?”
Grim eyed, Randidly looked towards the Frontrunner path. ‘Reward path, huh…? Well here goes nothing…”
He had 17 PP left, and put them all into it.
To his surprised, he received 8 distributable stat points, one every two levels. If this continued, this path would be worth 50 stat points, without even including the completion bonus!
But then Randidly heard movement, and dumped all of it into agility. He needed the edge in speed or he wouldn’t be able to handle the teleportation.
Rushing forward, Randidly was wearing a crooked grin.
He had missed this. Hanging on by a thread, fighting for his life…
In moments like this, he forgot how much life was lost due to the system, and just enjoyed the primal simplicity of it.