Randidly stepped gracefully forward, weaving in between two of the mini-yetis. Their faces contorted in fury, they shaped their mouths into an O and blew, producing a cone of frost. Grimacing, Randidly used Phantom Half step on a distant mini-yeti to dodge the skills aimed at him, and then used Ghastly Slash, whipping the head of his spear downward toward the back of one of the offending mini-yetis.
Truly, as he slashed, the air howled with the passage of his spear, and when the skill struck it, the monster was split in half. Randidly gained a skill level in Ghastly Slash, and continued turning, slashing again, taking another mini-yeti in the waist, cutting it in half.
But unfortunately, before Randidly’s slaughter of the mini-yeti’s continued, their Yeti leader arrived, furious.
Roaring, it smashed its fist downward towards Randidly, aiming to crush him. Which, considering that the Yeti’s arm was the size of Randidly’s entire body, was possible if he were hit. The Yeti produced a frost aura as well, that slowed enemies when it neared, making it very difficult to battle.
But Randidly still had few tricks up his sleeve. Randidly activated Pierce the Heavens, Shatter the Earth, leaping upward in a blur, led by the sharp tip of his spear. Somehow the Yeti had the Perception to see the attack coming, and leaned its head backwards out of the way. As opposed to ripping a large gash in its throat, Randidly’s spear only traced a thin line of blood up its hairy cheek.
Chiding himself on failing to use Haste and Empower prior to the move, Randidly began to fall, spear pointing at the ground. He smashed into the earth with a huge crack, between several mini yetis. The ground cracked and buckled, and a shockwave exploded outward, knocking the mini-yetis away like they were made of paper.
As the Shockwave dispersed, Randidly dismissed the notification for gaining a level in the skill and downed a stamina potion, preparing for an extended battle. But instead of an attack from the Yeti, he only found it kneeling next to its fallen little children, keening in a soft voice.
Then, its eyes narrowed, it looked up at him with naked hatred.
“Don’t go soft on me now. You came here to kill me, did you not? If you weren’t willing to risk being devoured, why have you come?”
Vibrating with barely controlled fury, the Yeti stood. Then it raised its hands, and a vortex of ice formed, swirling downwards. After several seconds of this, a giant blue hammer, made entirely of ice was formed, and the Yeti snatched it out of the air. After spinning it expertly, as if it was made of nothing, the yeti bellowed a challenge and rushed towards Randidly.
The hammer of ice swept sideways towards Randidly, but he did not retreat. No, with the increase in stats gained from Equiping the Spine-Spear, Randidly wanted to know just what the limit of his strength was.
He Hasted himself, and Empowered himself, and used Sweep, the huge bone spear and ice hammer swinging towards one another. They met was a loud boom, both weapons vibrating uncontrollable.
Unfortunately Randidly stumbled back, the webbing between his thumb and forefinger torn by the impact.
“Just a little short, huh…?” He mumbled, his eyes burning. The Yeti seemed slightly shocked by this too, and changed his stance, preparing to attack more seriously.
Grinning wildly, Randidly beckoned the Yeti, imitating its haughty air from earlier.
They hurried through the darkened streets, heading for the edge of town. Lyra’s powerful mana sense could detect anyone with even a thread of mana, so they easily avoided all the patrols. It wasn’t until an explosion occured to the south, where Lyra sensed the Randidly projection had gone, before the alarm was really raised, and it didn’t seem like it was related to them escaping.
Large booms continued to echo outward from the area, and their group used this cover to escape. After downing one of Randidly’s signature health potion, Kraig had recovered most of his usual vigor, and was able to jog along with the rest of them.
However, after a particularly loud boom, the party was forced to stop as Constance fell to his knees. A low groan escaped from his mouth, unable to be shaped by a tongue, and soundly oddly animalistic.
Lyra frowned down at him. What…?
But just then she heard a gasp and tuned. Kraig was staggering, holding his chest. Both Kal and Vivian looked decidedly uncomfortable. “What’s wrong?”
“It feels…” Kraig gasped, his lungs heaving. “Like something is being ripped out of me…!”
Vivian winced. “Mine’s not so bad as that Just… a weird grinding. LIke I can feel myself developing high blood pressure.”
Her frown deepening, Lyra activated her skill, Eyes of Wonder, the skill that had lead to everything else. The skill she had gained from looking at Randidly.
She could now see the utmost details in the flow of energy in their bodies. The swirl of mana, the pulse of Stamina. But beyond that, she saw the thin veins of that insidious, addicting violet energy that people gathered ambiently. Based on its significant presence in all of their bodies, they all had obtained classes.
Lyra had noticed that obtaining classes gave people another source for this violet energy, which had both simultaneously made her want to get one immediately, and never get one ever. Her use of it already felt… dangerous. If she had access to more...
As her attention sharpened on these veins of violet energy, thin and weak in Kal and Vivian, much thicker and more prevalent in Kraig, Lyra could make out several small, rough looking, black particles,flowing along from whatever source the violet energy came from, depositing themselves in the people’s bodies.
But when Lyra turned to Constance, the blood drained from her face. He had two veins, one so thick it had blossomed into a whirlpool in his chest. In his body, those small black particles flowed outward, more and more and more. At this point, those violet veins were only half energy, and the other half this strange substance.
Lyra turned back to Kal and Vivian. “You two have classes?”
Vivian blushed, looking at the ground. “Yes.”
“What are they?”
Vivian’s blush deepened, her gaze still on the ground. “...mine’s Consort.”
Lyra snorted and turned to Kal. “And you?”
“...mine’s also consort.” He said, all the while meeting her gaze defiantly.
Lyra burst out laughing. Then she shook herself, refocusing. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to mock these two arrogant individuals. Although the idea of the two of them engaging in… activities with Constance…
She spared Constance a glance. He was, without a doubt, the most vanilla person she had ever seen in terms of appearance. If this were the world prior to the system, Hollywood would have given him work as a background extra as long as he wanted it.
Sighing, Lyra reached out with her perception, towards the true body of Kim-Lath. When she felt its rising energies, her worst fears were confirmed.
“I think…” Lyra said, hesitating. “I think your VIllage Spirit... got eaten.”
She didn’t feel guilt, per se, even though this was her fault. No, what she felt was responsibility. Because although Turtletown had lost its spirit, Donnyton had gained the location of their tribulation. And with that…
Lyra’s eyes blazed azure and violet, the energies within her twining together.
With that, she would exact swift revenge.
Nul gasped and stood, knocking over the table that he and Daniel had been playing chess on.
“Prepare for battle,” He whispered, looking wide eyed at Daniel.
As Daniel opened his mouth to reply, Glendel rushed in, looking flustered. “Daniel….! There are monsters everywhere-!”
“Call the Council.” Daniel said grimly, his voice only trembling slightly with fear. Had it been Daniel from a month ago, he would have panicked. But now he had grown accustomed to such emergencies. “Is anyone out on Patrol?”
“Decklan is.” Glendel whispered. “And his squad was right where the monster’s appeared. His squad has already suffered 2 casualties. I’ve guided him towards an area to escape, but-”
“Enough.” Daniel’s frown deepened. If it was enemies at the level that it was threatening Decklan’s squad...“Wait until the Council gets here, then explain.”
Then Daniel’s gaze turned to Nul. “What do you know?”
“Just that Donnyton’s tribulation has come… and it is strong.” Nul said simply. “I would like to remind you that the victory and loss is determined only by two lives; my own and the Tribulation. Whichever of us survives, gains the village. Either it continues as a village, or…”
Nul closed his mouth, his face taken on that pained expression he had when he said too much. Daniel frowned. This… was new information. So what Nul was essentially saying was everyone was essentially expendable but him, huh.
Well fuck that.