I made it to the third-floor gap again where Korren waited for me.
“Back so soon? I thought you’d be gone at least a day licking your wounds or attempting to find enough diamonds to buy and sword or war hammer.”
“I’m fine with my bow, thanks.”
“I also see your little army of recharge cubes behind you.” She waved at them with a smile. The wiggled in reply.
I’d released 8 recharge cubes and given them the names Al, Doh, Tray, Qua, Sin, Say, Set, Ouch. That last one was supposed to be Oach but somehow Al managed to pull my hair as I named it.
Are we ready?
I think we’re ready!
Ogee. I hope we get used.
Being used is the best!
A vein ticked in my forehead.
Korren chuckled. “You’re not very good at controlling them are you?”
“I’m good enough.”
The doors to the boss room opened and I entered.
The drumbeat started almost immediately and I positioned myself as far from Korren as I could.
“Having so many recharge cubes out might a nice crutch for you, but what do you think will happen to them when you die?”
“Huh? Wouldn’t they returned to my inventory like my bow does?”
“Your bow and your inventory are soul-bound. Those recharge cubes are very much not bound to your soul.”
I looked at my yellow spinning cubes. I’d used two earlier to test them out and if I lost these 8 I’d be down to 59. But if it aided in defeating Korren, and helped me to understand how they work, their loss was worth it. Not that I liked the idea. Using sentient things to charge my weapon made me uncomfortable, even knowing they were annoying magic boxes that wanted to be used.
The gong crashed and I dove down.
Here we go!
I focused on getting away from Korren as fast as I could.
“I told you to shut up while I’m fighting. Ouch!”
Yeah, you did.
Oooo! Here I go!
A yellow cube to my left spun and brightened, then it shot into my weapon.
Koren erratically zigzagged through the vine tiles above me. She hefted her war hammer. It was one of her most dangerous weapons if she could get close enough to use it.
I aimed at her and waited until she closed the distance. When I knew I had her I fired. She dissolved and reappeared a few blocks away, sword in hand.
I bolted down and nearly ran into a vine trap before sidestepping it. My bow charged on its own.
I turned to fire but her sword charged. An idea struck me. I waited until she came close enough then released my arrow.
She swung and a row of squares around her lit with energy. My blast slammed into it, not hitting her at all.
Oooo! here I go!
My bow recharged. As soon as the blocks around Korren disappeared I loosed another arrow.
She vanished and reappeared with a bow in hand and a smirk on her face.
A chill ran down my spine. I couldn’t let her get me again.
At that thought, she tossed a metal egg at me. I bolted away from it. It landed where I had been and exploded. The heat of its blast licked my back.
After running straight down for ten blocks a glowing arrow appeared nocked in my bow. I pulled back to fire but she was out of range, with her own arrow pulled back.
If she was out of my range then I must be out of hers.
She released and I had just enough forethought to dodge left before her energy blast hit my block.
I bolted downward.
I couldn’t believe that her bow had a larger range than mine. Had I not noticed it last time because she killed me through a TNT blast?
Wait. I stopped. Since she no longer had a charged weapon I could kill her without fearing her.
My realization came too late as she’d already started zigzagging. I kept a careful eye on her and attempted to move erratically myself.
Oh gee, you’re trying!
The voice almost distracted me from noticing how close Korren was to a TNT box.
Just before she fell within the range of the crate, I fired.
It blew up taking her with it. Even from where I stood I could smell the blast and feel its heat.
When she appeared on the map again she had a strange weapon. It looked like a small sickle on a huge chain connected to a heavy metal ball.
“What is that?”
I considered activating Say but decided to actually see this new weapon in action first. Worst case, she hit me and I teleported elsewhere.
“Kusarigama, also known as the chain-sickle. It seems like such an unusual weapon doesn’t it? At least to you. And frankly, its range is nowhere near that of the bow. But it’s very versatile.”
I backed away from her and collected an energy orb to replenish my slowly depleting durability.
She backed away too and became parallel with me, almost as if inviting me to kill her. Her weapon glowed and she spun the weighted end over her head.
Bio: I'm an artist and a retired game industry professional. I also enjoy drinking tea while I write/edit and sometimes coffee. If you enjoy my stories in any way and feel like treating me to some Matcha, Earl Grey (hot), Almond Milk Tea, or Royal Milk Tea then please support me on ko-fi. Your donation will go towards fueling me creatively, and if there are enough donations then I will use it for things like an actual illustrator to make a better cover. *This dragon author does not expect any donations, so any that are given are especially appreciated!*