Unlike the other boss rooms, the light hadn’t been tinted with a color. The walls, the crystal blocks, and even the dark traps all appeared brighter on both my mind map and through my regular sight. The familiar line of boulders rested above me. What struck me the most was that Nenvari wasn’t visible on my map. Did I need to find him?
The drumbeat started, and I tensed. I focused my perception on searching for him. Obviously, he wasn’t hiding behind the TNT boxes, the mushroom traps or the random bird nest, so where was he?
When the gong’s bass rumbled through my body, I burrowed down.
Within 10 blocks my weapon charged and Nenvari came into view. At my current durability, I could only move 44 more blocks before I needed another energy orb.
He waited for me, white robes flowing around him a smirk on his face.
“Why are you down here? Shouldn’t you have started with me?”
“Whoever said the way things have been done before now was the only way they could be done?”
Before he finished speaking, I pulled back and fired at him. He disappeared. Within a second he’d had teleported to a new location but in complicated armor lined with silver. Instead of the sword, he carried an already charged pistol. Light attributed mana floated around him like clouds.
“And you call yourself strong?”
“Oh, Miss Knight,” he said, flying three squares toward me. “I always like to give up one armor charge. It makes my opponent believe they’ve got me.”
He shot me, and my vision changed. My eyes widened. He moved another three squares. His gun, which was different from the one Korren had, charged again. “So soon?”
“I’m sorry, Miss Knight but my Queen needs these children. My country needs these children. It needs people like you.”
He fired again, and even though I ran in a zigzag, he still hit me. With two armor charges down I had 2 to go.
I didn’t let being hit again stop me from flying further. When I was 10 away, he finally couldn’t hit me, but I could now only go 28 more blocks before I needed a recharge. I couldn’t see an energy orb on my expanded map.
He fired once more, but I just managed to dodge out of the way.
I shot at him, but he vanished. I barely stopped myself from hitting a dark trap.
He reappeared 10 blocks closer to me, and a chill ran down my spine. That wasn’t teleportation from his armor that was actual teleportation.
He shrugged. “You can use teleportation. Why shouldn’t I?”
I ground my teeth and flew further down. When he aimed at me, I used my own teleport to travel a few squares lower.
My bow charged and I fired at him. He teleported again just before my blast hit, as if it wasn’t a bother. A playful smile appeared on his face.
How could he be this powerful?
I tightened my grip on my bow. “Set!”
He fired. I did the same. Our blasts canceled each other out... Well, they almost didn’t. Once my shot cleared, I noticed that if I’d stood just two blocks closer, he would have hit me. That urged me to run again, this time go lower and hope I ran into another energy orb.
Just why hadn’t I focused more on increasing my durability?
“Say!” I yelled, but it was too late. I teleported 6 blocks away from where I’d been.
Only 1 armor left.
As I ran down, he fired at me again, and I blasted back. My aim was off but he also missed.
After running for so long, and needing to sidestep as many traps as I had, I had 10 durability left.
“Sin.” I needed to calm down.
He flew at me. I fired. He teleported too close to me. I could feel the heat coming off his weapon. I backed up two blocks, and the world around me froze.
You are out of durability. Want me to save you?
Light surrounded me, and I had a charged pickaxe again, but I was down 1 of my 11 Death Saves.
Nenvari’s laughter reverberated through the mine.
I pulled back on my bow and fired at him, completely missing.
Despite not liking the Death Mind technique I really needed to think clearly, so I touched thumb to middle finger. That was when Nenvari and I began to dance. He moved forward, I moved back. He fired, I fired. He almost killed me two more times, taking my last armor and using my second use of my Death Saves.
Soon I had only Al left from my named weapon Recharge Cubes, and I called for him.
Ooooo yeah! Finally, my turn!
I aimed for Nenvari and fired, but he teleported. We were almost in the same block.
He yawned. “Haven’t you had enough of this, Miss Knight?”
I cast Minor Shock on him. He gritted his teeth and froze in place. I took out another recharge cube.
Just as he came out of the stun, I fired. He reappeared 7 blocks away in another set of armor, this one more fantastic than the last with sharp angles and light attributed magic wings stretching out of his back. He held a blood red sword and pointed it at me.
“Nice try, Miss Knight. Because you’ve worked so hard I’ve decided to let you see the final form I’m allowed to take within the mine.”
A ball of energy appeared on the tip of his sword, and he stabbed toward me. I ran once more and collected the single recharge orb I’d been able to find.
When the ball was inches from my head, I could feel the sparks of magic radiating off it. I had a feeling that if this thing even brushed my skin, I’d be dead even if I still had any armor charges left.
You are about to die. Want me to save you?
Time rewound to where the ball was in the previous block then the squares around me in a two square radius turned to glass.
I pulled out 8 more recharge cubes and named them.
Oooo! We’re ready!
Yeah, we are!
“That glass isn’t going to save you for much longer. Others have tried, you know, but none have beaten me in this form. Actually, none have even gotten to this form.”
“Whatever,” I yelled and bolted toward an obsidian boulder. “Ouch!”
Here I go!
I pressed up against the cold stone and pulled back on my bow. After aiming, I released. He once more raised his sword and threw that ball at me. It went right through the boulder.
I soared further down. “Set!”
The next time he fired at me I shot back. His orb of unyielding destruction blew past my energy blast like it was a light breeze.
I flew through the glass and just made it to a recharge orb before he once more shot me.
“This is going to get tedious, Ms. Knight.”
“Then give up!” I yelled back.
He chuckled. “I know! I shall switch things up instead.”
Winds of energy spiraled around his sword.
Oh. I had a bad feeling about this.
I bolted as far away from him as I could.
He released the spiral energy, and it tore through every block it hit. Not even at my most awesome could my weapon destroy blocks like this attack could.
I swallowed and used my magic to teleport away, just before the spiraling spear of hurricane force could carry me away with an awfully severe possible death.
After swallowing hard, I said, “Blowing wind at me now?”
“If that doesn’t suit your taste then why don’t you try my lightning?”
He raised his hand above his head, and an enormous ball formed that looked like a miniaturized thunderstorm.
I grinned. “Lightning needs line of sight!”
“Maybe yours does. Mine is a little more… advanced.”
Right, though I was sure he was limited in what he could use in this country bubble, I needed to remember that this guy still had two thousand years to level his magic.
Not wanting to get hit by whatever effects that lightning would give me, I flew in the zigzag pattern Korren taught me.
The ball appeared in the square where I had been going but missed me entirely. That was when it burst and spread out.
His shock spell actually killed me, but mine would barely stun him! This was so not fair.
I stepped out of the glass cage and once again caught the wrong side of a thunderstorm.
I tightened my grip on my bow and growled. With this near death, I noticed that it spread in a 4 block radius.
I broke out of my glass cage and said, “Isn’t that attack getting a little boring for you?”
“I’m certain you wish I’d stop.”
He tried it again, but this time I escaped the radius before it hit. Unfortunately, he’d prepared for that and somehow figured where I’d dodge. A wind spear flew towards me.
This was getting out of hand. I was down too many lives. Somehow I needed to reverse his momentum.
This time I readied a weapon charge and teleported out of my glass cage so I’d be within range. I aimed and released. He didn’t even bother teleporting, he just stepped left, out of the way with a smirk.
“Tch.” I flew down, collected another energy orb, sidestepped a mushroom trap and grabbed a cold steel boulder.
He sent another ball of light speeding towards me.
Again, I readied my weapon aimed and released. Again he dodged left, only this time he immediately shot back. I didn’t have enough mana to teleport or time to avoid it.
He was so overpowered that even with my bow charged there was nothing I could do. I was going to lose. I’d become their country's mage, they’d probably put me under a thrall like Nenvari so I wouldn’t control my own actions. And Matt and I would never see mom and dad again!
I bit my lip. And the water in my eye, that was totally from dust and not at all from all the hopelessness I felt.
I once again charged my bow.
Nenvari flew closer and to the right to be above me.
“Let’s put a stop to this, Miss Knight. You’ve been through so much pain and death already. We both know you’re going to lose, but you don’t have to die. Just say the word, and I will spirit you away to my garden.”
That was when I noticed something. A mistake. Something so small only the most powerful being wouldn’t consider it a possibility. Especially if he were under a thrall that had him in a state of near concussion all the time. There was a dark trap above him, and he was directly to the right of a line of boulders, and he was two blocks left from a TNT crate. Of course, my plan hinged on what I noticed him continuously doing over the past few attempts I’d made.
I slowly flew up, so there was only one crystal block between Nenvari and myself.
“You think you’re so strong don’t you?”
He opened his arms wide. “Haven’t I proven to you that I am?”
“You’re not, Prince Nenvari. You’re weak in a very significant way. I bet I could even kill you using my weakest spell.”
He smirked as if thoroughly entertained. “Oh? As far as I know, you don’t have any real damaging—”
I grinned wide and shot up at him. Instead of teleporting, he dodged left, just like he had been doing, towards the TNT crate while I cast Candlelight just barely inside it. The explosion blasted through his square.