Thomas fired three shots from his Peace Maker with noticeable pauses in between each shot. The pauses between shots gave him time to charge mana into the revolver to increase the damage each shot would deal. It proved futile. The first shot hit the spike-covered bear-like monster square on the head. The bones protruding around its skull provided a fair amount of armor and blocked the bullet with hardly a scratch. The second shot had a fate similar to the first and was easily blocked by the bone-like spikes protecting the monsters head. For the third shot, Thomas aimed at a softer part of the creature. The third and final shot had hit the monsters thickly muscled shoulder. While this shot dealt more damage than the previous two, it was still insignificant. The mana powered shot had only carved out a chunk of flesh about an inch wide and deep.
In short, the gun was completely useless against the beast. Thomas and the monster were still running with Thomas easily maintaining a safe distance so the monster couldn't get into melee and rip him to shreds. Thomas holstered the useless revolver and quickly drew out his short sword. He didn't relish the thought of getting into a melee fight with the thing but it seemed like he had little choice. On the bright side, the bear-thing seemed to be all Power and Endurance with just enough Agility and no Magic. He should be able to dodge its attacks.
With mana coursing through the sword the blade hummed lightly while Thomas turned to face the monster. Without warning the bear-creature lifted it's paw and slashed at Thomas even from a distance of nearly fifty meters. In an instant there was a flash of light and a sonic boom. Thomas felt a pinch on his left shoulder but when he glanced at it he was shocked at the sight. Whatever the monster had done had blasted a hole with a diameter of almost ten centimeters clean through him. His flesh, muscles, and bone have been completely pulverized. It was possible to see clear through the hole.
At first, he felt nothing. The shock of the sudden trauma was just too sudden and his body had no time to react. That didn't last for very long as every thump of his heart pumped blood out of the grievous wound and enhanced the feeling of pain as it grew worse with time. Nausea and dizziness assaulted him causing him to stumble and lose control of his body. Seeing Thomas weakened, the bear-thing growled and started stalking forward to take out its prey and feast.
As Thomas stumbled again and focused on pushing the pain away two large thick wings erupted out of his back. The wings were made of pure energy that flowed and formed into feathers. The spines of the wings were pitch black while the feathers flowed down transitioning from black to grey, and finally to pure white. The sudden appearance of the wings seemed to surprise the monster but it only paused for a moment before continuing to stalk toward Thomas.
Feeling the freedom of his wings being released slightly cleared Thomas's mind. He looked at the monster that was nearly ten meters from him. He dropped his sword onto the ground and started to gather a large amount of energy into his right hand. His left arm was completely useless leaving him little choice. The energy was not normal mana, instead, it was thick, black, and 'evil'. The black energy swirled, compressed, and finally burst like flames surrounding his hand. No heat was emitted but the flame-like appearance danced and flickered.
The monster paused again as an oppressive feeling of danger triggered its instinct for survival. Before the monster could turn to flee in fear, Thomas threw his hand forward. A thick black stream of energy launched from his hand and pierced into the bear-monster. Though the monster was extremely durable against physical damage the Unholy energy had no issue piercing it at all. The Unholy beam caused no physical damage yet the monster let out a heart-rending scream of pain and threw itself to the ground. It rolled around in an attempt to free itself from the pain it was feeling.
Despite the monsters best efforts, the spell could not be broken so easily. As it struggled a red light appeared within the beam of black energy and flowed from the monster and into Thomas's hand. As the red energy sank into his hand it entered his bloodstream. His blood vessels flashed red, glowing bright enough to be seen through his muscles and skin. With every passing moment, the light in his blood vessels grew brighter and traveled deeper into his body. In mere moments every blood vessel in his right arm was glowing bright enough to be seen clearly.
As the seconds passed the monster became weaker, its cries becoming more pitiful. At the same time, the glow in Thomas's blood vessels spread from his arm to his shoulder, across his chest, up his neck, through his heart, and into his left shoulder. The light gathered at the gaping wound in his shoulder and flooded out. Slowly the wound began to heal at an increased rate and began to close. Anyone seeing Thomas at the moment would be convinced he was an evil demon sent to destroy the world. The glowing blood vessels on his neck grew further moving into his eyes and causing them to glow bright red.
The monsters struggles became weaker, its cries of pain growing softer, and it's body slowly collapsing in on itself as its vitality is drained and passed to Thomas. The ferocious and hungry look in the eyes of the monster had changed to pure fear as its life faded into nothing. With a final pitiful wail, the monster wheezed out its last breath and died.
The moment it died the black stream of energy snapped as the target of the spell became invalid. With the spell ended, Thomas felt drained of his mana and collapsed onto his knees while breathing heavily. Using Unholy magic didn't use mana by directly converting it like other elements but it still cost mana to use it. Draining the monster had used nearly ninety percent of his total mana pool. That combined with the previous wound left Thomas feeling mentally and physically drained.
While catching his breath he pulled a weak healing potion out of his inventory. He looked at his wounded shoulder and was surprised to find that the large wound had vanished and become nothing more than an inflamed red spot. Draining the monster had healed his wound almost completely. The glow in his blood vessels was slowly fading away as the energy was used up healing the last vestiges of the wound. Thomas returned the potion to his inventory and looked over at the corpse on the ground. Snowlily had come out of hiding and was sniffing around it. The monster's body had collapsed and become little more than skin and bones thanks to being drained.
After sniffing the corpse for a bit, Snowlily slowly and carefully approached Thomas. She looked nervous and a bit scared as she looked at him. Thomas smiled softly as he whispered, "Don't worry Snowlily, it's safe now."
She walked up to him with her tail drooping. As he held a hand out to her she sniffed at it for a moment before giving it a little lick. Thomas couldn't help smiling warmly as his heart melted a bit, "I'm fine, there's no need to worry about me."
As soon as he spoke, Snowlily stepped away from him and turned her head to the side with a little huff. Though she didn't speak a word her tsundere like behavior seemed to say, 'Who would be worried about you?! I was just seeing how you tasted so if you died I'd know if you were edible or not!'
Of course, that was all purely in his imagination and was probably just a delusion. While he smiled at the thought of Snowlily behaving like that he stayed kneeling on the ground with his wings spread out to recover. He'd decided to keep them out for the time being. He was in the middle of nowhere with no one in sight. Could there possibly be a better time for him to give them a try?
Once he no longer felt too weak he climbed to his feet and made his way over to the monster's corpse. He had no idea what the monster really was or if any part of it was valuable. Thomas retrieved his sword and used it to cut off the monsters head as proof of his conquest. Maybe he could turn it in for a quest or something. With the monster dead and drained, the sword easily lopped off its head. Like cutting through an old dried out piece of wood. He tossed the bloodless head into his inventory after sheathing his sword.
Thomas kneeled down and scooped up Snowlily into his arms. Once she was secure he aimed his hand at the remains of the corpse and used the 'flamethrower' spell to torch the corpse. He watched it burn until it became nothing more than ash and a scorch mark. With the fight finished and the corpse dealt with, he walked over to the side of the road and started to flex his wings. He'd never flown with wings before but the game had granted him the instincts necessary to do so.
The wings were extremely flexible. Although he could feel them like they were made of flesh and blood, he could also bend and flex them like they were made of pure energy. They were solid and could collide with objects and each other but at the same time he could twist and turn them in ways that would be impossible if they were flesh and bone. Once he had a feel for moving them around as he willed, he stretched them out to the sides and slowly flapped them up and down.
With the gentle flaps, he could feel the wings trying to generate lift to free him from the grip of gravity. He only needed to flap them a little harder to take off. Thomas bents his knees and crouched down while extending his wings up into the air. As his leg and wing muscles tightened, he pushed off of the ground and swung his wings down at the same moment. The powerful burst from the four appendages sent him flying nearly thirty meters up into the air. Thomas straightened and steadied his wings while gravity reclaimed its hold on him. Slowly and gently he glided forward as he descended towards the ground. The feeling of the wind flowing along his wings was indescribable.
The fall was so gentle that he managed to land nearly half a kilometer away from where he'd leaped up into the air. Thomas laughed happily to himself. If nothing else he could just leap up high and glide forward if he didn't want to expend the effort to fly! That would be a complete waste though! Like almost all humans, Thomas had the innate desire to fly through the air without the use of a plane. He'd managed such feats in other games with the use of things like hang gliders and magic but never before had he been able to do it with nothing but his own body.
Thomas's heart started to beat in excitement as he once more crouched down while lifting his wings up. With another great leap, he launched himself into the air. As he came to the apex of his jump he flapped his wings powerfully and pushed himself up even higher. With every beat of his wings, his altitude grew higher and higher until he hovered nearly a kilometer above the ground. He looked down at the ground from a height similar to standing on the roof of a one hundred story building and laughed.
Snowlily peeked down from within the firm embrace of his arms and gave a howl that sounded like equal parts excitement and fear. It reminded Thomas of the screams of people riding on roller coasters. Thomas laughed boisterously and began to flap his wings with even more power to push them forward. He was flying! His whole body carved through the air as he gained speed while continuing to follow the road to the south.
He had to make sure that no one would be able to catch him though, explaining his wings to a fellow player wouldn't be a problem, but explaining it to an NPC would cause nothing but problems. To protect himself he activated his 'All Seeing Eyes' and used his magnified vision to scout the area ahead of him. Thanks to his increased altitude he could see extremely far into the distance and would have plenty of time to land, change course, or fly higher if he spotted someone on the road.