Thomas took a moment to examine the classic dungeon monsters in front of him. There were a total of five skeletons within the room he'd just entered and not all of them were the same. The first two skeletons were wielding a shield in one hand and a longsword in the other. The longsword was covered in rust, chips, and cracks while the wooden shield had a massive crack with a broken axe sticking out of it. The other shield-wielding skeleton's sword and shield were in similar condition, though it's shield had a few broken arrow shafts sticking out of it. Both of their skeletal bodies wore scraps of rotted plate mail. Next to them stood a skeleton wielding two shortswords. Both swords in terrible condition while it appeared to be a miracle that the leather armor it wore managed to stay on.

Behind the three melee skeletons stood two ranged ones. The first was an archer wielding a short bow that looked like it would snap in half with the first pull. The quiver hanging from its waist was filled with rotted and frayed arrows. Its leather armor was in a similar condition to the duel wielding melee skeleton. Next to the archer stood a skeleton wearing ripped and rotted black robes while holding a staff with a cracked grey gem topping it. The only thing all five skeletons had in common were two glowing green fires flickering within their eye sockets.

Thomas was rather surprised by the composition of the group of skeletons. Three frontline fighters with two rear line fighters. It seemed to be mimicking a standard party composition with tanks and damage dealers, all they were missing was a healer. Skeletons posed a small problem for some fighters. They were notorious for being hard to damage with weapons meant to stab like daggers since they had nothing to actually stab. They were hard to slice for similar reasons, though it was possible to break parts of them with a slashing attack. The best way to deal with skeletons was to crush their bones with a blunt weapon such as a hammer, mace, or greatsword.

Thomas didn't have a blunt weapon on him or in his inventory but that didn't really matter. Stepping into the room he unsheathed his shortsword and started to channel mana into it. The shortsword took on a soft glow and began to whine as the air blades began to circulate around it. The moment he stepped into the room the group of skeletons all focused their flaming eye sockets onto him. The two shield-wielding skeletons charged directly at him with the dual wielder following closely behind them. The archer drew a half-rotted arrow and nocked it in its bow. The gem on the staff of the mage skeleton started to glow black as it was lifted up.

Thomas observed for a brief moment. The shield warrior skeletons were somewhat quick, but not quick enough to pose a problem to him. The dual sword skeleton seemed to be faster but was holding back to let the shield warriors get to him first. The archer fired as soon as it had its bow fully drawn while the mage fired off a bolt of black energy, probably Unholy magic. Thomas quickly accelerated to his left to dodge the arrow and spell before rushing toward one of the shield warriors. With a quick slash, he easily cleaved through the wooden shield and the arm holding it up. The skeleton's jaw clacked but it showed no other reaction to the normally debilitating injury. Instead, it haphazardly swung the longsword it held at Thomas.

Thomas leaned to the side to dodge the sword while swinging his up at the same time to cleave the skeletons other arm off. Even with both of its arms missing the skeleton still tried to attack Thomas aggressively. As Thomas went for the kill the archer and mage fired another volley of attacks at him forcing him to retreat to dodge them. The arrow was easily dodged but the black bolt slammed into the armless skeleton. The moment the bolt hit the skeleton glowed black while its arms began to regrow.

Seeing that, Thomas sighed. It seemed like the party of skeletons actually did have a healer. Well, that only made sense. It was common for negative or unholy energy to heal the undead while positive or holy energy would hurt them. Thomas had access to Holy magic, but using it in the middle of the city would just draw unwanted attention. Thomas turned and faced the two ranged attackers. It was standard practice in any game to kill the healer first. The mage must die!

Thomas bent his knees and sprinted forward charging directly at the mage in the back lines. It took no time at all for him to appear before the mage and slash with his sword. In the middle of his slash, a cold feeling assaulted the back of his neck. Thomas leaped to the left and rolled away from the mage to land in a crouch. Where he'd been just a moment before was a sixth skeleton. This skeleton wore all black rotted armor and a ragged cloak with a crooked and chipped dagger in each hand. A rogue class!

Thomas reached up and touched the back of his neck feeling his own warm and sticky blood coat his fingers. The wound was small but if he'd been a moment later his spine could have been severed. Even if the blow, somehow, wasn't fatal it would have easily paralyzed him. While he examined the wound the rogue class skeleton turned and immediately charged at him. Compared to the other skeletons the rogue was significantly faster. As it charged at him, Thomas got both feet beneath him and dashed forward once more. The slash of his sword left a glowing blur behind as it sliced through the air. The rogue managed to get its daggers up to guard but they provided no protection as Thomas's sword easily sliced through them and the skeletons head behind them.

The force of the blow sent the rogue flying in pieces as the flames went out in its eyes. The mage might be able to heal but it likely couldn't resurrect the rogue... But just in case Thomas continued his dash forward and slashed down with his sword bisecting the skeleton mage in half from head to pelvis. He then spun to his right and intercepted one of the short swords from the dual-wielding skeleton. Thomas took a swift step back and spun to his right to easily bisect the archer skeleton in half. Just having to cut through a spine without all the skin, muscle, and organs in the way made it so much easier. The archer skeleton collapsed but the green flames still flickered inside of its eye sockets.

For now, Thomas ignored the disabled archer and turned his focus to the remaining three skeletons. The dual sword skeleton was the fastest of the three and one of the shield skeletons was still missing most of its arms. It seemed like one blast from the mage wasn't enough to fully heal the damage that had been dealt. Still, despite being weaponless the armless shield skeleton was still coming toward Thomas at a quick speed. Thomas moved to intercept the dual sword skeleton their swords colliding. Thomas sliced through the sword in the skeletons right hand while its left hand slashed at a different angle and aimed for his waist.

Thomas swung his left hand across his body while coating it in steel using his Metal Magic. He easily caught the heavily damaged blade in his hand and crushed it with a squeeze. Seeing one of its weapons destroyed had no effect on the skeleton at all it just drew its arm back and slashed with its remaining weapon. Thomas slashed faster cleaving the skeletons head from its neck in a relatively easy blow. The skull spun through the air with the flames fading from its eye sockets.

Left with only two skeletons remaining, one of which was literally disarmed, Thomas swiftly moved toward the only armed shield warrior. It lifted its shield and charged at Thomas with the clear intention to shield bash him. Thomas came to a stop and lifted his leg while cocking it back. Once the skeleton was in range he kicked out with as much force as he could muster. His foot slammed into the shield and was followed by several loud cracks as the shield and skeletons arm were both shattered completely.

Thomas regained his footing as the skeleton slashed with its sword. He countered by slicing through the skeletons ulna and radius completely disarming the skeleton. From there it was a simple matter to defeat the two ex-shield warrior skeletons as they had no way to fight back at all. Thomas looked around and was surprised to see that the archer skeleton was still alive and using its arms to crawl toward him. He nonchalantly walked over and stabbed his sword into the archer's skull to finish it off.

The entire fight had taken less than a handful of seconds with the speed that everyone had been moving at. Thomas stayed cautious and looked around a bit longer while the skeletons disintegrated and left behind their mana crystals. He was wary of another ambush by a rogue type skeleton. After a short time passed with nothing happening, he relaxed his guard and started to collect the mana crystals off of the dungeon's floor. The mana crystals from the skeletons were a fair bit larger than the ones he'd gotten from the other two dungeons. However, instead of a dark purple color, they were nearly black.

Thomas stored all but one of the crystals so he could examine the last one. Judging by the color of the crystal his best guess was that it contained far more impurities than the previous ones he'd found. Given it was from an undead it kind of made sense. However, the previous ones he'd found had been about the size of the tip of his thumb. The ones from the skeletons were nearly three times that size. They should be worth more and be harder to get than the others. Though he didn't have too much trouble dealing with the skeletons, they worked in a group and even had a sneaky rogue type that would try to sneak attack people.

Thomas stored the last crystal and turned to look at Snowlilly. She'd spent the whole fight sitting at the entrance to the room. She was simply far too weak at the moment to participate in a battle against the skeletons. If she did it would only end badly so she had, very wisely, stayed put and not drawn any attention to herself. Thomas knelt down next to her and stroked her little head with the palm of his hand. She squinted her eyes and tilted her head into the rubbing.

"Good job staying out of the fight Snowlily. We can't have anything happening to you."

After he finished stroking her head he climbed back to his feet and froze. Standing in the pathway leading into the room was a familiar woman. Just the sight of her caused him to narrow his eyes and reach for the revolver on his hip. If she showed the slightest sign of aggression he wouldn't hesitate to fill her full of holes. Despite being in the middle of the city there were no guards in the dungeon to stop crimes from happening. Thomas started to move further into the room and away from the entrance with Snowlily following close on his heels. If it came to a fight he wanted to make sure he had enough room to move.

The red-headed wolf-woman slowly walked into the room. As soon as she was inside, Thomas pulled his Peace Maker out of its holster and cocked the hammer while aiming it at her head. She showed no reaction at all, which proved to Thomas that she was an NPC and not a player. A player would instantly recognize the threat the revolver posed. For the woman, it was a strange item that didn't look like any weapon she'd ever seen before. No blade, no arrows, so it should pose a minimal threat to her. At best it was a magic item of some sort.

The two silently watched each other until it started to become rather awkward. Finally, the woman spoke, "Why do you have a Garou following you?"

Thomas narrowed his glowing blue eyes as his anger and mana began to churn, "None of your business."

With his glowing eyes narrowed and the gloomy atmosphere combined with the aura of anger he was giving off, the wolf-woman felt her hair stand on end while her tail stiffened. Still, she pressed on, "It is my business. The Garou are the honored ancestors of my tribe. We've thought they were long gone, but here one is. What's more, she's following a human. There is something very wrong with this situation. You will tell me, even if I have to force it out of you."


A single gunshot echoed in the dungeon room.

A note from thomasdarkrose

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About the author


  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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