Jason felt the blood drain from his face as he spotted a towering figure in the distance. It was a giant made up of an agglomeration of bones. Each step shook the ground. Even though it was far away, Jason could still feel the tremors. A giant screen was above its head.
Behemoth - Level 80 Field Boss
Domination Required: 50
The behemoth required a shocking amount of domination to control. Before it could spot Jason, he retreated and headed in another direction. A single step from the behemoth would crush his hounds. His army would be annihilated if he fought.
As he traveled, he encountered another necromancer. This time he took the aggro of the necromancer’s minions while he sent his own to zerg the necromancer. It was a short fight. After around an hour, he exited the bone wasteland. Looking back, he shook his head. That field boss must have been in the center. I’ll come back when I’m stronger. I wonder what loot it drops?
Not long after, he found a dirt path. A sign of civilization. After hesitating slightly, he followed it and soon found himself standing in front of a graveyard. It was full of broken down tombstones made of stone and wood. As soon as he stepped foot into the graveyard, a hand broke out of a grave, followed by a head, torso and legs. Unlike the skeletons, it had flesh. It was a zombie.
Just as Jason was about to send the command for his minions to attack, the zombie moaned slowly. “Halt... Who goes there...?”
Jason nearly fell to the ground in surprise. After seeing that the zombie had no inclination to attack, he stepped forward. “Hello. I’m an ascender.”
The zombie’s eyebrows slowly rose. “An ascender…! Freddy… quickly wake up…!”
Another hand suddenly broke through the ground of a nearby grave. A zombie slowly stood up. “What is it….? I was sleeping…”
“Freddy… this is no time for sleeping… an ascender has arrived…!” The zombie raised his arm to point at Jason.
“An ascender…? Are you crazy…?” The zombie faced Jason. His eyes popped out of his head and fell to the ground. They rolled to Jason’s feet and looked up at him. “It really is…!”
The zombie slowly walked over and picked up his eyes before popping them back in. Jason watched in mute shock at the scene before him. He’d never heard of zombies that didn’t attack on sight. Were they perhaps friendly?
The first zombie sluggishly walked up to Jason before kneeling on the ground. He looked up at Jason with pitiful eyes. “Ascender… you must help us…”
“Help you?” Jason was bewildered.
Freddy followed suit and began to explain. “Ascender… we are undead who have by some miracle retained our sentience…”
“No wonder!” Jason nodded in realization. Apparently, these zombies still had their soul. That was only an ability of high level undead. It was surprising that such low level undead kept their soul. “How may I help you?”
Freddy continued. “The graveyard we are in spawns zombies, and sometimes, a zombie like us appears. Normally, we’d be delighted to have a new comrade, but the blasted necromancer clan on the nineteenth floor send their necromancers here for training. They use their black magic to take control of us.”
“So there was a situation like this…” Jason muttered.
The other zombie pleaded. “Ascender, will you come meet our chief?”
Information: Zombies retaining their soul have banded together to form a small village. Alas, such a miracle only causes the necromancer clan to take control of such rare undead.
Objective: Meet the Zombie Chief.
Rewards: Unlock the intelligence stat.
After reading the notification, Jason agreed without hesitation. “Lead the way!”
The faces of the two zombies slowly light up with hope. They turned and followed the path deeper into the graveyard. Jason tried to keep his patience as he followed behind the slow zombies. A short while later, a black metal fence could be seen surrounding a broken down chapel. In front of the chapel sat a few crypts. Intricate designs were etched on their sides. The zombies led Jason into the chapel. Inside were rows of benches placed in front of an altar. On the altar was the statue of a cloaked woman. In one of the benches sat a figure equipped in armor.
“Chief… an ascender has arrived and agreed to help us…” The two zombies walked up to the figure.
Jason squinted as he read the screen above the armored figure.
Undead Knight Svan - Level 80
Svan swiveled his head and glanced at Jason. Unlike the zombies, his skin was fully intact, although a bit pale. His jawline was chiseled and strong. If he wasn’t dead, he would have been quite dashing. Standing up, he approached Jason. “Is it true you’re an ascender?”
“Indeed, I am.” Jason replied cautiously. He didn’t expect for the so called chief to be so strong. He prepared to flee at a moment’s notice.
“Haah,” Svan faced the sky and clasped his hands. “finally, someone has come to help us. The gods aren’t dead after all.”
“What exactly is the situation?” Jason inquired.
Svan gave Jason a deep look. “I’m from the upper floors. I was sent down here to handle a branch of the necromancer clan, but they were too strong. I lost my life, only to end up as a zombie. It’s a miracle I kept my soul.”
The upper floors? A resident turned undead? Jason knew that residents could travel through the tower as well, but to encounter the so-called adventurers so early was alarming. Jason couldn’t help but ask. “What floor were you from?”
Svan shook his head. “I don’t know. There are gaps in my memories. I only know I was born in a kingdom.”
A kingdom? This was good information. Svan continued. “I’ve learned that this graveyard is a bit special. I think this chapel worshipped the god of light.”
“That makes sense. The gods are powerful beings.” Jason nodded in agreement. The gods of the tower weren’t the same as the christian god, or any other outside god, but rather a powerful divine entity that was restricted to the tower. They were incredibly powerful.
Svan’s eyes grew unfocused. “I think I was a paladin when I was still alive. When I learned that there were men, women, and children that have become zombies with souls, I felt a duty to protect them.”
“How admirable.” Jason’s praise was genuine. He highly respected those who sacrificed themselves for others.
Svan clenched his hands. “But the damned necromancer clan has set up a branch on the nineteenth floor. They send their low level members here to train and level up. They occasionally attack the graveyard, and it takes everything I have to push them back. I need help.”
“I will do whatever I can to help.” Jason vowed solemnly. Imagine being killed only to be reborn as a zombie with you sense of self intact. These were more or less residents of the tower.
“That’s great!” Svan clapped his hands in delight. “To help you with your quest, stand before the altar and kneel. The god of light will bless you.”
Jason nodded and walked up to the altar. His heart beat in anticipation as he knelt down on one knee. All of a sudden, the statue of the robed woman lit up with bright white light. The light covered Jason. He felt a pleasant sensation course through his body, but it disappeared as soon as it arrived. At the same time, two screens appeared.
You have been blessed by the god of light.
You have unlocked the intelligence stat.
*Intelligence increases how fast you can think and your multitasking ability.
Branch of the Necromancer Clan!
Information: The necromancer clan has created a branch on the nineteenth floor. They use it to train their low level members.
Objective: Do anything you can to help the Zombie Village.
Rewards: Reputation with Knight Sven.