“Ascender, what is your name?” Svan asked.
Jason swiped away the notifications while standing up. He faced Svan. “Call me Jason.”
Svan took a close look at Jason’s armor. “Jason, with your current strength, you stand no chance of besieging the necromancer base. I’m aware of the special rules that affect you. You plan to increase your domination stat, correct?”
Jason felt sad that he lost his strength and had to start over, but it was a necessary sacrifice. He nodded. “That’s right. A necromancer drops a crystal which can increase my domination stat.”
“That isn’t the only way.” Svan explained. “There exist monsters that drop soul fragments. I guarantee that’s why the necromancer clan has spent so much effort to setup a base here.”
Jason raised an eyebrow. “Soul fragments? What do they do?”
“They drop from ghost-type monsters. As for their purpose… they increase your intelligence stat when consumed.”
Jason shook his head. “Ghost-type monsters require spells to harm. I’m afraid I don’t have the mana manipulation skill yet.”
Svan smiled. “I thought so. Fortunately for you, I know that necromancers carry the mana manipulation skill. Perhaps you’ll get lucky and get it.”
Jason narrowed his eyes at this. The mana manipulation skill is a must have for any ascender. I can’t believe the tower has changed so much that you now receive it on the early floors. If things progress this quickly, would Belial still be the final boss? He was the leader of the seventy two demons and was terrifyingly strong. Jason had a guess that the answer was no.
Jason shook Svan’s hand. It felt cold. “Thanks for the information. Is there anything I can do to help around here?”
Svan glanced at the zombies that stood behind him before replying. “Not just I suffer from memory loss. All sentient zombies do to varying degrees. If you have it in your heart to gather soul fragments and give it us, our memories will recover. Other than that, killing necromancers will be of tremendous help.”
So I have to choose between using the soul fragments for myself or handing it over? Jason stretched his shoulder. “Leave it to me. I’ll get the mana manipulation skill as soon as possible so that I can gather soul fragments.”
Just as Jason was about to exit the chapel, Svan spoke in a low voice. “A word of warning, Jason. I was level 200 when I was alive. I recommend that you avoid the necromancer base on the nineteenth floor. It is a giant cathedral. An apprentice necromancer is there.”
Level 200? Apprentice? Jason paused in surprise before glancing over his shoulder. “An apprentice grade necromancer? What on earth is a necromancer of that grade doing on the lower floors?”
“Probably ensuring that the training goes smoothly.” Svan shrugged.
Damn. Jason clicked his tongue in annoyance. An apprentice grade necromancer can control hundreds of undead. If he was a level 200 paladin, someone who countered the undead, then I stand no chance, even if I become multiple times stronger than I am now. Is this a raid? So early?
Jason shook his head in irritation. The architect spoke truthfully. The tower had become significantly harder. He said goodbye to Svan before exploring the graveyard for a bit. He saw zombies of all ages, including children. A terrible fate. Is reviving as a zombie a good or bad thing?
Jason left the graveyard and once more explored the floor. Not long after he left the zombie village, he found the portal to the seventeenth floor. He went through it with his minions. Looking around, the sky was the same as before, except a shade darker. He found himself in a forest full of dead trees. Black veins ran through the bark and the branches were thin and curved.
He surveyed his surroundings as he made his way through the dead forest. A short while later, his ear suddenly shook as he heard a whooshing sound. Just as he rolled forward, a thud could be heard behind him. Jason spun around and found that a tree branch had struck the place he had just been standing. Narrowing his eyes, he followed the tree branch to its source and found a face on a tree. The face laughed strangely as the tree stood up. Jason exclaimed. “A treant!”
Possessed Tree - Level 70
Domination Required: 5
“No, a spirit has possessed the tree!” Jason jumped backwards to avoid another branch. He quickly commanded his minions to attack.
The tree continued to laugh wickedly as its branches flew about wildly. The skeletons were knocked backwards, suffering some damage. The hounds were heavier and thus better off. Ignoring the attacks, they charged forward and sunk their teeth into the trunk of the tree. The laughter of the tree froze and turned into shrieks.
I wish I had some archers. Jason thought regretfully. He commanded his skeletons to step back to prevent them from being damaged and manually controlled the two hounds, causing their survivability to raise drastically. The tree got a few attacks in before it fell to the ground with a thud and dispersed into light. Seeing the loot on the ground, he shook his head in disappointed. Just some copper…
He continued to make his way through the forest, keeping his eye out for any possessed trees. Unfortunately, they were indistinguishable from the regular dead trees, so he had to wait for them to attack before he could respond. He relied on the senses that were honed from decades of battle to avoid the branches before commanding his minions. Like this, he made his way through the forest.
A short while later, Jason was fighting two treants at once. He stood in the back, surrounded by his skeletons as he sent out commands. He was focused on the battle, using his mind to its fullest. As the battle was progressing, he felt the connection with one of his skeletons break. Glancing at his side in shock, he saw three hounds at his side. Behind the hounds were a few skeleton archers surrounding a robed figure. Damn! I wasn’t paying attention…!
Jason felt his heart beat rapidly as he thought about what to do. Just then, he felt the connection with a hound snap. Looking back at the battle with the treants, he noticed that his brief break in concentration gave the treants a chance to kill his hound. Without hesitation, Jason sent his skeletons to keep the hounds at bay as he turned and fled. Not a few seconds later, he felt the other hound and some skeletons die.
He glanced over his shoulder and saw a gaseous cloud shoot towards him. Quickly raising his shield, he reflected the curse back at the necromancer. He broke out in a cold sweat. If he hadn’t randomly looked behind him, he would have been hit by a curse. Fleeing quickly, he made his way to the portal and jumped into it. Without stopping, he continued to run. When his stamina nearly ran out, he looked behind him before sighing in relief. Damn it. That was close.
His heart calmed as he thought back to the previous fight. He had been so focused on the treants that he hadn’t been paying attention to his surroundings. If hia skeletons hadn’t been surrounding him, he would have been assaulted by three hounds. As he recalled how fast his skeletons died to the hounds, he cursed. “Damn, skeletons are weak as hell!”
He glanced down at his armor. If they had armor, it wouldn’t be so bad…
Suddenly, thunder boomed in his head as his eyes widened in realization. Wait, why can’t I just equip them in armor? Wouldn’t that increase their survivability? And why stop there? I’ll get them better weapons as well!
Jason teleported back to his house and spent all of his funds on the same armor and weapons he used. He could barely fit everything in his inventory ring. I wonder when I can get a better ring?
After buying everything and stuffing his stomach, he made his way back to the sixteenth floor.