That BLEEPing class…
For the first nineteen levels, [Fishermen] were nothing to write about. Low growths, useless abilities like breathing twice longer underwater, a fish animal companion. And yet most civilized nations heavily regulated that class, often killing would be [Fishermen] on sight. Only a destructive maniac could want to max it out.
Because once they capped at level 20, [Fishermen] earned that broken Perk!
Victor could only marvel upon seeing it in action. He estimated Mag Mell had raised at least a thousand sea serpents; the scaled terrors swarming the port, its ships, and sometimes fleeing towards the open sea. The fomor had created an army from nothing.
[Lesser Leviathans] were roughly as strong as a level twenty warrior. Dangerous, but individually no match for Victor, Kia, or a Crested adventurer.
When facing thousands of them though…
Worse, while the transformation wouldn’t last forever, the Perk didn’t grant any control over the monsters. Mag Mell’s [Fisherman] Perk, [Fishfriend], protected him from attacks from most aquatic creatures, like Victor’s own protection against [Undead] and [Slime], but a swarm of sea serpents slaughtered his fairy hounds all the same. These things would eat everything in the city, leaving no survivors.
“Gorynych, transform your rain into a [Thunderstorm],” Victor said, extending his own wings to leap off his back. “Kia is in charge now.”
“You want to fight the snakes on the ground?” the knight asked, while Mag Mell summoned insects swarms with magic, burying himself beneath a mountain of worms and maggots. “They’re too numerous!”
“I can handle them,” he replied. “Just take care of Mag Mell.”
The Vizier checked his items, including the stuff he stole from Orknoob and pouches of diamond dust hidden in his armor, then leaped off Gorynych’s back before Kia could protest.
Obeying his master’s command, the zmey altered the weather, changing the faint rain that usually followed him with a cackling, windy thunderstorm.
|Gorynych’s [Storm Dragon] passive Perk changed the weather to [Thunderstorm]! [Lightning] and [Wind] attacks will be strengthened, [Fire] attacks will be weakened!|
It was nowhere near as powerful as Wotan’s overwhelming tempest, but that would do, zmey. That would do.
Flying down towards the docks, Victor opened the hostilities by carpet bombing them with [Blackfyre], incinerating the walkway next to the water. Dozens of sea serpents had their scales seared to its very flesh, the winds only enhancing the fires' spread. Within seconds, a wall of flames stood between the port and the city itself.
The rampaging serpents answered by targeting him, leaping over the water to try and bring him down. Victor defended himself with his scythe, cutting the head of one creature. Instantly, the corpse crumbled to dust, the beast’s soul captured and its life energy drained.
|Skill check successful! Critical hit!|
As he landed amidst his own flames to fight on the ground, dozens of [Critical Hit] messages flooded Victor’s sight, every scythe swing landing a death blow. “[Pact with the Archfiends],” the Vizier cast, switching to his demonic form. His armor adapted to his new shape, transforming him into a mighty, armored juggernaut covered in unholy flames.
Unfortunately, the berserk creatures didn’t turn back to the sea. They kept coming in waves, forcing him to stay constantly on the offensive to avoid getting swarmed. His vision turned into a blurring image of fish being slaughtered; so much blood was shed, and so many ashes thrown around, that they threatened to extinguish the flames.
Meanwhile, Gorynych and his rider carpet-bombed Mag Mell’s vessel with fire and lightning; the fomor had transformed himself into a colossal monster, a hive of millions of maggots united into the shape of a human. The giant swarm attempted to crush the dragon within its hands, only for Kia to blast its ‘face’ off with a magical sun. The [Paladin] rode the Zmey with such skill, hastening him into a flying killing machine, that the sight made the Vizier jealous.
“[Contagious Lightning],” Victor cast one of those ‘critical’ spells Kia told him about, raising his scythe at the nearest sea serpent. A crimson lightning bolt came out of the blade, empowered by the thunderstorm, pierced the creature, and then jumped to its three closest fellows.
Nice, but unreliable.
Unlike Vainqueur though, whose reserves were so huge he could afford to spam his best abilities, Victor had to pace himself. His scythe’s life-draining ability allowed him to ignore healing, but he ran the risk of burning through his SP if he only used offensive spells.
Still, he could finally let loose a bit.
“[Nightmare Realm],” Victor cast, upon realizing that he had put enough distance between his allies and himself. “[Charon’s Grim Harvest].”
The combination of both attacks was something to behold.
Reality twisted around him, an alien, horror dimension overlapping with the port. A purple mist spread through the area, carrying screaming ghosts with it. Moaning hellmouths formed on the burning pavement, alongside yellow, phantom eyes and pillars of skulls.
|Field changed to [Nightmare Realm].|
At the same time, phantom sickles floated around Victor, shredding through sea serpents like butter. With their crap Charisma, the beasts couldn’t resist the field-effect either; suffering through worse and worse ailments.
|[Lesser Leviathans] are being [Drained]; you are passively regaining HP and SP.|
“Fun fact, if you are immune to your own area of effect’s damage, go wild!” Victor relished, as he cut through sea serpents left and right. With his SP being automatically refilled, he kept [Charon’s Grim Harvest] effect on, the spirit sickles growing more numerous and dangerous. The souls they reaped filled the Vizier’s scythe, suffusing their master with necromantic energies.
In fact, he recovered HP faster than the monsters could hurt him. Victor considered calling Noirceur and Chocolatine for help, but neither could survive the current battleground conditions. His demon summons would ignore the flames, but not the effects from [Nightmare Realm] nor the flying sickles.
All in all, he could manage on his own.
A howling blizzard hit Victor head-on, extinguishing his flames, smoldering his heated armor, and throwing him backward. The attack hit in spite of his weaker magical protections.
You took supereffective [Frost] damage! You lost half your HP!
[Troll Regeneration] activated!
Victor quickly regained his footing, looking at the source of the attack. One of the sea serpents, with scales of wood stronger than steel.
His [Monster Insight] identified the creature as a transformed Mag Mell.
Victor glanced at the worm titan fighting his allies. The bastard must have used a [Druid] spell like [Animal Transformation], leaving Kia and Gorynych to fight a decoy. “Even now, even after gaining forty levels and becoming just as overpowered as Vainqueur… you’re still afraid of her.”
The remark hit the fomor right where it hurt. “Mag Mell fears no mortal!” the serpent hissed.
“You literally hide beneath a mountain of maggots rather than fight Kia!” Victor taunted him back, casting a spell on himself. “[Frost Immunity].”
|You gained immunity to [Frost] for ten minutes.|
“[Command Animals],” Mag Mell rasped. At these words, a red glint appearing in the eyes of the [Lesser Leviathans]. Instead of rampaging around like before, they all glared at Victor with unified intelligence.
I hate munchkins, Victor thought, realizing why the fairy had taken [Druid] levels.
“[Accelerated Tidal Wave],” the fomor quickly cast once more while still in serpent form, a wall of water surging from the docks to swallow the walkway whole. While the waters barreled against the Vizier, dragging him towards the city, the fomor changed his shape from a sea serpent to a massive shark.
Riding the wave, Mag Mell attempted to bite Victor in half, while backed by sea serpents. Instead of a thrashing mob, the beasts attacked the chief of staff like a coordinated unit, flanking him from all sides.
Thankfully, with the [Brooch of Free Movement] that Orknoob ‘gave’ him, the Vizier reacted faster. He swung his scythe and hit the transformed [Druid] in the head.
However, when he did, the scales unleashed a powerful sonic burst, expelling Victor from the waters and repelling Mag Mell’s own serpents.
Congratulations! You gained the [Sonic Scales] monster perk!
[Sonic Scales]: You can grow a layer of singing scales; when they are targeted by a physical attack, the scales resonate to unleash a powerful sonic burst; this is a [Wind] damage effect. You are not immune from [Sonic Scales] damage.
When Victor finally landed, it was in a flooded, devastated park near the port. The wave had uprooted cherry trees and formed ponds amidst the grass, transforming the area into a swamp. Thankfully though, the attack had done more damage to Mag Mell’s summons than Victor himself.
Mag Mell emerged from a pond, having regained his true form now that they had moved safely away from Kia’s own fight. “[Enhanced Disinte—”
“[Emergency Teleport]!” Victor activated another of Orknoob’s items before the lethal spell could hit him.
The item teleported him straight to his room in the palace, where Henry was busy placing the items Victor had ordered before today. He screamed upon seeing a giant demon teleporting right next to him, never having met the Vizier in this shape.
“Later, Henry!” Victor grabbed the potions, raised his helmet, and drank them in bulk in front of the terrified human.
|You recovered all your HP and SP! Vitality increased by two stages for half an hour! You are no longer fatigued!|
He then used the [Ring of Emergency Teleport] to return to the park, before his area of effect spells could take over the bedroom. His stolen item had a limited number of charges, but it would work well.
Victor appeared right behind a confused Mag Mell and raised his scythe for a killing blow. Maybe he would have, if a sea serpent hadn’t shrieked a warning, lunging at his face; another moved in front of the fomor, acting as a shield.
“[Magnetic Field: Repel].” An invisible force pushed Victor back, his armor and scythe repelled backward. The Vizier regained his footing, but found himself on the defensive,; cutting down the druid’s creatures took all his focus. The fomor then used the opportunity to buff himself further, adding another layer of thick wooden scales over his body. “[Ironwood Skin].”
Mag Mell’s triumph was short-lived, however, when a phantom sickle bypassed his protection and hit him in the chest. Following its caster, [Nightmare Realm] began to twist the battleground into its Field type, helping Victor deal with the enemy summons.
“[Spirit Ward],” Mag Mell buffed himself, the sickles bouncing back his skin, and then cast spells to increase the size and power of his serpents, “[Poison Fangs], [Monster Growth].”
The sea serpents grew twice larger than before, their sharp teeth growing purple and oozing acid. While Victor’s stellar speed and reflexes allowed him to keep dodging, he found himself overwhelmed; and every time he tried to target the fomor himself with a spell, one of the serpents moved between his scythe and its master.
“You are weak,” Mag Mell rasped, commanding his monsters while remaining safely between an elite guard of them. “I studied you, Victor Dalton. You are the weak link, the keystone. The man behind the dragon, as I was the hand behind King Balaur. Your demise will cripple Vainqueur.”
Victor would have answered with a clever retort, had he not been struggling against giant leviathans.
“You are strong, but we fomors are magic itself. We are power without a soul; power without growth, which can never evolve. You humans are growth without power, weak, but with limitless potential. And now, your potential will go unfulfilled. [Anti-Teleport].”
|You can no longer teleport away!|
“Wait, you are magic?” Something clicked in Victor’s head. “The powerstones…”
“The fossilized remains of my dead brethren,” Mag Mell replied, relishing the spectacle of his summons ganging up on a lone target. “They are ours by right.”
“I assume you aren’t going to tell me why you needed those?” Victor asked since the fomor loved to hear himself talk.
“My daughter needs them for her arrows.” Mag Mell let out a grunt of disdain. “Her foolish belief in this ‘technology’ will be her undoing. Magic alone is supreme. This cursed System, this weapon against my kind which Dice foolishly tapped into, was the only thing that allowed you animals to challenge us. But now, I…”
Mag Mell cast a spell, doubling in size until he became as big as Vainqueur himself. This time, he decided to join the fray personally.
“I am power that can grow without limits!”
Gaining classes had caused him to go on a power trip. Good. “I think you forget something. Three things, actually.”
“I forgot more than you will ever learn, mortal,” the fomor replied with supreme arrogance, raising his centipede arm to strike. His blow missed the Vizier, and was never intended to land at all: the magnetic field surrounding the fomor instead propelled the Vizier into the waiting maws of the serpents. “You are slaves to this System; you react to it, while I direct it. I optimized it. I created the most powerful class combination in the world.”
“Then here’s a lesson about tactics: first, never fight a necromancer by throwing more bodies at him. [Reanimator].” Victor activated his necromancy, exhausting his diamond dust reserve while using the souls trapped in his scythe as material.
Three colossal, ghostly hydras made of dozens of sea serpents’ spirits combined surrounded Victor, their spectral wail repelling their living relatives. The sea serpents attempted to crush and bit the undead, only to phase through.
Aha, he knew it! While powerful, the serpents had no magical attacks capable of hitting incorporeal targets! His [Ghost Hydras], though, tore the animals apart, pursuing them through the park and forcing them away from their master.
“Now it’s just you and me,” Victor told the angry fomor, having pushed his summons away. The fairy attempted to crush the [Reaper] with a summoned boulder rain, but the chief of staff moved faster. “Well, mostly you and me. [Victor’s Skull Sentries].”
Five floating skulls appeared around Victor, firing beams of energy at the giant fomor. After only succeeding in turning the park into a ruin, Mag Mell responded by opening his mouth, unleashing a breath of noxious black slime at both Victor and his necromantic servants. Two melted, while the Vizier barely dodged. A splash of slime hit his armor, seeping through the crack and burning the skin below.
You took heavy [Poison] damage! Vitality check successful! You avoided being [Corroded]! You lost half your HP!
You earned the [Bad Breath] and [Corroding Poison] Monster Perks.
[Bad Breath]: 90 SP. You can breathe a cone of venomous slime inflicting heavy [Poison] on contact; all those who touch the noxious slime must succeed a hard Vitality check or be [Poisoned].
[Corroding Poison]: Passive. When you should inflict the [Poisoned] status on someone, you instead apply the [Corroded] ailment. [Corroded] function as [Poisoned], but can affect even those with [Poison] Resistance and Immunity: Poison Immunity is treated as Poison Resistance, while standard Poison Resistance is ignored.
A perfect combination of classes, powerful natural abilities, a keen tactical mind, and survival instincts honed through centuries. Mag Mell was an ancient monster, and near-invulnerable. The more he thought about his foe, the more Victor knew that he would only drop his guard on one occasion.
The moment when he thinks he already won.
“[Darkest Fear],” the fomor cast the dreaded spell on Victor, probably hoping that his poison would instantly kill him once his HP plummeted to one. A lethal combo.
The Vizier felt the dark claws of the fomor’s magic sink into his soul and collapsed into the mud. He made no sound, looking dead while dispelling his sickles and field effect.
“Learn your place, mortal,” the fomor rejoiced, blinded by the idea of a flawless victory. “You [Claimed] have never been worthy.”
Victor held his breath.
“Dispel [Magnetic Field],” Mag Mell said, committing a fatal mistake. His centipede arm approached Victor’s body, to finally claim his trophy. “And now, the things I will do with this half-dragon vessel…”
|You will move and react twice faster than normal.|
Before Mag Mell could react, Victor cut off his centipede hand by surprise; the blade slashing through his reinforced skin.
The fomor let out a scream of pain, while the Vizier quickly got back on his feet before reactivating [Nightmare Realm] and [Charon's Grim Harvest]. “You should have gone to school,” the Vizier said, covered by the fomor’s green, acidic blood. “Your lack of foresight is disarming.”
“[Darkest Fear]!” Mag Mell tried his tried-and-true tactic again, perhaps having thought that he merely missed the first time.
The dark magic traveled through the divine connection between the deities that selected Victor and his own soul, to hit him hard. The perfect weapon against [Claimed], refined over centuries.
Using his connection with the [Black Grail], Victor redirected the attack to his artifact, the lethal magic skidding over his soul like water on a windshield.
“Impossible,” Mag Mell rasped in pure shock, before letting out a hiss. The Vizier’s scythe had cut through his chest, but it appeared the fairy had no organ to speak of.
“Second.” Victor raised his scythe at the fomor to strike again, now that his magnetic field no longer shielded him. “You would think someone might figure out a counter if you people keep spamming the same goddamn spell at him. I don’t know how long you designed that [Darkest Fear] spell, but it only took me seven bloody years to figure it out!”
His lightning hit the drenched fomor in the chest, spread to the three remaining floating skulls, and then converged back at the fairy. The sheer volume of electricity surging through the beast turned him into a living neon light.
“[Magn—argh!” Victor kept slashing at the fomor, never giving him any time to focus on his spell. He cut one insect leg, then another, moving too fast for the fairy to dodge or retaliate.
One of the things he had learned from Akhenapep. Never give a powerful spellcaster breathing room.
“You want to know why your kind keeps losing?” The Vizier cut one of Mag Mell’s wings as he tried to take flight, grounding him. “It’s not because of the System, because we have the best classes, or because you lacked a soul. It’s because you keep underestimating us, again, and again, and again!”
Covered in his own blood, Mag Mell imitated his piper son; he tried to run. “[Swarmwalker],” he rasped, instantly transforming into a hive of insects.
Victor would have none of this. “[Blackfyre],” he said, incinerating the swarm before it could spread and escape like at the crater. The flames spread through maggots and beetles, while [Nightmare Realm] leeched them off. Within seconds, the fairy was forced to reform, this time brought back to his normal height.
Now cornered, Mag Mell opened a portal and tried to crawl through, Victor rushing after him. The desperate fairy came within an inch of the gate...
A beam of light fell upon Mag Mell, incinerating the grass around him and making him collapse. Gorynych overshadowed the wounded fairy from above, its current knightly rider preparing another spell.
But this time, Victor would not let anyone else take the credit.
“And third,” the Vizier raised his scythe, “having a soul isn’t always a boon!”
The fairy looked at the blade, finally realizing that all was lost. “It does not matter,” he declared, arrogant to the end. “My work lives on.”
And with these words, the [Reaper] claimed his due.
His scythe beheaded Mag Mell in one swing, the portal vanishing with his life.
As the blade fell, covered with the fomor’s thick green blood, a screaming, bloody shadow emerged from Mag Mell’s disintegrating corpse; an unnatural, Frankenstein's monster of a soul, a patchwork ghost. Victor couldn’t even properly describe it, as it moved inside his scythe.
With these new additions, the countless souls coalesced within the scythe, changing it. Its magic burnt in Victor’s hands, reshaping it. The rod changed into twisted black wood, covered in whispering faces, while the blade vanished, replaced with an ethereal, phantom edge.
Congratulations! By consuming Mag Mell’s artificial soul, your scythe has become the artifact [Harvest]!
For defeating the fomor Mag Mell in a magical duel and feasting on his soul, you earned three levels in [Weathermaker]! You earned the [Devil Archmage II] and [Apocalypse Storm] class perks!
+90 HP, +30 SP, +2 STR, +2 VIT, +3 SKI, +2 AGI, +6 INT, +3 CHA, +6 LCK.
[Devil Archmage II]: You can learn and cast spells two tiers above your current one. You can also learn and cast spells with the [Evil], [Fiend], and [Weather] traits, but only those equal or below your current tier access; if they belong to an exclusive school of magic, you count as if you met the other requirements. This replaces [Devil Archmage I].
[Apocalypse Storm]: When you try to alter the weather, such as with the [Control Weather] spell, add the following conditions to your options: [Blood Rain], [Slime Rain], [Acid Rain], [Fire Hail], [Ghost Storm], and [Plague Winds]. You are immune to the negative effects of these weather conditions, even if you did not summon them yourself.
Kia chanted his name above with her sword, making Victor feel warm inside.
Putting his scythe on his shoulder, Victor prepared to go help Vainqueur, when he noticed new winged forms in the sky. He at first thought about Wotan's Valkyries, especially when he noticed their feathered wings.
Unfortunately, they were far less pleasant to look at.
“Fraudster!” A host of thirty angels circled above him, all of them looking unhappy to be there. “We have answered your call for help, fiend!”
His call? Wait, were these the revived angels that he called more than a week ago? While still in cup form?
And they arrived now?