The Defense of the Tomb of Eryk Solbourne continues.
Yes, just as it has the past several nights that I’ve been asleep. The battle rages on in the surface above, with apparently some North Spiran resistance forces that are attacking the New Slayers, just as my sibling Rare, my one-time lover Malia, and my companion Miss M, or the Demon Queen Mestopholees, are currently fighting as well to escape this place.
We sought answers here. A revival for my body, perhaps, or an explanation for my ghostly existence. None of that arrived. In fact, now none of us know what is going on. My very presence here baffles even my much smarter sibling Rare, who simply outpaces me in almost every way except physical strength. They thought they had all the answers, until suddenly it was proven completely wrong.
Now, we fight. Or rather, everyone but me fights, I guess.
Fights for the sake of a [Demigod] with a completely new life. Fights for the sake of a being who has no Earthly (or Mystixly) idea as to how any of this is actually relevant to what he himself wants in his life.
None of them are here in the tomb with me right now, but I can hear the explosions and clanging swords up in the ceiling above me.
How can one small group fight such a massive amount of soldiers and still keep the stamina available not to die? How many level-ups have they been forced to undergo just to stay alive? How has Rare, a systemless wizard, been able to do anything they have done at all? I guess that is the sheer power that one can achieve with honing and practice, even without a powerful tool to control one’s own destiny.
I wish I could help.
I wish I was anything but a floating footless specter who can’t move more than a mile in an hour.
And yet, even as some silver-armored beast-men, infected by the rot of the [Toxin] class, bust down a rotted wooden door and enter the room I inhabit, the exterior of my former tomb, I realize that there is little I can manage myself, as well as little real danger I can face.
The mutant beigns snarl something in a rough language whose shape I am completely unfamiliar with. About one hundred years have passed on Mystix since I died, and I imagine that even the languages I am familiar with will have changed in significant ways. The ones I am less familiar with might be unrecognizable. the language on Earth, after all, is so removed from my own that I often find it difficult to follow in conversation at first.
They attempt to strike me with their weapons—
And, of course, it all phases through me because that is simply what is always done when I am attacked here on Mystix. My ghostly form does not allow that sort of thing. In frustration, the beast-men strike at me again and again, and nothing happens at all. One of them is so angry that they slice through another’s armor and kill them. They let out a roar into the air that echoes throughout the tomb, and the other beast-men cower in fear and admiration. Dozens more pour into the tomb to see the scene and join in themselves.
The New Slayers are diverse, and they are rabid, and they are endless.
Soon, my friends arrive back in the tomb. Malia, Rare, and Mestopholees come charging into the vast room, slaughtering the beast-men and lizard-folk and other beings who dared to attempt my capture. [Toxin] or not, they still go down just like any other foes. It’s not a tough fight; they are simply too strong to let such things overcome them.
That is, until the cave trolls come barging in. Four of them burst through the walls, much like those commercials on TV with the red drink man, wielding clubs and adorned in the finest of armor. They bash their clubs against the walls and roar in unison.
Rare switches over and begins pelting the trolls with magic spells of lightning and ice beams and torrential hail. All of the elements mixed together in harmony and dissonance at once. The fury of a lifetime spent planning for an ultimate revenge unleashed upon their enemies in full force. I see their teeth gnashing, their brow furrowed as they summon nature in its rawest form.
And it’s not enough. One cave troll goes down, but the others remain, and are even angrier than before. Mestopholees is surrounded by too many foes to reach Rare. And try as she might, Malia’s arrows simply don’t have the power to pierce those trolls’ armor.
If only there was something I could do...
If only I had some way to help other than float here helplessly like a—
Wait a minute.
I wonder if...
No, it can’t be possible.
And yet, I find myself trying anyway.
I have no HUD, and I cannot see my stats in any way. I see all around me in complete view, and without any limit, but my system is invisible to me. And yet I’ve gained Destiny Points here in my dreams. That means...
With my best effort, I reach in deep within myself. Through the power of the multiverse, through the will of my subconscious, I activate it.
Fireball Ultra: Rank 3. Shoot a powerful fireball. Cost: 100 LP.
I did it!!!
A giant burst of flame exudes from my spectral figure and flies into one of the cave trolls. It explodes on impact, incinerates the beast, and its body topples onto the ground right in front of Mestopholees. It crushes the enemies that were blocking her path, and immediately she’s free to join the rest of the battle. She sprouts her massive demon wings and flies over to where Rare is fending off the other two cave trolls. With their two powers combined, it isn’t even a contest.
The enemy forces are decimated, and the remainder of the troops fall back and evacuate the tomb. We’re safe.
It doesn’t seem like any of them noticed my contribution to the fight. That, or it wasn’t relevant enough for them to bother, because they move immediately to the next stage of their mission.
“They’ll be back in a short while,” Rare says. “I don’t know if we can keep doing this.”
“It’s almost been a week since we came here,” Malia groans, her aged body aching visibly from the stress of this endeavor. “How can we escape if we are constantly besieged by these massive forces?”
“The better question is,” they say, “How did they even find out about us? We snuck in and triggered no significant alarm. To have such massive attacks against us means they knew we were not mere thieves. They knew it was us.”
Mestopholees broods over in the corner. Like she knows something the others don’t, and she’s not telling it. Hmm.
“We must find the leader of the New Slayers and defeat them,” I say. “That is the only way to end the onslaught.”
“And who might that be?” Malia asks.
“Um... Good point.”
Rare wipes their hair back from their face and grumbles something. “I have one gambit left. One maneuver that could risk the world. Or buy us all the time we need before my allies arrive.”
Their allies... the Anti-Mage Coalition. They told me about it briefly as part of their rants about the evils of the Destiny Deck System. Apparently, they are not alone in this belief, or in the ability to use magic while remaining systemless. A whole faction, a secret society, exists for the sole purpose of upending The Goddess and destroying Destiny itself.
I don’t know how I feel about being whisked away by a group that stands firmly against my quest to become the first S-Rank Hero in thousands of years. But Rare is my sibling, and I have to trust them... I guess.
The only question is... what is this gambit they speak of?
And why are all three of my companions grimacing at the very idea of it?