After Zaran's one on one against the Rotter knight the group advanced at a rapid pace throughout the sewers. Even without the extra damage from Irina and Sylphie, as long as they had Sylphie's buffs Nuvahn and Zaran would've been able to clear the Rotters without even using skills. Moreover after using the buff on both Cindarrah and Kirin, they also started to shine on the battlefield.
Especially Cindarrah was now a huge help to the team as she was now able to snare the Rotters effectively. The buff had made it so that her web-shot was covered in a holy aura and thus the Rotters were unable to break free from this restraint. Zaran had instructed Cindarrah to help out both Irina and Sylphie, whose clearing speed drastically rose once the Rotters were rendered immobile. From the whole party only Kirin could still increase her clearing speed, but then she'd have to bite down on the Rotters and she was reluctant to do so. However Zaran didn't blame her for this as he couldn't even begin to imagine the taste that would flood her mouth, nor did he want to.
Eventually the group happened upon new types of Rotters, called Rotter Rats and Rotter Hounds, however even those proved to be little more than walking experience orbs as they swiftly cut their way through them. About half an hour after meeting the first Rotter Hound they met a Rotter Bear. While it was supposed to be a mini boss, with Cindarrah restraining it, it ended up being a very easy fight. The bear dropped two rings which respectively improved vitality and strength by a full 20 points. Zaran took the ring which increased strength while Sylphie took the one that increased hp. Due to the Rotter's aura most of the drops had already decayed to be unusable and this set of rings was just barely useable. However Zaran felt that compared to the other items these rings would be worth restoring to their former glory, although he was not sure of how to do so.
Continuing on the party took another six hours to clear the remainder of the sewers. During all this time they defeated a ridiculous amount of Rotters and almost half of their kills came from a spacious room they had discovered by a stroke of good fortune. While the party had been resting, Irina leaned back against a sewer wall and activated a mechanism that revealed a hidden door. When they checked out where the door led to, they came upon a spacious room. Once the last of them passed entered the room, the door closed in on them and swarms of Rotter Rats entered the room one after another. Due to Zaran's flash fire and the 'Purifying aura' skill that Sylphie had been able to learn upon reaching level 30 they were easily able to dispatch the rats. In the last wave a non-rotter level 49 Rat King entered the room. This came as a huge surprise to the party who hadn't expected to meet any enemies that were not classified as being a Rotter.
Upon beating the Rat King rather easily the system warned Zaran that his pets could both reach a maximum of level 49 if they feasted on the corpse but that they would not gain any additional rewards if he allowed them to do so. After consulting with the rest of the party Zaran decided to let Kirin and Cindarrah devour the corpse. Cindarrah hopped from level 32 to level 41 and Kirin reached from level 45 to 46. This was still not enough to catch up to the rest of the group who now had levels ranging from 44 to 46. Sylphie and Irina were the lowest at 44, Nuvahn was at level 45 and Zaran was very close to achieving level 47 with only a few percent still missing. Still, while the group could be counted among the higher leveled players, they were still a ways off as the highest levels had already reached level 51.
Regardless not everything had been good news as the party didn't receive much in terms of drops. With the whole group combined they might've picked up loot, silver and copper coins worth a mere five gold. This would not even allow one member of the team to upgrade its weapons to the next level. This fact did not bother Zaran though, as he could just create a new set of armour for everyone in the group just by mining for ore and trading the gold for animal pelts. As for his weapons, Zaran was also going to continuously craft his own weapons as this both saved money and allowed him to create a suitable weapon for himself. Only when he looted a weapon that was worth using, he would not create one for himself.
That said, the six hours of clearing the sewers had allowed the group to advance towards the middle of the sewers. The middle of the sewers was an enormous round room, with a 200 meter diameter. From eight entrances the sewage rivers poured into the middle of the room but the rivers disappeared under a 190 meter diameter platform. On the platform one could see a large amount of cages, tables, boxes and drawers. Each table had either a corpse, living animal, human or various ingredients on top of it. The drawers and boxes were filled to the brim with various herbs and bottles used for alchemy and the cages were home to humans and animals alike.
At one of the furthest away table a green-robed sorcerer was reading a tome while simultaneously channeling magic into a corpse.
Zaran decided to wait and watch for a while and quickly conveyed his intentions to the rest of the group.
A minute passed swiftly and the sorcerer suddenly roared with a voice filled with remorse "NOOOO!!!! Failure... Again! ARGH! How many times more will I fail! How much longer do I need to suffer and wait for my revenge!"
Zaran frowned upon seeing this scene. Talking about revenge when the demon he had summoned broke free and killed his family? Even if the demon was only able to break free after he was disturbed. Was it not stupid to talk about revenge when the root of his loss had been caused by himself?
He signaled the others to stay put and sneaked closer to the sorcerer. Due to being so absorbed in his research the sorcerer did not notice Zaran. Zaran used 'Inspect' to check the sorcerer's stats. Due to inspecting all the rotters he had already advanced it to level 7 and now he could inspect Enemies upto 12 levels above him.
|Sublime Mana Shield||The caster raises a mana shield around himself which converts all damage that would've been taken
as an hp loss into a mana loss.
|Raise the Dead||A necromancer's most basic spell. Revives corpses which will fight for the necromancer.|
|Vitality Absorption||Upon grabbing an enemy the necromancer drains their vitality and transfers it into himself.|
|Aura of Decay||An low damage aura shoots forward in all directions, decaying anything within touch.|
|Ray of Decay||A beam is fired in a straight line, which decays everything in its path. Deals medium damage.|
|Death Sphere||The caster summons three orbs around himself which can be used for both offense and defense.
Upon touching an enemy or terrain the spheres explode, dealing massive amounts of damage.
|Death's Breath||The caster releases a slow moving cloud from its mouth. Deals enormous amounts of damage.|
|Summon Demonic Gate||The caster summons a high level demon that will temporarily fight by his side.|
Zaran gulped upon seeing the list of skills and quietly snuck back to his team. After openening the party chat and telling them everything he got to know about the boss the others frowned in unison. While a thousand hp might seem to make the boss easy, the sublime mana shield completely negated damage once it was casted. So if only half the sorcerer's mana was used to shield himself from harm he would have an astonishing 26000 hp. Zaran speculated that unless he had several skills with a very high cost the minimum expected hp should be around 41000 hp, with up to a maximum of about a 45000. This completely blew the team's mind. The Rat King that they slew before had only a pitiful 15000 hp and the fight had still taken them a full five minutes.
Feeling that their chances wouldn't be high unless they came up with a solid plan Zaran decided that they should discuss any possible course the battle could take right away. The more possible scenarios they thought of the less surprises they would run into during the fight and the less shaken up they would be. By looking at both the description of the attacks and comparing them to skills the group had seen in other games they finally settled on a general strategy for the fight.
The strategy they had come up with was fairly straightforward, Nuvahn would fight in close to medium range, Zaran would attack from long range, Sylphie would focus on healing and keeping her different auras up and Irina would stand by for now. Being an assassin Irina had low hp and because they didn't know how this boss would fight they could not risk losing Irina early on. Hence they had decided that it would be for the best if she would stand by and observe the fight. That way she might also be able to find out some weaknesses or indicators of when the boss would cast a certain spell.
Nuvahn rushed forward and used a wind blade to try and catch Quinn Arinveld off guard. However with a simple wave of his hand the sorcerer casted 'Sublime Mana Shield' to protect himself. The sorcerer turned around and slowly raised his hand in which a translucent dark green aura with strands of black and white started to gather. A moment later the nearby corpses started to inhibit life again. The rats got up on their feet again and the humans slowly raised themselves from the various tables and picked up whatever item was closest by for a weapon. From the ground skeletons started to emerge wielding either a spear, a sword, an axe, a bow or a halberd.
Seeing this army of undead suddenly raised in front of them, Irina and Sylphie's complexion paled. Nuvahn and Zaran on the other hand were fine.
"Sylphie, Irina, quickly deal with the undead, they're all only level 20-30!" Zaran yelled after quickly checking the levels of a few of the undead. None were particularly high leveled nor did they have a lot of hp. They had been raised to be used as a distraction, allowing the necromancer to cast other spells while they were dealing with the undead. Zaran ground his teeth upon seeing the concentration of undead as he could no longer reach Quinn with his bow.
Instead of taking a few steps back and changing his bow to his greatsword Zaran decided to take a few steps forward and cast 'Flash Fire' at the same time. Burning everything within reach, including lab equipment, a large open area was instantly created. Still, more undead were found in every direction and all he could do was casting flash fire again to further reduce the amount of undead.
In the meantime the sorcerer wasn't idling and was mumbling a very long and complex chant. Zaran had already noticed this but the swarm of undead made him unable to reach the Sorcerer in time. The rest of the group too was unable to reach him in time.
Cindarrah had moved onto the ceiling of the sewers and shot a few web-shots at the sorcerer but each web-shot was met by a bone arrow. The bone arrow caused the web-shot to explode and wrap itself around the web-shot, completely rendering it useless. She scurried forward to get closer to the Sorcerer and zig-zagged across the ceiling to protect itself from incoming arrows.
Noticing Cindarrah's situation, Kirin activated 'Dark Rush' and quickly arrived near a group of skeleton archers. With a few casts of 'Dark Flame' the skeleton archers soon fell. Cindarrah quickly took advantage of the opportunity Kirin had given her and fired a few web-shots towards Quinn. The web-shot hit the Sublime Mana Shield and quickly constricted it but were unable to break it apart. Likewise the Sublime Mana Shield could not decay the web-shots, which was a great annoyance to the mage as the web-shots that had hit his Sublime Mana Shield obstructed his vision. Still, it didn't disturb him enough to stop him from finishing his incantation and the final words just left his lips.
The platform rumbled as a horrifying gate made from blood rose up from the ground, which only stopped once the frame hit the ceiling. Only upon reaching the ceiling did the rumbling stop and a few seconds of absolute silence existed on the platform as no one dared to move.
Slowly the door of blood creaked open...