Chapter Twenty Eight - Player Killer
My placid smile faded into a frown. My freckles glowed the sickly yellow of fear.
“Clever. Looking like a new race? Illusion magic? Would make sense for a class calling itself a Fae. I guess you finally made it out of the dungeon, too? Congratulations are in order!” he exclaimed.
He clapped his horn into the net a few times, patronizing me. I growled.
“Was the offer real? Can you really make a person into that race, or was that just the type of trick an epic mob like you can pull off? I might consider letting you go if you help me unlock the class… and if you give me my fucking horn back.
“You’ll never get him back, Half Bold,” I taunted. “Torchlight is free. And so am I.”
“F-free!?” he scoffed. “Free she says! It’s like a pet snake, saying it’s free when it’s never even managed to get out of its cage! Hah! You don’t even know, do you? That this whole world is a game?”
I flinched. He… wasn’t the first to refer to this world, my world, as a game. Not even close. But what did that matter!? So invaders found life to be a game! Who knew what invaders got into their heads?
“Shut up! I don’t care about that!” I told him, enraged. Behind me a fight was unfolding as Pointy Hat and Bald Fist squared off with Bellcandy and Dull Beauty.
“Well, you will. You might’ve disguised yourself as a human but you’re still a mob. Which means I can still tame you. Then you’ll tell me where my horn is, my little Jellyfae,” he breathed, his eyes brimming with a gluttonous greed. “You’re my ticket to fame in this game, and fortune in the real world.”
“That didn’t go so well for you last time,” I said, holding up a hand that seemed to buzz with electric potential.
“I’ve grown since then. I’ve also learned not to underestimate mobs that can think,” he said before putting the horn to his lips.
I darted forward, hoping to tag him with a shocker before he could call forth whatever poor creature he’d imprisoned in that horn, but I moved too slow. The sound radiated throughout the woods, and suddenly the fight behind me slowed.
The ground itself suddenly split open, a gaping maw into a dark abyss swirling just a few feet away from me. I noticed it just before I might’ve stepped straight into the abyss, and leapt over it, barely avoiding a small clawed hand that reached out of the darkness for my legs.
Ignoring the gaping pit, I rolled, stumbling a little. I scraped my knees on the ground but I didn’t stop. I continued on towards Half Bold, but he had already turned and begun running away as soon as I got my bearings. Half Bold indeed.
I grimaced as searing pain sliced through my back, and a notification in the corner of my vision read -48 hp! That had never happened before. I turned and glared at the small imp clutching my back.
Dammit! If I were my old size this thing never would’ve gotten ahold of me! Then again, if I were my old size this thing would look huge. As it was, the creature was a spindly little demon, all bone with a thin layer of pale skin to cover it. Its claws were sharp as knives digging into my back. It was apparently named Dacktar.
The idiot thing was touching me though. I reached back, craning my hand around to get a finger on it, and released my shocker. The creature squawked just like everything else I shocked, and tumbled off my back, but I grimaced as another horn blew from where Half Bold had run.
I kicked the little creature and it flew across the woods before slamming into a tree. Able to see it this time, I spotted a notification near the creature reading -37 hp. It wasn’t dead yet but it was still dazed, so I left it, following Half Bold as fast as I could.
“The fuck, dammit the Fae’s gone!” I heard Bald Fist shout. “Hey, the Fae–! Owww! Time out! The freaking– Dammit stop shooting me!”
“You’re the one who disbanded and attacked us!” I heard the healer shout. “Fuck you! ‘Dia’!”
“Like you wouldn’t have done the same thing for a chance to – Ugghh stupid dots!”
I didn’t have the time to wonder what Dia or dots were before rounding a large boulder that Half Bold had fled behind. I ducked, but not fast enough to dodge the winged form of Avwren’s claws slicing for my face.
I screamed as a notification informed me that I’d lost twenty five more hit points. Honestly though, it barely hurt at all. The shock of the attack was more painful than the actual strike. Was… was being an invader less painful somehow?
As soon as I managed to throw the bat off me I saw a net flying right for me. I swatted the net aside and grimaced as the bat swooped in for another strike.
I ignored it, outpacing it as I ran towards Half Bold.
He pulled out a short axe, still holding another net in his left hand.
“Bring it on!” he shouted. “I can take you!”
I snarled, wary of the glint of that blade, but I didn’t slow. Even if I died, it was still worth it to keep Half Bold from going anywhere near Dungeon Home ever again. It would hurt, but I could handle pain. I’d long since learned that.
“Take this!” I shouted, darting to the left around his first axe strike and reaching out to shock him. He reversed course immediately, barely even slowing as he threw the net in his other hand.
I jumped, but was caught in the wiry material. It tangled into my hands and I fell over, pulled by the heavy lead weights.
“What are you doing, Half Bold?” came a shout from behind me, but I ignored it. “Why are you attacking the NPC!?”
I began to panic, terror filling me as I realized I couldn’t get free. I pulled, rubbing my skin against the coarse rope, and grabbed at the weights. Somehow though they were now as heavy as Momma Bossbear!
“Let me go! Let me go! I won’t be trapped again!” I screamed. I shocked the net but it did nothing, electricity seemingly ineffective against the fibers.
I tore at the ropes as the Beastmaster continued chanting, his voice rising to a crescendo before gesturing with a mad glee at me, and holding out a horn. A new prison.
“What the fuck!?” he exclaimed, clicking the air before a window appeared before him like the ones that did for me. Invader Boxes.
The letters were reversed so it was hard to read, but I remembered reading Red Thorn’s status screen in the same way, and somehow my mind was able to parse the opposite lettering to read: “Invalid Target. Players cannot be captured.”
I blinked. So did Half Bold.
“That’s fucking bullshit! You’re not a player!”
“What the hell is going on here?” asked the annoyed halfling healer, now looking much worse for wear as he and the disheveled Archer both circled the stone and approached. They'd both apparently dispatched of Bald Fist and Pointy Hat, but neither of them looked like they'd come out of the fight well. Both looked surprisingly injured, which told me the healer was out or very low on mana.
Half Bold took one look at the archer and the healer and his entire demeanor changed in an instant as he pointed an accusing finger at me.
“She’s a fucking player!” Half Bold exclaimed. “She was trying to trick us somehow!”
“Of course, she’s a player. How none of you noticed that I have no idea. Would you get the damn net off her though? It’s not like you can capture NPCs either,” Dull Beauty said.
“I… but she… you’re…” he looked at me, absolutely lost for a moment before his eyes hardened. “Fine. You’re a player.”
He did that little thing I’d seen adventurers do where they held up the first two fingers of both hands and curled them down while speaking sarcastically.
“I know you’re her though. I don’t know how the hell you did it, but I know you’re the mob from the dungeon,” he said coldly.
Well he knew as little as I did then. I wondered though: didn’t adventurers become adventurers by breaking their instinct? Killing their kin… like I had? That’s what I’d always assumed until now.
I gulped guiltily, thinking about what I had done to get this adventurer body, but was forced out of my musings by the archer’s hand as she grabbed me by my Bugbear Tunic and hauled me up, out of the now weightless net, with little effort.
“Well. Are you going to answer? Why did you trick us into attacking each other? And since you clearly did find a way to unlock a new character race, how did you actually find it?” she hissed coldly.
I stared at the other girl as she pulled her menacing eyes towards my own. She looked so angry. Cuts marred her plain clothes and her beautiful bow rested on her back. She was hurt, but she was also pissed.
“Uh... uhm...” I wasn’t going to tell her that killing Momma Bossbear was how I… unlocked my character race. So, I did what came most natural to me.
I shocked her.
+100 Infamy. +10 PK.
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I'm Materia-Blade. I've been a long time fanfiction writer, and have recently decided to toss my hat into the original fiction arena. I love fantasy, sci-fi, and Lit-RPG's and have read hundreds of books from each genre.
My new story Artificial Jelly has released and is currently being pretty well received! Excited for it to hit trending! Thanks to those who support it, and me, and I hope it continues to impress!
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