Sylphie had a lot of things she liked. She liked tasty things, her mom and dad, Uncle, biggest bird Stormild, shiny things, whooshing stuff, tasty things, whacking stuff. Oh, and tasty things. As for things she didn’t like? Those were there too.
She didn’t like all kinds of bad guys. Eagles were baddies, that was for sure. Anyone Uncle didn’t like were bad also. Oh, and those bad monkey-things that kept throwing around smelly stuff. Those were super baddies for sure, also.
Now, she had found something else to add to the list: smelly vampire things. No, two things. The vampire things that were kinda dead and smelly were annoying, and she didn’t like them, but she was strong, so that was fine. But then the big vampire thing came. It looked totally like a human was not just annoying but also dangerous. She really didn’t like that Vampire Vi-something thing.
The bad vampire’s eyes were entirely red; its body looked a lot like Uncle’s but was taller and super thin. It was super fast, too, and was glowing red the entire time as it tried to scratch Sylphie. But! While Sylphie had found something else she didn’t like, she had also found a new friend. Maybe a friend? Sylphie wasn’t sure, she just knew the she-human was super good at hitting stuff, and when she got hit, she was totally fine. That was pretty awesome.
Sylphie flew through the large room with the bad guy vampire and avoided all the attacks. It used a long stick with a pointy end and kept yelling stuff Sylphie didn’t understand. The she-woman did somehow and kept calling it corn or something. She kept saying corny, but Sylphie was certain the bad guy wasn’t made of corn. It was also a bit weird she understood the weird gibberish of the vampire even though she couldn’t understand Sylphie properly, which was why she had Uncle make squiggly things to tell her stuff. Humans liked to talk using squiggly things.
Oh! Back to the bad guy vampire, the she-human punched it super hard in the chest, making it fly back, but it quickly got up again and attacked with its glowing pointy stick. Sylphie was flying and avoided all the red wind slicers the bad guy sent after her while waiting for a good chance to strike with her super talons.
The fight wasn’t one of those fast ones like the dead vampire things. Instead, this vampire thing was faster and stronger. It used weird red glowing magic and the stick to avoid taking damage and hitting back, and whenever Sylphie managed to hit with a strong whoosh, the bad guy used cheating magic to heal.
Sylphie didn’t like to admit it, but the bad guy vampire was maybe stronger than her. It probably wasn’t stronger than the punchy lady, but Sylphie didn’t think she could win against either. Both of them were just so super tough, and as she saw them fight, they kept using cheating magic to make their wounds disappear.
They could keep punching and stabbing each other for hours, she was sure. But, of course, that is if the awesome Sylphie was not there. Because while Sylphie didn’t think she could beat either, she was sure she could cut them up real good, no problem.
When the vampire bad guy was distracted, Sylphie swooped in from the side with a big blade of green wind. The vampire recoiled, also allowing the she-human to land a punch. Next, the punchy lady punched the vampire real good, and Sylphie could super quickly swoop in and rip off a big chunk of meat from the bad guy vampire with her super talons.
The entire fight was still super long, but the bad guy vampire couldn’t keep up in the end. The cheating magic got worse, the pointy stick got slow, and the red magic the baddie made got so weak it couldn’t even get through her Green Shield.
The she-human punched the vampire hard in the chest, sending it flying straight towards Sylphie, who flew over, and with her awesome glowing wing, she made the head of the bad guy fly high up into the air. Without the body. This meant the bad guy was dead!
“Nice one, Sylphie,” the punchy lady said, looking happy. “Name’s Carmen, by the way. I totally forgot to introduce myself. We should keep this up; we make quite the team.”
“Ree!” Sylphie said in recognition at the blood-covered she-woman. Compared to her, Sylphie looked as great as ever, and you couldn’t even see she had been in a fight! She was a bit tired, though.
Suddenly, Sylphie heard a weird sound, and Carmen turned to look at it too. The sleepy-box the bad guy vampire had been hiding in began glowing red like the bad vampire, and it spat out a floating weird round metal thing with a shiny squiggle on it.
Also, just after, the wall to the side opened up and revealed a whole bunch of shiny things. Sylphie couldn’t stop looking at the floating squiggly stone, though. It looked important. Oh, and Sylphie couldn’t really use pointy sticks or cutty sticks or any of the other weird things humans used because they didn’t have awesome talons like her.
“Yo, if you take the Rune of Blood, I’ll take the rest, okay? We can just go for the next hill and split it the other way there. Does that sound good?” Carmen, the punchy lady, asked.
Sylphie thought about it for a moment and decided she did want the shiny disc. So she flew up and poked it with her wing, making it disappear.
A few moments later, she felt Uncle be happy! Oh! Oh! He praised Sylphie. Well, naturally, Sylphie knew the floaty shiny disc was the most important. She was good at finding good stuff like that!
Jake’s annoyance at the chain quest was instantly dispelled as he felt the Hunter Insignia respond. Because it turned out this quest was one he had done in collaboration with Sylphie without either party knowing. He still wanted to punch the dude in the recording in the face for not telling about the trap room or any of all this shit, but sadly the guy was long dead.
He waved his hand and reread the words on the door.
Present a Rune of Blood to be granted access to the Count’s Chambers.
The Rune of Blood appeared in his palm and instantly reacted with the gate. It floated up and inserted itself into it as red lines covered the entire thing. He heard an odd noise as the large gate began slowly opening. It was nearly six meters tall, and seeing it slowly swing open was quite the sight.
Very fitting for a boss room.
What was even more fitting was the dense red mist that slowly seeped out the gate. Jake felt an aura spread from within, and he knew whatever dwelled in there had awakened. Jake walked forward through the gate and dense mist.
He looked through the chamber and saw the walls lined with beautiful paintings and a carpet covering the floor. What Jake could only assume was expensive furniture was also everywhere in the massive chamber. Contrary to everywhere else, this room was kept in perfect condition too. There wasn’t even a single trace of dust anywhere.
In the center of the chamber was a pedestal with a metal coffin on top. The coffin was made of a silver-like material and also looked expensive as hell. It was undoubtedly a treasure or item worth a lot, if not as a coffin, but for the raw materials alone.
Ever so slowly, the coffin opened. Jake stayed at the entrance to the chamber as he saw a figure rise out. He couldn’t help but hold back a frown as he saw it. It was a… human? Or at least it looked exactly like one. He had expected the Count to look more like the recorded projection. But this? This was just a black-haired middle-aged man. He had to use Identify to confirm.
[Count of Blood – lvl 155]
Sure enough, it was the Count.
Just after he Identified the vampire, the Count’s eyes opened. They were red and beast-like. A bit similar to his own yellow ones, actually. Naturally, the vampire was also fully aware of Jake with his eyes open, and the hunter had already prepared himself. He didn’t want to attack right away because these vampires weren’t just stupid beasts but humanoids like him from everything he had learned.
“How long?” Jake heard a pained voice say. It sounded like someone with an incredibly sore throat.
“No idea, to be honest. A while,” Jake honestly answered as he tried something else fun. “You’re now part of a system event in the 93rd Universe, and you’re pretty much just a quest monster.”
“93rd era!? How is that possible? It was barely the… the…” the vampire said as he looked confused for a moment before looking back up. “Who are you, and what are you doing here? Who is your master?”
Well, ain’t that interesting, completely ignored the part about it being a system event, Jake thought. It lent some more credence to his whole constructed scenario theory. Yet, the vampire was also clearly sapient.
“Well, I am a hunter, I came here to take a key off your hands, and my master is myself,” he answered.
“A hunter!? A vampire hunter has entered my chambers!? That isn’t pos-“
“No, no, just a regular hunter. I hunt pretty much everything; I don’t discriminate. Actually, in this scenario, calling me a vampire hunter isn’t entirely inaccurate? Though I guess that depends on you. The key, hand it over,” Jake said with a shrug.
The vampire looked at Jake for a moment, still standing atop his coffin. “How dare mere livestock demand anything of a noble!? I-“
“Hey, I’m an Earl! Pretty sure Earl is over Count in the rankings. Or maybe they’re equal? Not sure, to be honest,” Jake again shrugged, thoroughly enjoying just fucking with the Count. He had a solid feeling the Count wouldn’t give him any valuable info at all, and in the end, it would result in a fight. Better get the show on the road… after he had his fun.
“Are you mocking me?” the Count said, the intensity of his glowing eyes increasing.
“Not necessarily. Tell me, why didn’t you guys and gals ever use the stuff left by that creator? You had the keys, right? Maybe with the stuff he got from that True Ancestor Sanguine, you could have made it out of here or traded it with a faction for protection or something. On a side note, who was Sanguine? I assume he is dead.”
“YOU DARE SPEAK THE NAME OF THE TRUE ANCESTOR IN VAIN!?” the Count of Blood yelled, as the entire room shook, and Jake sighed as he took out his bow. “TO BECOME MY FIRST MEAL UPON AWAKENING IS AN HONOR!”
Without any delay, the vampire waved his hand as a black sword appeared in it. His clothes were replaced with a suit of chainmail armor, and a helmet covered the Count’s head, except for an opening where the mouth was and two eye-holes.
Jake, in return, summoned a few dozen stable arcane arrows in his hand instantly and tossed them in the quiver on his back along with the contents of a bottle of uncommon-rarity Necrotic Poison. One thing he had learned was that despite being vampires, they didn’t really have anything to do with the undead. Quite the opposite, actually, as they seemed full of vitality.
He nocked an arrow, but he wasn’t the one to make the first move.
The Count suddenly exploded into red mist, and a fraction of a second later appeared beside Jake with yet another poof of mist. Jake had to think fast and quickly took a step forward as he used One Step Mile just in time to avoid the sword slash.
Jake turned on a dime as he fired the arrow after the vampire. The Count dodged the hastily fired arrow as he turned into mist again and pressed the attack. Seeing it coming this time, Jake had already jumped away, and this time had far more time to take aim.
While flying back, he shot it and froze the Count with Gaze of the Apex Hunter. Jake felt the strain from doing so and noted that the Count had quite the resistance. Still… he had faced worse, and the Count failed to move in time as he was hit in the chest by an arrow.
The vampire recoiled but swiftly ripped the arrow out and turned to mist again. Sadly for it… his poison was in his system, and even if he became incorporeal, he was still affected. But… Jake did notice one thing through his Sense of the Malefic Viper.
Innate resistance? he asked himself as he tried to create some more distance. He was lucky that the Count’s chamber was freaking massive, easily over a hundred meters from one end to the other. Still, a bit confined, but manageable.
Anyway, the vampire had something that made his poison less effective. He felt the toxic energies quickly be broken down and eliminated, and what was in the Count’s system didn’t do the expected damage. It was like he had some kind of skill similar to Jake’s Palate of the Malefic Viper.
“Fighting is meaningless. You are merely livestock, accept your fate,” the Count said as he stopped up. His body began glowing redder than before, and he opened his hands wide as the blade disappeared.
“Grasping Claws of the Blood Feast.”
The red aura around the vampire behind shifting and changing as it intensified many times and became almost tangible, as the red light soon took the shape of four red arms ending in sharp claws hands. Jake saw all this happen, but that didn’t mean he wasted his time.
Energy burned around him as he stood there with the string pulled back and arcane energy revolving around him.
When the four claws began flying towards him, he released the string to a mighty explosion of arcane energy. The four arms headed for him moved to defend, and while they managed to drain some of the shot’s power, they failed to stop it.
All four arms lost their shape as they exploded, and the Arcane Powershot flew for the vampire. He didn’t even dodge but instead held out a hand to block it as the red aura around him moved to form a shield. The more Jake looked at the red aura, the more it looked like a red liquid.
A red liquid that couldn’t stop his blow either, as the Arcane Powershot obliterated the arm of the Count, sending him flying back into the wall at the far end of the hall. Jake followed up with a quickly fired Splitting Arrow of the five-arrow-explosions variant.
The Count sneered as the four arms rapidly reformed and, together with the rest of the aura, managed to block the explosions.
“Fool, do you truly believe that mere livestock can stand against a Count of the vampiric race!?” the vampire yelled as he flew towards Jake, the red aura around him growing even more intense.
I fucking hope those lines are due to system-fuckery…Jake thought as he fired another barrage of explosive arrows, burning away at the aura.
Well, at least he had taken an arm… or so he thought.
Jake saw flesh slowly form in real-time as a new arm grew out, giving him bad Deepdweller flashbacks. Except he soon noticed this was an active skill and not passive. At least not all of it was passive as Jake saw the aura be more focused around the growing arm.
Either way, the vampire was damn durable, and Jake knew he was in for the long haul.
A long haul… filled with horrible boss dialogue.