The Primal Hunter



Chapter 323 - Treasure Hunt: Boss Room, Please?


A note from Zogarth
Merry Christmas and happy holidays and all that everyone! (Funny fact, in Denmark we celebrate Christmas on the 24th with presents and all that, while only having a Christmas lunch on the 25th or 26th.)

Hope you all have a great day and a great weekend with lots of great presents and good food.

Also, I shall still post this: - Go vote!

Casper solved the puzzle and shattered the spatial bindings holding the final fragment as Lyra flew up and grabbed it. She returned it to him, and he inspected it to make sure everything was in order.

[World Fragment of Yalsten (Unique)] – One of five World Fragment of Yalsten, the cornerstones of the miniature world. As Yalsten began falling apart, the World Core was split into five and scattered in the cardinal directions of the world to stabilize it. What has broken cannot be restored, but the fragments can be combined into Quasi-Core once more. Be warned that creating a new core from the fragments will permanently destroy the world known as Yalsten. Cores will automatically reform if close to each other.

When coming to this place, the undead faction had two primary goals. This was the first of them. A World Core was something even gods sometimes desired, as it allowed one to create a true world. Not a full universe, but a world that existed within the endless Void between the universes.

These worlds could vary vastly in size, from no larger than a single room to millions of galaxies. Compared to a real universe, this was still only a mere fraction, but these worlds were far easier to control, customize, and defend compared to managing a section within a universe. However, they also had many drawbacks, such as their fragility and the fact that the world would become effectively inaccessible if all access points were cut off. This is what happened to Yalsten.

What Casper and the undead would get wasn’t a true World Core. That ship had already sailed and what they would instead get was a World Quasi-Core. This core would not allow them to establish a stable world, but it could serve other means. Of all the treasures in the Treasure Hunt, this core was possibly the most valuable.

To assemble it, Casper began heading towards the center of the Treasure Hunt – the crystal spire. The final fragment was stored there, and now was the time to make their final preparations for the battle against the guardian.

But for now, Casper needed to keep his distance from the spire, at least a kilometer or so. If he went too close, he would trigger the merging of the fragments, and then the world known as Yalsten would begin its destruction. The unstable space at the edges only didn’t spread due to the fragments Casper had taken, so once combined, nothing would hold the world back from slowly collapsing in upon itself.

Waiting was done not only for the undead but also for the other factions. After all, there were many other valuables to collect. Casper had also naturally seen the opening quest about the Vaults and knew that soon the final stage would begin without him triggering it or not. In the meantime, the undead would make their preparations while searching for the other thing they wanted.

The second item the undead faction really wanted was the Seed of Eternal Resentment, the fulcrum of the ritual that placed the curse upon Yalsten. Needless to say, an item with the ability to store and facilitate a curse able to destroy an entire world wasn’t to be looked down upon. It would no doubt be weakened if removed from Yalsten, but it was still worth it.

However, with this, they reached an impasse. They discovered that the Seed had already sprung long ago. Wood had been created from off-shoots of the Tree of Eternal Resentment and turned into weapons and tools of the Pure One’s faction.

The main tree itself would have had to be thousands of kilometers tall, towering over the world. Yet now, no such tree was to be found, and the undead scrambled to locate any remnants of it. There had to be at least some leaves, bark, or just any wood left… or perhaps just a single root.

“blub blub blub,” Jake complained as he peered down the hole leading into yet another damn cavern, his words roughly translating to: “you gotta be fucking kidding me.”

Of all the Vaults, he had now officially spent the most time in this one. In the first cavern, he had killed fish before proceeding down to the second. Inside there, he had killed slightly stronger fish. The third cavern he had killed fish, but now there were two different kinds – a second variant added with the ability to spew water bullets or something.

Fourth cavern? Two same kinds of fish, but get this, now there were also traps trying to hurt him. Fifth? More fish, more traps, more everything. Sixth, seventh, eighth? Same fucking shit, over and over again. Some were more focused on foes, some more focused on traps, and all of them equally a waste of fucking time.

Jake had gotten a grand total of nine kills that actually gave experience throughout the entire shitshow that was the water vault. It was just cavern after cavern with those air-lock type things in between to increase the pressure. Jake adapted every time, and he honestly barely noticed the difference between each level.

Perhaps it would screw over someone with less physical stats, but Jake handled it easily. The only real consequence was him having to limit his sphere by a little every time. In this ninth room, he had shrunk it down to only fifteen meters, which still served him fine. His eyesight had gotten rather good, so he managed.

Entering his ninth Vault, he checked it out, his sphere, to see what this place had to offer. It appeared to be more of the same as he was instantly assaulted by a school of fish. Jake sighed internally as crystalline bolts of arcane mana began condensing around him.

Some of the crystalline shards Jake still embedded with a bit of destruction, making them explode. The explosion wasn’t meant to damage anything but simply sent smaller splinters of crystal-like arcane mana flying. Arcane frag grenades, if you will.

At the same time, he drew his weapons, preparing for his foes to arrive. Jake still hadn’t found any feasible way to use his bow and arrow underwater, so for now, this was what he had to do. Just before the first fish reached him, his danger sense faintly warned him as he dodged a harpoon fired out of the wall.

Jake dove forward, staying mobile to avoid the traps. He cut and weaved, swimming primarily by condensing and hardening the water under his feet. Sometimes he appeared to be dragged downwards, courtesy of the Pillar on his back which he sometimes used to increase his weight.

For a lot of the rooms, he had simply reached the bottom and killed everything from there, feeling almost as if he was simply fighting flying foes. However, that hadn’t worked for the last two sections, as the bottom was now a forest of large vent-like openings spitting out extremely hot water whenever he got near.

His eyes were tired as the fish were slowly culled. Sometimes he even made use of a trap, slapping a fish into an incoming spear or perhaps impaling one and sending it flying down to the bottom to become a steamed fish.

Jake could easily handle the Terror’s with their large nose, but he did take some damage from the Spitters – the second variant. They fired bullets of pressured water after him, each of them able to leave small circular wounds. One or two were fine, but it was just tiresome when a dozen assaulted him at once.

Ultimately, he spent nearly an hour cleaning up yet another fucking samey session. He found yet another air-lock at the bottom and entered it. He instantly went to the floor of the small chamber and sat down to meditate, his body looking like swiss cheese from all the bullet holes. While meditating, he naturally went through all his lovely notifications.

*You have slain [Deepgorge Terror – lvl 131]*

*You have slain [Deepgorge Terror – lvl 141]– Bonus experience earned for killing an enemy above your level*

And the only other type of foe – because who needs proper enemy diversity in a fucking water level?

*You have slain [Deepgorge Spitter – lvl 133]*

*You have slain [Deepgorge Spitter – lvl 143]– Bonus experience earned for killing an enemy above your level*

Once more, a lot of the same shit with far too many foes he didn’t even get experience from. The Deepgorge Terror fish were, as previously mentioned, bottom-tier D-grades, and the Spitters were barely a level above that. If these were translated to land-dwelling animals, Jake would be able to slaughter them even more easily than the Deepdwellers back in the Undergrowth dungeon.

As he thought this, he reached the end of his notifications and saw one more that made his eyes open wide.

*’DING!’ Class: [Avaricious Arcane Hunter] has reached level 139 - Stat points allocated, +10 Free Points*

This shit actually gave me a level?

Doing the math, it seriously shouldn’t have. While Jake had certainly killed a lot, these were weak D-grades and barely any levels above himself. Could it be it’s because of the environment?

Jake did know that a part of how much experience one got was determined by the difficulty of the fights, and he did have to admit that fighting these fish wasn’t easy. He had to apply new methods, and not a single room had left him with more than half of his health remaining.

Shaking his head, Jake simply focused on his meditation, not bothering to think too much about it. Instead, he focused solely on recuperation so he could swiftly move on to the next area. The next one would be the tenth cavern, and he dearly hoped that would be the last one. A part of him had hoped it was only nine, but ten also seemed ‘fitting’ if that was the right word.

A few hours passed as Jake got up, ready to continue. There was now only a bit over a day of the entire Treasure Hunt left, and he seriously couldn’t dally around and play around in these shitty water levels anymore.

The next cavern turned out to not be a cavern at all. Jake looked around and saw he now found himself in what looked like a flooded underwater chamber with large metal pillars everywhere. He was also fairly certain this place was larger than any section prior. This change could only mean one thing:

It was a boss room.

And what did a boss room also indicate? That’s right, the end of the challenge.

Jake made a toothy smile, prepared to face whatever monstrosity was hiding within. Yet, just as he was beginning to get himself riled up, he spotted a figure out the corner of his eye. It was a long snake-like creature that was more than five meters long. He turned towards it and Identified it.

[Fulgarian Eel – lvl 140]

The slithering beast also saw Jake at the same moment. It darted towards him with its mouth open, even faster than the Terrors from the other chambers. He reacted by drawing his blades and winding up his arcane magic.

With a slash, he met the charging beast. It angled itself to bite into his sword, catching it between its razor-sharp teeth. Jake thought it moronic to do so until the very next moment. His danger sense reacted as he quickly let go of the Nanoblade he had used to attack.

A thunderclap was heard as the area lit up with blue light from his blade. Electricity, and not a small amount either. Luckily, he had let go at the very last moment, avoiding being zapped. He was still hurt by the electricity, but not as much as he would expect, being in water and all.

His body was temporarily paralyzed, but it did little to stop his arcane magic. Crystalline bolts hammered into the side of the eel, leaving nasty punctures along its side. It made an odd screeching sound in anger and pain, but all that did was to make Jake continue his assault.

Covering his body in Scales of the Malefic Viper, Jake dove in, scimitar at the ready. He retrieved his Nanoblade and attacked the eel with both of them, leaving a few nasty cuts. The eel turned around in the water, sending out a pulse of electricity after Jake, but this time his scales were up. The paralysis was negated as the beast didn’t bite down on a tasty Jake, but instead a blade stabbing into its open mouth.

Frowning, Jake wondered if this could truly be the boss? It was stronger than the fish, sure, but it wasn’t exactly boss-level or anything. Dislodging his blade, he attacked yet another time as another current of electric energy was emitted, this time at higher power, actually managing to penetrate his scales. Clearly, this was not done with the intent to paralyze but damage.

Jake felt the current run through his body, burning him a bit internally but far from enough to stop him. He quickly retreated for a brief moment, poisoning both his blades with his own blood before he attacked again, leaving a few more cuts. The beast was heavily damaged by now, and Jake was confident he would finish it shortly.

Sadly for him, it had friends.

He became aware of several presences approaching, not from his sphere, but his Sense of the Malefic Viper. Mana of the electric variant approached him from three sides, and he quickly oriented himself of the joining foes.

[Fulgarian Eel – lvl 139]

[Fulgarian Eel – lvl 141]

[Fulgarian Eel – lvl 142]

Four at once… still better than the other sections, Jake told himself as he activated the Pillar on his back to sink downwards, avoiding being surrounded.

Three of the eels chased him, one of them lagging behind due to its injuries. Jake faced them all as they clashed. He opened his eyes wide as he froze them with Gaze, proceeding forward with his blades. Arcane power swirled around his blade as he cut the first one deeply. The second one got stabbed through, with the third getting four arcane crystal bolts puncturing its side.

If this fight had happened in the very first section, Jake could have seen himself be utterly screwed. But now, nine caverns later? By now, he was confident in fighting underwater, and while he was still far weaker than on land, handling a bunch of eels wouldn’t be an issue.

Lightning rolled through the water, poison and blood were spilled everywhere, but the winner was clear from the beginning. Jake cut and poisoned the eels till they all stopped struggling, him barely taking any damage from it. He did have to block a few blows, which resulted in him taking a bite on the arm, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t easily ignore.

He noticed that the eels couldn’t discharge electricity all the time. They had to slowly build it up, and from what Jake saw, they did this by absorbing the water-mana in the area and transforming it into lightning or electricity-affinity mana.

This meant he knew he could attack an eel with no reservations just after it released a blast or tried to fry him, giving him ample openings.

Jake shook his head as he dispelled his blades again, disappointed. Was this shitty place really going to continue? He couldn’t see those four eels be the final challenge of-


A loud clicking sound echoed through the water, and a moment later, Jake heard what sounded like a generator starting. The metal pillars all around the room began glowing as electricity wormed its way up their sides, and Jake’s eyes opened wide as he saw something move far beneath him. It looked like part of the room itself was moving…

He squinted his eyes as he saw the faint reflection of deep blue skin that faint crackled with lightning, and he promptly used Identify.

[Giant Fulgarian Eel Lord – lvl 158]

Thank fucking Villy, it really was a boss room.

A note from Zogarth

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About the author


  • Denmark

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