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Ch068-When The Lion’s Hungry… (2/2)

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[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 20 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 20 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 56!
+5AP

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 20 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

“Why aren’t they attacking?” Spring asked as Sylver continued to walk through the corridor. The shades around him worked in pairs, one killing the proto zombie hiding inside the walls, and the other catching it and pushing it back into the hole once it died. There was almost a beat because of how synchronized they all were.

“They’re undead, they neither see nor hear, all they have to go on is a rudimentary soul sense. As far as they’re concerned, I’m not here. And as you can see the half a second between the sledgehammer breaking open their wall, and the same sledgehammer smashing their skull open, isn’t enough time for them to react properly,” Sylver explained with a smile, as the shades moved onto the next batch and made the sound of hammers hitting stone jump around the long corridor in echoes.

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 20 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 57!
+5AP

“We could just leave them alone. But I did just get 3 levels without doing anything,” Sylver said, as he turned into smoke to avoid the pressure plates and reformed on the other side.

The map the demon had drawn said there would be a way down soon.

It irked Sylver that the demon appeared to know about the walls blocking his way, given that the demon’s map, and the only route Sylver could follow, were identical. The question ‘what if the demon knew about the walls, and there would be one right on top of the secret door?’ floated around Sylver’s head, before getting squashed by a lifetime worth of practice.

Don’t think about things you can’t control.

If you can’t do something, leave it, and focus on what you can. If there was a wall there, Sylver would deal with it then and there, there was nothing to be gained thinking about it right now.

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 20 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 58!
+5AP

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 20 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

I wonder what the level 60 perk for necromancer will be? Sylver thought, instantly ordering Spring to stop the shades from killing the next zombies.

I got a special effect for [Raise Zombie] because I killed the rat king. What if I’ll get better perks if I kill something similar in the crypt? Like that blade whip thing? Sylver thought, as he collected all the shades back into his shadow, but continued to walk ahead.

On the other hand, this is essentially free experience. But what if the system is penalizing me for not giving them any room to respond or fight? But then assassins would be worthless as a class, and yet I’ve met several already that were much higher leveled than me.

Wait… If I don’t choose a perk, I can still increase my level. Does the perk list lock-in when it says 1 perk is available, or is it more likely like skills and will accept any new achievements and unlock more perks? Since the level doesn’t stop increasing, probably not…

But on the other hand, 10 more attribute points now, are better than the potential of a good perk at 60. This might be a great place to test this. I’ll continue killing zombies, but hold off on choosing a new perk until I kill the next thing.

Sylver had walked a fair distance while he was lost in thought, and had to wait for a few minutes for the shades to go back and continue killing proto zombies.

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 20 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 59!
+5AP

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

*

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*

Sylver placed his hand against the strange barrier again and tried to send a pulse of mana through it. Just as before, it somehow both existed and he could feel it with his mana sense, but as far as any analytical spells he knew were concerned, there was nothing there. Just plain unenchanted empty air.

Sylver consulted his map again. After this, there was something going down to the next level of the crypt.

But first, he needed to enter into an area that would lock him inside and force him to fight against something.

Sylver swung his arms around and felt the half-healed wound on his back whine, but chose to ignore it and focused on stretching the rest of his body instead. It was, truth be told, merely a flesh wound, even if it didn’t hurt like one.

Sylver took a deep breath and checked that his robe was fine. He preemptively grabbed the blessed silver dagger but kept it sheathed. Even with all the lead surrounding the thing, it worried Sylver more than the 5 explosives he had received from Lola.

As Sylver checked that all the shades were healed and ready, he suddenly remembered something.

[Trait: Undead Domination]
-Enemy undead can be converted into allies.
*Difficulty increases exponentially as the level difference between caster and target increases.
*Undead the same level as the caster, or lower, have a very high chance of a conversion.
*Cost of dominating undead is ([Target Level] * 15) MP
*Undead below 10% of the caster's level, will convert automatically.

It only now occurs to me this is the first time I’m fighting an undead… When was the last time I converted anything? After I reached fifth tier, I already had enough shades with me that there was never any point.

A toothy, but slightly uncertain, smile spread across Sylver’s face as he cracked his knuckles and flexed his fingers.

Health: 567/600
Stamina: 300/300
MP: 2111/2250

“I’m going to try something. I haven’t done this in a very long while, so have these ready in case I’m wrong,” Sylver said, as he handed Spring two of his grenades.

Sylver removed his mask and pulled his robe back from his hands to have them out in the open and uncovered.

The last time I did this was from a distance, and to nearly 500 zombies at the same time. So hopefully I’m able to handle one with direct contact. Sylver thought as he closed his hands into fists.

Tendrils of bright yellow crept up through them and spread out, crisscrossing around the fingers and joints. Sylver bounced on the tips of his toes and sped his heart rate up to an eye-bulging 200 beats per minute.

Sylver walked backward for a few steps, and sprinted forward, through the strange barrier that wasn’t a barrier, and saw a man wearing light leather armor standing directly in front of him. The man’s white eyes locked in on Sylver, as his arms opened up as if to hug him, but instead started to pull away and rip his flesh apart, spraying him with blood, even as his torso also began to elongate.

Sylver channeled his mana directly into his hand, and set off several explosions under his feet and back, and rocketed upwards slightly.

The very same foamy black blood started to leak and expand out of the man, covering his arms, legs and torso, and closing up over his head like a hood.

Sylver reached the creature, and shoved his hand through the crust like darkness, grabbing hold of the creature’s skull. Sylver forced his mana out of his hand into the creature’s head and simultaneously used his robe to keep its hands away from him.

The creature’s head was covered in a pitch-black helmet, but from the way it was angled Sylver could tell it was staring directly at him.

Sylver felt something on the other side fighting back against him or at least attempting to understand what was happening, as Sylver’s mana pierced the skull and moved down the creature’s body.

Sylver had never attempted to do this on a creature so close to him in terms of strength and could feel it push back against him.

Just a bit more! Sylver thought with excitement, sending Spring the mental order and pressing harder into the creature’s skull. All around him several shades materialized from the shadows and promptly turned their heads very sharply and exploded into a puff of darkness.

Sylver pooled the extra mana in his other hand, made it flat, and shoved it through the helmet as if it were a dagger. His fingers melted the darkness around them as Sylver grabbed hold of the creature’s skull with his other hand, and he could feel whatever was on the other side struggling to match his magic’s speed and intensity.

The helmet pulled back to reveal a torn-up face, with a single eye glowing a bright yellow, and the other glowing a dull grey. Sylver smiled and saw the faintest trace of a smile form on the man’s face, as the grey eye exploded in a puff of black and the newly created hole began to glow bright yellow.

[??? (???) Converted!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy ??? levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]
[Due to defeating a ???, additional experience has been awarded!]
[Due to defeating a ??? solo, additional experience has been awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 60!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

[Necromancer] has reached level 61!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

[Necromancer] has reached level 62!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

Sylver removed his hands and dropped down to the floor. His fingers looked like the skin had been ripped off, with only charred black bone remaining. It was only bone up to the second knuckle, only trace amounts of dried-up ligaments remained and kept the scorched and smoking tips from falling off.

Sylver waved them around as the smoke receded, and finally covered them in darkness, tightening it around them to stop the pain and stop them from falling off.

Sylver looked up at the creature, who was still covered from head to toe in a coating of darkness-produced armor, but now had giant tendrils of yellow leaking from its head, down to its torso, arms, and legs.

In either hand, the creature held a long thin saber, curved to the point of absurdity, and slowly turning a gentle yellow. As expected, the same as with the one before, the dark wall that formed behind Sylver remained where it was, blocking any attempt to return.

“What do those do?” Sylver asked, gesturing with his finger towards one of the blades.

The creature wordlessly took a strange stance and threw the saber. It spun in the air, and to Sylver’s surprise curved and started to fly back. The creature didn’t so much as flinch as the saber harmlessly was caught by its hand, too fast for Sylver’s eyes to perceive it.

Sylver wanted to make the creature lay down so he could open it up and see where exactly the darkness-based armor came from but understood from the low warning whirr behind his head that this was a bad idea. Why the system suddenly gave a shit about how zombies and undead functioned was a mystery to Sylver, but he couldn’t do anything about it, so he let it go.

For now…

*

*

*

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 63!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

[??? (???) Defeated!]

The creature, that Sylver had informally named Sabo, continued to chop its way through the slow-moving proto zombies.

Relatively slow, because they could outrun Sylver at this point, and were now quick enough that Sylver wasn’t sure if he could dodge them point-blank range anymore. But to Sabo’s spectacular spinning sabers, they might as well have been standing still.

Sylver felt great about his decision to attempt a conversion, as Sabo would have been incredibly difficult to fight. Not only could he throw those things with so much speed that Sylver couldn’t even see them, but he also made them bounce off the walls, and off each other, making them not only invisible but nearly impossible to predict the trajectory they would take.

The fact that Sylver’s eyes plain and simple couldn’t keep up anymore, was what led him to reconsider his old plan of getting his constitution to 100. He had 50 points at the moment and was considering putting 40 into dexterity, just so he could at the very least see things coming. Strength was a matter of pumping more mana in his muscles, but he was already far too close to his body’s limit.

Thankfully his robe was faster than he was and could move him around like a doll being puppeteered, so that was a lower priority.

But at the same time putting all 50 in intelligence was so enticing. 3000MP, 375 per minute, 6.25 per second.

But all completely pointless if he’s in an environment with no cover, like the entirety of this crypt seems to be. Even the bricks making up the floor, walls, and ceiling were no longer loose enough for Sylver’s smoke form to hide between them. So, his option was either to let a shade shield him, which they’re too weak for more than one hit, or try to predict what an enemy will do and move preemptively.

Which worked for now, but only because the gap in speed and perception hasn’t been too wide yet. Sylver couldn’t see the whip sword, but he could guess how it would move from experience. But with Sabo, he would have died if he threw those sabers and it didn’t instantly click in Sylver’s head how exactly they would fly through the air.

[Necromancer] has reached level 64!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

[Necromancer] has reached level 65!

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

By the time Sylver came to a final decision, he already had 60 points to distribute. It was nothing but endless proto zombies, that were somehow already out of their boxes and waiting for him. Sylver guessed that either whatever was on the other side of his fight with Sabo was aware of his trick and decided that trying to surprise him by keeping them inside the walls wasn’t worth it, or Sylver had simply triggered some sort of automated response.

But ready or not Sabo and the shades handled all of them quickly and efficiently, while Sylver hung back and healed up the odd shade or two.

He put all 60 into dexterity, on the logic that as long as he was fast enough to dodge all the attacks, it didn’t matter how low his HP was. Even if it went all the way up to 1200HP he was still one hit to the head away from death. Stamina was one thing he could hypothetically improve upon, but Sylver’s fights lasted seconds, not minutes or hours. He moved around using explosions, or by jumping or using his robe, there wasn’t all that much running involved.

As Sylver stared at his status and mentally moved the points into dexterity, he felt the world around him slow down. Not literally, everything was moving the same as before, but Sylver could now see Sabo’s sabers flying through the air. And it didn’t feel like his body was faster, but it did feel like some sort of invisible resistance had disappeared.

It was as if Sylver was always wading his way through the water, and just now stepped onto dry land. More than that, it wasn’t just not jarring in the slightest, it felt right. And most importantly, it felt like his body was finally obeying him completely. It no longer had that hundredth of a millisecond lag between him deciding to move his arm and his body following his decision.

Sylver had assumed it was just the result of his body still not being fully attuned to its new host, but apparently not. His mind was just faster than his body, but not anymore. If anything, it felt like Sylver was able to think faster than before.

Sylver experimentally gestured with his hand and produced a bright blue ball of fire between his fingers. Was he faster? Did his casting time somehow decrease from this? It was hard to tell, but Sylver made a mental note to experiment with this the next time he had 10 or more points to put into dexterity. If he could increase the speed at which he cast with his soul, he could… do a great deal of things he hadn’t even considered before.

And while it was just as subtle, Sylver felt like his joints had relaxed. He swung his arms around and was all but certain that he could move them further back than before. Even his fingers felt like they could bend a little more freely than before.

Another thing to experiment with at a later date.

Although at the pace Sylver was currently going, he could be leaving this crypt with 100 levels in necromancer.

Sylver smiled to himself and readied his still skinless fingers, as the strange barrier that wasn’t a barrier appeared in front of him once again. He had decided that he would pick his level 60 necromancer perk when he got to level 69, so he could compare if killing one of these boss-like creatures added anything new.

Or converting in this case. If he had Sabo and the shades weaken the next one and hold it down, Sylver could grind into submission, no matter how powerful it was.

*

*

*

Total Level: 69
[Koschei-4]
[Necromancer-65]

CON: 60
DEX: 70
STR: 1
INT: 150
WIS: 100
AP: 0

Health: 588/600
Stamina: 291/300
MP: 2220/2250

Health Regen: 7.00/M
Stamina Regen: 4.5/M
MP Regen: 281.25/M

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KingKennit

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