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Ch069-Nice ‘n’ Easy

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Sylver jumped up to sit on top of Sabo, as the hulking giant creature crossed through the barrier that wasn’t a barrier. He didn’t think about it but made a mental note that the darkness-based armor that Sabo was wearing, felt like there was liquid underneath.

But just like with the proto zombies, the crypt wasn’t giving him those precious 3 seconds between the corpse seeing him, and stretching out and getting covered in armor.

This one was ready.

[Restricted]

The creature was just barely 3 meters tall and paled in comparison to Sabo’s bulky frame. Its armor was a little different from Sabo’s, it looked like it was made of scales, as opposed to plates, but was the same solidified darkness material. In its hands it had a very long and sharp-looking halberd, that was perfectly symmetrical, with a spear tip sticking out from in-between the opposite pointing curved blades.

Sylver sent the shades out to surround it, but it just stood there.

Its head was bent down and looking at the floor as if it were the most interesting thing in the world.

With the archers materialized, Sylver walked sideways, constantly on the lookout for the attack. Or whatever trick it was about to play. With Spring handling the timing, Sylver didn’t need to worry about his body language giving anything away, since even he didn’t know when they would start. He walked around the creature, by the time Spring gave the go-ahead.

Three things happened in perfect sync. The archer shades released their arrows, Sabo started to run and threw his sabers, and Sylver jumped up and kicked himself off the wall behind him, flying towards the halberd-wielding zombie.

The halberd wielder twitched for a moment and then slammed the spear tipped halberd into the ground. He was instantly surrounded from all sides by an absurd number of spears sticking out of the ground. Sylver spun mid-air and kicked off from an invisible platform. Sabo’s sabers reached the forest like spears and, predictably, cut through a few of them, before getting stuck and embedded on the ones nearer the center.

Similarly, the arrows of the shade archers just shattered as they collided with the wall of spears.

Sylver remained where he was for a moment, and waited. The spears remained as they were. If anything, there were more slowly being added to replace the broken ones. Sabo’s sabers rose into the air and fell onto the floor with a loud clang. The sound echoed around the empty room.

“Hey,” Sylver said, standing on thin air and with a hand raised in front of him. Sabo’s sabers turned into rust and then reappeared in his hands.

The creature inside the cage of spears didn’t respond. It didn’t attack either.

It didn’t do anything, it just kept standing in the middle of the extremely dense cage of spears.

“You’re one of Igri’s students right?” Sylver jumped higher in the air as spears appeared underneath him shredded the bottom of his left boot.

Sylver saw a line of extended spears stretching from the circle of spears directly beneath him, all the way to the significantly diminished circle of spear around the halberd wielder.

Sylver spun sideways and avoided the spears flying up at him. He glanced up for a moment, to see the spears slowly being absorbed into the ceiling. Just as slowly, the circle underneath Sylver receded and returned to the growing cage around the halberd wielder.

He can extend them whatever surface he wants, but there’s a limit on how many he can use, and he needs time to pull them back to extend them again… Sylver thought, reaching into his robe.

“Listen. We can help each other. I can show you how to make better use of your zombies, I know a salve that will stop them from drying out and rotting, I’ve got magic you can’t even imagine! Talk to me, let’s make a deal!” Sylver shouted.

The halberd-wielding zombie didn’t appear all that open to negotiation. There was also a good chance the person controlling it didn’t speak Eirish.

“Elvish? High elf? Gnomish? Dwarven? Old dwarven? English? Japanese? Valgorian? French? German?” Sylver asked, changing languages to see if he could find one that the person behind the creature could understand. His attempt was cut short as another batch of spears were shot at him, and he had to dodge them.

Even after going through every language Sylver knew, the halberd-wielding zombie didn’t appear at all interested. Either it genuinely couldn’t hear him, couldn’t understand him, or Sylver was trying to negotiate with an automated system.

As Sylver was, yet again, nearly pierced by a fast-moving spear, he decided he had given this enough of his time and gave Spring the go-ahead.

Sabo walked back as much as he could and started to sprint towards the cage made out of spears. The giant black armor-covered zombie, built up very serious momentum, and at Sylver’s command, ignored all the spears piercing its body, as it continued to run towards the halberd wielder. Sylver held his hand out from his floating platform and caught an arrow from one of his shade archers.

Using a small piece of string he tied Lola’s grenade to the end of the arrow and covered it in a slim layer of darkness to make it a bit more streamlined. Sylver pulled the pin out and dropped the armed explosive down to the waiting shade beneath him.

As Sabo collided with the defensive barrier of spears, his body was pierced by newly made ones, further thickening the already ridiculous defense. Shade swordsmen appeared on the opposite side of where Sabo was impaled, and chopped away at the spears, getting killed one by one by spears emerging out of the floor.

The shade archer beneath Sylver shot the explosive armed arrow at the cage full of spears and missed it entirely.

The shade archer standing on the other side of the room caught the explosive arrow, and in a quick and smooth motion, notched it in his bow and shot it at the cage of spears. The swordsmen shades hit the spear wall a final time, tearing it open, even as they were torn open.

The bulky arrow spun in the air as it flew, and passed through the opening the dead swordsmen had created, embedding itself inside of the protective cage.

The effect was immediate.

[??? (???) 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 66!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

[Necromancer] has reached level 67!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

And disappointing.

Sylver had hoped the creature would be quick and smart enough to recognize it was a bomb and would jump out of the safety of its cage so that Sylver could catch and convert it.

Instead, it just sat there. For about 3 seconds, after which Sylver had to look away as the explosion blinded him. And as the shockwave reached him, deafened him.

Standing on his invisible platform, and using his robe to soak up the blood leaking out of his ears, Sylver could only watch as the spears dissolved into thin air and disappeared. Sylver made a mental note that even the impervious to magic bricks couldn’t handle Lola’s grenade.

Sylver turned around to look at the source of sound behind him and found a darkened liver sliding down the solid black wall. It was shredded and full of dissolving wooden splinters, and lost its grip, and fell to the ground.

Sylver turned into smoke and traveled down to the source of the gore, which was now a very small mound of something black and greasy. Sadly, amongst other bad news, the spear didn’t survive.

But Sylver guessed that it would have been the same situation as it is with Sabo’s sabers. Sabo can wield them with no issue, but any attempt Sylver made to take them away from the zombie thing, or have his shades take them away, resulted in them immediately rusting and disappearing.

Only for Sabo to make them reappear in his hands at will.

Sylver’s best guess was that this was only possible because of how dense the miasma was in here. Disintegration magic wasn’t all that difficult, and inside a highly concentrated area of mana simply creating a new weapon from scratch wasn’t out of the question.

It was wasteful, granted, but a good way to make sure you aren’t arming the people attempting to rob you. Not to mention, this being a crypt and all, there was very likely some sort of vanity-related reason for doing it like this. Sylver was controlling Sabo, but Sabo was very much still part of whatever magical system was in place here. Even his many spear made wounds were slowly being healed.

During the couple minutes it took for the shades to bring all the chunks they could find back to the center, Sylver’s ears had thankfully healed enough that now he only had to worry about the incredibly annoying ringing.

The corpse was a little different than before. Not just because it was in scorched pieces, but also because it wasn’t all that badly damaged. In the sense, this one hadn’t stretched the body all that much.

“Even though I didn’t get a response, I’m now almost certain this is one of Igri’s students. It reacted when I said ‘Igri’, but it could just as well have been a coincidence. But I think I’m starting to understand what it’s trying to achieve,” Sylver explained, talking out loud out of habit than any other reason.

“Mixing shades and zombies into one. I tried it for a while, but I could never get them to integrate properly. One always ended up getting in the way of the other, and yet whoever built this crypt seems to have mastered it. If nothing else, assuming they kept notes, this will be a huge help in the long run,” Sylver said, as dug through the remains and pulled out a destroyed silver adventurer’s tag. It was so twisted and broken, it was impossible to read the name on it.

Hopefully, the guild would have some way to identify it.

Sylver snapped his fingers and made the pile of flesh burst into bright blue flames.

Sylver continued to walk through the dark and empty corridor, directly behind Sabo and a few swordsmen shades to act as a distraction in the event of a surprise attack.

*

*

*

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

[Necromancer] has reached level 68!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

[Necromancer] has reached level 69!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

“I’ve just realized that I only need my wisdom to get to 800 to have it fully restore my mana to full every minute. If I put all my points into wisdom it would only take 140 levels to get to 800. This is assuming I don’t get a perk that further increases my mana regeneration,” Sylver said with a smile.

They were currently taking a break, right in front of the barrier that wasn’t a barrier with Sylver sitting with his back to the thing so as not to look at it. Spring sat directly opposite him, constantly on the lookout for any proto zombies coming in from behind. Not that there were any left, Sabo and the shades had been extremely effective.

“Why can’t you use Lola’s rings again? I know you can’t, it’s very clear in your memories that you can’t, and I know you can’t, but I haven’t gotten to the part why you can’t,” Spring asked.

“It’s entirely because I’m what is called a ‘pure dark’. Do you want the short answer or the long answer?” Sylver asked.

“Long answer. It’ll give me something to think about when you sleep,” Spring answered.

“The first question is; how does saying a few words and wiggling your fingers, translate into a ball of flames?” Sylver asked, holding the aforementioned ball of blue fire in his open palm.

“But you don’t wiggle your fingers? And you’ve only ever chanted when you were summoning the demon,” Spring asked.

“I wiggle my soul. My hands are only there to act as a guide. Mana isn’t, technically speaking, real; it doesn’t exist as a physical atom or cell or wave. If you don’t have mana, you won’t be affected by mana. The less mana you have, the less you’re affected by it. We had several warriors working for us that were near impervious to magic. There was this one guy, Edis, he could take a sixth-tier pillar of lightning and not even burn his hair off. As close to immune as a human being can get.”

“So finger wiggling?”

“Right, finger wiggling. Mana can’t understand what you want unless you tell it. It’s a bit like you are in that sense. If I never gave you the order to kill those proto zombies, you wouldn’t. No wait, you would, sentient and all, but a freshly born shade wouldn’t. Which is why I give all of them the 1,001 rules to obey when it comes to defending me. But without them, they would just stand there and watch as I get murdered. Same with mana, you need to let it know what it is you want,” Sylver said, as he dispelled the ball of blue fire and bent his fingers into a claw-like shape.

“My mana is stored in my mana channels and they reach down to my fingertips, much like blood vessels do. When I move my hand, my channels follow suit, but they’re not actually inside of my hand. They can move in and out of it if I wanted them to. I can’t quite do it in Ciege’s body, but in my old one, I could have the equivalent of eight hands casting from each fingertip. I stopped practicing physical casting once I learned how to do it with my soul, but I can still do about a hand to each finger. Not that there’s any point, Ciege’s body would disintegrate if I did that. I mean, look at this, and I only went slightly above the body’s limit,” Sylver said, as he released the gauntlet of darkness wrapped around his hand and showed Spring the raw muscle growing on top of partially black finger bones.

Spring nodded but decided not to interrupt.

Sylver covered his hand in darkness again and made a claw gesture with it.

“Now, mana channels also exist in my tongue, and my arms, and my legs, and my torso, and the more you use them the more they grow and develop. So, I could hypothetically cast magic by tensing my abs in a specific rhythm, or I could cast with my legs, or feet or toes, or I could make a series of sounds that move my tongue and cheeks in a specific pattern. The point is that, to cast magic, you need to communicate using the mana inside of you, what you’re trying to do. Let’s say I want to throw a ball of fire into the ceiling. I can do this,” Sylver said, as he swiped left with his hand and sent a ball of blue flames flying up into the ceiling.

“Or I can say Bigi Verh Siniy Ogon Bigi,” Sylver chanted without moving his hands, as a ball of bright blue flames appeared in front of him and flew up into the ceiling.

“Or I can use my soul,” Sylver said, as a ball of bright blue flames appeared at the very tip of his finger and flew up into the ceiling.

“So how does this translate to you being a full dark, and being unable to use Lola’s rings?” Spring asked.

“I’m getting to that. This would normally be a several hours long lecture, but I’m trying to cut it down to the key elements for you. Mana can be divided into how it interacts with the world. Solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Those are the basics, the core of all magic so to speak. On top of that, you also have energies, positive and negative or light and dark, or push and pull. There’s also base, pure and primal, but these are just classifications, they’re more to do with wizards and sorcerers, they’re not that important,” Sylver explained.

Spring simply nodded that he was paying attention.

“Neutral magic is also a thing, but it would take too long to explain it properly. Now positive magic and positive energy are not the same thing. Common healing potions, the spells priests and healers use, fire magic, light magic, anything where mana is converted into an element or a force or a wave is generally done using positive energy. Negative energy is largely used for curses, or anything non physical, the opposite of positive magic. It’s called light and dark magic, but it doesn’t mean it’s ‘good and evil’ magic, it’s just an easy way to classify things,” Sylver explained.

“So normal mages primarily use positive energy to cast positive magic?” Spring asked.

“Yes. A ‘normal’ mage is 50% positive energy, and 50% negative energy. But the ratio can range anywhere from 99 to 1 to 1 to 99. A spell can normally only use 1 type of energy, either negative or positive, so the higher your ratio is, the more useable mana you have, the higher your natural efficiency. But until you get to 3rd tier magic, it doesn’t really matter, the difference between a 10% mage and a 50% mage is negligible, skill is infinitely more important. The rule of thumb is that a person with a 60% ratio can cast up to 5th tier magic. 70% is 6th tier, and anything above 80 is 9th and 10th tier, hypothetically. There are other limiting factors, but a majority can be overcome with enough time and training,” Sylver explained, as he stood up from laying on Ulvic and yawned.

Spring nodded that he was listening.

“My mana consists of 100% negative energy. Hence ‘pure dark’. A ‘full dark’ is a person with 99% negative energy, and a ‘full light’ is a person with 99% positive energy. Aether was a ‘full light’ teetering on the very edge of ‘pure light’. High elves are the same, they’re all very close to 99 or 98 from the moment they’re born. And they have a method of removing impurities from their bodies to bump that number up. But here’s where the issue lays. You can’t cast magic if you only have light or dark, you need both, no matter how tiny the amount is. There’s a reaction when a person’s positive energy, or mana, interacts with their negative mana, and that’s how you can cast magic,” Sylver continued.

“So, if you need both to use magic and you only have dark… How did you use magic?” Spring asked.

“Once a spell is started, it doesn’t matter what kind of mana is used to power it. Well, it does, but there are ways to build your spells so that it doesn’t. It’s like… Imagine lighting an oil lamp with flint and steel. Mana is both the flint and steel and at the very same time mana is the oil inside the lamp being ignited. I have the flint, and oil in my lamp, but I have no steel to ignite it. And it only sounds obvious because of the way I’m describing it, but I learned how to strike my flint on the steel of others. To put it simply, I use the positive mana in my surroundings to create a ‘spark’ inside of myself and then build a framework, ‘lamp’ in this case, to suit my needs, using that spark to ignite the lamp and cast my spell,” Sylver explained, as he pulled back his sleeve and showed Spring his glowing forearm. The yellow light receded as it moved up Sylver’s arm and back into his torso.

“Is there any benefit to being a pure dark? Because it doesn’t sound all that useful,” Spring asked.

“There are a ton of spells I can’t cast. Anything physical I can more or less figure out a way to mimic, like my fire magic made out of the moisture in the air. But more specialized magics, like mental magic, for example, are impossible for me. I am immune to most curses. And death magic. On top of that my soul is significantly more malleable than any other person’s that I’ve met, but I don’t know if it’s just the way I was born, or because of me being a pure dark,” Sylver explained, as he stretched and got his blood flowing again.

“It also took me a very long time to learn how to use magic with any degree of precision or consistency. Until I learned to keep my ‘spark’ alive I could spend days unable to cast any magic. Nyx built me a special machine to help me do it, but I couldn’t carry it around with me, it was beyond massive. One time it took me 14 hours of trying to get the ‘spark’ from Nyx’s machine. And once I lost my concentration and let go of the spark, it either went out of control and fried my body from the inside and killed me, or it was snuffed out and left me defenseless,” Sylver said with a scowl.

Spring could feel the memories Sylver was thinking of, even if he couldn’t see them.

“That’s why you never let your mana sit still. It’s always circling through your body, even when you’re deep asleep,” Spring said, catching on.

“Exactly. But even if it does go out,” Sylver said, as he held up his hand and moved the spark to his wrist. It flashed and disappeared.

Sylver waved his hand through the air and his darkness-coated fingers glowed bright yellow before the light traveled up his arm and disappeared into his robe.

“But this is the result of years upon years of practice. I can do it without thinking because I’ve done this thousands, even hundreds of thousands of times,” Sylver said, as he lazily moved his hand through the air, and made the tips of his fingers light up with yellow sparks.

“So, you can’t use Lola’s rings because the mana you do have can’t be helped by her positive mana?” Spring asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Exactly! If I put one of Lola’s rings on my finger, the positive mana inside of the ring will attempt to interact with my completely negative mana and will destroy it. Or it will boost the ‘spark’ which has the potential of going out of control. If I had even 1% I could use them because then it could increase the regeneration of that 1% and that would force the other 99% to match the regeneration rate,” Sylver explained.

Spring nodded with a smile.

“The only kind of tools I can use are the kind that use my mana, like this bracelet, or a storage device where I can fill it up with my mana to use later. The issue with those is that mana doesn’t store very well, so I don’t know how much the blueprint I gave Lola will be able to handle, or for how long,” Sylver explained, as he cracked his neck and looked at his status once again.

“The skill is useless on its own. Helca only managed it after 8 years of practice. Oska was 11 years if I remember right. And Sonya was… I don’t remember the exact number, but more than 20 years, she didn’t get it, until it just clicked one day. And that’s with me being around to show them an example of what they should be doing, all I had to go on when I was with Nyx was pure theory and speculation. And after a point, I’m fairly certain Nyx just didn’t want to send me away and let me keep trying out a mixture of pity and curiosity,” Sylver said, as he stretched his robe out and moved the darts, daggers, grenades, and caltrops around.

“They were all pure dark like you?” Spring asked as he disappeared into Sylver’s shadow.

“They were. When it came time for me to pick an apprentice, I realized my way of casting and using magic would be worthless to anyone but a pure dark. I took a few years off to travel and found them. I found Oska first, then Sonya and Helca last. They were… it’s a very long story, I’ll tell you later, are you ready?” Sylver asked while he considered how to distribute his attribute points.

Total Level: 73
[Koschei-4]
[Necromancer-69]

CON: 60
DEX: 70
STR: 1
INT: 150
WIS: 100
AP: 20

Health: 591/600
Stamina: 300/300
MP: 2233/2250

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

Sylver stared lovingly at his 150-intelligence score, and for a few seconds, daydreamed about making it 1000. But sadly, he understood perfectly well that if there is another Sabo behind this barrier that isn’t a barrier, a measly 300 extra MP wouldn’t do anything. But having his dexterity at 90 could very likely be the difference between life and death.

Sylver took a notebook and pencil from Spring and crossed his fingers as he looked at his level 60 [Necromancer] perk options.

Spectral Silence.
Blissful Resonance.
Sturdy Bones.
Mark of Death.
Spectral Armament.
Wraith’s Screech.

“Alright 12 perks to choose from, and I wrote all of their names down. After I kill or convert whatever is behind this, I’ll check again and see if there are any changes,” Sylver explained, more to himself than Spring, as he handed the shade the small notebook. There were a couple that looked promising, but losing them was worth it if it meant he would know how this worked for the future. This wasn’t something anyone would tell him, given how few people would be willing to wait for 10 levels before picking a perk.

CON: 60
DEX: 90
STR: 1
INT: 150
WIS: 100
AP: 0

The effect was more noticeable this time around. It felt like the floor beneath Sylver’s feet was constantly moving and only now came to a complete stop.

Sylver looked down at his hand and stared at it. He spread his fingers out as much as he could and used his other hand’s finger to measure the maximum distance between them.

“It is making me more agile,” Sylver said, as he swung his arms backward and almost felt the air movement from one elbow brush over the other.

Sylver produced a dagger in his hand and held it at exactly shoulder height. He let go of it and immediately started shooting darts out of his sleeve towards the floor.

“Four darts more. It’s a tiny improvement, but increasing my dexterity really does increase how fast I can cast with my soul…” Sylver said mostly to himself with a wry smile.

Sylver handed Spring two grenades as he got behind Sabo and gave the creature the order to move forward.

*

**

*

Sylver shut his eyes as they were blinded by the ridiculously bright light. His robe shoved him to the side as the sound of several bricks being shattered was followed by the familiar swish of Sabo’s sabers flying.

Sylver’s robe continued to shove him out of the way of the falling arrows, as he forced his eyes open and stared up at the glowing creatures above him. Tears ran down Sylver’s face as he cursed Ciege’s anatomy, and continued to be spun out of the way of whistling arrows.

More than anything it pissed him off that he fell for such a simple trap. After hours upon hours of walking through complete and total darkness, suddenly being hit by brighter than daylight light was nearly enough to get him killed.

Then again, simple traps and tricks tended to be the best.

Sylver continued to dodge the arrows and finally could see properly. The first thing he realized was that he wasn’t nearly being hit by arrows, but by feathers. But considering they were embedded into shattered bricks, that even Sylver couldn’t damage, he assumed they were either that strong or more likely enchanted somehow.

Sylver settled on a plan and danced around in the same area, letting the bird-like creatures above continue to shoot at him. Despite their bodies being covered in thick glowing white feathers, there was something oddly feminine about them. Their faces looked closer to that of a cat than a human’s, but their eyes had an undeniable intelligence to them. They were hanging on to feathers embedded in the ceiling, using their bird-like taloned claws, the way bats would.

With each flap of their wings, they sent several high-speed feathers flying straight at Sylver.

Spring told Sylver there were 9 of them, a moment before springing into action.

The otherwise silent room, not including the sound of Sabo’s saber’s being deflected by tough as metal wings, and the sound of Sylver’s robe tearing as it moved him out of the way, was very suddenly filled with the gurgled cry that sounded a whole lot like the screech of an eagle.

The cry was followed very quickly by the sound of something hard falling to the floor, followed by more of the same sound. Sylver turned into smoke and funneled down into the debris the creatures above had created, as Sabo lay down on top of the makeshift hole.

Razor-sharp feathers tore through poor Sabo, as Sylver remained safely hidden away and waited for the sound of the 9th one falling. A sound similar to a woman crying filled the air, mixed with the near sing-song screech the creatures had made previously.

A dull whack replaced one of the woman-like cries with a more audible screech. The same thing happened again, and again, and continued to happen until only the sound of something being repeatedly whacked remained.

*

*

*

“They’re ready,” Spring shouted, as Sabo struggled to get up.

Sylver’s smoke came out through the cracks in the bricks and he materialized right next to Spring.

Sabo looked like a bird. The sheer number of feathers in his body was ridiculous. Spring summoned several shades to start plucking them as Sylver turned around to face his soon-to-be aerial aides.

All nine creatures were on the ground, covered from head to toe in blood, and with their wings thoroughly tied behind their backs using Salgok’s garottes.

Sylver saw that there were a few laying on the ground, broken.

“They’re just feathers, but it is insane how sharp they are,” Spring explained, summoning shades to tidy away the broken garotte handles, to be repaired later.

Sylver walked up to the one closest to him and leaned down to get a proper look at the bright white feathers. They were still glowing with blindingly white light, but all the blood blunted the strain on Sylver’s eyes.

“Remind me to buy sunglasses after this,” Sylver said, walking around to look at the bashed-in face of the feathered creature.

“Already on the list,” Spring answered, getting the shades to flip them all over onto their backs.

Sylver placed his hand on the oddly furry face and used [Draining Touch] on it. His grip became stronger and a dark greyness spread out from the places his fingers were touching, as Sylver pulled back his gauntlets to look at his hands. Somewhat slowly his fingers were covered completely in muscle. The skin crept up his fingers, reaching the end and producing a single nail on each finger.

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

Sylver removed his hand from the doubly dead creature and dusted the ashes of it. He flexed his fingers several times to check everything was in working order and was glad to see everything was fine.

“You know, having calmed down, I kind of love this. It’s so simple, elegant, and deadly. There’s no place to hide, and you can’t even see where they are shooting from. Even if I were a party of nothing but rangers and archers, the light is so intense aiming at them is impossible. Not to mention they’re fast and accurate enough to deflect Sabo’s sabers,” Sylver commented, as he placed both hands on either side of the next creature's head.

A pulse of mana made Sylver raise his eyebrow.

“He’s already abandoned them,” Sylver said, pressing a little harder and forcing his mana into their skull.

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

Sylver moved onto the next one as Spring got to work untying his new sister in arms. Because of the way they were tied up, Sylver got a full view of what would normally be hidden by feathers.

He’d never seen these in real life before. But Sylver was confident these were harpies or at least some sort of deviation or close relative of harpies. Leg fur-covered legs with talons, bright glowing feathers in place of wings, a slightly curved chest that was entirely made of muscle, and bashed in faces, courtesy of several sledgehammers.

They were undead, but they were exceptionally well kept, if Sylver didn’t know what to look for he would have thought them to be alive.

Sylver made a personal mental note to figure out where the fuck Spring had learned to tie things up in such a manner. Sylver was certain he kept those kinds of memories private.

*

*

*

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

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating a ???, additional experience has been awarded!]
[Due to defeating a ??? solo, additional experience has been awarded!]

“I see, they aren’t defeated until they’re all dead. Or converted,” Sylver said with a hand held out towards Spring to give him the book with the notes.

Spring ordered them to fly around a bit and had them shoot feathers at the glass-smooth wall. The feathers bounced off in the same way all of Sylver’s attempts had, but they could still shatter bricks with them. Once they were all unbound, and Sabo was de-feathered, Spring went back into Sylver’s shadow to move around the dead shades so he could heal them.

Sylver took a deep breath.

He opened his status and looked at his option of perks and…

“Fuck yeah! 14 perks! All the ones I had before this, plus 2 new ones! One for the spearman, and one for the harpies! I think... Alright, all that’s left to test is what happens when I cross over to the next level,” Sylver half said, half-shouted.

He reread through his 14 and continued down into the crypt, with his 8 newly converted harpies in tow. They flew ahead and bombarded the proto zombies before Sylver or Sabo even saw them. The proto zombies didn’t care about the light coming off them, but there wasn’t a single thing they could do against their shredding feather projectiles.

“According to the map, the [Dead Man’s Last Stand] should be right around the corner,” Sylver said, mostly to himself. “You know, it’s strange. The party that came here was full of veterans. And not to pat myself on the back too much, but this too was easy. I don’t understand what could have killed them,” Sylver asked.

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KingKennit

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