Ch088-Staring Match With The Abyss
Sylver may as well have been blind with how fast he collided with the ground, forming a crater as his reflexes kicked in without his knowledge and made him land without shattering his legs or breaking his neck.
Sylver’s robe was awake and aware before he was, and catapulted him sideways as the silver-coated sword came crashing down from the sky and buried itself into the ground where Sylver was a moment ago. Sylver’s eyes were wide open and jumped all over the place as he simultaneously took in his surroundings and calmed his mind down.
Sylver’s left hand that was holding his dagger moved up towards his neck, and a shower of sparks exploded all over him as the silver star-shaped weapon shattered against Sylver’s mana enhanced dagger. Sylver’s head twitched the left as an identical star-shaped weapon passed between the tip of Sylver’s ear and his head, sending a few short silvery strands of hair flying away.
Sylver tried to use his right arm to grab his other dagger, but he couldn’t so much as get it to twitch, let alone hold and use a weapon. The wound on his right shoulder burned with such intensity that Sylver felt tears well in his eyes. He almost sobbed from the indescribable pain as he stood up from the floor and saw his opponents.
One was a tall man, taller than even Novva was, and possibly as wide as him. The oversized sword he held in his left hand seemed oddly rightly sized in his thick as rope fingers. Other than shoulder pads and a circular shield over his heart, held in place by thick leather straps, the man didn’t wear any other armor. His previously brown shorts now had a large splotch of bright red on the front of them, as did the rest of the people near him.
[Human (Warrior+Warrior+Barbarian+Berserker+Juggernaut) – 141]
[Elf/??? (Poisenour+Rogue+Archer+Assassin+Dagger Artist) – 137]
[Human/Elf (Cleric+Cleric+Cleric+Martial Artist+Soldier) – 120]
The level 141 man shrugged his boulder-sized shoulders and caused both of them to make a crunching sound so loud that Sylver felt it in the pit of his stomach. The level 137 woman standing right next to him stood perfectly still, staring right at Sylver with the concentration of a cat about to pounce on its prey. The level 120 cleric looked so relaxed in his white blood-stained robe that Sylver put him at the top of his list.
“Normally we take pride in what we do and do things in a way we would be willing to brag about. But for scum like you we’ve all agreed to make an exception,” the juggernaut said with the sword that was as long as Sylver was tall pointed directly at him.
If not for the indestructible rib cage, Sylver would have been in two pieces right now. He briefly felt Lorn moving around behind him, but took his advice and ignored him.
Sylver shrugged his right shoulder and forced his robe to pull the cleaved flesh back together, as he used a very quick burst of darkness to glue it into place. Sylver felt his heart beating in his ears as he made eye contact with each person in turn.
His mask of neutrality slowly slipped into a slight smirk as he saw the traces of recently healed damage all over the three exhausted attackers.
“I would normally offer to talk things out, but I doubt that that’s an option after you saw your lifelong friends get turned into mincemeat. We’re not that far away from where I shoved bombs up their assholes, maybe I’ll go see if there’s enough mince for me to make some-” Sylver doubted anyone was interested in what he had to say anyway, as the level 141 juggernauts skin turned bright red and a wave of steam sent the leaves on the floor flying all over the place.
Sylver got ready to jump away, but felt the edge of his mana react, and crouched down instead. He heard the sound of wood shattering as all the trees directly behind and above him splintered into shards as arrows destroyed them. The gigantic silver sword was about to harmlessly pass over Sylver when the juggernaut punched the moving blade with his other hand and caused it to bounce down.
The giant piece of metal burned every single piece of skin that it touched as it hammered Sylver into the loose dirt. Sylver grabbed a rock from the ground and used both hands to hit it as hard as he could at the sword pressing down onto him, but was only pressed down further into the ground as he lost his footing. Sylver gave one final push, screaming like a banshee the whole time before the ground beneath his feet disappeared and he was swallowed up beneath it.
He exhausted every drop of mana he had as he dug as deep as he could, and felt his magic bounce off the barrier directly beneath him. Sylver didn’t waste a second as he forced the hard dirt directly in front of him to compress itself to give him room to walk but immediately gave up on that idea as he saw the barrier curve slightly upwards beneath him.
“-wherever you are! I’ve got acids, drugs, chemicals, and a small curved knife for a matching small piece of you!” A woman’s shrill voice screamed, as Sylver placed his left hand over his right shoulder and pressed down onto it.
“They locked you in, it’s a giant sphere. The cleric is outside, it’s only you, the juggernaut and rogue in here,” A voice said that Sylver just barely managed to comprehend in his pain-addled mind. He looked sideways to see something akin to a calm acceptance on the see-through face floating an inch or two away from his own.
Sylver’s voice caught in his throat as the burn-like wounds on his back refused to heal or lessen, even going as far as to push away his darkness. Sylver stood in complete and total darkness as he used a razor-sharp garrote to slice the affected piece of skin off his back, the way someone would scrub the hard-to-reach spot on their back with a washcloth.
The pain was incomparable as Sylver’s spine made contact with air, along with the rest of the muscles his skin normally kept away from harm. Sylver’s darkness weaved around his torso and back, as he tried to gather enough to make his right arm functional.
Lamb paced around the inside of the barrier as his skin peeled away and grew back darker and redder with each passing second. Kap continued to lay on the ground with her ear pressed against it and her eyes shook with every attempt to blink as her body continued to try to fight against all the drugs tearing through her system.
Lamb’s throat was raw and filled with bile as he forced the contents of his empty stomach back down, and he constantly kept one eye glued onto his status, counting down the milliseconds until the perk that stopped him from being torn into pieces stopped protecting him.
Kap made a gesture towards Lamb, and Lamb immediately activated all three of his tracking skills but didn’t get so much as a twitch from them. The boosts to his senses would have to be enough, but he couldn’t be sure with this… this thing they were fighting.
Tears welled up in Lamb’s eyes as he looked at Kap’s shivering and foaming at the mouth form, as he stood perfectly still and waited for the smallest of hints as to what was to come. Thet wouldn’t have fallen for something simple, he was the youngest of the group, and the most devious. He was going to marry Gamm and then-
“HE’S LAUGHING!” Kap screeched. Lamb’s head snapped towards her as her unnaturally high-pitched voice felt like a dagger against his ears.
Lamb barely registered what he was doing as his sword arced through the surrounding area and created clouds of pitch-black smoke with each black and yellow creature that he killed. Kap stood directly behind him, his sweaty and bleeding red back touching her sticky with sweat and blood leather armor. Lamb saw Zet saying something as his arms shook with the effort of holding the barrier in place. Knowing that thing it was beating against it or trying to find a weak spot to exploit.
Lamb had faced countless opponents in his long life, countless monsters, countless creatures of the night, but never had he looked at something and felt such unrelenting disgust. Its eyes were darker than a demon’s, but somehow that wasn’t even the worst part.
Lamb had been around long enough to know his place in the food chain, but that thing didn’t fit anywhere, it was an outsider, it didn’t belong. Lamb cackled for a few seconds as his silver-coated sword continued to shred the black things popping up around them to pieces, with Kap handling the few that Lamb hadn’t managed to get on his first spin.
He was using a perk he had sworn never to use again, all because he was so frightened of a mere level 76 mage.
It isn’t even about revenge, Lamb thought as his mind reached the apex of what it could handle and changed from unrelenting rage into an incomparable calmness. Lamb watched as he moved his sword with the practiced ease of a painter moving his brush, and cut down through each and every black creature that appeared in his sword’s path.
It isn’t even about our reputation, Lamb thought as, for a split second, he saw a wolf appear amidst the countless smoke-like bodies. So many of them looked identical to the ones next to them, that Lamb had lost track before he had even attempted to count them. But he knew in whatever piece of his mind that wasn’t filled with burst capillaries that that thing had to run out of decoys at some point.
That thing can’t be left to run around and grow, Lamb thought as every single sin he had ever committed flashed in front of his eyes and he knew in his heart that as long as this thing was dead it would all be worth it. He barely saw anything with all the smoke in the air, but Lamb’s sense’s told him where to cut.
He felt Kap lose her footing behind him and very nearly stepped onto her foot as a result. Kap was small, frail, half the money she earned she had to give away to those healing sect vultures just to stay alive. Lamb directed a small stream of steam to concentrate behind him and pushed Kap to turn along with him but got distracted as he did his best to read Zet’s lips through the giant moving clouds of darkness all around them.
It was only thanks to his senses being heightened to their limits did Lamb see Zet’s eyes glued to the top of the barrier. Lamb glanced up for a split second, before looking back down at the creatures spawning all around him and running towards him from the edges of the barrier, as he continued to force Kap to turn with him.
A small grey sphere landed near the edge of the barrier, and Lamb heard an identical sound behind and on his left. The sound of his heart tearing itself to pieces clogged his ears and prevented him from hearing whatever Kap was trying to say. Lamb looked up as felt more than heard, the sound of someone laughing, and he saw that thing standing in midair and throwing grey balls all around them.
The thing locked eyes with Lamb, and whatever plan they might have had went right out the window, as Lamb was thrown into the air by a giant explosion of steam. Every single muscle, bone, and cell in Lamb’s body hurt with the effort, as he spun his sword once, twice, and three times, gaining momentum and power with every passing millisecond.
The thing’s shoulder’s loosened as it leaned forward and seemed to jump off the air, moving towards Lamb. It had a dagger in each hand, and Lamb could only hope he was stronger than it was.
Lamb laughed like a madman as the thing’s daggers just sort of disappeared from its hands, as Lamb’s sword passed underneath its arm and was going to cut it directly in half. The joints in Lamb’s arms locked up as he, for a moment, felt like he had just had his sword parried before he could only watch as the thing bounced away from him, hit the top of the barrier so hard that blood exploded out of its mouth, and then bounced back down.
Lamb wanted to scream with victory as his eye’s followed the thing’s trajectory, as it fell back down to the ground and disappeared into it. Lamb looked Kip right in the eye as everything went white.
[Elf/??? (Poisenour+Rogue+Archer+Assassin+Dagger Artist) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 60 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]
Sylver’s feet burned from touching the barrier, right up until the point it wavered and disappeared. Sylver grabbed the hanging chunk of flesh and unceremoniously ripped it off his body, and let it fall to the ground. What little remained of his robe wrapped itself around his torso and did what it could to stop the bleeding.
After getting confirmation from Spring, Sylver dug his way through the sand like dirt, careful not to let it touch him for fear of being scarred by the bright red pebbles that were just short of melting. Sylver made sure not to breathe as he felt the dry air find an opening in his robe and scorch his many many open wounds.
He half limped, half crawled towards the weak source of steam laying in what would have been the corner of the barrier, and stabbed the oversized juggernaut through the heart. Which was surprisingly easy, considering most of his flesh had melted away, and he was little more than a pile of deep-fried meat trapped inside a scorched white rib cage.
[Human (Warrior+Warrior+Barbarian+Berserker+Juggernaut) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 60 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]
[Necromancer] has reached level 72!
Sylver slumped on top of the giant’s body as he grew new skin over his back, side, and worked on fixing the damage inside of his shoulder and right arm. He had carved out all the leftover silver, but he could feel some of it had gone into the bone. Silver weapons were made that way specifically, so every single scratch was as bad as an infection.
Sylver lost his footing as the man’s bones turned too frail to support Sylver’s weight, and he fell face-first into a liquid that was once the man’s heart and lungs. Spring pulled him upright and helped Sylver walk over to the laying on his back priest.
Sylver spun his right arm around and flinched at the pain, as he looked down at the priest, shaking in fear. He continued to spin his arm around for a few seconds and took his time crouching down to make sure his face was as close to the now possibly blind priest’s face.
“I’m going to ask this only once. Who sent you, and what do you want? Otherwise, I’m going to shove this dart up through your nose and pierce your brain. You’ll stop being able to move, but you’ll still feel everything. You’ll lay here motionless while rats slowly nibble at every nook and cranny they can get into, right up until you either die of dehydration or something big comes around to tear your throat open. But with the damage and noise of the explosion, I dare say you could be here for days, weeks even!” Sylver said, practically whispering the words into the barely alive man’s ear.
The man’s lips moved, but no sound came out.
“Come on big boy, I just need a name,” Sylver encouraged, his ear a mere inch away from what would have once been called lips, but now looked like two burnt sausages.
“Faun? Did you say Faun?” Sylver asked, with his hand on the man’s face. He felt the muscles that would have let him nod react, and felt the confirmation in his soul.
“Alright, thank you. Not that it changes anything, but you three did incredibly well. If we fought a week prior, I would have been dead. On three,” Sylver said, as a dagger appeared in his head and he angled the tip over the priest’s heart. Using [Draining Touch] would be pointless, the man had too much positive energy for Sylver to do anything.
“One,” Sylver said, as he plunged the dagger deep into the man’s heart and twisted it, catching him mercifully unprepared.
[Human/Elf (Cleric+Cleric+Cleric+Martial Artist+Soldier) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 40 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]
“Two, three,” Sylver finished, as he let go of the dagger and Spring helped him sit down.
Sylver sat in silence for five minutes, breathing in and out as he moved the excess HP around his body to heal up what he could. His right arm was mostly fine, but hurt to move around. Everything else was mostly back to normal, or at least tolerable until he found something else to kill and drain.
Sylver finally looked to his side and saw a wide-eyed see-through face staring at him.
“Who the fuck are you?” Lorn asked.
“Sylver Sezari. Necromancer and adventurer extraordinaire. How am I doing for points?” Sylver asked.