“Remember Eyes, you cannot use the other Styles, only the Close Combat Style.” Odelia reminded me, while she separated the Lv 48 from the other Blood Stalkers that were tied together to a tree by her mana. “If I see you use another Style other than Combat, you will not pass even if you kill the Blood Stalker using the Combat Style, and will have to try again with another one if you wish to pass my test.” She explained further, dragging the Lv 48 to the center of the clearing, made from the cut down trees of that Party from earlier.
Following her to the center, I said “Okay I understand the rules, but do I have to kill it? Cause this one doesn’t look that bad to me.” Kneeling down to look at the Blood Stalker that wasn’t struggling to get free and that wasn’t growling angrily at us like the others.
“Of course you have to kill it, what else would you do with it?” Odelia questioned.
I stared in the Blood Stalkers eyes, and they had a strange calm and accepting feel to them, as it then broke our eye contact and closed its eyes. It looked to have accepted death and exposed its neck to us, and I thought “Interesting, it’s smart enough to understand the situation it’s in.” Smiling, I said “You can release your bindings now, I’m ready and I want to talk to it.”
“Talk to it? I do not know if you know this Eyes, but Blood Stalkers are unintelligible monsters so no one understands them. They only communicate through growls and roars, and solely live only on their instincts and hungering thirst for blood. It will definitely attack you once I release it.”
“Maybe you can’t understand them, but I’ve understood them the whole time.” Looking to the Blood Stalkers by the tree.
Still muzzled by mana, with drying blood on its skinless bone mouth, the Lv 53 growled “Elf dead blood good taste, more want.” Slobbering as it looked at us.
The Lv 52 still struggled to break free from the bindings, and angrily growled “Break, break, break!” Being the largest and strongest looking of the 6 Blood Stalkers.
The other 3 Blood Stalkers also growled about breaking free, killing us, and eating our blood, all in their different simple wordings.
“If you were not you, I would not believe that anyone could understand these monsters, but this is not the first time you would surprise me.” Odelia then backed away to the other Blood Stalkers. “And if you are ready for your combat test, where is the new armour and sword you bought yesterday?” She pointed out.
“Oh right, I forgot to equip them.” Opening up my inventory, I equipped an almost full set of elven plate armour, all except for the helmet that I didn’t buy because I knew the crown prevented me from equipping anything else.
Elven Plate Chestplate
+10% Physical Damage Reduction
Requirements: Lv 25, 100 Str
Elven Plate Gauntlets
+3% Physical Damage Reduction
Requirements: Lv 25, 100 Str
Elven Plate Legplate
+4% Physical Damage Reduction
Requirements: Lv 25, 100 Str
Elven Plate Greaves
+3% Physical Damage Reduction
Requirements: Lv 25, 100 Str
I felt the heavy weight of armour again after being armourless for weeks now, though compared to the heavier bulky looking armour that Jane and that Dig guy wore, this armour had a slightly lighter and slim look to it, but had large gauntlets and greave boots. The simple clean grey metal of the armour and dark underclothes underneath, made the darkish green border outlines of the pieces of armour really stand out. Then not wanting to get my Cloak of Colour ruined in battle, I put it back in my inventory and replaced it with an ordinary dark coloured one to still keep the crown covered.
“I know it is elven plate and is lighter than regular plate armour, but are you sure you want to fight in that Eyes?” Odelia asked, adding “It is unusual to see an archer wear such heavy and restrictive armour, unless they are a city guards or something.”
“Yeah I’m sure, I just gotta get used to moving with it on.” Rotating my arms and shoulders, and lifting up my knees and legs. Then lastly I took out the sword I bought.
Effect: Deals 2% more damage against monsters weak to silver.
Requirement: Lv 22
Strapping the sword to my right waist side, I grabbed the sword with my right hand, and drew it from its black sheath. Holding the sword downwards and turning it towards me, I admired its simple straight and thin double-edged shiny silver blade, the guardless finely wrapped black leather hilt, and the long silver spike pommel at the top. Looking at Odelia, I asked “You said this silver sword works on monsters in this Dungeon right?”
“That is what I said, but only about half the monsters in the Blood Dungeon have a weakness to silver, and lucky for you the Blood Stalkers are one of them.”
“Nice.” Drawing my bow from my back. “Ok now I’m ready, release it.” Holding my bow in my left hand and my sword in the other, and standing about 5ft away from the Blood Stalker.
“Alright, here you go.” Odelia then released all the mana bindings around the Blood Stalker, but it didn't react and just laid there.
A moment passed, but it continued to lay still with its eyes closed. Preparing myself for a surprise attack, I said “Hey Blood Stalker, you can understand me right?” Hearing me speak, the Blood Stalker's body twitched for a moment, but went back to its stillness. “Why are you just laying there and playing dead?” There was no response. “I can tell you’re at least a little bit smarter than your friends over, why don’t you wake up and talk to me, and maybe I’ll let you go?” Taking a step closer, but as soon as foot landed for a step, the Blood Stalker instantly opened its eyes, quickly getting up and pounced towards me with its large boney maw opening. Though having already prepared myself for the surprise attack, I performed back handspring right before it reached me, and landed a powerful kick right under its jaw. Then landing poorly from the handspring as I wasn’t used to acrobatic movement with the extra weight of the armour yet.
Shaking its head from the daze of my attack and being completely undamaged by it, the Blood Stalker growled “Me missed.” It then started pacing back and forth in front of me, waiting for another chance to attack.
“And it speaks.” Picking myself up from my poor landing. “So what do you say wanna talk?” Putting both my weapons up in the air.
“Talk Elf, free me go?” The Blood Stalker growled, slowing its pacing back and forth.
“Yeah sure, but first can you tell me who the Boss of this Dungeon is? My strong friend over there won’t tell me anything about this Dungeon because she thinks I'll want to clear it if I know.” Secretly pointing to Odelia, who looked shocked to see me actually talking to the monster.
“Me never meet Boss, too danger, but me know many Boss here, all danger.” The Blooder Stalker answered, stopping the pacing and sitting itself down.
“If you never met a Boss, I assume you don’t know who the strongest in the Dungeon is, right?”
It shook its head, “No, but all know run from blood water, too scary danger, blood water strongest.”
“Blood water? What kind of monster is that?” I asked myself, then asking the Blood Stalker “Where can I find this ‘blood water’?”
“Far here.” Turning and pointing its bone nose in the direction Odelia stood. “Elf go, elf die, like all.”
I chuckled, “Thanks for the advice, and the info, you can go now.”
The Blood Stalker tilted its head at me, “Free go?” It wagged its long thick leathery red tail for a moment.
“Yeah go ahead, I said you could if we talked, and you don’t seem as dangerous as the others.”
“No me danger, they no danger!” The Blood Stalker growled, puffing its body bigger than the others.
“Ok ok, your dangerous, they're not dangerous.” It gave me a toothy grin, and slowly and carefully walked in the opposite direction of Odelia, all while keeping an eye on me for a surprise attack. I waved it goodbye, but it stopped only outside of the clearing, and began digging a hole with its clawed hands. Finishing the hole, it layed itself inside and made the hole look completely filled, with the red grass on its back and its blood red skin really blending into the ground, and only having its bone face really stand out and staring at me. “Must be how they hide themselves and wait for prey.” I thought.
Walking back to Odelia, I said “Okay I’ll fight this one next.” Picking out the Lv 49.
“I could not understand a single growl you were saying, where did you learn to speak with Blood Stalkers?" Odelia questioned, separating the Lv 49 from the others. "After all they can only be found in the Blood Dungeon, and said you have never been to the Kingdom before, right?”
“Uhhh, I guess you could say I learnt it from Oros, he taught me how to speak to any monster.” Helping Odelia drag the Lv 49 to the center of the clearing, while it continued to growl about killing and eating us.
“That does not make sense, cyclops usually only speak Giant or Common, Dwarvish in Oros’ case, how could he teach you to speak to any monster?”
“I guess that’s just another one of my secrets.” Giving her a wink. “Now release it.” Readying myself.
Backing away, Odelia released her mana bindings, and without hesitation this Blood Stalker pounced towards me claws first. Barely getting out of the way in time, I countered with a horizontal slash to its body as it passed by, but the blade didn’t cut as deep as I thought it would, and only left a small graze on the Blood Stalkers skin. “What! Did I not use enough force, or is their skin just that hard?”
Even though it was a small cut, the Blood Stalker roared in anger, “Elf, dead!” Charging towards me at incredible speeds.
Using Rapid Shot, I pulled 4 arrows from my quiver, and rapidly fired all of them. Seeing the arrows coming, the Blood Stalker turned its body to a stop itself, whipping its tail towards me, and causing the arrows to pierce only its side. The tail whipped with such surprising speed that I couldn’t react to it in time, landing on my armoured stomach and knocking me backwards about 10ft. Grasping my stomach from the pain of the attack, I felt the huge dent in the armour made by the powerful tail attack. Quickly standing myself up with the Blood Stalker charging again, I dodged to the side as it threw an upwards claw attack towards me, and then using as much strength as I could, I stabbed the sword straight into Blood Stalker’s side. But even after using all my strength, only half the blade went through before I couldn’t push the sword any deeper.
The Blood Stalker roared even louder than before, “ELF!” Knowing I needed to get away, I tried to pull out my sword but it wouldn’t budge from its body. Immediately letting go of the sword, I turned around and was about to use Archer’s Dash to make distance, when suddenly two fast clawed hands pierced each side of my armour, reaching into my flesh, and lifted me upwards digging the claws deeper into me.
I yelled out in excruciating pain, “Aaahhh!” Using as much strength as I could with my hands and arms, I was barely holding back the sharp claws from piercing even deeper into my flesh, and I yelled out again "Aaahhh!"
The bone face of the Blood Stalker then appeared over my shoulder, and growled “Blood good smell, want taste!” As it opened its large boney maw and sunk all of its teeth deep into my collarbone, shoulder, and a part of my neck.
Hearing the metal armour being crushed, feeling the warm blood gushing out of me, all the pain felt like it was suddenly quadrupled, and I yelled out even louder than before. “AAAAAHHHHH!”