Chapter 11: The Ring, The Pot, and The Servants
I just need to go with it. It's not like I have a better idea, or time to think it out further.
"You know what? If you weren't so damn fat, you'd probably have caught me by now. I'm over here, not even trying to get out of your way, and you still haven't caught up." John taunted, pretending to not be out of breath. "You're going to have to be a lot quicker if you want to have me for dinner."
The Gluttonous King's smile turned savage and predatory. "My mother did always tell me not to play with my food. Quite a shame really, I could have spent longer eating them. You'll meet the same fate."
The ground shook as the king sprinted toward John. The monster's chins and stomach wobbling awkwardly with every step. He's still fast. I can't let him catch me. Just a little further.
Even as the Gluttonous King's smile grew wider, John remained in control of the situation. He had managed while running to position himself directly in front of the wooden doors that led back into the kitchen.
Using the same technique that he had used on the minotaur's, John further taunted the monster, drawing all of its ire and fury on itself. When the Gluttonous King thought he had for sure captured John, John lept out of the way, and the monster's sheer bulk and momentum was too much for him to stop himself.
The wooden doors didn't just crash open; they splinted, and the Gluttonous King stumbled into the large kitchen where the unworthy prepared the next meal for their lord. The inhuman creatures prostrated themselves at the sight of their glutenous king, believing that they had somehow incurred his wrath.
Right on the heels of the large monster was John. When the Gluttonous King slammed into the opposite wall, John was on him in a flash. Lashing out in an X-shaped attack with his [Twin Axes] at the exposed soft flesh of the monster's back.
Blood welled up from the cuts, but the king turned his neck and rose up like nothing had happened. He showed no sign of weakening after the attack.
"Didn't you already try that? I'd have thought you would be smarter, but then again, if you were smart… you wouldn't be here in the dungeon, would you?" The creature asked mockingly.
Honestly, all I wanted was some hot foot and to sleep off the injury of my fight on the road. "It's already over, you just haven't realized it yet," Said John with a half-smile.
The king stood there in the kitchen trying to manuever its bulk to turn around and chase after John. The unworthy began to squirm, no longer completely cowed by the presence of their vile master. John noticed how the unworthy', like many a monster, had been drawn to the smell of blood. They turned their senses fixated on the sound of how the blood dripped down the monster's legs and back. Though the cut's didn't affect the Gluttonous King, the blood letting had an intense effect on the unworthy.
The monster pushed away from the table and a counter that it had been pent up against and was just about ready to come at John again when the growls started.
John smiled as the Gluttonous King looked into lifeless soulless eyes and saw only hunger reflected. He enjoyed seeing a look of fear pass over the monster's face as the unworthy all began to advance.
They could not truly see him, but they could smell him. They could now smell the blood that seeped from his body, and they longed for it. These were no longer people. They were animals, driven by the most basic desire of the living. The most basic need.
The need to feed.
"What do you all think you're doing?" the king said shakily as he struggled to back away from the growling unworthy. "I am your king, and I command you to strike down this insolent man who has come against me."
The command fell on deaf ears. The unworthy had spent so much time feeding the abhorrent existence that was the Gluttonous King while they lived off of rats, bugs, and whatever scraps he deigned to give them. Now, here he was bleeding and vulnerable.
Without a word, the unworthy swarmed their king. He screamed, trying to bat them away with his heavy hands and arms, while others he sized in his oversized fists and brought up to his mouth, biting off their heads. He managed to do killed more than a few, but there were too many.
They tore chunks of bloody fatty flesh with each attack from their yellowed claws and with their bare teeth. To his credit, the king didn't appear to be so easily defeated."
"Fine." He roared. "You think to make a meal out of me? Let me show you how it is done."
The king grabbed the closest unworthy, but rather than raise it to his mouth like before, his entire stomach opened up, revealing rows and rows of sharp teeth in a gaping maw and tossed the unworthy in.
What followed was a fight for hunger and survival.
John was completely forgotten as the gluttonous king and the unworthy struggled against each other. While the unworthy had numbers on their side, the king had the unnatural ability to ignore the wounds they inflicted upon him. At times, John was sure that the Gluttonous King was healing with each kill.
Eventually, there were only three unworthy left, standing against the king, who was unwavering. He bled from countless bites and scratches, but he still stood strong. Johns's plan had failed. Once the last of the unworthy were dispatched, he would turn his insatiable hunger toward John.
John cast his eyes about the kitchen, searching for another way, and his eyes landed on the still-simmering pot.
It was truly massive. Even big enough to hold something as vast as the king.
Another idea began to form in Johns's mind. If he could lure the king into the pot, or at least near it, maybe he could dispatch him once and for all.
There were only two unworthy left now, and as John watched, the king delivered a blow to one of them that made its spine snap audibly. It lay on the ground, twitching.
The last unworthy, seeing that there was no hope, made the wise choice to flee. It ran into the cage and cowered in the corner, just like those who it had tormented.
Finally, the gluttonous king turned his eyes toward John. A look of pure hate and malice reflected within.
"You. This is all your fault. I've lost my servants! Who will prepare my meals now?" The king bellowed.
"There will be no more meals for you." Said John
"Oh, I think there will be at least a couple more. First, I will tear you limb from limb, and then I will carve your flesh and eat it in strips. Then it will be the girl's turn."
The king began to shamble toward John, hunger and anger in his eyes.
How am I supposed to push him into the pot? Or tip it over on him? Would that even work? I saw him take so much damage already, yet he still came on like a storm. Jack shook the thoughts from his mind. I can't get distracted.
Then, a voice from the banquet hall called out the answer.
"His hand! Aim for the ring on his left hand!"
The voice came from the woman whom John had saved. He hadn't even noticed it before, but now John saw the ring that she was referring to. It was a band of silver that wound around the king’s finger, though the band was almost impossible to see with the bloated finger it was attached to.
"You devilish wench!" snarled the king. “Your death will be so much sweeter with the screams.”
The king's response told John all he needed to know. It must have been the ring that was giving him this insane ability to resist damage.
Now, he had a target. If he could get rid of that ring, he could turn the tide of this fight.
Now that the king knew his weakness was exposed, he was more defensive. He and John circled each other around the kitchen, the massive boiling pot in the center.
Finally, John launched himself at the king, his [Twin Axes] ready. John was determined to end it.
The king lashed out with his right arm, the one that did not bear the ring.
John slid under the oversized arm and hopped up when he was closer, knowing that he’d get but one chance to take the ring. John slashed down with his [Twin Axes].
The king bellowed and savagely countered attacked with a haymaker that struckJohn center in the chest.
John took the full force of the blow, several of his ribs snapping. He crashed into the boiling pot and took a burn across his back before dropping to the floor.
"You foolish man. Did you truly think you could best me? I am a god in this place. You will never leave, not even death will release you.” The king promised.
John couldn't respond with words. He was having trouble breathing through his broken ribs. Instead, he held up his hand and allowed the ring to catch the light.
The king faltered. "What? How?"
John removed the ring from the finger he had taken. I got what I needed to get. Lets see how strong you are now.
Without the ring, the king began to deflate almost immediately. The wounds that he had suffered began to take their toll, and he grew pale from blood loss.
With a final effort, the gluttonous king staggered toward John, intent on taking him down with him. But John wasn’t having it. Even injured as he was, John saw an opportunity. He ran around the King and gave him a push. Without his ring, the king’s legs struggled to support and bear his weight. He tripped, falling forward into the massive boiling pot.
John watched with grim satisfaction as the king met his end and didn’t turn away until the monster’s screaming and thrashing stopped.
You have done well to defeat one who was consumed by their own darkness. More such challenges await you further below.