“It should be a bug slime, right Anhel?” Jare asked one more time,
Anhel frowned at Jare, “I’ve already told you this big bro; you don’t believe me?”
Jare chuckled and patted Anhel’s head, “Just making sure little brother. It’s always important to verify information before believing it.”
Anhel sighed, but nodded his head in understanding, “Fine, but don’t ask me again okay? I feel like I’m not doing a good job when you ask like that.”
William grunted, “Slow.”
“You said it William.” Anhel muttered, making sure Jare didn’t hear him.
Jare, having not heard or deciding to ignore, took out his hammer and grinned happily. “Let’s see what this new boss has in store for us.”
The trio walked into the boss room and took stock of their surroundings. The fifth floor boss room was rather strange looking; it was a round room with different rock formations on the floor. It seemed more like an ancient, decrepit arena than a boss room.
William growled softly, “Room, advantageous, boss.”
Jare nodded in agreement, “Yeah, this could be a challenge seeing as it’s our first time. Anhel, hang back for a moment.”
Anhel nodded and took a crouching position next to the entrance. William moved off to the side into the shadows, while Jare strolled forward into the torchlight, casually slapping his hammer grip into his hand.
As Jare entered the various rock formations, a screech came from the middle of the room. Jare’s face darkened as he moved swiftly backwards and readied his hammer.
The round rumbled and moved apart as a large, crystalline green slime dug its way out of the ground. It reared up and shook itself, like a dog in the rain. Once it calmed down, it began to jiggle as it’s form began to shrink and harden before their eyes. In a moment, a giant ant like slime was staring at them from the middle of the room.
“SCCrrrrreeech!” It roared at them.
"Sorry beastie, we aren't for eating." Jare laughed as he brandished his battle-hammer, "Looks like I'm going to have to get a little serious for this one." Anhel and William nodded as they stepped further away from Jare.
Jare growled as his body tensed up. His previously human looking face began to morph and elongate, gaining a long snout as his nose extended outwards. His body began to grow larger and bulkier as he changed from a large looking man into a walking bear holding a battle-hammer.
Anhel sighed in appreciation, "Big Bro is so good at using his beast-form. It's been some time since we last saw it."
William nodded with a smile as he shouldered his crossbow and took out his daggers, "I fight too, you watch and learn."
Anhel nodded with a sad smile. He was too young to have mastered his beast-form, the alternate form of beast-men that tied them to their ancestral roots. Bear beast-men, like the trio, could grow into massive bear-men, while other types could also change into their respective forms. Anhel, like most children and teens, still transformed into a cub and lost most of his reasoning. The reason why he moved back was that even mastered beast forms still tended to be slightly over-aggressive until the blood lust wore off.
William brandished his duel daggers and also growled out his transformation. Unlike Jare's black form, William became brown and smaller than his original height, giving off a speed focused fighting style.
The boss roared out in anger, and suddenly took off into the air at Jare. Jare roared in answer and threw himself up to meet the boss’s mandibles with his hammer. The two met and sent a small shockwave in the air, sending both attackers flying back as they landed on the ground. Jare reached out with his clawed hand to balance himself as he moved back, but the ant boss landed on its back and against a rock. It gave a loud screech as it turned back into a slime and slithered out of view.
At its call, a mass of big slimes began to crawl out from the rocks and sent themselves toward the beast-men with chitters and squeaks. Jare roared and swung his battle-hammer forward, smashing everything in front of him with absurd strength. The hammer slammed down and crushed the bug slimes where ever it landed, but the horde was too much for him to handle on his own.
Before they could overwhelm him, however, the mass was forced back by William, who leaped into it with unexpected agility and swiped with his twin long daggers. The blades cut through the hardened slime shells easily and sent small wind blades out to cut down another slime behind the first.
Moving back to back, Jare and William howled out in battle-lust as they moved together as a team. Jare smashed down with his hammer one-handed, picking William up with his other hand and swinging him around like a sword before letting go. William soared through the horde, slashing his way through the horde, before Jare grabbed the very edge of William’s foot and brought him back with a yank.
Returning, William reached into his pants and took out his collection of small knives. Throw after throw, the daggers sailed through the air and hit the slimes at their core. Jare followed up by smashing his hammer into any slime that got past the volley of knives and ended the horde by sweeping his hammer from right to left, sending the last bit of slime flying into the air on sheer wind force. The flying slimes were easily targets for William to hit.
When the horde disappeared, another shriek came from the rocks. The crystalline green slime reappeared, this time shifting into a Hercules beetle. Its massive mandible clacked as it rushed forward in a charge.
Jare and William dodged to the side as it sped past them. The boss didn’t slow down, but crashed into the room wall, inflicting a large hole and trapping it’s mandibles in the stone. Jare and William didn’t waste any time as they rushed the boss, thinking it trapped.
However, the beetle turned into a slime, then reformed back into the beetle with its head facing the two running beast-men.
“Jummpp!” Jare growled loudly, the two of them barely avoiding the second charge as the boss ran under them. Still they crashed to the floor as it had been an emergency dodge.
The beetle boss kept moving, but this time circled around the room and rushed them for a third time.
“THAT’S ENOUGH!” Jare roared to the heavens as he threw away his hammer. With a mighty cry, the big beast-man rushed the boss with his bear hands, letting out a battle-cry to his god. When they met, Jare grabbed both mandibles with his hands and growled loudly as he was pushed back. His feet began to leave trails in the stone floor, but the boss was forced to slow until it vainly tried to escape Jare’s grasp.
Jare grinned at it, the blood thirst dripping from his face.
“Thanks for the ride.”
The boss found itself picked up, and flung directly back into the rocks in the middle. It gave off a wounded cry as part of its back was impaled on a pointy rock. It seemed to give Jare a dark look before dissolving back into slime. This time, however, the slime did not call for reinforcements. Instead, it began to shiver and shake.
“Weapon.” Jare growled loudly. Anhel quickly threw the hammer he had retrieved earlier to Jare, who caught it with one hand as he took a ready position.
William’s eyes reappeared in the shadows near the wall, his patient gaze betraying a hint of red as he eyed the situation. Jare gave him a nod as they watched the boss take on its third form.
The crystalline green slime began to grow this time, it’s form much bigger this round. Soon, a large, green rhinoceros bug was glaring at the beast-men, it’s mouth roaring.
Jare gave a brutal, animal laugh that shook the room, “A battle of strength? Well, I shall oblige you!”
The beetle shook it’s horn and pelted off the ground as it rushed the brave adventurer. It’s movement across the floor shook it and made Anhel sit in order to not fall. Jare grabbed his hammer with both hands as he twisted his body to position the hammer behind him. As if swinging a bat, he winded up just in tome for the boss to get in range, and then se swung with all his might.
Hammer and horn connected at the same moment, and the boss flew backwards. It tumbled and rolled through the rock formations, impaling itself multiple times before coming to a rest at the other side of the room.
Jare, in the meantime, coughed out a mouth-full of blood as he was forced to the ground in a kneeling posture. Anhel ran over to him as William rushed toward the boss.
“Geez big brother, that was really dangerous!” Anhel admonished him as he began to chant healing magic, “You can take that kind of blow and not feel any blowback!”
Jare gave his little brother a grin as he stood back up and cracked his back. He was injured, but he could still fight. The boss, on the other hand, was in a miserable state.
The beetle was collapsing slowly now, it’s body a grotesque mix of bug body and slime, as if it were dissolving. Jare looked down at it, and then nodded to William. The two dropped their weapons, and pounced on to the fallen boss. William smashed the boss’s head and reached down, pulling the slime away from the rest of the body. Jare, with his strong hands, reached down and pulled the boss’s body apart, revealing the slime core within. Together, two beastmen roared in victory and began eating their spoils of battle.
However, the remains quickly disappeared and were replaced by loot. Obviously confused, the two beast-men roared in anger and fell onto all fours, sniffing the area for their stolen meal.
Anhel coughed awkwardly and raised his hands in the air. A quick lightning bolt knocked the two beastmen to the floor and made them moan in pain. As they did so, they regained their senses and their bodies transformed back into their originals forms, albeit with ripped clothes and bloody wounds.
Jare chuckled as he pushed himself off the floor and spat out the slime left in his mouth, "Well, that was certainly a fun fight; too bad the meal was disgusting.” He gave the previous location of the boss’s body a wistful look.
“That was really gross.” Anhel deadpanned to them, “Do you realize how deadly slime is? That stuff dissolves bodies you know.”
“Bad taste.” William agreed as he began coughing towards the wall.
Jare had the curtesy to look sheepish as he said, “Well, it looks like we're going to have to bother that receptionist girl for some new clothes and weapons." His battle-hammer was chipped and cracked in many places, and most of William's daggers had exploded under his force when he had thrown them through the slimes and into the floor.
Anhel rolled his eyes, "Big bros, you know that's the reason why we beastmen never have any good things right? Why can't you guys fight without destroying everything you own?"
William shrugged, "Too fun."
"You said it second brother." Jare laughed as he slapped William on the back, "Anyway, it seems we only got some generic loot today. Let's head back up and take care of our needs. We'll try the sixth floor tomorrow, and I'll send the report to the old coot tonight." Nodding, the three grabbed the useful things off the floor and activated their escape talisman.