Roaming around the forest at the foot of the mountain, Nathan was continually looking for goblin squads to dispose of. He had already killed three groups, completely releasing the obstructive barrier.
Right now he was waiting for more people to gather at the mountain. He had spotted a cave, but understood going in alone was suicide. The density of goblins inside was surely greater than that of the forest, and he had come to realize some shortcomings of his ability; large groups of enemies surrounding him. He had limited mana, and sharp as his senses were he didn't have eyes at the back of his head. Unless he could avoid getting encircled, he would not be able to intercept or dodge all incoming attacks, and considering the goblins had the home advantage, that was unlikely.
As such he could only spend his time on other things while waiting for the other entrants to catch up.
While walking through the forest he suddenly picked up on sounds of fighting in the distance, and began heading over there. As he got closer he spotted trails of blood, and as his eyes wandered he saw a lifeless pair seemingly stare back at him. It was a corpse, a human one at that. A familiar feeling arose within him, but much stronger than before, and he had a sudden epiphany.
A growing discomfort had taken root in him ever since he entered The Tower, whenever he killed something it would appear.
He had been growing up with wonderous tales from both his dad and grandpa of their adventures in The Tower, and at that time he had wanted nothing more than to join them and create his own fantastical stories. However reality came crashing down when his dad died, and he realized how sheltered he was from the darker side of The Tower. People died there, and had always been dying there.
His enthusiasm died as well. However with his grandpa's increasingly abusive training, his sister distancing herself, and his mother's grief festering without signs of healing, his heart grew resolute.
Rumors were that those who climbed to the peak of The Tower could have a wish granted, and if this were true he would claim it, returning his family to what it used to be. Even if the chances were slim, even when grandpa dissuaded him saying it was untrue, he would believe. If they lacked the strength to do so themselves he would believe for them, for his mother, his sister and his grandpa.
After the death of his dad, he had thought he came to terms with his own mortality, but now he realized that was clearly not the case. Now standing before a human corpse, his body and mind was warning him of death itself, he now understood, it was instinct.
Taking a moment to calm himself, he again thought of his purpose. There were many people ahead of him, and if he had to fight them for what lied at the peak, he would need to be stronger, stronger than anyone else. He would remove all obstacles in his path, and throw away anything holding him back, even if that something was part of himself.
Understanding that the growing feeling inside of him was merely a primal, cowardly instinct designed for the weak to survive, he was more than happy to let it go, to throw it away where it would never show itself before him again. To him, who was prepared to face the harshest challenges of The Tower, this was something utterly useless to him, something worthless, only to be viewed with contempt.
His face grew cold and his eyes resolute, he continued towards where to fighting was heard, not looking back.
With sweat dripping down her head, a bloody left arm and holding a useless flint dagger in her right, Maria couldn't help but curse their bad luck as she tried to fend off the goblins while standing behind her shield bearing friend.
The day had started so well when they wasted little time finding each other, allowing them to take a lead ahead of the other groups. Things had progressed well as they got closer to the mountain, the goblins posing little challenge to the four of them.
However as they began fighting against their third squad, they had been ambushed by another. If that wasn't bad enough, among the new arrivals was a goblin shaman, who initiated their ambush by casting an ice spell at their backs, killing Finn with an icicle through his heart. Encountering a shaman was usually a blessing, as their cores were worth a lot of money, however their circumstances could not have been worse.
With two groups from different angles attacking them, they had to constantly keep moving to avoid being completely surrounded, something that had proven costly. While on the run, they were at a complete disadvantage with the goblins harassing them. One of their members Zach, had taken a serious hit to his thigh, and Maria one to her left arm, sacrificing it to fend off his assailant. Unwilling to leave him behind, yet unable to escape with his crippled leg, they had chosen to stay and fight.
There were six goblins left, down from ten, but the party were on their last legs. The shaman was still around, and even if it didn't cast often, it was enough to stop them from improving their situation. If their own caster Finn, was still alive to counter the shaman, things wouldn't have been like this. Now however it looked grim. Their tank Carlos, was trying his best to keep them at bay with his tower shield, but it was breaking down under the barrage of daggers, clubs and ice, and so was he.
Although he got there a bit late in the fight, Nathan had been observing for a while. He did not intend to intervene unless they couldn't manage otherwise. Stealing the quarry of others was bad mannered. The only reason he had stuck around was because he wanted the core from the shaman, but couldn't just take it if his intervention was unnecessary.
When one of them lost his ability to move, they quickly became surrounded. The shield bearer had to focus on blocking the shaman, leaving the woman to protect them from other angles.
Taking this as his queue, Nathan appeared behind the goblin shaman, stabbing it repeatedly, ensuring a swift death. Once life left the creature it disintegrated, only leaving behind a non-elemental core. This item was a lifesaver that could be used to restore mana quickly, as well as power new magic technology. Even if it was a consumable, it was very valuable.
Picking it up he took a look at it.
[Non-Elemental Magic Core]
To Nathan, this was a get out of jail free card. There were no lack of sudden or unexpected situations in The Tower, most of them deadly. These people were a prime example of that, their lack of caution, preparation and ability had all cost them dearly, more so if Nathan was not there.
Having gotten what he came for, he didn't dally any further and helped the team dispose of the rest of the goblins. While he certainly took advantage of the situation, he did not want to be the kind of person to just leave without helping, otherwise why would he wait until now?
Maria finally saw hope, when a boy came out of nowhere, killing the shaman, and as such most of the remaining goblins turned their attention to him.
With most of the pressure gone, she took the initiative to kill the last loitering goblin still on them. Alone the green skinned creatures were not much of a threat, it was their savage nature with no fear of death that made them dangerous in groups. They would often trade hits at the cost of their life, which was naturally deadly when there were many of them.
Turning back around to see if the boy simply ran away with the goblins on his tail or not, she became astonished at what she saw. The goblins were already littering the ground around him, a feat that was more so impressive due to the speed at which he killed them than anything. Her party had only struggled themselves due to the shaman, and losing their only caster Finn, the rest of them were enhancers.
Stuck thinking about what ability the boy might have, she was a bit late in noticing that he was now leaving.
"WAIT!" She shouted.
At the sudden exclamation, Nathan turned around.
"What?" He asked.
Maria wanted to properly thank the boy, however before she could so her shield bearing friend interrupted.
"Boy, return the core you stole from us!" Carlos shouted, with an annoyed and angry tone.
"CARLOS!" Maria exclaimed.
"What, Finn died for that core, and now you want give it away like this?"
"The kid saved our lives you dimwit! Is this how you want to return the favor?"
"He only took advantage of the situation, you think he could have gotten that core on his own?"
After the goblins were killed, Nathan felt his presence was no longer needed and wanted to leave, before the woman stopped him, only for one of the men to start spouting nonsense.
He was annoyed, he had done things to etiquette hadn't he? Did his grandpa give him faulty info again? Honestly even if that was the case he didn't care, these people owed him their lives and should not act like this.
"If you want the core, come and take it!" Nathan said. He had made a resolution, if this person wanted to stand in his way, he would get rid of him.
Staggered out of their argument, Carlos felt his anger rising at the exclamation of the boy.
"There's no lack of snot-nosed brats like you on the first floor, and it seems you need to be taught a lesson." Carlos said, cracking his knuckles, approaching him.
"I should just have left ungrateful people like you to die and gotten the core afterwards. If you want it so much, i don't mind burying you with it." Nathan replied, readying his dagger. He was genuinely angry now.
"STOP!" Maria shouted again, she was honestly too tired to raise her voice like this, but the situation was really too damned. While both of them stared at her she moved up to Carlos, taking a firm grip on his arm. "I initially stopped you wanting to thank you, but it seems my companion here is too distraught at the loss of our friend earlier to see things clearly. I'm sorry for his rude behaviour, we won't make any claims on the core and don't want a fight." She said, not letting Carlos speak any more.
Not wanting actual infighting in their group, and realizing his party needed first aid, the large man left it there.
Nathan hesitated, he still felt angry at the whole situation but didn't actually want to try and kill someone over it. Taking a deep breath he tried to let go, what the woman said made sense. He had not been behaving either after his dad died, often lashing out himself. He could relate.
Thinking it was better to leave than continue, he turned around again, heading towards the mountain. He needed a break, so instead of hunting more goblins he would see if others had arrived. Right now he had gotten a bit hot-headed, and wanted to cool down.
Name: Nathan Vale
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Dark Blonde
Tower Floor: 1
Magic Power 47