Dreamweaver Chapter 157
“I don’t get it. What’s so special about this guy?” Varren asked.
Around him was a team of people just like him. All thugs and mercs, and they all were eager to earn som material wealth. Mercenary work had been good recently. Some goblin king had been tossing around gold like it was candy lately according to rumors. And so far it looked like the rumors were true. There was always this or that goblin king around hiring mercenaries pretty much all the time but that didn’t make all of their missions survivable or worthwhile, since less survivors meant less payroll to take care of. But this time was different. This time it looked like a real legit job that was getting quality people and that’s what had drawn him in.
The stakes were high but there weren’t usually any jobs this big. Even humans didn’t usually have this much gold to spend, so all of them were upbeat and hopeful. Plus the rumors were it was THAT particular goblin king; the one with a rumored dwarven vault that he’d plundered that was bigger every time the story was told. Of course…the down payment was small and no payouts until the packages were taken and delivered.
He doubted the stolen dwarven vault was really as big as they say it was, but that was fine. Even a small dwarven vault in the right goblin king’s hands meant bounty for all…all mercenaries that is; they always spent all their earnings going after more gold which was kind of ironic in a way because it meant they actually weren’t left with anything for their efforts after all was said and done.
Ahead of him some of the guys here he recognized as the usual heavy hitter players, and some he didn’t that were new possibly fodder, but there was usually that one or two guys in the midst of the fodder that were really talented and would prove themselves useful but just needed a leg up. The ones he did recognize seemed to be a bit edgy too like he was.
This is a prestigious job, he thought. It’d taken him years to earn enough clout to stand in a room of the bad asses of this type of caliber and quality. He’d for years thought he’d never get to this point. Now here he was. He found himself almost chuckling now that he could feel the awesome prestige he’d earned to get to this point. Even next to him the other mercs gave him more elbow room than the others in the cramped room because of respect.
This is exciting…
Near him around the crowded table was a half-ogre Tregg, who had one eye, and wore piece meal armor with a heavy …it couldn’t technically even be called a club anymore. He swung a fucking tree around as his weapon. At least he had the decency to not take it to the table or when he was standing too close to others. Tregg was useful to have and a good troubleshooter for busting through walls…even when he was barehanded. But you had to be careful around him and not set him off by saying stupid stuff or looking like an easy mark.
Yeah…definitely not going to stand next to that guy, suicide…
Then not far past him, was also the Necromancer Cid. He had a bad reputation as being easy to work with, too easy. If you died on the job, he’d turn you into one of his minions and put you in one of his massive set of magic inventory slots. A lot of cool heavy hitters had suddenly disappeared when with him, so it’s possible he might have helped a few people ‘peacefully’ enter the afterlife. He wore black robes and a silver opera mask and some kind of opera cosplay fetish.
Don’t sleep next to that guy when it’s time to make camp, he reminded himself.
I actually didn’t mind the whole necromancer bit...but opera? Who the hell likes opera? Not anyone normal or sane at least. Freaking weird ass trash isn’t he?
Moving along…his eyes scan the crowd. The others he didn’t know. He was surprised there weren’t more veterans that he knew. But the years had been kind of bad the previous two summers for survival of the fittest scenarios.
There were a good assortment of several types here…mostly humans but some of every type.
But he didn’t particularly like working with goblins. They were a testy bunch. But they paid their bills, as long as you didn’t turn your back on him or die before it was time to collect. It was a good idea to get paid by them as a group rather than individually for obvious reasons too. People who didn’t follow that rule often disappeared. Then after you got paid the rule of thumb was to get out of town fast, and probably change your outfit and appearance for a few days until you were in a safe zone.
Oh well. At least this would be good money. Kind of annoying but gold is gold.
“What are we waiting for?” Tregg asked. He had a deep voice and his jaw was too wide.
That guy…is scary. He doesn’t need to be a full ogre to be scary. Is he taking some kind of growth potions to look that big? Or maybe he’s just on some kind of all meat diet. And when did he sharpen all his teeth to look all sharky? Last time he saw him that wasn’t like that.
“Our contact will be here any minute. Just chill for a bit, they’ll be here. He’s got the job details,” Varren said, while he was sharpening his swords. He paused to look over the others again, studying them. Jobs like this you also had to keep on eye on the ‘team’ because they might not all be ‘team players’.
Edgy minutes of silence passed.
The room is pretty dark, and then finally after a little while there was the sound of one of the special heavily fortified doors unlocking and opening and two goblin shamans enter the room.
He’d seen the type. They aren’t hard to recognize because they smell of death almost as much as necromancers do. Fucking weird ass goblin shamans, they aren’t comical at all even though they resemble underfed midgets. Verran couldn’t stand their human skin masks.
They also have a habit of collecting skin masks from their victims and making hats out of them, which is even more disgusting than collecting skulls like other goblinoids do. It gave new meaning to horror, especially when they tried to capture the look on the faces of the person’s own face when they were being skinned alive in terror. They often painted violent war symbols on everything.
“Greetings esteemed colleagues,” the goblin’s voice was hoarse but confident and not weak. He was old and had an old type war staff that was no doubt full of all kinds of ritual enchants, which are what goblin shamans often use. He also had long white dreadlocks under his human face mask. There’s a standing rule not to underestimate goblin shamans even when they look old.
None of the group responded but just waited for the job details. It didn’t do well to stay long in the same room as hungry goblins. They had a way of making people disappear that spent too much time with them.
“Well…anyway I’ll get to the job details. Assistants, you have the contracts ready?” said the Old One. Anytime the Old One spoke the others were frantic to respond and move as soon as possible, which marked him as still being quite dangerous.
He confirmed it to the two goblin assistants that looked something like nerdy apprentices that were way to homely looking even for goblins. They confirmed they had all the equipment and tools ready.
He almost wanted to puke.
Get on with it already.
“So here’s what we know. There’s been a recent force that’s helping the dwarves. He’s single handedly stopped at least three town siege which would have fallen in our hands. The latest was a siege that we’d planned for some time and spent a lot of resources on. Plus all the killing of some of our best young shamans in one of the battles is something we can’t just ignore. It’s time for our revenge.”
Blah, blah, Verran thought. Goblin speeches were always predictable about the whole revenge bit and taking back what’s rightfully ours. He resisted the chance to snort in derision though because the Old One would sure notice his lack of respect. He only respected gold, not goblin revenge.
“Are you sure this wasn’t just some bad planning? You didn’t put enough troops into action?” Tregg said. He was the only one who could say that to the shamans and still live. They knew he was violent and didn’t trust him.
“We thought so too, but our spies confirmed each instance the same thing. A mage that can use protection magic on several different targets at once and still not run out of mana. We find this quite interesting indeed. It’s something that we must deal with and one of my generals didn’t properly take care of it before. He’s being dealt with even as we speak so I hope you understand what it means if you fail.”
“Also the dwarves have been using this person as a screen and fence to keep their cities from falling whenever we get close, probably without that person even knowing it because they are greedy and don’t like to share their gold. But they still cooperate with this guy even though he’s a human. Years of preparation down the tube! And now the big four are mad at me to contain this action. This I can’t accept. It’s…treasonous!,” the Old goblin click his jaw in anger nearly biting his own tongue in fury. He actually had trouble not making his jaw click. Plus he didn’t have many teeth left. He’d even resorted to having to have one of his concubines pre-chew his food for him.
“Any questions?” he asked.
“How do we find him?” Tregg asked for us.
“You see…that’s the easy part. We’ve got that all set up. The target is found and we’ll drop you in as a team for the ‘cleanup’. It just so happens I’m a dream shaman. So I can force my way in this time though that won’t make sense to most of you right now. What you need to know is that we’ll deliver you in and out safely after you finish the job. But do not make the mistake of underestimating this target. This is a priority job also with the goblin king’s blessing as you all know. His gold is blessing us wonderfully so far so we must deliver, this person’s head on a silver platter. I don’t know why he wants silver though…any platter would be just fine. Ahem! So tonight, we’ll hit them all at once by reaching them in their dreams,” the Old One said.
“Huh? You can do that? How does it work?” Tregg asked.
“You expect me to share my power with you?” The old shaman is ready to give us a tongue lashing.
Surprisingly Tregg even looked uncomfortable after awhile. The Old One can make even ogres afraid because of his reputation after all.
“Actually Old One, we respect you and your power. We know it was the blessing of your tribe that has given us such wealth. But we don’t understand how to fight in dreams is how we might word it better,” the necromancer said.
Verran also nodded. The necromancer was right to ask it this way.
“We need to know it’ll work,” Tregg insisted.
“I can vouch for the Old One,” Verran said.
Tregg’s eyes narrowed as he looked at Verran spiteful. “Good enough, for now.”
Surprisingly that necro is good at this political intrigue stuff. He always knows what to say, which was why Varren hated and despised him. I also think he helped avoid a confrontation between the Old One and Tregg.
Tregg has no idea how dangerous this scrawny looking old goblin is. Many have underestimated him. Stupid Tregg almost earned a punishment from the Old One and still hasn’t realized it.
“How do you fight in dreams? I don’t get it. Are we in his mind or where?” one of the others asked, whom I didn’t know.
“It’s like you are fighting in a sub-pocket dimension of some kind. And this pocket dimension doesn’t quite connect with reality except for only one way in which the enemy controls, so it’s also important you don’t miss our jump out, and stay together as a team. We’ll be in the aether as it were, but in a particular sub-layer of it where others also can dwell and is completely safe as far as being able to come back home alive safely. Well…that is assuming you don’t fall in battle. And if you do our younglings will show gratitude to the great goblin gods for your sacrifice to the soup pot,” the Old One explained.
There were several snickers around the room at that comment, but surprisingly they aren’t acting afraid.
“And this aether sub-layer is where other creatures live in?” Varren asked.
“It’s like that. It’s impressive magic if you think about it. Dream magic has a lot of cool advantages but I don’t get in to that now since I don’t want you stealing my secrets. Yes there are other creatures and dimension pockets reach into this realm as well. So do inventory slots made by magic, but usually they are sealed so that living things can’t enter in or out of them. But sometimes things are created to purposefully use this fabric of the dream aether sub-layer dimension. Sometimes people want to go there. And this is one of those instances despite the risks of such a place,” the Old One explained.
“In this case we’re the risk,” Cid the necromancer said.
There were several harsh laughs that followed right after that in the room. Even the Old One appreciated the comment, it looked like.
“Will all our weapons and physical strength function normally?” Tregg asked. He’s considering his chances for survival. He didn’t like this mage crap.
“The Old One speaks truthfully. We will enter an aether sub-layer and using a boon from the goblin guardian spirits make sacrifices sufficient to gain favor to have the location in the aether given to us on how and when to find this young mage and then snuff his life out,” the second goblin shaman added.
“Why in the aether? Why not wait for him to leave town?” the necromancer asked.
“We believe the dwarven nations spies may be keeping an eye on him. Plus he’s currently taking refuge in their southern province’s capital and it’s full of walls, dwarves, and guards. Doing it this way is much easier for you. The aether we believe they will forget to guard or not be as aware of. That will create a moment of opportunity,” the second mage said.
“Yep, let’s do this…”
“…Too bad there’s no chance to kidnap some dwarven girls though…” someone said.
Yuck…Verran realized he’d been putting up with a lot to be a merc. Maybe he should retire soon. It wasn’t worth it hearing all their shitty comments and how awful they treated women.
“We also believe he’s often in the company of numerous beautiful females that can be divided once he’s captured,” the Old One said with drool on his chin.
What? Verran’s eyebrow raised.
That complicates things. Some might think it’s cool but it also meant Tregg was much more likely to kill a few allies just from this fact being mentioned alone. ‘Accidental friendly fire’ my ass; he’d done such things before for the very same reason on a past job but nobody here was on that job that was still alive, except himself.
“All this trouble for a mage. I don’t like mages and their tricky stuff,” Tregg said.
“You like gold don’t you?” the second shaman said.
“yeah…gold is good. I really….really like gold!” came back Tregg’s more encouraging response.
The goblins grunted. They finally accepted his change of attitude.
“Well mages are what circulate the gold. If you like having gold then you love mages now,” the goblin smiled broadly showing a finely bulging sack of coins.
Some of the men scowled. Mages could be tricky after all. But their grudges were forgotten when they saw the beautiful shiny metal. The glittering metal coins caught all of their attention. Gold was so captivating and pretty.
“So..one hundred gold to be split among you to go into the aether and take the young dwarven protection mage out,” the first goblin shaman assistant said to clear the details.
Wow, that’s a lot, Verran thought.
“One hundred gold? That’s so much. You’re being more than generous,” the necromancer said.
“And when is all this going down?” Varren asked to be sure.
“Why tonight of course. We already have the blood sacrifices ready to appease Chukmol the great,” the younger shaman said.
The Old One backyanded the young shaman. “Fool. Don’t say that name aloud to outsiders. Blasphemy! You will learn to respect him better! It will be twenty lashes for you when we’re done with this job! Such disrespect and insolence!”
“Sorry Great One.”
Verran’s eyebrows twitched again.
Huh…he didn’t know it was bad to say the name of their gods aloud.
I had a strong itch in my tool. It gets like that when it’s time to feed and I am trying not to grind my teeth. With all three of the most beautiful of my women here it takes restraint for me to not just want to tear my clothes off and make a huge puppy pile with them.
The business at hand is too important for us to not mess up on. I’m worried about Ayumi, and also having visitors.
“Shun I can feel them again. It’s like a presence coming close but still not visible. It’s like the feeling ants crawling on my skin when I’m trying to sleep. But instead its like they are on the other side of that wall or something,” Fox said.
“They aren’t in the …room are they?” Sunghee questioned while looking about.
“Not yet. But I feel they are seeking us. It’s like they’re here though. I can’t explain it well,” Fox said.
“Damn it,” I said.
We’d also been saved by the unrealistically powerful alertness that foxkin have. Even with Asakura’s ghoul race status I don’t think she’d have known what she was feeling if she did feel it.
Near us we’d been treating Ayumi for some time altering heal, and cure poison but still trying to save mana.
“Any idea how those hobgoblin casters found us last night?” Asakura asked. She’s anxious and edgy, which I guess is part of the ghoul race trait. But it’s useful because she’s stronger and more solid against attacks and damage. I kind of wished there was a way to get other ghoul women like her, plus the eerie dark natural features made her seem very exotic in her already beautiful features.
I’m just thankful it’s a living ghoul trait and not an undead ghoul trait since there are apparently more than one type of ghoul in this world. The way I understood it, her type of ghoul race was like a type of obedient servant that craved the DNA of their master in order to live but was very strong, clean, and beautiful, while still being alive.
“I’m currently working on thinking about that. It couldn’t have been easy for them to accomplish on their own, yet the skill to dream walk in the aether isn’t an easy thing to do. It’s a high level powerful skill, on par with nearly being able to traverse to reach out to other worlds. So that’s why I think someone was helping them,” Fox explained.
“Is she doing better Shun? If you think those guys are close by again, we should check her one last time,” Sunghee sounded the most concerned. Sunghee is still a bit sly however, in that she’s trying to stand very directly in my vision in front of me. She’s kneeling on the ground, with her legs spread apart purposefully trying to tempt me to look up her skirt, which she’s pushed up just enough to be naughty. Her pussy is just barely visible to me but not to the others and she knows it. She licks her lips looking at me.
“We’ll just have to do the best we can but I’d like for us all be ready to fight and armed at all times. Stay together too,” I said.
“If you de-summon Ayumi then she’ll be protected,” Asakura said helpfully. She still doesn’t see what Sunghee has done and neither has Fox.
“True, but if he de-summons her the poison still won’t have run its course with whatever that breeder potion is doing to her. And it will just be more downtime later and who is to say that we could be raided tomorrow or the next day again and need her help then?” Fox countered. She’s not looking at us but looking outward scanning the arena walls around us.
It’s good that Fox accepts having one more team member though.
“So it’s kind of a tough call,” Asakura had walked around behind me and said it while leaning into my back. She’s not supposed to do that because it wrecks my concentration. It’s hard for me to not be aware of her giant boobs pushing against me, even though we’ve managed to make it so she has a shirt that will work to cover her up. We’d modified one of the school uniform blouses to accommodate her massive size but the problem was that it was still very stretched out, and to do such a difficult and tight shirt meant she had many top buttons still open at the top to keep the shirt from tearing. It also was so tight you could almost see her areolas and nipples because they pushed out so much, almost like mini-boob on top of boob against the tight shirt fabric that was strained.
“How does she look?” I asked Fox referring to Ayumi who is now still asleep. We’re afraid to wake her up.
“But you have mana sensing too. Why not tell me what you think first?” she shot back giving me a snarky reply.
“I asked you first,” I said.
“Waking her up will probably make her more aware of her pain. I wish we didn’t have to,” Asakura said with her chin in the crook of my shoulder.
Fox looked snarky in response to my comment. “Well sometimes I want to know how you think too. Humans are interesting to study. And I want to know more about you.” Her face blushed a little in her romantic thoughts.
“Yeah but you have a better feel for what people should look like from the inside when using it. And you have more experience mana sensing non-humans. Since she’s changing maybe you can figure that out and compare?” I suggested.
“Yeah, you’re right. I’ll take a look.”
Fox knelt over her to feel her. “Stable barely. The heal spells kept her alive. You are very lucky,” she confirmed.
“Well if you de-summon her then…what about Haruka?” Asakura asked with her hands on her hips.
“That’s going to be a problem,” Fox reminded me.
“How so? Why?” I asked.
“You technically don’t have Haruka unlocked, so you can’t de-summon her to prevent them from grabbing her. So once she’s awake you won’t have control over her even if you get her awake. The sealed room she is in is just a sealed stasis chamber that’s not movable. So that’s a problem. We actually will have to defend that part of the dimensional…” Fox stopped mid-sentence.
Asakura is pointing at the other end of the arena.
She’s reminding my goal; unlock both Haruka and Ayumi.
Sure enough, just like yesterday we can see the first beginning of massive fiery red sparks and almost like a red laser cutting tool cutting a circle in the air, near the far end of the arena. It was almost like it was trying to cut a manhole cover of some kind into the air.
It’s powerful magic from whoever is doing it now that I think about it. They’d have to be able to somehow triangulate a source and then accurately be able to move to it. Plus sensing all that across a great distance, and the raw power of cutting a mana laser like effect through a whole dimension wall means that whoever is in charge of trying to get in here right now is a serious player.
“They’re here,” Sunghee confirmed, though she didn’t really need to say it. Everyone knew by now and we knew we’d be fighting for our lives now.
“Weapons up everyone,” Asakura echoed right after her.
“Shun, buffs please,” Fox smiled affectionately at me and licked me up the side of the face. I hate when she licks me…its gross well…not gross actually but I don’t like being licked. But she likes it for some reason.
Finally the Old One and his other dream shaman assistant have cut their way into that dimensional pocket through the aether after we’d floated through what seemed a mix of dreams and nightmares. It was very sobering having to follow a weird magic tether anchored on the Old One as he pulled us through what felt like an ocean made of some kind of weird watery particles and a wasteland that had no gravity that felt like we were among the stars.
And before leaving into this weird aether like space he’d warned us if we lose contact with his tether or let go, we’ll be lost forever in limbo.
It gave me the shivers. And my stomach was doing strange things getting used to the verdigo lack of gravity as he pulled us along for what felt like a good hour of travelling.
But now the goblin casters have used their power to cut a circular man-hole perfectly cut into the pocket dimension that this caster is somehow residing in.
I don’t get it myself. But now that we are pouring through into the pocket I can see how freaking big it is.
Ahead of us in the dimensional hole they’ve cut for us, it looks like what’s ahead of us is…a gladiator arena?
Is this a trap?
Why a gladiator arena?
I keep my thoughts to myself. The goblins would not like me speaking up something negative about their mission right now.
Tregg goes first, followed by the necromancer in the silver mask, and then there are a whole host of orc mercenaries with us going with them in a huge stream, and myself as the official trouble shooter. Tregg, the necromancer, and I have a secret agreement to let the orc mercenaries bleed out first. They are easily expendable, novices, and have very little armor or defensive training we’ve observed. But they will be good for using as a ‘ladder’. A few sacrifices are necessary. Then we’ll pick up the slack when the enemy is already tired and wounded.
This will be easy…
I can see Tregg’s icky smile showing me he’s probably thinking the same thing.
The goblin dream casters don’t dare risk going in themselves for some reason, insisting they have to hold the portal open to keep us from getting trapped in there. They know if they do and if they are killed then there’s a strong possibility we’ll be trapped here forever.
But do they really need that many shamans to do that?
When we come out on the other side in the arena it looks like a big place, a place like gladiators might fight in full of sand.
“There’s the enemy,” Cid the necromancer confirmed. He’s carrying a funny looking huge burlap sack with him with the end open. According to the rumors it’s some kind of massive bag of holding and he just dumps out skeleton warriors by the dozens to start battles. He’s already getting ready.
About a hundred yards in front of us I can see the enemy but am confused by what I see…
The enemy looks like a teenager, somewhere around 16 or 17 but I could be wrong. His eyes look older and penetrating with intelligence and cunning with fierceness. But the clothes are weird, not like anything on this whole continent probably. He looks sharp and it looks almost like a strange foreign design of thin cloth, with travel pants and boots and a long overcoat.
This is weird. We were told it was some powerful mage, someone with veteran status and not some kid. A veteran mage should be old as hell, probably as old as the Old One even. This doesn’t make any sense.
But he’s surrounded by some of the hottest women I’ve ever seen and I’ve visited a lot of towns and brothels in my time. Even the girls at the expensive clubs don’t look this good. And they are all dressed in skimpy clothing in the form of micro skirts that barely cover up their hips, and the tops appear to be like sleeveless spaghetti strap tops that show off way too much cleavage. Except one of them has cleavage that’s so big that it’s a struggle to even wear clothes properly…and all of them look like some exotic oriental tribe.
Hmm…Tregg is probably going to lose his mind on bloodlust right now. I better not get too close to him.
Hmm Oriental slaves sell for a lot after we have our way with them. This should be easy…
Except for the Foxkin or fox beastkin. Fox beastkin are noted for being trouble to deal with, even when they don’t have a lot of offensive power. And I’ve never seen one so tall. She’s tall and willowy and makes Tregg look like a midget, at over eight feet tall…wait somewhere between 8 and close to 9? I don’t remember hearing of very many that can get that tall.
I wish I could remember what my old teacher told me about them more. It’s been so long ago.
This is so unfair? Why is he allowed to have that many hot women and not us? The sexiness concentration is unreal too, like something from a king’s harem in their looks. It makes me need to get revenge on this kid now. The goblins were right, though I’m surprised I agree with them.
But these fuckers also look dangerous. What have those goblins led us into?
That huge foxkin alone is going to be problematic and a signal of the real danger. Foxkin were good at fighting because they mixed both magic and melee styles well and were fast as hell. This one looked almost feral. Feral foxkins were the worst ones to fight. They’d often bite off fingers partway through the fight from their enemies or do crazy psychological bullshit to mess with your mind and make you afraid to even fight.
And why aren’t these women scared? They should be panicking right now with this many orc mercenaries and Tregg’s ugly mug. It’s one thing to face monsters like a necromancer and a half-ogre, which are scary and ugly as fuck. But to not show that fear is something else.
“Attack!” I said once Cid was ready.
We start charging across the sand towards them, now that Cid has over a dozen skeletons ready.
All of us are roaring as we charge.
“Get down!” Cid suddenly screams. He dives to the left in the sand just as this big fucking lightning bolt shoots out of the foxkin’s hands. It hits so hard that I can’t even till which way is up and my mouth and eyes are choking in sand.
I can hear Tregg groaning, and some of the orc mercenaries weren’t able to get up.
“What the fuck?! There’s two enemy casters! Not one!” Cid cries out. He’s usually pretty calm. But he doesn’t like surprises.
A magic user? Ugh…I don’t like this. Magic is always trouble. We’d expected a defensive protection caster with no other casters, who didn’t really have any tricky offensive stuff.
The feral type foxkin is shooting lightning bolts at us whenever she has the chance. I stay moving barely in the nick of time avoiding most the damage just then, but the sole of one of my boots got tore off in the process. I somehow get to my feet, just as another lightning bolt gets shot at us.
I’d never seen Tregg move so fast in his life. He’s a freaking monster and you wouldn’t expect a big guy like him can run fast but he can. While the lightning bolt is being emitted from the Foxkin he actually throws one of the orc mercenaries in the path of the bolt like ten feet in front of us so we don’t get hit by a second blast.
Huh, I wish I’d thought of that I thought as I stayed moving. Seeing Tregg use an ally as a shield to block enemy damage kind of makes me jealous.
At the same time as the lightning bolt, there’s a whole shower of like several sets of miniature star shaped energy magic missiles that spray us all, killing two of the undead warriors. Cid started cursing under his breath. He’s very attached to his pets, even the fodder versions. He also has nicknames for all of them.
“That was close,” Cid said. He’s already trying to get more of them out of his bag, which looks weird as fuck when he’s pouring undead from a sack as if it’s like serving and pouring jell-o.
“Fuck you! You were supposed to counter spell those,” I said while pulling myself to my feet.
I pull out my crossbow and get ready for a range war. The hell I want to get close to that foxkin. Shit that fucker is mean as hell. Her eyes have an intensity about them that makes me afraid to even look her in the eye.
The other enemies seem to be on standby, protecting the kid in the middle which is our target. That’s cool, even if we botch this job, if we can steal one of those women it will be worth it. So there’s a win win to this even if we lose and have to retreat as long as I can grab one of those girls. Then we can play with her for a few days before selling her on the mage’s black market.
We’re now charging through the sand floor as best we can while I’m trying to speed shoot with my crossbow.
The shots get deflected by one of the Oriental girls that has a dwarven buckler sized for humans. She’d purposefully blocked the shots aimed for the boy.
Within another five seconds more of those magic missiles have taken down one of the orc mercenaries.
“Fuck!” I heard Tregg scream. He hired those guys as bodyguard fodder. I shook my head. I told him they were weak little bitches but he wouldn’t listen. Or maybe that was his plot, to not have to pay them at the end. But it’s kind of pointless if they die before you even engage the enemy. They need to at least have some gain or you are just wasting resources.
At the minimum he’d treated them all to 2 nights stay at the inn and meals. Stupid ass…
The foxkin did some other crafty shit again. She opened her mouth, and blew fire out of her mouth in some unreal bent over in a sexy pose and a whole line of strafing fire like a fucking laser cut across the whole line of us, burning the fuck out of everyone except Cid, who had rolled behind one of his undead to use as a shield. Even Tregg is wounded, and I thought he was like part fucking troll or some shit.
I managed to only get part of my arm burned and my sleeve.
If she weren’t trying to kill me I would have thought that move right now was totally cool. But the others swearing and crying is reminding me this enemy can’t be taken lightly. At least we’re using the bodies of our dead like a wall and partial foxhole to keep from getting more damage, but even those are getting heated up after that last move.
Half the undead were killed just then and then more magic missiles kill another orc.
“Dammit, we haven’t even gotten to them,” I muttered.
We’re close now. Just another forty feet or so…
But we’re shocked when we run into a light blue colored transparent wall. Ahh, this is what those goblin shamans meant huh?
“Dammit!” Cid cried out. I can hear and feel the anguish in his voice. He …I think he’s whimpering right now?
“What the fuck is that?!” Tregg said. He tried to pound on it and bash it to pieces but even after several blows the mana glass wall thing whatever it is, still is there and just has a few cracks.
More magic missiles kill two more undead that Cid had just barely poured out. There’s only a few orc mercs left too.
And whenever I shoot at them, that one hottie with the best long looking legs keeps blocking my range shots to protect her group.
“What the hell is this?” Tregg cried out. He pulled a boulder from his satchel and threw it the last thirty feet, managing to throw it OVER the barrier magic wall…but because he’d had to go high on the shot, the mage used telekinesis to throw off the shot and it hits the arena wall instead.
Oh that was clever. Not many mages have the speed and instinct to use telekinesis on siege weaponry shots or ogre boulder tosses like that. With just a really small amount of force he’d thrown the trajectory off enough for it to not be a danger to them.
Tregg repeats the same trick and is frustrated when the kid mage does the same thing with telekinesis magic. Then he howled in anger again, threatening to murder them all with a tree branch garroting maneuver, all said in ogre speak.
The undead and orcs are peeling themselves off the wall, which they had run into because it appeared so quickly. But they’ve bottlenecked in the wall opening while they are getting picked off.
I can hear our enemies now. It’s a weird language I don’t recognize but the language enchant I’m carrying can still decipher it, though it’s making mistakes in several places.
I used telekinesis again for the third time to throw the trajectory off the ogre’s next boulder toss again after the others cried out to me for help when he launched it. The boulder tosses are scary. That huge thing he throws around almost like it’s just a big softball so I have to activate the magic code on the spell quickly.
Without having much actual raw force on my telekinesis I can still make a huge difference by just curving his shots a little with constant pressure on the boulder as it’s sailing over the wall. The boulder shattered in the arena wall next to us, showering us with rock slivers still.
Asakura and Sunghee both screamed in fear from the partial spray that didn’t really do any damage but shook all of us up still. A close call even if we did deflect it.
Shit, I hate ogres!
“Shun, undead mage is trying to counter your barricade fence,” Fox called out.
Damn, she’s right. I felt the spark of mana connecting me to the fence waver a bit from the enemy trying to counter it. Somehow I held onto it and kept him from cancelling it directly. Then when that weird looking guy in opera clothes couldn’t do that, he switched tactics.
Ahead of us I can already see the necromancer(?) weaving his hands and magic to try to punch a hole in it. Unlike other enemies these critters looked more dangerous than the others, so I hadn’t put a murder hole in this one to let them trickle through. But either way, my power isn’t strong enough yet to make the fence totally cut off the other side of the arena from us. It will still only slow it down.
Probably soon I’ll have to drop another mana fence down. Plus the blue glass like surfaces of the mana fences were pretty and impressive.
And is that one guy a freaking half-ogre? Hell his teeth and jaw look like he could bite through metal and I’d never seen such feral eyes even among half the ogres I’d run into.
Their minions are already running to the edges of the fence to go around.
The enemy necromancer holds out his arm and emits a weird violet light on my barrier fence…
The fence is shuddering all throughout the fence violently while I’m trying to stabilize it with my connection while the will of the undead mage is pushing back. It’s like two people trying to push at a glass window from both sides…and sooner or later it will give way.
Not good…the fence is trembling, like it will shatter with whatever that move is that he’s trying to pull off.
“Hang in there Shun!” Asakura cried out. Right after that Sunghee is also crying out support to try to encourage me. At the same time Fox is batting a few arrows out of the sky, while waiting for her cool time to finish on her spells.
I try harder to stabilize the fence.
But then the enemy also tries to strengthen his end of the mana connection.
Sunghee blocks two more crossbow shots while I feel my grasp on the mana fence collapsing. Damn she’s good. That guy who is shooting at us is pissed as hell at her, and cussing up a storm.
The mana connection between me and the other mage opposing each other on the mana fence, one to destroy, and one to protect finally becomes too great. The energy has become dangerous to the point that I’m worried it will snap the bones in my arm.
Finally…a few seconds later the barrier fence collapses from too much energy opposing each other causing it to shatter in thousands of shards that evaporate.
My arms and hands sting from the mana load on my body like they’d feel like after you just hit a really hard fastball in baseball and you get the sensation of terrible vibration from the bat going through you.
“Damn it,” I said.
“Hurry recast!” Asakura cried out desperately.
Sunghee deflects two enemy shots and then ducks another.
“Shun, recast the fence. If he blocks it this time I shoot another lightning bolt through. If he doesn’t we’ve bought more time,” Fox encouraged me without taking her eyes off the enemy.
Our protection from normal missiles enchants are really taking a beating right now while the enemy is trying to get us.
I don’t like spamming barrier fences though because they use a hell of a lot of power. But there’s no choice. Especially that freaking half ogre guy I don’t want anywhere near us.
Hell the opera cosplay necromancer(?)…I’m pretty sure that’s what he is…is sweating like he just sprinted a mile from the exertion of how much mana he had to use to cancel my barrier fence. It felt like dark black mana so if he’s not a necromancer, he’s something else using filthy and ugly mana that’s like poison.
What happens when black miasma mana touch clean and pure mana? Would I be harmed? I made a quick mental note to ask Fox about this later.
“Duck!” Asakura cried out as that half-ogre threw another boulder into us. We managed to dive out of the way and the boulder hit right where I’d been standing, while the necro has poured out three more undead from his satchel that looks like it’s a giant bag of…black inky water?
I couldn’t get my telekinesis ready in time for that one. But somehow we got away from it.
I recast the barrier fence but immediately feel the tug of the necromancer trying to peel away my spell in a counter-spell.
That guy is seriously persistent. And he has a shit ton of mana too.
“Damn,” Sunghee swore. She blocks two more arrows.
“Why won’t those fuckers die!” I hear the deep baritone of their half-ogre say. His voice echoed all over the arena.
My fence collapses from the enemy caster countering it with all his mana reserves and just as it does Foxkin releases another hellish bolt, complete with the sound of thunder cracking through the sky, that crashed hard into the necromancer and that Tregg guy. Both of them are knocked back on their asses and back hitting the sand like ten feet away but unfortunately I think they are still alive.
“Yes!” Asakura and Sunghee gave each other high fives.
“Shit. Those goblins buffed them. They are still alive,” Fox said.
“No!” Asakura and Sunghee both cried out.
They should be burned to hell or split in half. The spell did hit them head on. And the previous fire laser thing Fox shot from her breath did have burns on all of the enemies, but somehow that went through but Fox’s lightning bolt just burned through some kind of energy absorption buff, which I can feel leaving their bodies as it evaporates into the air. It’s confirmation they had a damage absorption enchant keyed for magic damage on.
The two high powered enemies are trying to get to their feet but still in pain at least, and swearing a lot.
“You still scared the shit out of them,” Asakura said. She throws a few knives at the few undead remaining but misses. Knives aren’t much good for undead anyway but none of us want to close to melee distance while we can avoid it.
Sunghee is still trying to block their crossbow guy, who is afraid to even get close to us.
I realized that this guy is probably the most dangerous out of all of them. His aim is amazingly tough to crack. He’d have killed one of us already if it weren’t for the protection from missiles enchant on us all.
I start speedcasting another barrier fence, and I can see the enemy mage’s shocked exhausted expression. He’s probably wondering why the hell I have so much mana and he’s probably close to zero or will be soon. When he sees what I’m doing he cries out in agony and despair. Someone with the mana of a normal person would only be able to cast two of these spells and this is my third and I still have a lot of power left.
This time it’s different; I have to adapt and be more clever than the enemy if I want to live. Instead of putting up a fence, I centered the sphere impenetrable barrier on the half-ogre to cage him like a rat. He cries out in rage and is beating on the bubble sphere’s walls with so much force that they are shaking while he sounds like a baby.
Plus Sunghee and the others have picked off some of the other orcs by now with their constant range fire going back and forth.
“What the fuck?! He can do that?” I hear the other mage cry out.
“Get me out! Get me out!” the one they are calling Tregg said. Even his deep voice is a bit muffled through the ‘mana glass’ but still audible.
Their team is shocked and afraid now. They thought their half-ogre would stomp everything once he was within melee range…and he was dangerously close to that already with only ten feet left.
“Idiots,” Sunghee said.
“Shun, the necro is trying to force open the cage. Stop him!” Fox said.
I can feel him already trying to free the ogre. It’s an uncomfortable version in the mana connection as the necromancer is at work, kind of similar to like a spiritual version of picking at a scab.
At the same time Sunghee blocks two more crossbow bolts.
Then after that Foxkin released another…fire lance from her breath that cuts across the whole line of enemies in front of us. The last of the undead die, and so do their remaining orc reinforcements. Now the necromancer is crying…
“Sick…he really cared about that undead trash as if they were cats or something. What a weird son of a…” Asakura muttered.
The necromancer is already trying to puncture my magic force field caging the half-ogre again. Seriously? This guy never quits! But to do so he’s like as white as a ghost because he’s used so much power, and he’s also got a terrible bloody nose and his eyes look like their bleeding too. It’s the sign of trying to force power so much you are wrecking your body.
Dumbass. That can seriously screw with your power core.
But he also knows he’ll die if doesn’t from being cut down. And Die if he does. He’s also emptying the sack of as many undead as he can. We thought he was out of them but he’s dumped five more skeleton warriors out of the sack, while still at the same time he’s cancelling my barrier cage.
My cage finally caves in under his will.
So I cast another one. “I missed?!” I am shocked.
This time Tregg dodges being put in the barrier cage but I capture the necromancer dude in the spherical barrier instead.
Asakura would have laughed except now there’s a damn half-ogre running full blast at us.
He hits Fox just as she tries to hit him back. It’s like two big bears going at each other. With her greater heighth she can kind of fight back at him while countering his greater strength with her higher speed and agility. At the same time that crossbow user has covered the distance to melee us as well and switched to a long bastard sword that he’s swinging at Asakura.
There’s a huge flurry of blows with neither Asakura and Sunghee, or Tregg or the odd versatile human gaining any ground while they try to tear each other up in hand combat.
“Sunghee careful. Don’t underestimate that human,” I said.
“Got it!” she said.
She’s still trying to come in from behind the human with both her and Asakura on opposite sides of him.
The human with the black bastard sword and heavy black leather manages to try to cut Asakura into little bits but Asakura blocked one swipe, and he missed two others. Then Sunghee scores a hit on his right hip from the back with her warhammer. He cried out in pain, but I suspect he’s got other enchants up lowering the damage somewhat. Plus he maintained some concentration enough to hang on in the fight.
Yuck. Seriously blunt weapons are messy as hell. He still cries out in pain and tried to limp back a few feet unsuccessfully. But I can see he has an edge too. He’s more experienced and powerful than I think Sunghee and Asakura are.
A punch from the half-ogre connects at Fox, and Tregg shatters my runic shielding buff in one hit on Fox, so I end up recasting it on her, managing to get it back up as fast as I could. Then she kicks Tregg and trips him. But she didn’t do much damage, only threw him off balance. He’s hardly even breathing hard.
The necromancer still can’t get out of my sphere…in fact…he’s out of power. He can’t do anything. He’s bleeding through the nose and eyes so badly that I think he knows he’ll die if he tries to do another attrition power scuffle with me. He then started screaming while looking at me intensely. He’s staring at us all hopeful that his allies will rescue him. He actually was probably close to me in power, but he just didn’t have a super mana tank like I did, and trying to snuff out barrier fences was his undoing.
And the orc and undead mercenaries are all cut down and gutted by now.
The problem is the other two are like boss level.
Tregg and the human are slow this round.
The human would have landed a blow on Asakura but she blocks everything he throws at her but nearly falls to the ground from the sheer force of his strength and blade. Somehow she barely stays up. Sunghee lands another cut on his back, which makes him scream like a pig.
Then Tregg shattered Fox’s runic shielding again…in a single hit. Seriously that guy is trouble. I’m just lucky he’s not quick and bright like the other one.
I recasted the shielding just as Fox casts another spell.
I didn’t know she had this one. But it makes sense that she would have things I didn’t know because she’s the master and I’m the student, despite my total mana being much higher than hers now. She did some kind of weird rune she carved in the air, amplified it with some kind of light mana. And then suddenly now there’s like five copies of her surrounding Tregg.
“What?!” Even Asakura and Sunghee are surprised.
Tregg slashes two of the mirror image copies and they evaporate, then right after that Fox kicks him again, sending him to the dirt. He’s got a shit eating hateful look on his face, trying to get up while she then kicked sand in his eyes.
At the same time it seems Sunghee and Asakura are both trying to kill the human, who is just simply stronger than everyone here. I made a mistake in evaluating him. Hell I was even thinking I shouldn’t underestimate him and I still did. He’s a monster in strength and a master fighter that could probably even crush Fox.
I’m having to spam runic shielding on Asakura to keep him from knocking her out and grabbing her. It’s clear she’s the target too because he keeps staring at her boobs. It scares the hell out of me too.
Sunghee managed another hit on him but he ignores it.
“He’s got some kind of damage absorption buff for melee hits,” Asakura noticed.
“Just keep at him. We’ll get through this,” Sunghee rasped while breathing hard.
Fox again kicked the half-ogre down and he misses hitting her or the copies because of being blinded. Then right after that she sinks the energy sword weapon through his chest in his heart. His body is burning in white hot fire now and Fox leaves the sword impaled in him to make sure the fucker is dead.
The necromancer is feverishly mad and rabid with rage while he screamed at us from within the bubble cage.
I thought the human would flee…
I was wrong.
He’s still trying to kill us. And he’s winning the fight. I’ve never seen a guy take on a whole team but he can.
“My name is Verran,” he said smugly while he deflected Asakura and Sunghee. At least they made him put his guard up now that the damage absorption buff is lost. But he managed to kick Sunghee in the stomach forcing her back.
As he’s about to land a hit on Asakura I hit him with my stun ray.
Weird…he blinks a few times and resisted it.
I saved Asakura but somehow instead he’s going after me now.
Asakura tripped him and he rolls across the ground to recover and instantly back up.
He blocks with more sword thrust like parries from Sunghee and Asakura together and I can hear metal clanging on metal.
I shot four magic missiles that burn him in the chest, forcing him back again. Now he’s cornered against the wall.
Then Fox did something weird and shot him again with her own version of magic missiles. Weirdly enough she can shoot five instead of four of them. But hers are different. Unlike mine that look like energy stars, hers look like hummingbirds made of white light that bury into the enemy and burst when they hit into small bits of flame.
The human screamed.
It took a half hour to kill him.
He would have killed us if there weren’t two casters from our side.
I had to energy tap Fox a few times to keep the necromancer caged.
Now Asakura has a new sword. The long black bastard sword looks totally badass and is obviously magic with a nice edge that looks like it never dulls. Her shirt is shredded from the fight with the human though and falls to the ground.
She’s now completely topless and so is Sunghee.
Weird…I don’t remember the human cutting their shirts up. But everything happened so fast I was just grateful I could keep the shield buffs up.
They didn’t purposely tear up their shirts did they?
“Um guys, we still have to deal with the necromancer,” Fox said.
Sunghee and Asakura hang back while covering up their nipples and boobs while Fox and I get close.
He’s staring at us with a terrified expression from within the bubble. And he couldn’t really pull out more skeletal warriors because there isn’t room in the bubble for that many. He does have two of them sitting down in a surrender position however.
“Um…I can trade stuff to you to let me go free ….yes?” he tried to smile at us.
“Why would we do that, you’ll just come back with another team tomorrow?” Fox shot back.
She’s probably right.
“How’d you get so tall? Are you a feral foxkin?” he asked.
“Shut up, we’ll ask the questions here,” she said.
“What do you have for trade?” I asked.
“Um…let me see…I must have something…” he fished around in his pockets for awhile. There’s rustling in his coat and he’s dropped his bag. I feel pity for him in a strange way. He seems like a sort of bumbling old school professor in some ways. He’s more klutzy than I realized too.
I did see his mask had fallen off and was about twenty feet away from us.
Fox picked it up.
“That mask worth anything? Don’t try to put it on, probably cursed,” I said.
The old guy with really short wiry gray hair in front of me puts on his spectacles. He’s thin all over really but at least he’s managed to wipe away his bloody nose with a handkerchief.
“You can…have my mask?” he suggested.
“No thanks. What else do you got?” I asked.
“Well. I have some extra pets?” he smiled big.
“We don’t…want your damn pets. They are filthy,” Fox said wrinkling up his nose in disgust.
He looked offended but shut his mouth quickly knowing she was more powerful than probably he and me together. I can tell he’s reading Fox’s power levels. But he doesn’t try to act fierce and is still in surrender mode.
“Um…how about one of these?” he asked quickly.
He held out his hand and there’s some kind of green orb there, about two inches in diameter.
“What the hell is that?” I asked.
Fox looked shocked. “Wow.”
“It’s nice isn’t it?” he smiled desperately trying to appease us.
“Just kill him,” Sunghee called from like twenty feet behind us. She and Asakura don’t want the necro seeing their boobs up close so they are hanging back while still covering themselves.
I noticed too that the portal entry gate that the enemy had come through is gone. Whoever brought this guy here had ditched him…it’s a bad deal to be captured and left behind. And I don’t want to keep him either. But I can’t keep him prisoned forever in here, because of all the power it would eat up just trying to do so. And the second I’d turn my back on him he probably wouldn’t hesitate to gut me like a fish.
“What do we do with him?” I asked Fox.
She shrugged. “It’s up to you Shun. I’m just your wife. You decide.”
“You’re his wife?! How?!” he looked back and forth against us incredulously.
“Don’t worry about that. So what’s the green orb do?” I asked.
“It’s a two way transceiver to open up remote access to the mage’s black market. They have nice stuff yes? You like new weapons? You like to win? You want more spells? You want to find poison to kill your enemy? You can do all that through this green orb,” he smiled big like an old guy might to try to tempt little kids in the back of his van.
He’s totally creepy.
“He’s lying isn’t he?” I said to Fox, ignoring him.
Her eyes are wide open. “Wow. Actually that item might be legit. I’ve been wanting to get one for awhile now.” She’s looking at the orb.
“How does it work?” I asked.
“It’s easy. You just open the connection and a blue screen pops up. See, like this?” he pulsed a small bit of his power into the orb and sure enough there’s a blue screen that pops up.
“Of course just so you know this is just a place people sell stuff. You won’t get anything for free. You also won’t be able find anything cheap because anything a mage makes and sells will obviously be something a lot of people covet…if you take my meaning?” he smiled big again.
Yeah, he obviously needs a lot of dental work done too…poor bastard.
“What do we do with him?” Asakura called out from the back.
“Um maybe I can join your team? My name is Cid by the way. I’d shake hands with you except...yeah…probably not ready for that,” he said reading our facial expressions.
“He might know something about our enemies,” Fox said.
Weirdly enough because they’d broken through here by dreamwalk skills…at least that’s what Fox calls it, Tregg’s body evaporated into shadowy particles leaving a huge pile of loot. So did the humans, and some of the orc mercenary bodies are also leaving smaller little piles of stuff.
I don’t want to do anything with it now however…
“So how many more pets do you have in that sack?” I asked him. I’m afraid to even touch the thing. I can tell it’s got some really bad magic in there with a lot of high power levels seeping off it without even trying to scan it.
“Um…a few…?” he tried to win us over with that ugly smile of his. He’s so pitiful I feel sorry for him.
“That’s not going to cut it,” I said.
“I think…hmm probably about 57 left, or wait, 59, I made a mistake,” he said finally looking serious and like the cold calculating thinker he is.
Yeah, he’s actually a bit scary when you take account of how many assets he has to be ready to kill us. This is going to be hard to figure out.
And I really need to feed badly right now. I don’t dare do that while he’s in front of me.
“So …trade for the mage’s black market portal device?” It’s pretty cool! He said just like a used car salesman might say it while he waves it in front of my face.
We also find out because of so much mage battling it seems my skills have increased in power.
Increases in skills;
Runic Mana Shielding +46%; can be applied by touch to team target, self, or any target within 21 feet of caster; Duration of up to 24 hours; cast range increase +1
Resistance to elements and magic, +55% bonus absorption rate above base; target must be touched to apply buff or within 6 feet. (Cast range increase +1, + increase to raw affectivity);
Starry Missiles (up to 4 missiles, +37% damage each); (missiles+1, +increase to raw damage);
Circle of protection; Creates circle of domain around caster. Summoned demons, extra planar creatures, or evolved creatures not living in the current plane cannot enter the circle without permission from the caster when summoned through ritual summons by the caster. Manifests as field aura power circle around the caster with the caster at its center with five foot radius acting as a defensive field protecting team of caster within circle of defense bonus. (+3 feet additional radius, + 3% to energy defense field.)
Debuff; Lower Resistance to elements and magic, 16% decrease;
Telekinesis; can be used within 10 feet of self on targets weighing less than 82 pounds or 82 pounds of force in action that can be applied.
Movement buff, up to 14% movement speed buff, + 3% attack speed increase. Target must be touched to apply buff or within five feet. (Will stack with equipment buff);
Heal; range bonus +2
Regeneration (upgrade version); range +1
All around mana conservation of 12% for all spells.
Dimension Door; 2 subjects +1 that can be pulled through if touching caster; minor teleport with range of 400 feet. +20 feet bonus range
22% additional efficiency mana conservation gain unlocked for stealth spell masking; (applies to stealth cost only, not actual spell cost.)
Soullink effect unique to Fox and Shun; Additional 10% shared mana pool exclusive to only Fox and Shun with additional 11% shared mana pool regeneration rate exclusive of all other upgrades. +1 to Soullink partner danger sense reaction time
Summon and De-summon compatible harem members; (Sunghee, Fox, Ayumi, Rina, Asakura);
+1 Tomato seedling from reality altering. +1 Cocunut tree seedling morphed from 1 tomato seedling. 3 trees used to practice growth expansion with same skill. Not sure if this is working yet. There’s not much change. But turning the dream state into a deserted island paradise will someday become a reality.
Also Shun personal note; Wonder if Leif’s group will soon be put on the missing list at the adventurers’ guild.