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A note from naosu

Sad 

I've had a cold all week. So it's kind of delayed things. I had wanted to have two chapters too but sleeping off a cold kind of wrecked that. Sorry. 

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Dreamweaver Chapter 204 Part B

The Fight Shun event continued…

Shun POV

So far over yesterday and this morning I’ve collected 13 gold from over twenty challengers. I briefly just dispatched two others, collecting another sum from them.

Money, money, money! Keep it coming! One after another I tear through a bunch of weak guys.

But I can’t get cocky. I see another guy coming forward that looks more intense than the others. Right away it raises red flags. Why is he so confident and have such a sinister stare in his eyes?

“New challenger! The lizardman subchief xMegadeathx! This guy is coming back from retirement. Isn’t this exciting?” the ref called out.

Wait, what? This guy was a veteran fighter too?

This time it’s a green scaled lizardman. His outfit is fancy and is some kind of tribal getup that looks colorful, both to attract attention and to show a sort of fear in the hearts of others looking at it. Lizardmen are on this world and they are smarter than they look. This one in particular has a sort of penetrating look to his stares at you that are haunting from very cunning eyes that look almost devilish. This guy has strange shaman like thick leather armor with plates fastened on the top to make an almost invisible breastplate; it’s a common type to lizardmen that I’d also run into on this world. His trappings include strange tattooes and ornamental paraphernalia on his body with curse symbols and signs of destruction.

This guy is…he smells of magic. That makes me wary. As we’re sizing each other up, I sort of smell the magic coming off him. Not a mage I think. Something else? Wait, a shaman I think. His whole demeanor is way different than other people.

“Hi,” I said. I made a move to shake his hand but instead he spat on the ground.

I heard something like, “filthy human dog,” muttered as gave me a look of rage.

“OK, you know the rules. Clean fight people,” the ref backed up and then blew the ‘Go’ whistle.

Almost as soon as the whistle and red flag are thrown this guy is speed casting! Wow a speed caster! These guys are hard to keep up with! I have to hurry to catch up.

‘Cancel magic!’ he casts on my runic shielding.

Somehow I concentrate and hang on, feeding more mana into my shield. The magic shielding holds as I try to stabilize it, but I’ve lost initiative already. I rushed into a panic trying to keep my magic shield up. That’s scary…the tactic of using cancel magic on a magic shield is a really big threat but it’s usual all or nothing. And if it doesn’t go off the first time it won’t usually go off.

(Sylvie and I had talked about this tactic before.)

Whew,…the shield held. Barely…

“Damn it…” he swore. He’s shocked that my shield didn’t buckle. He’d been about to charge in on the opening to run me through with some harpoon thing ready. But instead he had to sling it over his shoulder again to keep his hands free for magic.

We briefly both went through dodging each other’s lunges with footwork. Even with magic, footwork is important. But I saw through his moves. He was trying to fake me out to box me into using moves that he knows he can best me at. I avoided the traps deftly, while the crowd around us is getting more riled up. They can see this is going to be a fairly heated up fight.

Then he’s already speed casting his next spell. “Speed down↓”, he casted. His mana burst hit me too fast to even react to. Wow he’s good. I’d expected some small fry and this guy is on steroids. I felt the red tinged aura of a debuff on me. I don’t like it. It feels awkward and bulky. My body is already moving slower. It’s like everything around me is blurred now while I’m trying to catch up.

Weird…

“Movement speed buff!” I activated. My buff counters his but I realize a problem. I got my movement speed back but his ‘speed down↓’ has more attack speed down than my buff has. I end up struggling to keep up while he’s slashing at my runic shielding.

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 23 shield damage!

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 21 shield damage!

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 19 shield damage!

[Runic shielding currently at 67%]

So this is a buffers game? I tend to forget that shamans are buffers too, but not primarily buffing. They sort of blend it with warrior stuff and even a few nukes are possible while a real buffer will be primarily buffing first. This guy is strong too. Those three successive strikes have the crowd riled up even though he’s not human. In the background I can hear people betting on him and money changing hands with some bookie nearby.

“Circle of protection!” I activated.

“Attack down↓”, he casted.

“Agility down↓”, he casted.

Wow, with his speedcast and my attack speed down, he’d gotten in the equivalent of two spells cast! I hadn’t thought someone could get their cast speed high enough to do that, but he’s done it! This guy is a master. To do so he must have also practiced those techniques endlessly to know them so well he can put them out like second nature!

Already he’s moving in to slash at my runic shielding again!

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 14 shield damage!

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 13 shield damage!

[Runic Shielding at 54%]

“Runic Shielding!” I casted. I feel the energy feed into the shield and pulse making the shield strong again.

[Runic Shielding at 100%]

The lizard shaman slashes again at me repeatedly, frustrated that I just stopped him from popping my shield. I try to block much of the blows and mitigate the damage but it’s still cutting up my shield with his superior speed. Still the circle of protection aura has cut his damage by quite a bit because of its natural damage mitigation plus the added defense! And this is frustrating the lizard shaman.

His moves are agile and strong. It’s like fighting a creature with liquid movement that’s graceful, powerful, and flows almost like a serpent with limbs. Lizardmen are like this? There’s something interesting about how they move. I want to study them further. His strong instincts help him naturally to guide his movements to what will give him an advantage easily, sometimes with bluffs, and fakes to draw me in which I barely saw through in time as a trap.

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 14 shield damage!

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 13 shield damage!

He screamed at me in frustration and then added a tail swipe! 29 shield damage!

“What the frick?! I didn’t know lizardmen could do tail swipes?!” I heard someone say on the front row.

“Neither did I,” the ref said, flirting with that same girl who said it.

[Runic Shielding at 72%]

“Debuff; Lower Resistance to elements and magic,” I casted on the lizard shaman. I gave him a taste of his own medicine!

He didn’t like that. He’s like scratching and itching at his scales while trying to get away running back and forth in the ring. But he can’t get rid of the debuff. He wants to get away but his desire to win overpowers his instinct to run away.

“Resistance up!” he tried to counter.

So I punched at it again.

“Debuff; Lower Resistance to elements and magic,” I cast the next debuff on this guy.

Now his resistance is slightly in my favor. I suspect it’s fairly even but my debuff amount is higher than his buff! I’m finally gaining some ground on him.

“Bastard!” he swore.

He then rolled across the floor trying to trip me with a tail spin and several slashes appeared on my shielding as his weapon raked out in combos.

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 12 shield damage!

Lizard Shaman xMegadeathx does swiping slash with clawed staff, for 11 shield damage!

[Runic Shielding at 61%]

“Starry missiles!” I cast at him. Four white hot magic missiles flew out of my hands and struck his magic shielding. I shattered a large hole in the shielding up by his head.

“Magic shield!” he shrieked to renew his shielding.

“Starry missiles!” I cast at him. Again four white hot magic darts shatter his shielding.

Somehow it turned into a dogfight of attrition with him trying to spam magic shielding as I sapped a ton of his mana fast. The war of energy bursts is slightly going in my favor but I can’t relax even for a second. This is an enemy that demands respect or he’ll get away from me.

“Magic shield!” he shrieked to renew his shielding.

“Starry missiles!” I cast at him. Again four white hot magic darts shatter his shielding.

“Magic shield!” he shrieked to renew his shielding.

“Starry missiles!” I cast at him. Again four white hot magic darts shatter his shielding. I can see him sweating in fear with large wide eyes as he realizes he’s being forced into defeat slowly. His shield almost buckled.

“Magic shield!” he shrieked to renew his shielding.

“Starry missiles!” I cast at him. Again four white hot magic darts shatter his shielding. He’s looking even more tired now. This time there are more cracks in the shield, yet somehow he held on.

“Magic shield!” he shrieked to renew his shielding.

“Starry missiles!” I cast at him. Again four white hot magic darts shatter his shielding. It won’t be long now.

“I yield! I yield!” he suddenly screamed when my next spell was almost finished.

I realized his mana was depleted. He then fell on his but in the matt area, from exhaustion. Someone managed to throw him a towel.

“Here, thanks for your time,” he flicked me a gold coin out of respect before leaving the arena.

Wow…1 gold is a lot in this world. He must have really been impressed or desperate. I’m not sure which. I pocketed the coin quickly.

“Oh, so if we kill Shun we get all the gold in his pockets!” someone said.

Ahh fuck, this group is crazy. They now have gold fever added to their problems.

My mana is going to be stable for a few more fights, as long as they aren’t all long drawn out mage attrition like with that shaman.

xMegadeathx POV after the duel is over.

Jeez…I’m lucky I got away in that duel. I could have been killed. I find myself breathing hard as I limp away. People don’t pat me on the back like they do the others because people aren’t attracted to lizard skin. Their loss. Scaled is beautiful as they say. Once you go scaled there’s no going back.

Officially the blows didn’t hit me in the duel, but I did strain an ankle from the sheer force of those magic missiles. Then they almost burned my face off.

I slunk away carefully making sure I don’t get followed. It takes a few minutes because the line is so long. But eventually I got to the alley.

A hooded figure is meeting me there. I can see his pensive look in my direction. But I know this figure, it’s my contact. He flashes some hand signals to me quickly. I returned the same ones perfectly in reverse. Then he sighed as he can put his guard down.

“So did you do it?” his pointy ears are a giveaway that he’s a dark elf, even with a hooded cowl in his robe.

I shook my head. “This one is too guarded, and so strong too. In the match, I never even had a chance to use the poison. I couldn’t get his shield down.”

The frown increased ever so slightly on my contact. “That’s not good. You know I make my bread and butter by you finding us the rising stars in the fae program early before they can achieve enduring strength. My boss won’t be happy.”

“So, we can get other targets. This Shun is a small fry anyway,” I stammered.

“Hmm, a small fry that showed up out of nowhere and got on the leaderboard a bit too fast for our liking,” he said.

“Yeah I don’t like it either. But I feel confident about our results of getting intel on this ox head fellow. He won’t be missed either. Since he’s so ugly he lives alone,” kekkeke I laughed.

“Very well. You did find us an alternate target. That’s good. I like that,” he said.

“So let me ask you this? What do you recommend we do to get rid of this Shun fellow? We could set up a duel gone wrong but I wonder if that’s the best option? Since you were in the ring with him you might could suggest something. Or would just following him home at night be better?” the dark elf in robes asked.

“Why not do both? If he’s really as dangerous as you say then, definitely try more than one approach. You could probably gang up on him more at night though. The rumors are that he travels around alone except for sometimes having some hottie human girl with him,” I said.

“I see. Thanks for your input,” he replied.

“When you kill him, I want first dibs on the girl with him,” I said fiercely.

Dark elf negotiator shook his head. “Sorry. Someone higher up the chain has already claimed that. But believe me we’ll take this piece out soon.”

“So what will you do about this Shun guy? You better not underestimate him. I don’t like leaving it unresolved but its beyond my strength,” I said while sweating. I hated saying that to the dark elf but if I lie I’m toast anyway.

“Hmm we’ll get an alternate team on it. It’s out of your hands. But you did find me the oxhead fellow. So here’s payment,” he said.

He quickly glanced around before making sure nothing is watching us or able to see us. Then he handed me a dirty sock that clinks of metal coins. I shook it on acceptance to feel the weight, to make sure it’s all there.

“Don’t worry. I won’t cheat you. You are too profitable,” he flashed a dirty smile. “10 gold as payment. You can check it, it’s all there like usual. Get me five targets this month for elimination and I’ll throw in a bonus. But make sure none of them are small fries. We have to take out people that are leadership by example or office.”

Sweet! I can’t believe my luck.

10 gold…yes! I can buy a lot with this! Dude, I can’t believe it. Fuckin 10 gold yes baby! I could buy tons of whores for this amount. Or a winery would be nice! Oh which is it…they both sound awesome…but if I drool too much my tongue will get caught in my teeth.

“I can work with that,” I nodded and managed to say.

“Good because remember, we’re working against the clock. You have to complete the objectives and leave town before the next phase of the plan. If you get caught in town after the deadline; it’s all on you. We won’t be able to rescue you. And that goes for me too,” he curtly nodded and went his way.

I waited five minutes for him to be gone before slinking out of the alley from a different direction.

Next phase? What did that mean? He sounded like something is going to happen.

Maybe I can figure out something for this Shun fish that got away. I hate to let that gold get away.

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