Advertisement
Remove

The team of witch hunters decided it would be best to devise a new strategy accounting for my ability to easily manoeuvre in the dark. The strange assortment of characters that stood before me would have made for a sorry sight if they were members of another guild, but the witch hunters' guild was famed for taking in everybody that could wield a weapon, regardless of background. Some countries even sentenced their prisoners to service in the guild, showing how mixed their reputation was.

Yet, the guild had existed for more than a thousand years, due to the church endorsing them and their staunch neutrality when it came to politics. This stood in stark contrast to the mercenary guild, that liked to choose sides and support anyone who had enough coin.

The smallest guilder, who wielded a bow, was a middle aged woman with a lithe build. She eyed me for a moment, before she spoke up.

"Let's introduce ourselves first, shall we? If we're to trust each other with our backs turned and all that. My name's Melinda. I became a part of the guild a decade ago. I'm a tier 2 [Journeyman hunter]. I'm an archer, so I stay in the backline, peppering our opponents with arrows from a distance."

The largest, mace wielding guilder was the next to introduce himself.

"Barnold. Tier 2 [Brutal marauder]."

He didn't seem much for conversation. The rest of the group cringed a little, hearing his introduction. The next person that stepped forward was an elder man, who wielded a staff. He had a magnificent beard that almost reached the floor, which was a stark white colour. Clearly he was a wizard of some sort, those types always took care of their beards as if it were their child.

He spoke up with a kind tone and a small smile on his face, elevating his grandfatherly persona.

"I go by Nestor. I am this party's resident wizard, certified by the academy. You may rely on me if you require healing. I hold a tier 3 class, [Corrupted Life mage]"

The last party member left was a big bellied giant, just a little smaller than Barnold. He wore a longsword in his scabbard and had a large tower shield attached to his back.

"And I am called Garrett! I'm the leader of this silver ranked party, a tier 3 [Bulwark]. I like drinking, women and fighting! You should join..."

Melinda walked up and pulled his ear.

"That's about enough of that, Garrett. Don't corrupt the kid with your terrible habits."

Seeing this as my cue, I spoke up last.

"My name is Arthur. I...don't really feel comfortable sharing my class yet, because of its rarity. I hope you don't mind. I like swordsmanship, and training!"

The party looked at me a little weirdly for a moment. Perhaps they thought my reluctance to share my class was a little suspicious. Melinda broke the silence and got back to business.

"Nice to meet you, Arthur. Let's talk strategy. Exactly how good is your night vision, and what other skills do you have that are useful in battle?"

I was unsure of how I wanted to answer her question. I knew that I would eventually need to explain my situation to join the witch hunters' guild, but this didn't feel like the time or the place to open that particular can of worms. I decided to keep my dark affinity out of my explanation for now. I also decided not to talk about too many different skills. Most people only received one or two skills upon their class awakening, after all. They would then receive a few skills through practicing and tiering up. The only reason I had so many was because I technically started off with a weak version of a tier 4 class.

"My vision skill let's me see in very low-light environments. I have [swordsmanship], [flexibility] and [perfect physique] as skills that could help in battle."

Garrett was the one to answer me.

"Ha! At least you got some proper levels under your belt before you entered this death trap, then! Getting two milestones in your first tier isn't bad kid! Looks like we won't have to babysit you too much! No wonder you didn't want to share your class! You will have to share it to join the guild properly, though."

"Don't worry sir, I will."

"Alright! Our strategy is to go in there, and kick that goblin's ass!"

Melinda chided Garrett.

"No you idiot! When we enter the boss room, Arthur should go scout ahead a little and report back what the boss looks like. Then you should head to the back and stay there as we kill the boss."

"But..."

"No, young man. You'll just get killed if you try to help us. This isn't a game, kid. Letting you scout ahead is already a big enough risk. We're giving you the chance to witness a higher tier fight. Don't ruin your future for one fight."

With a sigh, I accepted. I really wanted to prove myself. I wanted to prove that all of my hard work until now paid off, that it held meaning, but I could understand their point as well. It was a humbling thought. It reminded me of why I started walking this path in the first place. Strength and freedom.

Determined, I walked ahead of the party as we got closer and closer to the boss' personal chambers.

 


 

A few minutes later we could hear the sound of something big moving. The party stalled and waited as I went forward, searching for the boss.

I arrived inside a large chamber that had bones and wood adorning the walls as if it was a ribcage. The entrance left me on a slightly raised platform, allowing me to look down over the edge to see the boss. I peeked over, and realised that Melinda's advice hadn't been without reason. Below me, I saw a small goblin garbed in a long robe waving a staff around, cackling madly. The goblin was surrounded by giant lizards made out of bone, each the size of a large horse. They were clearly undead creatures, which had a reputation as being far too difficult the kill and immune to pain, making them an absolute menace in battle. I noticed a string of dark mana leashing each of the lizards to the shaman.

I shuffled back and held my breath, feeling fear for the first time since my awakening. I knew that engaging this boss on my own would mean death, no matter what. The sheer size of the lizards, and the immense vortex of dark mana I could see circling the goblin were proof of that. Seeing a creature command such a vast amount of dark mana filled me with both fear and jealousy at the same time.

I headed back to the group on the tips of my toes and reported what I had seen, leaving out the dark mana. Garrett was the first to reply.

"Shit! No wonder so many rookies died! From Arthur's description that bitch must be at least tier 3!"

"We can handle it."

Barnold had answered, confident in the party's strength, which Garrett seemed to agree with.

"Damn right we can! Hey kid, do you mind backing up while we talk about our plan for a moment. No disrespect meant, but mentioning all of our skills and tactics around a stranger is bit more problematic when it comes to higher tier skills."

"No problem. I understand that tier 1 skills won't exactly be a surprise to anyone, in comparison to tier 3 skills."

Etiquette around skills declared that the higher the tier, the more secretive people would be about them. I walked a little further away, and sat down to clean my blade.

Twenty minutes later, the party had finished discussing their strategy, and beckoned me to come watch the fight from a vantage point. All five of us entered the chamber.

 


 

The group of four went up to the platform. Then Melinda and Nestor started charging up attacks, a blue coloured arrow and a green ball of light respectively. A moment later, both launched their attacks. The arrow bounced off of the skull of one of the undead lizards, while the life orb had more success, melting the skull of another, taking it out of the battle. Clearly, the group had decided to take care of the minions first.

Now that the surprise attack had started, Barnold and Garrett rushed forward. The two remaining lizards ran forward to meet them in battle. Within a second, the two groups were upon one another. A mad clash of fang and steel ensued. The goblin shaman wasn't about to let that happen without interfering, however. It put up a shield of dark mana around itself, before launching a series of black orbs and bolts at the witch hunters. Garrett blocked them with his tower shield, while Barnold was protected by a shield erected by Nestor, which deflected most of the attacks. One bolt still struck his shoulder however. He screamed out in pain as a chunk of his shoulder began to rot. Within a moment Nestor had moved to reverse the process with a spell. The shaman didn't intend to give them any reprieve, however. It blocked a few incoming arrows that Melinda had launched, before launching a black mist at one of its bone lizards.

The mist enveloped the lizard, turning its bones black. The creature became bigger and wider, becoming at least twice as big as its previous size. It roared, seemingly having turned mad. The string attaching it to the shaman snapped, most likely ending any control the shaman might have had over it. It ran straight at Garrett, swiping its claw at his torso. Garrett moved to block again, which he did successfully, being pushed back in the process. He moved to counter attack, but was instead hit by a long bone tail covered in a black aura, which hit him so fast it sent him flying. He landed against a wall and collapsed in a heap of blood.

From there, the tide of battle was turned. Both Nestor and Barnold had recovered, but without Garrett and his tower shield, they had very little opportunity to defend themselves, forcing them to rely on dodging attacks. A well aimed life orb killed the second undead lizard, but with both the shaman and the enraged lizard still in action, the situation looked grim.

The shaman threw more spells at the remaining party members, none of which managed to land a solid hit. Barnold continued slamming his mace into the black lizard, however it was ineffective, not even leaving a scratch. Nestor's and Melinda's efforts to break the goblin's shield didn't have much more luck. The moment one of Nestor's spells started melting through the shield, dark mana would be pulled in from the surroundings, purging his magic from the shield. Melinda's arrows were fast and numerous, but simply didn't have the penetrating power necessary to hurt either of the opponents. She launched arrow after arrow, creating a veritable storm of projectiles, but the shield didn't weaken, simply drawing on the plentiful dark mana that was created by the dungeon.

At one point, Nestor tried to heal Garrett, but his magic couldn't properly heal his wounds. Nestor could only guess why, but I knew that the lizard had left something in the wound that stopped it from closing, using dark mana.

This stalemate lasted for a few minutes, with Melinda suppressing the larger bone creature by burying it in attacks, as Barnold and Nestor tried to break the shield, occasionally taking a break to heal.

This situation couldn't last forever. In fact, I could already see the trio begin to tire, Nestor no doubt nearly running out of mana by now. The shaman didn't have this problem. It was a fight on home ground, with its surroundings being perfect to maintain its mana stores.

I could see the exact moment Nestor ran out. A desperate look came over his face, as he called out his situation to the party. The shaman saw its chance and launched a giant black bolt at Nestor.

Time seemed to slow down, I knew I needed to make a decision now. If I interfered, the witch hunters would find out about my class. If I didn't, Nestor and the rest of the party would almost certainly die. I didn't have much time to deliberate. I drew the mana out of Garrett's wound, hopefully saving his life in the process. Now it was time to fight in a battle above my station. This could mean death, but so be it. I refused to let good people die when there was a chance to save them.

I rushed forward, activating my core and augment as I ran. I started to spin my core at a speed I had never dared to before and felt the immense power course through my veins. With every step my core hummed, with every breath the ambient mana shivered. In the blink of an eye I had arrived before Nestor. I lifted my bastard sword and swung to meet the bolt with my augment.

The two dark powers clashed, pushing me back into the dirt bit by bit. After what felt like an eternity, the bolt dispersed. Nestor gasped.

"You..."

"I'm sorry for hiding this. I'm on your side, head back to Garrett's side. Melinda, Barnold! Buy me some time! Keep the lizard busy!"

"We can only buy you a minute! Whatever you have planned, do it fast!"

Barnold let loose a shout that attracted the lizard's attention. I saw this as my chance and rushed forward, towards the barrier. I knew my augment's power wouldn't put a dent in it, I simply didn't have the power to do that with my weak stats and core. That's why I tried something new, that could very well have killed me. I deflected or healed from incoming spells and kept running. When I reached the black shield, I put my augmented hand on it, closed my eyes, and activated meditation, drawing in mana from the self sustaining magic powering the shield.

I felt the mana rush through my arm into my core, which I spun faster and faster, to release as much of the gathered energy as possible. If before my mana felt like a river surging through my body, then now it felt like a dam had broken and I was trying to guide a lake into a canal. The mana was simply too much. As I did this the shaman noticed my efforts and placed its full attention on me. It sent a swarm of spells at me every second, but due to the immense amount of mana that was entering and leaving my body, I healed from each wound within the blink of an eye. Like this we continued. I sucked in more mana as my arm was destroyed entirely. I sucked in more mana as it healed fully a moment later. I sucked in more mana as my organs were torn apart and I continued as they were healed again. Our struggle went on for what felt like an eternity.

After a while my augment couldn't numb the pain anymore. My veins were starting to glow a deep black and my hair was slowly rising up because of the dark mana. My whole body started burning, clearly being overloaded with mana. It felt like my blood was replaced with lava. When it started feeling like I would destroy myself and die, the shield finally collapsed. I didn't want to waste this chance. Using all of the power I had left, I used shadow apparation to appear above the shaman. I stabbed downwards and impaled the little fucker, finally killing her.

I collapsed from the pain, completely out of mana. I looked over to the remaining opponent. The lizard started behaving strangely, twitching and howling, before a red ghostly eye appeared in its empty socket. Its bone became surrounded by a black haze visible to the naked eye. It rushed at me, intent on taking revenge for its former master. I didn't have the strength to move anymore. I saw my incoming death and refused to accept it. Yet it was no use.

Right as its claw was about to reach me, I closed my eyes. A moment later, I heard a clang. When I opened them again, I saw Garrett with his tower shield. He had a large gash across his body, yet somehow, he was still standing. I felt hands on my shoulder, and noticed Nestor dragging me to the back lines.

"Leave the rest to us, kid. The undead is running on fumes at this point, it's only a matter of time before we win this battle."

Out of energy, I could no longer keep myself awake and I passed out.

Advertisement

Support "My class [Death Knight] is just barely legal..."

About the author

Belgianfri

  • Your holiness

Bio: I like fries. The belgian kind.

Achievements
Comments(36)
Log in to comment
Log In

Log in to comment
Log In