Sofia was fleeing as fast as she could, she had left the mountains in a few long jumps, and was running through the flat wheat fields at breakneck speed. Orvod flew about as fast as she ran, tailing her a hundred or so meters behind, his eight remaining stone lotuses in tow. He had taken two large chunks of mountain with him as he gave chase. The several ton boulders spun around him, losing large chunks of stone every so often, slowly taking the shape of a colossal trident and bell.
What’s with the size of these! Is he hunting a fucking dragon? I’m not that fat!
The stone trident was so gigantic, even if the prongs hit her, she would be crushed rather than impaled and the bell had to be large enough to destroy a castle if it was dropped on it. She could tell from a distance that they were getting pumped chock-full with mana. These would hit extra hard, and they wouldn’t break on impact either.
At the end of the fields, Sofia ran straight into the forest, losing sight of the hero chasing her. The increasing mana disturbance coming from his 'weapons' was enough to inform her that he was still hot on her tail. She didn’t even take time to dodge the trees, finding it faster to run straight through them, devastating everything in her path.
Twenty seconds later, she emerged out of the forest on the other side. And finally noticing that the trident was now fully formed, completely filled with mana, furiously rotating on its axis, and pointing straight at her.
She could only jump to avoid the stab of the ridiculous stone trident, it lodged itself in the ground below. The terrifying impact shook the earth. Scared by the noise and shock, entire flocks of birds flew off from the nearby forest. But the worst was still to come, the giant bell had yet to strike, and she was still midair, unable to dodge. Her only option was to use the spell stored in her other leg. Under the spell’s effect, the bell’s trajectory was ever so slightly altered, missing her by a hair’s breadth. The air shockwave from the massive bell hitting the ground below propelled her forward, allowing her to resume her mad dash for the promised land that was finally in sight, the primordial lake.
While the hero actually had to pause to ready his weapons once more, she jumped over the last stretch of land, and plunged straight into the deep lake. This time, the skill’s description came a bit later, but it was already detailed.
[Misfortune] : Through the power of sheer bad luck, ever so slightly alter the immediate fate of your enemy in your favor. Costs 10000 mana per cast, 500 seconds cooldown. Right leg blood vessels must be undamaged for the skill to correctly resolve.
Inside the lake was cold and empty. Sofia could swim faster than she could run with her new body, even better, she didn’t need to breathe, and she was certain she could stay underwater for as long as she wanted. This body could probably just as well swim in molten lava without too much trouble, its resilience and adaptability was admirable, save for the detail that it couldn’t fly.
The primordial lake was a famous landmark of the Skyreach kingdom. No fish lived in it due to the unusually high mana concentration of the water, making it toxic even for humans. It was an invaluable resource that had brought about the creation of the ‘Primalakus Magic Academy’. The academy was nowhere to be seen now, having been built at least a good hundred years later.
So for now, this was nothing but a large lake with mana saturated water. The mana inside couldn’t be extracted without proper machinery, making it pretty irrelevant in the fight. Besides, anyone above level 100 could probably safely drink the water, so it wouldn’t stop any hero from jumping in. The useful part to Sofia was the obvious lack of stone anywhere. The lake’s shores were sand and the lake itself was large enough that you could mistake it for the sea. She swam until she reached a point where she couldn’t see the land anymore.
Will he still come to fight me here? The water should be a terrible match for his skills. But if he doesn’t come I’ll have to flee further. Would be dangerous to let him reunite with the other heroes, can’t handle them all even with an advantageous terrain.
The problem resolved itself when she perceived the large mana disturbances from the trident and bell. He was coming, flying over the water without hesitation.
As long as I empty his mana…
Sofia was still adapting to this body’s vision and its ability to perceive mana in great detail, but she could already tell that the man still had plenty, although quite a bit less than herself. Maybe around thirty thousand if it's proportional…
Actually the man would probably retreat if he was about to run out of mana, so she wouldn’t try to prolong the fight, considering he could get backup and she likely couldn’t. Getting through the eight lotuses will be troublesome. I’ll keep my trump cards for when he only has one or two left…
Underwater, she swam past the giant weapons and shot up straight towards the hero. Orvod had expected her attack, layering shields and spikes under his cube mount, but they were useless, Sofia had actually gone for the lotuses instead of him, destroying two of them in a single uppercut out of the water. She was gone underwater before he could react.
Orvod rearranged the lotuses, spreading them in a way that would make it hard to destroy multiple at once, while also using the trident to stab at the demon. For him, fighting in the water wasn’t only a disadvantage, as he could stab with the giant weapon without having it get stuck in the ground. The bell was on standby, spinning in place above him.
Sofia soon launched an attack on another lotus. She couldn’t destroy it in time, the lotus spreading out by itself, launching its petals at her before she could reach it.
They never reached her, getting lost in the mana dense water, she had used [Regret], which had made her ‘choose’ to attack another one. That was two flowers dealt with once again. She plunged deep in the lake to have a second to think. Although both of her strikes had worked, dodging the trident was an arduous task and [Misfortune] was still on cooldown for 20 seconds so she wanted to wait that out before her next attack.
Four flowers left. Now if I can get rid of the bell I could manage to find an opening. With how he keeps it over his head I can’t touch him without getting slammed too… Alright, this will cripple my speed but I have no choice. Time to see in action why this was a Necromancer’s ritual.
Without hesitation, which was greatly helped by the fact she couldn’t feel pain, Sofia filled her tail with mana, activating the spell within, and used her own claws to chop it off at the base. Her tail would grow back but it would take a day or two. Just like that, all of her maximum stats dropped by twenty thousand. This better be worth it.
The next part of the skill was quite gross, the cut tail’s bloody end sprouted in an explosion of pulsating flesh, it was growing a new body. An undead body.
[Grief] : Create the high tier undead ‘Hollow Grief’ from the cut tail of a Demon of Sorrow. Only one ‘Hollow Grief’ may exist at any given time. The ‘Hollow Grief’ has no active skills but it copies the Demon of Sorrow’s fighting style and physical capabilities. The ‘Hollow Grief’ has the innate passive skill [Mirror of grief]. Hollow tail’s blood vessels must be undamaged for the skill to correctly resolve.
[Mirror of grief] : The ‘Hollow Grief’ is always seen as someone precious that has been lost, should there be such a person in the observer’s memory.
This was a cruel skill that took advantage of one’s emotions. As the undead’s body formed, it hurt her but she couldn’t avoid looking, underwater and in a body that couldn’t shed tears, Sofia’s missing heart ached. The undead would fight for her but she wasn’t immune to its skill.
In front of her, with glazed eyes and an out of place long tail, a small child with wavy blonde hair in a ragged dress floated, listless in the water. It was awaiting her orders.