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A note from Exterminatus

ELLC Discord server is up since people have kind of been asking about it, you can join up here. Patrons please make sure to connect your Patreon account with your Discord to make the integration thingie work. And please, don't make me have to moderate it. Still, feel free to say hi or bug me with any questions you have.

Zone’s eyes twitched ever-so slightly at having her full force blow being stopped dead in its tracks. It was a sloppy block that diffused none of the momentum or force behind the attack, yet this magic caster was still able to endure it. The fact that the Sandman was able to react to her presence and move fast enough to pull that off was something of a surprise as well. Physical ability aside, his staff was also still in one piece after colliding with hers, so his equipment was nothing to be scoffed at either.

Having instantly reevaluated the strength of her opponent, Zone immediately resumed her assault. Her staff became something of a blur in her hands as she unleashed a barrage of strikes at her target, denying the Warlock any opportunity to focus on using magic. Just as she had established moments earlier, however, his martial prowess was far above what a Caster would normally have.

Despite coming at him from various angles and putting a ridiculous amount of strength behind each strike, she was still unable to land a single hit. She was certain she had the upper hand when it came to brute force, but this Sandman was definitely faster in spite of that towering body. He had the weight advantage as well, so knocking him off balance proved to be quite difficult. Haphazard blocks became parries and parries became evasions as her opponent rapidly adapted to her combination attacks, proving he had fighting ability to back up his physical attributes.

However, unlike the time she fought Hilda during the war, Zone’s current opponent was lightly armored, which left him vulnerable to her hand-to-hand techniques. The angelic Monk suddenly dashed forward, momentarily letting go of her staff as she pushed into the Sandman’s wide chest.

“Flurry of Blows - Rending Assault.”

She then unleashed a combination of a Skill and a Martial Art. Her hands seemed to momentarily multiply as she delivered a total of eight strikes in what felt like an instant. Her opponent had been caught off-guard by the sudden change in tempo and took the brunt of the attack. His cloak was shredded and his torso was left covered in deep gashes that bled profusely, almost as if he had been mauled by a wild beast.

The attack didn’t end there, however, as Zone grasped the staff that had still yet to fall over due to gravity and thrust it forward like a spear. It wasn’t a sweeping attack that could be stopped with a glorified magic stick, so the Sandman was forced to defend with a cross-arm block. He caught the end of it on the thick steel vambracers protecting his forearms, but they did little to defend against the Ki-enhanced strike.

You have inflicted excessive blunt force trauma. Target HP -811.
Energy ripples through your target. Target HP -162.

Bones became splinters and skin split asunder as both of his arms were crushed by that one attack. The armor, such as it was, had been cracked open like an egg while yet more blood spurted out of both broken limbs. Zone swung her staff around to deliver a follow up blow, but a massive pair of metal clad fists interjected themselves between the two. She instantly recognized their owner as that red-skinned fiend from earlier and leapt backwards rather than try to take that absurd mountain of muscle head on.

“Hey!” yelled the demon. “Come back here and get crushed, skank! Ora ora ora ora ora!”

The barrage of fists that came raining down on the Monk threatened to overwhelm her while the demon’s master slinked off to lick his wounds. However, each of those strikes were thrown haphazardly and without any real intent or purpose behind them. Though this fiend appeared to be a Berserker like Hilda, their fighting styles were completely different. Whereas that dwarf’s every strike flowed seamlessly into the next in a calculated assault that had the sole purpose of ending a life, this demon seemed to just be swinging wildly hoping one of those would hit. It was the stereotypical way of fighting for one who had a lot of strength and no idea how to use it, so an experienced fighter like Zone had no difficulty fending off the assault. In fact, half of those wild punches missed pretty much on their own. And the more the two fought, the less and less the fiend had a chance of landing a clean hit.

For Zone was a follower of the Axel and as such possessed the Disciple of War Skill. The longer she fought any one single opponent, the more she grew accustomed to fighting them, and the better she could predict their next move. Unlike Disciple of Chaos, however, she wasn’t tapping into a pseudo-precognitive ability, but was rather expertly reading her opponent’s movements. Muscle twitches, breathing, eye movements, weight shifting - the more she saw of her target, the better she got a feel for their fighting rhythm. This Skill was the main reason why Monks in service to the God of War were considered to be the most troublesome duelists.

But, even if it gradually turned any one-on-one fight in the user’s favor, the effects of the Disciple of War Skill would be reset if the Monk switched targets. But now that it had ‘spooled up’ again, it gave Zone a lot more breathing room against this careless fiend than one might think. She took advantage of a gap within the rush pushed the demoness back with a pinpoint staff thrust to her solar plexus. Granted, it wasn’t as effective as it would’ve been on a person since demonic bodies made no sense, but it still gave the Monk a chance to take in her surroundings.

It would appear that Edge had been momentarily webbed up by the stalker demon, judging by the sticky strings clinging to her outfit. She had cut herself loose almost immediately afterwards, but that had given the other side enough time to rotate out and pick better targets. The fiend was blocking the Monk, the icy spider-girl was now playing cat and mouse with Hook, and the Sandman was bearing down on Edge. Compatibility against one’s opponent was the most deciding factor when it came to high-Level bouts like this, so it made sense that the enemy would want to take advantage of their various strengths.

The Psionic, for starters, was obviously struggling to keep his distance from that stalker in the relatively confined space of this atrium. The tough and stubborn fiend was meant to keep the most dangerous of the three busy while her boss attacked the weakest fighter of the Gilded Hand trio. Which wasn’t to say Zone was badmouthing Edge inside her head. Even if she was arguably the lowest Level among them, the elf was still a proficient assassin. However, her stealth-focused specialization also meant her ability to engage in a straight up fight like this was subpar. Normally she would rely on her speed to outwit and outmatch her opponent, but this Sandman was more than her equal in that respect. He also had the upper hand when it came to raw physical strength. The only reason Edge was still alive was because her experience allowed her to anticipate the attacks before they were made, but she was steadily being overpowered. She couldn’t even create some distance between them, as she would be nailed by a nasty Spell in the next instant.

However, the Sandman and his minions weren’t the only one who could play ring-around-the-battlefield.

Zone activated her Ultimate Skill - the Spirit Guardian - and dove straight into Kora’s storm of random punches. An ethereal copy of the Monk leaped out of her body to block the left arms while the real one parried the right. She delivered a flying kick to the demon’s gut with one leg, then followed it up with a boot to the underside of her jaw with the other by using her weapon as a vaulting pole. This precise application of force rocked the brain of the much taller demoness, causing her to pause her unrelenting assault and stumble backwards. This gave the Monk just the window she needed to unleash another bare-handed Martial Art.

“Flurry of Blows - Nerve Strike.”

Her arms moved so fast they seemed to multiply once again as she ripped through the red skin under each of the fiend’s arms with the index and middle finger on both hands. Or at least that was the plan, but a layer of metal scales formed the instant before she could make contact as a result of Kora’s activation of her Armored Carapace. The attack was much shallower than Zone wanted, but it still had the desired effect of temporarily immobilizing all six of those arms. She then grabbed hold of her staff once more and swept the demon’s legs with a descending spin on her heels. The mountain of muscle fell over to the side, though not before insinuating Zone’s mother had intimate relations with a dog.

The Monk then unfurled her wings and once again lunged at the Sandman’s back. Edge noticed her approach and immediately moved to support her. She suddenly ducked low and stabbed a dagger through his foot to nail him to the ground, though the compromising position this left her in resulted her getting viciously kneed in the face. This act of hers gave Zone the opportunity to latch onto the hooded Warlock’s massive back, who was unable to stop her due to being pinned. The angel used her adamantite staff to choke on him from behind while grabbing onto the top of his head with one of her hands.

“Full Appraisal.”

In a move no sane man (or woman) would consider wise, the angel had attempted to read her target’s Status in the middle of a fight. Knowing one’s enemy was of utmost importance to defeating them, and if they were to capture and interrogate this guy regarding Nao’s whereabouts, then she needed to be sure of what they were dealing with. However, the information that began flowing into her head in the next instant made that infuriatingly emotionless face of hers twist into one bearing the tiniest of smiles.

In the next instant, several massive steel spikes erupted out of the Sandman’s- No, out of Boxxy T. Morningwood’s backside. They failed to pierce Zone’s Ki-Imbued Skin, but still succeeded in throwing her off. The monstrous mercenary then willingly detached its pinned limb and swiveled around to glared at her, his cloak almost completely in tatters by this point.

“You saw?!” it growled at her.

“I did,” she confirmed immediately.

She had either been shown the made-up Keira Morgana’s Status that Essence Concealment was still broadcasting, or her quasi-divine species had allowed her to look past it entirely. Boxxy didn’t know which was which, but its identity as the Hero of Chaos was now assuredly exposed. Which meant that the gloves were now off. The shapeshifter gave up on trying to fight these guys as a person and fell back to its wilder, more vicious methods. It lashed out at Zone by extending its arm while covering it in steel spikes like a makeshift flail, only to have it effortlessly beaten back by her Spirit Guardian.

The resulting opening prompted Zone to lunge at it once again by using her wings. She was gearing up to take a full swing at Boxxy’s head as if to take it clean off. The Mimic responded by literally throwing a naked doppelganger-shaped Mirror Image at her with its other arm. The meat puppet splashed against her like a blanket of flesh, coiling itself around her and making her fall to the ground, right in front of the original. The shapeshifter retrieved its favorite mithril dagger from Storage and swung it down on the Monk with all its weight and strength, intending to nail it clean through her skull.

However, Zone was not alone in this fight.

“Ground Coffin!”

The stone pathway underneath Boxxy’s feet split open and slammed shut on either side of him like a gigantic bear trap as a result of Hook’s Spell. It would appear Edge had knocked the webstalker away, giving him the chance to cover Zone while Kora’s partially paralyzed body was still recovering. The Monk’s explosive strength allowed her to rip through the living straightjacket she was put into while Boxxy did the same with the Ground Coffin.

But Zone did not continue the fight. Rather, she spread her wings and launched straight up into the air. A Gate simultaneously opened up right at Edge and Hook’s position, no doubt an escape route prepared by their allies. Arms tried throwing stones and debris at the retreating angel while Claws moved in to rip the portal apart, but neither of them made it in time. Boxxy managed to hit the retreating Monk with the Ebonfire Spell, but it didn’t even slow her down as she sped through the night sky. As for the other two, they had safely made it through the magic rift before the webstalker could collapse it.

“Shit!” cursed Boxxy as it stomped the ground. “Shit-shit-shit-shit-shit-shit!”

The Gilded Hand officers had escaped with the knowledge of the Hero of Chaos’s true identity. The shapeshifter couldn’t help but think back to that blasted smile on the Monk’s lips, which only made it even more furious. It really should’ve went all out from the start instead of trying to maintain the Sandman’s already compromised Facade, but it was already too late to change the past.

Speaking of which, this was neither the time nor the place to throw a tantrum. Though this corner was relatively quiet for the moment, it wouldn’t be long before the FIB agents showed up to investigate. At least this fiasco didn’t last more than a minute or two, so its Mirror Image from earlier was still around. It telepathically ordered it through Spirit Echo to swap places with Arms, then the real one used a Transfamiliar of its own to vacate the area.

The shapeshifter found itself in an old disused section of the sewers beneath the mansion, with the passed out Nao and Kuro propped up against a filthy brick wall. It had used its familiars to carefully map out the labyrinthine tunnels to use as emergency escape routes in times like this, so it could find its way back to its lair easily enough. Snack was still posing as Keira after the two swapped during all the smoke and confusion surrounding the emergency evacuation, so swapping with her at this point in time would be foolish. There was no point in having Arms and Claws loiter around the mansion any longer though, so it forcibly dismissed them.

“Grrnh! Who the fuck are you, spooky?!”

It would seem whatever mental shock that hooded baldie had given the two wolfkin was wearing off, as Kuro was already rising to his feet while growling and with a magic knife in each hand. This timing was hardly ideal, as Boxxy hadn’t yet changed out of the ripped up bloody rags that were once a weakly enchanted cloak. It still had the guise of a heavy-set human underneath, but it was hardly the appearance it wanted to show either of those two. It was also not in the right frame of mind to deal with this game of lies, so the urge to just take its frustrations out on them was almost overbearing.

‘Almost’ being the operative word there.

“You’re safe, so stand down. Or I will put you down.”

Which was why it somehow ended up giving Kuro a warning that was dripping with murderous intent instead of lashing out at him.

“I’d like to see you try!”

Needless to say, it wasn’t very effective.

“Where is this anyway?!” asked the wolfkin while warily looking around.

“These are the sewers under the mansion you were just in,” replied the Sandman. “Your enemy will not find you here.”

Kuro seemed to relax a bit, as neither he nor his brother were in immediate danger. It also helped that the hostility emanating from this stranger was diminishing rapidly. In reality that was just Boxxy dosing the musty air with a calming scent through Pheromone Control, but that was besides the point.

“Okay, that’s a start,” stated the wolfkin. “Still haven’t told me who you are, though.”

“I’m nobody important. Just a passing Warlock who hates humans.”

“Really now? You look pretty human yourself, if a little on the large side. Was your dad a giant or something?”

It was a decent enough guess. Though children born from interracial relationships would always be the same species as the mother, they would still retain certain traits of the father. A coupling between a human female and a giant male would definitely result in a human of above-average height. Whether the woman in that hypothetical scenario would survive mating with a partner roughly twice her own height was another question entirely, but it was also completely irrelevant to the matter at hand.

“What difference does it make?”

The Sandman threw in a menacing glare in addition to those cold words. Thankfully the shapeshifter’s considerable Charisma (CHR) Attribute made it so this was enough to intimidate even someone like Kuro.

“Right, nevermind. So, what happens now?”

“Now you two will head that way for about three hundred meters until you see a rusty ladder. That’ll lead you to the surface. I suggest you get in touch with the authorities as soon as possible. As for me, I have other business to attend to, so I’ll be going now.”

The Sandman turned around to slink off into the darkness, but Kuro wasn’t quite done with him just yet.

“Wait, why did you help us?!” he shouted after him. “I doubt it was out of the kindness of your own heart.”

“… Because Heroes are a precious resource, in more ways than you realize. You really should protect yours better.”

“Ah, fuck. That’s why I hate you mystic types. Always with the cryptic bullshit.”

Nobody was around to hear his complaint though, as the tall stranger had already disappeared down the dark, dank tunnel.

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About the author

Exterminatus

  • Chestiest Chest That Ever Chested

Bio: I'm a programmer, a mythical creature that survives completely on beer and cynicism. We skulk in the dark, secretly cursing and despising everyone else. Especially other programmers.

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    Dkgbeast @Dkgbeast ago

    Honestly fuck Zone.

      Cimmerian @Cimmerian ago

      Its official... Zone must die. Soon. Like, before she blabs to the world, or this story is @#$%ed. Or, be enslaved permanent-like; but probably best if eaten, since that is more permenant and tasty. Plus, angel, and that nice learn-your-enemies skill. Yum!

      Highter
      Premium

      Highter @Highter ago

      She won't. In the future Keira is still considered a Hero

      jackalope @jackalope ago

      Yeah, Keira's identity is safe, and we've already seen that Zone is happy to deceive her teammates when it comes to Boxxy, since she hid the note where Liusolra thanks Boxxy for the good time.

      Although, now that we know she's a follower of Axel rather than Wilma, who knows why she's covering for Boxxy. Maybe she just likes it.

      ASIANBOII44 @ASIANBOII44 ago

      Well for reasons unknown, she has lied to her teammates about his identity before, but I don't think his idenity will be revealed. Of course, even if it is, I'd still read. I think it'd be more interesting, Boxxy against the world, with the exception of his demons and Fizzy once they reunite. I can just think of it now, Boxxy having mastered the clone abillity to such a degree that he could make an army of himself, imagine that, an army of Boxxies, each one as ruthless as the original.

      Cimmerian @Cimmerian ago

      He's already a plant-based life form... can't he just bud, or make cuttings of himself?! Assuming that he even had the desire to do so; I imagine that he wouldn't want competition. His pet isn't really a threat, which is why he tolerates it.

      Can someone let me know why "future Keira" is known to be a hero? Who saw the future again?! (Other than premium members who see stuff posted early.)

      Faruel @Faruel ago

      why they are still alive is beyond me. with boxxy's stats, bonuses and familiars he should be more than capable of one-shotting these people by now or is all that post-war "growth" this pathetic. so what if they are evolved humans he is a multiple times evolved mimic who is so broken stat wise that he had to sacrifice some so his body could withstand it controlling 3 evolved demons that are somehow becoming less and less useful. seriously the stalkers stealth rendered useless before she can even land a single hit now but before she could stealth through an entire military base worth of people including evolved, eat a VIP and disappear without notice while the archfiend literally can't even land a punch Sad . this story was good because it had the MC actually progressed but now it seems the enemy is being power levelled to match so where is their Milton-Presley Syndrome? as they must have to deal with that if they have the stats to match boxxy. lastly, if they were this stupid strong before the war why do the elves still exist?

      Brian P. @Brian P. ago

      Future Kiera is based on Interlude - Barking Up The Wrong Tree which is set at some indeterminte date in the future. Specifically, this line:

      >> The city of Morgana. A historic settlement, named after a war hero of old and built under the shade of the only five Crimson-Leafed Hylt trees in existence. A bustling population of exactly 18,504 souls had gathered under the uniquely beautiful and strangely mesmerising plants. The city itself was on an important trade route as well as a popular tourist destination, making it one of the most prosperous places on the continent.

      Cimmerian @Cimmerian ago

      +1 Farrell - though, one can’t use Zone for that argument.  Zone was OP and was untouchable by Boxxy before; now, Boxxy was fighting her effectively.

      Regarding the future being set; Kiera marries, her spouse becomes a war hero, or Kiera is outed, and then her ex becomes a hero; there is a nonzero chance... Keira isn’t personally named.  That, or alternate timeline.

      Brian P. @Brian P. ago

      Why would they name the city Kiera saved after Rowie?

      In any event, the paragraph doesn't mean Boxxy isn't outed, it just means it likely isn't outed to the general public. The Republic government would totally keep it under wraps if they knew, too. Maybe pay Boxxy to fake Kiera's death.

      Edit: Oh man, imagine the dopple XP Boxxy could get if it played its own corpse at the state funeral. 

      Almarna @Almarna ago

      The facades full name i Kiera Morgana. The city would thus be ned after her sur-name

      Brian P. @Brian P. ago

      @Almarna Um... yeah? I was responding to @Cimmerian's comment regarding a alternate future where the city in the five Crimson-Leafed Hylt trees wasn't named after Kiera but was still named Morgana after a famous hero of old.

      blavesx098 @blavesx098 ago

      I don't see hoe he can be weak, he held is ground against two ultimate ability users and a pretty strong rogue(?), the stalker just encountered her "bane" nothing more, the psion is just a very bad match for her, just like warlocks have an advantage against psions( ot was obvious that hook could do very little at best he could hold off the familiars but not kill them) as for boxxy while it was maybe a bit exaggerated it's clear that he outclassed edge completely in raw power but he was simply to inexperienced(if he used all his abilities from the start she would have not lasted much, as shapeshifting make up fro a is lack of experience, not totally but enough) in fact at the end he used his real form only against zone, the author probably didn't want to kill edge yet so he didn't make boxxy kill her by going after the other, oh and boxxy didn't even use blade dancer, he did good enough.

      Highter
      Premium

      Highter @Highter ago

      Now, considering how long in the future that happened and the author's love for bait and switches, that could a completely different Morgana, or one of Boxxy's decendant's who decided who use his ancestor's methods to gain doppel XP. There's a non zero chance for both.

      Now, the most probable is that either Boxxy wasn't exposed or twig leadership decided to keep it a secret.

      I don't know what I want to see more: Rowie and Keira breakup fight, Boxxy attending it's own funeral (Kudos for posing both as Sandman and Dead Keira) or Rowie finding out what she has been taking to bed for months.

      Probably fight followed by funeral. Maximum XP points.

      Dragon God @Dragon God ago

      The chapter in which the 5 crimson leaved dryads wake up again; they wake up in a city called "Morgana".

      Dragon God @Dragon God ago

      8 reasons why the result of this chapter is as expected:

      1. Boxxy is not up to two years old; the humans are all more than ten times its age, so they don't suffer from Milton Presley syndrome; the syndrome usually only affects children, and they didn't gain their stats as quickly as Boxxy.
      2. 1 job on level 100 is better than ten jobs on level 10. Boxxy's total level is 200+, but none of Boxxy's jobs are up to level 80.
      3. Boxxy sacrificed a lot of his stats due to MPS.
      4. Elves have their own VIPs; Hilda, Faehorn, Letcher, the female wizard, etc.
      5. The VIP zone killed was a bard.
      6. Zone was once mentioned to have 4 digit strength (although it seems @Exterminatus retconned that).
      7. It would be silly if Drea could creep up on a high leveled assasin (Edge).
      8. Boxxy was holding back by fighting as a human instead of as a monster for most of the fight. 

      @Faruel 

      Dragon God @Dragon God ago

      8 reasons why the result of this chapter is as expected:

      1. Boxxy is not up to two years old; the humans are all more than ten times its age, so they don't suffer from Milton Presley syndrome; the syndrome usually only affects children, and they didn't gain their stats as quickly as Boxxy.
      2. 1 job on level 100 is better than ten jobs on level 10. Boxxy's total level is 200+, but none of Boxxy's jobs are up to level 80.
      3. Boxxy sacrificed a lot of his stats due to MPS.
      4. Elves have their own VIPs; Hilda, Faehorn, Letcher, the female wizard, etc.
      5. The VIP zone killed was a bard.
      6. Zone was once mentioned to have 4 digit strength (although it seems @Exterminatus retconned that).
      7. It would be silly if Drea could creep up on a high leveled assasin (Edge).
      8. Boxxy was holding back by fighting as a human instead of as a monster for most of the fight. 

        8 reasons why the result of this chapter is as expected:

        1. Boxxy is not up to two years old; the humans are all more than ten times its age, so they don't suffer from Milton Presley syndrome; (the syndrome usually only affects children, and they didn't gain their stats as quickly as Boxxy).

        2. 1 job on level 100 is better than ten jobs on level 10. Boxxy's total level is 200+, but none of Boxxy's jobs are up to level 80.

        3. Boxxy sacrificed a lot of his stats due to MPS.

        4. Elves have their own VIPs; Hilda, Faehorn, Letcher, the female wizard, etc.

        5. The VIP Drea killed was a bard (non-combat job) who was sleeping.

        6. Zone was once mentioned to have 4 digit strength (although it seems @Exterminatus retconned that).

        7. It would be silly if Drea could creep up on a high leveled assasin (Edge).

        8. Boxxy was holding back by fighting as a human instead of as a monster for most of the fight.

      Quote:

      Regarding the future being set; Kiera marries, her spouse becomes a war hero, or Kiera is outed, and then her ex becomes a hero; there is a nonzero chance... Keira isn’t personally named. That, or alternate timeline.

       

      This is ridiculous. There is a non-zero chance for almost all events. There is a non-zero chance that a scrambled egg would spontaneously unscramble itself giving you the original egg—this does not mean it will happen.

      Morgana almost certainly refers to Keira Morgana; there is a non-zero chance it doesn't, but there's also a non-zero chance that scrambled egg would spontaneously unscramble itself—I wouldn't bet on either of those two events.

      Almarna @Almarna ago

      i would love it if the next chaos thing would be

      - al scramble eggs within a mile has unscrambled themselves

      Dragon God @Dragon God ago

      LMAO, that would be hilarious.

      Almarna @Almarna ago

      and then cut to a wery confused chef who is furiously trying to makke scrable eggs, with a little luck we could get an entire interlute about how unscrambling an eggs courses somting HUGE

      you know classic butterfly effect

      Sukka Puncha @Sukka Puncha ago

      Zone wanted Boxxy as a pet. She is messed up in the head. It'll probably be the other way around.

      bloodytolits @bloodytolits ago

      @Faruel

      *facepalm*

      Drea being caught:

      From Underhandedness 11: "The human was no fool, however, and was able to pick up Drea’s presence through a Skill called Psychic Radar. It allowed him to sense the presence of any and all sentient beings within its range, especially those harboring malicious intent towards him. It was not as foolproof as a certain shapeshifter’s MLG, but it was still a powerful anti-assassination tool. He knew a demon was skulking about, but the sheer speed and angle she came at him almost caught him off-guard."

      Plus that VIP she killed was sleeping.

      Kora not landing a punch:

      Technique > Brute strenght

      Enemy power-leveled to match Boxxy(LoL):

      Boxxy is basically Jack of all trades. His stats are spread, meaning more susceptible to MPS. Those guys are specialized. Some VIPs actually have stats in the thousands or near it.

      Doppel is a non-combat monster so his stats might not be as strong even if his stats are higher than them. A human with 6 intelligence is smarter than a mimic with 30 intelligence.

      Boxxy is also fighting like a human not like a monster to protect his facade.

      About the Elves Surviving:

      They too have VIPs themselves that should be more or less about equal in power. Plus Guerilla tactics.

Ink Deity @Ink Deity ago

Thanks For The Meal~!

DracoThorn @DracoThorn ago

Thanks for the chapter.

Granitefish @Granitefish ago

ah well. Axel was one of the ones I thought possible but I was hoping for Chaos. I still kindof hope she doesn't tell anyone about being the Hero of Chaos because of her previous actions regarding information on Boxxy.

Fred @Fred ago

Damn... that did not go as I expected. I would've thought Boxxy would at least tag Zone with Hunter's Mark.

    blavesx098 @blavesx098 ago

    Are you sure he didn't ? I didn't think of that but i don't think that he would just let them flee like that, plus she still needs to be punished, and at the end she was left alone, oh and don't forget that ebonfire by boxxy is not a simple ebonfire i don't think that she was left unharmed

tormanen @tormanen ago

Nai wai, the sick lovesick monk found boxxy :0

sincron
Premium

sincron @sincron ago

thanks for the chapter

Draconic @Draconic ago

Damn. I thought he would kill at least one of them.

Dieter @Dieter ago

Thanks for the chapter.

Boxxy should still be relatively safe since it's not like anybody is going to believe what the guilded hand has to say, especially considering the stunt they just tried to pull. Sure they could start rumours but even then it's unlikely that higher ups are going to risk alienating a hero that saved their country and is loved by pretty much everyone. In fact the guilded hand should be quite worried that one of their worst enemies is protected by an army which includes several VIP's. Boxxy's next move should probably trying to leak out that the guilded hand is trying to weaponise the cataclysm and they need to hero of magic help to improve it, which in turn would probably cause a global manhunt.

    Hales @Hales ago

    Boxxy doesn't know that the Gilded Hand is trying to weaponize the Calamity. It might be able to work it out, but according to Snack it has repressed most of the memory from when it was captured. Boxxy also has no way of knowing that other dungeon cores have been stolen, however the Republic's FIB knows and suspects it has something to do with the Calamity(Plausible Deniability 9). They're likely to connect this kidnapping attempt of Nao on their own, especially since they apparently learned of the raid in advance.

    Misery's End @Misery's End ago

    O.o and how would Boxxy know that that's their goal? As far as I know only the upper members and a few segregated researchers would know of that project. And no, stealing dungeon cores isn't going to clue anyone let alone Boxxy into that fact either. They have lots of other legitimate uses that don't go boom and leave behind a toxic asteland.

    In regards to Zone, it depends on her mood whether or not she shares that piece of information. I don't remember her sharing the little note in bootlick, and this could just be a repeat of that. Or she could share part of the info(as in the Sandman is boxxy) but leave out the fact Keira the hero of chaos and Boxxy are in fact the same creature.

    LoL or she could also go a wholly different route and claim the Sandman is a completely different person then Boxxy and Keira entirely. Only future chapters will tell... Or a q&a xD

    Vadelent @Vadelent ago

    They would if they knew their much beloved Hero was a doppelgänger. That would tell them that not only was their Hero a monster all along and may or may not have swapped places with the “original Keira” but was infiltrating and spying on them this whole time. You know how no one really cares for spy’s or assassins? Doppelgängers are spies/assassins the species.


    Not that I believe Zone will actually tell the truth to her “superiors” on this matter but that’s besides the point.

      Misery's End @Misery's End ago

      I think as long as Keira proves she can take the electrical shock test and a full appraisal as she has in the past all that will go away as just a ploy by the gilded hand to mitigate their own evils.

      Fred @Fred ago

      Except they know heroes can fool a full appraisal, so they'd get an angel scribe to check.

      jackalope @jackalope ago

      VIPs are rare though, and VIPs with a high level scribe job have to be even rarer. Zone might be the only divine scribe on the continent.

      Fred @Fred ago

      I'm not sure full appraisal is a really high level skill though. Guilds seem to have plenty scribes capable of it.

      Misery's End @Misery's End ago

      Nah, as a hero that not only saved the nation but is loved by so many they would just go with the standard shock test... Why even give credence to such a baldfaced lie. So a standard appraisal would be the end of it

      jackalope @jackalope ago

      Even if its not that high level a skill, its still very unlikely many divine beings have the scribe job. We've been given an answer as to why people don't get that many classes because of power exhaustion, and scribe has very few combat applications, meaning its unlikely for combat-focused individuals to choose scribe as a non-combat profession. Zone is kind of a freak that way.

      Best bet is for a priest to take a scribe job on the side, assuming priests can level up through non-combat activities, but even a priest-scribe is going to be relatively rare considering all the alternative jobs one could take, and VIPs coming from non-combat jobs has to be incredibly rare (since whatsherface is apparently the only level-100 artificer in the world).

      RWXR
      Premium

      RWXR @RWXR ago

      I expect that she will tell them that Boxxy is Sandman, but not that he is the Hero of Chaos. Its possible she will, which would out Keira -- but the Guilded Hand has NO reason to share that info. They are more likely to blackmail (or at least try) Boxxy to find out the calamity. However Boxxy's reaction to them isn't likely to be much different than to the foundation. (kill with extreme prejudice and nuke the ashes)

      The other part is how much of that screen did Zone actually see/remember with everything else going on. WE know she saw Boxxy's name, but Boxxy isn't sure whether they saw Keira or Boxxy's stats. Boxxy has a BIG screen. So she can admit to as much or little as she wants.

      I want to know what the OTHER VIPs were up to while Boxxy was stuck with 2 of the enemy VIPs and a third high level opponent. (obviously Xera was maintaining the facade) Sorta annoyed that he didn't cost them at LEAST one.

      Fred @Fred ago

      @Misery's End

      A standard appraisal is meaningless if you want to prove a Hero isn't a shapeshifter, so why would they bother? I'd say it's more likely for them to hire some foreigner angel Scribe (if they really don't have one) than for them to just subject her to an appraisal that they know will prove nothing.

      RWXR
      Premium

      RWXR @RWXR ago

      For the small number of heroes there are I don't think seeing past essense concealment is something they are worried about. Its a matter of "do YOU want to Piss Off a god by questioning his/her/its judgement in picking their hero?" There is exactly one hero per god as far as we know. People hereabout don't tend to want to irritate gods.

      Ironically Boxxy could PROBABLY get away with being outed, since it comes down to a Gods call. Even if he IS a shapeshifter that doesn't change that he is a gods hand. Few enough people know that heroes CAN do it, and the few that do either respect them thinking its was given to them for a reason -- or get stupid like the Foundation and they were all "taboo" anyway. We saw what they got for their troubles, too.

      Its likely there are other scribes in the churches (they likely appraise clerics before training them like most "groups") -- but its not something that is on the gubmint radar, so to speak.

      mafiapl @mafiapl ago

      Boxxy facade is not in danger. Keira is a hero, not just in title, but she saved a nation, sure there are some who will say she is working for empire or even some will say she is a monster.

      Sandman is already suspected of being a monster by elven higher ups. They also have no problems dealing with monsters. FIB released sweepers in last war, they also got Foundation, the only thing they might mind is that sandman might be a monster without a leash.

      Edward's group was discredited for starting a war with false cause. Enough said.

      The only danger is that Zone knows its a doppelganger and will use its bane next time.

      We dont know how full appraisal works. Does it transer knowledge, or simply shows a window for as long as you are touching the person? Remember, that names are just very first things on screen window, Boxxy's is big one and she wasnt touching it for long.

      RWXR
      Premium

      RWXR @RWXR ago

      Umm, Keira is VERY publicly the HoC.... Boxxy's status CLEARLY has the abilities of a Hero. Not to mention Judgement, which was rather publicly "won" diring the war BY the HoC. Of course his signature skill isn't QUITE well known.

      The full appraisal should be everything, and at least for LOWER level scribes they have to copy the status off to a piece of paper as it dissapears. But if Zone has legendary inteligence she can read it and retain it eiditically. So, as I mentioned in another comment how much data she knows is up to how much the author WANTS her to know. She certainly knows this is the mimic and that he ranked up to doppleganger. Boxxy doesn't know whether she saw Kiera or Boxxy though -- either way he is worried about his facade. However he can always disappear as Sandman if he had to as long as Kiera isn't outed publicly. (and even then she might get away with it, as I said before -- HoC likely trumps being a DG)

      Dragon God @Dragon God ago

      Zone's superior is only Edward, amd he is her superior (in every sense lf the word).

      blavesx098 @blavesx098 ago

      what do you mean with "in every sense of the word"?

      Dragon God @Dragon God ago

      The comment I was replying to put superior in quotes, so I was saying Edward is Zone's superior, not her "superior".