Randidly staggered backwards, wounds covering his body. He let Agony drop and downed a health potion, weaving between wild swings of the fake Yeti. It was just as large and fast as the real thing, just less powerful with its blows. Also, any wounds he inflicted on it instantly healed, the illusion reforming around the attacks.
Meanwhile, the real Yeti rushed forward, swinging both hammers to meet Randidly’s spear. A shockwave sent Randidly stumbling again, his face twisted into a scowl.
In addition, a small crack had emerged in his spear. It was small now, but the longer this fight went on…
“You cannot win~” The fake Yeti sang with Lyra’s voice, smashing sideways with its hammer, forcing Randidly to block awkwardly with the shaft of the spear. He coughed up a mouthful of blood, gritting his teeth to right himself, his eyes flicking sideways to the real Yeti. But once more it stopped, giving him a small breath to regain his feet before it rushed forward.
Randidly’s eyes narrowed. ‘Taking me lightly?’
He used Pierce the Skies, Shatter the Earth to leap upwards, and then land some distance away with a crash, throwing up a cloud of dust. With that small barrier, obscuring the Yeti’s vision, Randidly finally addressed his notifications.
There were several about the synchronicity, and minutes decreased, and there were also several for skill levels, but Randidly focused on three in particular.
Congratulations! Due to your actions, you are developing your own personal skill. Skill is 75% complete.
Congratulations! Due to your actions, you are developing your own personal skill. Skill is 100% complete. Please return to a village to obtain your new skill!
Immediate skill creation is possible. Would you like to proceed? Y/N
Randidly frowned at these seemingly conflicting messages, but he had no time to hesitate, clicking yes.
Warning, creation of a skill with insufficient fuel will lead to death. Do you wish to proceed? Y/N
This did give him some pause, but that strange, freezing, burning energy in his chest had been growing as he fought, and now he could feel it pulsing, especially in his throat. Randidly wasn’t even sure that he could speak currently, due to the burning numbness radiating from his throat and chest.
But that strange energy began to pulse faster as he looked at the notification, as if assuring him there was sufficient fuel. Randidly clicked yes.
Congratulations! Your own personal skill has been created. You have created the skill set 7 Kata of the Ashen Spear(Ru)! You have learned the first Kata, The Spear Advances, Ash Trails Lvl 1.
Congratulations! You are the 2nd person to create a skill set on your planet. +50 to Health/Mana/Stamina.
Congratulations! You are the first person to create something of the Runic rarity in your Nexus Class! You have gained the skill Superiority Lvl 1.
Superiority Lvl 1: Passive skill. Some individuals are blessed. Although all other factors indicate you should lose, you manage to succeed. Stats and Skill levels are worth an infinitely small amount more than normal. Effect increases with skill level.
This skill set seemed to be something worth investigating, but Randidly didn’t have time. He downed health and stamina potions as quickly as he could. But to his surprise, the two Yeti’s hadn’t approached, they simply stood there, waiting for him to finish.
The real Yeti finished drinking its potion and tilted its head at him. “Do you really think you can win? I have have stayed my hand time and time again, but no longer. You shall now die.”
The fake yeti just smiled as the real yeti raised its arm, another vortex of snow appearing, eventually condensing into a suit of crystal armor on the real Yeti’s body.
Randidly looked down at his spear, at the growing crack, and then sighed. Sam was going to be so annoyed with him.
“Are you prepared?” Randidly asked, surprising himself.
The Yeti seemed surprised too, but then something that it saw in Randidly’s expression made him grow serious. It nodded, lowering itself into a fighting stance. The fake Yeti circled around, trying to get Randidly stuck between them, but Randidly ignored it. Instead, he raised his spear, bent his knees, and spoke in a clear voice.
“The Spear Advances, Ash Trails.”
As the skill kicked in, Randidly also activated Haste and Empower, basically using all of his stamina for this one move. His knees exploded with force, and Randidly thought he felt something tear, but already he was ripping forward through the air, an explosion of flame propelling him forward.
The Yetis eyes widened, but Randidly had already arrived right in front of him, his Spine-Spear piercing forward towards the crystal armor. All the Yeti had time to do was cross his hammers in front of him in a defensive posture.
Lyra walked slowly forward, grinning around. “I know you are here, Kimmy. Why don’t you come out and play?”
Strolling calmly forward into the dank cave, Lyra didn’t bat an eye as dozens of pairs of yellow eyes opened in the dark, revealing themselves to be oversized bats hanging from the ceiling.
“You have another Raid Boss squirreled away? Certainly have been industrious, Kimmy. But did you really think that would stop me?”
With a wave of her hand, Lyra produced several glowing bats of mana, normal sized ones. But as the two sides met, it was the giant bats that fell lifeless to the floor.
“You… are certainly dangerous.” Randidly’s voice spoke. “But it is useless. You have already lost. Your Village Spirit will die.”
Val and Kraig had both consented to the procedure of Nul’s, and had now passed out on the small beds, resting. Overall, Daniel thought that Nul seemed very pleased. His bland smile had widened considerably as he had eaten whatever it was that he had taken from the people to save them.
Regina seemed initially dubious of the effectiveness of… whatever it was that Nul did, but the violet black lines rapidly faded from their bodies.
But at that moment, something very surprising happened.
Constance sat up.
With a vicious grin, and pure black eyes, he straightened and stood, and exceedingly strange aura spreading out from him. And as Regina watched, words formed over his head, fading into existence. The writing blazed purple.
The Mad King Constance, Lvl ~)!(
The level flickered for a while, and Constance stumbled. But it was rapidly shifting, and the strange letters soon merged to become 0.
“Quickly, we must-” Nul said hastily, backing away, but he was interrupted.
“Silence. Stand Still.” The commands rumbled out, imperious. Nul, Regina, and Daniel froze. A strange, blob like creature flickered into existence in the tent. Constance’s level increased to 1.
“Interesting. Who would have thought that foolish girl would deliver my boss monster directly to you? This certainly is a nice surprise.”
The level above Constance’s head increased to 2, and then 3.
“I’m not one to monologue, but-” The blob started, but then was interrupted by a bang.
Constance staggered forward, a blood stain appearing in his chest. He turned slowly, his pitch black eyes falling to rest on Kraig, who was sitting up, pointing a pistol towards his chest.
“You…” Constance said wonderingly. A bang sounded again, and this bullet took Constance in his left eye socket. Constance’s level increased to 4, but now Kraig stood, albeit unsteadily, leveling his gun at him.
“How can you move?!?!” The blob hissed. “Your class was taken! You have no stats or skills!”
“That’s not true,” Kraig said tonelessly, striding forward, firing bullet after bullet into Constance’s skull. “I have nothing gained from a class. But all that I gained training on my own, all I gained from paths… all those points I put into Willpower, so Constance could never again dominate the town. I’m sorry, my onetime friend.”
Kraig reloaded, as Constance’s level increased to 5, and then walked right up to him.
Constance opened his mouth, but only two words came out. “….thank…. You……”
Then Kraig used 8 bullets to spread the contents of Constance’s brain on the ground. His levels ceased increasing, and the glowing name slowly faded into nothing.
The blob backed away, but Nul pounced forward. “You aren’t getting away this time! I shall devour you!”
“Fool!” The blob spat. “You are weak, even this projection can crush your will and absorb you.”
“Only if you are willing to let go of control of your Raid Bosses,” Nul countered wickedly. “And if you do that… we will find you and kill you.”
Panting, Lyra arrived at a crystal barrier, only the gory bodies of the bats remaining behind her. She had been forced to rely on that freezing, wonderful, addicting violet energy inside of her in order to make it this far, but…
It wasn’t as bad as she had worried. This amount should be recoverable, over a few weeks.
But now she stood in front of a strange, hexagonal barrier made of energy. In the middle of the small barrier, not 5 feet away, the Tribulation crouched, a sad, fat blob that looked more like a deflated rubber ball than anything else.
“Kimmy? You locked the door. That seems rude.”
There was no answer. Kim-Lath seemed to be concentrating very hard on something very far away, leaving Lyra alone with the body and the shield. Lyra created a bird of mana, which bounced harmlessly off the shield.
Then she created a giant bear, that smashed its paw against the barrier. The barrier trembled, but showed no visible signs of weakness. Lyra frowned. This was a first, for her, encountering something she couldn’t defeat.
She raised her hand, made a finger gun, and said, “Bang.”
The barrier didn’t even tremble.
Her frown deepened. Her magic was based on image. The stronger the image, the stronger the attack. But at the same time, the higher the cost. And if she wanted to create something powerful enough to pierce this barrier…
She shivered, and considered the violet energy inside of her. More seeped in every moment, but it was far from enough. What she was planning would consume almost all of the energy she had.
This wasn’t even the extra energy; this was literally all of the energy. Based on her observations, this energy was what let people live in the system enhanced world. In small doses, it enhances the body, altering it to provide stats and skills.
Without it, she….
But Lyra felt the connection Kim-Lath still maintained, far to the south. Down where Randidly was. She couldn’t know for sure that he was in danger, but if the cautious Kim-Lath was willing to move…
Lyra sat, removing several potions from her bag and drinking them. Then she began to prepare to do something very, very dangerous. It was illogical, she knew, but still…
For him, she was compelled.
For Randidly, she would do anything.