21 A Fellow Brother Loses the Most Important Thing to Him
Rina didn't give the poor monster any time to lament on its fate, instantly following up with a fireball spell. This spell wasn't a skill, but something similar to a default attack.
After all, could a mage be called a mage if they couldn't even cast a spell? It was the same as a swordsman not even knowing how to swing a blade. The AI would at least equip every class with a basic attack outside of their skills.
The attack slammed onto the already blackened skin of the poor Private Rank Bear, tearing away a solid 25 hp.
While it may be a Private Rank monster with trash tier magical defense, it was after all, scaled to Draco's level as the party leader. While its actual level may be a measly 3, the other higher ranked monsters reached up to level 10.
Rina and the rest were only level 1. How could they bridge the level gap so easily with their average skills?
In fact, the damage output of the Flash Flame attack as well as her default attack being so impressive was solely due to the Bear's crappy defense towards mystic arts. Had Boyd or Uno tried something similar, they'd be lucky to do even 10% of that…
The Ursaling in charge of the squad wasn't about to sit there and watch as one of its boys was brutalized by human scum. With a roar of anger, it moved to lead its subordinates to vanquish these weird humans and defecate on their carcasses.
However, was Draco a statue that stood there to be bypassed? Of course, since he dared to provoke the monsters, he had a thousand ways to play them to death.
With a harrumph, he gave the approaching monsters the side eye.
"Hmph, nothing but a bunch of Pandaren washouts. Not even willing to accept a loss. Explains a lot if you ask me."
His tone which had been like an indirect rebuke had angered the monsters so much that their eyes reddened and their breathing became ragged. While others may not know the lore of locations, races and people in Boundless, Draco did.
Of course, he didn't know everything, just the important stuff that almost everyone else in his timeline knew. One such thing was the caste society of bears. There was a clear distinction between each class of bears, which wasn't about bloodline or the like, but power.
In their family of monsters, the top dogs were the humanoid pandas, the Pandaren. This race were masters of physical arts, producing great martial artists and sages in every generation.
In truth, the Pandaren had a good relationship with humanity, as both races sought the Dao in one way or another. However, the Polar Bears were next in line. They were a mix of bipedal and quadrupedal members, with a stronger connection to the earth than most other races, despite being confined to the icy regions of the world.
After that came the poor Ursas, who were seen as nothing more than humanoid beasts with low intelligence. This wasn't exactly wrong, but no one liked being called an idiot. Especially well… an idiot.
Not counting that these monsters here were bottom tier Ursa, even high tier Ursa might feel the flame of hatred towards Draco's stabbing words. The charging monsters came to an abrupt stop as they gnashed their teeth in pain and anger.
The effect of Draco's words were the same as one dude in a group of male friends being called a chicken. No matter what they were being pushed to do, it was hard to resist from doing it, despite knowing the consequences!
This was the conundrum these beasts were in. They could only watch on as their cuckold brother got his hide tanned by the flames of Rina the Mage Queen… who at this point was cackling in glee from the pleasure of causing torment to another being.
She clearly had a few screws loose up there, but which good woman didn't? Besides, someone who killed people for leisure like her would definitely have a problem or two. Even Draco had his own issues.
With a mix of skills and her default attack, Rina managed to stir fry the poor Private Rank monster to death. The Beast collapsed to reveal some copper coins and some extremely poor materials for crafting.
Like the miser she was, Rina pocketed everything while looking around rapidly, as if fearful that someone would steal her bounty from her. The rest of them looked away, pretending not to see her. It was so embarrassing to have to know someone like this.
"Boyd, you're next."
Draco pointed to the group of monsters who were cowering in a corner. Rina's vile expression while she sought pleasure from the pain of others had scarred them for life.
Even the Ursaling's legs were trembling. It knew that it was far stronger than Rina, but couldn't muster the will to move from its spot. It was the same way a fully grown adult might be scared of a little spider, even though they could squash the bug very easily.
Boyd shrugged and attacked one of the other Private Rank bears, pulling it closer to him. Even if the monster was terrified, it couldn't resist its natural instinct to retaliate upon danger.
The two traded blows for a bit, Boyd becoming the eventual winner. His poleaxe had cleaved the monsters head into two. Because of his powerful structure, as well as the heaviness of his weapon, he could use it for attack and defense. The head of his axe alone was almost as wide as a conventional shield.
Draco and Cobra were of average height, about 5"10. Kiran was tall at about 6"1. Boyd and Uno were monsters at 6"5. Rina was slightly taller than Draco and Cobra.
In fact, Uno and Boyd were able to stand face to face with the huge Ursaling, which was one of the reasons the other group felt apprehensive.
Next up was Uno himself. The legendary Godless Paladin wielded his hammer and shield like the tank he was. The hammer was shaped like a bell, with its back hooked into a sharp spike. The front was used for smashing and the back for piercing. A pretty versatile weapon as long as one could get used to the weight.
Uno seemed to be fine with the weapon, swinging it about as if it weighed less than a feather. This battle was a bit different from Boyd's were he and the monster rapidly exchanged blows to decide a winner. This one was one-sided, as the poor monster had to exert its every muscle to dodge the swings of the hammer.
What a joke! The width and the diameter of the hammer was far bigger than its head! If that thing hit it for even one second, it would have to say goodbye to its family at home.
This led to a battle of attrition between the two, to see whose stamina was of a higher digit. Eventually, the bear came out on top and Draco had to save Uno from being ripped apart. Uno was strong and fit, but the stamina of a bear was not something to be underestimated, especially since that was one of its strengths.
"It's not shameful to lose. What's shameful about it is to ignore the lesson from the loss and repeat it again. Spend some time ruminating on the battle and think about what you could've done better."
Draco patted Uno on the shoulder and chuckled at his despondent expression.
"That goes for you too Boyd, and you as well Rina. You may have won, but that was only because you had some slight advantage over the monsters due to equipment and combat specialty. Your skills were below par in your fights an there were thousands of things you could've done more efficiently. Uno only lost because he had no advantage over the bears, so it came down to a contest of skill. If you were put in the same place, you might do worse or just about the same."
Draco's words poured cold water over the growing heads of Rina and Boyd, who had been looking at Uno with disdain and condescension. They immediately humbled themselves and stepped back to ponder over their fight.
"Cobra, you're next. I know that as an assassin, you excel at sneak attacks and pre-meditated murder, but that doesn't stop you from acquiring excellent close combat skills. You have speed as your strength and that is the weakness of these monsters. Use it."
Cobra nodded and pulled out a dagger. He bent low on his knees and prepared to leap forth. Draco almost spat blood when he realized he could see the contours of the fellow's body in way he didn't like.
Even as Cobra fought against his enemy, Draco had to suffer it out and watch, so that he could give his advice afterwards. Kiran had it easy as he just looked away, to which Draco cursed him endlessly in his heart.
After Cobra's fight, Draco made an audible gasp of relief. He just gave him some simple remarks and told him to ruminate at the back. Draco hadn't realized that he'd been sweating profusely the whole time.
Kiran gave Draco a pitying look before stepping forth to attack one of the Private Rank Bears. Unlike those before him who had no idea of what they were doing but were just improvising, Kiran displayed almost the same skill as in the real world.
The only person who fought almost as well as Kiran was Cobra, because he used knives in the real world too. Draco knew these two wouldn't need much combat adaptation, but rather just a general understanding of the world's mechanics.
After clearing the remaining enemies himself, Draco led them through the dungeon, forcing Rina, Boyd and Uno to fight majority of the Private Rank monsters. Draco made Cobra and Kiran fight Specialist Rank monsters together, and the two managed to win more often than not.
The group became more proficient with their builds and gained a better understanding on the dos and don'ts of combat in the world of Boundless.
Of course, one couldn't become a sage after reading a book just once. Their progress was admirable, but not even scratching the edges of Draco's skill, even in comparison to him in the previous timeline.
By the time they had reached the end, the group looked more stable and mature. Normally, a person would get tired after hours of combat, but if it were so, how could players play this game for long periods of time? The AI had implemented a feature that reduced the build up of stress.
That way, players could fight until their bodies became weary, but their minds would stay sharp. Of course, with the helmets, that feature was really limited. With the pods that allowed one to become fully immersed, that limitation no longer existed.
One could fight for days and months non-stop as long as they had the stamina to burn.
This was one of the reasons Draco could become a Control master as such a young age. An environment where he could train and fight for a limitless amount of time with no real consequences was a dream for anyone focused on physical improvement.
"The boss is around the corner here. Our job is to brutalize him until he can't be recognized by his own mother. Are you up for that?"
Rina had an excited expression her face at the prospect of causing agony to the boss. Boyd and Uno just fist bumped each other and had evil smiles. Cobra licked the blade of his dagger and nodded his head. Kiran stretched a bit and narrowed his eyes with malicious intent.
Draco was proud of his people. They were as twisted and evil as he was and he loved them for that.
Without wasting any further time, they entered a wide cavern with sconces at regular intervals and a lot of broken down mine carts around. In the center of the area was a hulking mass of monstrosity, like an Ursaling maximized by about 3 of itself.
｢Name: Ursa – Captain Rank monster
Of course, being a dungeon boss meant for a 10 man raid, its health was abominable. If Rina's base damage output was 150 DPS, she'd need to attack for 16 minutes nonstop, assuming her mana would hold out and the boss would lie there to get wrecked.
But of course, that wouldn't happen, hence the need for 10 men with different builds/classes. This was a prime reason why the AI had to implement the stress relief feature. After spending two hours clearing monsters, who'd have the energy to fight such a boss?
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The Boss noticed the six immortal adventurers approaching its location and felt amused. When Draco and co brandished their swords, it even let out a smile. It was a smile every parent gave their child when they did something silly.
An indulgent and lax grin that made the receiving party feel slightly ashamed and annoyed. Naturally, the five generals became a bit heated from the patronizing gaze.
Draco stepped forth and eyed the monster for a bit before talking.
"Big fat bastard, get down here and kowtow to your Ancestor Grand Uncle."
Surprisingly, the monster didn't get angry, rather bursting into laughter. With a reasonably heavy accent, it spoke English as it responded to Draco's taunt.
"Silly human. I know the Gods have mandated your kind to fight us, but I feel reluctant to harm children like you."
The Ursa had the look of a Buddha as it spoke and Draco saw a blinding light start to glow off its form. A sun seemed to rise from behind its back and coat the whole cavern with the light of warm and love.
Could the monster have achieved zen?? But only Pandaren masters could reach such a state. Draco was understandably flabbergasted. He couldn't understand how a common Ursa could achieve such heights.
It was akin to a chicken becoming a Control master all of a sudden. It was something even impossible in fiction. Draco could feel his brain starting to short circuit from calculations.
Could this be… the legendary 'Breaking Boundaries: Achieving the Dao in Spite of Impossible Odds'???
"As such, I would like you children to do me a favor and break both your arms and legs, castrate yourselves and kowtow to me 1000 times before I decide what to do with you next."
Ah… so that was it…
The monster had definitely achieved Zen, but not in the Dao of Love and Warmth… rather in the Dao of Arrogance. It was so arrogant that the universe had appointed it as its inheritor for that particular law of reality.
Draco had an ugly look on his face. He had always hoped to be the chosen inheritor for the Dao of Arrogance but it went to a f*cking anthropomorphic bear.
With hate in his eyes and killing intent in his heart, he sped forth to attack the Boss monster.
Naturally, the Ursa never expected to be attacked so suddenly and by such a fast enemy. Before it could even say anything, it realized that… 'something'… was missing down there.
Taking a look down, it noticed that the Rod of Power it had treasured all its life had suddenly detached and fallen to the floor in a bloody heap of flesh.
For a few seconds, it just stared with a lack of comprehension, wondering what on earth happened and why its donger was on the floor. Suddenly, a light of understanding came to its eyes and it nodded to itself.
'It must've been cut off by that speedy human, that's right.'
It laughed with amusement as it realized its own silliness. How could it not have realized this before? That was its own donger in a pool of its own blood.
Slowly, the laughter stopped as it felt something strange creeping up from its loins. First it was a slight tingle, to an annoying itch. By this time, its expression had become calm and it wore a smile.
Then the feeling morphed into a slightly painful irritation… then slowly to recognizable pain. By this time, its smile had frozen and it began to sweat all over its body.
Then came agony.
It was then that the Ursa let loose a cry filled with so much pain and sorrow that all the males in the cavern couldn't help but tear up.
A fellow brother had lost the most important thing to him!