The dunlords under Lone's leadership finally managed to bring the Lightning Toad down to zero HP.
Without pausing they raced over to join the undead who were doing their best to resist the Poisonous Toad's attacks.
The undead were immune to poison and the Poison Toad didn't suffer damage at their hands, so they were in a stalemate up to that point.
But soon after the dunlords joined the fight the Poison Toad released one last rattling croak and expired.
"Well that wasn't so hard," Lone commented when she and Pincher rejoined Dave.
"What's the damage report?" asked Dave
"I kinda lost one dunlord," Lone avoided Dave's eyes.
Dave shrugged, "Losses are unavoidable in combat, I'm glad it was only one..
"Alright, Boyz! Everyone heal up. I'll check the loot."
Dave touched the Poisonous Toad's body and found three items:
1 x Skill Book Poison Breath
1 x [Stone Tablet]
1 x Rune [Venom]
'Nice. I already have the Venom Rune.'
"Hey Lone catch," Dave threw the rune to Lone.
"Thanks, Davy!" Lone used the Rune on her bow giving it sickly green phosphorescent glow.
"Let's see the other mob's drop, I hope there's another skill book."
Dave looted the second Toad
1 x Skill Book Electroshock
1 x Stone Tablet
1 x Rune [Shock]
Dave inspected the rune and the skill books.
Skill Book Electroshock
Causes the next basic attack to paralyze a target for 5 seconds (3 minute cooldown).
Has 50% chance to work on Boss Class monsters.
*Paralysis cannot be removed with spells or Skills
Skill Book Poison Breath (Rare)
Releases a cloud of poison in a target area, reducing visibility and causing targets to lose 500 HP/sec + 50% AGI/sec
Duration: 20 seconds
Cooldown: 20 minutes
Has 10% chance of causing Shock effect and paralyzing a target for 2 seconds with every basic attack.
Has 50% chance to work on Boss Class monsters.
"Hey Lone, you can have these." Dave handed her the Skill Books.
"Dave, no. That's too much, your troops did all the work I'm just tagging along," Lone felt awkward, like she would be taking unearned, undeserved loot.
"I'm taking the shock Rune. The skill books will work better for your character build. You can use the shock effect on your arrows and the poison Skill scales with agility. I have a strength based character, it's not going to work well for me, I really don't need it."
"No. Two skill books is too much, at least take one,"
"I already have a lot of skills, and we have yet to finish the dungeon, there might be other books."
"Okay. Thanks, Davey!" Lone read the books and acquired the Skills.
"I don't see a way out of here," Lone commented.
"Yep, let's go back where we came from for now."
The group retraced their footsteps back to the room where they'd fought terracotta soldiers. When the last undead walked through the doorway into the room, the door leading to the toad-forest room slowly closed and the next door opened.
"It seems we need to finish all the rooms leading from this one before proceeding to another sector of this dungeon," Lone said.
"It seems so. Let's keep moving, slowly and carefully. Boyz, watch your steps!" Dave led the group forward, riding Stinger.
They moved through the new corridor, vigilantly looking for traps along the way until they came to the door at the end of the passage.
The room at the end of the passage was larger than the one with the Toads' rainforest.
In front of them a small mountain rose up to meet an actual sky instead of a ceiling.
At the top of the mountain a red three-story pagoda. On the eaves of the highest floor a figure was seated facing them in seiza.
He, or it, was decked out in boxy samurai armor and held a black-sheathed katana upright next to himself.
Under the stag-horned helmet a hideous long-nosed red mask concealed the figures face. Curving above his shoulders and trailing down behind him were what appeared to be a pair of wings with iridescent black feathers.
"A tengu!" Lone exclaimed
"Gesundheit...?" Dave replied, not sure if she sneezed.
"No. A mountain guardian, it's a yokai from Japanese folklore. They are dog deities that protect mountains and other, weaker, yokais that live in them. But the stories also claim they were the heralds of war and were horrifyingly strong in battle."
"He doesn't look like a dog to me, let's get closer so we can inspect him," Dave said.
He urged Stinger to move forward along the trail that led to the mountain.
The moment the dunlord stepped foot on the mountain, the tengu stood up and unfolded its wings. A little bird that had been perched on the things Pinocchio-long nose fluttered away.
Dave inspected the creature.
[Dimensional Cut] in an iaido stance the tengu draws and slices vertically in the direction he is facing cutting through dimensions. If a target is caught in the attack, they will be executed immediately regardless of skills applied as protection.
[Feather Storm] the tengu strongly flexes his wings to cause a storm of black feathers to shower an area of a 30-meter radius. Targets hit by the feathers receive 2,000 damage and a 50% decrease in healing from all sources.
[Dragon Ball] The tengu surrounds itself in a storm of fire and shoots out a ball of concentrated flames. Targets hit will receive 20,000 damage and the explosion of the skill will scorch 5-meter radius around the point of impact dealing 5,000 total damage over 5 seconds.
[War tengu] when the tengu's HP drops below 50% it will enter its second phase. all the tengu's skills will be upgraded and their effects will change.
Tengus are ancient guardian spirits, but they are also heralds of war and calamity. They are protectors of their land and never show mercy to invaders.
"Yep, it's a herald of war alright. Lone be careful, this one is way stronger than the toads."
Lone had the lowest level of anyone or anything in the room and a stray hit could easily kill her.
"Alright boyz, ready up!"
The undead closed in on the mountain and the tengu spoke in a trembling old-man voice.
"Warriors of the dead, walk a step further onto this mountain and I shall bring doom upon you all!"
"Oh, it talks. Hey grandpa big-nose, give us your loot and die please," Lone replied in a little-girl cutesy voice.
The tengu didn't dignify her teasing disrespect with a reply. Instead he strolled down the mountain path one deliberate step at a time like he was meandering through the roses in a flower garden.
"There is no talking to this guy, let's just kill him Lone." Dave cast a Skill and two spectral skulls appeared in front of him.
"Oss, you bring the coming calamity upon yourselves," the tengu said indifferently as the spectral skulls approached him.
Dave snapped his fingers to detonate the skulls right in front of the tengu, but the creature disappeared from sight.
"Holy shit he's fast!" Dave was amazed.
The tengu appeared in front of Dave and in a single blinding fast movement drew its sword and struck, intent on taking the draugr's head off at the neck.
Dave reacted instinctively, moving both arms up to block the cut.
The power behind the attack sent Dave flying off Stinger's back and rolling down the sloped ground of the mountain.
Lone was dumbfounded by the ridiculously fast attack.
"ATTACK!" Dave ordered.
The dunlords raised their ballistae and shot at the tengu. But the tengu just flexed its wings and slipped away from the bolts in another display of astonishing speed.
"We gotta slow him down somehow!" Lone said.
"It's time to use the new Shock Skill!" Dave called out, running back into the fight zone.
The tengu appeared near some elite undead and went on a kill-spree, taking a head with every swing of his sword.
"Attack!" Dave ordered, using [Immortal Apparition] to teleport behind the tengu
Target resisted the Fear effect
Dave ignored the notification and stomped his right leg down activating [Death Surge]
A wave of black aura shot forward and enveloped the tengu, its movement speed slowed.
Lone nocked an arrow, activated [Electro Shock], sighted and released. The arrow shot across the distance at the tengu, crackling with electrical energy.
The tengu raised its sword and split the arrow in two lengthwise.
"That's not fair!" Lone cried out.
"Shit!" Dave added.
The tengu stepped back and swiveled to face Dave.
the Tengu took a sword drawing position. A cast time countdown bar appeared in Dave's heads up display.
"FALL BACK! EVERYONE BACK!"
Dave jumped away to dodge the coming charge attack.
The dunlords all scurried away but some unlucky undead weren't fast enough.
The tengu's eyes behind the mask shone bright red for a moment and the creature grunted
"Thou who dares desecrate this land, with my advent, I the Great Tengu, lay waste to your defielemnt with this blade! ZAN!"
The tengu's hand tightened around the grip of his sword and pulled the blade out a finger's length...a blink, then he slid the katana back into its sheath with an ominous 'click.'
A strong wind kicked up dust and debris and the whole room shuddered. Everything in front of the tengu was split down the middle. Even space itself was divided. For an instant, one half of the room started slipping down and away from the other half, like a melon sliding apart after being sliced in half. Then the room shuddered again and returned to normal, the two halves back together as if nothing had happened.
Dave could see his Undead, the ones weren't fast enough to dodge the attack. Their bodies were split in half. They never even had a chance.
Dave screamed "Motherfucker!" and rushed at the tengu.
He activated a skill he hadn't used for a long time, [Death Grip].
[Death Grip]: Resisted
"For fuck's sake!" Dave shouted and punched the tengu with [Decimating Smash] right in his ridiculously long nose.
The tengu was stunned for only an instant, just long enough for the dunlords to fire their reloaded ballistae into him. This time the tengu staggered at the impact of each bolt as he was turned into a veritable hedgehog. The damage was not high because of the level difference, but it was still damage and quite satisfying to see.
Lone chimed in, hitting the tengue with a [Penetrating Shot] and stunning him for a couple more seconds.
Dave swapped his gauntlets for the Death Knight's sword and tower shield. He used the equipped Skill [Shield Charge] to cannonball into the tengu, sending the yokai sprawling.
They kept rotating stuns to prevent the tengu from using its wings, keeping him on the ground.
"Stinger, pin him down!"
Stinger moved in and locked onto the tengu's legs with armored pincers, smothering the creature to the ground. The yokai's wings beat furiously, buffeting the dunlord, but to no avail.
Dave's attacks weren't doing any damage to the creature. Occasionally, whenever the passive Commander Skill procced, a lucky undead managed to land a hit on the tengu. Only the dunlords, who didn't suffer a level difference penalty, could exchange damage with the mini-boss on an equal footing.
The tengu flapped his wings frantically again, this time managing to drag Stinger into the air with him as he rose.
"Stinger let go!" Dave ordered and the scorpion-man released, dropping to the ground for a negligible amount of fall damage.
The tengu rose higher above them and them hovered, he started beating his wings rapidly, and faster still, until they were moving as fast as a hummingbird's wings. The air around the tengu's wings swirled, the sky rumbled and tore open, and dark clouds appeared from nowhere. Then the clouds started raining a hailstorm of deadly metallic black feathers across a wide area, striking the Undead regiment repeatedly and indiscriminately.
"Shit, this is going to be a long fight!"
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