As dusk approached, the prong fiend, Spike, slowed from his normal breakneck pace, having to pick his way more carefully across the forest floor in the dimming light. The air turned chilly and damp, only an occasional ray of the waning sunlight shining through the dense foliage.
"Uh guys, it's getting close to nighttime," Flanker said looking around nervously. They had been moving through the forest too quickly for mobs and other dangers to be a threat. But now they were more vulnerable.
The fiend was snarling and growling ominously.
"What's wrong Spike?" Dave asked.
Then he got a notification:
You are entering the Deep Wilds.
The Deep Wilds is an extremely dangerous area.
You are the 11,581st to enter this area.
Enter at your own risk.
"I thought we were already in the Wilds," Fortress said.
"Apparently not," Dave looked around, trying to penetrate the dark foliage, he kept seeing movement from the corner of his eyes.
"I think we should stop and log out for the night, man," Flanker said, nervously looking over his shoulder. He had a feeling that something was just behind him, ready to jump on him.
"Stop being a wuss, let's keep going. I don't think anything can outrun Spike, if I'm wrong we are fucked anyway," Perfect said pragmatically.
Spike decelerated to a stop. The party dismounted, Dave patted Spike and scritched under his chin.
Perfect Shot advanced ahead of the party to scout the area. He came back quickly after only moments, his face pale.
"Guys, this is a terrible area to camp for the night, we can't stay here," Perfect Shot said in a rush.
"Why is that?" Dave asked.
"The boundary to a zone full of spiders is just beyond those trees," Perfect Shot.
"Let's go check it out," Dave said.
"Are you deaf bro? I just said it's full of spiders, the Wilds aren't player-friendly man.!"
"Don't pee your panties, I'm just going to take a look."
Spike and the TNT reluctantly followed Dave.
"Ugh, I hate spiders," Fortress swiped at the many webs hanging from branches. Past the trees a thick carpet of web strands had been spun over the ground.
"There are more over there," Flanker said. He lifted his glowing staff up, the trees were so covered with webs they looked like they'd been painted white.
"Shit, webs always means spiders, I really don't like spiders," Fortress said while shuddering.
"Guys, is it me or did the trees move?" Dave was looking back the way they had come.
The other players looked back, past Spike. The way they had just come through was completely blocked by tall web-covered trees.
"I don't like this at all," Fortress looked around apprehensively.
The foliage around them rustled and they heard things skittering in the darkness above them, like many many little legs. The players looked up. Hundreds of cat sized spiders crawled along the webs toward them. The party were surrounded by spiders on all sides.
Dave inspected one of the spiders.
Man-Eating Spider (Juvenile).
Base damage: 2,200-3,600
[Webbing] launches webs that root the target for 1 second.
Man-Eating spiders are one the weakest but most feared species in the Deep Wilds. Unlike many of the top predators of the Deep Wilds, Man-eating Spiders cooperate to bring down prey that is much stronger than they are by swarming the unlucky victim. The spiders subdue and consume their prey slowly.
"Shit, shit, shit!" Fortress equipped his shield and ax.
"Why are you panicking bro? Even if they swarm us they are only level 60, remember the level difference," Flanker tried to reassure his friend.
"Idiot, these are juveniles. The adults are probably somewhere nearby!" Fortress tone was both fearful and angry.
Adrenaline shot through Flanker, bringing him to full alertness. "Shit. Yeah you're right I think I should panic too."
Spike snarled and growled at the hundreds of spiders surrounding him. When one spider got too close, the fiend slammed its hoof down with a squelch.
Every spider in the area hissed as one of them died, the ones that were still on the trees moved faster along their webs and the ones that were already on the ground around the players became more threatening.
Flanker used [Holy Radiance] to light the area, he noticed that the spiders were avoiding the circle of light cast by his Skill, swarming around the edges in an agitated fashion.
"They're afraid of the light!"
"Well maybe they don't like fire either. FLAME ON!" Dave shouted, activating [Aura].
The flame form Dave's [Aura] brightened the forest as a wave of flames washed over the spiders, scorching them to ash.
"This will hold them off for now, but need to go we're just attracting more," Dave said.
They all retreated to where Spike stood snorting at the spiders, antlers lowered in threat, head swinging from side to side
"Easy, Spike. I'll keep the spiders off you while we mount up."
Protecting the Forest Prong Fiend's welfare has increased your affinity.
Affinity with the Forest Prong Fiend (Spike) has increased.
Affinity level: 4/10
Ride time increased by 1 hour.
You can whistle to call the Forest Prong Fiend to you.
"Alright, let's ride," Dave leapt up onto Spike's back.
Spike moved forward, pushing through the trees that blocked their way. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of spiders followed them. In every directions, the trees were covered in webs. The prong fiend was pushing a path through the dense growth, but as soon as he passed the trees moved in obscuring any sign of their passage. Every direction looked the same, there was nothing to give them any bearing on where they were going or even where they had been.
"I don't see a way out," Dave said.
"To the left, the webs are less dense there."
"Spike, take a left."
The fiend responded, changing directions and moving powerfully through the dense growths and thick tangles of webs.
"Argh!" Flanker cursed hard. "Get it off, Get it OFF!!"
Fortress turned to see a burning spider on Flanker's face.
"Hold still," he slapped Flanker's face with his heavy gauntlet. The spider flew off and tumbled on the ground.
"That hurt man!" flanker cursed.
"I don't like spiders. Be grateful I helped you at all," Fortress said.
"Guys, I think I see a way out!" Perfect said excitedly, pointing. Rows of web covered trees created a long pathway leading forward. They could see something glowing ahead through the foliage, it looked like the light at the end of a tunnel
Everyone's morale lifted, the fiend accelerated as thousands of spiders closed in.
The group got a notification:
You have entered the Boss-Room of the Man-Eating Spider Queen.
A round of curses rose into the air from the players. They'd managed to get lost and ended up EXACTLY where they didn't want to be.
It was a circular clearing walled off from the rest of the forest by dense brambles and thick undergrowth supported by large trees, all covered in heavy drapes and layers of webbing. The phosphorescent light at the 'end of the tunnel' came from large clusters of quivering gelatinous spheres held together with sticky strands of web. Eggs.
"Turn around, Spike. Go back!" Dave said to the fiend urgently.
As Spike turned oversized spiders dropped from the web covered trees behind them and blocked the way out.
Man-Eating Spider (Adult)
Base damage: 22,200-32,600
MA: 5 ,000
[Webbing] launches webs that root the target for 1 second.
[Poisonous Bite] causes 200% base damage and Poisons target. The Poison effect does 1,000 damage per second and has a 10% chance to cause a Paralysis effect. [Poisonous Bite] is stackable up to 5 times..
Man-Eating spiders are one the weakest but most feared creatures of the Wilds. Unlike the stronger habitants of the Wilds, Man-eating Spiders use swarm tactics to trap and eat their much stronger prey.
Even the adult spiders were afraid of Dave's [Aura], but they resisted their natural inclination to flee and scuttled closer. Spike was easily strong enough to kill one or two adult spiders at a time. But the spiders came in droves, they waved their long sharply pointed front legs in threat and the fiend retreated slowly toward the egg cluster.
"Let's teleport out!" Flanker yelled. Taking a scroll out he tore it and sat back, waiting to be transported away. After a few seconds, he realized, "Shit, it's blocked!"
"Even if it worked I wouldn't use it. We brought Spike here, I can't leave him to die here, like this," Dave leaned down to pat Spike on the shoulder, "Don't worry buddy I won't leave you alone!"
Your concern for the Forest Prong Fiend (Spike) has increased your affinity.
Affinity with Forest fiend increased.
Affinity level 5/10
Ride time increased by 1 hour
Dave snorted at the notification. Like that helped any of them right now.
"I don't see the queen and my aura is still keeping the spiders from moving too close, we need to kill our way out."
"I don't think that's going to be possible, man," Perfect Shot said in a monotone.
Dave tilted his head up, eight fiery orbs gleamed down wickedly at them from the darkness of the tangled tree limbs.
"W-what is that?" Flanker's voice quavered.
"That is Skelly's fire reflecting from the queen's eyes."
Flanker's voice ratched up into a high falsetto, "That's just fucking great, man. That's it, game over, man! Game over!"
Please go to https://www.novelupdates.cc/Rise-of-The-Undead-Legion/
to read the latest chapters for free