The hulking figure of the ogre advanced inexorably on the group of players from the front while the seers and glutovers shambled toward them from the rear. The ogre entered into melee range, its eyes narrowed and suddenly it snapped out one of its massive legs, kicking for Dave's head. Not expecting a leg attack Dave was caught unprepared and had to use [Block] to nullify the force of the blow.
Ralph hit the ogre from the side with [Rend Flesh], lopping away a tenth of the ogre's HP and shifting its aggro over to him. Mercy ran straight at the ogre then jump-rolled past its columnar legs, twisting to her feet behind the monster she went stab-crazy on its kidneys, stunning the brute.
"You guys finish off the ogre. Fortress with me!" Dave called.
Dave ran to the rear to fend off the five monsters coming from that direction. He lunged at the closest half born seer, sinking the flamberge into its flesh.
"Fortress, tank the other one, watch out for grab attacks," Dave said.
Dave ducked away from a glutover that was trying to grab him. The glutover didn't stop, it kept going like a car with no breaks until it grabbed the half born seer that was behind Dave
Dave was about to attack the entwined monsters when he realized the glutover wasn't just going for a poorly-timed bro-hug. The pig-faced monster was tightening its hold on the seer, bearing down, increasing the constrictive force. Moments later the pressure of the embrace caused some of the eyeballs scattered over the seer's body to literally pop, releasing viscous clear-yellowish fluids. The pig-faced seemed to feel the give of ruptured organs. It unhinged its jaw as it opened its mouth wide and shifted its grip, then engulfed the seer whole, like a python gorging itself on a goat.
Dave looked around, assessing the disposition of forces. He formed a quick plan and started implementing it, "Flanker, pull back. Lone, Perfect, keep the seers off the rest of us." Then he used [Immortal Apparition], teleporting behind the still feeding glutover and attacked with [Death Surge].
An enormous damage value rose above the glutover.
Dave attacked again with [Concussive Blow], which finished off the last of the glutover's HP.
Ralph was tanking the ogre and Mercy had vanished, probably lurking in stealth somewhere waiting for her moment. while Tess used her legacy skills, shredding away the oger's HP with her attacks.
Flanker was rummaging through his inventory bag, he brightened when he found what he was looking for. Turning back to the fight he threw the vial from his bag at one of the half-born seers. The vial shattered when it hit the seer and the monster began screaming as its body melted.
"What was that?" Perfect asked Flanker.
"An alchemy ingredient, stomach-acid from a man-eater frog. It's good for melting stuff."
"I'll say it is!"
"How much of it do you have?" Dave asked, dodging a punch from a glutover.
"I have nine more vials," Flanker said.
"Save them for another fight, we got this one, we might need your frog acid more later on."
Dave grunted, while he'd let been distracted talking to Flanker, a half-born seer had gotten in close and lunged at his leg mouth wide, it fastened onto his thigh and bit deeply.
Dave hit the seer with the pommel of his sword and kneed it away. He waved his hand, summoning four glowing orbs, Dave didn't detonate the orbs when he fought on, but kept them hovering around him, in case any monster decided to get clingy.
"This one is almost fragged," Ralph yelled over the 'snicking' of Mercy's daggers and the thwack of his sword into ogre meat.
"I could use a hand here," Dave called back.
"Shit! I need help!" Fortress shouted urgently.
The remaining glutover had thrown itself on top of Fortress bringing both of them to the floor. The pig-faced monster wrapped its hands around Fortress's neck as it opened salivating jaws to engulf the hapless Player.
Then the floating orbs Dave had summoned earlier struck the glutover in series and detonated.
"Shit," Dave cursed. He'd hoped the orbs would push the combatants apart, but the glutover was still on Fortress like a leech. A fiery arrow flew into the monster's exposed mouth and exploded in its throat. The glutovor lurched, but kept its hold around Fortress's neck, continuing to choke him.
Flanker looked around then groaned, "Fuck, now I have to save everyone's ass again. I hate getting my hands dirty, dammit."
The priest whipped his staff around and flames poured out from his hands, enveloping the entire length of it. He jabbed the fire-imbued weapon into the gutovor's face, releasing a burst of flames that seared its skin and boiled its eyeballs. The pig-face released Fortress and pawed at its face, squealing in pained shock.
Fortress scrambled to his feet, coughing and wheezing. "Thanks bro. What was that? I thought you couldn't use your Skills," Fortress said.
Flanker shrugged and waved his staff again, snuffing the flames. "Not a holy spell, I got it from a Skill book."
"You okay, honey bunny?" Tess called over the chat in a concerned voice.
"Yeah, I'm okay, pumpkin." Fortress took a deep breath and charged at the glutover..
"Oh, and Flanker, good job," Dave gave the priest a thumbs-up and returned to his fight. Dave's HP was at half maximum , the damage ticks from the half-born [Fate Revealed] Skill were adding up.
A half born seer rushed up at Dave and lunged, throwing itself at him. He sidestepped and the creature went sprawling across the fleshy floor. Dave stepped on its arm, pinning it, then thrust his sword, crunching through the seer's skull. Dave ripped the flamberge out of the monster's skull and the half-born seer wilted, its corpse turning into a puddle of ichor.
You have killed a half-born seer, level 360
Dave waved the notification away and charged with [Stampede], stunning the glutover facing Fortress.
Your party member (Mercy) has slain Consumed Ogre, level 420.
"Dave, we got another vial of miasmic aether and one more page of the diary," Ralph said.
"Great, let's wrap this up," Dave said.
Ralph, Tess and Mercy ran at the remaining two monsters, a glutover and a half born seer. Mercy flashed in and out of stealth, appearing behind the glutover, her dagger embedded deep into its spine. Tess waved her scepter and summoned black chains that tightly wrapped around the glutover while Ralph faced the half born seer. The glutover was felled after Tess tightened her chains even more around it while Mercy was continuously stabbing it in the back. Having finished off a monster, they went to help Ralph but he had already killed the low HP half born seer alone.
Two notification popped up in front of Dave informing him to the death of the monsters. Ralph joined him and handed over the vial of miasmic aether. Again, as soon as Dave took the vial his hand tightened involuntarily and the vial shattered. This time, the miasma spread up the skin of his arm and past his shoulder. One side of his face and neck decayed, in seconds the skin became desiccated and leathery, stretched tight across the skull and jaw bone. A partial beard sprang from the tough undead hide of his chin. His armor was affected also, divided down the middle. One side remained the polished celestial silver of a paladin but the other side changed to obsidian plate with cruel spikes protruding all over it; the malevolent armor worn by Death Knights of the Undead Legion.
You are closer to [Undeath]
You have recovered the Skill [Never Tire]
Passive Skill restored and amplified!
[Never Tire]: Your Stamina stat is infinite. [Slow], [Weakness], [Freeze] and [Curse] spells and Skills no longer have an effect on you!
Passive amplification effect: [Vigorous]
[Vigorous]: 10% of your base HP is restored every 5 minutes.
"Don't even think about playing with a double-headed coin, mister 'Two Face'," Ralph snickered.
"I prefer the full monty, the half-n-half makes you look indecisive," the pervert priest threw in his two cents.
"What's the note say?" Dave changed the subject. His voice was changed too, a dry raspy growl.
Ralph shared the diary page. It was the least damaged of the ones they'd found so far.
I've dedicated my life to the mastery of life and death, but this weak, frail body is no longer capable of withstanding the passage of time.
I needed something stronger, something powerful, something capable of sustaining endless life. And so I sought to reforge my body anew.
The flesh wall proved essential to my research. It can sustain life, expel diseases and regenerate itself endlessly, Quite ironic, to find so much life in something I created from the remains of worthless, rotten corpses.
Dave pocketed the page, "There's nothing left to do here, let's go back to the entrance and try the other tunnels, there has to be more miasmic aether in the other tunnels."
The players agreed to Dave's plan and retraced their steps in single file back to the entrance.
"Which one?" Ralph asked, gesturing at the tunnel entrances.
Dave grinned maniacally turning his face from side to side, "Do I look like a guy with a plan?"
Fortress rolled his eyes, "Wrong bad guy, man. The Joker said that, not Two Face."
Dave scowled at the tank, "Don't be such a stickler, you kill all the fun. Let's just take the left tunnel."
The players moved through the leftmost tunnel, without encountering any monsters. The throbbing of the heartbeat grew louder as they progressed, until it reverberated throughout the pulsing tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was a web of tightly knit strands vibrating in time to the heart beat and blocking their way.
"Burn it?" Ralph suggested.
"Yeah," Dave said. He equipped his gauntlets and reached toward the filaments.
The threads squirmed in Dave's grasp. The heat from Dave's gauntlet turned the flesh threads to bubbling oil in seconds. Beyond the opening was another dome-shaped room, twice as large the room the first vial of miasmic aether was in.
Sitting cross-legged in the middle of the room was a figure in a hooded blue robe. The throbbing beat that filled the air and moved the fleshy structure around them in pulsating rhythm was coming from the man.
Dave stepped into the room and a notification popped up in front of him.
You have entered a Boss room!
Teleport functions are blocked!
Log-out is disabled!
You are currently in a party. The difficulty level and Boss monster's stats will be adjusted according to your average party level and numbers!
Dave spoke over the chat, "We need party buffs."
Fortress activated his group buff Skills and Demeri played a song on her harp.
"Sorry man, I can't use my holy Skills," Flanker said.
Dave rubbed his beard and grinned, "No problem," then booted Flanker from the party.
"What was that, man?" Flanker yelled.
"I know it's a dick move, but the boss's difficulty adjusts to the number of players, and you are useless right now."
Flanker grimaced but he knew Dave was right. He sat down at the entrance to wait out the fight.
"Okay let's do this," Dave said and walked deeper into the boss room.
The figure in the middle of the room looked up, and said "You are undead! But that cannot be, the undead are gone from the world."
Dave said, "Well, I'm standing right here, in the flesh, so to speak. And I'm going to be bringing the undead back."
A red name tag appeared above the figure, [Ashkar, the Necromancer King].
The necromancer shook his head and stood, "You can't bring back the undead, not without the Death Heart at least. I knew when it was destroyed, I felt it happen. No power in this world can remake it." He stepped toward Dave then stopped and tilted his head, face still hidden in the shadow of the hood.
Then Ashkar pointed, "Your ring! That is what keeps you between the poles, not fully of either Life or Death. Such a treasure is wasted on you, give it to me!" He extended an expectant hand.
"Ooh. Yeeah. Umm. I'm going to have to go ahead and tell you: go bugger yourself." Dave said sarcastically. He wished he had a coffee mug in his hand to really pull it off.
Ashkar scowled at Dave and whipped his hands forward, throwing several objects to the floor. The six egg-shaped things stuck to the fleshy surface and started vibrating, digging into the the floor until they disappeared. Seconds later the area they had tunneled into tore apart, flaps of flesh folded back and six monsters climbed out.
"I have risen above the foulness of necromancy! Let me show you the power of flesh!" The boss was talking like a third rate B-movie villain. Ashkar inhaled deeply then suddenly leaned forward and shrieked like a banshee. The effort caused his hood to fall back, revealing a distorted mass of squirming flesh where his face should have been, growing around the mouth and chin was a nest of writhing tentacles.
"All-a-sudden I got a hankering for calamari," Ralph said, running a thumb along the edge his sword, "With a little lemon and some garlic aioli sauce."
Dave grinned at his friend's foodie banter, then he ignited [Aura] and looked at Ashkar, "Let's dance, flesh-monger!"
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