The door opened wide for Dave, letting out waves of heat and red smoke. The place reeked with a rotten, metallic smell of blood. Dave moved through the smoke, getting a better view of what lay beyond the door.
The ground was solid, consisting of tiled bricks, linked to each other seamlessly. Judging by the red and black mold growing on the floor and the walls it must have been ages since someone last used it. Still, Dave kept moving forward until he arrived at an opening.
The entrance was a tunnel, and its exit was a high perch on a lower floor. Dave could look down from where he stood and saw a stadium-sized room with tens of thousands of creatures, dead, dying, and alive all doing the same thing. They had their palms, face, and knees on the floor, all in a prostration toward a central pillar with a small doorway entrance that led inside. A bright light shone upon the area, chasing off the shades and making everything look bright red.
After looking through their ranks Dave discovered that there only appeared to be Imps down there, the working and lowest class of the Demon Race. They were always used for hard labor, enslaved by superior demons forced to do their bidding. Now, they were praying, obviously, to their demonic deity. Although he had never met him, it didn't take a genius to figure out that the pillar head of some strange-looking creature must be Asmodeus, since it was not the Ash King's face.
The Ash King had a Diablo kind of feel to him with his horns and the goat-like face. This creature, however, had a cow's, a ram's, and a goblin's head. Perhaps they belonged to some other race, but that was Dave's best guess. The goblin shaped face looked almost human, but at the same time, with the pointed ears, long jagged nose, and sharp fangs, it had to be some goblinoid.
Dave pondered about how to get past these Imps without them causing any ruckus, yet before he had come up with a plan, an Imp came from behind Dave. The latter didn't even register the Imp's existence until it had moved past him, fully ignoring Dave. It went to a location where one of the dead Imps lay still, only to move aside the corpse and replace him in worshiping the pillar.
Dave got the feeling that these creatures could not see, nor think of anything besides constant worship for their deity. 'This just works in my favor,' Dave thought and began moving between the Imps.
The light from the ceiling was too bright for Dave to use his Shadow Escape, so he changed his equipment back to the Doom Knight gear. He was already inside the temple and the notification had informed him what there was now a 24-hour countdown until the whole world learned about the temple's location, so there should be no more need to too subtle. It was best that he would be wearing his fighting gear in case he faced a monster than being caught off-guard in an Assassin's equipment.
Dave ignored stealth, instead, he opted to casually move through the rows upon rows of kneeling Imps. Dave took more steps forward, trying his best not to step on any of them. Although they might be under a trance, facing this many of them could turn out bad for him. Unfortunately it only got harder, as the closer he got to the pillar, the more of these Imps were gathered and grouped up. There were simply too many of them.
A few steps later, Dave stepped on the hand of one of the Imps, he quickly pulled his foot up, afraid that it might wake the creature from its dazed stupor. The metallic Doom Knight boot was too heavy for the small fingers of the Imp. Yet the Imp continued with his prayer, not even registering the fact that the fingers on his hand were crushed.
Dave frowned. This was messed up. If someone else came here, he could easily cull the lives of these Imps without any problems. They were seemingly forced to worship the deity, disregarding even their own safety and lives. They might be demons, yet Dave still felt pity for them. Every creature should have the right to defend itself and protect its life first and foremost. To give one's life for another in an act of chivalry was honorable, but to waste your life away praying to same statue to the point of actually dying only to get replaced by your successor… without any obvious returns, it was nothing but self-cruelty and tyranny of the highest regard of the commanding deity.
Dave kept moving forward but the area in front of him was packed full. He could barely take a step, so he began sliding his foot forward, the motion pushed away the Imps without hurting any of them. Moments later Dave was right at the front of the pillar. Looking back the area he moved through was once again filled with Imps. Some were even stacked on top of each other.
Dave sighed and took a step into the pillar. Just as his foot landed inside the pillar, the world disappeared before his eyes and he found himself in another location.
This time, he saw a stone bridge in front of him that crossed a chasm, and on the other side there were red statues of demons, as tall as city walls all over the place.
The ground was layered into compounded floors, where it went deeper into an abyss. Crimson clouds rained down blood on the top level of the compendium, which then washed over to the rest of the floors, tainting the statues that were situated on the different levels in red blood.
The blood continued falling until it drained into the abyss far below. There was another pillar the same as the one Dave went through right at the top of the compendium.
Dave would need to cross the bridge and go to the top area. He began walking across the stone bridge, looking towards the bottom. Even with his dark vision he was unable to discern what lay beyond the abyss. He kept striding forward until something caused him to halt. A creature was in front of him.
At first Dave thought that it could be yet another Imp, but this thing was much larger. It also featured an extra set of arms sprouting from its shoulders and looked more like a mix of a human and a sloth. It had thick musky fur, and Dave could smell the stench from halfway across the bridge. Its face was the only thing that didn't have fur on it and it only made it look more gruesome. On its head were two horns that grew and arched backward.
Name: Blood Eater
Base damage: 40,000-60,000
Danger Level: ☠
[Cluster Strike] The Blood Eater throws compacted blood as projectiles that explode upon contact, dealing 150% base Damage.
[Blood Ripping] When facing enemies with warm blood, he can force the blood in his prey's body to coagulate, causing nausea and disorientation. If a player is hit and not treated immediately, it will cause death in five minutes the victim bleeding out from all of their orifices.
[Poisoned Talons] The Blood Eater's basic attacks have a deadly poison in them that will hinder the healing of wounds, causing grievous wounds to any target they strike.
Lore: The Blood Eaters are demonic creatures that can only be found near blood ponds or blood infested areas. They cannot survive in any other biome, and the Ash King is extremely fond of these creatures. As the Blood Eaters are one of his ultimate tools in torturing other races for extracting whatever information he needs or for the sheer joy of it, he has made sure that every one of his Blood Eaters is treated well within his Kingdom.
"Welp, that's one messed up creature right there. I doubt you'll move out of the way, so just let me beat your ass up fast and get this over with. Heh, according to your lore this should really piss off the Ash King. Too bad there aren't more of you here." Dave grinned at the Blood Eater and drew Durandal.
Suddenly, several more of the same creature showed up all lined up and blocked the way forward.
"Damn, I feel like I caught the Flanker."
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