Syèl and Ouiji held their breath as the door to Alure’s tomb slid open. It groaned loudly as its gears crushed the rust upon them, turning for the first time in a very long time.
A gust of air blew out from the tomb, filled with the stench of decay. Despite the scarves they used to cover their noses, the duo were forced to shield their nostrils with their hands from the strong smell.
Coughing lightly, Ouiji stepped beyond the door, followed closely by Syèl.
From the wall formation she could make out, it seemed to be a small rectangular hall with. The light from the hallway was not enough to reach the end of the room… No, it felt more like after a certain point, a thick darkness swallowed up all the light.
With ever careful step she took towards the border where the light fell into darkness, her grip on her sword tightened. The eerie silence coming from beyond was unnerving and she could feel eyes on her, though she could not feel their presence.
“I understand. <<Will o’ the wisp>>.” Syèl launched an oddly shaped flame into the darkness which split into several smaller forms and spread out, illuminating the room in its red light. What was revealed to them caused them both to unconsciously take a single step back.
Several skeletons wielding pikes, swords and shield glared at them, a red glow in their sockets. Despite their numbers, they were not what scared the duo. Behind them, on a throne sat a giant skeleton cloaked in black flames. By his sides were two giant scythes with short handles.
Krogh The Druhler: Lv. 84
A named monster.
Boss characters usually needed well balanced parties of at least four or five members all close to its level to stand a chance. Among these bosses stood even more exceptional and difficult monsters. These were the named monsters. If a monster had a name of its own, then that was proof of its strength.
“To meet two named monsters in one day…” Ouiji gritted her teeth as she weighed her options. They had fallen down a height that was impossible to jump to which meant retreat was not an option.
Behind Krugh was a door, but she could make out a large keyhole, and she could bet it dropped as loot from the skeleton. Sighing, she drew her sword and entered her pose. “No choice then… we fight.”
“Is that so?”
Syèl decided to save his HP, opting to use only mana until he reached Krogh.
Luckily, <<Will o’ the wisp>> was a continuous skill which meant it would continue to stay in effect as he did not turn it off. However, it did absolutely no damage to the enemy and could only stay aloft for thirty minutes before it had to be casted again.
“How many can you make out?” Ouiji asked, as she calmed her beating heart. The tension in the room was very thick as both parties stared each other down, as if waiting for a bell.
“Twenty five. Krogh doesn’t look like he’s going to interfere.”
“In that case…” She drew her sword and cut an horizontal arc in front of her, propelling wind forward that knocked back the skeletons. “Do not let them surround us!” she cried and dashed forward, intent on attacking before her targets regained consciousness.
Without accessing his blood magic, Syèl had no close combat spells so he decided to play the role of a good support mage and fight from distance. He used only the most basic of his spells because of their close to non-existent casting and cooldown time.
His MP was astonishingly higher than 2500, and because the basic spells cost between 5 – 20 MP, he was assured of several shots before he ran out of MP. Also, his Fire and Ice mastery were at Lv 6, which reduced their cooldown time and increased their attack greatly.
Ouiji ducked under a skeleton’s swing, used the butt of her sheathed sword to hit another behind her then drew her sword sharply shattering the one in front of her. Without pause, she spun around and destroyed the one behind her.
Three skeletons saw their chance and brought their sword down at her, but she blocked their strikes with her scabbard and sword. Trapped under their collective strength, two more skeletons with pikes lunged at her exposed body, aiming to impale her. For some reason, the weight bearing down on her sword became even heavier as fireballs slammed into the charging skeletons, knocking them back.
“I was never one for ranged combat,” Syèl said, grinning down at her. He was balanced on top of her sword and scabbard holding three fireballs floating around him.
Ouiji’s face turned red with embarrassed anger. “Get off!”
“As you wish.” He jumped as his fireballs slammed into the skeletons around her.
Once the pressure slackened, she pushed upward and spun around in place, slicing the skeletons around her. Once her swing was finished, Syèl landed beside her, firing barrages of basic fireballs at the skeletons till they turned to ash.
They stood back to back as the remaining skeletons formed a circle around them, weapons at the ready. Behind the circle, a few wielded bows which they knocked with bone arrows.
“One thing I ask of you. One!” Ouiji complained as she sheathed her sword, preparing for another round.
“…Sorry?” Syèl apologised weakly. The large grin on his face completely belied his apology.
“You r-” Her retort was cut short by arrows flying towards her. She blasted them back with her sword and took a step back, sheathing the weapon again. “Watch my back this time.”
“I got it… Prince.” Syèl dashed forward, grabbed a skeleton’s head and yelled, “<<Fireball>>” The flame which should have come from his hand had nowhere to go and instead exploded in the face of the skeleton. It works!
The blood mage rejoiced mentally, gladdened that what was considered a medium-long range magic spell could actually be used in direct combat. This discovery while seemingly trivial, could greatly tip the fight in a mage’s favour if he had the right set of skills.
He launched several other fireballs into the skull’s head, then used <<Ice Spikes>> (an intermediate skill which formed spikes of ice that jutted out of the earth) to impede the movement of the skeletons that charged him.
As they stumbled, he used <<Flame Bomb>>: a high level spell which shot out many fireballs onto enemies, that exploded after ten seconds. It was a skill which cost 100 MP. The skeletons cried out as the bombs exploded, scattering their bones everywhere.
he skeletons were generally weak and despite their numbers, he made short work of them by combining his ice and fire skills to disrupt and attack.
When he was done he turned around, intending to assist Ouiji but smiled wryly when he saw she had long finished her part and had been waiting for him.
“Took you long enough,” she said, a snarky grin curling up the side of her mouth.
“You sure hold a g-”
A loud crash caused the two of them to whirl towards the throne. It had been sliced down the middle and the separated halves had fallen on opposite sides. In front of the rubble stood Krogh, poised with his scythes, purple smoke billowing out from his eye sockets, nose and mouth.
“You children have done well to make it this far, and I have borne witness to your strength.” Krogh’s voice was deep and distorted, like he spoke through a very terrible microphone. “Sadly, I must insist you leave this place. I will allow youfree passage for you are-”
“Oi!” Syèl interrupted, blades of blood forming in his hand, under his arm and behind his legs. “You talk too much. Let’s do this.”
“Human arrogance and impatience. Despite how many centuries have passed, it never ceases to change. Tell me child, what is it you seek in this crypt?”
“The hell if I know!” Syèl said with such confidence, both Krogh and Ouiji stared at him mouth agape.
“KukukukuHAHAHAHA!…” Krogh laughed hysterically, clutching his face with his right hand. “The last person to say words like that to me was my master.” Swinging his scythe with renewed vigor, he slammed them into the earth.
The ground shook beneath them as a crack appeared on the sole door which was supposed to be their exit.
It expanded rapidly, then with a loud crash, fell upon itself, sealing that route off forever.
“As you wish, we will fight. The true way out of this crypt and the answer to your search will revealed if you defeat me.”
“That’s the way it ought to be,” Syèl said as he dashed forward. He jumped into the air and swung down on Krogh. The skeleton already anticipated his attack and swung upwards with its scythe.
The elf already knew from past experience he could not block it head on, so he chose to divert its swing, using the flat of his blade. Unfortunately, he miscalculated how strong Krogh’s swing was and the recoil caused him to spin in place, too fast to fall or ascend.
Gritting his teeth, he stuck out his leg planning on using the blade protruding from his feet to stab through the beast’s eye, but Krogh grabbed his calf mid air and tossed him across the room where he landed beside Ouiji.
Syèl wiped the sweat off his face, breathing heavily as he stood up. “He’s strong.”
“Still want to go it alone?” Ouiji asked, keeping an eye on the monster.
“No. I hate to admit it, but there’s a high chance of me dying even if I manage to kill him. I will need your help.”
“It’s clear you don’t fight alongside others.” She walked in front of him, facing Krogh and crouched low. “It can’t be helped. I’ll use this to teach you the basics of team combat.”
She dashed forward, ducking under Krogh’s left swing, and blocked his second scythe by slightly raising her sword out of its scabbard. She knocked his scythe arm back, rendering him defenseless. “Now!”
Syèl noticed the opening and dashed forward, slashing away rapidly. What he lacked in strength and attack power, he made up for in the numerous slashes from the blades around his
Ouiji detected a slight change in the skeleton’s movement. “Back!”
Syèl retreated sharply as Krogh recovered and sliced Ouiji with terrifying accuracy. She managed to parry his blows but it still cut off her health then he kicked her with his foot.
This she also blocked with her sword, but the force knocked her off her feet and she crashed into a wall behind Syèl.
“I’m okay,” she said, jumping down from the hole in the wall. Apart from a small bruise on her face, she seemed to be generally unscathed. Syèl realized once again jsut how
strong she really was.
Krogh deduced Syèl was the weaker one and lunged at him, slicing away with his scythes. The elf managed to miss critical hits by parrying the blows with the curved blades on his arm and legs while weaving between the swings. However, his health was steadily being chipped away.
“Jump!” he heard Ouiji shout behind him and did as ordered, ignoring how defenceless it rendered him. A familiar burst of air flew beneath him and slammed into Krogh, but the Druhler stood his ground.
While in mid-air, Syèl raised ice spikes from the ground that caused Krogh to momentarily lose his balance.
The female warrior did not miss that chance. She dashed forward and repeatedly slashed the monster without giving it a chance to regain itself. Her strength was on par with Krogh and her sword mastery was already in the intermediate level, which gave her a slight advantage in overpowering him.
After unleashing a punishing combo, she jumped back as Syèl fired <<Elemental Judment>> to finish Krogh.
The Druhler saw the attack coming and suddenly evaporated, allowing the attack to harmlessly smash into the surrounding walls, wrecking it.
“Shit!” Syèl cursed as he searched for the skeleton. His anger came from the fact that <<Elemental Judgement>>, while strong, drained all of his MP and had a cooldown time of fifteen minutes. He could override the cooldown once by using blood magic, but the move would drain 2000 HP from his health if he used it.
As if things could not get any worse, his <<Will o’ the Wisp>> spell gave out, plunging the room into darkness. It would be another three minutes before he could activate it again.
“Don’t panic,” Ouiji said, in an attempt to calm him. “Use your instinct.”
“Don’t worry about me. I’m used to the dark.” He breathed out slowly, waiting to pick up on any traces of Krogh’s presence.
He felt it, but it was too late. The monster was only a few feet away and had already swung his scythe down at him.
A spark of light, borne from metal clashing against metal illuminated the area next to him briefly and he walked. One of the scythes was pierced through Ouiji’s body while she the other was blocked by her sword.
“I’m fine! I’ll hold him off, prepare your strongest spell!”
“Don’t you dare die!” he shouted as the sparks multiplied, revealing two Ouijis battling against the beast. Strongest spell…
Till that moment, <<Elemental Judgement>> had been his strongest spell, but to kill this beast, he would need something stronger, something that could not be dodged. An image formed in his mind and mana began to take form in his outstretched hand.
Ouiji’s health had dropped below hundred and she knew she could not take afford any more hits. ‘You better be ready!’ She thought as the she and her doppelganger knocked Krogh’s hands skywards, then pinned their swords through its legs to the ground. “Now!”
Two tiny glowing balls the size of marbles appeared in the distance, illuminating Syèl who had an unreadable expression. He dashed forward and slammed his hands into Krogh and the glow disappeared once again.
A second passed with nothing happening. “You failed!?” Ouiji shouted, disbelief in her voice.
“Wait for it…” Syèl said, confident.
Krogh grabbed his chest writhing in pain as it began to glow, red flames bursting through his coat. With a loud bang, he exploded into pieces as a mixture of flames, ice, blood, water, wind and electricity burst out from him.
“I call it <<Elemental Bomb>>. It’s still incomplete though,” Syèl said, clenching his fists.
Ouiji stared at the burning chunks and swallowed hard.