Fast as any self-proclaimed healer ought to be after such a massive attack landed, Raime was a dark gale as he sped through the debris and dust. A tunnel was left in his wake as he tracked down the individual in the most danger. Klein’s fiery cowl made him easy to spot despite the obscuring dust, slumped as he was against a tree. The Scout skidded beside him swiftly and immediately jammed four healing vials into the Mountain Man’s mouth, tilting the man’s head upwards to ensure that all the fluids went down smoothly.
It tasted like blood to Klein, but his health shot up by 120
regardless. Now he could perhaps withstand a hit from an oni after all. But only one.
Magpie was Raime’s next target, scampering away still at the spin-kicking oni. Bending her knees and clawing against the ground, the Brawler dragged out a handful of small rocks from the earth and hurled them out to her target with such a terrifying force that it sounded like a shotgun blast. Pebbles tore through rotten flesh, but they were too small to stop the oni’s advance. It had to be at death’s door at now though, and if she simply pushed on with the attack like that giant ape from Attack on Titan, Magpie had a re-
A burst of wind from behind, and her mask was lifted, four glass vials were thrust into her mouth! Immediately, her body quaked, muscles shuddering at the taste of blood. Her HP rose by 120
as well, and with that, the monstrous strength the Brawler had disappeared. Who did this, she couldn’t tell, because that instant of distraction was enough for the oni to hop back up onto its feet as well! Surging forward, it leapt into a drop kick, aiming to split her in half!
Things were heating up for Ames as well. The fire of his sword had died when it was wrenched out of his hand, but Raime’s arrows forced the zombie oni to back away as well, giving the warrior the opportunity to re-arm himself. It was a matter of mere moments now, a matter between who had the faster draw as both combatants surged for each other. But in that critical moment, Ames messed up.
It was AGI which determined one’s speed, not DEX.
The corpse-worms vibrated with mind-numbing intensity as the oni wrapped its one arm around Ames, squeezing the warrior against its stomach. The bind was imperfect, more of a squeeze than a bear hug though, and even as 49 HP was lost
from the chest-crushing grapple, Ames still had his own sword free, driving into the monster’s neck before swinging it out. The head lolled forward, connected to the neck now only due to some shreds of flesh and skin that remained, and putrid blood oozed out from the hole. The monster’s own grip, however, did not cease to weaken.
This body was broken, and there was a new one pressed right against it now.
Pinpricks of pain pressed against Ames’s stomach, as, from the smoldering hole that Raime had shot, black worms began to wriggle out, digging into his own flesh. Their numbers were small, only 24 points of damage
dealt for twenty-four worms trying to infest him, but how would he rip them out, when there was no space between the oni’s stomach and his own to maneuver?
Amulak’s predicament was dangerous as well. Through a glassy-eyed gaze, the mage held his breath as the silhouette of the oni continued to turn. It was only three seconds, but with a dilated perception of time, those three seconds were the longest he ever had to endure.
Two seconds now…
The wind howled around the mage, dispersing all the dust around him in an instant. Raime knelt before him, four healing vials jammed into Amulak’s mouth. 120 points
ticked up the mage’s HP bar, but for all the comfort that some extra health gave him, all he could do was watch as the oni’s rotten eyes swung in the two Immortal’s direction. Playing dead couldn’t work, not when they were actively being healed by another.
It coiled its ruptured legs, drawing in strength that lingered even after death, and kicked off the bull!
Behind, Amulak’s magical mines burst, arcane energies surging outwards and eradicating all matter caught up in the radius. The oni’s extended leg was caught up in the blast, turned into a bloody mist, but it still sailed through the air, remaining leg swinging outwards like a ballista bolt!
Glass shattered inside the mage’s mouth as the oni’s ankle rammed itself through his teeth. Another 74 damage
was taken by the trapped and now silenced mage, while a meaty hand swung out for the surprised Scout. Though a step fast enough to avoid a hit, the fingers of the oni still snagged against Raime’s clothing, and the sheer strength of the oni was enough to slam Raime into the pulverized stomach cavity of the phantasmal bull. A rib the width of a log skewered the scout’s chest, goring him and dealing 187 damage
to the unarmored man, the unfiltered pain enough to almost cause him to black out.
But the system wouldn’t allow him to, and through tear-streaked eyes, Raime could see the oni’s fists raise upwards with savage intent.
Amulak was tough and well-armored, perhaps even tougher than Lugh. Without the ability to move or to incant though, how would he survive the pummeling that was to come?@Shovel@Searat@Psyker Landshark@OwO@Yankee
Gan’Bol smirked at Calace’s attitude as he waved the two off. “Well, have fun kiddos,”
he called. “Make sure you’ve got enough to pay bail!”
And now, Lugh and Calace were on their own, neither of them possessing any acumen for organized crime. The headstrong healer may be eager enough to run off in any direction, but after a couple minutes of fruitless wandering, the duo had to stop and think. How would they actually pull off some banditry or thievery without getting obliterated, and how would they pull it off in a way that Gan’Bol wouldn’t just laugh at their attempts afterwards?
It wasn’t immediately obvious what the answers to the first two questions were, but there was definitely one thing that had to be answered before even that.
How would they find a mark?
There were three options that came easily to mind.
First, they could find themselves a map of Nyu-Taro’s surrounding geography and find a trade route that wouldn’t be populated by too many caravans. Once an easy, isolated mark showed up, they could attack it and hope for the best.
Second, Lugh recalled the criminal organization that Ari had been trying to steal from. Though he wasn’t absolutely certain where they were, he had the general sense that they must be somewhere in the area she was crawling through previously. Maybe with some sweet-talking, the two of them could pick up some nice criminal tips from them?
Third, they could look up the quest wall at the Keystone’s plaza and see which merchant caravans were hiring. With only a group of two, there would probably be other Immortals hired as well to escort them, but perhaps it would be easier to burglar through betrayal, rather than through ambush.
Of course, the hidden fourth option was just to give up and mindlessly grind mobs instead. Even Lugh wasn’t finished maxing out his first class, after all. What chance did they have against any well-equipped party of Immortals? Mayhaps it was better to play it safe than to fall for Gan’Bol’s taunting and end up dead.@Haha@Cu Chulainn
The smell of citrus hit Ari as she pushed into the office of the CCC. Though the layout of the lobby looked simple enough, with an area immediately beyond the door where one could remove their shoes and swap them for indoor slippers, potted saplings were placed on every corner of the room that she was to step up into, their branches weighed down by small oranges. That explained the smell at least, a smell potent enough that she could hardly catch the stench of oil and ink that seeped down from the surrounding rooms. The noise, however, couldn’t be masked. Muffled voices and the clacking of wood against wood resounded from all neighbouring walls and humans dressed in a variety of outfits went back and forth carrying boxes stacked fivefold upon each other. It was frenzying, and took a moment or two for Ari to not just register all their voices as white noise.“This bundle’s ready for delivery!”
“What’s the stats on our readership in Ryoku-Jo?”
“No contact from the Mora-Sho sub-branch yet, boss!”
“C’mon, let’s get those interviews out the door!”
In the middle of the room stood Zhi-Toren, the woman now only dressed in collared shirt and slacks. Ink blots marked her handsome face and her hair was done up in a bun as she coordinated the chaos, directing people to go to one room, shouting out orders, or just telling people to pick up the slack. It was a strange sight, one that reminded Ari of those chaotic restaurant sim games that her classmates got into one summer.
Amidst the chaos, though, the purple-haired woman caught Ari’s eye. “Two floors up, third room to the right,”
she shouted. “I’ll be up in ten minutes!”
If Ari followed those directions, after some complicated evasions of other Immortals carrying large, unwieldy loads, she would find herself in a room that was much quieter than the rest. A window in the back faced the center of Nyu-Taro, and bookshelves filled to the brim lined up against the walls. In the center of the room was a massive table, upon which a map of Horogi was laid out, accompanied by various navigational tools. Up above, glass lanterns were suspended, their light shining with a magical brilliance.
Leaning over the table with a compass in one hand and a wired telephone in another, was a blue-eyed man dressed in a jet-black kimono. Scars criss-crossed his pale skin, and his aviator goggles held his wiry black hair out of his eyes. He looked up at Ari and stared. One second passed. Five seconds. Ten seconds.
The man frowned, then shouted, "Self-introduction!"@Greengoat