Questing V1, Chapter 7: Foreshadowing

In an underground cavern, two-miles west of Quena, most of the village members were hiding from the terrible weather outside. Over four-hundred Fox-Tribe were living in a tunnel that was fairly short, yet incredibly wide; the walls, floor, and ceiling were covered with huge white crystals.

Every-time the earth quaked, dozens of children screamed in fear, but even the adults felt uneasy; for nearly a week, it seemed like the world was ending. Their goddess had supposedly awakened, but rumors were spreading that an evil demon-god had come to battle against her, and that was the most logical reason for the tremors and storms; obviously, they couldn’t possibly see the volcanoes or understand how hurricanes worked.

However, an obsidian-skinned woman, with scarlet irises, and orange fur, who was the matriarch of Quena, had been very worried. She decided with the others to fabricate that silly story about deities fighting, and ignored not only Maat’s order to send an envoy, but also refused to tell her people to stop worshiping the divine being.

Even if her own faith was non-existent, there were plenty of devout followers, and she didn’t want to be responsible for the chaos that would ensue if she had seriously tried to follow those commands. Her name was Anouke, and the brown-skinned youth to her left, was her husband Tauru; both of them seemed to be no more than teenagers, but that was only because their Sand-Elf blood was much higher than the average Fox-Tribe.

The two of them were frowning, while gazing around at the hundreds of small tents and huts within the cavern. To the west was a huge, and immeasurably deep lake, which was their main source of fresh-water; the exit was a kilometer to the west of where the villagers were living, and the only source of illumination were the strange gigantic crystals that would usually radiate white-light sporadically.

Between the thunder and wind, the reverberations seemed like dragons or demons roaring… Of course, there were actual monsters off the coast, but they were too far inland to even know about them. Anouke sighed as she listened to the faint sounds of coughing, wheezing, and sobbing that were nearly impossible to hear, over all the other ambient noise.

Tauru turned to her, his bright-green eyes flashing, and large fox-like ears twitching, as he told her “We need to beg Goddess Maat for forgiveness; even if she isn’t the cause of this sickness, I’m certain that she will have some sort of treatment.” Although he wasn’t the leader of the village, his position was definitely the highest below his wife.

She grimaced as she remembered the pathetic appearance of that beast-like little-girl, and shook her head while muttering “It’s pointless… If she does have that much power, then what do you think would happen once she learns that we disobeyed her?” They were all living in an enclosed space, with lots of livestock, surrounded by strobing crystals, and their drinking water was almost certainly contaminated by their latrines; not to mention that the temperature within the cave was dramatically colder than The Endless Desert at night, so there were plenty of possible causes for their mysterious illnesses.

He smiled wryly while saying “Anouke, I don’t believe that The First Mother would punish us for…” but then both of them felt a terrible sense of dread emanating from the typically transparent lake. Starting at the center, huge bubbles began surfacing, filled with truly menacing mana; no-one in the cave was able to see auras, but there were plenty of people who could hear those horrifying screams: because of their slightly Elven genes.

The startled matriarch yelled “Get away from the water, now!” to everyone who had been gathering around the crystalline shore. Suddenly, a colossal blue-shelled lobster, at least ten meters tall, emerged from the surface and screeched so loud that the entire cave shook violently.

There were strange pink vines erupting from thousands of cracks in its exoskeleton, and it created huge waves as it surged forward. Aside from a few stunned and terrified children, everyone who saw that monstrosity started fleeing as fast as they could without looking back; however, some of those little kids were actually Anouke’s grandchildren, so obviously the two elders couldn’t just leave them to die.

Strangely though, the gigantic magical-beast stopped halfway to the shore, and then dozens of huge, red, trees, burst out of the creature’s carapace. It let out a final deafening screech, before thousands of gallons of putrid, black, poisonous blood erupted from its carcass; releasing a deadly miasma into the air, which was subsequently absorbed by a series of aquatic plants that appeared from the floating, azure shell-fragments.

After a few seconds, a loud, high-pitched voice screamed “What part of that was even remotely necessary?! Gah, it said twenty-four hours! It only took you twenty-minutes to get us eaten by a giant crustacean! We could have just taken our fucking time, but no, you wanted to get that extra fifty favor! Ugh, if you vomit on me again, I will seriously find a way to kill you! No, I will not calm down! Damn it, we didn’t even make it to the surface yet!”

A loud smacking sound rang out, followed by that same girl yelling “Swim faster you damn horse!” Large chunks of melted lobster meat were dangling off of the strange creature that was slowly making its way towards the shore.

Tauru grabbed the children, and carried them away, while Anouke stood on the slanted crystal slab, waiting to battle with the demon. She had the ancient treasured blade of her clan in her right hand, and unlike most members of the village, she actually had furs to cover her relatively small chest.

The weapon she was using… it was just a rusted steel scimitar, there was nothing special about it; though it was definitely in a few leagues above a stone or bone club. However, with a bit of earth-manipulation, every swing could be amplified dramatically. Although, if she had tried to join the BCHAA with her skill, she wouldn’t even be classified as a level-five melee Dps: not that she knew what that was.

When they finally emerged from the water, a few meters in-front of the battle-ready matriarch, a swirl of water quickly removed all the grime from their bodies. There was a crimson-eyed, squirrel-headed and tailed, woman, with relatively large breasts, and covered in a soaking wet black-leather outfit; she was riding upon the back of a deer, which had the entire upper-body of a pale-skinned elf, instead of a head.

Alexis sighed dramatically, as the high-pressured, fully clothed shower, completely removed all of the disgusting inky innards off of her clothes. Then she finally calmed down a bit, while glaring at Anouke, and eventually asked “Who the hell’s this bitch? You wanna die, or get the fuck out of our way?”

Without letting the obsidian-skinned fox-girl speak, the deer-centaur snickered and greeted her “I apologize for my friend’s behavior, she’s currently menstruating. My name is Rachael Xiel-Ta; this is a wonderful crystal-cave you have here, though there isn’t quite enough airflow for such a large quantity of people to be living in it. Oh sweet! Ah, can you hear that Alex? Hehehehe~ it’s been so long since I last experienced an epidemic! Hmmm, I really want to experiment on them… but we still need to complete a quest. It seems like the exit is close, so we’ll be back in like, five or ten minutes at the most!” in an overly excited voice, as she hurried towards the tunnel’s exit.

Once the doe walked out into the hurricane for a few moments, she quickly trotted back inside. Both of them received a congratulatory message, and then the squirrel-ninja hopped off the centaur’s back; she definitely didn’t want to stick around for the horror-show that was about to occur… Well, she also had a mild phobia of hospitals, deadly diseases, tentacles, leeches, being used as a test-subject, and being drenched in someone else’s bodily fluids.

Eventually, the matriarch regained her senses, and followed after the two; though, she only found Rachael. The moment she asked “Can you really heal my people?” the girl’s bright-blue eyes flashed with a bit of green; she had received a ‘Lunar Quest’ to cure the village.

There was a sinister grin on her childish face, as she eagerly replied “Of course!” Anouke didn’t realize that with a single sentence, she had given permission for ‘The Demonic Doe’ to traumatize over six-hundred people: plus a couple dozen camels, oxen, and horses.

Rachael had actually refrained from buying the skill “Pathogenic Index” because she truly enjoyed the excitement and challenges involved with being a ‘doctor.’ Besides that, under her ‘special’ care, it was very difficult for anyone to die… no matter how much they might have wanted to.

While Quena Village was being ‘treated’ and Coffee was enjoying a delicious feast in The Forsaken Oasis, Demil was riding her mithril proto-dragon along the riverbank. It had been several hours since she was tricked, but her anger wasn’t something that could be quelled so easily.

Wasting thirty-nine runic bullets was a huge loss, yet it was nothing compared to a thousand Lunar favor. When it had first happened, she didn’t truly understand how valuable that really was, until she checked the shop function.

Items were separated into many categories: consumables, equipment, materials, currencies, and miscellaneous. There were hundreds of sub-categories, and almost everything was divided by quality.

Rather than buying weapons, armor, or medicines directly from the three super-spirits themselves, everything was handled by ‘observers’ who worked for the neutral factions. A player-only auction function also existed, but to use either of them, the person needed to have access to a private teleportation pyramid.

Lunar favor was the most abundant, because her faction gave out the most quests, so it was also the least valuable. However, each of them had their own specialties; when The Moon was out, it was possible to purchase all kinds of ‘power-ups,’ both temporary and permanent.

She was also the one responsible for her party’s ‘restorations,’ and the price for a new life was only as many points as the player’s level. Demil could have been revived over twenty-five times with the amount of favor that she had gambled away.

Luckily, within that black-box she retrieved, was a fairly useful item. The container itself was made out of demonic-treant bark, so it was worth at least a dozen gold, but there was also a tier-one accessory inside of it.

Unfortunately, once she saw that the price of similar magical devices was only around five-hundred Lunar favor, she couldn’t help brooding over the loss. Although, considering that it was impossible for her to buy or sell anything, unless she made it to the teleportation pyramid that Rachael and Alexis found, receiving that “Mana-Barrier Watch” wasn’t nearly as bad as she made it out to be.

It was created from a material similar to black-mithril, with an elastic band that could potentially fit around her thigh, though it would have been a bit tight. The face was round and silver, with small, exquisite, translucent, diamond-like gems encrusted along the edges; aside from telling her the time, its main purpose was to prevent her aura from escaping too far from her skin, while keeping other people from penetrating her mana-pool.

Obviously, there was a limit to how much it could contain or block; for example, she could still use the seal on her right hand without any interference. Also, it wasn’t quite as effective as wearing that nearly transparent robe and veil, but it was a lot more comfortable.

When Demil felt the warm wind blowing through her fur, her scowl turned into a smirk. It wasn’t even that big of a loss, and as she thought about how there was still another twenty-five hundred Lunar favor left, she couldn’t help but grin.

Aside from a soft, black, demon-silk bikini that just barely covered the most sensitive parts of her flesh, she wasn’t wearing any other clothing. Since her mount couldn’t keep running for more than a few hours at a time, she decided to take a serious bath in the river.

It was probably the most important benefit of that watch; because for nearly a whole week, she was forced to wash herself off while wearing that thin, but uncomfortable, robe. If she had taken it off, she would have suffered from mana-starvation, and been too weak to even swim.

As she started unfastening the strings of her skimpy garments, Demil finally remembered that she had used some black-mithril rope, to tie down her eerily quiet passenger. His glowing, scarlet eyes were gazing up at her, with mostly reverence, but a hint of lust; she snickered, and growled “Sorry kid, even if I wasn’t dating somebody… you’re not exactly my type.”

He obviously couldn’t understand her, though he was extremely excited that she was talking to him. The skinny tigress sighed as she glanced over his obsidian body; Geb’s cuts, gashes, and even some of the scars had completely disappeared, but the most important thing was his hands and feet.

While they did seem to regenerate, it wasn’t exactly that simple. Rachael’s emergency measure, was a genetically modified magical-cockroach. The little critter was designed to, after being consumed, alter a humanoid’s DNA; at first it would simply raise the person’s natural regeneration, but then it would incorporate some ‘upgrades’ depending on how weak they were.

Geb’s hands and feet did blend in pretty well with his unreasonably dark skin; however, they were actually coated in a flexible and smooth exoskeleton. Their hardness was on-par with iron-wood bark, so if he was a martial-artist, it would have been an amazing gift: he obviously wasn’t though.

His fluffy red fox-tail grew back without any abnormalities, and his throat had headed as well. Even his genitalia had been returned to him, so not only did she free him and save his life, she also healed him; albeit with a disgusting method of shoving a live cockroach down his throat, and strapping him to a giant metallic iguana, but he was still incredibly grateful.

Demil groaned as she spent three skill-points on “Terra Translations,” then she felt a throbbing pain in the back of her head. After grimacing for a few moments, she yelled in Lorthon “Hey, say something!” while glaring at Geb.

He tilted his head in confusion, as the tigress began untying him from the coffee-table in-front of her sofa-chair. Once she lifted him up by his long, wavy hair, with only her right hand, and shouted at him a few more times, he finally responded “I’m sorry, I can’t understand you! Forgive me Goddess!”

When she first heard his extremely feminine and high-pitched tone, it only sounded like gibberish, but the information was quickly sorted out subconsciously. Then she smirked at him, while asking “How about now? Ugh, this language makes my tongue hurt… why can’t everyone just speak in Lorthon?”

As he listened to her speak, he felt as if her relatively deep, yet eloquent voice was penetrating his very soul. Of course, that was just because she was unintentionally holding him within her aura, and each of her words or breaths was pummeling his mana-sensitive ears. He could still hear and understand her though, so after a few seconds he replied “My apologies Master, this one was momentarily stunned by your almighty presence. Please accept this servant’s gratitude for becoming my new owner.”

The moment she comprehended what he was telling her, she immediately roared “Fuck!” and then screamed “What the hell do you think you’re doing, bastard!? You ain’t a slave no more, so cut that shit out, now! Are ya tryin ta get me killed, or worse?!” in his language.

In Alfirin, the stigma and fear attached to slavery and rape was so extreme that people didn’t even joke about things like that; it was common knowledge that privacy was non-existent in Alfirin, but Demil was even under the scrutiny of beings like Luna. It was actually impossible for her to commit either of those crimes, because the seal on her left hand would stop her if she had tried, but she definitely didn’t want to test that theory.

The ebony-skinned fox-man was confused by what she had said, so it took him a while to ask “Is what you say true Ma-er, Goddess?” There weren’t any concrete rules about deification, since plenty of idiots worshiped spirits or celebrities.

After sighing dramatically, she dropped him to his feet, and told him “Call me Demi, and I already know your name Geb, so lets skip the introductions. Sorry about chopping off your hands and feet, but they were basically useless anyway.”

He smiled while tilting his head back to see her face, then said “This one is only called Builder… and I feel nothing but immeasurable gratitude towards you. You needn’t apologize for such a trifling matter.”

She snickered, and nonchalantly disclosed “Ah, yea, well according to the quest details, your name is definitely Geb. My mission is to escort you to some shitty village called Quena, about seven-hundred miles northeast of here. Your mother… Anouke, is there, and if I want to get the bonus, you need to be in one piece when the two of you meet.”

When she finished speaking, tears began flowing from the man’s scarlet eyes. He fell to his knees and bowed his head, while yelling “Goddess is too kind to this insignificant Builder. I do not completely understand, but I thank you all the same.”

Demil felt like she was going to vomit from watching that embarrassing sight, so she scolded “Stop it, we’ve wasted enough time on this nonsense. Lets go for a little swim, this time you’re washing yourself though.” while glaring at him.

Geb was trembling as he slightly remembered the way she cleaned his body, even though he was nothing but a filthy slave: broken both mentally and physically. She treated him as if he were an actual person, and not a tool to be used, or garbage to be thrown away… or at least, that’s how he imagined it.

The tigress clearly stated to him, that he was just a job, and his life was simply money to her. However, she wasn’t selling him, but profiting from his well-being and potential happiness; that obsidian fox-man was worth skill-points and favor, which were far more valuable than mere physical currency.

In fact, she had investigated the possibility of buying “Alfirin Dollars” and discovered that a single Lunar favor-point, could be exchanged for seventy-three gold, twenty-five silver, and ninety-two copper. That was one of the main reasons for her anger over that trap; she unintentionally spent more money than she had ever had, with the touch of an illusory button.

As Demil casually undressed and packed her dirty bikini in the same leather bag as her black-mithril robe, Geb was carefully walking down the mithril proto-dragon’s massive tail, while trying not to offend his benefactor by glancing at her naked body. Unlike most Tiger-Tribe, her fur lacked any orange, and was purely white with black stripes; the largest difference though, was that her hair was incredibly thin, especially around the most important areas.

Considering that her genitals were a bright-pink color, they were very attention-grabbing. Her condition was a side-effect of one of Rachael’s many ‘immortality’ experiments, based on her teacher’s original work with the vampirism virus, combined with her own dryadic transformation research; the purpose was a combination of boosting the immune system, anti-aging, and potentially endless cellular regeneration. It was still a work in-progress though.

By the time Geb had made it down to the ground, she had grabbed some glass bottles of soap, and jumped off Angu’s back, onto the soft orange sand. In the dim moonlight, the fox-man was nearly invisible, but Demil’s white fur was incredibly vibrant; of course, she had excellent night vision, so it wasn’t difficult for her to see everything very clearly either way.

When she bathed was the only time that her pistols, gun-belt, and even her combat-knife was left behind. Normally, that would be incredibly reckless and dangerous… but there was a gigantic mithril-scaled iguana standing guard less than five meters away from her. She had given the surprisingly shy former-slave his own body-wash and shampoo, then left him to figure the rest out on his own: Obviously she gave him the cheapest kind.

While the tigress was scrubbing her relatively long and thick tail, she called out to the awkward, obsidian-skinned fox-man “So, you’re an earth-mage right? What level are you at-erm, I guess you wouldn’t have the same kinda system as we use. Oh yea, that would be a really useful skill.” Before he could process the question she had asked him, Demil bought a technique called “Basic Scan.” It only cost her a single point, and it was definitely worth the price.

When she used it on him, it looked like words were floating around his body: “Geb: level-seventeen Construction-Magus.” was directly above his head, “Sexual History: None, castrated before maturity, had his penis removed two months ago, regrew all of his genitals ten hours ago.” hovered around his left shoulder, and “Current thoughts: ‘Goddess asked me a question, I need to immediately answer her… Oh no, I can’t remember what she said! She’s staring at me! Ah, her eyes are so beautiful… wait, I need to focus; I definitely can’t let her catch me looking at her perfectly-shaped breasts.” was directly in-front of his face.

The moment she realized how ridiculously overpowered that ability was, she quickly upgraded it all the way to advanced without hesitation. After spending five skill-points, she still had three left. Not only could she literally read his mind, it was even possible to look into his deepest memories: at things that he might have repressed or forgotten.

There was a hell of a lot more information, but the main purpose was so that she could increase the scanning distance to over a mile away; and allow her to investigate people or monsters, that were more than twice her level. Unfortunately, there were plenty of limitations and faults, it was a huge mana-drain depending on the target and how far away they were; anyone who was a more powerful telepath than her, would completely break the ability as well.

Demil was laughing hysterically as she read Geb’s mind; he was surprisingly innocent, despite being nearly thirty years older than her. He was relatively weak, so it didn’t take very much effort for her to completely read his thoughts.

However, she suddenly noticed something which made her become deathly serious. Then she turned to Angu, and finally used the ‘Status’ feature to make sure; she growled “Oh, for fuck’s sake!” before yelling at the flustered fox-man “Hurry up, we need to leave!”

Unlike the other three members of her ‘special’ party, she was still capable of feeling fear. When she read “Bounty: Five-thousand Mammon favor.” it wasn’t difficult for her to figure out the situation.

That trap had alerted its owner, and she had attracted the attention of a very powerful and mysterious enemy. She quickly boarded her giant proto-dragon, put on a pair of pink, demon-silk panties and sports-bra; then she tossed Geb a black-mithril fiber robe: It was a much thicker, opaque version of the one she usually wore, and it hung down to his ankles, but it did fit.

While Angu was running northeast at around forty-miles per hour, Demil was making sure that all of her weapons were loaded and ready to use. Seeing his Goddess cleaning the strange devices, the curious fox gathered up his courage and asked “Do you need any assistance?”

The coffee-table that she was hunched over, was made out of magnetite and steel; so even with the wind and shaking, she could rest the various types of mithril on it, without them rolling off. It was incredibly important for anyone who used firearms, to understand how to properly clean, load, and assemble their guns.

As she took a sip of the sugary brown-liquid, which was known as ‘carbonated soda,’ the tigress looked up at the worried man and answered “Sure, reach into that orange bag over there.” while pointing to the area behind her sofa-chair. Then she held up one of her twenty-millimeter black-mithril pistols, and told him “There should be three or four weapons that look like this, but smaller; pick the one that fits in your hand the best and bring it over.”

Geb grabbed a standard black, dwarven-steel, nine-mil handgun and brought it over to the table. He wanted to stand-up, but the air-resistance was too severe, so he sat across from Demil and said “I have retrieved the item Goddess.” while bowing his head and placing it in an empty space.

She snickered and explained “These are called firearms, and they can even make weaklings like you, incredibly powerful. Hehe~ don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to shoot soon enough, but first you need to understand the basics; I don’t want you accidentally killing yourself or anyone else. The first rule of guns, is to never aim them at someone you give a shit about, cause all it takes is a little twitch of your finger, then… ‘Bang!’ they’re dead, hahaha!”

He was slightly startled when she suddenly changed from being extremely serious, to ridiculously excited. However, since he had been a slave for so many years, he knew how to take orders. Geb was more daunted by the beautiful, and barely clothed, woman in-front of him; than the deadly weapon that she was teaching him how to use.

Of course, most fur-less humanoids, and elves, were usually repulsed by full-on ‘beast-races’ of the third-ring. Actually, even attraction between different clans, who simply had slightly different hair and skin color, was typically considered a fetish; outside of the country of Alfirin, interspecies-sex was quite often considered a taboo and punishable by death.
Six-hundred and fifty miles to the northeast of them, Coffee was sleeping soundly when he was rudely awakened by a burning sensation in his right hand. It took him a few seconds to read “Demil: Guys, be careful, don’t forget that we aren’t the only other ‘players’ out there! Not only that, but there are plenty of enemy factions as well… one of which is apparently hunting me. Don’t worry about me Honey-Bear~ I have plenty of toys to play with… I’m talking about weapons, cause masturbating would be kinda awkward at the moment. Oh yea, Rachael and Lexi, I can see you guys in Quena; you two better not fuck up my quest! I’m serious, that village better be there when I arrive!”

However, the moment he finished, there was another ringing sound in his mind, followed by a deafening, ominous bellow outside: shaking the entire sandstone manor. Then a notice appeared in front of him “The Tier-One World-Boss, Sobek, has awakened! The Forsaken Oasis is temporarily considered a dungeon-zone! No players or NPCs will be able to enter or leave the premises until the event has ended!”

The ceiling of his recently constructed room began to collapse, so he quickly grabbed his giant mithril-glaive, and sprinted out of the large archway. Fortunately or not, the storm had passed, but the sand was still hard and wet; the moonlight was relatively dim, and most of the enemy was submerged, so he wasn’t able to see it until reaching the shore.

Even though the lake was a three-hundred meters from east to west, it was shaped like an oval, with only fifty-meters from north to south. That wasn’t a very great distance when referring to bodies of water but… crocodiles didn’t usually grow that large.

Well, he was friends with a dragon that was three-miles long, so witnessing the massive, brown-scaled, magical reptile glaring at him with its six golden eyes, wasn’t really that big of a deal. Hell, just a whiff of its mana, or a swift visual scan of its aura, made Coffee smirk; he didn’t feel very threatened by it.

Then he suddenly realized a huge flaw in his original assessment: He was in a level-zero mana-zone. Most demons couldn’t survive in such a place, because they would typically starve to death, but dragons were special. That incredibly thick hide was able to prevent the creature’s aura from leaking out, the same way that the bear-man’s dryadic-bark could contain his mana-pool.

If he had access to “Advanced Scan,” he would have been able to notice that the beast was a level-fifty water-magus; and that the colossal crocodile’s current thoughts were “What the hell is this bastard? He’s small, but feels slightly dangerous… I won’t underestimate him just because of his size. Ugh, my old wound still aches, but I need to go back to the Shattered Sea while I have the chance. That ‘thing’ is still out there somewhere… That little elf over there smells delicious, just not enough to risk my life to taste.”

The brown-furred warrior stood upright, with a confident expression on his face, slamming the flat end of his pole-arm into the relatively solid ground, and yelling “Sobek! My name is Coffee, of the Kodiak-Tribe! I challenge you to a duel! Will you flee like a cowardly lizard, or fight me like a true dragon?!” Coincidentally, the ancient creature had been around long enough to understand Lorthon.

He actually wanted to fight the giant monster head-on, in an honorable battle. However, the shrewd beast had interpreted his words as a taunt, and assumed that there were more enemies that he wasn’t aware of… or perhaps traps were set-up in the event that his obvious provocation was seen through: The massive crocodile was overthinking it way too much.

Sobek eventually bellowed “I won’t fall for your petty tricks!” as he quickly used nearly sixty-percent of his entire mana-pool to create twenty-meter tall tidal-waves in every direction, aside from the south. His gamble was that the overwhelming, magically-infused assault would severely injure or kill any of the hidden enemies along the shores; he could tell that Coffee was a water-mage just from glancing at his gentle, silverish-blue aura, so he knew that it was unlikely that the attack would cause him any harm.

It was the classic tragedy of a strategist trying to outmaneuver an idiot. There were plenty of deaths… but all of them were miscellaneous plants and animals on the shore or in the lake.

After a few seconds, the bear-warrior asked “Is that a yes? I mean, it’s not like I have any personal grudges against you, so I would feel kinda bad if I killed you without a warning. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to have a serious fight with a dragon; though, you’re probably the weakest one I’ve ever met. Actually, aren’t you just giant crocodile with above-average intelligence? Well, whatever, can we start now?”

At that moment, Sobek realized that he was either facing an incredibly powerful being, or an extremely arrogant weakling; either way, he still wasted a ridiculously large quantity of mana, which had taken him over a hundred years to accumulate. Fortunately for him, there was a brown-furred humanoid in-front of him, who could not only fully replenish, but also dramatically increase his power; the only problem was that he had to eat the little man.

The colossal beast roared “Fine, I’ve finally awoken after all this time, I could use a bit of exercise!” as it surged forward, like a fifty-meter long, thirty-foot wide, and two-story tall torpedo. Using water-manipulation, it was fairly easy for the massive reptile to propel itself, but Coffee could use the same technique to dodge; the difference was the amount of power required to move.

Of course, the crazy bear-tank charged directly towards the monster’s mouth, colliding on the shore. Using that huge and heavy glaive, he actually managed to stab the thick mithril-blade, into the creature’s leathery-scales.

With the ridiculous amount of momentum that was built up, he was able to pole-vault a dozen feet into the air, and land on Sobek’s snout; He then continued to sprint toward its left cluster of eyes. Immediately after he slashed one of the three golden orbs open, yellow-acid exploded towards him. It didn’t make a direct hit, but his right shoulder was sizzling rapidly.

Coffee didn’t have a chance to attack a second time, because a huge and powerful blast of water, quickly knocked him into the lake: though he skidded across the surface a few times beforehand. It was then that he noticed a huge scar on the dragon’s underbelly, completely unprotected by the armor-like brown-scales.

The Kodiak-tribesman was honorable to a fault, but not foolish enough to ignore such an obvious weakness while fighting a giant monster. With his glaive held close to his chest and its blade extended a meter further than his head, he manipulated the currents and sent his entire body soaring upward; without any resistance at all, he had created a gaping hole in the beast’s left side, perforating an artery.

A massive amount of blood was almost instantaneously released from the wound, and he was quickly expelled from the cavity: before he was able to cause anymore harm. Sobek then sealed his own wounds; he couldn’t regenerate them with nature-magic, but it wasn’t very difficult to prevent himself from bleeding to death.

Coffee began to swiftly torpedo around the crocodile’s enormous underbelly, and use his glaive to stab or slash anywhere from the lower-abdomen, to the chest and neck. Floating in such a deep lake, the colossal water-dragon was actually at a huge disadvantage against the relatively small bear.

Such simple maneuvers didn’t even require a hundredth of his mana-pool, and the giant couldn’t defend himself with his usual array of spells, because the aquatic-warrior would either dodge or deflect them with ease. The biggest problem was that the massive reptile was unable to see his enemy, all he could do was use expand his aura a bit and attempt to ‘feel’ the disturbances; however, the opponent was moving too fast, and he usually didn’t know where he was, until after a few scales were cracked or broken.

He eventually came to the decision that he should have made from the very beginning: flee. There was too much risk and not enough reward, so his only logical option was to run the hell away.

Within a moment, that gigantic body had completely turned around to face the north and quickly swam onto the wet-sand. Unlike a few hundred years ago, he wasn’t prideful enough to fight a battle where he would certainly be injured, lose his life, or become crippled.

Coffee was dumbfounded as he floated to the surface and watched the ridiculously fast crocodile escape, leaving a huge trail of crimson-blood in its wake. In fact, the entire lake was dyed red, and most of the fish or other animals that were living in the water, had suffocated and died during the short conflict.

It wasn’t as if the bear-man could chase after a giant lizard, that was sprinting at over a hundred miles-per-hour. However, the beast only made it a single kilometer before something unexpected happened; it crashed into a transparent mana-barrier.

Fortunately for the aquatic-reptile, it wasn’t a physical object, but an incredibly dense air-pressure: which pushed its huge scaly-hide backwards a few hundred meters. A thunderous voice resounded through the skies “No players or NPCs are allowed to leave The Forsaken Oasis until the event ends!”

It was essentially a giant colosseum, where no one could leave until some seemingly god-like being had decided that the fight was over. Sobek bellowed “Damn you! This… this is just like the last time! Who are you?! What have I done to offend you to such an extent!?” frantically, as the terrified crocodile stared up at the Crescent Moon.

While the dragon was freaking out, Coffee casually swam to shore and rested his blue-jewel encrusted pole-arm, on his right shoulder. He was still at around fifty-percent of his maximum internal mana-pool. The bear-man wasn’t at at full-power before the fight started, because he wasn’t able to completely control his aura with only the lowest echelon of that dryadic technique: Most of his body was still from his original race as well.

Sobek had become frenzied by a combination of fear and terror; he glared at the three-meter tall humanoid with his five remaining eyes, and snarled. Then without trying to think any longer, the crocodile charged at his maximum speed, but so did his opponent; instead of attacking with his unreasonably large maw, the dragon used its twenty-meter long tail as a whip, and attempted to swat the tiny bear.

Coffee smirked, as he swung down his glaive with as much physical force as he could muster, and used the water in the sand below his feet as leverage against his blood and muscles. It consumed a huge amount of mana and was incredibly dangerous, but ultimately paid-off.

The lizard’s scales and hide were ridiculously tough; however, they weren’t nearly as hard or durable as the mithril of his blade and staff. Between the two opposing forces, the kinetic energy was so high, that the impact sounded like a thunderclap.

Even though it was merely the thin tip of Sobek’s tail, it still had veins, arteries, and bones: all of which were painfully severed. However, the truly devastating effect of that blow, was that Coffee’s aura was able to penetrate the beast’s mana-pool.

Since the dragon was solely focused on offense, he didn’t even consider reinforcing his internal defenses. From that relatively tiny amputation, a horrifying and gruesome effect was created; billions of capillaries exploded throughout its body, seemingly at random. Combined with the fact that the giant’s heart-rate was abnormally fast, thousands of gallons of blood oozed out of its circulatory system.

There was nothing that Sobek could do; if it had been a major artery or vein like before, it would have been simple to stop the bleeding with a bit of water-manipulation. With so many wounds, all he could do was bellow in terror “No! I-I can’t die! Gah, it hurts… Grah, what did I do to deserve this?! Father, save me, please!”

It was pretty embarrassing for Coffee to watch the massive crocodile squirming in agony, but he didn’t have the capability to put the beast out of its misery. His body was locked in place, his fur was drenched in copious amounts of blood, but at least half of it belonged to him; the bear-man was in a similar situation to the giant lizard, but much more severe.

The aquatic-warrior’s heart, lungs, intestines, and every other vital organ except his brain had been torn to shreds along with his muscles and skin: plus, his bones were all fractured at the very least. Using what little mana he had left to keep himself from literally falling apart, and depending on his various dryad parts, he was able to maintain consciousness for just long enough to write a message.

“Coffee: Demi… I’m sorry, I know you told me to be careful. Heh~ well, when have I ever been afraid of something like death? You don’t know this but, my brother told me some secrets before, about what happens after we die… If this doesn’t work, and I stay dead for good, don’t be sad. I swear that even if it takes me a million years, I will definitely return to you! Hahahaha~ looks like my time is up now… Oh yea, I feel like I’m forgetting something really important? Ah, that’s it! I lov-”

Before he was able to finish writing, the dying Sobek slammed the remainder of his thick tail onto the fragile bear-man. Coffee’s entire body exploded into a puddle of crimson liquid, which splattered out from each side of the brown scales; all that remained were the dryadic organs and bark, plus lots of bone-fragments, mana-crystals, and a shredded pelt.

The chipped and bent mithril-glaive had been knocked into the lake, lost, but not forgotten by the many fox-tribe witnesses; most importantly was that little Sand-Elf, carrying a tiny fennec in her arms. She had a grim smile on her face, as she muttered “What a waste… Well, at least we finally have that damn dragon’s carcass. Hah~ it was such an impressive body too, I’m sure that Lord Beelzebub would have given us tons of favor for it. Hehehehe~ but we finally got what we came for! Ah~ we’re definitely gonna get promoted with such a grand offering… but how the hell are we supposed-to move the fuckin thing?”

(Proofread by Thoeberus)

Next Chapter

7 thoughts on “Questing V1, Chapter 7: Foreshadowing

  1. Pingback: Chapter Six: Favor | Immortal Soul

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