Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Volume 1 - Chapter 19 - Posterity 3

"There he is!" The catwoman points at a figure in full plate armour on the other side of the three-headed dog. The youth readies his aim at the figure, "wait, wait, Rick, I think that three-headed dog is the boss here. Let them deal with it for now."

"That's right, he is called [Cerebus]. He's located on one of only two proper islands within this lake of lava." Niji compose himself before interjecting, "The island he is on is just big enough to fit around 40 people, so we were never able to overwhelm it with numbers."

Someone moves to the spot where Tabeus was at previously and is directing that section of the raid as the conversation continues. The raid is divided into 3 groups, spaced evenly apart, that's surrounding the [Cerebus]. Each group is further broken into two subgroups, the inner group to deal with the [Cerebus] while the outer group deals with minions. The formation allows at least one group to always be able to target the back of the [Cerebus] at the expense of being exposed from all sides.

"What about the 2nd island?" Kun turns away from the fight and looks at the scruffy looking rogue.

"It's beyond the island the [Cerebus] is guarding. And no, we already tried sneaking past him, he ignores everything else to hunt whoever's trying to approach it. With the lack of a safe foothold and a way to defend themselves, anyone that tried to do so died."

"Damn it, let's help them out for now."


Rick clicks his tongue in annoyance as he takes aim at a [Magmahound] that's approaching the [Cerebus] raid from the side. "A little help Kun?"

"Got it. «Spell Modifier»!"


"«Aim Shot»!"

The [Magmahound] notices something is approaching it and turns to confront the threat. It sees a clear, slightly blurred something a split second before it enter its dark sullen eye. The beast roars before throwing its head back and forth while thrashing about, magma seeping from its wounded eye socket. The raid fighting the [Cerebus] notices the commotion but didn't care when it's obvious the beast doesn't pose a threat. The [Magmahound] struggles a little while longer before it stops moving and slowly starts to sink into the lava.

"Nice shot, Rick-ni~"


The rest of the raid looks at the scene with slackened-jaws. It's the first time they've seen anyone taking down a mob here in one shot.

"Holy shit, nice shot Rick. How the hell did you get its eye?" Bell gives the youth a slap on his back.
"Eh... It was a fluke, I was just aiming for its body."

The raid turn their heads toward him, frozen in their shocked expression.

"Fluke or not, that was a one shot kill." Niji starts scratching his cheek. "We didn't even think these beasts follow conventional weak-"

"Till! «Spell Modifier»!"

The girl with the aquamarine hair turns around and faces the [Firehound] that's approaching them. "Hmm... let see if this works~ Please put up a wall everyone~"


*shin shin shin shin sHIFUUMUGAN *

"«Ice Wall»~"

*gan gan*

"Sh- «Earth Pillar»!"
"«Earth Pillar»!"

An extremely thick and sturdy wall of ice is formed under the [Firehound], but it is still no match for the lava's heat. Cracks form in the wall before entire sections of it flies about like fireworks, sending shards, steam, and water in every direction. The [Firehound] tries to dodge but it still got hit by the random shrapnel and debris. 2 [Mage]s managed to react in time and raise defensive walls to protect the raid.
"Oh shit! Move it!"


Everyone starts running to the other side of the platform as the earthen walls' weight cause the platform to tip.

*shii paaasssshhhhaaaa*

On the other side of the wall where the [Firehound] is, the apparition dives into the lava to drive the water and steam out of its form, causing a high splash of lava to fly up.
"You are kidding me right? Use water! Kun, large area spread!"

"Got it! «Spell Modifier»!"

"«Chorus Strike»!"

Bell runs straight toward the earthen walls and does an overhand slash with her halberd, instead of cutting into the wall, the wall turns into particles of light before forming crescent blades of water that starts flying toward the 3 meter high wall of lava that's heading their way. The blades of water slow down mid flight, causing the various blades to merge. The flowing blob of water suddenly bursts outward in a wide, even spray.


The lava wave solidifies quickly as an eruption of steam rises from the collision. Unexpectedly, the wall of lava turns dull gray like the platforms while expanding rapidly, threatening to slam down like a flyswatter.

"What... no wa-"
"DAMN IT ALL! «Linear Thrust»!"
"Ah! «Aura Slash»!"
"«Air Lance»~"
"«Earth Lance»!" x3


The melees were the first to react since they weren't busy doing anything aside from watching, using their few long range skills to strike at the top of the newly formed looming wall of death.
Most of the ranges join in as soon as they snapped out of it.

"One more time, Till! «Spell Modifier»!"

*ffffuuuussshhhHOOOKAN ppaasssshhhhhhhaaaaaaa*

"«Air Hammer»~!"

The dull gray wall swings backward toward an upright position before tipping over backward. The [Firehound] that just got out of the lava doesn't even react as the wall spells out its doom. Another splash of lava flies up into the air, fortunately it is flying away from the raid.

"Oh my gods..."
"This isn't good for my heart..."
"That was unbelievable..."
"Wait... we survived... WE SURVIVED! This is the first time!"
"You are right!"

As the majority of the raid celebrates, Bell grabs Till and Kun and heads to the end of the platform. Niji on the other hand turns toward the [Cerebus] with a frown on his face. After the cheers died down, Niji blows out an angry snort and heads toward the group that's at the edge of the platform.

"They noticed us, and started taunting and shit, let's kill them first and then... wait, what are you guys doing?"

"shhhhhhhh..." Rick holds an index finger to his lip as he whispers.

There are various odd, protruding clumps on the platform that is obviously unnatural. Following the line of sight of the group, Niji notices a small globule of lava about 5 cm in diameter, with bits of dull gray peeking through, that's floating in the air. Everyone, save for Rick, is kneading their brows in concentration.

"What's going on?" Niji lean into Rick to whisper his question.

"Bell started saying something about only water expanding and cooling too fast and something, then she dragged these two to get some samples. The lava got stuck to the platform after Till took some out and cooled it, so now they are making a usable sample."

The floating ball of lava gradually solidifies as it spins slowly in the air. A few more minutes pass before a slightly deformed ball of dull gray floats in the air.

"Go for it, Till. Everyone, step back."

Rick and Niji moves out of the way while Bell steps to the side.



The ball of solidified lava drops with a metallic clang after Till sends it flying onto a nearby empty
spot on the platform.


Kun breathes a sigh of relief as he wipes his forehead with his sleeve.


"«Water Beads»." The catwoman splashes the malformed orb with some water before picking it up off the floor. "Huh... it's cool to the touch... and it actually grew..."

Everyone, saves for Till, looks at her with a questioning gaze.

"Really~?!" Till runs up and grabs the sample out of Bell's hand and inspects it. Polishing it, knocking it, and staring at it with a thoughtful look.


Niji grabs their attention with a cough, "sorry for interrupting, but," pointing toward the [Cerebus], "those guys noticed us, Keely even PMed me to tell us to scram."

Rick scoffs at the remark, "ha! I oughta shoot him in the ass as well!"

"Incoming!" A warning roars from the other side of the platform.

"We will worry about this later, we can finish them off at anytime." Bell starts running toward the approaching [Magmahound].

"Don't worry about it, Niji, they couldn't take down [Cerebus] before, there's no way they can do it now. Not with us here ready to wipe them out." Kun follows the felinoid with quick steps.

Rick rotates his wrists outward with spread out hands and gives a shrug and walks off, followed by Till who's still playing around with the orb.

"Just how easy going are you people..."

* * * * *

The melees have managed to bait the [Magmahound] by the time the group arrives. The range users are not attacking in earnest, but instead focusing on defense and helping the melees out by interrupting attacks by the beast or distracting it when the melees strike. The raid have unconsciously started putting into practice the tactics that were taught previously by Bell and Kun.


"«Aim Shot»!" Rick sends an arrow right into the left eye of the [Magmahound] as soon as he's in range.

The beast roars in pain before swiping at the melees blindly.

"Damn it, guess I can't do it without Kun."

*gan* *gan*

"«Earth Lance»!" x2

*gao gao*

Two [Mage]s send a pair of stalactite into the supporting legs of the [Magmahound] as it attacks randomly, causing it to fall flat on its abdomen. [Guardian]s quickly surround the beast to stab and tangle its limbs while the melees go to town with it.

Bell and Kun look at the raid with a smirk since they don't even get the chance to join the action.

"What... you guys are done already?" Niji ran with his weapons drawn, but it seems like help wasn't necessary. He squints his eyes, "we only leveled once since then, what changed?"



The [Cerebus]'s roar rips through the area. Plumes of a gas spew forth from lava everywhere, while it breathes out fire from each of its mouths.

"Damn it, [Poison]!"

"«Breeze»~" The girl casually sweeps the poison away with a refreshing gust of air as she continues to play with the misshapen orb in her hand.

"Damn it, can't risk waiting longer! Kun!"

The young man gives a nod, "«Spell Modifier»!"


"«Aim Shot»!" Rick sends a carefully aimed shot toward the rear end of Keely

The rampaging [Cerebus] unexpectedly starts spinning after using up its fire breaths, it starts biting with its multiple heads while lashing with its long tail like a whip. It trips numerous people that happen to be attacking it from its rear, one of the people tripped also happens to be Keely. As he flips backward from having his legs knocked out from underneath him, the position where his back end used to be momentarily became his front end. The resulting *KAN* and pitiful *Oooo* surprises everyone, including the [Cerebus].

Rick and Kun cover their crotch instinctively while Bell makes a sympathetic grimace. Till is still busy with the lump of solidified lava thus missing the sight. The rest of the raid look at the three and piece together the puzzle. Males among them squirms with their thighs squeezed together while the females either sympathetically turn their head away or make a grimace as well.

*pan pan*

"hahahahahah, AHAHAHAHAHAHA."

Kun claps his hands together as though he's praying at a funeral. Rick starts laughing so hard that he has to fall onto the floor and roll onto his back.

The [Cerebus] is the first to recover from the unexpected scene and slams its large, heavy paw onto the prone Keely, squishing him like a beetle. The rest of the raid reacts too slowly, missing their chance to save their leader. Panic follows as different people try to take command. With Tabeus gone, there isn't a suitable raid leader left in the raid. The [Cerebus] slowly, but surely, kills off the raiders one by one.

"Get up, Rick! Snipe it while we still have the chance."

The still giggling youth struggles to get up and pair up with Kun to take shots at the [Cerebus]'s head. The rest of the raid get into formation in case any new enemies shows up and prepare for the [Cerebus] once it finishes dealing with the other raid.





"Damn it, it isn't doing jack!" Rick curses as each of his «Aim Shot» bounces off the [Cerebus]'s hide, its rapid turning motions making the invisible arrows miss their marks.

*gan shin shin shin shin*
*kan kan kan*

Behind the two, the raid have engaged with a [Firehound] and [Magmahound] successively. Due to their newfound comfort in dealing with the beasts, the raid didn't even sound off a warning, allowing the two to snipe at the boss uninterrupted.

"Incoming [Cerebus]!" The youth fires one last shot at the [Boss] before retreating into the formation with Kun.


*basha bash basha basha baSHA BASHA BASHA*

The [Cerebus] gives off another air splitting roar after smashing one last warrior into bits. It starts running toward them over the lava at a rapid pace, causing splashes of lava to fly in its wake.

"Range! Kill its momentum! Kun and Till, you guys are the last line of defense!"

"«Ice Wall»!"
"«Ice Wall»!"

*shin shin fuuuuuOOO*

"«Aim Shot»!"


"«Earth Lance»!"
"«Icicle Squall»!"


*gan* *shin shin shin shin ssshhhhhhhhiiiiiii*

Walls of ice are raised in the distance in front of the charging canine, chunks fly off before exploding from the difference in temperature, making the shards similar to flak. The beast has to turn to avoid them, allowing an arrow to strike it in the head. Unfortunately, it bounces off the canine of the canine before pouncing like a tiger to leap over the stalactite and fingers of icicles heading its way.

[Note: The original line was making a pun off "canine" (the fang/tooth) which is read as "Tiger Tooth" and jumping like a tiger. Since the pun can't survive as is, I use canine (the tooth) with canine (the animal), the second canine has been added by me in order to save the pun :P]

"«Spell Modifier»!"

"«Rising Tempest»~"


The massive canine slows down on its descent as a long, sustained gust of air slams into the beast's body. Due to its tremendous size, it falls onto the platform with a *daaa* causing one side of the platform to dip into the lava as the other end raises. The 5 meter tall three-headed black dog, with glowing red-orange stripes and bright red eyes, stumbles forward with its landing since its timing and posture was destroyed by the burst of air.



One of the melees near where the [Cerebus] lands lost his footing and tumbles into the lava.


*«Earth Pillar!»"

One of the [Mage]s reacts quickly and summons an earthen wall to balance out the sudden weight and force.

*pyu pyu pyu pyu*

A rain of invisible arrows flies into the face the of the beast, who starts shaking its head with closed eyes to protect itself as it tries to get back up on all fours. Rick was already in a stable position since he was using «Aim Shot» priorly, so he just kept the same position and used «Rapidfire» when the beast fell.

"Back! Back!" Niji gives an order as he quickly moves toward the center of the platform. The platform bounces back from the lava, tipping it into the opposite direction. The [Mage] quickly releases the earthen wall, allowing the platform to calm down. Several members fall onto to the ground due to the unstable footing. Fortunately, they still have tens of meters from the other end of the platform, so no one else fell into the lava.

"Okay, Niji, how the hell are we supposed to kill this giant son of a bitch?!" Rick stops shooting, gets up from his crouching position, and runs toward the double [Guardian] line formation they had used on the previous section of the dungeon.

"That isn't a son of a bitch, that's just a bitch."


"There'd be something dangling if it's a he, wait, what the hell are you making me say. Nevermind, just hit it til it's dead!"


Bell, Kun and Till look at Niji with half-closed eyes.

"What? That's how we always fought it."

"Didn't you guys think maybe that's why you guys failed everytime...?" The felinoid rolls her eyes.

"No plans other than hit it...?"

"Bell-ne, are they idiots~?"


The [Cerebus] growls in anger after it's up on its legs again, slowly advancing toward the formation.

"We will try and think of something, do what you usually do, gods be damned, these people! Let's go, Till, I'm not too sure. Nyehnyehnyeh!" Bell moves to a side of the formation while mumbling and hissing.

"Man, I'm not too bright myself... but you guys seriously didn't have a plan?" Rick shakes his head as he readies his bow and walks away.

"But... that's how these games work, no?" An exasperated Niji protests.

"I'm not sure about you, but even in a game, I will use everything possible to win." Kun joins the others as he leave Niji to handle the rest of the raid. Rick is already peppering the heads of the [Cerebus] with a barrage of arrows. It keeps swinging its head and swiping into air in annoyance.

"3 groups! You guys know the drill! Let's do this!"

* * * * *

*haa haa*

"Damn it, anything else we can try?" Rick slumps his shoulders as he catches his breath.

He had been paired with Kun and then Bell as they tried to find some exploitable weakness on the beast, but it had been a fruitless endeavour. Arrows to [Cerebus]'s face were easily deflected or shaken off once it's on its feet. Bell's attempts to give it a bomb suppository were foiled by the supple and agile tail. Trying to aim for the underside of its paws where dogs usually have soft pads was suicidal once they saw the metal plates that were fitted on the underside of each paw.

The group also volunteered to take down minions that showed up to allow the rest of the raid to pin it down with harassing attacks and interfere with the [Cerebus]'s movement.

Till was busy saving anyone that got sent flying by sending them back onto the platform instead of into the lava. On the occasions where the canine would roar and cause poisonous gas to bubble forth from the lava, she would generate a breeze to get rid of it.


Growling, the beast spins all around, biting with its different heads and lashing with its tail. The raid planned ahead after seeing it in action in the distance. [Guardian]s drop to their knees and anchor their position while raising their shields. Everyone else lays on the ground behind these sanctuaries.


Sparks flies as teeth and tail pound away at the shields, but no one budges. The 4 of them happens to be ducking together at this time.

"Hey Bell, how about sending a block of ice into its mouth when it tries to breath fire again?"

"The ice won't explode, there isn't enough temperature difference unlike with the lava. But that isn't a bad idea, to have something explode inside its mouth. Seriously, what happened to you since school ended? It's like your IQ went up to triple digits all of the sudden."

"Hmm... actually, I can do that. Let's use Rick's idea, won't hurt to try at this point. Rick, Till, going to need you two to somehow keep its mouth open."

The [Cerebus] stops spinning when it sees that there's no effect whatsoever, save for the fact that its tail is a little tired.


Taking a deep breath, it holds up its heads before swinging them forward and releasing 3 cones of flame into a section of the raid.


An earthen wall pops up before the group of [Guardian]s,

"«Aim Shot!»!"
"«Air Lance»~!"

*zin... zin... zin...*

An invisible arrow flies toward the head that's exposed to the group. Sensing the incoming projectile, it stops breathing fire, closes its eyes and shakes itself. A buffet of air slams this head against the middle head, holding it in place while specks of light flies into the beast's mouth.
The [Cerebus]'s middle head stop breathing fire as well as it tries to push it's right head into its usual position.

"«Icicle Squall»!"

*s..in ...in ... shin*

The muffled sound of ice forming is barely audible above the last cone of flame breathing out from the [Cerebus]'s left head, which also stops breathing out flame abruptly.


The middle and the left head swings their heads up, howling before taking a deep breath, the right head breaths out fire for a moment before shaking wildly. A small amount of steam escapes from its nostrils and mouth. Seeing the unusual scene, Niji pops up.



All the melees roar and rush forward to attack the beast's front limbs.

"No! Get back!"


Bell's voice came too late. She jumps backward as did the rest of the group, barely avoiding the spinning machine of death.



A large portion of the raid goes flying by the impacts, bitten to death, or have the [Cerebus]'s tail crush them where they stand.

"You IDIOT! Couldn't you have waited?" Bell's screaming at Niji who Till happens to save when he flew over their head's.

*haa haa*

Till is breathing heavily as her MP has reached rock bottom. The continuous casting of various wind spells since the fight began didn't allow her a chance to recover.

"But but but..."


Kun steps in front of Bell to stop her with his hand up and points behind her.


She gives off a loud hiss before turning towards the beast.

"Okay people, evacuate if you don't want to lose any items! Use those warp scrolls now!" Kun starts shouting.

The few surviving raid members are shaking and looking at Niji in confusion.

"You too, Niji!"


"GO! We will buy some time"

*pyu pyu pyu pyu pyu pyu pyu pyu*

Rick starts shooting and running as the beast tries to resume its attack. Bell dashes up right next to him and shoves her already collapsed halberd into his pack and starts running toward the beast.

"What the hell are are you doing, Bell?"

"Warp back with my halberd, if I'm going to die anyways, I might as well do a rodeo, I always wanted to try one!"

"You crazy bitch..."

"GO ALREADY! «Spell Amplifier»... «Icicle Squall»!"

*yun* *yun* *yun*

The sound of people activating their scrolls can be heard. Unexpectedly, icicles the size of large trees surrounds the beast.

"What the hell, Kun?" Rick looks up in disbelief, Niji and a few others look up as well.

The icicles slam down into the platform as the [Cerebus] dodges deftly while breathing out cones of flame to neutralize those that it fails to dodge. The icicles' impact causes the platform to wobble violently.

"«Nyetal Claws»... nyanyanyanyaNNNNYYAAAAAAA." Bell's body shape changes, with her entire body shrinking while her legs thicken ever so slightly.

*byun shi byun KA byun KA byun KA byun KA byun KA byun shi*

The catwoman jumps onto the front leg of the [Cerebus], digging her claws in. As soon as the beast reacts by raising that leg, she jumps off of it and onto a falling icicle one after another, going ever higher until she lands behind the beast's heads at the root of the necks. Like with its leg, she digs her claws into its flesh on its back.

"Ho-" Before Niji or anyone can say anything, they start warping toward the front of the [Barghest Dungeon].


The beast swings its heads and paws wildly to try and dislodge the intruder, sending the icicle shards flying. Kun immediately releases the spell causing them to fade away while he remains in a crouching position.


Rick dives and wraps Till within both arms at the last possible moment as a stray paw strike flies at her.

*KAN* *gokin*

A horrible sound of bone snapping follows the sound of impact. The duo is sent flying off the platform.

"Damn it. Hell, since we are going to die anyways... YOU TWO GO CHECK OUT THAT ISLAND! I know you are still alive and kicking, Rick, HOLD HER TIGHT!"

A small movement of Rick's hand that's opening and closing is barely visible, but the message got through.

"«Air Hammer»! «Air Hammer»! «Air Hammer»!"

*fuuoo kan* *fuuoo kan* *fuuoo kan*

Kun stands up from the still wobbling platform and sends the two flying toward the second island, using Rick as a cushion for Till. Rick would be dead in any case, but at least there's a chance of Till landing safely and she can at least recover some items to warp away with. If there happens to be treasure in that second island, even better.


"NNNNYYAAAAAAAHHHHAAAHHAAAA* Bell is holding on for dear life with a crazed look in her eyes.


The [Cerebus] stops moving suddenly when it realizes that someone is near the island that it always protects. It gets ready to sprint back by lowering its center of gravity.


"«Elemental Dance»!"
"«Spell Amplifier»... «Earth Pillar»!"

*supa supa supa supa supa*

Bell digs in with the claws on her leg while pounding away with the claws on her arms.
A giant wall of earth raises from the lava, going tens of meters high and blocking almost the entire width of the lava lake.

"We aren't done with you yet little doggy! NYAHAHHAHAAHAHAHA"

* * * * *

*haa haa*

Just a little more...!

"Hold on Rick-ni, we are almost there."


Please be enough!


*fyu* *GAshan*


I involuntarily swing backward and ended up facing the ceiling unexpectedly as Rick uses himself to cushion my impact.

"Rick-ni, Rick-ni! Are you okay?!"

I quickly get off of him and feed him a potion.

"oww... wow... we... survived that... ha... ha..."

I look at where we were a few moments ago, the entire area has been blocked off by an impossibly -no, unbelievably, there's nothing impossible here- large wall. Looking around, I notice a single hill... -a large mound?- with a cavern.

Reaching into his pouch, I quickly grab two [Warp Scroll]s out and help him to his feet. I kneel down, wrap my right arm on his waist while putting his left arm over my shoulder. After checking that we have a secure footing, I stuff one of the vellums into his hand.

"We are going to check that cave out and then warp out right away. If there's an enemy, warp away without me okay? I'll throw my valuables at you at the last moment."


"No buts, you are not in a shape to walk properly, let alone fight."

Rick-ni just gives me a wry smile and nods his head. We slowly make our way toward the cavern, there really is nothing else on the island save for cave, which is pretty weird.

As soon as we step inside the cave, I notice the sudden drop in temperature. There's even a coat of ice on the walls in here! There are various food stuff lining the backwall.


I hear a sound to the right, there's a young, dog-eared man with his eyes closed sitting on a stone bed. There seems to be people sleeping on the numerous stone beds in that side of the room. I drop Rick-ni's arm and points at the vellum in his hand. I can't say I expected this or that there's more enemies beyond the [Cerebus].

"Who goes the- wait... father?"

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the chapter!
    I thought they would of been strong enough to deal with the boss but I guess not, also that cliffhanger!


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