“Ahh, that is almost enough to make a girl fall in love.”
“We are both women you know.”
I cracked a smile and we both started laughing.
Once we had finally finished cracking up I stood back up and straightened my robes. “Alright, we had better get out of here. As much as I want to explore this place I wouldn’t want to keep all the entertainment to myself. I’m sure Chisomo and Sterling would be horribly disappointed if something exciting happened without them.”
A couple of hours later.
“Ummm… is that a dragon?” Asked Lanette.
“Nonesense, dragons have wings, and only one head. That is probably a hydra.”
“There is light coming from the door behind it.”
“Yeah, I noticed that too.”
“Do you think we can sneak by it?”
“Sneak by it? Why would we….” I paused before taking a deep breath and said, “No, there appears to be a gate over the exit. There even seems to be crank to open it. There is no way we could open that while the hydra is still alive. Maybe if there were the full four of us but with just us two it would be impossible.”
“Do you think we have a chance?”
“It is level 28. Plus monsters that big tend to be elite or boss monsters.” Then to clarify, “Team fights. Which means that it is probably strong enough to fight a full four or five people its level.”
“Then should we look for another way out? There were still some paths that we hadn’t explored yet.”
I was frowning as I looked at the monster. It was very strange. Not normal at all, or maybe too normal depending on your point of view. For a game this was a perfectly reasonable scenario. A boss at the end of a dungeon, it was traditional. However the other point of view was something that I had acquired from experience in this world and listening to Chisomo.
“But how did the hydra arrive here?” I asked.
“Its title is Guardian Beast.” Said Lanette. “That probably has something to do with it.”
“Yeah, but it all still seemed too convenient. Chisomo will probably use it as evidence for the theory that this place was created by the Sages. Either way it really isn’t relevant to the fight. But I think that we can win.”
Lanette and I had both been doing combat calculations in our head. “Really? Give me your reasonings.”
“Because it is big. Since it will have trouble moving in such cramped corders. With your speed and my range I believe we can out maneuver it and prevent it from being too much of a treat. If this was an outdoors fight I think we would have to run but here we have the advantage.”
Lanette nodded, “Yeah, I suppose that you are right about that. The only probably is the three heads. Keeping track of three heads will be difficult.”
“Right, I recommend that you use Shackles and Blur on it.” Those were two of Lanette’s curses. The first reduced movement speed and the second one effected vision making it harder to see. Lanette was still not able to use more than two curses in one fight effectively. Apparently the cost and effectiveness of the curses scaled as she leveled.
“Then I’m going to fill the room with fog.” I continued. “That will make it ever more difficult for the hydra.”
“Wind sight then?” Asked Lanette understanding my strategy.
“Precisely.” I responded. Wind sight was one of the buffs that I knew. It provided the ability to see without sight by sensing air currents. It was a powerful buff but didn’t actually see much use because of the huge ongoing mp cost. Even for me, somebody who specialized in having lots of bonus mp, I would only be able to keep the spell up on two people for a short period.
“Then I’m going to cast great inferno.”
“Great inferno and wind sight? Are you sure you are going to have enough mana?” She was right to be concerned. Great inferno was the most mp expensive spell that I knew. I learned it through Fire Elemental Master. Even casting it the slow and methodical way it took five minutes to cast and most of my mp. In return it was the most devastating spell in my arsenal.
“From my mental math I can use Quick Casting to cast in in three minutes. With the remaining mana I can still keep up your Wind Sight and summon the fog. Barely. However you are going to need to make sure it doesn’t notice me. I won’t have enough mp to also keep up Wind Sight on myself.”
She nodded, “Also the timing at the end of going to be difficult. Since you won’t have wind sight up your won’t be able to tell when I’m out of the room. I’ll have to know when you are almost done and escape then. But not too soon or the hydra will also be able to escape.”
“Anything else you think I am missing?”
“What if there are reinforcements?”
“I’ve put some air feelers out and haven’t sensed anything nearby. We should be fine in that regard.”
“And if the hydra has senses that can see through the mists?”
“Then we preform a full tactical retreat and create another plan. It won’t be able to follow us through the hallways very far.”
There were all kinds of problems related to monsters with unknown capabilities. All kinds of things could go wrong. However that was standard fair. Fighting monsters was always dangerous.
“Alright. If I make the call to retreat then make sure you follow.” Said Lanette.
“Roger.” I said giving a salute.
We waited until our minute timer on our clocks ticked over simultaneously and then I began to cast my spells. First wind sight on Lanette and the the fog to engulf the area.
As the final words of the fog spell left Veronica’s throat I rushed in to the room with the hydra. I needed to get its attention before its vision was obscured.
“Hey, big guy.” I yelled and its eyes all swiveled toward me. I threw a dagger straight at one of its six eyes. The head was easily able to dodge it but the dagger still managed to embed itself into the scaled flesh nearby.
Then I bite my thumb and as I tasted blood activated my first curse. Shackles was a dangerous curse which made the target fell like they were carrying a giant burden. The hydra immediately showed the effects as the curse kicked in, draining a little less than half of my mana.
One of the heads that had been trying to bite me instead crashed into the stone floor in front of me. The second head managed to adjust in time and I was able to easily evade that head. The third head however was farther back initially and had longer to prepare. Its large open mouth was squarely aimed at me.
However without the coordinated attack from the three heads the creature was too slow. I leaped up using the enhanced capability from my skills and jumped over the head. I landed on its neck and sliced other knife into the thick scaled hide.
I drew blood but knew that it wasn’t enough to kill this massive creature. I had to jump away before it could use its massive strength to throw me flying. Seeing only the minor effect of my attack I knew that my weapons would not be enough to kill it unless I attacked a vital area.
Good thing that wasn’t my current job.
I bite my finger again triggering the second curse. Blur was triggered making my remaining mana plummet. Just it time as the fog began to billow into the room filling it. With the fog and the blur curse the creature will be practically blind.
However was the rolling fog moved in the effects of Wind Sight become fully noticeable. The lines of moving air were visible to me. It was like the outline of the hydra was always visible even through the fog. Every time it moved it disturbed the air and become fully clear to me.
Then the next minute ticked over. Veronica will be starting her final spell now. I just needed to survive three more minutes again the hydra. I hoped I would be strong enough to withstand the assault for that long.
The heads continued to whip through the air seeking out me. Give the almost complete blindness the creature must be under it was surprisingly accurate. However it was not as accurate as it had been in that first assault. The lack of vision clearly effected it even if not completely. Maybe it was making up for the lack of sight with smell or was it some other sense. I couldn’t tell.
All I could do was keep up my defense and continue to annoy it with minor attacks. So far everything was going mostly smoothly but that was all the reason to keep my guard up. One wrong move meant certain death.
One hydra attack and then another I avoided perfectly. The creature wasn’t a warrior just a monstrous beast. It was coordinating the attacks from the different heads but other than that there was no tactics in the combat. It just kept pressing forward.
I managed to reach the next minute unharmed but as I landed from my last jump I felt a strange queasiness and stumbled two steps. Oh no, that was bad. I glanced down at the bracer that Veronica had gotten me and sure enough it was vibrating slightly and I could feel the warmth from it.
Poison. I hadn’t been hit so it must be something airborne. I focused my senses and there, one of the heads of the hydra, it was breathing strangely. Exhaling for long period. How had I not noticed. It was simple. Our greatest strength in this conflict had been the fog but because of the fog I must not have noticed the poisonous gas that the creature could breath.
If it hadn’t been for the bracer I might have already surcomed to it.
I avoided another attack from the heads. This time much closer than the previous attacks. My movement was slower because of the poison.
I had no choice. I activated one of my reverse curses with another bite of my thumb. I had no need for my sight with wind sight so I blurred myself. I could feel the strange pain in my eyes. This would be annoying after this battle.
However the benefit was immediate. My mana had restored to half again. I could have use it to bestow another curse to the hydra but I need the mana for something else.
The physical support ability was one that many physical classes got in some way. One of might resisted debuffs. I activated it and watched my mana begin to drain from the use. As soon as it activated I could feel my head clear again.
It wouldn’t remove the poison but it would reduce the spreading and counter the effects while I still had mana. Because of the strength of the poison my mana was decreasing quickly. Would it last long enough for another minute and a half.
I could only hope.
With my ability to fight restored, at least temporarily, I returned to the fight. I needed to keep the hydra away from the tunnel where Veronica was. If that poison gas got to her it would be bad. She wouldn’t be able to do anything about it while chanting her spell. I went to the other side and chucked another knife at the hydra. I had a few spares.
“Over here. You think your poison is going to defeat me. Well guess again. I only have survive it a little longer and then you are mine.”