Rainer stared in absolute disbelief at the message that appeared. This was a ring given to him by the system and likely created by that same system. It wasn’t like the [Ring of the Nalmar Knighthood] that was once a real item. It was a ring specifically designed to move them in and out of Nalmar and back to their previous world. Yet somehow something, or rather someone, blocked them from leaving.
Rainer connected the [Arch-Lich] to such a thing instantly. Not just for him being the only one with such motivation but more importantly the very way he captured the Mana Well; by teleporting there directly. Gunthar didn’t know the details but Rainer thought this could be the only option. He also became even more sure that the [Arch-Lich] was made immobile by whatever he was doing with the mana well. Else if he could block such a transfer could he not just teleport to them and end it in an instant?
Kara looked nervously over at Rainer as he now had his eyes closed in thought. The undead had just broken through, wyvern riders were on the horizon, and yet they just stood in waiting.
“Rainer when are we leaving?” She questioned.
“We aren’t…” He replied before switching gears immediately.
“Gunthar take Kara and throw whatever you can down the stairs to block the undead. I’ll handle the Wyverns.” He spoke out immediately after before repeating it then for Kara. Both were quick to assume something had gone wrong.
Gunthar turned around to head down the stairs and Rainer nodded at Kara to follow the former paladin. Rainer himself moved down to a different floor meant for mages to attack from the last time. He faced away from where he bombarded the gate before and instead looked out toward the approaching Wyverns.
There was at least a dozen flying in close formation. He’d use that.
A [Spear of Holy Arcane-Light] formed within his hand. The radiance shining out from the floor as the cast completed. It made him a target and he’d have to act fast lest the [Lich]s on the ground get in position to reach him with magic once more.
The first spear soared out from Rainer, far surpassing the speed of an arrow. The wyvern stood no chance at dodging and even as the rider braced it was pointless. The spear stabbed through and with an explosion of Arcane and Light defeated several nearby Wyverns.
Gunthar had mentioned before to Rainer about the Wyvern Riders of Nalmar. Compared to many flying mounts Wyverns were quite inferior in many ways. Whether it be their general attributes, their temperament, or their breeding habits. Yet there was one thing that put them at the level of their draconian ancestors...Instinct. To Nalmar, which devoted countless resources into every member of its army, survival was everything. Wyvern’s senses were at a point where they could dodge magic and arrows before they even left their assaulter.
Yet these ghouls lacked what made them previously so mighty. And so a spear rang out once more. The cast charged and supported by Rainer’s Arcane Power killed another grouping of Wyverns.
Just as Rainer cast the third spear, while simultaneously recharging his Arcane Power, the situation changed. He felt a surge of death magic and instantly he stabbed the spear into the ground in front of him as a beam of death magic slammed into it.
The beam divided in two. An aura of death surrounded Rainer on both sides. He poured more mana and Arcane Power into the spear still within his grasp as the powerful [Lich] riding the wyvern too increased his spell's power. Rainer could feel his knuckles going numb as death washed over them. The magic of the [Lich] only growing stronger as he felt himself losing hold.
His entire body now felt as if it was going numb. As if all he needed to do was allow the sweet release of death to take him…
Vein-like violet lines shined on Rainer’s skin. Just this single stage alone pushed the aura of death back an inch. Yet he was not done. He harnessed more and more Arcane Power reaching an increase of 27% before he felt his body start to give in.
[Skill Gained: Arcane Resistance lvl 1/10]
It was not enough. More and more Arcane Power was ignited in a rage as Rainer’s attributes increased by 55% before he felt as if his body would be destroyed from the inside out. The Arcane radiated off him as the magically constructed clothes around his chest dissipated leaving only the violet lines now reaching to his eyes. The power within him felt almost addicting even as the energy racked his body. With a vicious grin on his face, he focused once more on empowering the spear stabbed into the ground.
The spear erupted in energy as the [Lich] desperately tried to increases the power of his spell to match. Countless years of mana compressed into but an instant.
Rainer now only had a single thought filling his mind, utter annihilation of the foe in front of him. In his left hand, he cast an [Orb of Arcane-Light] jutting it out in front of him. The bright light fighting against the tide of darkness. He held the spear in his right hand and lifted it out of the ground drawing it back. He slammed down his foot and threw aiming directly at the center of the beam. With Rainer yelling out, Arcane naturally infusing in his voice, the undead within the tower shook. And then...the spear was released. As if a god declared death upon its target. The spear split the beam in two all but removing the aura of death from existence hurdling towards its doomed target at a speed far beyond any spell he’s cast before.
The [Lich] could react in only a single way...
To know that death called for him one last time.
In an eruption of Arcane-Light, even the sounds of the horde lost primacy as a thundering magic roar filled the air for miles. The Arcane-Light so bright and powerful in its ending that many of the classless undead beneath the [Lich] fell. The surrounding Wyverns and their Riders stood no chance in surviving this mighty attack from so close.
[15 Primary Level Difference, Experience Bonus added]
[Total Experience Gained: 212%]
[Managing Excess Experience]
[Arcanist has leveled up to lvl 11/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Arcanist has leveled up to lvl 12/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
The arcane lines on Rainer faded completely as he collapsed to his knees. He had no time to rejoice as he felt the casting of a massive spell from a long distance behind him. Reminiscent of death it was once more and yet he could not even move as pain far surpassing his resistances wracked his body.
The mass of death approached him and he was powerless to flee. In a final act, he huddled around Luna hoping at least one of them would survive.
Yet from the right a clawed hand reached out and grabbed him just as the spell arrived.
Kara rushed out of the room, Rainer in tow, and headed up the stairs. Gunthar was behind her as they all went to the highest room and shut the heavy door behind them.
Gunthar and Kara had been grabbing anything they could find, whether it was a barrel of wine or a bookcase and threw it down the stairs in hope of blocking the undead as much as they could.
“Kara thanks for the…” Yet the moment Kara set Rainer down she collapsed, her breathing rough.
With all the power in him, he crawled over and looked at Kara. He saw a strange gray fur and sensed the presence of death magic within her.
“Shit, shit, shit, Luna come heal Kara, worry about me later!”
Gunthar stood bracing the door knowing he’d be no help in such a situation.
“Rainer it's not working!” Luna called out after attempting to heal Kara.
Rainer crawled with his pained body over to Kara’s ears and whispered to her.
“No matter what Kara stay in that form, fight it.”
Injuries stayed with her when she transformed back. Leaving behind the improved power of the werewolf form now could mean instant death.
He gripped his hair as he thought over the situation. He completely ignored the undead surrounding him. He shoved down all feelings of self-blame, of planning for the future, and only focused on helping her.
Death Magic...Death Magic...Magic…Mana...
He as quick as he could managed grabbed her paw. He went through each finger carefully feeling the bones and shapes of the muscle. He continued up the arm before he finally got what he needed.
[Skill Gained: Demon Anatomy lvl 1/10]
It was with this skill he now understood a fundamental fact about demons. They were a single race. They had differences and had the demonic characteristics of their form within their normal state but, in the end, they were a race based on magic. Their forms were more of differences in ability and talent rather than purely racial.
Without hesitation, he put in 1 point for lvl 2, 2 for 3, up until level 6 leaving him only 1 skill point.
His mana was low, his Arcane Power nearly gone, but he still channeled the rest into Kara as he placed his hands over where the Death Magic had hit. Mana flowed in and with a gasp Kara seemed to wake.
Color returned to her fur under the combined efforts of Luna and Rainer, and her breathing steadied completely. Soon the aura of death vanished along with the remainder of Rainer’s mana.
He collapsed backward, completely unable to move after expending that last bit of strength to just crawl around. His entire body felt a deeply rooted soreness and a heavy pain.
Kara shifted back to her normal form as the silver rings around her arms and legs transformed back into her clothes, a new creation of Luna’s. Her hair and eyes remained unchanged. Rainer didn’t know if it was a fairy only phenomenon or if changing Kara would require a far larger amount of mana.
She was confused for a moment before moving over to Rainer’s side. She was about to ask him if he was alright before she just ended up staring at his face as if inspecting him.
“Something wrong with my face?” He managed to ask despite the pain. He also lacked the tension for the situation they were now trapped in. Simply glad that Kara was now okay.
“Were you always this handsome?” She asked right after.
Rainer thought it was a joke but her question was completely serious. Luna flew directly over him and with an over exaggerated rubbing of her chin and a loud hmm spoke out as well.
“Ah! Rainer reached +1 to all attributes! Luna is right?” She asked as if it was a question but the look on her face said otherwise.
“I did...so charisma went up then?”
“It must have, Luna says Rainer feels better looking. Maybe 100 more levels and Rainer will be a match for Luna.”
Rainer tried to grab for Luna before he groaned and realized he was once more in too much pain for such a thing
“Oh, Luna forgot, Luna will heal Rainer.” She said as she looked him over. There was no visible damage, the arcane lines long since retreated from him.
As he attempted to relax Kara to the side sought to comprehend what she just heard.
+1 to all attributes...so he reached a level where it added up to +1 to ALL attributes…it's amazing to see the effect of an elixir only existing in legends happen so commonly…
Kara seeing Rainer was okay walked over to Gunthar to assist him in bracing the door that now rang out with banging sounds. She had momentarily forgotten the situation they were in but now she understood. They were most likely going to die here.
As she stood bracing against the door she looked over at Rainer and Luna in their usual play thinking it wouldn’t be so bad to die in such company. She had fled from home, hid who she was, and yet now in front of her she finally gained someone who didn’t care who she was or what kind of heir she could produce. Yet soon, she’d lose it all.
“Do not give in so easily to despair little wolf. The sorcerer has not given in, do not give in, even as the undead swarm around you.”
Kara looked over surprised at Gunthar.
“The little fairy shared her skill with me. With our connection apparently she could have done so from the start but liked to have a job...”
Kara laughed thinking that it fit Luna to do such a thing before returning her focus to blocking the door. It was heavily enchanted to protect this important room but it’d fall sooner or later. Even if they couldn’t push their way in they’d eventually break through instead.
“Rainer, Luna is done healing but…” Luna responded seeing nothing wrong with Rainer despite him most certainly being not okay.
“I guess I just have to wait out the rest.” He grunted out while trying to sit up. Everything still felt sore and weak but most of the pain was gone.
Rainer rubbed his tired eyes wondering what he could do about their current situation. He looked out towards the small window in the room. He wasn’t anywhere near a working flying ability but if he reduced the effect of gravity on all 3 of them they could likely glide past the horde with a strong enough push. Of course assuming they weren't riddled with arrows or had the very life drained from them by the 3 Liches still remaining.
He looked back towards the door. As of now Gunthar and Kara were only half-heartedly blocking it. After Rainer’s attack on the front line of undead it's likely all the undead currently outside were classless or low leveled. The real problem would come once the stronger ones made it to the door.
He opened up his status window to see how long it’d take for his mana to recover. He wouldn’t be running or moving properly any time soon but he could still cast magic. Surrounding him were his still armed [Arcane Bolts]. The [Lich] from before was simply too far away for such a thing to be useful.
[Primary Classes: Arcanist Lvl 12/25]
[Titles: Arcane Scholar, Fae Contractor, Arcane Elementalist, Dungeon Pioneer, Philanderer]
[Skill Points: 1]
[Talents: Excellent Arcane Affinity, Human Growth, Gift of the Fae(Luna)]
[Stamina Regen: .1% per second]
[Mana Regen: .0034 per second]
[Arcane Power: 0/18]
[Mana-Arcane Conversion Ratio: 1-6]
.0034 a second….3 or so hours till completely full?
He looked back at Kara and Gunthar. Kara was now resting away from the door while the tireless Gunthar braced it unmoving. With the combination of his enchanted gear and his [Death Knight] strength it would take a union of several higher level undead to push through.
“Luna cast a sleeping spell on me and wake me when the door can’t seem to hold anymore.” He said while he planned out his [Sleep Learning] session. He’d train [Arcane Blade] in tandem with [Spatial Manipulation].
Kara currently resting looked over at Rainer after that statement.
Have hope huh…
Everytime Rainer awoke he’d be stronger. She had no idea what he was thinking but if he saw it fit to sleep it meant for her they truly had some hope. She felt her back where she was hit with the spell right after.
I’m glad Rainer so desperately healed me but it was a waste of mana. I would have healed eventually. I wonder how he could guide mana so well into me? I should get him to do it again…
Close to 2 hours passed before the banging on the door started sounding as if damage occurred and Gunthar had to start using his Aura to hold it.
Kara hurried over to Rainer seeing how the fairy was instead of waiting to wake him up happily sleeping on his chest.
“Rainer, we may not have much time before they get in.” She said while trying to shake him awake.
“Ah sorry...No, wait, Rainer get up!.”
He rolled over away from her and Luna immediately fluttered away before he landed onto her.
“Rainer what are you doing to Luna!” Luna yelled right in his ear causing him to shoot up.
He wiped the drool off his mouth as the banging noises brought him back to reality.
[Spatial Manipulation has reached level 4]
[Arcane Blade has reached level 3]
Without pause, he limped over to the door nearly knocking Luna away and shouted out.
“Gunthar move over!”
Rainer already began converting mana into Arcane Power and soon an [Arcane Blade] formed within his hand. He made it slightly longer and thinner before shoving it straight through the door impaling through any other skeletons on the other side. Yet this was just a preface. He covered the slit he made with his palm while Gunthar used, even more, aura to hold the door shut. Yet this didn’t worry Rainer rather it simply made him thank the [Arch-Lich] for quite literally sending experience to his door.
A [Cone of Arcane-Fire] erupted from his hand funneling through the slit he made. Sounds of combustion and explosion rang out on the other side.
Apart from the initial mana cost the Arcane-Fire consumed, he could continue fueling the spell with Arcane Power limitlessly. Essentially increasing his effective mana pool by a factor of 6.
He stopped after the experience no longer even reached .1 of a % and soon per his will the system tallied it.
[Total Experience Gained 21%]
Rainer couldn’t help but whistle at such a number given his level. It seemed they had moved up the higher level undead they brought with them. Thinking for a moment he decided to extend his [Mana detection] and found that all three remaining [Lich]s had entered the tower, though he didn't know exactly how close they were.
This is a problem…
They could hold for a while like this, but one magic spell directed at the door and he didn’t think it could withhold. And then the sheer number of undead would simply flood them. Now that all three [Lich]s were inside they could try to glide away. Though, even then they’d be stuck running. What if the [Arch-Lich] got impatient and sent a 2nd class their way? In the open, they might die before they understood what happened. But what choice did he have?
As he leaned against a wall and Gunthar simply sat in front of the door recovering his aura Rainer thought over his [Arcane Rage] skill.
50%...that’s nearly 20 intelligence, or as if I’m raising my level by 10...If I can get my level high enough perhaps fighting a 2nd class before I reach it myself isn’t impossible…
He could now sense the [Lich]s climbing the tower past the other undead. If he was to make a choice it needed to be quick enough that they couldn’t reach the top right after them and assault them from there.
Stay and fight the [Lich]s...no...they could simply flood the room with a death spell and I would be powerless just blocking the magic till I go out like the light of a spell….
“Kara do you have in it you to shift and run for a while?”
“My aura’s recovered, I can go for a while...but where exactly?”
Rainer responded to neither of Kara’s or Luna’s strange looks. They had been talking amongst themselves as he was attacking through the door and his insane declaration interrupted them. No one was aware of Rainer even having the [Spatial Manipulation] skill.
He simply cast [Arcane Blade] once more and began cutting into the wall. Not wanting to interrupt the madman with the blade the rest of the party just watched wondering if he had gone crazy.
“Gunthar get ready to run toward us the moment I call for you. “ Rainer called out orders as he continued to cut through the stone wall making sure it was large enough for Kara to fit through.
Kara started shifting wondering how Rainer intended them to get down but decided to trust him.
Just as Kara finished shifting Rainer finished his task. The only thing left was to push open the carved out stone and figure out which gift he wanted Luna to cast. He ran back toward Kara and with her kneeling down jumped on before signaling for Luna to get in her spot in his overcoat.
“Kara push open the wall.”
Complying Kara shoved it open quite easily and they could finally see a clear picture of the horde that surrounded them. The cut stone fell on the undead yet did little to truly decrease their numbers. Tens of thousands surrounded them all around. Rainer looked to the left and saw in the distance was an area lacking undead. It was exactly the spot over which his spear exploded.
“Kara with everything you have jump to the left on my mark.” He made a quick decision before deciding on the buff and setting his armed [Arcane Bolts] to try and intercept any arrows, though it was unlikely.
Kara was completely confused yet she did as he asked without explanation.
“Luna cast [Gift of the Wind] on Kara.”
“Gunthar the moment she finishes casting get over here and hop on Kara and we’ll escape.”
Rainer gripped tightly onto her fur as Luna chanted her gift. He focused strongly this time reducing the gravity not only for himself but extending it into a bubble around him to encompass Kara as well. That was what he sleep learned on, focusing far more on that than the [Arcane Blade].
Finally, he got it just as Luna finished casting her gift. His mana began rapidly decreasing so he quickly called over Gunthar.
Just as he jumped on, Kara began gathering her aura while wondering about the strange lightness of her body. She moved back and aimed herself forward before sprinting at full speed and launching forward with an explosion of aura.
It took her but a moment to realize she was soaring through the sky unhinged by the force that once weighed down upon her. The [Gift of the Wind] showed its power as Kara flew through the air and Rainer’s initial worries about arrows proved unfounded due to Kara's sheer speed.
As it became clear they were easily going to pass over the horde Rainer began slowly changing the gravity back to normal in an attempt to preserve mana and avoid plummeting to their deaths.
Renewed with a new energy from the exhilaration of near flight Kara slammed into the ground several feet past the edge of the horde and with all the speed she could muster ran into the forest.
Leaf currently sat within the Hunters guild tavern, he being one of many in what is now a changed town from before. A few days ago the dungeon had changed, into a tier 2 one allowing those under level 25 to enter. A new dungeon of such caliber would bring about countless powerful hunters and others to try their luck. There was also then the chance of the dungeon later turning into one that could be farmed and being used to bring about a new city.
And Leaf had the golden ticket, selling information about the first stage he previously held back. Making more than enough to live out the rest of his life.
Yet here he was drowning his sorrows. He had never desired just money in the first place. He wanted to ascend beyond his current station but he couldn’t buy truly powerfully enchanted items nor could he reach the fabled 2nd Class. The Hunter’s Guild listed Rainer’s status as unknown and for most, they’d likely assume him dead having been in the dungeon so long with just a party of 2.
3 as Leaf knew.
He must be alive…
Both Rainer and Kara were simply too powerful, combined with whatever that fairy could do. In-fact Leaf assumed the change in the dungeon was due to them. If they were dead the information he had on them was useless. If they came out alive after all this time and successfully defeated stages within a Class 2 Dungeon was he really still in a position to blackmail them?
Leaf headed back to the Hunter’s Guild finally deciding to destroy the letters, to protect against any retribution towards his family, and move on with the gains he already achieved. He entered a back room to go over the letters one last time yet the moment he entered the room he only saw darkness.
A red haired blue crystal-eyed Fae stood over his unconscious body.
The strange mana blocking Luna from being found...he has traces of it. The tracking spell wasn't completely useless...
The spell had shown results soon after Leaf had left the dungeon and Rainer remained inside. No longer blocked by his mana they could find residual traces of it on Leaf.
She brought him along with the letters to a new location. She sat down at a table and curiously looked through the letters he brought out, having nothing else to do while she awaited his awakening. She left him tied in a corner with a magic construct still unconscious.
She couldn’t help but give a grin reading over the letters. She had found what she’d been looking for…