Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 163: Not all who wander are lost

Now that the Lich got what she wanted she became silent and did not react to Seth ’s attempts of communication. He could only hope she sunk into some state of deep thought to come up with a way to escape.

Whatever was the case, the four of them and Puffles were now stuck in this familiar-not so familiar world.

”I expected this to be a horror scenario but I expected something like Violent Hill and not Stranger Dings… ” Seth muttered as they walked through the empty twisted streets of this foggy mirror city. They could barely see farther than a few meters in this thick fog that blanketed the streets.

What they were looking for was a safe place where they could camp out for the next week until Seth could summon Al again. Technically this meant a place with less tentacles, vines, and goo.

Especially less go and mud. Their feet sank into the viscous substance that covered the streets and at times they feared losing their boots.

Seth already had a solution, but his companions hurriedly convinced him to look for a place first and keep that as a last resort. It was quite unsettling to walk through the empty streets that showed no life or sign of human habitation, despite looking like a city.

”Wait! I heard something. Get ready. ”

Link might lack the attack power of a regular hunter, but he had a particular set of skills of which some were gained from special food. Among them was which tremendously enhanced his hearing. The fog might have been able to block his sight, but not his hearing.

The gourmet hunter pointed in the direction of an ally and the party got in formation. Seth and Tekar stood in the front and readied their shields. Alison and Link took cover behind them while Puffles protected the rear.

It would have been helpful if his teammates also had pets. It was a shame that the pet situation was even worse than the item situation. At the moment only the elite and people with tamer professions had pets that were useful in combat.

After a few moments, they could feel the vibrations of heavy thumbs from the alley, but they heard no sound.

TING! A tentacle smashed into Tekar ’s shield and dug into the steel. Another tentacle aimed for Seth but was blocked by the auto shield.

What stepped out of the fog was… not nice to look at. Alison looked away, Link almost vomited and they could even hear Tekar gag under his helmet. Only Seth was not terribly appalled by the creature. It had a cone-shaped head that split into four jaws like the chameleon. Unlike the chameleon, its body was like a giant dog ’s with terrible acid burns and tumorous growth. Its skin was covered in a yellow puss and several appendages grew from its back.

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only gave back a bunch of jumbled gibberish. Seeing its attack fail the creature gave off a mind-piercing shriek. It was like stabbing an icepick in their brains. Alison lost focus and her skill failed while Link could not act as he reflexively held his head in pain.

Only Seth, Tekar, and the Ivicer were largely unaffected despite the headache. Seeing his two party members affected Steth decided not to take a chance.

”Dragon Might! ”

He activated the set skill and the piercing cry of the wyvern sounded from the shields engraving. The creature ’s deformed knees instantly buckled as if a great force was pressing down on it. Despite the skill ’s effect it kept struggling and its horrifying eyes were fixed on Seth, the source of this overwhelming power.

Not for long as Puffles finished his multi-cast and several light bolts penetrated the monster ’s flesh and eyes leaving behind steaming holes. At Seth ’s signal Tekar charged at the blinded creature with a shield bash and kept pressing onto it with his heavy shield to sealing its movements completely.

The blacksmith stepped before the helpless and blind monster and ended its life by shoving the full length of his burning blade through the head all the way into the torso. There was no experience but:

What happened next made Tekar shrink back in disgust. The creature ’s body started to dissolve into black sludge and fog.

All that was left, to Seth ’s surprise, was a soul. It was slightly bigger and had a violet hue.

An uncommon soul! How long had it been since he last found one!

~ hoho, these creatures are quite special! ~ a previously silent lich suddenly called out.

”So you were awake! Go ahead, what is special about them? ”

~ You could say this soul has an inherent attribute of the mind. That cry was a mental attack and it was able to resist the dragon might. ~

”Their natural willpower must be quite high then since I gained a full point with that one attack. ”

”You gained an attribute point? ”

One of the things Seth had forgotten to mention was that he had weapons that could strengthen the user ’s status. But this was a good turn of events. Willpower was not only the basis of mental strength but also for mental resistance. Well, it made sense, that the higher one ’s mental strength, the higher their resistance against mental attacks.

He lent the other three a demonic weapon each. If they found another one of the monsters Seth would immediately use dragon might and all of them would start hacking at it. Like this, they could increase their WIL until none of them was affected by the mental attacks!

Fear quickly subsided in the face of absolute gains. And the creatures of this land, who had known no fear until now, were introduced to a cruel reality.

The party started to actively search for these sweet pots of permanent improvements. In their eyes, these sickening creatures now looked like the loveliest piggies for slaughter they had ever seen. Even Alison became a wild berserker when slashing at the creature to draw as much ”blood ” as possible.

Their hunt had several obvious benefits. The first was the strengthening of the party. The second was that most of them dropped uncommon souls. Which would have been even more awesome if he had not been interrupted by a notification after he collected the second soul.

This dampened his mood a little, but he let it go since Samuel had said that there was nothing bad about being watched by gods.

The third benefit was that he could study the practical effects of these blood drinker weapons. While Seth gained 0,5 to 1 point of WIL at the start, he soon only gained something every second time and then every third time. Past 80 he hardly gained any more. Tokar was in a similar situation. He also started with around 70 points of willpower and earned less and less the closer he got to 80.

The weapon stats did not increase as much.

Alison and Link on the other hand kept getting consistent gains, even after almost 20 monsters. This brought Seth to the conclusion that the creatures in this area all had about 80 in willpower and they could no gain anything past that using the enchantment.

For the blood drinker enchantment to work the most effective one needed to fight something that was stronger than oneself in a specific area. Unfortunately, they ran out of monsters before the other two could reach that threshold. After 23 monsters they could not find anymore, no matter how hard they looked.

Since their prey was hiding, they decided to take a break. The original goal was to find a safe place. Unwittingly they had created a safe space on their own. Maybe this week would not be as nerve-wracking as they had expected?

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