Before I could get back on my feet, he rushed me and pinned my bones up against the wall. Thrashing around it tore off my remaining arm and legs, scattering them across the floor and squished me into the wall.
‘Shit! I’ll get my revenge!’
I was stuck in the wall, no limbs and hardly able to move. It took hours just to shuffle my way a few centimeters.
Finally, a few hours later I was able to pull out my body from the hole in the wall.
‘What a rude guy, threw my limbs around, is it too much to ask to at least put them in a neat little pile?’
I began crawling slowly towards my bones scattered across the cave. I found a piece and tried to put it in its place and was happy to know it fused well. Going around I slowly gathered more pieces and limbs recovering some strength. I had realised that my HP had diminished significantly since I had lost some bones. After about 60 ~ 70 hours I finally found all the pieces and recovered my strength.
‘Ughh… I’m feeling alright but my right arm and dagger…’
My missing right arm and dagger were the biggest problem. I was left with only the one arm, two legs a shield and an old helmet.
I returned to the pile of bones where I had found my previous equipment, looking for a suitable weapon.
‘What about this one?’
It was a broken femoral bone from a skeleton soldier which was most likely a deceased colleague of mine. I tried to sharpen it against the rock wall but it would always crumble and seemed to have very low durability. At the very least it was nowhere near as solid as iron.
‘The Tomb Tyrant’s attack power was 20 right? But I’m somehow still alive, was he just fooling around with me?’
My anger towards the big rat was rising and I really wanted to get my revenge.
I thought about trying to level up once. It might only be one level but I hoped something would happen if I hit maxed level.
I gathered some more moss and created the same trap, waiting. Eventually two tomb rats took the bait and I made quick work of them, absorbing the experience. It felt like I had become more skilled after a few attempts.
[+11 experience points]
[+22 experience points]
[Level increased 4 ➢ 5]
[Level has reached Max]
[Evolution is now possible]
‘Was evolution possible?’
Thoughts were racing through my mind as I decided to check my status. What kind of evolution would it be, would it help me overcome that Tomb Tyrant?
Type: Skeleton/ Undead
Level: 5/5 (Max)
✧ Unique Skills
[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1]
✧ Evolution Choice
[Skeleton Warrior] [Skeleton Wizard] [Skeleton Rogue]
The evolution options seemed to follow a standard RPG series. The skeleton warrior most likely focuses on strength, the wizard seems to be able to manipulate magic and the rogue is probably an assassin type.
Because of my current one armed situation, the wizard path seemed the most advantageous for me. Also, the Tyrant didn’t have any magic powers so magic was most likely it’s weakness making my evolution path an easy choice.
I stretched out one finger and selected the wizard option on the sphere before my eyes. A light shone on me and it felt like my body was heating up.
‘What? Is it done? What’s changed?’
I searched every nook and cranny on my body but couldn’t find any differences, confused I looked again at my status on the shining sphere.
Type: Skeleton/ Undead
✧ Unique Skills
[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Lv1] [Fire Shock Lv1]
‘Hmm.. just Fire Shock?’
Having played many RPG’s I was familiar with many magic spells. Fire Shock would usually be one of the lowest level fire spells.
I shouted pointing towards the wall
[Magic Chanting Level 1 ➢ 2]
[Fire Shock Level 1 ➢ 2]
Somehow when it came to magic chants I was able to speak, but except for the magic spells it was still impossible to vocalize anything besides the sound of my teeth chomping.
‘This has quite a lot of constraints’
Waiting for my mana to refill I sent out more Fire Shocks towards the wall and began grinding the skill, repeating the cycle thousands of times. I had endless stamina, suffering from neither hunger nor fatigue so besides waiting for my mana I could train the skill endlessly.
[Magic Chanting Level 5 ➢ 6]
[Fire Shock Level 9 ➢10]
[Fire Shock Level has reached Max]
I had maxed out the skill after using Fire Shock about 4000 ~ 5000 times.
I also concluded that using magic alone didn’t give out any experience points.
‘How much time has passed?’
Underground in these tunnels I couldn’t sense the passage of time because of the lack of fatigue, hunger or need for sleep. Although it was a bit annoying to grind the skill endlessly, I was mostly curious to know if I could become impatient because in my previous life I would probably give up after just 10 tries.
I decided that the slime would be my first victim to practice my magic. Naturally, in RPG’s the beginner slimes had physical resistance but were conversely weak to magic. Besides, trapping tomb rats was time consuming and there was always the chance that they escape.
When my spell hit the slime which was spread out like a puddle it instantly gathered up into the shape of a ball. I didn’t know anything about it’s stats or level because I first needed to kill one to check it’s status page. The slime turned and began moving slowly in my direction since I aggroed it with my magic.
‘I might be in trouble because I only have enough MP for one Fire Shock.’
So I elected to use hit-and-run tactics because the slime was quite slow. Simply running away and waiting for my MP to refill. The slime chased me wholeheartedly, but I could easily keep my distance by simply walking a bit faster.
‘Has it been about 20 shots?’
A message appeared before my eyes.
[+77 experience points]
[Acquired knowledge of Tomb Slimes]
[You can now learn new magic]
[Acquired ｟Title: Hit-and-Run｠]
The slime’s body melted into a pool of liquid, sinking into the cave floor.
‘What! It was just the one but it gave as much experience as hunting three tomb rats at the same time.’
It was a good decision on my part to avoid the slimes at the very start, judging from how much experience they gave they were quite powerful. I opened my status page
Type: Skeleton/ Undead
✧ Unique Skills
[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Lv6] [Fire Shock Max]
[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run]
✧ Spell Selection
[Fireball Lv1] [Lesser Slow Lv1] [Minor Poison Lv1]
It was the perfect fit for me, Fireball would be a bit redundant considering my Fire Shock but Slow is exactly what I needed. Finalizing my selection I turned to a nearby slime.
Type: Tomb Slime
✧ Unique Skills
[Physical Resistance Lv2]
The slimes were originally quite slow but after casting my slow spell, I could simply outwalk it nonchalantly. I decided to raise the level of my Lesser Slow as it might be a crucial survival tool in the future. Beginning the long skill grind I casted Lesser Slow and waited for my mana to refill.
Eventually, after several thousand chants…
[Magic Chanting Lv7 ➢ 8]
[Lesser Slow Lv9 ➢ 10]
[Lesser Slow has reached Max]
Magic Chanting was surprisingly difficult to level up compared to other skills. I thought it was a crucial skill to focus on as it served as a foundation to all other spells and in battle, a fraction of a second could make a huge difference. Still, I decided to put it to the side for now and simply let it increase as I grinded other spells.
Now, hunting slimes with Fire Shock was a piece of cake. A single Fire Shock could wipe out 3 HP from a slime.
‘Hmm… It seems I would need 15 Fire Shocks to bring down the Tyrant of the Tombs, I don’t have nearly enough mana at the moment right?’
One Fire Shock consumes 5 MP, so 75 mana should be enough to kill it. Actually, considering that I’ll need to kite it with hit-and-run tactics and casting Lesser Slow ,100 mana would be a more conservative number. Obviously going head to head with it was impossible.
[+77 experience points]
[Level increased 4 ➢ 6]
MP increased from 25 to 40, as I was a Wizard my mana growth was substantial. I eventually caught all the slimes nearby and was able to hit level 10. Occasionally I would see the Tyrant in the distance but I always chose to avoid it. After a few sightings I was able to map out its trajectory so I would be ready for my revenge fight. Unfortunately there were no more slimes left to level up.
‘I’m not sure how Magic Acquisition works. I thought simply by leveling up I would gain new skills but after reaching a threshold like level 10 I didn’t receive any message.’
I tried to brainstorm some new hypotheses for Magic Acquisition. Could the new skills depend on which monsters I hunt? Is there a maximum number of skills I can learn?
Regardless, worrying about it wouldn’t help so I decided to simply try to catch some tomb rats, but I needed a different strategy since I had no dagger. I decided to max out my Magic Chanting and hoped with the faster cast speed I could hit those quick rodents. Several thousands of Fire Shocks later Magic Chanting reached Max. Now, by focusing well I could cast Lesser Slow within 0.3 seconds.
I gathered some moss once again and began waiting patiently.
‘Please Tyrant, don’t show up.’
Fortunately it was four tomb rats that showed up. Do these guys always travel together?
Just as last time, they were cautious at first but eventually, thinking it was safe they rushed to eat the tasty moss.
I casted four consecutive spells.
“Slow! Slow! Slow! Slow!”
Within the short span of just 1.2 seconds, all four rats were slowed considerably. At the end of the chorus, I quickly finished them off individually with the bone knife.
[Level increased 10 ➢ 11]
My leveling speed was much slower compared to the slimes but at least there was some improvement. MP was rising steadily so I prepared another trap and sat down to wait, but this time around there was a problem.
‘Shit! The Tyrant!’
I chose a cave which was far from it’s usual path but somehow it appeared before me. The moment it saw me it crouched low, heels digging into the ground it’s huge body ready to explode with great strength.
‘Oh… he seems to have recognized me instantly it’s quite intelligent. Uhh… what should I do?’
My thoughts were in turmoil but the giant rodent had already sprung forth, rushing towards me. I had less than half a second to make a decision.
“Slow! Slow! Slow!”
I quickly casted three Lesser Slows, unsure but hopeful that it could be stacked. Just as it arrived I jumped to the side, narrowly avoiding its charge as I checked its status.
State Slow (Low)
Unfortunately the skill didn’t stack but it should be fine. I was capable of dodging its charge if it was in a slowed state. Just like I’d done with the slimes I ran around the cave, alternating between Lesser Slow and Fire Shock. Always calculating and keeping in mind my MP consumption, I continued to kite the Tyrant. After going in circles about 10 times the Tomb Tyrant’s face became red, seemingly getting angry.
‘Shit! Are you using Berserk? Right, it’s quite a common skill among bosses.’
Although it didn’t dispel the slow effect, its speed increased noticeably.
The Tomb Tyrant only had 6 HP left, I could finish him off with only three more Fire Shocks.
The problem was that I only had 7 MP remaining, which only left me with enough for a maximum of two Fire Shocks leaving him with 1 HP.
I racked my brains searching for a solution.
‘Yes, I can try that.’
A crazy idea came to me. It would be too depressing if my other arm were torn off so I needed to defeat him now at all costs.
I sent the first spell out and put my back up against the wall, facing the incoming Tyrant.
‘I have to go through with it, it’s the only way.’
I lift up my bone knife to the charging giant rat, my solution was to use its incoming momentum to cause the remaining 1 point damage. Of course my body would also be smashed in the process but it was the only plan I could think of.
I heard the bones in my arm crumbling as the Tyrant rammed me into the wall. I quickly shoot out my last Fire Shock with my last MP right before losing my last arm. Time passed so slowly, like in increments 0.1 second. I saw my bones and ribs splintering into tiny pieces just as I saw my HP drop to 0 on my status window.
My vision went dark like a computer which had been powered down.