Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
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20 Daring-Do, Part Two
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Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
Author :Seshata
© Webnovel

20 Daring-Do, Part Two

Well, this is creepy.

A grotesquely-gnarled black tree stretches its branches like grasping claws over the path. Its twisting roots threaten to trip unwary passerby, though you'd have to be ten kinds of moron to step foot into this murky forest and remain "unwary."

But unfortunately, the nasty tree is not what's creeping me out here.

No, that horrifying honor goes to the bloody red hands dangling from the spindly branches.

And oh no, they're not just any ol' bloody red hands.

They're the tiny red hands of children.

Because fuck me, that's why.

I'm starting to really regret my innate Nightvision.

[AKATEKO]

[Level 6 - HP 800/800]

Level 6, huh? With the Nightfall power boost all monsters get, this battle might be tricky. To decide just how screwed I am, I check out my stats:

-----

Name: Erebus

Race: D'Raven

Class: --

Subclass: --

Title: The Natural

Level: 4 EXP: 850/2000

HP: 141 SP: 31

Attributes:

Strength: 7

Agility: 9

Intelligence: 2

Vitality: 3

Mythic Hero Ranking: ???

Unique Sigil:

Windflower Emblem - Heart of a Champion: +100 World Reputation. Power of the Winds: +5% Running Speed, +8% Flying Speed, +10% Flying Height. (Hidden Attribute effects unavailable to view.)

-----
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Nice, I'm doing better than I'd thought. One more level, and I'll be able to equip my super awesome vambraces! And with its +5 STR bonus, this useless Orion's Belt isn't nearly as useless as it—

WAIT.

What the hell, Chief?! You sent me off on a deadly quest without any potions?!

IS THIS WHY YOU WERE CRYING?

DID YOU FORESEE MY ULTIMATE DOOM, YOU TEARY-EYED JACKASS?

Forlorn, I stare down at the empty star-studded belt strung across my chest.

Even more forlornly, I catch sight of my hot pink, heart-polka-dotted boxer briefs.

Sigh.

It's going to be a long night.

---

Using my wings to add height to my jumps, I tornado-kick the red hands til they're bloody. Uh. Bloodier.

They explode in a crimson mist, one after another.

It's gross, but also I can't stop. Because it's so gross it's cool, you know?


Might be a guy thing.

Anyway, doesn't take me long to realize the HP for these bloody baby hands isn't dropping near fast enough. I've kicked and punched twenty of these things into crimson oblivion, but I've barely made a dent in the Akateko's HP bar.

More worrisome, the hands aren't really doing much, other than looking creepy and weakly grasping in my general direction. And sure, they're doing a bang-up job with the whole "looking creepy" thing, but...

The music changes to a quiet, mournful violin solo.

Thereeee it is.

I leap back into a defensive stance. My skin crawls with an odd, ticklish sensation as the crimson mist that had settled upon me rises back into the air. As much as I didn't want to spend the rest of Nightfall covered in baby blood, I also really don't want the blood doing whatever it is it's doing right now.

The blood mist coalesces at the base of the gnarled black tree into the shape of a ghostly woman.

I can't for the life of me remember anything about the Akateko from mythology, but I know enough to realize shit's about to go down.

The crimson figure opens her mouth wide enough to swallow my dog whole, and emits an unearthly alto voice singing a wordless melody. The haunting song fills my senses until I can focus on nothing else.

Relaxing my rigid stance, I take one small step toward the blood figure.

Then another.

Tiny blood-covered hands stretch down to pull at my hair, tug on my wings, claw at my eyes...

...but I do not notice.

I do not care.

{The Akateko Aria ensnares you!}

{Willpower Check...}

{Your Will is Strong. You Escape the Soul-Stealing Aria of Death!}

I snap back to reality with a violent jolt and an undignified (but justified) scream of terror.

In my abject revulsion, I forget all about techniques and skills.

I devolve into a slapper.

I slap creepy, crawly hand after hand, and I slap at my hair and at my face, and even my wings get in on the slapping, as they snap and furl and unfurl and writhe in a way I didn't know wings could writhe.

Yet still I feel the shudder-inducing sensation of little fingers scraping across my skin.

I retch and shriek at the same time, which works because puking thankfully isn't a feature in Viren's Refuge, and it turns out you can dry heave and scream simultaneously in virtual reality. Who knew?

[You have successfully used Skill: Slap 50 times.]

[You have acquired Skill: Slap.]

[Slap: A high-five to the face! Deals +5-15 Damage, depending on murderous intent behind the swing. Consumes stamina.

Slapping Combo Deals +10-20 Damage, depending on intensity of hysteria behind the swings. Consumes self-respect.]

I want to be offended, but I'm still too frenzied and freaked, so I figure why not own it?

As the Akaketo Aria becomes more agitated and hectic, stringed instruments and woodwinds join the blood-wraith's song of vengeance. I shakily stalk over to the wide-mouthed yokai and slap her face off.

Right. Blood mist. Non-corporeal.

Whatever.

I ignore the screeching orchestral music and just slap the shit out of the crimson ghost. I flap my wings, too, further spreading the mist apart until there's no area dense enough for a satisfying slap. I do another tornado kick, but this time, I spread my wings wide, creating the closest approximation to a real tornado wind as possible.

Blood flies everywhere, until with a final haunting note, the Akateko's final HP vanishes.

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