Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
21 Daring Deeds, Part Three
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Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
Author :Seshata
© Webnovel

21 Daring Deeds, Part Three

As the blood mist disperses, the music transitions back to the original ominous quest track.

Relieved, I retract my wings and shuffle away from the gnarled tree; (it's now handless, but still plenty creepy). I slump against the base of a healthy moss-covered pine.

I'm exhausted from the horror overload, but not tired enough to forget my goodies. I swipe open my status window and tab over to my Battle Log.

After an endless wave of complaints about loot-stealing and general inconvenience, the second major patch of the beta got rid of the need to physically pick up drops and rewards from PvE battles. Now drops automatically appear in the Battle Log of whoever held aggro when the mob died.

Unless you're in a dungeon. Then you can set the Party Leader as the owner of all drops, or leave it finders-keepers. Parties have two experience settings, too. Either everyone splits the EXP evenly, or you can set EXP distribution according to the system algorithm, based on contribution.


{ Akateko }

+350 EXP

|| Nightfall Bonus: 2x EXP ||

|| First Kill Bonus: As a reward for your first successful kill, +1 Vitality, +250 EXP ||

[Drop Items]

[ Seishin Talisman: Spirit Hand ] {Yellow}

|| Need a hand? Here's a bloody one! Made from the blood-stained bark of an Akateko Tree, this talisman helps protect against spiritual attacks. +2 Fortitude ||

[ Wraith Remnant ] {Red}

|| To prove it's really dead this time. This crystalline shard is all that remains of a vanquished spirit monster. ||

Talismans and Trinkets are passives (work automatically as long as they're in your possession), so I add the Spirit Hand to my inventory. It looks like the shriveled, bloody hand of a small child, crafted out of rough, black bark.

Even if I could equip it, I wouldn't.

I know I have this dark, broody aesthetic and all, but this is disturbing on a level not even I want to reach.

The Wraith Remnant also goes into the inventory. They're fairly easy to come by, but the drop rate isn't great during Daylight. They're useful for enchantments, and you need a ton when upgrading Light-aligned weapons or gear.

Housekeeping out of the way, I lug myself back up to continue down the dark path.

The next mobs I come across are more what I expected from a beginner quest:

First there's a few 2-hit-kill plant mobs called Furutsubaki-no-rei. Soul-sucking ferns, essentially. With stubby little root-feet. They have Nightfall-boosted Willpower attacks, but with my high Fortitude stat, these guys can't even slow me down.

Unsurprisingly, they're only worth +15 EXP (x2) and a few Red-tier herb drops.

Then I encounter some Kechibi, which are floating human heads that shoot fireballs. These guys are a little tougher because they show up 3 or 4 at a time, and I don't yet have a perfect understanding of how much space my wings take up. I end up singeing more than a few feathers in close-shave dodges.

It's really fun overhead kicking the long-haired heads like footballs, though. Tsubasa-style. (There are probably real athletes who do this as well, but pretty much everything I know about team sports I learned from anime. Or Madden. Robbie loves that damn game.)

I also practice Blocking the heads a few times, but when one freaking BITES ME, I give up on that and just grab a sturdy stick to slam homeruns with the flaming bastards. They do that cartoon scream thing where the "Ahhhhhh!" gets quieter as they fly farther away.

It's exactly as satisfying as I'd always hoped it would be.

I score +25 EXP (x2) apiece, 6 Wraith Remnants, and 1 Flame-Gum consumable that adds +50 Heat Resistance for 10 minutes.

The tell-tale glow of a Level-Up warms my gamer heart. Wanting to distribute my Level 5 stat points, I pause on the path in a small patch of moonlight.
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One wily yokai called a Kamaitachi appears out of nowhere, riding on a dust devil. A large weasel monster with sickles for feet, he manages to land a hit while I'm preoccupied with my Level-Up, much to my consternation. However, my instincts kick in last-second, and even without seeing him, I manage to avoid a critical hit.

At first, I think he missed entirely, but when I see the deep gash, I realize his slashing attack, though wicked, is painless.

I'm surprised, since I've set my Pain Modulator to the highest-allowed setting: 20%. Then I remember there are worse things than pain.

The Kamaitachi's attack paralyzes my right arm.

I use every ounce of dopamine in my brain to send lightspeed messages down my nervous system, willing my right arm to move.

It remains motionless.

"No," I whisper, broken. "Not this. Not again."

My breathing becomes ragged, and tears blur my vision. They're not hot, though, like tears should be. They're cold. Ice.

Someone should tell the devs. Tears should be warm. Hot. Burning streams that leave scarlet tracks down distorted faces.

The weasel demon comes around for another slashing pass, and I only manage to fling myself out of the way on pure adrenaline.

I land hard, and immediately try to lift myself up. Again, my right arm is useless, and now I'm hyperventilating, choking on the floral-scented air like it's poison.

The shadow tattoo spreads across my face and down my neck, twisting and writhing like the darkness searing the edges of my shattered mind.

My unseeing eyes turn liquid black as the darkness overtakes me.

Unbidden, memories rush my panicked brain, visions of fire and twisted metal and blood, so much blood. It fills my nose with the harsh tang of iron until I can taste it.

I hear a familiar scream, and I realize it's mine.

I'm screaming.

I'm screaming and crying, and the tears are mixing with blood and filling my mouth, and the metallic tang is too much...

But why does the blood taste like dirt?

"Xiuying!" I scream again.

But it comes out muffled, because my face is pressed into earth that is not Earth but still feels like Earth, or maybe feels realer than Earth.

And definitely tastes as real as Earth.

The tears come faster, and this time when I scream, it's wordless pain.

The inside kind. The only kind that hurts me, anymore.


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