Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
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22 Daring Score, Part Four
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Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
Author :Seshata
© Webnovel

22 Daring Score, Part Four

A terrible, keening growl assaults my oversensitive ears.

I'm muddled and confused, emotionally spent, so my brain can't process the noise. But a shiver courses through me in a warning more primal than anguish, more innate than thought.

Something is coming. Danger is near.

The shred of my soul still struggling to hold onto reality cries out, "Move, just move, get up Get Up GET UP!"

With Herculean effort, I dig my left arm and forehead into the dirt and push myself up. My vision is still murky, but the snarling Kamaitachi is loud even over my ragged breathing, so I manage to dodge its paralysis slashes. I retract my wings so they can't become victims of the yokai's scythe claws and keep on the move.

I focus on my senses, one at a time, to ground myself.

I feel wind, a light breeze. It's cool on my bare legs, but not cold. Grit in the air to the right—the dust devil. I shift left and back, keeping my distance from the weasel monster riding the spinning winds.

I smell the lavender, chamomile, and mint blend unique to Viren's Refuge. It's meant to calm the mind when facing the violent features of the game.

I don't need it for that.

I breathe deeply through my nose, hoping the scent can calm the turbulence of my own mind.

I hear the angry snarl of the Kamaitachi, and I hone in on the sound, like I hone in on the ambient noises of the forest and the combat music in the air. Soon, this cacophony replaces the screams from my memories.

I taste earth. Not blood. Dirt.

I blink rapidly, and the inky blackness disappears from my eyes like water down a drain. I see the towering pines, moonlight playing within the shadows, and here and there, twinkling lights denoting harvestable herbs.

Firmly grounded in the now, I breathe deeply once more. The fingers on my right arm twitch. I'd never stopped trying to move the paralyzed limb. When I fully break out of the paralysis, relief banishes the wispy remains of gloom from my waking nightmare.

I've been weaving and dodging this whole time, but now I counterattack. On the Kamaitachi's next pass, I leap into the air to strike its head, then flip over its body to avoid the blades. My critical hit induces the Dizzy effect, so I strike three more times before it shakes its head clear and zooms off. The final punch hits 98% skill proficiency, so I hear the ding signaling double-damage.

The enemy HP bar drops to the Red Zone. I love my D'Raven racial perks.

Unfortunately, this monster goes into a berserk state at 10% HP. With the Nightfall speed and strength boost, it starts putting up a real battle. Since I've only brought fists to this knife fight, I struggle to deal any real damage while dodging four flying blades.

I can't very well disarm the thing's feet.


I come so close to paralyzing my leg during a crescent kick, I feel the cold emanating off the poisoned metal.

I retreat to the closest tree and scramble up before the yokai can react. The dust devil can't rise higher than shoulder level, so for a moment, I'm safe. I'm more worried the system will consider me out of combat and I'll lose my hard-worn aggro. I move at lightning speed, not bothering to carefully consider my options like I normally would.
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I swipe open my stats window and distribute the 5 free attribute points I received for hitting Level 5. I add 1 point to Vitality (for 5 total) because every 5 points adds an extra boost to the stat's poison-limiting side effect. It's stupid, and I know it, but the terror I felt when my arm went lifeless is still too real, and I want to limit how long I remain paralyzed from poisons in the future.

Then I just dump the other 4 into Agility (total 13) and call it a day.

My heart pangs to be so careless with my beautiful points, but taking the time to overthink my options is what led to my current predicament in the first place.

Equipping my badass Raiju Vambraces helps ease the pain. Grinning, I leap out of the tree.

It's time to say goodbye to Weasel Scissor-Hands.

My new crazy AGI allows me to flip and twist in the air like an Olympic diver, and I Block the Kamaitachi's first attack in mid-air before finally landing in a perfect defensive stance. Spitting in anger, the yokai spins around and launches a frenzied attack. What once was wicked fast, however, is now laughably slow to my heightened senses. I don't even bother Dodging anymore; I simply Block every curved blade with ease, constantly pivoting to keep the monster in front of me.

With a ferocious growl, the Kamaitachi leaps off the dust devil to come at me from above. I cross my vambraces to defend against the flying daggers. Sparks fly as the scythe claws clash against the vambraces' copper lightning bolts. Then violet lightning streaks out of the leather guards to pierce the yokai with an epic blast.

The Raiju lightning counter. So. Hella. Cool.

The Kamaitachi disappears in an explosion of violet sparks and starburst specks.

---

{ Kamaitachi }

+400 EXP

|| Nightfall Bonus: 2x EXP ||

[Drop Items]

[ Yokai Boots ] {White}

|| Furry boots to cover your furry toes. +5% Movement Speed, +10% Defense, +10% Kick Attack Damage, +25 Cold Resistance, 1% Chance to Induce Paralysis effect. ||

[ Kamaitachi Claws x2 ] {White}

|| Why have feet when you can have SWORD FEET? These scythe claws can be used for upgrades or, when used as forging material, can grant weapons Paralysis effect. ||

---

The irony of getting boots from a creature that doesn't have feet is not lost on me.

I equip them immediately, of course, not gonna let a little irony get in the way of progress. I just toss my Trash beginner pair, since I wouldn't even get a copper for them. (Chill out, Eco-Warrior. It's not really littering, since Player-Dropped items disintegrate if they remain untouched for 15 minutes.)

Holy bejeesus, these are comfortable.

I'm not saying I'm about to pop a metaphoric boner over a pair of shoes, but I am saying I may understand the whole Furry kink a little better now.

Wanting to test my movement speed post-AGI increase and boots acquisition, I Sprint deeper into the woods.

GUYS, GUYS, GUYS, I AM THE WIND, OMG.

I move so fast the next round of soul-sucking ferns can't even peg me with a Willpower Check.

It's so exhilarating, I don't hit the brakes until my stamina bar completely depletes. Noob move, I know, but...I AM THE WINDDDDD.

Hit with the Weakness debuff, my avatar slouches and starts breathing heavily. I even feel a stitch in my side, which honestly, unnecessary. Damn sadistic devs.

Sparkling lights off the path attract my attention. About fifty meters into the forest, a beautiful pink-flowering sakura tree stands in the middle of a clearing. The glittering lights are the harvestable cherries dotting the limbs.

My stomach grumbles, and I realize I haven't eaten anything since I first materialized. Eating's not required in VR, but the fairly realistic hunger pangs can be distracting. Food's mainly used for replenishing stamina or health, or for special buffs, but the taste engine is pretty incredible, so a lot of beta players started hitting up in-game restaurants and experimenting with recipes for the fun of it.

Eager to replenish my stamina, I leave the path to pick the cherries. It's nice that the game designers decided to forgo the strict science here; you wouldn't get cherries from a still-flowering sakura tree in real life. But the wonders of video games make anything possible.

Five cherries fill 1 SP, so I eat my fill of the tart-yet-sweet, juicy fruits before my green bar is all full and happy again. I go ahead and harvest another couple stacks (200) of them, since that's enough to refill my SP in case of emergencies.

As I'm about to jump down from my flower-laden limb, I see another sparkle deeper into the forest. I edge along my branch, pushing apart pale pink blossoms and straining my Nightvision to see.

It's a pond.

Moonlight glitters off its clear, smooth surface. Reeds line the outer rim, and waterlilies float along the left shore.

Barely discernible from this distance, a different glow emanates from within the dark water. It's a multi-colored sheen, like a vivid supernova's hiding under the surface.

90% Chance of Blue-tier item. 9% Chance of Nova-tier item. 1% Chance of Cursed item.

It's a Celestial Chest.

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