Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
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29 Daring Done, Part Three
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Humanity Online: World Sanctuary
Author :Seshata
© Webnovel

29 Daring Done, Part Three

I rush the Boss, releasing my jet black wings as I run. As I cry out for blood and glory, my blades leave trails of silver-white and void-black streaks behind me. My tattoos curl and twist around the left side of my face, answering Aku's call; inky blackness fills my left eye. Zen sings in my right hand, and my right eye shimmers silver-white.

To the Oni, I look more a monster than any of his minion horde.

Taking advantage of the transformation delay, I slide through his legs, slicing both ankles. A notification tells me Zen's special attributes are triggered; Oni no Gekido is evil-aligned, so double damage, and the system is counting the Kodama as a weaker being I'm protecting, granting me triple damage on top of that!

I twist as I stand, facing the demon's back, then store both swords to get my hands free. I use my Climb skill to clamber up to his head, grab his gross greasy hair for leverage, unseal Aku, swing around, and stab the Boss in the eye.

"ARRGHH ROAR!!!"

Sweet.

The system tells me the eye-stab counts as a 3x Damage Surprise Critical Hit. Usually those only happen when you've assassin-snuck up someone, but I guess "surprise" has a few different meanings. It's probably a surprise to the system and the Oni that I would be so stupid as to try to actually kill the Boss with only one lantern left.

Shit, it's a surprise to me, too. I get it.
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In his rage, the Boss claws at his own head to attack me. I kick off his head for a little extra Fuck You damage, and backflip off the Oni. He swings his scythe, so I flap my wings, slowing my descent to avoid his one-hit kill move.

Honestly, it's a bit overkill. With the level difference and my meager HP, demon dude could flick me with a single finger and it would be a one-hit kill.

I'm glad his combat AI doesn't realize this, since huge over-the-top Skills are way easier to time and avoid than quick little attacks. It makes sense he wouldn't; the system designed this fight to make the Oni one-hit obliterate those lanterns, so a brand-new player could survive even against seemingly insurmountable odds.

I dodge another few epic attacks, finding my rhythm and learning the formulaic attack and responses of this Stage Three Boss. He's faster now, without his club of doom, but with my movement buffs and AGI, my speed is still superior.


He's a tiger, sharp and swift.

But I am the wind.

And once I figure out his timing, I push my focus to the extreme, to a place where action and thought are as one. Zen'aku sings as I become the bitter, biting winds of a winter storm. I fly in and out of all the Boss's attacks, leaving stinging wounds on every part of the demon.

With my hyper-focus, I'm hitting 95% or higher skill proficiency with every move, so my racial skill kicks in and every hit deals double damage. Even better, I'm still rocking The Natural title, which boosts my proficiency up to 100% with certain skills. The game gives a 15% bonus for skills completed at 100% proficiency, so I'm actually dealing enough damage to counter his powerful monster auto-regen.

Slowly, the red Boss HP bar decreases.

The hardest attacks to dodge are the ground-trembling smashes that create three AoE shockwaves. The first couple times, I revert to my previous battle plan and simply leap onto the final lantern or the Kodama Shrine.

But I hate the time wasted getting back into the fight, and I really don't want the oni to smash the lantern or the shrine. So I create a new tactic, something so suicidal and stupid, it has Lunatic Lieu written all over it.

Instead of running away, I run to the epicenter of the attack.

At the same second the scythe comes slashing down, I use the jumping skills the creepy twins' death game taught me and use my wings like the other tengu children to complete some seriously badass aerial twists and flips, all to avoid the scythe. Unlike the club, the scythe is more maneuverable, so the oni can change the scythe's trajectory and slice me to bloody D'Raven bits if I don't adjust in midair.

Once I've dodged the curved blade, I flap my wings to stay airborne for the initial ground-smash and first shockwave. Then I drop onto of the scythe itself. The aftershock of the Skill sticks the blade into the ground for 1.25 seconds, so I use that time to race up the handle. I duck under the oni's free hand as it swings in a hard punch at my face, then I push my dexterity to its limits keeping my balance as the Boss shakes the scythe in frustration.

I use Aku as a climbing stake and stab the claw gripping the scythe, right as the weapon is freed from the broken ground. As the Oni howls in agonized wrath, I hold tight and rise into the air on the trembling scythe. The demon swings the scythe back and forth, trying to knock me off; instead, I use every pass to slice the Oni with Zen. Finally, when he prepares to smash me to smithereens, I release Aku, jump to the ground, and circle around to his blind spot.

Every time I circle to the Oni's back, I land my strongest kicks with my Yokai Boots to one place on the small of the demon's back. About a third of the time, the kicks make him stumble, and when his arms pinwheel as he tries to keep his balance, I leap up to hack away at his head and neck.

Once, when he catches himself, and the scythe and claws come at me, I jump forward off his shoulder, twist in midair to face his chest, stab Zen and Aku into his torso, and slide down his body, slicing him open as I go.

Blood and guts spill out, half-realistic, half-shiny pixelated game graphics.

It's so gross.

I fucking love it.

Aku's full-on screaming, filling the arena with this bloodthirsty battle cry that sounds like an entire legion of frenzied berserkers. Zen's haunting song shifts to match, sounding like the perfect Hero Rides to Battle soundtrack music, and both Zen and Aku's battle melodies mesh perfectly with the game's own battle soundtrack.

As hyped as a person can possibly be, I ready myself for the finale I feel coming.

I swap Zen for Whistling Starfall. The Oni's flame-eyes blaze in recognition, and he grimaces in annoyance. He must see the throwing dart as an annoying mosquito that won't stop biting no matter how many times he slaps it, and sometimes it also blows his face off.

Grinning, I hurl the dart for my bajillionth headshot today. I mentally tip my hat to the devs; they've increased the combat AI of the Bosses even further in the weeks since the beta. It's going to be a total pain in the ass, but it's insanely impressive that the Bosses can learn to recognize weapons, players, and Skills in the course of a single fight.

KA-BOOM!

Meteor Blast knocks the Oni's head back, and he's blinded by the bright sparks and black smoke. I swap Zen back and slide through his legs, again slicing his ankles. This time it counts as a Crit Hit, and the Boss's Wounded effect makes him fall to his knees. I turn and land kick after kick, using my insane accuracy to strike the exact same spot I've been hitting every time.

"197, 198, 199, 200—"

[Yokai Boots have inflicted Paralysis!]

"Fiiiinally!" I cheer, shaking my head at my impressively abysmal luck. The Paralysis Effect only has a 1% frequency, so I figured it would take a full 100 kicks to induce, given my luck to date. But no. Because it's me, it's 200.

Sigh.

I hold my breath in anticipation; I've been kicking the same spot every time for a reason, and now's when I see if my crazy plan was worth anything.

For half a second, nothing happens. Then the Oni totters, and howls, and crashes face-first onto the rubble-strewn floor. His head lands directly on the remains of his mosaic's face.

"Hehe, you're kissing yourself. Freak."

I can't believe this worked. HELLS TO THE YES.

For reasons, I'm all-too-familiar with how nerves operate in the body. The place I kicked 200 times was directly over where the demon's lumbar vertebrae should be. Paralysis to the lumbar region of the spine? Hello, paraplegia!

"Thank you, devs, for your beautiful nerdy souls and painstaking attention to detail!" I wave to the air in general as I race in for the kill.

For the 3 seconds the Paralysis stays in effect, I go ape on the Oni's head with Zen'aku. First, I repeatedly thrust both blades into the demon's firepit eyes until I hear the telltale ding—

[Zen'aku inflicted Blind!]

Then I take a page out of a jaguar's playbook and repeatedly stab the Oni in the ears.

(Fun fact: A Jaguar insta-kills its prey by sinking its long fangs into its victim's ear and stabbing it in the brain.)

[Zen'aku inflicted Deaf!]

Not quite insta-kill when I do it, but good enough. When the paralysis ends, the Oni lurches to its feet, deaf and blind and growling in fury. His once-smooth scythe attacks are blundering and easier to dodge than ever. I don't even have to think to weave around the weapon, and I finally have the opening I've been waiting for.

Chakra Burst!

Using my dual blades, I strike all seven of the wrath demon's chakra points. The final strike is a cross-blade slash at the oni's feet with both Zen and Aku.

"Timber, Bee-yatch!!"

With a mighty roar, the Boss crashes to the ground like a felled pine. I leap onto his chest and double-stab his heart. The final drop of HP disappears, and the demon explodes into a dizzying array of blue-opal fragments and stardust.

*Chime!*

[Quest Complete! You completed Tengu Foundation Village Quest of Daring: {Daring-Do for a Daring Dude!}]

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