Chapter 39: Patron Journey; Lotar’s Boon
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The two-fancy furred giant Hounds began to shrink back into something. A silent glow of white behind each sucks them back into it and snaps shut before I can take note of anything else.

Disappointing. They were doing fine against the Cultists, and the leader at that, the one I'd now have to face and kill if I'm to receive anything equivalent of a boon.

I don't think Death Grip will cut it though. Standing here I am awestricken by the colourful and vibrant rain of destruction their leader wroth on the militia. The militia, now beset by magic wielding maniacs began to retreat en masse.

Not that I blame them, I desperately want out of here too. But before I make that decision. Leriva.

I spotted her leaning against a large rock when the Hounds made themselves known with that vicious display of violence. Quickly, I head over to her. But it's not as easy as before, the Cultists now wielded magic, their attempts to block my path aren't as feeble as they once were.

Angry, tired and very anxious, I slapped my hand on the first one swiping at me with a visible blade of wind.

"Soul Drain!" having been careful not to get hurt all this time, the extra HP does nothing for my capped bars. However, I really wish I could recover some MP instead.

Huffing, I pull out my dagger and go on power saving mode. The second comes at me with a sword in hand, undeterred by his comrades shrivelled up body. A quick parry to her swing reveals that it isn't just any type of sword, but one coated in fire. The blade bursts out in searing flames and I barely swerve out of range in time, winning burnt clothes and a reddened skin.

"Kyahhahah!" she swings again, the lack of skill with the weapon causes the maniac to over reach, granting me an opening at last, one I use to place to quick well-placed jabs to the kidney and a violent slash outward, veritably splitting her guts open.

The next got the jump on me. A white glowing shield with insignias and circular patterns- I'm not sure, I only get the one glance before being bashed in the head with it.

The strike sends me reeling to the ground, vertigo immensely prevalent, disorienting me for a moment, a moment that served my assailant well. Their follow up is even more brutal, striking at my confused self with the ends of the glowing shield. Its end finds itself embedded in my thigh.

"Aghhh!!" The shield burns with a heat I've never felt before. Searing hot. Perhaps this is the famous white hot I've heard off. It cauterizes and burns open the wound several times in the few seconds I spend screaming.

"Kyah! Ha! Kyahahahahah!" the maniac revels over me. His laughter brings me out of it at last.

In a swift motion or as urgently as one can move to get a shield burning through their leg is. I grab the shield and make yet another mistake; my hands burn, lighting up in flames as soon as I touch it. Every part of it is just as hot it seemed.

"Death Grip!" Desperate, I push the maniac away as it made another attempt to attack me. And just as quickly I use the same Death Grip to pull out the shield from my thigh.

With it out and clattering on the floor I now hear my heart pounding in my chest. My leg isn't looking so pretty. It smells of burning flesh and is pooled with black, boiling blood.

Fuck. Suddenly I'm surrounded. The field is empty now, only the collapsed Leriva and I are in sight. All other militia have fled or have been killed. Anselm alone held off the Cultist leader and he isn't faring well.

There's manic laughter all around me as they approached me, some chanting to join Phien and others simply revelling in their absolute victory over us. Summersaulting and dancing a crooked, disturbing dance as they approach.

My hands are burned, I'm down one limb and in intense pain. Anselm is being flung all about the place, unable to get a foothold in the battle, his immortality the only thing keeping him going.

What now?

"Taserman!"

My head jerks up at the call of my name. It's Leriva, stuck in the same situation I am; encroaching foes and helpless.

"You're a Necromage in a field of dead men! Do something!"

The first thought that intrudes my mind is 'How the hell does she know that!' Fortunately, the second proves more useful to my predicament.

Leriva is right. I am a Necromancer and currently I'm fuelled with all the resources I need to be terrifying. Anselm's limp flying body reminds me of my first try summoning an undead. Last I tried, my Necromancy proficiency stopped me from achieving anything tangible.

But it's been months now, and according to my character information, in this battle alone, I've somehow managed to gain another five levels. I have grown. It seems that all I needed for growth, rapid growth was rapid and successive use of my powers.

Grinding.

If I survive this, I'll have to look for safer and controlled opportunities to grind these levels. I can't help but snort at myself, finally, I'm thinking like an RPG gamer.

I put aside the thoughts and questions of things in the system that just didn't work like they do in RPG games for later and hurriedly pull up the spell I hope will give me a fighting chance.

Create Undead. The spell would allow me to create a ghoul out of corpses. Tentatively, I reach out to the nearest corpse, a militia and resign myself to chance.

"Create Undead." I utter, the last of my swirling blue mana goes cold, shifting to a deep ethereal green that bores through the skin and bone of the dead militia. His bones crack and split through his thinning and thickening skin, skin that now bears a deep hue of pale bloodless blue.

His back bends and breaks in sickening and rapid crunches, turning him hunched as he pulls himself off the ground with thin, elongated arms equipped with sharpened nails at the end of all digits.

In the silence of my power, my creation turns to face me, no longer the militia from before. Instead, it stood hunched and bow-legged with arms that fell down to its knees and a broken, dislodged jaw that drools with hunger its reddened eyes glow with pain and anger. Anger at the living, anger at being a monster.

"Wraghh!" It screams in my face.

"Attack." My command is absolute. Immediately it jumps, summersaulting and vaulting to my nearest enemy; the Cultist with the shield.

The other Cultists yell in protest and bid their time no more. The rush is instant.

"Anselm!" I yell, time to get out of here. My eyes fall on Leriva, she too is about to be slaughtered. The stone walls she erects does nothing to favour her chances.

My first Ghoul, however, is doing well. The shield cultist of course raises its weapon in defence, unfortunately that doesn't matter to the grossly contorted creature I've created. Its legs give way on command and it falls flat on the ground or rather, behind the defence of a raised shield.

Furiously it slashes at the cultist's ankles, shearing it in a single strike. My ghouls prey falls and it descends on it with the grotesque teeth, ripping the throat of the shield cultist out.

"Asher!" Anselm calls out as he lands, swiftly spearing my would-be killers. "Good Goddess! You're a cripple."

"Thanks for noticing, I'm working on a new style, just thought my legs weren't cool anymore."

"You done?" He snorts, shaking his head.

"Get me out of here!"

He groans, moans and tells me so in so many ways as he picks me up. "Are you sure you don't want to fix that?" he asks, tossing a worried and disgusted look at my torn and burnt limb hanging so limply.

"Of course I do! I just need a break; I need to recover some mana." I grunt, him talking about it just made it hurt even more.

He shrugs and takes off, a few seconds later he lands me on the ridge from before. Not the safest place seeing as the Cultists weren't crippled like I am and could climb out of the decline, but he needed to go back for Leriva, and fast. He too was running low on mana.

Meanwhile my Ghoul persists, slicing and dicing away at the Cultists undeterred by their attacks. Over on the ridge I see things clearly, the Cultist horde had thinned. Despite the absolute slaughter on our side, we'd made a dent of sorts. If Leriva could make it out of there I'd count this as a victory.

With my new ability to create undead, I most certainly unlocked many of the other abilities I was limited to before. Necromancy proficiency it seems is now a thing of the past.

In spite of the pain of my leg, I grin. Finally, I'd made some progress. Looking through my list of spells again I grew anxious for a rematch at the Cult, with all of this and my increased mana reserves, I'd get Lotar's boon for sure.

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