Level 48 Night Raid
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Their goblin prisoner continued to scream at them in its language long after they looted the wolves and left the scene of the fight. Rydr held the monster with both its feet and hands restrained in either of his huge palms as the team sped through the forest.

All the while, Syrna, and Rydr used their [Eyes] to peer past the curtain of darkness around them. 

Eventually, they were half a kilometer from the fight and paused to give Syrna time with the goblin. Originally, the team feared keeping it under control, as the beast was on the cusp of level ten.

The archer surprised them by holding the monster down herself. Apparently, the blonde never slacked in her progress as a pure Strength archer. 

Since his services weren't needed, Rydr conference with the others while Syrna focused on the goblin. The Titan kept his eyes on the forest as the others discussed the fight.

"That was insane, dude. Where did that damage come from?" Urginok openly admired the teen's attacks as he whispered to him.

Hermes pointed at Niko and Rydr, "Their buffs let me do it. But, I attacked the weak point of a canine's skull. Coupled with my speed and enhanced damage, the game had to give me the insta-kill."

The others nodded as they listened to Hermes' guess. Damage wasn't just a formula in Frontier Online. It was logical. The wolf couldn't live with a dirk shoved more than halfway through its brain. 

So the game killed the canine instantly. 

A similar event happened with Rydr's wolf and in a few of his previous fights. Past a certain point, the game acknowledged physics, regardless of level suppression. Maybe, if the wolve's were [Alpha's] instead of high-level base wolves, they might have withstood their opening attacks. 

A nebulous upgrade seemed to happen to a monster when they evolved. Whatever it was rebuilt them from the ground up. Made their bones and muscles denser, harder. It wasn't until the [Alpha] was severely weakened by the Titan that he was able to break its spine and finish it off. 

Unfortunately, they wouldn't have it so easy going forward. The goblins were sure to be more dangerous. The little beasts were sentient, even if that was a little generous, making them far more dangerous than a small pack of distracted wolves.

Hermes went on to explain that he was too fast. The teen arrived next to the wolf before he knew what was going on and barely had time to brace his dirk. 

Everyone witnessed the result. Hermes went tumbling end over end on contact with the enemy, with his hand destroyed by the attack. 

However, it apparently paid off. Hermes shared two notifications with the group- sans Syrna. The first notification was a feat, while the second seemed familiar to Rydr.

Epic Feat! Deadly Sting

Congratulations! You are the first diver in [Frontier Online] to achieve a one-hit-kill with Dexterity. There lies a thin line between Strength and Speed, and you’ve found it. Feat Rarity Increased.

·       +10 Dexterity

·       +5 Strength

·       +5 Free Points

Hidden Skill Unlocked! [Peerless Celerity]

Congratulations! You have reached 75 Dexterity and have unlocked the innate hidden skill [Peerless Celerity]. Your swiftness defies logic, letting you dance around foes and deliver piercing strikes. Use [Peerless Celerity] to temporarily have the Dexterity to outrun death!

·       Add 50% Dexterity to the current score

·       Duration: 1 Minute

·       Cooldown: 1 Hour

In the teen's haste, he went ahead and sent the group both notifications before they absorbed the first. After a few moments of reading, everyone made admiring noises, making Hermes grin ear-to-ear.

Since Rydr's team was so forthcoming, Niko felt bad and volunteered some information, "I've got a skill like this for Wisdom, except mine is called 'Wisdom of the Ages.' It's got the same cooldown too."

Rydr grunted when he heard that. The Titan double-checked his character sheet and confirmed that, yes, he was only four points away from obtaining the passive skill for Wisdom. He decided then and there that the team didn't need to know that yet.

Urginok reread the feat notice morosely and said, "I guess I won't be getting anything like this for Constitution..." 

Rydr tried to reassure the tank, still keeping his eyes on the forest, "Who knows? Maybe, you'll reflect enough damage, or something, to one-shot an enemy? You might end up as the only diver in the game to get a feat like that." 

Behind the giant, the brown-haired man smirked, thankful for the encouragement, "Maybe. Following you around, I feel like I'll have to."

"I feel like that's an insult." 

"It is," Urginok confirmed.

Niko was busy reading the [Deadly Sting] feat. She wasn't quite envious. Instead, the brunette diver envisioned a whole slew of feats that would be hers. Her gun/magic-based build was something she planned to make only hers.

Plus, the physical guns were the beginning, not the end of her build. 

Rydr glanced over at Syrna, wondering how the archer was doing with learning the language, as it turned out, very well.

Syrna was actively talking to the goblin, at least from Rydr's perspective. The growling, barking language of the goblins flowed from her lips. 

And, the goblin looked scared for the first time since Rydr laid eyes on the beast. Even as the giant watched, Syrna lunged forward with her dagger, cutting the goblin's throat. 

Rydr ignored the fatal crit notification, letting the goblin bleed out as he walked up to the archer, "What did you learn?"

Syrna sighed and looked up at the giant, "That we need to make a stop before heading into the mine." In the next moment, the goblin finished bleeding out and exploded into light. 

*****

The team slowed down as they neared the mines and extinguished their torches in the interest of remaining hidden. Since that left most of the time blind, Rydr carried Hermes and Niko to keep them from making noise.

Syrna held Urginok's wrist and slowly led him forward, trying to forwarn the tank of any elevation changes by tapping on his forward foot.

Together, the party traveled until torchlight entered their vision. Syrna led the team to a clump of trees even Rydr could hide behind, where the Titan let his passengers down.

Niko squeezed his bicep, smirking comically at the giant as he put her down. At the same time, Hermes was already checking out the light source.

Rydr used [Aetheric Eye] to see past the torch's glare, revealing a beehive of activity around the mine's entrance. 

Unfortunately, this time it wasn't guild players. A rudimentary fortress surrounded the scar-like opening in the ground. While the Titan saw many goblin-sized bundles of Aether running around, plenty of adult-sized hobgoblins were in the camp.

In the midst of the monsters seemed to be a medium-sized bundle of Aether, glowing much brighter than the others. For whatever reason, the medium-sized monster never moved, staying in a seated position and occasionally raising its arm.

Rydr opened his message interface and sent everyone in the party a warning. 

[Rydr: It looks like a full encampment around the mine's entrance. My best count places 18 goblins and around 10 hobgoblins in the camp. Plus, what looks like a boss monster in the center, nearest the mine.

More are coming and going.]

Syrna quickly replied. 

[Syrna: Grunzut, the goblin we captured, said there were thirty goblins and half that many hobgoblins. Everyone is under the command of Lord Garzer, in the absence of Warlord Gagnar.]

I'm inclined to believe him since the little bastard was bragging when he said it. 

Patrols explain a few absences, but some have to be in the mine to protect their territory.]

Urginok found their message channel and sent a reply.

[Urginok: Why are they organizing like this?]

[Syrna: Take a wild guess.]

Urginok looked up at her quizzically, to which the archer jerked a thump back toward Grotto. The tank nodded and turned his attention back to the camp. 

[Niko: What's the plan? I don't think Rydr could even take on that many.]

Hermes got their attention and sent a message. 

[Hermes: If you're all fine with it, I know another entrance to the mine, not too far from here.]

The team pondered for a while before Rydr suggested a plan. 

[Rydr: Before anyone says no, think about this. Hermes leads everyone to the mine's other entrance. Get in and search for a cuboid, pink mineral. That's vanadium, and we need as much as we can grab.]

The group demanded to know what he would be doing. 

[Rydr: I'm going to slow them down a little.]

*****

Twenty minutes later, found Rydr on his own, circling the goblin camp to avoid getting spotted. His extra-sensory skill allowed him to dodge the patrols so far, but more seemed to be returning to the camp. 

Feeling pressured to act while he still could, the Titan navigated around the camp, planning how many passes he could make. The goblin camp was set up in a large hexagon, with three watchtowers spaced around the perimeter. 

It became difficult to discern what lay in wait in the middle because of the mass of living Aether. There was too much happening for Rydr to get a good look at any structures. He would have to risk it and charge in blindly. 

The colossus lined himself up so his first lap through the camp would send him directly through the bases of two watchtowers. Rydr assumed he was strong enough to break through the roughshod wall and towers, but he wanted a little insurance. 

As a precaution, the Titan activated [Berserker's Rage] and layered his spells to [Reinforce] his Strength once more. Since the order of the buff's effects mattered, Rydr activated the rage first.

Twenty-two percent settled into the giant's physical stats as his body began to steam in the cool night air. Without looking, Rydr calculated his interim score.

218. While that was most likely enough, Rydr then applied his spells, raising his Strength score to 311. 

Rydr shook himself and stretched out his limbs, testing how the new level of buffs affected his body. There was a little tightness around his knees and elbows, but the rest of his joints seemed fine to him. 

The Titan imagined a full-force jump alongside [Peerless Physique] would destroy his knees as easily as it did the ground right now. 311 would have to do. Anymore, and Rydr risked crippling himself in the middle of his attack. 

 As ready as he could be and with the timer for his buffs bearing down on him, Rydr began to back away from the camp. Despite his excessive Strength score, the giant wanted a running start before he burst into a camp of hostile monsters.

*****

Within the goblin camp, Lord Garzer called for all activity to stop. Goblins and their evolved counterparts milled around, not daring to move. If they did, Lord Garzer might choose them for his next experiment. 

The shaman occupied a strange place in their society. Most goblinoid respected physical might more than mystical power, so they struggled to obey the diminutive leader.

More than one hobgoblin learned that lesson the hard way and was little more than soot stains on the ground around camp. 

As the unruly goblinoids did their best to remain quiet, Lord Garzer got down and put his ear to the ground. Slowly but growing stronger were huge, stomping footsteps. 

Despite his pride, the shaman panicked, assuming a tribe of trolls found their camp. The shaman stood up, ready to call his forces to arms.

It was suddenly too late.

Rydr burst through the camp's Northeast wall, sending rough timber everywhere as the goblins lept into action. In front of Rydr, the first watchtower seemed to disintegrate against his runic vambraces. 

The Titan kept his eyes closed, relying on [Aetheric Eye] to avoid the goblinoids in his path as the watchtower fell over behind him. Where the giant crashed through their camp's wall, it began to stoop, succumbing to gravity without proper supports. 

Lord Garzer waved his hands, barking orders as a giant blur passed through the center of camp, barely missing him. The goblin shaman paused his magic-casting, trying, and failing, to lay eyes on the troll attacking his invasion camp.

A huge crash resounded through the camp, forcing the shaman to scream in rage when he turned and found the second of his three watchtowers falling over and another hole in his wall.

He would've sent some of his grunts after the troll, but it came so close to him and so fast that the shaman ordered his goblins to surround him protectively. 

Rydr finished his wide arc outside the camp and began to make a second pass. The watchtowers were incorporated into the wall, so his first attack on the goblin's walls collapsed two-thirds of the structure.

The Titan lept and bound over huge root systems, enjoying his speed as he prepared to ram into the last watchtower. 

Although he wasn't fighting the goblins, Rydr's adrenaline was through the roof as he braced his forearms in front of his body. His impact against the wall barely registered, tearing through the watchtower's base and wading into the crowd of goblins before he could change course.

One of the armored hobgoblins threw itself at the Titan's legs, bringing the giant to a rolling stop.

Suddenly, Rydr was face-to-face with the whole horde. 

Lord Garzer stood up from his crouch, screaming at his forces to attack the giant immediately. 

Even though he had no idea what the little guy was saying, Rydr [Inspected] the shaman as the colossus hopped to his feet, scattering the skittish goblins nearest him.

[Garzer, Rare Hobgoblin Shaman] (Level 15)

HP: 24,376

MP: ???

Skills: ???

Passives: ???

Rydr blinked in astonishment at the tiny powerhouse, backing away as the shaman began to rally his goblins. Gravel slipped from under Rydr's feet, reminding him that the mine's entrance was right behind him, waiting to swallow him.

The Titan turned around to face the horde of goblins, who were beginning to bristle with serrated weapons. 

Rydr quickly weighed his options before making eye contact with the shaman, even through his throng of protectors, and giving the monster a snappy salute.

Then, the giant performed a small backward hop, maintaining eye contact with the shaman as the ground broke his line of sight.

 

 

AN:

Thanks for reading the latest chapter~ Let me know ASAP if you see a typo!

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