[Vol. 1 pt. 25] Advanced Tactics
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It was too late for the woman by the time that the man reached her.

My fire snake injecting its flames into her neck was more than enough to kill her. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I will tell you she was every bit as guilty as he was for coming into my dungeon together.

She did nothing to stop him from attacking my construct. Even if all she did was kill one of my skeletons, she was willing to hurt more of my monsters if it meant investigating and capturing me.

You could say that this day was the foundation for what would eventually become one of my most important laws.

A law that is very much still one of the most important laws to this day.

They who harm us will be slain. They who raise their hands against us will have their hands severed from their arms. They who speak against us will find their mouths without tongues. They who wish to destroy us will be exterminated.

Respect our wishes and we will respect yours. Defy us and we ensure that you can never do so again.

But back then, the “law” was much more simple. It was only a feeling and that feeling was telling me to kill any and all who harmed any of us.

One of them was already dead.

There was one more.

“Damn it!” the man shouted, looking down at his slain partner.

Yet, he didn’t jump down to join her.

He was smart. He knew that to jump down would mean to trap himself and allow any other monsters to swarm him. Since he saw my aurbold and construct, he knew that there were more. There had to be more.

Instead of jump down, he picked up some of the nearby stones that fell from the trap and tried to throw them at my snake.

He missed.

The snake then slid underneath the woman’s corpse to hide from him, and he wasn’t going to crush his partner’s dead body underneath stones just to try and get to the snake.

“Damn it! Damn it, damn it!”

He gripped his hammer in both hands and looked across the pit.

While his heavy armor may have excelled in protecting him, the rest of its effects were negative. It slowed him down, made it harder to move around, and made it faster for him to tire out.

There was no way he could jump across the pit while wearing a full set of armor and while carrying his massive hammer.

He tossed a rock across the pit.

For the sake of survival, he should have left. He should have just ran away and came back with help.

Instead, much like I how chose for my aurbold to throw me at his head to get revenge for him hurting my construct, he decided to throw his hammer across the opening in the ground so that he could safely jump to the other side.

Both of us wanted revenge.

Only one of us was going to get it.

My construct, ooze, and aurbold came out from behind the turn to face him.

To his surprise, my construct already had a replacement arm.

The arm might not have been as strong as its previous arm, but it was doing what it could to make up for its lack in raw strength.

You see, my ooze’s ability to freely shape its body was useful. Very useful. If my construct was missing an arm, all my ooze had to do was “attach” itself to my construct’s shoulder and take on the shape of an arm.

It was not able to form a perfectly-shaped arm nor could it form fingers, but it didn’t need to.

My aurbold helped equip them by taking those centipede’s legs and sticking them into the slime with their dangerous, pointed ends sticking forward. Between them at the end of the slimy arm was that chitinous plate to use for defense.

So, no. My construct did not have another rocky arm. Instead, it had an “arm” made out of living ooze with four, razor-tipped legs sticking out of it with a defense “shield” in-between them.

Though, the “shield” was mainly to protect against any direct attacks that the arm might be the target of. It would have done little good as anything but a last resort given that the legs would need broken through in order to even reach it.

As for my aurbold, she only had the spear-like stinger that she wizened up enough to hold in a way that would allow her to wield it without it flopping around at the joint.

It should have been a rough battle winning against a prepared human covered in heavy armor, but he had three, ready enemies in front of him with two more in the pit behind him.

And he had a dungeon core determined to kill him.

“Shit! What is going on?!” he shouted.

Seeing an aurbold and a construct working together was one thing. Seeing a golem and a fire snake working together was another thing.

Seeing them all work together so flawlessly in a hallway full of traps was a thing that he never would have expected to see in any number of lifetimes.

Fueled mostly by rage, he charged forward with his hammer.

My construct and aurbold were both smart enough to jump out of the way after seeing what his hammer could do, and the ooze thrust itself at his head as they dodged.

A couple of the legs managed to strike his head, tearing the flesh on his cheek, but he wasn’t going down yet.

He immediately counterattacked by swinging his hammer at the ooze.

My construct didn’t even need to get out of the way. All the ooze had to do was lower itself to evade his attack, causing him to shout and grow even more frustrated.

Despite having more and more reason to just give up and run away, he refused. He refused to be a coward. That, I can respect even now. He chose his path and he stuck to it.

The best kind of enemy is the one that doesn’t give up even in the face of certain defeat. Those are the only enemies worth defeating – the only opponents worthy of respect.

But even such enemies still required death.

And as my monsters would prove, even one small step could result in defeat.

Maybe it was the adrenaline that made him focus on the wrong thing. Maybe he was overwhelmed by the unheard-of force he was fighting against.

Whatever it was, he froze when he saw my ooze detach itself from my construct, dropping everything that it was holding onto, to surround his exposed head with its body as my construct "missed" a punch.

His eyes, his ears, his mouth, his nostrils – my ooze’s burning body slipped in wherever it could.

The man dropped his hammer to try and tear my ooze off of his head.

But he couldn’t.

He was foolish enough to assume that my ooze was only going to fight as my construct’s arm. I knew that my ooze’s strength was in attaching itself to enemies and melting them alive.

That was what it did with the centipede, and now that’s what the man’s head had the pleasure of experiencing.

But we still weren’t done with him even if he did drop to his knees.

There was one more deserving than the rest to finish him.

My ooze released his head and my construct stepped up.

He really should have worn a helmet. A rocky fist slamming into the side of his head – into the side of what was left of his head, was all it took to satisfy our desire for revenge.

We killed our first humans – our first invaders who weren’t some random monsters.

I got pissed off remembering what they did to my construct, but damn it if I’m not full of pride right now for how effectively they fought.