"It's been a while, but it's time to upgrade another skill..."
While looking down at my status I check the proficiency points available to me.
We continue to fly around in circles narrowly dodging the monster's bright blue energy attacks.
I need to make it through this monster's defenses and take in enough mana to continue battling at a steady rate. I'll either need to up my mana control drastically, or use the points available to me and upgrade a skill.
Leaving the dungeon right now isn't an option. I told my teammates I'd clear it, so that's what I'm doing...
I'm less than 20 points away from being able to upgrade my next legendary skill, Absorption.
That's the only reason I've been saving them up for so long.
It's the skill that has gotten me this far. All thanks to being able to take the powers from monsters I kill, I've been able to defy the odds and get stronger much faster than everyone around me.
Though... in a scenario like this, what's absorption good for if I can't defeat the monsters with the skills I'm trying to steal?
I scroll down my list and choose the logical decision.
If it's Tier 2 mana control I have to contend with, then I'll just make my own version of it.
Info: Plunderer allows the user to take mana from opponents once physical contact is made. Mana crystals and other magic items may be plundered.
The effectiveness of the user's ability to plunder decreases if the average mana control output of their opponent is higher than their own. It is much more efficient to plunder weaker enemies.
MP may be consumed in mana-rich dungeon environments, but effectiveness is severely lacking compared to direct contact plundering.
Grade: [No Grade]
I click Upgrade as two blue blades shoot by my head and the rumble of dozens more freshly spawned in mutants approach.
[No Grade] -> [Special Grade]
The [Special Grade] Plunderer skill allows the user to plunder opponents up to 50% greater mana control than their own with equal proficiency to their own level.
The [Special Grade] Plunderer skill allows the user to absorb MP from dungeons with much higher proficiency. Even when mana is not visible to the naked eye, it may be plundered all the same. Contact with any dungeon mass is also considered a viable link to plunder MP.
The [Special Grade] Plunderer skill will not affect the dungeon's structural integrity. It will only limit the amount of monsters available to respawn from the source.
Without batting an eye, I click upgrade and immediately feel a difference.
I activate my plunderer skill, to charge up an attack, and feel every free-floating mana particle in the air begin to move in towards my body, down my arms, and into my sword.
It's like breathing in fresher air than I ever knew existed. No MP potions or strengthening fragments can beat the pure feeling of power that's just entered my veins.
With my All-Seeing Eye and Mana Manipulation simultaneously active, it feels like I can see, touch, move, and absorb everything atop this mountain.
No... in this whole dungeon.
A faint pink glow, similar to my mana manipulation adds itself to the mixture of blended colors in my dark red and golden aura.
"The real battle begins now."
I start launching off 3000 MP attacks at the monster one after another like it's nothing...
Every twist and turn through the air we make into new portions of mana-filled air allows me to charge up my blades almost instantly.
Sure, they'll take a toll on me once I hit my daily MP consumption limit, but I have a few hundred shots at this power level left in me. So, it's time to get to work.
The first shot I fire off is blocked by the mutant boss' blade. The second one right after hits its left side.
White and blue light appears followed by the explosion of flames as I watch its barrier crack over at the point of impact. Two more shots erupt from my blade one after another and fly off in its direction.
One heads straight for its outreached dual blades while the other curves around to slip right through the cracked opening in its blue mana barrier.
Another loud twang and cracking noise follows. A loud roar confirms I made a direct hit.
As the residue clears and its shielding starts to reform, the crimson glint of blood dripping from a small cut catches my eye.
I smirk as Ember dives downwards and we fly to its opposite side.
To make things easier, I take out my dagger. It allows me to force the barrier open with one attack and send another strike in right after to do the actual damage.
I let out more shots of mana as Ember spins and dives to avoid the rage-filled attacks of the boss.
Fire begins to burn dark red on the ground below us. Every attack Ember and I send lets out large plumes of dark flames that spread from mutant to mutant slowly burning them alive.
Even if they're not hit head-on with a direct attack, they're killed moments after they spawn.
The only thing immune to the flames is the merciless boss. Its suit of blue armor wades through the thick flames and puts them out on contact. A line of untouched rock floor trails behind it.
We circle the beast as it lunges towards us again and again.
It may be fast and powerful, but our speed and agility in the air are far above the Boss monster's capabilities.
The fallen mobs leave shards behind. They're starting to pile up and give off a visible glimmer of white and blue light even from here.
Everything is going as planned.
The only problem is, as many shots as I fire off, it's getting harder and harder to hit this crafty creature.
I've landed 5 more successful blows, but the shielding in its place is getting harder to hit.
It's also predicting my attacks and dodging over half of them now. I'll have to try something else.
I jump off of Ember's back, now having more than enough teleport points plotted in the air to handle myself.
With the element of surprise on my side, I can much more effectively send attacks into the monster's bright blue armor. It takes 1 wind slash to break it, and 1 fiery attack to damage the beast. I can send off 2 before narrowly blipping away to avoid its counterattacks.
There is some damage, but it's not nearly enough... If only I could land one more hit per time I attack. A wind and fire combo attack would complement each other and do much more damage.
Gritting my teeth, I land another 3 total hits while blipping around 7 more times. Small gashes appear on its arms, legs, and torso but all I've done is it angry.
Every time I break through its mana shielding, the blue barrier just grows back stronger.
I open my link with Ember as he continues to weaken the Boss' mana armor while eradicating the mutants in the crossfire.
"I need to you take out its source."
I look up at the dark blue stream of mana that's been continuously flowing down into the battlefield this entire time.
There's far too much mana for me to consume. I can sense millions of MP flowing out from the Dunegon and around the body of this monster.
Ember replies while sending off a final fireball to destroy a wave of approaching Ogres.
"Understood, I'll block it from the sky. To Absorb this much mana, I'll need to concentrate. I trust you'll finish the battle."
While gripping my sword I turn back to the Boss.
"If it can't regenerate its shielding any further. I can handle it."
With that, Ember takes to the sky and I air step downward to let out another attack before blipping away to its blind spot.
The monster is becoming frustrated but keeps its composure with dark blue eyes locked on me for the full time we fight.
The more attacks I land, the better it learns my movements too. Not only can the humming blue mass of mana dodge me more often than not, it's also letting out its own attacks faster and with more precision as well.
Sometimes, I even have to move out of the way before releasing an attack of my own. It's predicting my Dungeon Walker teleports.
Finally, Ember's voice echoes in my inner ear.
"It is done."
I feel a familiar feeling crawl over my skin and my vision is tinted red.
The ambient mana in the air drastically decreases for a fraction of a second while it feels like time slows down.
I turn my head to see Ember high in the sky above the mountain radiating a dark red crimson aura. The blue mana clouds are reacting and glowing bright white.
An incredible light fills the sky, and the flight path of appraising foreign dungeon mass is successfully blocked.
My perception of time speeds back up as a wide grin crosses my face. The Boss monster is distracted by the sight as well. Taking advantage of the moment, I release another two attacks to land a devastating blow on its left side.
I let out a laugh and blip away while watching the monster heal its broken shielding.
It's not by much, but the dense shield shrinks ever so slightly to mend the hole.
After a few more teleportation maneuvers, air-step dodges, and near misses, I land another strike to the monster's back.
With a loud cry, the Boss' dark blue eyes tighten, looking even more angry than before as it heals the shielding's hole.
It shrinks again.
I've gained the upper hand.