Just before hitting the ground, Zack employed the movement cancel ability.
A large plume of emerald winds came from the front of his body, halting his descent for a second. The howling winds kept him hovering for a brief set of moments, but the sudden stop had still resulted in him taking thirty points of damage.
It was better than landing face first with no buffer, but even upon landing he took an extra five points of damage. There was no time to lament the throbbing sensation he felt all over though, as he still had to take care of the spider.
Zack took in the area around him as he got up, noting the taller building behind him, and the alleyway below him.
The spider had landed some distance away, but it quickly turned around. Just like before, the spider moved up and down on the ground as if it was a trampoline.
It zipped through the air yet again, but Zack was ready this time. He quickly jumped back, falling into the alleyway before the spider could reach him. He landed on the ground below safely, but the spider had crashed into the wall of the taller building.
Blunt force trauma had seemed to do the trick, as a damage of 100 appeared over its body before it crashed into the ground in front of Zack. Seeing as it was stunned, he quickly kicked it over to reveal the crack.
With a powerful thrust, the blade pierced through the exoskeleton and hit the soft innards of the spider. It began thrashing about as a damage of one hundred fifty appeared over its head, forcing Zack to pull the sword out and jump back.
An emerald halo appeared over Zack's eyes, indicating the activation of the scan ability. Simple runes circled the outer perimeter of the halos, as he focused on the arachnid's health.
[Health: 687 / 1400]
'Not bad, but damn is this bastard tanky. . .'
Seeing as the spider was still thrashing about, Zack had no way to approach it safely. Thus, he made a handful of turbulent Ardor spheres. One by one in rapid succession, wind slashes would slam against the raging spider.
Any slashes that landed on its metallic body parts dissipated harmlessly, but the three that miraculously landed on its fleshy joints dealt fifty points of damage each. The slashes were hardly strong enough to leave a cut on them, but the force behind them was the main source of damage.
The next few slashes that came the spider's way were more focused as a result, clearly aimed for a specific spot. Although he had become proficient in executing the technique, he had yet to practice his aim to such a degree.
As a result, all three of them missed their mark.
The spider's thrashing came to a halt soon after though, and Zack was now certain on how to defeat the damn thing. However, he heard the sound of metal hitting stone in quick succession from behind him.
It was the trademark sound of the spiders walking, meaning his party had just became a crowd.
'Prideful my ass, the thing was calling for backup!'
Not one to get trapped in a pincer attack, Zack quickly leaped away. Upon landing in the street he had found the bat on, he began making a run for it. The spiders gave chase, briefly turning the ground beneath them elastic before leaping towards him.
Neither of them was fast enough to catch up, and by the time they landed, he was already several more leaps away. The two quit their pursuit almost as fast as they had started it, leaving Zack alone to scan them from afar.
'Looks like the newcomer is nothing to worry about. . . I could try a divide and conquer strategy, but they're too close together. . . Not to mention they'll just call for backup again. Should I call for backup then?'
Despite briefly considering his options, Zack figured he could afford downing another potion.
Taking them both on wasn't out of the question, but the endeavor would probably leave him with a less than ideal amount of health.
He made his way back over as silently as he could, but the spiders quickly took notice of his approach. Once he was close enough, he leaped high into the air, attempting the same maneuver he had begun the fight with.
This time, the spider wasn't aware of his exact location until it was too late. With a harsh gust of wind, Zack landed atop the spider sword first. He strained his ankles in the process of using movement cancel, but he had dealt a frightening two hundred damage to the spider.
He had little time to react before the spider began thrashing about wildly again, but he didn't need to. With a handful of slashes, a handful of its legs came off, dealing another two hundred damage per lost leg.
Its threatening temper tantrum was of no concern to him now, allowing him to stab through the crack in its exoskeleton once more. In a matter of seconds, the stronger of the two spiders was down.
[For slaying a higher tier monster, the experience points will be upscaled by 10%. You have received 770 experience points for slaying the Mature Ironclad Aphana.]
Killing the level six spider was pointless because of the level gap reduction, but Zack decided to do it anyway.
Although he didn't have the element of surprise, the spider was too weak to deal any substantial amounts of damage. Its slashes would either harmlessly scrape against his armor, or deal a negligible amount of damage if it managed to slash the opening its companion left behind.
Zack still took it on with the same level of focus though, and slashed through some of its fleshy joints. He left the spider immobile, and then took the time to experiment with it, seeing if there were other ways to take members of its species down.
Its metal exoskeleton had no crack in it, but it was weak enough for Zack to pierce it regardless. Its eyes served as another weak spot, as did its mouth.
The experimentation felt rather inhumane, but seeing as it wasn't human, he was able to push the thought aside rather easily.
A little bit later, he decided to put an end to the spider's misery. With a final thrust through its head, it died. It curled up into a ball as he withdrew his blade, and sheathed it away.
[Because the monster is several levels lower than you, the experience points will be downscaled by a numerator equal to your level. You have received 75 experience points for slaying the Mature Ironclad Aphana.]
'That was way easier than I thought it would be, I hardly lost any health. . .'
Thus, his journey to the eighth waterfall continued.
For whatever reason, the spiders were far and few between. He failed to find any for a time, and when he did, they tended to be weak specimens.
His journey continued, as he zipped by them without so much as a second glance after checking their levels.
About fifteen minutes later, he had arrived at the lake the eighth waterfall poured into. In the distance, he could finally see that large tower up close. It was detailed meticulously with the use of wood, and even the visible stone had been carved to a degree.
However, he turned his attention to the area around the lake first.
It reminded him of a public park, trees and various other plants growing in a few plots of land. He found many herbs from the surface, along with others he wasn't familiar with.
Within each plot of land were a few large crystals, each colored differently. They each radiated a certain type of Ardor, and Zack only knew that because one was emanating wind elemental Ardor.
The air there was a lot more crisp than the air throughout the rest of the cave as a result. It had been thinner in most of the cave thus far, but it was like being on the surface around the lake.
Zack moved on though, exploring the rest of the area and appreciating its beauty.
The lake even had a few walkways going over it, allowing him to peer down into its surprisingly deep depths. At the bottom were a handful of crystals, making the lake's colorful hue far more saturated.
Similar crystals lined the edges of the lake, and he recognized them from the plots of land he saw earlier.
They had a faint azure glow to them, and it was clear that they radiated water elemental Ardor. He couldn't visualize the energy radiating off of them with his mental energy, but he could see that the energy would coalesce into water droplets on the surface of the crystal and in the air around it.
For some reason, there weren't any spiders in that area, nor was there anything of value. There weren't even corpses littered about. It was as if someone was maintaining that area. . .
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Not a lot to talk about today, I woke up late, got to writing, you know how it be. Or at least, you do now. Anyways, since no one seems to be reading my ramblings, I'll be cutting them off here for today. To those that are reading these though, I hope you're having a good time!
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