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[PP-PT-F7] Never Had a Friend Like Me <<Arabian Nights 2: Unfinished Business>>


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Posted (edited)

"Oh don't worry.  If I'm fully lucked out, the amount of dungeons that are seen are incredibly stupid.  As long as they are within my range of sight, then I will always find one.  It's just a matter of which one to pick from."

The hunter would boast while slightly trying to imitate a certain two handed axe wielder.  It made him laugh a little before returning his accent back to normal.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to boast like that.  Just recalling those guys gets me back into my old spirits.  I'm sure they're all still out there somewhere."

He would continue on from where he left off.  As they walked through the main tunnel towards the surface, they would pass the old ruin that was the last dungeon, which had a bright red indicator around it, meaning it was already used and entry was barred.  This could be seen quite a bit on floors that were hunted and grinded on.  Probably half of these were from Freyd's handiwork.

"To understand what happened on the 15th floor and onward, I have to tell you about the 'Curse of the Vice Commander', or so I've affectionately named it."

Hirru would say while pointing towards a broken down and heavily rotted wagon.  Behind it, he could see a few dark elf assassins sitting in waiting.

"Just behind that wagon will be our next dungeon, it seems."

Dungeon Found! [ID: 197581 ] [LD: 1+14= 15 (11+2 (Reveal) + 1 (Detect))]

Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN:110/110 (Full Regen)| DMG: 26 | Mit: 60 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 11 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

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"A curse, eh?"  Freyd's eyes seemed to twinkle beneath his cowl, a crooked smile plastered on the exposed lower half of his face.  "Cardinal has had it out for me since before I left the Town of Beginnings.  Believe me, I've learned to appreciate the plagues of misfortune."  A quick gesture suggested to Hirru that he should switch back his gear.  Reaching across his chest with his right hand, the Whisper pulled the familiar black sliver of void that was his weapon from his left armpit.  When had he even put it away?  Freyd's eyes never left the cart, in case they had already wandered too close and pulled aggro on the assassins beyond. 

"More dark elves.  Great."  There was history there, as well, Hirru could tell, but another story was already underway.  "So, the Curse of the Vice-Commander?  Sounds like a horror story set in a hardware store.  What's the deal?"  His stance shifted, subtly, ready to charge their foes as soon as the word was given.

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While switching out his bangle for the armor more suited for combat, the hunter would continue recalling his past.

"I've done a bit of research into it, and it stands to reason that anyone that took the Vice-Commander role within the Knights of the Blood Oath would find themselves going mad, die or go missing.  Each of the five Vice-Commanders we had seemed to have one of the three things happen, if not a combination of them all.  I don't know why some of them did what they did, or why.  I'm still wonder if one of them will truly come back, and I'm just looking at the Monument of Life for a false sense of hope that they're name doesn't get slashed through."

The hunter slowed down a bit, squeezing his eyelids together to not let anything out.  This wasn't the time for tears to blind him.

"There was a former vice commander before any of us had joined.  He didn't seem maddened, but the conditions did lead into the situation with the next Vice Commander.  She was Opal; a fine leader, and an excellent katana user.  Whenever our Commander wasn't leading us, she would be there, cutting through quests and dungeons that we would venture through to level everyone up.  She did have a slightly warped sense of humor, and would try seducing anyone she could." 

"It was when I joined and very short lived that she was with us.  The former vice, Azide had died on the fourteenth floor raid due to miscalculation and rushed planning due to the leader of another guild, Zelrius of Azure Brigade.  He and another called Ssendom were two players that held the Unique Skills 'Dual Blades' and ' Berserker' respectively.  They were meant to be heroes that would help us burn through the castle Aincrad..."

"They brought sorrow and ruin instead.  Both of them had been known to kill players that were just coming out of the first floor, for no good reason except they talked to them wrong.  Their guild would hoard the demonic rewards they claimed, as they were always the ones to fight and finish the bosses back then.  They rushed through without thinking, and it caused inexcusable deaths.  They deserved to be rotting in the Black Palace, but they didn't deserve to die like that."

"I guess that was why she took the opportunity to do so.  Before the 15th floor boss raid, outside the very gates of the boss room; Vice Commander Opal and one other, by the name of Oikawa, staged an assassination against the two most powerful players in the game..."

His voice seemed to crack as the last part came out.

"..and they succeeded."

Favor of the Gold Dragon replaced with Bulwark  (3LD -> 107 MIT)

Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN:110/110 (Full Regen)| DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

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"Oikawa."  It was a statement, not a question.  "I've heard that name before, from Mari, I think."  Some of the others seemed familiar as well, though more in the sense of lore passing between whispers on the streets.  Some of these figures were legends now, or even villains from Aincrad's would-be distant past.  Even Mari was such a relic, in her own way.  There had been no sign of her since the raid.  Had finally succumbed to fatigue?

Something ignited suddenly behind Freyd's eyes.  Something ferocious and dark, utterly focused on the dark elves before them.   Before another word could be spoken, the Whisper had walked through shadow and appeared in the midst of their enemies.  Cries of surprise turned to anguish and the familiar pop of final expiration.  Such was the force behind each blow that the ground lay covered in trifold splatter like a blossoming trillium.  The fourth had vanished completely, along with every shard within a yard of the angry Whisper.

"Sorry.  Thinking of a friend who might have gotten lost the same way.  The dark elves and I also have a history that is not easily overlooked."  No crimson lilies marked their armor.  He'd slain more than enough of them to know where to look.  It didn't take a detailed search.  Weeks had passed without signs of survival from the Sundered Spire. 

Maybe something good has come from the mess, after all.

Vanity Tag: @Mari

Spoiler

Post Action | AOE-I (x15 AoE, 11 EN +2/hit, +2 Shift): 21 EN - (Rested 1/2; Stamina) = 18 EN. 
Free Action | None

ID #197519 | BD: 9 (Crit +2, Holy +16).  DMG (15*45=675)
ID #197520 | BD: 8 (Crit +1, Fallen +16).  DMG (15*44=660)
ID #197521 | BD: 9 (Crit +2, Holy +16).  DMG (15*45=675)
ID #197522 | BD: 9 (Crit +2, Holy +16).  DMG (15*45=675)

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 106/124 (124-18) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN:110/110 (Full Regen)| DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

Dark Elf Assassin #1 | HP: 0/620 | DMG: 186 (620-675)
Dark Elf Assassin #2 | HP0/620 | DMG: 186 (620-660)
Dark Elf Assassin #3 | HP: 0/620 | DMG: 186 (620-675)
Dark Elf Assassin #4 | HP: 0/620 | DMG: 186 (620-675)

Loot Dark Elf Assassin #1: ID #197523 | LD: 3+8=11 | CD: 6

T3 Rare Weapon [197523a]
T3 Uncommon Consumable [197523b]
2 materials (+2 LD odd)
5208 col (HP[620]*8 - incl. +2 CD even, +5% Col Deposit)

Loot Dark Elf Assassin#2: ID #197524 | LD: 19+8=27 | CD: 4

T3 Perfect Consumables [197524a]
T3 Perfect Consumables [197524b]
T3 Perfect Armor/Shield [197524c]
T3 Perfect Armor/Shield [197524d]
2 materials (+2 LD odd)
5208 col (HP[620]*8 - incl. +2 CD even, +5% Col Deposit)

Loot Dark Elf Assassin #3: ID #197525 | LD: 7+8=15 | CD: 1

T3 Rare Trinket [197525]
4 materials (+4 CD odd)
3906 col (HP[620]*6 - incl. +5% Col Deposit)

Loot Dark Elf Assassin #4: ID #197526 | LD: 16+8=24 | CD: 10

T3 Perfect Consumable [197526]
10416 col (HP[620]*16 - incl. +4 CD/LD even, +5% Col Deposit)

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Posted (edited)

"Oikawa has since redeemed himself, and has been an active member in the front lines.  He may also be taking a break from the stress the front gives, though."

He chuckled a bit before noticing two more mobs lying in wait far from the caravan itself.

"Opal, however, claimed herself a member of a player killer guild named, Laughing Coffin.  She still came to the front lines to help, but it seemed that she had ulterior motives.  In the end, she died too."

The hunter would never tell that Opal fought against Laughing Coffin from the inside and died trying.  It was all in a final message she had sent to him with coordinates for the hideouts of the player killer guild.  They were all empty now, as many high end players hunted them down.

"Don't know much about a Mari, though."

There was only so much one can learn.  The only info about a Mari comes from the mythical '1st year'.  A time in Aincrad history where few players roamed and they were legendary beings.  One could not believe that a single man could solo a floor boss, but that was the myth of the seventh floor boss.  No one can fully say if the tales were real, except those that were there.

Hirru flashed in from around the hill and surprised one, but the other noticed his presence and jumped away.

"Got two more here!"

 

Spoiler

AOE-I (-13 EN)

[ID: 197543] [BD: 1] Miss
[ID: 197544] [BD: 9] Focus Crit +2 28*15= 420-90= 330 Dmg + 32 EVM + Paralyzed

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 106/124 (124-18) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 97/110 (-13)| DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(0,0)Dark Elf Elite Assassin #1 | HP: 700/700 | DMG: 230 | MIT: 90 | ACC: 1
(0,2)Dark Elf Elite Assassin #2 | HP370/700 | DMG: 230 | MIT: 90 | ACC: 1 | Envenomed 32 dmg/ 4 (-330) Palalyzed

 

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The more agile of the two drew twin daggers, falling into a practiced fighting stance.  The fate of his partner didn't seem to phase him in the slightest.  Dark elves were a pragmatic lot, and a paralyzed companion was useless, especially if you couldn't remove the condition.  Better to focus on your foe and make them pay for the deed, hoping your ally would recover in time.  Failing that, you could always just loot his pockets, slice his throat, and no one would ever be the wiser.

His opportunity never came.  Rushing around from the other side, Freyd struck with such blind force that the dark just disintegrated.  The other, still paralyzed, struggled to open his eyes wide and scream in alarm, but Hirru has seen to it that he'd remain silent.  Leaping high into the air, Freyd brought his full weight and momentum crashing down upon their second target, flattening him into a pile of confetti-like shards that spilled out in all directions.

"Their boss will be close," Freyd replied, brushing mob motes off his armor as he stood once more.  "I'm sorry to hear that you've lost friends and allies, some perhaps too complicated to call by either title.  Life likes to suck, like that, sometimes."

Spoiler

Freyd regains +4 EN
CD 6 (no REC proc)

Post Action | AOE-II (x18 AoE, 14 EN +2/hit, +2 Shift): 20 EN - (Rested 1/2; Stamina) = 17 EN.  Charge (CD 0/3) (8 EN)
Free Action | None

ID #197568 | BD: 9 (Crit +2, Charge +5, Holy +16, x2 for Troll's Blood).  DMG (18*50=900 x 2=1800-90=1710)
ID #197569 | BD: 4+8-1=11 (hit, Charge +5).  DMG (18*32=576-90=436)

Note:  Typo in roller on roll 197567 accidentally labeled mob as #12, instead of #2.

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 85/124 (106+4-17-8) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 97/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(2,0)Dark Elf Elite Assassin #1 | HP: 0/700 | DMG: 230 | MIT: 90 | ACC: 1 (700-1710)
(1,2)Dark Elf Elite Assassin #2 | HP0/700 | DMG: 230 | MIT: 90 | ACC: 1 | Envenomed 32 dmg/ 4 | Paralyzed (370-436)

Loot Dark Elf Elite Assassin #1: ID #197570 | LD: 7+8=15 | CD: 9

T3 Rare Armor/Shield [197570]
4 materials (+4 CD/LD odd)
4410 col (HP[700]*6 - incl. +5% Col Deposit)

Loot Dark Elf Elite Assassin #2: ID #197571 | LD: 15+8=23 | CD: 11 

T3 Perfect Consumable [197571]
4 materials (+4 CD/LD odd)
8820 col (HP[700]*12 - incl. +5% Col Deposit)

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Posted (edited)

"Huh..?  Oh.. yeah.  Life does indeed suck at times, and it's been doing it quite a bit lately."

The hunter found himself realizing that he was going off on one of his tangents.  If he could, Hirru would talk all day and night about the exploits and antics of the Blades / Knights.  They were all hilarious and precious memories for him.  The hunter's eyes seemed to downcast a little before bouncing back up.  They may have been his past, but all of those memories were what made him what he was now.  Who knew what he would be if he hadn't have met Xion at that faithful fountain in the Town of Beginnings.  Would his mind have gone towards a darker path, pursuing vanity?  He shuddered under the thought.

Soon after Freyd had settled their business with the other two, a different ping would ring out, one right behind him.  An emergency AOE would rip through his surrounding to keep the mob from hitting him from behind.  A figure in a cloak seemed to have caught in his AOE, which seemed to shred a bit of its cloak's hood.  Underneath it was a weird mask, he didn't know what it was about, but it seemed purposeful.

"That was a little too close for comfort."

Spoiler

AOE-II Charge (-24 EN)

[ID: 197572][BD: 5+7-1=11] Hit 31*18= 558-150= 408 Dmg

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 85/124 (106+4-17-8) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 77/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(0,1) Hassan of the Council| HP: 792/1200 | DMG: 270 | MIT: 150 | ACC: 2 | EVA: 1 (-792)

  • Critical (MD 9): Deals (300) DMG to the target with the highest hate. Also deals (150) DMG to every other player.
  • Critical (MD 10): Deals (330) DMG to the target with the highest hate. Also deals (225) DMG to every other player.

 

Edited by Hirru
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Gazing upon the mask, Freyd's eyes narrowed with familiarity.  The dark lily, brand of Queen Lun'Rael of the dark elves - she who led them to their downfall.  Freyd was convinced that she had survived the magical explosion that created the Vale of Ruin, here on floor twenty-three.  Moreover, he also suspected that she had become the twisted figure behind an NPC faction that had emerged in the month leading up to the floor boss fight on twenty five.  

"Loyalist or Usurper?  Which are you?  Do you speak for the lily or merely parrot her trappings to wield authority in her name!  SPEAK!"

A dagger came flying at Freyd's head, only to be batted aside by a swipe from Freyd's staff.  The weapon twisted in the Whisper's hands, catching the elder assassin in the ribs and staggering him where he stood.  Hirru had seen enough of Freyd fighting to know that he could have split him in half, had he wanted to.

"You get one chance, assassin, and that was it.  Choose your next words very carefully."

Spoiler

Freyd regains +4 EN
CD 10 (+8 EN from REC proc)
Charge (CD 1/3)

Post Action | TECH-A (x12, STUN, 12 EN): 12 EN - (Rested 1/2; Stamina) = 9 EN. 
Free Action | None

ID #197573 | BD: 2+8-1=9 (hit).  DMG (12*27=324-150=174).  Stunned.

Hassan is stunned and loses his action.

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 88/124 (85+4+8-9) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 77/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(1,1) Hassan of the Council| HP: 618/1200 | DMG: 270 | MIT: 150 | ACC: 2 | EVA: 1 | STUN IMM (0/3) | STUNNED (792-174)

  • Critical (MD 9): Deals (300) DMG to the target with the highest hate. Also deals (150) DMG to every other player.
  • Critical (MD 10): Deals (330) DMG to the target with the highest hate. Also deals (225) DMG to every other player.

 

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Posted (edited)

The figure couched from the strain to his old body, but it was nothing compared to the efforts of his predecessors.  He grunted before holding his ribs, there wasn't much time left in his life to waste it on this.  The dark haired one had asked him a question, and he could only cackle through the rasping coughs.  A dark shriveled hand appeared from under the robes pointing towards the hunter.

"I would like to say the same to him, but it is easily seen where his allegiance lies.  I wonder.  How is the boy?"

At the mention of 'the boy', the hunter instantly knew where this was going.  His breathing started to haggard before his teeth clenched and it became a growl.  Springing forward, the hunter immediately re-engaged with the masked figure.  His Fang sank into the cloaked figure square in the chest, the venom that coated the blade seeping into the orange digital gashes.

"Where is he!"

The hunter bellowed out before ripping the blade out of the grand assassin.

Spoiler

ST-B (-18) [CD last hit: 12]

[ID: 197588][BD: 8+7-1=14] Focus Crit +1 27*20=540-150= 390 Dmg + 32 /4 Envenom

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 88/124 (85+4+8-9) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 63/110 (+4-18)| DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(1,2) Hassan of the Council| HP: 228/1200 | DMG: 270 | MIT: 150 | ACC: 2 | EVA: 1 | STUN IMM (0/3) | STUNNED  Envenomed 32 dmg 4/4 (618-390)

  • Critical (MD 9): Deals (300) DMG to the target with the highest hate. Also deals (150) DMG to every other player.
  • Critical (MD 10): Deals (330) DMG to the target with the highest hate. Also deals (225) DMG to every other player.

 

Edited by Hirru
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A furrowed brow broke Freyd's interrogation.  He spared a turn to gaze at Hirru questioningly. 

"What's he talking about?"

The slightest glimmer of steel caught his eye.  Another dagger slid into the elf's hand, with a familiar tint of poison upon the blade.  Reactions kicked in.  The staff came down on the man's collarbone just as its holy seals repealed themselves, unleashing the hunger of the void within.  Samael's Pride carved through the mob's form like it wasn't even there, which, in the aftermath of its passage, it wasn't.  

Freyd blinked.  The assassin had vanished, suctioned into the nothingness he somehow held in his own hands.

"Ah, crap.  I think I broke him."  With the threat eliminated, likely too hastily, the only other source of information was at his side.

"Hirru?  Were you at the battle against the Dark Elf Council?  What's going on here?"

Given what had just happened, talk of curses and madness and not this, this time his weapon stayed out.

Spoiler

Freyd regains +4 EN
CD 12 (+8 EN from REC proc)
Charge (CD 2/3)

Post Action | ST-B (x20, 20 EN): 20 EN - (Rested 2/2, Stamina) = 17 EN.  Previous SA: ID 197573 | CD 10.
Free Action | None

ID #197592 | BD: 6+8-1=13 (hit, Fallen +16).  DMG (20*43=860-150=710)

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 83/124 (88+4+8-17) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 63/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(2,2) Hassan of the Council| HP: 228/1200 | DMG: 270 | MIT: 150 | ACC: 2 | EVA: 1 | STUN IMM (0/3) | STUNNED  Envenomed 32 dmg 4/4 (228-710)

  • Critical (MD 9): Deals (300) DMG to the target with the highest hate. Also deals (150) DMG to every other player.
  • Critical (MD 10): Deals (330) DMG to the target with the highest hate. Also deals (225) DMG to every other player.

Loot Hassan of the Council: ID #197593 | LD: 8+8=16 | CD: 1

T3 Rare Consumable [197593a]
T3 Rare Weapon [197593b]
2 materials (+2 CD odd)
10080 col (HP[1200]*8 - incl. +2 LD even, +5% Col Deposit)

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Hirru's rage didn't seem to subside as the form of the man was destroyed, being weaved into the mass that was Freyd's weapon.  The only thing he could see from the Hassan was the mask revealing a grave smile and a small mouthing of words.

'Good luck'

"GAAAHH!!"

The hunter pierced the ground with his sword.  Another one died before giving him any information about the whereabout of Durares.  He would have to get in contact with Baldur to head into another den.  They were the only dungeons that seemed to give him any sort of closure.  Still slightly pissed, the hunter sighed to relieve some pressure, but all that came out was a low growl.  Freyd seemed to be asking more questions, and the hunter would oblige.

"Yeah, I was.  It was a shit show in the making.  We were doing fine, and were mostly prepared for anything that the Council would throw at us."

He picked himself up with Shelob's Fang still stuck in the ground.

"We didn't account for one of our own to try and stop us."

1/3 Energy Regen
2/3 Charge

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"Let me guess: someone got all sappy and sentimental, and tried to save the mobs?  I've seen the type and heard the rumours."

Freyd stood, callously unmoved, his weapon braced against the inner crook of a convenient elbow.  He'd stepped back, leaning against his heels to give the hunter some space and also watch.  He was good at reading people.  Too good, considering how little he actually seemed to understand so many simple concepts.  Anger wasn't one of those.  Neither were rage or the drive for vengeance.  Those were intimate friends and called upon when the occasion suited their mood.  The rest of the time, the Whisper was as a machine - an analytical engine devoted to the task of solving whatever puzzles might find themselves before him.  He'd already unraveled quite a few, and some of considerable significance.  Here was another, tied to the history of legendary players.  Dots would need to be connected, but more first had to be revealed.

"What is going on here, Hirru?  Who was this man and the boy to whom he referred?"  Leaning forward against the death stick, its containment field warbled as it flexed precariously under his weight.

"What are you after?"

***

Freyd regains +4 EN
Charge (CD 3/3)

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"I don't know who that was.  He could have been a subordinate of the old Council, or he could have been part of something new.  All I know was that he knew something about the last boss of the 23rd boss raid."

The hunter sighed normally now, as the talking was getting him to calm down a little more.  Though, the information within would put him on edge.

"You're right that some of us got sentimental.  One tried talking to them, which kind of worked, but only to get some information out of them.  Another would try enticing the bosses to stop fighting, it never really did well either.  Then there was the third one.  He chose a more direct approach.  At some point, that man went mad, and used his own body to protect one of the bosses, a young dark elf boy named Durares.  This was all after making an oath to protect the people of Aincrad and ensure their future.  What a sham.."

He was beating himself up now.

"He was the last Vice Commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath, and now the Traitor to all players, for giving the boy a chance to escape.. to live."

Pulling the sword out of the ground, and returned it to his scabbard.  There would be a short trek to the Underdark, but enough time to continue on.

"Let's go.. I'll tell you more before we hit Ugzeke."

2/3 energy regen
3/3 Charge recharge

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Hirru's story was consistent with the rumours, or at least enough of them to be able to believe.  There were only so many witnesses to such events, and always hundreds of stories invented after the fact.  Would the same eventually be said of their battle against Shadow?  Unlikely.  It was a far more straightforward battle.  No real ambiguity, save those that had been eager to fell Orgoth in the early stages.  Morality was never a crystal clear affair, not matter who said otherwise.  Freyd remembered this lesson, and nodded his agreement.  Ugzeke was never far, once you reached the underdark.

"Azide, Opal, Oikawa and yourself.  That leaves one, whose name you haven't yet spoken.  Or have I missed a step in your tale?"  Madness and treachery indeed.  Freyd wondered if he should be more cautious, but there had been no signs of instability in Hirru.  Even stabbing the ground, just now, was explainable.  Freyd, too, had touched the edges of madness in his time.  Who was he to judge?

***

En refreshed.

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Posted (edited)

"Heh, Oikawa wasn't one of us.  He was apart of another guild, but still got roped into the assassination of Zelrius.  No, the third vice-commander was our good old Mack himself.  The boisterous man self promoted himself the moment Opal killed Ssendom.  At least he kept the ball rolling for a while, and we kept plowing through each hurdle.  Until he disappeared, that is.  He's didn't turn mad, or at least we don't think he did, but anyone would with little Chewie destroying your food stock."

The hunter began to smile a bit more.

"After some time, we got another player by the name of Lowenthal to take the mantle.  He was once an orange player, for reasons he did not want to explain.  However, he was one of the first to show me that the book isn't judged by it's cover, or so that saying goes.  After some time though, I found out from an old friend of both Lowenthal and myself that Lowe had passed away; taken from us by another player.  I've been told that he grew mad, and threw himself into their spear.  He had had enough of this twisted world."

His eyes fell now to his partner and newly found friend.

"And you guessed right..  I guess I'm too easy to read, huh.  That's right."

He would stop to meet Freyd up front.

"I was the last Vice-Commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath, and traitor to everyone that lived and died here in Aincrad.  I went against my word to free everyone to let a little boy go free."

His hands tightened.  He didn't care about revealing that he was a traitor, that he had betrayed everyone because a digitally created child feared for their life.

"Was it sentimentality?  Pretty sure if was..  Can you blame me for being sentimental?  Of course you can!  You understand that this world is fake!"

Full energy regen

Edited by Hirru
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"I..."  Freyd's voice stalled.  "Am poorly equipped to judge."  That would sound compassionate, right?  The statement was true, but spun towards expectations.  He had not idea what Hirru had actually done, or the basis for his decision.  Data was lacking.  It might have also been more accurate to point out that Freyd's moral compass spun by a different pull.  His focus was on goals and objectives, not feelings or moral foibles.  On the surface, it seemed that Hirru had made a choice that put the entire raid at risk.  It it was true, some reason would be required.  

"By which I mean: I don't understand what you did, exactly, and why."

Honesty.  Hirru had earned it over their recent encounters, regardless of his past.  Prejudice was about as useful as morality, from his perspective.  He'd rather listen to the story and assess its merits for himself.

Unfortunately, distracted as he was, Freyd also walked face-first into a giant troll's butt.

Spoiler

Post Action | TECH-G (x12, 12 EN, BURN): 12 EN - (Rested 1/2, Stamina) = 9 EN.    Missed (2 EN)
Free Action | None

ID #197623 | BD: 1 (miss) 

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 122/124 (124-2) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 110/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

Ugzeke | HP: 3100/3100 | MIT: 160 | DMG: 300 | ACC: 2 | EVA: -1

Abilities:

  • <<Oblivious>>: Every turn, unless <<Ugzeke>> rolls CD 5+, he will remain oblivious to the enemy party and refuse to attack. This skill is disabled once <<Ugzeke>> becomes <<In Pain>>.
  • <<In Pain>>: Once <<Ugzeke’s>> health reaches 1200, he will become enraged as his skin turns red and he notices the party fully. His ACC is reduced to 1, but his EVA is increased to 2.
  • <<Smash>>: On an MD 9-10, his attack will hit the entire party for 225 DMG, lowering everyone’s ACC by 1 for two turns.
  • <<The Harder They Fall>>: Upon being hit with a Focus Sword Art, <<Ugzeke>> will falter and his next attack will have -2 ACC. This can only trigger every third turn.
  • <<Hard Hitter>>: <<Ugzeke’s>> attacks cannot be parried.
  • <<Tier Lock>>: For the duration of the fight, all of the participants’ stats that scale with Tier are calculated as though they’re Tier 4. [DMG/MIT/BLEED enhancements etc.]
    • This skill only locks downward. Those at Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 will still have T1, T2, or T3 stats, respectively.

 

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Posted (edited)

"Huh?"

The hunter was speechless.  This was really the first time that someone didn't understand what was going on, but that seemed to dawn on the hunter too.  His betrayal wasn't fully going out.  Could it be that Hikki boi was suppressing the information, was it all just the front liners of that day that knew of the events of that day.

"Oh.. I.."

The hunter pulled out a teleportation crystal from his battle ready pack.  He waved it around a bit, as Hirru remembered what happened.

"In the Council fight, one of the five members was a small boy called Durares.  He was essentially the healer and prophet? for the group.  He could use this deck of cards to apply buffs and debuffs while healing select council members.  We had already killed two of the most dangerous ones, and it was beginning to look like we would be able to resolve the battle rather peacefully after killing the main leader, Isaxi.  Unfortunately, Durares had painted himself as a more desirable target as the squishy healer, and no one else would listen to what I or any of the other two were asking to spare him and kill Isaxi."

Hirru held his arms out wide, making himself look bigger than he really was. 

"There was another of the Council, Evahira.  She seemed to be protecting Durares, but not from obligation, more from kinship.  Like a brother-sister, or something along those lines.  So, I put my body on the line.  I chose to be a second shield, and gave them my only teleportation crystal to leave.  It was given to the boy, whom was able to use it.  In the meantime; I was shoved aside, stabbed, and ridiculed for being a f*cking dumbass for betraying my words and betraying everyone there."

The hunter lowered his arms while putting the crystal back.  He didn't have time to be trading tales right now.  Ugzeke was his target now, not Durares.

"So that's my crime.  I have my reasons for what I did, but I hope you sort of understand.  An A.I. that can nearly replicate a proper being, especially a child haunts me."

Hirru said while running up to the bum bum of a mob and sank Shelob's Fang into his achilles tendon once more, stunning him in place.  

Spoiler

Tech-A (-10 EN)

[ID: 197624][BD: 6+7-1+1=13] Hit 26*12= 312-160= 152 Dmg

Ugzeke -> Stunned

[ID: ][BD: ][CD: ][MD: ]

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 122/124 (124-2) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 100/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(0,1) Ugzeke | HP: 2948/3100 | MIT: 160 | DMG: 300 | ACC: 2 | EVA: -1 Stunned (3100-152)

Abilities:

  • <<Oblivious>>: Every turn, unless <<Ugzeke>> rolls CD 5+, he will remain oblivious to the enemy party and refuse to attack. This skill is disabled once <<Ugzeke>> becomes <<In Pain>>.
  • <<In Pain>>: Once <<Ugzeke’s>> health reaches 1200, he will become enraged as his skin turns red and he notices the party fully. His ACC is reduced to 1, but his EVA is increased to 2.
  • <<Smash>>: On an MD 9-10, his attack will hit the entire party for 225 DMG, lowering everyone’s ACC by 1 for two turns.
  • <<The Harder They Fall>>: Upon being hit with a Focus Sword Art, <<Ugzeke>> will falter and his next attack will have -2 ACC. This can only trigger every third turn.
  • <<Hard Hitter>>: <<Ugzeke’s>> attacks cannot be parried.
  • <<Tier Lock>>: For the duration of the fight, all of the participants’ stats that scale with Tier are calculated as though they’re Tier 4. [DMG/MIT/BLEED enhancements etc.]
    • This skill only locks downward. Those at Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 will still have T1, T2, or T3 stats, respectively.

 

Edited by Hirru
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"Eww.  Why does this keep... oh, shit!"

The odour was indescribable.  Freyd wished he could wretch, but the game mechanics - or Cardinal's twisted sense of humour - would not permit it.  Holding his breath as best he could while he stumbled to gain some distance, Hirru fortunately moved in and saved the day.  Haunted by the scents and sights he'd just experienced, the Whisper launched himself towards their foe, as if driven mad by the need to purge them from this digital existence.  Leaping high as he swung, the power of his strike carried a righteous need for vengeance that caught the teetering troll on the left temple and sent him flying.  Poor Ugzeke slammed into a nearby rock spire with such force that the column collapsed on top of him, leaving only his hand exposed.

"I really need to watch where I walk."  Scrubbing the insides of his mouth, then wiping his face, he spat repeatedly, desperate to eliminate any trace.

"Urk.  Disgusting."  

Ugzeke's flesh suddenly flare red and steamed as he struggled to pull himself from debris field his impact had created.

"Look.  You had your reasons.  Whether or not I agree with them is irrelevant.  I judge people by what they do, not what they did.  And nothing that I've seen so far gives me any pause for concern.  Now, would you mind taking the next swing?  I need a sec."

*BLERCH*

Spoiler

Freyd regains +4 EN
CD 12 (+8 EN from REC proc) 

Post Action | ST-B (x20, 20 EN): 20 EN - (Rested 2/2, Stamina) = 17 EN.  Charge (CD 0/3) (8 EN) | Last SA roll: ID #197623, CD 11
Free Action | Crystal of Divine Light (Free, Instant [after roll], +1 slot of holy/fallen, double dmg next turn): 

ID #197625 | BD: 9 (Crit +2, Charge +5, Holy +24).  DMG (20*58=1160 x2 TROLLBLD= 2320-160=2160).  TXV applied.

Freyd will take double normal damage for the next turn.

<<In Pain>> triggers

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 109/124 (124+4+8-17-8) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 110/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(2,1) Ugzeke | HP: 788/3100 | MIT: 160 | DMG: 300 | ACC: 1 | EVA: 2 | STUN IMM (0/3) | THTF (0/2) | TXV 24 (0/3) (2948-2160)

Abilities:

  • <<Oblivious>>: Every turn, unless <<Ugzeke>> rolls CD 5+, he will remain oblivious to the enemy party and refuse to attack. This skill is disabled once <<Ugzeke>> becomes <<In Pain>>.
  • <<In Pain>>: Once <<Ugzeke’s>> health reaches 1200, he will become enraged as his skin turns red and he notices the party fully. His ACC is reduced to 1, but his EVA is increased to 2.
  • <<Smash>>: On an MD 9-10, his attack will hit the entire party for 225 DMG, lowering everyone’s ACC by 1 for two turns.
  • <<The Harder They Fall>>: Upon being hit with a Focus Sword Art, <<Ugzeke>> will falter and his next attack will have -2 ACC. This can only trigger every third turn.
  • <<Hard Hitter>>: <<Ugzeke’s>> attacks cannot be parried.
  • <<Tier Lock>>: For the duration of the fight, all of the participants’ stats that scale with Tier are calculated as though they’re Tier 4. [DMG/MIT/BLEED enhancements etc.]
    • This skill only locks downward. Those at Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 will still have T1, T2, or T3 stats, respectively.

 

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Posted (edited)

The red skinned troll had gotten up at this point, and aimed his attack towards the dark haired, red eyed one.  His fist was about to connect before a swirling light would spin around his arm, carving a path of orange scars along the whole of the arm.  A large impact upon his forearm would throw the punch way off the mark, and into the adjacent wall.  Looking at the wound, in a large crater in his skin, the troll could see the green haired swordsman with his blade still stuck within the creature.  As it pulled its arm back, the hunter would pull out from the creatures flesh and retreat as far as he could.

"Try not to over do yourself, Freyd.  If the stench is getting to you, then we can end him quickly enough.  I just shattered his mitigation a bit."

He would then smile a little.

"Thank you for being honest about it."

Spoiler

Tech-D (-10 EN)

[ID: 197626][BD: 7+7-3=11] Hit 26*12= 312-140= 172 Dmg

Ugzeke -> THTF -2 -> Attacks

[ID: 197627][BD: 1-3][CD: 9][MD: 4] Missed

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 109/124 (124+4+8-17-8) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 94/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(2,2) Ugzeke | HP: 592/3100 | MIT: 140 (-20) | DMG: 300 | ACC: 1 | EVA: 2 | STUN IMM (1/3) | THTF (0/2) | TXV 24 (1/3) | Shatter (1/3) (788-172-24)

Abilities:

  • <<Oblivious>>: Every turn, unless <<Ugzeke>> rolls CD 5+, he will remain oblivious to the enemy party and refuse to attack. This skill is disabled once <<Ugzeke>> becomes <<In Pain>>.
  • <<In Pain>>: Once <<Ugzeke’s>> health reaches 1200, he will become enraged as his skin turns red and he notices the party fully. His ACC is reduced to 1, but his EVA is increased to 2.
  • <<Smash>>: On an MD 9-10, his attack will hit the entire party for 225 DMG, lowering everyone’s ACC by 1 for two turns.
  • <<The Harder They Fall>>: Upon being hit with a Focus Sword Art, <<Ugzeke>> will falter and his next attack will have -2 ACC. This can only trigger every third turn.
  • <<Hard Hitter>>: <<Ugzeke’s>> attacks cannot be parried.
  • <<Tier Lock>>: For the duration of the fight, all of the participants’ stats that scale with Tier are calculated as though they’re Tier 4. [DMG/MIT/BLEED enhancements etc.]
    • This skill only locks downward. Those at Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 will still have T1, T2, or T3 stats, respectively.

 

Edited by Hirru
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"Persi!"

A jab to the troll's largest and closest toe unleashed the shadow terror that was his familiar upon the beast.  The shadow mongoose mauled as she crawled all over the field boss, slicing at tender bits, biting at where he sits, and the like.  Even his rage-like mode, the mob was no match for the ferocity of a roused mongoose.  Freyd stood by and watched as Ugzeke's health bar dipped into the depths of crimson.  A press of lips and curt nod were offered in recognition of his companion's thanks.  He might have felt differently, had he been at the Council battle, but that was neither here nor there.  Hirru was a good fighter, and more self-aware than most.  That counted for something, at least with him.  Extending an open palm towards the mangled troll, Freyd extended his offer.

"I got him the last few times.  Why don't you take this one, hunter?"

Spoiler

Freyd regains +4 EN
CD 1 (No REC proc) 
Charge (CD 1/3)

Post Action | ST-B (x20, 20 EN): 20 EN - (Stamina) = 18 EN.  Charge (CD 0/3) (8 EN) | Last SA roll: ID #197625, CD 12
Free Action | Grappling Familiar (CD 0/5)

ID #197628 | BD: 2+8-2=8 (hit).  DMG (20*27=540-120=440).  Ugzeke is stunned.

Freyd | HP: 1035/1035 | EN: 95/124 (109+4-18) | DMG: 27 | MIT: 123 | ACC: 8 | EVA: 3 | BH: 51 | LD: 8 | PROSP 3 | FLN: 16 | HLY: 16 | TXV 24/3 | TROLLBLD | PARA IMMUNE | REC: 8
Hirru |  HP:806/806 | EN: 94/110 | DMG: 26 | Mit: 167 | TRN: 30 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 3 | LD: 8 | PAR: 1 | ENVENOM: 32/4

(3,2) Ugzeke | HP: 152/3100 | MIT: 140 (-20) | DMG: 300 | ACC: 1 | EVA: 2 (0) | STUN IMM (1/3) | GRAPP IMM (0/3) | STUNNED | THTF (0/2) | TXV 24 (1/3) | Shatter (1/3) (592-440)

Abilities:

  • <<Oblivious>>: Every turn, unless <<Ugzeke>> rolls CD 5+, he will remain oblivious to the enemy party and refuse to attack. This skill is disabled once <<Ugzeke>> becomes <<In Pain>>.
  • <<In Pain>>: Once <<Ugzeke’s>> health reaches 1200, he will become enraged as his skin turns red and he notices the party fully. His ACC is reduced to 1, but his EVA is increased to 2.
  • <<Smash>>: On an MD 9-10, his attack will hit the entire party for 225 DMG, lowering everyone’s ACC by 1 for two turns.
  • <<The Harder They Fall>>: Upon being hit with a Focus Sword Art, <<Ugzeke>> will falter and his next attack will have -2 ACC. This can only trigger every third turn.
  • <<Hard Hitter>>: <<Ugzeke’s>> attacks cannot be parried.
  • <<Tier Lock>>: For the duration of the fight, all of the participants’ stats that scale with Tier are calculated as though they’re Tier 4. [DMG/MIT/BLEED enhancements etc.]
    • This skill only locks downward. Those at Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 will still have T1, T2, or T3 stats, respectively.

 

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