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123 Blood feast!

 "Interesting," Dave muttered as he inspected the loot from a Blood Worm corpse.

Blood Stone X 33

Crystalized Blood Worm's Blood X 1

Blood Rune

Dave clicked on 'Blood Stone' for more information.

According to the loot-info the worms eat blood stones, so it wasn't a surprise to find them in the worm remains.

He clicked the next item in the loot window. Something about the description of the Crystalized Blood Worm Blood sounded vaguely familiar. After looking at the Shadow-Tiger Blueprint he dropped before he noticed that it was similar to it.

'I need a shadow worm's crystalized blood. Perhaps there is a variant of these worms nearby. I'll scout around for them when I have the time.'

Dave made a note to himself to search for the shadow worms later, then looked at the last item in the loot window.

It was a rock inscribed with thousands of small symbols written.

The small symbols were organized in the shape of a blood drop.

Blood Rune

Weapon Rune

Ability: Life-Steal

Siphons 50% of damage dealt as HP.

"A weapon with this Blood Rune on it would be unbelievable! Healing me up with my enemy's own life-force while I kill them! I love it, ha ha ha!" He looked around guiltily. He didn't usually let his inner Evil-Overlord out so openly.

Taking the Blood Rune in hand he carefully positioned the life-stealing buff item over his Gauntlets of the Sworn Stalwarter.

The stone shattered, but the thousands of symbols remained hovering over the gauntlet like a swarm of tiny insects for a moment. Then they poured into the gauntlets in a continuous stream, fusing them so the entire surface was covered in the tiny symbols just like the Blood Rune itself had been.

Then a red glow suffused the gauntlets growing brighter until he couldn't see the gauntlets, then the light died and the symbols were gone.

Dave inspected the gauntlets to see the effect:

Category Gauntlets

Sworn Stalwarter's Gauntlets

A weapon made from the hands of the vicious Sworn Stalwarter

Basic Damage 2,000-3,000

Blood Rune[Life Steal]

[Socket]

[Socket]

[Socket]

Requirements

300 STR. 300 AGI 300 INT

Level (1)

Bound to (Death Stroke)

Attributes/Skills Weapon Level (1)

Bound to (Death Stroke)

Attributes/Skills

Weapon Level (1)

When Worn, increases the Area of the skill Infernal Aura by 5x5Meter radius and damage by 0.5%

[Ramp UP] Increases the Damage of Stalwart's Gantlets after each successful hit by 2% capped at 5 times

[Burning Fist] If Ramp UP is activated, imbues a the weapon with fire damage increasing basic weapon's damage by 20%

Special Skill unlocked at weapon level 2

Special Skill unlocked at weapon level 3

"It worked!

"Wait a sec! I still have the rune from the first Raid Zone."

Dave searched his inventory for the Demonic Rune that dropped when Drahma killed Didrik.

Dave picked up the Demonic Rune and inserted it into the gauntlets.

Error!

Incompatible Rune!

"Bugger! Incompatible AGAIN..." He huffed, frustrated.

Not a single one of his Undead had been killed during the battle with the blood worms. Dave was very happy with his battalion, they had performed just as he taught them,

Dave got the attention of his sub-leaders and gave the order, "GO! Move into the mine!"

They reformed into a spearhead and approached the mine entrance.

Inside the mine hundreds or even thousands of stalactites hung from the ceiling of the cave. Each stalactite looked like it was made from drippings of fresh blood. Here and there some of the crimson colored stone formations reached down and met the floor of the cave, making pillars.

They moved farther into the mine and came to a place where it branched into two passages.

Shrugging, Dave randomly chose the tunnel on the right. He assigned two dunlords to cover the tunnel mouth, they were getting a little cramped anyways, any smaller and the scorpion tanks would have to dig through the tunnels.

"Bud, you smell anything, buddy?" Dave spoke as he looked over his shoulder, sure enough, the ghoul was there, covering his back as usual.

"Blood only. Much blood. Too much." Frustrated, the ghoul shook his head in disgust as if to clear the stench from his nose.

Dave figured all the bloodstone around them, which actually smelled like blood, was interfering with the ghoul's highly developed sense of smell.

"Stay alert! We keep moving forward!" Dave ordered as he stood up atop Stinger to better keep a lookout.

A few hundred meters farther, he noticed the temperature in the cave had increased.

Suddenly, the mine wall just ahead of the lead dunluord crumbled and a bloodworm burst forth from ambush, launching itself forward to attack Dave like an uncoiling spring.

The dunlords reacted quickly, one of them exploding forward with insane speed to power-tackle the Blood Worm, smashing it up against the wall and crushing the front part of the wriggling monster-worm between armored carapace and stone in a deadly embrace.

The other dunlords, enraged by the sudden attack, fired their ballista-crossbows at the exposed lower portion of the worm. With its front end still pinned against the wall, the rest of the madly writhing blood worm was riddled with steel bolts bigger and heavier than a normal size spear.

The Undead ranged units shot their spells and regular sized arrows at the creature too. But Dave held the melee contingent back, ordering them to ward the ranged units and be on the lookout for other attackers.

He wasn't about to lose anyone to a possible double ambush if he could help it.

Dave cast a Spectral Skull on the worm and detonated it, he didn't get a damage number because of the level difference. But when the worm convulsed for the last time and its HP hit zero he got his Support EXP.

It hadn't taken long at all under the battalion's combined attacks, and in the sudden silence after the blood worm was put down, Bud lifted his nose up, sniffing.

"Strong, ahead," he muttered. Indicating farther down the tunnel with a jerk of his chin.

The tunnel extended downward a straight line. Far ahead, in the dim glow of the bloodstone the end of the tunnel appeared to open out, maybe into a chamber or cavern.

Dave nodded at Bud and the party moved down the tunnel slowly.

When they reached the opening the lead dunlord crept toward the end of the tunnel silently on the spikes of its walking legs. The scorpion-man sidled up to the opening, looked through briefly then turned and gave Dave a nod.

Dave got down from Stinger, and with Bud covering him, cautiously approached to take a look into the room for himself. The first thing he noticed was the stalactites, the biggest ones they'd come across so far. Then movement caught his eye.

In the middle of the room there was a bowl shaped depression in the cavern floor, filling and overflowing the 'nest' was a truly gigantic coal-black giant-worm. Although it appeared to be sleeping, the curled up body slowly coiled and uncoiled. The creature's motions were a disgustic narcissistic obscenity, its repulsive damp and greasy-looking skin sliding and caressing against itself.

'Fuhhh... Seriously? That thing is the size of a bullet train!'

It was definitely much bigger than the blood worms they had encountered and conquered.

He shook his head, knowing he and the battalion were in for a tough battle in the near future. He examined the disgusting thing:

Shadow Worm

Level 400

Danger Level ☠ ☠ ☠

Tier: EPIC

HP 400,000

Base Damage: 20,000-30,000

DN 12,000

MA 12,000

Skills:

[Shadow Bind] can randomly control a target via their shadow and use it to attack its enemies.

[Burrow] Burrows down and attacks from the underground to surprise prey or hide from danger.

[Suffocate] the worm entangles a target in its coils. 100% of Base Damage. If entangled for longer than 60 seconds the victim will be Executed. (This Ability only works on living beings)

[Consume] the blood of enemies has a healing effect. Health restored at a ratio of 50% of the damage dealt.

Bestiary:

When they find themselves at a disadvantage they will burrow underground for safety.

The Shadow Worms are a mutated variant of the Blood Worms. They have the same abilities except for the addition of [Shadow-Bind].

Silently, he backed away from the entrance and returned to the rest of the Undead.

Climbing back up onto Stinger's back he called out to the battalion, "Alright boyz, this shouldn't be any harder than the Shadow-Tiger.

"Let's give this bitch a wake up call! At him Boyz!!"