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253 Clubs and Fumbles

 The chaos centipede, battered and wounded, was crawling forward into the new dungeon area when they caught up to it. The mini boss looked back and screeched when it saw the players behind it, then it vomited a torrent of yellow liquid across the floor of the passage, covering a wide area. The puddle spread across the floor from wall to wall, the viscous fluid bubbled and smoked, eating into the stone.

"Hold!" Dave called.

Grumpy skidded to a stop at the edge of the spreading pool of acid. The other basilisks had more warning and came to a more controlled stop behind the onyx basilisk. Dave waited for the centipede's skill-summoned acid to dissipate. The liquid soon disappeared, leaving a smoking crater, the stone dissolved inches down from floor level. Dave ordered the basilisks forward.

The basilisks speed increased as the tunnel floor downward angle increased. They caught up to the centipede rapidly. Dave waved a hand to summon four spectral skulls then sent them flying between the centipede's legs and detonated them, making the centipede stumble.

The insectoid monster started sliding,scrabbling down the inclined tunnel until it reached the bottom and rolled through an entrance into the next chamber.

They followed after the centipede, entering a new area of the Chaos dungeon. It was a domed cavern twice as large as the centipede boss-room. The ceiling was covered in a mass of crystalline growths, glowing in all shades of blue light.

The centipede reached the center of the room and turned back toward its pursuers. It started shaking and making moaning sounds.

"Yeah, you better be afraid after all the trouble you've been," Dave said.

"Commander, I don't think we are what it's afraid of," The unholy priestess said.

"Whaddaya mean?" Dave tilted his head than two notification appeared in front of him.

***

You have found a node of extractable ore.

The ore deposit contains the mineral Oprenium.

You have discovered a new mineral.

You can obtain the mining rights to this deposit by defeating Dogaron. Valid for thirty (30) days, at which time Dogaron will respawn.

***

***

You have entered a boss fight against:

Dogaron (Corrupted mini-boss)

You will lose five (5) levels if you are killed by a Corrupted creature and have a -20% penalty to EXP gains for seven (7) days (game-time).

EXP is doubled for killing a Corrupted creature.

Corrupted creatures drop all possible loot from the first kill except for quest items.

Quest items still drop based on their rarity (the rarer the item, the lower the probability of it dropping).

***

"Another mini-boss? Where?" Dave looked around the room, searching.

"It's over there, commander," the priestess pointed to a ledge.

To the far right of the room entrance was a high ledge on the wall. A blue wolf-like creature jumped down from the ledge and landed on the floor with a heavy thud. It must have heard the centipede and come to inspect the situation. Flickers of lightning bounced over and across its scaly blue hide as it swung a spiked, club-like tail from side to side in anticipation of a kill.

The scaly wolf looking shaped monster opened alligator jaws and howled as it charged the centipede. The insect hissed and ran from the new monster.

"That blue bastard is trying to kill-steal our meat! After him, boyz!" Dave called.

He inspected the new creature as they chased after it.

***

Dogaron (Corrupted)

Level: 750

Tier : Demonic

Base damage: 400,000-450,000

Danger Level : Absolute death!

HP : ???

DN : ???

MA:???

Skills:

???

Lore

???

***

When Dave saw the what level the second mini-boss was his eyes bulged. Dogaron had the same level as the Black Dragon.

"Nope. He can have the centipede. Everyone pull back to the entrance!" Dave said.

The group left the dungeon room but stopped outside the exit at Dave's command. Dave climbed down from Grumpy and snuck over to the entrance to watch the two monsters from hiding.

The centipede screamed as it tried to escape. Dogaron opened long crocodile jaws, shooting a streaming column of white lighting that split the ground then cut entirely through the centipede.

***

You have slain the Chaos Centipede (Corrupted)

Because you did not deliver the killing blow to the Chaos Centipede the EXP reward is reduced by 20%.

***

A glowing aura lit up around Dave and the sweet sound of multiple level ups echoed in his ears.

Level Up

Level Up

Level Up

Level Up

Level Up

Dogaron sniffed at the centipede's carcass, circled it a few times then prowled back to the ledge it came down from and jumped back up onto it. Without any fanfare it simply flopped down and went to sleep

'Looks like it isn't worried or just forgot about us. But I still need to get that loot.'

Dave waited for a while then crept through the entrance into the room. He looked toward the ledge, Dogaron was still sleeping.

'I can probably grab the loot without waking it.'

"Commander," the unholy priestess called in a hushed tone.

Dave turned and looked at her questioningly.

"[Northern Wind] won't reach all the way to the monster's carcass, and if I come with you my magic will disturb the dungeon guardian.

Dave thought for a moment,. He'd forgotten, he couldn't be greedy and take the priestess with him because his underlings would get roasted, he had to go in there alone.

"Commander, there is no need for you to risk your life. I can go in and bring the valuables out," a paladin offered,.

It was the same paladin Dave had saved from falling from the bridge over the lava river.

Dave patted the paladin's shoulder, "No, I appreciate the offer but I can't risk any of you guys. If I get killed I'll just come back anyway."

Dave didn't want to waste valuable NPCs, it had taken a lot of time and effort to properly 'recruit' the priestess and her paladins.

"I am willing to sacrifice my life for you, sir!"

"What's your name?" Dave asked

"Zorah."

"Zorah, don't get me wrong buddy, I'm honored to by your loyalty, but I need all the soldiers I can get, not suicide squads."

"I only wish to serve, even in death," said Zorah.

Dave smacked him on the head and said, "No more death wishing, that's an order."

"Yes, sir." replied the paladin.

Dave thought for a moment and said "Listen up, if you really want to serve me. Then, if something happened to me, you lead this group of of this dungeon. Can you do that?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good, that's what I like to hear."

Dave took a couple of deep breaths then crouched and moved toward the chaos centipede's corpse. Every few steps he stopped and looked in the direction of the ledge, making sure Dogaron was still asleep.

Halfway to the centipede's remains Dave felt the coolness of the [Northern Wind] disappearing. His draugr skin sizzled, the air was much hotter than in the centipede's room.

Dave received a notification

***

Warning! You are [Overheated]. You will lose HP until you reach a more normal temperature.

Warning! Remaining in an [Overheated] area for prolonged periods of time will lower your equipment's durability.

***

Red numerals appeared above Dave's character.

-100 HP

-100 HP

-100 HP

...

He'd lost the buff from [Northern Wind], moved beyond the priestess' range. Dave kept moving, he had enough HP to get to the loot and back before he was cooked alive by the heat.

Finally, he arrived at the corpse with his HP bar still two-thirds full.

He inspected the corpse hoping against hope for a corrupted bloodstone crystal.

***

Chaos Centipede Mandibles (X2)

Chaos Centipede Carapace (X3)

Chaos Centipede Eyes (X4)

Grim Blade : Weapon / Dagger

Book of Chaos : Page 1

Quest Item: Corrupt Bloodstone Crystal.

***

'YES! A crystal!'

Dave barely suppressed the impulse to jump around in a victory dance. He placed his hand on the carcass to loot it. Dave heard a low frantic hiss from behind him. He turned and saw the priestess and the paladins waving their arms at him wildly.

Dave turned to the ledge, looking for Dogaron, the ledge was empty. A chill ran up his spine, and it did nothing to relieve the his [Overheated] status effect.

The blue glow from the ceiling grew dimmer. Dave looked up and froze, Dogaron was blocking the light as he fell toward Dave, claws and fangs extended, club tail cocked back for an attack.

A boom shattered his eardrums simultaneously with the club-like tail hammering across his chest. He was sent flying across the room, all the air expelled from his lungs. He crashed to the ground, rolling several times.

A damage number floated up.

***

[-362,880]

***

Then a notification appeared:

***

You have 1% HP remaining!

You are in critical condition!

Passive skill [Unyielding] has been triggered. You are immune to dying for five (5) seconds!

***

"Dammit! I didn't get the loot!"

Groaning, he got back to his feet.

Dogaron growled, annoyed that the draugr wasn't dead.

Lighting crackled across the spikes on the boss's back. The monster disappeared in a burst of lighting and a clap of thunder, immediately reappearing right in front of Dave.

'The fucker can teleport!'

The monster lifted a paw and swiped silvery claws at the draugr. Dave reflexively lifted his shield up in [Block]. But Dogaron was too strong, he crushed Dave into the ground. Then the mini boss swept its tail into Dave, sending the draugr sliding across the floor.

The five-second immunity from [Unyielding] was over. Dave's HP began dropping continuously as [Overheating] went back into effect.

The loot was a stone's throw away from Dave but the monster was not going to let him get it without a fight. Dave cursed and ran toward the remains of the chaos centipede.

"I should have just used the 'Loot All' option in the first place!"

Thunder boomed and Dogaron materialized out of the lightning bolt that struck the floor between Dave and the centipede.

The monster opened its mouth, lightning and fire swirled and coalesced in front of its mouth then shot at Dave in a straight line.

Dave activated [Bastion] just before the attack landed, negating all the damage.

Dogaron stood on its hind legs then dropped down, raking with its claws. Dave teleported away using [Immortal Apparition] and appeared behind the monster.

***

You failed to apply [Horror] effect on Dogaron

***

Dogaron was preparing to swing its bludgeoning tail again, but Dave flipped into [Vertical Slash], evading it. He came down right next to the centipede's carcass and grabbed the pointed end of one of its crab legs.

Dave heard another crack of thunder and everything went dark. A notification appeared in front of him.

***

You Died!

You have been killed by a (Corrupted) monster.

You have lost five (5) Levels!

-20% EXP gain penalty for seven (7) days (In-Game time)

***