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379 Gathering of The Beasts

 The party rode through the wilds, unhindered, unchallenged and unstopped by any creature foolish enough to stop in the way of death. Dave led the whole group on grumpy, the basilisk making quick work of anything standing in his way, bulldozing through rocks, or small trees like if they were made of paper.

The rest of the party followed after Dave, the girls were riding the Forest Pronged Fiend, while everyone else had their own mount, a Dunlord, equipped to match a tank in armor and as deadly.

Through the party-chat, Lone spoke, "Davey, how long until we meet the rest of the boyz?"

"Still a bit of way ahead, keep close, and keep your eyes peeled out," Dave said to the party. They were in the deep Wilds, there was no room to rest, and Dave never believed these areas to be safe even for the lack of monsters coming their way.

"We've been riding on these scorpions for a while now, still no signs of anything I can shoot, Davey boy, why is that? I thought this part of the world should be brimming with things to shoot," Dante's voice came over right afterward.

"Sir, it's because of me, anything weak would run away the moment we go past it, and that's why we didn't fight anything."

"Ah, that means we'll be safe as long as we are with you," Dante replied.

"I wouldn't think so," Flanker pitched in, "Dave can scare the small-fries, as for the big fries, those guys will think of him as a threat. The moment we cross any of their territories, believe me Mr Silvana, you'll know it."

"Incoming!" Perfect Shot roared through the party chat.

Up ahead, through the dark night and the darkness of the Wilds, a loud rumbling thundered. Through the trees, a gigantic silhouette as tall as pine trees and as wide as a truck was coming into view. With every stomp, the ground shuddered.

Dave bent down tapping on the basilisk's back, ordering Grumpy to halt.

"SPREAD OUT!" Dave shouted.

Like a perfectly organized tactical squad; the party spread from each other in every direction.

Mercy hopped off the Prong Fiend and merged with the shadows turning invisible. While Lone pulled the reins on the fiend and took Demeri to the backline with her. Perfect Shot hopped to the nearest tree, securing a vantage point. He had his bow ready.

Fortress and Blaster rushed ahead to greet the incoming threat, all the party members knew of their roles and their positions, with the exception being an old man in brown clothing and his brother in cowboy drabs.

"What do we do?" Dante asked.

"We don't know what's coming but stay in the back, assess the situation then intervene how you see fit, I don't give orders unless it's necessary, the rest is up to your judgement," Dave said hastily as he saw the incoming entity.

It was a load of black fur that walked on two feet and had arms that reached all the way to its knees.

The creature was something common, you could see one in almost every zoo, however, this one was by far, the largest Dave had ever seen. A gorilla, Kong-Sized.

"Shit!" Flanker cursed, "It never went well for anyone taking on one of these, man. We should take another route!"

"Right, we don't need to fight, we need to group up with the rest of the boyz-" Yet Dave's words were cut short, mainly because another entity had joined the fight.

A few hundred meters to the side of the gorilla, the trees parted to reveal an enormous body of a hairy spider. Dave knew this spider very well, it was the Man-Eating Queen spider that chased them a few months ago when they first went into the Deep Wilds.

"What the fuck is going on?" Fortress cursed.

"Calm your tits, so far they're not attacking, something is not right. Don't provoke them, keep calm." Dave gave a swift set of words and backed away with grumpy alongside him.

More creatures emerged around the party, each of them a behemoth of its own right. Until the ground rumbled as something heavy, enormous and clearly a heavyweight among the heavyweights appeared.

***

WARNING! WORLD BOSS HTANAJNA HAS APPEARED!

You may obtain incredible loot by defeating the world boss Htanajna

***

"You've got to be kidding me! We're fucked," Flanker groaned.

"Is he always whining like that?" Dante winced.

"He wouldn't be Flanker if he didn't," Perfect Shot replied but he then added, "But that doesn't change the fact that we're royally fucked."

More monsters appeared, something even he never saw before. A Lion the size of small mountain. An arctic bear, with a fur so white it looked like a ghost in the night. A three-headed wolf with red fur. Giving the myth of Cerberus a great deal of credibility.

More and more creatures emerged around the group as if they were being drawn by something.

"I know that it's pretty bad to move through the wilds with the Stench of the Weak, but man isn't this just too much, not even one of the baddies, I think all the baddies of the wild are here," Tess said.

"David, more are coming, not just the big one, even smaller creatures, they are just scared and can't move any further, but it feels like the whole Wilds is coming our way." Mercy's voice came calmly through the voice chat.

Dave's hands tightened on a bone protrusion coming out of Grumpy's back. He was nervous, but still, his head was cool, he knew that no matter what, or how strong his party was, for these creatures, they were nothing but small fries and they could kill every one of the players in mere moments. However, what made him calm was the simple realization that none of them attacked, not just his party, but each other.

These beasts or creatures are all territorial entities, if any of them was found in another's territory, there would be a slugfest. And so far, so many of them were tightly gathered without any indication of conflict or battle.

Suddenly, all the creatures halted their advances. They made a perfect circle around Dave's party, surrounding them from all sides. This, of course, only Dave could clearly see in the dark thanks to his night vision. For the rest of his party, the most they saw were big, mean red eyes staring at them with hostility but at the same time with a lot of restraint.

"Group up, stay around me and don't attack, I think something big is happening."

Everyone grouped up near each other. Dave kept Grumpy calm, while Spike was an undead and had no need to fear, nor did the Dunlords that were carrying the rest of the players. An eerie calm spread through the Wilds. Besides the loud breathing of the beasts, no one spoke, even the wind didn't dare howl in their presence.

The monsters waited, calmly and patiently, for something to happen. And Dave was damn sure that he wasn't going to be the one to rattle them. Until something came to his mind.

"Guys, don't you think there is something wrong here?" Dave said.

"Wrong? I think everything is wrong," Ralph replied to him.

"No, I meant like out of the ordinary, besides the situation. Don't you think that there is someone very important that is missing this party?" Dave said.

The players thought for a moment, until Lone replied, arriving first to the conclusion, "The Black Dragon is missing!"

Dave nodded to her words. In the whole Wilds, the black dragon was the symbol of power. It was the ruler of all that lived through it, it drew the whole habitat to fear it and respect it. And seeing all of these creatures gathered up without the appearance of the Black Dragon hinted that this meeting of beasts was probably related to such a disappearance.

Dave glanced down at his side-bag. He had placed Onixya in his bag a long time ago, and he had just realized that he had been leveling up like crazy for a while and didn't even check up on her.

Dave opened his bag, and called, "Onixya."

Just as he spoke, his bag shuddered and the small dragon's head popped up. The dragon peeked at the surrounding, noticing the many dangerous, many big, and many strong monsters around her and flinched. There was not much a dragon as small as Onixya could do against these creatures, if it was as large, as old and as powerful as its real parent, Onixya would have made everything here scram in fear and utter terror. But now, Onixya was nothing but a hatchling.

Yet, as it turned out, this was about to change.

Onixya growled and hopped out of Dave's side-bag. Then it jumped up, striding all the way over Grumpy's head.

Onixya was facing the Htanajna, a world boss, the second strongest creature on the Wilds after the Black Dragon.

The small hatchling growled and puffed out a billow of smoke from her tiny mouth.

The Htanajna recoiled, not from fear, but to raise its head and howl. Almost immediately, all and every other creature in the vicinity roared out at once.

The canopy of sounds created ripples through space, as every creature and monster shouted together. It was savage, primordial and humbling. The might of these creatures was convoyed in their howls and translated into a song.

Suddenly a notification appeared in front of Dave.

***

The Ruler of the Wilds has been chosen. As long as it lives and reaches maturity, Onixya shall become the new ruler of the Wilds.

Dave's eyes remained glued at the notification; he had more questions than he had answers.