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64 The Quest of Gathering Souls

 "Take this Orb of the Souls with you and gather the souls of the enemies you have slain. Since you are fighting alone, you are very vulnerable to enemies but seeing you so confident, I will be expecting good things from you," the Knight Lich King said.

[You got "Orb of the Souls"(Quest Item)]

[Orb of the Souls(Quest Item)]

Description: An item given by the mysterious Knight Lich King that tasked you to collect the souls of the monsters killed in the dungeon. It emits a cold chill in the skin when touched and will glow bright red once it consumes enough souls.

"Don't fail me, boy. I expect great things from you," after that, he disappeared in thin air.

As soon as the Knight Lich King disappeared, an interface appeared before me.

"Warning: If you die in this quest or log out in the middle of the game, the quest will automatically fail and you will face punishment. Please proceed carefully."

I almost cursed to the message in the interface. Who would have thought I would be accepting a punishment quest?!

A punishment quest is one of the gimmick quests in the game. These particular quests have conditions you need to follow while doing the main quest that is given. If you failed to follow the protocol of the quest like this one where it prevents you to die while performing the mission, you will receive a punishment that will be decided by the NPC that issued the quest. From what I can remember, there should be at least the reduction of stats punishment and less experience debuff. But the most troublesome of the punishment is the 1-month ban and the 1-year ban which stops you to play the game, making you miss many events. I also heard that there was a punishment that deletes your in-game character permanently. It was a really harsh punishment and one guy experienced it.

I am just hoping that this quest is not that kind of quest. Even though I am confident that I will easily clear this dungeon, there is something that might change in the enemies in this difficulty due to the addition of the Knight Lich King's appearance. I have to be cautious about it. The Knight Lich King is absent and nonexistent in the previous timeline so I am not sure who this NPC was.

I've been idle for a bit now. I have to start doing the work.

The next area I was about to visit is the Graveyard of the Damned which is one of the populated areas of monsters in the Insane Mode of the Lesser Purgatory, making it the best place to gather the souls needed for the Orb of the Souls. While going to the destination, the enemies are also appearing slowly especially the Skeleton Goblins which always act in groups.

[Skeleton Goblin]

Level 40

HP: 15,000/15,000

Attributes: Undead

These enemies are weak, they are weak to physical attacks and will easily die if you strike their heads with blunt weapons. They only pose a threat because they are numerous and they are good at attacking as a group which will prove to be annoying to many players.

"Here we go again," I sighed. Honestly, they are an annoying bunch.

The skeleton goblins launched an attack with their short swords and shields equipped. I have trouble with these bunch because their AI is able to predict player movements. As soon as I changed my weapon into a Hammer and swing it to the majority of skeleton goblins gathered, one of the skeleton goblins with the shield quickly deployed itself to the place where the hammer will fall.

BANG!

-16,000

The message of the kill appeared on my interface but it is only one kill. However, I didn't counterattack because I already predicted the attack. Quickly changing the Hammer into a Shield and Spear, I immediately deployed the shield in front of me.

PANG! PANG! PANG!

Arrows rained down upon me and the melee Skeleton Goblins jumped behind me with their short swords in their bony hands. Before the Skeleton Goblins can reach my body, I twirled the spear in my hands and spin it to the enemies, deflecting them to the attacks.

If this was just a Magic Sword, I would have a hard time doing a simultaneous action while also defending. Good thing, the Versatile Weapon can change without maintaining its form allowing me to perform combos.

As soon as the goblins are deflected, I charge the shield to the other Skeleton goblins before changing the form into a hammer once again. They might be annoying and good at team fights but they are slow. While they are still trying to recover from my counter, I already deal with damage to them. That took care of them.

I thought that only creatures like the zombies and evil beasts are counted to the soul count but the skeleton goblins were also counted. After my initial combat and annihilation of the Skeleton Goblin's group, I managed to get 35 souls. If that was the case, then getting the 200 souls will be an easy task. It will only involve destroying the dungeon's boss and killing every single mob.

Arriving the Graveyard of the Damned, the zombies quickly took notice of me and started running at full speed. They don't walk slowly like the zombies in George Romero's films, they run like marathon athletes.

They pose a little threat this time because they are lumped together which means AOE attacks will be very useful in this situation. However, my instincts immediately kicked in. Without thinking twice, I raised my Versatile Weapon and turned it into a sword.

KLANG!

I managed to block the attack but...

[You received 4,951 damage!]

The amount of damage I received made me feel cold in my body.

'I almost died!'

My current HP is around 5,000 since I have yet to put the stat points. Which means I am only one hit away before I die here. I immediately backed off from my current position and pulled out a potion that would immediately bring me back to full health.

But what the heck did hit me?! If I didn't raise my Versatile Weapon instinctively, I would have died back then. And even if I managed to block it, a residue of the force that the attack made caused me to receive damage which means the enemy that attacked me is capable of ignoring defense values.

But what enemy would be able to ignore defense in this dungeon? There was no enemy that can do that in here! Even the bosses don't ignore defense and can be easily defeated by tanks with good DPS back up! If there was an enemy that ignores defense, then Tanky players would just be walking piece of metal to these enemies that can ignore defense!

I changed my weapon into a Magic Sword and stab it to the ground. With the zombies coming here, I have to make sure that the enemy that attacked me earlier can't just blend into the horde of zombies.

"Earth Fissure!"

As the ground cracked and shook causing the zombies to fall to the crack and die, I survey the area quickly to check any odd movements. I can't afford that enemy to kill me with one hit. Even if I am now back to full health, having an enemy that can attack and ignore defensive values is worrisome. Imagine having a full defense that can block any attack even those that are caused by bosses like dragons only to be killed in one hit because their attacks don't bother to notice your defense. It was like you are stripped off your armor and was attacked without mercy in your body.

Then, I noticed a very fast movement not that far from my position. It was swift enough that I can only see a blur on the movement. Since I am not able to see any movement, I will have to rely on my natural instincts. I also hope that I can trigger the passive skill, Parry. But I also hope that the attack is not a magical attack but a physical one to trigger it. The attack earlier that caused 4k damage on me is very fast that I can't easily determine if the attack is a magic power or just plain physical one.

When the shadowy blur that attacked me managed to get close, I gritted my teeth and countered the attack. When my sword and the attack hit with each other, I managed to deflect it but it still managed to cause me 2,000 damage. And the Parry did not even trigger which is unfortunate. But it was alright, I managed to find the identity of the assailant.

[Shadow Assassin]

Level ???

HP: ???/???

Trait: ???