The Minotaur Paladin #5: Calm before the storm.

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by l nimbus, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. l nimbus

    l nimbus New Member

    Aug 31, 2018
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    //Amity Cemetery, the remains of America, Earth.//

    Clair scraped the last of dirt together with the shovel blade, scooped it up and tossed it on the grave. Patting it down, she reflected on the last few days. They'd been busy with moving the bodies to the cemetery and burying them. It had been hard work, but necessary. Between that and Garok hunting [Mossdeer] they hadn't had much time to talk, except for deciding on where to go from here. There was nothing to the north, east or south for hundreds of miles, so the only direction left was west. There was a city about a hundred miles away. If they moved fast and stuck to the forest, they could make it in under a week. They'd stocked up on supplies, looting some of houses to cut down on time spent foraging.

    Tossing the shovel to the side, Clair wiped her hands on the armour she was wearing. After talking to Garok, she'd figured it would be a damn good idea to get some protection. Her old clothes weren't going to stop a blade or a claw from killing her, and she didn't have super tough skin or anything. While a bullet might get through it, guns were useless now, had been since the night she'd first talked with Garok. People were using swords, bows, spears, and crossbows now. Anything considered advanced weaponry had just stopped working.

    She'd convinced Garok to buy her a set of light armour, not that it hadn't taken much to talk him into it. The Minotaur wasn't exactly miserly with his Krolls. Which led to what she was wearing now, hardened leather pants with steel plates bonded to them, a steel link vest under a coat made of hard leather and steel. On her head was an open helmet. Gauntlets and bracers covered her arm, and she carried a shield on her back and a short sword at her waist. While she had wanted full plate for the protection it offered, Garok had talked her out of it, telling her she had to get used to the weight of this first before she wanted to run around covered in steel all day long. While not the look-good or sexy armour you could find online, it would keep her alive.

    She'd also started training with him, and that was when she realized how little she knew about fighting. They'd been going over basic footwork and holding the blade right. So far she'd learned the basic rule of fighting: Stick the pointy end in the other guy.

    She knew a few days of training wouldn't magically make her a good fighter, that sort of thing took years of dedication. But now she felt confident she wouldn't stab herself in the foot. She'd always been in good shape, working out at home four or five times a week, combined with eating halfway healthy food. So she was confident she could hold up, but Garok had driven her to exhaustion with every practice session, telling her that if she could feel her muscles burn, it meant she was improving them.

    She and Garok had both discovered, to their surprise, that you could clean clothes and armour via the system. Clair was wearing her old clothes under the armour, and by the end of the day, they definitely needed cleaning. so she was happy to spend a Kroll on it every day. He'd sent her quite a few for that very purpose.

    {You have received shared Exp}
    {You have reached level 2}
    {You have learned the active skill [Charge]}
    {You have learned the skill [Burst]}

    Speaking of which...after looking on the Sysnet for the last few days, she still hadn't found anything about her class. Pulling up her Status screen she checked out her new skills. After a moment, she nodded. [Charge] built up kinetic energy when she moved, and she could harness it [Burst.]

    Mind running over the possibilities, she consider what she could use it for.

    After a minute she decided to test out a theory. Turning towards the forest, she broke into a jog, focusing on herself, she could feel some sort of energy trickling into her as she ran. Armour clanking, she continued running for a few moments, then came to a stop before a tree with low hanging branches.

    Pulling out her sword, she grasped the hand and a half hilt with both hand, little finger curling around the pommel. Grounding herself, she raised the sword, selected a branch at around chest height, and swung as hard as she could. The sword came down, bit into the branch, and stopped about two inches in.

    Grunting, she pulled it back out. Raising it again, she aimed it a foot left of the cut she made, then swung the blade down and activated [Burst]. Instantly, the sword accelerated, chopping a full seven inches Into the branch. Letting go of the sword, she clutched at her wrists. Fuck, that hurt. She could greatly increase the force of her blows with kinetic energy, but that didn't mean her body could withstand the impact. Rubbing her wrists over the gauntlet, she decided she was done experimenting for now.
    Picking up the sword, she tucked it back into its sheath, then turned around and jogged back to the camp. With the cemetery done, and all the bodies buried, they had no reason to stay here.

    The sooner they left this place, the better. She shivered when she remembered what was in the town. While the [Wraiths] had vanished. There was still a [Death Knight] prowling around, refusing to leave until it had exacted vengeance for the people that had died there.
    While not impossible to destroy, it was wayyyy out of her league right now, and Garok didn't want to pick a fight with it while his powers were crippled. So, best to leave it alone for now. Just to be safe, she'd purchased some signs and markers from the system, then planted them a mile in either direction of the town along the highway.

    Moments later, she arrived back at the camp, finding Garok already in the process of dismantling the tent. Jogging over, she sat down on one of the stumps and waited for him to finish. A few minutes later, he was done. Straightening up, he turned toward her.

    "Are you ready to leave ?"

    "Sure, nothin here for me."

    "Very well, let us be off."

    And so, they left Amity behind, heading west.

    //Tunnels outside Vrradarak, The Goblin Kingdom, the remains of America, Earth.//


    The squad of [War Goblins] stopped dead, instantly snapping to attention. Brokdar One-eye, their commander, did a quick check and found their readiness satisfactory.

    The dark tunnels stretched before and behind them, devoid of light, but the goblins could see it the darkness. They needed no torches.

    "Battle formation." He commanded. "The targets are not far."

    The [Miners] had brought back word of a nest of [Hrashken] ahead. Brokdar and his squad had been sent to clear them out.

    The [War Goblins] stashed away their swords, drawing their glaives from on their backs, then formed a wedge, with Brokdar as the tip of the spear.


    As one, they moved ahead, keeping their glaives up and forward, forming a pointed wall before them.
    Rounding the corner that would take them straight to the nest, Brokdar saw a single [Hrashken] flying straight at him, pincers open to cut him in half.

    Instead of trying to bring down his glaive in time, he dropped it. Stepping forward, he grasped a pincer in each gauntleted hand. Grunting, he twisted his body to the right and hurled the beast into the wall. Twisting the other way, he did it again, this time slamming its soft underbelly into the wall to his left. Then he dug his boots in and pushed back as its thousands of long, needle like feet found purchase in the soft dirt and propelled it towards him.

    Its wings opened and it buzzed furiously, trying to topple him. But Brokdar would have none of that. Prying its pincers open, He leaned back, activated [Head Smash] and swung his helm forward with blinding speed, burying the axed protrusion between the beast's eyes.

    It screamed in agony and thrashed, trying to pull back , but Brokdar held on to its pincers, forcing his head deeper and deeper. Goblins around him were thrusting glaives at its underbelly, piercing it multiple times, but it would not die.

    Finally, he hit the brain, and it flopped lifelessly to the ground. The entire exchange had taken but a few moments. Letting the head fall to the ground, he picked up his glaive and steeped back, examining the beast.

    It was as long as seven normal goblins lying face to feet, as wide as three, and as thick as a single goblin lying down. Thousands of small, needle like feet protruded from its side. Gigantic pincers extended before its mouth, a full goblin in length and as thick as Brokdar's wrist. Armoured plates covered its back, and gigantic wings were concealed beneath them. But this was still a juvenile. An adult was much larger, and could paralyze prey with its scream.

    "Forward. Before the others wake."

    Moving around the corpse, the goblins advanced. A few moments later, they reached a small cavern full of eggs and the sleeping forms of dozens of [Hrashken] . Nodding to each, he pulled a handful of [Alchemist] made firebombs, standard issue for each [War Goblin], from his belt. Once the others were ready, he gave the signal and began hurling them into the cave.

    In moments, the cave was an inferno. Stepping back, he nodded to the others, who tucked away their last firebombs, raised their glaives, and slowly retreated back from the entrance.

    Once a short distance down the tunnel, they halted and braced themselves. Moments later, a giant [Hrashken] burst from the flames, flying towards them at full speed.
    Mouth open, it screeched its fury at them, activating some sort of paralysis skill. While a few goblins froze, the rest shrugged it off and kept the glaive trained on it. Keeping his glaives low to the ground, Brokdar waited until it was almost in range, then snapped it up and stabbed into its mouth. Catching the soft flesh within, he dug his feet in to avoid being pushed back as he let the giant insect impale itself with its own speed and weight.

    Moments later, it was dead. Brokdar pulled the entire length of his glaive from its mouth, wiped it off, and took up the position again. But nothing more came from the cavern.

    {You have received Exp}
    {You have reached level 17, stats have increased.}
    {93 percent experience to next level}

    "Return to Vrradarak." He barked.

    As one, the goblins swiveled about, and began marching back home, leaving the still burning cave behind.

    //Approaching Pentaddle, the remains of America, Earth.//

    "Are you sure this is the city ?"

    "Supposed to be."

    "It looks...."

    "Gigantic ? Amazing ? Like nothing you've ever seen before ?"

    "I was going to say ruined."

    "That too."

    Clair shook her head and stared out at Pentaddle (stupid name for a city), wondering what had happened. Pulling up her screen, she logged on to the Sysnet and got her answer. A combination of gang wars and a dungeon appearing out of nowhere had effectively crippled the city.
    Knots of survivors were spread out across the city, careful to keep out of the path of the gangs.
    The Qrips controlled the downtown, including the police precinct, fire hall and the hospital.

    The Roods were based in uptown, having converted several office building into their HQ, and the Runners, a small time group of hyped up druggies, prowled around at random.

    And then there were the superheroes. Yeah, some idiots had apparently thought it would be an awesome idea to dress in spandex and fight crime. Nicknamed “The Watch”, they'd been fighting the gangs in the streets, causing massive amounts of damage to the infrastructure. Led by a guy named Invincible, a douche with some durability and regeneration skills, they were attempting to pass as the law in town.

    The Dungeon, however, was why they'd come here.
    The Westeros Mall, once famous for being one of the largest in the world, it was now completely overrun by undead. Its parking lot, which extended for half a mile around the mall itself, was swarming with zombies, only being kept in by the closed iron gates. And people had posted there were more powerful undead inside. No matter how many zombies were killed, they would respawn in a few days, making the mall a hotly contested grinding spot for the gangs.

    And they were going to completely shut it down.
    After some debate, she and Garok had agreed on completely sweeping the dungeon, destroying the core, and then using it as their HQ. If they played it right, they could get all the survivors here, then use system generated food ( that shit was goddamn expensive ) to feed them until they could find another solution. From there, helping the city. After traveling an entire week without seeing a town, or another living human, Garok had put his plan to travel across the country and healing people to rest.
    It would be much easier to give people a place to come to instead. And this way, they'd know that Garok wasn't a monster that randomly wandered into town.

    She had to admit, travelling with the minotaur had been a bit fun. He was so.....clueless about many things she took for granted, and it amused her to show him new things. The training and Exp was nice too. She leveled up twice in the week it had taken to travel here, increasing the amount of kinetic energy she could store at once. She now had enough for six consecutive [Bursts]. Leveling up had also slightly increased her all around stats. While she wasn't going around and lifting cars, using a [Burst] no longer hurt as much as it first had.

    Adjusting her armour, she nodded at Garok.

    "Time to get to work."

    First order of business, actually getting to the mall in one piece.