At last, Grra found the target of whom the wind had whispered. Bumbling along in his snowy domain, they were a group of three humans wrapped tightly in fur coats. Grra sniffed the air, sensing their auras. His nose wrinkled as he realized they had some type of charm to ward off the native ambient ice mana. Pfeh. Weaklings who couldn’t take the cold. Nevertheless, they were strong. Together, they had more Levels than he did, but he would prevail as usual. After all, he’d prevailed on the last few thousand hunts to reach where he was today, and today would be just like every other day. Grra’s fangs jutted out as he smiled, his lips pulled back in a feral grin. Crouching behind a snowy embankment, he waited with the patience of melting ice, almost merging with the falling snow around him. For a hunter could wait a thousand years for the right prey. Five steps. Four steps. Three steps.
With a roar, Grra burst out of the snowbank, his claws grasping for the male in the front. To his amazement, the human managed to raise his ax in time and ward off his deadly claws. Still, the force of his initial attack nearly knocked the man over and let him continue his onslaught without pause. Letting his bloodthirst consume him, Grra furiously lashed out, trying to overwhelm this opponent quickly so he could get to the more frail figures cowering behind this burly man. Had he known or cared about these measly prey’s names, he would have known that he was currently fighting Olaf while Theseus and Petulinia cast healing and ice spells respectively from behind. Stepping forward with each strike, he gradually forced the ax-wielding man toward his companions. Focusing his gaze, Grra sensed ever-familiar ice-attributed mana swirling around the woman, but he ignored it. After all, this was his mountain, and he was king of its elements! Instead, there was something much more disconcerting about that man shining with golden light who appeared to be keeping Olaf protected from the worst of injuries. That light seemed to speak of a greater King, which made no sense since Grra was King of all he had seen. Resolving to kill the man making that nuisance golden light, Grra tried to literally knock Olaf out of the way, but Olaf’s |Steadfast Defense| allowed him to just barely keep the more delicate casters out of Grra’s range.
For every battering punch he gave Olaf, Grra received knicks or bashes from Olaf’s mighty ax. At this point though, the fight hadn’t reached the point of desperation, so neither side had used their most powerful Skills since those were usually one-time uses and would be used to tip the scales of battle at the right moment. Despite the lack of their best Skills, each strike could have easily felled lesser warriors. Olaf relied on his Passive Fighting Skills and while Grra used his passive |Ice Manipulation| to give his attacks the bite of a winter chill. Quickly though, Olaf was forced to use his rather consuming |Spirit of the Weapon| Skill to match Grra’s offense. Still, Grra could sense that this human had many other powerful Skills waiting to be used. A smirk flashed across his furry face: so did he.
Raising his hands, Grra used |Summon Snow Golem| to raise three towering beasts of snow. Each looked like a giant made out of hardened ice, easily weighing half a ton and more than capable of crushing a man to death. Grra planned to end the battle with these creations. Little did he know that he was severely underestimating his opponents.
“|Aura Slash|” Olaf’s ax seemed to grow in Grra’s eyes as the blade cleanly cut through the trio of golems. Gazing in anger at his mutilated servants, Grra lashed forward, exerting all of his |Beastly Strength| to push the man away. Panting, Olaf braced himself against the ground, eyeing his foe, trying to identify any weaknesses. His |Warrior’s Awareness| told him this Yeti had a Level in the late fifties, and at least three more powerful Skills, along with an Ultimate Skill granted to any Classer who reached Level fifty in a Class. Spitting to the side, Olaf grunted. They’d have to wait until they’d figured out all this monster’s more powerful Skills before they went on the offensive. Otherwise, a single nasty surprise could easily end up with one or all of them ending up calling this mountain their grave. Unfortunately, that meant they had to take a beating from this monster pretty passively. Luckily, Theseus had already summoned some environmental protection this morning through |Anti-Element Tokens| or else their group would be fighting a losing battle of attrition as the [Yeti]’s icy aura subsumed them.
Seeing his prey glaring at him, Grra hefted the bottom of one of the now-defunct ice golems and flung it at Olaf. |Bash|ing the block of ice out of the air, Olaf charged forward, a golden glow surrounding him as Theseus recharged his stamina.
Slamming his fists down, Grra coated them in ice mana, instantly freezing blocks around his fists to shield them against the sharp edge of the ax they crashed against. Olaf grunted, falling back before shouting, “Now, Petulinia!”
Petulinia shot out the spell she’d been preparing for the past minute. |Blizzard| was a powerful Spell that was normally only known by advanced Adventurers.
Ignoring the storm of ice shards coming his way, Grra simply absorbed them into his body using his control over ice through |Ice Manipulation|, which he’d gained as an [Ice Elemental]. Charging forward, he tried to use this brief gap where the humans would be blinded by their own storm of ice to skirt around the ax wielder toward that annoying healer but was forced to turn and block the ax aiming for his waist. Rage welled up in the [Yeti]. Why wouldn’t these damn humans just die and get eaten already? Catching the ax, Grra grunted as he felt it sink into his toughened skin, but he froze the wound before any blood could escape. Smirking at the foolish human he ripped the ax out of Olaf’s hands and thrust forward his claws, trying to pierce the human’s breastplate. Right before his claws thrust through the warrior’s chest, a female voice shouted, “|Shield|!”
To his amazement, his claws skitted across the now-glowing blue chainmail. Narrowing his eyes, Grra discovered a thin trail of mana from Petulinia surrounding Olaf. While all elemental-attributed mana in the environment would bow before his whim, she appeared to be using pure unattributed mana to create this Spell. It seemed like this female was more powerful than he’d thought since despite her thin frame she could still control so much mana. For [Yeti]s, the bigger you were, the more power and magic you had… Grra shook his head, trying to focus on the battle. He now realized it was very possible for him to turn into the prey at any moment. With a growl, Grra decided to tactically retreat and try to find another ambush site when he bumped into a blue barrier. Pushing against it, Grra cracked it beneath his weight, but the brief pause was enough for Olaf to unsheathe his reserve shortsword and sink it almost two inches into Grra’s leg.
Howling in pain, Grra struck back with a |Icy Breath|, seeking to freeze this meddling pest to the core. To his amazement, a blue pendant glowed on the warrior’s body, causing the ice to merely freeze around him. Still, it would be enough as he’d be stuck in a block of ice for a while. Grra was not stupid; he knew that a battle of attrition could turn against him if a [Cleric] kept everyone’s vitals up. It was time to end all hope for these Adventurers. With a triumphant roar, Grra rushed toward the healer who had kept the troublesome ax-wielding pest alive. Now that he needed a surge of strength, Grra’s |Crown of Eternal Winter| came into being. The thrill of the hunt coursed through Grra. Where once that foolish human could have perhaps stalled him, his strength and control over ice were now nearly doubled, allowing him to smash through any barriers the female tried to place before him.
The three adventurers groaned as they felt a pressure bore down on them, seemingly seeping into their very souls. Despair welled in Olaf’s heart as he tried to surge his |Leadership| Skill, only to find it did little to beat back the oppression. The cold seemed to make them dull even further as time went on. If they continued to fight under this oppression, they’d quickly lose the war of attrition they’d been planning on waging. Already, Olaf could hardly feel his fingers within his gauntlet despite Theseus’s warding Charm before. Gritting his teeth, Olaf braced against the pressure and made his way toward their [Cleric], but every step seemed like he was fighting against a blizzard.
Grra chuckled in amusement, seeing the burly human struggling to reach him as he casually strolled toward the [Cleric], preparing to rip his head off his fraily-armored body. The female [Mage] tried to whip up some spell, but Grra ignored her since wearing his |Crown of Eternal Winter|, he was king of all the ambient mana within the atmosphere, and no Spell could work without ambient mana. Triumphantly he reached out, just as Petulinia’s spell came to an end, shooting a pillar of ice straight through his eye. Grra stumbled back in shock. How had that icicle not just melded into his body? Pain, unlike anything he’d ever experienced, inundated his senses as he senselessly roared, wildly flailing his arms to keep away any attackers. His mind clouded in rage; he didn’t even realize that Petulinia’s spell had been no System-derived Spell, but a work of mana derived completely from herself. Since there’d been no System assistance, she’d been able to fully control the source of the mana. As a [Mage] specializing in ice (who in fact wanted to Upgrade her Class into [Cryomancer]), she had relatively few non-ice mana spells, so she’d been forced to use an ice spell she’d studied from scratch without the aid of the System in order for it to affect Grra in any way. While she’d succeeded, the mana cost had also been hideously expensive compared to normal, leaving her tired and drained. Theseus hurriedly escaped the [Yeti]’s range before casting a |Restore| on his (possibly, they hadn’t really decided yet) ex-lover. Leaning on her staff, she gave him a nod of thanks.
However, Theseus had torn his attention away from the [Yeti] to soon. Just as Petulinia hurriedly shouted a warning and began casting another spell, Grra focused his |Crown of Eternal Winter| to listen to where his subject, the wind, told him his frail prey lay. Using his one remaining eye, he sprinted forward with laser focus, determined to take revenge on these nasty creatures. His claws reaching out, he imagined mutilating this thin man, when it happened.
Just as Theseus was about to have a personal meeting with the [Yeti]’s rage, the [Yeti] suddenly stopped in his tracks. Grra’s eyes rolled up into the back of his head as Ivan appeared with twin daggers embedded in each side of the colossal [Yeti]’s neck. With a feeble groan, Grra grasped for the [Cleric] who nimbly leaped out of his reach as his |Crown of Eternal Winter| faltered. How had that dagger managed to pierce through his thick frozen fur? He knew that his natural hide was stronger than some enchanted armors! Grra shivered as he felt it; it was unnatural, unlike anything he’d ever known. It was pain, and the antithesis of cold. It was like he was drowning, unable to breathe. It was like countless lacerations were being inflicted on his body. It was anathema to his very soul. Deep within his heart, the name of this force echoed: fire. If it fully circulated throughout his veins, it would disrupt his ice-attributed soul from his past as an [Ice Elemental] and cause him to completely dissipate. Panicking, Grra used his Ultimate Skill, |Rejection of the Mortal Coil|, to escape the poison.
Ivan took a step back as the [Yeti] fell forward with a quiet thud. For all its colossal size, it had fallen so easily. Ivan gazed at his glowing red blades in surprise before jumping back. The poison he’d coated on it had been extraordinarily effective. Well worth snatching a small bottle from James’s stock… He frowned. He was pretty sure James hadn’t noticed; the merchant had like ten of them. While he had expected fire-attributed poison to be lethal for the monster, he hadn’t expected for the kill to be nearly instant. With a bow toward the other three, he said, “One dashing [Thief], at your service.”
Puffing over now that the oppressive aura had been lifted, Olaf grumbled, “Could you have timed that any tighter, Ivan?”
Patting the burly man’s arm, Ivan laughed. “Well, someone here would’ve lost their head within the first second had I not warned them they were walking straight into an ambush.”
Petulinia grumbled, “I could’ve ended it at any time with my |Firebolt| Spell, but I was holding it in case we were ever in a desperate situation. Wait, something’s not right! Get back!”
Petulinia warily watched the still corpse as ice mana coalesced around it as if it were activating some giant Skill. Finally, a misty being rose from the still corpse, glaring at the four Adventurers. Grra examined himself, feeling himself in a state he had not felt for many years. He had returned to his original form as an [Ice Elemental]! He had never used this Skill before due to his instinctual reluctance to rely on it as he’d always sensed it would have a significant drawback, but he’d been pushed to desperate straits, and now, he felt strong. Where once he had been the ruler of the ambient mana, the mana now felt like an extension of his body, completely within his control. As he watched Olaf warily butcher his body in a foolish attempt to end the Skill, his shock and surprise faded to be replaced with rage. Summoning a blizzard, he rained wintery death on the Adventurers.
Completely freezing the blundering oaf, he turned toward the [Thief] who had forced him out of his physical form. Grunting in surprise, the [Thief] employed those hateful daggers at his new form, only to find that the daggers passed through his form. Grinning in malevolent vengeance, Grra formed icicles around his translucent arms and prepared to let this human feel the poison that only deep winter could bring, to let him feel his own medicine.
Theseus tried to block him with a barrier of divine light, but the icicles simply dematerialized through the power granted by the Gods before coalescing to shoot toward the unfortunate Ivan. Ivan rolled to the side.
The icicles impaled themselves a foot deep into the snow by his foot. Paling, the [Thief] crouched, preparing to dodge at any moment. Grra grinned. In this form, nothing could harm him, not even that fiery poison. All physical attacks simply passed through, and the same was true for any mana attacks… or so he thought.
Theseus shot a bolt of pure divine energy at Grra that simply warped through his body. Grra’s massive internal mana reserve successfully staved off any extraneous interactions from the passing of divine energy before they could disrupt the mana holding his [Ice Elemental] Core together. A steely glint appeared in Grra’s eyes. He had nothing to worry about now that he’d tested his new form against even the energy of the Gods. It seemed like even that [Mage] who blinded him would find herself in dire straits against his near mana immunity. Completely ignoring the negligible drop in health from Theseus’s desperate attack, Grra thrust a spike through Ivan’s shoulder. He smiled. He was going to take his time taking this little runt down. Hearing some movement behind him, he nonchalantly turned to watch the show.
Almost casually, Petulinia pulled out her wand. Grra smirked, examining the small stick of wood pointed at him. While it could concentrate her mana, it wouldn’t do enough… If he had still had eyebrows, they would’ve twitched. Something about what she was doing seemed to scream danger. Quickly letting go of his prey, Grra flashed forward, almost imperceptible against the icy background as he sought to finish the [Mage] off before her Spell finished. Just as he stopped in front of her, Petulinia smiled at him. “|Firebolt|!”
Grra looked down, seeing some foreign red mana invading his space, quickly breaking through his entire form. Before he could slit her throat, his claws had already faded away, dematerializing into loose mana as his Core broke apart. His final thought drifted toward Gruu, who would dematerialize without his Skills holding her [Ice Elemental] Core and Yeti body together. Their son… would starve. Gazing in hatred at these adventurers, he tried to roar in defiance of his fall but completely disappeared before he could utter so much as a squeak.
Falling to the ground, Petulinia hooted in victory. Theseus laughed, and Ivan nervously patted himself at his narrow escape from death. Casting a quick incantation over Olaf, Theseus then rushed over to Petulinia, hugging her before checking that she was okay. Ivan coughed, trying to ignore the couple’s blushing and whispers while Olaf sighed. Cutting off the Yeti corpse’s horns, he stowed them in his bag of holding, leaving the humanoid giant on the ground. It would be enough proof to show they’d taken down a high Level [Yeti], no less than the King of this icy mountain. After all, they’d literally blown apart the creature’s Core, and his fur well… Olaf eyed the shaggy white fur covering the humanoid’s monsters final expression of agony. He couldn’t skin such an opponent. Bowing in respect, he turned with his team to tread away in the snow.
Olaf: Level 28 [Swordsman]
Level 28-> 29 (Yeti Kill)
Level 29-> 30 (Yeti Kill)
Level 30 [Swordsman] -> Level 30 [Weaponsmaster]
Skill Gained |War of Weapons|
Level 10 [Woodcutter] -> Level 8 [Monster Farmer]
|Respect of Nature|->|Noble of Nature|
|Aura Slash| and |Spirit of the Weapon|->|Warrior’s Domain|
Skill |???| has received improvement!
Olaf pumped his fist. Lugging around that giant ax had finally paid off! [Weaponsmaster] was a known path toward the coveted [Champion] Class! Nearby, Petulinia looked through her own System notes. Yelling in joy, she eagerly revealed that she’d finally achieved the [Cryomancer] Class she’d wanted, not caring at all about the fact that no one else cared besides for her and maybe Theseus. While Theseus’s joy was far more inhibited since he had only gained a couple of Levels, Ivan allowed himself to join in the other two’s revelry. After all, by killing a King in one hit, he’d achieved the coveted [Ninja] Class, and so, the Hero Adventuring Team The Bunglers finally stepped onto the playing field of high ranked Adventurers by completing their Quest to become A-Rank Adventurers.
In the distance a [Dark Knight] observed the Adventurers tidying up the Yeti corpse with a smirk on his Undead lips hidden beneath his full plate helm. They were almost painfully naive: leaving a valuable corpse behind out of respect to their enemy. He opened his gauntleted fist to examine the newest addition to his collection. Trapped in his hand was the elemental form of the former king of this small mountain on the edge of his lord’s domain. Normally, the [Dark Knight] would not have bothered coming to deal with such a weakling, but rumblings of a divine destiny had caught the attention of his lord, so he had naturally been sent to investigate. Unlike what the casual observer might have thought, he had not been too surprised or alarmed to find these heroes here. Over the millennia, he had found that history repeated itself time and time again. Then again, no one ever remembered the heroes who had failed to fulfill their “divine destinies.” Nevertheless, he knew that these heroes could grow to become a problem if they were not nipped in the bud now. Dealing with fully developed characters protected by Destiny and System Narrative was enormous work. Now, how to make dealing with them interesting… Suddenly, the [Dark Knight] remembered the elemental soul in his hand, trapped in a |Prisma Prison| crafted of his magic. After a moment’s thought, he decided how he would deal with these pesky heroes. He let out a dark chuckle. It was even possible their new opponent would gain a huge System buff for seeking righteous vengeance against the people who caused the deaths of his entire family. Enslaving this elemental would not be hard. Even a [Dark Priest] could take care of it by [Returning Unlife] to the Yeti, and vengeance would provide great motivation for training. Who knew, perhaps the Yeti’s drive would even cause him to develop a rare Skill. A plan to cure his countless years of boredom since the lull after his lord went into hiding formed within his Undead mind. A show for his lord using a victimized Undead Yeti to tear apart this generation of heroes would be good. Summoning a portal, he cast a final glance at the distant party of Adventurers before disappearing, leaving no trace of his appearance.
Grra came into being howling. He remembered pain, agony, despair. His family… They were gone. He could sense it: the spirits told him so. A man wearing a black robe glanced at him, holding the tiny skull of his only son.
The man bowed toward the newly summoned Death Knight. “Welcome General Frost. Your revenge shall come.”
Level 40 [Yeti] Class lost.
Due to the conditions of your Summoning, all Skills are retained.
Gained Class [Ice Wraith] Level 70.
Gained Skill |Misery|
Gained Skill |Infinite Cunning|
Gained Skill |Kiss of Frost|
Gained Skill |Hypothermia|
Gained Skill |Despair|
Gained Skill |Winter of Suffering|
Gained Skill |Immortal Undeath|
Gained Skill |???|
Gained Skill |???|
Gained Skill |???|
Grra raised his head, panting in rage. Yes, very soon, Yrgg would feast on the blood of his murderers once they joined him in the afterlife.
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