42 Chapter 41: Preparation for the Final Confrontation and a New Situation
The past few days had been a whirlwind for Joshua and his group. After the funeral most of them had headed inside and immediately fallen asleep. Joshua explained what happened to the others, but soon made his exit as well so he could get some rest. After that things turned into a mad dash to prepare to take on the boss monster. Everyone in the group was off doing their part to prepare for the fight ahead.
Natalie for the first day was still down and spent most of the morning sleeping in, but when she finally came out to join the others she was far more focused on her goal. She spent the afternoon making sure to train the towns people on using there bow and arrows while at the same time making sure to get better control over her mind link. She didn't want her loss in focus to be the cause for all of their communications to fail. If that happened again they might not be so lucky next time around.
Laura on the other hand immersed herself in training on both endurance so that she could use her fire spear ability more than once, and better ways to fuse her spearmanship with her flames. To improve her endurance she would go outside the farm and cast the spinning fire lance spell off into the distance. Whenever she would run out of energy she would rest and train with her spear before returning to cast more fire spells. Even after all that work she was only able to cast the spinning fire spear twice before nearly passing out on the spot.
Madalyn on the other hand had gone back to make more poison gas grenades to resupply the ones they had used up. She was also busy working on a couple of new concepts, one of which Joshua was now looking at on the table in front of him. It was a glass container, but instead of the normal clear see through one you would expect it was tinged a deep green shade. Madalyn had used her ability to enchant the glass with poison so that it would be resistant to what it contained. It was filled with her acid spell that she had been trying for the longest to figure out a way to put in storage. All her previous attempts ended up melting away as the acid would destroy them…then destroy the table and parts of the floor below. Joshua could still see several spots on the floor of the storage house where the acid had eaten through the cement to the ground below.
"So I guess your experiment was finally successful?" Joshua examined the jar. He was thinking of expecting it closer, but thoughts of how often her products could only be used by her safely flashed through his mind and he backed away.
"Finally." She said with a tired sigh. Apparently she had been staying up pretty late working on her experiments the last few days based on the newly formed bags under her eyes. "The problem was the fact that the acid melted through pretty much everything that would break on hard contact. If I put it into some thick metal container then it would never break when I threw it at something, but now I've finally found a way around that issue. Apparently my poison enhancement makes things that are enchanted immune to my spells. So all I have to do is enhance a glass container and then put the acid in afterwards. Although others won't be able to use it, it'll be easy for me."
"I might be able to use it if I wrap it in a thick cloth beforehand, though the effect would be delayed slightly." Joshua said with a thinking pose before giving up on the idea. "I think I'll just let you handle most of the poisons. I'll just stick to using the poison gas in a pinch. It works well enough for me."
"Sounds fine to me, but now that I've figured that out there's one more big step I can take." Madalyn said with an excited grin as she continued on with her work. Joshua took his eyes off the acid bottle and looked over to see what Madalyn was working on. To his surprise he could see her pulling out a nail that she had enhanced with poison and was moving over towards a table at the back of the room. When Joshua followed her he was met with the scene of a chained down zombie George with his mouth completely covered. He continuously tried to move his head towards her, but even his neck was clamped down to the table.
"Um, Madalyn? What exactly are you doing?" Joshua hesitantly asked.
Madalyn looked up towards him and sweetly smiled. "Why I'm testing out my poisons of course. We need to see what kind of effect they have on these monsters don't we? So why not use the perfectly ready test subject that we have on hand?" She said as she started to pressure the poisoned nail into George's arm. She slowly pushed it all the way into his muscle and watched how his body reacted. At first George let out pained grunting sounds as most of his body jolted as he tried to move around, but the arm that had the nail drilled into it stopped moving all together. Soon even the panicked movement slowed down to small twitching showing that the poison had greatly subdued the crazed zombie. The poisoned arm wasn't able to be moved at all. "See look how well that worked. Now it's time to test the next one."
Joshua looked on at the scene for a moment before slowly backing away from the crazy looking lady. Apparently a mixture of not enough sleep, George, and the tension of the situation was pushing Madalyn to this point. Joshua might have been a leader, but he wasn't going to foolishly step on this landmine that was just waiting to blow. "Well then try to get some rest when you can, I'm going to go check up on the others." He said before he slowly stepped out of the storehouse. As he closed the door behind him he could hear Madalyn make what sounded like a cackling laughter behind him.
Stepping away from the building Joshua shook off the eerie feeling he was getting from Madalyn and headed back towards the mansion to meet up with Nathan and discuss some things. He had some thought on how the boss acted and fought, so he wanted to get the resident gamers opinion on it. When he made his way to the kitchen area he found Nathan at his usual spot when he was taking a break. He was sitting at the kitchen table with his laptop as he interacted with the chat room and looked for any fresh news.
"There you are." Joshua said as he took his seat in front of Nathan. "I've been meaning to have a talk with you about how things went."
"I thought you might eventually, so I've been thinking on the things you described to us as well, and there were a few facts that stood out." Nathan replied as he set his laptop aside. "You guys said the Boss could teleport right?"
"Yep, though it took a while for it to be able to do it again. Maybe around a minute or so." Joshua replied.
"Any other specific abilities that you noticed about it? Outside of its appearance since I already know about that." Nathan asked as he seemed to be thinking of something in particular.
Joshua thought about it for a moment before responding. "Outside of teleporting it seemed rather on the slow side, but whenever it swung its arms to attack it moved at a slightly faster pace. The other skills I saw it use were of course its extreme regeneration along with its ability to conjure more creature from within its mouth."
"I see, well I think I might have a good idea on how it functions at this point. If I'm right though we might be in a load of trouble." Nathan said as his skin turned a little pale at whatever he was imagining.
"What do you mean?" Joshua asked sternly.
"How should I put this? So far comparing things to a game has worked fairly well to this point for us, thus I'll continue with that I guess. To explain things simply these monsters seem to gain a new ability every ten levels. Now I'm not sure if that will still be the case later on sense I doubt one monster can have too many abilities, but for now that seems to be the case." Nathan stopped for a moment and looked at Joshua who nodded as if to say he understood. "The sub boss back at the factory that we can assume was at a lower level than the boss in town only seemed to have one ability, outside of what seems like standard regeneration. It could cover itself in a large dense purple haze in an instant, kind of like a smokescreen. From what you've said the boss can use teleportation, regenerate, and summon more creature's right?"
"Yeah, it shot them out of its mouth on its belly…belly-mouth I guess, in large amounts." Joshua replied.
"Well I hate to say it, but I think you can knock both regeneration and the creature summoning off the list of its special abilities. All boss classes seemed to be able to regenerate easily and I'm guess the bigger bosses with territories can probably control creatures in their areas. It would explain why the sub boss classes in cities seem to follow their orders and not leave the areas. So if that's the case then…" Nathan started to say before Joshua interrupted him.
"Then that means that the boss still has at least one ability he hasn't used yet." They both went silent as Joshua started to think it over. Based on Nathan's explanation he can also assume that the girl he faced was turned into a sub boss somehow as well. It would explain why she seemed so intelligent and why she was able to heal so quickly unlike other zombies.
"I think that is the case, but I also believe I know what its other ability will most likely be." Nathan said regaining Joshua's attention. "By the way you described the creature's mouth and how it spit up more creatures to spawn them, I believe that its other ability will be like a giant vacuum. I mean based off how it looks I doubt the giant mouth is just for show and in most games when creatures are able to spit out stuff in the way you described it they usually have such abilities." The both of them grew quiet at his revelation and they sat there thinking to themselves for a moment. That was when an alarm sound came from the laptop that Nathan had set aside.
Joshua rushed over to Nathan's side of the table as the boy put the computer in front of him and moved the screen back towards the chat box. They both could see a message that was being constantly reposted over and over again. They clicked on the link and it sent them another video that seemed to take place in the exact same place. The buildings in the surroundings were the same, but a few that had been there before were no longer standing.
The camera man didn't waste time to look around this time and immediately zoomed in on the boss creature that was poking its enormous mouth out of the haze below. The only thing visible from it was its giant gaping maw that was slowly pushing out of the clouds below. When the monster stopped moving out of the haze it seemed to suck in a loud amount of the surrounding purple gas before closing its mouth once again. Then the viewable part of its body seemed to bloat up before large balls of gas were shot from out of its mouth in to the air and soared over the buildings into the clouds above. They were clearly headed far outside of town as the camera followed some of them for a while until they moved out of sight.
After that the video cut off abruptly leaving both Joshua and Nathan to think about the consequences of this new information. That was when a rumbling sound could be heard from above them and shouts of surprise came from outside. Joshua rushed out as fast as he could, this time they were the ones that were getting the surprise.