"Cool. I can see through the dark now," said Dynamite Girl as she walked through the narrow trails of the cave. Within, there was no light and the only sounds audible were the drips and drops of water falling from stalactites hanging low from the cave ceiling. "Don't even need night-vision goggles."
"See to it that you thank the master for your newfound body," said Valera. "I do wonder how you humans wander about in your weak prisons of human flesh. A little stab in an organ here and you keel over dead, leaking life blood like and deflating like a pierced balloon.
A small broken bone prevents you from moving at all unless healed or, gods forbid, you wait days upon weeks upon months to heal the tiniest crack.
So fragile. So weak."
"Hey, don't knock us down too much," said Dynamite Girl. "Back before humanity evolved, sure, we were like that, but with the Altering, it's all different. Some of us can go on with huge holes in our chests. Some of us can heal the worst injuries in seconds."
"But will you not agree that these powers, especially this power of yours that strains the heart, is one best shown potential in a body of undeath?" said Valera. "A body that never hungers, never tires, and never fears?"
Dynamite Girl thought about this for a moment. "Yeah. Guess so. Can't really think of much a downside."
"Precisely," said Valera. "And to enter into the eternal embrace of the master and to take his commands - no knight would want anything else!"
"Forget just likin' him, you really, really like him, huh?" said Dynamite Girl.
"E-excuse me?" Valera stopped in embarrassment.
"Sh*t, watch out!" Dynamite Girl rushed in front of Valera and put her hands out in front of her. Her palms glowed orange and sparked briefly before unleashing a cone of explosive and fire-laden power that lit up the cave in light.
The sound of liquid sizzling and evaporated filled the air as Dynamite Girl's explosion collided with viscous green slime tendril.
Spatters of the slime scattered around cave rock, boring into it and melting it like acid.
"Where is this thing!?" said Dynamite Girl as she looked around and found only the narrow path around them. There was no space for a slime to be around.
A high-pitched, ghostly wail echoed through the cave walls, but because of the echo, it was hard to pinpoint where it came from.
"There." Valera pointed at a hole in the ceiling where the slime had bored through with a tendril to throw out a surprise attack. "I have a passive skill that allows me to sense threats, but I was too distracted to fend for myself." She raised her shield in front of her. "I apologize."
"Nah, it was cause' I brought up your master in the first place. Y'know where this slime thing is?" said Dynamite Girl.
"Yes. I know exactly which paths to take to reach it. It lies deeper in the cave within a main cavern. The longer we spend in these paths, the higher the chance the slime will strike us from odd angles," said Valera.
"Then here, lemme make it up to you. Lead me to this slime ball, and I'll give you a front row seat to blowin' it up to fuckin' smithereens!" said Dynamite Girl.
"I do like the sound of that," said Valera.
"Yeah?" Dynamite Girl cracked her neck and smiled. "Then let's get goin'."
Valera sprinted ahead, and Dynamite Girl followed. A few slime tendrils attacks shot out from here and there, but Valera defended against all of them with her shield. In a minute, the two breached the main cavern - a wide, circular arena - and at the center, there was the slime.
It was a huge mass of bubbling green liquid with several round yellow eyes suspended in the fluid. They looked like googly eyes, but despite how silly the slime looked, it was obvious that it was not a joke.
It was easily six meters by six meters in size, large enough to swallow an entire car whole and then some. It reacted to Valera and Dynamite Girls' intrusion by shooting forth a wave of acidic slime.
"Behind me!" Valera slammed her cross-shield in front of her and casted the skill [Bone Guard]. Bones grew out from her shield rapidly, interlocking and creating a large domed barrier. The acid wave flowed past the bones harmlessly, but the giant slime did not relent.
The slime gurgled as it shot forth a volley of acid tendrils, constantly wearing away at the shield and bones, not to mention the heavy impact of high-density liquid slamming into the shield at formidable velocities.
Valera trudged forwards against the constant barrage of slime blows and acid. "The closer I get, the more it'll pay attention to me! I can't hurt it with physical attacks, but you-,"
"Yeah, I get you," said Dynamite Girl. She accelerated her blood flow to her maximum safe output. Her heart started to beat rapidly, and as it did, the circular miniature reactor on her chest glowed a bright white. Her veins lit up with orange energy, concentrating light and heat around her hands and feet. The blood vessels in her eyes also glowed orange, completely covering them in a glowing sheen. "Moment you open up, I'm wipin' this bastard off the face of this planet."
"Now!" Valera took a few more steps until the [Bone Guard] was on its last legs, the bony barrier melting and shattering all around.
Valera broke off the [Bone Guard], and the moment it did, Dynamite Girl jumped up, dodging a wave of acid. She emitted several small bursts of explosion in her feet to 'air walk' over to the slime.
The slime reacted by throwing out several more tendrils at Dynamite Girl.
Dynamite Girl swung her arm out in an arc, scattering a cloud of sparkling orange dots. When the slime hit the dots, they acted like triggered mines, exploding and incinerating the acid.
Through the layer of smoke they emitted, Dynamite Girl emerged, and this time, she was right above the giant slime.
"Bunker Buster!" Dynamite Girl slammed her hands down towards the slime and unleashed her strongest attack.
Valera instinctively sensed danger and raised her shield and hunkered behind it.
A massive burst of blinding light first engulfed the cavern, then the explosion erupted with an ear-rattling crash. The whole cavern shook, stalactites breaking off from the ceiling in a rain of rock.
Valera felt the shockwave of the explosion slam into her, and even as she dug in her greaves into the dirt with all her prodigious strength, she still skidded back a good dozen meters. She peeked through her shield and paused in admiration.
There was a sizable, blackened, and smoking crater bored into the ground where the slime was. Dynamite Girl was lodged inside a crater in the ceiling, blown back as she had been by the force of her own massive explosion.
"Yeah, lemme' see you flingin' that acid on us now, huh!?" said Dynamite Girl as she dislodged herself from her crater bit by bit. She was bloody and bruised all over but despite her injuries, she had the widest smile on her face.
She fell onto the ground, breaking her fall with a small explosion burst. She peered down into the several meter deep, smoke filled crater she had bored out.
Valera grabbed Dynamite Girl roughly by the shoulder and shoved her back, sending her hurtling back several meters.
"The hell was that for!?" said Dynamite Girl as she stood back up.
"The slime is yet to fall." Valera blocked a few tendril shots of slime with her shield before she reached in and withdrew a watermelon sized, crystalline emerald rock - the slime's core. She threw the core down to the earth and then split it in half with her shield.
The glowing green core dimmed down in light, and the acid surrounding it faded away. Inside of the core was a dried purple eyeball - the Eye of Azoth.
"Damn, thanks for savin' my ass," said Dynamite Girl. "Thing coulda' messed up my pretty face."
"Pretty? You think too highly of yourself. But yes, you saved me, so I save you. I must commend you though: your power is formidable.
Enough to destroy a level 15 Giant Green Slime in just a single strike.
And when I think about how much carnage you will loose among our enemies with that attack - my, I am starting to like you more and more," said Valera.
"Think I broke both my arms and a couple ribs, though," said Dynamite Girl. She put a hand to her chest and deactivated her power, causing her veins to lose their glow and her heart to stop shining white through her chest. "And I just miiight have suffered a heart attack. But y'know, none of that bothers me anymore.
You're right: being undead has its perks. I think I can start takin' my power up to the next level."
"Not to mention an eternal life. Imagine being able to spend an entire eternity with the one you serve. There is no greater blessing." Valera flicked acid off her arm before she picked the eye up. "And now, my master's search has ended."
"Excellent work, you two." Aldrich walked into the cavern with his undead army in tow behind him.
"Here, master, the Eye of Azoth." Valera knelt before Aldrich and offered up the eye.
Aldrich looked at the baseball sized, wrinkled up and dried out eye in Valera's palm expectantly. With this, he could craft a powerful weapon that could carry him all the way to the second Trial Quest, potentially even the third.
"Thank you. Thank you to all of you," said Aldrich. "All of you have far exceeded my expectations."
Aldrich grasped the eye and dissolved it into his inventory.
[1x Eye of Azoth obtained]
[Giant Green Slime defeated!]
[EXP Bar: 620/1200 ] 770/1200]
Then, while his hand was on Valera's, he grabbed her hand and lifted her up.
"We still have another fight to go, remember?" said Aldrich. He checked the timer on the quest. 30 minutes. "No kneeling just yet."
Aldrich then headed over to a chest in the corner of the cavern and tapped it with his staff again. There, he obtained the head piece for the [Grave Reaper] set.
[1x Grave Reaper Hood obtained]
Aldrich looked over to his undead. His natural variants were waiting for his order to move out. The Geist, too, stared at him expectantly. Dynamite Girl had her arms crossed, waiting for an order. Valera stared longingly at the hand that Aldrich had grabbed.
Generally speaking, everyone was ready to fight, and Aldrich's [Anti-Life Shell] was healing the damage they took.
"This last fight is the hardest fight of this quest. A secret boss fight," said Aldrich. "And the reason why I conserved my mana and health. Ready yourselves."