Chapter 325 Boss Geist
Refraction stared at Aldrich and Valera, and even under his golden helmet visor, it was easy to tell he was dumbfounded. "You two...are actually EAGER to fight that thing?"
"Yes!" shouted Valera as she started to take steps forward.
"The fighting is secondary," said Aldrich. "I enjoy it, but what I see is a massive opportunity for my new state."
In particular, the moment he saw that the boss geist could manipulate plant life was the moment he decided that he needed to raise this creature. He currently had an Arsellies Treeseed from the third trial quest.
It currently could not grow into a full Arsillow Tree without the 'divine blessing of growth' from an elven nature goddess. Normally, in game, Aldrich would have turned it into an item buff or an item, but he figured he could try to unlock its full lore potential.
Hiring nomads with chlorokinetic powers yielded no results, arguably because they were too weak.
The other alternative was to ask the strongest chlorokinetics in the world, Valkyrie, S-class hero and arguably the best fighter in the planet, or Ori, a sentinel from Africa.
Too many issues and risks dealing with them, though.
First off, Valkyrie was part of New Dawn, Solomon Solar's team.
And Ori was a reclusive sentinel who only managed his own state, nothing more.
But maybe this variant would suffice.
At the very least, with it, Aldrich would not have to worry about farmland and crop-based resources.
The Panopticon had a global monopoly over that with Skyfields, giant, A.I. maintained platforms in the sky that cultivated approximately 50% of the world's global food needs.
But with a variant like this, Aldrich could make Haven self-sufficient.
That was to say, Aldrich was very much willing to take risks to make sure this thing died.
"Okay, sure, but how's this going to work!?" said Refraction.
"Be quiet, Frac, and let the man think. He has like a thousand powers. I'm sure he can pull one out of his ass," said Mollusk.
The boss geist made its first move. It slammed its stinger deep into the earth, the earth splintering around it.
Then, a flood of spiked vines emerged, cascading towards Aldrich's group like a tidal wave of biomass.
"Well, he better think fast!" said Refraction.
"Chiros. Deal with that." Aldrich turned to Refraction. "Now then, tell me briefly how your powers work."
"Understood, high commander," said Chiros.
He leaped into the air, landing in front of everyone with confident poise, flicking his lengthy silver hair back with stylish, practiced flair.
The incoming wave of thorns and vines was so high that it utterly dwarfed him, and his tiny sword looked laughable compared to its sheer bulk.
"Reverting..." said Chiros. His form fitting crimson and white patterned armor began to glow a faint white. White, red streaked crystals began to form all around his body, replacing his armor.
The crystals looked less polished than his armor, more raw with jagged edges and rough facets all over.
The crystal layer covered his face as well, and the V-shaped visor that he kept over his eyes crystallized and became a part of his head like horns. His teeth grew longer, more feral, and sparkling, crystalline claws extended from his fingers and toes.
His legs changed shape, turning from humanoid into digitigrade, much like that of a hound's.
As a result, his posture leaned forward, becoming more savage, and every time he breathed out, white and purple sparkle laden dust filled the air around him.
This was [Reversion].
Strong enough vampires, particularly those from noble bloodlines, could 'revert' back to incredibly powerful monstrous forms that were said to be how their species were in days of old, before they decided to adapt to humanoid culture.
These primal vampires were called [True Vampires] and in Elden World, by the time the player arrived, they were all but extinct. But their power was undeniable. Even one fully matured [True Vampire] was a kingdom level threat.
Reversion tapped into that primal power, and it gave vampires a massive boost in their racial abilities at the cost of making them more blood drunk.
Chiros, however, could only revert 50%, meaning he could only get halfway to his true vampire form.
That kept his sanity and coordination intact, though it did remove his ability to talk.
With a roar, he emitted a huge cloud of sparkling dust towards the incoming vine wave. He then took his [Hellfire Blade] and swung it horizontally, unleashing a slash of black outlined flames.
The moment the flames came into contact with the cloud of dust, it detonated into a tremendous purple, red, and orange tinted explosion. When the colorful smoke and light subsided, it showed that the mass of vines had charred down to nothingness, leaving behind a long, char-black trail.
The boss geist saw this with its singular green forehead eye curiously, pausing, as if to contemplate the situation.
Chiros's ancestral vampires were subterranean creatures that adapted to cave-life.
Thus, they were blind and in tune with the earth around them, capable of generating crystal structures all over themselves.
This was the source of Chiros's Crystalblood Venom, a venom that, when placed within a living creature's blood in sufficient quantities, would rapidly burst through the veins and trap its victim in a crystal tomb made of their own lifeblood.
The crystalblood in dust form, however, was highly explosive and reactive to fire, complementing Chiros's fiery blade very well.
"I kind of get it. The ones wearing the fantasy style gear have a bajillion powers like you," said Mollusk to Aldrich. "Kind of like you three were ripped right out of a RPG."
"Yeah, I'm getting deja vu from seeing the Haven fight coverage, but this does look exactly like a scene you'd see from like Dark Wills," said Refraction.
"That one's a little too restrictive with its powers for my taste. I prefer games with a more varied power system," said Aldrich.
"Yeah, I get what you mean - wait, hold up, you play videogames?" Refraction stared at Aldrich's giant, spike-armored, threatening figure in disbelief.
Aldrich ignored the question. "So, tell me your abilities. Chiros will hold ranged attacks off."
"I can create two mirrors at once. I can warp anything caught inside of them when I slam them together. Alternatively, I can use the mirrors to reflect almost any attack, though not ones that dwarf their surface area," explained Refraction. "My effective range for warping is 10 miles."
"Good. Then on my mark, I want you to be ready to use your warp on her," Aldrich pointed to Valera, who shuddered eagerly, ready to fight.
"Uh, okay," said Refraction, noticing Valera's deep breathing and general insane energy.
"Valera, time to showcase your improvements. Let's use our Target Isolation Strategy," said Aldrich.
"Understood, my master." Valera cracked her neck. "Shall I use [To the Death!]?"
[To the Death] was a powerful single target Berserker skill that placed an afflicted target under a potent, rage inducing taunt. In exchange, the Berserker was also taunted to that target, forcing both parties to engage in a fight to the death.
It was one of Valera's most useful skills as it allowed her to take strong single units completely out of a fight.
The downside was that, of course, Aldrich lost access to Valera's Shielder skills, but he had more than enough tools to defend himself with now.
The Target Isolation Strategy involved Valera afflicting a unit with [To the Death!] and then teleporting both Valera and the target away to an isolated location, drawing the target away from their support and into the thick of an undead legion.
If the target was immune to teleportation, then that was fine too. They were forced to follow Valera due to the skill, and it gave them a trail to follow even if Valera disappeared from line of sight.
"The longer [Fight to the Death] is active, the more my berserker's rage will deepen. And with that, I will begin to [Revert]. Is this okay?" said Valera.
"It's fine. You'll still be sane enough for the warp. You can go all out when this thing catches up to you," said Aldrich. "After all, we're aiming to kill here."
"I was hoping you would say that, my dear master." Valera grinned, the glint of her fangs showing under her hound helm.