Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 11 | The Trial

Chéng Yáng tried to close the gates after ending the exercise, but they didn’t respond to his command. Even more concerning to Chéng Yáng was that it seemed like monsters had stopped spawning.

What’s going on? He thought.

He didn’t know what the rules were concerning a Lord’s power to open and close the Settlement gates, but he was very familiar with those regarding the spawning of monsters. Unless there was simply no space in an area for a new monster to spawn, their numbers would continuously increase. The absence of the normally ubiquitous curtains of light was as horrifying as a silent forest.

“Everyone quickly replenish your Health and Mana!” Chéng Yáng hollered, “Hurry!”

Less than twenty seconds later brilliant light erupted from right outside the east and west gates. It was the telltale sign of a monster spawning, but on a level several times greater than usual.

Chéng Yáng’s heart jumped into his throat. There was nothing like this situation in his memories so he didn’t know how powerful those two monsters would be, but they would at least be above the Low-Grade Immature level. Even if they didn’t reach the High-Grade Immature level, they would probably be Elites which had all of their base Attributes increased by thirty percent.

What was going on?! How could such a powerful monster spawn now? And not one, but two of them! Even normal Standard-Grade Immature monsters shouldn’t be able to spawn for another couple weeks!

Realization flashed through his eyes. Was this related to why he’d needed to wait before becoming the Lord of Phoenix Village? Some kind of trial set up by the Gods?

It didn’t matter either way. What he needed to focus on now was overcoming this crisis.

“Go to the west gate!” Chéng Yáng shouted at his group while sprinting towards the east gate. His incredible speed allowed him to arrive in mere seconds.

By the time he arrived, a massive Graveseeker had engaged the defending group. It was at least as tall as the average human and the pitchfork it carried was in significantly better condition than the others.

“Go support the west gate!” Chéng Yáng shouted while landing a Magic Missile on the Graveseeker, slightly deforming its abdomen.

“I’ll take care of this one then come help. All you need to do is stall for time!”

Yú Kǎi’s group didn’t hesitate. The single round of battle they’d had was enough to show just how outmatched they were. If Chéng Yáng could handle this alone, they would let him.

The monster chased the fleeing Players, allowing Chéng Yáng to land another easy shot on its head. With a tragic, angry bellow, the Graveseeker turned to face Chéng Yáng.

The previous attack had imploded its face, causing it to look even uglier than normal. The Gods rules forcefully kept it alive since its Health hadn’t hit zero, but it was truly a hideous sight.

To prevent the monster from switching aggro again, Chéng Yáng ran outside the village. With great bounding steps, the Graveseeker followed. Twice now it had been hit by Chéng Yáng’s Skills so it would follow him to the ends of the Earth if no one intervened.

Chéng Yáng didn’t have the Observation Skill but he was certain this was an Elite Standard-Grade Immature Graveseeker. The monster was steadily closing the distance between them which meant its Movement Speed was well over 2.2!

Chéng Yáng didn’t know how many times he’d experienced battles like this in his previous life. Sprinting forwards with all your might as a faster monster closed in on you. Desperately firing off attacks and hoping that it died before catching up.

Chéng Yáng whipped his stave around behind him. With nothing but a quick glance at the monster’s position, Chéng Yáng guided a Magic Missile into its arm.

— Twenty-three meters —

Blue blood burst from the monster’s right leg. Unfortunately that didn’t slow it down.

— Sixteen meters —

Teeth and viscera fell to the ground. Surely it was close to death by now. Yú Kǎi’s group must have done some damage at least.

— Ten meters —

Chéng Yáng lifted his stave to fire the next Magic Missile, a ball of light gathering on the end…

— Four meters —

As he turned his head to fire, Chéng Yáng noticed a brilliant silver object rapidly approaching him. The Graveseeker’s pitchfork and Chéng Yáng’s Magic Missile passed each other like ships in the night. It was too late for Chéng Yáng to react. A red flower blossomed from his chest to match the blue one forming on the Graveseeker’s.

The impact carried him forward into the ground as the pitchfork, thrown with the strength of a dozen men, shattered his ribs and crushed his organs. Out of the corner of his eye, he read the message flashing in front of his eyes: 14.2 damage! Over half his Health in a single hit!

The pain was immeasurable. Chéng Yáng threw up blood as he fought to stand up. Even a injury like this wouldn’t incapacitate him so long as he could overcome the pain, the Gods’ protection went both ways. He needed to get up! He wouldn’t survive another hit!

The heavy breath and pounding footsteps of the Graveseeker rumbled in Chéng Yáng’s ears from behind him. Desperately, he pushed off the ground with a spin, swinging his stave. It struck the monster’s outstretched hand right before the beast barrelled into him, throwing them both to the ground.

With a wince, Chéng Yáng pushed the Graveseeker’s corpse off of him. It had been down to the wire, but he’d managed to beat it.

An immense number of Soul Fragments burst from the monster’s body. Elite monster’s were guaranteed to drop the maximum amount of Soul Fragments meaning Chéng Yáng had earned four from the fight. Another of the Elite monster’s quirks was that every participant would receive the full amount instead of splitting it!

Chéng Yáng watched the motes of light fly towards the west gate with a grim expression. If not for the damage the other’s had done, he would have surely died.

Liú Hào watched the green-feathered monster that stepped out of the curtain of light with trepidation. His Mage, Hú Yīnghuì, had landed a shot on the creature’s shoulder but it hadn’t even flinched. Their eyes met. Then it looked past him to Hú Yīnghuì.

“Get ready!” Liú Hào shouted when the monster charged towards them, its pitchfork glowing.

Liú Hào was already quite used to the tempo of combat for Knights. He planned to block the monster and have the others in his group whittle it to death. With a raised shield, Liú Hào met the Graveseeker’s attack.

A soft, marbled red like raspberry sorbet filled his vision. It wasn’t until his back hit the ground that Liú Hào realized he’d been thrown into the air.

Although a shield would negate the damage of an attack, the force behind it would remain unchanged. It was a fatal weakness when fighting opponents whose Attack Damage, and therefore strength, was significantly higher than yours.

Winded, Liú Hào jumped to his feet. The other Knight in his group, Hè Téngyì, had engaged the monster. Two fresh wounds decorated its body, a meter long bloody streak stretching from its left shoulder to its right hip, and one of the signature impact craters of a Magic Missile over its heart.

Having learned from Liú Hào’s mistake, Hè Téngyì was crouched low to the ground in an attempt to offset the force of the Graveseeker’s attacks. Even so, when its pitchfork connected, the man was thrown head over heels.

Ignoring the man at its feet, the monster shot like a loosed arrow towards Hú Yīnghuì, Mana shimmering across its weapon.

Moving on instinct, Liú Hào sprung forwards, pushing Hú Yīnghuì out of the way. Two messages flitted across his vision as he felt the tines of the pitchfork pierce his flabby flank. The first was a warning against friendly-fire, and the second announced that his Health had been reduced to twenty-five point eight.

As he fell to the ground it pain, Liú Hào saw two flashes of light as an Energy Slash passed through it and a Magic Missile landed on the monster’s back.

Pulling its weapon out of Liú Hào, the Graveseeker switched targets to attack Hè Téngyì. It closed the distance between them in an instant and thrust its pitchfork towards the Knight’s chest.

He raised his shield to block but the pitchfork stopped an inch short. Then, with grace unbefitting something so monstrous, the Graveseeker used its leg to sweep Hè Téngyì’s out from under him.

With an audible crunch, the Graveseeker pressed its foot down on his shield arm, pinning it to the ground.

Realizing what was happening, Liú Hào rushed forward and used Energy Slash to leave a bloody streak on the monster’s waist.

“Get off!” Hè Téngyì roared as he released an Energy Slash of his own. At the same time, a Magic Missile slammed into the monster’s shoulder.

In response, the Graveseeker stabbed the mans throat. Mana rampaged through Hè Téngyì’s body, ripping his vocal cords apart and turning his shouts into tepid, wet gurgles.

“Stop attacking!” Liú Hào shouted anxiously as he stabbed the monster through where its kidney should be. “Let me draw its aggro!”

Despite Liú Hào’s warning, Hè Téngyì’s sword uselessly flailed against the monster’s legs with panic filled eyes, bloody bubbles filling his mouth. No matter how many times he hit the monster, unless his weapon was off cooldown it wouldn’t deal even a single point of damage.

As the monster ruthlessly plunged its pitchfork into the Knight’s chest, an arrow from one of the Rangers penetrated deep into its upper back and an Energy Slash from Liú Hào swept across its chest and upper arms.

Seeing the Graveseeker raise its pitchfork for another attack, Liú Hào opted to wrap his arms around the Graveseeker’s in an attempt to stop it. The Graveseeker plunged its glowing pitchfork into the Knight’s abdomen, despite Liú Hào’s efforts, then tossed him away like a wet rag. When the tines exited Hè Téngyì’s body, they pulled his entrails out with them.

With a pained, babbling roar, Hè Téngyì fired another blast of light up at the monster from where he was pinned on the ground, splitting it from crotch to crown while a Magic Missile shattered part of its jaw.

Liú Hào gripped his sword with both hands and took a firm stance. Using the last of his Mana, with every muscle in his body screaming, he fired an Energy Blade point blank at the monster’s neck. He could feel muscles tear and bones crunch as he pulled the blade all the way though, decapitating the monster.

Indifferent to it all, the Graveseeker’s pitchfork shattered Hè Téngyì’s skull.

The Graveseeker turned around with bloodthirsty eyes. The sight of it standing over the mangled corpse of a man that had just minutes ago been laughing beside him filled Liú Hào with fear.

When the monster batted him aside with its glowing pitchfork, Liú Hào only barely managed to raise his shield in time. As he flew through the air he watched the Graveseeker dart towards the back line fighters, barreling towards the retreating Hú Yīnghuì.

He hit the ground and immediately rolled to his feet in pursuit, but even with his Innate Ability, how could he compete in speed with a monster even Chéng Yáng couldn’t outrun?

Liú Hào could only watch helplessly as death rapidly approached Hú Yīnghuì despite the Magic Missile he’d fired into the monster’s chest.

Right before the Graveseeker reached him, a large furry mass slammed into it, forcefully stopping its charge. Their Druid had managed to cast Summon Wolf just in time!

Right after, far too soon to have been cast by Hú Yīnghuì, a Magic Missile tore through the monster’s stomach causing blue blood to spray everywhere.

Glancing over, Liú Hào saw Féng Jié. Tens of meters behind him Dù Chéng and Lǐ Wànshān were desperately sprinting towards the fight.

With renewed vigor, he burst forward and slashed his sword across the Graveseeker’s back.

He felt his humerus shatter before he’d even registered that the Graveseeker had switched targets and swept its pitchfork behind itself. His arm spasmed from the pain, cause him to lose his grip on his sword. It slipped through his fingers, impaling the ground.

The Graveseeker turned on a dime, ignoring the wolf gnawing on its leg. It stared down Liú Hào with endless loathing. Mana coated the pitchfork as it thrust towards Liú Hào’s chest.

Pain roared through his body in waves, setting every nerve on fire. With bloodshot eyes, Liú Hào watched the pitchfork approach him in slow motion. The shaft wiggled like a snake as the tines changed direction, piercing towards his eyes.

It took everything he had to pull his shield up in time to block the attack, but that was all he could do. His stance was too unstable after the sudden shift. His back hit the ground. The next instant he felt the bones in his good arm creak as the monster stepped down on it.

Looking up, Liú Hào saw a vision of death. With his shield pinned he had no way to stop what was coming. His head would burst just like Hè Téngyì before him, painting the grass red and white.

Before that dream became reality, a Magic Missile slammed into the Graveseeker’s head, turning its attention back to Hú Yīnghuì. The Graveseeker shot Liú Hào a hateful glance before leaving to kill the Mage.

“Slow it down!” The Druid shouted as his wolf bit into the monster’s calf and dug its paws into the ground.

The Graveseeker dragged itself forwards tanking a Magic Missile from Féng Jié and a Reinforced Arrow from the other Ranger in the group. It struggled forwards a few more meters before turning its attention to the wolf anchored to its leg.

With a howl, it swung its pitchfork like a club, sending the wolf flying into the sky along with a bloody chunk of its leg.

Turning back to the Mage, the Graveseeker found itself face to face with Liú Hào. Despite the wet streak in his pants running down his leg from his crotch, Liú Hào stood firmly between the monster and his teammates. With gritted teeth he placed his shield in front of himself, holding it with both hands.

With narrowed eyes, the Graveseeker stepped forwards and thrust a shimmering pitchfork towards Liú Hào’s abdomen.

Eyes wide open, Liú Hào tracked the monster’s every move. It was another bluff, he was certain. The pitchfork stopped, and in sync with the Graveseeker’s back leg which whipped forwards, Liú Hào lowered his shield to protect his leg.

The monster smirked. It barely had something recognizable as face, but Liú Hào knew it was smirking. A realization that turned his blood to ice.

The monster planted the foot that was swinging forwards into the ground and completed its original attack, tilting the pitchfork upwards to drive it into Liú Hào fleshy jowls. Liú Hào’s fat body was lifted from the ground as if he were a marshmallow and not a man. When the pitchfork reach an aphelion above the Graveseeker’s head, Liú Hào felt the tines pull out of his body as he flew through the air.

He hit the ground with a thud.

Liú Hào was barely even able to read the system alerts through the pain. Zero point six. He had less than a single point of Health. Liú Hào’s body relaxed, he was finished. He’d done his best, but it wasn’t enough, and now he was done.

The sound of Mana impacting flesh echoed in his ears. A wolf growled. Another dull squelch.

“I’m out of Mana!”

That would be Hú Yīnghuì.

Liú Hào let his eyes droop closed. It was over. That terrifying monster would kill Hú Yīnghuì, then it would kill the Rangers, and then the Druid, and then Féng Jié, and finally it would come back to finish him off.

“Block it Mr. Lǐ!” The next sound to enter Liú Hào ears was Niú Bīng’s gravelly voice.

Forcing himself to sit up, Liú Hào cracked his eyes open.

A magnificent scene like a painting entered his eyes. A flash of energy sliced through the Graveseeker’s outstretched arm. A wolf that was significantly bigger than the other one had slammed into the monster’s chest. The middle-aged Lǐ Wànshān was standing over a fallen Hú Yīnghuì with his shield raised, blocking the monster’s pitchfork.

Perhaps it was because Niú Bīng’s wolf had offset some of the force, but by some miracle, Lǐ Wànshān was able to stand his ground.

He raised his sword to the heavens, then swung it down to earth.

Light filled Liú Hào’s barely opened eyes.

When he could see again, the Graveseeker was standing still, the arm holding its weapon lying on the ground in severed at the bicep and elbow. A timeless moment passed, then it fell apart at the seams. Its head slid of its neck, then split into three slices as it fell. The rest of its body followed soon after, crumbling into bloody chunks.

Chéng Yáng watched the second Elite Graveseeker fall as he ran through the east gate. At the same moment, a sudden clarity struck him like lightning as he felt a deep connection between him and the Settlement.

He could sense everything that happened within its range without having to focus on it. He could feel the monsters which had started to spawn again outside the wall. The fish swimming through the river. Liú Hào somberly kneeling by the body of the dead Knight. Even the ants creeping through the grass.

It was a strange feeling. Chéng Yáng had heard that Lord’s could sense anything that happened in their territory, but he never expected it to be so comprehensive.

With a thought, the Settlement gates slammed closed and Chéng Yáng ran over to meet the crowd forming around the east gate.

“You did well.” Chéng Yáng placed a comforting hand on Liú Hào’s shoulder before turning to the others.

“Unfortunately, work still needs to be done. Mages and Rangers are to patrol the walls and kill any monsters trying to break in. The Knights and Druids will gather the lumber and transport it to the Territory Altar. Also, someone needs to bury the dead. From now on the area between the river and the northeast wall will be a cemetery.”

With a quiet determination, everyone present followed his orders. They had been willing to listen to him earlier, but it was only now that they respected him. He’d been able to kill a monster on his own that had needed ten people to beat, and not all of them had survived.

The death of one of their own in such a gruesome manner despite the power they’d been granted as Players stifled the faint excitement they’d originally felt. They couldn’t help but wonder which of them would be laid to rest next in the new cemetery.

Last Chapter | Index | Next Chapter

Note: You can view a numerical breakdown of the fights here


4 replies on “Doomsday Lord Ch. 11 | The Trial”

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