"He actually came, and all it took was a forum post." Several sources of laughter could be heard from the treeline.
"Oh dear, we got baited, huh?" Merlin spoke with a sigh, as if this were a common occurrence. Quickly getting up off of the ground, he unsheathed both of his blades. "At least give a guy time to mourn."
Merlin's companions both unsheathed their weapons and moved into a defensive formation alongside Merlin. A few moments passed without either side making a move.
"G'day Merlin, it's nice seeing ya again." An extremely hairy large man stepped out from behind a tree, waving around a strange flat blue crystal and speaking with an arrogant tone. "It looks like ye couldn't afford as many bodyguards this time around, eh?"
"Oh, it's just the puppy squad this time around." Merlin spoke as if he was disappointed by this fact, but his face had formed a smug grin, as if his sadness only moments ago was a mere facade. "I guess I wasted more money than I needed to. Damn, alright, come on lets get this over with, I'm paying these guys by the hour."
"You already paid us thou--" Merire, confused by what was going on, tried to ask a question, only to get interrupted part way through with Warren nudging her.
"You got a plan?" Warren asked, staring into the treeline at all the figures still hiding, albeit poorly.
"Yeah... Kill em and loot em. We might as well get some profit while we're here." Merlin's tone had become as arrogant as his facial expression.
"Hunter's Sight, Blood Thirst, True Sight." Merlin started chanting out skill names as he walked closer to the treeline.
「Skill ⟪Hunter's Sight⟫ Activated. You can sense nearby enemies, tracking becomes easier.」
「Skill ⟪Blood Thirst⟫ Activated. You can sense wounded creatures, your movement and attack speed increases for each wounded enemy in the area.」
「Skill ⟪True Sight⟫ Activated. You can see through illusions and invisibility.」
Robotic jingles and notification windows appeared one by one in Merlin's peripheral vision, informing him that his abilities activated successfully, before fading away.
"Appraisal," Merlin calmly chanted while staring at the man he previously insulted.
Origin Soul: Werewolf
Soul Slots: 2
1: ★★★ Race Soul: Werewolf
2: ★★★ Class Soul: Vampire Hunter
"Ah, you did some farming since I last destroyed you, even managed to grind out the Vampire Hunter class." Merlin let out a small snicker, and spoke back up in a condescending voice. Merlin's slow walk speed had suddenly turned into a dash, making a beeline towards Wolfsbane with his weapons drawn.
Wolfsbane reached into his pocket and pulled out a small vial of shimmering blue liquid, and as Merlin was only a few seconds away from reaching him, he threw the vial in front of him and began chanting under his breath, the vial suddenly shattered, and the contents within it had formed a wide thin wall that continued to fly towards Merlin.
Either due to Merlin being unable to react in time, or merely just curious, the wall of liquid had successfully collided with him, the liquid absorbed into his clothes and drenched his hair and skin, but it didn't seem as though anything else had happened. Wolfsbane had immediately moved into melee range as the vial shattered, and without waiting a second to gloat, he started chanting while performing a stabbing motion with an empty hand.
Before the empty hand could hit, a small wooden stick with a sharpened point had appeared in Wolfsbane's hand, and less than a second later, the stick was stabbed successfully into Merlin's stomach. Merlin had received two notifications.
「You have been attacked by player 'Wolfsbane'. Everyone within their party has been marked as an enemy, you may attack them without receiving penalties.」
「You have received 120 damage from player 'Wolfsbane' using skill ⟪Vampire Hunter's Stake⟫.」
"What? Why didn't you die?" Wolfsbane shouted out in confusion as he quickly retreated back a couple steps, the stake disintegrated into smoke.
"Come to think of it, you never got a chance to appraise me last time, did you?" Merlin spoke out, the smug grin still plastered on his face. Merlin decided to show off a little, which was generally unusual for him to do. "You know what, I'll let you scan me... Maybe this time you'll learn."
Wolfsbane, while infuriated at Merlin's arrogance, still decided to take him up on that offer. He held the strange crystal plate in front of his face and chanted a skill, "Inspect".
Suddenly, the blue crystal plate lit up, and glowing words appeared on its surface. It was a tool that replicated the appraisal skill to a limited degree.
Guild: Hell's Benefit
Origin Soul: Angel of Vengeance
Soul Slots: 5
1: ★★★★★ Hybrid Soul: Angel of Vengeance
2: ★★★★ Class Soul: Umbral Agent
3: ★★★ Class Soul: Bloodseeker
4: ★★★★ Job Soul: Loremaster
5: ★★★★ Skill Soul: Eyes of Thoth
"W-wait what, you're not even a vampire, wait no, more importantly, a five star hybrid soul?" Wolfsbane was a little shocked at this revelation, he had seen Merlin in the past use what looked like blood magic and dark magic, both which were the distinct traits of the vampire soul, but it seemed Merlin used two separate classes to accomplish a similar play style.
"Thoth's Library." Merlin quickly chanted another skill, which brought up another notification window.
「Thoth's library of knowledge has opened, what would you like to research?」
"Vampire Hunter Skill, ⟪Vampire Hunter's Stake⟫, brief description." Merlin answered, a little curious at the skill he had been hit with.
Vampire Hunter's Stake is one of the Vampire Hunter's core abilities.
The ability summons a wooden stake that can be used to attack.
If used against a non-vampire enemy, the stake will deal moderate piercing damage.
If used against a lesser variant vampire of a lower level than the user, it will instantly kill the vampire, otherwise it will do significant damage.
The ability does significant damage against vampire players, elite monsters and boss monsters, as long as the vampire has been weakened with holy water or holy magic, and as long as the vampire does not out-level the user by a large margin.
"Ah, so that was holy water... That's quite the combo you've got there, did you practice it just for me?" Merlin had satisfied his curiosity, and his mind shifted back to combat. "My turn!"
Merlin dashed towards Wolfsbane once more, and the instant he reached melee range, his blades were already accurately aimed for Wolfsbane's throat, with both blades connecting.
「3600 damage, critical hit!」
「Passive skill ⟪Rupture⟫ has triggered, target is now bleeding.」
Chunks of werewolf hair hit the forest floor as Wolfsbane's throat opened up, dealing a sizeable amount of damage, and sending him into a panic as he noticed his health rapidly decreasing. He began barking out orders while trying to back away. "Everyone attack!"
Several werewolves left their hiding spots within the treeline, Merlin scanned over them briefly and noticed twelve of them were gathering mana, while the remaining seven were running towards him with swords drawn.
"Angel of Vengeance." The whites of Merlin's eyes blackened as soon as he finished chanting, and illusory black feathers started forming within the air around him, suddenly dissipating if they touched anything.
「Skill ⟪Angel of Vengeance⟫ activated, after receiving fatal damage you will be unable to fall under 1 HP for three seconds, all damage taken during this form will be stored temporarily.」
Merlin stopped moving and took a defensive posture as the armed werewolves were gathering close. Mere seconds later, the enemy mages had all finished chanting their spells, magic of various shapes and colours flew towards Merlin's position, before they suddenly all made contact.
Merlin was bombarded with notifications.
「2922 damage received.」
「2050 damage received.」
「4009 damage received.」
「780 damage received.」
「Fatal damage taken, you are being kept alive at 1 HP by ⟪Angel of Vengeance⟫.」
「4551 damage received.」
「1290 damage received.」
「3707 damage received.」
「4772 damage received.」
「630 damage received.」
「2587 damage received.」
「4200 damage received.」
「969 damage received.」
Wolfsbane let out a laugh as Merlin was buried under an array of rainbow explosions, unaware of the massacre that was about to happen.
「32,467 damage has been stored temporarily.」
"Oh this is going to be so unfair, even I feel sorry for you guys." Merlin stared at the number with excitement, his already obnoxiously smug grin was amplified and he couldn't help but laugh maniacally. Merlin immediately started running towards the largest grouping of enemies, his laughter became insane. His enemies, Wolfsbane in particular, had let down their guard, leaving themselves defenceless as Merlin ran towards them at full speed.
"Revenge counter!" Merlin yelled out while jumping into the middle of group of enemies.
「Skill ⟪Revenge counter⟫ activated, 35% of your stored damage will be used, the rest discarded.」
Suddenly, a wave of black energy shot out from Merlin's chest, quickly expanding to a large bubble that enveloped half of the visible treeline, alongside all of Wolfsbane's party. Merlin watched as everyone around him fell to their knees, or collapsed, as the black energy dispersed, leaving a rain of black feathers in its wake.
Merlin stood there, somewhat entranced at the macabre scene he had created, several corpses resting around him, and the sky being blackened out by hundreds of black feathers slowly making their way to the floor. The only thing ruining the scene was the notification box sitting on the edge of his vision.
「You have killed several high level enemies, congratulations you are now level 895.」