Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 31: What might kill you, makes you stronger
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Chapter 31: What might kill you, makes you stronger

Max felt like a fool but he couldnt help the grin on his face. It had taken the whole fifty silver he considered spending but he felt like it was worth it once he saw and held the shield in his hands.

It was slightly larger than his previous one but had a small rounded half-circle section on the right side, providing a great place for his spear to rest against as he used it. The woman had gotten way more excited when he told her his weapon skill. Made of metal, it boasted no decorations and was just a slightly curved round shield except for one area.

[Inspect Shield]

*****

Round Shield - Enchanted

+1 Constitution

Reinforced

*****

Holding it in his hand, he could feel the bonus from it making him tougher. Combined with his spear and bracers, he felt ready for anything.

[Simple Stat Check]

*****

HP: 120/120

MP: 30/30

Stamina: 60/60

STR: 9+4

DEX: 7+1

CON: 7+5

INT: 6

WIS: 5

*****

He almost caught himself whistling as he moved to the level ten portal for duos and solo adventurers.

There were two parties of two ahead of him, each waiting a minute before going in after the previous group. They had glanced back at Max before turning back and talking quietly among themselves.

He knew this was a possible stretch of his capabilities but with berserker off cooldown and the added points from his items, he had to be close to level ten.

I mean, how bad could this go none of those guys or girls look that tough.

When his turn came and he portaled into the dungeon, Max was disappointed to find it matched the same look as the goblin one back in Windsor Wheel. Drab worked bricks made up all the walls and floors. Torches sat high enough up to give just enough light to see by.

Glancing behind him, the blue portal shimmered, ready to be used if needed.

Gods, I hope this doesnt go badly.

Moving down the hallway that was before him, Max risked a quick peek and saw the orc he had known would be in this dungeon. The orc never spotted him as it stood there, its massive sword leaning on its shoulder and gripped in one hand.

Leaning against the wall, Max let himself smile because there was only one.

[Stealth Activated]

Crouching down, he moved toward the orc, hugging the wall on the off chance it could somehow see him.

As he drew close and the timer slowly ticked down, Max moved behind the hulking brute, realizing this thing was at least two feet taller than him when he was not standing.

Crap this thing is

The timer in the corner of his vision flashed red, letting him know that less than ten seconds remained on stealth.

Moving directly behind it, he lunged upward, driving his spear into the orcs green skin.

Theres a moment in everyones life when they realize the plans dont go as well as they had expected.

Max had expected his spear to completely pierce the back and chest of this orc. Instead, it went up its back and broke the creature's collarbone, causing it to roar with pain.

Goblin crap!

The creature swung, twisting around with its left arm as its right arm was unable to do anything, the sword clattering to the ground.

The swift motion jerked Max around as he held onto his spears shaft, avoiding getting hit because, instead, he was flung out of the way.

The orc roared again, trying to find a way to reach Max, who was out of its reach.

This happened a few more times as the creature spun around, trying to reach the human, taking a ride on the spear that had impaled it.

As blood ran down the shaft of the spear, Max finally saw a chance, and as the orc paused, planning its next attack. He kicked with his leg at the orcs knee, causing it to buckle and send the orc crashing backward. The end of the spear hit the ground, forcing the orc to slide further along the spear shaft, sending the metal tip into the back of its head near its ear.

As it flailed for a moment, with no balance at all, Max took his shield and slammed it into the crown of the orcs head at least four times before a cold surge came over him.

[ 1 Strenght Consumed ]

[ 1 Constitution Consumed ]

Hell ya! Max shouted as his body felt recharged from the two stats that his skill had consumed for him.

With a shove, he pushed the orc to the side and pulled his spear out its back.

With it having nothing but a cheap pair of cloth pants and a sword, Max cut off its ears and stored the sword in his storage.

Waiting for his stealth cooldown to end, he moved toward the next part of the dungeon and saw two orcs this time.

Both were wearing leather armor, and each had a massive wooden club in their hand.

As he prepared to stealth, Max realized he had forgotten something.

Casting ice magic, he enchanted his spear, feeling stupid that he had not done so the first time.

With stealth activated, he moved behind the two orcs and adjusted his angle of attack, this time going straight for the spine at the base of the creature's neck.

It pierced through the leather armor, and Max felt the metal tip blow apart the spinal column as he watched the creature fall to the ground. As it fell, Max whirled, preparing to jab toward the other orc, when he saw it spin around, its massive club coming right at his head.

Lifting his shield, he bent his knees, feeling the blow bounce off, most of the power deflected.

Surprised he hadnt been knocked flying, Max thrust his spear at the creature's leg, catching its massive quad and going through it. The bone snapped, and the orc fell as its leg buckled under it.

Yanking back on the spear as the orc went down, Max thrust again, aiming for its body, piercing its stomach and feeling the tip of his spear hit the stone floor beneath it.

The orc bellowed, roaring at him as it grabbed the shaft of Maxs spear.

Max tried to pull it free, jerking the orc slightly and causing the spear to retract a little before the orc pulled it down with its weight, creating a new hole in its midsection. ๐’ป๐˜ณ๐“ฎโ„ฏ๐‘ค๐˜ฆ๐’ท๐“ท๐‘œ๐˜ท๐‘’๐˜ญ.๐‘๐‘œ๐“‚

Realizing the stupid thing wouldnt let go, Max brought his foot up in a kick, catching the orc in the jaw. He heard a crack as the orcs head snapped back and it let go of his spear.

Wasting no time, Max pulled back, thrusting the spear into the creature's chest and piercing its heart.

The same cold rush came again, leading to a grin and then laughter as Max wrenched his spear free.

[ 1 Strenght Consumed ]

[ 1 Constitution Consumed ]

Holy dwarf balls, he muttered.

Max noticed a gasping sound now that the fight with the second orc was over. The first orc was struggling to breathe and unable to move.

A quick thrust of his spear brought another rush of cold power, but it was not as much this time.

[ 1 Constitution Consumed ]

Only one. Maybe this one was weaker.

Harvesting ears from the two and taking their clubs, Max moved to the next group he found, repeating the same fight. Killing the first from stealth and easily defeating the second.

No stats were gained and Max found himself frustrated at that knowledge. He yearned for that rush. The feeling that he experienced. There was nothing that felt better than that moment the cold power infused him. No moment except when he had killed Serhmy.

Shaking his head, Max took a few deep breaths.

No dont think that.

It was hard not to think about how it felt when Serhmy had died. He had tried to block it out, but having just felt that sensation three times, it had wormed its way back into his mind.

Three more groups of two fell to his spear and Max almost cursed in surprise as he saw a larger room up ahead, having been winding through a long, twisted hallway.

Three orcs rested in the middle of the room. A small fire was burning, and each sat on a small log.

The first two orcs closest to him were wearing chain armor, each carrying a sword and shield. Further away was an orc wearing robes and holding a staff across its legs.

That has to be a caster.

His stomach tightened up, and Max wondered if he could handle this fight. Those two were a lot better equipped and their shields would limit his attacks. He hadnt fought orcs two-on-one yet and knew he had to take down the caster first. There was no telling what it could do.

The distance across the room looked doable with his stealth if he headed straight for them. He would have to activate it and go, not wasting any time.

Taking a deep breath as he tried to weigh what to do, Max knew there was only one choice.

He needed to feel that rush.

He moved as fast as possible, cutting a straight line for the orcs as he did his best to ignore the timer that told him how long until he would be visible to the massive green creatures relaxing by a fire.

The timer flashed red, and with no time to waste, Max moved behind the orc on the right, making his way toward the caster.

The timer said five seconds, plenty of time to cover the last few feet.

Two steps away, the orc casters face turned, its eyes locked on Maxs location.

Max saw the timer disappear, the orcs all starting to rise as the robed orc pointed and said something in its language.

Not hesitating, Max thrust his spear at the caster, shocked when its staff partially deflected his thrust toward its chest into its left shoulder.

It howled as Max yanked the spear back, preparing to strike again when he caught movement from the corner of his left eye.

Lifting his shield up, he felt the orcs sword crash into it, knocking him off balance and ruining the second attack he had planned at the caster.

Stumbling to the right, he spun, turning as he watched the caster dart toward the other side of the room, going between its two armor-clad orc companions.

Both of them bore down on him, swords swinging almost in unison as he shifted right again, blocking one blow with his shield while dodging the other.

He tried to get set to attack, but every other second, an attack came from the two orcs as they swung their swords at him. A high swing came from one, while a cross swing came from the other. He was scrambling backward, giving up ground, feeling their power as he managed to deflect a blow with his shield.

He couldnt find an opening or chance to attack as they rushed him, blades of death never stopping. Their shields protected over a third of their body.

The orc on his left suddenly glowed blue as it let out a roar.

Goblin shite!

With no options left, Max knew what he had to do.

The three seconds it took to cast the ice spell around him felt like forever. He suffered a gash on his right shoulder, thankfully not cutting too deep as he stumbled backward just in time. His spell went off, a cascade of white spreading out around him on the ground, and for a brief moment, he found a small reprieve as both orcs roared, frustrated at how they had lost their momentum.

With only a moment to spare, Max shifted quickly to the left, keeping his eyes locked on the orc between him and the caster.

[Berserker Activated]

All his plans and strategies dried up. Like throwing a droplet of water on a hot skillet, gone in a moment.

The red tint of death filled his vision as his body was filled with power.

Max rushed toward the orc, his shield held before him as he surprised the creature. When he slammed into it, the orc flew backward, landing on its back with a solid thud against the stone ground.

While it fell backward, Max was already on it, jabbing his spear with such speed and force that a massive hole appeared in both legs, leaving them barely connected by a few strands of muscles and tendons. The chainmail it wore did nothing to stop the barrage.

It didnt have time to cry out. Max ran and stood over it, thrusting his spear into its throat.

He looked up, seeing the caster and as he prepared to move, he felt pain sear into his back and right arm for the smallest of moments.

He didnt care, though.

Running forward, he tried to bring his right arm up but found it wasnt working. His spear wasnt in it anymore. Why care, though, when you have another arm?

The orc caster began to shout something, or so it appeared as it held its staff in both hands, preparing to block whatever attack Max might throw at it.

Not bothering to slow down, Max rushed it, driving his shield into the outstretched wooden staff, unaware of the sound it made when the staff snapped or the sound of bones breaking in the caster's chest as it suffered under his charge.

It flew backward like the first orc had, landing and rolling on the stone floor only to find itself face-first on the ground. As it tried to raise its head to see where Max was, all that filled its eyes were the edge of a shield coming for its head and a pair of eyes filled with murder staring at it.

Unable to comprehend the power that renewed him, Max spun around, seeing the last orc coming toward him, its sword held to the side.

Max charged, knowing his right arm somehow worked now as, again, he led with his shield, the orcs sword impacting on it. A sound of metal breaking filled the room, but Max didnt hear it. He couldnt hear it. All he could see was the face of the orc he had collided with.

Its massive teeth that jutted from its lower lips did their best to create fear and intimidation as it roared, having managed to stay on its feet. It had braced for the impact and held its shield in position as it swung.

Still, it had been shoved back a good two steps.

Surprise filled its eyes when it realized the shield it had been holding onto was gone.

Max grabbed the edge, clamping down with his bare hand, and yanked it away. The shield hit a wall but neither one of them had heard it.

Driving his shield into the orcs chest, the metal edge powered its way through the chainmail, driving broken pieces of armor into the orcs body and piercing its lung.

Maxs right hand came forward, hitting its face, breaking every bone in the orcs skull on the left side and even sending an eyeball popping out of its socket. Blow after blow landed until another rush of power filled him.

Yanking his shield free, Max spun around the room.

Looking for his next victim.

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