Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 60: Doing what one must to stay alive
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Chapter 60: Doing what one must to stay alive

There was no time to dodge to the side, but he felt and sensed the ogre as it reached the range of his detection skill. Both axes were coming together, chopping like a pair of scissors ready to cut him in half.

Fowl was too far away. They all were.

He could read the attacks and see the strikes as time slowed down for the briefest moment. Both heads on the ogre were entirely focused on him.

Dimensional storage was active; he tried to go for his shield and sword but knew there wasnt time.

There was only one option, and it scared him.

Death was coming.

[ Berserk Activated ]

The world shifted red for a moment before it went purple. The blue light of the world combined with his rage. It was a shame Max couldnt see how amazing it looked.

The ogre he saw before him filled his mind, and his body reacted, his strength and speed doubling.

There was no hesitation.

Max lunged forward at the ogre, head on with only fists as his weapons.

The axe heads missed him by inches and collided together, sparks and pieces of metal coming from the impact, but Max paid no attention to any of that. All he saw was something he needed to kill.

As his fists impacted the ogres chest, they hit so hard that ribs broke, and his hand punctured its flesh.

He began to pummel the ogre with his right fist as his left one held onto a rib bone, allowing him to stay close to the ogre. All four eyes went wide at seeing the man who had evaded its attack and whose every punch put a hole in its body.

Ribs broke as Max punched a hole with his right hand, grabbing onto another rib and pulling himself higher. Something smashed into his back, but he ignored it, unconcerned with whatever that distraction had been.

He climbed higher, staining the ogre's black skin with red as he punched through its collarbone, snapping it and grabbing onto the protruding white and red bone with his hand.

A face bent toward him, mouth open and massive teeth jutting out to bite.

Unaware of the smile on his face, Max accepted the ogres gift, which it had unknowingly given him. Maxs right fist came as a blur, catching the ogre's jaw and shattering it, knocking the head back from the force.

Blow after blow rained down on the head before it could pull it back.

The ogre was falling backward, the power of each strike of Maxs fist against its head causing it to suffer in ways it had never known.

As they fell, Max found punching the ogre easier.

They bounced against the ground once, yet his grip on the collarbone never failed, allowing him to pivot so that he could turn to the other face that was howling in pain. The left head was missing its face, brains oozing from the holes his hand had created.

Max lunged for the ogres second head, his hands moving so fast no one could count how many blows he landed on the creature. Flesh and bones erupted from every attack he landed on its face, showering himself and the ground with gore.

And then the world turned blue again. The rage and the strength faded as Max felt himself sag, slowing down as a punch went towards the ogre, making a squelching sound as it hit the object once a head.

His back suddenly ached, pain flared up, and he realized he was hurt.

Fowl was nearby, as was Tanila, but they had not moved. The ogre was barely moving.

He realized his dimensional storage was open and rose slowly, the pain Max felt telling him that some of his ribs were broken from an attack he couldnt remember.

Pulling his sword out, he cut the head off, realizing how badly his hands hurt from bone pieces impaled in them.

The moment the ogre's head was severed, a cold wave hit him, and Max felt relief.

[ 73 Hit Points Consumed ]

Bone fragments pushed themselves out of his hands, and he felt his knuckles rejoining how they should be. He gasped for a moment as his ribs reconnected, and he felt them pop back into place.

Seth

Tanilas voice reached him. There was concern in it. He could feel the fear she had at what she had seen. What they had all witnessed.

Storing the sword, Max sat on the creature's chest, hanging his head between his hands.

Im sorry. I didnt have a choice.

He thought he had spoken louder, but it had been a whisper, and no one heard what he said.

Tanila came to stand next to him. He could feel her, sense her, and knew she was looking at the carnage on the ground next to him. She knelt down beside him and put a hand on his shoulder.

Its ok, Seth. Were here.

He looked up, tears streaming down his face, and saw her. Saw the worry in her eyes.

Im sorry I didnt have a choice. If I hadnt used it, I would be

Max, she said loudly as she cut him off. You are fine. You are alive, and so are we.

Hearing his name, his real name, from her lips felt greater than anything he could remember in a while. It reminded him of who he was. Of who he had been.

Thank you, he whispered, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly.

By the gods, man, you were so fast, Fowl said in that quiet moment. I have never seen a man, dwarf, or elf move like that. And your fists the power. You literall

You saved us and yourself, Batrire said, cutting off Fowl from replaying what they had all just seen. Tanila is right. We know you wouldnt want to risk us and only did what you had to do in order to live.

Max nodded, taking a few more deep breaths and letting them out in a slow and rhythmic pattern.

I was scared. That ogre turned on me so fast. Those axes were going to catch me no matter what I did. I couldnt get my items out from storage in time to do anything that would stop them.

Max stopped talking and looked at Tanila, still kneeling by him and smiling.

I was afraid, gave in to that fear, and let that out in that skill. I dont know what I am doing when, Max held up his gore-covered hands, Im in that moment. I just know I must destroy whatever I am focused on.

Its ok Ma Seth. Take a moment. Let us handle the harvesting. We all know how high the stakes are.

Max nodded, feeling Tanila squeeze his shoulder as she stood up.

Thanks, was all he could get out.

Im sorry I cant do more, Fowl whispered to Max as they walked ahead of the two women through the winding canyon. I put all my points for this last level into strength, but Im not sure what I can do to help relieve the pressure you must feel right now.

Max saw Fowl tugging on his beard. Something the dwarf only did on rare occasions, and frustration was one of them.

You do a lot. I have complete faith in your ability to protect those two.

Snorting, Fowl shook his head and then sighed. I thought that, but the truth is Tanila doesnt cast as many spells as she used to. Before you, she cast a lot of damage spells now it's so rare.

Seriously? Max asked, punching the dwarf in the arm. Do you not remember what you were facing before me? Those things are not on the same level as what we are fighting right now. It has nothing to do with your inability. Eventually, you three would have had to get another party member or two. Even now, I sometimes wonder if having a fifth would help all of us, but who could we trust?

Rubbing his arm where Max had hit him, Fowl nodded, briefly considering Maxs words.

Thanks, Fowl finally said.

For?

Not letting me feel like I allowed myself to feel. For telling me that Im not worthless. Fowl smiled, gave a small punch back, and couldnt help but grin. It helps to know you think we might be better with another. Not that I think we could find one anytime soon, but still

Ill say it, Tanila spoke up before anyone else could. Holy elf tits.

Everyone chuckled as they stared at the portal before them. No other ogres had been present after the pair. They had walked for a mile, finding the portal pulsing near the black stone wall.

Thats not good, is it? Max asked.

Tsking her tongue, Tanila shook her head. I honestly cant answer that. I have only heard of one of these in my life, and that was from an old story. And that was inside a tower, not in a standard dungeon.

What are the odds that there won't be an exit when we go through that portal?

I dont know. I really dont know.

Fowl pulled a backpack from his storage and dropped it on the ground.

How about we eat something and take a break before finding out? Either way, we need to go in there, and I, for one, am hungry and thirsty.

Everyone nodded, taking the jerky Fowl was handing out as they stared at the portal.

The orange portal had a glowing purple edge that matched the one they had taken to enter here.

Max went first, not wanting to risk anyone in case the portal sent them somewhere dangerous. He was content knowing Fowl would be coming a few seconds after him.

The boss room was a massive one-hundred-yard wide square room with a ceiling thirty yards above. The floor was a checkered pattern of ten-yard squares, alternating black squares and the glowing blue crystal. The entire room had this pattern, making it as bright as the sun at noontime.

In the middle of it was an ogre, seventeen feet tall and sporting three heads. In one of its hands was a sword over seven feet long.

Is that thing real?

Max nodded, knowing Fowl was staring at the boss just as hard as he was.

Yup. Makes you feel a little tiny compared to it.

Hell, Im afraid of getting stepped on. I mean, it's three times my height!

Holy elf tits! Tanila cursed as she came up behind them. Im glad Im not the one who has to cut its balls off after we kill it.

Her well-timed joke had everyone laughing, even Batrire, who didnt want to consider that task.

You did look behind us, didnt you?

Max nodded.

So what do we do? I mean, there is a portal.

Max glanced at Tanila, whose face had no expression at all now. He tried to read her and couldnt. Im up for whatever the group says.

Do we know what it can do? Fowl asked. Besides stepping on me or sending me flying across the room with an attack.

It can cast magic also, Max answered. Its not a normal boss. In fact, there was only one mention of this creature in the book I got from Sam.

Sam?

Youd like him, Fowl. He is a lover of books. As a dwarf who reads as much as you do, Im sure the two of you could talk for a good minute before running out of things to discuss.

Its that rare, isnt it.

Max nodded. The book he let me borrow must be over a hundred years old. He has handwritten notes that go back at least half a century. That thing isnt a normal boss.

Which means it wont drop normal loot.

Everyone turned and looked at Tanila, who smiled as she shrugged. Im just saying. What are the odds we face something like this again?

No one answered. They all just turned their eyes back to the boss, each considering what Tanila had just said.

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