Without the ability to determine her proximity to the Ruins of Sariel, she ran through the deadly forest. Brittany could still hear the Leviathan’s howls.
It had not found her yet, but it wouldn’t be long until the monster caught up with her. If it did, it would consume her soul and all her efforts to escape this place would be for nothing.
She ran across the forested lands towards the direction she deemed east. At least, she hoped it was east. Getting disoriented in the Lost Zone was a horrifying experience. The Leviathan was here. And not to mention, so were many other monsters like the basilisks she encountered last time.
Apart from those Saber Wolves though, none of the other monsters had dared attack her. But she could feel them eyeing her, sizing her up. If the monsters could talk to each other, she wondered if a rumor had spread about her dispatching the wolf pack with nothing but a single-shot rifle and a knife. Perhaps some thought of her as a first class warrior, but she understood that her knowledge of how to fight came from her memories of a time when she had a Warrior class instead of this Ballistics Expert nonsense. She also knew how to defend herself in real life. She had learned enough Taekwondo and a little bit of mixed martial arts for the purpose of self-defense.
The howls of the Leviathan came closer.
She moved her feet quicker, taking longer strides. She had no intention of staying in this place with that beast so close at hand. Moving to a sprint, she entered the deeper neck of the dense forest, aware of all the eyes that glowed in the darkness. The monsters seemed to get closer to her. Perhaps they believed that the murky depths of the forest would make her more vulnerable and easier to kill? They couldn’t be more wrong.
She was no match for the Leviathan. The smoke-like monster would devour her, or rather as the game’s mythology would have it, absorb her soul and feed on its energy to make itself stronger.
She stopped, gasping for breath in the center of a small clearing. It was then she saw a light to her right. The light was distant but if her guess was correct, she came to the conclusion that she was going the wrong way. She had to take the rightmost turn here if she ever had hopes to escape the Lost Zone. When she felt strong enough to go forward, she took a right turn at the clearing and raced through the swathe of trees, jumping over the protruding roots, avoiding the branches that hung down too low.
Her tracking abilities had not been reset. She still possessed the talent to find her way through difficult surroundings.
Snarling, she ran in the direction in which the track led her, aware of the thinning trees with every step she took. Under any other circumstance, she would have been convinced she had taken the right path, but right now, she couldn’t help wondering if all of this was an illusion. The mythology of the Lost Zone, as was written in the Info section of the area, had stories that tell of people getting hope of escape and then when their hopes were high, it was taken away, and they found themselves in the deepest sections of the forest.
The same thing could be happening to her right now, but she had a feeling she was headed the right direction even if a sliver of doubt gnawed at her mind.
Shrieks sounded loud and clear in the distance, causing her to stop in her tracks.
Her hands clenched into fists, holding the hilt of the knife tight. Readying herself to fight, she looked around, searching through the dark of the forest, especially in the direction the noise had come from.
The shrieks did not sound like that of the Leviathan.
There were no howls of the wolves either.
Just as she looked around, she could discern a few outlines swarming through the woods, gunning for her.
A horde of Goblins are approaching. Do you wish to proceed?
Yes | No
Were the wolves not enough? Was the Leviathan not enough? Why did these abominable monstrosities have to be goblins?
Brittany hit “Yes”, knowing the option “No” wouldn’t get her anywhere.
As far as she knew, goblins made their beds in despicable holes in the ground, much preferring the mountains where they could easily bore into the rocks and stones. But instead they were here, approaching her in a dense forest, contrary to their preferred dwelling place. Maybe they too were trapped in the Lost Zone?
She didn’t feel pity for them.
Goblins were short, ugly, and burly with pointed ears.
No matter how they looked, she hated them.
They screamed at the top of their uncouth voices, the very guttural nature of it echoing in the air. Her nose wrinkled at the stench of rot.
Pulling out another .308 round, she loaded the Remington. She intended to use both the gun and knife to fight the goblins, hoping these would be enough to fend them off.
Threat Detected: Level 5 Goblin
Strengths: Sharp teeth and always travels in hordes. Will attack en mass to subdue their victims.
Weaknesses: Small frail bodies. Can be killed with little effort individually.
One of the goblins threw itself at her. It dropped down to the ground when she landed a heavy kick to its face.
The wounded creature came back at her, but she was ready. She swung her arm, embedding the knife in its forehead.
The goblins came at her, screaming and bellowing. She could make no sense of their words. Their language was incoherent.
She fired the loaded round into the air, hoping the sound would be enough to scare off the small creatures.
No such luck.
One by one, she dispatched them as quickly as she could.
She managed to fend them off some of them by using the Remington as a club.
Another tried to pounce at her, but she caught it across the throat with her knife mid-air.
One of them bit into her shin, causing her to shriek in pain.
She retaliated quickly by burying her blade into the top of its skull.
Two more came at her, but she knocked them down like a pair of dominoes with a swing of her rifle.
At this rate I’ll rapidly reach Level 9!
The ground looked like a never-ending fountain of blood with the hewn bodies around her, but she didn’t let the gore faze her. She had seen worse.
Suddenly a huge goblin – probably their commander or leader of sorts – howled loudly, raising a great-sword in the air.
Threat Detected: Level 16 Goblin Leader
Strengths: Sharp teeth and always travels in hordes. Will attack en mass to subdue their victims. Wields a powerful sword that can inflict serious damage.
Why do I keep facing high level opponents? That monster is twice my Level!
And then she remembered the penalty she had received after the game reset for being forced to choose weapons that gave her an ‘unfair advantage’.
That’s it! The only way I’m gonna beat this BOSS is with my rifle!
Her eyes sharp, she ducked as the large goblin swung the great sword. He roared again, and she bent over and avoided the swish of the blade, causing the goblin to stagger. She took the moment to sprint several yards away while she reloaded another .308 round. Turning back toward the pursuing monster, she quickly fired. The bullet ripped through his left kneecap, causing him to scream out in pain as buckled under his own weight.
She grabbed another round and reloaded, this time aiming at his bicep.
The large beast roared and dropped his sword. To her surprise, the smaller goblins didn’t attack her in that moment. It was as if they couldn’t understand what was happening to their leader. They likely had never seen a gun before, let alone understood how it could affect its victim from a distance.
She reloaded again and took careful aim at his eye socket and fired.
You have subdued a Level 16 opponent.
Claim your prize:
+1 Stamina, +1 Willpower
Although it was frustrating that she kept having to face high-level opponents because of her so-called ‘unfair advantage’ as a Ballistics Expert, gaining XP equivalent to what she would be getting if she were a Level 16 player was a nice consolation prize. The part that confused her though was the fact that when she faced the Basilisks the last time she was trapped in the Lost Zone, for each of her kills she was only awarded a standard XP allocation.
What gives? Is this just another glitch from the game reset?
If it was a glitch, she welcomed it.