Ensig:That moment when Editing takes a couple of hours to do. Y u no edit better, Past Me?
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You have been damaged by 『Piercing Root』! HP - 32 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 122Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have been damaged by colliding with the Ground! HP - 13 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 123Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
Death Count is at 123Deaths now, huh… Mh. The only explanation is the massive flood of messages regarding my HP being used as settlement. Using simple Math, I can calculate how many times I died from that Spell alone. The answer: 111.1 times.
I momentarily activate 『Quantitative Menu』 and look at my HP and MP.
My HP at its maximum 9HP while my MP was at its minimum: 0MP. Stamina and Satiety are still ∞, of course. My other Status values have remained the same as well, with the exception of 1 Aux RES, which I had gained while committing suicide earlier.
Because the Treant is ruffling its leaves (perhaps as some sort of victory dance?) without paying me any heed, I have time to mull over my discoveries — not that there are many that aren’t completely obvious. My HP was reduced through use of the Spell, resulting in 111Deaths and (likely) 1 damage. After being hit by the Treant’s attacks, I was revived at maximum HP.
As for the reason why the Treant’s attacks didn’t continue sapping my HP until the total numerical damage was met, I’d guess that it has something to do with the nature of the damage. While the Spell I cast forcefully continued taking my HP to fuel my magic (much like a dam breaking), the Treant’s attack was just that: an attack. If it was using a drain attack for continuous damage, it might have been different, but… Well, I don’t know whether such a thing exists to begin with, so I’ll leave it be.
Anyways. The fact of the matter is that damage wasn’t carried through with the Treant’s attacks, leading me to being revived with full HP. That much is undeniable.
Picking myself up off the ground as if nothing happened, the Treant gives out a short “Kroaaa?!” seemingly out of surprise, given its odd branch movements.
To be fair, I too am surprised that I can stand up with my spinal chord in such a state — isn’t my reaction. Bringing a hand to my abdomen, I feel that there’s a new hole in my Robe, but my skin has been completely restored.
I’m curious as to whether I’d actually be able to stand up like this if the gaping hole in my stomach remained despite my revival. Considering this body is that of a【Zombie】it just might be possible, but recreating such a wound would simply result in my resurrection at this point.
While I continue to feel my stomach for any lingering signs of damage, I start the cast of ⦑The True Dead’s Chains⦒.
༺■■:□ | ■■:○:■□○ —
Seemingly taking notice of the Spell, the Treant moves again: this time with one of the branches above the ground.
With a whip-like noise that would put movie SFX to shame, I’m sent flying once again. This time, rather than simply hitting the ground and rolling to a stop, I hit a gravestone about 15[m] away. Rather than simply hitting it and coming to a halt, however, I break through and keep going, only to tumble to the ground with the feeling of stone fragments boring into my back. I can still feeling a couple of fragments left within as my tumbling comes to a stop.
You have been damaged by 『Branch Strike』! HP - 23 Your Spell has been interrupted! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 124Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have sustained damage from colliding against a 〖Gravestone〗! HP - 20 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 125Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have been impaled by 4〖Fragments of a Destroyed Gravestone〗! HP - 7 Status: Punctured gained! - 2HP/sec Continuous Damage is nullified by the Ability: 「Zombie Physique」! Status: Punctured has been resisted!
Surely I would have flown even further without the 〖Gravestone〗, so I silently give a prayer of thanks towards whoever was buried beneath it. Alongside that prayer, I apologize for breaking the Gravestone. I won’t push the blame on the Treant, seeing as this fight is something that occurred due to my desire for information.
With the “chant” disappearing from my arms due to Spell-interruption, I pick myself up and feel for the Fragments on my back. Each one is jagged and rough, as should be expected. Still, I can’t help but wonder how it is that they became lodged within my skin, seeing as the Gravestone should have been flat enough for me to simply break through. Perhaps the system manipulated the fragments to become this shape for added damage? How mysterious.
Pulling one fragment out of my back at a time while facing away from the Treant I contemplate such things. For the feeling I experience upon removal… Each fragment gives off an odd feeling of pain, different from that of the Spell. It’s still a dream-like feeling, but it’s more… I suppose the word would be “Vivid”? The fragments within me sting at regular intervals with the pain spreading out. Being impaled didn’t result in revival, so I’m not sure whether the same type of pain would be generated if I was impaled without reviving.
Well, not that I need to know such a thing. Thinking so, I notice that it feels slightly relieving to take the pieces out, despite the wounds not healing over. Even if I don’t feel “pain” I can still feel the “relief” of being freed of “wounds”, huh.
I take one of the longer fragments out and bring it to eye level. What comes into my vision is a shard coated deeply in red. The identity of the color should be obvious, but… I wonder.
I feel where it was lodged just moments prior, resulting in a different sense of pain — but that’s unimportant. Bringing my hand back in front of me to examine, the same color is produced. Mh. No matter how I look at it this is Blood, but… Well, there’s a problem with that.
Due to 「Zombie Physique」, I don’t sustain any damage from continuous damage, which “bleeding” would count as, I’d think. But how could blood be replaced if this body doesn’t need any sustenance? Perhaps I’ll just run out of Blood and stop bleeding altogether? It could be replaced in a similar fashion to my spinal cord, but then again, I could only have a finite amount of blood… If that’s the case, then it will become quite troublesome, as I’ll have to wait for my blood to replenish. But seeing as I don’t require sustenance, how would the blood be generated…?
Well, investigating such questions isn’t really all that important. I won’t be bleeding out when I become an Oracle (hopefully), so as long as my blood isn’t finite without a means of replenishing itself I’ll be fine. In such a case, I’ll have to rely on the saying “Gods don’t bleed” and proclaim myself the child of a Demigod or something similar.
As I finish tossing out the last fragment with a painful sounding *Schllllck* I begin walking back towards the Treant.
Even though the cast time of ⦑The True Dead’s Chains⦒ is 5 seconds with ⟨The True Dead’s Casting⟩ active, this Treant was able to intercept it. Whether that was due to intelligence or simply hate, that fact remains. I gave it ⧼Cursed Immortality Ⅱ⧽, so no matter what it’ll die in 9 days (provided it doesn’t heal itself). And so, I’ll gladly accept its futile attempts to kill me.
Well, even if it knows the result won’t change.
I settle with a pace to arrive in front of the Treant in ~20sec, supposing that the Treant doesn’t hinder my walk. Which is, of course, just a dream within a dream.
With only three steps taken, the enraged Treant bends its trunk back exaggeratedly, it then bends forward the next moment. Once again I hear the churning of the ground below, and I casually sidestep as the Root bursts through the ground where I previously stood… And bends to stab through the center of my chest from the front.
You have been damaged by 『Piercing Root』! HP - 27 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 126Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
My DEX is 3. Against an opponent that can freely manipulate its roots from a distance, combined with the fact that said roots are perfectly hidden underground until only moments before they reach the surface… Expecting a Protagonist-like dodge to work would be nothing but utter foolishness.
Even if DEX doesn’t modify the chance of evasion like it does in games, it’s already quite apparent that there’s a large gap in experience between the Treant and I, so I had already guessed that I would get hit even if I made a serious attempt.
With the root still deeply lodged within my chest, I slightly dangle with no blood coming out of the wound.
The blood is either blocked by the wooden appendage being lodged inside, or my revival has halted bleeding from the hole altogether. If it’s the former then I’m curious as to whether the wound is attempting to close despite the Treant’s root and therefor causing pressure on the root, or if the wound is simply remaining at a fixed shape, like a mold of the Root within. Puzzling such thoughts, I bring a hand to my chin in contemplation as my legs sway in the Miasma-filled air.
While I can’t understand what the Treant is saying through such a ear-splitting cry, surely it was something along the lines of “Don’t ignore me!” or perhaps “Just die already!”.
Regardless of the meaning, another root emerges from the ground to my right, marking the start of a Treant Combo Attack as it jabs halfway through my stomach and begins to twist around my spinal cord.
You have been damaged by 『Piercing Root』! HP - 19 Status: Clenched gained! - 3HP/sec Movement is inhibited Continuous Damage has been nullified by the Ability: 「Zombie Physique」! Status: Clenched no longer applies Damage! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 127Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
Not even a moment after such a message, the first root extends further through my body while spinning. Even though the root is thick, a rotation of that speed should have resulted in me sliding downwards… If not for the second root, which had continued to twist around my spinal cord up towards my ribs, and was now curling back downwards.
Once the first root extends what must have been at least 5[m] behind me, it weaves back downwards and plows through my neck. Due to its girth, my neck is left holding onto the rest of my body with only a couple strands of flesh. I’m not sure how an outsider would see this situation from the side, but “Brutal, Gruesome Murder” might be a fitting description.
You have been damaged by 『Piercing Root』! Critical Hit! HP - 40 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 128Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
Still being held aloft by the root which continues to curl within my insides, a final root extends out of the ground slowly. Dirt drifts off of its course surface, riddled with creases, yet devoid of any secondary roots, it curves into a half-crescent as if it were the scythe of Death himself. After several seconds of simply staring at the root fixed in place, I shift my eyes towards the Treant.
With an air of contempt towards me, the Treant lets out another line, which I can vaguely understand judging by its actions. “Any last words?”, is it? How cliché. Thinking such, I simply stare at the Treant with indifference for a couple of moments before turning my eyes back towards the third root.
Even if I wanted to reply to its squabbling, I find myself unable to let out a sound. There’s a root in my throat, after all.
That would be “Then die!” I suppose.
The third root becomes a blur as it swipes me from the side at a speed my eyes can’t even keep up with. This coup de grâce surely has the sole intention to rip me forcefully out of the other Root bindings.
Sure enough, my neck is ripped off at the side — not that there was much connecting it to the rest of me at this point — and my entire lower body is separated waist down. With the scenery changing by the second, I collide into another Gravestone… Then another, and another.
You have been damaged by 『Root Strike』! Critical Hit! HP - 67 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 129Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have been damaged by 3 『Root Bindings』! HP - 42 HP - 32 Critical Hit! HP - 147 Status: Clenched has been removed! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 130Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have sustained damage from colliding against a 〖Gravestone〗! HP - 20 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 131Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have been impaled by 7〖Fragments of a Destroyed Gravestone〗! HP - 17 Status: Punctured gained! - 4HP/sec Continuous Damage is nullified by the Ability: 「Zombie Physique」! Status: Punctured has been resisted! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 132Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have sustained damage from colliding against a 〖Gravestone〗! HP - 23 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 133Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
Hm… How to describe the feeling of pain…?
Perhaps acupuncture on all of one’s pain sensors, followed by getting hit by a truck would be similar? The Root that was in my throat for a couple moments was something akin to having a pile of woodchips lodged in my throat, but the one around my spinal cord would probably have been closer to a dirt-covered, iron-toothed comb touching all the wrong places. Upon separating my upper and lower half, an experience of immediate numbness was felt through my legs — likely nerve severing damage.
No such things feelings were familiar to me on Earth, but mentally organizing the dreamlike-pain allows me to curb off boredom as I continue to collide with gravestone after gravestone. When I finally reach the ground I hear a loud *Crrkkk*, followed by my body going into a fast enough rotation to make theme parks seem like child’s play.
You have been damaged by colliding with the Ground! Critical Hit! HP - 27 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 134Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
An intense burning followed by a partially-subdued version of the previous nerve damage is registered only for an instant as I collide with the ground. Perhaps that feeling was my neck breaking?
Thinking such, I continue to collide against and roll along the ground like a ragdoll, occasionally breaking through any Gravestones in my way.
You have been damaged by colliding with the Ground! Critical Hit! HP - 23 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 135Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have sustained damage from colliding against a 〖Gravestone〗! HP - 23 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 136Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have sustained damage from colliding against a 〖Gravestone〗! HP - 23 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 137Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have been impaled by 3〖Fragments of a Destroyed Gravestone〗! HP - 13 Status: Punctured gained! - 4HP/sec Continuous Damage is nullified by the Ability: 「Zombie Physique」! Status: Punctured has been resisted! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 138Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
You have been damaged by colliding with the Ground! HP - 12 Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 139Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
After about eight more seconds of tumbling and several System messages informing me of my death and revival later, I slowly come to a stop against a slightly-large Gravestone; this one isn’t broken when I collide with it. It seems I no longer had the velocity to sustain damage in perspective of the System, because the “you died” message didn’t pop up as I stare up at the sky hidden by a thick coating of Miasma.
Thankfully, the many 〖Fragments of a Destroyed Gravestone〗 that I was impaled with along my short flight are now scattered along my collision path rather than making me into a bloody porcupine, so I find myself in a serene painless state for the time being.
I take that short moment of silence to breathe out a short sigh and bring a hand to my neck. As I gently slide my finger across where my Adam’s Apple would have been on Earth, I find that my neck was completely restored. Looking down and inspecting my body after leaning against the Gravestone behind me, my abdomen, and lower body are found in pristine condition — minus some dirt. While my top-half’s clothing is partially in tatters due to the root in my chest being forcefully ripped through my left side, the clothing below my stomach is entirely ripped off, leaving it bare.
Rather than being concerned about the loss of clothing on my lower body, however, I find myself wondering whether my former lower half is still in existence.
Perhaps it vanished into nothingness, and was replicated on my body directly afterwards? Or maybe these new legs are truly new legs, grown instantaneously after my revival? Questions like those line up with my previous ones regarding blood regeneration, but they’re a bit higher in priority. The reason being: even if the legs have disappeared into thin air, the Trousers below my now-shredded Robe will still remain. Probably.
Looking back towards the Treant (which is now a considerable distance away) I see my Cloak-Purse had left my person mid-way through my flight. I had forgotten to take it off before starting the experiment of Spells, but surprisingly, the Book still seems to be inside. I should be more careful with it in the future, seeing as it was a gift from a Greater God.
Going back to the matter of clothing, I suppose if the need arises I can dismantle it and cover myself with the overly large Cloak. Mh. I’ll keep that in mind.
I stand to walk back over to the Treant, but it seems that its assault wasn’t over yet, because the Treant waves its body in the distance. If I had to draw a comparison, I would say its movement was similar to a Trebuchet.
I ponder what its objective is for only a moment before a blur pierces through my chest, resulting in a loud *CRRCkckk* from my bones and the now-broken Gravestone behind me.
Despite the diameter of the projectile being about the same thickness as my arm, I wasn’t dragged back by it at all — testament to how quickly the object was flying. If the Gravestone behind me wasn’t thicker than the others, the object (which I assume to be some form of Javelin) would have left a vacant hole in my chest and proceed to plow through the area behind me, eventually gauging the ground as well.
You have been impaled by a 『Branch Javelin』! Critical Hit! HP - 62 Status: Mortally Wounded gained! - 7HP/sec Continuous Damage is nullified by the Ability: 「Zombie Physique」! Status: Mortally Wounded has been resisted! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 142Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
What aim this Treant has… For it to hit me at a distance where I must be naught but a spec in the distance — and without any visible eyes, no less. Perhaps it uses something akin to ⟨Detect Undead⟩ to detect me? Or maybe its “faces” eyes really act as regular eyes?
Moving on from such questions, I’m once again reminded of the difference in status and experience. I would tip my hat to it if not for the fact that its intention was to kill me.
I look down at the state of my Robe — which is more like a long-sleeved shirt now that its bottom half has disappeared. At least it struck through the already-present hole in my chest.
As much as this has been an intellectual experience, it wouldn’t be in good taste to drag this fight out longer than the time elapsed already.
It’s slightly off from my original plan, but instead of using ⦑The True Dead’s Chains⦒, I’ll choose a different Spell as a countermeasure against the Treant’s incessant interruptions. Doing so is partially out of respect for this clearly battle-seasoned being, and partially because I’m sure this would go on indefinitely if I didn’t do so.
༺■■■■:■■■■□:□ | ■:■■■■●:■■■■ | ■■●:■■■■□:■■□○:□ | ■:■■□:■:■■■■□:■■■■●.༻
The Short chant has a cast-time of 8 ± 7sec. Through ⟨The True Dead’s Casting⟩ it only takes 1 second before the Spell is unleashed. Within that 1sec, other than the feeling of the muscles under my skin peeling off, I feel… Something. It’s hard to describe.
MP insufficient! HP will be used as settlement! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 143Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
MP insufficient! HP will be used as settlement! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 144Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
MP insufficient! HP will be used as settlement! Your HP has fallen to 0! ⟨True Death Count⟩’s Death Count has risen to 145Deaths You have been revived at Lv.1!
Unlike the pain with the first Spell — although that’s still present in a largely subdued state — this feeling is more of a flow of sorts. It feels like having one’s hand be under a stream of boiling hot water. It’s searing, so there’s “pain”, but at the same time, one can sense the direction and power of the flow.
With the first Spell, it was more like standing in front of a burst dam, so I didn’t notice, but… I wonder if this could possibly be the flow of MP? If that’s the case, then the reason why it was difficult to sense with ⦑Curse of the True Dead⦒ was simply due to the amount of MP used. ⦑True Death⦒ costs only 100[MP] when compared to the previous Spell’s 1,000[MP], so the “flow” being less abundant in that case would be natural.
The Spell was too short to analyze the feeling further than that, and as if a second pair of eyelids opened I could see a “light” where the Treant was previously. In comparison, everything in the surroundings was as dark as the abyss, reminiscent of the Void during my time as a Soul. The “light” didn’t remain, however, and was snuffed out in only a moment.
The identity of the light? If I had to place a guess, it was likely the life of the 【Undead Treant】. The change in vision was likely a part of the spell, as the surroundings returned to normal a moment after the Treant’s “light” vanished.
There is no final cry.
There are no final words.
There is only Death. True Death.
— is only the type of thing someone infected with a major case of Chuunibyou would even think of. Instead of letting such thoughts enter even 3,000,000,000[m] of my thoughts, I pay close attention and watch as the Treant slowly falls to the side with a simple, inelegant *thump*. The sounds of its creaking trunk as it did so could be heard even at this distance.
To verify the effects of ⦑True Death⦒, I use 『Quantitative Appraisal』.
〖Corpse of an Undead Treant〗
The corpse of an Undead Treant.
Treants are Trees that have absorbed enough Ether to gain a partial consciousness.
Not all Treants are aggressive, but those found in dense Miasma tend to be fitting Monster Shells, and gain a suitable Monster Soul as a result. Such Treants lie in wait for their prey, imitating other Trees nearby and/or the appearance of the Tree they possessed.
Treants can use their Roots, Branches, and sometimes even Leaves to attack, making them difficult to deal with at both close and long-range.
As an Undead, if left alone, the MP cost to revive the corpse using resurrection Spells of the Necromancy attribute will be far less than normal, unless the corpse receives the Status: Sanctified.
Core: 422C / 37,500C : Lv.15
Rest in Peace. May Charon guide you well.
I stand in silence, quieting my thoughts for a moment out of respect. Respect towards the first being on Ariot I’ve met, and also the first being I’ve willingly brought to its death, excluding myself.
Now then, I should move on.
It seems that ⦑True Death⦒ and「Quantitative Appraisal」are effective even at this distance. I’m curious as to their maximum ranges, but I can check such things later.
Most of the information regarding the【Undead Treant】is the same as when it was “alive”, but a couple of things have changed. For one, the Treant seems to have been recognized as an “item” by the system, judging by the item ranking given on the top right.
The mention of MP costs and resurrection Spells is also new. With its information, I’ve learned what the “Sanctification” effect from ⦑The True Dead’s Burial⦒ is used for. Even in death the Treant will still be useful; I’ll have to try it out later.
Finally, there’s the fact that the Treant’s former Level is next to the Core. Seeing as that’s the case, my belief that the Core is related to the Monster’s level seems to be correct. Whether the Core Capacity Ability is part of that relationship is still unknown, but I’ll figure it out eventually.
Stepping forward with great effort and a cringeworthy *ccsshhrrrrk* noise, I free myself from the Treant’s last attack: the 「Branch Javelin」 — but not before pressing the tip of my finger against the javelin on my way out, resulting in it getting stuck within the hole.
The mystery is solved. No pressure is felt. The regenerating hole simply acts as a mold. Establishing such, I take my finger out of my chest and allow the wound to heal, which it does it great haste.
Now without worrying about being flung around any longer I contemplate what to do next.
Regarding the “flow” from earlier, I will need to inspect it in more detail later… But to do that I’d need to have another Target, of which there are none in the vicinity. That being the case, I should aim for something else in the meantime.
The condition of my clothing is quite terrible, so perhaps I should take a look at it?
On that point, I also hadn’t used 「Quantitative Appraisal」 on the clothing, so regarding each piece’s initial Stats: they’re unknown. I’ll be sure to take a proper look at them once I find the lower half of the robe.
Convincing myself thus, I look at 『Quantitative Menu: Secondary Status Variables: Equipment』. As for why it’s not just 「Quantitative Menu」, I figure there’s no harm in specifying what I want to see, and seeing what happens.
Ohh. It worked. Sure enough my Equipment Stats have fallen. I can’t clearly remember most of the numbers, but I know that WIS and MNT were definitely higher than they are now.
Now then… I should find the clothing for my lower half, wherever it ended up.