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Rated: 18+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2316765
Carter finally reaches Arthur's lair and needs to be a hero again.

Carter walked into a small gulley that was encompassed by two small hills. He climbed up the other side of the embankment and stopped dead in his tracks. This village was nothing like the other ones. This was more of a fortified camp than a village.

A few heads past the embankment was an open field. There was no way that Carter was going to sneak up on anyone. Pass the field were four tents and twelve guards in front of two bridges that crossed a wide ravine. The bridges were far apart, and there was no jumping over the ravine. After the ravine were more guards, eight tents, four cliff-dwelling homes, and a large entrance into the mountain. The opening was massive and ornate. Two giant statues of Gnolls were outside the mountain's entrance. If Carter remembered anything about video games, that's where the boss will be.

He was about to use his Detect Area spell again to ensure where all the players of this scenario were, but he remembered his mana was low, and he needed to conserve it for the coming boss fight.

"Two boss fights on the same level? Hard-core," said Carter to himself.

He looked behind him to see if any monster was sneaking up or if those hampering women were coming to yell at him. He pulled his bow and quiver out of his rucksack and placed them beside him.

Using bows and arrows might be considered cheating in the Tower. Carter saw them as a means to an end. He placed another Manna in his mouth and turned around.

He grabbed the bow and nocked an arrow in its place. He stood up, fired, and sat back down. He nocked another arrow and continued the cycle. After the eight guards were dead on the periphery of the ravine, he ran across the field to the closest tent. He looked inside and found a cot. He opened his bag again and started bringing up his Amass Treasure when the bag automatically started sucking in the treasure of coins. He didn't have to use his mana.

"That's what all that sucking of my mana did. It created its own Amass Treasure spell," thought Carter. He mentally told the haversack to stop, and all the coins fell back to the ground. He mentally pictured all the coins in his bag, and it started again.

"Nice," said Carter softly.

A loud ringing sound came from a bell far off in the distance. Carter leaned his head out from the tent and looked around. The inner village guards finally noticed the border guards missing from their posts and were howling warnings to each other. He scolded himself and mumbled, "You should have gotten the treasure afterward."

He put his bow away and pulled out his Great Sword. He headed for the nearest bridge. The Gnolls waited until he got on the bridge and then sent a group across the other bridge to block him. That plan would have worked if he had planned on running away, but he wasn't. He walked towards the village side of the bridge, swinging away and chopping Gnolls in half.

"No!" screamed Carter as one of the Gnolls fell to his death, taking his coins with him. He needed to get away from this bridge so he didn't lose any more treasure. The encirclement team of Gnolls finally reached the other side of the bridge and stopped. They started pushing each other around until they began to cross the bridge one by one. Carter stood back, allowing them plenty of room to fight him and the coins to hit the ground.

Carver's yell brought another army of Gnolls out of their cliff dwellings and tents. Carter slashed his great sword, offing Gnolls to the ground as fast as they appeared. The village grew quiet. As Carter looked around for other opponents, he wiped his brow of sweat and blood. He inserted his head into each tent, and finding no prisoners or Gnolls, he moved on. He decided not to heal the several cuts on his body and one broken finger to save mana for whatever boss fight was coming up. He looked at his disintegrating robe again and let out a hardy sigh. Several coins flew into his bag, and he smiled, thus forgetting about his ruined clothes.

The large entryway in the mountain stood twenty heads tall. Two giant Gnoll statues growling at the sky stood guard at the door. White bricks surrounded the outline of the entryway as a long path went into the mountain. Screams echoed out of the tunnel as he neared the large cavern it exited into. Particles of light flickered in intensity as they floated into the darkness.

The cavern was artificial and shaped into a square room. Six large-sized Gnolls knelt on the ground in front of a large throne. Eight unclothed women, Arthur's party, were tied to a decussate cross: an X with bounds for their feet and hands. Most of their faces were unknown to him, but he did recognize Indigo, the healer.

A steady stream of white light particles was streaming out of each bound prisoner, heading to a large door.

"I see you made it, Carter!" screamed Arthur.

Carter brought his attention to the little weasel on the throne. A pathetic example of a man.

Arthur, too had a steady stream of light energy being sucked from his body and drifting towards a large, ornate door in the back of the mountain.

The pallid man walked down the throne's steps and jumped to the ground. He pointed at the women and said, "I didn't need to tie them up. They have to listen to everything I tell them! I did it because I despise them!"

Arthur kept his distance because he knew he wasn't Carter's equal. "Impressive, escaping the dread spider and killing off my gnolls," said Arthur.

"I thought the gnolls were part of the Tower. Why do they listen to you?" asked Carter as he tried to move closer to Arthur. The bulkier gnoll guards did not respond to Carter's advances. They waited on their knees for Arthur's command.

"They listen to their gods," said Arthur. Arthur stopped walking, and a scream came out of his mouth as his body changed. His arms and legs started to grow bigger as his clothes fell off. The changes were hard to watch as sinew twisted and bones snapped. After the change was all finished, a twenty-head-tall Giant Gnoll appeared where Arthur stood.

Carter stopped advancing and started to retreat.

"Surprised Carter? This is my augmented form. My usual form, you could say," said the hulking monster.

I was a failed experiment, dreamed up in the mind of Dr. Kinger. I was a normal Gnoll living in the woods of southern Thresh when Dr. Kniger captured me and taught me to talk and think. Of course, this didn't come naturally. Science never comes naturally."

He started walking toward his Thralls as he talked.

"The experiments were unbearable. My body was spliced with Giant Essence, and I grew faster than he wanted. He stopped because of the war. He neglected me and allowed me to walk around by myself. After all, I was a sophisticated Gnoll. I found this ring; he would have given it to me at some point, but I took it," said Gnoll-Arthur as he lifted his misshaped hand and showed it.

"Please don't ask me anything more than that because I don't know. I still have the mind of a Gnoll and not a scientist," said Gnoll-Arthur.

"I think I like you better as a Gnoll," said Carter.

"Thank you," said Gnoll-Arthur.

A large pulse of energy crackled in the air as the door drew more energy from the women and Arthur. The women screamed out loud, and Gnoll-Arthur stumbled back a little. Carter looked at Indigo, and she mouthed the words, "Help us."

"That was a doozy. I've been gathering enough spirit energy from those cows for centuries. I'm finally full and can now open the door to the back rooms," said Gnoll-Arthur. Carter didn't know what that meant.

"Why do you have these women here then?" said Carter.

Gnoll-Arthur walked up to Inidigo and flicked her breast with his mis-shapened hand. It bounced up and down as she let out a loud moan. "I hate these cows, but I need them. I can't use all my spiritual energy. Otherwise, I won't be able to walk. We can't have that when another man is walking around trying to kill me."

"You mean our energy, you piece of shit," screamed Captain Harlow. Gnoll-Arthur walked over to Captain Harlow and moved his head down to her face. His tongue came out of his mouth, and it landed on her breasts. His tongue moved up and down as her breasts squished under its pressure.

Carter decided to take this opportunity to run toward him. Gnoll-Arthur turned around and motioned to his guards with a slight hand gesture. The Elite Gnolls came to attention and rushed toward Carter with war cries to instill fear into their enemies.

Carter stopped his progression toward Gnoll-Arthur and prepared to fight his guards. They were better fighters than the other Gnolls, rushing at him in groups of two. They were stronger but not faster. Carter blocked each sword thrust and returned an overhead slice, cutting each one into pieces. Two gold coins dropped for each guard, and he had to stop himself from grabbing them. He took down the remaining Elite guard and stopped as he looked toward Gnoll-Arthur. He flung his sword downward as the blood fell to the ground.

Gnoll-Arthur had a surprised look on his face. His clawed hands were fondling Captain Harlow's breasts as she yelled for him to stop. "You're stronger than I anticipated," said Gnoll-Arthur.

He lifted his hand and started to chant a cantrip. He let go of Captain Harlow's massive breasts and walked towards Carter. His image began to wane back and forth as he disappeared.

Wham! A giant claw struck Carter's chest, a large gash appeared, and Carter flew backward. Carter could see Gnoll-Arthur when he stopped, but when he moved, he disappeared. "Haste!" said Carter to himself. He felt another slash on his arm as he rolled out of the way a little too late.

He pulled Haste from his spells and launched it. Everything slowed down, and Carter could now see Gnoll-Arthur heading towards him. He ducked out of that razor-sharp claw and brought his great sword into his gut. Arthur let out a scream as a cut opened up his bloated stomach, and viscera flowed out. He lifted his entrails and placed them back in. He held onto his guts with one hand as he looked at Carter.

He looked at Indigo and said, "I don't suppose you can help?"

"Fuck you," said Indigo as her head felt like it was going to explode.

Gnoll-Arthur looked back towards Carter. "You are full of surprises, aren't you, little man," said Gnoll-Arthur. The energy being sucked from him had wavered a few times.

"That's what they tell me, Arthur," said Carter.

"Stop calling me Arthur. I am known as Gilgamesh, the deity! Know your place, puny weak-man," said Gilgamesh. He raised his hand and started chanting again. A small fireball appeared above his hand.

"You might be good fighting against steel, but have you ever had a fireball thrown at you with Haste!" screamed Gilgamesh.

As the fireball twirled in Gilgamesh's hand, Carter kept his sword in a defensive position before him. Another spell was chanted, and the spell came flying off his hand. Carter didn't see the fireball when it hit him square in the chest. It knocked him back a hundred heads as he crashed to the floor by the large door. A smell of burnt skin and flesh permeated the air. Carter stood motionless on the floor as smoke poured out of his chest. Gilgamesh, still bleeding profusely, started to limp towards Carter. "I won!" screamed Gilgamesh. The spell of Haste ended, and he slowed down.

Blood poured out of his wound as he forced himself across the room. He walked up to Carter and gave him a firm kick in his back. Gilgamesh released his hand, and his guts flowed like a waterfall. "I got you," said Gilgamesh as his entrails and finally his dead body fell on top of Carter.

A loud whoosh sounded as all the spirit energy left Gilgamesh's body and got absorbed into the door. A noisy latch opened, and the door swung open. Carter's eyes fluttered open as a pleasant sensation and glow spread across his hand. His eyes focused on the doorway that had just opened.

"I wondered if there is any treasure in there," said Carter as he started to heal himself.

His eyes closed as he heard low moans and dripping blood echoing around the chamber. The fireball hurt him more than he thought. It would have killed him if he hadn't had the fire protection from his ring.

The weight of Gilgamesh's body was starting to hurt, and Carter gave it a shove to push it off. Hanging intestines were pushed off with the back of his hand, causing semi-digested Manna to escape out of Carter's mouth unto his bloodied and blistered chest.

He pushed himself up with a grunt and a moan. Pain and white light circulated throughout his broken body as he looked down toward the ground. Gilgamesh's hand glittered with a band of gold on one of his fingers that he wouldn't use anymore. Carter grabbed his sword and cut the fingers off with a few hacks. He picked up the finger with his prize and pulled it off. He tossed the retched finger back to Gilgamesh.

The ring, three times bigger than Carter's finger, was placed on his finger, and an orange magic light appeared. The ring shrunk down to his ring size, and he smiled. He was ignorant of its use, but he'll study it later.

His shredded robe, which exposed his bleeding and burnt flesh, was a mess. Crawling and finally shuffling, he slowly made his way to the now unlocked room. He stood up and pulled out a new robe. It was the last one in his size. The old robe pulled off quickly, and he used it to clean some of Arthur's viscera juice off his body. He threw it to the ground and placed the new one on.

"Hey, asshole! Set us free!" screamed a raspy voice from the other room. He leaned around the door and saw it was Captain Harlow. Harlow and all the naked, tied-up women were near passing out from their spirit's energy being siphoned out. His wounds weren't healed yet, and his new robe was wet from his blood. His healing spell glowed under his robe as he walked out of the dark room.

"Don't go anywhere, treasure!" Carter said to the room.

He took out his obsidian axe and chopped the ropes off the first decussate cross he came up to. Seminole fell to the ground. Her flowing blue hair covered her naked body. She let out a little moan as she turned over. She looked up at Carter and said, "Thank you."

Carter pulled out his water skin and handed it to her. She drank it greedily.

"Be more careful," shouted Captain Harlow, the next woman in line. He cut the ropes just like before and let her drop. She slumped to the ground and let out a little moan. "I said careful," screamed Harlow again.

"Next time," said Carter, as he was in no shape to actually lessen the fall.

He went one by one. Some of the women he knew. Cindy, Teela, Hannah, and Indigo.

Being his favorite prison guard, he stood over Indigo and helped her down slowly. He placed his hand on her chest and started to heal her with what little mana he had left. A small smile appeared as the white energy flowed into her. Carter was beginning to feel he was nearing his limit on mana again. She lifted her hand and said, "I'm healed enough to help the others. Thank you."

He stood up and started walking towards the small room. A sharp pain originated from his foot and shot up his leg. He looked down and saw that his foot was broken. The adrenalin from the fight had masked the pain. He entered the treasure room and sent his little light friend into the air. The dim glow brightened up the room, more extensive than he had thought. He sat down in a chair by the door and looked around.

The wall to his right had piles of gold, silver, and copper coins stacked five heads tall. Three cylinder-shaped coffins, big enough to hold people, were farther down the wall. He looked down at his broken foot and then over to the gold. He reached down and opened his haversack, and a purple mist shot out. The coins started flying into the haversack, aided by the purple haze. Carter sat back and smiled.

Indigo popped her head in and looked around. She saw Carter sleeping on a chair and walked over to him.

"Carter, the girls and I are going outside. We'll wait for you there. The Gnolls have food, and you're welcome to some of it," said Indigo as she handed Carter his empty water skin.

"Thank you," said Carter. Indigo looked down at Carter's foot and gasped. "Your foot is mashed up pretty good," said Indigo.

"Yeah. Both of them," said Carter.

"I'm sorry. I used all my cantrips up," said Indigo as she placed her hands around Carter's shoulders.

"No problem. Give me a few moments," said Carter.

"Okay. We will be in the village," said Indigo, and she left.

Carter's little nap gave him more mana, and he healed both his feet before the mana depleted again. All the coins were gone, and he walked over toward the cylinders.

The light moved closer, and Carter could now see people inside of them."Statis chambers," whispered Carter. They looked self-contained and still intact. He looked into the first chamber, and a beautiful face looked back at him. Her eyes were closed, and she wasn't dressed. He looked at her momentarily and thought she was the most attractive person he had ever seen. He moved to the next chamber, and that woman was just as beautiful. The last cylinder also contained another beauty. A sizeable green lever on the chambers' sides beckoned him to open them.

He thought it over for a little bit and opened up his bag. A purple smoke grabbed the stasis chambers and pulled them into the bag. The chambers just disappeared before they neared the bag's small opening. He'll save them for later. Right now, they were safe in his little haversack's world.

He walked to the other side of the room, where a large door remained closed. He grabbed it, and it wouldn't budge. On the door was a sign that read "Maintenance staircase." He didn't have enough power to cast a fireball to blast it open, but he knew it wouldn't work anyway.

"Maybe if I find a key," said Carter to himself. He walked out of the room and towards the cave's entrance.

"It's about time you came out, Master," said Captain Harlow's irritating voice.

"Master?" said Carter as all the women held up their symbol of two dragons.

"Oh, no," added Carter.
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