Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2317055-Chapter-039-Fort-Ogre
Rated: 18+ · Novel · Fantasy · #2317055
Carter finds himself attacking a Fort with a giant Ogre guarding it.

*TowerG* Tower Floor 9

Carter's pace slowed as he walked up the stairs to Floor 9. Anxiety plagued his climb as he wondered what would be on the other side of the stairs. The bright world blinded him for a moment as his eyes adjusted.

He dropped the two beautiful, unconscious onuses onto the ground and bent down. The snoring of two large bipedal creatures hit his ears first as he saw them sleeping on a rock a few heads away. The creatures reminded him of goblins, only much larger, 8-head-tall larger.

The sound of coarse itching came from one of the creatures as it scratched itself awake, stood up, and looked around. It didn't even have time to scream as Carter's sword sliced his head off. The head fell onto the other sleeping creature's stomach, waking him up instantly. He grabbed his comrade's head and let out a scream as he tossed it away. Carter's sword plunged into his chest as the monster's eyes latched onto Carter's face. A look of recognition came to his furry face as his eyes pulled back into his head.

Several gold pieces and a few daggers fell from the disappearing creatures. Carter picked up one of the daggers and flipped it around in his hand. He whipped it at another one of those creatures that was running at him from across the field. The short dagger hit it between the eyes, and he disappeared.

"Not too bad. These Goblin daggers have a good balance," said Carter. He picked up all the daggers and tossed them in his rucksack. He heard a low moan behind him, and he whipped around. The two women were still on the ground. He walked up to Captain Samantha and touched her cheek. She was still out, and so was Karol. He picked them both up again and decided to bring them to their home: the Fort.

He met several battle groups of those oversized Goblins on the way. They were eight heads tall, with protruding teeth-filled mouths, fangs, and pointed ears. They had brown fur covering their human-like bodies and boar armor protecting their torso. They were strong and aggressive and attacked on sight. They were predictable and not much of a challenge.

He dropped his two prizes onto the ground once again. They were starting to get heavy. They were both still unconscious; that blast outside the snake must have been strong. A long path stretched up a cliff to a large plateau. A fort-like structure surrounded a cave in the back—fences between four towers and a portcullis made up the perimeter. The Fort was impressive, but the 8-head-tall ants crawling in intricate patterns on the walls took that grandeur away.

"Infestation," said Carter as he contemplated what to do.

Carter glanced back at his sleeping beauties and realized they had gone from past-out to sleeping. "Good, I can be stealthy," said Carter.

Bows and arrows in the outside world were frowned upon and punishable by death. It was dishonorable to fight from afar. He had no qualms about it except for being caught using the forbidden weapons.

He pulled out his quiver and bow and approached a small boulder. He positioned himself on the side of the boulder and aimed at the nearest oversized insect. It was over seven hundred heads away. He touched the arrow, cast Deadeye Arrow on it, and let it loose.

The arrow crushed in the ant's head as it hit dead center. The arrow disappeared, and the target fell off the cliff in silence. It was pretty anti-climatic as quietness surrounded Carter and not the death throes of his enemies.

Carter released several more arrows, killing each mute ant, while the other sentries were none the wiser. After a few dozen ants were killed out of hundreds, one of the sentries finally found a dead body, and that made him start running around frantically.

The frenzied insect collided with other ants, and he passed the alarm to them. They started searching for the adversary.

Carter had thousands of arrows in his magic quiver and kept shooting, adding to the confusion. Even though the hectic ants posed a more challenging target, his Deadeye Arror spell was still working. He was glad he stole that spell from Queen Era.

A mighty bellow echoed from the cliff's wall. A giant beast of tall and wide proportions exited the large cave, nestled into the cliff's side, and looked around. Carter could see him through the portcullis of the Fort.

"Ogre of the Fort?" guessed Carter to himself. He's never seen an Ogre before. The creature looked inhumanly strong, excessively fat, 20 heads tall, with a disproportionately large head and abundant hair. It looked like a giant.

The Ogre loudly screamed again, and all the ants stopped running around and pointed their heads toward him.

"He controls the ants," whispered Carter to himself.

He shrugged and fired another arrow. An ant fell from the cliff in front of the Ogre. Yet another scream came from the Ogre as he whipped his head back and forth. The ants started moving again, this time with purpose. They were less in a frenzy and more methodical in their search. They were looking for the attacker.

The Ogre was whipping his head from left to right, looking for any sign of trouble. Placing his hand over his brow, he started surveying the surrounding area. That's when he noticed Carter at the end of the path. Another scream was directed towards Carter, and he swore to Nature he could smell that creature's breath from there. Carter didn't know how chewed-up ants smelled, but that had to be close.

The portcullis opened, the Ogre exited the Fort and looked down towards Carter. Carter nocked another arrow, aimed at the Ogre's eye, and let loose the magic arrow. It hit the giant behemoth right in the eye, and he fell backward, screaming. He pulled the arrow out with his oversized hand and stood back up. Carter aimed for the other eye and shot. The Ogre was ready this time, and the arrow was swatted away.

The Ogre screamed to the sky and hit its chest.

"Impossible," said Carter as he saw the Ogre smile.

The Ogre turned his head back to the Fort, opened his mouth wider than it looked possible, and screamed again. He then slowly pointed at Carter. A few hundred ants received his loud command and started running towards their target. The Ogre smiled and walked back into the Fort. He stopped before entering the portcullis and grabbed an ant passing by. He placed the giant ant's head in his mouth and bit it off, closing the portcullis behind him. The body of the ant disappeared.

"Empty calories," said Carter.

Carter placed his arrow and quiver back into his rucksack, bringing out his great sword. He aimed his hand at the large group of ants coming his way and released a Fireball. Then another one, and another one. They hit their target, killing at least half the ants. He swung his sword around and then ran toward the remaining attacking beasts. Several ant deaths later, Carter was halfway up the path when the next wave of ants came. He repeated the same technique, fireball, then sword, until he found himself at the Fort's entrance. His haversack sucked in the last of the coins and ant meat.

"Ant meat, can't wait to taste that," said Carter, rubbing his hands together.

He stepped back down the path a few heads and turned around. The subsequent fireball was going to be a large one. It was so large that it burnt the portcullis and half the Fort. Giant ants flipped over on their backs and died in wizened husks that littered the ground and disappeared. Carter continued his rampage until he finally entered the cavern.

He stopped for a moment to heal some ant bite wounds. More than some, dozens he would wager. He didn't know ants were poisonous.

A scream came from within the cavern. "So you're the one he wants to test! I'll be happy to oblige," said Forge, the Ogre. He was twenty-heads tall, with bulging muscles, a stooped posture, an ugly face with a mouth full of sharp teeth, and hair all over.

"Karol might be a bitch, but she was right on how ugly you are," said Carter as he walked farther into the cavern.

Forge let out another frightful bellow toward Carter for his insult. Carter ignored it.

The cavern was vast. Most improvements to this cavern were destroyed in whatever battle happened here before. Busted furniture, caved-in dwellings, and rotten food littered the cave. Twelve metal cages hung from the roof, with several prisoners in each. The "convicts," thought Carter to himself.

Forge grunted, and the fourteen ants beside him ran toward Carter to attack him. Carter carefully swung his sword, cutting off each ant's head before they could reach him. Forge watches as his army of ants is decimated while gauging Carter's skill. He deemed him worthy of fighting him. Forge lifted a large blue-tinged sword from behind him above his head. He aimed at Carter and brought it down.

Carter jumped out of the way of the giant sword while cutting a slice into Forge's leg. Forge's sword changed direction in mid-flight and hit Carter in the back, cracking a few ribs and sending him flying toward the wall. He hit the wall hard, and his back and ribs signaled to his brain that they were in distress. He stood up slowly, wondering how that sword hadn't cut him in two. The blade had hit him square on the back.

Forge grabbed his leg and frowned. He looked at Carter's puzzled look and smiled. Forge let out a small laugh, at least for him, and pointed his sword at Carter.

"Ha, ha, ha. Very good little speck. You drew blood, but it cost you, didn't it?" stated Forge. He held his sword up in the air.

Even though Forge was big and strong, he was slow, very slow. That sword should not have hit Carter.

"This Magic sword is imbued with the power of direct hit. I can swing it in any direction, and it will hit you, guaranteed. The Magic placed inside this sword made it blunt, though. That's why you're not cut in half," added Forge.

"Can't afford to get hit by that again," thought Carter as his ribs healed.

Forge turned around and lifted his sword over his head again. Carter pursed his lips and ran towards his towering foe as Forge swung his sword too late. Carter stabbed Forge in the stomach and pulled his sword downwards, opening up his stomach. Forge's sword hit him hard on his shoulder, pulling his arm out of the socket and tearing it off.

Carter hit the ground hard from the force of the hit. He saw his detached arm still holding his great sword and started panicking.

Forge dropped his sword and started trying to stuff his entrails back into his stomach. Carter pulled Ossesous's sword out with his left hand, stood up, and hobbled toward Forge. He jumped in the air and brought the oversized sword down on Forge's head as hard as one hand could. The Ogre's hands were full of his insides, and he couldn't defend against the strike. The sword cut split his head into two, and he fell with a thud.

Carter fell to his knees, dropping his sword on the ground. The pain was unbelievable. His shoulder's bones were broken, and his missing arm wound bled profusely. His brain was shutting down. He had to stay conscious to heal it, but his eyelids were becoming heavy.

He released his spirit before he passed out. He held his hands out toward his physical body; a dim white glow formed around them, and he started to heal. He then used the limb regeneration technique he learned from Ella. He was combining Clone, Heal, and Sanitize at the same time. The arm started growing back, and the pain began to diminish.

He jumped back into his body when he finished and opened his eyes. His magic mana was almost wiped out. Carter grunted as he forced himself to sit.

"That was excruciating. Never do that again," thought Carter as he stared toward the entrance. He saw movement, so he closed his eyes again and feigned being knocked out. He wasn't ready to fight anyone at this moment.

A lone figure walked in slowly with two women in her hands. She walked up to Carter with a big smile on her face. She dropped the two unconscious women to the ground without being gentle.

She knelt and watched Carter's unconscious body, covered in blood and death. She looked at Forge's mutilated head, viscera littering the ground, and let out a "tsk tsk."

She placed her hands on Carter's long hair and ran her fingers through it. Stopping for a moment and then slapping Carter on the face. Satisfied that he was near death, she walked in front of him. She pulled out a small dagger tipped with green slime, placed the point on Carter's chest, and pushed it in. Carter's eyes blinked open instantaneously, and he grabbed Aerofat's arm. She looked surprised and jumped back, releasing herself from Carter's grip. Carter held onto the dagger in his chest and slowly raised his body off the ground. The poison was starting to eat at his body.

"That's enough poison to kill even Forge," said Aerofat with a smug look as she looked at Forge's body. She started backing up as Carter wasn't falling to the ground.

Carter had never killed a person before—even an evil one. Arthur turned out to be a Gnoll, so he didn't count. He knew a lot was riding on him, reaching the top of the Tower. Could his morals allow him to kill Aerofat? She had no such qualms in killing him.

Carter pulled the dagger out and positioned it to throw. Aerofat saw this and chanted a small spell to herself. A bright light flashed. Twelve copies of Aerofat appeared in front of Carter. She let out a small laugh as they all pulled small wands out of their pockets.

"Surprising that you beat him that fast. I had hoped you killed each other," said all the Aerofats simultaneously. The illusion spell was perfect. Carter couldn't tell which of the copies was the real one. The voice came from all of them.

"I have nothing against you. I saw an opportunity, and I took it. Please don't blame me; I was going to have to fight you at some point anyway. Carmen would have demanded it," added the Aerofats.

They raised their wands before them and said, "This wand contains one death ray spell, a donation from Carmen. It will kill you instantly. Close your eyes and die."

Carter phased his spirit's head out of his body for a second and saw which was the real Aerofat. He had no choice. If he maimed her, she could still kill him. He threw the dagger, hitting the real Aerofat between the eyes. She still had that smug look on her face as she fell over and died. Carter closed his eyes.

"You used that trick on me once before," said Carter.

Carter fell to the ground again as the dagger's poison started to kick in. He was about to use the Cure Poison spell with his limited mana, but the poison seemed to dissipate.

He released a couple of chuckles. "Must be all that snake meat I ate. Speaking of which, I'm starting to get hungry," said Carter as his stomach made a loud gurgling noise. He pushed himself back up with the accustomed grunts of pain. He walked over to a campfire with a spit over it that miraculously survived the two battles. He grabbed a little stool and sat down. He pulled some boar, ant, and snake meat from his haversack and put it on the spit. Carter cast a diminutive Fireball spell at the dry wood, starting the fire, and then he started cooking.

He sat silently as he turned the meat and cured his wounds at a speed that wouldn't eat up all his mana. It was going to take a while, and he had the bonus of feeling the pain longer.

The cavern grew quiet as he heard dripping water far away.

"We're still stuck in these cages," came a scream from one of the cages that was closest to him.

"Hold on for a moment. You're not going anywhere," said Carter as he stood up from his stool. His body ached and hurt. Helping was going to complicate his healing further. He pulled his meat off the spit and sat it on the ground.

"Don't want this to burn," said Carter. He ensured his hood was still intact so he could hide his face: It was.

He looked up at the cages. A chain attached to the top of them went to the ceiling and down to the wall. The chains connected to cranks, and each cage had a separate crank. He moaned as he realized he would have to lower each cage individually.

He slowly walked up to the first crank and started lowering the cage. When it hit the ground, he approached the cage's door. There were a dozen women in different states of health inside. He pulled his axe out and hit the lock. The rusty lock broke open and fell to the ground. He pulled the door open and handed the only conscious woman a skin of water. She drank it and then helped the others.

"Go on, I'll take care of them," said the woman.

He let out a small grunt and duplicated the process eleven more times. The freed women were in no condition to help him free the other women. They needed their strength to help each other out of the cages. A large spring-fed pond was towards the back of the cavern. The freed women gathered around the pond to slake their thirst and restore vitality. Next to the pool were a few undamaged chests that contained food and Manna that these women had collected before they were captured. They nourished themselves with it.

After the last cage was opened, Carter, who was being ignored, walked over to the food he had left on the ground, lifted it, and placed it back on the spit. He sat down on his tiny stool. He used his hand to wipe off the dirt from the meat and placed it back on the fire.

"Well, look who it is! You found the Fort. Sorry it's in such disarray," said Commander Shi, her long pink hair matted with dirt. Raz and Oz walked behind her and grabbed some stools.

Carter looked at their faces and remembered Shi, Raz, and Oz from before when they were hiding from the Goblin horde chasing them.

"We can't stay here any longer, Commander Shi. Where are we to go?" said Raz. Her white armor was now scuffed with ant blood, dirt, and attack marks. It looks like she put up a brave fight.

Carter cranked his food as he listened to them talk. Three other women walked over from the back of the cavern.

Commander Shi stood at attention as they walked up.

"Commander Leone, Nina, and Mage Aerofat, this is Carter, the woman we met on Floor Seven the other day," said Commander Shi.

Carter, upon hearing the name Aerofat, stood up. He looked at the familiar red hair and half-elf face he had seen before standing before him.

"Carter, what is it? Is something wrong?" asked Aerofat.

Carter walked over to the dead body on the ground and pulled back the hood. To his surprise, he didn't find Aerofat with a dagger sticking out of her head, but a hideous creature with pallid white skin, bulging eyes, and no mouth with a dagger stuck between its eyes. More illusions.

"What is that?" asked Aerofat as she leaned down to see the body.

"This creature looked just like you," said Carter.

Aerofat placed her hands on her hips and looked at Carter strangely. "Are you saying I look like this hideous creature?"

Carter looked back at Aerofat and smiled. She was a natural beauty, with her curly red hair and alluring face. "Not at this particular moment. But before it died, it looked exactly like you."

He rifled through the beast's pockets and pulled out her journal and a small stone.

"Is that my journal?" said Mage Aerofat as she reached over the body and grabbed the journal out of Carter's hand.

"Doppelganger," said Nina. Nina had blue hair with a smattering of white braided hair. She was about 4 and 1/2 heads tall. She wore red armor that hid her figure. Nina was the one villager who had escaped from Arthur.

"No way! Where would a mythological creature like a doppelganger come from?" asked Commander Leone. Leone had golden hair, which glowed in the cavern's limited light. She stood above everyone except Aerofat. Her face was angelic, and she beamed when she smiled. She also wore armor that covered up her body.

Carter went back over and pulled his cooked meat off the red-hot spit.

"Commander Leone? The Ogre is, uhm, dead," said a red-haired beauty with white armor on. She looked at Carter and frowned.

"We also found Karol and Sam knocked out on the ground," another beautiful, armored woman said.

"Lisa, did they say anything about killing the ogre?" said Commander Leone.

"They don't remember," said Lisa. Lisa was muscular and had curly black hair. She was grungy, understandably so, given their last living arrangements.

Carter didn't care to have any accolades. He just wanted to remain anonymous and get on with his mission. He jammed another piece of snake into his mouth and chewed.

"Carter? Did you come from the Mansion where you found this?" said Aerofat as she pointed to her journal. He looked over at her and still couldn't believe she was still alive and not trying to kill him.

"Yes. It's all up and running," said Carter. "The entire village is there without Arthur," added Carter.

"Without Arthur?" asked Commander Leone as she glanced at Nina.

"What happened to Arthur?" asked Nina.

"Dead," said Carter. Once again, he didn't want to explain and tell them he killed Arthur.

"What happened to the Ogre's Thrall symbols on our hands? They have changed to someone else," said Commander Leone as she held up the symbol of the two dragons. She grabbed Carter's hand and showed his symbol to Nina. Her hands were rough with dirty fingernails.

"Who's our master now?" said Nina.

"I'm not sure," said Carter, lying under his breath.

"Oh," said Nina.

Aerofat looked at Commander Leone and said, "We can head to my Mansion. If the magic stones work, we can have food, shelter, and a bath without monsters or Arthur."

"Sounds like a plan. Get everyone together. We need to leave before the reset. Aerofat can guide the way," said Commander Leone.
"What about all the creatures out there?" said Carter. He was thinking he was going to have to do another escort mission.

"We have lived on this floor for centuries. We have learned defenses against these floors and the ones below us denizens. Horns for snakes, fire for goblins and bugbears, and silver swords for skeletons," said Commander Leone as she placed her hand on Carter's shoulder and squeezed.

"Those large goblins are called bugbears?" thought Carter.

The soldiers walked back towards the pond to fill their water skins up. Commander Leone started to bark out orders to everyone. Aerofat sat down next to Carter and pointed at the boar he had on a plate.

"I hate Manna. Can I get a little bit of your boar?" said Aerofat. She stared at his hidden face behind the hood. She went to reach up and pull it back, but Carter blocked her.

"No, I'm covered in snake shit," said Carter and handed her a plate with cooked boar on it. She grabbed it hesitantly and then bit into it.

"There's more to your story, isn't there? Sam or Karol didn't kill that Ogre," said Aerofat with a small smile as she took a bite.

"I don't know what you're talking about," said Carter.

"Most of us were unconscious in those prison cages. I was the only one who wasn't, but it all feels like a dream," said Aerofat.

Carter shrugs his shoulders again, a slight pain in the one where he lost his arm, as he bites into the last of his snake. He lets out a slight groan, and he grips his stomach.

"Nobody I know eats that poisonous stuff. You're a different kind of stupid, aren't you?" said Commander Shi as she tapped Carter on the shoulders playfully. She looks at Aerofat and says, "We're ready. Let's go!"

"How about you, Snake meat? You coming," said Shi.

"No, I have more places to explore," said Carter.

"Well, Carter, watch your back out there. The next floor has Dire Wolves, and they do not scare easily," said Commander Shi as she picked up Aerofat from the ground. Aerofat handed back her empty plate and thanked Carter.

"I'll see you later, right, Master?" said Aerofat.

Carter looked down at the dead Doppelganger and said, "Maybe. Unless I see you somewhere else," said Carter.

Aerofat grabbed Carter by the hood and kissed his nose, which was peeking out of his hood. She left him with the words, "Thank you."
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