Author’s Note: FINALLY!!! After almost a year, a new chapter of LGDK! I know I mentioned in a previous post that it’s been a full year since I updated it… but I was wrong 😛 Turns out, it was chapter 26 that was updated a full years before I made that post. The chapter after was 27, which was updated almost a full year ago. Anywho, please enjoy?
Chapter 28 – Brothers in Arms?
Dawn had just broken over Tire Flats. Kuro had told me her reasons why she was a woman of the cloth. We both watched the sunrise before I asked her to wake the others. But after she left… I noticed something from a distance. I could had sworn that I had saw some flashes. As I paid attention… I noticed something. There was a something called Morse Code that was introduced by a past Hero, a code that he taught a few people and those people started teaching others. He built the first telegraph in Stinwin, one of the few things out there that William Host did not introduce. Though Host did make the wireless relays that make long-ranged telegraphs possible. As all post offices have telegraph operators, there was no need for the common folk such as myself to learn it. But in the end, all Morse Cold really is… it’s a bunch of signals. And those flashes… are nothing natural. Someone’s signaling someone else.
I rushed downs the stairs from the bell tower while trying my best not to fall down them… or through them. I was lucky to catch everyone else before they re-lit the wood burning stove.
“Don’t light it!”
“Boyo… is there something wrong?” (Zeke)
“I saw some funny flashes over the hills. Someone’s using light signals.”
“It’s true, those light flashes ain’t natural.”
“Wait… who’s flashing the light signals?” (Lobo)
So he’s not a pure muscle-head? But still…
“How the hell should I know? All I know is that we need to get outta here.”
“Wait… is that danger sense acting up again?” (DJ)
“Wait… danger sense?” (Kuro)
That’s right, this is the first time we’ve worked with her. Guess I better answer her question.
“What DJ’s talking about is only our little name for it, the ‘danger sense’. As ya know, half-men have animalistic traits. Not just physical ones like our ears or tails. We have great hearing and sense of smell. But… we also have an awareness that other races lack. A sense of danger if you will, like when an animal avoids an area because they can just tell it’s dangerous. Or that something just ain’t right.”
“I see… just like how animals in a jungle know that there’s something more dangerous than they are, right?” (Kuro)
Well… it is similar.
“I see. Though mine rarely goes off, I can tell that staying here is not the best idea.” (Lobo)
“Lobo… that’s because you’re a wolf. We coyotes have an increased sense when it comes to danger as we’re more like scavengers than predators.”
I had to correct him. I’m just glad that I don’t have pride, or else admitting that would hurt.
“Either way, we should just get going boyos.” (Zeke)
We all agreed and packed up as fast as possible. The best place was the mine as it should basically a labyrinth. If we could find somewhere to hide in there, then we should be able to lose any pursuers as they would pass right by us and have to fight the undead. Two birds with one stone.
We made it to the entrance and saw some animal bones. They looked like they belonged to a mule.
“Must have been Angry Angus’?” (Zeke)
I didn’t really mean to be sarcastic that time, but we’re in a hurry. Besides, Zeke didn’t need to point out the obvious.
We entered the mine until we got to where the light of day no longer reached. Adventurer rule number one, always carry a lantern. You never know how long you will be on a quest or where it will take you. As adventurers, Zeke, DJ, Lobo, and I all had one. After lighting them, we progressed forward.
“Isn’t this weird?” (Kuro)
“The fact we’ve haven’t met any undead or the fact that we haven’t found any traps?”
It’s true, normally you would meet undead after a bit in abandoned mines. We saw bones, many of them weren’t human. However, they didn’t even move. And when we got down o the second lower floor, we found corpses. They weren’t fresh, but they weren’t moving either.
“Did someone beat us here?”
“Let me check, boyo.” (Zeke)
The one thing that can be said about Zeke, he’s not a coward. He walked up to one of them, but used his ax to turn it over. What we saw… was a bullet hole between the eyes.
“Whoever did this, was a good shot.” (Zeke)
“Yeah Zeke… too good of a shot.”
I looked closely at the corpse to see the bullet hole up close. Upon inspection, I recognized the ammo used.
“Wait, how can you tell?” (Kuro)
Before answering Kuro, I tapped on the grip of my revolver.
“My revolver uses the same ammunition. Well… I normally use .38 Special because it’s less recoil, but the main difference between the two other than the length of the casings is the stopping power of the .357 rounds. As someone who uses a .357 Magnum, I know what the bullet holes look like.”
It’s true, a .357 magnum can also use .38 special bullets. Steve, my mentor taught me the versatility of this model. But still… only one person I know can shoot between the eyes this accurately.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Lost Justice has been through here.”
“Wait… the mercenary?” (Lobo)
“Yes Lobo, that Lost Justice.”
“Boyo, you’re not making any sense. Why would that mercenary even be here?” (Zeke)
“Zeke, I don’t know. But… this is his MO.”
I remember it too well, I was one of the few survivors at the Walton Company compound. Everyone had a bullet hole between their eyes, and Steve got his in front of me. I can even feel my blood boil just thinking about it.
“Boyo, calm down. We won’t know if it’s really him or not until we go further in.” (Zeke)
Zeke had a point. But even though the chances of this being a coincidence are high… I can just feel it in my bones.
“Fine, let’s go.”
As we went down the next few floors, I had to be reminded to not go off on my own. Lobo was the only one out of the loop when it came to my history with Lost Justice, so Zeke and DJ filled him in on the way. When we got down to the tenth floor, I could tell that this place turned into a dungeon. There was a door for a boss room. But outside of it, we saw a collapsed figure. We had to get closer to get a better look. What I saw… made by blood boil again.
The figure was a man wearing a brown stetson and a poncho. Blue pants covered with dark brown chaps, fingerless gloves, and some device on his left wrist. When I looked at his face, the bottom half was covered with a red bandanna. Only one person dressed like this.
I immediately reached for my revolver. But when I drew it, Kuro stood between us.
“Get outta the way!”
“No, I can’t!” (Kuro)
“Why? That man deserves it!”
“But he’s injured!” (Kuro)
“Injured or not, I have to do it!”
Before I could argue any further, Lobo grabbed me and threw me against a wall. The impact caused me to drop my revolver.
“What the hell!?”
“That’s what I should be asking!?” (Lobo)
“I have to kill him!”
“Boyo, Lobo has a point.” (Zeke)
What, Zeke’s getting involved?
“Zeke, you of all people know what that bastard’s done!”
“I know, boyo. But our job is to protect Kuro. Even if you killed Lost Justice, it won’t bring anyone back.” (Zeke)
I knew that Zeke had a point. But still…
“I know that the dead can’t come back. Burton, Earnest, even Steve. But I swore to avenge everyone.”
“Coy, what good is revenge?” (Kuro)
Why is she bothering.
“Kuro, stay outta this.”
“Then let me rephrase, what good will revenge like this be?” (Kuro)
“Right now, Lost Justice is injured. Is killing a man in cold blood when he can’t even defend himself worth it? Will those you are trying to avenge be satisfied? Will you be satisfied?” (Kuro)
Damn it, she has a point. I could just kill him right now, but would it satisfy me? It’s almost like the story of the Old Warrior; when the protagonist found the Old Warrior, the Old Warrior was barely in a state where he could fight. Just… why?
I hit the wall behind me. Right now, I have no choice but to go against my principles. And then, Kuro walked up to me.
“Coy, remember when I told you why I became a woman of the cloth?” (Kuro)
“When I found out that Yuto killed Shiro to have me for himself, I felt betrayed. There were many different emotions going through my head. All three of us grew up together, we were inseparable. Part of me wanted to kill Yuto for betraying both me and Shiro. However, what good would that do? Would it satisfy me? Would Shiro want me to avenge him? But after thinking it over, I realized that killing Yuto wouldn’t solve anything.” (Kuro)
“But Lost Justice is a stranger to me. My situation is different from yours.”
“I know. But think of that person you said that you wanted to find? Would they like it that you killed a weakened man?” (Kuro)
I reached into my pocket and grabbed my pocket watch. I could only think about my sister, Felicia. What kind of man would she think I am if I got my revenge this way? That I got blood on my hands in the name of revenge when the guy I was taking revenge against was down? All I could do was whisper her name.
“W-what did you just say?” (Kuro)
Because I wasn’t paying attention, I almost forgot that Kuro was near me.
“That’s the name of the person I’m looking for. You’re right, she wouldn’t be happy with me if I took revenge like this.”
I then got up and dusted myself off.
“Kuro, could you heal Lost?”
“There’s no need.” (Lost)
Lost Justice then got up and dusted himself off.
“I used this.” (Lost)
He then dropped some kind of syringe.
“Something that’s no longer made. Anyway, ya can have yer revenge on me later.” (Lost)
“Is that a challenge?”
“Take it however ya want. But remember, there’s a time and place for everything. And this ain’t either the time or place for us to fight.” (Lost)
He had a point. But still…
“What are you even doing here?”
“Oh, I have my reasons. However, we need to hurry.” (Lost)
“I came here because Angus is in danger.” (Lost)
“Wait… WHAT!? Why would Angry Angus be in danger!?”
“Heh, ya say those words a lot. Anyway, there’s something more dangerous in this mine. And it’s trying to take Angus’ powers for itself.” (Lost)
“When Angus died, he became a lich. Which is rare for a half-man, but his attachment for this world was so strong that he bypassed the high-magical power requirement. Eventually, he became so strong that not even an S-Rank adventurer could take him on without help. But there’s some dumb bastard of a necromancer who thinks he can tame Angus.” (Lost)
“A necromancer?” (Kuro)
Kuro ended up asking Lost.
“That’s right. The bastard used the undead here to slow me down. But thanks to my partner here, that wasn’t too much of an issue.” (Lost)
He then tapped on the ivory grip of the revolver on his right hip.
“But… don’t all undead die from hits to the head?”
“Boy, that’s normally the case. However, Ash here does extra damage to undead foes.” (Lost)
“Wait… you have a unique weapon?”
I couldn’t believe it, unique weapons are REALLY hard to come by. Unlike enchanted weapons, unique weapons are specially made with abilities. Like some will do better against certain foes, but will be no different from a normal weapon of it’s type against others. And other unique weapons work depending on the state of the wielder. Like Creole Williams’ legendary spear for example. Yeah it’s made out of orichalcum, but what made it special was that it deals more damage depending on how drunk the wielder is. That’s the reason he was called “The Drunken Spear” back in his prime. Hey, there’s a reason he always carried a bottle of his homemade wine back in the day.
“Actually, I got a few. But that ain’t the point. Look, we gotta get in there and help Angus.” (Lost)
“But we’re here to exorcise him?”
“Ya can do that after we take care of the necromancer.” (Lost)
I don’t like Lost Justice one bit, and I trust him as much as I like him. However… if this necromancer was as bad as he says, then we have no choice.
“Guys, what do ya think?”
“Boyo, I don’t really care for Lost Justice. However, we can’t let Angry Angus be under the control of a necromancer.” (Zeke)
“As Lost Justice didn’t kill pa, I personally got nothing against him. I have to agree with Zeke.” (DJ)
My co-workers seem to be in agreement.
“Personally, I’ve just been itching for a fight.” (Lobo)
“We must exorcise Angry Angus so he can pass on, but the necromancer must be stopped.” (Kuro)
Both the battle junkie and the female priest seem to be in agreement as well. I guess I got no choice?
“Fine, but I will put a bullet in you another day.”
“Fine by me.” (Lost)
We then opened the door. What we saw… were a man in black robs summoning undead against a skeletal figure. The skeletal figure was wearing some kind of black duster that sparkled like twilight, wearing no shirt, a bandanna around it’s neck, a stetson, blue jeans, and cowboy boots. With the exception of the duster, everything was decayed. What got me were it’s eyes, they were blue orbs of fire. He looked to be duel-wielding pick-axes that had bones for the shafts.
“Give it up and serve me!” (necromancer)
“Never! I must protect the silver!” (Angus)
At least Angry Angus has his priorities straight? But was his silver really something to not pass on for?
“Let’s stay back and watch his attack patterns?”
“We ain’t got time for that.” (Lost)
I don’t know how many dungeons Lost Justice has faced, but going in head first without knowing ain’t the best idea. But before I could react, Lost drew the revolver he called “Ash” and fired a round. The necromancer had summoned an undead orc, but it… died again as soon as the bullet hit it?
“Lost Justice? But how?” (necromancer)
“Did ya really think that a couple of Wraith Knights could stop me?” (Lost)
Wraith Knights? Those things are supposed to be hard for anyone under A-Rank to take on. Not to mention… physical attacks don’t work on them! I know that revolver does extra damage against undead, but Wraith Knights are ghost-type enemies. Unlike undead, physical attacks pass right through. That’s why you need enchanted weapons if you don’t use magic against them. I know that Lost Justice isn’t an adventurer, but he would have to be as strong as an S-Rank to take those things on by himself.
“I should’ve known that the Oracle’s lackey was more bite than bark.” (necromancer)
“Hey, I ain’t worked for her in years. And I wouldn’t be doing it again if ya didn’t show up.” (Lost)
“So she did send you after me? Don’t think I’m anything like the other fragments you have faced.” (necromancer)
“That’s what the others said. However… I’ve faced tougher than them. And I sure as hell faced tougher than you. Ain’t no way in hell that ya can beat me.” (Lost)
“But you had the Oracle at your side when you faced them. Without her, you’re nothing!” (necromancer)
Wait… who’s the Oracle? Why was Lost Justice her lackey? And what is this about fragments? Okay… I’m just getting more lost. Just what the hell are they even talking about!?
“Leave the necromancer to me. Ya guys take care of the undead.” (Lost)
“Wait… why should we take care of the undead? Or better yet, what about Angry Angus?”
“Because this guy’s too much for ya to handle. Besides, look at the state that Angry Angus is in?” (Lost)
I looked to see Angry Angus… catching his breath? How the hell does that work, he doesn’t even have lungs!? But he’s facing three… Wraith Kings by himself? Wait… unlike Wraith Knights, Wraith Kings need at least three A-Rank adventurers to face one. While both look like skeletons wearing armor, you can tell them apart by the fact that the Wraith Kings wear crowns. And unlike the Wraith Knights, the armor on the Wraith Kings is golden while the Wraith Knights wear black armor. The only other thing in common between them is that they have a purple aura. And despite looking like skeletons, they both are classified as ghost-type monsters instead of undead like moving skeletons.
“We REALLY got in over our heads on this one.”
I couldn’t even hold that in. And hell, that necromancer has started to summon more undead. And these were B-Ranks and above.
“Finally… a fight worth my time!” (Lobo)
And the battle junkie rushed in. Though Lobo mainly uses unarmed combat, he was tearing through them with punches and kicks.
“Well… might as well show our stuff, boyos.” (Zeke)
And now Zeke is mowing through them with his ax? Oh boy, DJ’s already firing arrows to the heads.
“I’ll use my magic. But be sure to guard me.” (Kuro)
She started using “Purificare” on the undead heading our way. It’s a spell that purifies undead and ghost-type enemies, allowing them to pass on to the next life. As you have to chant magic, I fan-fired my revolver at the approaching hoards between uses of “Purificare” so I could reload when she casts it. Hey, I’m good to the point where I was getting headshots while fan-firing. And with DJ shooting his bow as well, we were doing a good job at supporting Kuro.
Things were going good… until the undead hoards started increasing to S-Rank.
It got to the point where both Zeke and Lobo had to fall back and Kuro had to cast a barrier. Though I didn’t hear her cast it, it didn’t matter. It was keeping the undead out while we were catching our breath.
“That necromancer is too strong.” (DJ)
“You said it, boyo. In all my years as an adventurer, I never met one that strong.” (Zeke)
“This is strange, normally a necromancer would lose magical power after summoning this many higher-ranked undead. I wanted a strong opponent, but this is ridiculous!” (Lobo)
I have to agree with DJ, Zeke and Lobo on this one. I mean… this is wrong on so many levels. It’s like…
“Common sense is out the window.” (AN: Really? You out of all people are gonna say that, Coy?)
“Coy, you said it. I doubt a Demon Lord could face that necromancer.” (Kuro)
I had to do a double take. I never heard of a Demon Lord before.
“I-I meant Devil King! I doubt the Devil King could face that necromancer.” (Kuro)
Okay… there’s something fishy about Kuro. First she used that term “demi-human” when talking to Lobo and I the other day. And now she’s talking about a “Demon Lord”? If it weren’t for our situation, I would question this further.
“Wait… you mean the strongest in the Demon Realm couldn’t take on that guy?” (Lobo)
“Yes, Lobo. I doubt any mortal being could take on that necromancer. It’s almost as if… there’s no way?” (Kuro)
“Kuro, do you know something we don’t?”
I had to ask.
“Coy, do you know of any gods other than the Deity?” (Kuro)
“Gods other than the Deity? Kuro, are you sane?”
“Fine. I know that those jerks in Melca worship some other god, but I don’t know it’s name. And there’s pagan gods out there worshiped by some cults. But as with Melca’s god, I don’t know their names.”
That’s all I do know.
“In that case, I think that necromancer is really some pagan god.” (Kuro)
“There’s no other explanation. Even the High Elves in Olko couldn’t use this much magic. And I doubt there’s any demons who could either.” (Kuro)
I hate to admit it, but she has a point. I mean, there really is no other explanation. But it does leave a question. Other than a priest coming up with this crazy idea… why would Lost Justice be fighting a god?
After Note: And that was the LONG awaited 28th chapter. I ended up reworking this one more times than I can count. Originally, it was gonna be a normal dungeon crawler adventure. I even had the boss fight worked out in my head. Angry Angus was based on a villain called Skull Duggery from the 90’s cartoon “Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa”. It was one of the many cartoons at the time that tried to take advantage of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles formula. Trust me, there was a lot of questionable things about that cartoon. Like anthropomorphic cows riding horses herding regular cows? Just… how does that work? And note, I didn’t question that as a kid. Out of the TMNT knock-offs, it was my favorite. Not to mention the only one with any relation to TMNT as one of the creators was an artist for the comics. Hell, they made cameos in the second 4Kids TMNT series. And even appeared in Mirage Comics’ “Tales of the TMNT”.
During one of my original rewrites in my head, he’s also based on Sans from Undertale. He was even gonna start with San’s line of “It’s a beautiful day outside. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming… On days like this, kids like you… should be burning in hell” from the Genocide Route. I even had a purpose for the Phoenix Tear of pretty much bringing Coy back to the moment before they entered the doors each time he died, causing him to have to repeat the boss battle many times before he got all the attack patterns right. And yes, Angry Angus has some attacks inspired by Sans as well. Most of this was inspired by the Undertale fandom version of “Stronger Than You” from Steven Universe. Actually, the Trio version.
But as you all know, I kept getting writer’s block on how they would get to the boss room in the first place. Actually, the first writer’s block was over how to explain the light signals. Trust me, they are of importance after the current point. As for Lost Justice appearing… that happened after rereading the current chapter of TOG. I figured, it’s time to use post-TOG LJ again. Originally he was gonna end after the boss fight, but things change. Yeah, it’s a spoiler that not all of Sigmund’s fragments have been taken care off. As this takes place after TOG, it’s not gonna have a crossover. Hey, who said that the Oracle was done with him after TOG anyway? But yeah, it made me wanna use Sigmund’s shards in this pre-main story adventure.
As for the chapter’s title… it’s from a fan song by DA Games for Cuphead. It’s a good song and I liked the video. Even though I’ve never played Cuphead (as I’m a PS4 gamer), I wish the creators would add Fandom Frenzy level that was created for the song. Originally it was gonna be “Stronger Than You”, but that changed as I was writing as well. I think this is the first time that I used a song that premiered on YouTube for a chapter title?
Anywho, I’m gonna stop before the After Note becomes longer than the chapter itself. I am already working on the next one. But for now… I’m just happy that I managed to update LGDK after so long.