Through the sand dune track you and Hansu dragged your feet, shielding your eyes occasionally from the whipping sand as you traipsed forward- not really knowing where you were going.
“Is that someone up ahead?” Hansu asked from behind you.
You squinted and shielded your eyes, trying to peer into the distance, but you couldn’t see anything.
“Where?” you asked.
He pointed ahead and you looked again. This time, as the sand drifted across your vision, then cleared, you saw someone standing on the side of the path.
“Friend or Foe?” you asked back to Hansu.
“Dunno?” Hansu answered curiously.
Slowly you approached the cloaked figured, your eyes flicking to the purple coloured cursor above the person’s head.
“It’s a guide,” you said back to Hansu, “an NPC.” You approached the figure and called a greeting as you walked up to them.
“Greetings,” they replied.
You stopped in front of them to see if they would say any more, which they did.
“Beware of sand spiders from this point on,” they said, “take this with you.” The guide then pulled out a potion from their pocket and handed it to you before evaporating into thin air.
“Thanks,” you replied, noting it was some kind of anti-venom.
You looked back at Hansu then put the potion in your own pocket and walked forward.
“Should we head back?” Hansu asked.
“No? Level 7 is this way.”
“Two words…” He deadpanned when he realized you still wanted to go forwards. “Sand. Spiders.”
“I’m going on a mission which literally revolves around a spider,” you replied, “this will be good practice and I have you here to back me up if something goes wrong.”
“Woah! Don’t move,” Hansu called and you stopped immediately.
“What?” you asked looking around.
“I feel like something is close…”
“Cool down,” you whispered, calling forth your fans and holding still.
The more you stood there waiting, the more on edge you became.
“Hansu?” you asked to your assistant behind you, “do you still sense it?
“Close… I can’t tell where.”
“I can’t see anything…”
“Neither can I but everything is telling me not to take another step forward,” he said, looking back behind himself to see if it was behind him.
“Do you have some kind of bomb?” you asked.
“If you do. Give it to me…”
He fished into his inventory and pulled out a flash bomb and handed it to you.
Picking a place just ahead, you tossed the bomb and waited.
It hit the sand and immediately a giant sand coloured spider shifted the sand from over its body and emerged from a funnel web in the earth.
“Woah?!” you gasped, taking a few running step backwards.
“That’s what I sensed,” Hansu called as he backed up quickly as well, grabbing onto you as you backed into him.
“I need to battle it,” you said, having sized the spider up quickly.
“Are you insane?!”
“You’re not fighting that thing!”
“I need to! I need to practice attacking spiders. It’s ok, I can jump it. My skills are getting stronger each day and I know what I’m doing now. Just stand by with a flash bomb to mask me if something goes wrong.” You raised your fans up and the red lines popped up to show you the different attacks you could do.
“You’ve only just got that move! Use a stronger one!” Hansu called to you, but it was lost amid your concentration as you prepared for you attack.
You knew the spider couldn’t rear up or jump so jumping over him and slicing him down his back was going to be your best option.
Taking two running steps, you jumped, propelling yourself up and over the spider as you used the blades to make zig zag slashes across its back.
You hit most of them and landed behind it, running a few steps away in case it decided to retaliate- which it did, shooting a line of thread from its spinnerets.
It shot the web so quickly you almost got hit but calling for ‘move’- in almost a reflex reaction- and your whips flicked up and blocked the webs line attack.
Following through with your whip move, you jumped the spider back towards Hansu and landed lightly after completing your attack.
“You good?” he asked, sweating up a storm just watching you.
“Yeah,” you panted, placing your hands on your knees to rest hunched over for a bit.
“Do you need support?” he asked, “what did you need me to do?”
“You’ll always be the best assistant,” you replied with a grin, looking up at him from where you were still bent over panting, “always there to back me up.”
Hansu scowled with embarrassment but you couldn’t see his face.
“No I’m not,” he mumbled, looking away, “fine. You can do this on your own. Watch me not care.”
You chuckled and stood back up, turning to face the spider once more.
“It won’t take me long to take this guy down, he’s at 70%. Only a few more combo hits and his ass will be mine.” You called for your fans again and readied for the next attack.
True to your word, you had the spider defeated in a lesser timeframe than Hansu had been expecting and you even got a spider web rope to use as a new item.
“Ok! On to level 7!” you announced proudly.
“You take on one field monster from level 6 and all of a sudden you’re ready for level 7?” Hansu asked.
“I didn’t have that much trouble taking the spider down,” you replied as you keenly walked ahead.
“Don’t get too cocky,” Hansu warned, “when you get self important, you make big mistakes.”
“I’m fine,” you said with a dismissive hand wave, high on having all this new found confidence and proud of how far you had come.
You didn’t encounter any more foes on your trip to level 7 and you came to a gate that blocked your passage to the next level up.[OPENING THIS GATE ENGAGES THE GUARDIAN OF LEVEL 7]
The notification warned you.
“Well that’s kinda what we want but what is the boss?” you asked Hansu behind you.
“I don’t know?” he replied.
You placed your hand on the wooden gate and leaned your weight against it – pushing it open and on to the next level.
A loud roar met your ears and you jumped with fright at the volume of the sound.
“What is it?” Hansu asked.
It was a little dark ahead and you couldn’t quite make it out but as the creature ambled closer you could see what it was.
“It’s a bear… a red bear…”