My Necromancer Class - Chapter 257
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Jay stepped over the thick roots towards the corpses, vigilantly watching the pools of green blood for anything moving in them.
After watching his skeletons stomping around, he was cautious about the knight’s dead bodies.
Small broken bits of worms were in the green soup, so Jay thought his guess of parasites to be correct.
Without stepping into the green puddle he waved his hands over the corpses, looting each of them, and a smile appeared as he received at least one useful piece of loot.
Jay thought about taking it for himself, but realized it would be a waste. His skeletons were the ones doing the damage and taking the hits after all.
Jay extracted the bones from the bodies, and made a small pile for the skeletons to consume, to bring their health back to full and let them repair their own bodies.
Next, he decided to give the gauntlet to Red, as Red was his personal bodyguard, and wanted it to have a decent amount of armor in case it ever needed to block a hit, which it undoubtedly would.
Next, he had Lamp remove the bottom of its human-leather suit, cutting a circle around the shin and pulling its skeletal leg out.
What remained was like a rubber boot, though made from flesh.
“Eugh, disgusting.” Jay’s face scrunched up.
Lamp’s human suit was like a bag of rancid air, growing ever more sickly and noxious as it was trapped within. It stank worse than rotted meat on the inside, and now the smell seemed to be stuck in Jay’s nose. It was one of those smells you could taste.
The rotted bodies of the knights also added to the stink, with their own notes of a sickly-sweet rotting fruit and necrotic flesh.
Landen looked similarly pale, like he was ready to vomit. The sights and the smells were just too disgusting.
“You can have the armor,” Jay casually pointed to the bodies, “but burn the bodies before you try to remove it.”
Landen was shocked by what Jay had just casually said.
In the crucible, a scrap of metal was almost as valuable as a man’s life – and now Jay was giving him a whole suit of it.
“What? The whole armor?”
“Yep, both of them. Just don’t get infected or I’ll have to slay you too.”
Landen was already moving to grab them, and out of shock he almost didn’t hear the last part; he had completely forgotten about the smell coming off their bodies.
“B- both?! Th- thank you so much!” he got to his knees and lowered his head, almost like he was about to kiss Jay’s feet.
“Be quiet.” Jay frowned, a hint of disdain in his voice.
“Ah, sure. Sorry. Thank you Jay. I will never forget this.”
Jay shook his head with a thought, “Yeah, until I leave this dungeon and it resets.”
(Lamp, empty your… ‘boot’.) Jay glanced at the severed skin leg.
Lamp went over and poured its human-boot upside down.
More green blood flowed out, along with something that was like a sticky bunch of frog eggs which were the size of grapes.
“Gross…” Jay recoiled, looking at them.
Something was swimming around inside each of them.
Jay thought he probably should have just left the eggs inside Lamp’s skin suit. They would have done nothing but become crushed by its skeletal feet, stomping around inside the skin.
(Destroy the eggs. Lamp – put your skin back together if you want.)
Jay stepped back as the skeletons began to stomp again, outside of the splash zone. The eggs popped and squirted bits of brown and gray everywhere, but none of them survived the onslaught of bone feet.
Next, Jay studied the leftover bodies.
Their blood was turned to a green fluid, but it didn’t flow through every part. Their heads seemed to be useless to the parasites and didn’t hold any green fluid at all.
“No wonder their eyes looked deflated.”
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The decapitated bodies revealed more though. The stomach and lungs had been repurposed for the parasites.
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The stomach broke food down, but was rerouted into the lungs where there are more eggs waiting; fed with both nutrients, oxygen and blood.
“Disgusting…” Jay prodded it with a stick.
Jay guessed that the knight, or whatever this was now, had died when the spine was severed. There were cuts through the other parts of its insides, but only one in each of their spines.
“I guess the worst part about them is the armor.” he thought, surprised at how easy they were to kill – well, theoretically easy.
Jay didn’t want to look too closely in case something jumped out, but as he poked the spine, it felt squishy and spongy at the center.
Usually there was about 1cm (0.39inch) of squishy matter – the spinal cord, but here the squishy matter was about 8cm across (3.14inch).
Having worked as a butcher, he knew this was shockingly abnormal, and only caused his curiosity to grow.
He poked and pulled some more, and soon he pulled something out of the spine.
Half of a disgusting severed worm was extracted. The tail end.
“So they live upside-down in the spine. The head must be deeper down the torso somewhere. Eugh.” Jay threw the stick away.
He had seen enough.
“So, the eggs enter someone’s body, grow into worms while eating their spines and then control people.” he nodded, assembling a picture of the parasite.
It wasn’t a stretch to imagine that it somehow pumped eggs from the lungs out of the hand. Jay guessed that it had grown too weak to effectively be used in battle due to changes it must have undergone.
Still, he was satisfied with knowing this much, and knowing your enemy was half the battle.
When the skeletons slid their blades through the armor gaps, they at least wouldn’t have to thrash it around randomly anymore.
They now had a target – the spine.
“It’s no wonder the sneak attacks didn’t work. They probably slid the blades just to the side of the spine, missing it completely. So the options are to destroy the body completely or sever the spine, though it’s obvious which is the better choice.”
Jay had the skeletons check the armor next, flipping one face-up so they could check for gaps in the armor, so that they could know exactly where their blades could penetrate.
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Thankfully the armor was made for humans, and the spine didn’t necessarily have any more protection than any of the other organs.
The armor had a few easy ways into it, and it would not be difficult for the skeletons to adjust their aim slightly to target the spine.
However, since they had minds and must learn, Jay had them practice their attack, stabbing the corpses while Landen watched helplessly, realizing that even with full-body armor, he and his men would never match up to the undead.
Plus, he also looked like a helpless, lost puppy as he saw his new armor being pierced and ravaged.
In the meantime Jay explained everything he thought and did while examining the knights to the skeletons, as it would help each of them become better at figuring things out in the future too.
Simply telling them to target the spine would not satisfy Jay; telling them ‘why’ and ‘how’ to target it did, and in the long term would only give him better troops, capable of independent thought, able to assess enemies and become more proficient killers.
Jay left the skeletons to practice for a while and went to talk to Landen, sitting down on some roots near him.
“You can come along or go home. I don’t care either way. I’m following the knights back to their base as we speak.”
Landen didn’t really understand how Jay was following them, but he didn’t want to simply leave the valuable armor lying there for what could be days.
Landen felt like he could trust Jay not to kill him, but didn’t trust Jay to keep him safe either.
“I will go back – If that’s okay with you.” he weakly said, as if it were a question.
“That’s fine.” Jay shrugged, not really caring.
“Thank you again. If you need anything, you know where to find us.” Landen gave one last bow to Jay and left, sprinting away as fast as he could.
He would need some help with burning and purifying the armor before carrying it back, so that’s exactly what he went to retrieve – help from his men.
As for why he was spiriting, well, he wanted to claim their treasure before anyone else wandered by – not that many would wander near the cannibals territory anyway.
Jay sat patiently, sensing that Handy was still moving away, following the three knights which left with a pile of corpses.
“Hopefully the next fight goes much faster,” Jay thought, watching the skeletons slowly become more proficient at stabbing their blades through the armor gaps and accurately hitting the spines.
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