The Rise of Leviathan — The Spirit Titan
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“Good job, guys!” I shouted at my pets, who’d only just succeeded in singling out and routing a monster for me to use as the subject of an experiment. “Keep it surrounded! I’ll finish it off!”
To better facilitate my plans, each of the five creatures took a few steps back whilst making sure not to mess up their encirclement. They spaced themselves out relatively equally such that they could easily intercept it if it were to attempt an escape.
My first lab rat was a creature known as a panzursus. All in all, it resembled a bear with a spiky armoured shell. It stood at about twice my height, but as far as the Wicked Forest’s monsters were concerned, its size bordered on average; there were many that far exceeded it in terms of scale. I guess size does matter after all. …On second thought, maybe not. Some of the most batshit OP things I’ve seen were actually pretty tiny. Guess that means it’s more about how you use it than it is how big you are.
Panzursi weren’t all that tough for monsters that lived in the forest’s western subsection, but they packed a good punch nonetheless. Like every other monster that resided in the area, they were capable of brutally murdering me if I let my guard down, even for a second.
Being surrounded put Mr. Bear on guard. He kept glancing at my pets, as if to express that he was worried that they would attack him while he was distracted. But that wasn’t happening. Today, it was just going to be me and him, mano a mano.
“Sorry for bugging you in the middle of a nap, Mr. Bear,” I said. “But your diagnosis isn’t looking too good. You’ve pretty much hit the end of the line.” My tone got cockier and cockier as I continued. “Nothing personal, kid. Just consider it a stroke of bad luck.” I raised an arm and as I began channelling my magical energies. “Come! Leviathan!”
Countless spirits swarmed to my location the moment I invoked the spell and took on the form of a titanic eastern dragon. Its long, snakey body was decorated with fins and scales of a fish-like, iridescent nature, while its head featured massive jaws lined with sharp, fang-like teeth. It was somewhat reminiscent of my usual water dragon spell, but its scale, power, and draconic resemblance were incomparable. Mixing the two up would be a fatal mistake.
“Mwahahahaha!” I cackled. “See this? This is what happens when I get serious! Behold, the rise of Leviathan, the Spirit Titan!”
Alright, you’re probably a bit confused right about now, so allow me to explain. A spirit titan is just what I call a massive, super powerful spirit made up of a bunch of spirits from every element, which means they can use any kind of spell without restraint. Totally batshit broken, amirite? Heh, well too bad for you, they’re basically impossible to make unless you’ve got at least as much mana as a demon lord. And you’re willing to use it without even the slightest bit of restraint. Hell, it cost me a whole third of my bar.
While spirit sorcery did enable me to attack with elements with which I had poor affinity, it wasn’t completely divorced from the concept. Spirits of an element I had an affinity with had a greater tendency to be drawn to me than those that weren’t, and thus, they were more likely to listen to my calls. That was why the leviathan I had created consisted mainly of spirits that could be associated with the water element, my strongest affinity.
“Heh. See this, you measly mongrel? You ain’t got shit on me! Carve Leviathan’s form into your mind as the epitome of fea—argh!?” My rant turned into a shriek as I only narrowly managed to dodge an incoming blow. “Dude, what the fuck!? Play by the rules, goddammit! You’re not supposed to attack until I’m done monologuing!”
Though Sir Furrybait wasn’t able to understand my words, it had still managed to grasp the fact that I was in control of the spirit, so it’d leveraged the opening that resulted from my raving to catch me off guard with a ridiculously high speed attack. Its movements were so fast and unsuited to its massive frame that I’d only just barely managed to evade any incoming damage.
The ground, however, hadn’t been so lucky. The rock that I’d been standing on had been completely and utterly demolished. Beneath it lay the bear’s claw marks, a series of massive gashes that warned of the size and sharpness of the less-than-friendly fuzzball’s talons. While I had actively raved about unfairness, I didn’t actually think that the bear had done anything unwarranted. It was survival of the fittest, and he had only done the sensible thing as a creature unwilling to give up its own life. If anything, the fault lay with my stupidity, and my stupidity alone. And yes, I do know that I’m just being an entitled little shit. Bite me.
“Mow it down!” After a moment of contemplation and inner reflection, I ordered the spirit to attack with a series of beams, as a certain princess had once done to a massive, but unmaintained warrior when faced with an army of insects.
My leviathan’s breath attacks weren’t as powerful as Lefi’s roars, but they were still absurd enough to merit any would be topographers to redraw their maps of the area. Each exhalation was accompanied by a laser powerful enough to reshape the neck of the woods we were in from the ground up. To top it off, the pseudo-dragon was capable of firing its attacks almost without pause.
Seeing the leviathan in action led me to recall many of the creature features I’d seen in the past. It almost seemed to resemble the antagonist in a film where two massive monsters duked it out, as the way it destroyed the forest, section by section, was almost identical to how an evil titan would destroy a city, block by block, with its deadly breath-based projectiles. Adding to the impression was the way it would take out every tree in its vicinity just by flailing about.
The barrage lasted for a good while. But despite its power, it wasn’t able to finish the armoured bear. Goes to show it doesn’t live in the western part of the forest for nothing.
All the bear lost, even after being subject to wave after wave of attacks, was a single limb. And though it was injured, it showed no sign of backing down. In fact, it’d even started retaliating. It barraged the leviathan with snaps of its maw and a series of heavy blows from its remaining, muscular arm. It was an unending assault—one that required all of its focus to maintain.
In other words, I had slipped its mind.
And not by coincidence.
I raised my blade as I approached the monster from behind and aimed a blow to its neck, one backed by the full force of Enne’s weight.
The beary bastard sensed the act of aggression and attempted to evade it, but it was too little, too late. Neither its flesh nor its armour were able to resist my weapon. The stump that was once its neck sprayed blood into the air as its disembodied head fell to the ground. Its body had stopped moving, but I opened its character sheet just in case and confirmed that its health bar was empty.
“Looks like it worked.” I nodded in satisfaction as I swung Enne in order to get rid of any remaining blood that still dirtied her blade.
The panzursus was a monster that truly did live up to its reputation as one of the Western Wicked Forest’s inhabitants. It was able to not only evade all of the leviathan’s attacks, but even the others that I’d thrown into the mix while it was busy. Not even the spells that’d come from out of sight were able to escape its perception. And in the end, it had even noticed the killing blow. In spite of the fact that I had popped both Stealth and Attention Redirection to deliver it.
I’d used the latter of the two skills to force it to focus entirely on the leviathan for the briefest of moments before popping the other and sneaking behind him. It was a near perfect combination. The leviathan’s status as an overwhelming threat made it easy for me to trick the bear into thinking that it was what it needed to focus on, even in spite of the fact that the skill was only at its first level. Heh. It won’t be long before I start introducing this world to the concept of ninjas. Soon, even the mention of the word will be enough to instill fear and panic into the hearts of the people.
“Not that it’s always going to go this well, but whatever,” I said, as I dismissed the wayward fantasy.
The biggest problem was the cost. My leviathan had already begun dispersing. Despite having cost me a whole third of my pool, it was already dry on mana. The summon was on an incredibly short timer. Simply existing was enough to slowly drain its bar, and attacking only made the efficiency problem worse. I liked calling for it given how flashy and powerful it was, but I didn’t feel like there were really many situations in which I could use it outside of a one off duel. I would have to carefully pick and choose when to put the newfound technique into practice. Maybe I can try scaling it down a bit to get more bang for my buck. Hmmm…
Whatever the case, I was still glad that the experiment had more or less proven successful, as it meant I now had another solid trump card up my sleeve.
“Alrighty, let’s find ourselves some more prey,” I looked around as I spoke to my pets. “Wait a second… is it just me, or do you look kinda different?”
Orochi replied to the question with the snake equivalent of a wry smile, as if to say “Oh, hey, you finally noticed.”
Not that snakes can actually smile. Or make different expressions at all, but whatever. You know what I mean. After a bit of musing, I popped open the giant blood serpent’s character sheet, only to discover that he wasn’t a giant blood serpent at all.
“Wait, you evolved!? When the hell did that happen…?”
He was apparently now a member of the “Wicked Crimson Serpent King” species. And while this change didn’t come with any new skills, it had resulted in a rather significant stat hike. All of its existing skills were also a much higher level than they had been since I last checked. Appearance wise, he was a bit different, but more or less the same overall. The most notable changes were that he’d grown a series of spines somewhat resembling a rooster’s wattle, and that he was now a deeper, bloodier shade of red.
I tried looking into the past and asking myself exactly when the evolution had occurred, but I genuinely had no idea. I’d basically left everything concerning his training and growth in Rir’s court. As if on cue, Rir barked the moment I began thinking about him. While I couldn’t speak wolf, I was at least able to make out that he was asking me how I’d managed not to notice, given the obvious changes in the snake’s appearance.
“I mean, I realized that he grew spines and stuff a while ago, but I thought that was just him trying to be stylish and shit. You know, like how some people gel their hair?”
Rir replied with an exasperated whine, as if to say, “Of course not… Why would he ever do that?”
O-okay, I know how dumb this sounds, now that I’ve actually thought about it, but hear me out. Some of the Wicked Forest’s monsters can do all sorts of crazy shit with their bodies for camouflage and stuff, right? So I always kinda thought that, you know, Orochi could grow himself a few spines if he tried hard enough.
“Right…” I faked a cough. “Anyway, you’re looking pretty badass, dude. Good on you.” I gave him a few pats on the back to distract him, myself, and everyone else from my momentary lapse in judgement as I quickly analyzed all my other non-fenrir pets, just in case. “Looks like you’re the only one that’s evolved so far, huh?”
The three others had also grown quite a bit, but Orochi was the only one to have evolved so far. Yeah, I can kinda see why. He’s both the front line and the main attacker, so it’s pretty much a given that he’d be getting the most XP.
According to Rir, all of the others were already skirting the line of evolution, and it’d only be a matter of time before they followed suit. Sweet. I should probably get them a commemorative gift or something when they all manage it.
“Good job, guys. Keep it up,” I said. “All you gotta do is keep evolving until you’re every bit as powerful and intimidating as a demon lord’s mid bosses should be.”
And so, with that said and everything checked, we continued to hunt until the sun began to set.
“Are you not an adult, Yuki?” asked Lefi, immediately upon my return. Her face was decorated with a bit of a bitter smile. “Why is it that you are so covered in filth?”
If the dragon had still been as lazy and unproductive as she was when I first met her, I would have called her out in favour of allowing myself to be lectured. But as she had actually started helping out with the chores, and therefore functioning as an adult, there wasn’t much I could really say in return. Still, that didn’t stop me from trying to justify myself.
“In all fairness, it’s not totally my fault. Getting covered in blood and dirt and stuff is pretty normal when you’re out fighting things that want to kill you.”
“I am well aware of that,” she said. “Yet, I find it difficult not to comment after seeing my husband return as unclean as a child following a session of play.”
Yeaaaahhh… fair enough. There ain’t no arguing that.
“You would do well to bathe yourself at once.”
Enne personified herself and began following me as I walked over to the closet, as if to silently indicate that she wanted to join me. There was no reason for me to refuse, so I made sure to grab a change of clothes for the both of us.
“I will be joining you tonight. I shall even ensure that you are well washed,” said the dragon.
“Uh… That’s sudden. Where’d this come from?” I asked, a bit flustered.
It wasn’t unusual for us to bathe together, but this was pretty much the first time she offered to wash me. Normally, she would’ve more or less ordered me to wash her hair instead.
“There is still time to be had before our evening meal. Consider it a reward for your efforts, as I know full well the extent of your exhaustion.”
“Uh huh… So what’re you really after?”
“I desire sweets of a variety you rarely serve.”
Yup. Figured that was it. Glad to see she never changes. I smiled to myself. Well, there’s no reason for me to say no, so I might as well treat her to something once we get outta the bath, I guess.