So What If I'm a Summoner Who Only Wants Fluffy Creatures?
They call me Aurelius, and I'm a Summoner in a game called Elysium Online. Though my avatar may look like a young boy, with a rich head of dark hair and big round brown eyes, the person controlling him in reality is actually a balding sixty-something years old man who retired from a lifelong career of video game quality assurance and is now enjoying life... alone.
Well, I hadn't been always alone. I had a golden retriever whom I have named Aurelius, who had unfortunately passed away last year. She was my only family remaining in this world, and I was sad to lose her. In my loneliness, I came across an ad for Elysium Online with its new update, adding a new class called the Summoner to the game. What caught my eyes were the creatures showed in the advertisement, some of with are fluffy and cute, very much like Aurelius, and it lit a spark within my lonely heart. And so, I immediately went and downloaded the game and made an account, wasting no time at all to log into the game and painstakingly spent hours creating a character I was satisfied with, who I then named after my beloved companion, Aurelius.
Since then, a year had passed and I have grown as a player of the Summoner class. I've made many online friends and even joined a guild. Today, my guildmates and I once again gathered to-
"Aurelius, stop daydreaming during a raid!"
"Oops, sorry, you know how it is when you get to this age."
"What was that!?"
Phew, that was close, my age was supposed to be a secret. I may be just worrying too much, but I feel like there's a very huge gap between my age and my behavior and that I tend to not "act my age" as they say. It's actually something I'm rather conscious about.
"Aurelius, the boss is using its skill again!"
"Alright, I got this! Peter, use [Sonic Charge]!"
"Peter" is the name of one of the creatures I can summon, a [Sonic Rabbit], a rabbit looking monster that has very high speed. It's [contract], which is something that a Summoner must obtain before being able to summon a creature, is dropped from the monster of the same name. While [Sonic Rabbits] have very poor defense and attack, it does have a special skill called [Sonic Charge], which is a skill with a 5 second cooldown that allows it to inflict a [Stun] status for 0.5 second upon a single target. New players who get cocky and tries to take on multiples of these rabbits at a time may find themselves being stun-locked to death.
The skill works even on bosses, and with Peter stunning the boss and interrupting its skill, our tanking class players were given some leisure to dish out some additional damage instead. With a more damage focused team composition we're going for today, perhaps we'll be able to beat this boss in record time and leave the name of our guild in the hall of fame for all to see... at least for a week before someone else comes up with a faster way to do it.
After recovering from [Stun] the boss uses an attack skill [Tail Whip], which Peter was unfortunately unable to avoid and had its Hp reduced to zero in a single hit, returning Peter back into its [contract] which takes the form of a card.
"Sorry, I misread the boss' action."
"It's fine, just focus on supporting."
Aside from being a Summoner, I also have a subclass called the Enchanter, a class that specializes in supporting. As the Summoner also has support skills for the summoned creatures, the bonus for support skills provided by the Enchanter class gives it a good synergy with the Summoner class.
The boss we're currently fighting is the [World Breaker Behemoth], the raid boss that came out of the most recent update to the game. It is a humongous beast with a coat of thick dark fur and a purplish mane, gigantic claws on all four legs, and even thought the design of the main body closely resembles a lion, its tail is reptilian, all scaly and large and sinewy. This boss has three stages, first is the normal stage, and the second comes when its heath is chipped down to two-thirds.
"Here it comes, the second stage!"
Upon entering the second stage, the [World Breaker Behemoth] becomes covered in a red aura, increasing its attack power, defense, and speed. Not to mention, right after entering the second stage, it will unleash an uninterruptable skill, [Tremor], in which the boss stomps the ground repeatedly and sends out a damaging radial shockwave. Those that are not tanks and did not get out of the range in time will undoubtedly be taken out, and indeed, a few of the member of our raid party did get careless and fell prey to it. However, there's no problem, this is what I've been saving my trump card for.
"Aurelius, is it good to go?"
"No problem, I've got more than enough Sp."
Sp (Summoning Points), is part of a system implemented in an attempt to balance the once overpowered Summoner class. At one point in the game the Summoner class is capable of acting as an entire party on its own with the ability to summon as many creatures as he or she likes so long as there is sufficient Mp. To balance the class out, an Sp system was introduced.
The Sp system is a system specific to the Summoner Class. Now, instead of Mp, the Summoner must use Sp in order to summon a creature, and Sp can only be gained by damaging enemies and will reset back to zero once the player character leaves the area. As the Summoner class itself has very little offensive abilities, players of this class must rely on either having a low cost creature with offensive ability or by having party members as the damage inflicted by those in the same party as the Summoner will also count towards the Sp. Of course, there are other less optimized ways of doing it, such as subclassing an offensive focus class. But, to utilize the abilities of the Summoner to the fullest, the former two methods are recommended.
After restricting boss' movements so that it does not stray towards the healers or any of the more fragile class while using its [Tremor] attack skill, the tanks' Hps are in the red and the healers are occupied with taking care of them and do not have time to bother with those that had been taken out by the skill. This is where I come in.
I hit the key on the hotbar and my character begin to go through his animations, flipping open his grimoire, the class weapon for Summoners, and produced a [contract] equipped to the grimoire in advance. Grasping the contract in his hands, my character held the contract towards the sky with a dramatic pose and in response, from the sky, a pillar of light showers down upon him. From the light, a winged woman wrapped in silk appears onto the battlefield.
This creature is called the [Guardian Angel], whose [contract] can be obtained by completing the quest: [Heaven's Trials]. Though on principle, I only go out of my way to collect cute, cuddly, and fluffy creatures, the [Guardian Angel] is a must have for any Summoner due to her arsenal of amazing support skills. Besides, her wings seems nice and soft, with I suppose make her a creature fluffy enough for me to go out of my way for after all.
I'm not actually shouting to activate the skill by the way. I'm just using the autochat feature which can be set to pop up upon specific actions. This has the handy application of making it seem like I'm talking to my creature while at the same time letting my party members know what I'm doing.
With Michaela by my side, I now act as a secondary healer in the party, helping the rest to survive the rather difficult second stage of the raid in which the boss may randomly jump around and killing anyone unlucky enough to be caught in its landing zone.
Eventually, we managed to survive through the second stage and were able to chip away at the boss' health down to the last one-third. This is it, the final stage of the raid. Upon hitting the last one-third of its health, the dark purple fur on its body became red and fiery, signaling the beginning of the end.
Immediately, the healers scrambles to refresh the defensive buffs while from the skies above, gigantic clusters of fire rain down, this is the uninterruptable skill activated upon the final stage of the boss, [Heaven's Fall]. Right after all of the buffs were reapplied, the healers begins to unleash their healing skills in order to keep everyone alive as the fire balls fall in a randomized pattern. Meanwhile, a few selected secondary healers, myself in included, remains on standby. It was only at the end of [Heaven's Fall] do we begin activating our skills, reviving those that the primary healers could not keep alive and restore their Hp back up to max.
"Everybody ready? Here comes the final push!"
During the final phase of the raid, the [World Breaker Behemoth] will cease all actions and begins charging its final skill [World Breaker] which will immediately wipe out the entire party once the bar displayed atop of its head is full. The only way to stop it is to win the fight before then. However, even when the boss isn't moving, the healers can't relax just yet, as there's a secondary effect of [Heaven's Fall] that creates a field effect called [Fiery Rain] in which the sky begins to rain fire and applies burning damage over time to all within the zone. This means that the healers have to be constantly healing while refreshing the damage buffs on everyone, all the while chugging Mp potion to ensure that they don't run out of Mp and have to be careful to pace themselves to make sure they don't run out of potions before the end of the battle.
The damagers meanwhile, has to pile up as much damage per second as possible, making sure to use the most efficient of skill combinations so that they don't find themselves in a period of cooldowns where they'll be unable to dish out any effective damage.
"Aurelius! You better be ready to go!"
"Of course, I have more than enough Sp."
The perks of being a Summoner is that, depending on what is equipped on you grimoire, you can change roles on the fly, and though having to build up Sp is a bit of a pain, once you have a large enough party focused on dealing damage, it shouldn't be a problem. I as well, as planned beforehand, will change my role during the boss' final phase.
So I hit another hotkey, and immediately, Michaela was automatically dismissed, as one of the balancing applied to the Summoner was that the class can no longer have more than one creature present at a time. With Michaela gone, my character once more goes through another summoning animation. As I held the contract up towards the sky, the heavens began to split apart, overwriting the visual effects of the [Fiery Rain]. Through the split in the heavens, a great creature of pure white descends with its large feathery wings spread wide open, the feathers and fur upon its body fluttering as they brushed by the air, and upon its head, it wears a pair of spiraling horns as its crown.
This is the strongest creature that I can summon at the moment, the [Holy Feathered Dragon]. To get its [contract], I first had to obtain the contract of the raid boss from the last update, the [World Ender Dragon], which was a rare drop, and then further craft it to its uncorrupted form with a large amount of rare materials, which is the [Holy Feathered Dragon]. While it was said that the [World Ender Dragon] was a better choice between the two with its higher attack output and aesthetic wise had a more "badass" design, the [Holy Feathered Dragon] was fluffier and cuddlier, and that's all that really mattered to me. Of course there's also the bonus damage it does against [Corrupted] and [Demon] type enemies and the automatic applying of [Greater Holy Weapon] and [Greater Holy Ward] on every ally character in the field after using its main attack skill, [Holy Breath], but such things weren't on my mind at the time.
Fortunately for us, the raid boss this time is a [Corrupted] type enemy, which means nothing can quite kill it as fast as my [Holy Feathered Dragon], and those who laughed at me for crafting the [contract] of its corrupted counterpart into this current form will be eating their words.
"Let your light cut through the darkness, and your majesty banish the evil ones, let your judgment rain down upon those that would threaten this world! Behold to them the might of the righteous, [Holy Breath]!"
By the way, that was also the autochat.
A pure white pillar of light falls upon the boss and following that is an explosion of azure flames. The flames quickly expand, covering the entire field and every single ally the flames come into contact with gains the enchantments of [Greater Holy Weapon] and [Greater Holy Ward].
Instantly, numbers flood my screen, large numbers going up to six digits, and combining with the various visual effects it soon becomes increasingly hard to see what everyone is doing, but it doesn't matter, at this point, everyone is surely just spamming a set combination of skill and potions and hammering at the boss with only one thought, and that is to deal as much damage as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Then, suddenly, it became silent. All of the sound effects of attacks and magic faded away as a cutscene played out, a cutscene of the boss falling onto the ground and promptly bursts into a cloud of dark mist that was quickly dispersed. After that came the victory fanfare, a delightful tune that I never get tired of no matter how many times I hear it play. As the screen fades and I load back to the field, I find a message displaying in my chatbox...
Everyone was already celebrating by the time I loaded back into the field.
"We did it! We actually did it! We beat the record"
"Man, having the Holy Dragon really made all the difference."
"Everyone will be trying to craft it now. Good thing you did it first, eh, Aurelius."
Standing before me are the guys who made fun of me for crafting the contract for the [Holy Feathered Dragon], they all said that I should have kept the corrupted form instead of wasting high grade materials for an arguably inferior form. Well, whatever, they already knew my love for fluffy creature and were just joking around anyways, so it's not like I hold a grudge, and at the end of the day, it's all just a game and we're all here to have fun.
As I'm chatting with the guys while enjoying the background music playing in the field after the boss was defeated, I heard a jingle which was followed by a message, telling me that I have received a gift. Opening the menu and checking my mailbox, there was indeed a gift box sitting there. It says it came from [xXx_GodSlayer_xXx].
"Looks like the guild master sent me something."
"Is she trying to get you to sell her junk items for her?"
"She should do it herself for once."
"Well, I guess I'll find out."
Double clicking on the gift box, I patiently waited for the opening animation to be done with and finally discover what was inside.
"Is this... the [contract] for [World Breaker Behemoth]?"
"How do you like it?"
Approaching me is the very person that had sent the gift, the guild master of my guild, xXx_GodSlayer_xXx. She is a Knight equipped with a sword and shield with a subclass of Warrior that specializes in dual wielding, and as shields are categorized as weapons instead of armor in this game, she gets a bonus for having a sword and shield equipped on top of the bonuses she has as a knight that specializes in the sword and shield. It's a classic powerhouse build that's boring but practical.
"You got the drop? And you're giving it to me for free?"
"Yep, so go ahead and craft it why don't you?"
"That's right, so when the next World Something Something raid boss shows up, we'll be ready for it."
I see what she's getting at. Since the [World Ender Dragon] is obviously related to the [World Breaker Behemoth] and the Behemoth just so happens to be weak against the [Holy Feathered Dragon], she thinks the next boss with a "World" in its name will be weak against the uncorrupted form of the Behemoth that can be crafted from this [contract].
Truth to be told, I was thinking this as well ever since the footage of the next raid boss was leaked. The name of the boss is still undetermined, but from the design, it certainly seems to be part of the "World" line of raid bosses.
"If you say so, but these are expensive to craft. I spent almost everything I had to get the Holy Dragon crafted."
"Oh don't you worry, now that we know your fetish for fluffy creature can be useful for the guild, we'll all pitch in to help."
"Well in that case, same time tomorrow?"
"Actually, we have an offline meeting tomorrow, did you forget?"
"Oh... oh yeah..."
"Are you coming?"
I lied of course, I've long since retired and I have no family around, there's no way I could be busy.
"Even though you just said we'll meet in game the same time tomorrow?"
Hot damn, what a slip of the tongue! My lie has been seen though, what should I do!? Should I say that I stealthily logs in on the company computer?
"Well, it's fine if you don't want to come. It can be nerve wrecking if you've never been to one after all."
"Yes well, do pardon me."
It's not like I don't want to go, but what if they think I'm some kind of weirdo when they realizes that I'm a sixty-odd years old man playing a character that looks like an underage boy? I just want to feel young again, I swear! Is it so wrong to long for the days of your childhood? Well, whatever, maybe one of these days I'll work up the courage to go. It's better than being stuck home by myself I suppose. Heck, maybe I'll go after all! That's right, I'll go, I'll go out and have a good time for once goddamnit! And just to make sure I don't chicken out, I'll tell the guild master right now!
Steeling myself, I start to type, telling xXx_GodSlayer_xXx that I'll go after all. However, before I can hit enter, I notice that something odd appeared in the middle of the boss field. Shocked at this development, everyone began spamming the chatbox with questions, wondering if this is some kind of special event or a surprise post boss fight boss fight.
Whatever it is, it took the form of what appears to be a rift in the middle of field. Of course, players being players, everyone immediately starts trying to interact with it. I too, am no exception. What happens next is that upon being interacted with, the rift expended, and for a moment everyone is wondering what will be coming out of it. Well, as it ended up, nothing came out, but instead, it sucked us in. All of the player characters within the field were immediately drawn into the rift, myself included, and while I was sitting in front of my pc, anticipating excitedly in regards to what might happen next, the strangest change occurred.
I could feel my organs shifting ever so slightly forward, as if my body had suddenly gained momentum, the sensation you'd feel when you, say, fall off a chair. I too thought I was falling off my chair, that I had finally leaned too far back on this old chair and toppled it. But as I reached out to grab my desk to save myself, all I did caught with my hand was the void.
In front of my eyes, a tunnel of a myriad of colors extends before me, the walls made of the colorful lights moving pass me as if I'm falling at high speed, and all around me I could see the same happening to the guildmates and friends that I was in the raid with.
Immediately I begin to panic, the terror of falling besets me as I desperately reach out for something to grasp on. To my surprise, the hand that I thought would not reach anything actually caught something. When I turn to look, it turns out that it's someone else's hand, the guild master's hand, the hand of xXx_GodSlayer_xXx in my own.
"W-what's going on!?"
"I don't know."
Well, that is to be expected, I'll be surprised if there's an expert of falling through a rainbow wormhole right out of nowhere.
As we continue to fall, suddenly, I feel an odd sensation in my chest, and immediately I suspect it to be a heart attack. Perhaps I'm dying of a heart attack right now and have gone in shock. However, to my utter disbelief, cards then came bursting out of my chest, and from what I can tell, they are the [contracts] that I have gathered from various creatures that were sitting in my inventory. Among them, one is shrouded in a sinister aura, and I see that it is the [contract] for the [World Breaker Behemoth].
The corrupted bastard must be trying to break out of my control... or something like that, but more importantly, all of the [contracts] I've painstakingly gathered is flying away! Immediately, I reach out, trying to grab what [contract] I can as the cards scatter.
"Wait, don't let go!"
However, in my scramble to grasp the [contracts], I seem to have let go of the guild master and though I reach out to her once more, we had drifted too far apart to be able to grasp one another and soon she went out of sight. Following her, one by one, I notice the others disappearing as well, and eventually, all that is left is I alone.
End of Chapter 1