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    The Cost Of Research

    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 14th January 2021, 12:21 am

    Job Details:

    Job Sign-Up: Page 4, Post Number 81


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 14th January 2021, 1:25 am

    -Fat Monsterland, midnight-

    Wearing her green, gold, and white outfit with bike shorts underneath the skirt, Leona also wore her Argent Gloves and carried her Silver Longsword. On her back was her backpack of supplies, which included her Urban Nights glowstick and some spare clothing. To her left was PG-13 with his plasma staff firmly in hand. The pair faced a wide clearing and strode calmly towards it while keeping an eye out for any of the area's denizens.

    Leona had been hired by Crocus Magicka University to find a research team that had been sent here to determine exactly what made the monsters in Fat Monsterland grow so big. The university had lost contact with the team over a week ago and they were unable to get anyone else to take the job, so it had become Leona's by default. Now it was her job to find out what had happened to the research team. Recognizing the possibility that the team might be dead or worse, Leona had been given instructions for different scenarios.

    If any members of the team were still alive, her job was to escort them back to Crocus Magicka University. If they were dead, she was to collect any research materials and take them back to the university. If they were dead and reanimated, she was to kill the zombified team and collect any research materials for transport back to the university plus their university identification cards so that their next of kin could be notified about what had happened to them.

    Leona felt the wind blow her hair about and took a deep breath. She was glad that she had not worn a tank top tonight because the night air was colder than usual... or that could have just been her. She listened for the sound of moaning and heard a sound coming from less than thirty meters to their left. PG-13 turned his head and spotted the source around the same time Leona did.

    It was an obese zombie wearing a stained white tank top and blue jeans and work boots with a meat cleaver in its hand!

    "MEEEEEEAAAAAT!" It bellowed, its milky white eyes looking dead at Leona. PG-13 activated his plasma staff and twirled it into a ready position.

    "Large undead lifeform spotted. Engaging now!" He informed Leona before sprinting off into battle while Leona drew her Silver Longsword and hurried to join him in case he needed help. Leona hurried towards the fighting and saw PG-13 deftly block the downward swing of the meat cleaver with the middle of his staff and twist the staff to move aside the meat cleaver, then raise the staff above his head and bring one end down on the zombie's skull.

    The zombie gurgled and stood its ground, so PG-13 bashed it in the top of the skull again. It gurgled and moaned but refused to submit. The combat droid leaped straight into the air and brought his plasma staff down in a two-handed swing that smashed the zombie's skull. It groaned loudly and toppled backwards, dropping its meat cleaver and landing on the grass with a THUD.

    "The undead lifeform has been neutralized." PG-13 reported and twirled his plasma staff before deactivating it. Leona could see that. She walked over to the hopefully deceased zombie and stopped a meter away, then glanced down at it. It was more obese than the zombies she was used to dealing with. She paid special attention to its skull and noticed that there was a layer of fat that served to protect its brain from blunt weapons and edged weapons. Destroying the brain was still the only way to kill it, but the extra protection made it a little harder to do so.

    The Wizard Saint doubted that her sword would be of much use against it since it would take a lot of work to put the Silver Longsword through its skull. Maybe she should have carried Kasim's Ram Dao because of its heavier blade giving it more power, but she was not used to wielding two-handed weapons and could not afford to miss a swing with the sword. All it took was one missed swing with the ram dao and Leona could be joining the ranks of the undead herself.

    Satisfied with what she had learned about this new type of zombie, Leona turned back to PG-13, who was keeping an eye on the clearing.

    "OK PG-13, let's keep going." Leona said to him.

    "Affirmative." PG-13 replied. Leona put away her Silver Longsword and led the way to the clearing that was about 200 meters away. Together the pair got back on track and proceeded towards the clearing to continue with their mission.

    -In the clearing-

    Leona and PG-13 arrived in the clearing and a feeling of familiarity washed over Leona. It reminded her of the same area in which she and the Order of Lightbringers had stopped a demonic incursion into Earthland. It was where she had first encountered four Infernal Guardians and had nearly been killed by one before her Furies rescued her. It might have been the same clearing where she had fought demons, but she could not tell because the grass had grown back and obscured the star that had been burned into the ground by cultists. At any rate, she did not have time to reminisce.

    Leona and PG-13 walked through the clearing and watched out for signs of the research team or any more of the obese zombies. They made it through the clearing without encountering either and soon reached a wider open area with some brush at the sides that created a corridor of sorts. Leona did not like the looks of it, but in order to complete the mission she had no choice but to go through. With PG-13 walking on her left side, Leona moved towards the corridor and drew her Silver Longsword in preparation for the fight ahead.

    [Post Word Count: 993]
    [Total Word Count: 993/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 16th January 2021, 11:43 pm

    -In the corridor, five meters in-

    Leona and PG-13 had entered a corridor formed by brush that was roughly a hundred meters long and wide enough for three people to comfortably walk side-by-side without any issue. They heard moaning coming from nearby and knew that the undead were close. Leona and PG-13 paused and readied their weapons as they looked around for the attackers. Suddenly six of the obese zombies burst out of the brush with meat cleavers in hand and formed a semicircle in front of the Wizard Saint and her droid companion.

    "MEEEEEEAAAAAT!" One of them bellowed and lunged for Leona with surprising speed for something that bulky. The Wizard Saint quickly sidestepped the lunge and instinctively cut it across its back with her Silver Longsword, a move that elicited a groan in response but did nothing to stop it. PG-13 faced his attacker and deftly sidestepped the lunge, then hit back with a two-handed downward strike onto the top of the attacker's head. The zombie groaned and leaned forward from the force of the blow, but the zombies were not deterred by anything less than a lethal strike and soon returned to the attack.

    Leona saw that more obese zombies were joining the fight and congregating near the entrance to the corridor. Whether they were gathering there as part of a strategy to trap their prey or if they were simply operating on instinct, they were threatening to trap Leona and PG-13 in a corridor that was filling up with undead. Leona dodged a swing from the meat cleaver of the zombie she had slashed and hurried past it as PG-13 followed her.

    "FALL BACK, PG-13!" Leona belatedly instructed her companion.

    "Affirmative." PG-13 replied in a calm robotic voice. Together the two hurried out of the corridor before they could be trapped inside of it. They hurried into the clearing and prepared to fight on terms that were more favorable to them.

    -In the clearing, sixty meters away-

    Once the pair had retreated approximately sixty meters from the entrance to the corridor they got ready to renew the battle. The undead were steadily advancing towards them with groans and cries for meat on their lips. Leona took a glance at the approaching horde and did an eyeball count of what they would be facing. She counted fifteen obese zombies walking towards them.

    "Fifteen large undead lifeforms approaching." PG-13 notified Leona and confirmed the accuracy of her estimate for her. Leona was glad that she had not chosen to make her stand inside the brush because she could not have killed them quickly enough before she was overwhelmed. Now that she had much more space to work with she could start using her long-range spells against them to further even the odds in her favor.

    Leona activated her Gale Force ability to give her spells a little more punch in order to have a better chance of getting through the layer of fat around the skull. Once her hair was rustling about she pointed her left index finger towards the first zombie she saw and conjured a Wind Bullet. Once it was ready Leona fired the silver marble at the zombie's head and watched it punch clean through the skull, causing it to gurgle before falling onto its back with a THUD.

    "Now we only have fourteen more to go." Leona informed PG-13.

    "Affirmative." He answered. The fourteen zombies continued their advance and Leona put away her Silver Longsword to free her hands for another spell. It would be a good idea to avoid getting into hand-to-hand combat with the zombies if she could. Leona stood her ground and prepared another distance spell when she saw one of the zombies near the front stop in place, lean forward, and vomit a dark green projectile at her. Leona sidestepped it and hit back with a Wind Blast, staggering it and five of its buddies and buying her valuable time to ready another distance spell.

    PG-13 stood by with his plasma staff and was about to charge one of the zombies when he made an observation.

    "More undead lifeform incoming, straight ahead!" He reported. Over the shoulders of the obese zombies Leona could see fifteen slender ones armed with axes charging in her direction through the corridor. They could move at human running speed and were closing in quickly. Leona clenched her teeth.

    "You might wanna get back, PG-13. I'm about to use a powerful spell and I don't want you to get caught in it." Leona warned him. She recalled what had happened with Rebecca Walker when the Wizard Saint used her Silver Tempest spell to wipe out that group of zombies under the well near the Haunted Cabin. She was not sure how PG-13 could handle being hit with a Silver Tempest powered up with Gale Force and she did not want to find out.

    "Negative." PG-13 replied. Just then a metallic object came whizzing by Leona's head and cutting the left shoulder of her outfit. The zombies were approaching fast and a decision had to be made.

    "Get back several hundred meters! There isn't much time!" Leona repeated the warning. PG-13 looked at her as eight of the faster ax-wielding zombies closed in.

    "GO!" Leona shouted. PG-13 reluctantly retreated as fast as he could go, leaving Leona to begin the Silver Tempest. She channeled magic through her body and glowed silver, then put her hands out at her sides. She then began spinning, spinning for five full rotations just as some of the ax-wielding zombies got to within a meter of her. The silver tornado emanated from her position and hit all eight of the ax zombies in front plus the fourteen obese zombies, knocking all of them down and leaving the remaining seven ax zombies to fight them.

    Once he saw that the coast was clear PG-13 rushed to Leona's side to help her fend off the ax zombies. Leona drew her Silver Longsword and braced for the fight with them. While they were fast, they did not have any extra fat layer providing protection for their brains. Leona could stab through their skulls without having to resort to her special adrenaline rush.

    [Post Word Count: 1,037]
    [Total Word Count: 2,030/11,000]



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 19th January 2021, 11:03 pm

    Leona stood firm and waited for the ax-wielding zombies to close with her. Once they did Leona raised her left hand and cast a Wind Blast that knocked them all down. She waited until PG-13 joined her before going on the attack; by the time he got there they were all getting to their feet, but the Wizard Saint was not worried. They were zombies and she had fought them on many different occasions before tonight.

    Leona approached the first one and stabbed it through the skull as it raised its ax to bring down on her right shoulder. It groaned and fell to the earth with the sword lodged in its skull. Undaunted and lacking the time to pull her sword out, Leona backed away while PG-13 blocked the ax of a second zombie with the middle of his staff, then kicked the zombie in the knee with enough force to break its leg. Leona involuntarily groaned when she heard the CRACK of the leg breaking.

    PG-13 finished off the zombie with a jumping downward smash to its skull with the end of the plasma staff, then backed away and twirled his plasma staff before smashing the third zombie in the side of the head with a right-to-left horizontal swing. A fourth zombie rushed past PG-13 and towards Leona, who dodged the downward ax swing aimed at her left collarbone and punched it in the face with a powered-up Mach Straight. The zombie groaned as its face was literally smashed in by the punch and it fell to the ground... Leona recoiled when she saw what her powered-up Mach Straight could do.

    The fifth zombie rushed to the attack and Leona stood her ground until it got close, then hit it with a powered-up Tornado Kick that literally knocked its head off the moment the toe of her right boot made contact with the side of its head. The sixth zombie rushed Leona and brought its ax down just short of her chest, causing the Wizard Saint to step back to avoid the follow-up strike. Leona then took a single step forward and performed a Mach Uppercut that knocked its head off and sent it flying straight up into the air. PG-13 knocked the last ax-wielding zombie to the ground and then smashed its skull in with a single strike.

    "Undead lifeforms neutralized." PG-13 reported, then twirled his staff in what looked like a celebratory gesture. Leona smiled. She had gone toe-to-toe with the undead and had won thanks to Gale Force's power boost. Now she could save her special adrenaline rush for a tougher situation down the road. In the meantime Leona turned to the combat droid.

    "PG-13, smash in the heads of all the zombies to make sure they're dead. I don't want any of them getting up and coming back for Round Two." Leona instructed him before retrieving her Silver Longsword from the skull of the first zombie she had killed.

    "Understood. Executing task now." He said. Leona turned away from the downed zombies as he set about his grim work. Leona heard an unpleasant crushing noise as zombie skulls were caved in and loo and saw a zombie in a white lab coat shambling towards the clearing.

    "PG-13, forget about that for a moment and join me. I see a zombie in a lab coat coming into the clearing." Leona instructed PG-13 to put the task she had assigned to him on hold.

    "Understood." He said and rushed over to Leona's side. Leona watched the zombie approach at a slow pace and noticed a laminated ID card clipped onto the right side of its jacket. The right side of its neck was missing a large piece and she saw gleaming glasses on its face. It was dressed in a white dress shirt stained red and black dress pants with brown dress shoes.

    It was a Crocus Magicka University researcher.

    "I'll handle this one. watch my back." Leona said to PG-13. He wordlessly remained where he was and Leona strode towards the researcher zombie with Silver Longsword in a two-handed grip. Leona approached to sword range and stabbed it through the skull just as it raised its arms to her. It let out a strangled groan and fell to the ground, landing on its back.

    Leona withdrew her sword and walked over to its right side. She found the ID card and unclipped it from the coat, then read it. She had just dispatched the zombified form of Dr. Frank Johnson. There were no research notes on him, only the ID card.

    Leona stabbed her sword into the ground, took off her backpack, and put the ID card inside, then zipped it closed and put the backpack back on. She pulled her sword out and turned to PG-13.

    "OK PG-13, this one's dead. Continue to make sure that the zombies are dead." Leona instructed PG-13 to resume his task.

    "Understood. Resuming task." He said before walking back to the zombies they had fought earlier and finishing what he had started. Leona turned away and let PG-13 do his job while watching out for any more zombies who were late to the fight.

    -Six minutes later-

    "Task completed." PG-13 reported to Leona. Leona nodded. She turned to look at the bodies and did not like what she saw. It was a mess, but the task was necessary to make sure that she made it out of Fat Monsterland alive.

    "OK, let's go back into the corridor." Leona instructed. PG-13 followed wordlessly behind her as the Wizard Saint strode into the corridor she had retreated from earlier.

    -50 meters inside the corridor-

    Leona kept her sword ready as she walked through the corridor lined with brush on both sides. More zombies could burst through the brush at any moment. Leona and PG-13 were halfway through the corridor and no zombies were waiting for them on the other end, but they did not relax. They pressed through the corridor as quickly as they could go and soon reached the other side.

    -On the other side-

    Leona and PG-13 exited the corridor to find themselves near the entrance to a path that led through the forest, but before they could continue their journey deeper into Fat Monsterland there was some business to take care of. Barring the path was another gaggle of ax-wielding undead numbering twenty-one standing fifty meters away. Leona took a deep breath.

    "Undead lifeforms detected." PG-13 notified Leona. The Wizard Saint raised her Silver Longsword. The zombies shouted "BRAAAAAAINS!" in unison and charged the pair.

    [Post Word Count: 1,098]
    [Total Word Count: 3,128/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 21st January 2021, 9:29 pm

    Leona was not daunted by the charge of the dead. She stood her ground and cast a Wind Blast with her left hand, knocking down six of the zombies as the rest continued to charge towards the Wizard Saint and her droid companion. Leona retreated two meters before the first zombie reached her and waited until it got close, then stabbed it through the skull as it raised its ax to bring it down on her. She planted her right foot on its chest and pulled the sword out just in time to block an ax on its way down.

    Leona blocked it and stepped back, then hit the zombie in the face with a Mach Straight that caved its face in but did not kill it, only knocking it out of the way. She could hear it gurgle on the ground but could not admire her handiwork because a third zombie stepped up and swung at her, nearly cutting the front of her outfit. The Wizard Saint hit back with a left-handed Mach Uppercut that knocked its head off and straight up into the air.

    The blonde turned left to PG-13, who was more than holding his own against the undead. He had already killed two and was fighting a third one, who he had just kicked in the knee with enough force to break it and cause a nasty compound fracture. The kneeling zombie received one end of the plasma staff to the top of the head and was killed when its skull was broken. PG-13 then deftly sidestepped a chop and hit back with a horizontal right-to-left staff swing that sent the attacker spinning to the ground.

    Leona faced forward and jumped back to avoid being cut with the ax but had to delay her counterattack because five more zombies streamed by it to try and take a swing at the Wizard Saint. She quickly retreated with a Zephyr Dash that sent her back thirty meters into the corridor. Leona faced the zombies coming after her and used her left hand to cast a Wind Bullet spell at their leader. The silver marble-sized projectile hit it in the head and made it explode, taking the zombie down for good.

    The four other zombies rushed by it and Leona was trying to think of another distance spell she could use when she heard belching behind her. She spun around and spotted a trio of obese butcher zombies breaking through the brush less then five meters away from her. The Wizard Saint sighed.

    "Damn it!" Leona complained about the unwanted surprise. She did not want to get trapped between the two groups, so she spun around and quickly ran forward,  ducking under one ax while brushing by another zombie who had spun around to plant its ax in her back. The Wizard Saint made it through unscathed and continued to run to put enough space between her and her attackers to begin fighting back again. Meanwhile PG-13 had just made his sixth kill and was working on a seventh.

    Once she had put about ten meters between her and her attackers Leona turned and faced them, then began to charge a Silver Strike technique. Once the lead zombie got close Leona chopped down with both hands, cutting its midsection and knocking it back with a powerful blow. Leona recovered from the Silver Strike and rammed her sword through the skull of the second zombie to attack. There was no time to retrieve it before the third was upon her, so Leona left it and performed a Backflip Kick that caught it under the chin and sent it staggering but did not kill it.

    The fourth zombie chopped at her and the Wizard Saint dodged with a sidestep to the right, then countered with a Tornado Kick using her right foot that caught it in the right temple and knocked its head off. The zombie she had cut with Silver Strike recovered and rushed at Leona again, swinging its ax and nearly cutting Leona's skirt as she jumped back to avoid the blade. She recovered and leaped into the air, then descended on it with a Meteor Jump Kick that hit it in the forehead. The momentum of her kick put her right foot straight through its skull and she heard a SQUISH when she put her foot down again after landing.

    Leona shuddered and kicked the bits of skull and brains off of her boot, then faced the zombie she had hit with the Backflip Kick a couple of minutes ago. She quickly channeled magic into her right foot and raised it above her head for a Sky Hammer ax kick. Once the zombie closed in she brought her right foot down; her heel connected with the top of its skull and slammed it face-first into the dirt. The force of the kick left it face-down on the ground and not moving, but Leona did not have time to dwell on that because she saw a green glob of acidic vomit speeding towards her!

    Leona quickly ducked under it and stood up again only to have to dodge a thrown meat cleaver that narrowly missed her left shoulder. The three obese butcher zombies were continuing to advance towards her while zombies not fighting with PG-13 were peeling off to attack the Wizard Saint. She decided to gamble and take down one of the obese butcher zombies before fighting the ax zombies. Leona decided to use an Air Pressure spell to take one of them out of the equation, if only to buy her some breathing space.

    Leona channeled magic into her right hand, then thrust her right palm out and fired a horizontal column of compressed air at the head of the first butcher zombie. It slammed the creature in the head and caused it to fall onto its back with a groan. Leona did not have much time to think, so she turned around and bashed an ax zombie in the face with a Mach Jab, then followed up with a Palm Thrust to the face to knock it back. The Wizard Saint was about to get caught between the two zombie groups, so she spun right and ran a short distance away to regroup before they came after her again. She had done a lot of running around and dodging tonight... by the time this job was over Leona might need to replace her boots because they would be worn out.

    [Post Word Count: 1,084]
    [Total Word Count: 4,212/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 26th January 2021, 12:31 am

    The respite Leona had bought herself was all too brief because once the zombies located her again they resumed their advance with gusto. The Wizard Saint took a deep breath and focused on the faster enemies first since they posed a greater threat to her at the moment. Leading off with a Wind Blast to knock all of the ax-wielding zombies down and stagger the two obese butcher zombies, she then went on the attack against her undead opponents.

    Tapping into her spells that could hit multiple opponents at once, Leona waited until the zombies got up and then used a Storm Impact to stagger the ax zombies so that she could break them apart and pick them off one by one. Once they were staggered she rushed in and hit the first zombie within reach with a Mach Uppercut that knocked its head off and straight up into the air. She dodged the chop of another zombie and performed a Tornado Kick that knocked its head off. A third zombie sprinted in and chopped with its ax as Leona was recovering from the Tornado Kick; the blade cut her left sleeve all the way down the sleeve and barely missed cutting into her flesh on the way down. The Wizard Saint jumped back to avoid an attack from the fourth ax zombie and hit back with a Mach Straight aimed just above its forehead that smashed through the bone and created a mess of its face but did not kill it.

    Leona shuddered and backed away from the zombie as the third resumed its attack. It swung at her again and she sidestepped it, then kicked the ax aside and disarmed the zombie. She then quickly used a Mach Jab to the face followed by a Palm Thrust to the face to force it back long enough to avoid a thrown meat cleaver from one of the two butcher zombies still on its feet by ducking. Leona stood up and stepped back, then retaliated with an Air Pressure spell on the second butcher zombie that hit it in the head and knocked it down.

    The Wizard Saint was about to engage a fifth ax zombie when she saw a blob of acidic vomit hurtling towards her left shoulder. She ducked under it just in time to avoid taking a hit to the left side of the head and popped back up to hit the zombie in front of her with a Swift Palm to the face followed by a Backflip Kick that connected under its chin. The zombie staggered back and Leona hurried to put some space between her and the zombies when she saw PG-13 deal with the last of his opponents and turn towards her. He then immediately sprinted to her aid.

    Emboldened by PG-13's rush to the rescue, Leona chose to stand her ground and stepped to meet the butcher zombie shambling towards her. She ducked under a thrown meat cleaver and put the index and middle finger of her right hand together, then channeled magic into them. She dodged a swing from its meat cleaver that almost grazed her midsection, then slashed at it with a powered-up Silver Blade spell that cleaved through its skull and cut it diagonally in two. It groaned one last time as its skull fell apart and the zombie fell onto its back.

    Leona gagged at the sight and stepped back, but she did not have much time to settle her stomach before a couple of surviving ax zombies were upon her... or they would have been upon her if PG-13 had not stepped in and fought them for her. He deftly twirled his plasma staff and turned aside their axes, then killed one of them with a horizontal right-to-left staff swing to the side of the head before parrying an ax swing from the second zombie and bashing its head in with a leaping strike.

    "Undead lifeforms neutralized." PG-13 reported. Leona nodded and took a deep breath. This round of fighting was now over and she could breathe. She walked over to the dead zombie with her sword sticking out of its head and planted her foot on its chest, then pulled the sword out and wiped it on the grass.

    "Make sure that they're all dead, PG-13." Leona requested just like she had done earlier. PG-13 brandished his staff and bashed in the head of the closest zombie, then set to work while Leona looked away.

    -Ten minutes later-

    PG-13 finished bashing in the head of the last zombie and Leona turned back to see him approaching her. Leona put her sword away in its scabbard and looked ahead of them. Ahead loomed a forest with a wide path that five people walking side-by-side could comfortably walk on. Leona thought that she could hear the moaning of zombies coming from deeper within the forest, but she was not certain. PG-13 stopped on her right side and spoke to her.

    "I will go first." PG-13 volunteered. Leona felt the wind pick up and her left arm felt unpleasantly cold. She looked at her left sleeve and saw that it had been cut by the ax earlier, rendering it useless for keeping the cold out. Leona frowned at the sight of her damaged sleeve and then turned to the droid.

    "OK, PG-13. Lead the way." Leona agreed. PG-13 began moving forward into the forest while Leona followed behind him. The forest path was wider than the corridor they had traveled through earlier and would be a lot easier to fight in, but that did not bring much comfort to Leona. She was pretty sure that there were more zombies prowling the dark forest path looking for human flesh to consume. She would have to remain alert and ready to fight at a moment's notice.

    -Inside the forest, 25 meters down the forest path-

    Leona and PG-13 had walked approximately 25 meters down the forest path when Leona heard more moaning coming from deeper within the woods. She stopped in place, drew her Silver Longsword, and began to look for the source of the moaning, but she was having difficulty finding it. PG-13 did not stop to look for the source like she had and kept going without breaking stride, making Leona have to scurry to keep pace with him before she got left behind. She needed to stick with him if she wanted to have a good chance of getting out of the dark forest alive.

    [Post Word Count: 1,086]
    [Total Word Count: 5,298/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 28th January 2021, 10:41 am

    -75 meters down the forest path-

    Leona followed close behind PG-13 and looked around for zombies shambling out of the woods. She could hear moaning from somewhere nearby, but neither she nor PG-13 could pinpoint the source of it. Leona also looked for any of the university researchers she had been sent to rescue, but she had not seen any more of them yet. They had likely set up a camp deep in Fat Monsterland... if they had even survived long enough to set up a camp, that was. Based on the opposition she had encountered so far, she was not holding her breath when it came to finding survivors.

    Still, she had to try.

    The Wizard Saint and her droid kept moving down the path without stopping for anything. The path seemed to stretch on forever and the apprehension brought on by the moaning of zombies she could hear but could not see did not help matters. At least she knew they were nearby. Unlike living human adversaries, zombies did not bother to keep quiet when stalking their prey.

    PG-13 continued to lead the way into hostile territory and Leona continued to follow. The pair finally saw an end to the path about 75 more meters from where they were. Leona was just glad to see that the path had an end. The bad news was that the path opened up into another clearing with human forms standing in the middle of it.

    "Humanoid forms up ahead." PG-13 said to Leona. The Wizard Saint had already seen them, but it was nice to get confirmation that she was not the only one who had seen them. Leona was not sure if the humanoid forms were the researchers or more zombies, but she was about to find out.

    -At the end of the path, ten minutes later-

    After picking up the pace Leona and PG-13 were now in another clearing at the end of the path. The clearing was a large one with great visibility except for some brush as tall as she was on the left and right sides. It was like nature had conspired to create an arena for would-be explorers to fight in. Ahead of them were humanoid forms that Leona could not make out clearly. She was starting to wonder whether they were surviving researchers who were trying to figure out if she was a human, but the moment they raised their arms and moaned Leona knew that they were zombies.

    "Undead lifeforms spotted. Engaging now!" PG-13 said before Leona could take a single step forward. He sprinted off to deal with the zombies while Leona stood back and gave him his space. He did not need her help to deal with this batch of the undead. Leona watched PG-13 twirl his plasma staff and deftly dispatch the six zombies with a single precise strike to the head apiece. The "fight" was over in about twenty seconds.

    Leona could not help but to pat herself on the back for getting PG-13 all those months ago. It was nice to be able to stand back and let him do the fighting for a change. He could mop up the little threats while she focused on the bigger ones like the butcher zombies. He also made her life easier by splitting up groups of enemies so that they did not go after Leona all at once.

    However, Leona did not need to pat herself on the back too hard because as a Wizard Saint she was expected to do the fighting herself. If she got too reliant on him she just might be out of a job. Still, PG-13 was a big asset who was making this job a whole lot easier since she did not have to exhaust herself taking on every walking corpse who approached them. Leona was sure that no one would begrudge her having a literal fighting machine for a partner as long as she continued to fight for the good of Earthland's people.

    "Undead lifeforms neutralized." He reported to Leona. Leona nodded and walked over to the downed zombies to see if there were any researchers among them. Sure enough one of them was wearing a white lab coat and a white blouse with a black skirt. The woman was a blonde with hair as short as Leona's own and wore brown-rimmed glasses that were lopsided, presumably from the struggle where she had had chunks taken out of the left side of her neck and shoulder. Leona saw the laminated ID card gleaming in the moonlight and bent down to unclip it from the bloody white lab coat the zombie was wearing.

    Leona got the card and stood up, then took a close look at it.

    She was holding the ID card of Dr. Beverly Wilson.

    Leona took off her backpack, put the ID card inside, and put it back on her back before facing PG-13, who was scanning the area for threats. The Wizard Saint took a deep breath. She did not know how many people were on the research team, but so far she had found two dead researchers and had claimed their ID cards for the university. She was hoping that perhaps somewhere in the woods there was a scared, tired, and hungry researcher hiding in a tree and hoping for rescue so that she could bring at least one of them home alive, but again Leona was not very optimistic about her chances of finding any living university researchers.

    Leona looked around her for any more zombies and did not see any yet, but she did not have to look very hard because some more zombies were starting to emerge from the bushes on the left and right sides of the clearing. They pushed their way through the bushes and shambled towards her with their arms outstretched. Leona looked at them and saw that they were not the slender ax-wielding zombies nor the obese butcher zombies. They looked like university researchers and their assistants mixed in with unfortunate explorers in the area who ran afoul of zombies.

    "More undead lifeforms approaching!" PG-13 warned Leona. Leona took a deep breath. She glanced left and she glanced right. She had a decision to make. Did she keep PG-13 with her and clean up one side of the clearing before going to the other or did she take a chance and send PG-13 to the left while she took care of the right side?

    [Post Word Count: 1,082]
    [Total Word Count: 6,380/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 3rd February 2021, 1:52 am

    After giving it a bit of thought Leona decided to just keep PG-13 with her so that she could have help clearing out the right side. She did not want to risk getting overwhelmed because she tried to show off by taking on a gang of zombies by herself when she could have PG-13 helping her and forcing them to split their numbers and attention between him and her. While zombies were not the most daunting opponents Leona had ever faced, they were threatening due to sheer numbers and the fact that a single bite would turn her into one of them. Unwilling to risk that fate just to show off to no one in particular, Leona opted to take PG-13 with her and clean up the right side of the clearing. In front of them loomed a group of twenty-plus zombies and behind them was an equal number.

    "Follow me, PG-13! Let's take out the guys on the right before taking out the ones on the left!" Leona instructed her droid companion. PG-13 spun his plasma staff.

    "Affirmative. Engaging undead lifeforms now!" He reported before dashing off to take on the zombies with his staff. Leona drew her Silver Longsword and joined PG-13 in the fight. They had some time to take care of business, but they did not want to spend too much time taking care of one group of zombies because the other group was not going to wait for the Wizard Saint and her droid to finish off their fellows before attacking. Getting caught between two groups of zombies would not end well for Leona.

    Leona joined PG-13 to find that he had bashed in the heads of two zombies by the time she had joined the fray. One of the dead was a researcher from Crocus Magicka University, but she did not have time to collect their ID tag. That would have to happen after the current threat was dealt with. Leona rushed up to a zombie wearing a white long-sleeved t-shirt with the letters "CMU" in gold and khaki pants with a backpack on its back and chopped downward with the Silver Longsword, burying the blade in its skull and killing it.

    While PG-13 bashed in the head of another zombie with his staff and twirled away from his kill to face another zombie Leona pulled out her sword and turned to face a zombified female researcher with a missing left ear and an entire arm missing. She stabbed the zombie through the skull and planted a foot on its chest, pulling the sword free in time to face another zombie. Leona was too close to stab with her sword, so she settled for a left-handed Palm Thrust to the face that staggered it just enough for her to stab it through the skull. Meanwhile PG-13 finished off another zombie with a two-handed downward strike with the plasma staff.

    Leona quickly retrieved her sword and stepped back to avoid a lurching grab attempt from a zombified researcher who was missing a large chunk of flesh from their left cheek. The zombie staggered to a halt about two feet away from Leona and the Wizard Saint responded with a stab through the skull. It fell on its back with the sword lodged in its head, leaving Leona without a weapon with which to face the remaining zombies on the right, which numbered eleven. PG-13 wordlessly leaped in front of her and began to fight the zombies to buy her time to retrieve her weapon.

    Taking advantage of the opportunity, Leona stepped forward and put both hands on the grip of the sword. She pulled upward with all her might and recovered the sword just in time to deal with a zombie who had gotten past PG-13. Leona quickly stabbed the zombie through the skull and retrieved her sword with a swift kick to the zombie's chest. She heard loud moaning from behind and spun around to learn an unpleasant fact.

    The zombies in the other group had covered half the distance to them!

    Leona briefly considered using her Silver Tempest spell to dispose of a good chunk of the zombies surrounding them so that they could immediately turn their attention to the group approaching from behind, but then she remembered that PG-13 was standing only a short distance away from her. If she used it now he would be in the radius. She did not want to risk damaging him so far away from repair facilities because he was a good part of what was keeping Leona alive against the large hordes of zombies so far. She would instead deal with them using her sword and spells that did not risk catching PG-13 in their radius.

    PG-13 had left eight of the first group to deal with, so the Wizard Saint would focus on them first before worrying about the group behind them.

    Leona took a deep breath and punched an approaching zombie in the face with a left-handed Mach Straight, staggering it long enough for PG-13 to hit it in the left temple with his plasma staff and kill it. It flew sideways and another zombie approached Leona. She stepped towards it and stabbed it through its skull, then let go of the sword and turned to face a zombie approaching from the left.

    The Wizard Saint hit it with a Mach Jab to the face to stagger it, then followed up with a Tornado Kick that knocked its head off. With that zombie dead Leona turned to face a young female zombie wearing full chainmail and a helmet dragging a longsword along the ground in its left hand. Without hesitation Leona used a Silver Blade spell to cut through the helmet and slice its head diagonally in half from right to left. The armored zombie crumpled to the ground and PG-13 cleaned up the remainder of the group without Leona's help, leaving her enough time to get her Silver Longsword back before turning to face the second group of zombies.

    Leona watched PG-13 spin around to face the second group that had closed in while they were busy dealing with the first. Without hesitation he leapt into action and Leona followed. They needed to take care of this group of zombies before another group heard the commotion and decided to join the fray.

    [Post Word Count: 1,060]
    [Total Word Count: 7,440/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 3rd February 2021, 3:04 pm

    -Ten minutes later-

    Having cleaned up the last of the second group of zombies, Leona and PG-13 stood victorious in the clearing littered with dead zombies that either had their heads smashed in, had stab wounds through the skull, or were decapitated entirely. Now came the grim task of collecting ID cards from the deceased researchers among them. Leona looked for the corpses with ID cards gleaming in the moonlight and once she had determined which corpses had them she turned to PG-13.

    "I'm going to collect the ID cards. Watch my back!" Leona instructed PG-13. He wordlessly began to follow Leona as she went about her grim task and began collecting ID cards from all of the zombified researchers she had killed. Leona wondered what was going to happen to all of the bodies once she left here with the ID cards and any notes the researchers had managed to make before being overwhelmed. Then she recalled that she was not given any instructions on what to do about the bodies, only that she was to kill them if the research team had been turned into zombies and collect their ID cards. Hopefully the university would at least send an armed team to collect the bodies so that family members could say goodbye to their loved ones.

    Leona bent down over the one-armed female researcher from the first group she had dispatched and unclipped the ID card from their labcoat. Leona stood up and read the ID card of a Dr. Edith O'Neill. She held onto the card in her left hand and moved onto the next body, which was the male researcher who was missing flesh from their left cheek. She bent down over the body and unclipped the ID card from their jacket. She stood up and read the ID card belonging to Dr. Robert Hall.

    That was two out of at least ten zombified researchers who were lying dead in the clearing. Leona did not understand why so many researchers were needed for the project, but that was not something that the Wizard Saint needed to know. All she needed to know was that she had been hired by Crocus Magicka University to do a specific job. Leona moved onto the next body while PG-13 kept an eye out for trouble.

    -Twenty minutes later-

    After taking longer than expected because of a combination of slight fatigue and doing another sweep for the sake of being thorough, Leona had finally gathered up all the laminated ID cards in the clearing and put them into her backpack. Now it was time to move on and see if she could find any actual living researchers or their assistants. At the end of the clearing the path widened again, but she could see faint lights in the distance. The lights looked like lanterns or campfires that were going out from not being tended.

    "Hey PG-13, do you see those lights in the distance or am I just seeing things?" Leona asked PG-13 and pointed towards the lights with her left index finger. PG-13 turned his head towards the lights and looked for a moment, then turned back to her.

    "I see the lights as well." PG-13 confirmed. Leona sighed in relief. So she was not just seeing things.

    "All right then. Let's go towards the lights. It might be a camp set up by the researchers." Leona instructed him. If it was a camp, she doubted that she would find any living people there.

    "Affirmative. Taking the lead." He said to her and strode in front of her, moving towards the camp without waiting for her. Leona wiped her Silver Longsword on the grass and put it away, then hustled to follow PG-13 before he went too far.

    -100 meters down the path-

    PG-13 arrived at the lights just ahead of Leona, who stepped right and walked to his side. The lights were indeed lanterns and the area ahead of them was indeed a camp. There were multiple long, square tents lying on the ground and crates of supplies scattered everywhere. The tents looked like they were in the process of being set up when something happened... Leona suspected that zombies had descended on the camp and made everyone scatter. Leona heard what sounded like the faint rustling of tree branches from somewhere nearby, but there were no bushes in the immediate area.

    "Lifeform detected in the trees, ten meters left!" PG-13 warned Leona and brandished his plasma staff. Leona drew her Silver Longsword and held her breath. PG-13 went forward while Leona followed close behind. She was not sure if they had found a survivor or someone who had been bitten before climbing the tree and had succumbed to their wound, then reanimated in the branches hours later.

    "OK, I'm right behind you." Leona said while following PG-13 towards the tree in question. She was not liking the look of this because the soft rustling was beginning to turn into loud rustling. The Wizard Saint took a deep breath and focused on the tree because she really did not want to die by having a zombie fall on her from out of a tree. That would be such a humiliating way to go.

    -Two meters from the tree-

    PG-13 and Leona approached the tree in question and looked at the trunk. They saw numerous gash marks consistent with fingernails clawing at the tree like someone had tried to climb it to chase whatever was in its branches. Leona heard the rustling again and looked up.

    "Humanoid lifeform detected." PG-13 alerted Leona. Leona saw a flash of someone's leg drop down from the branches for a moment and took a step back even though she was two meters away from the tree. She did not know if the leg belonged to a human or a zombie, but she was about to find out.

    PG-13 approached the tree with his plasma staff in the ready position while Leona remained where she was. The droid took slow, measured steps towards the tree and kept his eyes on the branches while Leona watched the branches from afar. PG-13 was a droid, but she could not help but to worry about him. She found herself hoping that he would be OK and that he could handle whatever was going to fall from the tree.

    [Post Word Count: 1,060]
    [Total Word Count: 8,500/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 4th February 2021, 2:01 pm

    PG-13 approached the tree ready for a fight while Leona followed a short distance behind him. She too was ready for a fight, but the apprehension was starting to get to her because her breathing was shallow and uneven. The Wizard Saint of Courage was not supposed to act like that. She was supposed to put on a brave face and be courageous no matter what she encountered. But she was not liking what was in the tree.

    The branches shook faster and faster as PG-13 and Leona approached. Eventually a humanoid shape fell out and hit the ground with a THUD. Leona felt her face go pale and PG-13 raised his plasma staff to meet the threat. The person lay face-down on the ground and did not move for a moment.

    Did they die in the fall?

    Leona carefully took a few steps forward and noticed that the person had long hair that extended to their waist. It looked like a young woman, but it could also be a long-haired young man. Leona held her breath as the person got up from the ground. She saw that both of their arms had bite marks on them, causing her heart to drop into her stomach. At this point they only needed to raise their face to her for the Wizard Saint to learn the truth she had been dreading.

    The person who had fallen from the tree was someone who had reanimated in its branches.

    Leona felt a wave of sadness wash over her as the reanimated person struggled to get to their feet to go after her. She had been too late to save them.

    "PG-13... I want-" Leona started to order him to attack the zombie but faltered. Leona looked the struggling zombie in the face and felt responsibility for what had happened to them. It was an irrational guilt because the expedition had been sent over a week ago without Leona's knowledge, but the blonde still felt responsible for them getting turned into a zombie.

    "Never mind. I'll do it myself." Leona said to PG-13. PG-13 stood down and watched Leona stride towards the zombie with Silver Longsword at the ready. Leona cautiously approached the thrashing zombie whose legs were not moving... maybe it had broken them in the fall or had suffered spinal damage in the fall. Once she was within stabbing range she turned the sword point down, took the grip into both of her hands, and plunged the blade into its skull.

    "Threat neutralized." PG-13 reported. Leona remained silent as a feeling of emptiness washed over her. She turned away from the body and back towards the tree the zombie had fallen out of to look at the scratch marks again. Leona shuddered to think how the person had spent the last moments of their life afraid, alone, and hiding in a tree in the vain hope that they would be rescued.

    Leona silently turned back towards the camp. She walked away and PG-13 followed. She was going to look around the camp and see if she could find any notes left by the expedition.

    -At the camp-

    Leona looked around the camp and noticed how disheveled everything looked. It was to be expected when the people setting it up were attacked by zombies in the middle of setting it up, but the blonde was struck by how disorganized it was. It was almost like the expedition had been attacked the moment they stopped.

    Leona walked towards a wooden crate marked FOOD lying in front of a tent and looked it over. The crate had never been opened. She turned her attention towards a nearby tent and saw that the stakes had been hammered into the ground because she saw a mallet next to the bottom right stake. She walked away from it and began to look at the other crates she saw to get an idea of their contents.

    The expedition had brought plenty of food, water, lanterns, and other necessities, but Leona did not see a single crate of weapons or ammunition. Maybe the university had hired a mercenary team to provide protection for the researchers, which was why Leona had fought zombies who looked like adventurers in the clearing earlier. Maybe they had weapons and ammunition but were unable to get to them in time before the zombie attack.

    Leona looped around the camp for anything that could provide clues as to the fate of the research team, but all she was seeing was unfinished tents and crates of supplies that had been left scattered about and the occasional lantern sitting on top of a crate. The Wizard Saint had expected to find bloodstains on the ground and half-eaten corpses lying everywhere, but instead the camp was just... empty.

    There were no signs of a struggle anywhere. No dropped weapons, no shell casings, nothing. That lack of evidence of a struggle also led her to believe that the people in the camp fled for their lives the moment that trouble appeared with disastrous results. She could not blame them for panicking and fleeing at the sight of zombies. Not everyone had been raised to fight since they were ten years old. Not everyone had magic either.

    Leona took a deep breath as PG-13 joined her for a sweep of the camp and its surroundings. She was hoping to find some clues as to where the researchers had went. If she was lucky she could find some. If she was really lucky she might even be able to find a survivor to get more information from, but at this point it was highly unlikely that she would find anyone alive. It had been over a week since the team had been sent to Fat Monsterland and they were probably all dead from zombie attacks, starvation, exposure to the elements, or other causes of death.

    At this point it was just a matter of confirming a grim truth that Leona knew but was afraid to admit because of her ego and pride. She was a Wizard Saint and Wizard Saints never failed to save the day no matter how daunting the odds were. This time she had failed to save the day and she knew it. The evidence of her failure had been left lying in clearings and was sitting in her backpack. Leona might as well admit that she had failed and save herself the time and effort of trying to convince herself otherwise.

    Setting those unpleasant thoughts aside for the moment, Leona took a deep breath and continued her sweep for something, anything she could take back to the university besides ID cards.

    [Post Word Count: 1,112]
    [Total Word Count: 9,612/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
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    Position : Saint of Courage
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    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 4th February 2021, 10:22 pm

    -Inside the camp, two hours later-

    Leona had made multiple circuits of the camp and its immediate surroundings. She had searched high and low for clues and for survivors. She had found neither. The dispirited Wizard Saint looked upon the empty camp and then looked at PG-13. She had looked everywhere in the immediate area and had even approached a few trees that made good hiding spots for survivors, but she had found no one hiding in the branches.

    "I don't think we're gonna find anyone at this point, PG-13." Leona admitted to PG-13 and ran the fingers of her left hand through her hair while thinking about her next course of action. It was at that moment she finally learned that her Gale Force ability had deactivated hours ago. She had been so busy fighting and searching that she had not even realized it. That late realization was embarrassing, but that was nothing compared to the uselessness she was feeling right now.

    Leona felt utterly useless as a Wizard Saint. She had not been able to find any survivors. She had also been unable to find any notes on Fat Monsterland to take back to the university. There was nothing she could bring back that could make the research team's sacrifice meaningful. Leona looked towards the rear of the camp and saw nothing that could help her alleviate those feelings.

    "Do we press deeper into Fat Monsterland or do we leave?" PG-13 asked Leona. Leona looked at her droid companion and had trouble coming up with a response to his question. His question was a very good one.

    Leona ran the fingers of her left hand through her hair again and tried to come up with an answer. Part of her wanted to press deeper into Fat Monsterland to try and find any survivors who had managed to hide from the zombies and keep themselves alive for all this time. The other part of her saw no use in going deeper into Fat Monsterland because the expedition's members were likely already dead. Her heart and mind were playing tug-of-war with Leona and she was paralyzed by indecision.

    The Wizard Saint was hoping that something would happen to help her make her decision. She was hoping to see a humanoid shape in the distance or hear a scream so that she had an excuse to prolong her stay in Fat Monsterland. Leona did not see a humanoid shape in the distance or hear a scream that could lead her to a survivor. At this point she was only delaying the inevitable. Sooner or later she would have to accept that tonight she had failed.

    Leona had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat many times before, but tonight she had failed to find survivors or research notes.

    Leona looked towards the rear of the camp one last time, then towards PG-13.

    "There's no point in staying here any longer. Let's set out for Capital Crocus and make our report to the university." Leona said to him.

    "Understood." PG-13 replied with no hint of emotion. Leona turned away from the camp and began the long walk out of Fat Monsterland. She recalled that she had not been given any directions about recovering ID cards from the research assistants, so she would take on the grim task of searching their belongings for anything that could be used to identify them. Leona owed them that much. They at least deserved to not be forgotten for their sacrifice.

    Leona began to walk towards the clearing where she and PG-13 had fought the zombie hordes composed of researchers, adventurers, and people she believed were research assistants. She would do a second sweep for anything she might have missed from her first post-battle sweep of the clearing. Leona might just be wasting her time, but she wanted to make absolutely certain that she had everything before she left for Capital Crocus and Crocus Magicka University. Maybe she was just stalling to hold out for a miracle that was not going to happen, but she was not going to admit it to herself yet.

    -Near the exit to Fat Monsterland, two hours later-

    After two hours of searching for both the belongings of the research assistants and any stray ID cards she might have missed the first time, Leona had finally completed her search for survivors or research notes. She had been hoping against hope to be able to pull out another miracle, but tonight she was unable to do it. All that remained to be done was to take her findings to Crocus Magicka University and give them the ID cards and other identifying items that she had managed to find. Leona looked back one last time to see if anyone had followed her, but there was nothing behind her but dead zombies and feelings of regret.

    Leona saw no point in staying any longer, so she and PG-13 left Fat Monsterland and set out for Capital Crocus to make her report. She wondered how her report would be received by the client. Hopefully her reputation would not take too big a hit from this job.

    [Post Word Count: 860]
    [Total Word Count: 10,472/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)
    Leona Jarnefeldt
    Leona Jarnefeldt

    Main Account- Gain An Artifact- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Ten Wizard Saint Member- Rising Star- Guild Master- Neutral Guild Ace- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Forever Solo- Christian Minecraft Server- I Have Friends...- Hired Help- Idolize- The Completionist- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Obligatory Beach Episode- Sticking Around- Loyal to the Bone- Taskmaster- Halloween Social - Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Veteran Level 2- Veteran Level 1- Magic Application Approved!- Obtain A Secondary Magic!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Grand Master [2000]- Master [1000]- Senior [500] - Novice [250]- 3rd Place Event/Contest Winner- X-Mas Event Participant- Summer Special Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Nemean Lion
    Position : Saint of Courage
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 3545
    Guild : Silver Wolf [Guild Master]
    Cosmic Coins : 215
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Mentor : N/A
    Experience : 11,519,425

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Wind Strike Magic
    Second Skill: Wind Summon Magic
    Third Skill:

    The Cost Of Research Empty Re: The Cost Of Research

    Post by Leona Jarnefeldt 5th February 2021, 1:55 am

    -Ten hours later, Silver Wolf Guild Hall-

    After a grueling mission Leona finally reentered the guild hall with PG-13 following close behind her. She had not said a single word to him during the trip from Capital Crocus to the Phoenix Mountains. Leona was feeling tired and disappointed in herself after her failure to find survivors or research notes. She had completed the objective of finding ID cards that had belonged to the researchers, but she had been unable to complete at least one of the other two objectives for the mission.

    Leona suspected that the attack on the camp was so sudden that the researchers did not have time to make any notes. They had not even had time to set up the camp properly when the attack happened. However, Leona did not make any excuses for being unable to find anything other than ID cards. When she gave her report to the university she gave them the truth based on what she had found and apologized for her inability to find survivors or research notes.

    The university department head who had hired Leona for the retrieval mission did not show any discernible emotion during the report nor did they show any emotion after the report. He simply assured the Wizard Saint that she had done the best she could considering the circumstances. He politely thanked Leona for her time and effort, then spoke about "the cost of research" and how sometimes the pursuit of knowledge cost more than just money. Leona quietly accepted her payment and thanked the department head, then left the university to return to Silver Wolf Guild Hall after a physically and emotionally draining mission.

    Now Leona was back in the guild hall and did not feel like doing anything but going to her room and sleeping until morning. However, she likely had a pile of paperwork waiting for her on her desk and it would be irresponsible to leave it when it needed her attention. Leona sighed and made her way towards her office to take care of it. PG-13 quietly followed behind her as the Wizard Saint and Guild Mistress made her way towards her office.

    -Inside the Guild Mistress' office-

    Leona opened her office door to find that there was indeed a pile of paperwork that demanded her attention. Leona walked in first and PG-13 dutifully followed. She set down her backpack and took off her sword belt but kept on her Argent Gloves, then sat down in the chair and began to read over the papers.

    -Three hours later-

    Working under the watchful eye of PG-13, Leona had finally gone over all the paperwork and had put everything in order. It had taken a herculean effort on her part to focus long enough to properly handle the administrative task, but she had done it. Now she was too tired to do anything else, even go to the cafe for a cup or two of coffee. She was in no mood to celebrate anything.

    Leona silently got up from her desk, pushed the chair in, reclaimed her sword belt and backpack, and left the office to go back to her room and go to sleep before she had to wake up again. PG-13 followed her out of the office and towards her room.

    -Leona's room-

    Leona shut the room door behind her after PG-13 had entered the room. She faced her bed and saw that it had been left unmade like it was a lot of the time. That was just fine by her... she was usually too busy to make up her bed before going out on a job or going to her office to handle administrative functions. Leona took a moment to examine the left sleeve of her outfit, which had been cut by an ax earlier in the mission to Fat Monsterland. She would need to take it to get fixed by a staff member, but right now she was too tired to care about it.

    Leona walked over to her wardrobe, opened the drawer containing her shirts, and pulled out her green tank top. She took off her outfit top and changed into the green tank top, then took off her socks and boots. She took off her sword belt and walked over to her desk and set it on top, then set her backpack in the empty chair. Finally Leona took off her Argent Gloves and set them next to the stack of GED study books on her desk.

    The Wizard Saint took a deep breath and walked back over to her bed. She turned around and  sat down on it, then swung her legs to the foot of the bed. She then lay down and tried to sleep. If she could even sleep, anyway.

    Leona was disappointed over not being able to pull a miracle out of her hat and at least find a survivor of the research team to take back with her to Crocus Magicka University. They could have filled her and the department head in on what had happened to the research team, but in the absence of any solid evidence Leona could only speculate as to what had happened. She was pretty sure that they had been killed and reanimated, but she would have liked some details as to what led up to the camp being abandoned.

    Leona might never learn the truth behind the events. Leona felt guilty about her partial success, but there was nothing that could be done about it now. She would have to accept things for what they were and move on.

    However, moving on was easier said than done.

    It would take awhile to move on from this. Even if Leona succeeded in moving on she was not sure that she could forget it. She would have to come to terms with what had happened if she wanted to keep being a Wizard Saint and Guild Mistress. Leona stared at the ceiling for a little bit longer before finally managing to go to sleep. Maybe she could sleep for awhile before she had to get up and find another job or do some more paperwork.

    [Post Word Count: 1,029]
    [Total Word Count: 11,501/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Cost Of Research KjmbioC


    Golden Lacrima is valid until 10/10/2024. The General Store: Page 10, Post Number 244 (Request), Page 10, Post Number 245 (Approval)

      Current date/time is 12th April 2024, 10:05 pm