In the endless desert of the second Trial Quest -
Okeanos squinted his iridescent rainbow eyes as he felt bright and hot sun bear down on him. He did not like the sun. He much preferred the dark cold of deep water where he came from. The sun was too bright and too harsh.
Okeanos focused his powerful vision, zooming in around him. He saw nothing but endless slopes of sand marked with wavy grooves.
Pay attention to the currents. That was the precious hint the master had given, and Okeanos was determined to figure out the secret. He knew he was strong, but he wanted to show the master he was smart as well. That he was just as valuable as Valera, the commander.
Currents…currents…Okeanos's antennae twitched as he focused, but soon enough, his focus was broken from tremors causing the sand to shake all around him.
Okeanos's antennae twitched again, this time sensing danger, and he immediately leaped dozens of meters into the air. Where he had been, an enormous worm emerged. It was armored in golden brown carapace that blended near perfectly with the sand around it, and its buzzsaw like circular jaws rotated with hunger.
The worm unleashed a shrill screech as it leaped out of the sand, using momentum to drive upwards into the sky to catch Okeanos.
"You dare to approach me!?" Okeanos was angered that a weak creature like this would even consider him a meal. He was born to stand at the top of the food chain, not below this frail creature!
Okeanos pushed off the air using a burst of energy. He shot forth like a green comet, punching right through the worm's mouth. Using more energy, he smashed through the worm's insides, causing it to explode into a rain of white flesh and golden shell.
That was just the beginning, however.
Okeanos's antennae twitched again, and worms from everywhere emerged. Some smaller, only a few times bigger than a human, and with others as big as some of the human buildings.
They circled around Okeanos like vultures surrounding a carcass. Their sandy shell blended in so well with the sand that it looked like the desert had turned into water, the sands undulating like waves.
Okeanos paid attention to their movements, analyzing them for any discernible pattern.
The worms began to attack. The smaller ones shot out of the sand at surprisingly high speeds, aiming to latch onto Okeanos with their saw-like mouths.
Okeanos stood his ground. He punched the worms as they came to him. He did not want to use his super punch because it would make a huge explosion, stopping him from seeing their current like patterns.
Worm after worm blasted apart into bits from each of Okeanos's mighty punches.
As Okeanos punched away car sized worms with complete ease, he briefly glanced up at a screen. It had a timer on it reading 14:33 and a description underneath reading as follows:
[You have entered the Sands of Kath, the Entombed. Survive for 15 minutes to complete this quest]
Okeanos knew that there must have been something more to do here than just survive. He could do that easily - none of these worms were a match for him.
But what was it?
Okeanos focused on the worms' movements again. His brain, engineered and developed with the utmost care, processed information at astounding speeds.
That was it! It was hard to tell because the worms immediately around Okeanos only circled him, making it hard to discern any notable pattern of movement. But he could tell there were minor shifts in the currents that made it obvious that the worms were not coming from every single direction.
Like a tide, the worms originated from one spot.
Realizing this, Okeanos blasted out a burst of his stored energy, disintegrating a few incoming worms into dust. Using the space he had made, he jumped into the air, determining where exactly the currents flowed from.
As expected, Okeanos traced the worms' movements to one specific location far in the distance. He instantly pushed off in the air with Burst, propelling himself towards the spot at blurring speeds.
Almost as if sensing the intrusion, the sands beneath Okeanos trembled with a far greater intensity than before. The sands almost seemed to part in two as a worm far larger than any before emerged. It was over twice as large as the zombie giant, reaching high into the air to devour Okeanos whole in its enormous maw.
"Now you have the right to challenge me!" said Okeanos, excitement gleaming in his eyes. He pushed off the air above him, dodging below the giant worm's maw, and then unleashed a powerful punch into the worm's body.
It was not his super punch, but he still put his Burst into it, a surge of crackling green energy causing his first to propel at astounding speeds. A shockwave of force and sonic boom cracked through the air as his punch drove the giant worm back like an explosion.
The worm screeched as it began to tumble backwards, its huge form making it seem like it was moving in slow motion. There was a massive crater of caved in golden carapace and pulped white flesh where Okeanos had struck it.
The worm stopped itself from falling completely however and faced Okeanos down. The crater wound on its upper body healed over in a near instant.
Okeanos looked up at the worm, utterly unfazed even as the worm's shadow alone completely engulfed Okeanos. He did not like fighting under the hot sun anyway. Cool shade like this was much better.
The giant worm unleashed a war cry that made the sands shake, causing all other worms around Okeanos to fade away, their movements disappearing as they retreated. Spines and hooked tendrils emerged from segments in the giant worm's carapace.
[Bonus Objective: Defeat the Boss: Gigant Worm]
Okeanos jumped up with excitement. Another objective! And another creature to add to the master's family! Surely, with this giant creature, the master would praise Okeanos.
"Come!" shouted Okeanos as he cocked his fists. "Fight me and join my master's family!"
The gigant worm unleashed another screech before it surged downwards, bearing down on Okeanos like a meteor of whirling jaw blades and shell plated mass.
Okeanos cocked back his fist fully this time, his forearm locking in with a powerful click. The red and green stripes on his forearm glowed brightly, signaling a mass buildup of energy as he transferred everything from his Burst into his arm. An ever escalating siren like sound welled up from his arm to signal the built up and massively multiplied energy.
Right before the worm crashed over Okeanos, he unleashed his super punch. A tidal wave of blue energy poured out in a cascade that completely engulfed the gigant worm.
At first, the gigant worm's dark silhouette was visible within the wave of energy, suspended in place as it struggled to resist the enormous output of force and heat.
Then, the silhouette began to break apart, the worm disintegrating from the head down.
Okeanos breathed out, and superheated air steamed out from his mouth and gills, distorting the space around it. His gills, in particular, suffered, the carapace glowing a bright molten red from having to shunt out the tremendous heat energy the super punch required.
Surprisingly, though, Okeanos felt fine. Before he joined the master's family, using his super punches hurt him on the inside, but now, even though it still hurt him, he felt like nothing was really wrong. He could move fine and ignore the pain much better.
Just another reason why the master was so amazing.
Okeanos looked ahead at the huge line of carnage his super punch hard carved out. Extending from him all the way into the distance was a line of molten hot sand that quickly started to cool into white glass.
The gigant worm was nowhere to be seen - defeated in one punch.
Okeanos had to admit - he was amazing too. He puffed his chest out, happy with himself, but then realized, what if he destroyed too much of the worm!? Then it could no longer join the master's family!
Okeanos panicked and sprinted around, trying to find traces of the worm. He calmed down when he saw there was enough of the worm left under the sand. A good building sized chunk that made up its tail - the part of the worm had been deep enough underground to survive the super punch.
Though, it seemed, not enough had survived to regenerate. Okeanos heaved the tail out of the sand and gently laid it down beside him. Well, as gently as possible. The tail itself was almost ten meters tall, so when it hit the sand, its mass drove up waves of sand.
Okeanos patted the tail with encouragement. "That was a good fight! You are worthy of joining the master's family. Now I will go see what you were hiding."
Okeanos leaped across the sand using physical force alone, saving up his Burst energy. He followed the currents in the sand to their origin point. There, the currents completely stopped, leaving a suspiciously flat and smooth patch of sand.
Okeanos landed on top of the sand patch and waited for a few seconds. Nothing was happening. Then, a voice permeated through his mine.
'So, intruder, you seek to find the treasures of the great Hierophant's tomb, do you?'
'Who are you? Where are you?' said Okeanos. He tapped his head, not quite liking that someone else other than his master was in his mind.
'I am the guardian genie of this ancient tomb!' said the voice triumphantly. 'Deep underground do I lie, and to reach me, you must answer one of my riddles-,'
'You're underground? Okay then!' Okeanos immediately started to dig at hyperspeed, excavating sand at a frighteningly fast pace.