Ray's ability to get his hands dirty for the first time didn't manage to attract Nik's attention as he estimated the three skeletal figures. Spooky, as he would name them. A trumpet is all they need to fit certain criteria but Nik pulled his head out of situational humor and looked at the three. Again, the size of the monsters suggested their summoned state while the flaming eyes in the hollow eye sockets failed to present any madness until
"Rraghhhh!" Immediately denying any possibility of speech and taking care of the situation like civilized... spooks, the middle skeleton with a giant sword, rusty and even dented. Seeing the joke of a blade, Lilith seemed a little annoyed. Her angry chimes rang within Nik's mind as the Apostle felt the wind pressure against his face. As expected, staying cautious paid off as instead of waiting, the remaining two raised their arms and slung their weapons down, making Nik snicker softly.
It only took a little guidance using air to move their attacks towards themselves. As their bony arms tangle, Nik jumped on the base of one of the hands and propelled into the air before waving his hand, slashing against the skull only for the infernal broadsword to easily mark a long gash right in the middle of the forehead. This time, accompanied by an annoyed growl from the monsters, Lilith's voice echoed. "Use the spirit ring!" She squeaked. A little too excited and yet, Nik willed, the broadsword in his hands instantly glowing before reducing in size. The hilt turning silver, surrounded by the face of a dragon with the open maws leading to a thick, single-edged blade refined by a scale-marked item that formed the length of the sword.
"So... this is supposed to..." Nik waited for Lilith to reveal the special power of the form while a silver-gold ring converged behind Nik, releasing a formless pressure that surprisingly intimidated the three monsters, even pulling the heads of Ray and Yar before the succubus clenched his fist and committed his first kill. "It cuts! It's a sword and it damn well cuts!" Lilith shouted, making Nik's brows wiggle.
Parrying the attack of the left skeleton and pushing himself to rotate and smack the flat of his blade against the spiked club, Nik growled, "Stop screwing around. You know damn well that spirit skills of independent spirits are not described in status." His parry had already left a deep crevice in the thick bones of the first skeleton. "I said Sword Cuts!" Lilith laughed out loud, enjoying herself getting swung around, "I like swords! And [Absolute Sharpness] is the peak of any blade! There's nothing more, so what else a spirit skill can teach me! I love swords of all kinds! Cut" Still maneuvering in the air, Nik's lips twitched as he finally realized that the main motive of his spirits to absorb spirit skills wasn't to earn skills, but to earn a body.
Annoyed, Nik swung the gleaming dragon sword, instantly cutting off the arm of the club-wielding skeleton before extending the sharpness of the blade and cleaving the three heads at the same time. Of course, knowing that taking off the head isn't the best way to deal with undeads, especially, skeletons, Nik didn't wait for the three skeletons to recompose themselves and cut them into three pieces rather easily. Unwilling to continue entertaining Lilith at the compensation of his own Energy, Nik reverted the skill. Without a true body, Lilith still depended on Nik's reserves, so, there was no need to spend an atrocious amount of energy just to fulfill Lilith's need for cosplay.
Reverted to her infernal form, Lilith groaned, "Hey! It isn't cosplaying! Damn, let me get my body! I'll hoard all the swords again! My clothes changing with each form" instantly stopping in her tracks, accidentally revealing her kink, Lilith wished for Nik to forget only to smirk, "So, it is dress-up after all. To think you, fatty, would" Before Lilith could retort or Nik could complete, the three heads of the skeleton exploded into a cloud of dust, the ash cloud forming a figure, blurry and unidentifiable at best.
"Continue in this direction," the mysterious figure pointed, his voice sending chills down Nik's spine, "Don't think of running. I am giving you the honor to fight one on one... there exist multiple ways to force you out. Like invading your homeworld... so, continue. I am waiting."
At this time, Ray's dagger stabbed into the monkey, while his hands clenched the handle of the dagger tightly while instantly looking away as a squirt of blue blood spurted all over Ray's cheek. Making his breathing ragged and pained. Meanwhile, Yar took the chance to swipe her hands across the figure's neck before cruelly stretching the neck apart and bluntly tearing the head off. 'Geez...' averting his eyes, Nik looked at the disintegrating body of the three skeletons. He had kept many things from Brian and Ray. Well, now he admitted that the idea of adventuring with the infernal duo was more excited than he thought it would be but should his animosity with Lucifer come up, there remained a pretty high chance that he might have to abandon the fun party.
'Well... nothing better than to just state the obvious...' Nik thought silently. A little relieved that his emotional quotient hadn't fallen low enough to desperately seek companionship on the basis of hardly hidden lies. As he looked at the gloomy Ray returning, his face still holding a smudge of blue blood close to his jaws, Nik activated his Purification while watched another monster rise from the bloodied corpse of
"It was a rank 1 Undead host..." Ray muttered, signifying that his mission had also been accomplished. The pulse of purification was a welcoming change that served to make him feel a little more energetic, but when he recalled the same pressure the time when Lucifer invaded, Ray's expression fell once again. "Nik... that voice, could it be..."
Instead of replying instantly, Nik thought over a little carefully. By now, after hearing Sky's description of the man, Nik had categorized Lucifer as the type of opponent who loved to vent before beginning a fight. Taking Ray would serve the purpose of exposing the information he didn't wish to share. Meanwhile, he still felt reluctant by the fact that he would have to fact Lucifer alone for the time being. A little dubious of the fact that Lucifer might know the location of his homeworld, Nik made a choice of trying to manipulate a few answers out of him before even thinking of escaping.
"Um... the person who invaded the world where we met Tanjiro and Nezuko... Undead Lucifer."
Gulping, a little nervous after finally getting his answer, Ray continued, "I don't want to sound like an annoying bitch but... did Lucifer actually invade that planet because of you?"
"Because of Kaal..." Nik smiled bitterly. A moment of truth for him, as he continued, "Kaal and Lucifer... they shared bed together in the past," he lied, more than willing to shaming the root cause of his dilemma, "but then, Kaal left for another woman. I mean, from then on, it's practically Kaal getting chased by Lucifer and now, the mad lad has diverted his attention to the future incarnation of the Temporal Fiend's Originator." Furrowing his brows by the scandalous information, Ray observed Nik carefully before commenting softly, "Well... can't blame Lucifer for that... but, should we even try to fight"
For a moment, Nik decided not to hear anything after Ray mentioned 'we.' He felt a little delightful for some unexplainable reason... well, no, Nik knew that he simply felt relieved by Ray's decision. It was a small step and even if Ray spoke of retreating, he didn't leave Nik out. "We" cutting Ray's words, Nik smiled, " are going to do nothing." Nik pointed at the large vulture, rotten and possibly an undead, forming from the corpse of the host, "Instead, I will take that ride and try to... placate the man. I would really like it if you wait... I mean I, ehm," a little coherent when directly under Ray's lit up gaze and Yar's amused expression, Nik stammered for a brief period before recollecting his thoughts and smiled wildly, "I think you got what I mean, right?"
"Yeah..." Ray nodded with a sigh. Pointing at a certain direction. "I'll be waiting there, in the last night's camp. if someone attacks us, we'll try to fight if it doesn't cause any loss... if it does, I'll be waiting in the Transmigration Paradise... with Brian. Preparing for the auction, probably. Of course, I'll message you before leaving."
"Thanks," Nik rubbed the back of his head before taking control of the fully formed vulture. It was basically a leading illusion where Nik's illusion would be running towards a certain direction while the bloodthirsty giant vulture would follow. Jumping and landing behind the vulture, cutting a piece of rotten flesh before climbing into the body of the undead with a little space above him as he controlled the blood flow of the monster using waterbending to keep himself from getting drenched, Nik took off.
"Let's go..." Ray gave one last glance towards the position of his first kill. A scowl once again marri g his expression as Yar inquired worriedly. "You'll be all right?"
"In time..." Ray grunted and held Yar's hand as she flew.
Meanwhile, Nik finally recalled an important piece of information. Every adventure would end in seven days in accordance with the homeworld. But the moment Nik accepted to enter the Rank-Up quest, he had basically allowed himself to enter another adventure. So, as to not cause any panic, he decided to connect the consciousness of the girls in his homeworld for a brief period and sent a clear message regarding him taking a Rank-Up quest. He didn't interact with them since he was still fearful that there might be a greater time difference which may cause negative impacts on the girls.
Once finished, Nik thought for a moment and decided to inquire Sky about everything she knew of Lucifer and the answer did not make him feel any less nervous.
Lucifer is a beast, the fact that he has attained Great-Grandmastery in many aspects of reality had already defined the fact. But one thing kept on stinging his mind... while he was more than willing to use his remaining uses of [Smite Token], the fact that Lucifer might be in this place already raised multiple questions.
If this plane was invaded, why weren't the hosts notified? If Lucifer really had so much of a beef with him, why didn't he find Nik himself? If he really knew about his homeworld, why not attack it first and gain leverage?
Most of these questions arose from the contradictions of his own methods since Nik would have done the latter two parts against his opponents most definitely. This, alongside Sky's words, allowed Nik to glean a few insights in Lucifer's character, allowing him to form a few base plans that required greater eloquence than strength.