So, for now I had to carry the zweihander on my back, and again I kept only the chestpiece and left the rest of my armor by the firelink shrine. As I went up the stairs to the Undead Burg I could see five hollow warriors standing guard. It was an strategic nightmare: four were armed with sword and shield, like me, so that alone was a four against one battle. One of them was a firebomb thrower, which would make any fighting more difficult. And finally there was an axe wielder. That was a problem because even if I blocked his attacks, it would drain my stamina quickly, and if my shield broke I would be dead in a second. While blocking that heavy axe I would also need to be able to jump away from the firebombs, since my shield would be useless against them. Luckily, only their weapons could match their armor in being old and rusted. Their rotten bodies would also be slow and their diseased minds, slower.
I decided that the base of the bridge to the right was the only way to force them to fight me one by one. To get there, I would need to fight past two warriors and the firebomber’s aim. Once on that platform, I could improvise.
My plan started to go awry when I lost the element of surprise: the firebomb thrower saw me before I killed the first warrior and screamed for them to hush me. So I kicked the first warrior on the chest, throwing him off balance and ran off. The firebomber was fully alert and, therefore, his aim was perfect. The burning oil splashed on the shield and instantly burned my uncovered legs. I ignored the pain and bashed the second warrior with my flaming shield, he fell off the cliff. I jumped to the platform, sand and stone scratching the burns on my legs as I rolled. My legs were now both burning and bleeding, but I had the high ground and pillars to hide from the firebombs.
The warriors weren’t smart enough not to fall for my trap. While I hid from the firebombs, two of them died trying to reach the platform. The axe-wielder managed to land the jump on two feet, but was unbalanced. I cut off his head and jumped back to the grass to scape another firebomb. The firebomber was suprised and, in a few seconds, dead.
From then on all the killing had rushed to my head. The normal entrance to the Burg had collapsed, but the hollows had been using a way through a sewer tunnel. There, I killed a rat and for some reason I felt a high. Later I would realize for some reason killing rats gave me an extra punch, as soon as I pierced through his filthy teeth with my sword, I felt brave and invincible and just razed through all other hollows in that section of the Burg, using the geography to always fight one on one. At some point I had to fight while a hollow archer aimed at me, but I managed to evade the arrows by running in circles around the other hollows. As soon as I killed the archer, I saw a bonfire. I was exhausted and just collapsed by the fire.
While I slept, all the killing had amassed me considerable power. I didn’t understand then how bonfires worked, but I can now say that, while I slept, the bonfire used this power, derived from the souls of all the people who the hollows had murdered, to what I needed the most at the moment: healing the wounds on my legs, my overall health, and making me stronger, all the while pulling me back from my present horribly hollowing state.
At some point of my sleep, the unhollowing power of the bonfire brought me back something I had forgotten existed: the capability to dream, or more specifically in that case, to have nightmares. And every nightmare then focused on only one enemy: the giant hellkite dragon that had briefly touched the ground as soon as I came up to my previous battleground in the open area on top of the Burg. His brief, light touch made the ground shake and threw me off balance.
In my dreams I was forced to fight that dragon.