Three days had passed since that twelve-hour training session with Sophie.
During the first day, Lone focused on using his mana to create a set of armour for Soph's fifteen-year-old body. As the two of them had discovered with the help of Sophie acting as a test dummy, her teenaged body was the best one for using armour as well as the body Sophie felt most comfortable in. It was smaller than her twenty-year-old one, but it still had enough strength to wear any armour without much effort.
Sophie still recalled how to use and move in the various equipment that Lone had made for her and Soph, so it was quickly discovered that she was best suited for reinforced steel full-plate with a chainmail underlayer to protect her exposed joints.
While this was her best fit from the armours Lone could create with his unique magic, his senses were telling him that it wasn't the perfect fit for the girl. Lone begged to reason that her most-suited armour would come from her Armour Creation or maybe her Barrier Magic unique skills like how his came from his Basic Regeneration.
Helping her into her new full-plate armour, Lone asked, "No more chafing?"
Sophie shook her head and stretched her limbs a bit. "Nope. You readjusted it perfectly. Good job. Maybe we should reward you?~"
Lone could imagine a coy smile on her lips. Unfortunately, he couldn't see it since he was stood behind her fastening her heavy boots on.
The two of them had gotten closer over the last two days since he'd focused on ranking his Bone Armour up during that time. He wasn't satisfied with just gauntlets and boots, and he wanted to fix his relationship with the violent and seductive side of the girl.
Sophie was happy to oblige. She was far more vicious with their training and she didn't hold back at all. Supposedly, she even earned the skills Shortsword Mastery and Dual-wielding Mastery yesterday evening.
Lone had to wonder if that was fast or slow? Were it him, he'd have earned those skills in minutes, maybe an hour or two at most, but it had taken her a total of about forty-hours of nearly non-stop training across the span of four days. It was definitely something to research once they reached some sort of town or city.
Regardless, he successfully upgraded his Bone Armour to the next rank, Advanced.
|Unique Subskill: Bone Armour|
A subskill unique to the host, Lone Immortus.
Allows the host to use the unique skill [Basic Regeneration] to push the host's bones outside of their own body and use them as a weightless shield.
The strength of the bones will increase with mastery. The strength of the bones will also increase the more that they're broken and damaged.
The host can only create a set of gauntlets, boots, [New!] armour sleeves and greaves currently.
|Cost:||None to invoke (30-minute cooldown). Drains MP to recreate rapidly or to heal at varying levels depending on the speed of the recreation or the severity of the damage being healed.|
|Mastery:||Advanced Level 1|
He was wearing a reinforced steel chest plate and a full-face helmet to make up for what his Bone armour couldn't create yet, but now, with this, he could level the skill without too much trouble via the goblins since it covered a good portion of his body. Unfortunately, he couldn't cover his tails with steel armour since it was stupidly uncomfortable. For now, he just had to leave them exposed until he could cover them with his Bone Armour skill or figure out another solution.
"I dunno. I feel like you're the one who deserves a reward. I've been working you to the bone for the past few days, after all," Lone replied as he finished tightening her armour and got up.
Sophie spun around and giggled before she ran her gauntlet-covered fingers across his breastplate. "You haven't worked either of us to any bone, yet."
Lone nodded. "Yup. Far less attractive when we're both covered in armour. Maybe I should force you to wear that all of the time?" he teased as he walked past her and headed towards the edge of the Illusionary Dome.
Sophie trotted alongside him and held her hands behind her back. "It's not fun if you don't blush or get tongue-tied."
Lone smiled wryly. He took his steel swordspear out from his Dimensional Storage after he'd passed Sophie her swords. "Are you sure you'll be fine fighting? I know you're better at it than Soph is, but I'm happy to let you stay here or in The Summoning Room if you'd rather avoid it."
Sophie shook her head. "We're perfectly fine. Soph is a blubbering mess in a fight and that won't be changing any time soon. She can only act when her life is on the line or if yours is. Admittedly, we've never killed before since we were formed after Soph had ended God's life, but we will be - as we said - fine."
"'Kay. I trust you," Lone replied as he stepped through the Illusionary Dome. "Since we're in this bulky armour, I doubt we can be sneaky like in the past excursions. Do you mind teleporting us a few times to get away from home a bit? Just in case there are gobs nearby."
Sophie grinned under her helmet and sheathed one of her swords before linking her arm with Lone's. A split-second later, they had teleported twenty times. They were now in the thick of the forest.
Lone tensed up a bit as he got his bearings before he whispered, "Thanks."
Sophie nodded and redrew her second sword.
They had wandered around for fifteen minutes before they caught sight of a group of twenty goblins. There were two goblins with staves who were probably mages of some sort as well as one of what Lone recognised to be the far larger race of goblin, a Hobgoblin.
They hadn't been spotted just yet since they had luckily ended up behind this massive group of monsters, so Sophie turned to look at the crouching Lone and asked, "Do we fight, or flee?"
Lone tightened his grip on his swordspear and thought to himself. 'With our armour, the normal gobs shouldn't be a problem... I'm a bit worried about that Hobgoblin's club though. Armour sucks against blunt force... The mages too, they might be a problem...'
"I want to fight," Lone admitted. His blood was boiling. This would be a true test of his and Sophie's skills. Perhaps if it was Soph, he'd have immediately retreated, but Sophie was far more competent in battle than her sweeter side was, so he felt confident.
"Okay." Sophie slowly got up and held Lone's arm. "What's the plan?"
"We need to get rid of the normal gobs first. They can't hurt us with our armour unless they're really lucky, but they'll get in the way. I want you to focus your attention on them. Don't kill them since you can't get exp from them, but cripple them if you can. I'll finish them later," Lone ordered.
Sophie nodded. "And the big ugly one?"
"I'm gonna try to engage him in one-on-one combat. If he has no skills I can steal, I'll use Mental Destruction if he's too much to handle," Lone said.
"Greedy." Sophie grinned. "We like it. How about the mages?"
Lone frowned. "I'm hoping they're like the one Soph and I encountered a couple of weeks ago. if their spells take ages to chant, we'll be fine. We should have enough time to clean up before they're done. Let them hit me with their magic. If it looks like I'm dying, save me, okay?"
"Only if you kiss me when we're done~" Sophie declared in a juvenile tone while still keeping her voice down.
Lone smiled underneath his helmet. "I would have kissed you regardless, so sure."
With that said, Sophie teleported herself and Lone right into the centre of the goblins' formation. Confusion filled the monsters' faces, and before they could properly react, Sophie spun like a hurricane and targetted the regular goblins' thighs and shoulders.
She wasn't as fast nor as accurate as she would have liked since her stats were abysmal and her armour was a bit bulky. Some of the goblins reacted in time and dodged her attacks, but in her initial flurry, she managed to cripple three of the normal monsters, leaving only fourteen more to deal with.
On his way to the now enraged Hobgoblin, Lone didn't bother trying to evade or block the attacks from the other goblins at all. He swung his swordspear wildly and lopped off two heads while skewering three more goblins, bringing their numbers down to nine.
The Hobgoblin was furious. He roared powerfully, and in response, the terrified goblins that were still trying to penetrate Lone's armour retreated a bit before they sprinted towards Sophie. Lone was a bit surprised that they hadn't done that already since she was a woman. 'Maybe they couldn't tell thanks to the armour so the hob reminded them? Ah, the mages are chanting too... Well, at least it's a one-on-one now.'
Without mercy or hesitation, the Hobgoblin brought its two-meter-long club over its head and then slammed it down towards Lone.
As much as he wanted to block that with his bone armour, Lone could instinctively tell that were he to try to endure that attack, his arms would be crushed without a doubt. He'd be able to heal them, but he wanted to save his mana points to fuel his Basic Regen when the mages finished their spells in case they were powerful.
He leapt out of the way and barely avoided the devastating attack. The Hobgoblin's club got lodged into the earth and the monster was taking his time removing it.
Lone took that opportunity to cut at the back of the monster's knees, restricting its movement. The Hobgoblin screamed in pain and abandoned its weapon. Turning as quick as lightning, it moved with its hands to grab Lone's body.
'He's quick,' Lone noted. He stepped backwards and sliced down with the sword end of his weapon, severing the monster's hand.
A wail of pure anguish flowed out of the ugly beast's mouth as it gripped its now profusely bleeding wrist. Lone smiled. 'I don't think it has any skills, but I should be fine to kill it like this. The mages are taking their time. Probably more crude magic, huh?'
As Lone was dealing with the Hobgoblin, Sophie had been utilising her Teleportation to flicker through the nine remaining healthy goblins.
A stab to the shoulder, a smack to the back of the head with the hilt of one of her swords, a trip into the air only to result in several broken bones after a long fall. Sophie was ruthless.
By the time Lone had cut off the Hobgoblin's hand, all of the remaining goblins bar the mages had been incapacitated.
Soph had never killed a single person in her life except for God, however, she had plenty of experience fighting in her fifteen-decade-long manhunt. All of this knowledge and physical memory had been gifted to Sophie upon her creation, so while she lacked Lone's power and skills, she more than made up for it in actual capabilities.
She stayed still and simply observed Lone's fight with the Hobgoblin while dividing her attention between the downed goblins and the mages.
'Em, you did really good, Sophie...' Unexpected praise-filled her mind. 'Thanks, Soph. At least this way, we can help him. While we aren't as good at comforting him as you are, we can more than make up for it in battle,' Sophie replied. 'Y-Yeah!... I'm just sad that I can't be more useful...'
Sophie shook her head. 'You are far more useful than we are, Soph. Do not sell yourself short simply because you struggle when it comes to fighting.' Silence was her only response.
Perhaps a minute or two had passed before Lone finally managed to slay the lumbering Hobgoblin.
The mages were very nearly finished with their spells, so he wasted no time in slitting the throats of every one of the still breathing goblins.
This might have been seen as cruel by some of the more pacifistic people out there, however, these monsters only had two goals as far as Lone was aware; Kill all men, kidnap and breed all women.
His morals couldn't let him leave such vile monsters alive. This was not going to change unless some sort of miracle happened which revealed everything they were doing was for a better purpose other than self-preservation and propagation.
Lone stood in front of the mages and simply waited while Sophie was just behind him, ready to teleport him out of danger at a second's notice.
Once again, much like with the fire Goblin Mage, these two mages were confused but thankful that the stupid fox and even stupider human weren't killing them since they couldn't stop their chanting.
They were scared they would be next when they saw their leader, the Hobgoblin, die, but for whatever reason, they were being allowed to chant their magic.
Suddenly, and almost without warning, the left goblin had finished his spell. A massive ball of water appeared out of his magic circle and spun violently towards Lone.
Standing strong like a bulwark, Lone endured the pressure of the thing slamming into him. It was far more painful than he had imagined it would be, but he was faring immensely better off than he did with the Crude Fireball from almost three weeks ago.
None of his armour broke, and he was fine if not a bit wet after the ball of water had collapsed onto the ground. What happened next, though, was truly surprising.
A tiny arch of black lightning was formed by the other mage, and it slammed right into Lone and coursed through his water-soaked body and his metal chest plate and helmet.
"AGAGAGAGA!" Lone let out a strange-sounding scream as he grit his teeth and felt his entire body jolt. He could practically hear his rapidly beating heart that was barely enduring the electric discharge of energy that was destroying his nerves and stiffening his body up.
Sophie could see that Lone was in danger, but he didn't seem to be dying. From her Mana Sensing, in fact, she could see that he was already healing the damage being done to him.
With that knowledge in hand, she teleported next to the Goblin Mages and slashed their thighs and shins, making escape impossible. As an extra precaution, she reached into their disgusting mouths with her armoured hands and ripped their tongues out. They shouldn't bleed out before Lone recovered... hopefully. The pain should be enough to prevent them from focusing on chanting mentally again.
As predicted, a few minutes passed and Lone was right as rain, if not a bit mentally exhausted and devoid of some MP. He put the mages out of their misery and smirked from underneath his helmet. "Totally worth it."
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