"No one?" Lone asked when he noticed that not a single soldier had lowered their weapons. "Well, I guess I expected as much. Soph, go free the beastkin and kill anyone that tries to stop you. No mercy unless they surrender, then, and only then, incapacitate them."
Sophie nodded her head and began flying by using her barrier as a vehicle. Commander Ro wasn't just going to sit by and let a B-ranked little girl go and do as she pleased, so he raised his hand.
"Archers, Mages, bring her to the ground," he ordered loudly.
Without any hesitation, several men raised their bows and staves. Spells and arrows littered the air as they rained down on Sophie, however, the Cosmos-ranked girl was more than ready for them.
"Bubble Barrier," Sophie mumbled and a bright green semi-transparent sphere appeared around her.
In the past four months, she had trained very hard to create this skill, and she was exceedingly proud of it.
|Unique Barrier Magic Skill: Bubble Barrier|
A skill unique to the user, Sophie Vladimirovich, and it cannot be used or learnt by any other existences other than herself.
By consuming the user's mana, this skill will create a sphere that will encapsulate the user and absorb damage.
|Cost:||10,000 MP. Additional 2,500 MP per attack absorbed.|
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 8|
The incredible thing about this skill was that it didn't block Sophie's usage of other skills, and it also possessed no limit on the power of the absorbed attacks. It would merely consume two-thousand and five-hundred MP per attack, which both Lone and Sophie thought was incredibly powerful.
|The host has sustained 15 attacks. 37,500 MP has been consumed by the Barrier Bubble skill to absorb the damage.|
"What?!" Commander Ro yelled as he watched Sophie fly into the camp completely unaffected.
"Hey, are you sure you have the time to be looking at her?" Lone asked as bone armour covered his body and he took out his alterion swordspear.
Lone didn't wait for a reply and lunged forwards by using the skill Dash, and he then followed up by using the skill Pierce on his weapon and on each of his tails which he mercilessly used to impale the heads of ten soldiers. One for each tail and one for his swordspear.
|Congratulations! The host's skill [Dash] has levelled up! It is now Beginner Level 2.|
|Congratulations! The host's skill [Pierce] has levelled up! It is now Beginner Level 2.|
Lone had never had to use any skills in the past four months except for three; Soul Binding, Darkness Form, and Lastly, Creation Magic. So naturally, apart from his passive combat skills that levelled up while he sparred with his groupmates, he hadn't used any of his newly acquired skills from the tests.
Lone felt refreshed seeing these basic but useful skills level up for the first time.
Commander Ro frowned. "Second Division, enter the camp and kill that girl. First and Fourth Divisions, fall back and use ranged attacks. Third Division, use your shields and follow Captain Artonius' commands."
The tall and burly man then unsheathed his longsword and walked calmly towards Lone. "Your death will not be a painless one. That girl, does she mean a lot to you? Perhaps she's your sister, close friend... or maybe even more?"
A horrible and malicious grin spread across the commander's lips. "I'm going to capture you, cut off all of your limbs and make you watch as every man in this camp defiles her in front of you."
Lone stood still and his body began shaking. "Thank fuck I don't need to worry about holding back against you, or I might have just lost myself to Void like I did a few months ago... Don't worry, I plan to spare you as well. I have a new skill I'm trying to develop, you see, and an S-ranker's soul will be the perfect subject to help me do just that."
"You're a fool for stopping to talk with me, Beast. Men, attack!" Commander Ro shouted to his soldiers who were now in position.
Lone laughed. "You think a bunch of A and B-rankers can stop me? Go for it. I won't even move. Attack me all you want," he said with a smile on his lips. Lone then spread out his arms and accepted the attacks without offering any resistance.
"What a lunatic. Did he lose his mind in the face of overwhelming odds?" Commander Ro grumbled, however, he was left speechless a few seconds later.
The swords, arrows and spells that were bombarding Lone, all either disappeared or harmlessly fell to the ground. The next moment, every soldier that had attacked him unanimously fell over.
"What's this?" Lone smirked. "All decided to take a nap, have we? How many are left standing... hmm... twenty?"
At this point, Commander Ro could no longer ignore Lone's taunts. He tightened the grip on his longsword and sprinted forward. With an upwards swing executed with maximum efficiency, he aimed to cut Lone deeply in the chest.
Commander Ro believed that his sword, one crafted by a Master Smith of the Empire, would be able to neutralise the strange and demonic armour this B-ranked brat was wearing, especially considering his own S-ranked strength which was behind his attack.
Lone swiftly moved to the side in order to dodge, but clearly, he still wasn't fast enough to entirely evade an S-rankers attack, so the sword ripped through his shoulder armour and cut halfway through his flesh.
|Congratulations! The host's skill [Physical Pain Resistance] has levelled up! It is now Expert Level 5.|
|Congratulations! The host's skill [Bone Armour] has levelled up! It is now Advanced Level 7.|
Lone ignored the pain and countered by stabbing Commander Ro in his gut twice with his tails. He would have hit him more, but the man jumped back and avoided lone's follow-up attacks.
"Looks like I won that exchange," Commander Ro boasted.
Indeed, Lone hadn't been able to penetrate as deeply as he would have liked with his usually fluffy limbs, however, he still smiled. "Are you sure?"
Commander Ro's smug face fell when he saw Lone's flesh wriggle and morph until it looked as good as new. Immediately after, his armour did the same thing.
|Congratulations! The host's unique skill [Basic Regeration] has levelled up! It is now Master Level 2.|
"it feels so good to have this passive back," Lone said to himself. He then waved his hand and created a lightning wave. "Let's get rid of the spectators, now shall we?"
After saying so, Lone threw the dangerous arc of lightning towards a group of the few soldiers that hadn't attacked him yet, immediately killing four of them and paralysing Captain Artonius since he was the only A-ranker in the group and he could actually withstand Lone's magic.
"A battlemage as well as a healer?! Just what are you, you Beast scum?!" Commander Ro asked as his voice cracked and his body began to shudder. 'I... I'm afraid? Me? A mighty Commander of the great Talso Empire?'
"I'm someone you shouldn't have messed with, plain and simple," Lone replied uncaringly. It was time to deal with the leftovers and begin experimenting with their souls.
Sophie whizzed through the camp with her barrier bubble surrounding her. As soon as she had reached the first group of chained-up beastkin, she quickly used her barrier blades to cut them free.
The scared beastkin cowered away from her. 'Why? I freed them...' she thought.
"I... I'm here to save you!" Sophie said, but she was ignored.
The beastkin huddled together and shied away from her even more. This hurt Sophie's feelings, but she knew that these beastkin were greatly traumatised, so she grit her teeth. "I-I'm gonna go free everyone else... Ju-Just stay here, okay?"
They all avoided eye contact with Sophie, but they didn't seem to have any intentions of moving, so, with a lack of confidence in herself, Sophie got back on her barrier and proceeded through the camp.
Every time she freed another group of beastkin, they all ignored Sophie and merely cowered at the sight of her. She didn't understand why. She was killing their tormentors and setting them free, but all she was getting in return was horror-filled gazes and the cold shoulder.
It wasn't until another thirty minutes had passed that Sophie had released everyone from their bindings and wiped out the remaining soldiers and mercenaries. Surprisingly, not a single one surrendered.
Sophie made her way back to the northern entrance to the camp since she had completed the task that Lone had given to her. Once there, she saw Lone holding the Diving Soul Prison in his hand and it was glowing ever so slightly.
"Di-Did you manage to do i-it?" she asked in an uncertain and clearly shaken voice.
Lone stopped playing with the prison and walked over to Sophie before he embraced her. "What's wrong?"
Tears crept out of Sophie's eyes. "The... The beastkin... they all ignored me, they, they treated me like I was a monster! Lone, why do they hate me?"
Lone bit his lip. 'Those ungrateful fuckers.'
"I'm not sure, but I have an idea," Lone replied as he gently stroked Sophie's head and back.
It was only recently that she had started to fully emerge from her shell and break free from her social anxieties, now these beastkin had apparently hurt Sophie's self-worth and her faith in herself.
As if to answer him, all of the beastkin in the camp slowly crept out. Lone could hear a lot of whispering amongst them.
"He's with the Human."
"Why is he with her? Doesn't he know what her kind have done to us?"
"Maybe she's tricked him..."
"Dirty Human! Deceiving the innocent!"
Lone frowned heavily. He stopped hugging Sophie and walked towards the mumbling beastkin. When he was thirty or so feet away from them, he opened his Dimensional Storage and left a set of clothes and basic Rare-rank weapons for each one of them, even the children. After that, he dropped a large amount of water and non-perishable foods.
"Here, take it. Also, don't assume that all Humans are evil," Lone ordered in a stern tone.
"We beastkin can be just as bad, if not worse than them. And just like us, there are good Humans too," Lone said in a clearly disappointed tone. He turned his back before he added, "Remember who it was that saved you today. It was none other than one of those 'Humans' that you all so greatly despise."
The assortment of abused and tortured beastkin were stunned. They didn't have the time to reply since Lone immediately returned to Sophie and asked her to teleport them both back to the world tree.
The oldest of the beastkin, a short man with Bear-like ears and a strangely cute face, walked forwards and picked up a shortsword. He looked at it carefully and a curious look was in his eyes. "'There are good Humans too,' huh?" he quietly said under his breathe.
Lone and Sophie had returned to their room and their sudden appearance startled the still frozen Itchy. "Ho-How did you two get in here?!"
"We teleported," Lone replied offhandedly as he sat down on the bed and let Sophie squeeze his tails as hard as she could.
Thankfully, he couldn't easily ignore the pain from this now since his Physical Pain Resistance skill was in the Expert levels.
"Soph," Lone called to the young girl hiding in her kingdom of fluffiness.
She peered up at his face and Lone could clearly see that her eyes were puffy and red. it would seem like she'd been crying into his fur. "Soph, it's okay. They were only scared of you because you're a Human. They're a bunch of idiots, but they had their reasons."
"I felt so... unclean when they looked at me..." Sophie said as she curled her back and lent further into Lone's embrace.
"You idiot... Remember how you felt when we first went to Milindo? It didn't matter what species or race a person was, you avoided everyone except for me like they had the plague," Lone joked with a small chuckle.
Sophie's cheeks turned red. "But! But that's because I had a reason!"
"And so did those beastkin," Lone replied. "I may have reprimanded them before we left, Soph, but they, too, had a reason. Who knows how long they'd been beaten and raped by those soldiers? Is it wrong for them to have a prejudice against Humans after all of that?"
Sophie's head sank. "No..." she weakly replied with a cute voice.
"Good... By the way," Lone said with a mischievous grin on his lips. He then leaned down and licked Sophie's face quickly. "You taste pretty clean to me, so you're an idiot if you think you're dirty."
Sophie's smiled ever so slightly. "Idiot... That's not what I meant..."
On the floor, Itchy's eye's were wide open and she couldn't look any more perplexed. "Who are you?! Where did the man threatening to kill me go?! Someone, anyone, help me! My captor has been swapped out for a fake!"
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