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A note from puddles4263

3/3

For whatever reason, the arrival of the fog cheered Silo up. Randidly just looked at the approaching fog bank gloomily. First constant rain, now fog? This Southern Domain was a humid nightmare. It did slowly push his Child of Rain Skill up, but still...

“Haha, believe me, this is our good luck,” Silo announced. “Just trust me. When have I steered the group wrong?”

Randidly wanted to disprove the other man, but as he sorted through his memories of Silo, he hadn’t really led them wrong per se…

...it was just like Silo was having a conversation with himself that really had no basis in reality so there wasn't any context to use as criticism. In terms of actual results, very little of what had occured over the past week was the result of him…

The cloud of fog slid over the group. With a frown, Randidly noticed his Health was slowly ticking downwards. This… was not normal fog. An attack from the Wights?

Through the murky fog, Randidly saw Silo walk to the shoreline and speak. “Sergeant Platton? We’ve been looking for you. My name is Silo, and we-”

There was a loud shriek from nearby on the water. The Wights were coming, huh?

Snorting, Randidly leaped several feet to the side. Around them, the fog was slowly dispersing, but he wanted a better shot than having their forms obscured. Although he could feel the wights through the wood of their boats, it was less than ideal. He pointed towards the attackers with a twisted smile.

“Incinerating Bolt.”

Several bolts streaked outward and struck the oncoming boats. The hyperdense bars of superheated metal instantly ripped a hole in the boats. Oftentimes, this was accompanied by a scream and a burst of steam as the superheated metal impacted the water. It was honestly quite satisfying.

But as the smoke dispersed further, more of the river was revealed, and Randidly began to frown. There were an awful lot of Wights coming. At least 20 small boats, some with as many as two dozen Wights. Where had they all come from…?

Well, at least it gave them a good opportunity to gather more energy into the Soulstone. Because it was closest, Randidly reached out and grabbed the wood of the boat they were using to travel from one island to the other. It was much less taxing to manipulate plant matter that was on hand than reaching out and grabbing these oncoming boats.

It was slightly tricky, but Randidly morphed the boat into a strange, six-legged death machine, bristling with spines and long thorns. Then he willed the creature to move. It swimming ability was sub-par, but there was an added benefit of Randidly’s attack appearing just like driftwood as it silently approached.

Firing off a few more Incinerating Bolts, Randidly looked over his shoulder at the rest of the group. Silo was talking animatedly with a stern-faced man who got off the front of the boat. As long as they remained here, it was fine.

His attention turned back forward, and he frowned. There must be a current in the area because the boats that were approaching were suddenly much closer.

But that also meant that Randidly’s surprise was very near to the enemies.

Dun.

The wood made a soft noise as it bumped up against the largest boat. A nearby Wight paused at its strange chanting and leaned over the side of the boat to investigate the noise. For a second, it looked over the edge of the boat and only saw some useless driftwood floating in the water beneath its own reflection.

Then a thorned spear shot upwards and wrapped around the Wight’s spine. With a swift yank, the thing’s body cracked and tumbled helplessly into the water. An immediate cry rose on the boat, but Randidly’s wooden thorn horror was already skittering up onto the deck. Above six legs sharpened to points, tentacle-like vines populated with dense vines slithered in the air. As they saw it, dripping and wiggling, the Wights seemed frozen with indecision.

Then the plant matter monster's limbs began to lash outward, ripping apart the bodies of nearby Wights. Although it was difficult, Randidly was slowly becoming more adept at controlling non-human avatars. His experience started in the root clones he had originally used to practice the spear. These past few months, Randidly had utilized his Lava Golem than any plant form, but the basic premise was the same.

Combined with Randidly’s powerful image of Thorn… well…

Within a half minute, the largest boat was cleared of Wights. The wooden thing had suffered greatly, and only two of its legs remained usage. But those two legs simply speared into the deck of the large ship. As he was guzzling down three more Mana Potions, the wood of the large boat groaned. Then it reared up and stretched. Two large clubs of wood split off.

Without any finesse, the boat lashed out, crushing two mid-sized canoes nearby. With their strange, shrieking song the Wights died.

Congratulations! You have reached Level 30! +5 Stats distributed between Vitality, Perception, Resist, Intelligence, and Control, +14 Free Stats! +1 Stat to a Mental Stat. +1 to a Physical Defense Stat. +1 to a Mental Support Stat. +2 Control. +20 Health, +24 Mana, +23 Stamina, +.5 to all Regenerations! +1 to Health and Stamina Regeneration! +20 Progenitor’s Influence.

Congratulations! You have learned the Skill Fruit of the Planting of Enmity (L) Lvl 1! You have learned the Skill Absolute Timing (Ru) Lvl 1!

Fruit of the Planting of Enmity (L): Like all trees, under sufficient conditions, you will bear fruit. After four hours of intense concentration, produce a single fruit. There are multiple possibilities for what sort of fruit will be produced, based upon your Skills and images. Upon consumption, the fruit will provide an appropriate benefit. Fruits become more powerful when aged and refined.

Absolute Timing (Ru): Although your inner workings have shifted, you Soul is based on a clockwork engine. That has given you an inborn talent to spotting and following the timing of opponent’s Skills. It is slightly easier to dodge opponent’s Skills, and your Skill can be utilized more effectively. It is easier to take an opponent by surprise. Effects increase with Skill Level.

Fruit…? Randidly shook his head. A perplexing Skill that he would investigate later, and a passive Skill. Not the best results for reaching Level 30, but it wasn’t such an issue. Randidly turned back to the group of his allies, but only found Azriel standing there. The rest of them were sailing swiftly away on a canoe.

“They’ve gone ahead,” Azriel said with a frown. “Silo informed Sergeant Platton and his crew that you were a spell spear, and would buy them some time. When they get close, we are to get back into our canoe that is waiting on the back side of the island and meet up with the rest of the group. But…”

There was a fierce pride in Azriel’s eyes. “But I believe that enemies of this Level aren’t enough to push us back. The rest would perhaps think twice… but Randidly, will you stay here with me and slaughter them all?”

Randidly spared a glance for the 27 boats remaining. Likely there was something like 600 Wights here. It wasn’t an insurmountable number. Plus…

Plus the shattered remnants of their “escape canoe” had already sunk to the bottom of the sea. It was perhaps a hasty action to use their canoe as a weapon. Randidly could create another, but his Mana was already rather low from creating those two huge maces from a distance. Plus Randidly had already blown through half of his stockpile of Mana potions since arriving in Tellus.

Mana potions here were much more difficult to acquire, especially in wartime. Efforts simply weren’t directed towards making them because no one really used them. Which meant Randidly would have to make his own. He possessed plenty of the blue sap, and could probably buy higher tiered varieties relatively cheaply back at the city, but…

Likely better to just let his Mana regenerate naturally right now. Technically, they had little choice but to fight here.

Well, some truths didn’t need to be spoken out loud.

“Then let’s do it,” Randidly said firmly. Azriel flashed him a smile.

“Would you like to make it a contest?” Azriel asked sweetly as she spun her needle spear around in a circle.

Randidly frowned at Azriel. “I assume we compete in kills? What’s the prize then?”

“Your master, Shal, hasn’t contacted you as of yet, yes…?” Azriel’s crimson eyes sparkled as she looked at Randidly. “I am relatively well connected in the Northern Domain and have heard some rumors as to his whereabouts. If you beat me… how about I share some truths about him?”

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