Thomas walked across the room and collected the mana crystal glittering on the floor. He studied it with a frown, unlike others this one really was pitch black. Could such an impure mana crystal actually be used for anything good? Well, it's not like he planned to keep it. With the exception of extras, all the mana crystals he collected were going to be turned in for quests to gain experience. The boss crystal should fetch a good amount of it. He dropped the crystal into his inventory while turning to look at Snowlily, "Good job. Let's get out of here. Tomorrow we'll continue south."
Snowlily woofed in response as they made their way down the stairs to the fifth floor. Thomas could have left from the boss room but he wanted to register his access to the next floor before leaving. He may never set foot in this dungeon again, but on the off chance that he needed to for some reason in the future, being able to skip all the way down to the fifth floor could come in handy. Once they arrived in the room they took the teleportation formation and left the dungeon.
Outside the sun was still high in the sky, there were no clocks in this world but he guessed it was around six in the afternoon or thereabouts. Plenty of time to turn in the quests. He looked around the area and admired the church buildings surrounding the dungeon. He really wasn't much for religion but that didn't mean he couldn't appreciate the beauty of the buildings. People came and went through the doors of the churches wearing outfits from all walks of life. He admired the view for a bit longer, it was the last time he would see this place for a while, if he ever came back at all.
The trip to the guild was uneventful, though there was a quick pit stop to pick up four skewers of sable boar from the street vendor. They may never get to have any again without making a special trip to this city. Maybe sometime in the future he would learn how to perform long-range teleportation himself and could visit anytime he wanted. Space and Time magic were always high-level mana intensive magics and he was one hundred percent certain that he had nowhere near enough mana or power to perform either.
At the guild, Thomas placed a pile of skeleton, zombie, and wraith mana crystals on the counter and topped it off with the lich boss crystal and his guild card. The receptionist quickly counted through the mana crystals. Unlike his time back in Ulvstad, he wasn't dropping off hundreds of crystals at once. Well, in this case, it was close to two hundred of them but still less than previously. Once she finished counting the crystals for each type of monster she fetched the rewards and set them down on the counter. When he collected the reward and his card he officially completed the quests.
|System Notice: Quest Complete! (x3)|
|Head into the dungeon and defeat skeletons! Return to the guild with twenty of their mana crystals!
Rewards: 1,200 Experience, 500 gold
|System Notice: Quest Complete! (x4)|
|Head into the dungeon and defeat the horrible zombies! Return to the guild with forty of their mana crystals!
Rewards: 1,750 Experience, 600 gold
|System Notice: Quest Complete!|
|The fourth floor boss of the dungeon is a major threat. Destroy it and return with its mana crystal as proof.
Rewards: 2,500 Experience, 1,000 gold
|System Notice: You have gained 13,100 experience.|
Thomas grinned as he stored the gold coins inside of his inventory. A quick glance at his character sheet showed that he had a total of thirty-four thousand experience to spend after his dinner. With the quests turned in, Thomas went over to the quest board and checked for anything that might be heading south. It might be entertaining to work as a caravan guard or something else. It would also give him a chance to work with other people for a change. Going solo meant he earned all of the experience himself but it was lonely and greatly lacked in conversational options. At least until Snowlily could talk.
It took a little looking around but Thomas was surprised to find a request to guard a caravan heading south to a city called Bilri in the country of Kjersia with a few stops along the way and a trip on a riverboat. It sounded fun so he snagged it off of the request board and had a receptionist set it up for him. Once she processed it she looked at up at him, "The request is only waiting on one more guard. Once the final guard is found we'll contact you. Where are you staying?"
After explaining where he was staying the receptionist wrote it down and said he would be contacted once the final guard was found. With everything set, they left the guild and went to their inn to enjoy their dinner and retire to their room for the evening. Once he was stripped down, Thomas pulled up his character sheet and grinned. He immediately started to increase his attributes and drain his available experience points. After spending thousands of experience, he came to a stop a let out a deep groan of pain. Not from anything physical or system related. All of his attributes were sitting at ninety-nine with only 3,931 experience left in his pool. He needed four thousand to get them all to one hundred!
He groaned in agony as he suffered from being so close and yet so far. Just sixty-nine more experience and he would have been able to increase them all to a hundred at once. He rubbed his head in frustration and tried to think of a way he could quickly earn just that small chunk of experience. He could run back to the dungeon and just kill one more skeleton. Frustrated, Thomas canceled the spending of his experience and pulled on some clothing. He looked down at Snowlily and tried to decide if he should take her with him or not. His concern over the red-head won out and he picked her up, "We're going out for just a moment. I have to kill just one more skeleton."
Back at the Adventurer's Guild, shortly after Thomas left, Lexiana walked over to the guild board and pulled down the request that Thomas had just accepted. After the run-in with him inside of the dungeon, she had continued to keep an eye on him without revealing herself. The Garou was extremely precious and she had to make sure that it was in good hands. Every time she saw them the human seemed to be taking care of the Garou she fought the urge to run over and bash him on the head. Feeding the Garou street vendor food, carrying her around in that sack on his back, making her sleep in the same room! It was terrible! The Garou needed to be fed the best food possible and sleep in the best bed possible.
He was just simply not treating the Garou as it should be treated. However, the absolute worst treatment she had seen was the man blatantly taking the Garou into the dungeon and letting her fight! That was just horrible. The Garou should be living somewhere safe and guarded at all times to protect her from anyone that might want to cause her harm. To make sure that the Garou was protected she followed the human as best she could and now she would take the same quest as him. He wouldn't be able to leave the quest now that he accepted it, not without a punishment anyway. This would give her time to get to know the Garou and make sure it was protected.
Once she accepted the request she left the guild and followed the trail of the Garou to the inn where she and the human were staying. Tomorrow they would meet again and this time they would be together for a while.
Thomas returned to the inn after running into the dungeon and killing a single skeleton. He didn't even bother picking up its mana crystal or fighting its friends. He'd literally just run into the room, blasted the first skeleton he saw and ran back out. Now he could spend his experience and finally get all of his attributes up to one hundred. He took a deep breath and tried to relax while Snowlily stared daggers at him. He hadn't exactly been the gentlest with her in his rush to kill the skeleton. He hadn't hurt her just made the ride a little less comfortable than usual.
Thomas poured a ton of experience into his attributes causing them to rise dramatically. Finally, they all hit one hundred and left him with only fifty-one experience left. He took a deep breath and confirmed the expenditure of his experience.
|System Notice: Lord realm reached. Begining bodily evolution...|
|System Notice: Due to non-human race evolution has changed. Your Nephilim race will grow stronger.|
He only had a moment to read the notices before the black and white core of power inside of his body started to swirl madly. Thomas started to panic. If the energy leaked out of his body he would be sending out signals that could be felt. The ring given to him by Selena should block the Unholy energy but he had nothing to stop the Holy energy. He tried to think of something he could do but before he could make any progress the two energies started to flow out of their place and throughout his entire body.
The Holy and Unholy energy began to mix into his muscles and bones burning them like fire before reconstructing them into something more powerful. Waves of pain and pleasure rolled over his body as it was destroyed and reconstructed over and over again. He had no idea how long the process continued but when it was completed his body was soaked with sweat. Even the sheets and mattress were damp.
|System Notice: Racial upgrade complete. You are now a Lord Class Nephilim.|
Thomas breathed deeply as he slowly recovered from his fatigue. He struggled a bit to move and get himself out of the bed. He carefully changed his clothing and used a bit of heat magic to dry off the sheets and mattress so it wouldn't be too uncomfortable to sleep in. Once that was all taken care of he collapsed into the bed and passed out almost instantly.
Thomas groaned as he opened his eyes. Someone was banging heavily on his door and it was annoying him. All he wanted to do was get some more sleep. His whole body felt stiff. Someone continued to bang on the door before shouting, "Dear customer! There's a messenger from the guild here to see you!"
Hearing the message he let out a deep sigh. That's right, he'd been expecting this, hadn't he? In his excitement to see his attributes all in triple digits, he'd forgotten about it. With a deep groan, he managed to force himself to sit up, "Alright! Just let me get dressed."
"We'll be waiting for you in the dining room dear customer."
Thomas didn't waste any time as he got dressed in his full gear, though he took a bit longer to stretch out his sore muscles and get his blood flowing vigorously through his veins. He flexed his muscles and smiled. He felt... powerful. He'd felt stronger after he increased his attributes to ten but this, this was on a whole different level. He was looking forward to the first time he would be able to put this new power to use. With everything ready, Thomas and Snowlily made their way down to the dining room where a young boy wearing a simple uniform was waiting.
The young boy smiled and held out a small envelope to Thomas, "Enough people have picked up the request Mr. Thomas. This will tell you where to meet up with the caravan and other guards."
Thomas accepted and read the letter. It wasn't all that long. It just told him to meet the caravan at the southern gate of the city as soon as possible. He smiled at the young boy, "Thanks, I'll head out now."
Thomas, Snowlily, and the boy all left at the same time though they headed in different directions. On the way to the southern gate, Thomas stopped at any food vendors along the way and purchased anything that smelled good. Aside for something for breakfast the rest was tossed into his inventory for the journey. He spent nearly three hundred gold buying piles of food to enjoy on the trip. Maybe a bit too much.
When he finally arrived at the gate, he spotted a large caravan of wagons lined up with horses to pull them. There were various people in different outfits of armor and weapons. Other guards like himself. He asked around for the leader of the caravan and was introduced to a dwarf named Volcrag. Maybe it was a trait of dwarves, but Volcrag looked like he could have been Hekrim's brother. The introduction was simple and straight forward once the pleasantries were done Volcrag gestured to the last wagon in the line, "Since you were one of the last ones to sign up you'll be guarding the last wagon. You'll have a partner to help you keep watch over it. Be sure to get along at least as long as the journey lasts."
Volcrag led Thomas to the last covered wagon and gestured to it, "You can ride inside of the wagon. If we encounter any trouble you'll be expected to protect the wagon to the best of your abilities."
Volcrag lifted the back flap of the wagon with a smile. Thomas moved to climb inside the wagon and froze at what he saw inside. His face darkened as he looked at the red-headed wolf-woman sitting happily inside of the wagon as if she were waiting for him.