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Chapter 25

Plains Hunter

I search the goblins outside of the remains of the burning hut first and receive various miscellaneous coins and semi-precious stones. The goblin chief was a nice surprise in his loot though. From him I got my first gold coinage, which I am assuming is worth more just because the chief had it. As nice as that was I was more interested in the weapon he was swinging around. It looked to be of a better quality than the rest of the goblins weapons so I inspected it.

Mace of Force Magic Weapon

It was an honest to goodness magic weapon. First off the fan boy in me was excited that I now possessed a magic weapon. Next it was a weapon of a quality that I could use in humanoid form for a while I would guess. I need to know what it does. Inspect Mace of Force.

Mace of Force: By channeling 100 mana into this weapon the user can create a minor explosion against the target that is hit. This basic enchantment can only be used 5 times a day or the weapon will be destroyed.

That must be how the goblin chief was finally able to escape and destroy my earth wall. Speaking of which I need to go search through the rubble of the large hut. I walk over to the opening that the chief made and use some elemental manipulation to cause the water in the area to condense and fall onto the remains of the hut. I needed it cool enough to search. I quickly looked through the rubble and only found more coins and semi-precious stones. Nothing else of value or that I wanted was discovered. Good enough, I need to get back to the tree house and rest and recover from everything that I have done. Teleport.

As soon as I arrived in the tree house I decided to call up my status to check on how tonight’s massacre improved my stats. Before I could though I got a notice.

Host has accumulated enough experience to evolve his current form. Would you like to evolve Grass Goblin into Ogre? Y/N

Ok I obviously have enough experience to evolve my secondary form, but grass goblin is not the one I want to evolve. No I do not want to evolve grass goblin.

Alright I need to switch back to my elemental mantis form and then check my stats. I hurry over to where my other body is staring blankly at the wall. That sounds so creepy, other body. Focus Mark, switch to elemental mantis form. The disorientation is still there when I switch bodies, but believe it or not I think I might be getting a little used to it. Anyway time to check on my progress.

Status.

Name: Mark Stefanopolis Race: Magic Chimera Mimic Virus (Elemental Mantis Form)

Level: 67

Primary Profession: Sorcerer +10% exp Secondary Profession: Not Assigned

Unassigned Stat Points: 70

Strength: 43 (46) Agility: 42 (47) Intelligence: 35 (50)

Wisdom: 41 (46) Constitution: 36 (56) Perception: 38 (41)

MP: 750 out of 5000 HP: 500 out of 560

MP/Regen: 460% per hour HP/Regen: 56% per hour

Skills:

1. Inspect Level 5 – 48%

2. Direction Sense Level 7 – 89%

3. Multicast Level 6 – 21%

Bonuses:

Greater Resist All +5 Con Many Bodies One Mind +10 Int

Basic Tactics + 5 Wis Photosynthesis + 5 Con

Mana Manipulation + 5 Int Adamantium Defense +10 Con

Strengthen + 3 Str Flexibility + 5 Agi

Devour + 3 Per Miasma Poison Immunity

I gained quite a few levels since I last checked. I wonder what the evolve point was. Probably level 50 as I was under that the last time I checked. I guess I can confirm that if I hit level 100 and another evolving choice is given to me then. I also used a lot more mana than I thought. I keep forgetting that I only start regenerating it outside of battle in a safe environment. I need to remember that as much as this feels like a game it is not. I think I will evolve and then assign my points then recheck where I am at.

I would like to evolve the elemental mantis form.

Please confirm your choice. You want to evolve the Elemental Mantis into an Elemental Thri-keen. Y/N

Yes.

Using your unique ability to evolve one of your body forms makes you a unique existence. Normal Thri-Keens only have access to two elements at most. You keep the all elements aspect of your earlier form. You receive +5 stats for your new form only. Transferring to another body will cause you to lose the bonus points until you return to being an Elemental Thri-Keen.

I could feel myself growing larger and it seemed stronger. After a couple of minutes, I notice that my view was different. I looked around and discovered that I must be almost 2 meters tall now. I started checking my body for other differences and the most notable was the disappearance of my arm scythes. Huh, I liked having built in weaponry. Wouldn’t it be great if I still had them at this size I could chop down a lot more things with my more intimidating size. I make a chopping motion with my hand and a blade extends out of the back of my forearm. What the heck? What am I, an insect Wolverine?

It turns out I was close. It seems that Elemental Thri-keens are really evolved from the mantis form and that the ability to generate a blade to fight with was advantageous so it was kept. The blade seems to be the same size even if it looks smaller. It must be a matter of perspective. The same blade looks smaller just because my size and body reference has changed. The unique existence and the bonus stats were something I was not counting on, but every little bit helps. And this was not a little bit, + 5 stats in everything equated to an extra 6 levels of experience. Not too shabby.

Now to place my other 70 experience points. Hmm, 9 points in strength, 9 points in wisdom, 8 points into agility, 14 points into constitution, 20 points into intelligence, and 9 points into perception. That should keep me pretty balanced and boost my intelligence enough that I won’t run out of mana in a fight. That leaves one point left over that I can place another time. I like have multiples of 5, it just makes things feel neater. Status without Bonuses.

Name: Mark Stefanopolis Race: Magic Chimera Mimic Virus (Elemental Thri-Keen Form)

Level: 67

Primary Profession: Sorcerer +10% exp Secondary Profession: Not Assigned

Unassigned Stat Points: 1

Strength: 52 (60) Agility: 50 (60) Intelligence: 55 (75)

Wisdom: 50 (60) Constitution: 50 (75) Perception: 47 (55)

MP: 1000 out of 7500 HP: 510 out of 750

MP/Regen: 600% per hour HP/Regen: 75% per hour

Skills:

1. Inspect Level 5 – 48%

2. Direction Sense Level 7 – 89%

3. Multicast Level 6 – 21%

Alright, everything is looking good. I feel that I have taken a large step forward in strength and thus come closer to my goal of revenge. After a good night’s sleep and regeneration of MP and HP, I should be ready to go in the morning to keep exploring south towards the mountains. Before I go to sleep I realize that I have not picked new languages to go with my intelligence upgrade. I would like to learn Insectoid and Elemental langauges.

Selection logged. Mark Stefanopolis has learned Insectoid and Elemental languages.

Morning comes soon enough, and I roast some more meat for breakfast. I make sure to double my normal portion as my body has doubled in size and I am glad I did. I ate every bit of my breakfast and even roasted a little more just to satisfy my cravings. Note too self, I need to hunt soon and this body takes way more resources to maintain. After breakfast I teleport back to the south side of the goblin pond and start on my way. To be safe I pause every hour and fly up on mana wings of air a few dozen meters and check the surrounding area. Then I pause for 5-10 minutes to let that mana regenerate and start moving on again.

I am actually moving at a faster pace today with the breaks and checking than I did before. The larger size of my new body and the increased stats make for a much quicker movement speed. Around lunch time I spot a herd of animals in the distance. This is my chance to stock the larder. I immediately change direction and heads toward the herd of something. When I get within a kilometer I can actually see some animals in the distance. The taller body is helping out already. As I get closer I can hear animal noises and calls. I stop about 500 meters away from the grazing herbivores. Inspect.

Windy Beefalo Level 45 Magic: Unknown

I see now why the goblins had such high levels. If they hunt this thing on a regular basis, they would have to be strong enough to take it down. It looks like some sort of mutated cow/buffalo with a hint of llama thrown in with its longer neck. It stands about 2 to 2.5 meters at the shoulder dependent on the animal and look too weigh at least a ton. This is definitely not something I want to tackle head on when it has reinforcements like its herd nearby. So how can I kill this thing. Think Mark. I know traps.

I retreat another 250 meters so as not to disturb the grazing herd and start using magic to dig pit traps. I don’t really have anything to make spikes out of, but if I make each trap 5 X 5 meters square and 4 meters deep they should not be able to escape. Then it will just be a matter of going to the edge and tossing down spells until they expire. I take about an hour to make 5 different pits. I use plant shaping to have the surrounding grasses grow over and cover the tops of the traps so the windy beefalo will not suspect anything. Now I just have to lure them over.

My idea is to get close, fling a small spike at something and hope it gets mad and chases me. If it does, then I run towards the traps and then fly off with mana wings when I get near. Beefalo falls in, I swoop down and kill it. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezie. I sneak closer to the herd which has drifted about 100 meters closer. Good that should make things easier. I calmly make a smaller ice spike and launch it at a beefalo that is around 150 meters away. My distance and aim has improved. That hit right where I wanted to. The beefalo bellows in pain and the herd looks around to see what caused such distress.

I am soon spotted in the distance and the entire herd starts moving towards me. Ok minor hitch in the plan, I did not expect the entire herd to chase me, but I can still deal with this. I start to turn around and pause in amazement. An orange glow has started to surround the animals. Orange isn’t that the color of air mana? As soon as that thought crossed my mind the speed of the animals tripled and they charged right at me. No wonder they are identified as Windy Beefalo. The can use air mana to accelerate, I am so screwed. Run Mark run.

I turn around and sprint as fast as this body can move. Acceleration magic, I have got to remember to try that one out in the future. I can hear the beefalo getting closer and closer. I can still make this work. I see the area of the traps ahead. I silently cast mana wings and start to fly away. Just as I thought I was safe I hear a whooshing sound and feel a horrible pain from one of my legs. I look down as I continue to fly up and realize that I only have three of the four legs I should have. While looking down and finding out I was now a tripod I noticed what looked like a blade or edge made of air coming at me. I swerved and kept climbing. I once again heard the whooshing sound as that wind blade went past me.

I flapped my mana wings for all that they were worth. As soon as I reached what I thought was an altitude of 200 meters I looked down at the now confused herd of windy beefalo. Only the front edge of the herd in the stampede saw me lift up so the rest were confused as to why they stopped. I did notice that three of the five pits had animals in them though, so my plan was a partial success. Those stupid almost cows had projectile magic along with their acceleration magic. I mean what the heck. I have barely run into any “real” magic and then some stupid windy beefalos almost chop me up and stomp me into the ground with it.

I guess I need to pay more attention to the descriptions of organisms when I inspect. In hindsight the name Windy Beefalo was probably a hint that they had air or wind magic. Circling the herd from a safe height I realize that if I do not move them along I might not be able to get anything out of this encounter. They don’t want seem to want to leave the area of where three of them are trapped. I know I can just drop ice bombs on them until they move. I won’t even have to aim that much. Six dropped ice bombs later the herd finally gets the hint and runs off into the distance leaving the three trapped beefalos behind. I cautiously land about 50 meters away from where the pit traps are dug. It is difficult at first to adjust to moving on three legs, but I can hobble around well enough to get the job finished.

I need to think this through. I cannot just go up to the edge and spike spell them to death like I had originally planned. Now that I know they can shoot back I have to be more careful. I guess I can just lob more orbs in. They travel in an arc so it should be fine even if I cannot target the beefalos themselves, just getting close with an exploding ice bomb should damage them. I start my plan about ten meters away from the first pit. 12 ice orbs and some horrendous bellowing from the beefalo later the job is done. That was not very efficient, but it got the job done. I sit down and rest to gain back the mana I just used.

Once I was topped off mana wise I moved to the next pit. I repeated the original orb tossing two more times and finally went back to the first pit. I carefully peered over the edge and used Inspect.

Carcass of Windy Beefalo Level 45 Magic: Air Blade/Acceleration

Ok, it really is dead. I jump down into the pit and put the carcass into my inventory. I repeat the process at the other two pits and pause to think of my next move.

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About the author

tenqui

Bio: Older Science Teacher who after years of hearing, "You read so much maybe you should write a book.", decided to do just that.
Just having fun and learning how to put my ideas into a format that others can understand and enjoy.

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