Chapter 8 Death
Having to blink away twice, she healed the sustained damage she received in between the teleports. Her clothes took the brunt of the heat, the leather armor and traveling clothes not looking as good as they had three months ago. Blinking again, she dodged another fire breath. ‘You’re annoying...’ she started to rapidly advance towards the beast while healing herself. Blinking left and right occasionally to confuse the beast, she got closer and closer. She had learned that the Drakes would not use their breath if the target was moving too fast.
Reaching the beast, she prepared a punch to its left side but the Drake looked towards the ground. And breathed fire. The flames spread around the Drake and covered it completely. Her extended right hand still on fire, Ilea shook it out after having blinked away backwards. ‘Might be why it’s black...’ smelling the burnt flesh, she grimaced ‘Been a while since one of them got me that badly...’ a smile returning to her face, she moved into a stance ‘It’s also been a while since I was that excited to fight one of them.’ Repeating her move from before, the Drake did the same thing and pushed her back. She didn’t get burned this time but still couldn’t reach her adversary.
‘I don’t have any ranged attacks...and I doubt I can outlast it with mana...’ blinking back towards the Drake, she kicked from above while the fire spread around herself and the beast. ‘The only thing I have that it doesn’t...’ the flames engulfed her and she screamed. Her kick connected and she warped away, immediately using Reconstruction. ‘...is healing...but fuck that hurts...’ The beast looked at her with anger in its eyes. A deep roar filled the clearing.
She dodged two more cones of fire as while advancing again. Her Reconstruction spell working overtime through the whole fight. With her current level and mana quantity it wasn’t an issue. Reaching the Drake again the same event repeated. Two punches staggered the beast as Ilea gritted her teeth through the fire and flames, her clothes and armor getting scorched in the process.
‘bing’ ‘You have learned the General skill Heat Resistance.
Ignoring the warnings of your parents and friends, you refuse to not stand in fire. This skill will help lessen the damage and pain a little. - lvl 1’
“Perfect timing...” blinking in again she kicked at the monster. Trying a new approach the Drake didn’t burn her but snapped at her with its sharp teeth in a flash of movement. Ilea screamed as her right arm was crushed by the beast’s strong jaw. Finding herself unable to blink away, she used her free arm to punch at the Drake’s head. Her mana was rapidly draining as her Aura spell, healing spell and her Destruction spell each were being supplied. This continued for four seconds, her health declining slowly. The Drake, seeing itself at the losing end of the exchange let go of her arm, jumped back and released fire again.
Blinking directly above it she got a kick in before the drake moved its head to the ground to cover itself in flames again. With bloodshot yellow eyes and blood around its mouth, the monster stared at her. Ilea didn’t look much better as she returned the stare. Unceremoniously, the Drake collapsed. ‘It’s still alive...’ she noted, working hard to heal herself. Ilea fell down to one knee, breathing hard. Her eyes never left her adversary as her burned body slowly formed new skin. Patches of her once nice traveling clothing were blackened or completely missing now but it still held together.
After a minute of healing she blinked to the beast and kicked hard in its unprotected belly. Then she blinked away again. She did this two more times until the Drake stopped moving completely.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Drake]. For killing an adversary 30 or more levels above your own you receive bonus experience.’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth healer has reached level 47. 5 Stat points awarded’
“Damn, that guy was over lvl 76...” quickly going into meditation she slowly walked up to the downed Drake. She noticed in the past couple months that she could see any beast’s level with up to 12 levels above her own. When she leveled Identify to two, the limit increased to 14 levels above her own. Which meant she could see the Drake’s levels after a while, some were even below her own. They did vary greatly though, likely a product of their territorial behavior.
Reaching the Drake she started to remove its scales. ‘This is much harder than any others so far...’ finally penetrating the closely connected scales she removed one
[Charred Drake Scale – High Quality]
‘Nice! So far they were all just Drake Scales...’ she kept removing scales for the better part of two hours, enjoying the sun in the clearing. The height of summer having passed two months ago, it was still rather hot. At least she thought of it that way, the climate and seasons could be different here than they were on earth after all.
“Now how the fuck am I going to move them...I don’t have my backpack here and I’m like two hours away from the temple, even at full speed...” looking down at the pile of scales she sighs “I really want them though...” filling any pocket in her burnt clothing and her cloak, she managed to get around a third of them.
‘Guess I’ll have to come back tomorrow...’ seeing as it was already late in the afternoon, she made her decision. ‘Don’t want anyone taking them though...even though I haven’t met a soul around here so far.’
Leaving the clearing she used her hands to dig a hole in the soft earth and then put the remaining scales in there. Around twenty scales now rested below half a meter of dirt. Scratching a nearby tree with a nail Ilea marked the spot. ‘Let’s move back then...’ speeding up, she ran through the forest towards the slope with the temple. Occasionally she scared off some wolves. They seemed to have retaken a big part of the forest after the Drake population suddenly plummeted for some weird reason.
Stopping sometimes to grab any Cinderberries in her path, she reached the temple around two and a half hours later. Getting some grass from the chamber, she sat on the roof of the temple and enjoyed the sunset. Eating berries and Bluemoon grass had again become the norm after her supplies ran out a month ago. Eating wild animals wasn’t an option either anymore with her salt gone. It would nourish her of course but the taste was bland. ‘Cinderberries still taste great...I love them.’ the damage she sustained from them was reduced greatly by her high poison resistance. She didn’t even have to use her Reconstruction spell anymore while eating them.
Having finished her meal, she warped down to her chamber and deposited the Charred Drake scales. Nearly a third of the library room was now full with various scales and bones. The new population of wolves helped her greatly by removing the meat from the dead Drakes. The bones were too dense for them to eat, probably even hurting their teeth when trying to gnaw on them.
“Bone armor here I cooome!” Ilea said as she lay down on her bed. “I think tomorrow I’ll go back to Riverwatch. It’s been two weeks since good food and the festival starts soon anyway. Guess I’ll finish up here in the morning, pack my backpack and go get the rest of the charred scales. Maybe I can sell them in the city or have something made from them...I doubt my money’s enough for that though.”
Checking her stats as she did every evening she grinned. The incredible progress she made in the past three months a testament to the Bluemoon Grass and her ability to fight much higher level beasts nearly all day long for all that time. She had even gained some stat points apart from the ones received from leveling her class. ‘I’m so glad the Drakes are such a bad match for my class and skills. If I were a swordswoman or a simple fire mage I’d be dead a hundred times over...and with no healing...’ shuddering at the thought she closed her eyes and soon fell asleep.
Her gained stats amounted to three to five in every category. Leveling from 15 to 47 she received 160 Stat points. Ilea distributed them with a focus on Vitality, Endurance and Wisdom. She didn’t neglect any of the other stats either though.
Name: Ilea Spears
Class 1: Azarinth Healer – lvl 47
Unspent Stat points: 0
- Active: Destruction – 2nd lvl 17
- Active: Reconstruction – 2nd lvl 8
- Active: State of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 14
- Active: Blink – 2nd lvl 10
- Active: Free Slot
- Passive: Body of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 3
- Passive: Azarinth Fighting – 2nd lvl 15
- Passive: Magic Perception – lvl 8
- Passive: Free Slot
- Passive: Free Slot
Class 2: None
- Elos Standard language - lvl 5
- Identify - lvl 3
- Meditation – lvl 2nd 4
- Poison Resistance – lvl 16
- Heat Resistance – lvl 1
Reaching the second stage, her skills gained new effects. In addition to the increased power and cost reduction at each of their own level ups. She noticed that all skills in Azarinth Healer with percentages would grow 0.5% higher with each level.
Skills: Azarinth Healer:
Active: Destruction – 2nd lvl 17:
Send a destructive pulse of mana into your enemy with every punch or kick. The stronger the physical force, the higher the damage caused.
2nd stage: The amount of mana used per strike can be regulated with a maximum of 20 mana per strike.
Active: Reconstruction – 2nd lvl 8:
Send a healing pulse of mana into yourself or your ally with a touch. This skill can be channeled.
2nd stage: Your control is increased greatly, you can now focus your healing on specific parts of the body.
Active: State of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 14:
Your body glows with the power of Azarinth, increasing your resilience, speed and strength by 51.5% [after bonuses 103%].
2nd stage: Your sight, hearing and sense of smell is also affected by State of Azarinth
Category: Aura – Body Enhancement
Active: Blink – 2nd lvl 10:
Immediately appear at a distant place. Distance based on the level of the skill.
2nd stage: The time between blinks is reduced greatly. No ground contact needed between blinks.
Category: Teleportation Magic
Passive: Body of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 3:
Your body was changed by magic. All pain is reduced by 25% [after bonuses 50%]. You heal even fatal injuries without help of healing magic. Your natural regeneration is improved by 61% [after bonuses 122%]
2nd stage: The magic of Azarinth settles inside your body. Your resistance to magical damage is increased by a static 15% [after bonuses 30%]
Passive: Azarinth Fighting – 2nd lvl 15:
You are familiar with the fighting style of Azarinth. Damage inflicted with your own body and related skills is 92% higher [after bonuses 184%]’
2nd stage: Getting used to fighting in close quarters, your reaction time is increased by a static 10% [after bonuses 20%]
Category: Body Enhancement
Passive: Magic Perception – lvl 8:
This skill lets you see magic. Can be activated or deactivated on command.
Category: Body Enhancement
Compared to the Azarinth Healer skills, her general skills didn’t grow as fast. Except for Meditation, which she used between every fight and every eaten cinderberry to restore her Mana and Stamina. Meditation’s effectiveness grew by 3% per level. Likely because of its already high starting point.
Elos Standard language - lvl 5
You can speak and read the Standard language of Elos
Identify - lvl 3
You can grasp general information from someone or something.
12 levels above as a base, after that 2 per level more
Meditation – 2nd lvl 4
While in the state of meditation you cannot move. Your mana and stamina regeneration is increased by a factor of 369%. This factor is improved upon leveling up the skill.
2nd stage: Your familiarity with Meditation lets you move slowly while the skill is active
Poison Resistance – lvl 16
You are a target of assassins or not very good at distinguishing berries. Surviving either of those you have developed a general resistance to poisons.
Heat Resistance – lvl 1
Ignoring the warnings of your parents and friends, you refuse to not stand in fire. This skill will help lessen the damage and pain a little.
Ilea woke up in the morning and felt ready. “Doesn’t really make sense to hunt Drakes here anyway. Most are below or around my level at this point. The Grass is coming to an end too.” Checking her own chamber, it was empty of the valuable herb. She had removed the lamps from the hall below two months ago and was happy to find they worked without any external source. The chamber was thus not dark. Opening one had revealed a crystal inside. It pulsed a dark red when viewed with Magic Perception.
The diaries revealed that the order regulated the use of the grass strictly, some people staying in the chambers for years to reach the second stage of even one skill. Gregory, whom’s diary she was the first she read, had stayed in the chamber for over five years. The other chambers were nearly empty too, only one of them still holding a small amount. Having tested the effects, she had used different amounts on different days. Eating a higher amount equaled a consistent increase in her skill leveling, so she concluded her overuse of the grass to be simply a shortening in leveling time. ‘Which means there are ways to powerlevel skills here, if enough resources are available. Not sure how many people can do that though, considering the time it took for all that grass to grow...’ looking at the roots with her magic perception, she could see that there was still power and the grass would grow again. Not for a long while though, according to the diaries.
Stashing one of her blankets and the remaining grass from the last chamber that held any in the backpack, she blinked above. “Man my clothes are messed up, I’ll need new ones as soon as I reach Riverwatch...if they even let me in like this..” chuckling to herself she thought of all the fights she had with the Drakes and all the times she nearly tasted death. She only took the necessities with her, leaving quite a lot of room in her backpack. “I’ll exchange the scales with fooood.” smiling, she left her temple.
Ilea walked towards the clearing she’d fought the Drake in yesterday. Not running and in a good mood, she needed around six hours to reach it. The forest seemingly more alive than ever. ‘Killing all those Drakes seems to have created a lot of room for other animals.’ bowing to a deer that immediately darted away at a full sprint she shouted after it “You’re welcome!!” entering the clearing she saw that some of the Drake’s meat has already gone. “See, I’m even feeding the animals….a true saint of nature...” smiling to herself, she identified the bones but found them to be of the same quality as the other Drakes.
‘I’m actually kinda glad I don’t have to carry them back...’ lifting her head, she looked for the place she’d buried the scales at. Unearthing the treasure she stacked them next to the hole when she heard a crack behind her. Turning around she found a young man looking at her. His focused look turned annoyed as his posture relaxed. “She found me guys!” to his sentence, two more men and two women came out from hiding spots further inside the forest.
Quickly using identify on them all she checked them. The man in front of her was a level 52 warrior. One man was a mage at level 41, another a rogue at 48. The first woman was a level 45 ranger, while the last of their group was a healer at only level 18. The ranger punched the healer mockingly while speaking “Hey look, we found another one… and alone… what a lucky coincidence!” the healer looked to the ground, seemingly afraid. “And at such a high level… today really is a very good day.” said the warrior before her with a smile on his face.
“Stop looking at me so fucking creepily you twat.” Ilea said, after confirming their levels.
He didn’t react at all, looking at her as if she was as irrelevant as the tree behind him “Come on Hog, grab her and we’ll move on. It’s a long way back.” The rogue simply grunted in response and twirled his knifes, looking at the healer in their group.
The woman lightly trembled and seemed to stare at the ground even more intensely. “Did you find an interesting worm?” the mage asked her and the group laughed in response.
“Nah, I think then she’d be looking at you guys.” Ilea said to which they quieted down pretty quickly.
“She’s getting on my nerves Tom. Can we start?” The Ranger asked the warrior, apparently called Tom.
“Why again are we doing this? We only needed to get that one.” The mage asked, staring at the warrior with a tired look on his face.
“Well now she knows too much anyway. Why not, I doubt she’ll make problems. Maybe we can sell her to the army even. They’ve been looking all over the place for healers and any type of support mage.” The warrior said and looked at her. Ilea tensed up a little as she focused on the people around her.
‘Surrounding me eh… the healer girl isn’t moving though, I guess she went through a similar situation?’ locking eyes with Tom she asked “Who is she?” nodding towards the healer, Tom’s smile broadened.
“Nice joker cosplay… where’s the green hair though?” Ilea asked.
“Calling me a joker… and that is none of your concern. Don’t resist or we’ll be forced to hurt you. Not that you’ll have much choice anyway.” the Ranger released an arrow in that moment, faster than any human had the right to draw a bow.
Her aura activating in an instant, she blinked behind the ranger and punched her with all her strength. Destruction released on impact and she could feel the ranger’s spine splinter instantly. A quick yelp left the woman’s throat as she slumped down. Silence filled the space around them as every pair of eyes was focused on the corpse before Ilea.
‘I k… I killed her…,’ the thought froze her in place.
“You whore!!” Tom screamed as he rushed at her with a quickly drawn sword.
The yell jerked her out of her frozen thoughts, Ilea felt the air behind her change and immediately dodged to the right. One of Hog’s daggers sliced her left arm.
‘You have been poisoned by [Dreaded Wyrmgrass] -1 HP/sec for 5 Minutes. Natural regeneration won’t heal sustained wounds.’
Activating Reconstruction out of instinct, the wound on her arm closed. Feeling the air cool around her Ilea blinked to the left, a stream of ice freezing the place she was standing in a second ago. Seeing the mage lowering his arm she Blinked towards him ‘I can think about this after I kill these fucking lunatics, it’s self defense after all.’ reaching the mage after another blink, dodging an explosion of ice she kneed him in the stomach. ‘He’s too dangerous with his ice magic’ releasing Destruction from her knee, the mage fell to the ground, immediately coughing up blood.
Another punch to his head cracked his skull, killing him on the spot. She felt the air distort next to her while she delivered the punch and with her fist’s impact a dagger entered her side. Grabbing the hand on the dagger she squeezed. Bones were crushed as Hog screamed, struggling to get out of her hold. He attacked her with his other dagger but Ilea blocked by grabbing his hand with hers. Dragging him closer she head-butted him with her full force and Destruction. The sickening crunch of his head made her reel back. Blood and bits of his head on her face, Ilea stumbled away from the falling corpse of the Rogue.
Using Reconstruction on herself, focusing on the open wound in her side she swished at her face with one of her arms. Tom reached her then, his sword already moving towards her. She blinked behind him but he turned immediately, a slash of his sword cutting open her stomach. Another swing was dodged as she blinked twenty meters away. Using all her healing, she stopped the bleeding. The wound slowly closed. ‘I need three more seconds for that cut...’ she thought as another power enveloped her, helping her heal.
“Stop you idiot!” understanding the situation she shouted towards the healer but it was already too late.
Tom’s angry grimace turned towards the girl and in a dash of insane speed he reached her, his sword stabbing into her stomach. Ilea’s blink followed right after, catching his second stab with her right hand. Squeezing, his metal armor dented. A grunt left his body as he let go of the sword. Blinking behind the man, Ilea grabbed his head and snapped it to the right. The crunch reverberated through the forest and then there was only silence.
Sinking to the ground, Ilea removed the dagger in her rib that the warrior had stabbed her with in the last second. Checking her health she was down to a third, the poison still in her veins. ‘Should’ve used Cinderberries you idiot...’ starting to laugh she healed herself. A whimper got her out of her hysteric daze. Looking down at the healer, her face quickly turned serious. Feeling the tears streaming down her own face, Ilea swished them away and crouched down next to the girl.