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A note from Rhaegar

As mentioned no present tense anymore intentionally outside of dialogue and thoughts.

Happy Wednesday

 

Chapter 37 Azarinth Leecher

 

Ilea didn’t have a problem with that arrangement. She could learn a lot from these people and didn’t feel like confronting Alice just yet anyway. ‘He seems a bit too forward about this...there has to be a catch somewhere but trying to escape now or later seems to be similarly dangerous. Plus the longer they keep me around, the stronger I’ll get. I assume with their levels it’s not as effective for them...’ she thought.

Felicia seemed especially happy about the arrangement and immediately hugged Ilea again. “Yey, finally some new company!” she yelled while Edwin extinguished the last remaining embers of their little makeshift fireplace.

“With her here we won’t stop as often to let our wounds heal.” Edwin nodded and completely ignored Felicia’s groan. She turned smiley again quickly though and started to ask Ilea all sorts of questions ranging from cute clothes to removing the eyes of dead animals without damaging them. The girl didn’t specifically mention animals but Ilea didn’t want to think too hard about any other applications.

‘Grant us eyes...’ she thought, remembering a quote from some gluetube video she’d watched a while ago. ‘It’s weird how little I’ve actually missed the internet...’ Ilea thought as she got up, seeing the others preparing to leave.

‘Makes sense I guess with all the things I can do here...some more shallow entertainment would be nice thought from time to time. Carrying only three books for weeks is a pain. I need a kindle.’ lost in thought, she ignored the constant rambling of questions and following answers or thoughts from Felicia.

“...so that means the moon has thirteen different powers and have you heard it’s actually a flat disk?” the rising tone of the question and subsequent pause made Ilea look at Felicia. Her yellow eyes were sparkling with excitement.

“I’ve heard of a similar theory about Elos, never about the moon though.” Ilea answered.

“Thirteen powers in Elos? Hmm yes yes...with the elements...and the cycles...” the woman continued rambling while slowly following Edwin who gestured for the group to continue.

‘I was more thinking about the flat part but I guess powers are more interesting in the end. Magic IS real after all.’ Ilea smiled at the thought, remembering again that on earth she’d probably be able to win nearly all Olympic disciplines with ease by now. ‘I wonder if there’s an equivalent here...something else than simply fighting each other.’

The thought entertained her for a while longer as she marveled at the possibilities. Felicia never stopped talking or mumbling next to her while Aliana and Edwin walked in silence before them.

“Get ready. Two sword guardians and one ranged guardian. Ilea I assume the sword ones are too much for you? Any success with a ranged one?” Edwin asked as he stopped walking. Ilea didn’t notice any guardian machines nearby but trusted his senses nonetheless.

“I destroyed one before, will take a while though. Swords are too much for me yet I’m afraid.” she answered honestly. He knew of her capabilities already so there was no reason to hide the truth.

“You go for the ranged one then down the middle, I’ll take right and you two take the one on the left. Shout for help if you need any.” he said and immediately disappeared. A loud boom echoed through the dwarven street, moving the dust on the ground as Edwin reappeared inside a nearby building.

A clash of metal on metal signaled the start of the fight as magical power condensed next to Ilea’s companions. The healer herself ran towards the indicated location and was soon greeted by the now familiar sound of a ranged Taleen guardian shooting a slug her way.

It took a while for her to close in on the machine but with it being alone and seemingly exactly the same as her previous encounter, she soon found herself on a spinning back again.

When her final punch landed, she looked up to a smiling Edwin and a clapping Aliana. Felicia obviously ran up to her and caught her in a strong hug.

“Quite the tactic to use. I must say I’m impressed. I expected you to hold it off while we were finishing up….good thing I let you continue.” Edwin said and continued “Aliana and I have some minor cuts if you would...” he said as the two approached the hugging pair.

Ilea healed them and finished up just as Felicia let go of her. “Then let’s go to sparing. I suggest you split up your stat points into two parts Vitality, two parts Intelligence and one part Dexterity. Seeing you fight you don’t seem to have any big mana spenders like Felicia and Aliana so Wisdom wise you’re probably good for now. With all your Body Enhancements you probably get more of a punch out of Intelligence than out of Strength. Dexterity will help with reactions though so at this point it’s important as well.” Edwin lectured.

“So you’re telling me I wasted a ton of stat points?” Ilea asked a little disappointed.

“No, not really. Maybe if you wanted to become the hardest punching level 77 hand to hand fighter but not if you’re plan includes surviving. There are always drawbacks of specializing. What are your current stats at by the way?” he explained.

The question seemed incredibly insensitive, even to Ilea who’s not even lived on Elos for a year yet. Although still she answered with her current status points.

“Hmm, It’s a good base. I stand by the suggestion from before though. Whenever possible we’ll leave a single ranged guardian to you. With the level difference it’ll be no time until you hit the hundreds. We’ll also try to go further away once you’re alone with one of them so it’s a bit more dangerous and rewarding.” he said.

“Isn’t that...I don’t know, kind of cheap? I can easily destroy these machines now. It doesn’t seem reasonable for me to level up as much from them as I do...” Ilea stated, looking down on the destroyed guardian.

“If two of them engaged you, you’d be dead. You need several minutes to destroy one and one slip up could easily cost you your life so no...it’s definitely not unreasonable. You enjoy fighting though so I understand your thoughts...maybe you enjoy it a bit too much. Well this is the only way for you to reasonably fight one of the sword guardians so deal with it.” he said and gestured to Aliana.

“You fight her this time, show her some of your spells...oh and Aliana...try not to kill her.” he finished as the woman prepared, her easygoing smile replaced by a manic grin.

Ilea hadn’t seen the two women fight as she was preoccupied by the guardian. She ignored the messages after destroying the machine and simply invested the points as Edwin suggested. Again she’d gained six levels across her two classes.

‘If this continues for a while I’ll get that damn Basilisk in no time….although...’ she thought and looked towards Edwin to ask him about the four question marks she’d seen above the Basilisk. Just then something hot splashed in her face.

Ilea’s eyes widened as she immediately started to heal her burnt up face, her pain resistance the only thing keeping her from screaming. Aliana hadn’t waited for her to ask the question but seemed bored by the talking.

Another wave of boiling liquid made its way to Ilea but this time she blinked through, getting closer to her opponent. Her face was still healing when her back started itching. The wave of water had returned after the blink and hit her back.

“Use your perception skill girl.” Edwin said from the side, twirling around one of his sword with an amused smile.

Calming down, Ilea activated her sphere and started moving away from the water that formed out of nowhere around Aliana and came at her from every direction. A wave of deadly hot liquid flowing through the air like through the rocky bed of a river, released from its limitations of gravity.

With her sphere active and the help of her Azarinth Perception and Blink, Ilea managed to evade any further injuries for a full twenty seven minutes. At that point Edwin got up from his lounging position.

“Alright Aliana, enough playing around. Go for the kill now. Ilea, good luck.” he said as the grin on Aliana grew more than Ilea thought possible.

‘Wait what?’ she thought as the water suddenly dropped to the floor. The whole square they stood in suddenly heated up as some lamps above burst. Drops of hot liquid suddenly fell in such numbers that Ilea found it impossible to dodge their number.

She got away with light burns and stood inside a nearby house looking at Aliana. The drops of boiling water were still falling as the woman started gesturing with her arms. Her eyes closed and the movements stopped as a whisper too soft for Ilea to hear left her mouth.

Ilea’s eyes widened as a half transparent massive gate formed above the woman. ‘A floodgate...’ the thought was too late as she blinked towards where Edwin stood, making only a third of the distance even with the full 32m of her current Blink ability.

The gates had opened at that point and released a seemingly unfathomable amount of water towards Ilea’s direction. The problem she had though was that the water was boiling. Her next blink brought her closer to Edwin who stood safely to the side, the water rushed below her and a glance towards Aliana brought a shiver to her back as more and more water poured out of the gate.

‘I’d blink right into it with the next one...’ she thought, more annoyed at losing to the mage without having gotten in a single punch than at the prospect of dying. ‘...a cook huh?’ she thought and smiled, blinking as close to Edwin as she could.

 

 

Felicia watched as her new friend was about to be consumed by Aliana’s deadly wave and frowned. Moving her hand, a strong gust of wind formed and flew towards Ilea’s position. The girl had blinked into the mass of water as a last ditch effort to get through but Aliana wasn’t having it.

The wind pushed away the water in front of the already severely burned Ilea. Both wind and water continued to fight each other for another thirty seconds before the gates finally closed again, Aliana collapsing on the ground.

Her brother shook his head and went to look after Aliana. “She alive?” he asked.

Felicia was already kneeling above Ilea but couldn’t make out much from the disfigured face. “Yes, she’s healing.” she answered as she felt the magic flow through the girl.

“You really like her don’t you?” Edwin asked but she didn’t feel like answering rhetorical questions. Not if they were coming from anybody else than herself. It took the healer an impressive seven minutes to get back on her feet.

 

 

After using an insane amount of mana to heal herself, Ilea slowly got up while coughing. “Well that was close, I’m alive right?” she asked towards a smiling Felicia.

“You are. Quite impressive that healing power. Aliana’s still recovering as well.” she said as she gestured to the woman that lay on the ground while chewing on a piece of meat.

“I just healed burns, nothing new...” Ilea asked but Felicia shook her head.

“Then why isn’t your armor sticking to your molten skin by now? Aliana’s water is far deadlier than spilling a boiling pot of it onto yourself.” she said and looked towards the water mage on the ground.

Ilea touched her armor and indeed, it seemed only her skin suffered any burns. Compared to any burns she’d received before it took a substantial amount of mana and time to heal as well. Seeing how her skills got stronger since then it seemed strange to say the least.

‘Scary’ she thought.

“You made it. I really thought you were done for there. Well I hope you learned something from that fight. Next up is Felicia but we’ll wait until we get a bit deeper in.” Edwin said as he helped Aliana stand up.

“Once someone starts channeling for more than a second get the fuck away. And Aliana is scary.” Ilea said as she walked towards them. Aliana started smiling upon hearing the comment and nodded.

“I am I am, I didn’t plan on killing you but after smelling your burning flesh I just couldn’t resist!” the voice sounded like the cute woman in front of her should sound but as the meaning of the words were processed by Ilea, she could only smile back awkwardly, her eyes turning panicky towards Edwin.

“Don’t worry, she keeps her...indulgences to her own plate.” he soothed the healer and motioned for all of them to start moving again.

‘Five minutes after I nearly died boiling...’ Ilea thought but the smile on her face definitely told of her true sentiments. ‘My brain will need a while to get used to this lifestyle...’ she thought as they walked further into the dwarven ruin.

 

 

It turned out that the dungeon or ruin seemed to once have been a rather big Taleen city. The four intruders cleared road after road, square after square for nearly three days straight. Edwin, their by now unquestionable leader didn’t seem to have the goal of clearing everything out.

Ilea was sure they were walking into a specific direction. While they did destroy all guardians they came across, it would’ve likely taken them weeks if not months to clear out all of the city space they’ve come across so far.

‘He’s after something or somewhere specific.’ Ilea thought as again the road that would lead them further down was chosen instead of the three side streets. He didn’t share any of his plans with Ilea and she stopped asking after the third time. Aliana and Felicia seemed either painfully oblivious or simply apathetic for any further goal Edwin had.

Ilea did grow to like the two though through all the spars and meals they shared. It was no surprise to her that the first spar with Felicia ended much faster than the one against Aliana. What she did learn though, was that reattaching limbs was possible for her if she acted fast enough. Regrowing wasn’t something she’d be willing to test quite yet though.

On the third day, they reached the entrance to a natural cave, before them a massive chasm without any visible ground below stretched from left to right for a couple hundred meters. On the other side of the chasm was a massive door, greenish runes covered nearly all of it.

Ilea had grown tremendously in those three days, being with the group that destroyed dozens of machines while she managed to get eight ranged guardians on her own. That experience combined with what she got from the group effort made her level fifty full levels. She nearly died just as many times though, only her healing power making her able to continue.

Both Aliana and Felicia got badly injured several times and when they would’ve had to wait for days to heal, with Ilea there the recovery time was reduced to mere minutes. Edwin however only got small injuries from time to time which he healed himself.

“The great hall...” Edwin said, in awe of the massive door in front of him. “...finally.”

He then effortlessly jumped over the nearly twenty meters wide chasm, followed by the others carried by magic. Ilea simply blinked over.

“So what’s this great hall?” she asked, completely unprepared for an actual answer.

“Some of the Taleen cities held what are called great halls. They are basically the only reason anybody would even venture to a place like this, except for fighting experience like you of course. Those people are rather rare though...” he explained.

“A lot of Taleen dungeons simply hold something similar to what you’ve experienced the past three days. Great halls though...they usually hold similar machines with additional traps inside. And usable technology and artifacts. Of the sparse reports I’ve heard of and read half of the great halls hold something valuable inside. Oh, sorry I must be boring you. Let’s go then.” he stopped at that and walked up to the door.

‘Bored? Please, this is the first relevant thing you shared in the past three days…’

Aliana started cooking and Felicia sat near the edge, dangling her feet into the chasm. When the food was ready, Edwin returned from the door with a bit of a frown on his face. It was very subtle but Ilea started to notice more and more of his behavior in those three days. Frowns were mostly present when Felicia got hurt and smiles when she was happy. He cared a lot for his sister, that was the only thing Ilea was sure of with Edwin.

“I can’t figure it out. We’ll have to push through with brute force. Aliana can you start melting through after we had dinner?” he said and sat down next to Ilea.

“Sure thing boss.” Aliana said and tasted the broth she was cooking.

“You should check your status and possible new skills, with how thick the door seems to be it’ll take a couple hours at least. Did you follow the suggestions with that stats?” Edwin asked with a side glance towards Ilea.

“I did indeed...” she mumbled back while looking through her messages and status.

bing’ ‘You have defeated [Taleen Guardian]
bing’ ‘You have defeated an enemy fifty levels or more above your own. Additional Experience is granted.’

bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 78. 5 Stat points awarded.’
bing’ ‘Azarinth Healer has reached level 79. 5 Stat points awarded.’

bing’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 55. 5 Stat points awarded.’
bing’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 56. 5 Stat points awarded.’
bing’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 57. 5 Stat points awarded.’
bing’ ‘Fire Enhancer has reached level 58. 5 Stat points awarded.’

bing’ ‘New skills available for Fire Enhancer’

ding’ ‘Azarinth Sphere reaches 2nd lvl 3’

ding’ ‘Body of Flame reaches lvl 15’
ding’ ‘Body of Flame reaches lvl 16’

bing’ ‘You have defeated [Taleen Guardian]
bing’ ‘You have defeated an enemy fifty levels or more above your own. Additional Experience is granted.’
...

Skipping the other six messages for destroying guardians, she looked through the other level ups. The messages went on and on and it took a while for her to work through them. ‘Quite a bit for simply being close and fighting with the others...’ she thought. In total she had gained 56 levels from all the fights since encountering the group. A total of 280 stat points. 112 into Vitality, 112 into Intelligence and 56 into Dexterity.

A lot of her skills had improved as well upon using them to fight and destroy guardians, others by simply using them. The most interesting of them being Body of flame that reached the second stage.

Active: Body of Flame – 2nd lvl 3:
Clad yourself in flames raising your resilience, speed and strength by 31% [Effect after bonuses 75.95%]
2nd stage: The longer you fight within the Body of Flame, the stronger burns its heat. Each minute of fighting adds 10% to the bonuses with a maximum of 100%.
Category: Aura – Body Enhancement – Fire magic

Her last two opponent guardians got a taste of that powerful second stage as her average time for one guardian fight was reduced by nearly two full minutes.

It’s been a scarily fruitful three days for Ilea. She felt like her levels and stats were slowly catching up to her incredibly high skill levels.

Name: Ilea Spears
Unspent statpoints: 0

Class 1: Azarinth Healer – lvl 99
- Active: Destruction – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Reconstruction – 2nd lvl 15
- Active: State of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Blink – 2nd lvl 16
- Active: Azarinth Sphere – 2nd lvl 8
- Passive: Body of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 9
- Passive: Azarinth Fighting – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Magic Perception – lvl 12
- Passive: Azarinth Perception – lvl 20
- Passive: Free Slot

Class 2: Fire Enhancer – lvl 88
- Active: Flame – lvl 2
- Active: Body of Flame – 2nd lvl 3
- Active: Heat Surge – lvl 2
- Active: Free Slot
- Active: Free Slot
- Passive: Fire Manipulation – lvl 14
- Passive: Heat Perception – lvl 1
- Passive: Free Slot
- Passive: Free Slot
- Passive: Free Slot

General Skills:

- Elos Standard language - lvl 5
- Identify - lvl 4
- Meditation – lvl 2nd 14
- Poison Resistance – lvl 16
- Heat Resistance – lvl 9
- Pain Tolerance – 2nd lvl 2
- Mental Resistance – lvl 5
- Fear Resistance – lvl 1

 

Status:

Vitality: 282
Endurance: 150
Strength 111
Dexterity 166
Intelligence 272
Wisdom 160

Health: 2820/2820
Stamina: 1423/1500
Mana: 1489/1600

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Rhaegar

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