Chapter 66 Hunting
‘I’m thinking more about his vengeance than mine.’ she thought as she reached the man and knelt down next to him.
“How are you feeling?” she asked him and nodded to the ranger who gracefully excused herself, retaking her vacant spot on the wall.
“As well as you might expect...” the man said, though a little life has returned to his eyes. “George always said he wanted to move...” his head sank again.
“Do you want to see the house?” he nodded and she helped him up.
“We’re going out quickly, you guy mage over there, close up behind us.” Ilea said. The shadow’s hand followed her unexpectedly. The warrior was on his feet again as well and nodded lightly to her.
“Lily we’ll be back shortly! I’ll have a small present for you as well!” Ilea said to the kid with a smile. Upon leaving the room her smile left though and the group walked sullenly towards Roland’s house. The snow crunched below their boots as they walked through the less and less bloody streets.
More monsters had come in the meantime and goblins were fighting over random things they had found. They all steered clear of their group though. Ilea was pretty sure it wasn’t her though.
Reaching the house, they found it had burned down nearly completely in the meantime. Ilea was glad to not find any silhouettes of people left inside, only ash. Roland cried quietly as they all stood there in silence. The ranger stepped forward and unstrapped her bow, before loosing a single arrow into the air. It glowed golden as it expanded into the size of a lance and flew on for hundreds of meters.
Ilea touched Roland’s shoulder and kept her hand there for a while. “I would like to have a moment alone...” he said and the group quietly left. Sulivhaan motioned for them to follow and approached the dead elf they had left behind.
He had to calm down the rogue again who had already unsheathed her daggers and approached the mangled corpse. “What do you plan on doing?” Ilea asked the mage.
“I intend to set...an example. You may wait here while I go...rogue come help me.” the corpse suddenly began to float as his magic took hold and the two walked away, leaving Ilea behind with the two others.
“Thank you for the help. You may call me Rock.” the warrior said and held out his hand.
“Nice to meet you Rock. I’m Ilea.” she shook the man’s hand and had to activate her buffs not to get her hand crushed.
“Ha, you actually didn’t break anything. That very rarely happens. It’s an honor Ilea.” he said.
The conversation died there, none of the three felt the need to talk about anything. Ilea checked her status and put her newly acquired fifty points into strength, quickly going over her gains again. Shroud of ash reaching the 2nd stage was the biggest change and she quickly read it through before checking her status.
Active: Shroud of Ash – 2nd lvl 1
Shroud yourself in a mist of ash increasing your resilience by 60% [Effect after bonuses 180%]
2nd stage: Your resistances also benefit from Shroud of Ash’s bonus.
Category: Body Enhancement – Ashen magic
Name: Ilea Spears
Unspent statpoints: 0
Class 1: Azarinth Healer – lvl 197
- Active: Destruction – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Reconstruction – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: State of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Blink – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Azarinth Sphere – 2nd lvl 18
- Passive: Body of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 14
- Passive: Azarinth Fighting – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Magic Perception – lvl 16
- Passive: Azarinth Perception – 2nd lvl 11
- Passive: Azarinth Reversal – lvl 16
Class 2: Ash Wielder – lvl 188
- Active: Shroud of Ash – 2nd lvl 1
- Active: Form of Ember – 2nd lvl 10
- Active: Ash Surge – lvl 6
- Active: Body Heat Manipulation – lvl 1
- Active: Wave of Ember – lvl 19
- Passive: Ash and Ember Manipulation – lvl 15
- Passive: Ashen Wings – lvl 8
- Passive: Eyes of Ash – lvl 15
- Passive: Body of Ash – lvl 15
- Passive: Ashen Warrior – lvl 10
- Elos Standard language - lvl 5
- Identify - lvl 6
- Meditation – lvl 2nd 14
- Poison Resistance – lvl 17
- Heat Resistance – lvl 16
- Pain Tolerance – 2nd lvl 4
- Mental Resistance – lvl 7
- Fear Resistance – lvl 1
- Water Resistance – lvl 6
- Wind Resistance – lvl 5
- Lightning Resistance – lvl 5
- Ice Resistance – lvl 7
- Crystal Resistance – lvl 6
- Earth Magic Resistance – lvl 5
- Arcane Magic Resistance – lvl 6
- Corrosion Resistance – lvl 3
- Light Magic Resistance – lvl 2
- Mist Magic Resistance – lvl 1
- Curse Resistance – lvl 3
‘Well that’s basically tripling my resistances.’ a couple weeks ago she would’ve likely rejoiced about the outcome but seeing Roland looking at his house left her in quite the opposite mood. The three waited for a while longer until Roland showed up first. He had simply followed the fresh tracks in the snow.
The sun was actually out a little and no fresh snow was falling though it wasn’t warm by any stretch. “Ilea can I ask for something.” the man said and she nodded.
“I’ll go join the others again. We’ll discuss what to do next but it’s too dangerous for any of us up here. With the possibility of more elves….” he trailed off and she just nodded.
“Whatever you want Roland, just tell me.” it turned out he just asked for her to bring the people some food, water and other necessities like blankets and fresh clothes. There was plenty around in the city and it would take the goblins and other vaguely intelligent monsters quite a while to strip it clean.
“I’ll be back here then, will bring him back first.” Ilea said to the others but the warrior stood up and stopped her.
“I’ll bring him, you go look for the things he asked for.” the man said.
“Aren’t we a little too casual, an elf could come at any minute.”
Rock chuckled “Sulivhaan knows. As soon as he says there’s danger, there’s danger.” it seemed like a fact to him and Ilea found no reason to doubt his word.
‘I’d be dead without them already so why the hell not.’ she shrugged and got up.
“Then I’ll see you later.” she said to Roland who nodded to her.
Walking off, Ilea intended to find food and water first. She noticed a couple steps later that the ranger was following her. “You wanna come?” she didn’t receive an answer but shrugged and walked on. Three side streets later the ranger stopped behind her and knocked on one of the buildings.
“What is it? You think there’s food in there.”
“Storage.” came the reply and Ilea followed the ranger. Inside the store was a complete mess, monsters had certainly made this place an early target. Though Ilea saw underground with her sphere and knelt down to the ground.
She grabbed the handle of the cellar door and ripped it away, skidding it across the floor for a couple meters before walking downstairs.
“Teleport?” the ranger asked but Ilea just shook her head.
“You’re with me and you can’t teleport right?” she more stated than asked and walked down into the cellar. The ranger had been right, there was plenty of food down there. The attack had happened less than a week ago so perishables were still mostly fine.
“Do you know if food perishes inside storage?” she asked the ranger who shook her head.
“So it doesn’t?”
“It shouldn’t” the ranger said.
“Good to know.” Ilea stored all the food in the whole cellar inside her necklace, filling around forty units of storage with vegetables, bread, meat and grain while intending to leave half of that with Roland. The two quietly moved on and checked different stores and buildings, some of them government as well. Salia was after all an independent city so there was a city armory and treasury as well.
An hour later, the two had gotten enough weapons, food and water for the survivors to continue to stay survivors for at least the next couple weeks. The ranger left after to go report to Sulivhaan while Ilea went to dump all the things.
Blinking down into the cellar there were discussions going on all over the place, their coming had roused quite a bit of a reaction from the survivors and most of them quickly shushed each other to listen to the healer. Though the healer said nothing and walked to Roland.
“I have the things you’ve asked for.” she said as crates of food appeared around her. Soon weapons joined, blankets and clothes, armors and shields. Backpacks were added as well as water canteens though they weren’t filled. There were wells in the city though with all the blood and corpses Ilea didn’t think it the best idea to use them. She did however find a metal water tank inside one of the shop’s cellars which she took with her. It wasn’t too big not to fit into her necklace.
“You’ve done more than asked Ilea. Thank you.” Roland said and hugged her. “We’ll organize everything here and inform you when and where we plan to leave to.” he continued “You won’t come with us?” he asked.
Ilea looked at him. ‘He hasn’t told her yet...though he is hiding it well.’ she shook her head. “I’m sorry Roland but I’ll have to find my own path, wherever that may be. Though I have a hunch it will be a bloody one...at least for the next couple weeks and months.” with that another box appeared though it looked quite different than the others.
“From the city’s treasury. Before the looters get it I thought the actual owners should have it.” Roland nodded but it was obvious he didn’t really care about any of those things.
‘If it can provide some help with Lily then it’s worth it.’ Ilea thought as the people walked up to the crates and started distributing and looking through the weapons and clothes.
Ilea turned to Lily and knelt down next to her. “I have a little something for you too, something you can remember me by. We will probably not see each other in quite some time but I promise I’ll visit.” she smiled at the girl as the Alpha Hound trinket appeared in her hand. She then fastened the small necklace around the girl’s neck and hugged her.
“I’ll miss you Ilea!” the girl said and smiled. Ilea smiled at her and then looked at Roland. Their eyes locked for a moment before she nodded and vanished.
‘I’ll miss you too Lily...’ she thought as she walked through the streets. She found the ranger waiting for her where they had fought the elf and followed. The two walked in silence until they came out of the city, past its broken down gate.
Ilea stood still for a moment and took in the sight. It seemed like the shadow’s hand had gathered all the dead elves who had fallen in the city and put them up on metal poles, pierced mind you. Ilea shook her head but didn’t mind the display of violence. ‘For a man that speaks of diplomacy and retreat he certainly knows how to send a message.’
“You disapprove?” he asked as he reached her.
“No. I find it unnecessary and below us. As humans, though I understand.” he seemed happy with the answer and simply watched on as the rogue prepared the last corpse.
“Twelve of them for the whole city?” Ilea asked and the others stayed silent. She left back into the city soon after and simply walked around. Curiously she walked into a fancy looking bookstore and opened one of the heavy leather covers. ‘A novel...’ she thought and smiled.
The next few hours were spent by her filling up crates with books she was interested in and putting them into her storage. She left it at ten crates before she continued onwards. Only some of the books were purely chosen on beautiful covers though nearly all of them looked very nice to her. Looking at the prices she certainly made quite a steal with the find. None of the monsters had seemingly been interested in the books either.
Ilea had found a map of the city as well and held it out in front of her while walking through the streets, the snow crunching below her. A sudden whistling noise made her perk up and she made the map vanish and ran towards the noise. She put on her helmet in time as she jumped up on one of the buildings.
In the distance she could see a streak of fire coming closer at a quick pace. ‘The next one then...the one who was hunting me before.’ she thought as she waved at the distant figure.
The top two floors of the house next to hers exploded as the elf impacted on it. “Aaaaaah, you. I remember your smell. So that wretch didn’t find you...what a waste of breath he is.” the man said and looked around before focusing on her.
“More survivors here I see, well I’ll hunt them down after you.”
“Stop talking.” she simply said and blinked in, punching the man. He blocked with his hand and held her fist while smiling. Ilea smiled back as her mana entered his body. Her shroud of ash combined with her high Heat Resistance made fire licking at her manageable.
Still her skin was melting and she had to start healing herself, thus stopping the mana flow into the creature. Using her left leg, she kicked the elf who was brought of balance, letting her blink away. Her skin reformed quickly and her eyesight returned to her just as a beam of fire shot her way. She dodged to the left as it passed her.
“You hurt me human. That is unforgivable...” the elf said and rushed her.
‘Less of a screamer at least...’ Ilea thought and blinked away, intending the elf to follow her. There was a possibility of an immediate third elf joining them so she couldn’t risk losing too much time. Additionally Ilea started to enjoy the sightseeing in the empty town and really didn’t feel like fighting right then.
‘Is that the first time I’ve felt like that?’ she thought but then shook her head and concentrated. A beam of fire shot her way and she blocked it with her arms after turning around. With her shroud and her healing active she could actually counter the attack completely.
The reason she didn’t just dodge the attack was that it was heading for a cute clothing shop she wanted to look at later. ‘Fucking annoying pisser...’ she thought as she continued to run and blink closer to the western gate of the city. She had to block more and more hits as the elf seemingly got just as annoyed with her as she had gotten with him.
Ilea burst out of the gate and landed in the cold blanket of white, rolling. Steam rose from the evaporated snow as she turned around and blinked another twenty meters further back. The elf slowly walked out of the gate with a massive grin on his face.
“A good hunt. So seldom these days. But now please stop running I’m at…..you...” he noticed the strung up and mangled corpses of his brethren and literally exploded in fire. The red flame turned blue as he rushed Ilea with a scream.
“AAAAAHHHHHH” though his claw never landed on her as a massive shift in gravity pushed him downwards suddenly. Three streaks of gold came from a nearby hill and pierced his skin when the rogue appeared behind him with her blades held high. The gravity immediately pushed her arms and subsequently blades downwards and into the elf’s slightly bent back.
He fought on and pushed through the gravity, his eyes fixated on Ilea and completely ignoring the other humans who had joined the fight. Suddenly he vanished and appeared before Ilea but his claw was stopped by her hand. More destructive mana flowed into him as the gravity around them heightened again.
Ilea let go of him in the last moment and blinked away, the air she was standing in replaced by a war hammer in its path to crush them both. The elf lifted his hands up and blocked the hammer enhanced by gravity magic before a fire explosion send both him and the hammer backwards.
A torrent of fire was shot towards the mage flowing above who simply teleported away. Two yellow lances found their target before the elf vanished too. “You dare...do this...to me...” he said, more bewildered than scared.
Ilea appeared before him and sent him skidding backwards with a punch. Blood leaked from his mouth as two blue flaming swords appeared in his hands. “You leave me no choice...” he said and appeared next to Ilea. She moved her torso downwards to dodge the horizontal swing but had to blink away to dodge the second sword coming from the other side a little delayed.
The rogue appeared behind the elf but had to jump backwards again as one of his swords nearly cut her. Gravity enhanced again around the elf but he teleported away again, this time to Rock who blocked the swords with his hammer. The fire licked on his armor as he screamed and was sent backwards.
Two golden streaks were deflected by the elf’s swords before he send a small fireball towards the distant ranger. Ilea advanced again and dodged around, trying to find an opening while avoiding the blades. The rogue tried the same from behind the elf but they both didn’t find purchase. Rock interrupted the fight with his hammer landing in the middle of them and sending them all skidding back.
An explosion made their heads turn slightly as the distant hill from where the golden streaks came burst into flame. The elf smiled and ran at Ilea only to find himself floating slightly. She didn’t let the opening go and punched him in the chest with all her power. The elf was sent flying straight at Rock who swung his hammer sideways, combining the elf’s momentum with all his strength.
A sickening crunch sounded out as the hammer hit and the mangled body was sent into the snow. The elf coughed blood on the ground, two daggers entering his back a moment later. He started burning brightly and the rogue had to retreat. The others had to retreat a couple steps because of the heat and Ilea saw with her perception how his bones snapped back into place.
She blinked into the inferno, landing on the elf’s chest and started pounding her fists onto his skull. With each hit her mana was released as her body and skills fought to keep herself from melting away. After the second hit she felt her whole body drawn to the ground as her fists fell. Cracks formed on the enemy’s skull as her skin was melted off.
With a final hit her fist broke through and the elf’s skull was smashed in, stopping the flames around her in a matter of seconds. Ilea was glad she was still covered in armor, though everything below had third degree burns only the uncovered parts actually lost the skin completely. Only the combination of her new 2nd stage of Shroud of Ash, her 2nd stage of Pain Tolerance and her self healing power allowed for this stunt to work. Additionally of course the added power from Sulivhaan’s magic.
She sat there on top of the elf as her body regenerated, only minutes later did she activate her Pain again and got up.