Chapter 71 A dark night
Dale was standing outside with a couple guards, ready to go should the attack be more than just a quick annoyance. Ilea flew downwards and landed on the square next to the people. She had seen some water mages trying to take care of the fires caused by the elf though some houses couldn’t be saved anymore.
“You’re back already? I like the wings.” Dale said at her as a man came running up to her.
“Miss, you have arrows in your knees!” he exclaimed and Ilea stared at him as if he were stupid. The man looked around confused but everybody else just looked on the ground or away.
“The elf is gone already and I believe the city is sufficiently defended. Considering a lot of people already left on the last attack, it doesn’t seem as interesting as a target to them anymore.” Ilea said.
‘ding’ ‘Corrosion Resistance reaches lvl 8’
“About those arrows Ilea. They seem to be burning you up. Though I don’t want to question it, the smell is quite disgusting.” she nodded and removed the arrows.
“Compelling argument, though it doesn’t seem that bad to me...” she said.
“Alright, the attack was nothing serious. Back to your posts men!” Dale shouted and the people dispersed quietly. He walked up to Ilea and put a hand on her shoulder. “Thanks for the help.”
“Didn’t seem like they needed it to be frank.”
“I watched from here and you were the first to distract him sufficiently. I’m sure you saved one or the other life with that intervention.” he said.
She sighed as her wings dissipated. “I can’t bring myself to care right now.”
Dale grunted and walked next to her to look at the water mages work in the distance. “I don’t think you ever truly did.”
“Why do you say that?”
He looked at her and answered. “Because you’re not a guard. You’re a solo adventurer and a reckless one at that.” he looked at the clouds above and the stars in between. “More a hunter than a protector. Both are needed though you likely see more death.”
The two stayed quiet for a minute or two. “Know the Kroll guy in red armor?” she broke the silence, still looking at the mages.
“I’ve seen one or two in red armor, why?”
“Well I have a feeling I’ll meet him again. Hypothetically speaking, who do you think will try to kill me should I murder him?” she asked with a tinge of humor in her voice.
“You scare me sometimes Ilea. At first you were just a low leveled healer but now...your jokes don’t seem as funny anymore.”
She grunted in response but didn’t say anymore until he answered her question. “They’re definitely associated with the Kroll kingdom though I don’t know them. Killing anybody at that level will have significant consequences though that is for sure.
‘Not very helpful Dale...’ she thought and shrugged.
“I’m sure I have plenty of people looking for me already. Good or bad. Where is the shadow’s hand staying do you know?” he shook his head to her question.
“Alright, I’ll ask around then. See you Dale, thanks for the talk.” she said and walked away.
“See you, don’t do anything crazy.” he said and couldn’t help but chuckle. Though his eyes were hard. The naive child had turned into a powerful adult, either still naive or simply uncaring of any consequences.
Ilea walked through the silent city, enjoying the light breeze and the snow below her boots. Reaching her destination twenty minutes later she was glad to see that Earl’s shop was still standing and additionally someone seemed to be working inside.
She reached the door and opened it. The well oiled frame didn’t make a noise though the bell attached on top did quite the contrary. “Earl are you in?” she asked more as a warning for the man, her sphere had answered her question twenty meters further back.
“Oh. Oh look who it is!” the man exclaimed and came out from the back of the shop laughing. “Come on in Il….WHAT what is this!” he exclaimed immediately and rushed to the woman. Ignoring her outstretched hand he touched her armor while fumbling over his words.
“Ilea what...where did you get this!?” the healer turned warrior tried to calm the man down with gestures though he seemed too absorbed. She quickly removed a bracer and handed it to the man who ran back into the workshop with his newly found treasure.
Ilea sighed and looked around the room as the door closed behind her, making the bell ring once again. A blink let her follow and appear next to the blacksmith who was looking at the bracer’s metal through different magnifying glasses.
“Are you alright old man?” she asked with a smirk.
“I am I am...this! How is it called? It’s yours I assume?” he asked, referring to her ability to identify her own armor.
“It’s a Dark Elf Juggernaut armor...whole set. Found it in a Taleen dungeon.” she said. “What’s it made of?”
“I don’t know...I don’t know but the feel of it I tell ya. Rarely have I laid eyes on something quite as spectacular. Has anything managed to scratch it, dent it?” she thought quickly and shook her head.
‘Should’ve worn it before going into the Praetorian fight...’ she thought but shook her head. It had made sense at the time not to reveal her possession. “No, nothing. It’s quite durable.”
“Yes that it seems to be. Though it doesn’t have any ability to stop magical attacks or the elements...” he said as he put the bracer on top of different runes that lit up with ice and fire before the whole thing was engulfed in a red mist.
“Don’t break them alright.” Ilea chuckled on the side, opening a hidden drawer to reveal an old leather armor of hers. She quickly sniffed it and put it back. Thinking on it again she removed the armor and the traveling clothes that were stored as well and threw them into the closest burning thing. Quite a lot of those in a smithy.
Earl would’ve likely complained for one reason or the other but he was still quite focused on her bracer. “This metal, this rivals the strongest alloys I’ve come across. I hope your magic resistance is high if you want to keep using it girl.”
“I can’t complain.” she said as she held her hand into a nearby furnace. Though her hand did burn it was something comparable to touching a kettle filled with boiling water.
“Can you paint it pink?” she asked suddenly which seemed to get the man’s attention.
“What...no. I won’t do such a thing, are you mad?” he asked and Ilea chuckled.
“I was kidding. I’m quite fond of the bat style. Can I have that back now?”
He handed her the bracer slowly. “You be careful, people might want that.” for the first time he looked into her eyes and grinned a little. “Glad you’re alive! Gave up the healer thing too. And a Taleen dungeon, got anything else interesting out there a smith could like?”
“Perhaps. What about the drake scales and the windpuma hide? Haven’t come around to get that yet sadly.” she said to which he looked at her with a puzzled expression. Suddenly the man burst out laughing.
“Drake scales!! HAHAHAHAHA Well well well. Don’t be offended silly girl but what you have there is a little bit more advanced than what I could ever make you. And trust me I’m proud of my work.” he turned serious at the end. “Now show me what you have. I’ll buy the scales if you don’t need em.”
“Sure, couple gold? How’s the elven attack going for you?” Ilea said.
“Couple gold she says. You get one gold and thirty silver for that and that’s it. I’ve barely had an hour to sleep if that answers your question.”
Ilea just shrugged and summoned one of each Taleen weapon onto a nearby workbench.
“The green steel….now that that is rare. Though not nearly as interesting as the thing you’re wearing it’s good steel. I’ll buy them off you if you’d like to sell.” she just nodded and ignored his calculations for gold.
“And how dare you get a storage item before me. Do you know how useful that could be for me?” the man grumbled while picking up each weapon and checking it.
“It’s pretty useful, yea.” she commented and made the gold he handed her vanish as he grunted angrily. Fourteen more gold in total. ‘Not like I need it...’ she thought.
“Oh and I have this annoying little fuck.” she said and summoned the dagger that immediately started to spout offensive vulgarities. “Don’t touch it, it burns.” she said before tossing the thing into a nearby furnace.
“Why did you do that? And where did you find a sentient dagger? What does the appraisal say?” the man asked though she ignored the first two questions.
“Dagger of Akelion quality says three question marks.” she removed the dagger from the furnace. Unsurprisingly it didn’t even glow lightly. “If you don’t at least shut the hell up I’ll leave you in there.” she said and less unsurprisingly the thing actually did. Shut up that is.
“Never seen that before with anything. Maybe you’ll find something in the library. Otherwise go ask the bloody dwarves. I’ll buy it though if you sell.” the man finished.
She twirled the dagger around in her hand and shook her head lightly. “I’m afraid not.” she said. “You have a matching sheath?”
Fastening the dagger around her waist she put it inside where it suddenly began shouting again.
“What is it? Dagger you shut the hell up right now or I put you in the furnace again.” she said calmly and the dagger calmed down.
“I know you speak this language and if you want something you ask for it like a normal dagger.” she said. ‘Why am I even listening to this little shit.’ she held her hand to her forehead and sighed.
“Well that face tells me how the attack has been for you. Need a drink?” he asked as she closed her eyes and nodded.
“I want to see.” a voice said and Ilea looked down at the dagger.
“You want to see? What do you mean? The sheath?” she waited for the dagger to nod but realized a second later that that likely wouldn’t happen.
“Yes.” came the answer.
“Earl do you have anything more open, less closed up metal. The dagger wants to see.” she said to the smith who had come back with two small wooden mugs.
“With what eyes?” he asked, handing her one of the mugs.
“With the ONES I’ll tear out of your SKULL HUMAN!!” the dagger shouted. Ilea tossed it into the furnace again.
“Just get me one please. And thanks.” she said and downed the drink. “That’s good.” she commented as the dagger screamed in the furnace. A minute later the smith returned and handed her a metal sheath which would show the blade. The dagger wouldn’t fit perfectly well but it would stay inside. A strap on top made sure of that.
Ilea grabbed the dagger out of the furnace and put it inside the sheath. “Happy? Then SHUT IT.” she said and didn’t get anything in return.
Earl was back and looked through the Taleen weaponry again, commenting on some small things while Ilea looked at herself in the nearby mirror. She had removed her helmet when she had talked to Dale.
Her armor was splattered with dried blood and the black metal was dusty and parts of it were covered in dirt. The Taleen clothing she had been wearing below was burnt up mostly and most parts of her that weren’t covered with armor were bare. She blinked above into the living quarters of Earl and removed her armor before getting on another Taleen set of clothes.
‘I’m running out of clothing.’ she thought as the bell below rang out again. With her sphere she had seen some people coming from outside. She heard them through the floor as Earl went out to greet them.
Her chest plate was fixed as she noticed the people seemed tense, their hands close to their swords. ‘Now what business do you have with my blacksmith?’ she thought as her thighs were covered and her boots were put on.
“Oy smith, how’s it looking on gold? Mus be ratha lucratif this attack n all.” one of the men said, sweat on his face.
“Yes, and what with all the guards protecting the walls? Their eyes are quite a while away my friend.” a woman commented. There were three people in the room downstairs in total. By their attire and weapons Ilea thought the man was a warrior, the woman a mage and the last man who hadn’t talked yet was a rogue or something similar.
Her shins came on just as the warrior unsheathed his sword and pointed it towards Earl. “Ya hand over your gold right now ol man.” he said when Ilea appeared in front of Earl.
‘60, 46 and 82. Should theoretically be a cakewalk.’ Ilea thought as she identified the people.
“I suggest you leave. Earl’s closed.” she said and the smith chuckled behind her.
“Not if they’re buying.” though she heard a slight shaking in his voice which made her a little angry. Not at him of course.
“Sha we risk it Lucy? I can’t read er.” the warrior said, talking to the woman in robes.
“All the strong ones are out there, bravely defending the city. Don’t kill her though, I promised you some fun tonight didn’t I. Go for it.” the man started grinning immediately while Ilea just glanced back at Earl.
“Sorry for the mess.” she said as the warrior’s sword closed in on her neck. She appeared behind him and grabbed his neck, unsheathing her dagger and stabbing it into his side. The blade cut directly into his heart though it seemed the man had invested quite a bit of his stats into vitality.
A sudden push came to Ilea’s head and a light headache formed as the rogue appeared next to her, stabbing at her side. Her arm shot out and caught the blade, letting go of the nearly dead warrior. She let go of her own weapon and punched the rogue in his skull, cracking it like a watermelon shot by a .50 cal sniper rifle.
The resulting explosion of flesh and blood painted the windows of Earl’s shop red as the mage screamed and teleported outside to run away. Ilea bowed down and removed her dagger from the man before stabbing it into his skull, ending his life.
Her eyes were cold and not a trace of a smile could be found in her expression as she slowly got up again. Earl looked on in horror as she grabbed the two corpses and dragged them outside. She put one each on her shoulder and followed the remaining attacker.
A couple streets later she tossed the corpses into an alley and looked around. Her new skill Hunter’s Sight came to it’s first real use as she looked around for clues. The previously panicked mage had obviously calmed down a little and had started to use her teleportation magic to run away.
Though her smell was still in the air and Ilea could perceive everything in an over twenty meter sphere around her. Two blinks later she stood in front of the mage who had teleported into a basement.
Unfortunately there were other occupants as well and the mage was currently holding a kid hostage while its parents begged for her to stop.
“Really? A kid?” Ilea asked.
“I’ll kill him...let me go and we’re fine. Nobody got hurt and all is forgotten, how about it?” the mage spoke in a slightly panicked voice though her eyes were focused on Ilea.
She vanished and punched the woman’s side, breaking at least a couple ribs. She didn’t use any buffs to ensure exactly zero heavily traumatized kids that night. At least traumas caused by her.
The woman shot to the side and hit the wall hard before she teleported upwards again. Ilea saw her crawling on the street while calling out for help.
“Are you alright, did she hurt you.” the father ran to the boy and hugged him while the mother walked up to Ilea.
“You will let her go?” Ilea didn’t answer.
“She threatened to kill my boy.” the woman said as went to a corner of the room to get a dagger Ilea perceived inside a chest.
“She tried to rob a friend. Don’t worry I won’t let her go.” Ilea said while touching the woman’s shoulder before blinking upwards and onto the street.
“I did give you guys a chance to leave, you know.” she said before stomping down hard on the woman’s head, ending her life immediately.
She stood there then, her face covered in blood from the man she had killed. ‘I’m cold.’ she thought as tears ran down her face. ‘Fuck’ she stomped on the woman’s head again. “FUCK” again the bones were reduced to dust as the street itself cracked below.
A couple minutes later Ilea walked back to Earl’s place and shut the door behind her. The man was calmly cleaning the window and wall when he looked at the returning woman.
“Thanks.” he said quietly as she walked past him to grab a fresh towel for her face.