Chapter 72 Old Beings
Ilea walked outside to put some snow on her towel. It melted slowly as she put it to her face to get away the blood and grime.
“Why do you cry?” someone asked and Ilea tensed up before realizing it had been the dagger on her side, covered in blood just as she was.
She continued cleaning herself quietly before unsheathing the dagger. “Because I killed people tonight.” The dagger got the same treatment as her face.
“I do not understand.” the dagger said but kept quiet after that.
‘I need a bath.’ Ilea thought and walked back inside. “I’ll use your bath if that’s alright.” she said to Earl who grunted in response, still cleaning up the mess she’d caused. She blinked to the room that held the tub and started trying the runes installed around it.
Feeding mana into one of them released a slow stream of water into the tub and it was filled a couple minutes later. Ilea undressed in the meantime and tried the other runes. The one for heat was of course the most important one and as soon as the tub was full, steam had risen in the room.
Ilea sighed happily as she let herself sink into the hot water. Luckily Earl was quite a bit bigger than her, making the space phenomenal. ‘I’ll have to get something like this...’ she thought.
Half an hour passed in silence as Ilea thought about her night. The elf encounter had been stupid, the arrows could’ve been cursed or could’ve added a strong paralyzing effect. She sighed again and rested her head on the tub’s edge while playing with her necklace.
‘Though I doubt I could be brought down that easily...’ she thought and looked through her stats.
Name: Ilea Spears
Unspent statpoints: 0
Unspent 3rd tier skill points [Azarinth First Hunter]: 0
Class 1: Azarinth First Hunter – lvl 201
- Active: Destruction – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Hunter Recovery – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: State of Azarinth – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Blink – 3rd lvl 1
- Active: Azarinth Hunter Sphere – 2nd lvl 19
- Passive: Body of the First Hunter – 2nd lvl 14
- Passive: Azarinth Fighting – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Hunter’s Sight – lvl 1
- Passive: Azarinth Perception – 2nd lvl 12
- Passive: Azarinth Reversal – lvl 17
Class 2: Ash Wielder – lvl 194
- Active: Shroud of Ash – 2nd lvl 2
- Active: Form of Ember – 2nd lvl 11
- Active: Ash Surge – lvl 6
- Active: Body Heat Manipulation – lvl 1
- Active: Wave of Ember – 2nd lvl 1
- Passive: Ash and Ember Manipulation – lvl 16
- Passive: Ashen Wings – lvl 10
- Passive: Eyes of Ash – lvl 17
- Passive: Body of Ash – lvl 17
- Passive: Ashen Warrior – lvl 12
- Elos Standard language - lvl 5
- Identify - lvl 6
- Meditation – lvl 2nd 14
- Poison Resistance – lvl 17
- Heat Resistance – lvl 17
- Pain Tolerance – 2nd lvl 4
- Mental Resistance – lvl 8
- Fear Resistance – lvl 1
- Water Resistance – lvl 6
- Wind Resistance – lvl 5
- Lightning Resistance – lvl 6
- Ice Resistance – lvl 7
- Crystal Resistance – lvl 6
- Earth Magic Resistance – lvl 5
- Arcane Magic Resistance – lvl 6
- Corrosion Resistance – lvl 8
- Light Magic Resistance – lvl 2
- Mist Magic Resistance – lvl 1
- Curse Resistance – lvl 3
‘I should try to get my second class skills higher somehow before it hits two hundred...’ her head sunk a little deeper into the water before she exhaled to create bubbles. ‘I killed three people today and this is what I think about...’ she chuckled and smiled in her bathtub. “This is who I have become...” she said and balled her hand into a fist.
‘Maybe I should get a haircut to signify the change...’ she thought and smiled, determined to not lose the humor at least. Getting on her clothes, she dumped the armor into the tub and scrubbed it with a nearby brush likely intended for the body. Twenty minutes later she had an alright looking armor again and got it on.
Earl was waiting downstairs when she returned. He had stopped cleaning at some point yet Ilea still smelled the blood. “You cleaned as well I see...” the man said and she nodded in response. Earl seemed different to her somehow. It might’ve been nothing though Ilea was sure her actions today had influenced his opinion of her in one way or the other.
She had certainly changed since she’d come to Elos though what was certainly the most influential thing to others was her sheer power. People treated her differently now than even just a couple months ago. It was a weird feeling to her and a little scary. Certainly it made her not want to stay in Riverwatch for much longer, despite her mentions to Dale.
An elven attack was already reduced to a mere couple houses burning down partially due to her help. “I’m gonna leave again soon I think.” she said into the quiet room. Earl didn’t answer immediately and Ilea simply walked up to him and extended her hand.
“I’ll come back if I find interesting things for you or if I need a good smith. Good luck Earl.” the man shook her hand.
“Good luck to you too Ilea.” he said to her back as she walked out, letting the door close behind her.
‘Weird...’ she though. The whole interaction with the smith that day had felt different to her. Perhaps it was only in her mind, maybe something caused by her recent experiences. Though Ilea couldn’t shake off that it had been the smith that had treated her differently.
Walking through the city for a while and thinking on the past day’s and night’s events Ilea came to a stop near a book store. A nearly burnt down book store and not one unfamiliar to her. It wasn’t Splicer’s shop but the skill book store that had let her onto the path of her current Ash Wielder class.
Her wings extended and she smiled as she looked at the deserted and quiet store. The night was dark above and the snow mixed with ash in the store. ‘I’m sure the clerk would’ve liked my wings...’ she moved into the store and touched some of the still standing shelfs before flying up and above the city.
The city itself was lit up by many torches and lanterns though nothing came close to the walls around it. She could see people patrolling in the distance. Beyond was darkness, the wild and probably elves lurking behind rocks and trees, waiting for a foolish adventurer to leave the fortified settlement.
“Fuck that...” Ilea said out loud into the night before her. ‘I’m not gonna let some abomination of the fairer race stop me from exploring this world. Not after I’ve gotten to this point.’ she thought as her buffs became active. She thought about informing Dale or visiting Splicer first but decided not to in the end.
‘I need advice though. At this point I’m an aimless wanderer and will die somewhere in a fucking dwarven dungeon if I don’t get some information. And more personal strength of course. There’s only a couple people that could help me with that then.’
“Time to make a delivery...” she said and flew out of the city. She was wary, though considering how close her goal was it wouldn’t be much of an issue. Diving down she landed in the forest before any elves showed themselves, her knees bending and snow being crushed below her feet.
Looking around her body heat regulated to become the same as her surroundings. Her helmet was put on to hide most of the light her buffs were giving off. And then Ilea started to fly. Low but fast, her incredible speed and reflexes helping her dodge through the trees while being concealed by the clouds and night above.
The elves’ noses would likely not be enough to follow her quick movement though if it came to an encounter Ilea was sure to give them more than just some bruises. Usually her sustenance and healing were the reason she overcame tougher enemies but now with the increased mobility of flight and a close city to dive into as a last effort to flee, she’d be a nightmarish cockroach for most enemies.
Though she didn’t sense anything through her whole travel. It certainly took longer than simply flying above the forests but Ilea reached her goal uninterrupted after just a couple hours of travel. Looking back and above there was no sign of any movement.
“They will not follow you here.” a voice said and Ilea looked down at the dagger.
“I am.” came the short answer.
“How do you know they won’t?” she asked while looking through the trees behind her.
“They are keeping the people in the city inside. You are already too far away for them to follow.”
“You’re implying they’re not acting on pure instinct? Elves seem rather emotional to me and having someone escape doesn’t seem to be something they would let go.” she said.
“They are not, though the young ones can certainly be hot headed I doubt any of them will follow you here. There were only four of them there after all.”
“Four? I thought only three...the illusionist or whatever that was, the ranger and the fire mage.” she counted through.
“There was a mind mage as well, though you seem to be as thick headed literally as you are figuratively.” the dagger said.
She chuckled at that and walked into the Calys mines. “That is why I am looking for advice, though perhaps I had it with me all the time. Why the sudden talking without sounding like a spoiled noble being lynched by common rabble?”
The dagger kept quiet for a while as Ilea walked through the dungeon. She had killed the Alpha of this place but it didn’t seem like the dungeon ceased to be. There were some Stalker Hounds around though they scattered away immediately upon sensing her, their perception matching earth’s dogs.
“I’m old. Older than you can imagine.” the dagger suddenly said as Ilea came up on the cave she’d fought the Alpha in. She knew there was another entry though she didn’t want to lead any potential followers directly to the necromancers. And elves hated dungeons.
“And I’ve had many owners.” the dagger continued.
“All of them elven?” she asked as she walked up to the decaying skeleton of the Alpha. Something or someone had cleaned up the flesh quite thoroughly.
“No. Though for a long time that has been the case.”
“How were you made? Or are you a person put into metal?” she asked, noticing for the first time the connection of her mana to the dagger.
“I do not know. Though my earliest memories are of being a dagger. Seeing the existence of magical beings, mind magic, curses and artifacts I cannot say for sure that I have never been an entity outside of this metal.”
“Why the change of attitude towards me?” Ilea asked as she jumped down into the abyss.
“I have memories of many owners and I remember what I said to them and how I did so. I conclude that the connection I have to my owner influences my character. The being you met when you found me was still much the same as the one it had been a thousand years ago.” the dagger said.
Ilea stopped in her tracks. “You’ve been down there alone for a thousand years?”
“Yes, more than that actually. Quite a bit more. I would have to know the current calculation of time and the definition of a year to give you an answer.” it said.
“You didn’t go insane, wasn’t that lonely? I can’t even comprehend being alone for a single year.” Ilea said. The dagger was quiet for a while but ultimately answered.
“You have the meditation skill?” it asked and Ilea nodded “Well I don’t though it was a similar experience, at least compared to what people have told me about the skill. Time flows faster and mental strain caused by a lack of social interaction has less of an influence. Not that it would matter to me anyway, I’m a dagger after all.”
“That you are. It’s certainly interesting though how do you want to do this? I mean travel with me.”
“I don’t understand your question, I’m a weapon and you use me.”
“I use my fists to fight, though I could profit from your knowledge certainly. I’m not keen on slavery though so I won’t be your owner, except your into that kind of shit.” Ilea said.
“I’m linked to your mana already so you will influence me. If it is my knowledge you deem useful then so be it. Though I am Very sharp.”
“Are you talking about your mind or blade.” she asked though didn’t receive an answer. “I’ll keep you around though but not without your consent. Don’t want a level thousand white knight to hunt me down because of accused rape.”
“I am a dagger, I would suggest you do not use me for coitus.” Ilea didn’t answer and simply waited. “I don’t mind traveling with you.” the dagger said.
“There you go. Now let me show you that everything can be a dildo if you’re brave enough.” Ilea said with a smile on her face as she walked on. The two didn’t talk after that. Ilea was content with the quiet and would question the dagger at a later point in time. She didn’t know about the inner workings of the being she had found, so couldn’t assume what it thought about the quiet, if it did think at all.
Speaking of meditation made Ilea think about the skill and her other general skills as well. They’ve been very slow at leveling, especially identify. Though she shrugged and walked on. Some patrolling undead with pieces of stinking meat hanging down from their bodies had noticed her but didn’t seem interested in attacking. ‘Maybe they know me still...’ Ilea thought.
The necromancer tunnels looked the exact same as they did before and Ilea already felt claustrophobic, the thought supported heavily by her newfound ability to fly. The common hall was empty as she entered, leaving behind the sword wielding undead guarding the entrance. She stood still in the quiet tavern and perceived it in its entirety, down to the rock covering all sides and the mold growing behind the wooden shelfs.
‘It stinks here.’ she thought, though compared to Salia it was barely noticeable. Noticing the smell Ilea felt a little less hollow, she had barely cared about similar impressions just a couple days ago.
Finally the door opened and Walter walked through, smiling as he looked at the woman clad in black. She had removed her helmet, looking back at him as she poured another mug of mead. “Well isn’t that a surprise.” the man said as he walked down the stairs. “I hadn’t expected you again so soon.”
[Mage - lvl 204]
Ilea smirked a little. ‘Very close now. I wonder if I could see Edwin’s.’ she thought as she finished up the mug and walked back out from the counter with two drinks in her hands. “Neither have I Walter. Come, sit with me.” she said and put the mugs down. The man looked at her a little bit hesitant but nodded in the end.
“I’m assuming you didn’t lead anybody here...with what is going on in Riverwatch at the moment?” he took his mug and touched it to hers, creating a hollow sound in the otherwise rather quiet room.
“We should be fine. Likely nothing the two of us can’t take.” she said, drinking a bit of her beverage. “This is really really good. Do you sell it?” she asked.
“I’m not sure we can take down an elf Ilea. Even seeing your absurd growth. What the hell did you do?” she was a little annoyed that he ignored the question about the mead.
“You’re a good brewer my friend. I’ve had a couple rather interesting weeks. Filled with a Taleen dungeon, a mysterious group of nobles, curses and the dead.” she finished while he listened intently. Ilea was aware that he was on edge. They only knew each other for a short while and she had jumped over a hundred levels in her main class, now able to challenge him if she wished to do so. At least from a level perspective.
“That is quite a lot to take in Ilea.” he said, now visibly tense. Ilea realized she had been staring at him, lacking her usual stupid grin. She rectified that and got up slowly.
“Walter, calm the fuck down, it’s still me. I’m just here because I’m in need of your counsel.” she said and turned to one of the empty tables just as the door to the common room opened for the second time since she’d been there. “And I’ve come bearing gifts.” she said, smiling at the man just as Indra and Lucia entered the room.
Two dead elves still wearing their armor materialized on the tables as the other two approached, greeting Ilea. Walter’s eyes opened quickly as he nearly stumbled out of his chair and Indra was upon the corpses before the first drop of blood reached the ground. His magic was in full effect already, having forgotten completely about the return of Ilea.
“A scholar. Well I hope you like them, I remember you were quite short on elven corpses. And there’s more where that one came from.” Ilea said as she sat down again. Lucia had gotten the mood immediately and joined Walter’s side of the table while he shook his head.
“Alright alright. How am I welcoming a friend...who has saved one of our own. I’m sorry Ilea it’s just a bit much you know...level 201, the elves, and you have a storage item? Well fuck all that. Let’s get more drinks.” he said and got up while extending his hand towards Ilea.
She got up as well and shook it while locking eyes with the man. “A lot has happened but I’m still a friend. Don’t think you’ll get rid of me so easily.” she said as Lucia started smiling.