Chapter 82 Vampyr
Joseph watched on as two people from his newly assigned team clashed together, red lightning flashing and painting the whole hall as the woman’s fist smashed into the ground, cracking it and sending stone flying.
The magical lamps above flickered as more and more red lightning landed around Ilea who was dodging incredibly efficiently. Her body moved, powered by no doubt second stage fighting and movement skills and seemingly a lot of experience. Joseph pierced the ashen mist used by the girl to inhibit the view of her opponent and concentrated to keep up with the fast paced fighting.
He was aware that the longer the fight went on, the more of an advantage the vampyrist would have. Though he was shelling out spell after spell just to keep Ilea away from him. Every so often she would manage to predict his movements and get a punch or a kick in though Joseph was betting on Trian more and more. It didn’t matter to him though as with them in the team, he would certainly climb as their designated team fighting teacher. His face was stone though and didn’t show any emotion.
‘Fuck he’s going to get me like this...’ Ilea thought as she followed the teleporting mage just a moment too late to deliver another attack. The lightning that coursed through her a testament to her failure. The man was certainly dangerous. Without her Resistance skills she would’ve likely been dead for quite some time already.
‘I need to grab him again...it’s the only way for me to win...’ she thought and blinked again. His lightning attacks continued to disturb the ash she still distributed after every teleport. He had some way to see or feel her, at least partially but considering he tried to get out of the ash most of the time she was sure it was troubling him at least somewhat.
Two blinks later she finally got her opportunity and grabbed his arm again. She noticed that the bone wasn’t broken anymore and remedied that immediately. She was hit straight on by red lightning and the full force of his draining but simply smashed him into the ground again.
Instead of her previous actions, she used her legs to push her reversed hunter’s recovery into the man while punching him with reversed destruction. His drain was certainly stronger than hers, and that by a large margin though her still powerful physical punches seemingly pushed his concentration enough to make his spell a lot less effective.
He punched at her as well while lightning bolts rained into her from above, both of them too caught up in the fight to stop at that point. Punch after punch landed on his face as bone cracked and the control on his magic waned. Ilea didn’t look much better as she couldn’t heal herself anymore with her reversed healing spell entering the man. More and more of her internal organs were being burnt up and she felt her control leave as well.
Just before she decided to jump away to save her life and heal herself, the man’s attacks stopped. He lay there under her, unconscious and bleeding. His face was barely recognizable as Ilea’s healing spell changed from destructive to constructive again.
‘She actually did it...’ Joseph thought and immediately ran towards the two to stop her from killing the man, if it weren’t already too late. He should’ve stopped them earlier but he had been too caught up in the fight to react. The sheer raw power of these combatants was blowing him away. It’s been a while since he had taught people that were this powerful right after they had joined.
Usually he had to deal with people who had some sort of trick to kill higher leveled monsters quickly. He assumed the boy and his metal was something similar though even he was much more advanced than many Joseph had taught before.
He reached the two and stopped himself from intervening as he watched the woman’s burnt flesh rebuild right before his eyes. Both her burns and the man’s wounds below her healed quickly as he stood there. ‘She either heals herself much more quickly or she uses more resources on herself right now...’ he thought as he watched her move to the side of the man, not stopping her touch.
“You heal with touch, no other way? And is this the fastest you can go?” he asked the woman. She didn’t look at him but answered nonetheless. Only a gargling noise came out, likely a cause of one of Trian’s attacks. She waited a moment and then answered.
“Only with touch, yes. And that’s the fastest I can heal others.” she said and continued in silence. The others were slowly advancing on the scene, a gust of wind pushed away the remaining ash and Joseph nodded towards Claire whose rune still hung in the air as she joined the group.
Ilea meditated as she healed the man in front of her, her own wounds had been taken care of more quickly. She had to admit that his damage output had been incredibly impressive. More so than anybody she had faced before lest perhaps the elves. Though she had an easier time dodging them and of course a team of the hand helping her out. With his vampyrism as he had called it, he had become much harder to take down than she had expected.
The damage she had inflicted slowly healed and his bones set again before he finally woke, gasping for air and quickly coughing. He lied down again and breathed out.
“I lost.” he said and then smiled. “How close did I get though?” he asked, turning his head to look at Ilea.
“Very close.” she simply said and held out her hand to help him up. He refused though and got up himself, brushing off his coat. It didn’t help a lot with the blood though but considering it was red and black it wasn’t much of a problem in the first place already.
“Well that was certainly an interesting fight. I’m sure I could take you though, knowing now of your abilities.” he said.
“That is often the case Mr. Alymie.” Joseph said to the man “You both have impressive levels of strength though and use your skills and resources very well. I’m afraid I won’t be able to teach you a lot. As most of these classes will consist of spars though, it won’t be a problem. You’ll advance your skills and will have to get creative with using them.” he finished.
“Who’s next?” he asked and looked towards the two women standing around.
Ilea walked to the side of the hall and checked her leather armor. It was singed in a lot of places but the lightning didn’t destroy it as fire would have. She checked the notifications she had gotten during the fight and was quite happy with them.
‘ding’ ‘Lightning Resistance reaches lvl 7’
‘ding’ ‘Lightning Resistance reaches lvl 9’
‘ding’ ‘You have learned the General skill Mana Drain Resistance – lvl 1
Rare foes will have the ability to drain your mana. Either for their own use or simply to weaken you. Having encountered one such being, you have learned of its destructive effect. This skill will help you reduce the effect any mana draining abilities will have on you.’
‘ding’ ‘Mana Drain Resistance reaches lvl 2’
‘ding’ ‘You have learned the General skill Health Drain Resistance – lvl 1
Some creatures have the ability to drain your health. You have been subjected to such a spell and have endured. This skill will help you endure more easily and turn the tables on your enemies.’
‘ding’ ‘Health Drain Resistance reaches lvl 2’
‘ding’ ‘Ash Surge reaches lvl 10’
‘ding’ ‘Hunter’s Sight reaches lvl 2’
‘ding’ ‘Ashen Warrior reaches lvl 13’
‘Quite the result...’ Ilea thought and smiled, mostly at her win though. It had been a good fight and as much as she had gotten used to it, she felt a little good about how nobody had to die this time around. She would be able to raise her skills here at least, no matter how the whole team thing would go in the end. Though if Trian didn’t already plan on gutting her for insulting a noble or whatever, she was quite happy to have him at her back.
‘He’s certainly more than just talk...’ she thought, looking over at the man at the other side of the hall. They locked eyes and she felt his glare to be more challenging than insulted. A good sign for now but her judgment of character had been wrong before. She would keep her guard up, as she tried to do at all times now anyway.
Kyrian joined her a couple meters away, leaning on the wall while looking at the ground. “Good fight, I..Ilea.” he said after a while and she nodded.
“Thanks.” the two watched the women of their team face each other in the middle of the hall. Joseph motioned for them to start with a gesture and the two women went into motion.
Claire dropped a bunch of stones on the ground and started seemingly painting into the air before her, a shining rune appeared where her hand moved. Ilea heard the humming and started smiling widely as she finally found the person she had been looking for. Her head throbbed a little but Claire seemingly was a little more unprepared.
Their tactics teacher slumped down on the ground, seemingly unconscious as Eve giggled innocently. The tone of the hum laid in the air still, giving the giggle a much more sinister feeling than what it actually sounded like. ‘That’s pretty scary...’ Ilea thought and looked towards Joseph who was walking towards the downed Claire.
A splash of water magic to her face seemed to do the trick as she slowly opened her eyes and held her head. “Care to try again? Or do you lack the runes?” Joseph asked as he helped her stand up. Her eyes focused as she looked towards Eve again.
“Again, give me a moment to prepare please.” she said and Eve nodded happily.
“Sure! Tell me when to start then.” she said with a big smile. Ilea chuckled at the situation from the side but calmed down again quickly. A mind mage had just knocked out a rune mage and they would be members in her new adventurer team in a magical land filled with monsters and ruins.
‘Let’s see how the next try goes then...’ Ilea thought as she watched Claire draw several runes into the air. The shining manifestations stayed there and thrummed with power.
“You may start.” Claire said. The room quickly filled with sound again, pushing on everyone’s minds. Ilea thought herself to be the most resistant to the magic but she couldn’t be sure. None of the others showed a visible reaction to the magic either though she was sure the power of the spell was reduced by an incredibly margin compared to being targeted directly.
This time Claire didn’t faint immediately but stood her ground. Her face was visibly strained as the runes in front of her started glowing brighter. Eve giggled again before she started walking towards Claire. Her body suddenly shifted and seven copies walked out of herself. The humming intensified and more runes appeared in front of Claire.
Contrary to the seemingly defensive ones from before, these runes started glowing and immediately Eve had to shield herself against the air that started blowing her way. The debris still cluttering the training hall rolled towards Eve and Ilea noticed with her sphere that some of the debris was a little different than mere stone and dust.
A sudden explosion racked through the hall and the Eves were thrown backwards, most of them vanishing immediately. The explosion took all of them while the real one caught herself, her leather armor cut in some places and blood leaking out.
“I give up. You win.” the remaining Eve said while holding one wound in particular. Ilea immediately appeared next to the woman and started healing her. Her right lung had been pierced and she quickly stopped the bleeding. Ilea doubted heavily that her hunter recovery’s second stage regarding healing a removed head would be applicable to other people. She certainly wouldn’t be trying it out on these people.
Eve coughed and smiled at Ilea while mouthing a thank you. Joseph and the others had walked towards them when Ilea turned and started healing Claire. Recent mind attacks were a part of her range as well.
“Alright, so I’m assuming this one on one style against a prepared enemy isn’t really your strength Eve.” Joseph asked and waited for her nod though he seemed rather sure about his statement.
“We have another three hours today and I’ve seen all of you fight at least once so far. Now I’ll suggest some ways for your abilities to improve and we’ll fill the three hours with those. We’ll have four hours of this every day for at least the next three months. After that, if none of you have died or decided to leave, you’ll start to do jobs together.” he explained and walked over to the side of the hall. The others followed behind in silence.
“First we’ll start the lessons with bouts. The first month only one against one, after that we’ll see, depending on your progress and my judgment. Eve I’m assuming you’re more about sneaking?” he finished with his question, looking towards the woman.
“Yes, I don’t see how I can hide around here though...” the woman said and Joseph nodded.
“Good, for your mind magic or whatever that noise is I think everyone would benefit from a Resistance to that. Do you know what the Resistance will be?” he asked.
“Mental Resistance.” Eve simply stated.
“Good. Who has the skill already and at what level?” he asked. Only Ilea and Trian lifted their hands. The noble looked at her and nodded.
“Level three.” Trian said and looked at Ilea.
“Nine.” she stated simply.
“Good good, then to focus on your mind magic Eve you will start with Ilea and you will use it on the others as well until they reach at least level five. If possible I’d like for all of you to reach the same level but that will likely not be possible.” Joseph explained. “Regarding the hiding, don’t worry about that. I’ll be able to modify the hall to remedy that. Your clones are a big help as well with that I assume. Can you quickly make one for me?” Eve nodded at the request and a clone appeared next to her.
“Now who can tell the difference between them. I can’t.” Joseph said and this time Ilea and Claire held up their hands.
“So you will train with Kyrian or Trian mostly. Though I’m sure it’s good to fight against somebody who can tell as well. Focus on the first two though.” he said and then looked towards Trian.
“I will ask all of you for suggestions after so please wait with that for now.” he said, glancing quickly at Eve. “Trian I’m assuming your spells just need to be used to level up. I think something like the fight against Ilea today would be most beneficial for both of you. Though I suggest you decide on who’s attacking and who’s defending for each bout to not get a one sided result in skill growth. Try not to kill each other.” he said “I’ll ask for the whole team to be able to use the mobility training grounds. I’m sure all of you will benefit from that.” he finished and moved on to Claire.
“Claire I’m not sure yet about your abilities. You will likely benefit from bouts and simply attacking or defending against different people.” he said and she nodded.
“Kyrian I’ll talk to you in depth later. For now You’ll fight mostly against Ilea and Claire.” he said and finally looked towards Ilea.
“You can take quite the abuse. I’m assuming your meditation is rather high? How’s your pain tolerance?” he asked, getting a smirk from her.
“High enough for whatever you wanna do.” she said.
“Perfect. Then after the one on one battles in the first month we’ll have everyone attacking Ilea. First in turn and as time goes on or if it’s manageable, in teams or all at once. This is for your defense and their attack skills only so don’t dodge anything. For your offensive skills I’ll have to decide. A part of it will be against Trian but I’ll have to get a better feel for you all and then maybe I can find something.” he finished and clapped, rubbing his hands together after.
“Let’s start then. Ilea go to the left side of the hall please. Trian and Eve please go with her and level your skills against her defense.” he said and dismissed them.
Ilea looked at Trian and Eve. One of them grinning and the other one smiling brightly. ‘That’s gonna be fun...’ she thought but only in part sarcastic. She blinked to the boxes and looked through.
“What are you doing?” Trian asked in a condescending tone, though Ilea ignored it and got what she needed from the crate.
“Give me a minute to change.” she said and cast Ash Surge before removing her lightly singed leather armor to change into the provided leather armor from the guild. It looked a little more used and had definitely been repaired a couple times but she found it to be of a similarly high quality as her own.
She walked out of the ash and faced the two waiting members of her team. “I’m ready, go whenever. Eve first please, start slow and then go stronger. I’ll tell you when you’ve reached a manageable level.” she said and motioned to the woman who smiled and gave her a thumbs up.
The hum started and Ilea felt her lungs restrict and her breathing quicken as an urge to puke formed in her throat. She activated her shroud and the effect lessened considerably. Her eyes focused and she looked at the humming woman and realized that Trian had moved a step or two away from her.
‘This is gonna be a long day...’ she thought and decided not to activate the second stage of her Pain Tolerance. It was manageable and she had a feeling that it would help not just her Pain Tolerance to level but all the other resistances as well. ‘Plus I’ll understand what’s happening better if I perceive my body’s feedback...’ she thought.
“Stronger.” she said and the growing headache increased. Her Hunter’s Recovery kicked in and the damage done was healed in tune. “Stronger.” she said again and saw Eve strain her face. Sweat began to form on both of their brows and Ilea thought it to be a good place for each of them to improve.
“Trian, give me some sparkles.” she said, grinning at the man who grunted, obviously annoyed. The lightning hit her and made her gasp, though she ground her teeth together and powered through. The humming didn’t stop and neither did the lightning. Instead Trian increased the dosage continuously, before he added his mana and health drain abilities as well. She was a little surprised at how calm and controlled he was considering he had lost a fight to her earlier.