Chapter 92 Vampire?
Ilea flew back and landed in the forest again after the hour of pause had come to an end. Kyrian had already been waiting and practicing his curse runes.
“Can you draw those wherever you want? Or does it have to be on the ground?” Ilea asked after she landed, her wings disintegrating next to her back, coloring the snow on the ground a light gray.
“Doesn’t matter where but for the big one I need a… a somewhat flat surface, otherwise it doesn’t work.” the man responded.
The two decided to work on both movement and Ilea’s defense as Kyrian tried to attack her while she tried to catch him. With his defenses up it wasn’t easy for her to simply approach the man but she still held back a little on her speed. He wasn’t quite as fast as she and Trian.
Claire arrived around ten minutes later and joined in. They decided on doing the same as Ilea had been doing with Kyrian, just with Claire joining the man’s team. It got much harder for Ilea to stay on the offensive but with her blinking and Sphere she managed to avoid most attacks while getting behind and around the two people.
The training was fruitful and both Ilea and the others got better at battling the other. She found them to be adequate at defense but didn’t know how they would deal with Trian for example. One could say what one wanted about the man but he certainly had power to his lightning and the mobility to get around enemies.
The three trained deep into the night and only stopped if someone was out of mana or needed to eat or relieve themselves. With them being three people there was somebody fighting at most times. They did decide to eat together.
When the sun began rising Claire and Kyrian decided to go back and catch some sleep. They needed a little more than Ilea but it was still something quite unnatural to the earthen born woman who was used to get a solid twelve hours of sleep.
A couple hours of sleep later and a quick assessment of their training by Aki, Ilea found herself back in the training hall and ready to smash some vampire. Her wish was granted of course and the training resumed as it had the past two days before.
This time after the monster knowledge lesson Ilea decided to go find Trian and ask him about joining them to enter Eregar’s Haven.
“You think you can find him?” Claire asked, seemingly a little unsure.
“Yea, he’s very confident in his abilities so I doubt he will conceal himself a lot. Let’s see what important meetings he has to attend to.” Ilea said and waved to the others before blinking out of the room.
Going back to the training hall she activated Hunter’s Sight and checked around. His smell was easy enough to identify and she quickly followed the trail. It led out of Viscera and into Ravenhall. Ilea quickly found herself in what she identified as the noble section of the city and her trail led towards one of the bigger houses.
Apparently the city didn’t allow the nobles to get a lot of space as the luxurious looking stone structures were still placed in close proximity to each other. Ilea blinked inside the one Trian’s trail led to and found herself inside a beautifully furnished room. Comparable to the Forkspear estate in Dawntree, there were paintings on the walls and a hearth burning near one of the walls.
Parts of the room were colored in red and contrary to the stony exterior, everything inside was covered in wood. The smell was especially nice to Ilea’s enhanced senses as she took everything in. Someone was approaching the door to the room so Ilea blinked below. Her sphere told her little and so she blinked deeper, there seemed to be an extensive amount of levels going into the ground.
Soon she found a trail again but it was isolated and weak. ‘He probably teleported down here as well...’ she thought, finding it to be the only explanation for the sudden disappearance of his smell.
A couple levels further down she finally found what she had been looking for. And it was certainly not an important noble meeting. Admittedly it wasn’t an orgy or blood sacrifice either, something one would expect from a noble man being somewhat of a vampire.
No, it was something quite simple and something Ilea had somewhat expected as well. Trian was working on his skills. In an expensive and very noble way. Ilea whiled above the room he was in and through her Sphere perceived him and his assistants.
Trian was standing in the middle of the room and drained ten people around him, occasionally pausing for them to be healed. Considering the pain on their faces Ilea thought he was alternating between mana and health draining. ‘Quite efficient, quite evil as well.’ she thought but decided to keep watching for a while. Judging too fast can lead to misunderstandings. So far nobody had died at least. And it wasn’t like Ilea really knew any of the people there. What if It were simply a job someone could take. She doubted it of course but attacking one of her to be teammates wasn’t something easily done.
Especially not considering his abilities. The session continued for quite a while until one of the people collapsed on the ground. It wasn’t one of the people being drained but one of the healers.
“Is she alright?” Trian immediately asked as another healer went to check the woman.
“Yea, just needs a while to recover some mana. She’ll be fine.” the man who checked on her said.
“Good, bring her to a bed and then we’ll continue. A couple minutes pause.” Trian said, using a towel that appeared in his hand to brush away the sweat on his brow.
Ilea decided it was a good time to go and say hello and blinked downwards.
“Hello there.” she exclaimed and everyone in the room tensed up as magic flared and weapons were drawn. The only one who stayed calm was Trian himself and he quickly motioned for everybody to calm down.
“Ilea. Well I did kind of except for somebody to invade my privacy at one point or another. Didn’t think it would be you. Missed my amazing looks so much?” he said and smirked towards her.
“No, you’re the opposite of my type Trian I’m really sorry.” Ilea said and started walking around the room. The other people were focused on her but seemed to have calmed down at them apparently knowing each other.
“It’s just that you have a perfectly fine tank ready to level her Resistances and you chose to stay in your basement with your slaves...” Ilea said, checking everyone’s reactions but most of them just looked to Trian. Some few seemed angry at her exclamation.
“They aren’t slaves. The resistances and available healers aren’t something easily gotten and you’re not the only one looking for them. Everyone please give us some privacy.” he gestured for them to leave and so they did.
“So employees?” Ilea asked, walking around the room and picking up a staff from a weapon rack.
“They’re people employed by my house. Not cheap but it’s efficient. Having more than one target is better for the specific skills. That’s why I’m doing this and not you.” Ilea was aware of the innuendo but decided to ignore it while she twirled around her newfound staff.
“Don’t tell me you would’ve actually attacked me if they were slaves?” he asked and interpreted her silence as a yes.
“Hahahahaha. Well look at you. A righteous hero aren’t we. Are you going to declare war on at least three human kingdoms then? Last I heard they allow slavery… at least to an extent.” Ilea knew he was just provoking her.
“Trian I’m aware that I’m not going to change anything big. People are people but if I stumble upon a vampiristic ritual where slaves are being sacrificed I’m gonna at least slap somebody. Hard.” she said and smiled at him.
Trian scoffed and shook his head. “Well that’s at least somewhat more reasonable then. So if you’re not here for my beauty or to save lives then what are you still doing here?” he asked, obviously annoyed at her presence. She wasn’t sure if it was simply for the interruption or because he truly didn’t want to see her face.
“We wanted to go to Eregar’s Haven to train. Most of us don’t need a lot of sleep and we’ve been working together to improve our skills. We need a full team to do that. I can see how this kind of training is efficient for you but that’s what? Two skills? I doubt they can take a full on attack from you or have the ability to match your speed.” Ilea smirked at the lack of an answer. None of the other people who had been in the room were higher than level 120. She had him.
“Alright. Where?” Trian said after a minute of silence.
“Follow me sparky.” she said and blinked upwards. Trian first teleported to a side room and informed the people about his plans, reassuring them that they will still get paid for the whole session. He quickly appeared next to Ilea and looked at her.
“That wasn’t cheap. Go on.” he said, grinding his teeth as Ilea smiled and blinked upwards until they were standing on top of the house in Ravenhall. The weather was nice, few clouds dotted the horizon and a cool winter breeze flowed through their hair.
“Can you fly?” Ilea asked. Trian jumped off the house as red lightning came out of his back and somehow kept him in the air. She activated her own wings and followed.
“I’m jealous. Those look fancy.” she said as she hovered next to the man.
“They’re too bright but it’s what I have. Not good for sneaking up on anything.” he said.
“I don’t think sneaking fits you in any way noble boy.” Ilea said and accelerated towards the forest where the others would be training already. The wind blew through her hair as she smiled at the joy of flying, laughing in the process as Trian tried hard to keep up. He didn’t seem to be quite as fast in the air as on the ground where he matched her well enough.
“Huh, she actually did it.” Eve said, walking up to the approaching Ilea and Trian. They landed and their wings disintegrated.
“Hey Eve, where are the others?” Ilea asked, looking around.
“Follow me. They started discussing about runes and it got a little boring for me. So we’re going to the Haven?” Eve asked.
“We plan to, yes. As I remember we need the ok from Joseph to enter.” Eve nodded lightly at Ilea’s remark and led them to the two people sitting over a bunch of papers and scribbling down runes with their pens.
“Mr. Alymie.” Claire said without looking up “I see you have joined us, I assume we’re going to visit the Haven then?” she didn’t look up from her drawing and Kyrian seemed fascinated by the contents on the paper.
Ilea looked as well but couldn’t make much sense of the sketches. It looked somewhat similar to her own runes but then again so did all runes she’d seen so far. ‘Another language...’ she thought and knew that languages weren’t quite her best skill. If she hadn’t gotten Elos Standard Language when she had come here she would’ve probably been killed by some adventurer who took her silence as an attack.
“Yes we are.” Eve interjected as Ilea didn’t answer “We need to find Joseph first.”
“Oh don’t worry I’ve already talked to him. Here is the signed allowance.” Claire said and took out a piece of paper from a delicate looking section in her pack. Eve looked at Ilea and both just shrugged.
“Great, let’s go then. Can you continue later or do you need some more time?” Ilea asked.
“Give us fifteen minutes or so alright?” Claire asked. Ilea shrugged and looked back at Kyrian while activating her buffs.
“Come then, no reason to waste time.” she said, getting a smirk from the man.
“You’re alright for a common wench...” Trian said, following behind her and activating his skills as well.
“You don’t have to pretend to be a noble ass with me you know.” Ilea said, not in the least bit offended. The whole concept of nobles looking down on her because of her bloodline was so far removed for Ilea she couldn’t take it as more than a child’s teasing. Especially because of the power she held. Still she would likely break at least some bones if it had been anybody else but her teammate, whom she thought to be mostly pretending. The slight twitch on his face at her remark only undermined that thought.
‘Well some bones are alright...’ she thought and smiled before the two clashed, her on the offensive.
Thirty minutes and a dozen destroyed trees later, Kyrian and Claire were done. Trian was spitting blood before Ilea healed him, signaling an end to their bout. Trian as usual got more hits in but Ilea’s counted for more. He definitely hit harder but with her defense and healing power compared to his vampyrism this was the result.
“When is one of you going to die from this?” Eve asked and Claire seemed to agree.
“You both are very enthusiastic about fighting I can’t help but worry a little as well.” she said.
“Nah, I don’t want to kill the guy. At least not anymore than other cocky shits like him. And I’m just too good of a skill grind for him to kill me.” Ilea said, saying the last part in an overly erotic fashion.
“Don’t embarrass him, I’ve seen nobles kill for less.” Eve said dryly.
“Well you’re upbeat today. Don’t worry I don’t think all nobles are the same. Prince Charles doesn’t seem like he’d do something like that.” Ilea commented as they started walking towards Ravenhall.
“Who is this prince Charles? Is he from Salia?” Claire asked.
“He’s from further away I think. Hey who of you can fly? We’re faster if we fly.” Ilea asked suddenly, trying to change the subject. Especially because Eve seemed to be tensing up the longer it went on.
“Trian and me obviously can, Eve?” she asked.
The only response was a slight shake of her head. “Me neither sadly but I’m sure I’ll figure out some rune usage at some point.” Claire commented “I’m actually pretty close but it’s not really flying yet.”
“That’s cool, will be good to have more people capable of flying at some point. Kyrian?” Ilea answered.
“N… no, I have ideas like Claire b… but nothing yet.” the man said to her question.
“Alright, well let’s add a new formation to the team tactics training then. Eve come hug me.” Ilea said.
“Ilea I don’t know if this is the right moment for something like this.” Eve said.
“I only have two hands and I doubt your ability to hold on to my legs.” Ilea said, her wings spreading behind her and her arms unfolding, ready to embrace the beautiful girl’s hug. Both efficient and accompanying her selfish wishes. ‘If only my armor was broken as well...’ Ilea thought as Eve understood and held on to her front.
It might’ve been possible to hold on to her back as well but Ilea didn’t feel like putting that idea into the room at the moment. She started flapping her wings and found Eve’s weight to be nothing more than what she’d consider a small backpack. A little more uneven yes but with her skills and Dexterity it wouldn’t be much of an issue.
Ilea hovered and held out both her hands. “Come on, hang on guys.” she said. Claire and Kyrian looked at each other with skepticism but in the end each held on to one of Ilea’s arms. She grabbed them and started to ascend. It was much easier than she had expected. A human shouldn’t be able to fly at all, let alone carry three people with a wingspan of less than four meters.
‘I like this magic business...’ Ilea thought as she nodded to Trian who had been waiting with his electric wings singeing snow and wood around him. He looked at her with a blank expression on his face before he shook his head lightly and started towards the city of Ravenhall. Ilea followed and had to concentrate to keep her balance but after just a minute she smiled at Trian who had to work hard to stay ahead.
‘Investing in Strength wasn’t useless after all...’ she thought as they reached the few blocks before the Hand’s headquarters. Ilea landed and let go of the two people next to her. Eve was right in front of her face and smiled brightly before she kissed Ilea on the cheek.
“That was SO fun!!” she exclaimed and Ilea used her Body Heat Manipulation to keep the red color from her face, unsure if it worked at all. Kyrian and Claire were smiling as well and would surely be more invested in finding a way to fly themselves after this experience. At least Ilea thought so, seeing her own enthusiasm for the skill.
“Anybody wants to get something before we go below?” Claire asked “Traders aren’t allowed down there and I doubt another member would give us a fair price.” she said.
“Drinks?” Eve asked.
“And food...” Ilea commented, they still didn’t know about her storage necklace after all.
“I have both.” Trian said, flashing his ring at them. “You’ll pay me of course.”
“Eh, not really. Eve let’s go shop then?” Ilea said and was already walking away when Trian sighed.
“Alriiight. Only this time though, come on. We’ve wasted enough time as it is.” he said and grumbled something about people not being paid by his house.