A note from Rhaegar


Chapter 232 The Northern Night

Traveling through the cracks in the land proved rather simple for Ilea, gifted with flight, high durability and endurance. The creek she had found previously was the only source of water she had seen so far and the shadows were already stretching far to the west, almost no light finding the bottom of the crevice she was currently moving through. The howling wind could be heard rushing by above, the cover of the glen protecting the creatures seeking shelter within. She could hear them before passing over the small hill, her Sphere informing her about the size and form of what creatures lay beyond. One of them looked up, its scaled head turning her way before it hissed, the other two bipedal bird like animals turned her way as well.

[Burrow Dragoon – lvl 205]

The closest one read as the three fanned out to surround their prey. “So you want to play?” Two of them quickly advanced, their height a little lower than Ilea’s but the claws on their feet nearly as long as her hand. Yellow eyes focused on her as the last one of them jumped up and twirled before it crashed and dug into the earth, Ilea’s brows rising as she jumped backwards, seeing the Dragoon advance through the ground with her Sphere. It reached her before the running ones did, its jaw snapping at the air before it landed again, digging into the ground.

They had neither arms nor wings, most of their weight probably distributed between claws and teeth. At least that’s what Ilea thought when she blinked next to one of the murder chickens, the monster just jumping up to burrow like its pal had done before it. Ilea’s fist alongside five limbs of ash crashed into its side, six loads of wave of ember with a side of Destruction rushed into the beast, the impact sending it skidding for several meters before it cried out in pain, hissing at her. Heavier than I thought.

Stepping to her left, Ilea avoided the emerging Dragoon, its leg rushing out to dig into her ash. Crouching downwards to avoid its attack, Ilea grabbed on to one of its legs and twirled around, throwing it at the hissing monster. The third beast emerged, its maw closing around her foot before she had let go of the second one, preventing her blink from activating. Its teeth ground through her Veil and fought hard against her armor before eight tendrils of ash smashed into the beast, Ilea pulling it up and out of the ground with her legs before she smashed her fist into its hard skull. Again and again until one of its eyes closed, a crack reverberating.

Ilea saw the other two approaching below and spread her wings, ascending with all the power she had, dragging the one Dragoon out of the stone while she continued her assault. Her armor groaned under the stress but the beast didn’t manage to get through. Its limbs stopped moving another three punches later, Ilea putting her hands inside its maw and pulling it apart. Sweat dropped from her brow as she groaned, finally breaking open the beast’s jaws and dropping its lifeless body towards the hissing monsters below.

Blinking behind one of them, the grabbed its tail and whirled it around, impacting the second one while her ash and touch delivered Wave of Ember as well as reversed Hunter Recovery. Breathing out hard, she watched the monster get up and burrow, Ilea still holding on to the other beast that desperately tried to get away. Jumping up, her wings helping in the process, she twirled and smashed the emerging beast with its specimen, smiling when it bit down into the other monster’s back. Jaw locked in place, Ilea let go of them before landing on top of the now intertwined beasts, one groaning in pain as teeth, fists and destructive mana rained into its scaled head.

It died a moment later, Ilea quickly taking care of the last one that remained locked in place, the only danger remaining its frantically moving legs that tried to claw at her. The bloodied yellow golden scales glittered a little in the sunshine that would soon leave the crevice behind until the night came and went.

ding’ ‘You have defeated [Burrow Dragoon – lvl 205]
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Burrow Dragoon – lvl 217]
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Burrow Dragoon – lvl 222]

ding’ ‘Wave of Ember reaches 2nd lvl 17’

And here I thought the north was going to be good to raise my classes again. Ilea smashed her fists together and breathed out. There were scratches on her armor but no further damage. Compared to the lightning bolt from before, where the force was distributed amongst her whole armor, the Dragoon had attacked a specific part, its teeth and jaw strength apparently enough to damage it. Let’s not end up with our head inside of that jaw.

Leaving the corpses behind, she moved on as the land became more and more dark. The glen became thinner and thinner until she could barely move through it at its lowest point, instead jumping up to fit through. Moving from an jutting stone to another, she found her visibility lowering. Coming out on the other side, she found herself looking into a deep crevice, mist looked to be falling into it from the top. She could hardly make out the ground and jumped down. A small creek flowed slowly towards her direction, growing vegetation pushed out of the slits and cracks on the ground.

As the night progressed, Ilea could see sparkling stars shining down from above, their light reflected in the water of the creek as a thin mist rolled into the glen. Like a cascade of water, the mist flowed down from the dangerous terrain above. Where is it coming from?

The question remained unanswered when the area around her turned eerily calm. She couldn’t make out the sound of the flowing water just a couple meters over, her breathing quickening as she prepared, for something. She knew not what. Seeing the mist pour in from all directions around her Ilea thought it best to fly up and observe the area but her body froze when she heard a noise.

A humming switching between high and low notes in an eerily unnatural rhythm. Her body screamed at her to get the hell out of there but she couldn’t move an inch.

ding’ ‘You have heard the song of a mighty creature – Your body is paralyzed for three seconds.’

The time passed slowly as she watched something twist in the mist, four limbs moving towards her with frightening speed, a ghostly floating form dancing as if pushed by an unearthly wind before six white eyes opened and stared at her, black feline pupils staring into her two. Unblinking and unwavering the barely visible creature moved towards her in twirling motions, its eyes focused on her at all times before she could finally move again.

[Miststalker – lvl ??]

Ilea’s wings spread while she felt her mana and health drain, the familiar sensation not surprising her. The four limbs ending in what looked like blades reached out to her while she ascended, the soundless weapons slashing through the mist. The humming continued but left her unaffected, Ilea debating if she should engage the creepy monster when her body locked up again, her form falling down towards the mists.

ding’ ‘You have heard the song of a mighty creature – Your body is paralyzed for three seconds.’

ding’ ‘Veteran reaches lvl 4’

The seconds passed before she blinked up, her wings forming just before she dropped again.

ding’ ‘You have heard the song of a mighty creature – Your body is paralyzed for two seconds.’

As she fell, her heart sunk. Dozens of the creatures moved through the mists, their songs intertwining into a terrifying concert of death. All of them moved towards her. Her health and mana started draining faster as more of the creatures advanced on her. Her body moved again for a second before another one of them froze her in place. She had blinked up and away but not far enough to get out of the deathly crevice.

ding’ ‘You have heard the song of a mighty creature – Your body is paralyzed for two seconds.’

One of the monsters slashed its bladed scythe like arm at her, Ilea’s mind flashing back to her first encounter with a Taleen Guardian. It dissipated at her armor but she felt the magic flow into her, a cold feeling spreading where it had hit her. Curse.

Another drain to her health and mana and if she didn’t get out of there soon, she’d be left dry and dead before the night had ended. Blinking up, she rammed her hands and ashen limbs into the stone before the next message resounded in her mind.

ding’ ‘You have heard the song of a mighty creature – Your body is paralyzed for two seconds.’

ding’ ‘Veteran reaches lvl 5’

Her plan had worked and she hung limply at the side of the cliff, the ghostly monsters unable to fly up to her as they grouped up, sucking out her health and mana even from the distance of nearly thirty meters.

Let’s see if this works. She thought and used the split second of available movement to dig herself even deeper into the wall. Carefully looking over her health and mana, she frowned and decided it was a shit idea to try and level here, already reaching below half of her mana.

ding’ ‘You have heard the song of a mighty creature – Your body is paralyzed for one second.’

Already down to a single second? Ilea blinked up again, digging into stone before another message came up.

ding’ ‘You have heard the song of a mighty creature – Your body is paralyzed for one second.’

This time her skill didn’t level but with a single second in between, she could blink up again. The mana and health drain started to vane by then, the distance too high for the monsters’ magic to affect her. Mist continued to pour down when she reached the top of the crevice.

ding’ ‘You have heard the song of a mighty creature – Your body is paralyzed for one second.’

ding’ ‘Veteran reaches lvl 6’

Looking down she found dozens of white eyes staring at her, unblinking before soon they started moving away, twirling in the mist as the visibility down in the crack became less and less. All her hair was standing up as she fell down backwards, sitting there as the mist continued pouring into the hole. It came from the air it seemed, like the wind carrying a white sheet before it poured down over the country. Ilea found some distant moving sets of six eyes even up here but none of them had noticed her so far and it looked like the mists congregated in deeper areas like the crevices. The humming continued from below, the fact that it didn’t sound like there were dozens of them there made it even creepier to her. She moved a couple steps back, still sitting and breathed out.

A couple fewer levels in Veteran at the start and that could’ve been it. Days since the last near death experience… still zero. She shivered and stood up, letting healing mana flow through her, meditation quickly returning her lost mana. “Terrifying little buggers.” Ilea looked out towards a pair of them twirling in their own sea of mist but decided to observe more before she landed in another fight. Who knew if they could multiply or something.

Looking over the cliff side, she found it had turned completely white. She couldn’t make out a single one of the creatures. The flow of the mist had nearly stopped as well. I should find another place to hide. The storms are too dangerous to… Ilea’s thought process was interrupted when she looked out over the lands. Dark mountains loomed all around her, cracks and crevices visible even far away, some reflecting the starlight on a white sheet of mist. Not a single purple light was visible. Not a single black cloud either.

Ilea spread her wings and flew up a couple dozen meters to get a better view. Other than seeing a little further, it was the exact same result. She saw a couple clouds but they looked either gray or white, not that that was an indicator of their safety. Still, there was no purple lightning. It was quiet. Seas of mist had congregated in various areas where the land seemed to form into valleys. Ilea assumed most if not all crevices were filled with the stuff and likely the creatures that followed.

Miststalkers was it? She couldn’t identify a single one of them. Flying closer to a small mountain, she landed on its peak, standing on black stone. A thin sheet of ice glimmered in the moonlight, crunching and splintering when she stepped over to the other side. Lakes of mist and cloudy mountain tops showed wherever she turned.

ding’ ‘Arcane Magic Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 2’

“Erm, what?” She blinked her eyes, watching black furry creatures run in the dark before they vanished again. “Hello. Yes what please?” Looking up towards the sky there was neither a god nor demon replying to her questioning.

...and natural occurrences of the true arcane. Does that mean there’s magic in the air here?

Figuring she’d learn about what the hell just happened in time, she tried spotting the running creatures again. Four legs and a tail. They were only visible because of the absence of light where they ran, at least it felt that way to Ilea. Spreading her wings, she jumped off the mountain and glided over the lake of mist where she could see at least a dozen of the mist creatures, too far below her to affect her with their magic. Landing on a hill overlooking the lake, some of the creatures nearby quickly advanced on her, their eerie melody sung but not affecting her anymore.

“What are you going to do now mist bitches?” The answer was of course to drain her health and mana. They stood far inside the mist, too far for her to try and engage, just in case they were just luring her in there. Training her resistances against the spells was certainly a possibility but she didn’t feel safe enough to run around with half of her mana and health missing.

Turning away instead, she continued her observation rounds from the sky. Not too high up as she saw things moving through the clouds. More of the leathery birds that moved in big murders. That doesn’t look safe. She wanted to fight one of them alone before rushing into a while group of the creatures. At least it seemed they either didn’t see her or didn’t care about her presence. Landing on an elevated position devoid of mist, she spotted a big skeleton. A lizard like head and four limbs. The tail was missing but checking a couple dozen meters behind the creature, she found its skeleton lying on the stone. The bone wasn’t completely dry, a little blood and tissue still sticking to it indicating a more recent death than she had assumed at first.

Identifying the bone gave her the name of the creature.

[Kalamon Bone – High Quality]

Ilea grabbed one of the ribs and pulled hard. It cracked after a while, the woman stumbling back a little. Putting it below her foot, she stomped down and found it cracking with the first hit, breaking on the second. Not better than my stuff.

Moving on through the dark, Ilea glimpsed more of the mist creatures and deadly looking birds but other than that there was nothing moving in the night. Nothing visible to her at least. She spent the night rushing from mountain top to mountain top, hiding from swarms of birds from time to time. A loud hissing sound made her jump into a crack, tremors of something moving by could be felt but looking over the edge, she couldn’t see anything. Neither had there been a paralyzing effect but Ilea didn’t really know what that meant. It was possible her Veteran level was high enough to counter the effects or certain strong monsters simply had the ability, like a skill of her own and could use it at will.

Ilea couldn’t tell the mountains from each other, constantly moving between their high peaks and the valleys beyond, the cracks in the earth leading down even deeper. With the mists it seemed unwise to travel them by night but there were certainly enough hunters around above ground as well. Birds and flying drake like creatures occasionally dived down but she could never see what exactly they hunted or killed. It made her more vary of the skies, making sure to stay as invisible as possible to them. Her black armor barely reflecting light and mostly her small form compared to the beasts she had encountered so far helped her in that regard. Or it was pure luck that none of the animals had dived to kill her. Ilea didn’t know. What she knew was that by the time the suns were rising on the horizon, the cracked and mountainous terrain now expanded further than her eyes let her see in all directions. A smile formed on her face as she stretched and summoned a meal, sitting down on a stone atop a mountain peak. Her legs dangled, bumping the stone from time to time as she enjoyed Keyla’s cooking in silence. I’m lost as fuck.


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