Chapter 289 Rules
Ilea stepped over the knocked out Terok, Heranuur bleeding and crawling towards her with two broken legs. The elf didn’t understand anything less and she was worried about knocking him out, the force necessary likely enough to crack his thick skull. Goldie was panting, his bone armor had grown out enough to cover nearly his full body now. She could still easily injure him with her ash, the sharp edges she could form small enough to bypass the loose armor.
Of course she chose not to after her first demonstration. The cut had closed at some point, showing that he did have some kind of self healing ability. Slower than hers, that much was sure but at least he wasn’t as hopeless anymore. Brushing away the blood from his mouth, the white haired elf prepared for her to come. His yellow eyes were focused on her, his face unreadable. The arrogance and superiority he had met her with wasn’t there anymore, at least not on the surface.
Neiph, the brown haired elf with a wood creation class he didn’t want to use stood behind the bone mage, short swords in hand. Ilea had learned during their now already hour long evaluation that what he really lacked was bite. Goldie higher leveled, yes. He was using both his classes actively and not just whatever passives Neiphato had from his second class but the real difference came from his tenacity.
He crouched and hissed, his stance suggesting that if she wouldn’t come to him, he would come to her. Good. Not giving me time to meditate should have been your priority from the start. Ilea had found her third tier of Form of Ash and Ember making this whole thing trivial. Not having to constantly use her attack magic in tandem with ash creation and manipulation let her stay relatively full of mana during the whole battle.
Hearnuur’s magic wasn’t enough to hurt her and her normal punches were dealing quite a bit of damage already, her improved Strength and his lack of quality armor to thank. Terok was still below two hundred, proving that he could somewhat keep up but ultimately lacking the powerful classes everyone else had. His metal armor and capped skill levels didn’t quite manage to close the gap. It didn’t help that he was their only ranged combatant, forcing Ilea to focus on him as a first priority.
Of course she had held back, had tested them extensively, had given time to recover and even healed some of their injuries. It was an evaluation after all, not a demonstration. Elfie was watching from the sidelines, standing on a barrier overlooking the space. The stew had been eaten and the pot put away creating ample space to smash a bunch of elves into the hard stone.
Durable. She had found. Not using her mana intrusion had again confirmed just how powerful it was. Until she reached five or six hundred stat points in Strenght and Dexterity, it was hard to tell how much of it came just from stats. Her physical force was enhanced by her auras though, meaning her fists should be hitting just as hard if not harder than her Destruction and Wave of Ember. Neither spells had a number assigned to them but she assumed their damage was multiplied in some way too. A lot of extensive testing could answer her questions but at this point she trusted her decision to invest some more into her physical stats, get Body Enhancement third tier skills and level more Resistances.
In the end her possible evolutions would be fine. Even if she could have the option to become some powerful ash wielding long ranged mage, she preferred it just the way it had been. Her body enhanced by magic. Her fists and legs delivering the damage, helped now by mid range ashen limbs but she kind of counted them as part of her body anyway. Considering everyone and their mom was using swords or spears, it was only fair to get at least some range.
Goldie appeared in front of her, his claws cutting into her ash before reaching her Veil, nearly stopping entirely before they scratched on her armor. Still too focused on attack. She noted, her hand already grabbing his. Too reserved. She noted, seeing Neiphato circling her, unsure when to attack. Turning her torso to the left, she jerked the elf up and over her, smashing his whole body into the hard stone.
Letting go of him, she stepped backwards quickly, her feet finding solid ground as her sphere guided her over the terrain, her hands moving quickly to deflect the two short swords trying to get to her. Neiph wasn’t bad with them but he simply didn’t have the speed to keep up with her and actually get some hits in. In fact he wasn’t even close to Edwin, even with a higher level. “Why not use your magic?” She asked, having caught both blades with her hands, the edges cutting through her Veil but not managing to get through her armor. He looked at the weapons but instead of anger at their uselessness, he seemed to be defeated.
Ilea sighed, pushing the blades aside before punching him straight in his chest. Neiphato had the worst armor out of them. Leather and of a quality she had used back at level fifty. How they had even survived thus far was a mystery, specifically Neiphato. The punch made him stumble back. Normally she would’ve closed the distance, used his lack of balance to get in another hit and then another, her ash to blind them all and her blink to appear where she pleased. Perception and speed, those coupled with her mana intrusion were her greatest assets. Her healing of course rounded up the whole thing but against these guys, she didn’t even need it.
Considering Goldie was at level two thirty, she wondered if her classes were just better than theirs. Experience certainly played in, as did skill levels and stats but they were older than her, much older. Their stats were less balanced than hers, at least she assumed as much. Heranuur should be blasting her away with his magic and Goldie should be stronger and faster but they simplyweren’t. Even Elfie would probably wipe the floor with the three. Then again the only reason she considered herself stronger than him was because of her ability to counter most of his magic.
Looking at him, she considered a bout. Her level was closing in on his. Two seventy two versus two eighty. Goldie used her distraction to appear behind her but both of them knew it wouldn’t work, hadn’t worked the last ten times they had tried. Stepping to the side, she avoided his claws and turned to meet him. A wicked smile was on her face. You have been evaluated enough. Ignoring his attacks, she simply responded in kind, smashing into his dull golden armor as he tried getting through her defenses. She didn’t let up, a punch to his head breaking his jaw and making him stumble back.
Ilea followed quickly, her knee smashing into his crotch and lifting him up a little, another punch sending him back down into the ground. Landing on him, she started smacking his head. One two three. Her healing skill gave her a general idea of his well being, the woman stopping when he didn’t move anymore, brain sufficiently shaken. While he was faster than Heranuur, his Vitality was noticeably lower. With her ability to heal and the durability of two hundred plus people, she knew there was no lasting damage she could leave behind. Not if she didn’t rip out a leg or two.
Heranuur was still groaning but he had specifically asked her to help raise his Pain Tolerance. This was her way to do it. Knowing he wouldn’t give up, she thought showing him the reliance on his legs would be helpful. Not that he could just sprout wings or more limbs but at some point he might have the choice to learn it. Ilea was certainly glad she had her ash to move around, even if all her limbs had been ripped off. Not that it was particularly relevant anymore with her third tier recovery but it could still be helpful. Especially when her mana was low.
Neiph had recovered enough to face her again but his blades lay on the ground, “Come on.” Ilea said, appearing next to Heranuur and throwing him a couple dozen meters away, behind a big rock. “Nobody’s watching anymore. Your teacher wants you to use it too, right Elfie?”
He didn’t reply but Neiph seemed unsure at least. In the end he didn’t use the magic, Ilea growing impatient after two minutes of waiting. Appearing before him, she smacked his face, teeth withstanding but blood started seeping down. He tried blocking but even if he did get his hands between her fists and his torso or face, she would leave bruised arms and cracked bones anyway. Grabbing his leg after an especially big stumble, she twirled and sent him flying towards Heranuur, frowning when she apparently didn’t manage to hit him. At least she heard the red haired elf laugh before he hissed at the pain again.
Sighing, she stood there and let meditation recover the lost mana. Not much, she noted. Elfie hovered down and landed a couple meters away from her, checking on Goldie as he crouched, “He’s fine.” Ilea said.
“I know. His defense is lacking… especially with how offensive he is. Had he your recovery and resilience I doubt you could shrug him off as easily.” He commented, standing up again.
She shook her head, “They’re lacking in everything. Don’t get me wrong, they’re strong. As strong as elite humans, perhaps stronger than I was a year ago but how old are they? Fifty? A hundred? Terok is nearly able to keep up and he’s not even had his two hundred evolutions.” She kept her voice down, doubting that either of the two conscious warriors heard her talk.
“Becoming a Cerithil Hunter… it is often coupled with changing one’s classes. Elves have different reasons for doing so. You knowing about Neiphato’s magic will give you an insight into his. Fighting Taleen or anything out in the open is one thing but invading dungeons is another. Long ranged massive explosions won’t help in a tight corridor. Ice magic might delay them but when surrounded it can only do so much.”
Ilea chuckled at his explanation, “That’s bullshit. I’ve known mages who could easily fight in dungeons and their defense wasn’t bad either. You’re telling me they change classes and lose their levels?”
“Not levels but skills… skills honed for decades, trained from youth. Not just skills but habits too. Focusing on magic and mid to long ranged battle and then suddenly having to face down a Centurion in hand to spear combat is not something easily done.” He explained.
“I still don’t get why they wouldn’t just keep their classes. Hire human or dark one mercenaries and fire from behind the lines. I agree that a lot of magic would be awkward in there and against a Centurion but to just switch completely?”
Elfie shrugged, “Ask them if you would like to know their reasons. Though I believe Heranuur was always a close combat fighter. Either he failed to chose the right skills or simply didn’t meet any rare requirements for his class evolutions. Who knows what the fuck he was thinking.”
At least he partially agreed and if they really changed their classes then it made sense why they were so lousy at it, at least compared to Ilea. She had just been in Elos for two years but having kick boxed for several years let her know she was at least somewhat talented at it. Even if Neiphato were to cap his skill levels, she doubted he would win against Goldie, even at his current strength. Not offensively at least. Maybe if he fought reserved and tried to tire him out. Forcing oneself into a class or fighting style that wasn’t suited for one’s personality and talents didn’t seem like the best choice.
“They’re better however. Than last time I mean.” She said.
“Still, I’m disappointed at how little they could do against you. To tell the truth, you have gotten stronger too. Both in level and experience. You seem a little less… erratic, if that makes any sense.” Elfie explained.
Ilea didn’t really know what he meant. Since coming north she didn’t really feel like having changed much, other than her levels and skills of course. “What about you? Where have you been all this time. I barely saw you when I came and went.”
“That is none of your business human. While we’re at it, stay away from them. I saw how you looked at Neiphato. Engaging in a relationship as you humans do will not go over well with elves.”
She was surprised and smirked, “What about just fucking? You have the necessary tools don’t you?” She teased, looking at his crotch.
The elf sighed, “My argument that elves would rip a human apart wouldn’t work with you. Know that it is forbidden to engage with another species in sexual activity.”
Ilea scoffed and chuckled, “As it is to enter dungeons. Your oracles seem pretty authoritarian Elfie. Let me tell you, where I’m from there’s plenty of governments and religions putting ridiculous rules on people. Everyone here can turn stone to dust with their strength alone, why not just taste a bit of freedom?” She noted how he gulped at her mention of the oracles. “Maybe it would be good for you too.”
“Who told you?”
She shrugged, “What does it matter? It is forbidden to tell of them. It is forbidden to enter dungeons, they all did. They’re cursed Elfie. Pick a side.” She said, “Enough, I don’t want to argue about this. I’ll join Terok for a while to see the city and the dark ones living there. I think they should continue to work together and improve their skills and teamwork, if the latter is even possible.” Leaving him there, she knew they hadn’t really talked about the evaluation but Elfie knew enough to have spotted improvements to be suggested. She had certainly spotted one about him.
Healing Goldie and the others, she refused to stop when Heranuur asked her to leave his legs unattended. “I don’t want that to become permanent.”
“It’s fine for a couple weeks.” He said when she noted his flushed expression.
Getting a little closer, she smiled, “Are you turned on?”
“Sexually aroused? By pain or by me inflicting it on you?” It wasn’t really her cup of tea, especially with his tall and muscly figure. The more lean and feminine look of Neiphato was more up her alley, not that she would deny the elf. Kyrian was muscular too, yet not quite as much as the red haired elf.
He didn’t respond as she mended his wounds. When she was done he spoke, “I believe I was.I never thought about it. An interesting thought. Perhaps I subconsciously didn’t dodge some attacks because of this?”
“It’s possible. Maybe jack off before you fight anything, might help with that.” She suggested.
He nodded, “Or I don’t… I will think on this Ilea. Thank you for the new idea.”
“What have I birthed?” She sighed, getting up and looking down on the elf, still lying where he had initially landed from her throw. Elfie isn’t going to be happy when I fuck all his students. It had been a while but while training and fighting didn’t scratch a sexual itch, it calmed her in other ways. It let her go out and exert herself, meaning her sexual needs weren’t as prevalent as they might be otherwise.
Celene will go mad with envy when I tell her about this. The woman probably reading and writing stories about just this event. She bloody summoned a demon…, Ilea shook her head. “Well let me know if you want to try things, I’m open to the idea.” She left Heranuur with that, the elf nodding, still lost in thought.
“I don’t think there’s much I could tell you. Against me it’s difficult to fight anyway. Compared to most other ranged mages I’ve killed you’ve done pretty well.” Ilea said to Terok, the two of them walking towards the elevator leading into the Taleen city. “Just wait for your evolutions and we’ll see how that goes. If they’re good… and after all this time and your maxed skills they should be, you might already be stronger than the others.”
“Stronger than an elf. Fucking nuts. Never thought I’d reach that level.” He commented. Elfie and the others had been left behind to talk, Terok had been the first the elf had chewed out. Ilea knew then that not sharing her thoughts with him wasn’t a loss at all. The elf had analyzed every movement of the four and had plenty to say about just Terok. Ilea was pretty sure the dwarf had done the best, for his level at least which meant they’d be busy talking for another couple hours at least.
“Yea I never thought I’d fly and fight magical beings either.”
“Why not?” He asked surprised.
Did I never tell him? She wasn’t sure, “I’m not from this world. Was teleported here for some reason two or so years ago.”
“Makes sense. Didn’t think someone as weird as you would be born and raised here.” He commented.
Ilea moved her arm to the side and smashed the dwarf into the wall, the steel suit cracking into the stoneas the dwarf groaned. “Says the sixty year old robot nerd scavenger.”
“Always getting physical. Maybe you should work on your impulses.” A smart thing to say, Ilea found, to bait her into hitting him again and proving him right. Then again she didn’t really care. Another hit bent the metal of his suit and made him stumble.
“Got it out of your system?” She asked, the dwarf sighing in response.
“Yep, let’s get going.” He said and she nodded.