Chapter 299 Terrific Suggestions
“You really think you’re that close?” Terok asked. “How many levels left?”
Elfie was the one to reply, “She’s at two ninety four.”
Terok shook his head, “That would take another year for some.” He paused, “I say you go out and face the arcane storms. Just fly into them, try to get into the clouds above. That will be something worth a note in your evolution I’m sure.”
“Already got hit by that. Don’t plan to do it again anytime soon.” Ilea said, remembering the power of the storms. Traveling during daytime was still restricted because of them. “Would have loved to face a dragon, you guys don’t know where any are?”
Heranuur laughed, “Told you she’s one of us.” He said to Neiphato, the brown haired elf nodding and looking at her shyly.
“Don’t give me that look.” Ilea said before he switched his attention towards the wall behind her. How the fuck are they all so awkward, being as old as they are. “Hera you don’t count years differently right?”
“No. Same as you humans.” He said, a little confused.
Elfie sighed but didn’t say anything.
“Did you swim to the bottom of the ocean? Might be something to consider as well. Or fly as high as you can.” Terok continued with his suggestions.
“Both will kill her.” Elfie said, “There are monsters you do not wish to provoke. Not as you are now.”
Ilea didn’t disagree. She felt like she had done plenty of crazy things in the past year, adding to the list would simply be a delay. “Most of my tier three skills aren’t even above level ten. I could have worked on them more.”
“Took me decades to get some of mine to reach even level five without combat.” Elfie commented, strangely reassuring. Perhaps he had slipped into his teacher role too much, not even realizing who he was talking to.
“You said you had faced a Praetorian before?” Neiphato suddenly asked. Ilea realized all three elves were looking at her, even Goldie slowing down with his training.
Ilea spent the next twenty minutes retelling her adventures in her first Taleen dungeon, leaving out one or the other detail that could identify or endanger someone should it ever be relevant. She didn’t talk about all the gold she had found or anything else about the treasury. Terok was suspiciously quiet in the end, perhaps realizing something.
“How could they use the gate?” Heranuur questioned.
“It was linked still, to another dungeon. You don’t need to manipulate anything if it is still linked.” Elfie explained.
Ilea smiled, “How would you know?”
He shrugged, “I don’t need to enter a dungeon to learn about the technology within. You should also know that not all teleportation gates of the Taleen are within dungeons. Some simply lead to the wilderness or a mine.”
Makes sense. Meaning there are plenty of linked gates still around. “Is there a way to manipulate them? Go to somewhere else instead? Change the destination?”
“Of course. Either through careful manipulation or with a key. Though this is simply as much as I have been told. I have not seen it myself, nor have I met someone who has. If a hunter spends hundreds of years inside their cities, studying them and uncovering their secrets… I believe something fundamental like the gates would have been understood long ago.” He added.
Ilea frowned, “Well if that’s the case why don’t they know about it?” She pointed to the two other elves sitting with them.
“You hardly know every secret of all humans. You didn’t even know Rhyvor existed before coming down here.”
That’s an argument. Cerithil Blog, how to hack the gates and fuck up Taleen, a ten step in depth guide. If only.
“It doesn’t help that cursed ones are hunted by many of our kind, especially their gatherings and strongholds.” He sighed.
Lots of sighing today. She knew why he didn’t hunt them, had heard some of his reasons, “So the oracles don’t support something like that?”
“Neither do they condone it. Elves kill elves all the time, why should this be different?” Heranuur asked.
“Because you’re fighting for your people and not yourself.” Ilea said, taking another sip. Elfie glanced towards her for a moment.
Heranuur looked at her and then nodded, “True. Nobody cares. As far as I hear you humans don’t care either if someone defeats monsters endangering your little settlements.”
“No, they pay those humans to kill the monsters.” Elfie supplied.
“Really? Sounds like a better thing to do than this.” Heranuur said. Neiphato shook his head.
“Neither gold, influence nor acknowledgment should be what you seek.”
Ilea smiled at the elf’s words but didn’t say anything.
“I got it. You catch a Famine Crow, ride it and steer it into the lake of miststalkers, then run off.” Terok helpfully supplied, making at least one of the elves laugh out loud.
Ilea finally dusted herself off and got up, “Well you’ve been terribly helpful. I’ll be out again then for a week, maybe two. Good luck in your battles.” She said, turning and walking to the open gates leading towards the city.
Terok appeared next to her, “Ilea. Something I wanted to talk to you about.” She turned and listened, “The Great Hall. Well I’ve worked down the enchantment enough that a strong mana surge should be enough to get in. Maro confirmed it to me earlier.”
“And you need me for that?”
He shook his head, “No, I can get in whenever. Just thought I’d let you know. We can go whenever you want.”
“A word human.” Goldie had stopped his training, taking the last steps to reach the two of them.
“I’ll let you know Terok. First I want to focus on this.” She said.
“Sure, good luck in there.” She nodded to the dwarf and looked at Seviir who was waiting a couple steps to the side.
He nodded to her when Terok was gone, “I apologize for my behavior human.” He paused and locked eyes with her, “I was out of line.”
She was silent for a moment, processing what he had said. “Seviir, just don’t be such a colossal dick all the time. Otherwise you’ll have your head smashed in by someone you offend.”
He nodded lightly, “Fortune to you, Ilea.” He gave her a thumbs up and actually smiled, although there were enough teeth showing to make her question the intent. At least had she not spend so much time around elves lately.
Weirdest conversation in a while. She thought, walking through the doors and spreading her wings. Maybe Terok was right and the elf respected her more than even Elfie. It probably meant quite something considering they literally eat humans. She didn’t care to ponder on it. Focus was needed for what was to come. Focus and mana.
Day in and day out Ilea searched for the undead, marking them as she had before, disengaging as soon as another one appeared due to the loud and destructive battling. The strategy of simply being loud herself did bring them to her but it usually brought more than one of them too. The more of them she killed, the longer she spent on finding them, going deeper and deeper into the dungeon. Avoiding Soul Rippers became normal too but seeing how they rarely pursued significant distances, it was easy to stay focused on the knights.
Her nights she spent in the dungeon too, simply continuing her search. Having to disengage after usually a couple minutes made her progress somewhat slow. At least every kill granted a high amount of experience towards her next levels. Terok and crew in the meantimecontinued to hunt the lower leveled knights, all still connected to Maro.
Ilea’s fist smashed into the chest of the latestundead she had found, sending him through the stone wall behind. The once man now monster was marked on his left leg, meaning it was the one Ilea had already fought four times in the past week. “We’re getting there.” Ilea commented as she read through the messages that had accumulated, checking her surroundings constantly. She was deeper in the dungeon than she had ever been before, more and more Soul Rippers having shown up in these parts.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Undead Rose Knight – lvl 510] – For defeating an enemy two hundred and ten or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Undead Rose Knight – lvl 513] – For defeating an enemy two hundred and ten or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth First Hunter has reached lvl 295 – Five Stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth First Hunter has reached lvl 299 – Five Stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘Inheritor of Eternal Ash has reached lvl 294 – Five Stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘Inheritor of Eternal Ash has reached lvl 299 – Five Stat points awarded’
The levels resulted in 55 stat points to be assigned. Ilea spent thirty four of those to get her Wisdom to 700, just in case that counted as some sort of achievement for her evolutions too. Doubt it, considering people could reach two thousand of a single stat if they wanted. Unlimited Strength. The rest of her stats went into Vitality.
‘ding’ ‘Blink reaches 3rd lvl 10’
‘ding’ ‘Form of Ash and Ember reaches 3rd lvl 5’
‘ding’ ‘Ash Creation reaches 3rd lvl 7’
Fewer skill levels even though I killed what, three, four times the amount of knights? She was a little annoyed. Of course she became more familiar and confident when facing them but it didn’t cut down on the danger level by much. The still had the ability to cut her in half. And you have the ability to come back from that. The thought reassured her. She’d get there, that much was sure. Checking her stats, she smiled.
Name: Ilea Spears
Unspent statpoints: 0
Unspent 3rd tier skill points [Azarinth First Hunter]: 0
Unspent 3rd tier skill points [Inheritor of Eternal Ash]: 0
Class 1: Azarinth First Hunter – lvl 299
- Active: Destruction – 3rd lvl 9
- Active: Hunter Recovery – 3rd lvl 12
- Active: State of Azarinth – 3rd lvl 10
- Active: Blink – 3rd lvl 10
- Active: Azarinth Hunter Sphere – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Body of the First Hunter – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Azarinth Fighting – 3rd lvl 4
- Passive: Hunter’s Sight – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Azarinth Perception – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Azarinth Reversal – 2nd lvl 20
Class 2: Inheritor of Eternal Ash – lvl 299
- Active: Veil of Ash – 3rd lvl 10
- Active: Form of Ash and Ember – 3rd lvl 5
- Active: Ash Creation – 3rd lvl 7
- Active: Embered Body Heat – 2nd lvl 20
- Active: Wave of Ember – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Ash and Ember Manipulation – 3rd lvl 4
- Passive: Ashen Wings – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Eyes of Ash – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Body of Ash – 2nd lvl 20
- Passive: Ashen Warrior – 3rd lvl 3
- Elos Standard language - lvl 6
- Harmony of the Drowned – lvl 1
- Heavy Archery – lvl 4
- Identify - lvl 8
- Meditation – 2nd lvl 20
- Veteran – lvl 6
- Arcane Magic Resistance – 2nd lvl 3
- Blast Resistance – 2nd lvl 4
- Blood Magic Resistance – lvl 14
- Blood Manipulation Resistance – lvl 4
- Corrosion Resistance – 2nd lvl 1
- Crystal Resistance – lvl 18
- Curse Resistance - 2nd lvl 2
- Dark Magic Resistance – lvl 12
- Death Magic Resistance – lvl 5
- Dust Magic Resistance – lvl 1
- Earth Magic Resistance – 2nd lvl 1
- Fear Resistance – lvl 8
- Health Drain Resistance – 2nd lvl 20
- Heat Resistance – 2nd lvl 12
- Ice Resistance – 2nd lvl 2
- Light Magic Resistance – lvl 17
- Lightning Resistance – 2nd lvl 6
- Mana Drain Resistance – 2nd lvl 20
- Mental Resistance – 2nd lvl 13
- Mist Magic Resistance – 2nd lvl 5
- Pain Tolerance – 2nd lvl 4
- Poison Resistance – 2nd lvl 9
- Silver Magic Resistance – lvl 1
- Time Magic Resistance – lvl 3
- Void Magic Resistance – lvl 7
- Water Resistance – 2nd lvl 1
- Wind Resistance – 2nd lvl 1
- Wood Magic Resistance – lvl 1
The culmination of her efforts in Elos. Let’s see how much it will actually change. She thought, looking around again before she blinked up. Wings spread as she carefully floated over the houses. Her sphere reached the ground and like this she could move without producing much noise. The Soul Rippers had a tendency to stick to walls and stay unmoving until she was in range. In the air, most of them wouldn’t even notice the woman.
It was pitch black, night had fallen and even towards the distant higher parts of the city Ilea could see nothing. At least she knew that her fear of the ocean wasn’t necessarily connected to darkness. Somehow this experience of flying over the ruins wasn’t very difficult.
Ripper, Ripper, Ripper, Ripper… Undead. There you go. Walking lonely through a square was a single undead rose knight, exactly what she was looking for. Ilea immediately engaged, not caring about the Soul Rippers somewhat close by. She would try to shoo them away or flee if necessary, as she had done a dozen times before.
Let’s try and keep it contained. Her wings vanished as she rammed into the knight with all the speed and power she could muster. The blow didn’t even make him stumble, her legs bending at the weight of the blow. His sword lashed out, Ilea twisting her body as she jumped off him, allowing the blade to hit ultimately. She knew the damage would be minimal, a slight dent and a barely cracked bone. Already healing while she twirled in the air, Ilea prepared for the attack of the now enraged undead.
She landed on her feet, the knight already upon her, his blade slashing past the dodging warrior, a blow from her fist flaking off some of the rust on his armor before she disengaged, taking several quick steps back while twisting her body minimally. The dull blade rushed by, Ilea counting the attacks, carefully evaluating when to move in. Another two strikes and she stepped forward instead, her knee smashing into his thigh, her ashen limbs cut through by the blade now behind her back. The blow landed nonetheless and she didn’t stop, ducking under his fist and to the left before another strike found his back.
When his sword came around again, Ilea was already too far away to be in danger. Come on. The thought came in a split second, Ilea grinning when the knight let go of his sword at the end of the slash, the blade flying towards her as she ran at it, blinking through before her fists smashed into the creature, his prowess in hand to hand combat miles behind. Hit after hit she delivered, avoiding his grabs with calculated dodges and blink.
The sword came back, Ilea held back at a distance again, the creature starting to apply more complicated maneuvers and feints. With her ability to gauge the incoming attacks, his tactics simply delayed the inevitable. She wouldn’t stumble, wouldn’t fail. Against an enemy working with the rotten remains of a once masterful swordsman, she would prevail. Now that she could negate its incredible strength, could foresee most of its feints.
Still, she was pushed back, the creature smashing through buildings which she jumped over or bypassed using her teleportation magic. Openings were rare and she was already running out of time. At least I should. There was no second knight showing up, the one before her crashing through another set of walls when Ilea blinked through a massive wall. No more around in this area? She wondered, feeling the earth below her steel boots, no longer the stone with which the city was built.
Not quite comparable to Virilya. She thought, hearing the knight smash its blade into the wall before he appeared in her sphere, jumping over the wall. He landed with his blade cutting into the earth where she had stood a moment before, her ashen limbs rushing at him but cut through by a powerful swing of his sword.
Ilea prepared as the undead screeched at her, I get it angry man. Dodging the blade several times, she went farther away from the wall, the stone monument soon vanishing from her sphere when she finally found an opening. Again and again, her fists smashed into the knight as he tried to hit or grab her with his free hand. Not happening. Blinking behind him, she kicked his back, using the momentum to avoid the slash coming at her right after.
Ilea’s head spun to the side but there was nothing. Her sphere showed nothing. I’m hearing things. The blade was thrown, Ilea dodging it this time before her ashen limbs crashed into the knight. Twice she hit before finally reaching him, her fist smashing into his stomach before she blinked behind him. Where’s his sword? Using the circumstances to her advantage, she instead continued her offense. Her limbs crashed into the steel, each blow staggering the undead more and more, one of his legs snapping a moment later and bringing him down.
She ignored his grab this time, knowing the end was near. The steel on her leg groaned as he crushed it, Ilea’s reversed healing as well as her ashen limbs and fist continued to smash his life away bit by bit. This time she was sure, there had been movement around her. Soul Rippers.
Not relenting, she felt the bone in her leg break when one of the creatures entered her sphere, jumping at them a moment later. Using her weight and ashen limbs, she pushed herself and the undead knight down, her destructive mana still flowing into him. He grabbed one of her arms now too, both hands now grasping her and trying to crush her. Letting go, he smashed her head. Again and again his fist dented her helmet, the metal cutting into her face.
A couple hits later, the hitting stopped and the knight slumped down, several dinging noises resounding in her mind. A portion of mana was sacrificed to heal her face when she blinked up, wings spreading. Her sphere was crawling with movement, spindly legs moving in and out. Fucking hell. She felt something on her leg, one of the Soul Rippers having jumped and grabbing onto her.
It’s dragging me down…, She felt the weight, its struggle as it tried to grab her with its other arm. Ilea cut into its thin arm with her ash but nothing happened, the skin hard as steel. I’ll go down if this continues. The wall was coming up and she ascended, dragging the beast up with her before she suddenly snapped to a stop. A yelp left her when the full force of her wings pulled on her leg. The creature had its hind legs dug deep in the wall and was pulling, both hands now wrapped around her shin.
“Hey, know what fuckface. If you really want it, you can have it.” The armor on her leg vanished before her ashen limbs cut through her skin and muscle, separating her leg at the knee, Ilea blinking upwards immediately, again and again as her wings flapped to take her away from the horrifying creatures.