Chapter 330 Weather
Just to be sure it wasn’t an altitude issue, Ilea found the same results when she dragged the Miststalkers out of the lake. Guess there’s only one way then. She hovered over the mists and found herself a single monster, dancing aimlessly through the white ethereal lake. Ilea spread her wings wide, her sixteen ashen limbs aiming forward, her buffs at the max, health sacrificed as her body started glowing blue and fiery red under her ashen armor.
Aight, let’s go. She rushed down, the miststalker barely turning her way before she impacted it, her limbs moving around its scythe like arms, its torso and head, the white eyes staring back at her. Destructive healing mana started flowing into it immediately. She found the monster peculiar, its body lit up in her sphere as if it was made of magic itself. Training with the armaments of trials really made a difference, hmm?
She felt the monster try to disperse, the wisps of mana flowing away but whipping back as if her ashen limbs were magnetic. She added Destruction and Storm of Cinders to the mix, heating up her core in the meantime. The damage stacked up, each hit sending more mana into the miststalker. A ding resounded in her mind when a group of monsters came into her sphere, the health and mana drain increasing drastically. Still, she wasn’t overwhelmed, getting up as she watched the mana disperse back into the mists.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Miststalker – lvl 421] – For defeating an enemy one hundred and ten or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’
A blink brought her to the closest monster, repeating her attack pattern, finding its arms rather weak against her ashen limbs. The mist like protrusions tried to push through but her armor refused. Second tier mist resistance? It had to be. She felt the scythe like arms try to dig into her from the other miststalkers having closed in. A ding resounded and she flew up, blinking as soon as none of them touched her anymore.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Miststalker – lvl 408] – For defeating an enemy one hundred or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’
Seems they’re at four hundred and higher. Much higher numbers of them than anything else in that range. The Blue Reapers were a little lower still in level and at this point much more dangerous with their mind and lightning magic. Penumra is an option too but fleeing from these fuckers is so fucking easy. After two kills there was no level up message. Either the kingsguard somehow were categorized as more difficult fights or the four to five hundred difference really meant something.
Her Heart of Cinder started to damage her, Ilea checking her health and mana as she watched the group of seven miststalkers dance below her, trying to reach the flying food with their scythes. Her mana was down by less than a thousand, most of it due to their drain magic. A smirk formed on her face before she blinked down, the sphere of cinders, heat and fire washing over the creatures, her ashen limbs moving in right after, wrapping themselves around the injured monsters.
Ilea pulled them closer, pushing her destructive manainto them as she punched the closest target and adding her mana intrusion abilities to the mix. One after the other, they fell. It looked like more miststalkers formed in the area around her, by now over thirty of them draining her health and mana. She could finish five of them before her Heart of Cinder exploded once more, Ilea blinking up and spreading her wings in the moonlight.
The creatures moved below her, fanning out as she hovered there, too high for them to take note, now that she wasn’t damaging them anymore.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Miststalker – lvl 430] – For defeating an enemy one hundred and twenty or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Miststalker – lvl 411] – For defeating an enemy one hundred or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’
This is easy. She smiled, breathing in the cold winter air. Ilea was tired of the sick and vicious fights in the past days, this rather serene grinding method was perfect. She deemed it more efficient to fly around and target single or doubles of the creatures before going up again. The combined drain of ten or more stalkers was still bothersome, even if it only meant her need to go up and wait for her mana to regenerate. After another ten minutes of hunting, she flew back to Maro.
The necromancer was meditating around twenty meters away from the lake. Rocks crunched under her ashen boots when she landed, “I can actually kill them.”
One eye opened, glancing her way, “That drain is no joke, Ilea. I’ll level it but it’s so bloody uncomfortable.”
“Need a heal?” She asked but he waved her off.
“I would but I think it’d be better to let my natural regeneration do its job. I’ve been trying to get a self heal or health steal skill for ages but I think I just didn’t commit enough.” He sighed, “Patience is what I need. Now I finally have time for that.”
She nodded, “Sounds like a plan. Let’s go back inside once the suns come up. I’ll treat you to breakfast.” His spirits seemed to rise at that, a smile on his lips as he closed his eye again.
The hours passed, Ilea’s hunting speed increasing as she learned about the creatures, how much they could actually take, how they formed and moved. How long it too for them to notice her in different scenarios. She found that the creatures appeared continuously, no matter how many she killed. It was as if they were a part of the environment, sprouting out of the lake with their single want for life and mana. The songs they occasionally sang were serene and now that her Veteran skill was high enough, she actually enjoyed them. No Famine Crows interrupted her that night.
All her drain resistance training paid off now, making her capable of staying long enough to beat them. When she saw the suns rise over the horizon, she moved her wings, quickly flying over the dispersing mist and landing near Maro, the man now reading more of his records while his health regeneration worked.
“We should move back. The storms are coming.” She said, the man nodding as he stood up, storing his book before he yawned and stretched.
“You don’t want to train in them?” He asked.
She considered, tapping her armored cheek with a finger, “Might actually do that.”
Maro laughed, “Well it’s your time. I’ll be reading in the cathedral. Breakfast canceled then?”
“Oh, I already forgot about that. Sure.” She gave him a thumbs up, the two flying back quickly to avoid the forming clouds with their arcane lightning as well as the higher moving freezing winds. Ilea wondered why it didn’t snow in the normal altitudes, only some of the highest mountains around covered in white.
A couple of Keyla’s meals were shared and devoured, Maro rather tired after not sleeping the past nights. “Thought you’d have some undead quality about you.” Ilea chuckled, finishing the bowl of soup, creamy pumpkin with a bunch of herbs and a spicy note synergizing surprisingly well with the sweet aroma of the pumpkin.
“Ilea, I barely notice lack of sleep for a week, can stay functional for two. You’re telling me that isn’t insane?” He asked.
“Not bad. I think I’m similar but I haven’t really tested it. Sleep is one of my favorite past times.”
“Yea, it’s great. I plan to buy a nice bed once I’m in one of your cities.”
“None available in your palace?” She asked but he shook his head.
“None that I want to see again.” He smiled bitterly but she could tell it didn’t bother him much. “Thanks for the food. This cook… is the restaurant for sale?”
Ilea smirked and stood up, stretching as her ashen armor formed on top of her clothes, “It’s my most prized possession Maro, I wouldn’t sell if for one million gold.”
The man laughed but remained in his chair, “I think I can get behind your investment strategy. I hope Rhyvor’s riches go to similar endeavors.”
“Of course they will.” Ilea said, “I thought about vine yards too. Perhaps you can help me find a good city down south.”
“I would… but other than drinking the wines I know criminally little about the craft.” He replied, Ilea shrugging.
“We’ll find someone, I’m sure.” Ilea replied before she ascended towards the exit.
“Be careful, will you?” Maro said as he opened his book, yawning once more as he started to read.
It’s the weather… can’t be that bad.
It was that bad. And worse. Even with predicting the lightning and blinks, sometimes the strikes came quickly after one another, moving past close by and burning through her armor and skin below. Ten minutes, she survived in the storm when one blink brought her right below a forming thread of purple light. Time slowed down but it was too late, all she could do was will her wings to her front, her arms crossed to shield herself as well as a meager wall of ash that came to life instantly.
All of it was washed away when the pure arcane energy flowed through her, sending Ilea to the stone ground, burning up damn near everything that made up her body. The energy continued moving through her as she twitched, her blood evaporated and her organs destroyed. Her instincts kicked in and the remaining hundreds of health were replaced by a full health pool, a chunk of mana sacrificed to bring her back. Armor quickly reformed and wings spread, another bolt of lightning slamming down a dozen meters away, the shock wave washing over her a she skidded for a couple meters.
I’ll punch you to death, storm! She thought, raising her fist to the cloud above. The time her increased perception gave her to form her defenses had been crucial, making her tuck in her tail and rush back to Tremor to wait out the hour it took to be available again. I said I wouldn’t train in them yet… and here I am. She couldn’t help but smile nonetheless. Surviving a direct hit from the northern lightning storms was likely not something many could claim as an achievement. Didn’t expect them to hit that hard after the near hits only burned through a bit of skin.
It was a possibility too that the separate strikes of lightning or even the clouds varied in power. What was certain, was that it was efficient training. She checked the messages from last night as well as the storm training from the past half hour.
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Miststalker – lvl 418] – For defeating an enemy one hundred and ten or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Miststalker – lvl 402] – For defeating an enemy ninety or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’
‘ding’ ‘The Azarinth Sentinel has reached lvl 306 – Five stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘The Azarinth Sentinel has reached lvl 307 – Five stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘Kin of Ash has reached lvl 305 – Five stat points awarded’
‘ding’ ‘Kin of Ash has reached lvl 306 – Five stat points awarded’
Bullshit, for how many of those fucker I’ve killed. She rolled her eyes but in the end, it was a viable way to level her classes past three hundred and there were unlimited enemies here to fight. All she had to do was invest the time. With the Feynor attack as well as all the gold and information she had, Ilea still felt like staying for much longer would be a horrible idea. At least a visit to bring herself as well as her friends up to date was in order.
Let alone Maro, the guy really needs some distance from his old capital.
‘ding’ ‘Absolute Destruction reaches 3rd lvl 14’
‘ding’ ‘Sentinel Reconstruction reaches 3rd lvl 14’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth Fighting reaches 3rd lvl 11’
‘ding’ ‘Azarinth Reversal reaches 3rd lvl 3’
‘ding’ ‘Armor of Ash reaches 3rd lvl 13’
‘ding’ ‘Keeper of Ash reaches 3rd lvl 6’
‘ding’ ‘Mist Magic Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 6’
‘ding’ ‘Mist Magic Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 7’
‘ding’ ‘Mist Magic Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 8’
‘ding’ ‘Arcane Magic Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 8’
‘ding’ ‘Arcane Magic Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 9’
‘ding’ ‘Arcane Magic Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 10’
‘ding’ ‘Arcane Magic Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 11’
Three of the levels to her Arcane Resistance came from the last and direct hit. Maybe I should just let it hit me like ten times. She thought while activating her Heart of Cinder. Meditation, Health and Mana Drain Resistances… all at second level twenty, maybe if I get five or ten to that level something will happen? She still had no further information on third tier general skills but there had to be a way. She couldn’t believe it would still not be possible at level three hundred.
“Sure you don’t know anything about third tier general skills?” She asked Maro again, the necromancer glancing up from his book.
“You’re reaching critical heat levels… did you forget to turn off a skill?”
“It’s intentional. Damaging myself to level my Heat Resistance.”
“Interesting. Well if anybody is on the way to discover more about those skills, it’s you. I doubt many have put in just as much time and effort into leveling resistances. Other than that it’s difficult to even get together more than five general skills.” Maro said, “Need help with your Death Magic Resistance?”
She nodded, “Decay me Maro.”
“Don’t give me ideas.” The man said, casually sending a beam of purple energy into her as he flipped the page with his free hand.
When her health reached half, despite her counter healing the damage, she motioned him to stop and flew up. The blast rushed out into the air, setting the very air on fire. Can I stop it even? She activated Heart of Cinder again but found herself unable to cancel it. The heat that was stored was released. It extended out from her ashen armor but she found that forming ash not connected to herself right outside her armor, the impact was lessened a little. Of course it would do little to a more charged use of the spell but at least she knew as much now.
Maro was happy to support her in her training for a couple hours before he excused himself to catch some sleep. Ilea continued with her storm training after putting her twenty stat points into Vitality. Another activation of her second tier Azarinth Perception forced her to go back and train with her armaments of trials for the remaining two hours of the day.
The necromancer was back up again when night came and her miststalker grinding continued, the two falling into a routine quickly, occasionally stopping to have some food and talk.
“Well, that’s when I intervened. Sixteen dead in a tournament was just excessive, even with no restrictions to classes. It was a mess, trust me.” Maro surmised. A week had passed and he had opened up more and more, telling stories not just of his adventuring time before becoming king but also about Rhyvor itself, where he thought he failed and where he thought he didn’t.
The main thing she learned was that she definitely didn’t want to be king or queen of anything, the less important one was that Maro might have gone overboard a little, sometimes. He told her several times that he had mellowed out in the last decade of his life, due to more serious dangers popping up around Rhyvor as well as friends losing their lives in the process. The responsibility that had been ignored most of his reign came crashing down when Elana couldn’t handle all of it one her own anymore. Not that she would have ever admitted such a thing. It was Captain Reyker, Ilea learned, who sought out Maro and made him finally listen and see. That in part, had been why it was important to Maro to put the man to his final rest.
“You stopped having the tournament then? Seems like a bunch of people would have been mad at that.” She said, drinking from her mug of ale. The two had remodeled part of the cathedral, adding chairs and tables from inside the palace. Ilea also thought it funny to bring the thrones but neither of them really used them.
Maro chewed on the jerky that had been in the captain’s ring and pointed at her, “You’d think that, right?” He gulped, “Wrong. The next year it was the most popular tournament in the whole region. Penalties for killings were raised which reduced the number of dead to only five. Anything like that in the south?”
Ilea chuckled, “I know Riverwatch had a tournament but that was every ten years as far as I remember. Participants were comparatively low in level too so it’s not as interesting as what you talk about.” She thought on it, “The Hand has one too but last year it was interrupted by the demon summoning.”
He leaned forward and smiled, “Well, lower levels don’t necessarily make it less interesting. Nothing funnier than a tank blown into the barriers by a mage who focused only on attack power. Hard to even comprehend what’s happening in a two hundred plus fight for most people.” He explained, “Why the most popular tournaments are one fifty and below categories. The one in Tremor was special… the high level problem offset by the lack of rules.”
“I can see that.” Ilea said. It would certainly be interesting to watch something like that but perhaps the penalty for murder would have to be raised even more. She knew herself that to kill someone above two hundred, intent was needed. Well now with my evolutions, that might not be true anymore.