Chapter 395 Solitary Gains

ding’ ‘You have defeated [Cliff Wyvern – lvl 582] – For defeating an enemy two hundred and sixty or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’

ding’ ‘The Azarinth Sentinel has reached lvl 320 – Five stat points awarded. One third tier skill point awarded’

ding’ ‘Kin of Ash has reached lvl 319 – Five stat points awarded’

ding’ ‘Azarinth Awakening reaches 3rd lvl 17’

ding’ ‘Sentinel Core reaches 3rd lvl 10’

ding’ ‘Azarinth Reversal reaches 3rd lvl 9’

ding’ ‘Heart of Cinder reaches 3rd lvl 9’

ding’ ‘Storm of Cinders reaches 3rd lvl 8’

ding’ ‘Heat Resistance reaches 2nd lvl 20’

ding’ ‘You have learned the General Skill: Monster Hunter – lvl 1’

Monster Hunter – lvl 1
Many times have you faced creatures well beyond your level. You revel in it, seek them out and you prevail. Your presence demands respect. Imbue you voice to show your intent. Effects vary depending on your disposition as well as those affected and their levels in relation to yours.

“Oh man,” Ilea murmured. She walked over and stored the dead creature, spreading her wings and quickly ascending.

She didn’t want to be stuck somewhere in the mists, looking through messages and skills.

It didn’t take her long to reach the same island the group had initially explored. She blinked into the cavern where Maro had gotten his undead Wyvern.

Level twenty in the second tier and that thing still burnt through my armor and skin that easily. It upset her a little. As if all those defenses were merely a requirement to face more powerful monsters.

“Well, maybe they are…,” she murmured to herself. Catelyn was at level three twenty nine now, Maro at three fifteen. Both were pretty old and had fought their share of battles, had done their share of adventures. More than Ilea would likely manage in the next decade.

And still, she was already higher than the necromancer, was close to reaching Catelyn level even.

Healing and mana intrusion continues to be a ridiculous boon. We will have to get something similar for the Sentinels.

Ilea checked her surroundings before sitting down on a nearby boulder, her bone armor appearing on her to regenerate. It had given her a split second more against the first hit. If only it could regenerate as fast as my ash armor does.

3rd tier skill points available [The Azarinth Sentinel]: 1’

Skills available for third tier advancement in [The Azarinth Sentinel]:’

- Sentinel Sphere
- Sentinel Huntress
- Azarinth Perception

Ilea mulled it over but only for a moment. Her sphere was the reasonable choice, considering its usefulness.

ding’ ‘Sentinel Sphere reaches 3rd lvl 1’

Active: Sentinel Sphere – 3rd lvl 1
Perceive everything in a sphere around you while this skill is activated. The higher the level the further the sphere reaches.
2nd stage: The Sentinel Sphere opens your senses to the arcane. A paramount skill both on and off the battlefield.
3rd stage: Redirect damage dealt by magic or the elements within the sphere towards yourself. Efficiency and control are influenced by related skills and your respective resistances.
Category: Aura – Perception Aura

She read through the new addition and frowned. “Well. That would have been helpful with the others.”

“Or I would have just died even more quickly,” she added in a murmur.

It’ll certainly be nice to have. Also for resistance training with groups.

She didn’t get a defensive or damage buff through the new skill which would have probably made more of a direct difference.

Being able to protect others will certainly come in handy, either way.

Ilea tried to use the new monster hunter skill, thinking on it for a moment before she settled on a low growl. Not quite as ridiculous as a roar but she wanted to see what it did to her voice.

The sound that came out however made her jump back. “Holy shit!”

It sounded deep, threatening. As if a dangerous creature was hiding in her mouth. Nothing like a human. And still, somehow it was clear the sound had come from her.

Fucking weird.

Is it like… a paralyzing skill for people far below my level? She wondered. That could help with annoying shitheads underestimating her because of the healer tag. Normally a boon but sometimes also the bane of her existence.

She tried using the skill again immediately but knew instinctively that it wasn’t possible yet. A cooldown of sorts?

Well, I suppose I can growl now. Ilea thought and stood up. The ten points she put into Intelligence, to get just a little more damage. Equal to what? Over a hundred normal Intelligence points?

The slower and more dangerous leveling would become rather inefficient but on the other hand, one level had a significantly more vast impact. The same was true with a third tier point every ten levels instead of only every twenty.

Ilea wondered what happened once she reached level three fifty.

“I’ll worry about it when I get there,” she said and blinked up again. “So, where’s my next target?”

Ilea felt the heat wash over her, using the opportunity to test her newfound third tier sphere.

As if she was a fire mage, Ilea forced her will upon the flames.

They swirled, those already past turned and instead slammed into her back. The cone like attack turned into a focused maelstrom as soon as it entered her sphere.

She was melting from all sides now, a grin on her unrecognizable face.


Ilea regenerated her body and smiled. Heat res at second twenty. Plus, I’m getting more mana out of it this way.

The Wyvern roared.

Ilea crouched and imbued her voice. “Fuck your roar,” the challenge came out laced with magic, the air vibrating.

Ashen limbs spread behind her as the creature seemed to enrage. It charged her and teleported.

She remained standing, once more ramming her fist down the Wyvern’s throat.

“What should I say? It works,” she murmured to herself and released the fire attack. This time she added ash to the mix, pushing as much as she could down the creature’s throat.

Her fist smashed against its hard skull, dealing little damage other than the mana intrusion.

The Wyvern veered back, actually letting go of her arm, the wounds healing quickly.

Ilea blinked behind its head but found only thin air.

Claws dug into her back once more but this time, she landed on her feet, pushing back as the creature stabilized itself with its wings.

Her reversed healing continued to push into the enemy, its claws digging deeper into her back.

And then it flew off, lifting Ilea.

A short round trip through the air later, she was thrown into a stone wall, air and blood slamming out of her throat and into the ash protecting her head.

With all her second tier resistances, the blow wasn’t very effective.

She ripped herself out of the rock, taking chunks with her that fell down into the mists before she dodged to the side.

The Wyvern seemed to have learned that its fire breath did nothing much to her, instead focusing on its massive talons.

It teleported three times in a row to finally sink its claws into her, this time her stomach. The second set of claws wrapped around her head and started pressing down.

Ilea released her Heart of Cinder with little impact, her mana still flowing into the injured creature as her ashen limbs tried to cut through the leg close to her head.

She used the shredder trick once more, focused on the leg this time.

The Wyvern had a hard time against her skull, her healing constantly pushing against any damage.

Her stomach area was being gouged out with each strike, the ash not reforming quickly enough to prevent major damage. Organs reformed and were ripped out again.

Ilea thought of that one Greek story but could not remember the name of it. Perhaps because she had claws around her head, one of her eyes crushed and useless.

Despite the fatal injuries, the actual health damage wasn’t as scary. Her healing of course the main reason for this but she suspected her changed body was a major part as well.

Organs just didn’t have the same meaning to her, with her level of regeneration. Even if it did get her head, it would simply be another chunk of health and mana lost. Lost my head before the change. She noted, a little distracted. Back then however, the health damage was rather significant, likely helped already by her enhancement skills.

Half a minute or more passed, the creature’s hold growing weaker as it was pumped full with mana.

Ilea smirked when she felt her ash find purchase, ripping through the Wyvern’s leg.

The claws stopped pressing down on her head. They did remain embedded however, connected to the now severed leg.

Ilea caught the claws digging out her stomach, stopping her delivery of Destruction. They dug into her hands and arms but she held tight.

The Wyvern moved its head towards her and released its fire breath, joined by the sphere like fire spell it possessed.

Ilea’s ash was melted away, her skin and muscle following. And in the blink of an eye later, the skin was back, her organs reformed and even the talons on her head pushed away as the skin reformed below.

The beast thrashed, biting at her now with fire attacks in between.

Ilea regenerated through it all, the lack of movement as well as the abundance of spell attacks only helping her to keep her mana up.

The movements of the Wyvern grew increasingly frantic with each passing second.

Ilea felt the panic through her sphere, holding on and simply continuing to deliver her destructive mana. Her free fist slammed into its head several times each second.

Even its jaw seemed to weaken as time passed and finally, Ilea simply grabbed each part of the open mouth and pulled them apart.

Ashen limbs cut into the muscles inside the creature’s mouth, burned away a second later by the fire breath coming from within its throat.

Ilea’s skin melted, the bone visible on her face as she once more regenerated her whole body.

With another push, she ripped apart the monster’s jaw.

Hah… there’s just something about doing that.

She realized that it wasn’t dead yet. “How very anticlimactic of you,” Ilea murmured, her voice instinctively laced with mana as her limbs continued to slash into its now exposed and open mouth.

Three more fire breaths burned away at her before the creature finally went limp, held only by Ilea’s ash.

It vanished into her necklace the moment the noise resounded in her mind.

Ilea fell back into the stone wall, her limbs smashing into it to provide some stability.

Holy fuck… these guys are though.

The Praetorians were the only enemies she had fought lately that had provided such a challenge. Even the Shredders had a hard time matching the instant damage the Wyverns caused.

Their fire would be impossible to deal with without her insane resilience coupled with Heat Resistance.

I think I went through like twenty bodies throughout that fight. Ilea mused, flying back up and out of the mists.

This time they hadn’t gone as low, making her find an island rather quickly.

There was no cavern within but the vegetation atop was likely enough to prevent another fight.

Down to two thousand mana. She noted, even with all her bonuses, her mana absorption and using Meditation throughout most of the fight. Wyverns certainly have health.

ding’ ‘You have defeated [Cliff Wyvern – lvl 621] – For defeating an enemy three hundred or more levels above your own, bonus experience is granted’

“Holy shit!” she exclaimed and immediately blinked, just in case anything had heard her.

Is this the first time I solo kill something three hundred levels above my own? Hmm… I suppose it isn’t that impressive considering I’m half its level already.

Another thing to add to my next evolution bonuses. She smirked and cackled in a rather mad way.

ding’ ‘The Azarinth Sentinel has reached lvl 321 – Five stat points awarded.’

ding’ ‘Kin of Ash has reached lvl 320 – Five stat points awarded. One third tier skill point awarded’

And they say leveling after three hundred is hard. She snorted at the thought. I didn’t even come close to dying.

She ignored the fact that her flesh and organs would feed several creatures lucky enough to find them, wherever it all had landed. She looked through the rest of the notifications before choosing her third tier skill to advance.

ding’ ‘Absolute Destruction reaches 3rd lvl 18’

ding’ ‘Azarinth Fighting reaches 3rd lvl 16’

ding’ ‘Armor of Ash reaches 3rd lvl 19’

ding’ ‘Aspect of Ash reaches 3rd lvl 14’

ding’ ‘Storm of Cinders reaches 3rd lvl 9’

Sadly, there were likely no more levels possible in Heat resistance. Can’t be the limit though. The dragon elf told me I was on the right track for third tier general skills.

She sighed and put her newfound stat points into Intelligence once more. Her defenses could stop the Wyvern’s attacks. A level six hundred monster.

It had taken her rather long and a shit ton of mana to kill it anyway. She had a hard time telling how resistant to mana intrusion the beasts had been but even so, her damage was lacking.

Killing Rose Knights with a single strike, as well as level two hundred humans. And I think it’s lacking. She rolled around onto her back and sighed. You’ve come a long fucking way, Ilea.

And there’s a long way to go still.

She wasn’t exactly sure to what end. Mainly the enjoyment of battling ridiculously powerful creatures, that much was sure. A side of establishing some more human rights and lessening the overall suffering in Elos.

Goes hand in hand really, she thought and chuckled to herself.

One step at a time, as always.

3rd tier skill points available [Kin of Ash]: 1’

Skills available for third tier advancement in [Kin of Ash]:’

- Ashen Wings
- Eyes of Ash
- Avatar of Ash

This one is harder.

Ilea loved her wings, she really did. And yet she couldn’t really see anything major a third tier in them could provide.

The Sentinel Sphere, while being a perception skill had given her something she hadn’t anticipated at all. Perhaps the same was true for her ashen wings.

What if it’s just more speed?

She rolled to her side and pondered the thought. There had been many a time she needed to be fast. When she got teleported away by Arthur, when the elves had engaged the Praetorians and when she rushed to Virilya to find Eve.

Would it have changed anything? Would I have been able to save her?

Ilea shook her head, focusing on the now.

Eyes and Avatar of ash gave tangible bonuses to her fighting prowess while her wings didn’t, not really. They added another layer of defense but it wasn’t a deciding factor.

She had a hard time imagining herself fight without the perception as well as reflex and speed bonuses from the other two available skills.

There are tons of monsters here. I should be able to gain another ten levels in the Descent. For now, I need every bit of power that can help in a fight.

Ilea decided that there was a higher chance of a benefit from Eyes and Avatar, deciding on the latter because it gave a speed bonus and the second tier tied in with her resistances.

ding’ ‘Avatar of Ash reaches 3rd lvl 1’

Passive: Avatar of Ash – 3rd lvl 1:
Increases your reflexes and speed by 50.5% [404%]. Your ability to avoid damage to your vitals when dodging increases.
2nd stage: Your muscles grow more dense. For each Resistance skill your body becomes tougher. First tier Resistances equal a static 5% increase, second tier equal a static 10% increase [255%].
3rd stage: You can choose to allow magic damage to bypass your related resistance skills. Effect is canceled automatically upon reaching 50% of your health. Each Resistance skill in the second tier increases the potential density of your created ash by a static 5% [90%].
Category: Body Enhancement – Ashen magic

Ilea felt the change immediately. Her armor of ash made an almost grinding noise as it seemed to become more focused. Harder.

The wisps were still present and in pure aesthetics, it had changed little. The way it felt to her Unity and creation however, it was like night and day.

Her limbs extended behind her, the tips now thin and sharp, less jagged and brutal. A more precise tool, formed by her will, losing none of its flexibility.

She tried forming ashen spears and found the same result. More focused. Little remained of the mist like quality it previously had. Just to try, she willed it to form a spear the way it had been before this new third tier skill.

The projectile expanded, its structure weakening until it reached the same level Ilea could push it to before the change.

She revealed her arm and slashed into it with one of her limbs, finding the result rather terrifying. The sharp tip nearly cut to the bone. A simple and clear strike.

Experimenting a little, she formed the shredder like circle that had been used against the Wyverns. The ring looked much more terrifying, as if forged with a dull dark black steel.

She used her limbs against her own armor and found it holding up against the attack. Good, at least my defenses are better than my offense. Something she wanted to keep up. Ilea only had one life after all.

Also, I need to get more resistances. The bonuses from her Avatar of Ash skill were no longer minimal. They were downright ridiculous. Like most of my fucking skills.

She smiled and tapped her cheek, realizing the strongest benefit she had just received wasn’t at all about her ash.


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