It had been a long time since he had arrived on this planet, and in that time, he wasn’t able to get a lot done, but the progress he was making wasn’t trivial. His two contracted beasts that he hadn’t spent a lot of time with had also been taken to another planet, whether or not they were on this planet wasn’t something he was able to instantly tell.
He didn’t have the skill to be able to just find anyone and anything in an instant at the click of his fingers, if he wanted to find something, he would have to spend time looking for it. Both his toucan and his badger weren’t weak by any means, on their own, they could hold up for quite some time, perhaps even better than he would be able to.
Granted they had the potential to become stronger than Gray one day and possibly separate from him, but even if that were to happen, Gray would still see them as a family of sorts. He didn’t have family to speak of, his biological family had disowned him many moons ago, having Asterope and Skeiron felt like he had a family once again.
Being able to drift off eventually, he wasn’t able to catch much sleep as the sun almost instantly beamed upon him the moment he fell asleep. Climbing out of bed, he gave his face a wash and began exercising once again, everything that he was doing wasn’t putting all that much strain onto his body, though he was doing each exercise until he couldn’t move, it wasn’t doing much to his structure, he hadn’t gotten faster, he hadn’t gotten stronger and nor was he able to withstand each exercise longer than previously, he would always drop at the same count each time.
Cleaning his sweat off of his body, he sat upon the floor with the unfinished carving and blade in hand, even though his body was hurting, it wasn’t enough to stop him from doing things. Putting blade to wood once again, he began to complete the figure, though it wasn’t big by any means, it was still possible to see each detail perfectly.
Slowly coming into shape, the head of a bird began to emerge, then a body, then some wings that were spread wide open, it was possible to see almost every feather upon the bird. Coming to the feet of the figure, its claws began to take shape and claw onto a tree branch. Eventually, he completed the entire figure, to him, it was far from perfect, there were still many things that needed to be done for him to have carved a perfect figure.
Successfully created Memory of a Loved One
Durability – 132 / 132 – No buffs
Jol Value – 397 J
Unlocked : Woodworking (X) – Level 2
Greeted by a completion screen, he was satisfied by his work, though what was surprising was the wording on the screen was green, different to the others by a wide margin, most other times, the wording was only ever grey or white, it had never been a different colour before. Placing the small carving of his toucan onto the side table near his bed, he proceeded out of the inn to once again complete some more quests.
Making his way through town, there still wasn’t a lot to see, still plain old buildings of dirt, some looked like a normal building that someone would take a long time to build. There was nothing amazing to be looking at, there was never a bustling group of people talking, there was only ever Trogles with stern faces staring at those who were ‘impure’ and occasionally picking a fight just to be put on the ground.
Entering the town hall, he looked over them for quite a bit, there was a lot to pick from, but the prices were all very low for most, all of the high paying quests had all seemed to disappear or just weren’t very common today. Taking a quest that reached the one hundred Jol mark that he was aiming for, he continued out of the hall.
Quest Received : Beast Annihilation - 15 Beast Stones
Tier : X
Reward : 102 Jol
The quest didn't give specifics on exactly what he had to bring the stones of, it had only granted him the quest along with a quest trail, though he was a little confused, he didn't worry about it and continued out of the hall.
Making his way out of town, he followed the trail towards his quest, it wasn’t a particularly hard quest, but since he was just accumulating money as of this moment, there was no need to pick anything hard just yet, if he needed something to assist him with training, there was plenty of quests that would fit the bill quite easily.
Lurking behind him as he made his way through the outskirts of town, an unfamiliar yet also familiar figure began to follow him, he hadn’t noticed them and just continued on his way, there was nothing to suggest that he would be targeted by anyone, so keeping his guard up at all times wasn’t that necessary.
Not too long ago, Arp, the person who Arperia had told Gray about had returned to town after an expedition of sorts, it had taken a while to not only reach her destination but to return as well but after many days and nights, she had finally returned. Once she got home, she had been informed about a certain individual that they had somewhat recruited, of course, Gray was unaware that they had been watching him and taking notes on him for quite some time.
They had taken her to his room where he had left his daggers, he didn’t want to raise suspicion by placing them inside of his gem, so he just simply left them in the corner in their respective boxes. Taking a look at the daggers, Arp was intrigued, she could feel the restraint that was on the daggers, using these for a long time would take the energy from someone almost instantly, she could only swing them around for a little while before having to place them back in the box due to not being able to control their power all that well.
“Where is he right now? I want to test his abilities.”
“We saw him head into the Town Hall, so I’d guess he’s near the edge of town by now.”
Hearing this, Arp disappeared almost instantly, it was shocking the speed at which she was able to travel without restrictions, each time they saw her do this they would always end up with jealousy covering their face, they were never able to control their body at such speeds.
Entering into a forest, Gray had heard a few extra footsteps a few feet back from where he had just come from, just to be cautious, he activated mana detection and scouted around a bit, there was a singular figure slowly following behind him, there were quite good a stealthily following him, but it would always be hard for something or someone to hide themselves with their mana veins entirely exposed.
Taking note of the figure, he wasn’t sure what their intentions were, he knew that they were specifically following him, but he hadn’t gotten on anyone’s bad side to the point where they would follow him to a discrete location. After a few more feet of walking, the figure suddenly disappeared, scanning the area as fast as he could, he attempted to find them once again.
Before he could even find them, he had already taken a hit straight into his gut, the punch wasn’t the hardest that they could throw, but it still packed a punch. Staggering back, Gray looked up at the figure that had just taken a jab at him, there was a striking resemblance between them and Arperia and Arpiol.
“At least you can take a punch.”
Coughing up some of his dinner, he stood back up, this time, he was prepared for her attack if she was to pounce once again, it seems she didn’t have the intention to kill him, but there was always the chance. Taking a made-up fighting stance, he prepared himself for her attacks, it was clear that it was a fight that she wanted, but Gray already knew that he wasn’t going to stand a chance against her.
“Too many openings.”
Without even noticing, he had already taken another hit, this time, his shoulder was becoming numb, though the pain was almost non-existent, he could still feel the numbness spreading over his entire shoulder.
He could certainly take a punch, but he could tell that she was holding back enough to not destroy his skeleton in one hit, if she were to think of Gray as an enemy, he wouldn’t even be able to notice his death. It was still hard for him to tell just her intentions were exactly, by the power that she was outputting, she didn’t intend on majorly harming him, nor killing him, but at the same time, she also didn’t have the aura of someone who intended to seek companionship with him.
“You can tell where I am… Even if you can’t react.”
Once again, she seemed to disappear without a trace and once again appear directly next to him, this time, he didn’t suffer a blow. Each time she pounced at him, his eyes would subconsciously follow her, even if he couldn’t notice her, his eyes would always stay fixated onto her location.
“They said you could potentially beat them in a fight, I suppose that’s true. You certainly do possess some form of skill.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’ll go easy on you, defend yourself.”
Slowing her speed down, she proceeded to launch attacks onto all of Gray’s openings, not hard, but they were still felt by him, withstanding them wasn’t a difficult task, but trying to block them was a harder task than first thought.
Noticing her movements slowly became clearer as he continuously took the onslaught on jabs from her. Trying to predict her movements to the point where he was able to block her attacks wasn’t going come easily to him, it wasn’t like he would just instantly be able to fight just by being attacks.
“You can certainly take a beating.”
By now, there were multiple bruises compiling over his body, she was holding back her punches, but they were still able to cause damage. Even with the bruises over his body, he still felt like he had just woken up, there was some pain, but it was trivial to him.
Blocking a couple of her jabs, he thought that he had created an opening for an attack, and kicked himself forward, attempting to land a jab onto her. Though it wasn’t a great attempt at an attack, it was still interesting to see him take the opportunity.
Seeing him attack, she was a little surprised, but it wasn’t enough to land an attack on her, he wasn’t skilled enough to even get close to landing a pitiful attack like that on her. With a swift kick, she put him on the floor faster than he could even realize.
He didn’t have enough energy to continue, the attack was all that was left in his system, but since it was all for naught, all he could do was lay on the ground unable to move a muscle. As he laid effortlessly on the floor, he began to feel over his entire body, there was a large number of bruises that now covered both his arms and his torso, some light and others heavy, she held back without holding back.
“If it’s those daggers that you wish to wield, then it will be a trivial matter. But, will you be able to withstand the training that I will grant you?”
She was offering to train him to not only use the daggers but other things as well, she could somehow tell that he would easily be able to use them in no time, but whether he could withstand her methods was another question. The others that she had trained had pulled out rather quickly, but if he wanted to become stronger, then it wouldn’t be smart to decline her offer.
It wasn’t a bad deal either, if he had to train himself, he wouldn’t get the same outcome that he would get by training with her. The only reason he had to not accept her offer was that he wanted to be able to move around and be stuck to the floor due to not having the ability.
“Please take care of me.”
“Good, if you can move, let’s go again.”
Standing up once again, he took his ‘stance’ and prepared himself for the flurry of attacks that was to come, but instead of attacking immediately, she began to move towards him to fix his stance. She got a little too touchy with her adjustments, but she insisted that it was just to assist him.
“Loosen up. Get ready, if you’re too tense, you’ll be sacrificing movement.”
Backing up, she began to send a flurry of attacks, she wasn’t holding back this time, last time she was holding back to give him a chance to defend himself, however now that she got an estimate of his ability, she was able to tell just how much of a beating he could withstand.
Beginning to get a feel for how he should be moving to defend himself against her attacks, there were a couple of hits that he was able to block. Continuing to focus on trying to read and defend against her movements, he slowly but surely began to become covered in bruises from top to bottom, not even his legs were left out.
After an entire day of just being beaten, he finally fell to the ground, unable to move an inch, all that he could feel was numbness over his entire body. The only thing that he could do without pain, was blink, breathe and talk.
It wasn’t just his muscles that had been damaged, his mana veins had also taken a fair bit of damage, the pain that came from damage mana veins was a lot more intense when compared, to alleviate himself from pain at least to an extent, he began to circulate his mana to slowly heal the damages.
His entire body began to hue with a yellow glow as he circulated his mana through his body, the damages weren’t too extreme and were able to be healed quickly and easily. Though she was the one doing the beatings, Arp had taken a little damage to her fists just from beating Gray, though she was stronger than him by a large margin, he was very durable.
Expending all of his mana, he eventually fell into a deep stasis, it was like he was just floating on water in the middle of a calm lake. There was no discomfort nor pain, a gentle soothe covered his entire body as he laid in the middle of a forest.
In the middle of the forest, Arp had a calm look on her face, as she stared at Gray who laid on the floor in tranquillity. She knew from the beginning that he would not only be able to withstand her attacks but also read her movements, though he was unaware of it, he was focusing on her every movement.
“Looks like we’ll have to step up the training from now onwards.”
She was only at the first stage of training, if he wasn’t able to withstand her attacks for as long as he did, he wouldn’t even be able to proceed to the second part, let alone the entire training that she was going to give him. There was a clear goal that he had, though unaware of it himself, one day, he would find it.
Picking up his body, she carried him back to the inn, there was no need to sleep in the forest when there was a place to sleep not even five minutes from where they were. Placing him onto his bed, she noticed something on his side table, the small carving that he had only just recently completed was sitting there, she hadn’t seen anything sold by merchants in town, not with that much detail at least.
My name is Qu’Yuthyril, I wish to grant you my blessing.
As Arp left his room, the voice of a spectral figure attempted to contact him, it was small and faint, but still clear enough for him to make out the words that it was communicating.