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Taking his opening, Gargish flashed to the left, squeezing past Thorn while landing a punch on his ribs. Throwing all his formidable power into the strike, Gargish was stunned when he failed to move Thorn in the least! Failing to get the result he wanted, the werewolf did not let it shake him and recovered, landing behind Thorn and sending out a flurry of blows!

As soon as Gargish moved left, Thorn reacted as though shocked, his body falling forward to rest on his left leg as his right leg slid behind him. From this lunging position, Thorn twisted his body to his right, turning around. The move was so smooth and natural, it caught the frenzied werewolf off guard as his claws raked the air where Thorn’s back had been a moment before.

Launching himself off his back leg, Thorn pushed forward, stabbing out with his knife again. Gargish was too fast and danced backward, keeping out of the knife’s range. However, as he backed up, his instincts kicked in, and he threw a glance backward, only to be met with the unbelievable sight of a solid pile of dirt and rock.

A slight curve in the tunnel had previously hidden it from his view, but the entire tunnel was filled with dirt and rocks, trapping him. Unbelieving, he stared at it, his instincts screaming at him that he was in a whole world of trouble. And his instincts were right. Now facing the panicked werewolf, Thorn pushed forward, his bulky body taking up the whole tunnel!

Smashing forward toward Gargish, Thorn left no room for the werewolf to dodge. A desperate attempt to squeeze by on the left was met with a powerful palm strike that sent Gargish reeling, his arms feeling like they had been hit with a sledgehammer! Desperate, Gargish erupted in fury, his claws striking out in blow after blow, causing blood to splash as his wickedly sharp claws broke through Thorn’s scalemail.

Thorn seemed impervious to the pain, ignoring the blood flowing from his arms as he pushed forward again, forcing Gargish to step back. Gathering his strength, Thorn burst forth, slamming into Gargish with his body, his two fists landing on the werewolf’s muscular chest.

Gargish felt like he had been run over by a train. Well, not a train precisely, since he had no concept of what a train was. Gargish felt like he had been run over by a dragon. At least, he assumed that this is what it would feel like. As Thorn’s two fists came forward, Gargish’s bloodfury was pierced by the sudden and clear realization that he was about to die.

It was a strange sort of feeling, an inevitable certainty that cut through all the chaos in his mind. His thirst for blood, his hunger for the terror and suffering of his prey, his anger, and fear of being cornered, his wolfish instincts to fight for his life. All of that ceased for the briefest of moments, as this fact marched across his very being.

The two fists grew larger, coming forward in slow motion to slam into his chest with unstoppable force. When they were still inches away, Gargish could feel his chest starting to compress from the force of the air alone! When they made contact, Gargish wondered if this was the feeling of being kicked in the chest by a hundred horses at the same time.

Thorn’s mind was operating with startling clarity. The excitement that seemed to rise in his chest with every fight brought with it the uncontrollable urge to smash and destroy, but it did not cloud his thinking in the slightest. Rather, it seemed to lend a sharpness to his thoughts that hadn’t been there before. Every twitch of muscle, every grimace of his enemy’s lips, was taken in, processed and used to adjust his blows.

Smashing into Gargish’s chest, Thorn sent the werewolf flying back, almost imprinting him into the wall of debris that Thorn had piled up, his chest crushed and bleeding. Yet even then, Thorn’s hyper-focused mind sent him forward. Stepping closer, the only thing in Thorn’s brain was indexing. Get in range, get in contact. The lesson Dovon had pounded into his head surfaced, and Thorn reached out a massive hand, clamping down on the shaken werewolf’s shoulder.

Gargish was still recovering from the unbelievable force that had sent him back when a vice grip landed on his shoulder. Struggling with all his might, Gargish tried to shake off the hand, but to no avail. "How is he this strong!" the werewolf screamed in his mind.

Thorn wasted no time, and as soon as his hand made contact, he started to throw out blow after blow at Gargish’ head, smashing him into oblivion. Punch after punch rained down on Gargish’s skull, an ominous cracking sound giving testament to how hard Thorn was striking. Each punch heavier than the last, it wasn’t long before Thorn’s bloody fist smashed straight through to the ground below, blood and brain matter splashing over the ground.

Still keyed up, Thorn dropped the corpse of the werewolf to the ground, his shoulders heaving as he gulped in big breaths of air. Bloodshot eyes looked around for more enemies, and finding none, he slumped to the ground, the energy draining out of him. It took Thorn almost ten minutes to recover. Only a few brief moments had passed since Gargish had come down into the tunnels after him, but it had felt like hours.

*Ding*

Blood Moon Rising - Complete

Congratulations, hero! You have slain Gargish, the Blood Hunter, and completed Blood Moon Rising, making the surrounding lands safe, for the time being.

Rewards:

Titles: Wolfsbane

Lord of Greymane (locked)

Ring of the Wolf Lord

 

Title: Wolfsbane

You have slain the King of the Werewolves, proving your abilities as a hunter and slayer of monsters. Locals are more likely to ask for your help in subjugating monsters of the Wolf or Lycan family.

In addition, for ending the cursed line of Gargish, you have inherited the Ring of the Wolf Lord.

 

Lord of Greymane (locked)

You have defeated the previous Lord Greymane in battle. Go to Greymane Keep to claim it as your own by sitting on the Wolf’s Throne while wearing the Ring of the Wolf Lord.

 

Title: Brave

For standing your ground in the face of a monster with more than two mastered proficiencies and surviving.

+Wisdom

+Constitution

 

Title Update (Brave): Indomitable

For standing your ground in the face of a monster with more than five mastered proficiencies and surviving.

+Wisdom

+Constitution

 

Title Update (Indomitable): Unshakeable

For standing your ground in the face of a monster with more than ten mastered proficiencies and surviving.

+Wisdom

+Constitution

 

Title Update (Unshakeable): Battle Mad

For standing your ground in the face of a monster with more than fifteen mastered proficiencies and surviving.

+Wisdom

+Constitution


Thorn waved the myriad of windows away, unsure about what had happened. After Gargish died, a massive surge of energy seemed to diffuse into the surroundings, and numerous windows popped up in his vision. With the game logs, he could always go back to check the details later. Right now he was more concerned with the loot.

Looking at the headless corpse, Thorn frowned. How was he supposed to find the ring in this bloody mess? For a moment, he squatted there, poking what was left of the werewolf’s body with his knife. After a couple of seconds, the body dissolved into light particles, and a few items were revealed on the ground. Apart from the ring that he had been expecting, there was a sack of 10 gold and a small silver token with a crack running down the middle.

The loot was picked up and put away in his inventory, and Thorn examined the ring.

Ring of the Wolf Lord

This is the signet ring of the Wolf Lord, ruler of Greymane Keep and protector of the Deep Wood. The bearer of this ring is the rightful ruler of the Wolfkin, young or old, and is honor bound to protect them. Can only be worn by a Wolfkin or someone with the title Wolfsbane.

+Intelligence

+Endurance

+Charisma

+ Reputation

Ability: Wolf Lord’s Howl [locked]


Slipping the ring onto his finger, Thorn called up his status. He had gained some bonuses from slaying Gargish and completing the Blood Moon event and wanted to check his new titles out.

Name: [Thorn]

Race: [Titan]

Health: [78%]

Mana: [100%]

Titles: [Battle Mad], [Wolfsbane], [Lord Greymane (locked)]

Conditions: [None]

Abilities: [Wolf Lord’s Howl(locked)]


Scratching his head, Thorn pondered his status. Not a whole lot had visibly changed from before since most of his stats were hidden. A field had been added for his new ability, however, it was as minimalist as the rest of the fields. In fact, the only ability he had listed was still locked away, because the [Lord Greymane] title was locked, as well. Deciding not to worry about it for the time being Thorn cleared the passage of all the dirt and stone he had piled up to trap Gargish.

The whole plan had been quite tenuous, but Gargish had reacted the way Thorn had assumed he would. Based on the hit-and-run fighting style that wolves preferred, Thorn had been confident that Gargish’s combat style was going to be hard to pin down. With the Blood Hunter’s speed, there was no way that Thorn would have been able to win a fight in an open area, as the werewolf could have dodged backward.

This was the same reason that Thorn did not bother to try and shoot him with his arbalest. Even putting aside the fact that Thorn was not confident that the bolt could have harmed Gargish, it was even less likely that he could have hit him with it. Gargish was too fast, but fortunately, he was also arrogant, not considering Thorn a foe to be respected.

Thorn had been hoping that the close quarters and single direction of approach afforded by the tunnels would give him a chance to trade blows with the werewolf, never suspecting that Gargish would throw himself into a corner. As soon as he had landed a solid blow, the fight had been over. As he spread the rocks and dirt along the floor of the tunnel to keep it clear, Thorn could not help but marvel at his own strength.

Because of the test he had done upon entering Nova Terra, he had at least a conceptual understanding of how strong he was, but it was very hard to translate that into a practical understanding of what that meant. Plus, he kept having this nagging feeling that the strength he felt wasn’t actually the limit.

Take, for example, his strike against Gargish. As soon as he had released the blow, Thorn had felt that it was different. Not a punch, but something more. Almost an expression of will, gathering strength not only from his tendons and muscles but pulling power from the bones of the earth around them to crush everything before it.

That feeling, clear one moment, but slipping away the very next, had left him with an emptiness, as if a crucial, life-bringing vein had run dry. Shaking his head, Thorn finished cleaning up and crawled out of the tunnel. When he got out, he stretched and twisted his body, glad to be back under the sky. While he wasn’t claustrophobic, having to bend over was annoying.

As soon as he got the notification that Gargish had died, his messages and logout button were reactivated, and he saw that he had a blinking message from Hamm, the weapons trainer from the Berum Training Hall. Opening it up, he saw Hamm’s stubble-covered face.

[Hey Thorn, thought I’d send you a message. I know you are out hunting corrupted wolves, but Master Sun came back, so you can probably go find him if you want. I think he’d fit your combat style pretty well if you can get him to teach you anything. He can get weird about that sometimes. Always prattling on about how his weapon is the only ‘true’ weapon and all that nonsense. Hah. Give me a chopping blade any day. Anyway, be careful out there and come back and visit soon.]

It took Thorn a moment to remember that Hamm had given him a quest to find Master Sun. Pulling up the quest, he looked at the area marked on his map. Last time he had set out to find Master Sun, he had not made it far at all. It had worked out though, as that is where he had met Ouroborus, Velin, Mina, and Jorge.

The area marked on his map was not too far away, so Thorn decided to stop there on his way back to town. There were still a few days before he needed to meet up with Ouroboros and the rest of the team, so he did not have anything better to do anyway. Setting off, Thorn moved toward the mountains to the north of Berum, where Master Sun was located.

Unlike the old growth forest where he had been fighting the corrupted wolves, the rolling hills to the north of the city were covered in scrub brush and small stands of new growth forest. It was among these younger trees that Thorn came upon a run-down hut with a smoking fire pit out front. Sitting at the fire was a middle-aged, Asian-looking man with a balding head and two of the largest arms Thorn had ever seen on a human. Dirty red armor with broken stitching and karuta made Thorn think of an out of work samurai. What did they call them? Ronin, that's right.

Guzzling something out of a bottle, the middle-aged man belched before stuffing more meat into his mouth. Seeing that he was being ignored, Thorn crouched down by the fire and pulled out his own food. After he took out the first dish, there was no reaction, but by the time he had taken out the fifth, Thorn could feel a burning gaze resting on him. Looking over, he saw the middle-aged man staring at the food in his hands.

“Would you like some?” Thorn offered. Seeing the man’s eyes light up, Thorn passed a few of the dishes over, letting the bedraggled man help himself. Between the two of them, they had soon finished off eleven portions and four bottles of ale that Thorn pulled out of his inventory. After they were done, the man belched again, the stale smell of alcohol wafting off of him.

Scratching his back, he stood and ambled into the flimsy shed, kicking the door shut as he fell onto a dirty mat. Thorn stared in bemusement at the small shack that looked like it would fall over in stiff breeze and sighed. He was about to leave to continue looking for Master Sun when he noticed that his quest had updated.

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WildCard

Bio: My name is Seth Ring and I am a writer. I create worlds and tell the stories of those who inhabit them. I love exploring these new worlds with other people. I post a chapter every Friday around 12 pm EST. To get advanced access to chapters you can support me on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/SethRing.

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Tidaveel @Tidaveel ago

Thanks for the chapter!

Caskie @Caskie ago

Wowwwwww, Thorn didn't twig that this guy was Master Sun? Isn't he meant to be a genius? Like that's just dumb! He didn't even think to ask?!?

    Dartokan @Dartokan ago

    He was probably expecting something more along the lines of old and sage Martial Arts Master, and was faced with what looks like an out-of-work bum instead. Not too surprising that he wouldn't have caught on right away, most other people likely wouldn't have either in his position. Plus, I'm assuming that Thorn isn't exactly too experienced with games or gaming cliches given his history.

mafiapl @mafiapl ago

Ok this makes no sense, he was send on a quest with a minimap, Thorn knew master Sun is near and didnt even ask the guy who is he? Pretty sure this is downright stupid and the MC is suppose to be smart.

Jayka64 @Jayka64 ago

What is the small silver token? Is it gonna be explained in the next couple of chapters?

Aristaeus @Aristaeus ago

Next chapter needs to include the reaction of a certain madman (that is Joseph) on the fact that someone stomped his increased dificulty special quest end boss monster the same day it was dropped in the world.

ofother @ofother ago

Thanks for the chapter.

stads @stads ago

nice chapter thx for writing it

will be interesting to see the reaction of the guild members he befriended for the quest to the casle

Killashard
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Killashard @Killashard ago

Thanks for the chapter!

SyRiNx @SyRiNx ago

Thanks for the chapter!

RyuNaga @RyuNaga ago

Thanks for the chapter