Greater Beyond

by

Saga Rakiyuga

Vol.2 Ch.10: Lingering Indulgence

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"Before I get on with the bounty hunts, since you are now a member of the hunting league, I am obliged to give you this, here."

As I questioned what was right in front of my own two eyes, the old man proceeded with his explanation. My own question was already too obvious to be asked, either way, it was bound to be discovered, these items that appeared right on the clean counter.

"The first item is called 'Time Gazer'. Unlike most items that are only useful for a short amount of time, this item is permanent. I should warn you, this item isn't for sale anywhere else inside Ceulonia. Guard it with your life. As I was saying, this item is permanent, therefore, the moment you use it you will gain the ability to see someone's health bar. In other words, their life points. I feel like that's self-explanatory, so I will move on to the next item."

He is right. It is self-explanatory. Although, it's not self-explanatory just because. There is a certain logic as to why it is self-explanatory. Just as every weapon and every person has a status attribute into them, mainly the number for their strength, defense, velocity, and attack, there is obviously more to it. I feel as if this will come in handy. But, once I do activate Time Gazer, I will forever be able to see such things in people. That's what the old man meant by being permanent. This comes in handy for hunting down certain targets. Knowing their health points will bring a lot of conveniences so to speak. But, as the old man said, this is self-explanatory.

"Our second item that is given to any new hunter, is the 'Ghost Life'. Ghost Life allows you to conceal your own presence by completely erasing your presence. Ghost Life, essentially makes your physical form into a transparent one, hence the given name. There is a drawback to this, of course. This item can only be used once you have selected a bounty hunt to hunt down. Otherwise, Ghost Life will not activate. Unlike Time Gazer, this item is not permanent. Therefore, once you use it, you will gain the ability to conceal your presence, however, that's only until you land the first attack on your bounty. The moment you do, Ghost life will disappear. Should the time come if you need more, you can always buy more from our store. But, it costs 10000 min. It might be a bit pricy."

Basically, this item will provide me the ability to remain unscathed on my way to hunt down my mark. Which means that if I activate Time Gazer while maintaining Ghost Life, I can essentially scan my target's life points while remaining invisible. That's fairly good in order to prepare an ambush, given the situation. Anyway, in contrast to Time Gazer, Ghost Life is not a permanent item. Thus, if Ghost life proves to be useful, investing 10000 min into it, might not be an understatement.

"Lastly, for the final item. The name is 'Thief's Stereo'. This item doesn't have any usefulness in battle, unlike the previously mentioned two items. Though, Thief's Stereo is another permanent item just like Time Gazer. Once you activate it, you will be forever with it. Its ability is that once activated, your mark will be marked by a signal. A red one at it. By allowing your mark to receive the red signal, I will be alerted that you are engaging your target. In other words, it's just a way for us to know that you are actually hunting down your mark. Think of it as a way for us to make sure that you are actually doing your job. Otherwise, people would just take the hunts and report them as dead and receive their rewards. To prevent such fraud, this item must always be used when engaging with your target. If you fail to use Thief's Stereo, it's the same as nothing hunting down the bounty mark."

As the old man said, this item doesn't actually have battle usefulness so to speak. It's more of a registration process than anything. There is no need to question what he meant by red signal. Once I do hunt down my prey, I will know it, eventually. I must say, I am somewhat impressed. I thought that this taskbar was simply a bounty hunt bar that exposed elite hunts and its details but no more than that. I was wrong to think of that. But, now that I do have these items my chances of winning have slightly risen. Still, this taskbar really is empty. All of the tables are empty and it reeks of tobacco everywhere. Taking into consideration that this is located on a very dark alley is something to be aware of. In any case, I was expecting to at least encounter another hunter, but such was not the case.

"I will now present you the Hunting board."

"Please do."

"Here you go. In here you can see the codenames that are given to the bounty hunts among the Hunting board."

Just as I was about to touch the rusty small board, a notification appeared on my screen. This was most likely a simple diversion in order to hide the actual truth. Because, if one looks at the actual board, it's nothing more than names for drinks. The notification was nothing more than a simple confirmation about whether or not I wanted to access the Hunting Board. However, once I did, there were a plethora of bounty hunts that appeared in there. So many that I had to scroll through it. Eventually, the inevitable question came forward. Although, I had a pretty good idea about what it was.

"Are the hunts that have a red exclamation signal to them, hunts that are currently being hunted down? If so, then does that mean that the hunts that don't have are the ones who are available?"

"Spot on. Although, there are sometimes exceptions to this. Hunts that are closed with a golden lock are only available to you once you have risen in terms of rank in the hunter's league. But yes. Hunts that have a red exclamation mark to them are currently being pursued. Those who don't are the ones that are available to you right now."

It's not called Lost Sea's Hunting League for nothing. As it says, it's a league, implying that there are ranks established in it. I suppose that's a cool feature and all, but I couldn't care less. My goal is to get ten thousand min in order for the four of us to enter Subterra. Spending my time hunting down targets for the sake of the pleasure of hunting is a big no. Also, there are some important features to the board. The bounty hunts that go by their codenames have their rewards right in them. I can see this by clicking the codename, but it says for further information to speak to the bartender. But, that was the goal all along.

"I got it. Can you tell me about hunt #19 'Rain'?"

"Rain huh? Codename 'Rain' is a flying vulture that only appears when it's raining. Its location, according to our reporters, is located in the Dinshido water desert. It lives right at the top of the oil tower. However, fret not about its location details. I will send you Rain's location over to your map in the end."

"I'm thankful for that. More importantly, what is Rain's level?"

"As you should expect from an elite hunt, it's not an easy target. Rain is level 26. Given your level and the fact that you don't have a party with you, I'm assuming that you are most likely solo, or not?"

"Yes, I'm solo. Don't sweat about it though. Keep going."

"Rain is weak to ice and its vital spots are his long neck and skinny legs. Its strong spots are the frontal part of the head and claws. Furthermore, a touch from its claws will inflict you great damage. Reporters calculate the damage to be around 400-500 points of damage, should you be hit with it. A warning, this hunt has been attempted by two hunters so far. The first one died because he was ambushed and was kidnapped by Rain's claws. Ultimately, he was fed to Rain's vulture children. The other hunter also didn't live to tell the tale. However, he managed to get Rain to a quarter of its health bar. Reports say that once Rain gets to his last quarter of health points, it will start to utilize a movement called 'Talon's Dive'. Unfortunately, we have no information regarding how the movement is performed."

So each of Rain's claws attacks can inflict a great round of 400 or up to 500 damage. This could be bad, no, the fact that I am already worried about it just confirms it. As much as I would like to abuse its elemental weakness, it's not possible at the moment. I do have four forms. One of them is Igara. Although, realistically, I can't summon that form because it requires me to be up against ten or more monsters. Such a consequence is extremely inconvenient. Recalling back, I used Igara once to burn down a horde of monsters while Rei baited all of them.

Soon after, I also used Eo. Eo was used to defeat one of the Fogal Edones. Although, now that they are gone, this is somewhat irrelevant. Eo can only be used whenever the sun or flames are present. Otherwise, it can't activate. My latest invention was Barheima. And that's what's going to give me the upper hand here. Barheima has the condition that it can only be applied when amidst water. Since the Dinshido desert is a water one, it will be perfect for me. The time for me to use the fourth has not come yet...

"Is that all about Rain?"

"Unfortunately, yes. However, will you hear my advice for just a second?"

Listening to bits of advice have no downsides to it. The only drawback is that one might get too influenced by such bits of advice. Becoming influenced and forgetting my own original thought process might cloud my judgment. That's good though. If the advice is good then all the more reason to cloud my own judgment. Midst that confusion, to be able to create a better judgment is the ideal option, or that's how I feel about it anyway.

"Sure thing."

"Always wait for your prey to be asleep and deliver your most powerful blow to it. Don't stop when you do. If it retaliates just keep on delivering blows after blows. Don't give your target a moment to rest. Kill it before it kills you. That's our main philosophy here!"

'Kill it before it kills you'. In theory, it's quite simple, just simply kill your enemy before it kills you. It's this simple. However, is it the same in practice? No, no way. Killing off your target requires more than just spirit. Technique, strength, survival instincts and mainly, strong abilities along with a pretty good level. I can't forget the very fact that Rain is nine levels above me. That alone is ridiculous. If I had such difficulty against a level 18, then going up against a level 26 is probably suicide.

"I see. Then, I'm accepting the hunt for Rain, okay?"

"Of course. As the petitioner of the hunt, I will tell you the reward. By killing Rain you will be given 15,000 min, 20,000 experience points, and a mysterious present. But, this will only be given to you once you return here. Understood?"

"I understand. Can you send me Rain's location?"

"Sure thing. Best of luck, Teneb."

"Thanks. Ready that reward for me, will you?"

"Haha! Don't let your arrogance get the best of you! Also, don't forget to use Thief's Stereo!"

Saying my goodbyes, I take my leave. A lot has changed since then. Four years ago, I was ridiculized by my lack of strength, but after all that work, I did become stronger. No, it's far too early to assume that. After all, this hunt is also a test of strength. But, in the end, I will be victorious. However, victory only comes if I use my mind right. A single distraction will cause my downfall. Especially when my target is nine levels above me. Carefulness is beyond necessary here. Good thing it's raining. It would be extremely dumb to choose this mark when it's not raining, so I just made the right call. Besides, I can't wait until I fully unleash Barheima fully. As I try to leave this shady place, I encounter an unknown face. To my surprise, it was a blonde girl. Our eyes cross for about two seconds. Her's were deep dark. Although, since I lost interest I just kept on walking to the main road, not caring about what's left behind.

"Greetings. How may I help you?"

"The Hunting board, please."

"As you wish."

"Hm... Let's see..... Where is it... Ah! Someone took the hunt! But it was available yesterday! Hey old man, did he just take my....?"

"What are you talking about, young one?"

"Don't play dumb. The one that just walked out, he took my hunt, right?!"

"I'm afraid I can't answer that question."

"Hmph. That's fine. Now that I know his codename he can't escape me either way."

"Hoho, you would best not underestimate him. He's got a spirit living inside of him. An unextinguishable fire!"

"So it was him...!"

West Gate to Dinshido Desert

The rain is coming down. Darkening the ground is what it does best. I never understood why people are so disturbed by the rain, honestly. I like to think that it's because the raindrops are simply too painful? No, that can't be. It probably just doesn't feel very comfortable for someone who is in the rain. Also, their clothes could and will very well get wet. There are plenty of reasons to avoid the rain. But this sensation. This feeling of getting hit by the wet droplets is amazing. Perhaps I'm weird for thinking so. Still, this rain is really heavy.

I wonder just how powerful will Barheima be against Rain. Right now, I am inside the west gate. The west gate will take me into a water desert. Getting there is the starting point, however, it only begins there. From there on, I will have to go North and climb the oil tower, where Rain is located. According to the location that the old man gave me, if I go through the east side, I can climb up the oil tower from the outside, since there are ladder stairs there. In order to make my preparations, I must first get rid of the annoying persistence that is not so far away from me.

"Ghost life, activate." I murmur.

Ghost life will only make my presence not be noticed by my mark. But, it's unfortunate that it won't be any use against others. Mainly this persistence. Let's see how far you can go knowing that you will have to face this heavy rain. Besides, once I reach the ladder stairs, I am bound to lose whoever this is. Seeing it from the map, it has at least two hundred meters in terms of height. Good luck climbing that. Lastly, I should activate this too.

"Time Gazer, activate."

Supposedly, my vision will forever now change. And I was right. I can actually see my own life points and my health bar. Level 17 and 2,317 health points. If those are my life points then I should assume that Rain's is at least two times mine. So, maybe close to 5000? Around 4,600 maybe. What matters, really? I will know once I see it with my own two eyes. This vision is amazing now that I think about it. There are currently two kids enjoying the rain and dancing around like two complete idiots. I don't even need to scan their levels like I normally do.

They are both level 1. That's a good thing. Normally whenever someone is level 1 it means that that person most likely treasures life for what it is, not for what they might have. They also have 170 health points. One simple attack and they are dead. They are so fragile. Maybe I'm twisted for even having such thoughts. Bah, I'm wasting my time while blankly staring into the cloudy sky. Did my stalker give up or what? C'mon it's been three minutes...

"I suppose not... Your choice."

Dinshido Desert

I don't detest people who have persistence, but I do detest somebody who is clearly an idiot without knowing it. Nevertheless, I move forward, into the Dinshido Desert. After walking forward into the North direction for a bit, I start to notice some differences. Unlike your average desert covered by sand, the Dinshido desert is covered by a small surface which mainly contains water. However, it's not high water, but low water. Of course, at the bottom of the water, there is sand, which is obvious. But it contains too much sand.

Which makes me think that this zone is naturally attracted to rain. Also, as the rain drops even harder, the water gaps just keep on increasing, forming even more water around me. So far it has gone to my ankle, but if this keeps up, then I might end up swimming in the end. That's what it means to go here on a rainy day. Although, I'm somewhat happy right now. I lost my stalker. Apparently, my guest did not enjoy the rain this much. No, it was probably the fact that the stalker saw the water rising and decided to back down. Smart choice. But, your initial choice was even dumber. What would you gain from stalking me? I can't understand.

"Bah... This is so huge... According to the map, there are about six kilometers to go, until I reach Rain's location."

It's not too far, honestly. Besides, in just exactly four kilometers from now, I will be able to see the oil tower. I would do this more often if I didn't have a plethora of amounts of goals that require a certain sequence in order for them to become true. It's genuinely fun going this far into the wild where nobody else would dare to go just to hunt down a monster. Perhaps this is what they meant by the thrill of the hunt? If so, then I'm feeling it right now. My heartbeat accelerates at a rapid pace as my cardiovascular rate keeps on increasing even further. On second thought, getting too excited right now would do me no good. It would be wise to save this excitement for when I'm facing my mark. Then, I can easily turn this current excitement into savage adrenaline.

"....!"

Ah, I thought it was way too silent. Of course, what good is a hunt without monsters along the way, right?

"Kawhhh!!" The vultures loudly shout.

"One, two, three, four... That's a total of thirteen vultures. Quite a lot."

As the vultures come warping from a very long distance, I squander what form to use. Right now, using Barheima would be a bit overkill. But, I can't have such arrogant thoughts. They are level 22 and have 1,890 health points. I need to perform a test here. Just how much damage can I actually inflict with one attack? And how much can they inflict to me? Interesting... Since my opponents exceed the count of 10, using Igara right now is my only option. But there is a slight downside. With this intense right, my flamethrower might not be as useful as it sounds. I will still give it a try though.

"Igara, come!"

Taking the form of a fireman, the vultures' approach and launch their attack. Of course, that was beyond predictable, hence my countermeasure. Avoiding the frontal attack right now is out of the question. If I avoid a frontal confrontation then the rest of the vultures will simply keep on striking back. Now those words make sense, old man. Kill them before they kill you.

"Alma Magna, activate!"

When creating Igara, I gave it three powers. By giving one, I will receive one consequence. If given another power, adding two powers, I will receive two consequences just for that second power. Therefore, just three consequences from two powers. Needless to say, by asking for a third power, I will receive three consequences. Ultimately, I have six consequences altogether. The first consequences are that Igara can only be activated when against ten or more opponents. The second one is, it will not affect enemies that are below my level.

Although that's not exactly a consequence to many, once I do level up even further, this will be problematic, I think. Third, I can't use it against humans. Fourth, this form can only be used once a week. Fifth, for every monster that Igara burns, it gets weaker. Lastly, Igara can't be used on opponents who are ten levels higher than me. In other words, at the current moment, Igara is only effective against enemies that in between level 17 to 27.

On the plus side, its three abilities are the following: The first is Alma Magna. Alma Magna continuously devours my surroundings life, meaning that for every second it passes it will consume 100 health points from my surroundings. Of course, I am not included. Although, this is more of a continuous effect more than anything, realistically. The second ability is called 'Hell Chain'. Hell chain increases the experience for every kill that Igara gets. For a grand total of 50 experience points and then just adds more 50 to it.

But, Igara gets weaker by the number of opponents it kills, so it's somewhat fair. As for the last ability, 'Inferno Cataracts' gives Igara the ability to use twice its maximum potency on its first attack. Naturally, Igara is a form as a whole, but the main weapon, the flamethrower comes along with it. I suppose that's one good side from it. All of these abilities are continuous, basically. I only need to activate Alma Magna, but not the rest. Now, let's see how this goes.

"Inferno Cataracts, burst!" I loudly declare to the rapid vultures coming in my direction.

...I really killed them all in one shot... No way, a fight isn't supposed to be like this. I'm supposed to be on death's door imploring for a miraculous comeback yet that was all it took. Not that I'm mad or anything since they did give me 840 Experience points. However, the test really worked out. I saw how much damage I actually dealt just from the Inferno Cataracts. 4230 points of damage to every vulture. Since they were coming at me all together it was a clean swipe. So that's how much damage I do with Inferno Cataracts, huh? Though, in a prolonged fight, this form sucks. It's always better to either finish the fight early.

Otherwise, I'm probably dead. It's not even worth mentioning how those experience points affected my progress towards a new level. It didn't, not even up to half. But, once I do kill Rain I will receive experience points from the reward. As I continued my way up to the North, under by no less forty minutes or so of walking, the oil tower was finally visible. Under this heavy rain, the oil tower had an oval shape. More so, it was pure silver, almost ironlike. Just a guess but that was probably an oil factory or something like that. However, it was obviously abandoned due to something. Well, it's definitely because of someone. And I'm about to have a little chat with this someone. Isn't that right, Rain?

"How strange... Where is he? I'm still not under his location, but I thought that I would at least be able to glimpse at him or something. I have Ghost Life activated, so it's irrelevant where is he right now. I can simply wait for as long as it takes."

Continuing on, I march towards the east side of the oil tower. The rain has not stopped yet and I hope it doesn't. Otherwise, Rain will not appear. But still, I keep wondering just how the first hunter who tried to kill Rain failed that hard. It's supposedly impossible to get yourself kidnapped unless he wasn't with Ghost Life. Even so, if he simply took time and waited for the right time, then even someone who is completely dumb could have dealt the fatal blow. Yet he got kidnapped. Just how did that happen...

"...It really is 200 meters in height. If I fall from these ladder stairs I am dead, most likely. No way I survive a fall that high."

This isn't the time to feel anxiety or to even try to escape commitment. What needs to be done has to be done.

"One and two and three!"

Jumping into the first degree while grabbing myself to the upper degree, I begin to climb this metallic ladder. From here on, looking down is strictly forbidden. If I ever look down it's all over. Looking up is the only valid option right now. If somehow, Rain is at the top waiting for me, then I will have to prepare myself along the way. This will be easy. Believe it will. Believe in your ability to make everything easy. It will work. There is no way it won't. This will be a breeze. Eventually, five minutes later, I reach the top. I dared not to look down and continued to move to the center. At the very top, there was a solid metal surface which is a bit wet due to the permanent rain so far.

"Damn, what the hell is going on? I'm at the exact location..."

Could the old man have lied to me? I somehow don't believe that. Think. Think about anything that can be used to connect the missing part of the puzzle. Something that can be used to figure out Rain's location. First things first, I will trust in this location. It's quite possible that Rain is currently on his way here, so eliminating that possibility is out of the question. Rain's location is undoubtedly here so maybe something caused Rain to move from here?

"The metal is hot. That's not normal. Why would the metal surface be hot when rain is coming down? Unless..."

I overlooked a couple of things. My encounter with the vultures was no coincidence, now that I think about it. Why would there be vultures on this rainy day? Vultures don't necessarily hate rain, but they also don't necessarily love it. Besides, fish-like creatures are the most common around water, not vultures. Therefore, this can only mean one thing. Those vultures were most likely Rain's children. But of course! It makes sense now. The old man said that the first hunter who tried to hunt down rain was ambushed and kidnapped by Rain's claws. But he never said that the one doing the ambush was Rain.

The first hunter was most likely ambushed by Rain's children and then after not being able to fight back, Rain kidnapped the hunter. But that doesn't explain one thing. If such is the case then how come the second hunter was able to draw out Rain? Did the second hunter defeat the vultures? No, no, he shouldn't have been able to do such a thing. If he did, then he wouldn't be able to draw out Rain. Otherwise, it wouldn't connect to the current moment. Therefore, the second hunter most likely faced off against the vultures but then Rain came in and devastated him with his Talon Dive... Also, I've been calling Rain a 'he', but it's probably a 'she'. Not like Rain's sex matters right now, though. But if that doesn't connect to it, then where is Rain right now?

"Think..... Think..... Why wouldn't Rain come to me when its children were burned to death? I get that Rain can't sense my presence nor see me, but it's odd for the mother not to appear when such just happened... Maybe Rain is just that slow and wasn't there on time? No, that's wrong. I should have been able to spot Rain if so, but I didn't... Just what..."

At that moment, I realized a crucial truth and a major flaw in my analogy. But, by the time I was able to forge that realization, the battle for survival had already begun.

"Oh sh-"

"KRAWHH!!"

The crucial flaw in my analogy was not why Rain wasn't there when its children got burnt. No, Rain was there, I simply overlooked a very simple fact. The sky is cloudy, under those clouds above the giant vulture stood there silently gazing at her prey. Rain didn't care for its children because Rain was probably already reproducing other ones. However, I also overlooked something very obvious. While the first hunter utterly failed, the second didn't. They had their match at the top of this oil tower.

Rain was probably able to identify the second hunter because he was not using Ghost Life. That explains as to how Rain knows this place and as to why she fearlessly attacked this place that supposedly had nothing in it. Also, Ghost Life stopped working. In other words, whenever there is a strong sound, Ghost Life will most likely deactivate. And currently, I'm falling over the gigantic oil tower due to that.

"5456 Health points, huh? What monstrosity....!"

Although it was not direct, the impact left some damage over. I had 2317 health points, but now I only have 1998 health points remaining... Just that did over 300 points of damage. Goddamnit, it hurts... The impact was so strong that it paralyzed my whole body for a second. Also, Rain is huge, but holy hell, so huge. Not to mention that Rain is coming after me right now. As I am right now, I'm falling over, but Rain looks like she's diving in for the kill.

"Barheima, activate!! Water gravity, apply!"

Voom. Rain's huge claws try to decapitate me but thanks to Water Gravity, I can freely control the gravity as long as there is water under my current position. There is water everywhere, so this will be an aerial fight, which is ironic. Nevertheless, dodging that rapid attack was almost too late. Adjusting to the Water Gravity was super crucial. If I had not adjusted my position, then I would be headless right now. By adjusting my position, I was able to dodge to the left. On the plus side, Rain's dive was so long that she took a fall right to the seawater down below. And with that, I have time to recapitalize. But, calming myself comes first.

"Crap... I almost died... Taking down this beast will require quite the effort. First, I need to activate Thief's Stereo. For that, I need to touch Rain. Now that she's vulnerable, I will...!"

Rapidly diving to where Rain is, I notice that her current health bar is not completely full. That's natural since she took that huge fall. From 5456 health points to 5230. A little over 200 points huh. She's having a hard time getting up, thus this is the perfect chance to perform an assault onto her.

"Tsunami, activate!"

Just like Igara, Barheima only has three powers. Water Gravity allows me to control the gravity in a zone where there water under my current position. While Tsunami gives me the opportunity to create a giant tidal wave to unleash on my enemies. As for the third and last ability, it goes by the name of 'Atlancia'. It's quite simple since it allows my body to be shaped by only water and nothing else. This is continuous and permanent, so I don't need to activate it. Gratefully, this comes into my own benefit, since I am not affected by my own Tsunami. Otherwise, I would just be killing myself, really. Naturally, Tsunami takes a portion of my desired water quantity and with that quantity, it forms itself. Choosing the water that I am under is stupid, so I chose the water that is everywhere but my current position. This will be your dying place, Rain.

"How many meters is that, even? Four hundred? Good thing I'm elevated almost inside the clouds... Tsunami, release!"

A devastating sound was dropped right under Rain's main body as the admirable abomination of nature called Tsunami unleashed its own anger onto its target. However...

"3612 health points... This has too many consequences..."

Adding up to six consequences as a whole, Barheima can only be used under a water surface. Furthermore, Tsunami will only deal 10% of its true damage to monsters who are not above level 70. Third, Barheima doesn't allow me to level up. Fourth, if I use this form against a human and I don't kill that human in at least ten minutes, Barheima will kill me instead. Fifth, if I use Barheima more than five times per month, this form will consume my actual body and adapt to its new one. Ultimately, if I use this form against a monster with an elemental affinity then it will have no effect. Thankfully, Rain doesn't have an elemental affinity, so this form is quite useful right now. And just like Igara, it has a natural benefit to it. I can control the water around me as I please. However, I should use this opportunity to reach Rain and apply Thief's Stereo.

"It's easier said than done, huh?" I say as I continue to dive to where Rain is.

As soon as I reach the watery sands, I close my distance to where Rain is and observe the current situation. She is apparently knocked out. This will make the fight even easier. All that needs to be done right now is to apply Thief's Stereo and I can swiftly kill Ra-

"GRAHH!!"

H-How?! Just as I activated Thief's Stereo, Rain immediately stroke back with its claws! But how? Wasn't she knocked out...? Fuck, that's not the worst part, damn it. Just a chunk of her claws left my life points left me with 702 life points. Wait! Wasn't her claw only supposed to take around 400 or 500 damage?! Then how the hell did she just deliver me more than one thousand points of damage?! Damn, I was naive. To blindly trust someone's information like that, I...! No! This is not the time to make arrogant excuses. Rain is recovering from my previous attack still. While I'm here shocked over what just happened I'm missing what's essential right now. That's right. She is still recovering. She can't even take a full flight, she is so slow right now!

"Calm down. I will win. Kill it before it kills you. You can't afford to take another hit or else you are dead. I've got to use something to my advantage."

Gaining my aerial advantage is essential at the moment. There is water everywhere thanks to the Tsunami that was dispersed not so long ago. Thus, my aerial advantage still remains intact and supreme. I need to use that to my own advantage. Furthermore, I have to take advantage of her weakened state to deliver a devastating strike upon her. Forming a Tsunami is no good as it takes around 10 seconds to form. She is coming at me with full speed! Unfortunately for you, your pattern is already crystal clear!

"KRAWH!!" Rain savagely charges toward me.

Yes, you did exactly what you wanted! By elevating myself to where the oil tower is, I can just do this until she tires herself out. The tactic is simple, really. The oil tower is gigantic. So gigantic to the point where it can be made use of. Rain's pattern is the following: She will always chase after her target no matter the location. Normally, this would be problematic, and it is. However, if she chases after me, then I have to draw a line where she gets damaged just by chasing me. Finally, when she charges into me, by raising my current self up, she will hit with her head on the gigantic oil tower. Her head is one of her most fragile points.

"2476 health points remaining. You're going down!"

Taking the hit on her massive head like that, I take that moment and create the opportunity that allows me to unleash a water spiral combo right onto her exposed neck. Since she is huge, her neck is also abnormally large. Gathering some water from the surface, forging two water tornados was by no means a difficult task. Quickly, while she was falling down, I keep on creating more and more tornados. It takes me around 2 seconds to create just one. By the time she falls on the watery surface, it will be 12 seconds. Thus, six water tornados will be formed. The red signal is on her, as my vision perceives.

"Cross Tornados!!"

While three tornados come from the west direction, three more come from the east direction in order to open the window of death to this beast. Each tornado does around 300 points of damage, which in total sums up for a great amount of 1800 points of damage!! Damn it! Damn it! When she's in the last quarter of her health points, she will start to use Talon's Dive! Fuck, I can't let that happen!

"Kill it before it kills you."

Those arrogant words are hunting my mind right now. But... So what? Those words don't ring hollow, they ring resemblance. If it's arrogant to kill another before it kills you, then what's wrong with it? It's just a monster, it's not a human like me. That's right, there is no reason to hold back. Don't allow her to retaliate. Not a single moment can be spared. The moment you let your door open to fear you lose. You lose you die. I don't want to die.

"Atlantic Trident, form!"

In a call to my own desperation, those tornados turn into a majestic water trident that fits perfectly to be worn by me. It's not enough to actually rely on my own abilities to solve the problem. The very fact that I'm alive is a miracle. No, it can't be. Miracles don't exist. If I get hit one more time, then I am dead. Knowing that I gather all the water that was currently under the water surface to the point where the watery desert becomes one with its sand again. Needless to say, I lost my water gravity, but this... is my last triumph.

"DIE!" Bravely declares Zakarias to the raging vulture that engages him one last time

Though unpredictable, Zakarias won. In the last moment, Zakarias's Atlantic Trident pierced Rain's throat making a rain of blood fall from the sky as the tired boy landed on top of Rain's fallen body. Restless as he was, he completely ignored the victory notification along with another notification as well. Zakarias was so tired that this was the first time he slept in two days. He didn't care about the fact that he was sleeping on top of the fallen beast's body. He only cared to enjoy his first ever kill on a monster that he could say 'I gave it my all.' If happiness could take form, then the smile that he wore with a carefree expression as he fell asleep, would be the happiest form.

1 day later

The Lost Sea Taskbar

One day has passed since my meeting with that young man. Though his codename is Teneb, his real name is Zakarias. I was surprised, because yesterday, I receive a notification that he was engaging Rain. To further my own surprise, he managed to kill Rain. Normally hunters here pass their precious time finding the perfect time to hunt down their prey. Some even go to the last second due to how difficult it is. Many don't rush it because they think it's reckless. However, I think that's wrong. A hunt that is planned is boring. A hunt that is done in the exact moment while giving everything you have is what I would call a true hunt. It's been a long time since I saw someone show such prowess like that in hunting. A shame that his activity length is only for one day, otherwise he would make a great hunter. With the right person to teach him how to properly hunt, he could very well, in the future rise up to the top ranks! Amidst such thoughts of mine, the door is opened by a customer. Of course, I already know who it is, but I think someone is more excited about this than I am.

"Huf... Huf... Yo... You have it ready?"

He can't even hide his own fatigue. Also, there are trails of blood all over his shirt. He probably had trouble along the way, if I had to say. It's not easy being a hunter and caring for your appearance at the same time. Yet, the blonde man standing in front of me, inside this old taskbar cares not. His eyes tell me that he wants one thing only, and that is the reward. Such fire that ignites in the depths of his burning soul was visible to an old man like me.

"Yes, but of course. But first... How was it?"

"Pretty damn hard. Does that fit your bill for a description?"

"It's just perfect. Here is the reward as promised. 15,000 min right here inside! And 20,000 experience points will be given to you as well! Lastly, here is the mysterious present, enjoy!"

I made it just for you. By observing your fight, I figured you wouldn't want the original present. It was a relic shield that gives the user 200 defense points. But, from your fight, it was crystal clear to me that you wouldn't like something so shallow.

"O-Old man...! A-Are you serious... This is..."

"Well, I did say that hunters here get pretty good rewards, right? I am just delivering the truth back to you, I suppose."

"Y-Yeah but this... I can't just..."

"The way you fought Rain was truly remarkable. Accept it."

"....I will forever treasure it until the beyonds of my time, I promise."

"Now, now, no need to be so noble. It's just a reward. Isn't that right?"

Gah, I'm truly a mess. I almost shed a tear there. I'm truly old, aren't I? Yet seeing such a scenario brings tears of joy to my heart.

"So you're the one who took down Rain?!" Says the blonde girl as she stops drinking her iced tea and stands up from the chair

"Yeah. I'm sorry if it was the hunt you were looking for."

"You think apologies are going to cut it?!"

"I suppose not. I'll take my leave then. Old man, I will come here in the future. Count on it!"

"Wait just a second! Why didn't you seek my help to take down a bounty hunt? It's suicide to go alone, you know?"

"But I won, didn't I? Why would I need your help? You aren't making much sense."

"I bet you almost died. Look at you, acting so prideful. Next time ask for help, will you?"

"I really don't want to hear such words from a third-rate stalker. Also, next time you want to stalk someone don't wear such fancy clothes. Plus, you reek of perfume. Adios." I close the door as I listen to an angry voice yelling in my direction.

What a weird person. Can't she see that I'm in no condition to uphold a decent conversation? And I need to run, more like, I need to lose my stalker. Being this popular really is troublesome.

 

To be continued.

 

 

 

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Saga Rakiyuga

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