Chapter 25: Setting Out to Greener Lands
It was the twelfth day since I got trapped inside the barrier and also the day when I got to level 4.
My ether had been pretty high from killing everything on sight while looking for the last acid moths to end their quest and just when I finished killing the tenth moth, I got the last push I needed.
|You’ve leveled up!|
Clenching my fists tightly, I suppressed a scream of happiness that threatened to come out and opened my status window, staring at it for a while. I took a deep breath, excited to see what would happen and finally touched the ‘+’ sign next to agility twice.
I waited with an expectant smile on my face for anything flashy to happen but everything remained the same.
Whatever. I clicked my tongue and walked towards the dead acid moth to take its crystal. It seemed reaching the double digits was nothing special but that special I’d been expecting came hitting my face when I didn’t expect it.
One second I had my sight on the moth and the next I watched as the ground began approaching my face. “What the-” I barely managed to put my hands in front of me as I fell on the ground.
My legs! I tried to get up but it was as if my legs were asleep. The rest of my body as well.
I could move, just without proper control of my body.
What the hell, what the hell. I struggled to get back to my feet despite the stiffness in my body.
Whenever I tried to walk my legs only responded to me lifting them and putting them down. I could barely balance myself and walked just like a newborn Bambi and soon fell again.
That’s my reward for raising my agility? I punched my legs trying to make them react and the pain was just the same as always. They were not asleep.
Thinking back on my stat distribution, there was a plausible answer. Since my dexterity was so low, it could not keep up with my body reaction time and I lost all sense of coordination.
It can’t be. I struggled back to my feet and Bambi-walked towards the moth to consume the crystal.
And the damn thing gave me the minimal amount possible.
I put on my backpack and began wobbling back to the house.
Maybe because I was getting better at Bambi walking or because the ‘debuff’ was wearing off, my walk became steadier after every few steps and soon it went back to normal.
Holy crap. I wiped my brow. I could just imagine the consequences if a monster had attacked me.
Still, I returned to the house anyway. I didn’t know if the Bambi state would come back and I had to take care of my bat. It was dented everywhere and even the wood inside the metal coat was showing. That bat had not many more charges left.
I wrapped it with some tape and prayed it would last until I found something to replace it with.
The rest of the day I only trained and even then my strength did not go up.
The following day I set out to find a new weapon and while searching for it, my charge skill finally leveled up.
Your Boar’s Charge increased to level 2
The skill’s power increased by 20%
It had taken longer to level up than [Physiologic Acceleration], but I was happy with what I got.
While fighting I also noticed how my body reacted to monster attacks before I could even see them coming. Going above 10 points of agility definitely had brought more than a few minutes of awkward walking.
Since I had thoroughly explored the area around the house and never found anything that could serve as a weapon, I strayed from where I usually hunted monsters and came across a broken fence near a huge collapsed building that had probably been a hospital or a school in the past.
It was one of those fences whose bars looked like giant needles made of pure metal—just what I needed.
I struggled to tear one of those bars from the fence, kicking and hitting it with my bat, but after some effort and quite the amount of loud noises, I finally got it off. It was really heavy, probably above 5kg if not 10 and was very long as well, reaching up to my chin if I put it on the ground.
I still had to figure out how to avoid hurting myself while charging with it, but even if I used it as a blunt weapon the amount of damage it could cause was probably bigger than the poor old battered bat.
The opportunity to test it presented itself when a helmet hopper approached, probably due to the noises I made.
We charged at each other and I swung the bar towards its head.
I missed hitting it, but I still struck its body, crushing everything in the spike’s way until the hopper split half, splashing its nasty insect fluids all over the place, including me. I finished it off and consumed its crystal while imagining how great its piercing power would be if I used it like a lance.
Then I returned to the house with some ideas in mind.
The next three days were a loop of me getting up early to hunt monsters then returning at noon to eat and going back out until the evening when I returned once again to the house and began my physical training.
The morning of the fifteenth day I finally increased my strength to 9 points and training by lifting just the head of the bed with some dumbbells on top was not having that much effect on me anymore. Because of that, I turned to use a damn fridge as weight and I could lift it just fine.
I had also finished all the quests related to the monsters in the area surrounding the house and my ether almost reached 200, closing in to the next level up. The problem was that monsters began to become scarce and I was getting less and less ether each day. I would have leveled up already if it wasn’t because of that.
With that in mind, I felt it was time to tackle the goldhorn hunt. With the combination of my skills, weapons and stats, I’d gotten strong enough to defeat monsters at the level of the boar leader or the elite goblin with ease and probably stronger monsters as well as long as it was a 1 on 1 fight.
I packed my backpack to the brim with canned food and water just in case something happened that prevented me from getting back and tied three knives to it in a way that made it easy to grab them during fights.
I adjusted the biker gloves I’d found to fit me by cutting the top of the fingers and taping them around my wrist so they didn’t slip and taped a cloth around the bottom of my metal spike to make it easier on my hands and increase its area of impact when I used it as a blunt weapon.
Filled with the excitement of finally beginning to hunting those goldhorns, I set out in the same direction as when me and my ex companions found the first one.
For hours I walked and only found the same type of monsters as around the house, the rats, boars, and raccoons all gone. It was when the vegetation that took over the streets began to lessen that I found a new type of monster.
The goat scraping its front leg against the pavement was as big as a cow and its winding horns were as thick as my arm.
I grabbed the bottom of my spike tightly with one hand and the middle of its body with the other.
The goat and I stared at each other for a few long seconds and then charged almost at the same time. It lowered its head and aimed its horns at me while I adjusted my spike to point at its lowered head.
The clash between the goat and my spike shook my body and almost made it slip between my hands.
The monster had stopped dead with half of the spike piercing into its body from the head, but its momentum pushed me a few meters until it fell down.
|New Quest: Hulking Ram Hunt|
An excited smile broke out on my face as I saw the quest’s reward. That meant the goat—well, the ram—was stronger than previous monsters and I defeated it just as easily.
With a big smile on my face, I pushed forward, killing lizards, beetles, and rams on my way.
It was hard to know if I was going the right way with all the new trees and vines changing the scenery. Still, when I turned around a certain corner I knew exactly where I was.
There were even a few traces of blood on the ground in the spot where I and the others got beaten senseless.
I’m in the right area. I scanned my surroundings, looking for anything golden.
What I ended up finding was two guys walking down the streets with a plastic bag in one hand and a metal pipe in the other.
Influenced by the memories of the place I was in, I tightened my grip on the spike and glared at the two guys, prepared to charge at them any second.
They began approaching me when they saw me and stopped around ten meters away from me, waving their hands. “Heey, kid, what’s up?” one of the guys said.
Both were older than me, probably 11th graders or college students, and one of them was taller than the other by at least 10 cm.
I forced my self to turn down my hostility a notch and waved back. “Hey.” They hadn’t done anything to me anyway.
They began approaching me after I greeted them and I took a step back that made them stop. “Alright.” They raised their hands, bags and weapons included.
“I can see you haven’t discovered the mall yet, right?” The taller one said.
“The mall?” I tilted my head
“Yeah, Century Mall. Our new base.”