“So, you remember nothing at all before waking up in that cage?”
“Yeah, but it is fine, I’m alive after all,” said Kubo. He had decided to go with the amnesia route long before she asked.
“Poor you, no wonder you looked so clueless all the time.” she quipped, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”
“Yeah, right,” he scoffed before Amy giggled.
Walking and chatting with her along the road felt more like dating than being stranded in the middle of nowhere. It was nice to have someone to talk to.
The Essence had helped to keep him awake, but Valen had told him that it just delaying the inevitable. He didn’t know how long he could delay it but he had made it past forty-eight hours without the Essence. Kubo also wasn’t sure that twenty-four hours a day was still applicable, but the night sure felt a lot longer.
Is there a clock or something somewhere? He mused.
He had gone to find some fruits to eat in the morning and it was simple with his new way of using the [Foraging] skill. Concentrating the Essence onto the surface of his eye, Kubo was able to highlight which ones were edible, poisonous or unknown. It was nothing that special as he was just too lazy to identify them one by one.
They crossed the river after a shallow part of it was found before backtracking towards the road. The fruits were munched on while they continued alongside the road with Amy a little more cheerful and talkative than yesterday. She had been hooking his tail with hers ever since they had taken their first steps today. He was almost sure the hook of the tails had significant meaning to lizard-folks as Amy called themselves.
However, he hadn’t felt like asking her about the sudden intimacy or the hooked tails. He had more interest in raising the rank of the [Terra Sense] to a whole new level. There was nothing more important than information, and this skill was nothing to be scoffed at.
|- Terra Sense (Rank 3) -
- Enable flawless detection through Terra, the ground, in a range (150m) around the Domain user. -
- Unlocked with two out of three Domains in Terra, Cryst or Metal. -
Valen had scoffed at the ‘RPG’ system humans had thought off. According to him, no skill would fall from the sky to form a list only to be picked from. For that man, the concept was ridiculous unless it was just a game.
Skills in this world were either unlocked from enchanted books, being taught by someone, or created from the ground up by the person. Want good skills? Study and hunt the monsters for good cores, delve dungeons or ruins for treasures, study under a good master(Valen used himself as an example), or try your luck in business. Trade money with the skills you want.
Kubo argued about these sensing skills, but the man said it was just the accumulation of the Domain owner’s natural ability. The system had only made it a little easier for everyone, and Valen was right. Kubo was a lot better at sensing things around him even without activating the skill. He could tell that he had become more attuned with the [Terra Essences] around him.
The skill’s description was just as simple as most of the skills but there would always exist hidden mechanics waiting to be discovered. He was more than sure right now after his theory had been proved to be real. These Essence skills were like functions in a program waiting for him to debug and recode them into a better version of themselves.
Activating the skill created a monochrome landscape inside his head in reference to his current surroundings. Everything connected to the ground was reflected inside his head as if he was watching a 3d minimap inside his head. It felt odd at first but he got used to it after keeping it active all night.
Kubo had noticed something about the 3d minimap after almost half a day walking. Every time he stepped on the ground, there would be a ripple on the place he stepped in the minimap before it would update. It made him realize that it worked based on vibration, but the vibration of what? The Essence’s vibration?
Creatures with short legs and a huge ugly head entered his detection area causing him to suddenly stop on his feet. Amy bumped to his back before she giggled.
“Oh, does my mate want a hug? I’ll give you a hug,” she hummed merrily as she hugged him from the back.
Ever since he had healed her, he got this feeling that this bimbo was only teetering in between sanity and craziness. No one could blame her after what she might have gone through. This moment of peace and freedom might be too unreal for her.
“Amy, I need you to focus, we’ve got goblins waiting for us up front,” he said to her.
“Oh, sorry Kubo, I’m just tired and-”
“It’s okay.” he cut her off, “I can handle it. Just stay close. We can rest after this little exercise.”
“No! You can’t, it’s dangerous!” exclaimed Amy in a panic, “I can’t, I can’t lose you.” she mumbled.
“Amy, look at me.” he demanded softly, “I can handle it.”
To keep himself wide awake until the sunlight came out again, Kubo had been training the [Terra Domain] along the night. Paired with the Essence free [Terra Sense], he had devised something simple to deal with these small threats with ease. Using the Domains without spells was possible but the strain might be too much if he didn’t keep it stupid simple.
That meant no floating rocks, no projectile, and no target tracking. The ‘simple’ [Stone Bolt] was out of the question unless he was an expert in the Domain. Valen had made it clear to him so he wouldn’t commit suicide by trying.
Amy’s demonstration pulling the water to float on her hand was already considered a great control over the [Aqua Domain]. She’ll be great to have if she unlocked a few spellbooks, but getting there required both money and [Essence Tokens]. The girl could be a silver ranker in the domain if she wanted to.
His solution to the critters problem was by creating holes in the ground while leaving just enough compacted dirt on top. He just compressed most of the dirt to the bottom and into spikes to create such holes. A pit trap using his mind, and of course, the [Terra Essence].
He walked in a steady pace with Amy right behind him, tail and hand locked tight. Amy shook in fear, and that fear had forced him to prepare a few safety nets in case this went south. Kubo could feel the Essences leaving his body through the ground as he formed these traps.
A crash echoed further up. The minimap showed that goblins charged away from him. Despite his suspicion, the group of creatures hadn’t been waiting for both of them.
He weighted between using the distraction to his advantage or going to help. Amy’s opinion about the situation was clear, she didn’t want to have anything to do with the incident.
A scream had him running on his feet before he even realized it. Amy followed along even if she hadn’t agreed with his prompt decision. The clashing sound of people fighting soon could be heard as they got near.
Kubo pulled out his blade, hopefully, it would be enough. He didn’t want to use Domains in front of a bunch of strangers, and for that reason, he would need Amy’s help in this.
“Takir, are you alright? Get behi-”
“Gena, watch out!” warned her partner.
Gena turned in a quick movement and slammed her tail like a whip at the sneaking goblin behind her back. The gray creature flew a good sixty steps after a loud crack. Nothing was going to survive that.
She turned to thank her partner only to hear him scream in pain before watching him fall to the ground. The goblin got him in the side using their crude spear. Gena realized that she should have brought more grunts with her for this mission. Maybe another female warrior would be better as grunts talk bigger than their brains could comprehend.
Five pesky monsters surrounded her with their spears while four more tried to get to the less dangerous prey. Two of her clients for this week.
A snarl leaked out of her mouth as she saw no opening to make her move. Every time she tried to make something happen, the target goblin would retreat before the others tried to poke the sides.
Blobs of water splashed at the goblins' eyes out of nowhere, and Gena jumped into the first opening she saw.
Her long sword cleaved through the goblin with an upward slash before her armored tail found another victim as she spun. She was ready for another lunge when a wet stabbing sound came from her back. Gena turned towards the sound by instinct, sword ready to cut.
“Whoa, relax! I’m here to help!” said the stranger.
Gena only relaxed when she saw the sword in his hand had stabbed the goblin who was sneaking up to her. The male put his leg on the goblin and pulled the sword out.
“This thing is heavy!” the young male complained.
The brown scale had blue eyes and black unkempt hair above his head. A strange but not rare combination. She wondered if it was he who had control over the water that splashed at the goblin. It might be useless against others but it was good enough to distract these little critters.
“Amy, another splash, please!” he called for someone.
“Yes!” squeaked a timid female voice behind his back.
Blobs of water flew from behind him and plopped in the face of the goblins. Gena didn’t waste the chance and charged at the distracted goblin cutting two of them down in one big swing. Another lunge skewered one of them right through its large eye socket.
Goblins were cowards, the rest of them turned tail when enough of them died in such gruesome manners. That was why she tried to kill them in as such an ungraceful way as she could stomach.
A scream pulled her attention away.
“Gena! there!” shouted Takir to her pointing towards a girl who was carried away by a goblin.
Gena was about to move before the goblin tripped on its feet before its huge head bashed to a stone on the ground like a bad practical joke.
The girl landed on her sides unharmed before she ran back toward the chasing caretaker. He was one of the males accompanying the richest businesswoman in town and the girl’s favorite. The young lady might be on the smaller size but her thirst for men was unquenchable. She couldn’t even wait until they reached safety.
“That is one clumsy goblin,” Takir said as he calmed the scared girl. Nothing scarier than being kidnapped by goblins, even for a thirsty spoiled little brat.
The little critters might be stupid, but goblins never trip on their feet, ever, Gena mused inside her head.
“Yeah, it was.” Gena turned toward the stranger to see a [Healing Glyph] forming at his palm.
A male healer?
She walked towards him as he directed the glyph at Jamus. The bleeding had stopped completely as she got closer, and she could see how the torn skin had merged together without leaving any scar behind.
He’s skillful at it too. Other grunts are more focused to be the biggest and baddest lizard-men around, but not this one. I could really use a healer, thought Gena.
“Can he remove scars too?” She asked the girl watching over him.
“Yes! Isn’t that great? I’m Amy and this is Kubo.”
“Gena,” she gave the Delver salute. “Thanks for the help, but what is he to you? Is he already claimed?”
“Ah, of course, he is, we are breeding mates.”
“Bre- breeding mates!?” the male turned to Amy surprised, “but when did we agree on that!? And we didn’t-”
“I offered nourishment and you accepted it. I know it’s just water, and we’ll do it properly, okay? And last night, I thought you shouldn't be distracted.”
“Oh, then what are breeding mates agreed upon, like what am I supposed to expect other than, you know.”
“Is he alright?” Gena asked about the male's sanity before Amy could answer his question. She wondered why the male asking these basic questions.
“He lost his memory,” said Amy looking at the male lovingly. “So he didn’t know about the offerings, and he’s also a Wildtail.”
A male Wildtail healer? Gena mused, then he won’t belong to any clans! That would be perfect, I should claim him too!