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A note from Crownfall

Whoops, I forgot to post chapter 6. I'm trying to put at least one upload out every 7 days. I'm currently writing chapter 11 and then realized I haven't published in a while, lol. 

 

Dire wolf

Necrosis

Maimed

1400/4000

 

Only 1400 health. I had 15 good uses of [Scratch]... but I didn’t want to fight this thing. Not yet. I was sure that it could fuck me up in a swipe. It lowered itself, growling as if it had a grudge.

 

I lowered my center of gravity. Maybe it would run if I bluffed. It bared its fangs, emitting a low growl. I returned the gesture. Stupid idea. It pounced almost immediately after, leaping towards me. It yelped as it landed on its right foot, and I fell away, stumbling backwards in an attempt to move away from its gaping jaw.

 

It snapped down on empty air, hot drool and spittle flinging onto me. I winced as the nearly burning spit covered my face, before [Scratching] for its eye. Its head recoiled, jerking backwards out of the way. The white afterimage in the air barely scraped its face, not even cutting open its flesh.

 

Then it dove towards me again, sinking its teeth into my shoulder. I screamed, pounding my hands into its snout, before reflexively activating [Scratch] in both hands, cutting deep into its flesh. It lifted me up in its mouth, slamming me back down into the ground, now on my face. I reached out, [Scratching] again towards the monster’s face to force it to release me, even as it lifted and slammed me a second time. I felt [Scratch] tear away its flesh. It whimpered, releasing its death grip on my shoulder and causing me to gasp.

 

It swung its paw at me. At least, it tried, swinging the half regrown lump of its right arm at me and missing by a good margin. I didn’t miss the opportunity again, [Scratching] into it as it lost its balance. It seems the wolf hadn’t adjusted to the amputation my former party members had given it.

 

Its flesh erupted in a red bloom, and it howled in pain, doubling over. I also gasped, falling to my knees. It was going to kill me. I was going to die, right here. I coughed, feeling blood spilling over my lips. Its teeth had dug inches into my flesh, tearing apart my torso. It turned to me, growling again and stepping closer. I [Scratched] at it, feinting it to turn its head towards me, and grabbed hold of the dagger in its eye. My hand erupted in flaming pain, but the sensation was drowned out by the radiating pain in my torso. I twisted and pushed down on the knife. The wolf batted me away with its remaining paw, howling in pain.

 

I rolled through the air, crashing into one of the bamboo pillars. The wolf howled again, and I heard the sound of its paws beating the ground… away from me. Was it running away? I struggled to look upwards, even turning my head causing me waves of agony. I couldn’t feel my legs, and I gasped for air. I just had to find a monster. I just had to eat. I looked up to the corpse that the wolf had been chewing. Dessicated. Rotting. I dug my fingers into the soil, crawling towards it, hand over hand. I crawled towards it, covered in spit from the wolf. Unable to pull myself up, I bit into the Hell Chicken’s corpse. Each bite squelched as I tore into the fetid meat.

 

Bite by bite, I healed. Now it was personal. Before, I just wanted to kill the wolf to return home. Now it was about revenge. The fucker had tried to eat me. I am the one who eats, not who is eaten. The hunt was on.

Black blood ruptured from crimson flesh as my first hunt of the day died. I fell onto it from above, stabbing into its neck and [Scratching] with both hands in opposite directions. The rotting flesh of yesterday's carcass had only healed me halfway, but it wasn’t an issue. My [Scratch], leveled to five, easily ripped apart my quarry in two blows. That made six.



Seven and eight were found together. I stared down at their bodies. Their necks hung on by a thread. One of them still clucked, kept alive by the sliver of HP it still had. Some kind of magical enhancement brought by manipulating the body with mana, some postulated. It was creepy. But better than the repressive silence that hung over this world.

 

I sat next to them, assembling a circular pit of stone and dry, gnarled wood. I was going to have my fire yet. I rubbed a stick between my fingers, doing my best to recall primitive technology on youtube.

I think number nine was the missing partner of number six. It attacked me in my sleep. Fucker. I scratched back to retaliate and its body had been torn to shreds. I’m sure that it would have been an almost cartoonish explosion in a puff of feathers and smoke. That is, if it had feathers, instead of that gross red flesh.

 

My [Scratch] was approaching 200 damage. It hadn’t lived long enough for me to have to finish it- even magically enhanced, physicality came with restrictions.

 

I tried desperately to restart the fire. I had managed to start it sometime after number eight, but it quickly went out as I slept, starved of fuel through the… night. Day?

I finally succeeded, skewering a cut of meat from the chicken above the fire.

 

It helped the taste.

 

But definitely not the texture. It turned from rubbery to nearly solvent. I guess that black, glue like blood was what really held these things together.



Cooking is more of an art than a skill. Number ten was fantastic cooked. Or maybe that was just my excitement, having finally completed my systems first [Quest].

 

Quest:

Hunt Hell Chickens: 10/10

Processing rewards

 

The quest did not complete until I had eaten my fill of number ten, showing itself unprompted after. It was a welcome reward, albeit unexpected. I had completely forgotten about it. Now all that was left was to slay the wolf.

 

Quest:

Hunt Hell Chickens: 10/10

Performance Assessment: D

Rewards:

Hell Leather Armor(Defense rating: 5)

Accept? Y/N

 

A D? I was fighting for my life, damnit. Still, beggars couldn’t be choosers. At least I was alive. “Accept.”

 

Warning: You have no inventory!
Equip [Hell Leather Armor] now?

I looked down at my body. My shirt was now completely gone, replaced by a new array of scars that decorated my shoulders and chest. I wish I could say I had a matching set of washboard abs, but really I just looked... Malnourished. My pants, too, were stained with black blood and red mud. “Yes.”

 

I felt my denim jeans being blown to shreds. For a very disconcerting though fleeting moment I was naked, watching thread dissolve into the air. Then I felt the armor latch onto me, wrapping around my body.

 

It was dark red, covered in that wattle like texture that decorated their skin. The inside, though, felt cool and soft against my skin. I looked… downright evil. Also, for the first time in weeks, I felt well and truly clean. It was refreshing.

 

I also wondered how high a defense rating of 5 was. Different systems meant different evaluations of gear- for example, the purple system valued enchantment against magic much higher than resistance to physical blows.

 

“What would the rewards have been if I had performed better?”

 

Query Result:

Tutorial quest 1 of 2, reward list:

All rewards include all previous rewards

S:

+10 to Strength Attribute

A:

Return Scroll

B:

[Peck] or [Scratch] (Level 10)

C:

Grade E Core(20)

D:

Hell Leather Armor(Defense Rating: 5)

E:

None

F:

Death

 

I browsed down the prompt. The rewards at the top were crazy! It took me multiple days and five levels just to raise my Dexterity by 5, and it was going to just give me ten strength?! An A grade performance would have given me a portal out… these were overpowered! I got screwed out of them?

 

Cores! I nearly facepalmed. I had forgotten to carve them from the monsters as I killed them. Typically, in a party, at least one person will have a looting ability to collect them. I definitely wasn’t going to be seeking out rotting corpses anytime soon. Even at rank E, each one should be worth at least 20 dollars. It wouldn’t pay back this expedition to the gate… but it would be a start. Besides that… I think I got my money's worth.

 

“What’s the second quest?”




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A note from Crownfall

 

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Crownfall

Bio: Part time cult leader

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