regardless, enjoy the chapter.
Edit: I had another idea for a story so I wrote the prologue and posted it, if anyone is interested here's the link:
Zaran continued on to the middle of the forest, on this way there he had met some deer but upon inspecting them he noticed that they were between level 5 and 10. He had killed a few of the level 10 one's but the exp he received from them was so little that it wasn't even worth killing them. The deeper he went in the forest the more treacherous the terrain and the plants became. Holes that were covered by roots of plants or trees riddled the ground.
Upon stepping on the roots they immediately gave away, instantly creating a gaping hole in the forest floor. If he hadn't noticed that one of the deer ran on top of such a hole and fell in it, he would've never known they were there. He had crept closer to the hole and what he saw inside was pure horror. An enormous amount of ants as large as a human instantly ran towards the deer and ripped it to pieces instantly. Afterwards some of the larger ants took the pieces and carried them away. Noticing that there was nothing left the rest of the ants scurried away.
Cindarrah got somewhat excited from seeing the ants and actively asked Zaran to jump in the hole. It took quite a bit of convincing from Zaran's side that Cindarrah really did not want to go in there or she would end up like the deer. After calming down Zaran slowly moved forward into the forest, taking great care with every step. After a good hour of treading carefully he finally could figure out if a patch of land held one of the holes or not.
Advancing a little further Zaran noticed that the forest started to become overgrown. Going any further without using his sword to cut open a path for him was not possible.
Well I've come this far... would be a waste to not trek any further now.
Little by little Zaran cut a path open for himself through the forest. His pace had slowed down tremendously due to this but still he crept closer and closer to the middle of the forest.
Suddenly Cindarrah jumped from Zaran's head and rushed off into some nearby bushes. It took Zaran a moment to realize what just happened.
"Cindarrah come back!" Zaran yelled as loud as he could. If he parted with Cindarrah here there was no way he'd ever find her again!
Zaran rushed forward trying to follow Cindarrah but due to having to pay attention to the holes as well as having to spend a large amount of time cutting a path for himself he was unable to see where she had ran off too.
"DAMN! She's gone... why would she run off?"
Cindarrah sniffed her nose as she smelled an abnormally attractive scent in the air.
Delicious food! Cindarrah thought. She jumped off Zaran's head without a second thought and chased the scent. Due to the abnormally attractive scent she even forgot that Zaran existed. Cindarrah scurried forward through the forest on her own and soon arrived on the spot where the scent emanated from. In front of her there were a few large butterflies who were absorbing nectar from the blossoms of a humongous tree. It was precisely this nectar that had the incredibly attractive scent. The tree was the guardian tree of the forest and stood at an astonishing five hundred meters tall. The other trees who's height topped at one hundred meter paled in comparison compared to this one.
A large clearing surrounded the guardian tree. Cindarrah quickly checked if she couldn't see any threats to herself and then quickly scurried towards the tree. She rapidly climbed up the tree and soon arrived near the place where one of the butterflies was absorbing nectar. Cindarrah slowly crept up to the blossom without the butterfly noticing. Once she was close enough she quickly fired a few of her 'web shot' to bind the butterfly and stick it to the blossom.
The butterfly struggled but the more it struggled the more stuck it got in Cindarrah's web shot. Cindarrah let her prey struggle and when the web started to come loose she fired another one to keep it lodged in place. Eventually the butterfly's strength ran out and Cindarrah advanced forward and used 'leech' to drain the butterfly. An incredibly pleasant feeling washed over Cindarrah as she absorbed the butterfly's strength. At the same time she felt that her strength was rapidly improving as she absorbed more of the butterfly's lifeforce.
After draining this butterfly Cindarrah walked to the end of the branch and tried to spot another butterfly. In the near vicinity she didn't spot another butterfly but she did see a few bees as large as herself. Cindarrah decided to try her luck and made her way to where she spotted the smallest amount of bees. She quickly bound one with her 'web shot'. Compared to the butterfly this bee couldn't even struggle, the web completely ensnared it and it wasn't even able to move an inch. Cindarrah sucked the bee dry but didn't have the same feeling as she had when she drained the butterfly. Cindarrah's face grew a little sullen and she quickly checked if she could spot another butterfly.
This time her luck was better and she noticed some butterflies higher up the tree. Cindarrah jumped from the branch to branch and quickly neared the butterflies. This time she didn't creep closer and just instantly use her 'web shot' to bind two butterflies. After a brief struggle both butterflies lost the strength to resist and Cindarrah proceeded to drain both of them. She drained one of them for a short while, then reapplied the web to keep it stuck and then went over to the other one and did the same there. After going back and forth between the two butterflies five times she finally drained the both of them.
Cindarrah looked for more butterflies thereafter and quickly found another five that she bound and drained. After she drained the fifth she felt that the pleasurable feeling had completely disappeared. At the same time she remembered Zaran.
"DADDY?!?" Cindarrah yelled out of the top of her lungs.
After searching for a while Zaran wasn't able to spot Cindarrah. Dejected he decided that he should still advance to the center of the forest. If Cindarrah wanted to find him, she would head over there as that was Zaran's initial plan.
Not much else happened on his way to the center of the forest, moreover the closer he got to the center of the forest the easier it became to advance. Almost immediately upon arriving Zaran heard an ear-piercing shout.
Zaran quickly ran further into the clearing and shouted at the top of his lungs. "CINDARRAH... I... AM... HERE!".
Cindarrah quickly made her way through the branches and scurried to the closest place of the tree where the voice was coming from. Upon seeing Zaran, Cindarrah was beyond elated. She quickly made her way down the tree and ran over to Zaran.
"Sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry!" Cindarrah kept repeating over and over and she jumped in Zaran's arms.
"It's okay, it's okay, we are reunited now aren't we?" Zaran said as he gently stroked Cindarrah. "Why did you run off though?"
"The smell! The tree and the butterflies... they smelled so good! And so yummy!" Cindarrah replied somewhat shyly. Although Zaran had already said it was okay she was not comfortable at all. She had the distinct feeling that Zaran would severely discipline her for running off.
However her fears were unwarranted as Zaran had already decided to not discipline her. After she said the butterflies smelled really good and that they were extremely tasty he had immediately checked her status window. His eye had widened in shock as he saw her status screen as Cindarrah had instantly advanced to level 12.
"Cindarrah.. how many butterflies did you eat?" Zaran asked after he recovered from the initial shock.
"Uhm... as many as my legs!" Cindarrah said.
She only ate 8 and that caused her to leap this many levels? That's such an astonishing improvement! However.. now that I think about it she has never once used leech on the wolves or deer... Is it because those are not considered as "prey" to her?
"Hey Cindarrah, how comes you wanted to eat the butterflies but not the wolves or deer?"
"The wolves and deer stink! Cindarrah doesn't want to eat something that stinks!"
I see, so it is like I thought... She is just selective of her food. Still... the level increase from a few of those butterflies is abnormally huge.
"Want to eat more of the butterflies?"
"No, they're not yummy anymore!"
"Don't know... every next one just didn't taste as good as the previous one... and the last barely tasted good at all so I don't want to eat another one!"
"Okay, okay then you don't have to eat another one." Zaran said as he stopped stroking Cindarrah.
Zaran stood up and took a quick look at the clearing. Unlike what he was expecting it was almost completely void of life, which felt strange. While he could notice a large amount of insects near the tree he didn't even notice one insect or animal in the clearing. It was as Zaran took a tour around the clearing that he was suddenly surprised by a loud roar.
Zaran looked up and noticed that a grey-colored griffon was approaching the tree. As it got closer to the guardian tree, two large shadows shot up from the tree and flew straight at the griffon at an astounding speed. The griffon quickly descended to dodge the attacks. The shadows had to stop to turn around and Zaran saw that it were two very large ravens. Both of them were almost completely black, besides a small crown made of blue feathers on top of their heads and a line of blue feathers that ran across their backs.
The ravens cawed to one another as they shot towards the griffon again. The griffon landed on the ground about two hundred meters away from Zaran and an oppressive aura started to emanate from it. The two ravens entered the aura and were visibly slowed down, yet still approached the griffon at a terrifying speed. This time the griffon didn't dodge and it lifted its body as it clawed at the two ravens. While one of the ravens was able to dodge the other one got struck by the griffon's claw and a blood started pouring from the wound. The griffon's two front claws dropped to the ground again, causing a minor quake in the near area.
Zaran's face turned ugly as he saw the current battle develop. It was clear to him that the ravens were defending their territory which the griffon had invaded. Although the ravens boasted high speed, he still felt like the griffon would win the fight in the end. The first attack of the ravens had already missed and their second attack ended with one of them getting badly hurt.
"Kirin, Cindarrah, prepare to fight with that griffon." Zaran said in a low voice to his two companions.
"Why?" Cindarrah asked. She saw the two ravens fight it and didn't see a reason to join the fight.
"They can't win and it's going to be bad if the griffon wins." Zaran calmy replied. He was thoroughly convinced that the balance of the forest would completely shift for the worse if the griffon won the fight. Moreover he wasn't even sure that if the griffon won against the two ravens that he would be able to flee from it himself. The oppressive aura was an indicator as to how strong the griffon was. Seeing that the ravens' movement slowed down a considerable amount due to it meant that the ravens were far weaker.
Zaran buffed himself up with both 'swiftness' and 'tempered body'. "Hey, ravens! I hope you can hear me but we are going to help!" Zaran shouted as he and Kirin started to run towards the griffon.
Upon shouting that an angry croaking voice entered his head. "NO! This is our fight! Do not step in!"
Zaran stopped running forward upon hearing that and could only sigh. Kirin stopped running forward too and cocked her head while looking at Zaran in an inquisitive way.
"They don't want our help."
Kirin cocked her head a little more and then growled at the griffon for a while. "I know Kirin, they can't win the fight, but they don't want out help. We can only sit and wait."
Zaran retreated again and decided to just watch the fight unfold for now.
I can't join the fight right now. If I do that it's only going to harm the ravens and they might possibly attack me. All I can do is wait until one of them falls and then ask again if I can join in. If that doesn't work I have to hope they hurt the griffon badly enough. At least then I will have an easy time finishing it off.