A group of gray goblins was just standing around the remains of some kind of deer looking creature. This creature was at least twice the size of what a regular deer would be and it had razor-sharp antlers to go with it. It seemed to not have gone down without a fight as four dead goblins were right next to its corpse.

One of the humanoid monsters was a head taller than the rest and was holding on to a rusty longsword. It was apparent that it was the leader of this group with one glance. He shouted something in the goblin language at the other members of its tribe. It looked quite angry and the other started backing away from the monster’s remains. He obviously wanted first dibs on the juicy meat, his mouth was already salivating and the drool was running down the monster’s chin.

Before it could sink its yellowy teeth into the moist meat it noticed something. It quickly turned around and swung its longsword upwards. This was just in time to smack a blue bolt of magic energy to the side. The evolved goblin’s muscular hand trembled a bit and the longsword shook violently as it successfully defended itself.

The other goblins started shouting while swinging their own rusty weapons around. This wasn’t the end of the magical attacks, soon another bolt of energy flew towards the monsters now hitting one of the regular goblins. Its head exploded into chunks of meat as it fell down to the ground. The assault continued and bolts of blue energy rained from above while the monsters panicked.

The evolved variant was smart enough to take cover behind some trees. It peeked out while looking for one of the magical attacks. Soon he saw it going through one of its tribe members. Through one of its abilities, it was able to pinpoint the position that this attack came from by its flight path. It gave out a warcry and charged forward, the rest of the scared goblins quickly recovered and followed after.

With the enemy position getting closer and closer it gave chase. It had fought many ranged opponents before, it knew that it needed to close the distance before it could gain victory. It used the trees and the other goblins as shields and pushed towards from where these blue orbs of light were shooting from.

Soon enough it finally spotted its prey. It was a single person in a black robe standing up on a ledge that was looking down into the forest. The being looked human and it had two strange items in its hand. The goblin leader saw the human point one of the things he was holding towards him. The moment he did it gave off blue light and one of those energy missiles flew out. He quickly dodged to the side to evade it but it grazed past his shoulder and produced a wound.

The goblin monster’s eyes turned red after it felt pain and it gave out a massive warcry. The human moved his other hand forward and shot off another spell. The magic bolt connected with the rusty sword yet again causing it to finally snap but it couldn’t stop the goblin’s rage-filled charge.

It bolted forward activating some kind of skill that increased its speed and turned its skin blood red. The human in the robe above the ledge flinched slightly before firing off another magic spell that connected with the enraged monster. It didn’t manage to slow it down at all as it bounced off its now red skin.

The goblin bolted forward with large strides, the steep ledge didn’t seem like it would be able to stop its approach. The moment it started climbing the human started moving back into the forest. The goblin wouldn’t let this enemy flee, it felt like it had it cornered and just needed to get closer for the kill.

It arrived on the top of the ledge in a matter of seconds, the skill it used had boosted its stats by a staggering amount. When it got to the top it could see the human backing away against a tree. It had him cornered, there was no escape for its prey! The human brought out some other item and while the goblin was charging created some kind of barrier. The monster didn’t care, it would rip a flimsy magic shield like that with its bare hands.

At least that’s what was supposed to happen. Instead while charging forward, it stepped onto something.It felt like recently dug up ground with something soft underneath it. Soon after an explosion occurred, the blast shot upwards while concentrating mostly on the creature’s foot. It was blown clean off while the monster tumbled, the shield that the human put up was enough to protect him from the blast.

The monster was missing a foot along with the part of its leg. It couldn’t move and its skin returned to the usual gray color. The human without approaching took out some kind of parchment and pointed it at the monster. It couldn’t react or move with the missing leg as a sizzling hot arrow of fire energy connected with its body. The mage continued using the scrolls on the evolved monster till it drew its last breath.

Gray Hobgoblin Berserker L 59 Slain, gained 950 XP

Roland looked at the dead monster in front of him while panting. He came to this goblin-infested forest yet again to test out his new weapons. He didn’t expect to find a tier 2 monster here though. After killing the hobgoblin his goblin killing title evolved into ‘Goblin Slaughterer’

Goblin Slaughterer Title A person with this title causes lesser goblins to run away in fear. A person with this title does 10% more damage to any goblin type monster.

This forest was still dangerous and left alone by the city lord and his army. There weren’t any farms in these mountains so people didn’t bother with clearing up the goblin infestation unless someone complained. This mostly came from traveling merchants that sometimes got attacked while traveling towards the city. Most of the time the monsters didn’t leave the forest and just hunted other monsters or animals for food.

He was quite far on the ledge before he fired off his spell. He thought that it might have been just an evolved tier 1 variant of the goblin from way over here. Instead, it turned out to be a hobgoblin. Luckily it was still low leveled for a tier 2 so he managed to somehow defeat it. He did this by preparing traps around his casting area as he was afraid that some other monsters might try sneaking upon him.

He placed spell scrolls on the ground and covered them with a small amount of dirt. This special scroll when activated laid dormant until pressure was applied to it. This was an improved version of his explosion rune that he used to detonate the mine wall back when he was stuck in it. There were peculiar spells that could be triggered like this. He just needed to isolate the components responsible and then add it to other runes. He couldn’t actually pre-program them yet.

This wasn’t the item he was here to test though. The hobgoblin saw those items as he was using them from afar. This ‘weapon’ looked a bit peculiar, it had a regular looking handle with a flat almost rectangular shaft above it. It looked similar to a hand paddle.

Yes, this was a sort of ‘wand’ that Roland had created. It more or less looked like a paddle meant for spanking with intricate rune designs on the shaft part. He had inscribed the mana bolt spell on two of these weapons to test how much they would last. They were made from bronze as it was easier to work with.

He had fired tens of mana bolts towards the goblins and he was now down to about 30% of his mana. The makeshift bronze magic wands worked but at a price. This was the easiest attacking spell that was out there but it needed a massive amount of mana to be cast.

He needed 75 mana points to perform this spell through this wand he made. The spell couldn’t be spammed too fast but if he had two wands he could use them interchangeably. He had fired off about 10 mana bolts with each wand and killed over 10 of the normal goblins along with this hobgoblin.

For the leader, he needed some of his runic scrolls. This new weapon already saved him a lot of money. He would need to use up 20 scrolls to get a similar effect. Thanks to this he saved a lot of money and resources. Bronze was also quite cheap compared to magic ink and special scroll paper.

The remaining goblins had run away after their leader had been slain and none of them even tried climbing up to where Roland was standing now. He used this time to examine one of his mana bolt weapons. He could see some deterioration to the runic inscriptions already and he knew that after 10 more the wand would stop working.

This was normal for runic equipment made from regular metal. If he made them from iron he would only slightly increase the uses up to a 30. A weapon like this could be repaired and the runecrafting process would use up less mana.

‘I need to lower the mana usage on these...’

Roland rubbed his chin and then attached both of the paddle wands to his belt. He was still in the forest so he needed to be vigilant. He went through the hobgoblin and took the broken longsword hilt from its remains, he could smelt it down for parts. He also removed quite a large marble-sized mana stone, it would fetch a nice price if he sold it.

There was also another use for it. He held the shiny gem between his thumb and pointing finger. He could see the mana crystal slowly absorbing the ambient mana in the surroundings even now.

He knew that there was some kind of way of embedding these mana stones into runic or enchanted weapons. An item with a mana crystal in it would be far stronger than one without it. It would also act as a battery allowing people with low mana to activate any inscribed spells more and at a lower cost. The problem was that he had no idea how to do this. He would need to either find an instruction manual or get a weapon with a monster core in it and examine it.

He peeked to the forest where the other goblins were. Their small bloodied bodies were everywhere. Soon some other monsters would probably smell all this fresh meat and come on over. He didn’t feel like going down there to take a couple of mana stones was worth the hassle. His agility wasn’t that high and he didn’t think he could outrun a pack of monster hounds either. The goblins weren’t the only creatures living in this forest and he had other ways of earning money.

Roland had already activated the detonating scrolls and he couldn’t defuse them. They would stop working after an hour but he couldn’t just leave them there. He stepped away and grabbed a couple of rocks. He just threw them at the spots the mines were in and detonated each one of them before finally leaving the forest.

The hobgoblin body was tossed into his spatial bag that was now large enough to hold it. There were several parts of this body that could be used as medicine or alchemy ingredients. He could just sell it to his gnome boss and they would take care of the rest.

He departed back to the city and was back before dawn. He was really on the fence about being in a city with no Dungeon. He thought that he would be done with hunting monsters after getting his blacksmith class. But there he was, making weapons and killing monsters with them himself.

These wands that he made wouldn’t be that great for mages or other classes. The trained magic casters gained skills to lower casting times and even forgo spoken incantations. Why would they want to use an item that used up their precious mana two or three times faster?
They also worked in parties, the people in them were always protecting them. They also needed to save their mana to cast the more powerful spells which were what they were there for in the first place.

Before going back to his workshop he went towards the adventurer guild. The gambeson that he was wearing under his robe kept his body warm. He had grown close to 170 cm in height now and due to working out in the smithy, his muscles were growing as well. He felt like he was on the taller side compared to kids his age, when his growth spurt would stop he didn’t know. His larger body size allowed him to appear older than he actually was so that was a bonus.

He arrived at the adventurer guild and made his way to one of the receptionists.

“I’d like to have a monster’s remains processed.”

“What kind of monster?”

The lady receptionist asked while looking at Roland.

“It's a Hobgoblin Berserker.”

The receptionist lady raised an eyebrow while glancing at the youth that was covering his face. By the card that he gave her he seemed like a steel grade adventurer and not a silver one. She speculated that he must have just found the body somewhere. The guild wouldn’t go into too many details when it came to that. Other adventurers sometimes left untouched bodies behind and others were free to pick up the scraps.

“One Hobgoblin Berserker, are you familiar with our rates? After the body is processed by our employee you will receive your coin. It shouldn’t take more than three days.”

“Yes, that’s fine. I’ll come back later.

Roland nodded and the receptionist told him to go into one of the back rooms. She also gave him a small metal plaque with a number along with a tag with the same number on it. On the inside, there was a corridor that led to a certain door. When he entered he felt the temperature drop by several degrees. He could see some frozen cut up bodies of monsters hanging off hooks.

“Got a body? Just drop it there.”

He heard a man’s voice. It belonged to a bearded man that seemed to be human, he was working on some kind of spider looking monster. He was just in time to see him pull out its fangs with some large dentist looking, pliers.

He didn’t remain here for long, he just dropped the hobgoblin on the ground. The man just gave it a side glance while continuing his work.

“Here is the tag number.”

Roland dropped the item that the receptionist gave him on the body while the man just nodded. The man would attach the tag to this monster and when Roland came back he just needed to show the plaque to receive his money.

This was a common thing around here. You could process the monster remains on your own to save some money or give it to a professional. He would cut up the body and the guild would sell the parts for profit. Roland would get 70% from this transaction which was fine as he didn’t really want to play around with the monster bodies himself.

Even though the man looked disinterested Roland knew that the guild wouldn’t try to play him. He left the cold room soon after and went back to his workshop. He wanted to repair his paddle wands as he did get experience from it. The more destroyed the item was the more he got.

While the sun was starting to go down another scene was playing out in a different location. A group of people was standing in a dimly lit room while talking. They looked like your average riff-raff. They seemed quite shady, all of them were wearing hoods and some even had masks to cover their mouths.

“Listen up we have a new job.”

One of the men said while the others listened in.

“New job? Hope the pay is good.”

Another man chimed in while the others nodded.

“Don’t worry, the client has deep pockets.”

The man grinned while tossing a full sack of coins on the table. The other men in the room looked at it with greed in their eyes. They started grinning and laughing while at the same having a hard time keeping their hands from the silver coins.

“This is just a down payment, we will get more after the job is done.”

“Just a down payment? Are we robbing or killing someone?”

One of the ruffians asked as this was far too much money for a simple job of thievery.

“That’s the thing, we don’t really need to do much. There is an old warehouse that reopened in Southtown, we just need to trash the place…”

“What of the people working there?”

The man looked up to one of the thugs that asked and pulled out a knife. There was a map on a table with the position of this warehouse. He plunged this bent dagger into the location of their target before replying.

“What do you think?”

All of them nodded as they started to prepare for the night. When the moon reached the zenith they would strike.


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