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*BOOM!*

The Prima was sent flying back as Jake’s hand exploded in an assault of arcane mana the same moment he punched it. Its silly belief in Jake playing it smart clearly backfiring on it, as Jake was more than happy to be risky. The reason he had held back before was due to the uncertainty of what it was cooking up, but now… now he knew he could face it head-on.

His opponent got up with a nosebleed, looking more than a little pissed as it zoomed forward. Jake was ready as he met it; he had also decided to now hold nothing back.

Energy began pouring out of his pores more than before as the ground cracked beneath his feet. The internal flow of his energy sped up to new levels as his body began overflowing with power. He hadn’t done it many times since reaching D-grade, but damn did he love the feeling.

Limit break at 10% had been active the entire fight, but now he pushed it to 20%. Instantly all his capabilities increased as he clashed with the beast.

He had lost his primary melee weapon… but that didn’t mean he didn’t have any. In fact, he had a whole lot of them.

In the hand he didn’t hold Venomfang, an arrow appeared that he had no intentions of using with a bow. It did mean that the arrow wouldn’t benefit from a lot of what made it good, but it could still be used to stab stuff.

The monkey clawed at him with its swift hand, leaving a silver trail after every swipe that burned with energy as it cut into Jake’s Scales of the Malefic Viper. In return, he stabbed an arrow into the shoulder of the beast, and in just as swift a motion, pulled one from his quiver and slammed it down too. His Venomfang was used to deflect the golden hand that the monkey extended in a palm-hit, firing off a massive shockwave.

Jake followed up with another quick jab and a kick to the monkey’s leg, which made it decide that enough was enough as it slammed its hands together. Yet another shockwave of golden and silver light hit him, and Jake felt his body first lighten for a moment as he was sent flying back, but a moment later, he became heavy and slammed straight down.

Another explosion created yet another crater as Jake was forced to quickly roll away from the monkey. It had jumped and slammed its foot down where his head had just been, Jake feeling quite a bit of aching all over his body from that last one.

Not that the Prima was doing any better. It had two arrows sticking out of it, one of them coated in his hemotoxin. It had tried to avoid being too poisoned, but fighting someone like Jake, it was truly impossible to altogether prevent it.

Without waiting for the beast to make the first move again, Jake moved in closer as he tried to stab it with another arrow. The monkey was having none of that as the silver claw flew up and just straight-up ripped the tip of the arrow off, making the entire arrow just disperse.

The golden claw flew up as it tried to blast his head off, but Jake tilted it as he dodged the blow and landed an uppercut on the monkey. It grit its teeth as it was lifted off the ground for a moment before it suddenly slammed straight back down, also slamming its tail into Jake together with it, the full might of its weight magic behind the blow.

His own scimitar slammed into his shoulder from above, bringing him to his knee as he felt like something broke. Yet he also took the opportunity to grasp out with his other hand as he pushed the monkey to the ground, the hand glowing a dark green.

The Prima stabbed its silver hand into Jake’s guts as he held it down, but he didn’t let up but kept pumping Touch of the Malefic Viper into its body. Jake even knelt down a bit and flexed his muscles to make the monkey unable to retract its hand from inside his body. He used his other hand to hold the golden hand away so it couldn’t blast him off an-

He tried to use his other hand to hold the golden hand away but failed as it just blasted him from an awkward angle.

This is getting damn annoying, Jake thought as he landed softly on the ground, a trail of blood in his wake that sizzled as it hit the ground. The monkey also screeched angrily as its silver hand looked like it had just been put into a vat of acid - which it kind of had, considering Jake’s use of the Blood of the Malefic Viper on all the blood around where the monkey had stabbed its hand in.

But… he was beginning to learn. He got a faint tingling in his mind as it cast its time magic - a sense of wrongness. He got it after, while, and before it happened, as weird as that sounds. Jake felt that if he could feel it, he could impact it somehow.

Both parties moved once more as they clashed, landing blow after blow on the other. The confidence of the Prima had begun waning long ago as it found the human before it was far more resilient and resourceful than expected, and Jake, too, was surprised. Despite its weak-looking state, the monkey was tough and durable. Its ability to avoid most blows to vital areas helping it immensely too.

In the end, the big difference-maker was once more the poison. Its time magic could help it heal immediate wounds, but the accumulated poison was still too much. The monkey was clearly aware it had to finish things now, or it wouldn’t end well.

And while Jake didn’t have to, he chose to face it in a final clash. Be it due to arrogance or well-founded self-confidence, he genuinely believed he had no way to lose.

They flew at each other as Jake saw the symbol on the half-rotten and broken silver hand move to its other one. At the same time, the entire arm began glowing with newfound energy, but Jake was also fully aware the monkey’s entire arm could only handle a single blow before breaking apart from the sheer stress caused by the power.

Jake himself placed both his hands on Venomfang as he focused every fiber of his being on the weapon. He pumped mana into it to strengthen it as he even coated it in a bit of excess mana. At the same time, he tried to use Descending Dark Fang, feeling it instantly not work as he wanted it to do… but he wasn’t taking no for an answer.

He forced his will upon the blade as the arcane mana swirled and extended as an edge, the dark mana burning into it meanwhile. In the end, the energy was forced to mix and mingle, destroying each other until they finally reached equilibrium as it split away from each other.

The arcane mana formed a coating around the entire dagger, looking almost like the weapon was made of crystal, while the dark mana swirled around that. The whole blade was volatile as he, with both hands, stabbed it down towards the head of the Prima

At the final moment, he saw the Prima smile as he felt his weapon smash into the head of the Prima, ending its lif-

At the final moment, it dodged to the side as it prepared to strike but found that Jake had also halted his blow, not doing as he was supposed to. It was too late for the Prima as it smashed its fist towards Jake’s face in an attack that would undoubtedly blow his entire head off.

An attack no doubt counting as a fatal blow.

An attack that resulted in the Prima learning that while it certainly was a talented user of time magic…

As the moment was seized, it learned it wasn’t the only one who could use the concept.

Moment of the Primal Hunter

Time slowed as Jake saw the fist about to impact his head. He swiftly moved around it as he stabbed his dagger down towards the head of the Prima. The moment he did so, he felt it try to once more interfere, and for a fraction of a second, he saw the despair in the eyes of the monkey as it realized – this was a moment that didn’t belong to it. A moment where it was utterly suppressed as a superior concept of time had taken over.

Everything returned to usual as the clash happened.

One fist missed the human and sent a wave of golden and silver light flying out, tearing up a huge part of the forest as the Prima’s entire arm was mangled by its own power. However, it failed to hit the human with anything but a bit of the remnant energy.

The other attack was a dagger that swirled with a mix of arcane and darkness that plunged down into the skull of the Prima, making two loud cracks sound out – one from the broken skull and the other from the dagger itself.

A torrent of arcane and darkness penetrated through the entire body of the Prima as the edge extended, and its screech of pain turned to silence.

*You have slain [Penta-Lighttail Monkey Prima – lvl 134] – Bonus experience earned for killing an enemy above your level*

*’DING!’ Class: [Avaricious Arcane Hunter] has reached level 113 - Stat points allocated, +10 free points*

*’DING!’ Class: [Avaricious Arcane Hunter] has reached level 114 - Stat points allocated, +10 free points*

*’DING!’ Race: [Human (D)] has reached level 108 - Stat points allocated, +15 free points*

*’DING!’ Class: [Avaricious Arcane Hunter] has reached level 115 - Stat points allocated, +10 free points*

Jake stood almost frozen as his arm shook from the impact of his own attack. The energy around the dagger faded away as it revealed the form of Venomfang – a large crack down the middle with many small fractures throughout. He instantly knew; this battle would be the last for the good old reliable fang.

As for the attack he had unleashed at the end… it was yet another skill upgrade that came in clutch. One that shouldn’t really come as a surprise with how much he had been practicing using his arcane mana, even making a few arcane edges here and there.

[Descending Dark Fang (Rare)] – A fang coated in dark mana descending like the clamping mouth of a snake. Do a downward strike with a melee weapon, significantly increasing penetrative power and damage inflicted. Dark mana makes the wound harder to heal and drains energy until dispelled. Damage improved further if the weapon is benefitting from Twin Fang Style. Adds a small bonus to the effect of Agility, Strength, and Intelligence when using Descending Dark Fang.

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[Descending Dark Arcane Fang (Epic)] – A fang that strikes from the darkness – one that clamps down with the fury of your arcane. Infuse your blade with a mixture of dark and arcane mana as you do a downward strike, significantly increasing damage done and penetrative power. Dark mana makes the wound harder to heal and drains energy until dispelled. Arcane mana creates a powerful coating and extends the edge while increasing all its basic capabilities. Damage improved further if the weapon is benefitting from Twin Fang Style. Adds a bonus to the effect of Agility, Strength, and Intelligence when using Descending Dark Arcane Fang.

The skill got stronger in every way, even if its name was beginning to look a bit silly. Either way, Jake couldn’t help feeling accomplished. He had won. Gotten a skill upgrade and three whole levels for the effort too. Even with how slow leveling was supposed to get in D-grade, Jake had an extreme pace, likely due to the difficulty of the foes he faced. He was truly living up to the name of his class – surely increasing his speed even further.

Jake stood smiling as he looked down on the dead monkey. He was slightly perplexed when he saw the Prima slowly turn to dust, its eyes still wide open with surprise, but he nevertheless spoke his genuine thoughts to the figure moments before it disappeared.

“Good fight.”

Jake saw the entire figure of the Prima disappear, leaving nothing behind but a small piece of golden metal and a core. He quickly used Identify on the golden fragment, and it left him more confused than anything.

[Key Fragment of the Exalted Prima (Unique)] – A key fragment to the Seat of the Exalted Prima. Collect three fragments to form the Key of the Exalted Prima to gain access.

I guess it is good to know the system can still be like a videogame sometimes, Jake thought with a small chuckle. Maybe collecting the key would unlock a secret boss or a treasure vault? Either way, it sounded like something he was definitely gonna do.

As for the second item, it was, of course, the Beastcore.

[Penta-Lighttail Monkey Prima Beastcore (D-grade)] – – A Beastcore left behind by a D-grade Penta-Lighttail Monkey Prima, containing remnants of its Records within. Can be used as an alchemical ingredient for many types of creations but is most often found in Elixirs. Contains powerful energy related to the concept of time.

Jake looked at it for a bit and picked it up together with the fragment and, of course, his dropped scimitar. It was good to have that back. While getting a key fragment and a Beastcore may seem a bit shitty for the tough fight, Jake totally got it. It would be weird if creatures out in the wild just dropped random high-rarity items. It would break the economy and make most crafters obsolete for sure. Maybe dungeons still do a bit of that? Hmmm….

It was also a bit weird that the monkey just turned to dust and left a key behind, sure, but what can ya do. Jake wouldn’t really feel comfortable running around in an old monkey’s hide anyway. That would just be weird.

As he stood there, looking at the core and what he could possibly make with it in the future – or who to possibly give it to to make something – he remembered something slightly important.

“Oh yeah. World Congress.”

He checked the time and saw that he still had… a bit less than 10 hours - plenty of time, plenty of time.

Jake could get back in three hours tops. He was more than good on time.

Well, he did feel like shit, so maybe a bit more than an hour as he needed to wait for his potion cooldown to be up. The fight with the monkey had lasted nearly two hours, the vast majority of it spent just on the ranged parts of the fight. It was actually a damn long time for two D-grades to battle.

With all that in mind, Jake had plenty of time to check out that ancient central temple that the Prima had been guarding and going into while Jake was busy slaughtering the entire local Lighttail Monkey population. Maybe it was hiding all its shiny stuff there?


In a dark cell, the chains hung from above. Ancient magic marking every part of the walls and floors. Within, trapped only a single living being.

The figure opened its eyes as the chains that bound it rattled to the movement - a mighty beast. It barely had time to realize why it had been awakened before one of the chains broke, and a spike that was inserted in the beast’s body vanished.

A single seal now broken.

A single stub where something had once been now regrowing.

A single stub of 999.

998 chains remained - 998 spikes sealing the beast.

The figure closed its eyes once more as it waited for release.

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Zogarth

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