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Ch102-Smarter Than The Average Bear

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As Sylver tried to take a step back to get into a good stance, he looked down and realized something.

No left leg meant no leverage on his right arm’s swing. His darkness wouldn’t hold if he tried to use it to hold the weight of his swing.

And if he tried to swing with his left arm using his right leg, it would just liquefy under the strain.

If he had his [Bracelet Of The Aurai] maybe he could create a platform under his left hip and use that, but he left it back in Eira, along with all his other enchanted gear.

So Sylver was limited to his daggers, darts, an ax, and an infinite amount of explosives.

Bombs that Sylver would now need to manually assign a detonation time, as opposed to just having a shade set it off through a small spark via [Shadow’s Agent].

And with only one eye Sylver’s depth perception was next to nothing. He barely used his eyes to see as is, suddenly not being able to use his [Mana Perception] along with not being able to rely on his physical vision was a bit too much, even for him.

And with the white-furred creature holding its white paw over its black nose and all but turning invisible against the glistening white snow his single eye wasn’t going to do him much good.

Sylver was at a loss as to what to do.

For about three seconds.

The layer of darkness that covered his nude body fell off him as if it were a silk sheet, as Sylver himself fell down into the snow and disappeared into it.

Sylver moved a few meters away from where he had dropped into the ground towards where the white creature was and was very careful to be as silent and stealthy as possible. The ice was thick, but Sylver could feel the water right beneath it not too far down from him.

With his pain perception having been preemptively shut down, Sylver didn’t feel the harsh biting cold of recently unfrozen water washing over his body as he half swam half crawled through it.

This wasn’t normal ice, aside from the curls and the wrong number of sides it felt like Sylver was moving about 10 times as much ice and snow as he actually was.

It wasn’t a dead realm at least, because then Sylver would just be a very strong human, but that would be the start and end of his abilities. Given that he could move the ice, it was likely just something to do with the ice itself, as opposed to the realm at large.

Hopefully.

Because it would be really difficult if Sylver couldn’t use magic.

Almost downright impossible.

Sylver stopped trying to heal Spring and instead focused on getting a handful of darts out of his [Bound Bones] stash. They appeared one by one until he had 6 small shiny metallic darts sitting in his hand.

He moved all 6 up to the stump where his left arm should have been and forced an artery open to spray blood all over them. Sylver might have used a bit too much, but he had enough blood for 2 arms and 2 legs in his body, so he had blood to spare right now.

The blood in Sylver’s hand gathered into a ball and sucked up the 6 darts into it. [Coat Of Carrion] converted the blood in a fraction of a second, and Sylver now had 6 identical shiny bright red darts floating right above his open hand.

Alright, so [Dead Dominion] still works, so does [Coat Of Carrion] and [Bound Bones].

Then what was the problem with [Shadow’s Soma]?

Frankly speaking between the impromptu ice bath and the loss of limbs everything felt a little surreal at the moment. Like Sylver was watching himself from far away and wasn’t directly affected by whatever happened to the naked cyclopes sitting inside a tiny hole he had dug himself inside the ice.

Sylver was surprised his soul sense didn’t give him a heads up, as a shadow very slowly formed above him and silently moved towards the area where Sylver had disappeared a few seconds prior.

Sylver closed his right eye out of habit as he tried to aim the darts, and even though he was fighting for his life right now, couldn’t help but let out a giggle. Although it was hard to call the noise he made without a tongue or functional vocal cords a giggle.

Regardless of how it came out, it was a mistake.

One that the fluffy white creature above took advantage of before Sylver even realized he’d made the sound.

The ice shattered out of the way as the creature’s claws dug through the ice and snow towards Sylver. A big block of ice fell down from the resulting split and landed on Sylver’s right leg but didn’t break anything, at worst it would be a bruise.

Sylver almost casually flicked the 6 darts upwards, as the open-mouthed creature roared at him, and sent a splattering of surprisingly hot spittle in Sylver’s face. The darts spread out as much as the ripped open ice allowed them, before shimmering out of sight.

The creature yowled as a dart entered both of its eyes and continued to push its way inside its head, as the other 4 darts went into its throat and open mouth and began to tear it apart.

Sylver, already with a block of ice on his leg, and covered in animal spit, was now being actively sprayed with blood. The blood stopped an inch from actually reaching his skin, and gathered into a ball to the side of the ripped open hole. The creature above pulled back and stood on its hind legs and tried to paw at its face to dislodge the darts inside it, sneezing blood with every unsuccessful attempt.

The darts that had been in the process of tearing its throat open changed directions and instead went into the soft pads on its paws, and Sylver tried to pull them towards himself, which ended up with him being ripped out from beneath the ice and flying towards the blinded and enraged creature.

Sylver moved the blood that had been sprayed all over the ground and hole and wrapped it around his right hand. [Coat Of Carrion] turned what looked like a wet glove, into a shining bright red gauntlet, with brittle but sharp-looking claws at the end of his fingertips.

As Sylver was pulled towards the creature, he blocked a swipe from the left with his right gauntleted hand and used the momentum to push away from it.

[Ursa Polaris (Rogue+Warrior) – 172]
[HP-24,291]
[MP-0]

On its hind legs, it was an impressive 6 meters at least, and now that it was covered from head to paw in blood, Sylver really got a good look at it. The muscles on its chest rippled with every blind swipe that it made with its clawed paws.

Paws that Sylver now saw were webbed and stretched out like a frogs. Sylver summoned his ax in his right hand and wasted no time dissolving his gauntlet and using it to coat the ax instead. Sylver didn’t understand what the fuck it did, but the creature had somehow managed to sever his connection to his [Coat Of Carrion] coated darts.

Because of all the blood covering it, it took Sylver a couple of seconds to realize the creature had completely healed itself.

[Ursa Polaris (Rogue+Warrior) – 172]
[HP-44,410]
[MP-0]

Well, that’s going to be annoying.

Sylver thought as the coated ax slipped out of his hand and began to spin quickly enough that it looked like a dark red blurry circle.

The creature had fallen back down onto all fours and started to run towards him. Sylver got the impression it was proud of itself.

He wondered for how long it maintained that feeling, as it attempted to swipe the spinning ax away from its head, and instead found bright red tendrils shooting out of the ax and tightly wrapping themselves around its paw, crawling up its shoulder with each passing second. The tendrils pulled its paw towards it and it fell down slightly into the fluffy and blood-soaked snow.

It bit down on the moving mass of bright red matter, and successfully managed to tear it away from its paws. All of this occurred in mere seconds, during which Sylver summoned a bomb, armed it, very carefully used the small amount of blood that had splattered on his body to coat it, and then made the bomb float towards the confused beast.

I just hope it’ll be eno-

[Ursa Polaris (Rogue+Warrior) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 60 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Coat Of Carrion (I) Proficiency increased to 51%!]

The sound of the explosion echoed out from the creature’s body, just as the shockwave sent up a gigantic cloud of snow into the air. Sylver was flung away from it, but landed on his back in the soft snow and hadn’t been hurt. The cloud of snow began to fall back down, as Sylver got out of the hole.

Sylver formed himself a leg again but didn’t bother with an arm for the moment, as he walked towards the hopefully mostly intact creature. Sylver’s skin gave off so much steam that the snow melted before it had a chance to reach him, and just slid down his body.

He reached the edge of the crater in the snow, but couldn’t see the corpse, but he felt it with his [Dead Dominion]. The body, and all the pieces, floated out of the crater and followed Sylver as he walked out of the cloud of falling snow.

To his surprise, the body was mostly untouched.

If you didn’t count the head, which was in bits and pieces.

And if you ignored the blood that had turned almost every inch of fur red, but that was from before. Sylver turned the creature over and laid it out on its back. He remembered something, and he jumped onto the creature’s stomach.

The creature’s body pressed down into the snow for a second or two, before Sylver was shot upwards. He pushed as hard as he could against the body and went much further than his 50-meter limitation, moving on momentum alone. Sylver spun in the air to get a complete look all around him, and he saw two things of interest.

The first was what looked like a pack of creatures identical to this one running away from here. Their bodies were impossible to see, but the way they were running made their paws show up. Normally Sylver’s vision wouldn’t be good enough to spot them, but against the white snow the black color stood out enough for Sylver to see them.

The second was something shiny. Not shiny like the blinding snow all over the place, but like polished metal shiny. Sylver didn’t have anything to use as a reference point, the sun was directly above him, so he summoned his ax and threw it towards the shiny thing.

As Sylver slowed down his fall the red-furred creature below him sank deeper into the, now soaked with blood, snow. Sylver landed directly onto its chest and sat down on it.

It felt cold, or more accurately it was so well insulated that Sylver’s skin didn’t have enough warmth to make it feel warm. He placed his right hand on it and started to very gently poke and prod around to gather as much life energy as possible.

Sylver closed his eye and went against his body’s natural desire to spread it out evenly and forced it down towards his missing left leg.

Healing damaged flesh and bone was one thing.

Growing a new body part was an entirely different matter.

Luckily Sylver knew what he was doing and had complete and total control over his body’s primal energy so he could wait a year and he could still heal himself with no issues.

If he didn’t, in about a week the lost limb would become permanently lost.

The leg was the number one priority. Sylver’s eye would be nice, but once Spring was back he would just follow his directions for distance and the like. Without a leg, Sylver couldn’t get proper leverage, and his swings, punches and stabs, and slashes would be weak.

With [Dead Dominion] he could certainly just have everything floating around him and use that, but he needed both legs to move around and dodge.

Sylver removed the darkness around his missing limb and was very careful to be consistent with the way the life energy worked on the limb. He didn’t need it to be just a bone, because then there would be no muscle there for him to use. And if he only had muscle, it would just be a floppy piece of meat and defeated the purpose of having a leg.

Sylver reached down towards where the creature’s head used to be and dipped his finger into roughly where the eye socket was. Visually the blood looked fine.

As for taste…

Nothing.

Meaning either this creature’s body was made from elements that don’t exist on Eira, and therefore Sylver’s taste buds weren’t equipped to sense them.

Or its blood simply didn’t have a taste.

It was pointless to sit around and try to guess, Sylver would know what exactly this realm was once he saw at least one person.

If they are humanoid, he would be fine. This realm didn’t need to be a perfect replica of Eira, just close enough that he wasn’t trying to digest rocks.

Sylver looked at his stump and allowed the wound to open to let the growing bone through.

*

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[Biological Manipulation (I) Proficiency increased to 49%!]

[Draining Touch (II) Proficiency increased to 100%!]

[Draining Touch (II) rank up available!]
Choose 1 from the following:

Draining Touch (III)
-Increase the speed of draining by 20%.
-Increase the efficiency of draining by 25%.
-No backlash if interrupted during draining.
-Drain up to three targets at once.
-Excess drained HP, MP, and stamina will disperse at half the normal speed.
-Channel a drained attribute into a willing creature.
-[Requirement not met]
-[Requirement not met]

Oh wow. Is this the coin flip? Or is it because I’ve been using the skill for almost a year now?

No backlash would mean I could start using it without worrying about being thrown off or interrupted. I’m unlikely to ever be in a position to drain 3 at a time, so that’s out. Not to mention I’m pretty sure I could do that, not that I would want to.

I’m able to hold excess MP for about 5 minutes, so it’ll become 10 minutes? It could be good, but the last one looks like the best choice.

I’ll be able to heal people…

At the cost of killing something nearby, but still… It would make performing surgeries and rituals a lot easier.

I could drain my shades too, healing at the snap of the fingers…

[Skill: Draining Touch (III)]
Skill level can be increased by draining enemies.
I - Absorb health, stamina, and mana from the target.
II - Can absorb through solid materials.
*Efficiency decreases by 50% for every centimeter of material.
III - Channel a drained attribute into a willing creature.
*Requires physical contact.
*May not work on targets with a high enough resistance.
*May not work on targets without mana channels.

It was hard to describe the ever so slight change that occurred when Sylver accepted the skill’s rank up.

The same way [Shadow’s Agent] gave him a new limb to use, this felt like he had gained a new digit on his hand instead. It was very subtle, but could already feel the way it was supposed to be used.

His leg had gained about 2 inches of bone and flesh.

Healers more often than not just pumped a person with healing energy and helped their body heal the damage. A person was likely to feel exhausted after a healing, and could even lose consciousness if the wounds were grave enough. They would later notice that they lost a fair amount of weight and that their muscles decreased in mass and volume.

Higher tier healers created everything the person needed to heal. Something that Sylver wasn’t able to do for two reasons.

The first being a lack of mana.

And the second was that the spells required to do that were all too positive energy heavy for a pure dark like him to ever be able to cast them.

So Sylver had to heal himself using the first method.

He had lost a few kilograms of flesh and bone, and now had to either spread what he had to create an arm and leg, or he could wait for his body to produce all the materials it needed to grow a new bone.

Considering the fact that Sylver no longer had a ribcage, the amount of bone in his body was quite low. So what Sylver needed right now was to eat a large quantity of meat, along with a large quantity of calcium, and kick his digestive system into overdrive to process it all.

In an ideal world, he would just catch someone with a similar enough biological makeup to him and would use dark magic to make the person’s body identical to Sylver’s.

With the ring, it wasn’t actually that bad of an idea…

Except for the fact that he was in a different realm, and would be lucky if he wasn’t the only human here whose blood wasn’t made out of lead or something. Sylver had learned from personal experience that it was a bad idea to use something that might end up contaminating the rest of his body.

So for now he would eat, sleep, direct all his healing towards his left leg, and that was all.

Sylver’s desire to dissect the white-furred creature increased as he opened it up and saw that its insides were translucent. He’d seen it before, but never in a warm-blooded mammal.

[Dead Dominion] made skinning it comically easy. The skin practically slid off the body and floated in the air as the blood dribbled away. He found that the skin was also translucent, which begged the question as to why it didn’t look bright red from the blood inside its body.

Sylver’s guess, that he confirmed by stabbing it, was that its blood turned red upon contact with air, and was colorless while inside of it.

If not for the fact that it was freezing cold and that Sylver still needed to bring Spring back, he would have gladly sat around and took it apart to better understand it. Instead, he wrapped the slick with blood and fat thick fur around his body and stored what remained inside a large bone he took from the creature’s left forearm.

It was a challenge to rip two pieces of skin off and turn them into boots, but Sylver managed it, even if they were uncomfortable.

He was covered in blood and fat, had to constantly focus on it so it didn’t slide off him, but at least he was warm.

And kind of hidden, given the way the fur turned white once Sylver had walked away from the blood-soaked snow and rinsed the outside to clean it.

Sylver found his ax where he had thrown it, and he looked all around him but couldn’t see the thing he had seen shine from when he had been in the air. Nevertheless, he had a rough direction to go to, and he had the body with him if he needed to get high into the air again.

*

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*

“You’re not going to like it,” Spring whispered into Sylver’s ear. Due to his missing tongue, he had to tap back an answer against his thigh.

Probably not. But I already know what you’re going to say,” Sylver tapped out silently.

Sylver had wrapped himself up in a cocoon of warm dead skin and was currently laying in a bowl made out of ice. Walking through the snow had proved ineffective, and this was the easiest way he could think of without being able to use the creature as a zombie to ride, or summoning Will or Ulvic.

Sylver barely moved as he used [Dead Dominion] to throw his [Coat Of Carrion] coated ax ahead of himself, embed it in the ice below, pulled himself towards it, slid on the ice, yanked it out as he slid past it, and then threw it ahead of himself to keep the momentum going.

It looked kind of stupid and left behind a trail that any idiot could follow, but it was faster than walking, especially when you only had one leg. Sylver was using less mana than he was producing, so assuming he didn’t fall asleep out of mental exhaustion, he could keep this up indefinitely.

The landscape didn’t change, the same bright white blinding snow as far as the eye could see, not counting the trail left behind Sylver as he slid on top of the snow in his ice bowl. There were no trees, no rocks, and Sylver hadn’t seen another living thing since he had killed and skinned the thing he was currently using as a sleeping bag.

“So what are you going to do?” Spring asked. Sylver lowered his head and breathed down into his cocoon. Steam came out of it as the inside warmed up and slowly made the frost building on the fur melt away.

About?” Sylver tapped out the question. He could feel Spring make a face.

“If I can’t materialize while under the sun, the others won’t be able to either,” Spring explained with a careful, but ever so slightly panicked voice.

Sylver had some time to kill while doing nothing but throwing an ax and pulling against it.

And he figured something out.

The snow wasn’t the problem.

The sun was.

If there was somewhere to hide away from the sun, Spring would be able to materialize. But all Sylver could do was make ice, which whether he liked it or not was crystal clear. Even if he mixed in his blood or excrements into it, there simply wouldn’t be enough to make it opaque. Unless he made it ridiculously thick.

And even if there was, how would that help? The shades would liquefy the moment they stepped out of the shade and into the sun.

Did you never find it strange that despite being called a “shade” you could materialize in places with no shadows?” Sylver tapped against his leg.

Spring didn’t say anything for a while, during which Sylver caught his ax, made it spin for the fun of it, and threw it ahead of him again.

“That sigil you drew over our hearts,” Spring mumbled.

Yes, it removed the material that would have reacted to sunlight that would have weakened and killed you. It’s the same thing that makes vampires combustible,” Sylver explained with his right hand moving in the darkness.

“Can’t you adjust them?” Spring asked, but he could feel the flare of muted anger and already knew the answer before Sylver started tapping it out.

Sure, just give me a couple of years to experiment with how this sun interacts with various aspects of the undead. If I had my lab back, with all of my equipment, it shouldn’t take me any longer than 20 something years. Until then, you’re just going to have to learn to deal with only being able to show up during nighttime, or in a dark enough area. You know, like a normal shade,” Sylver tapped out, furrowing his brows as he explained, and hoped Spring would catch the sarcasm in his fingers.

I want my fucking tongue back. Sylver thought as he caught his ax and threw it ahead of himself again.

Sylver finished bringing Dai back and started working on Sho. He got a cramp in his back from the way he was laying down and he moved his cocoon around until he was comfortable. There was a lot of fur for him to lay on.

He caught it with the edge of his peripheral vision, and far, far, in the distance, Sylver could see something shiny.

Shinier than the shiny snow all around him.

He pulled a little harder and started working on making his cocoon into as close to a robe as possible.

It needed to be presentable.

Or at the very least, he didn’t want to look like one of those feral druids that never bothered to cover themselves up, except for wearing an animal pelt over their shoulders.

With his lack of hair, pale skin, pitch-black eyes, and glued on fat and blood, Sylver didn’t like his chances, but he had to at least try to appear civilized.

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KingKennit

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