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7. Rest

Salvos

Species: [Infant Demon]

Subspecies: [Demon Larva] - Lvl. 9

General Skills:

[Basic Mana Manipulation] - Lvl. 3

[Identification] - Lvl. 3

[Racial Skill: Universal Language Comprehension] - Lvl. 1

Stats:

[Available Stat Points: 0]

[Vitality]: 11

[Strength]: 8

[Endurance]: 11

[Wisdom]: 13

[Agility]: 22

Skills:

[Available Skill Points: 4]

[Basic Fire Conjuration] - Lvl. 2

[Fire Strike] - Lvl. 4

[Unused Skill Slot] x3

 

After having spent the Skill and Stat Points I had gained from my most recent level up, I slowly straightened, satisfied. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly feeling too adventurous with distributing them, considering the battle I had just fought— I could have died!

So looking at where I had lacked during combat, I decided to raise my [Agility], [Endurance], and [Wisdom], in addition to increasing the level of [Fire Strike]. My [Basic Fire Conjuration] did help as a distraction, but I did not think it would be useful for the time being. Maybe I would use up the Skill Points I had been saving up on it in the future, but for now, I saw no practical use for it.

Slowly, I turned to the Demon which had also been lying immobile next to me: the Demon with black and yellow spots had leveled up too. I had used [Identification] on him earlier, and saw that he was now Level 8.

Yes, he was Level 8: a single level below me. I felt that it was a bit unfair that he had gone from Level 4 to Level 8— doubling in levels— since I had saved him, while I had only gone from Level 6 to Level 9.

It was probably due to the fact that he had been mostly defeating enemies higher level than him; even if he had gained less experience because I was there, it would be subtracted from a larger experience pool than he would have gotten from fighting an enemy his level. Meanwhile, not only did I not get experience from one of the Demons in our last battle, but I got less experience because most of them were lower leveled than me.

And while I was envious of my companion’s rapid growth, I took some consolation knowing that we were both Level 2 when we had first met— before the large Demon attacked our group— and I was still higher leveled than him. Furthermore, my envy was stymied because of what had just happened.

Those Demons— that I thought had been like me— attacked us because they wanted experience. It was… like those wild Demons!

But unlike those wild Demons who were incapable of acting beyond their instinct, they did it after putting careful thought into their actions. Somehow, that made it worse to me.

So my disdain for the horned Demon and his minions made me put thoughts of levels away for now. I pushed my limbs on the ground, trying to get up—

When the Demon with black and yellow spots jerked. He raised a limb and I panicked, thinking he was about to attack me too. However, instead of swatting at me with his large limbs, he simply waved them at me.

I found myself staring at that gesture, confused. I continued getting up, but he began to sway his limbs faster. Examining his body language inquisitively, I saw him… pointing at the ground?

He was trying to tell me to stay. To not… move? But why?

Then upon closer inspection, I noticed something about his body; when he had been badly wounded earlier, most of the cuts and marks on his body were now gone. I glanced back down at myself, then noticed that most of my wounds were still there.

How was he able to recover that quickly, while I was still hurt and low on health. Sure, I had leveled and regained some of my lost health, but not a significant enough amount to close the injuries I had sustained. The Demon with black and yellow spots must have read the confusion in my face as he began shaking his limbs harder, clearly indicating the ground.

Deciding that there was no harm listening to him, I lay back down and simply stayed there. As time passed, I tried getting up twice, but each time he stopped me and forced me back down. Eventually, when I had gotten bored and was counting the rocks on the ground, I heard words appear in my head.

 

General Skill [Rest] Learned!

Experience is awarded for the learning of a General Skill!

 

I perked up excitedly. I had just gotten a General Skill! I wasn’t sure what it did at first, until I realized that half of my wounds were gone. Gradually, without me noticing, I had healed up during that period I had been motionless.

The Demon with black and yellow spots looked over at me, realizing I had finally gotten the General Skill. He must have gotten it somehow before, and was trying to get me to learn it too. I gratefully nodded my head in his direction, to which he nodded back.

Feeling a sense of… happiness within me, I lowered my body once again. While he had mostly regained his health, as evident by his fully healed body, I was still halfway there. So he waited for me to finish recovering, until finally we were ready to go.

 

—--

 

Defeated [Demon Larva - Lvl. 4]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

Defeated [Demon Larva - Lvl. 6]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

Defeated [Demon Larva - Lvl. 6]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

Defeated [Demon Larva - Lvl. 5]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

After I had fully recovered my health, the two of us left the foot of the hill back into the flat, white lands ahead. The moment we had put ourselves in the open, a group of wild Demons attacked us; I wasn’t even prepared for the encounter, but it happened quickly.

Because neither of us had been ready for it, we suffered more damage than I felt comfortable fighting with. So I led my companion back to another hill— one that had a flat top. I realized now that being in the open would lead to being noticed, especially with his vibrant colors, so I wanted to [Rest] up in a place we were safe.

We crested up the plateau, and after taking a quick look around at the top and seeing no one, I decided we would stay there for a bit. I had only recovered some of my health when I heard a noise.

It was an unusual sound— not especially since I didn’t often hear anything when there was no fighting. Curious at this, I listened carefully, trying to pinpoint where the sound was coming from. After a moment, I realized it was coming from over the edge across the plateau. Gesturing at my companion to follow me, I made my way over to see what it was.

He didn’t seem interested in it, although he did follow me as usual. The closer I got to the edge, the louder the noise became. And it wasn’t like the sound of fighting— it was a lot more… repetitive. There was a short interval between each time the sound was made, and it was almost always the same noise or something similar.

Peeking over the edge, I looked down at what was a narrow passage between another hill. It was a valley, and down in the valley were moving shapes. Figures, not ones I had ever seen before, were entering this valley.

I heard the noise again, and this time, not only was it clearer, but I felt something happening inside of me. As if the noise was affecting me somehow. I felt my mind whirl— as if a Skill was being used…

[Racial Skill: Universal Language Comprehension]

“Keep on moving! If you break, you will be killed!”

These words registered in my head, and unlike the words that simply appeared in my head, I was hearing them. Someone was speaking— shouting, even. And I could understand them.

I looked at the source of the voice, focusing on a large, gray figure at the front of the group. He wasn’t like any other Demon I had seen before, but I intuitively knew he was one. He only had four limbs— unlike my dozen— and only needed two of them under him to walk. He had a long head, with two crooked horns protruding out of the side. And behind him, were other Demons, ones that walked on four limbs, ones that held strange items— weapons— with them, and ones of different stature. But still, they were mostly the same— most had four limbs, and most were nearly the same height, with only some outliers. Although, even from this distance, I did notice that they all had a weird ringed object attached to them somewhere.

I was immediately drawn to these Demons. This was something new! I wanted to know what they were— I wanted to get close enough to use [Identification] on them.

However, as I placed a limb forward, I felt my companion hold me back with one of his large limbs. I angrily turned to him for stopping me, almost swinging at him in the process, but stopped when I realized he was pointing past me.

I followed it, finding my eyes landing on a second group of Demons— ones that I was more familiar with. They were [Demon Larvae], traveling together as a pack right behind the first, new group of Demons. I immediately felt my curiosity and anger disappear and felt relief that I hadn’t gone forward to investigate the Demons.

These Demons could attack me! Maybe those new Demons wouldn’t, but I knew now to be more cautious around [Demon Larvae] for they were willing to attack me even if they could think. So I held back, instead choosing to observe the interaction of this group from afar.

The Demon with the crooked horns at the front of the group continued his shouting, as they made their way through the valley.

“Keep on moving! Keep on—”

Suddenly, he was cut off as a loud piercing noise. It was very high pitched, sounding almost like a screech. Immediately, all the Demons turned their attention to the source of the noise that seemed to come from the other side of the valley. The first group of Demons seemed more alert to this sound, while the second group of Demons just looked around in confusion.

I also found myself staring down the valley. What is that noise? It continued for a moment, before being followed by more sounds. More noises. And they came at different pitches: some were deep and long, others were high and fast. Whatever was making the noise, I did not think it was only one thing.

And it wasn’t.

From the other side of the valley came pouring Demons. Wild Demons. Ones that were also new to me, but unlike the mostly uniform group of Demons, these ones were truly distinct. They came in all shapes and sizes, with very little consistency among them. Some had long, sinuous bodies with dozens of limbs, while others had bulbous bodies and only a quarter as many limbs. And mixed among them too were what I recognized to be wild [Demon Larvae].

These wild Demons charged down the valley, rushing at the Demons that had been traveling down that path. They roared, they howled, they growled, and they made all kinds of noises— none of them making any sense to me, despite my Racial Skill.

I watched as these large, terrifying Demons reached the first group of Demons. I had expected a slaughter. The wild Demons were huge. They outnumbered them. And yet, before they could even clash, I saw the Demon with crooked horns raise his two hanging limbs— his arms.

A ball of flames appeared in front of him. A massive one that shot forward, and instantly obliterated half of the coming wild Demons. Then once the explosion had gone away— when the bright light had disappeared and the reverberation through the ground had stopped— I looked up and saw something else appear in his hand.

It was a long pointed object. One that was burning, with wisps of flame coming off it. He swung this spear at the closest wild Demon, skewering it in an instant, before pulling it off and slicing another one in half. He kicked the next, before pointing his spear forward and bellowing.

“Slay these Lesser Demons!”

Behind him, the other Demons of his group yelled out and charged the remainder of the wild Demons. The ones with weapons swung their weapons, and the wild Demons died; the ones with extra limbs conjured out fire and stone, and the wild Demons died; and even the ones that were simply large— looking as though they had nothing special to them— attacked, and the wild Demons died.

It was a complete slaughter, except for the other side. The wild Lesser Demons fell in droves, only managing to bring down half a dozen of these Demons with them. And finally, when the last of the wild Demons— whether they had been Lesser Demons or Infant Demons— died, these Demons returned to the second group. The [Demon Larvae].

I paused, staring at the second group. There was less than before, even though they hadn’t taken part in the fighting. Where did the others go? I glanced around the valley, before spotting a small group of the [Demon Larvae] had broken off, and were heading for the valley’s exit.

I looked at them in confusion. They were… running? Had they been scared off by the attack of wild Demons? But they had won now, so why were they still trying to flee?

I spotted a Demon, and felt my question had been answered. Even amongst the group of [Demon Larvae] did he stand out, because I recognized him. He was only slightly different from when I had last seen him, but he still had his feelers on him.

He was the Level 3 Demon who instantly fled from the large Demon back when I had been with the others.

So he once again ran when he saw an enemy; he never wanted to fight. He was a… coward. Of course he would have taken any opportunity to escape, even if they won—

I watched as a spear shot through him, pinning him into the hill wall.

It was the fire spear the Demon with crooked horns had. He had thrown it at the coward Demon, instantly killing him. I stared in shock at this turn of events. Weren’t they on the same side? And continued to watch as he raised a hand and pointed at the rest of the fleeing group.

“I had warned you! I warned you you would be killed! Learn this lesson, the rest of you— the survivors. Know that you can not run from me!”

And a ball of fire shot out at them. It wasn’t as big as the one he conjured up against the wild Demons, but it was enough to instantly wipe out the dozen [Demon Larvae] that had been trying to flee.

I watched as the flames detonated, engulfing the Demons, killing them all before they could even leave the valley. Then I slowly turned back to the Demon with crooked horns in fear. Wha— why?!

He had killed them too easily; they didn’t even— couldn’t even— put up a fight. That meant he wasn’t gaining much experience from this. And yet, he killed them.

He walked back to the remainder of the second group of Demons, creating another spear with what I could tell was a Skill, and slamming its bottom on the hard, white ground.

“Now move! For if you break, you will be killed!”

And the [Demon Larvae] obeyed. They continued following the first group of Demons led by the Demon with crooked horns, as they made their way through the valley. I just watched this procession pass through from atop the plateau, trying to register what had happened.

Only when they finally left, did I feel the tension in my body leave, and I could slump over to the floor. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I knew that if I had carelessly decided to approach those Demons, I would have been forced into following them against my will.

I turned to my companion, the Demon with black and yellow spots, and once again nodded gratefully at him. Thank you. I tried to tell him.

He only seemed to have been terrified by what he had just witnessed; he looked at me as well, and even though neither of us could speak like the Demon with crooked horns could, I felt that we could still read each other’s thoughts.

Those Demons are dangerous. Avoid them no matter what!

 

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