Defeated [Mauler - Lvl. 48]!
Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 20 levels below you!
Defeated [Valkyrie Bloodsbane - Lvl. 68]!
Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!
Subspecies [Asura Changeing] Level Up!
[Asura Changeing – Lvl. 71] -> [Asura Changeing – Lvl. 72]
Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!
“That was an expensive dress, Salvos!”
“I know! I’m sorry! I didn’t think the Calhoul Coins would actually find me!”
“You went out looking for them!”
“I just wanted to explore and look around! I’m bored of doing nothing while you two get to sleep all the time!”
I crossed my arms and pouted as Edithe shook her head. The two of us were in the cave, rummaging through the bodies of the bandits to find me a fitting pair of clothes. Daniel waited outside, probably pacing around with a flustered face. I did not understand why Humans acted like that.
I finally procured some leather clothing from a woman which looked like it would fit me; I held it over Edithe, just making sure that it was not too tight for her, before I receded back into my Mortal Form. The world around me grew larger— and I shrunk down into the shape of a Human. I threw on the clothes and sighed.
“I’m really sorry, Edithe. I don’t actually need or want gold. So, if you’d like, you can keep my share of whatever gold or artifacts we find in this hideout.”
My companion stared at me for a moment, then she rubbed at her temples.
“It’s fine. I know you didn’t mean it. Thank you for the offer, but I think we should first focus on finding all those kidnapped by the Calhoul Coins.”
“Huh. You’re right, where exactly are they?”
I peered down the dark cavern, casting some blue light from a torch I made entirely out of fire. I saw no one there. Nothing but a corridor that led us down.
Narrowing her eyes, Edithe told me to wait for her to return with Daniel before we proceeded; there might have been more bandits further inside. I did as I was told, but I tried calling out— just in case anybody heard me.
“Hello? Is anybody there?!”
“We’re adventurers! We just beat up the bandit guys! We’re coming to rescue you!”
I listened carefully for a reply. I couldn’t hear anything. But then I paused as my eyes acclimated to the dark stone hallway. I saw… tracks? The residual footsteps— and signs of something being dragged across the dirt floor.
My two companions arrived and I raised a hand.
“I think I know where they are.”
Daniel raised a brow and Edithe shrugged.
“Show us, Salvos.”
I beamed and started down the dark path. Only my fire lit the way, however that was enough for me to follow the tracks leading us down a dead end. Daniel eyed me dubiously but Edithe stopped him from making a remark.
“Is there something here?”
“I… think so.”
I began patting the side of the walls; I was pretty sure the tracks led this way. After a moment of letting me do as I wished, Daniel finally spoke up.
“Uh, what exactly are you looking for? And how are you finding it?”
“I think it’s my [Passive - A Hunter’s Sense].”
My hands pressed against an oddly shaped rock. I pushed it and stepped back. What had appeared to be a dead end revealed to be a pathway leading into a large cavernous area. I grinned and smugly turned to Daniel.
He stared, scratching the back of his head.
“That’s my line! Don’t take that away from me!”
We spent a few minutes searching this area, and found a group of bandits standing guard in front of some cells. The moment we made ourselves known to them, they surrendered. They saw our levels. Our real levels. And they did not have numbers to give them an added confidence against us.
Nor was there a Vampire who, for whatever reason, hated me for being a Demon. I still wondered what her problem was. Too bad she was dead and I could not ask.
The bandits threw down our weapons and handed over the keys. Daniel and Edithe began freeing the Humans trapped inside the iron bars— many of them looked starved and hungry. Some of them had torn clothes too for whatever reason, which elicited a glare from Edithe towards the bandits.
“Don’t worry, we’ll bring you all to safety.”
She reassured the Humans. Then she glanced over at the bandits, causing them to jerk back.
“And we’ll bring them to justice.”
“It wasn’t our fault! We were content with just stealing— but then that Johnathan came to us! He made a suggestion to the boss, and she said it was a good idea!”
Edithe raised a brow and I happily opined.
“The guard captain of Lulica!”
“I… see. Well, we’ll ensure he is brought to justice too.”
She turned to the gathered group of Humans, all of them looking at her with wide and weary eyes.
“We’ll be heading to Viechester, not Lulica. Don’t worry, I’ll ensure you all get the treatment and care you deserve before you return to your homes. We’ll have to run this through with the proper authorities so that this whole ordeal can be resolved with everyone responsible will be punished.”
I simply stood off to the side, uncaring of this. It took a while, but eventually Daniel and Edithe gathered everyone and slowly led them to Viechester. The city was not too far from the hideout of the bandits. But still, with this many people, it took us a day to make the return trip.
When we arrived with our procession of Humans dressed in rags, the guards in Viechester were understandably caught by surprise. They were not sure about what to do until a few representatives from the Adventurers Guild and the Valiant Dreamers Company showed up.
There were long, boring talks which I ignored. Instead, I focused on my new Skills.
For my newly evolved Skills, I found [Flame Burst] and [Barrage of Cinders] to be quite effective. I gave them both 2 Skill Points, giving only 1 to [Ember Core] and [Passive - A Hunter’s Sense].
As for [Intimidation] and [Flaming Breath]... I quite liked how [Intimidation] worked, so I gave it 2 Skill Points. I was not sure if I was going to keep [Flaming Breath]— it certainly was more effective than [Scorching Wave], even though it used up more mana.
I still had a variety of other Skills I could try. The ones I was intrigued about were [Radiant Slash] and [Horror’s Flare]. I was not interested in my other Skills. Especially not [Passive - Keen Eye].
[Passive - Refined Casting] seemed like it would be useful, but I could always add it later on in the future. And considering what Saffron had told me about being overly reliant on Skills, I decided it was not something I wanted for now.
I then distributed my Stat Points between [Agility] and [Wisdom], leaving the rest be for now.
Salvos (Death of the Destroyer)
Species: [Greater Demon of Pride] (Mortal Form - Human)
Subspecies: [Asura Changeling] - Lvl. 72
[Advanced Mana Manipulation] - Lvl. 5
[Identification] - Lvl. 5
[Racial Skill: Universal Language Comprehension] - Lvl. 1
[Racial Skill: Mortal Form] - Lvl. 3
[Rest] - Lvl. 3
[Lesser Enhanced Wisdom] - Lvl. 1
[Title Skill: Zealous Call] - Lvl. 2
[Available Stat Points: 0]
[Vitality]: 79 (+5) (-5)
[Strength]: 52 (+5) (-5)
[Endurance]: 74 (+5) (-5)
[Wisdom]: 105 (+5) (+5)
[Agility]: 166 (+5) (-5)
[Available Skill Points: 3]
[Advanced Fire Creation] - Lvl. 30 (Maxed)
[Barrage of Cinders] - Lvl. 3
[Ember Core] - Lvl. 2
[Flame Burst] - Lvl. 3
[Flaming Breath] - Lvl. 1
[Intimidation] - Lvl. 3
[Scorching Wave] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)
[Self Haste] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)
[Passive - A Hunter’s Sense] - Lvl. 2
[Passive - Blue Flames] - Lvl. 20 (Maxed)
[Passive - Weapon Mastery] - Lvl. 20 (Maxed)
At some point during all the conversations and discussions, Hadrian came to speak to some of the authority figures in the city. There was no lord here— but a mayor instead. They spoke about what to do with Johnathan, before finally coming to a conclusion.
He was to be removed from his duties as the guard captain for Lulica and be placed under investigation for now. Edithe seemed satisfied with that. I was too. I was getting excited to finally tell my companions all about my plan. About what we were going to do and where we were going. But then Hadrian approached us.
“I apologize for this sudden request, Salvos, Daniel. But may I ask for your assistance once again?”
I exchanged a look with the [Hero] who had been intently staring at a few of the Humans we brought back who looked to be in bad shape, before my shoulders sagged. Apparently, we had to help deal with cleaning up this mess; it was a simple task. We just had to escort the guards from Viechester to arrest Jonathan and safely bring the kidnapped victims back to Lulica.
However, as I was sulking off to the side, Edithe decided to ask Hadrian a question which piqued my interest.
“Hadrian, I didn’t mention this in the report, but there was something… odd about our encounter with the bandits.”
The leader of the Valiant Dreamers Company blinked.
“What kind of encounter?”
“There was a Vampire amongst them. And she was…”
Edithe trailed off and glanced over at me. She scratched her chin.
Hadrian’s forehead creased as he heard this. A dark look came over his face and he raised a hand to cover his mouth.
“A Vampire? Why would a descendant of the nobility resort to banditry?”
I cocked my head, a little bit confused. Daniel and Edithe had called the bandit boss a Vampire, but I didn’t really get it. She looked like a Human to me.
I piped up, interrupting the conversation between Hadrian and Edithe.
“What’s a Vampire, anyway?”
The two spun to face me. Edithe grimaced.
“Right, I forgot to explain it to you.”
Hadrian’ raised a brow.
“I’m surprised you haven’t heard of a Vampire, Salvos. The stories of Vampires are rather famous and told often to children. Their tale is one of glory and reward. How hard work reaps you success.”
“What do you mean?”
“Vampires are an interesting Species. There is no single Vampire Species, rather they spread into different other Species’. In the past, Vampires were seen as a kind of parasite. A plague, if you will. Fangs on a Human were the pest ban which would result in you being shun from society. Perhaps even killed in some cases.”
He explained, almost as if he was extremely familiar with the subject.
“However, when the Immortal King Alexander united Humanity, he outlawed such mistreatment of Human Vampires. And when he was slain— when our Human empire was fractured by the Demon King— the Vampires were a key player that helped repel him back to the Netherworld.
“They were rewarded for their efforts. They lost such a great number that they were down to the dozens then. And each of them were granted a great amount of wealth and even Titles. Many Vampires still have Classes related to Demon hunting. Like [Demon Slayers]. They are a proud people— which is why I’m surprised a Vampire became a bandit. Perhaps… they were disgraced?”
Hadrian mused to himself, his head facing towards the sky. I studied his face and he blinked.
“Are you a Vampire?”
“What— absolutely not!”
He took a step back. Even Edithe eyed him dubiously. Clearing his throat in an incredibly suspicious manner, the leader of the Valiant Dreamers Company spun around and spoke into his hand.
“Listen, you three will have to head back to Lulica tomorrow. Once you’re there, you just have to ensure nothing happens and then your job is finished. Which means…”
He addressed Daniel, Edithe, and I without even facing us.
Hadrian finally turned back and met her gaze.
“For the time being, you don’t have to worry about the Valiant Dreamers Company. You can go with your friends and take care of yourself. Just promise me that you’ll be safe.”
My companion hesitated, but managed to muster up a smile.
“I promise. Thank you, Hadrian.”
“Then I trust you three will take care of this job just fine. I’ll be returning to the headquarters and I’ll be very busy. There’s no need to see me before you leave once you’re finished. I might not even be in Viechester by then.”
Edithe nodded and he was off. I waved goodbye at the leader of the Valiant Dreamers Company as a thought crossed my mind. Was that why that Vampire was so mad at me? And if it was— would Hadrian have accepted me if I decided to show him what I truly was like I did with Stephen?
The answer was obvious.
And I did not like it.