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128. Catching Up

The Plaguelands— or at least, its peripherals— were not dangerous to us anymore. There were no [Ghouls] here. No [Wights]. No [Nightscourers].

Other than the [Nightscourers], most of these other undead were not swarm monsters. That meant that they were stronger than a Skeleton at around their level. It was not as drastic of a difference as with sapient beings like Kobolds and Humans.

For Humans, they got a second Class at Level 100 and above. For Kobolds, apparently they got their evolution. Just like how I would get a Class at that level. It seemed almost like I had more in common with Kobolds than Humans.

Not that I would tell my companions that. Daniel and Edithe were not exactly antagonistic towards me for being a Demon, however they did have a slight bias towards their own Species. However, that did not get in the way of our teamwork.

“Edithe, now!”

I sent a kick powered by [Barrage of Cinders] at the [Skeleton Warrior] it stumbled forward as I circled away from it. The charged lightning strike shot forward— the orb at its head sparkling with an intense energy.

It struck the Skeleton’s back, bursting out into a flash of bright, white light. I waited for the notification to pop up in my head. I watched, patiently, for the undead’s bones to collapse into a messy pile. However, the [Skeleton Warrior] steadied itself as a red aura was exuded off its body.

“It survived? A curse—”

Leaping back, I avoided the expulsion of energy coming from it. It did nothing to its surroundings, almost seeming to dissipate as it traveled further and further in a large sphere. What seemed like flakes of it touched me, and my Ring of Lesser Curse Protection glowed.

I felt nothing. It was too minute to harm me, probably diffusing too much of its effects away. Still, I growled and bared my teeth.

[Ember Core] blazed around me, its solid flames forming an armor of blue. I took a step forward, ready to pounce on the Skeleton. And Daniel cracked his sword on the back of its skull.

It collapsed, no longer undead and back to dead.

“Aw. That was mine!”

“No it wasn’t.”

He snorted.

“You weren’t even supposed to kill it. Edithe was.”

“Then why did you steal her kill?!”

I pointed accusingly at him. He opened his mouth, but Edithe walked over to us, waving a hand.

“It’s fine, Salvos. I still got a level from that.”

She trudged over the bones littering the floor. We had just taken out a larger group of Skeletons. Most of them were unarmed, but a few— like the one Daniel unfairly killed— wielded weapons. They were over Level 100. Barely over Level 100. But still quite high leveled.

“You did?”

I brightened. Then I paused.

“Wait, did I level from that?”

“How should we know? We don’t check your level every single time we look at you.”

Daniel retorted. I glared at him.

“Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, huh?”

“Of course I did. You literally jumped on me before the sun even rose!”

“You’re still hung up about that? Come on— I did it because you were making weird noises!”

“I was having a nightmare.”

“Then shouldn’t you be happy I saved you from it?”

He gave me a flat stare.

“I was having a nightmare because of you.”

“Aw. Wait— why though?”

“Must I remind you about how you’re the reason why we lost literally half our gold before we even got it?”

The two of us exchanged our quips as we started back to a safer, more secure area. We had ventured deeper into the Plaguelands than we did since we returned over a week ago. Even after I had proven to Edithe that we were far stronger than when we first arrived, she was apprehensive. Rightfully so. She still struggled against the [Unarmed Skeletons]. But I was certain that she could now at least beat one of them without our help.

As long as she attacked it first. From far away. And had healing potions and mana potions to aid her.

Honestly, there was not a lot she could do still. She was stronger, yes. But she definitely was not as strong as I was at her level. Even when I was in my Mortal Form— which I was not in right now.

We reached our cave not long after. It was not anywhere near as large as the cave we first found. We wanted it to be as enclosed as possible, so the likelihood of sneak attacks from undead would decrease. The pair of Humans assumed their sleeping positions after consuming their necessary intake of nutrition, and I looked over the experience and levels I had gained since beating the Kobolds in Ghostlight.

Defeated [Scourge of the Frost - Lvl. 102]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 20 levels above you!

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

Subspecies [Asura Changeling] Level Up!

[Asura Changeling – Lvl. 80] -> [Asura Changeling – Lvl. 81]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

That was from the first Kobold woman I fought in Ghostlight. The one who had been battling that Human man. What was his name again? Alan? Alan Cougher? It was pretty long, and he was dead. So, I kind of forgot.

After that, I fought a few more lower leveled Kobolds. They did not give me much experience. And I did not level again until the big battle with the other, stronger Kobolds later on.

Defeated [Cult Vanguard - Lvl. 103]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 20 levels above you!

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

Defeated [Cinder’s Fury - Lvl. 104]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 20 levels above you!

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

Subspecies [Asura Changeling] Level Up!

[Asura Changeling – Lvl. 81] -> [Asura Changeling – Lvl. 82]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

After that, I had leveled even more. From fighting in the Plaguelands, I did not gain an exorbitant amount of levels. Especially with Daniel and Edithe’s cautious warnings. And the fact that swarm monsters gave less experience.

However, it almost seemed like too little. I have gained 2 levels since we came back here. Compared to how quickly I leveled from the Kobolds, it was almost odd. A discrepancy.

Defeated [Unarmed Skeleton - Lvl. 93]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 10 levels above you!

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

Defeated [Skeleton Warrior - Lvl. 102]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 20 levels above you!

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

Subspecies [Asura Changeling] Level Up!

[Asura Changeling – Lvl. 82] -> [Asura Changeling – Lvl. 83]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

Subspecies [Asura Changeling] Level Up!

[Asura Changeling – Lvl. 83] -> [Asura Changeling – Lvl. 84]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

Daniel told me that it was probably because we were sharing levels and experience. Which made sense, until I realized I mostly shared experience with others when fighting the Kobolds too. It did not add up. Not unless…

I tapped a finger on my chin.

“Do their evolutions increase the amount of experience they give?”

I did not think Skeletons had evolutions. Or Classes. Or anything of that sort which would be boosted upon hitting Level 100. They just… continued leveling?

I was not really sure how those wild things worked. If that was the case, then I was certain a Level 100 Human would not have too much trouble fighting through the Plaguelands. Or at least they would not struggle more than me.

I was honestly having an easy time, here in the Plaguelands. I could run away from anything stronger than me right now. And I could spot an area with concentrated blight from far away with magic. And looking at my Stats and Skills, I was even more emboldened.

Salvos (Death of the Destroyer)

Species: [Greater Demon of Pride]

Subspecies: [Asura Changeling] - Lvl. 84

General Skills:

[Advanced Mana Manipulation] - Lvl. 5

[Identification] - Lvl. 5

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

[Racial Skill: Mortal Form] - Lvl. 4

[Rest] - Lvl. 4

[Lesser Enhanced Wisdom] - Lvl. 1

[Title Skill: Zealous Call] - Lvl. 3

Stats:

[Available Stat Points: 0]

[Vitality]: 85 (+5)

[Strength]: 66 (+5)

[Endurance]: 85 (+5)

[Wisdom]: 130 (+5) (+5)

[Agility]: 175 (+5)

Skills:

[Available Skill Points: 3]

[Advanced Fire Creation] - Lvl. 30 (Maxed)

[Barrage of Cinders] - Lvl. 12

[Ember Core] - Lvl. 7

[Flame Burst] - Lvl. 10

[Flaming Breath] - Lvl. 5

[Intimidation] - Lvl. 5

[Radiant Slash] - Lvl. 10

[Self Haste] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)

[Passive - A Hunter’s Sense] - Lvl. 5

[Passive - Blue Flames] - Lvl. 20 (Maxed)

[Passive - Weapon Mastery] - Lvl. 20 (Maxed)

I had distributed all my Skills and Stat Points pretty evenly. I saw no need to focus on anything in specific right now. All I had to do was level more, and I’d be solid.

Relaxing against the rock wall, I pulled out my Runic Scroll of Starfall. Edithe had been teaching me how to read its runes. The symbols did not have any meaning. What they spoke in was magic.

They were etched into the paper as much as they were woven into the world of mana. Its strands bent as it passed over the scroll, like some great force was distorting the energy there. I ran a hand through one of the strings of mana. My eyes closed as I tried to read it with my fingers.

There was power here. But not just here, it was around it as well. The magic reached out to the world. It was calling for something. Fire. Death. Destruction.

It was a call. It was not answered just yet. And I knew it could be answered. All I had to do was tap its center, and connect myself to it, then I could vocalize its call. And the response would be a spell more powerful than anything I had seen before.

“...I wonder why that Kobold woman didn’t use this scroll?”

Perhaps she was concerned that it would kill her companions. Or maybe it was just that expensive. Kobolds did not care about gold like Humans did, but they still saw value in objects like this. That was why Adan could trade in Unarith.

“Edithe said I could somehow learn things from this spell… what exactly am I learning?”

It was not clear right now. Sure, she told me that. I knew that whatever I could gleam from this would only be helpful in the future. It was the same thing Saffron said.

“But I want to get stronger now too…”

I grumbled, putting the scroll down. An idea popped up in my head. Something that we could possibly do, to level faster. A smile spread across my face as I decided.


Daniel woke up not with a terrifying Demon with four arms jumping on him, but from the sounds of excited— but still terrifying— giggling coming from the side. He groggily sat up, rubbing at his eyes, as Edithe got to her feet too.

“Is something wrong, Salvos?”

The red-haired woman was the first to ask the question. Daniel was too busy trying to see where the sun was through the cave entrance. It was not up just yet, but he thought it would be soon.

“Nothing…”

Salvos trailed off excitedly. Daniel raised a brow, knowing nothing good was going to come from what she had to say. Edithe seemed to realize that too, so she took a deep breath, steeling herself, before asking the follow up question as Daniel readied himself too.

“Why are you giggling so loudly for?”

“Because—”

The Demon beamed and spread all four of her arms out.

“I think we should find the Lich!”

“Absolutely not!”

Daniel snapped, before he even heard what she said.

 

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A note from MelasD

The next few chapters may, unfortunately, be erratic. My mum was admitted to the ER and found to be positive for COVID on Tuesday morning. Sorry. 

I know people dislike too much shilling, but I would greatly appreciate it if you guys could vote for Salvos on RoyalRoad. It literally takes a second, and it's kind of depressing that I couldn't even get 1/9 of you guys to vote the last time around. 


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MelasD

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