48. Testing Out Skills
Zack stared at the silver haired woman as she struck down the first Giant Spider. Her body had been engulfed in flames for a moment as she dashed forward, then it was gone and the monster was dead.
She was quick. The Gold Rank adventurer had seen Level 50 [Rogues] before, and she outpaced even them. How the fuck did she do that? Was it a special Skill? Perhaps she had gotten lucky during her Class advancement and gained a higher leveled Skill.
That certainly seemed to be the case since she wasn’t activating it again. Zack clicked his tongue, instead focusing on his list of spells. I’m not a damn [Barrier Mage]. I don’t have any Skills for that! But that didn’t mean he couldn’t cast a spell that did something similar.
Zack pointed past the silver haired woman and the ground shot up, cutting off part of the tunnel’s entrance.
“Don’t be stupid and get back here! You’ve already shown off, now there’s no need to get yourself killed!”
He shouted at her as his teammates readied themselves for the impending horde of Giant Spiders. The silver haired woman turned fractionally back towards him, giving him an uncaring look. Why are you just standing there, idiot?! Then suddenly, as the monsters drew closer, she smiled.
Dozens of sparks suddenly came to existence above her silver hair. The blue flames took the shape of spikes, each about a few inches in length. It rained down at the Giant Spiders, striking down the lower leveled monsters before they even came close.
That was all she said. The burning blue projectiles bounced off the carapace of the Level 40 as they approached, ignoring the attack and funneling through the narrow path left for them. Three Explosive Bolts blew apart the first group, and Helen nocked another arrow onto her fancy bow.
“They’re coming through!”
Jaakko marched forward and drew a large scythe-like weapon, engaging the next wave as they came through. Meanwhile, the silver haired woman remained standing there, unperturbed by nearing Giant Spiders. What is she doing? Get out of the way—
The first [Drop Spider] leapt at her, and Zack cursed, realizing that he hadn’t been doing his job either. He had been too distracted by her weird antics. He aimed a finger at the falling Giant Spider but he was too slow. It snapped its massive limbs shut—
And she dodged out of the way with a single step. The silver haired woman brought a hand up and punched the large monster with a fiery blow. It flew against the stone wall, its carapace cracking with the force of the hit.
With a frown, she glanced down at the palm of her hand.
Then she conjured a fiery hammer and tossed it at the downed Giant Spider. It reeled back as it tried to get up, but the silver haired woman was over it in a second. She raised a leg up as wisps of flame danced around her foot before crushing its head.
Zack’s eyes widened. That was… fire creation magic? How— a Skill?!
The silver haired woman straightened then seemingly began to mull over something. Her gaze wandered off as she muttered to herself.
“...should I? It isn’t even as good as…. actually let me test it.”
She turned to the gap where the Giant Spiders were crawling out of as Jaakko backed up, having taken two down but was cut up as well. She called out to him.
“Jaakko, move out of the way!”
The Cyclops looked at her for a second, then nodded and ran back to Helen. The [Archer] hesitated, eyeing the silver haired woman hesitantly.
“What are you trying to do, Salvos?”
“Testing out which Skill is better.”
The silver haired woman raised an arm and released a wave of scorching blue flames down the tunnel. The Giant Spiders slowed as the wave burned them, and unlike with the previous hail of fire, none of the lower leveled monsters survived this time. Only the [Weaving Spiders] and [Drop Spiders] survived, but they didn’t come off unscathed.
Two [Weaving Spiders] dropped dead as the flames continued burning them, until the foremost [Drop Spider] reached her. It struck out at her with its long limbs. She stepped back, evading and countering the monster with a single movement.
Her kick was once again covered in the blue embers, and it sent the [Drop Spider] back onto another Giant Spider skittering along the walls. Two more [Weaving Spiders] shot threads out at her, but two long fire daggers appeared by her side and she snapped it at them as she leapt over the attack.
The silver haired woman rushed forward at the two [Weaving Spiders] as her daggers landed on their carapace, creating a flaming longsword before slicing their front legs off. They fell and she finished them off quickly.
“I think I prefer a spear.”
The weapon changed as Zack blinked, morphing into a longer pointed shape as three Giant Spiders came at her at once. That’s not just a creation Skill, how is she doing that so easily?!
She swung wide, knocking two back and running the third through completely with the fire spear. Then she hopped over the other two, releasing another wave of flames at them, incinerating them and finishing them off before landing on the one on the wall and jamming the weapon through its head.
She landed nimbly back onto the ground with a smile and she flourished the spear behind her back. The last Giant Spider— the one she had kicked at first— hobbled over to her as she cocked her head.
“Your companions are dead, are you really going to try this?”
She spoke to the monster as if it could understand her. And perhaps it could— because she was a monster. She had to be a monster. How could she not be?
Zack was not that far off in his assessment.
Unfortunately for the Giant Spider, it either didn’t understand the silver haired woman, or it didn’t care. It readied for an attack—
And Jaakko tossed a heavy chain around its neck, dragging it to him. He brought his scythe-like weapon down once, twice— and the Giant Spider stopped struggling. Salvos blinked.
She glanced between the Cyclops and the kusarigama.
“I want that.”
That weapon was so cool!
It had heavy chains protruding out of the bottom of its hilt, letting Jaakko tie up the Giant Spider when he attacked! If I had a weapon like that when I fought against Lucerna— with maybe even longer chains— we wouldn’t have had to lead him all the way to the city gates to beat him!
The hilt was about the size of my arm— which was quite long for me, but not too much for the Cyclops man since he was about Haec’s height— and the protruding curve blade at the top was just as long. I eagerly ran up to him, eyes glittering as I took a look at his weapon. It was a kusarigama, and I wanted it!
“You want it?”
Jaakko gave me a curious look and I nodded.
“I’m not going to take yours, since stealing is something I should avoid doing apparently. But I can make my own… I think.”
I brought a hand out and began to concentrate, creating fire and molding it to the outline of the weapon. However, just as the flames stopped being a nebulous blob and started to take the shape of the kusarigama, a voice broke my focus and the fire dissipated.
I glanced back as Zack walked up to me, eyes wide. He paused, as if realizing something. Then he took a step back and spoke softer.
I happily agreed with him.
“As in the Salvos, Savior of Falisfield?!”
“You know her?”
Helen interjected, blinking. The Human man turned to her, opening and closing his mouth slowly.
“Yes! How can you not recognize that Title?! She was the one who killed the Demon ravaging these lands!”
I found myself grinning at the sudden shift in personality in him. Recognize me more! Praise me more! I thought with my chin up. Helen just shrugged.
“I don’t really pay attention to the news.”
“How about you?”
Zack whirled around to the Cyclops man.
“Did you know who Salvos was?!”
Jaakko replied without hesitation. Zack paused, blinking.
“The moment she introduced herself to me, I knew who she was.”
“Wha… why didn’t you say anything?!”
The Human man sputtered.
“I saw no reason to. She may be the Savior of Falisfield, but working together as a team is still the best option.”
“You could’ve at least told me who she was! I…”
Zack looked back at me and I cocked my head. He bowed.
“I apologize Miss Salvos for my disrespectful comments earlier. I had misjudged you, and for that, I’m sorry.”
He was being dismissive of me, however I did not think he did anything disrespectful. If I didn’t like the way he was acting, I would have made it known by punching him at least once. He didn’t even try to attack me! Why is he apologizing?
I shook my head, glancing down the corridor that didn’t lead us to the Lair of the Giant Spiders.
“Let’s just continue.”
I still had two other Skills to try out. And I wasn’t particularly pleased with what I currently had. [Charge of Embers] was fine, but it had a long cool down as [Double Step] did. Its biggest advantage was that it was much stronger than a [Fire Strike] so I might keep it. Meanwhile, [Fiery Hail] was just bad.
I probably was going to replace it.
We descended further into the Dungeon and I had the chance to use my two new Skills twice more, before I finally decided to replace [Fiery Hail]. It only proved most effective against groups of lower leveled enemies, and even then, I could just use [Scorching Wave] to achieve the same effect.
Curious as to what the passive did, I chose to test out [Passive - Deadly Instincts] instead. The moment I removed [Fiery Hail], I felt the Skill vanish entirely. So, I can’t just remove a Skill and add it back if I decide I actually like it. That was good to know.
The moment [Passive - Deadly Instincts] activated, I felt my vision and hearing grow sharper. Nothing was louder and nothing was clearer than before, so I wasn’t really sure what it did. However, the moment we came across a group of Ground Cravers appeared, I realized its use.
Without even thinking, I knew to go straight for the [Howres] with their deadly sound magic; I dashed forward, taking them out with a single strike each. And it wasn’t just because of the level difference, something compelled me to go for the areas that I knew were vulnerable but couldn’t exactly make the decision to aim for at the moment.
We wiped out the monsters in moments, because they were so low leveled.
“I think that’s enough for tonight. “
Jaakko spoke softly, turning to his two companions. Zack and Helen agreed, but I simply nodded.
“Go ahead and go back. I still want to continue.”
I wanted to see just how good this Skill, so I wouldn’t retire just yet. However, the Cyclops man frowned.
“Salvos, I know you’re powerful, however everyone needs to eat and rest. Come, you can return tomorrow. Let’s go back up to camp.”
I blinked. I forgot about that! I chewed my lower lip as I tried to think up an excuse.
“I, uh, have food with me. I can just sleep down here. So don’t worry!”
“Food? You don’t even have a bag on you…”
Zack pointed out. I blinked.
That’s right! I wanted to smack my forehead like Edithe often did. What do I do? I didn’t want to go back just yet, but I couldn’t think of an excuse. Maybe if I just start running very fast they won’t be able to catch up to me.
His eyes widened.
He glanced over at me, his eyes focusing on my necklace. I covered it and stepped back, and he immediately averted his gaze.
“Sorry— that’s not what I was looking at. I… is that a dimensional storage item? A Necklace of Keeping?”
“I see. I’m sorry for asking.”
Zack turned back to his companions and nodded their way.
“I think she’ll be fine. If she has such a High Grade Item, she would surely have some protections on her too. I was… wrong to assume she wouldn’t survive down here on her own. But the same isn’t true for us.”
“Wait, you think we should just leave her here?!”
Helen snapped at him.
“Of course! That’s what she wants.”
“If Salvos insists on staying, then we can’t force her back. Come, Helen, Zack. We shall return to the camp.”
Jaakko nodded at me and I smiled back.
“I’ll be fine! Plus, I want to take a look at your weapon some more. I still can’t create a kusarigama with fire!”
The way it was designed made it difficult to replicate; it took too much mana for me to make the chains exactly as it was supposed to be. They were heavy— dense. The best I could do was just create the upper half of it— the sickle.
The Cyclops man bade me farewell and turned to leave. Zack was right behind him, although he stopped for just a moment to bow and apologize to me one more time. Helen was last to go, hesitating as she glanced back at me.
I gave her a thumbs up— something I was told by Daniel was meant to reassure people.
Then they were gone, and it was just me left in the Dungeon. I sighed as the information that had been building up from earlier finally came pouring out as I evaluated my Status.
Defeated [Drop Spider - Lvl. 45]!
More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!
Defeated [Howre - Lvl. 29]!
Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 10 levels below you!
Subspecies [Midday Changeling] Level Up!
[Midday Changeling – Lvl. 40] -> [Midday Changeling – Lvl. 41]
Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!
Salvos (Death of the Destroyer)
Species: [Greater Demon] (Mortal Form - Human)
Subspecies: [Midday Changeling] - Lvl. 41
[Advanced Mana Manipulation] - Lvl. 1
[Identification] - Lvl. 4
[Racial Skill: Universal Language Comprehension] - Lvl. 1
[Racial Skill: Mortal Form] - Lvl. 1
[Rest] - Lvl. 2
[Title Skill: Zealous Call] - Lvl. 1
[Available Stat Points: 5]
[Vitality]: 42 (+5) (-7)
[Strength]: 28 (+5) (-7)
[Endurance]: 55 (+5) (-7)
[Wisdom]: 63 (+5) (-2)
[Agility]: 84 (+5) (-7)
[Available Skill Points: 7]
[Advanced Fire Creation] - Lvl. 5
[Charge of Embers] - Lvl. 1
[Fire Strike] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)
[Flame Coat] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)
[Scorching Wave] - Lvl. 2
[Self Haste] - Lvl. 3
[Passive - Blue Flames] - Lvl. 5
[Passive - Deadly Instincts] - Lvl. 1
[Passive - Weapon Mastery] - Lvl. 1
I was surprised I had even gained a single level from all that fighting; it was probably because of all the Giant Spiders I had killed at the beginning. But still, fighting these lower leveled monsters was not going to help me level too much. I had to find the Centinels to do that.
For now, I spent 3 Stat Points on [Agility] and the remaining 2 on [Endurance]. I left my Skill Points alone, since I still had [Ignition] to test out, and I was not sure if I wanted to remove [Charge of Embers] for it— I was definitely going to keep [Passive - Deadly Instincts].
I focused on the one Skill I still hadn’t tested that I could test. I hadn’t tried it out because I wasn’t sure what it did and if it would be harmful to those nearby. But now that the three Gold Rank adventurers were gone, I was going to try out a [Zealous Call].
I opened my mouth to speak— but something told me that was wrong. I closed my mouth slowly, trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. I had to make a sound? I had to infuse the Skill into a specific kind of noise.
But I wasn’t sure what. I shrugged and decided to just shout.
Nothing happened. Or rather, the shout sent an echo going down the tunnel, but I knew the Skill failed to work.
I started walking forward as my shout continued echoing in the distance. Then I stopped. I felt the ground shake slightly. The earth trembled, as if something was moving it— as if something was moving inside of it.
I jumped back as the ground shot upwards.
Centinels? I thought excitedly.
And dozens of Ground Cravers came pouring out. The low leveled monsters turned to me, angry that someone had interrupted their sleep, and began blaring their sound magic in my direction. I grimaced as the magic took effect, but still rushed them—
But suddenly, a louder, more piercing screech came over me. It made me fall to my knees and cover my ears. Then from out of the hole came a larger, more terrifying looking [Howre]. She had four legs, of course, and a long snouty mouth.
The only difference between her and the others was that she was bigger. And her magic was far more powerful.
[Queen Howre - Lvl. 61]