Max broke through the third stage in Sage Flesh Alteration. It was only a small step, but he couldn’t be more grateful. He was getting one step closer to his original self in his second life. But it was still a long journey ahead of him. Character Status…
Name: Maximus Cain
It put a smile on his face, seeing his progression through numbers. He could sense it in his normal way, but looking through the lens of a game felt rather fun. Then reality hit him hard. He sighed and took out something from his pocket. Now I’m down to one.
The expenditure of practicing his art was expensive. More so when earth and the world inside the Rupture were devoid of any chakra. The Rupture’s chakra density was a bit higher compared to earth but it was still way too little. His resource lay upon the beast cores and he would not stop until he got what he wanted. I need to…He frowned all of a sudden. The moment he turned his back, a strong force collided against him. He was thrown off his feet and Max kicked whatever it was, propelling himself out of the way as he heard a loud snap.
He got up and looked at the assailant. Their eyes met and the lines in his forehead added up. Werewolf? The furry four-legged creature stood up on its hind legs. It was massive, bulging with his muscles hidden beneath its dark green fur. The claws were long and sharp dyed in a blackish hue. Max thought it was either the original color of the claw or the blackened blood of its prey.
A guttural growl echoed and Max knew it was preparing. His eyes shifted in a direction. He saw his machete laid on the ground at a distance. Without it, he couldn’t use Soaring Rage Blade. His hand slowly grabbed the combat knife on his back and as he gripped the hilt, a dark green shade blurred in front of him.
He ducked and he felt a strong breeze right above him. He saw a few strands of his hair dropped and Max rolled to the back before he somersaulted into the air. Fuck. The werewolf caught up as it jumped right in front of Max. It brandished its claws and in that split second, Max unleashed a bright burning fireball. “Agni Art, Mado Flame.” The size was bigger and Max threw it at point-blank range.
The fireball caught the werewolf off guard and hit right at the center of its chest. The flames erupted, spreading to every inch of the standing beast's body. Max could smell the burnt fur spreading in the air as he heard the werewolf howled in agony.
Max landed back on the ground and stared at his foe burning in bright orange flame. I’ve to admit the Arcana stats really add up the damage. His mastery over the Agni Art was still at its beginning stage, and he knew the damage output of it. Well, that’s what you get for sneaking up on me. He watched the werewolf freaking out in the middle of a meadow, clawing itself trying to put out the flames. But to no avail, it was fruitless. It howled and growled in pain as it felt its flesh being cooked from the outside. Then it glared at the one who inflicted this pain.
Uh-oh, it's definitely pissed at me. Max grinned and the werewolf saw it. Its nostrils flared and it pounced. It was burning and yet it would take its revenge. A set of claws swiped at Max. He ducked and he frowned. Shit. Its other claws swept Max from the left. He groaned and he was in the air. Okay, that hurts. Yet it wasn’t the end. The werewolf raced at Max before he could fall and a wide-opened jaw reached out for Max. Come and get it. He spun in mid-air and slashed with his combat knife. The werewolf dropped to the ground, whining even louder. It scratched its left eye as blood was oozing from a gash that Max made. One of its eyes was gone and it looked back at Max. Its face twitched, fueling with anger. Again the beast rushed.
Max performed a set of hand seals as he smirked. Another fireball emerged at the tip of his finger and he flung his arm. The werewolf noticed at the last second and jumped to the side. It knew what that Mado Flame could do. But Max wasn’t an idiot. Gotcha. He changed the motion of his throw and the trajectory chased over the werewolf’s tail. The fireball struck and the werewolf howled in agony. It dropped to its knees as the flames that were dying came alive once more.
Agni Art: Mado Flame level up to Lv.2
Max found his chance. He flipped the combat knife and gripped it in a reverse grip. But then, his knees buckled. He too knelt on the ground as he felt the pain hissing on his flank. He looked down and saw crimson blood dripping on the ground. Okay, shit just hit the fan. The claw wounds were deep and gushing blood was proof of it. He opened his character status.
Name: Maximus Cain
His health was at a critical end. That single attack blew off most of his health points and it was still trickling down. Ah, shit. Max looked to the front, wary of his opponent. The werewolf was rolling on the ground, trying to put out the flames. Yet it was futile. The werewolf let out an awful howl and it ran out, disappearing into the bleak woods.
It seemed he survived for another day. But then he puked out a mouthful of blood. Ah, that. He spitted out what leftover blood in his mouth. He turned his attention to his hand and looked inside his palm. The last of his beast core turned into dust. That last Mado Flame was done when he was out of MP and Chakra. He had no other choice and resorted to using the beast core. The sudden hasty absorption had some side effects, the unhealthy kind.
He plopped on his back, lying on the ground. His body ached while his hands put some pressure on his claw wounds. Dying here was not an option for him. I guess I just met the resident Alpha. He had a hunch as the werewolf was at a whole other league than those green wolves.
It hurts more than I thought. His eyes were slowly closing and the fatigue was getting him. But he kept it open. Yup, let’s not do that. He timed his breathing, inhaling and exhaling. I got to get to the lake. Max got up. He wobbled a bit but he kept himself up. His eyes flashed with fervor, he wasn’t going to die here. He thought of further progressing in his training but he didn’t expect an ambush. To think I’m losing my touch just after a few days is rather pathetic of me. I should have seen that coming. Despite this actualized into a game, the monsters are still real. I guess there was no Boss’s room to begin with. The Alpha’s probably roaming since the beginning and it probably caught the scent of what had happened… Or this bleak woods might be the Boss’s room itself. Well, what do I know? I can only speculate.
The lake was within sight. He only got his combat knife with the machete left by the treeline of the bleak woods. An echoing loud howl made his head turned. That’s definitely him. He saw figures dashing out of the bleak woods. Didn’t thought it would be a generic villain, sending its minions to finish the job. He grinned and dragged his feet to the shore. Even with small steps, he arrived first. He looked back and saw a pack chasing down on him. He dropped himself into the water and felt the sting on his wounds. He winced a bit but it was gone after a second. He floated on the surface and swam slowly away from the shore. He heard them growl and it was getting louder. He smiled at their frustration as he escaped a no way out.
He drifted into the center of the lake with a light smile. He acted as if everything was bound to be okay and then he scrunched his eyebrows together. His Chakra Sense picked up something unusual. It was vague like his Chakra Sense had always been. But he trusted his Chakra Sense.
He inhaled deeply and turned his back. His head was in the water and his eyes saw nothing but the emerald water. A bit of a blur but he saw something, a glow at the bottom of the lake. Whatever that is, I think I found a replacement for the beast core. He turned back to the surface, breathing in the air to his lungs. He could have gone for a dive but not now. He recuperated with his blood still seeping out from his wounds. Despite the lack of chakra in the environment, he didn’t have a choice. He closed his eyes and absorbed the chakra. It would have been a perfect time for relaxation if not for the constant growls from the lakeshore. Even then, Max took his time.