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Edward staggered up from the floor, scrambled away, and ran as fast as he could. Sprinting around the plains, he circled back to the boulder. He picked up a rock and hoped to try the same trick he did earlier. Throwing the rock in the grass, he hoped the slimes were lacking in intelligence.

Edward was correct. The slime chased the sound of the rock and plunged into the grass. Sighing, Edward ran from the boulder, crept into a patch of tall grass, and slumped down on the ground. He laid and waited for his HP to regenerate. When it did, he jumped back up and scoured the plains for Level 2 Slimes.

He sneaked behind them and attacked them three times. Because of his increased agility stat, he could attack them four times before they could attack him once. As a result, he didn’t lose a single percent of HP when hunting them.

And after thirty minutes...

‘ding’


[You have killed a Level 2 Slime!]

[Reward: 15 XP]

[Progress to Level 5: 10%]


‘ding’

‘ding’

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have levelled up!]

[You are now Level 4!]

[You have been given +3 Stat Points]

[You have recovered 100% of your HP and Stamina]


He looked down at himself at his stats...


Level: 4

Stat Points: 3

Strength: 9 : +

Defense: 8 : +

Agility: 13 : +

Magic: 8 : +


After allocating his stat points...


Level: 4

Stat Points: 0

Strength: 12

Defense: 8

Agility: 13

Magic: 8


Edward smiled and punched the air, shivering with excitement. After getting used to this world, grinding just got easier and easier. So he tried scouring the plains for Level 3 Slimes. He found one. He sneaked into tall grass and crept up to its back. Leaping at it, Edward hit it three times and killed it with his increased strength, not losing a single percent of HP.

After hunting Level 3 Slimes for thirty minutes...

‘ding’


[You have killed a Level 3 Slime]

[Reward: 30 XP]

[Progress to Level 6: 15%]


‘ding’

‘ding’

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have levelled up]

[You are now Level 5!]

[You have been given +3 Stat Points!]

[You have recovered 100% of your HP and Stamina!]

[You have learnt a new Class Ability: Feral Forest!]


A wide smile spread across Edward’s face at seeing the new class ability. Intrigue popped goosebumps across his arms as he wondered what the ability did. He stared at it.


[Feral Forest: Summons a new environment filled with new monsters, and more rewards!]


Edward’s smile grew wider as he imagined it. He was thinking earlier about what he’d do after levelling far above the five of the highest level Slime, so he was glad that what he saw before him wasn’t the ceiling of his growth. Defeating Wickancis only felt more and more possible by the second.

But first things first, he allocated his stat points...


Level: 5

Stat Points: 0

Strength: 12

Defense: 11

Agility: 13

Magic: 8


After that, he activated the ability: Feral Forest.

The ground rumbled, the rain shivered, the clouds roared, and the slimes ceased their hopping - jiggling as they froze. In the distance, atop a hill, Edward saw something rising up from the ground. Saplings spiraled up and out of the mud, splattering wet soil and sending blades of grass fluttering through the air in an explosion of life.

More wood and vegetation sprouted up from the dirt and coiled around the saplings, thickening them. They spiralled and rose until gigantic pillars of bark pointed up at the sky. Branches burst out of them and curved down to the ground. Leaves sprouted out of the bark and smothered the tops of the wooden pillars until a thick and wavy sheet of green covered it all.

A forest appeared.

Edward fell onto his back at the sight. His jaw dropped even lower than that. His eyes snapped wide and a smile pressed up against his cheeks. He thought the world he was in was nothing but pain and misery, but it seemed like there were some beautiful wonders to be seen after all. So he hopped to his feet and sprinted for the forest in the distance, eager to see what laid within.

He finally approached it and stepped within it and-

‘ding’

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have received a Dream Quest!]

[Feral Forest Dream Quest: Slay the King Arctotherium and Queen Direwolf: (0/2)]

[Reward: 10,000 XP & 1 of 3 Dream Items]


His class only kept getting better and better. Not only could he level up by killing mobs, but he could also get items by completing quests. He wondered what sort of items they’d be? Magical swords that could shoot fire? Magical armour that could let him fly? Edward’s stomach rumbled, and he pushed all thoughts of magic and swords out of his mind.

A burger would be good.

Rustling canopies smothered Edward with shadow as he entered. Only thin slits of dim light dappled his figure. Rain streamed off of leaves and drooped off them till they pattered Edward’s hair, but less hit him than when he was outside the forest. The grass was pleasantly dry, at least until he showered it all with the water that streamed off his bod-

A roar pummeled his ears. A squeal of agony followed it. Were the monsters in the forest fighting? Edward crouched, scurried behind a tree, dashed in between them, and towards the violent tumult. Despite the fear that trembled his knees, excitement and intrigue pushed him deeper into the forest. He needed to know what it offered.

Sneaking behind a bush, Edward peered around it.

A gigantic fourteen foot bear roared, spraying saliva from its gleaming fangs, onto an eight foot long wolf. The wolf’s black and grey fur blurred and rippled the grass as it dashed and shot itself toward and around the bear. Whilst it lifted its brown and furry boulder of a paw up into the air, the wolf slashed its black claws and snapped its white fangs at the bear’s tree log of a right leg, stomach, and back five times, flaying fur, ripping skin, and splattering blood on the grass.

Staring at the bear...


Arcotherium

Level: 5

HP: 80%


Staring at the wolf...


Direwolf

Level: 6

HP: 100%


The bear then finally shot its paw at the wolf. The direwolf squealed and the cracking of bone followed. It flew, spun and blurred through the air, spraying blood all along its path. Its battered body crashed into a tree, and toppled down to the grass. The attack dropped the direwolf’s HP to 60%.

Edward thought it was weird that the impact of the wolf smashing against the tree didn't scrape off a single splinter or shaving of the bark, but his pondering was cut short becase the wolf staggered to its feet and dashed back at the bear. For a while, they fought. The direwolf kept slashing and biting it, chipping away small chunks of HP each time, whereas the bear would smash the wolf with a slow, infrequent, but large attack that’d send the wolf flying. The bear appeared to have low agility stats, but high strength and defense stats, whereas the wolf had medium strength stats but high agility. Just from that, he didn’t know which one he’d focus on. He’d have to experiment by fighting them both first.

But despite that, Edward crept away from the fight, walked out of the forest, and jogged back to the slimes. He could barely defeat a Level 5 slime, which meant that fighting the monsters in the Feral Forest would require him to get a few more levels. So he rushed back to the plains and continued hunting.

Whilst he hunted XP from Level 3 slimes before, he thought he’d try to skip straight to Level 5 slimes. He wondered if his increased strength stats would help him fare better against them, especially if he sneaked up behind them. So he found one. He crept into a patch of tall grass, stalked it, sneaked up behind it, leapt at it, and attacked it. He attacked it three times before it turned around, and that seemed to be enough to kill it.

After gathering XP from Level 5 Slimes for one hour...

‘ding’


[You have killed a Level 5 Slime]

[Reward: 100 XP]

[Progress to Level 7: 5%]


‘ding’

‘ding’

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have levelled up!]

[You are now Level 6!]

[You have been given +3 Stat Points!]

[You have recovered 100% of your HP and Stamina!]


Smiling, Edward allocated his stat points, adding three points to strength.


Level: 6

Stat Points: 0

Strength: 15

Defense: 11

Agility: 13

Magic: 8


Then he rushed back to killing more Level 5 Slimes. After 2 hours of hunting them...

‘ding’


[You have killed a Level 5 Slime]

[Reward: 100 XP]

[Progress to Level 8: 5%]


‘ding’

‘ding’

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have levelled up!]

[You are now Level 7!]

[You have been given +3 Stat Points!]

[You have recovered 100% of your HP and Stamina!]


After allocating his stat points and adding three points to defense...


Level: 7

Stat Points: 0

Strength: 15

Defense: 14

Agility: 13

Magic: 8


After hunting Level 5 Slimes for another four hours...

‘ding’


[You have killed a Level 5 Slime]

[Reward: 100 XP]

[Progress to Level 9: 8%]


‘ding’

‘ding’

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have levelled up!]

[You are now Level 8!]

[You have been given +3 Stat Points!]

[You have recovered 100% of your HP and Stamina!]


He allocated his stat points...


Level: 8

Stat Points: 0

Strength: 18

Defense: 14

Agility: 13

Magic: 8


At this point, Edward thought that it’d be a good idea to try hunting the monsters in the Feral Forest. So he jogged away from the slimes’ grassy plains and delved within the shadows of the Feral Forest.

After sneaking between tree after tree, creeping over and behind bush after bush, he finally came across a pack of Level 10 direwolves. But he turned and sneaked away, unwilling to fight such high-level monsters. In order to get a better view of the forest, and to make it harder for monsters to spot him, he climbed up a tree and hopped between branches, scouring the depths of the forest for monsters.

After landing on a branch, wobbling it, and then stepping onto a thicker part of it that was closer to the tree in order to still himself, he found a lone arctotherium.

But it was Level 8. So he shook his head, sighed, and hopped away. Worry wormed up his stomach at the thought of how long it'd take to hunt these monsters. Whilst he still had a whopping 354 hours left, he still wanted to make the most of every second. So he searched the forest faster, leaping through it quicker.

After jumping between trees for a few minutes, he reached a dead end. He found a clearing. It contained a village-sized lake. Despite the rain and grey clouds, the shimmering of dim sunlight on the still water sucked in his attention. But he dragged his eyes away from the beauty of the sight and found something.

A pack of direwolves stood just outside the clearing. Edward grinned because they were all Level 5. The lowest level monster in the forest seemed to be Level 5, and the highest level seemed to be Level 10, so the pack he saw would probably be the best he’d ever find. He didn’t like the fact that they moved in packs. So he kept stalking them from above, hiding in tree canopies, in order to catch one on their own.

After following them for a few dozen minutes as they trotted through the area of the forest that surrounded the clearing, attacked and killed a lone Level 5 arctotherium, and munched on its meaty remains; a wolf walked away from the pack and into the clearing. It jogged to the lake, stopped by its edge, and drank water from it. Their feasting on the arctotherium’s corpse distracted them. It was the best opportunity he could get.

So he hopped off of a tree, somersaulted on the clearing’s grass, and crept up to the direwolf’s back. He got so close that the wolf’s splashing of water as it guzzled down water from the lake splashed on his knee. After the next step; he’d attack. So he plunged his leg forward, and pressed his foot on the ground, ready to pounc-

The cracking of wood lurched in the air. Edward winced as he looked down at his foot. He stepped on a twig.

The wolf bristled. It turned, it growled, it barked, and it rushed at Edward, swinging its glinting claws and snapping its glistening fangs.

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Jonsoon

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