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Edward and Richard hunted separately for a day. At the end of that day, Edward smashed his knuckles against the head of a level 8 direwolf, cracking its skull, smothering its mouth with blood, and toppling its limp corpse onto the grass. It’s HP dropped to 0%.

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have killed a Level 8 Direwolf!]

[Reward: 500XP]

[Progress to Level 17: 20%]


Edward sighed at the sight of his progress. The higher his level, the more XP he needed.

He was near the edge of the forest at that point and ended up hearing Richard shouting his name. So Edward jogged away from the corpse of the direwolf and headed for the edge of the forest. He found Richard there.

Edward smiled when he saw Richard because he already reached Level 10. He wondered what ability Richard got, but before Edward could ask, Richard made a request.

“Could you go back into the physical world and ask Charlotte to do something for me?” He asked.

Edward opened his mouth to ask what he wanted but Richard’s growling stomach interrupted him. “I see,” Edward chuckled at seeing Richard flush and turn away. “I’ll ask her. But I’m not making any promises.”

“She wouldn’t let me starve to death, would she?” Richard turned to Edward with a frown.

Edward snorted. “She’d do a lot worse, trust me.” He cupped his chin in his palm and stared at the grass as he contemplated what to do about the situation. The likelihood that Charlotte would want to go through the trouble of cooking for him was low.

“Could she make me some of these clothes as well?” Richard touched Edward’s wolf fur clothing.

“She could, but that’s not the issue.” Edward continued to ponder. But he shrugged. There wasn’t anything more that he could do other than just ask her. “I’ll just ask I’m sure if it comes from me she’ll be more likely to accept.”

But before Richard left the Dream World and before Edward de-activated it, he asked him what ability he got when he reached Level 10 and what he invested his stat points into. Considering what he previously told him, his status screen should look like the following…


Level: 10

Strength: 3

Defense: 6

Agility: 5

Magic: 21


Richard refused to tell Edward what the ability he do was and instead insisted on showing him. Edward chuckled.; he always had to be dramatic. Richard jumped, extended his arms backwards, and pointed his palms behind him. A grass rippling and canopy rustling gust of wind burst out of his palms. It pushed him through the air till he flew like a bird. It wasn’t actually flight, however, because after hurtling through the air for a couple dozen metres, he tumbled onto the ground, and yelled as he rolled across it.

Despite the painful landing, Richard laughed as he staggered to his feet and Edward smiled at the sight. Not only would it have been fun to use, but it would’ve probably made Richard feel safe knowing that he had such an ability. Because not only could he use it to leap long distances, but it also pushed whoever was behind him backwards. It was the perfect ability for escaping close ranged attackers. It was probably also the ability Wickancis used to chase them down. So it would be a good way of chasing down enemies. However, Edward doubted Richard would do any such thing any time soon.

Edward took off his fur clothing and hung it on a tree branch, knowing that it’d fall on the floor as soon as he left. Richard left the Dream World and Edward de-activated it. After muddying his vision, opening his eyes, and finding himself back in the sewer, Edward spent a few minutes convincing Charlotte to cook food for Richard and make some clothes that he could wear.

Eventually, she conceded, and they went into the Dream World together. After she hastily and sloppily cooked some wolf meat, failing to convince Edward to let her pee on it, and threw together a ramshackle set of wolf fur clothing, she left the Dream World and Edward brought Richard back in. Despite the meat being bloody, lukewarm,and tasting much worse, Richard wolfed it down and sat close to the fire with his ragged wolf fur clothing, unable to stop smiling.

Eventually, Richard finished relaxing and Edward escorted him out of the Feral Forest, fighting off any direwolves or arctotheriums that tried to ambush them along the way. Once he did, they parted ways once again.

After 4 days of hunting, Edward kicked the neck of a Level 8 direwolf, twisting its head till its spine cracked, and dropping its HP down to 0%.

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have killed a Level 8 Direwolf!]

[Reward: 500 XP!]

[Progress to Level 19: 1%]


‘ding’

‘ding’

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have levelled up!]

[You are now Level 18!]

[You have been given +3 Stat Points!]

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


Once again, Edward evenly spread his 3 new skill points across strength, agility and defense.


Level: 18

Stat Points: 0

Strength: 25

Defense: 24

Agility: 23

Magic: 8


He realized that they only had 100 hours left. In order to make the time Charlotte and Richard spent hunting equal, it’d be best to give Richard a 50 hour break, letting Charlotte take the next 50 hours, and then have Charlotte rest during the last 50. So Edward left the Feral Forest to find Richard.

As he left the forest, he scanned the trees and bushes and listen out for his shouting or screaming, because by then he expected Richard to fight the monsters in the Feral Forest. But once he left, he heard him yell and saw the flash of his spark and the orange lustre of his Ember on the plains. He was still fighting Level 5 slimes, probably too afraid to fight direwolves. Edward shook his head.

Once he got close, he saw Richard fling fire at a Level 5 slime’s core, smashing against it, cracking it and melting it. It’s HP dropped to 50%. The slime hopped in front of him and lunged its core at his fac-

Richard thrust his arms in front of him and a gust of wind rushed away from his palms, rippling the grass, jiggling the slime, pushing it backwards, and sending Richard flying backwards through the air. When he landed, he didn’t tumble. His feet slammed down on the grass and slid on the mud. He bent his knees and his sliding slowed until he stopped, not tripping or flinching an inch.

Flame burst above his palms, he thrust them forward, and the small ball of swirling fire shot away from him and at the slime. Its core burned into billowing smoke and rising ash. The slime flattened on the grass. Richard jumped and punched the rain above him, because he levelled up to 14. Edward smiled at the sight as he approached.

When Edward told Richard that it’d be a good idea to switch with Charlotte, what he saw shocked him.

“Ok, fine,” Richard said with a frown. “We need to keep the training equal, I guess.”

“Hmm? I didn’t expect you to want to stay.” Edward smirked. “What happened to this place being super dangerous, huh?”

“Well, I mean it was dangerous at first,” Richard flushed and turned away. “But now that I’m stronger, I actually find it kinda fun when I level up.”

“To be honest, you are fighting monsters a lot weaker than you, so it’s only natural that you’ll find it fun and easy. You’re not pushing yourself. Charlotte was fighting in the Feral Forest at your level.”

“Yeah, I know, it’s just...” He grimaced at the ground and crossed his arms. “...you know what? You were right. I'm a coward. I don’t wanna go in there because I’m afraid. And it’s not a sensible fear, either. It’s an irrational one. I should train in there, but whenever I try to go in and approach a pack of direwolves my knees go weak. I can’t do it.”

Edward’s smirk morphed into a smile. “At least you’re honest about it.”

Richard flushed, and turned around. “Yeah, whatever.” He vanished, leaving the Dream World. Edward de-activated it.

Once they were back in the sewer, Richard slumped down on the wall and scanned the sewers, not tapping this time. Edward then sat next to Charlotte, brought her into the Dream World, went in there himself, and they continued hunting for XP.

After two days of hunting, Edward slammed his foot against the stomach of a Level 9 direwolf, flipping it onto its back, ripping a squeal out of its throat, and shoving gobs of blood and guts out of its muzzle. It’s HP fell to 0%.

'ding'


[Congratulations! You have killed a level 9 direwolf!]

[Reward: 600 XP]

[Progress to Level 19: 50%]


It was once again time for Charlotte and Richard to switch. So Edward searched through the Feral Forest for Charlotte. Eventually, he heard the barking and screeching of direwolves, and came across her.

She smashed her fist up against the chin of a level 6 direwolf, splattering blood and shattered fangs out of its mouth and dropping its HP to 0%. She smiled as she levelled up from 16 to 17, and Edward grinned as well. Considering what she told him about how she allocated his stat points, her status screen should look like the following...


Level: 16

Strength: 13

Defense: 5

Agility: 12

Magic: 0


Charlotte frowned and sighed when he told her it was time for her to switch, but she left, voicing no complaints. Edward followed, de-activating his Dream World. After jumbling his vision, he opened his eyes to be back into the sewer. As soon as he and Charlotte opened their eyes, Richard jumped to his feet and rushed to Edward’s side, excited to get back to levelling up. Edward grabbed his shoulder, filled the sewer with a blue light as he used the Dream Touch, and then scattered and swirled his own vision by going into the Dream World.

As soon as he opened his eyes and felt the rain patter through his hair, he jogged back into the forest. Realizing that he only had 50 hours left, his jog turned into a sprint.

After the final two days of hunting, Edward swiped his foot along the wet grass, and swung them at the ankles of a level 9 direwolf, lifting it off its feet. Whilst it flailed in the air, Edward rammed his fist into its muzzle, smashed his knuckles into its skull and shoved his arm through its head till it vanished in an explosion of blood, bone, and brains.

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have killed a Level 9 direwolf!]

[Reward: 600 XP]

[Progress to Level 20: 1%]


‘ding’

‘ding’

‘ding’


[Congratulations! You have levelled up!]

[You are now Level 19!]

[You have been given +3 Stat Points!]

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


Edward yelled in joy, leapt in the air, and smashed his foot against a tree to let out some of his excitement. During those two days, he was worried he wouldn’t level up before time was up, but thankfully, his reckless reduction of HP and stamina recovery time paid off. It resulted in wolves smothering his body with blood, and making each breath feel like a mace raked across the inside of his throat, but at least he levelled up.

So he spent some time resting and recovering his HP and Stamina by sitting on the grass and staring at the rain. As he did so, he allocated his stat points.


Level: 19

Strength: 26

Defense: 25

Agility: 24

Magic: 8


He ran towards the edge of the forest so he could enter the plains and find Richard. He kept looking side to side and quietened his footsteps, hoping he’d finally hear Richard fighting dire wolves in the forest, but he left the forest without hearing him at all. He turned his run into a jog as he moved away from the forest, continuing to hope that he’d be in there, but all of those hopes shattered when he saw the flash of flame and the wind’s rippling of grass atop a distant hill. Edward frowned, shook his head, and ran towards Richard.

A level 5 slime leapt at Richard, blurring its core and shooting it towards his head. Richard flung his hands at the slime, spread his hands wide, and a gust of grass ripping and dirt rolling wind burst from his palms. It hit the slime, jiggled its goo, flipped it in the air, and sent it flying several dozen metres. Before it or Richard could even touch the ground, a flame flickered in front of Richard’s palm. It swirled and crackled in front of his hands, spreading a red and orange lustre on the green grass, glittering in the rain. When he jerked his arms forward, it rippled but then burst away from him and zoomed towards the slime’s core, engulfing it in a rain evaporating blaze. When he landed on the grass, his legs not even flinching or shuddering a nanometre, the black core vanished in a cloud of splashing ash and billowing smoke.

Richard howled with joy as he levelled up from 14 to 15. Edward approached Richard, asking what ability he got, but before he could even finish asking, Richard extended an arm towards Edward, pointed his palm at him and a green and glowing ethereal ball swirled in front of his hand.

Jerking his arm forward, he shot the ball at Edward. Once it hit him, the green glow spread across his body, covering him like a sheet of gravity defying water. His body felt different. His feet felt lighter. He stumbled because his running was much faster. He looked at his stats.


Level: 19

Strength: 26

Defense: 25

Agility: 48

Magic: 8


His agility doubled. And even his 98% stamin shot up to 100%. Edward smiled and his eyes sparkled at the sight. This must’ve been the ability Wickancis used to speed Unnalt up in the hallway despite his low stamina. Richard said it was called ‘Agile Aura’.

Considering what Richard told him about how he spent his stat points, his status screen should look like the following...


Level: 15

Strength: 3

Defense: 8

Agility: 7

Magic: 27


Regardless, there were more important things to focus on.

“It’s time to leave,” Edward said with a smile. “Not just the Dream World, but the sewers.”

“Really?” Richard’s smile dropped into a quivering frown. “I swear we had more time!”

“Nope, time's up.”

Unnalt clenched a shovel, strolled out of Wicky’s summoning hall and re-traced his steps during the chase, leaving just as goblin Warriors began hacking off the heads and legs of a new set of a hundred Common humans. The Dream Knight’s escape not only cost them a ton of money, but it made Wicky even more of a coward. He began asking Unnalt if it was even worth it to steal the classes of humans with rare classes and not just instantly kill them and throw them in the meat wagons.

The mere thought of the suggestion turned his strolling footsteps into a stomping and ground rumbling march. Such an idea was absurd. Whilst they got plenty of money from selling the humans as meat and from selling uncommon classes, that’s not where the real money was. That wasn’t the sort of money that could allow them to defeat Lords. They needed rare classes to have any hope of that, and they needed legendary classes to achieve that.

So it was only Unnalt who spent his time scouring the snowy courtyard with a shovel. He said that Wicky should order his servants to dig up the courtyard and search every single nick and corner, but Wicky didn’t even want to find the Dream Knight. “There’s no way of guessing what level he’d be now!” Wicky said before with widened eyes and quivering lips.

Unnalt shook his head as he entered the latrine and looked out of the shattered window they escaped out of. Their blood smothered the floor. Only if Wicky hired some rangers as well as his many Warriors. Then it’d be possible to use the blood on the floor to track them down. But alas, Wicky gets rattled without tanks in front of him, so he only hired them.

Unnalt leapt out of the window and smashed into the snowy courtyard. He sighed at the sight of the flat sheet of snow. It covered various nearby patches of the ground that he dug before. No matter how strong he was, as only one person, there was no way of finding them.

Fury burned through his veins, clenched his fists and surged a skin tingling energy throughout every fibre of muscle. Grounding his teeth, he desperately wanted to hit something. He had to. So he turned, flung his bronze and gauntleted fist at the wall below the latrine and shattered the cobbled wall, spraying the snowy courtyard with chips of stone and clumps of rock. Wicky and his entire castle could go get damned to the Abyss of Frost. Because of his idiocy, finding the Dream Knight was impossib-

The hole in the wall that Unnalt’s punch formed lead to a latrine on the castle’s ground floor. But that wasn’t what drew his attention. Glancing down at the ground, he saw a hole that lead into a sewer. He crouched down, sunk his hands into the snow, and chucked it away.

Underneath the snow, the ground was red. Unnalt looked closer at it, wanting to figure out what it was. It was blood. After seeing the broken sewer grating in the sewage below, and the blood on the walkways, Unnalt smiled.

He found the Dream Knight.

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Jonsoon

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