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This time when I descended, I again appeared on an uninhabited continent, near where I had first practiced elemental ki. The area itself looked largely the same, although maybe a bit more overgrown. Thankfully, this was not the same continent that the heroc appeared on, or else I would have had to choose somewhere else.

I had descended in the body of a human, and at my waist was the bag of holding that contained my sword. Before I left, I asked Tubrock to begin  working on the chakrams I would need, but it would have been unrealistic to expect them to already be complete. As such, I wasn’t going to practice the Thousand Arms this time, instead focusing on the Ten Thousand Threads.

The target for this hunt was a plant monster averaging level one hundred, the Blinking Blossom. When I first saw it, it creeped me out to no end. However, I had to admit that this kind of opponent would be the perfect test for my new techniques.

As I wandered through the forest, I made sure to block off all of my Keeper stats, except for my health. No matter what, I could not afford to actually die here. But, cutting the other stats off did make it harder for me to detect monsters, so I had my sword at the ready.

When I was here before, I had never journeyed far from the river, making all of this a new experience for me. I was hacking down thick bushes that got in my way, keeping my eyes focused on detecting any small movement. The blinking blossom was by no means the only monster in this forest, but it was the most powerful.

As I was thinking that, a sharp screech came from above. Looking up, I saw a monkey with glistening silver skin jumping down at me, its clawed hands at the ready.


Level 40 - Silfur Primate

...Har har, silfur… silver fur. Real funny. Whoever named that was just so creative. Sighing, I swung my sword up, feeling little resistance as it cut through the descending monkey. Although I can’t say that I split it in half, it was definitely a deep enough cut to kill it, causing it to crash into the ground next to me.

...Once again, I had to admire the strength of the spellforged sword. Though the monkey was slightly lower level than me, it was still enough to be a difficult fight if I didn’t have the weapon.

As I thought about that, I heard something shift beside me. Turning my head abruptly, I saw a large red fruit. It seemed to be cracked open down the center, with a milky white aril surrounding what looked like a pitch black bead. When I paused to stare at it, the red fruit quickly closed and reopened. It blinked.

Jumping back, I was just in time to avoid a thick vine that had lashed out at me from beneath the blinking fruit. This was just one of the many eyes of the blinking blossom, but it was enough to let me know that I had found my target. Focusing on it, I appraised it to see whether this would be enough for a good test.


Level 113 - Blinking Blossom

Okay, yup. Definitely strong enough. As I thought that, I hastily formed chakra along my skin and sent out the threads. Whether it was because of me rushing it, or because my brain was unable to handle it right now, I only ended up creating twelve threads instead of my maximum of forty. And, while I could not see them down here, I could feel them.

While I was landing on the ground from dodging the first attack, another vine was sent lashing out at me. This one had another red eye fruit along its end. I took a quick step to avoid the attack, appearing on the other side of it.

Blinking blossoms can’t be killed unless you destroy their main body, their ‘mouth’. It should also be the source of all of the vines. As such, I began running forward towards the direction where the vine came from.

Gradually, I began to see more and more of the fruits, blinking at me from all directions. It did not take long before I was completely surrounded by the vines, but that was also what I wanted, since it meant I had found its center. When the vines rushed towards me, I flipped the sword in my hand and stabbed directly downwards, the blade stabbing into the smooth green ground.

A horrid screech filled the air as green sap spread out from the cut. The vines faltered for a brief moment before striking more fiercely, but before they could land I had taken another step to disappear. I could feel my mana starting to run low, so my ‘test’ was almost over. Although it did not take too much chakra to create and maintain the threads, I was still doing so with twelve at a time.

Looking back at where I stabbed, the ground itself seemed to be shifting. Two giant leaf-like objects lifted themselves from the ground, coming together to form a giant green maw. From between its barbed lips, dozens of vines were pouring out, each one tipped with a blinking fruit.

“Finally, found the main body.” I said with a sigh, flipping my sword back around to hold it properly. A blinking blossom would normally attack by dragging its victims into its mouth, before clamping shut like a venus fly trap. At least, that’s how the ones I witnessed behaved.

Running forward, I charged directly towards the plant, spreading my chakra threads out around me. Whenever it launched its vines towards me, I would simply disappear from the trajectory, appearing a few meters off to the side. Like this, I was able to run all the way to the plant without getting hit.

Imbuing the sword with ki, I gave a single slice up towards the base of its mouth, cutting deep and severing one of its lips. The green leaf, bigger than my body, fell to the ground as it let out yet another screech. This time, however, its scream seemed weaker. Green blood-like sap sprayed in my face as I turned full circle, letting the force of my previous swing carry me into the next, where I cut the second half of its mouth from the thick root anchoring it down.

Monk has leveled up!

 

Ninja has leveled up!

 

Martial Artist class unlocked!

 

Martial Art detected, please declare the name of your art.

 

Hero has leveled up!

 

Hero has leveled up!

 

Life Arrow ability unlocked!

I watched the flood of messages coming in, my body relaxing from the battle. As it did so, I felt a cold feeling wash over me. Although it was a bit late, but I felt fear over what just happened. I signed up for this, and knew logically that I was in no real danger, but still, this was the first fight that I had fought using purely my own abilities, and it was against a monster far higher level than myself.

If not for my sword that could easily pierce its flesh, or my martial art that made it impossible to hit me with any attack I could see, this battle could have easily gone the other way. And… as I felt its blood washing down my body, I came to realize just how brutal these battles were. Yes, I had participated in the slaughter of the halflings during the centaur war. But in that instance, I was a mere spectator, fighting from a distance. I had never approached them to kill them myself.

As if annoyed that I was taking so long to answer them, the series of messages once again flashed in front of my face. Seeing the one about my martial art, I nodded. This was the level one ‘ability’ of a Martial Artist, to declare your art. “Thousand Arms, Ten Thousand Threads.” As I said that, I focused on all of the information that I had learned about the art. With this class, it took the information from the individual, and automatically turned them into abilities that could be learned for that person at higher levels.


Martial School ‘Thousand Arms, Ten Thousand Threads’ has been founded. Abilities stored for distribution - Ranged Hand, Silent Executioner, Hidden Grapple, My Domain, Woven Step, Split Thread, Twinned Steps, Mirrored Heart, Army of One

 

Ranged Hand ability unlocked!

 

Woven Step ability unlocked!

I couldn’t help but nod again as I saw that. Though, looking back at the name of the new hero attack I received, I couldn’t help but be curious… it couldn’t really be overpowered as it sounded, right? Granted, I never tested that class’s first ability.

Curious to test this out before I went back, I turned towards a nearby tree and invoked the ability. “Life Arrow…” I called out, feeling my arm raise up by itself. I could feel my body growing weak, but at the same time the air began to distort around my hand. A silver light formed in my palm, and I could feel myself exerting control over it, causing it to stretch and spin. I found myself pulling in elemental mana and wrapping it around the arrow, dying it a blood red before it fired.

As the arrow traveled, it gave off a pulsating light, seeming to almost be alive. And when it hit the tree, it bore straight through, leaving a thin hole in its wake. However, it did not continue far beyond the tree, dissipating shortly after. Still feeling myself weakened by the attack, I opened my status window to see what was wrong.




Name


Dale Mitchell


Race


Human(Keeper)


Health


94/194(128730/128830)


Mana


165/165(41042/41042)


Strength


7(249)


Ki


196/196(54770/54770)


Stamina


8(226)


Intelligence


10(184)


Dexterity


13(254)


Wisdom


13(296)


Luck


6(69)


Charm


5(67)


Class List


Alchemist 1(38)


Archer 0(93)


Architect 0(78)


Archmage 0(23)


Armorer 0(49)


Artisan 0(34)


Assassin 0(53)


Bard 0(73)


Berserker 0(55)


Blacksmith 0(82)


Carpenter 1(79)


Chef 0(60)


Cleric 0(30)


Druid 0(81)


Enchanter 5(100)


Engineer 0(5)


Farmer 0(43)


Gambler 0(6)


Guard 0(63)


Herbalist 2(50)


Hero 3(3)


Hunter 0(91)


Jeweler 0(12)


Knight 0(58)


Leader 1(35)


Leatherworker 0(64)


Mage 2(87)


Martial Artist 1(96)


Merchant 0(34)


Miner 0(68)


Monk 8(99)


Monster Tamer 2(64)


Ninja 5(73)


Noble 0(20)


Painter 0(30)


Pirate 0 (13)


Priest 1(54)


Rogue 0(59)


Scholar 1(34)


Scout 0(51)


Sculptor 0(32)


Shaman 0(43)


Spirit Hunter 15(42)


Spirit Tamer 6(60)


Swordsman 0(35)


Tailor 0(26)


Warrior 2(70)


Weaponmaster 0(3)

It used up over half my health for that one shot?! No matter how powerful the ability looked at a glance, it was definitely not worth that kind of price. Shaking my head, I decided to disregard the hero class, for now at least.

Since my test down here was done, I moved to call up the menu and ascend again, when I noticed something glistening within the corpse of the blinking blossom. Taking a closer inspection, I found a small green bead, no more than an inch thick, embedded in the corpse. This was… not something I had seen before, and I was rather interested in asking Terra what it was.

Digging it out, I then resumed the process of ascending to the Admin Room. Setting the bead on the desk, I set the computer to fast forward for another hundred years, moving to go and find Terra.
 


Another year passed, and the city of Cau Buhnga once again fell silent. The residents hurriedly closed themselves in their homes, hiding from the turtle tide. By now, nearly none even remembered of the events that had occurred a year prior, when a wandering stranger had assisted their Mad Enchanter.

Once more, Curihon and Thal sat upon the walls, watching out to keep track of the tide. They could see the shadows forming beneath the still waves. Hundreds of them moving like a swarm of insects as they came nearer.

This year, it was Thal’s turn to watch the interior of the city, facing the ocean while Curihon watched the plains to warn any who might approach. And what he saw left him speechless. For a brief moment, the walls of the city began to shine. What has that mad witch gotten us involved in this time?!

As he cursed in his mind, he noticed something was wrong with the turtle tide. Although the first few of them had reached the shore, they merely looked around briefly before entering the water and swimming back. Could she… have actually done it? He began to think with excitement, though he dared not take his eyes off the wall.

The ward truly had done its job, with Rinon keeping it active from the comfort of her home. As long as the mana gathered in the last year remained active, the turtles were unable to approach the city. Or rather… they had no reason to, because everything within the city’s walls simply ‘did not exist’. There was no food for them to scavenge within their senses, so they sought it elsewhere… in a target they normally did not approach due to the danger. However, hunger can make a beast do things they normally would not.

Beneath the water, just off the coast, the hundreds of turtles were swimming in unison towards the shallows king, a fish with scales harder than steel, a body bigger and stronger than anything the elves had seen before. Over twenty meters long, it saw the insignificant turtles approaching it, and opened its gaping maw.

Immediately, a suction force began pulling in some of the turtles, devouring them whole while the rest charged at the giant fish. They rammed against it, trying to break its scaled with their ki-enhanced beaks. Yet, there was nothing that they could do, its scales were impervious to their attacks. With a single swipe of its tail, a wave arose above the water, throwing several turtles into the air.

Some shells shattered from the impact when they collided directly with the attack, but most were pushed away by the water’s current, only to charge back in. This was a stop in their migratory patterns where they were always left incredibly hungry upon arrival, and now there was only one food source available to them. It was a choice between fighting for their lives, or dying.

From the surface, Thal could see the still waters suddenly appear to explode, wave after wave crashing along the coast. The shallows king had been angered like never before,  and Thal could barely make out the figures of shattered turtles being flung from the waters. But it was when the waters went still that the surprise truly struck him.

The waters had gone red, the blood of the giant beast flowing out from every corner of its body. Its scales had yet to be broken, but the turtles it devoured were still whole. While its scales were harder than steel, its organs were still weak enough for the hungry monsters to devour. And devour they did, eating through the soft tissue until the creature met its end.

This was the year when the turtle tide became the tide of blood.

 


Walking through the halls, I had just made it to Udona’s room, where Terra could often be found socializing, when a voice filled my mind. At first I thought it might be Terra herself, asking me not to disturb her for some reason. But then, I registered what was actually being said.

Holy Father, I do not know if you can hear me… I do not even know if you are out there… I have prayed time and again, but received no answer. But once again, I offer you my prayer. A gentle, unknown female voice entered my ear. From the sounds of it, it seemed to be that of a child, a teenager at best. I do not know why you remain hidden to the world, or why you have given me this power… Mother won’t tell me the truth, and everybody else assumes that my blood is that of Ryone’s...

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karami92

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