Pieced Together 15
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Gabrame was nodding off in his chair and waiting. Waiting for several things. For a start, for that perverted little wench of a barmaid to have her shift end. He had absolutely no idea how much money or sperm he had dumped inside that cunt, but he absolutely knew that the number didn’t matter as long as her tits hadn’t started sagging.

As long as her shift wasn’t ending, he was waiting for his next beer. They had a mean dark ale in these parts, pretty bitter and pretty high in percentage. Exactly what Gabrame loved to keep his liver working on. Retirement was treating him well, although he could use the extra money for all the bastards he had sired. All those whores he had slept with that had either forgotten or purposefully skipped on taking their precautions sure had left him with a bit of a mess. Smart sluts had smelled his money and known who to have their kids with.

Not that he was unhappy with that, at least not overall. The first time had been a bit of a shock, but Gabrame just taught the little runts some knife tricks when he was around. He had the time. He was more than three times as old as most people in this bar. He had tasted a fruit of the Omniverse. Now, he was quite happy to just grow old and die. Preferably in a drunken slumber. The fact that he would leave behind a pack of kids wasn’t the worst legacy to leave behind. Although he doubted most of them would remember him as a good father.

‘Really been drinking too much today,’ the old hunter thought and adjusted his hat to block out more of the candlelight that kept the room lit despite the late hour. While he was at it, he also scratched his scruffy beard, then his belly, finally his balls. If anybody saw that and was offended by it, he would just laugh at them. Not his fault that he was born with a package that regularly needed readjusting, envious pricks. ‘Really shouldn’t do that…’ he continued to think as he was slowly slipping away into sleep.

What brought a level 55 Sharpshooter to hunt some random monster in a safe leaf? Favours and money, that was the easy part. Also, immense boredom. Haralry was nice and all but it wasn’t particularly big, so he knew just about every willing young thing around. Since he didn’t polish his skills anymore, some level 40 adventurer probably could have beaten him. That still made Gabrame strong enough to beat everyone in this inn.

Including that cute little Inquisition. Seriously, that word carried so much weight, but on a leaf like this, three people were all they got together. Gabrame had seen an entire fleet be built on behest of that word, sent out to find a pirate king and bring him to justice. Compared to that, what was this, really? A slime was somewhat unordinary and they were all up in arms about this. How stupid.

Gabrame’s mission had a much more understandable reason. Greed, pure greed, that was a nice and understandable motive.

Finally deciding that his current sitting position was too uncomfortable, the hunter slumped forwards onto the table and hit his forehead on his mug. To his surprise, the sound that produced had the sloshing of liquid accompanying it. He had been sure he had emptied the entire thing. “Heerrrr we goo,” he sheepishly mumbled to himself and messily poured the remaining contents into his throat.

Afterwards, his face was stained with alcohol, but he also a bit awake again. Sluggishly, he looked around. That Inquisition was still here and that was all Gabrame needed to know. Well, that and that there was somebody, probably that tiger girl that was aligned with the slime, stalking around the village at night. Two pieces of info that made it completely useless to move out of the area. No idea what his target wanted around here, no idea what a slime wanted aside from eat and split once it was big enough period, but Gabrame knew that there was something here it needed.

In other words, there was absolutely no reason to go through all of the pains of tracking and scouring the forest. Sooner or later, his prey would come to him. Unless Gabrame got tired with the local assortment of whores and alcohol before then, the Sharpshooter would stay put. Not likely to happen.

He was about to knack off again, when the loud, wooden rumble of a door being violently pushed open rung in his ears. “There is… some slime creature circling over the village!” the voice of the barging adventurer echoed out and silenced the drunken mellowness that took hold of every inn at such an hour.

It was immediately replaced by busy movements, none of which were more immediate than Gabrame’s. Combat Trigger was a perfect skill to have in situations like this, a burst of awareness and energy rushed through his entire body as he grabbed his bow and quiver and ran out before anyone else. He allowed himself a smirk over the shoulder, the Inquisition group barely having risen from their seats by the time he was out the door.

The warm summer night was exactly the reason as to why he was spending the rest of his life on this leaf. However, right now, he would have given quite a bit for it to be winter. The cold would have ripped him completely out of the drunken state he was in. Even Combat Trigger could only do so much for him, he wasn’t a Berserker.

In full sprint, he jumped, one foot landing on the lid of a rain barrel. He didn’t stop moving, the momentum carrying him further up, allowing him to grab onto the edge of the roof and swing himself on the slanted surface. He looked up to the sky as he climbed onto the highest point and readied his bow.

One thing Gabrame had to admit, the thing was pretty clever. It was diving into range of the torches mockingly every now and again, only to then immediately fly up high, only the silhouette visible against the night sky. The moon was only a slim sickle and it wouldn’t get much darker. Only those waiting for news or quite drunk were awake on this hour.

‘Why is it even showing itself… a distraction?’ Gabrame wondered as he reached for an arrow. His fingers were still sensitive and they had to be to feel the correct kind of feather marking the shafts. For this mission, he had some special arrows made. This wasn’t his first slime hunt. ‘Well, not that I have to care.’

He drew out the arrow and nocked it against the metal frame of his bow. With visible strain, he drew back the drake hair string and slowly followed the circling movements of the flying creature. The tip of his arrow was unusual, forked into three parting spikes rather than one penetrating tip. It swayed a bit in its position from his unsteady hand.

‘Seriously thought that thing would be more intimidating,’ Gabrame thought as he kept watching and trying to keep his drunkenness under control. Sure, that monster looked odd, with the teeth under the surface, the wings, the wooden plates and all of these things, but the Sharpshooter had fired an explosive arrow down the maw of a Living Graveyard. By comparison, that thing was nothing.

All he needed was a moment of clarity. Just a split second. It came when the monster passed a torch far behind it. Gabrame could look through the unprotected underside, just a little bit, but the black dot that must have been the core stood out to his keen eyes. His fingers were relaxing. Somewhere, a certain Priestess shouted in protest.

A sudden golden light turned the night into day and distracted the hunter. The blinding pillar burned itself into his alcoholically sensitive retina. Just a tiny bit, he pulled his aim off to the side as the sinew propelled the arrow to insane speeds.

Gabrame blinked several times, unable to see anything in detail. ‘Where did that… the inn?’ he tried to stitch together where that light had come from. Not the most important question. It probably had something to do with that Aclysia thing, but he didn’t give a flying fuck about that metal fairy. His only prey was the slime.

The Sharpshooter tried to find the creature. Initially, his eyes failed to find the shadow, but a new, or old sense, rather, quickly helped him. It was like a compass needle was inside his head and it pointed into the right direction. The Hunter’s Mark.

Gabrame smiled and jumped off the rooftop as he felt the slime soar away at much higher speeds than he felt like running right now. It didn’t matter if the monster had gotten what it wanted. Gabrame was a level 55 Sharpshooter. The generic Art he had gotten access to was called Stalker Sniper. Whatever he hit last with an attack was applied with the Hunter’s Mark and no matter the distance, he wouldn’t lose it until he applied it to something else or dismissed it.

In other words, he was now in a position to more accurately locate his prey than the Inquisition was.