Rakna ran through the narrower alleys of the city in his wolf form as he followed the shadow pup he had summoned. Using Call of Fangs with only 1 MP, made the wolf quite weak and not even capable of using Shadow Meld, but it still had its ability to smell negative energy.
“Mama!” He heard as he entered the shady parts of the city. He was in an alley between buildings so tall that the light of the sun could barely shine through.
Rakna squinted his eyes as he heard the screaming and the crying that followed. He accelerated past the shadow pup and turned to the right at the intersection where he saw a little girl curled on the ground with bruises on her visible skin and three men surrounding her. He could see a pair of folded cat ears on her head as well as a matching tail.
“Shut your mouth, kid! No one can hear you!” One of them shouted. “Geil! You sure this brat is worth the trouble?”
“Trust me, we can probably sell her for around 10 000 Talys if we find a good buyer,” a second one said as he closed one eye to access his HL. “Now, let me make this call so we-!?”
Before he could finish, his throat was ripped apart by a clawed shadow. At the same time, a white snake jumped out of nowhere and sunk its fangs in another’s neck.
“Wha-what the fuck?!” The last man paled and tried to grab the futuristic-looking gun on his back while trembling in front of the nine-tailed beast glowering at him with glowing eyes. Before he could even draw his weapon though, he saw something that struck him to the depths of his core.
A pair of silver and black wings was reflected in his eyes before rapid projectiles found themselves lodged in every part of his body, taking his life in the split of a second.
Rakna watched with a cold gaze as the man collapsed lifeless with a dozen of black feathers littered across his body with more than a few having pierced his head.
❮ ◈ ❯
You have killed two Lv.3 Locals – Slave Dealers.
No experience was gained.
❮ ◈ ❯
Rakna emotionlessly acknowledged the notification and walked toward the child whose sobs were muffled and occasionally interrupted by her calling her mother. He cast a quick Appraisal on her to get her name and nudged her with his nuzzle.
“Liz, you’re safe now,” he said in the softest tone he could muster. But his words didn’t elicit any reaction as he continued to hug herself and calling out her mom.
Rakna sighed as Pronos settled around his neck again. He looked at the girl’s injuries and groaned as the cooldown of the Trickster’s Sleeve wasn’t over yet for him to heal her with it. ‘I could use a potion, but then again, I don’t think it would be the brightest idea to make her drink something at the moment… Alexa, does a healing potion work if it is played externally?’
[Affirmative. However, the effectiveness will go down.]
‘Well,’ Rakna pulled out the last potion he had and held it between his fans before opening it with his claws and pouring it on the shivering child.
The little girl then felt as if a warm blanket had been put over and the pain gradually vanished as if it was never there. Interestingly enough, the potion left her clothes dry and was absorbed by her skin as the bruises disappeared.
She stopped whispering and hesitatingly raised her head to look around her. The first thing she saw was the sharp but non-threatening purple eyes of a wolf. Then, she saw the tails and the wings still there although now folded.
“The bad guys are gone, Liz. You can stand up,” the wolf spoke to her.
She looked at him with red eyes threatening to spill tears again. “I want… to see… mama…”
❮ ◈ ❯
Liz Taila extends a Quest to you in desperation.
Objective: Find Liz’s mother and reunite them.
Note: Liz has given you a quest intuitively. She doesn’t have anything to offer you but the choice is yours.
Do you accept?
❮ ◈ ❯
Rakna nodded and accepted, not even bothered in the slightest by the lack of reward. He didn’t come here in search of a Quest in the first place.
“Grab onto me then. I’ll help you look for her,” he said and carefully lied down next to her after retracting his wings inside his body; something that he still wasn’t sure how it worked.
She reached for his back whilst trembling then timidly climbed on his back. When she was done, he stood up and began to leave the area at a relaxed pace as to not harm her or make her fall.
At the same time, he was trying to compare her scent to the others his nose was picking up. As he was sniffing the air, a prompt popped up.
❮ ◈ ❯
Through performing a certain action, you have developed a new skill; Tracking.
Tracking (Lv.1): The ability to detect and recognize traces left by other living beings. The ways people approach this skill differ. But whether it is through hearing, smell, touch, or sight, this skill will allow the user to track down their target.
❮ ◈ ❯
The second that notification arrived, Rakna could already feel the difference the skill made. All of a sudden, the scents he was perceiving were considerably clearer and easier to filter. After a few minutes of silence, with Liz not even daring to say a word, he finally smelled a similar scent while wandering in a small street.
People would send him weird looks but considering how they did nothing to him; he could guess that beings like him were not unseen before on the streets of the city. Though, if the shocked expressions he spotted when they looked at his tails were anything to go by, nine-tailed animals weren’t anything common.
After another minute, he finally reached his destination and he instantly spotted a cat woman running around, asking strangers if they had seen her daughter.
When he got close enough, Liz stirred as her ears twitched. Cats were said to be able to recognize people through the sound of their footsteps. Something that was proven accurate as the little girl straightened and looked over Rakna’s head.
“Mama!” She shouted and jumped down from his back and ran to the woman in tears.
“Liz!” Her mother shouted back with a voice filled with relief, pain, and guilt. She crouched and hugged her mother with all her strength. “Thank god, you’re okay!”
Rakna watched quietly from the side as he heard the completion of the Quest. At least, it counted for his promotion conditions. Pronos also watched with a sympathetic expression from under his scarf.
“M-my Lord, were you the one who saved my daughter?” The mother turned toward me as she held her daughter in her arms.
‘My Lord?’ Rakna frowned internally.
[You are a Nine-Tailed Noble in her eyes, Rakna,] Alexa explained.
“Yes, I did. Be more cautious in the future. I won’t always be there to save your daughter,” he said and turned around as he prepared to leave.
“My Lord, please wait! I need to repay you somehow!”
“No need. I merely just got rid of some human trash. Nothing warranting a reward from the likes of you,” he replied, instinctively getting into a persona of an actual noble. He might as well just go along with it.
Her eyes widened. “Please, at least accept this!” Just after these words left her mouth, Rakna was faced with another prompt.
❮ ◈ ❯
Lana Taila offers you 1 000 Talys for rescuing her daughter.
Do you accept the exchange?
❮ ◈ ❯
“I-I know this may be an inconsequential amount for you, but please, take it as my gratitude for saving my daughter,” she insisted and Rakna glanced at her before accepting with a sigh.
❮◈❯ 1000 Talys have been transferred. ❮◈❯
After that message, he looked at the mother-daughter pair one last time. “I will accept this to give you face. Be sure to protect your family better in the future. Have a good day,” he said.
However, Lana asked one last question before he could leave. “Can I have the honor of knowing My Lord’s name?”
Rakna stiffened and scowled at her. “…call me Obsidian,” he declared before running toward the closest building’s wall and running vertically until he left everyone’s sight after landing on the roof.
* * *
After getting to a safe location hidden from prying eyes, Rakna returned to his therian form and casually walked out from the alleys. He sniffed the air and instantly knew where his three friends were.
As he started heading toward them, he thought back to what he had just done. When that feline woman had asked his name, he nearly froze up. He had to admit that he was a bit careless in showing his nine-tailed wolf form like that. But he had been forced to transform in worry that he’d be too slow to intervene in whatever was happening.
“Well, let’s hope that a fake name will be enough to not direct too much attention to me,” Rakna muttered to himself. He had no idea at the time that he had just caused something way more than just a diversion.