After leaving the island through Rakna’s ice path, Gray spoke to everyone. “Well, the Battle Trial is over for most of you. For the young ladies from the Wiccan Guild, it will be just a matter of time. As for us, our job is over. From now on, you can do whatever you want. So, before we leave, it’s time to ask questions if you have any.”
“Yes,” Sena raised her hand. “I heard back at the Pavilion that there was something called the Guild House. What is that?”
“Let me answer,” Vera said. “There is indeed more than the Pavilion for guild purposes. All guilds have what we call a Guild House; it is an HQ of sorts. Though, it doesn’t concern you for the moment. Guild Houses do not exist on all Plateaus like the Pavilion and the Houses of the Wiccan, Madness, and Glory Guilds can only be found above the 500th Plateau.”
Gray nodded. “Anything else?”
“Is every Trial so easy?” Rakna asked without a care in the world about how he sounded.
The clown cackled. “No. But I have to admit, the ones on the First Plateau are more meant to be an introduction. 99% of Hosts finish them in under a month. Is that all?”
Seeing that no one was going to say more, Quill spoke up, “In that case, we wish you good luck for the rest of the Trials and your ascension in the System. You can go to the Guild’s Pavilion if you need help, advice, or help for training,” he said and turned around. Before anyone could react, he disappeared much to everyone’s amazement.
“Same here. Have fun, girls,” Vera waved her hand with a smile before teleporting away as a magic circle appeared below her feet.
“I’m going to leave as well,” Gray said. “I recommend you hunt a little bit. Or ‘farm experience’ as they say it. Rakna, you come to the Pavilion this evening. I will personally train you a little bit. It’s a regular thing in our Guild. Later,” he added and left in a similar fashion as the two others.
At the same time, Rakna received a System prompt.
❮ ◈ ❯
Gray Whisles has made you the Party Leader.
❮ ◈ ❯
“Hm, hey, do you guys want to go separately or together?” Rakna asked.
“Eh? Why separately?” Allan cocked his head in confusion. “Wouldn’t it be better to hunt in a party to maximize our efficiency and reduce the risks?”
“Not necessarily,” Nyx remarked. “It’s obvious that we are ahead of the average Host. It would be better to go our own ways to both train and develop our skills. Additionally, there’s a risk that we could slow down each other.”
“If you put it like that…”
“I’m fine with it,” Flavia said. “It’s true that I’d prefer staying together but I want to practice both my magic and flying with telekinesis.”
“Well, I understand that,” Allan uttered. “Though, do we really need to disband the party? Maybe we can still go separately with it?”
Rakna blinked in surprise. “I didn’t think about that… But it wouldn’t make sense. How is it, Alexa?”
[You are correct. A party will be disbanded, or to be exact, a member will leave a party if they get too far from the Party Leader. In this case, it is you, Rakna.]
“Apparently, we need to be close enough. So, the party is indeed useless.”
“Uh… Well, I guess that’s that. I don’t mind going off on my own,” Allan ultimately shrugged and turned toward the other members of the Madness Guild. “What do you guys say?”
They looked at each other with a scowl. “For us… going in groups of two or three would most likely be the best,” one of them said with a monotonous tone and they all nodded.
“We will stay together on our side,” Sena said and began to head to the south with her group. “Let’s meet again at the Pavilion, Nyx, Flavia,” she added and soon after, the Madness Guild’s recruits also left.
“It’s decided then,” Rakna raised his voice. “Alexa, you can disband the party, right?”
[Affirmative,] she replied and a prompt instantly informed him that the party had been disbanded.
“Let’s meet up at the station at… let’s say mid-afternoon; 1600.”
“All right,” Nyx nodded and a pair of shadow wings appeared on her back. She flapped them a few times and flew off.
“See you soon,” Flavia followed and slowly started floating before shooting off toward the sky in one quick acceleration.
“Welp, I guess it’s just you and me on land… no fucking way,” Allan dropped his jaw as he saw Rakna reveal a pair of majestic silver-black feathered wings and mimic the girls as he disappeared in the distance without a word, a silver trail tracing his path.
“…you know what?” Allan muttered to himself as he began to walk in a random direction. “I think a cursed Path isn’t that bad if I want to ever get close to those damn cheating bastards,” he cursed under his breath as he gathered mana in his legs, just like what he had felt during the Trial.
A green aura surrounded him and he kicked the ground just as the System told him of the creation of two Reinforcement skills. ‘At least, I still have teach’s wind element,’ he thought as he zoomed across the meadows.
* * *
Rakna squinted his eyes as he conveniently reinforced them so that the wind wouldn’t force him to close them. At the same time, he activated his Fabled Sight, turning his irises golden.
He also was using his Stealth skill. It would make him a bit harder to spot even while flying. Getting seen randomly wasn’t too dangerous in itself since there were very low chances anyone would see or even remember his face but one can never be too precautious.
Rakna darted his eyes from left to right, both magnifying and expanding his vision with Fabled Sight. He was in fact looking for something. He had backtracked the path their group had taken to go to the Battle Trial but he wasn’t able to find his target. Instead, he spotted the traces of the fight and followed them as best as he could, leveling up Tracking in the process.
After a few minutes, he finally located his target, or rather targets, inside a forest below him and dived down right away and several level-up notifications sounded.
❮ ◈ ❯
Fabled Sight has leveled up!
Flight has leveled up!
Reinforcement has leveled up!
Stealth leveled up!
❮ ◈ ❯
It seemed that his skills were still low enough for him to level them up by just using them a bit. It would probably become hard for him later on, even with Eyes of the Soul and Soul Core, if he came to have more Ascended Skills.
“Artzpul,” he whispered and skillfully landed between the inconceivably tall trees. He turned into a wolf the moment he touched the ground since it seemed that monsters attacked him less in that form, and quickly jumped on the branch of a tree.
He looked around with his golden eyes and carefully listened to the noise he was hearing. He easily pinpointed the source and dashed toward it with Stealth continuously active.
When he arrived at his destination, he heard a loud boom followed by several trees falling to the ground with their trunks practically shredded to nothingness. He leaped toward a branch covered by leaves and peered at what was happening.
In front of him, dozens of trees had been either smashed to pieces or flung away leaving a vacant area filled with holes and craters. The cause was a fight between two dinosaurs. The very same that he had seen earlier. They had been fighting for nearly an hour now.
One of them resembled a stegosaurus with white spikes on its back and the other was straight up a triceratops with barely any difference from what Earth knew of them.
Rakna hid even further inside the leaves when the two charged and rammed each other’s bodies, making the earth quake for a second and a large dust cloud to be lifted. Pronos also cowered a bit despite himself.
Rakna prepared to run away as he activated his Reinforcement, focusing as much mana as he could into his speed, then promptly cast Appraisal twice.
❮ ◈ ❯
Age: 63 | Level: 45
Race: Ancient Dreorin – Stegosaur
Strength: 45 | Endurance: 50
Speed: 16 | Dexterity: 11
Intelligence: 18 | Luck: 2
Stamina: 40/172 | MP: 59/180
Swiftness: 68 | Agility: 38
Senses: 95 | Atr Cap: 142
Attack: 232 | Defense: 234
Magic Attack: 54 | MP Regen: 0.9/min
- Tail Swipe (Lv. Max)
- Bite (Lv. Max)
- Mana Control (Lv.8)
- Mana Sense (Lv.2)
- Earth Magic (Lv.6) => [Mega Quake (T.6); Eruption (T.7); Earth Shell (T.8); Quake (T.9); Anchor (T.10); Spike (T.10)]
Cognitive Skills (Passive):
- Physical Damage Resistance (Lv.5)
- Magic Damage Resistance (Lv.5)
Spontaneous Skills (Active):
- Reinforcement (Lv.8)
- Elemental Reinforcement (Lv.5)
Unique or Racial Traits:
- Thick Skin: +20% Defense.
- Minor Regeneration
Note: A descendent of an ancient race of monsters. They are generally peaceful in nature unless provoked and react very badly when someone trespasses their territory.
❮ ◈ ❯
Rakna sighed in relief when none of the two creatures turned toward him and rapidly read through the most important parts of the stegosaur’s status. He also took a look at the information on the triceratops but it was basically the same thing. Thankfully, none of the two had high enough senses to detect his Appraisal.
‘Both of them are above level 40… They’re also pretty tired…’ Rakna mused as he considered those.
There were two reasons why he was looking for these two creatures. The first one was to see if his Nirvana Skill would react to them. And apparently, it didn’t. Although he knew somehow that eating their hearts would make him stronger, it wasn’t anywhere near what he felt with Aquila. That would also mean that Aquila’s heart was considerably more valuable.
‘If I really only have four slots for a genetic factor, it would better to at least use them for something on the same level as Aquila or better,’ Rakna said inwardly and then pondered about his second reason. ‘At first, I wanted to get the final hit on one of them but if I do it right…’
As he was thinking, the two Dreorins, as they were called by the System, clashed against each other again and created a shockwave that almost made him fall from the branch.
He put his tails over his eyes and carefully jumped back to another branch. ‘They can do this with 40 of strength, huh?’ He commented inwardly and landed back on the ground, getting a little more away.
He then turned back into a therian and checked his mana. He hummed and pulled out two mana potions with a wave of his hand. He untapped both and drank them in one go. “Kuh… bitter,” he muttered and felt his mana going back to him until he was back at full capacity.
“Little guy, take cover somewhere. You won’t be able to do any damage to those behemoths,” he said to Pronos who quietly complied and slithered into the forest.
Rakna breathed in and his heartbeat started accelerating until he could hear it perfectly. His fangs and fur grew as he slowly became taller and taller. His clothes disappeared and his golden eyes swirled until they looked like black holes with a cold star in the center.
Once he was finished transforming, Rakna grunted and pulled out Sonata from around his neck and turned it into its Guandao form. He whirled it and shouldered it as he listened to the fighting sounds of the two Dreorins.
“Let’s see the extent of what my magic has to offer...”