❮ ◈ ❯
Soul Breath leveled up! x4
❮ ◈ ❯
Rakna nearly fell into a trance as he delved deeper and deeper into this sensation. He was slowly becoming more in tune with the natural energy as time passed. But he was forced to interrupt it when a brusque ‘prediction’ came to him. He snapped his eyes open and tilted his head to the side to dodge a punch that landed on the wall behind him.
“See? It worked like a charm,” he heard Allan quip as he pulled his arm back.
“I still don’t think attacking a recuperating person while they are meditating is a good idea,” Nyx retorted with a blank tone. It was only then that Rakna noticed that all three of his friends were standing in front of him.
He had stopped paying attention to the girls’ movements and they had probably tried to call him without him knowing. “…I have to agree with that one,” he ultimately said as he stood up.
“Oh, come on. I know you’re used to it since the old master did that to you every morning,” Allan rolled his eyes. “I’ve come to learn that no matter the situation, even if you’re asleep, nothing will ever get past your perception. Didn’t the old master say so? You have the instincts of a wounded beast with but its life to lose.”
Rakna snorted and was about to reply when he felt a chill go down his spine. He tentatively looked at Flavia who was full of smiles. That fact in itself was the most alarming thing, especially since he would have needed to be stupid to not notice the scent of irritation emanating from her.
“Rakna,” she said with a sweet voice and his expression twitched.
“Can you explain to me why you left us behind in the middle of the night and almost got yourself killed in the process?”
“…I really want to blame bad luck but that would be a bit weird coming from me,” he uttered and that didn’t seem to amuse her in the slightest. “The ‘you know what’ woke me up and I didn’t want to go back to sleep. So, I just went and finished the Trials. I happened to encounter an enemy greatly above my level in the Fifth Plateau and I barely survived. That’s all.”
Flavia frowned as she noticed that he purposefully made it vague. As far as she knew, Rakna was never careful with his words. He was always blunt, concise, fast, and rarely left anything to the imagination. Otherwise, it only meant one thing; that he didn’t want to talk about it.
“Fine…” She ultimately said with a defeated tone. She never even dreamt of being able to control him anyway. “But please warn us next time, okay?”
Rakna nodded. “I’ll try,” he declared with an even tone.
“That doesn’t sound very promising,” she bantered with a renewed smile. “But I guess this is the best I’ll get from you, huh?”
“Definitely,” Allan agreed.
“If I may,” Nyx spoke up. “Where is Pronos?” She asked when she noticed the missing snake.
“He should still be on the Fifth Plateau,” Rakna said with a hum. “Though, it’s possible he might have gone somewhere else since he should be able to travel between Plateaus. I was the one who told him to go since he was better off without me in the state I was at the time.”
“Speaking of which, how is your body?” Flavia asked in concern. “You weren’t very clear on that with Allan and you seem to be doing well.”
“Well, the System calls this ‘crippled state’. It’s not as bad as it sounds though. My muscles are sore and in pain and I can’t regenerate stamina or mana even with potions. However, I kind of cheated my way around that problem by perfecting my control over soul power. I developed a skill to drain mana and stamina and used it on Evelyn to recover before coming here.”
“Evelyn?” “Soul power?”
Flavia and Nyx spoke in chorus and Allan snickered at their respective reasons to do so.
“Soul power is essentially…” He paused. “Actually, I don’t know how to explain it other than what its name already implies. It’s not something managed by the System and you have to figure it out on your own. I heard it’s quite hard and sadly I don’t have any advice for you since I had an innate skill for it.”
“I see…” Nyx muttered. She wasn’t unfamiliar with soul power at all but for some reason, she had noticed that it didn’t work the same as before she woke up inside the System. Perhaps she merely needed a different approach.
“As for Evelyn, she’s someone I met during a Board Quest. She came here with me. Now that I think about it, she should be-”
|| Evelyn Malcanthet, registered friend of Rakna Xiorra, requests permission to enter. Flavia Jeina is the handler of this room; do I let her in? || He was interrupted by the voice of the training room’s interactive interface.
“Speak of the devil,” he uttered.
“Yes, let her in,” Flavia said without too much hesitation, wanting to see who had convinced Rakna out of all people to add them as a friend in such a short time on top of accompanying him to the Pavilion.
The door opened right away and a beautiful woman with emerald hair and eyes entered. She had seemingly changed of clothing after separating from Rakna.
She now wore a sort of purple-green full-body suit that both made her look erotic and intimidating simultaneously with its black plates of light armor. She also sported a black cloak on top of it that looked medieval in origin and finally, she still had Sonata around her neck.
Nyx and Flavia were a bit surprised by her appearance and Allan could barely stop himself from ogling her. On the other hand, Rakna seemed a bit perplexed and curious, “Where does that outfit come from?”
“This?” Evelyn looked at herself and shrugged. “Vera gave them to me saying that it was the perfect fit for me. It’s popular apparently.”
“You don’t say,” Allan mumbled to himself as his eyes wandered to her curves hugged by the suit she was wearing. ‘Goddamn, Rak. You’re too lucky,’ he grumbled internally.
“Is that why it took you so much time to get here?” Rakna inquired as she approached them.
“Yes. After awakening my magic, Vera also gave me a crash course on what I should know about the Wiccan Guild and a few important details on the System that I didn’t know about.”
“I see,” Rakna nodded and turned toward the three others. “This is Evelyn Malcanthet. As I said, I met her when I was doing a Quest and she is a Phantom as well as a-”
“Cambion,” Nyx finished his sentence and everywhere looked at her in surprise. “And if I’m not wrong, your demon half is a succubus,” she added.
“You’re right…” Evelyn said as she deployed her wings to affirm her says. “How did you know?”
“Lilith was a friend of mine,” the former goddess replied and it only served to confuse the listeners even more.
“Wait,” Rakna raised his hand with an odd expression. “You mean Lilith… as in the First Succubus, Adam’s wife, and one of the Four Demon Queens?” He asked and she nodded.
“Indeed. I can easily recognize a succubus by their energy signature when I see one thanks to her.”
“…well, that’s something,” Allan uttered after a few seconds of awkward silence. On the other hand, Flavia was staring at Evelyn as if she wanted to dissect her. The latter quickly noticed and sent a glare of her own. It was so intense that an actual spark appeared between the two of them.
Rakna noted that it had been the result of their aura and mana colliding. It was amusing to see something usually reserved for fictional comedy happen right in front of him.
“Um… don’t you think we should stop them before they turn this into an actual fight?” Allan asked whilst sweating but both Nyx and Rakna merely shrugged at his words.
“If they have differences, we should probably let them duke it out until they come to an agreement or something,” Rakna provided and the blond grunted.
‘Dude, there’s a 99% chance that you’re the cause,’ he retorted silently. Thankfully though, the two women calmed down on their own after a solid minute. They even smiled at each other without saying anything. “Okay, now they’re just being creepy…”
“So, Evelyn, what is the result of your reawakening?” Rakna asked without minding the mood and the succubus was pulled out of her wordless conflict with Flavia.
“Oh, I awakened three elements,” she said with a smile. “Barrier Magic, Life Magic, and Hell Blaze Magic. The first one is self-explanatory, the second one refers to stuff like healing, and apparently, the third one is something I get from my Path.”
“You didn’t have it before sealing yourself?”
She shook her head. “No. I hadn’t chosen a Path yet back then.”
“Well, at least we know it’s something good if Vera was so excited.”
“Vera?” Flavia tilted her head. “Does that mean you joined the Wiccan Guild?”
“She did,” Rakna answered for her. “That woman basically hounded her the second she learned that she was not affiliated with any guild.”
“I see. I look forward to working with you then,” Flavia smiled. “My name is Flavia Jeina, nice to meet you, Evelyn.”
“Same here,” the blond said with a small grin. “Name’s Allan River.”
“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Evelyn. My name is Nyx Nocta Regysnite. Feel free to call me Nyx,” the former goddess followed up with a small nod.
Evelyn flashed a genuine smile at them. “Thank you. Nice to meet you all as well.”
“All right,” Rakna raised his voice and caught their attention. He extended his hand toward their new comrade and the succubus yelped as Sonata glowed before moving on its own. The scarf flew to him after loosening itself from around her and immediately transformed into a Guandao.
Rakna whirled it around him and shouldered it. “My old man used to say that the best way to get to know someone is by punching and be punched.”
“Sometimes I wonder if your uncle had his brain cells wired correctly,” Allan deadpanned.
“He had his moments. I just think age got to him at some point.”
“So, what? You want us to spar in a free for all?” Evelyn asked. “I wouldn’t mind but you’re still recovering from… your… crippled…!” She never finished her sentence and dropped her jaw when she saw the therian in front of her turn into a three-meter-tall werewolf.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll make sure to mind my case. Thankfully, my mana aside, the stamina you gave me earlier is enough for a spar,” he said with his usual growl-like voice as he popped his joints, lessening the soreness in his body a bit. His transformation felt a bit stiff but it wasn’t anything too bad.
“Also, this is not a free for all. It’s you four against me,” he declared.
“What?” Evelyn wasn’t the only one taken aback by his words.
“Hey, hey, Rak, I know you’re strong. You can be sure I’ll always be the first to say it but fighting the four of us while weakened is a bit too much, no?”
“As I said…” Rakna muttered and opened his eyes wide. Both his Despair Aura and Cold Soul Aura promptly emerged. His soon-to-be opponents shivered because of both the sudden drop of temperature and the wave of raw dread filling the air. “Don’t worry about me. Give it your all.”