“Hm,” Rakna voiced as he stepped inside the bank. In all honesty, he fully anticipated Lanata to be late once again and profusely apologize to him after tripping on her own weapon. He knew that it was kind of a rude thought, but for some reason, it felt right.
Though, what was happening now wasn’t for the worse. In fact, he would argue it was even more fitting. The adorable creature under the name of Lanata was sleeping on her desk while drooling and her sword still somehow huddled to her.
‘How can she sleep in such an uncomfortable position?’ Rakna wondered silently and walked to the reception. He blinked at her snoozing expression and had no choice but to agree with a thing his uncle had once told him out of nowhere.
* * *
“Cuteness is justice.” These were the words that came out of the centenary old ex-soldier and he had done so with an utterly serious expression.
“…old man, do you finally need psychiatric intervention? Do you want me to call the neighboring retirement home?” Rakna asked him with dead eyes.
“Oh, come on, kid. It’s a worldly truth. You will understand too, one day.”
“Whatever you say…”
* * *
“I still think he read too much manga for his own good,” Rakna muttered to himself and lifted the cases he was carrying before putting them on the reception counter loudly enough to wake the dozing sheep from her sleep.
“Kyah!” She yelped and fell back together with her chair. “Owowow…” She whimpered and rubbed her head before taking in her surroundings. She looked around and crossed eyes with Rakna who was raising an amused eyebrow at her.
She opened and closed her mouth several times as she felt her face heat up. She quickly stumbled back on her feet and awkwardly cleared her throat. “W-what can I do for you?” She stuttered while doing her best to adopt a straight face.
She tried. Rakna had to give her that. “At least, you weren’t late this time,” he said and her blush deepened if that even was possible.
“I’m sorry…” She lowered her head in shame. “Since I’m just a temporary staff, I don’t have a lot of people assigned to me so… it gets, um, a bit boring,” she said while shyly twiddling her forefingers together.
Rakna tilted his head in amusement. “I suppose you did it before?”
Lanata chuckled dryly. “…this is the third time today…” She whispered barely audibly, even for someone with his hearing.
He snorted. “Well, I can’t really blame you. This does look like a boring job overall.”
“R-right?!” She exclaimed loudly then hastily covered her mouth. “Ah, sorry…”
“Again; don’t apologize. Anyhow, I’m here for the same reason as last time. Please deposit what’s inside these briefcases to my account.”
“Of course,” she nodded, finally regaining a minimum decorum of professionalism. “Could you please open them for me? You will also have to use your ID and code like last time.”
“Sure,” he replied and unlocked the cases which could only be opened by him since he was the one who closed them. When Lanata saw the contents after grabbing the bank reader, she first blinked, then her smile froze, her pupils dilated, and her jaw fell.
“H-how m-much is this?”
“Hm,” Rakna mused about it. “If I deduct what I spent and transferred in my balance… there should be exactly 1 862 645 Talys in those. So, it’s around a million each.”
Lanata was stunned speechless for a good half a minute. “C-can I ask you something?”
“You’re a new Host this year, right?”
“…” She didn’t know what to say. She was stuck between being impressed and astonished.
Seeing that she was having a hard time with the revelation, Rakna took it upon himself to grab the scanner she was about to hand him and quietly went through each lock. When the Talys were automatically stowed by the System and out of the briefcases, Lanata finally snapped out of it.
“Ah!” She exclaimed and frantically typed on a keyboard next to her. “I-it’s done. The deposit has been confirmed, Rakna.”
“Thank you,” he said and put the two empty cases inside his storage. Kaelith hadn’t told him that he needed to return them or anything so he assumed he could keep them. He was about to leave when he remembered something, “Oh, right. Lana.”
“Is something wrong?”
“You said you were working temporarily here; for how long exactly?”
“Hm,” she put her hand on her chin and closed her eyes in thought. “I think it said two weeks on the Trial’s notice… so, it should be over in eight days.”
“I see. So, it’s a Trial like Kaelith’s…” He muttered. “Who will replace you afterward?”
“I don’t know. But it will definitely be someone more competent than me. You don’t have to worry about that,” she stated with a smile.
“Oh, really?” He asked back, continuing on his small mischievous streak. “I would prefer you over any of them though.”
“Eh?!” Her reaction was immediate and her blush returned full force. “W-what do you mean?”
“I mean exactly what I said,” he shrugged. “It would be a shame to lose someone as cute as you, don’t you think?”
“I’m- wha- but-” She fumbled incoherently and Rakna almost let go of a chuckle. That would have been a first without triggering Obsidian Blood.
“Calm down. I’m just messing with you,” he said with a snort. “I’m not sure if I’ll come back here in the next eight days so I figured I should say goodbye.”
“Oh…” Lanata mouthed with a bit of a sadder tone. While she had only interacted with Rakna twice until now, she already could tell that he was a good person, though a bit cold on the outside. She also had to admit it was fun to be around him and hardly anyone amongst her assigned customers would act so comfortable with her as he did.
“Well, it’s not like we can’t meet outside of the Pavilion,” he added with a shrug. “I don’t know on which Plateau you are but I should be able to catch up one day.”
Lanata’s expression brightened. “You’re right! Maybe we could even do Quests together too,” she said enthusiastically before catching herself again. “I mean… I don’t have a lot of people I can do them with, so… if you’re okay with it…”
“That would be my pleasure, Lana.”
“Great!” She beamed with her hand above her chest. “Ah! Here. With this, you’ll know where I am.”
❮ ◈ ❯
Lanata Ovis Venera has sent you a Friend Request.
Do you accept?
❮ ◈ ❯
“Yes,” Rakna accepted without hesitation and the list of his friends appeared updated with its new addition. He smiled inwardly when he saw it. He couldn’t see anything other than her name and location but the latter was more than enough to confirm his suspicions.
‘600th Plateau,’ he thought. ‘This is the location from which she probably entered the Pavilion. Since it is for her Trial, it’s safe to assume that it’s her current highest.’
“All right then. See you, Lana. I’ll try to come back one last time before you finish your Trial.”
“That’d be lovely,” she said with a cheerful smile. “Have a good evening, Rakna.”
“You too,” he said and left the bank with a wave of his hand. Now, there was only one thing he wanted to do before calling it a day. He went back to one of the training rooms and before bringing out the thing he was the most interested in, he once again tried to eat the Gigantism Pill. This time, nothing abnormal happened and he learned the skill properly.
❮ ◈ ❯
You have ingested a Gigantism Pill.
Race of the Host: Nine-Tailed Werewolf.
Compatibility Quotient: 123%
Gigantism has been learned!
The Mutation Potential has already been exhausted. The skill will not mutate.
Correction Basis has been applied.
Gigantism has reached its maximum level.
❮ ◈ ❯
“Uh, neat. I guess the Correction Basis applied because I had already used Ascension of The Titan once, which most likely counted as proficiency in size modulation,” he said to himself before taking a look at the skill description.
There wasn’t anything different to it compared to Pronos. The only notable detail about it was that he could only use it as either a werewolf or a wolf. It didn’t bother him too much. Just imagining himself getting bigger whilst humanoid was quite uncanny.
‘Well, since it’s close to Exceled already, maybe ascending it will allow me to do so,’ he thought then turned to look at the unassuming but powerful ring around his finger. ‘Time to see check this one.’
With a single thought, he connected his mind to the storage and something materialized in front of him in the blink of an eye. His eyes widened in awe when he saw the majestic appearance of the Dusk Lion.
Truly, just like it was described by the System; its fur was even darker than the night. It truly felt as if he was peering into a three-dimensional shadow. He drew closer to it and slowly touched it. Its fur was incredibly soft and it didn’t look like it had been preserved for hundreds of years in the slightest.
Rakna breathed in and willfully called into his Nirvana Skill. His pupils constricted until they were thin slits and the veins and static heart of the creature were revealed to him. The second he did that, the decision on whether he should use Harvester or Scavenger was settled.
‘The urge is even stronger than with Aquila. Unfortunately, I have no way to compare it to the nine-tailed wolf since I was unconscious,’ he thought as he circled the lion. The beast was around four to five meters long and if it were standing, it could probably reach a height of three meters.
Rakna spent a minute looking for the optimal location to retrieve the heart. He jumped on its back and looked down. ‘I wonder…’ He mused and extended his claws. In one swift motion, he pierced the lion’s flesh and clicked his tongue when he barely was able to reach its ribcage before being stopped.
‘Even dead, without muscular tension, and after four hundred years, it’s still resistant enough to stop me... Even if my claws have a high attack value, it’s limited by my arm in itself.’ He grunted and took out the Dreorin Greatsword. “I’ll have to use this to make a direct path to the heart,” he muttered and stabbed into the creature’s back whilst adding a bit of his leftover mana.
He made sure that the blade would get close to the heart but not pierce it. He then pulled the sword out and inserted his hand inside the wound. He was thankful that the carcass could not decompose or even he would have had second thoughts.
He grimaced as he was forced to tear the arteries connected to the muscle before he could take it out, but once he was done, he had the biggest heart he had ever seen grasped in his hand. He was rapidly unable to resist the urge anymore and he took the first bite without further delay.