Arc 2: Chapter 8: Monke do be Like Charger
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Welp, we're almost to the end of the arc... a few more chapters and we can say hi to dungeon!

We set up camp in various states: Lennon and Kayla were exhausted; Mariona and Merethyl were glowing and annoyed; Grurnuir still has a hangover, and Sogtharoch was off doing his own thing.

I, however, didn’t need a tent so I just opt to watch them work while I rest instead since I didn’t get some sleep during the night.

I was the first watch, after all.

Anyway, it took them the good of half an hour to finish setting up their tents and they all went back to sleep, while I slept outside and kept my eyes half-open. It wouldn’t be good to get attacked while my team – albeit not a friendly and welcome one – rests to recover their energy, right?

‘I still need to open that [Gift Box] the system sent me, but here is not a good time, nor place,’ I glance at the window of my inventory to see the [Gift Box] inside one of the slots. It would be quick to get it, open it, and return the contents back inside my inventory, but I don’t want them to see anything.

I don’t trust them enough.

Now, to make sure that we don’t get attacked easily, I used my Mana to conjure a 5-feet-tall and 1-foot-thick wall around the camp in a circle, which cost me a good half amount of my Mana, not anything that won’t regenerate after I rest.

I close my eyes and let my body slump into the grass, basking in the warm sunlight pouring from the sky.

A few hours later after our rest, we were all ready to get moving and continue with the quest. Lennon, as usual, took the lead and led us through the forest, his mind on high alert after the ambush from last night.

“Merethyl, scan,” Lennon halted and nodded to Merethyl, who in turn followed his order. She brought her staff high and concentrated. A few seconds later, she lowered the staff and glanced back towards Lennon.

“5 Kobolds in a group. Two big, two small, one medium. The four have bladed weapons, while the other has a staff,” Lennon scowled, and the others followed. Me? I stayed silent as I have no idea what’s going on.

“A Kobold mage, this is a difficult one,” Lennon glances to Mariona, then to me. “Jionni, I want you to cause a distraction while Mariona kills the mage.”

“Very well,” I take no further instruction as I dash off noisily towards the Kobold group, my feet pounding on the ground leaving footmarks due to how hard I stomp on it. The group of Hunters I left behind also separate as they all do their things.

That said, the Kobolds notice me due to how noisy I am, and through the bushes and trees, I see them getting ready. The two big Kobolds are wearing what seems to be rusty, iron armor, while the small ones wore a poncho over their leather clothes.

The one in the back, however, wore a cloak that hid its entire body except for its snout, which was formed into an eternal scowl. It raises its staff and begins chanting in a language I have no understanding of, but that is beside the point and I get ready to dodge or tank the incoming attack.

The two large Kobolds take their places in front of the mage and heft their shields up, swords ready in their other hand. The small Kobolds dash in opposite directions and into the foliage, vanishing from my sight as a result.

I pay no heed to their actions as I continue charging like the mad beast that I am currently. They wanted a distraction, well, they got one.

I roar and smash through any bushes, shrubs, plants, and thin trees as I charge at them, causing the two large Kobolds to visibly flinch. I see the Kobold mage finish with its chanting and smack the butt of its staff on the ground, the earth around me and in front of me turning into a quagmire.

‘Now I know why they scowled… That is one broken AOE effect…’ I thought as I see the quagmire rapidly approaching. ‘I guess now is a good time as any to use that skill.’

I feel the burn in my health as I activated one of the Skills I have that can completely ignore any crowd control effects, (Anything that hampers movement) as well as feel my lifeforce seeping out into some kind of red aura that floats from my body, making my visage look like one equal to a man-eating demon.

My feet land on the quagmire, but it didn’t hamper my movement whatsoever, shocking the Kobolds. The large Kobolds deemed it necessary to intercept, so they rushed forward towards me with their shields raised high.

‘Bad move,’ I snicker internally as I see an arrow fly through the tree branches and into the hooded head of the Kobold mage, its body crashing on the ground like a puppet with its strings cut. The two large Kobolds look behind them because of the thud and froze, a bad decision on their part because of me.

I haymaker the two large Kobolds with their back turned and they go soaring through the air and into a thick tree trunk, embedding themselves into it as their bones crack and twist into angles that shouldn’t be natural.

150 EXP gained!

‘Huh… They give more EXP…’ I cancel the skill and feel my body relax. ‘Well, they do look stronger than the other Kobolds.’

“Good work,” I hear Lennon coming from a bush nearby and see him dragging one of the Kobolds who jumped into the nearby shrubbery to get out of my vision.

“You’re scary, big guy. You know that, right?” Sogtharoch who was with him gave me a wide grin as he fiddled with his halberd that was drenched in blood.

“Sheesh, these mutts are going to be the end of me,” Kayla groans from the other side of another bush as she drags a heavily mutilated corpse of one Kobold. “I swear, their breaths are too horrible to breathe in…”

“Ha! Lil’ lass be complainin’, yer didn’t even hafta fight ‘em directly!” Grurnuir, who now had his hangover cured, scowled at Kayla while he kicked the head of the dead Kobold.

“Mhm,” Mariona descends from a tree right above Lennon, landing in an almost quiet manner. Truth be told, she has all the requirements for an assassin-type job.

“Well done, Mari,” Merethyl smiles as she pats the head of her younger twin sister. Mariona leans into her touch and closes her eyes with a warm smile.

“Alright, Jionni, care to stuff them in your dimension pocket?” Kayla and Lennon both drag the corpses towards me. I comply and stuff them inside my inventory. I also do the same to the Kobold mage and the two large Kobolds who were stuck inside a tree trunk.

“Alright, let’s get moving,” Lennon steps forward and we follow his lead.

[][][][][][][][][][][][][]

~ Third Person POV ~

“Sir!” a soldier comes in through the tent with haste, his armor clanking, and clanging, bringing attention towards him in an instant.

“What is it, soldier?” a middle-aged man dressed in decorated armor brought his eyes upon the intruding soldier.

“A large force of footmen could be seen marching towards our location, sir!” the soldier reported with a high-pitched voice, indicating his fear at the current circumstances.

“… I see… Grab the equipment, I need to send his Highness a message,” the man commanded and the soldier bolted out the room after he gave a salute.

“… Oh, Orotl, Goddess of Strength, please, bless us,” the man said gravely as he donned his sword and headed out of the tent. “War is coming…”

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