Chapter 6- “The darkness is my strength; the darkness is my ally”
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Kade looked into the clear sky, the sun descending slowly. He put the sheathed knife in his pocket and began walking. The streets were deathly quiet and empty. The difference was day and night to what he experienced earlier. 

As he continued forward, he could see blue lights and figured it had to be the Blue Inn. He upped his pace accordingly now that his goal was in sight, yet, he remained vigilant. The tiger lady had warned him the streets were dangerous at night.  

Kade's eyes were wide open trying to pick up on anything suspicious when he heard a loud bang coming from the alleyway on his right. Kade halted in his tracks as the hairs on his body rose. He hesitantly looked towards the source only to see a stray dog rummaging for food over a toppled dustbin.   

Kade shook his head; he was ashamed he got frightened over nothing, 'You're in a new world full of dangers that you know little about. There is nothing wrong with being afraid." Kade tried to console himself.  

After his pep talk, he kept walking until he got to the source of the blue light. Turned out it was merely a board with blue lights on the side showing that the Blue Inn was down the alleyway on the left.  

Kade looked down the alleyway. The walls were high, casting a darkness that almost swallowed the path, only flickering patches of lights on the ground and walls stood in opposition.  At the very far end was the door to the inn.  

As the night drew near, Kade stood in front of the alleyway, 'Okay, there is the inn just a couple steps away. All I need to do is get through this last part.'  

Kade took a steeling breath and moved forward, firmly holding the grip of the sheathed knife in his pocket. As he got deeper, he noticed the walls were marred with long scratch marks of different widths, and the growing smell of metal was something he could no longer ignore. Kade recognized the thick scent immediately as a scene he'd never forget replayed inside his mind. Kade squeezed his fists and suppressed the memory as a prompt appeared before him. 

[ Mortal level soul found. Would you like to initiate a soul contract? 55 minutes remaining. Y/N] 

When Kade saw the message, he was certain that what he was smelling was blood and that something had died where he stood. He also noticed that if there was 55 minutes left, it meant that it had died five minutes ago. Kade had been walking for just over five minutes now, and other than wildlife and flickering lights, he hadn't heard anything.  

If this was the soul of a sentient being, this meant whoever killed it did it in such a manner that it couldn't resist. 'This isn't their first time killing,'. The more Kade thought, the warier he got. 

Kade began looking at the top of the walls settling his eyes in front of him for someone lurking in the shadows.  

  ------ 

A woman with a black tail and green eyes dressed in a black rogue like armour stood on top of the wall.  She looked at a young man who was about to enter an alleyway. Her eyes fell on his gear, 'Cheap clothes, no armour, open shoes. I suppose I'll let him go, it's not fun if it goes by quickly.' She thought twirling her knife around her index finger. 

She continued to observe Kade as he walked deeper into the alleyway, 'He's actually cute, high cheekbones, sharp jawline, and he's tall, just my type.'  

She kept her keen gaze on him, 'Huh, he just stopped. Why? Now he's looking straight at me. Does he know I'm here? No, I'm using <*Shroud Darkness*>. There is no way he can see me. The darkness is my strength; the darkness is my ally.' She calmed herself. 

However, seconds later, a 190 cm stocky wooden golem appeared out of nowhere, and a few later, it began moving, "He's a summoner! That means his affinity to darkness is greater than mine. UNFORGIVABLE!" The blapahu growled, revealing her long white canines. She pressed her fur-covered feet into the roof feeling its cold surface then with her dagger in hand, she shot off, tearing through space towards Kade below her.  

Kade knew there was someone around, but he wasn't 100% sure, so he summoned his golem just in case, "Rather safe than sorry." He didn't want to be caught in a scenario where he still had to summon his weapon and give it a soul. He wasn't sure how long that would take.  

Now with his golem by his side, Kade looked up as the sky drew utterly dark. As Kade gazed at the full moon radiating its glorious light an energy he had never felt flowed through him, cleansing him of any fatigue he was feeling before.  

Suddenly, an arm covered in black fur appeared before him, swinging a dagger aimed at his head. Kade's eyes bulged, and he instinctively moved his head to the left as the blade pounded against the golem that was behind him.  

When the blapahu saw she had missed, she jumped two paces backwards, 'Impossible, he dodged that. My unique skill <*Shroud Darkness*> allows me to stay hidden at night. Only the moment I attack do I become visible. Yet, he dodged that! Is he secretly an expert? She looked at Kade, 'No, he doesn't have the air of a warrior. He may have just got lucky. I will kill him for sure in my next strike.' She clasped her dagger tightly. 

Kade held his breath, trying to process what had just happened. He almost died out of nowhere, and the person responsible was standing in front of him. Kade looked at the dagger in her hands and saw blood on the blade. 

He touched his right cheek feeling a hot liquid trickle down his fingers as a searing pain emerged from the gash. He looked at the sharp dagger shining in the moonlight, 'I'm going to die.' Kade's primal instinct to survive kicked in. He looked for a way to escape; however, given the nature of the alleyway, the only way to the inn was through her. If he turned away and ran away, he would leave his back exposed and even if he managed to escape, who knew what horrors awaited him outside. 

There simply was no escape. This was a problem he couldn't run from like he always did. This time he had to encounter the problem head-on. Kade positioned his golem in front of him as the vanguard and pointed the knife that was shaking in his hands at her. 

The blapahu pursed her lips, "You pitiful thing, don't worry, I'll put you out of your misery." In the next instant,  she activated her skill < *Shroud Darkness*> and vanished.  

Kade could no longer see her, only hear her move around, but even his ears weren't a reliable sense since she was using the balls of her feet to minimize her sound as she moved around, trying to find the best opening to attack.  

Kade was full of opening, but somehow, he dodged the first attempt, 'This time you won't survive.' Once she saw that Kade had utterly lost track of her, she dashed towards him, delaying her weapon's swing to the last second to keep herself concealed. Once she swung her dagger at his heart, she appeared in front of him, lunging with all her might.  

Kade couldn't see her, but in an instant, he smelt blood and knew she was there, so he moved to the right before she appeared. He didn't know whether the direction he chose was right, just that standing still was certain death. Once she appeared, Kade watched the dagger approaching his moving body. As he dodged, he performed a counter-attack swinging his left fist towards her face with all his might.  

However, before his fist could strike, the dagger cut through flesh by his ribs, leaving a deep streak. Yet, her attack didn't deter her from his counter-attack, the force of his fist struck true on her face, and she flew backwards 3 meters, tumbling on the ground.  

Kade saw her tumbled over the floor but was more worried about the wound that was bleeding heavily on his side. The pain he felt was enough to pass out. It hurt like hell as a cold sweat formed around his body. His body ached, but he couldn't give in to the pain. If he did he would die.  

Kade assessed the situation he was in now, and it didn't look good. He had his golem as a shield, but it was pointless if he couldn't see the enemy right up until she attacked. He had somehow managed to evade the attack twice thanks to it being a full moon but now that he had sustained a severe injury and was losing blood, time simply wasn't on his side. Kade began to think of ways he could survive, he even thought about running again, but all his plans were thwarted by one simple fact, he couldn't see the enemy.  

The blapahu wiped the blood trickling down the side of her face, scowled and disappeared again. Kade panicked, the timer had started, if he couldn't find a way to counter her ability, in the next attack, he was dead. Kade continued to search for a way, but again every plan was came up short.

The concealed blapahu spat out a broken tooth on the ground and looked at Kade, 'This low-level garbage not only escaped my attack twice but managed to strike me too. This is a disgrace. If the others knew of this, I could never show face or call myself an Acolyte of Tenebrous. I need to kill you no matter what method.' 

The blapahu began moving around, and once it looked like Kade had lost track of her, she circled towards Kade's back, 'The thought of having to resort to cheap attacks like this is shameful, but if I kill him like this, there will be no witnesses.'  

She held her knife in her hands, firmly looking at Kade back. She saw him holding the wound. He wasn't in good shape, 'Even if he knows I'm coming, he can't escape it.' The blapahu dashed in and held the attack to the last second, but before she could swipe, a wooden stumped fist punched her in her gut, breaking several ribs with its force. The girl flew five meters back, skiing across the ground. 

A few seconds later, she stood up, holding her right side wincing in pain only to see Kade with a smug smile on his face, 'What the hell happened!?'  

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