Jason retreats with Lily from the inn post haste. One lecture a day was more than enough for him. If it wasn’t for how cheap the room was and how Fern kept referring him to the good shops, he would consider a new inn. Though this thought brings another matter to mind, “the ork never mentioned how much his work would cost. I am certain Fern will have told him I would be around. Even if she didn’t my presence in town is not exactly a secret. While the spies might not be able to find their butts with both hands the local population should know who I stay with. Besides, if Fern can tell what level I am at he should not have too much of a problem with it either. He is not as strong but with age comes wisdom as I was just advised.”
The guards at the gate only take a cursory glance at his guild card. As Jason left a few of the people recognized him and started to point and whisper. Once he started to run the whispers turned into a general ruckus. The guards at the gate can only shake their heads at the nonsense. What is the point of so much noise over a decent movement skill? While they aren’t the highest leveled guards in town, they had seen much better. Though one of them was keeping it together only because that is what they think is expected of him. Everyone was new once after all.
As Jason runs through the rocky plains, he notices the monsters that lived there for the first time. Just imagine a boulder with six legs made of sod and that is what he can see. Not all the boulders are alive but he does make a note to be more careful about using them to jump off of. Though after that he does not see any others around. Either they are very rare or almost never move. Could be both, especially this close to a town. Areas next to population centers tend to be depopulated of any monster no matter how low level they are.
Jason angles towards the forest area next to the rabbits. As he jogs most of the day passes by. A quick check of the sun and he knows that there will not be much time to hunt. Luck however is with him. As Jason prepares to settle down for the night a bit of blue flashes by off to the side of the clearing he chose. It appears this time the tables have turned on him. Instead of hunter, Jason has become the prey. Good thing he saw the Snarltail before it pounced. Forewarned is forearmed and he doesn’t plan to let this chance go. One exaggerated yawn and Jason turns away from where he saw the cat. He crouches and puts his hands onto the ground. Jason motions with his head for Lily to hide under his bedroll. Afterwards he shuffles around until a slight sound catches his ear. Just the quietest crunch noise but it is enough.
Jason tightens his hands into fists then whirls around. As soon as the Snarltail is visible, he opens his fists and sand soil flies into the cat's eyes. With the distraction Jason continues his rotation, lowers his shoulder, and rolls on it. As the roll completes, he pops back up onto his feet while the Snarltail shakes its head to get the sand out of its eyes.
A glance around the clearing and Jason backs up towards the forest. While an attack might be a better use of the Snarltails distraction, he wanted to move the fight away from where Lily was hidden. The bedroll would not provide much protection.
As the Snarltail clears its eyes, it spins to face him. With a growl followed by a pounce, it forces Jason to duck to the side and closer to the forest. The cat does not seem to have many attack patterns as it once again crouches for another pounce. Jason shifts to the side and the cat corrects to pounce at him. As it soars at him he shifts back to his original position.
While the Snarltail goes past him Jason continues his movement to bring a solid elbow into the cat's side. This force is enough to cause it to wing the nearby tree. The Snarltail lands hard just short of another tree and tries to pivot. It lets out a pained howl as it stretches the side that just winged the tree.
Jason charges over at this point and lands a straight punch on the cat's other side. As a short burst from his Blast Punch lights the clearing the Snarltail falls over onto its side. With the vulnerable belly open Jason follows up with his other fist, dropping onto the Snarltail. Another small burst of light visible only in the gloom of night.
The Snarltail attempts to scamper away but another tree blocks its way. This gives Jason the time to land one more Blast Punch and the cat falls down again. Though now more permanently as the Snarltail has died. Jason stands there over it. He takes a deep breath to steady himself.
Over at his bedroll Lily pops out from under it. With a twitch of her nose and a glance around the clearing she goes back to munching on the verdant greenery. Jason relaxes with this and after patting Lily on the head he gets the portable planter out. Once the planter is activated, he settles down to observe it. The Energy Herb has already started to grow. Though that probably has more to do with his bonuses. Besides that there are some Bloody Lingzhi starting to form on the logs. At this point only the vaguest of fungal threads but it shows the planter works. Satisfied with his purchase more than ever Jason is able to drop into his nightly cultivation. As he does so the small Energy Herb sprouts filter the waste energy. Lily on the side stretches out then hops up into Jason’s lap and falls asleep.