Kashi sat in the common area of the Training Hall, immersed in his books. Kira, who was already larger than most wolves in the plains lay next to him. Serti sat opposite from him sharpening his arrows while Bert was hunched over in his chair, deep in sleep. Yugo prepared a beverage for the group in the bar.
There was an air of pure bliss about the room which made wandering users who dropped in out of curiosity leave immediately.
As Yugo placed their drinks on the table, a female forest elf walked into the room, a rather large bow slung over her shoulder. She was dressed in one of Kashi’s creations: a light green blouse and skirt with leather armguards and shoulder pads. Her dark hair was tied into a long ponytail which reached all the way to her knees.
“Ah, Good morning Leila-chan,” Serti greeted when he saw her, placing his equipment on the table.
“Morning Serti.” She joined them at the table and Yugo placed a drink in front of her.
“Thanks Yugo.” The dark elf engrossed in his book caught her attention.
Kashi did not reply, completely enraptured by his book. He had not even realised someone had entered the room.
“Don’t take it to heart. He’s been that way whenever he starts reading.” Serti said, resuming his arrow sharpening.
“I’m fine. I had a friend who did that a lot.” She took a sip from the tea, closing her eyes as she relished in its exceptional taste.
“What brings you back here Leila-chan?” Yugo asked, joining them around the table. “Last we saw you, you said you were going to Grissa Crags.”
“Yes. I did go there, but the monsters were too strong for only me.”
“So you need a party then?” Serti asked.
“One competent partner I can trust my back to is enough. I managed to clear the cave, but my health was too low by the time I reached the boss.” She clenched her fists, upset by her own incompetence.
“You did well enough to clear the cave by yourself. That usually requires well balanced parties. As for someone competent to accompany you…” He turned to Kashi, his gaze seemingly burning through the book. Yugo and Leila also directed their gazes at the elf.
It started with a little twitching, but then sweat broke out on his face, as Kashi began to feel more and more uncomfortable. “May I inquire as to why you all regard me so?” Kashi asked, placing his book on the table, unable to take any more of the pressure.
“We would like you to accompany the lady to Grissa Crags.” Serti said.
Kashi looked from him to the female elf with the coldest pair of green eyes he had ever seen; he had never thought green could be such a chilling color. “My name is Kashi. Pleased to meet you.”
“Likewise. I’m Leila.” She extended her hand, which he took in a firm grip. “I’m a
level 35 hunter. You?”
“… Level 20. Undecided.”
“I’m sorry. Undecided? What does that mean?”
“I do not have a class yet. My apologies if you are disappointed.”
Leila’s discomfort at hearing he had no class was understandable. Once a class is chosen, a user gets a bonus to that classes’ main weapon and receives certain perks which would be difficult for other classes to obtain. “No, that was my bad. It should be fine if you are just providing support.”
“He will do fine, Leila-chan. He finished the training before you did.” Serti asserted, keeping an eye on Kashi.
“Oh? So he’s the one you were talking about. Very well, he can accompany me.”
Kashi looked at the two elves deciding his fate without bothering to consult him. He considered refusing the request because he wanted to raise his mana as much as possible. Kira’s warm chest pressed against his leg and he decided against it; it would be good training for the both of them.
“I shall accompany you.” He spoke up, cutting into their conversation. “It should prove to be educational.”
“I’m glad to hear that. We leave once the sun goes down.”
“Fine by me.” Kashi returned to reading his books, determined to raise his mana.
Time passed with each person engrossed in their own business. The sun dipped, darkening the horizon and Kashi, Kira and Leila bid the trio goodbye as they left the city.
Once they were outside, Kashi changed his gear. He now wore a black skintight sleeveless shirt with a similarly black scarf around his neck which doubled as a mask which he raised to cover both his mouth and nose. On his feet, he wore black pants and leather boots.
He also equipped a steel bow and steel arrows he had specially crafted for himself. Lastly, he put on armguards for extra protection and fingerless gloves to increase his dexterity. His outfitting complete, he followed Leila’s lead.
“Where did you learn how to craft like that?” Leila asked, breaking the silence as they entered the northern forest.
I’ve had prior training.”
“Heeh. You’re pretty good. You going to keep on crafting?”
“Probably, but nothing large-scale anytime soon. I have other things I need to focus on.”
“A wolf dove at her from behind a thicket, but an arrow pierced right through its head before it reached her. Leila turned to Kashi who had slung his bow over his shoulder. When did he pull that out? “Thanks for the help.”
The rest of the trip continued uneventful except for the stray wolf or wild snake that wandered onto their path.
“We’re here.” Leila said and Kashi looked around in confusion. They in the thick of the forest and there were nothing but trees in all directions. Leila parted a rather odd-looking thicket and went down on all fours. She disappeared soon after, swallowed by the grass.
Startled he mimicked her movements, and was shocked to find a small opening in the earth. It was inclined downwards and once crawled into the space, he slid down the tunnel, followed closely by Kira.
The ride down was quite smooth and when he finally slid to a stop, he was in a cave with a door with weird writings and paintings on it. Leila stood next to the door, waiting for him.
“How did you even find this place?” Kashi asked, getting up and dusting himself.
“Believe it or not, I fell over while running from a King Snake.”
Kashi suppressed an urge to burst out laughing. True to their name, King Snakes were large man sized snakes with deadly poisons and even deadlier attacks. They were ranked in the early hundreds from users’ estimations.
“So, is this Grisaa Crags?”
“Not exactly. It is above us. This is a secret area under Grissa Crags.” Leila opened the door, then shut it quickly, worry on her face.
“What seems to be the problem?”
“The spriggans I defeated earlier have been revived. We will have to fight our way through them again.”
“Why is that a problem? If you did it once, surely the two of us can get it done faster.”
She clenched her fists, annoyed by her oversight. “I was lucky. I barely survived last time. My magic resistance is very low, and that is their main method of attack.”
“What about their physical resistance? How many arrows did it take you to kill one of them?”
“They are very weak. Three arrows should be enough to kill them – if you can get close enough before they buff themselves that is.”
Kashi pondered on the situation. “Say, as a hunter you get an increase in stealth right?”
“Do you have the /Dark Eyes/ skill by any chance?”
“Yes I do. Why do you ask?”
“Okay, here’s what we are going to do…”
Under the starless sky, the chilling wind picked up the heavy stench of blood surrounding a certain elf and carried it across the wilderness, warning all intelligent life to stay away from the mass murderer.
Syèl drained the life from the user beneath him pleading for mercy. He had long since left the Elven city, glamour and fame much too boring for the bloodthirsty elf. He had levelled up quite fast, having spent most of his time hunting bandits and player killers. His blood mastery increased much faster when he hunted humanoids, but the easy kills were getting boring; He needed a challenge.
Walking along the wilderness that surrounded the mountain homes of the high elves, he spotted a group of lights on the horizon.
As they got closer, they were revealed to be coming from lanterns hoisted up on sticks by a company of resident soldiers returning from an expedition. They looked absolutely wiped out and most were carried on the backs of their comrades.
“What happened?” Syèl asked, feigning concern to the nearest soldier.
“Who are you?”
“Ah, sorry. My name is Syèl.”
“You mean Syèl the savior?” The soldier perked up just at the name, and a lot of his comrades who heard his exclamation turned to him with elated surprise. It was no surprise either; news of Syèl had already passed through Mònòch to neighboring towns and cities. There was not a soul in the state who had not heard of Syèl.
“The very same.”
“Captain!” the soldier called to his superior leading the charge. “It’s Syèl-dono! He should be able to help us.”
The captain was a ridiculously large, heavily bearded man in his forties. A large scar ran across his face from a battle fought sometime in his past. He glared at the lanky elf, gauging him. “What level are you?”
“Forty three,” Syèl answered.
“Never mind then. You would only be going to your death.”
“That’s for me to decide.”
Raul Nigfer, captain of the hundred man company of the Renauss Kingdom stared at the elf in front of him. There was an unmistakable fire in the elf’s eyes that did not match the frail body he possessed. “Very well. But I recommend you take a party with you. Going alone would be nothing short of suicide.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Several miles south of here, lies a village called Neverun. It has been overrun by a flock of cockatrice. We were sent to chase or destroy the beasts, but they proved to be more powerful than expected.”
“Sorry about that. Are there any special traits I should watch out for?”
“Yes. Some of them turn whatever they look at to stone, while others have very lethal poison stored in their throats which they can spit over long distances.” Raul scratched his chin in thought as he tried to see if he missed out on anything.
“Thanks for the info. I will see to it they are destroyed.”
“No, thank you Syèl-dono. I pray for your success. May Aethir’s light guide you.”
“Sure.” Syèl turned to leave, but Raul suddenly remembered something important.
“Ah, yes. There was a girl heading in that direction earlier. She seemed intent on facing them all herself. I would appreciate it if you lent her a helping hand.”
“Sure, I will try my best.” He left the soldiers and made his way to the cockatrice infested town, pleased at the prospect of a challenge for once.
“This plan of yours is quite effective,” Leila said as they systematically took down their third Spriggan in a row. They looked like skinny disheveled rabbits that possibly has rabies in their super sharp teeth.
The cave’s source of light were overhead lanterns. Kashi had proposed they shut those off first by firing arrows at them. Once they were down, the spriggans would raise flames to guide their way. Shrouded in darkness, the elves had a clear line of fire to the relatively blind Spriggans.
However, their kill streak did not last long, as the monsters of Live No Evil had the ability to adapt to their enemies. On the third basement floor, the Spriggans wizened. They placed
a magic barrier around the torches, shielding them from arrows, thus preventing
the duo from continuing their night battle.
Kashi sighed as he stood up and notched several arrows onto his bow. He used <Multi-shot> to hit several of them, drawing their attention to him. The deranged rabbits prepared magic spells to fire at him, but Kira lunged at them, biting away.
While they were distracted, Leila fired off several arrows, and got critical hits because she had hit them from behind.
Kashi increased three levels from the bout but it was no time to celebrate because several more crawled out of the walls and attacked them, teeth bared to chew their heads off. He raised his arm and one bit down on his armguard, while another took a large bite on his leg. His health dropped, but he was unfazed. He used the bow in his right hand to stab the spriggan on his feet, then slammed his arm against the wall with all of his strength, killing the other in the process.
Meanwhile, Kira and Leila cleared the rest of the spriggans, levelling up quite a bit in the process.
Combining teamwork and willpower, the trio finally cleared the cavern and were left with only one large door left in front of them. After a brief respite they opened the door, choosing not to linger too long for fear of reviving the spriggans again.
The inside was like a large throne room filled with innumerable amounts of gold. In the middle sat a spriggan with an oversized crown on his head.
“It has been a long, long time since I have had visitors.” He hopped down from his throne, and took a step towards them, sparks crackling around his body.
As he got closer, he began to grow in size, becoming both larger and muscular until he was almost three metres tall. A flaming sword materialized in his left hand, while electricity pulsed on his right, his eyes hollow with flames.
Spriggan Lord: Lvl 76
The furs on Kira’s back stood on end as the trio prepared for a tough battle.