chapter 213: crushing hopes and dreams

I took a deep breath as I smelled the grass extending out to the horizon. For the first target, I had chosen to descend as a halfling. The body was more similar to a human than if I descended as a centaur, so it will be easier to move naturally. As soon as I opened my eyes, there was a message waiting for me, a paper that floated down from the sky to land in my hands..

Jagen Fral, the wandering butcher. He enjoys finding those alone or in groups of two, and offering to guide them to a safe rest. Once night comes, he cuts the throats of those that he lured, and carves their bodies for the meat. Man, woman, centaur, halfling, he will even target wandering members of other races.

Do not underestimate his intelligence, nor his power. Currently, his level is 262, with his specialty lying in the Warrior class. His skin is strong enough to repel common blades with barely a scratch, and his fists can shatter stone.

Quest Objective: Kill Jagen Fral
Quest Reward: Blessing of Tryval

I gave a brief nod as I read over the paper. On the back was a drawing of Jagen, a tall centaur with a muscular build and dark brown fur. His face did not seem to be as cruel as his description indicated, but I knew better than to judge purely by his face in this circumstance.

So, I began to walk. I felt a pull tugging me to the south, and I could vaguely tell that it was from Tryval, guiding me towards Jagen. While I walked, I made sure that my Keeper classes were sealed, and that my own power was suppressed. I wanted to appear to be as much of an easy target as I could be.

I hadn’t brought any equipment with me for this, as I knew that anything that would actually help would also undermine the purpose of the training itself. I had to rely on my own power to kill Jagen, with the only insurance being the gods watching over me and my own enormous health pool. I was curious what the ‘Blessing of Tryval’ would be, however.

It didn’t take me long before I came across the centaur walking slowly over a hill. When he spotted me, he put on a kind smile, turning and trotting over towards me. Just from his name and level, I could tell that this was the right person. “Greetings, friend!” Jagen shouted out as he approached, waving one hand at me.

“Hello.” I responded with a small smile of my own, though I could see his eyes briefly glance over me. Focusing on his surface thoughts, I saw him judging me by the power he could feel. I felt weak to him, unarmed and alone. A perfect… meal.

“Are you perhaps lost, friend?” Jagen asked kindly, glancing about. “There is not a rest post for hours and the sun is soon to set. Forgive me if I am overstepping myself, but you don’t quite seem equipped for a night alone.”

He gave a meaningful glance to my person, as I obviously did not have any gear on me. There was not so much as a satchel to store quest scrolls. The one that I had been given was instead tucked away in my shirt.

“Ah… maybe?” I asked, doing my best to sound innocent. “I had been going to meet my family, but I believe I may have gotten turned around over the night.”

Jagen simply laughed knowingly. “Yes, that does tend to happen. Would you like me to carry you to rest?” He asked with that same warm smile. “If I gallop, it should not take more than an hour, and you can seek directions to where you need to go once you are there.”

I thought about it for a moment, before giving a brief nod. He turned his lower body, his side facing me, and knelt down for me to climb on. Once I did so, sitting sideways across his equine back, I saw in his thoughts a brief moment of surprise at my weight. He had estimated from my apparent power that I should be around level twenty, but my weight would indicate that I should be closer to fifty.

Even with that realization, he still considered me far too weak to pose any sort of threat to him. He believed that even if I attacked, I would not be able to cause him an actual injury. As soon as he started to move, I held my hand up behind his back, focusing on a spell I wanted to create. Thankfully, chakra was difficult to sense for any who wasn’t also a ninja.

The spell I was creating could best be described as a ‘crushing’ spell, though the fact that I was creating it through chakra meant that it had a slightly different effect. Once the spell had been completed, I felt the chakra for it resting in my palm. Pretending to lose balance from his increasing pace, I leaned forward and planted my hand against the center of his back.

Immediately, Jagen stopped running. I could feel his hostility growing as he realized that I had done something to him, but it was already too late. The chakra had surrounded his heart, and immediately shattered it.

When he did not immediately fall over, I began to worry, and even jumped down from his back to prevent him from attacking. What I saw was his face contorted in pain and rage, blood seeping out of his mouth as he slowly coughed it up. “What… did… you… do?” He asked, his voice weak, yet clearly angered.

I couldn’t imagine how he was even still standing, let alone speaking. And then I saw the health bar above his head. The moment I had attacked, it plummeted, all the way down to a mere twenty percent. I had thought that it wouldn’t stop there, and he would die a moment later.

Sire… centaurs have two hearts. Tryval warned me. There is the one in their human torso, as well as the one in the lower equine body. The one that you destroyed was responsible for purifying his bloody and circulating it to his upper body. It will take time for him to die like this, when the blood stops reaching his brain. If you wish to make it a clean kill, you must also take out his other heart.

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I gave a brief nod, noticing that Jagen’s arms had fallen limp at his sides. However, his feet began to kick at the dirt. In his thoughts, I could see his desperation. He wanted to kill me, in the hopes of getting one more level, so that the world’s power would heal him.

For a moment, I thought about calling Leowynn to finish this, before shaking my head. I wanted to train being a ninja… so let’s be a ninja. Slowly, I began to walk towards Jagen, flexing my fingers. Invisible threads of chakra began to stretch out around my body, touching various points along the ground.

Jagen let out a pained roar, his equine legs kicking at the ground again while he charged at me. His arms flailed limply beside him, and it was clear that he was simply aiming to trample me. However, at the same time I created the same technique that I had just used on his heart. And when he got close enough to me… I vanished from his path.

Jagen groaned out suddenly, tumbling forward as the last of his health blinked away. Blood began to leak from his eyes, nose, and ears while I appeared on the other side of him. He might have two hearts, but he only has one brain. I thought inwardly, clenching my fist once.

Ninja has leveled up!

Ninja has leveled up!

Ninja has leveled up!

Ninja has leveled up!

Assassin has been unlocked!

Swaying Steps ability has been unlocked!

Assassin has leveled up!

I gave a brief nod to acknowledge the messages that had appeared, before the quest scroll hidden in my shirt began to shine and shatter.

You have received Tryval’s Blessing! Charm +2

Oh… so that’s what his blessing is. I gave a brief nod at that, before looking up towards the sky. “Okay, where next?” I asked, knowing that a certain halfling goddess would be watching.

Next up is the felyn. Go ahead and come back, she’s on their homeland. Aurivy said, causing me to nod again. The beastkin had learned how to travel to the halflings, but those were not the same beastkin that had regular contact with their homeland, so there was no way that a halfling child could appear there.

I quickly ascended, changed my body to a lycan, and descended to the world once again. This time, I was in the second kingdom of Accal, near its western shore. I could smell the scent of the ocean on the air, and in the distance I could see the crashing waves from atop my hill. Once again, a quest scroll fell from the sky to land neatly in my hand.

Only allowed on

Mariah Sor, the Siren of Fitswick. Her specialty is luring men to the coast with her beautiful voice and body, seducing them to share her bed, and then spending a night dominating their minds. Those who sleep with the siren are forever changed, becoming puppets to her voice.

Her current level is 281, and her specialties are the Bard and Leader classes. However, her real strength lies in the people she surrounds herself with. When she is not out singing, she keeps two of her strongest puppets with her at all times.

Quest Objective: Kill the Siren of Fitswick
Reward: Blessing of Terra

I had to say… I was not particularly fond of this particular hunt. Or my target. However, I could easily see why she was worth putting down. Someone with this kind of power, and the drive to use it as she has shown, is not the kind of person that Terra would be able to tolerate.

Once again, I began to walk, following the pull of Terra. It was late at night on the beastkin continent, the moon high in the sky. Terra’s pull was not guiding me towards the shore, but rather towards the nearby town of Fitswick.

Your best chance will be to kill her in her sleep. Terra whispered to me as I walked. I’m preparing to have some of my priests reclaim this area once Mariah is no longer in control of the villagers. Things will be hectic for a while, but it will be better in the long run.

I simply gave a nod again, glad that my ki and mana had refilled when I chose to descend in a new body. As I walked, I practiced the swaying steps that I had received from the assassin class. It was quite… odd, really. I wrapped my legs in ki, and my feet in mana. My feet seemed to slide soundlessly along the ground in the direction that my ki pulled my body, while I could also cause an instant acceleration similar to the chakra flash step.

Once I had familiarized myself with that technique, I found myself wandering into the small village. The guards at the village gate simply smiled at my passing, not stopping to question me for even a moment. Everyone in the village, in fact, seemed to just smile at my presence. Even in the dead of night, they were going about their normal business as if it were the middle of the day.

The only exception was at one particular house in the middle of town. Around it stood three people with stern faces standing guard. Each of them had a level of exactly two hundred and fifty, making me wonder if they had just not gained any levels at all due to being under the woman’s control.

Okay, gotta sneak past them. That… shouldn’t really be that hard? I muttered for a moment as I thought about that. My levels were still being suppressed, so those three should not be able to detect me unless they were purposely seeking me out.

I took a deep breath, moving out of sight from the villagers to duck behind a house. Using my chakra to silently jump up onto it, I began to shift like this from house to house, keeping my body low as I approached the center manor. Once I was there, I placed my hand over one eye, weaving my threads together to look inside of the house.

Inside, the lights had all been extinguished, though I could still easily make out the distinct shapes along the room. A single form, naked and lying in an unnecessarily large bed, blankets tightly hugging her curves. Above her body, I could see the name and level of my target, so I connected one of my threads to the floor of the room and stepped inside.

Not wanting to risk the slightest noise startling anyone, I used another chakra step to take myself to the side of her bed. With that same crushing technique I had used on Jagen, I placed my hand on her head. Her eyes opened sharply, glaring at me for a brief moment, before the light in them began to fade. She let out a single cough, wet with blood, and I could hear footsteps approaching from the outside.

Rather than rushing to leave and risk being caught, I moved myself to a corner of the room, wrapping myself in light chakra to become invisible. It made me unable to see as well, but I could still hear. I heard them rushing into the room, screaming when they saw the dead body of their ‘goddess’, and shouting out orders to find the assassin.

I also heard the messages beeping off in my mind one by one to alert me of new levels, and the new blessing. And extra two points to Luck…

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