Akira stepped off the road and walked a few paces towards a tall tree where a few oddly shaped plants were growing at the base of the tree.
He took out a knife and quickly dug the plants out off the ground. He gently hit the bottoms of the plants to dislodge the dirt that was clumped together before placing them into his small bag.
“What’s with you collecting every odd looking weed you find?,” asked Varbu as he watched Akira dig up the plants for what felt like the hundredth time.
“It’s so I can see what they do when I cook and combine them together,” said Akira as he rejoined Varbu on the dry rocky road.
“But isn’t that dangerous it could be a deadly poison,” said Varbu as the began to walk again.
“That’s why I have you as the taste tester.”
“Just because I can eat most things without dying doesn’t mean that I won’t feel side effects. If I eat something super poisonous it will cause a severe stomach ache for at least a few days.”
“It’s because of that iron stomach of yours that you are the taste tester.”
“So where are we going?”
“Vania, it’s the capital of Vussia.”
“Why are we going to a human city? I thought we were looking for your tribe?”
“I know someone there. They might be able to help me find them with the power they have.”
“Must be someone with a lot of power.”
“I guess you could say that. She does have the power to do a lot of things that normal citizens can’t do.”
They had been traveling for over a month it would take a few more months to reach their destination if they keep up with the current speed. Although the weather in the mountains was full on winter, it was still a fall in the surrounding lands so there were still a few months until winter arrived.
Akira sat next to the campfire stirring a small pot of boiling green liquid the steam that was rising in the air had a nice fragrant smell to it.
“Here try this out,” said Akira as he ladled a spoonful of the Green liquid into a wooden bowl.
Varbu took the bowl without comment since he was now used to this happening every night.
He drank it quickly and grimaced at the taste. He thought the liquid was worse than eating 1000-year-old rotten meat. Of course, he had never seen or eaten 1000-year-old meat so he could only imagine it.
He felt no sudden changes in his body nor did he feel sick. But after a few seconds, he noticed his toes wouldn’t move.
“That’s the worse tasting stuff I have ever had to eat. It seems like it has some paralyzing effects I can’t move my toes so it’s not that poisonous,” said Varbu after washing his mouth out with a swig of alcohol from his waterskin.
“Alright let’s test it out!,” said Akira energetically he scooped out another spoonful and drank the liquid right from the spoon. He had to agree with Varbu the taste was horrible. He wondered why the smell was so nice compared to the taste.
The effect was immediate, the spoon fell from his hand his body fell backward hitting the ground as his muscles stopped moving and he became stiff as a board.
“Why did I have to get such a crazy master,” complained Nox as he sat near Akira.
“He sure is weird all right. Are all werewolf’s like this?” asked Varbu.
“No, I think it’s just him. Somethings wrong with his head,” said Nox.
Exotic Cooking Lvl up!
Beginner Lv: 5
Akira tried to smile because of the message but his muscles in his face did not respond.
As he ate and drank the things he cooked he gained experience points to repeatedly level up. Each level of the skill granted higher resistance to the things he ate and drank.
Five minutes of laying on the ground passed before he started to get feeling back into his limbs. Two minutes later he was able to sit back up. His body ached from the fall.
“That’s some potent stuff,” said Akira as he stood up and began to stretch.
“You’re not a normal person either. Most people would have died by now from all the crap you have been eating,” said Varbu.
“I’m ready for the nights sparring match,” said Akira after he had regained control of his muscles and finished warming up for the nights sparring match.
Varbu grinned and grabbed his large quarterstaff they both walked a short distance away from the fire to reduce the chance of them stepping into the fire while fighting.
The main reason Varbu agreed to be the test subject for Akira, was the agreement that Akira would spar with him every night.
Akira had readily agreed because this would kill two birds with one stone. He could get a taste tester and also train himself allowing him to get better at using his shield against people who had more pure strength than him.
20 minutes of nonstop intense battle passed before both Akira and Varbu sat back down sweating and tired from the heated spar.
“You’re getting better at blocking my half-full strength blows,” Varbu complemented Akira.
“Thanks, it’s crazy how much power you can put behind an attack. No wonder the weapons you used before would break,” said Akira as he panted for breath while looking at the stars in the night sky.
Akira was walking slowly next to Varbu while looking at a map trying to guess where they were by looking at his surroundings and back at the map.
“Hmm, I think we should be reaching this town right here soon,” said Akira pointing at a small dot on the map.
“That dot looks so close to the mountain but it took us so long to reach it,” said Varbu as he looked a the place Akira was pointing.
“Would that over there be a town?” asked Varbu pointing at something in the far distance ahead of them.
“Looks like we found it. I hope we can get some information on the land and the current events while we replenish our supplies,” said Akira. They hadn’t run into many people while traveling from the mountains so they were many weeks behind on current events.
The land surrounding the town was bleak with a few plots of tough looking plants growing were a match for the tough land. As they passed the fields they noticed no workers were tending to the plants.
“It’s too early for lunch where are the farmers?” mumbled Akira.
When they reached the small town half an hour later they stopped at the gates. The worn wooden gates of the town were wide open. After looking around for a few seconds they could find no guards near the gates.
“What do you think? Should we enter?,” asked Akira, “I don’t want to get into trouble for entering without permission but there are no guards.”
“I don’t want to stand out here all day so let’s go in,” said Varbu as he walked into the small town before Akira.
As soon as Akira walked through the gates he received a notification.
Kill all monsters in the town of Unpor.
A dungeon break has happened nearby.
Kill all monsters in the town and rescue any survivors you see.
Will you accept?
Yes / No
Akira accepted the mission with a heavy heart. He knew what it meant for the people who had lived here. Most if not all would have probably already died. Killed by the swarm of monsters before they even knew what was going on.
“Varbu wait! There’s something not right here. We should be ready for a fight just in case,” Akira said in a hushed voice.
Varbu looked around fully alert. Akira summoned the grumpy Nox to help just in case there was trouble.
“Now that you mentioned it the streets look to empty. It’s unnatural,” said Varbu as he gripped his quarterstaff tighter.
During their search of the nearby houses they found no bodies nor could they find the enemies that had destroyed the city. There were only traces of blood to show that someone had died there.
They continued to check the houses as they walked slowly towards the center of the town all the houses doors were broken and laying on the ground.
Akira’s ears heard movement ahead of him. The sound was like multiple clacks of a hoof or something similar on the stone road ahead of them. He motioned for Varbu to stop.
“Nox, go see if you can check out what’s ahead without alerting them,” said Akira.
“…” Nox said a few words that the two of them could not hear before jumping onto a roof of one of the nearby houses and began leaping from house to house.
“It’s just a bunch of deer. No need to worry about them,” said Nox through their telepathic link.
“Let’s go check it out he says it’s just a bunch of deer,” said Akira.
Varbu grunted his agreement and they both cautiously walked past the last two houses blocking the view of the town square.
Akira scanned the area and was able to quickly find a group of twenty or more blue deer the size of small horses all lazily chewing on something he could not see.
[Blue Deer lvl 20]
“Blue?” asked Akira intrigued at a type of deer he had not seen before.
“You think these are the monsters that destroyed the town?” asked Varbu in a whisper.
“They have to be although they don’t look like it. Are you up for killing the ones in the city?”
“Let’s see who can kill the most,” said Varbu with a grin.
The blue deer turned around to look at Varbu and Akira with sharp eyes as if they had heard the two talking about killing them.
“Uuuuuuuueeeeeehhhhhhh!” the loud scream which sounded like someone crying blasted out from the group of blue deer. A second later as a group the [Blue Deer] lowered their heads with their sharp antlers pointed towards Akira and Varbu and leaped forward into a charge their speed quickening with each step.
Akira and Varbu were at the edge of the town square nowhere in front to hide.
“Over there,” shouted Akira pointing towards a tight alley between two houses a short distance away from them. They ran as fast as they could and dived into the alley only narrowly avoiding being skewered by the [Blue Deer’s] sharp antlers. The sounds of the stampeding [Blue Deer] rushed passed them.
“Akira this place should be small enough for you to block the next charge. I’ll knock them down when they are stopped,” Varbu.
“I thought we were going to see who could kill the most,” said Akira.
“You need to stop their charge or we won’t be able to do anything against them,” said Varbu.
Akira readied his shield in front of him and braced himself for the oncoming impact. The group of [Blue Deer] had swung around without losing any speed and started to run towards the two who were hiding in between the houses.
Only two of the [Blue Deer] were able to fit into the tight ally and slammed into Akira’s shield. Their antlers created sparks as they slammed into the shield and skidded off.
Multiple other deer who had tried to enter the ally along with them crashed into the houses on both sides at full speed.
Akira tried his best to keep his footing and was only pushed back a few steps. With the help of Varbu pushing his back, they were able to stop the mass charge of the blue deer. If not for the tight space they would have been knocked down and trampled on.
“That looks like fun can I join,” asked Nox as he watched from the roof of a nearby house.
“Sure, feel free to go wild,” said Akira.
Nox jumped from the roof and landed on the back of one of the blue deer at the back of the group causing it to let out a scream of shock and then pain as its neck was bit.
With the appearance of Nox, the [Blue Deer] started to get antsy and again tried to push forward to get away, but Akira was still blocking the path.
The two [Blue Deer] at the front rose up onto their hind feet and tried to batter his shield away by slamming back down on it with their front feet.
“Alright looks like I can start fighting for real!” said Varbu as he swung his Quarterstaff forward connecting with one of the blue deer’s head which exploded like a ripe fruit, and splattered everywhere.
Akira used [Shield bash] and slamming his shield into the second deer’s head stunning it long enough for him to be able to step forward and stab it in the heart killing it instantly.
The blue deer were still bushing forward even with the death of the two at the front due to their fear of Nox.
Akira wanted to use [Sword slash] but was unable to due to Varbu and Nox being so close he might end up hitting them in such a confined spot.
He decided to focus on one [Blue Deer] at a time. He lashed out quickly slicing diagonally to the left and then diagonally to the right. After attacking and killing the [Blue Deer] one after another a notification popped up.
Skill ‘Cross Attack’ was created!
Cross Attack: This skill was created for single target attacks.
This skill can target medium to large targets and will deal more 2x the damage of a normal attack.
Higher levels of this skill will do more damage.
Skill cost: 35 mana
Akira used the skill on the nearest [Blue Deer] to test it out. After the two sword slashes, a glowing X shot forward and slammed into the [Blue Deer] slicing it into four parts.
While Akira was in awe at the power of the attack one of the [Blue Deer] was running towards him and jumped into the air trying to fly over both of them.
Varbu took a firm stance and swung his quarterstaff slamming it into the deer’s ribs stopping it in mid-air while the sound of multiple bones breaking could be heard. The [Blue Deer] was slammed into the side of the building next to Akira reminding him of the battle that was still going on.
With the group of [Blue Deer] losing the ability to charge their enemies as a group, they lost the advantage in the fight. With Nox terrorizing and killing them in the back and Varbu and Akira easily blocking them from the front they had nowhere to go and were killed one by one.
The fight was over in a flash it felt a little too easy.
Kill all monsters in the town of Unpor cleared!
You have leveled up! Your level is now 21!
Shield mastery has leveled up to Level 7.
Heavy armor mastery has leveled up to Level 4.
Nox has leveled up to level 11.
“Ah, nothing like a good fight to loosen up your muscles. If I counted right I killed more than you,” said Varbu while rotating his shoulders.
“I’m sure my number was larger than yours,” said Akira.
“No you came in third place,” said Varbu.
“Third place there is only me and you how can I be in third?”
“Nox also fought. He killed more than you,” said Varbu.
“He is my companion so his kills count towards my number. Plus I had to repeatedly stop the damn deer from running us over and goring us with their antlers,” said Akira as he walked over the dead bodies towards the thing blue deer had been eating when they first arrived.
“Whatever. Where do you think they all came from?” ask Varbu looking around as if he could find the answer that way.
“A nearby dungeon probably broke and this small group probably came here for who knows what reason. The rest of them are probably somewhere out there in the wild now. It will be a pain in the butt to deal with them in the open,” said Akira.
When they reached the center of the square Akira let out a shocked breath at what he saw.
Blood was splattered all over the ground there was a small object laying in the puddle of the blood.
It was a small bloody hand of a baby.