Chapter 33: uninvited guests (2)

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“So, you were actually able to advance to an advanced class, quite impressive for a mere thug.”

Even though Aleks could sense that Don Gregorio was an advanced class, he wasn’t too worried given the situation. Even if he was an advanced class, he had only recently crossed the threshold. Using his ability ‘Soul Analysis’ he could see that the Don was only level 61 and had only just crossed the threshold from an intermediate class to an advanced one.

The divide between the classes was not simply just the matter of a one level difference but with Lenia and the two former subordinates of the Don, he wasn’t too concerned. Each of the three were level 60 and very close to advancing themselves and they would be able to handle the Don especially if Aleks got involved.

The only reason Aleks wasn’t aware of this previously was that he didn’t use ‘Soul Analysis’ when meeting with the Don prior to this. When using his ability, his eyes would glow and if one looked into his eyes, they could see numbers and letters moving along his retinas. He didn’t want anyone to be aware of his ability and so didn’t previously analyse the Don.

It was possible for anyone with a class to get an idea of someone’s strength through sensing their aura but it wasn’t as exact as his ability ‘Soul Analysis’. There were other abilities which were similar but for the majority of people, they could only get a rough idea of someone’s strength through feeling their aura of power. If someone was overwhelmingly stronger or weaker it would be a simple matter to determine this, but for smaller differences it wasn’t as simple.

“Are you scared yet? It doesn’t matter that there are four of you, I can kill all of you myself! You can’t possibly understand the difference between those who belong to an intermediate class and those who have risen above it. And you, you don’t even belong to an intermediate class so you are no threat to me at all!”

Despite being surrounded the Don seemed confident in his ability to escape. He had no intention of fighting the three in front of him to the death and was only looking to escape. Even if there were three intermediate class fighters in front of him he was confident that with his power he could escape with little to no damage. He wasn’t even concerned about Aleks in the least.

He knew the man was someone who was capable of accomplishing difficult tasks but he didn’t even put him in his eyes when it came to a straight on fight. In his mind, Aleks had accomplished his tasks through deception and tricks, not through his own power. Of course, if Aleks were someone who could be measured by the normal understanding of power he would be right, but Aleks was someone who could not be measured by the normal means.

“Well, seeing that you are more powerful than I originally thought, my plans will have to be altered slightly. Only a minor thing though, I can still accomplish what I wanted using these two. As for you Don, your time is up.”

“Hmph, we shall see about that!”

The Don moved quickly, striking at Lenia who he thought would be the weakest of the three but his assumption was way off the mark. When his cane sword met her daggers, she was able to match his strength much to his shock and he couldn’t gain any advantage over her. His two former subordinates also moved in quickly with their rapiers and the Don was using everything he had to hold the three back.

There wasn’t much room to maneuver within his office but it was much more spacious than a normal office might have. Nonetheless, he had to be careful of positioning as there was quite a bit of clutter around the room. He had a variety of knick knacks and even a stuffed black bear against one of the walls.

There was also a large fireplace with a buck’s head hanging over it on the wall. The floor was made of wood and was covered in various furs. It was a somewhat luxuriously furnished room which represented the wealth he had accumulated over a long period of time. Now however, he was busily fighting for his life while avoiding tripping over the furniture and clutter he had collected over the years.

Aleks continued to recline in a relaxed manner while watching the four fight. He was impressed by the Don’s ability to hold off the three considering he wasn’t truly a frontline warrior. Aleks continued to analyze his information and realized his basic class was a thief which he then eventually classed up to a nightstalker just like his two former subordinates. His advanced class however was a Shadow Fencer, this is what gave him the majority of his offensive strength.

Thieves and nightstalkers are known for stealth related abilities and sneak attacks. They’re not frontline warriors, although they could hold their own in a fight against more offensive minded classes for a short time. A ‘Shadow Fencer’ appears to be a mixed class which focuses on both swordsmanship and stealth. It can’t directly win against a martial focused advanced class but it’s certainly a diverse class which can handle a variety of situations.

At that moment, Don Gregorio visibly activated one of his special abilities. He had been guarding against the attacks of Lenia and the two puppets and had suddenly erupted with speed and power. His increased speed allowed him to rapidly blink forward towards Lenia. This caught her somewhat by surprise and she prepared to defend herself cautiously.

The flash of information was ceaseless as it crossed Aleks’s retina. The information revealed was detailed and included everything related to the Don’s status including the abilities of his class. Aleks noticed that the ability that Don Gregorio had activated was ‘Shadow Fade.’ He had not stopped analyzing the Don throughout the fight while also cross referencing with other similarly related classes and abilities.

Hmm, according to the Tower of Babel this is an advanced version of the ability ‘Shadow Step’ which is a thief ability. ‘Shadow step’ allows a thief to rush forward quickly to strike at an enemy but ‘Shadow Fade’ allows one to rapidly blink forward. Both are rapid methods of attack which utilizes a thief type class’s speed, but ‘Shadow Fade’ is an almost instantaneous action and is very difficult to defend against. Quite the useful ability, it allows the user to disappear into the shadows momentarily and propel forward appearing in front of the enemy without much of a warning. Perhaps in the future I should invest in a thief type subordinate.

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Just when it appeared that Don Gregorio would strike Lenia, his strange movement ability steered away to her left and towards the door. He was attempting to run as he had determined that he might not be able to defeat the three. Aleks, who had been observing the fight closely, finally made his move when he noticed the Don attempting to run. 

Banshee’s Wail!

A thousand eerie and disembodied voices shrieked outwards from Aleks’s upraised hands. He had finally stood from his seat and released the power of his ability, ‘Banshee’s Wail’. As an advanced class, he wouldn’t be able to instantly rip out the soul of Gregorio, but his ability was still extremely useful even on an advanced class enemy because it had the secondary effect of stunning the opponent for a brief time. The Don succumbed to the negative status effects of Aleks’s ability and was temporarily stunned.

“Now Lenia, finish him with ‘Daunting Strike’!”

“Yes master!”

Lenia struck out as soon as Aleks gave the order without the least bit of hesitation. Even though she was still relatively young in the sense that it had only been mere days since she was created, her battle prowess and instincts were not that of an inexperienced fighter. Lenia immediately initiated her ability and attacked, piercing through Gregorio’s defenses and doing increased damage. The Don slumped down as he bled out, eventually crumpling on to the floor. Lenia was about to follow up her previous attack to ensure the Don was in fact dead but was stopped by Aleks.

“Don’t kill him just yet.”

Aleks slowly approached the Don who was gasping on the floor with a pool of blood beginning to spread beneath him. Lenia’s attack had been fierce and he had already taken some damage from fighting his three opponents at once. He was a strong enemy and without Aleks’s ability he would have certainly escaped.

Leaning over the Don who was struggling for his life, Aleks turned his head from side to side and watched the Don’s death throes. The Don stretched out his hands as much as he could, struggling to grab his cane which had already fallen from his grasp and was just out of reach. It was clear he was dying but he wasn’t willing to die without a fight. Lenia stamped down firmly on his hand and ground down on it causing the Don to grit his teeth in even more pain.

“That attack of yours was very powerful Lenia, it looks like your ability ‘Daunting Strike’ is effective even when enemies are stunned by my ‘Banshee’s Wail’. I bet you never foresaw a scene like this, did you Gregorio? You will soon pass on, but don’t worry I will certainly make good use of your soul. If it helps your parting, your two subordinates here didn’t really betray you. They are already dead, these are just puppets. But don’t worry, I will take good care of them. Now, you can rest in peace.”

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The Don tried to speak but both his heart and lungs had been pierced and blood had already filled up his lungs. He died soon after that with a look of grievance and horror on his face. Aleks didn’t waste any more time in devouring his soul acquiring 1000 ‘Soul Potential’.

“This will certainly help in improving your strength Lenia. It will soon be required, but for now we have quite a bit of wealth to move and a city to help spiral into chaos.”

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