Chapter 26: Just A Little Heat
“As I said, you are a good shot. But your range and speed needs help are you too weak to increase it at the moment?” Eugene spoke casually and rather bluntly as we walked towards a trio of slain flame foxes.
They had lined themselves up perfectly. With just a single decently packed arrow was enough to instantly kill the three with one.
“Shame it didn’t go through the last one.” I looked over the area.
I didn’t see a small hole in the mountainside near the last fox that had died.
It’s unfortunate the materials from flame foxes aren’t any good. Adding to the reason why no one has bothered to update the information on them as no one has bothered to hunt them.
Outside of the two orbs. Flame foxes aren’t edible, aren’t any good to craft with, and once they ‘dried’ they would be as brittle as spent campfire log.
I began to extract the two orbs as I replied to Eugene.
“I’ve been slowly increasing the draw weight of my bowstring, but yeah it takes time.”
One by one I performed both extracting spells and produced six orbs in total.
“Four of these have fire essence…” Double checking with a small mote of light I could see two mana and essence orbs had a sparkly red-orange inside them.
“Three of the five hyres you’ve slain have had elemental essence. I only found four water essence mana orbs when I hunted the needle wolves. Are you really not a blessed child Lucid?” Eugene eyed me with a mixture of suspicion and sadness.
His face still looked the same as it always did, but I could feel it.
“I’m really not and if I was I would have told you by now.” As a friend, I felt I could trust him with that, but was too embarrassing. And as a way to obtain his mother as a sponsor with power and wealth on a global scale, but that was a bit rude to say.
I also felt it was much better to announce being a blessed kid than someone from a different world.
[It is Blessed Child, Lucid.]
“Then if these six orbs are not just incredible luck it will be a big discovery, you should try and keep it under wraps.”
[He is right Lucid, once someone finds out it will only be time before someone leaks or sells the information. You should take advantage of the opportunity the dungeon has given you.]
Opportunity… you make it sound like the dungeon appeared out of the goodness of its heart. This damned place has tried to kill us more than once…
Though I knew Eurval and Eugene where right. I would very much like to have most of this to myself.
Finished extracting I looked to the mountain range before me.
[It seems the large mountain everyone can see from the entrance was hiding this range of smaller mountains behind it, be careful Lucid this area is unexplored.]
I nodded my head.
I could see at least a couple hundred glowing orange dots running around the mountain range. Eurval’s counter hovering around 540.
If I go by the guidebooks it would mean there was at least two or three times this, possibly more, we couldn’t see.
“The scout didn’t bother to climb up the mountain. Or anyone here after seeing only flame foxes.”
Is that how useless everyone sees flame foxes?
[Hunting flame foxes is a waste of time especially for melee combatants in terms of efficiency. That is of course not counting our finding that half seem to have fire elemental essence in both orbs Lucid.]
Too bad for them.
“I see another one, down that way lets go.” I pointed to a little flame fox alone a couple hundred meters away.
I ran down jumping off the jutting rocks while keeping my feet light as we quickly crept up on it.
As I created an arrow, I felt the sensation of Eugene’s eyes scanning me. It wasn’t unpleasant, but I had to make a conscious choice to not block it from entering me.
My arrow flew towards the lone fox. Shimmering under the starry sky as it drew near.
After piercing through the fox’s head a deep sound rang out from the arrow hitting the mountain behind it.
“Got it.” With the same light steps to not spook any that might be in the area.
I walked down to collect my materials. Neither of the orbs had any essence.
After collecting its two orbs we continued on. I had chosen to move in zigzag, up and down one of the mountains in an attempt to sweep the area.
Like the database had said they were weak even after being wrongly evaluated.
“Those four will make twenty-six.”
After I having slain the trio I had thought three would be the largest group, but these four now appeared.
[Try it Lucid it will be good practice. Plus I feel you can outrun them if Eugene decided to leave you for dead.]
I thought we where trusting people more…
[It is hypothetical, I do believe Eugene will help if you cannot do it.]
Hidden from them I peaked at them from behind a large black rock.
Tch. They were constantly moving never really lining themselves up.
The arrow was drawn and I waited…
My wind bolt flew straight hitting the first then the second! Instantly the first two fell over.
That should be good enough. I can fight the other two on my own.
The two remaining flame foxes darted their head around to see what had attacked them. Snarling while sniffing the air.
Although I could control the wind once they were on alert it would be impossible to hide from them.
I jumped out of cover with another arrow already drawn. White mana covered me as I used the movement spell to dash up the mountain.
The moment they saw me the two hyres yipped in anger as they ran up to catch me.
As they ran up they send a barrage of molten bullets. It was no use I had plenty left in the charge. I dodged their attacks running in a small circle a little higher up the mountain another wind arrow was already nocked.
The on to my left instantly fell over as it ran up towards me.
Another one down.
In anger, the other one finally barked as it increased its charge.
A giant single ball of glowing metals was shot at me, like a cannonball from hell.
It was much slower, so it was easier to dodge, the crater it left was quite scary to see.
After using so much energy with that innate magic I could see its run already slow even the glow it had dimmed. The top of its coat looked like it had a layer of slag.
I shot another arrow. Easily, it hit killing the fourth hyre.
With my heart still pumping. I looked around scanning the area to see if I alerted any with the noise and lights.
Nothing. Slowly my breath normalized.
I looked over to Eugene who had put his two daggers away. He had stopped his scan a little after I had killed the third.
He must have been worried.
I’m not that weak, but I have come a long way. Although a little weaker than the ruby fanged tigers flame foxes had magic and I had killed two in a battle! Alone!
Of course I wouldn’t have engaged them had I not had Eugene, but still, it was good to see my progress.
Even if the battle with the two was difficult, I never felt in danger of losing my life. Partly because Eugene was watching but mostly because I did feel in control the entire fight.
They really are way too quick for the rating they have. I would say they are maybe around the 1.5k instead of the 1k. Putting within spitting distance of the agility the ruby tigers had.
Well, a 500 point difference must be nothing for anyone above 10k. I’m sure the scout was well above that.
With that battle’s mana expenditure I was left feeling a little under half now. It was time to head back and recuperate.
There was no way I would be sleeping here, at least the Cave floor had Laurent guardsmen and I’m sure plenty of powerful people to kill an hyre that popped up.
[Based on the reports I’ve read not a single hyre has ever appeared there Lucid.]
Good. That floor really is a safe haven especially the way Laurent left it. Even better was how stable the mana is, I’m sure anyone who makes it there really might be able to wait out its conquest.
I was also happy that the cave floor had no mental magic trial or curse attached to it either.
I looked to Eugene “Lets head back?”
If I squinted hard I could see the end of his lips slightly curve downwards after I spoke.
“Alright. I can process the data I’ve collected for today.”
Maybe I imagined it.
I wanted to go back for another reason too. I felt it was a good a time as any to being using essence orbs on myself. There was no longer to stop. My life in the current situation needed whatever strength I could get.
I had held off from doing it up above since the benefit of making sure I was allowed in the city of Laurent outweighed the risk of using essence orbs to increase my strength.
Now, none of that mattered. A fortress my fucking ass.
I looked behind us as we began making the walk back towards the exit.
“It will take us least a couple of weeks to cover these mountains from end to end. Are you okay with coming with me every day until we get most of them? We can share the orbs of flame foxes if you want.”
Half was better than nothing.
“Orbs? I have enough to last me a couple of weeks. I am fine so long as you let me observe your healing process with no obstruction.”
Weeks? If he doesn’t buy orbs just how large was the pack he killed…
I shook the thought. “Okay, then if your willing to go that far I won’t mind…havinganightsession” my words trailed off.
“Can you repeat that Lucid I quite hear you?”
“I won’t mind having the night session.”
It didn’t sit right having to ask for this much and not putting o—, I mean giving back. Maybe if my emotions were still messed up I wouldn’t have offered, but they weren’t anymore so I wanted to do what felt right.
“Oh, we weren’t going to do that tonight?”
Ah, I never discussed not needing the night session.
“Let’s go I don’t want to catch any tungsten tigers.”
Unlike needle wolves or crows, the tungsten tigers moved alone or at most in pairs. However, they were extremely, I mean extremely hard to kill. Not any more deadly the other two, but off of their description they seem like a pain to kill. They did appear to be a great source of high tungsten as it wasn’t just their coat or fangs, but their bones too.
I had been a bit anxious about the trip back, but we ended up not running into anything. In fact, it felt like there were more parties out hunting.
We had passed by Mei and Runter too who were panting as they caught their breath surrounded with mounds of dead hyres.
I think they had fought non-stop for a couple of hours…
Now back in the cave we slowly made our way back to Eugene’s house. Curious now that I was connected to the local network.
[User9121: Umm, I just found fire essence in multiple essence orbs from a rank C hyre.
User4421: What where?
User310: Why would anyone tell you lol gotta pay up $$$
What the hell… rank C at least it isn’t my flame foxes.
I continued to look through the message boards.
[User10322: Who the hell lied the ratings for the blaze lizards my fucking party almost died what fuck!
User7843: Seriously I almost died from a fire sprite. A fire sprite!
User8323: Our team had to disband after our leader had his leg burnt off with a from a baby ash python. It coiled up and took it right off even cauterized it. ]
I don’t think the scout messed up the rating anymore…
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