Chapter 35: The Key to Victory

[Companion Information

Name: Inari
Titles: The Feeder
Level: 3
Experience: 2/30
Age: Child
Race: Quad-Tailed Nature-Fox
Rank: E
Class: None
Specialization: None
Profession: Unemployed]

[Stats

Health: 20/40
Mana: 10/10
Stamina: 10/20
Mana Regen per minute: 10
Health Regen per hour: 40
Strength: 4.5
Vitality: 4
Endurance: 4
Dexterity: 1
Agility: 4
Intelligence: 2
Wisdom: 1
Perception: 4
Charisma: 1

Willpower: 3
Luck: 3
Aura: 5.5

Attack Rating: 12.5
Defense Rating: 2]

[Passives

Nature Affinity Level 1: Increased health and mana regeneration within jungles, forests, and sunny, warm, or moist environments. Increases damage against enemies of the Chaotic Affinity by 10%.]

Michael was laughing hysterically after reading the gigantic vixen’s new title, before muttering “Seriously… I’m probably the only person in this whole damn world who would get that joke, ya know? Those ‘Goddesses’ must be really fucking bored; I’m surprised they didn’t give me a ‘Chronic Masterbator’ title, or maybe they just consider that normal. Yeah, otherwise, ninety-percent of the male-Human population would be branded that way.”

Then he pulled six, level-six, rank-G mana-cores out of his inventory. Each of them was from a ‘Bengal Tiger,’ and were a light-orange color.

Even after her transformation, Inari still acted like a hungry puppy, and whimpered in a surprisingly high-pitched voice, as she looked at the palm of Michael’s hand. He smiled and said “Don’t worry girl, these are for you.” as he held his hand out to her.

The moment that she used her long, pink tongue to slurp up the beads, her body began glowing brightly. It made him wonder “Does being two ranks higher, make absorbing mana-cores easier?”

Once she had finished ‘leveling-up,’ he sighed and muttered “I guess it really is one point, per level, per rank…” As he chose to increase her Agility by three, he immediately noticed that the slightly sluggish and awkward fox, had started running and jumping around him excitedly.

When she stood on her hind-legs, she was actually a whole foot taller than Michael. Of course, that meant that she was only about two-meters long, since he was relatively short.
However, when she pounced into his arms, he was amazed at how incredibly light she was. For her size, Inari should have been at least four-hundred pounds, and that was just the base-line.

With her relatively high Strength, Endurance, and Vitality added into the mix, she would have been at least twice as heavy. Fortunately, Agility has a much larger effect on weight, than all three of those stats combined.

Michael casually tossed the bear-sized vixen into the air a few times, while telling her “Daw~, who’s my adorable little puppy? Hehe~, you’re so much nicer than that murderous little Thief, or that sneaky Priestess…” Then he pulled her into a tight hug and muttered “Unfortunately, you’re a fox, and not the sexy, kitsunemimi kind; well, I already have a cat-girl. Ugh, maybe I shouldn’t be basing my Companion choices on whether they’re racially diverse and female.”

Inari, like always, had no idea what the strange Human was talking about, but she enjoyed being played with, so she didn’t really care. After licking his face a few times, he finally let her go and said “Eww~, damn it… I wonder what they’re doing anyway? Huh, so they’re headed towards ‘Jacobstown.’ Whadda ya think girl? Should we go and see what they’re up to, or grind some levels in the jungle?”

The gigantic fox barked happily while trying to bite at the glowing ball, floating above his right hand. After letting out a long sigh, Michael nodded and gently caressed her fluffy green fur, while whispering “You’re right, sooner or later, they’ll just wind up getting themselves killed anyway. Once that happens, they’re gonna be so pissed… It’ll be hilarious; especially when they find out that while they were dicking around over there in the shitty plague-lands, they could have been power-leveling with us.”

As the two of them began walking westward, towards the ‘Tiger-Zone’ as he called it, Elina had finally exited the jungle. The Priestess had expected to find thousands of corpses, but all that remained were rotting wheat, corn, and other crops.

It had all been trampled upon and destroyed, then infested with horrible diseases. However, ‘Jacobstown’ was nowhere to be seen.

Even before the undead legions passed by, that village really wasn’t that large… but it was still visible from a distance. There had been a granary with a large windmill, plus some fairly tall barns and most importantly, she wasn’t very far away.

When she came closer to the wreckage, she noticed that all of the buildings had been completely flattened, and there were plenty of crushed tools and equipment laying about. There were no zombies or skeletons wandering around though, because the sun was still high in the sky; even if they had stuck around, the light would have disintegrated them all.

Elina sighed with relief as she saw the rubble of ‘The Roasted Maize,’ because she could immediately hear that familiar melody emanating from a few dozen meters away. It was as if a thousand Angels were calling out to her; an allure that anyone of the Light Affinity would experience.

After a few minutes of digging through the broken logs and boards, she finally managed to uncover the remnants of her leather backpack. She grinned as she reached down and grabbed the dull, rusted and grayish object.

Just to be sure, she used her ‘Scan Level-5’ on it: “Rusted Key: Probably opens a lock somewhere. Unknown Quality, requires level-??? to use.” Given the fact that it was literally calling out to her, and was at least Epic, she knew that it was obviously a very special item.

However, her satisfied smile instantly disappeared when she heard a deep and raspy voice asking “Did you honestly think that we would ever stop hunting you, heretic?” Unlike Darkness-Thieves that could hide in the shadows, Inquisitor’s specialized in manipulating light, to create another form of invisibility.

Dressed in pure-white, full-body leather armor, and covered in cloth robes, with silver masks over their faces, five people had surrounded her. One was clearly a woman, while the other four were men, but all of them were around the same height of six-feet tall.

The one who spoke was standing directly in front of Elina, and his golden eyes shone with a bright radiance; even if his blank mask didn’t reveal anything else, she could feel that they were definitely going to kill her. Then a seed of doubt started to sprout in her mind “What if I’m too far away from Michael? Actually, what if he decides not to resurrect me? No-no, he doesn’t even know that I abandoned him, so there’s no way he would… Wait, if I die, then he’ll definitely find it suspicious, right?”

She immediately tried to store the key into her only bag-slot, but it just told her “Unable to store items that are over fifty levels above your own.” Her whole body trembled in fear; she didn’t want to die, but losing that divine artifact, which her Goddess had personally asked her to obtain, was far more terrifying.

As she used ‘Identification Level-6’ on the person in front of her, she trembled even more. He was “Anthony the Holy Reaper, Level-14 Human High-Inquisitor, Rank-G.”

Compared to magical-beasts, the danger of humanoids usually depended more on their skill-levels, tactics, and equipment. It was obvious with just a glance that the five of them were wearing uniforms, which meant that they probably weren’t Soulbound, but created by holy craftsmen.

While his name and level were very intimidating to the defenseless Priestess, Sarah was just watching everything play out, as if it didn’t even concern her. She was hiding in the rubble of the neighboring building; the six of them were so enthralled by that strange key, that they didn’t even notice the little Thief.

Elina bit her lip and threatened “You’re calling me the heretic? The Goddess of Light herself has commanded me to obtain this divine relic, and bring it to the Luxian Vaults! Yet you greedy murderers dare to blaspheme Her Holiness in such a despicable way?!”

Anthony immediately retorted “Nonsense! The Archangel Laoth ordered me to retrieve that sacred treasure, and execute any heretics who dare to lay their filthy hands upon it!”

It was at that moment that two messages appeared before Sarah: “Quest Complete: Elina is in a seemingly hopeless situation, surrounded by five Inquisitors, who are determined to kill her. Everything seems to be related to that mysterious, rusted key.” Then her experience bar had quickly filled to 50/60, and a new part of her ‘bag’ was unlocked, which allowed her to store currencies.

She had a wide grin on her face, as she read the second notification: “Class-Change Quest: The main objective of Thieves, is to steal from others, but there are limits. You care more about power than money, and you enjoy reaping lives, much more than profits. Umbra has felt your hate, witnessed your desire, and heard your prayers. Five Inquisitors are about to murder your Companion; kill them. Reward: New Class, fifty experience-points, and a Soulbound item.”

Sarah snickered and then glanced at the arrogant white-cloaked enemies, who didn’t even have any visible weapons on them. After a few seconds, a dark cloud suddenly passed by, which signaled her assault.

Just when Anthony wrapped his relatively large hands around the cat-girl’s throat, a tiny figure appeared between the two of them, and he suddenly felt a searing pain in his groin. Both of those poisoned daggers had instantly castrated him.

Even though there was a huge level-gap, there wasn’t much of a difference in actual stats. Generally speaking, F-rank was usually twice as powerful as G, so they were about even in that regard.

Obviously, he had a major advantage in combat experience and equipment… but it still wasn’t enough to make him immune to her critical-strike of ‘-19.’ Considering that his maximum health had only been thirty, she had dealt him a nearly fatal blow; with the massive bleeding, alongside the poison, he was dying very quickly.

When Elina cast ‘Blinding Light,’ his eyes burned out of their sockets, and he screamed in agony for a moment, before promptly dying. A huge ‘+7 Exp’ popped-up, as Sarah immediately moved on to her next target.

Activating ‘Hate-Strike,’ she ducked down and stabbed into the only female’s tailbone, with her left dagger. A lethal amount of Darkness mana, surged up the woman’s spine, into her brain, and caused her whole health-pool to vanish instantly.

After that, the three remaining Inquisitors finally reacted, and each attacked at the same time. As their fists and legs were flung out, small blades erupted from their white-leather boots and gauntlets. Rather than poison, their weapons were enchanted to deal Light damage, and if any of them had landed a decent hit on Sarah, she definitely would have died.

However, unlike Michael, she had been training for nearly her entire life. Of course, those three men had many more years of experience than her; fortunately, there was something much more important than practice, or equipment.

The little girl suddenly leaped two meters into the air, dodging all three attacks, and then spinning her entire body. That long and relatively thick, worm-like tail was whipped into the back of one man’s hooded-head, dropping his health to 5/20 and stunning him.

As the other two turned around and punched towards her, their foot-long blades managed to tear the leather armor on her back, but that was all. After spinning sideways in the air, she stabbed a small rusty dagger straight through the left eye-socket of the man, farthest to the right.

Then she latched onto the other man’s neck with her slimy tail, gripping it tightly, and as she landed, rolled between his legs and caused his entire body to perform a front-flip. The sharp barbs that were lodging into his veins and arteries, had caused massive lacerations across the sides of his throat, and he had also received a ‘diseased’ and ‘poisoned’ debuff, on top of ‘critically-bleeding.’

After that, she used her last remaining dagger and casually walked over to the concussed Inquisitor, whose mask had fallen off. She was laughing hysterically, as she turned his face to her, and slowly gouge out both of his eyes; then pried out half of his surprisingly white teeth, before his health finally reached zero.

Next Chapter!

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6 thoughts on “Chapter 35: The Key to Victory

  1. Pingback: Chapter 34: Companions Have Quests Too | Mike777ac

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