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Leveling through Lust – Chapter 15: Danger in the Dark Bahasa Indonesia

As I left Marianne’s maid behind, still dressed as Selena, after explaining to her that there had been an emergency decision taken by the house, calling me back to their estate, something she didn’t enjoy hearing. Regardless, I walked away, but my blood still flowing quickly in my veins. I needed some physical exercise to throw away the excess energy if I were to catch any sleep. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any convenient target for my favorite physical activity, now that the library was out of commission for that purpose.

Luckily I had an alternative, though an inferior one. Physical combat. I stopped by my room and picked up a sword, though this time, I didn’t bother dressing in a fake warrior costume with all the armor, instead choosing a hooded cloak that would hide my identity as I sneaked into the forest. During my earlier visit, I have seen that the security there wasn’t exactly I would call alert, especially after the nightfall, where most students were smart enough to avoid the time that favored the monsters. They were still patrols around, of course, but they were aimed to prevent monsters from entering, not students from leaving.

For me, the increased risk was an acceptable trade-off for reduced oversight. I was starting to get chafed by all those fake identities as I got stronger. Not enough to fore-swear their usage, but I could feel the temptation to be actually known, rather than acting as a scavenger. But before revealing myself fully, I needed to make sure my combat skills were appropriately in place.

Once again, I sneaked into the weakest forest, one that was filled with class zero dire rabbits, and class one dire foxes, intent on cutting another path through them, getting more skill points while simultaneously exhausting myself enough to be able to sleep. For more than half an hour, I continued, chasing and killing monsters, mostly by my sword, but also relying on my magic on occasion, trying to integrate some quick blasting spells to my combat routine, or curing occasional wound I received. It was tempted to drain my mana by casting life-spells on the creatures, earning a huge boost in my biomancy skill, but I still kept most of my mana pool untouched just in case. After all, I didn’t have anyone to support me if things went sideways.

[+9 Melee]

[+2 Biomancy]

During that journey, my concentration was only broken when I saw the same warrior girl I had seen before, once again cutting a swathe through a pile of monsters, each blow felling at least two dire rabbits.

For a moment, I just stood there, appreciating the view. Standing straight, she was tall enough to tower over me by several inches, and the great sword she carried just added the majesty she displayed. Her raven black hair shone under the moonlight, each swing making them flew with the wind. Her muscles, while showed, wasn’t large enough to detract from her sexiness, and they shone with a sweat thick enough to signify that she had been fighting here since I had last seen her hours ago.

It was an interesting situation, not because she was able to down those weak monsters in one blow, as it was an achievement anyone could replicate, but because these rabbits were still attacking in a rush, which would have meant that she had to have some kind of magical effect driving them to attack. An interesting solution, considering that each kill resulted in one or two experience. A truly torturous way of leveling up. Also, it was dangerous, even in such a well-vetted area, because it wasn’t unheard of for perimeter wards to fail, and a stronger monster to slip in. And while a dire rabbit was manageable even when driven into a frenzy by magic, the same couldn’t be said for an elemental bear or something more dangerous.

But still, I doubted that she was swinging her sword non-stop for the hours I was away. For once, even for a Melius with endurance focus, swinging that sword for hours was no small feat. But maintaining a proper mindset for the battle was even more difficult. And if one’s focus faltered in the dark, even the weakest monster could be deadly.

My assessment was correct, it turned out, when I felt the dispersion of a magical field, and the rabbits froze for a moment, taking an account of their situation before dashing away in panic. She pressed her sword on the ground, leaning on it as she battled for her breath.

It would be a lie if I claimed that I wasn’t tempted to stray into the blood-soaked opening and try to strike a conversation, but in the end, I decided otherwise. Even with my speech skill and charisma, approaching an alone lady exhausted in battle in the middle of a deserted forest was an unnecessary challenge, especially when I didn’t even need to train my speech.

With that decision, I turned my back, and went deeper into the forest, which was easier than I had been expecting because of the small depopulation caused by the nameless battle maiden.

After a minute of walking, I received the best confirmation I could about the accuracy of not spending all of my mana. I was cleaving another rabbit, an innocent creature if I discounted its teeth, strong enough to dent steel, its eyes, glowing with an eerie red, and its thirst for human blood; when I felt a warning flash from my proximity ward going off in a way, buzzing with a strength I never felt before.

The same moment, I heard a soft noise, one that might be easily mistaken for the breeze. If it wasn’t for the proximity ward, I might have fallen for it even with my wisdom and perception stats. But with the warning, I decided to listen to my instincts and threw myself to the side while hastily constructing a shield, the strongest I could manage in less than a second.

[-50 Mana]

[-30 HP]

It turned out to be a good decision, because a black paw appeared from nowhere, mid-swing, barely slowed down by the barrier as it swung close to my face. A cold sweat spread to my body when a part of my brain decided to assess just how close I had been to an early demise. Sometimes, high intelligence and wisdom carried its own side effects.

I constructed another shield as I rolled on the ground, this time strong enough to hold back the follow-up attack, and observed the enemy in front of me that almost killed me. A curse escaped my mouth when I noticed my enemy, while it attacked my shield ineffectively.

[-50 Mana]

A shadow wolf!

I had no idea why a fucking class eleven creature was on the premises, nor I had time to speculate. I needed all of my attention to survive. I felt the time slow down as adrenaline was pumped into my veins. I tried to remember everything I could remember about them.

They were nocturnal hunters, and had a reputation for killing the whole parties who dared to camp in the deeper parts of the forests. They were pretty rare, as they were territorial enough to not to allow another shadow creature in their domain. They were fast, strong, but all above, stealthy.

Funny enough, the last part gave me confidence. I wouldn’t say that the shadow wolf was weak for its class. Its reputation as a party killer was well earned, hunting the stragglers one by one in the night, then melting back to shadows before the rest of the party could respond.

Luckily, I was well-equipped enough to deal with it thanks to my unique set of skills. I had high enough perception to catch its sneak attacks with the help of my proximity ward, and my agility was high enough to allow me to avoid its lightning-fast dashes. While I would have preferred to have a higher speed, my precision was enough to allow a successful counter-attack. And most importantly, I could cast defensive spells instantly, without trying to coordinate with a mage. Fuck every book that claimed multi-classing was a bad idea. I was alive because of it.

It attacked the shield that separated us, but once again, failed to penetrate through the barrier. It proved it smarts when, instead of trying to break through the shield by brute force, it turned into a dark cloud, mixing into the darkness, effectively becoming invisible.

My grip on my sword tightened even as I molded some mana to my left hand, ready to go off. My perception was doing overtime while I waited for its assault. Just like before, it came in a flash. Unlike the last time, I was ready, coiled like a spring, and the moment I received the warning from my proximity ward, my sword flashed, meeting its paw halfway.

The creature pushed me back even as it roared, and the screech of the metal reached my ears. Who could have guessed that the damaged sword I had stolen from a garbage can wouldn’t have lasted against a semi-legendary creature! But the sword was just a distraction, only there to delay it while I brought my hand under its chin, and sent a bolt of eldritch energy to the soft spot under its chin, putting as much as energy I could manage in a spell.

[-165 Mana]

It proved fast enough to prevent it from stabbing to its brain, but it wasn’t a complete waste. When it pulled back, a part of its face was absent, and along with an eye. Most of its chin was gone as well, removing the threat of a bite attack along. However, it looked pissed, something that was confirmed a moment later when a furious roar reached my ear.

And against its fury, I had a broken sword and a mana pool half empty. Trying to repeat the same tactic was tempting, but I wasn’t willing to bet against its adaptability. So instead of trying to sneak, it chose to rush in a furious assault. I rolled away at the last second, but it wasn’t without a cost. I carried a mark of its fury on my left shoulder, deep enough to be deadly if left untreated for a while. Still, I was alive, which was much more important than the alternatives.

[-220 HP]

I could barely able to stand up when it came with the same furious rush. I sent another bolt of energy, but it just dodged, giving me a second to put another barrier around me. It collided with it, but failed to break through it, which made it roar once more.

The scene repeated a couple of times, while I tried to come up with a spell it wouldn’t be able to avoid while doing the sufficient damage, but came blank. There was a reason most preferred elemental magic for pure combat purposes. Even my melee abilities were useless with my broken sword, with a reach barely longer than a bread knife, and a blunter tip.

I was just contemplating a range of suicidal tactics to increase my chance of survival by a sliver when I heard a shout. “Catch.” Both I and the wolf turned towards the sound, and we saw the same female warrior I had observed earlier, but her presence took the back seat against a more important detail. Her greatsword, traveling towards us while turning like a wheel.

The wolf dodged away easily, but I had a more interesting plan, and less suicidal than the others I could think of. I dispelled the barrier, and took a soft step forward, stretching my abilities to the limit as the sword passed the same space I was occupying just a second ago. My hand flashed, making me thankful for my precision, which, combined with my melee, allowed me to catch the sword midway.

I let its momentum force me to turn, but I directed towards the same area the wolf was trying to land. It realized the danger it was in, and tried to shift back to its shadow state, but it was too late. I swung the sword in a great cleave, aiming its legs…

The result was spectacular. I was expecting it to wound one of its legs, deep enough to hurt its mobility if I was lucky enough. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to cut through its legs like a knife through the butter, effectively immobilizing it. The sword had some serious enchantment on it, I realized, enough to make it a true treasure.

[+6 Melee]

It collapsed on the ground, helpless, but it was silent like it understood the fate it awaited him, and accepted. It was an alpha, and was willing to accept its fate with honor. One last chop would have ended it.

I didn’t want to be the one to deliver that swing, however. While I was dealing with the creature, the surprise guest of the night closed in the distance, and looking at the creature with awed eyes. “A shadow wolf,” she murmured in fascination.

“A rather interesting surprise, don’t you think, milady,” I said, feeling jovial now that the danger had passed. Then, without a word, I twisted the sword so that I was holding the tip, while the hilt was facing hers. “Thanks for the sword. It is magnificent.”

“It is amazing, isn’t it,” she said with a sudden display of joy. “It’s the miracle that carried our house name for seven generations, and now it’s my turn,” she added, this time with a sense of challenge, like she expected me to push back. She probably received rather skeptical comments on a woman having such a lofty goal, I realized. She relaxed when I nodded respectively rather than making an issue. “Wouldn’t you like to finish it before giving it back,” she continued, gesturing towards my own broken sword. “Yours doesn’t seem to be up to the task.”

“It certainly isn’t,” I added. “But rather than taking it myself, I would like to gift that kill for the gallant damsel who chose to save this knight in distress.”

She giggled at my comment before turning a serious expression. “Are you serious?” she asked. I suddenly had a feeling that, if I tried to do that with a weaker creature, I would receive a rather angry retort about her not needing handouts, but a class eleven creature wasn’t something to be dismissed by pride. I could easily imagine certain nobles paying hundreds of golds for the privilege of delivering the killing blow, thus getting the experience. Of course, for me, the sacrifice was meaningless, considering that I would earn no experience from the deed.

“Like a heart attack,” I said. “It’s nothing less than a magnificent lady like you, beautiful and courageous deserves.” She tried to look angry, which gave me another insight into her personality. Under normal circumstances, the same words would probably result in a beating. Luckily, the situation was rather far away from the land of normalcy.

“If you insist,” she said as she took the sword. “But I insist that you get its carcass. Otherwise, it would be too much.” I nodded, and she swung her sword with great expertise, lobbing the head of the creature with a wide swing. She looked at the empty space in front of her, no doubt watching the notification that appeared in front of her with fascination. But she wasn’t the only one that

[Achievement: Deadly Dowry. Leverage a deadly catch that brought you to the brink of the death to catch the attention of a dangerously sexy lady. +1000 Experience, +3 Strength]

The achievement had been a nice bonus, not that I needed assistance in deciphering her suspiciously curious glances towards my way. I ignored her for a moment, and used my biomancy to heal myself, at this level, it was still very ineffective for it, but I could stop the bleeding at least.

[+1 Biomancy]

[-100 Mana]

[+15 HP]

But stepping the bleeding wasn’t the only reason I used the spell. She still didn’t know who I was, and the situation was as favorable as it could get to reveal a part of myself, and getting an ally, which had the potential to turn into ally with benefits if everything went well.

“I wouldn’t have expected a mage skilled enough to take a shadow wolf in single combat. I thought your ilk chose to hide behind proud soldier for protection rather than risking their precious hide.”

“You would find out that I’m a rather unusual mage, in more ways than one,” I said even as I let my hood to fall down, giving her an unrestricted view of my face. She might be the first one that saw it for a while, because I had started to use an illusion to hide it while I went around in Mule identity. I had to do it, because fourteen points of charisma were rather attention-grabbing.

“It seems so,” she said, unaware that the night wasn’t enough to hide her blush from my eyes. “But I feel curious just how much.”

“I would like to explain it, but I fear that the commission might bring some guards here, and I have some reasons to hide my prowess, the general distaste for mages who actually decide to fight instead of hiding behind the others only one of it,” I said, once again glad for my speech skill. I would have focused seducing her, but I expected guards to appear any second, and more I could carve off this monster, the better.

“Interesting,” she murmured, her eyes alight with interest, in more ways than one. The situation was basically a cheat code for seduction, I had to admit. A handsome, mysterious warrior of a great aptitude, cloaked in dark, suggesting a greater mystery was too tempting to deny for a brave warrior like her. “Maybe we could meet tomorrow night and you can explain those mysteries better.”

“Agreed. It’s a date,” I said, followed by a wink to reveal that the word choice was intentional.

She blushed. “Good,” she murmured. “By the way, my name is Aviada,” she said.

“A magnificent name for a magnificent name,” I said, enjoying her intensifying blush. “And I’m Caesar,” I answered, using my birth name for the first time in a long while. It tasted weird in my tongue, but for the first time in my life, it felt right, that I was finally strong enough to fulfill the implications of the name, which belonged to the biggest hero my city had ever produced.

“An ambitious name for a mysterious stranger,” she said before disappearing behind the trees. After a brief pause where I repaired my sword, I started skinning my trophy. The more I could get before the guards arrived and I had to disappear, the better.

After half an hour of tense skinning, and cutting, where I managed to extract every valuable part of the wolf, I had realized that there were no guards coming, which was curious. I didn’t expect them to respond instantly, but even if the wards somehow failed to warn them, they should have heard the battle, or at least, felt the magic I had used. The blast that took half of the monster’s face was not really sneaky, both visually and magically.

But still, no guard came, and I burned the worthless remains of the wolf -relatively worthless, as they could easily be sold to several golds, but I currently lacked the opportunity to do so, and it might be hard to explain how the Mule suddenly came across a shadow wolf spleen or intestine. But the head, I took along with the skin, bones, and some highly-magical parts like its claws, my biomancy once again coming useful in processing them for storage.

But burning and processing those took the rest of my mana, and when I returned to my room, I was completely exhausted. But despite my exhaustion, the sleep proved elusive. A part of it was my sudden brush with death. Just a moment’s delay, and I would have died. Still, the sudden appearance of the monster, and the guards’ suspicious absence was more important. Something told me that things were planned, and while I could be the target, my instincts told me otherwise.

It seemed like I had a mystery to solve if I wanted to keep my new paramour alive…

[Level: 9 Experience: 43400 / 45000

Strength: 9 Charisma: 14

Precision: 10 Perception: 10

Agility: 12 Manipulation: 12

Speed: 7 Intelligence: 12

Endurance: 10 Wisdom: 17

HP: 187 / 450 Mana: 15 / 585 ]


[Advanced Subterfuge (50/50)

Advanced Arcana [50/50]

Advanced Biomancy [31/50]

Basic Speech [25/25]

Basic Melee [23/25] ]


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