Chapter 104: Hunting Zone
Derek made his way through the commoner district of the city before finally arriving at the gate. After flashing his adventurers badge, he left the city.
If everything Alanah had said was correct, he wouldnt be too far behind the trio and their guards. Derek found one of the trails heading east and took off.
Sure enough, after traveling only a few minutes, he caught sight of the guards trailing secretly behind, and was also able to spot Thomas and the others even further ahead, but out in the open. Derek slowed his speed and followed silently behind the guards, not wanting to give his position away to anyone.
Still, he was surprised that he was unable to find any trace of the Deathsworn on his way. Derek remembered what Alanah had said about the Deathsworn she had in Torith, and that he was previously a very high level noble. There were many more questions about the Deathsworn that Derek wanted to ask Alanah, eventually. Right now, he could only guess that the one she had been using in Torith happened to be skilled in stealth before she took him down.
Derek continued to follow the group for another hour and a half before they stopped. He looked around and found a few of the beasts that Alanah had mentioned. I guess this is the place. He thought. He then moved around the guards to find a good hiding place to observe. He wanted to be close enough to see and hear everything, but also close enough to act if or when something happened.
Derek finally settled on a tall, lush tree with thick branches. He slowly climbed his way up it, onto one of the branches near the top. There were plenty of leaves around him to provide cover, and he would be able to have a good view of everything around.
Not long after settling in, Derek heard the blonde teenager begin discussing the plan. It seemed like the silver-plate armored teen had become the de facto leader of the group. Derek still couldnt believe how clean Clay was able to keep his gear. He definitely has the Cleaning ability. Derek thought, while listening to the boys plans.
“There are plenty of Horned Boars in the area around here. Ive already checked, and it will be just us hunting here today.” Clay said.
“How do you know that nobody else will be here?” Thomas frowned.
Derek smiled. It looks like they never informed Thomas of Clays background. Its nice seeing the boy being suspicious. Letting his guard down and ignoring my warning about the girl can still be attributed to teenage hormones. Im sure the girl vouched for Clay, too. Otherwise, it would be too strange for the three of them to go on a mission together. Its good to know that he doesnt automatically trust Clay just because hes that girls friend.
“Oh, Thomas, dont worry. Clay is a noble, didnt I tell you?” The brunette girl answered Thomas. This time dressed in a white and red robe-like attire. It actually looked like some healers garb you would see in a video game.
Derek chuckled silently as he watched Thomass frown deepen. If nothing else, Derek knew that Thomas had an extreme dislike for nobles. Not even the nice experience he had at the Gracefall Manor could change that, at least not in a short amount of time.
“No. You did not.” Thomas answered. His eyes shifted towards the noble. “Even if you are a noble, you shouldnt be able to know what every other person is going to do today.”
Clay sighed. “You know nothing of noble society. Normally, I wouldnt bother to explain myself, but it seems that you will not be convinced unless I do so.” Clay opened his arms wide and spun around in an opulent gesture. “This area is our, the nobles, hunting ground. Commoners wouldnt dare hunt here without permission, and I have made sure that none of the other nobles plan on coming here today. It is ours to do as we wish.”
“Isnt that amazing!” Alicia chimed in. “This place is perfect for our level, and we wouldnt get to hunt here otherwise.”
“Why?” Thomas asked Clay. “Why bring us here to hunt with you. Why dirty your reputation by associating with commoners?”
Clay laughed. “Alicia is like a little sister to me. She may not be a noble, but she is no mere commoner. She is from one of the richest families in the city. Her family is worth more than many lower tier nobles. As for you.” His eyes squinted as he glared back at Thomas. “The only reason you are here is because she wants you to be. If your combat ability is not up to snuff, then dont blame me for sending you back.”
Damn, I wish I had some popcorn. Derek was enjoying the show from his perch. This kid is good. He knows that Thomass actions show that the boy wont trust him, so hes putting everything on Alicia. Then, he challenged the boys combat ability… in front of the girl Thomas likes.
“Its fine, Thomas. Clay isnt bad like a lot of the others.” Alicia chimed in.
“Alicia!” Clay reprimanded. “You have to be careful not to speak like that around others. If someone else heard you, it would be bad.”
“No one else is here. You said so yourself.” She answered, and Clay sighed.
Thomas let out a breath. “Fine. What are we going to do?” He asked. He was still frowning and clearly showed suspicion, but he finally gave in.
Clay cleared his throat. “As I was saying… Nobody else will be using these hunting grounds today. None of the beasts around here are above level 60, most of them are around level 50.” He gestured to the open area around them. “I am able to hunt them by myself if needed, so with three of us, it will be even easier.”
“Of course, that is assuming that I only hunt one beast at a time, which is what we will do. I will go out and lead a beast back to this clearing, and we will fight it here. That way, there will be no trees or terrain to get in our way. It may be a little slower, but it is much safer.” Clay then focused on Thomas. “Alicia said that you are proficient in the spear. Are you?” He bluntly asked.
Thomas moved his hand, and the spear Derek had given him appeared. Thomas didnt seem to see it, but Derek saw a slight reaction from both the girl and the noble when he pulled the spear out of nowhere.
“I guess we ’ll just have to find out.” Thomas spoke.
Clay smiled. “Good.” He said before a large, silver kite shield appeared in front of him. He took the shield in his left hand, then a gleaming longsword appeared in his right. “I will lead the monsters here and tank the damage. Alicia will provide healing and support. Thomas, try to do some damage without getting in my way.”
Woah! Derek thought. It was unusual for someone to choose to be a tank of their own accord. Most people couldnt handle the constant beatings and pain. Sure, there were skills that dampened the pain, but it was still there. If it wasnt for the teens schemes, I would actually have a little more respect for him. I mean, with all that gear, it would be hard for anything around here to actually cause any damage, but surely hes been on the receiving end of some pain.
Thomass eyes gleamed when the gear appeared, but soon his expression went back to how it was before. “Dont worry. Theres no way that I will be in anyones way.”
Challenge accepted! Derek thought. He looked forward to seeing the skills of the group, especially Thomas and Clay. It had been a while since he had sparred with Thomas, and he hoped the boy had been keeping the rust off. The boys actions may have disappointed him some, but one thing the kid still had going for him was his skill with the spear.
“Okay, lets start.” The golden-haired teen commanded.
Soon, a yellow light shone over Clays body. Then, the same light appeared on Thomas. A blue light soon followed suit, then red.
“You have extra speed, defense, and attack for 10 minutes.” The feminine voice chimed. “Ill recast after cooldown and heal when needed.” Alicia said.
So she is pure support. I wonder how she levels. Does she gain experience when somebody with one of her buffs kills something? Thats probably it. I wonder how a pure healer would gain levels. Derek hadnt run into many people with just combat support roles, and hed never bothered to ask any that he did. Besides, it may be different with this system than the other.
Thomas looked over his glowing arms and smiled. He turned to Alicia. “Thanks!” He said.
“Get ready!” Clay shouted, then ran into one of the forested areas.
Not long after, Derek heard a squeal, then the rustling began sounding through the area. Soon, Clay broke back into the clearing, followed by a five foot tall boar with two large bone tusks protruding out from the sides of its mouth, then curving back in almost like a hook.
The boar charged out of the brush and lowered its head just as Clay turned to face it. Clay set his feet and lowered shoulder behind the shield. A loud crash sounded out as the tusks made contact with the shield.
Clay took a step back, but held. He swung his sword out from behind the shield and a small cut appeared in the hide of the boar.
“What are you waiting for? Attack!” He yelled.
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