System Change

Chapter 85: Becoming Official

Chapter 84: Attack

Derek rushed forward after knocking the beast back. The last thing he wanted was to give the Void Beast a chance to run. He drove another fist into the abdomen of the creature. Again, not causing any visible damage. Derek continued this pattern.

Derek moved side to side, dodging thrusts and ducking under swipes from the monster. After gauging the toughness and durability of the Void Beast, he started throwing in a Multi-Strike occasionally. He did not want to push the monster too hard, too fast, but he knew that he would have to keep an eye on his own stamina to make sure that he had more than enough to finish the fight or handle any surprises.

Claw swipes tore through the air, missing their mark by centimeters. Occasionally, Derek would not be able to dodge a blow, and would be forced to raise his forearm to block. Other than that, he landed Multi-Strike every time he felt it off cooldown and punch after punch. Notifications would occasionally ring in his head, but attack and dodging took much more focus for Derek than turtling up and defending.

Finally, Derek felt winded. Which was a sign that his stamina was beginning to run low. Even then, he stayed glued to the beast. At last, it was time for him to take the next step in the battle.

Dereks next punch was loaded with the void. The beast finally showed a reaction to a hit. Though it was not as much of one as Derek expected. The creature flinched, but still managed a step back and a swipe of its claws.

The previous punch was only meant to size up his opponent. He did not aim for anything vital. His next strike, however, was at the center of the beasts chest. Assuming that he was correct, and the Void Beasts heart was there. The strike may not kill it, but it should do some damage.

Derek was correct, and not long after the strike landed, the beast stumbled backwards a step before righting itself. Surprisingly, that was all the damage that the beast showed. Derek had expected to see blood drip from its mouth like the last Void Beast that he hit with the void. Of course, that strike was with his glaive and not his fist. Still, the beast barely reacted to receiving a void covered strike to its heart.

Sighing, Derek loaded up another void covered fist and took aim again. He rushed forward, this time trying to combine Multi-Strike with the void fist. He was unsure how it would work, but anxious to see.

After ducking another attack, Derek drove his fist back into the creature ’s chest. The Void Beast slid back and paused. Silence reigned over the battle as the monster and Derek both looked at one another.

Then the Void Beast fell to its knees. The beast raised one clawed hand up, clutching at its chest. Its breathing grew heavier and heavier as its face contorted in pain and agony. Still, Derek stared cautiously.

No way Derek would underestimate the beast after their battle. It had already proven that it could injure him, especially if it took him by surprise and caught him in a vital area like his throat or head. Derek slowly approached, finally glancing at his status in the process.

His Unarmed Combat Mastery skill had grown to level 7 during the fight, and Multi-Strike grew to level 3. Unfortunately, he was unable to use Multi-Strike as much as he wanted because of the cost of each use. Even though he dragged the fight out for as long as possible, he was only able to use the skill a half dozen times because of the long cooldown, not to mention the mana cost per activation. Still, this was one of his most rewarding and profitable fights yet.

Derek stopped next to the panting beast. The blood that oozed from its mouth and nose pooled on the ground was getting bigger by the second. The creature heaved and coughed, causing large amounts of fluid to fly.

Derek, still covered in his own blood, crouched down next to the Void Beast. “So, I know I was summoning Void Beasts to kill, but that doesnt seem to be what set you off. Why exactly were you so enthusiastic to kill me?” He asked.

The beast slowly turned its head to meet Dereks eyes. “Like you…” It went into a coughing fit. Once it caught its breath, it hissed. “Like you dont know. Kill me and be done with it.”

Derek frowned. He did not know, and he said as much. “I really dont know. I was hoping to talk before. I mean, I honestly didnt know that there were any intelligent Void Beasts. I guess I should have known, but you were quite a surprise.”

The beast eyed Derek skeptically, its breathing becoming easier. “You are the enemy to all of my kind. You call and we must come, but you do not have control… yet.”

That caught his attention. He had originally thought that Void Call was a skill that allowed him to summon and control a Void Beast. He almost died because of that assumption. Now, however, it seemed that he might not have been too far off after all. “What will I be able to control? The void? Void Beasts?” He asked.

The beast scoffed. “Kill me.”

“Really? I was thinking about letting you go.” Derek said. But the resolute anger was still burning in the beasts eyes. “But it seems like if I do that, youll do what you can to find a way to come back and kill me.”

Derek sighed. “Fine, Ill kill you. No sense in letting you suffer like this anymore. Im not really one for torture.” He stood from his crouch and walked behind the kneeling beast. “I hope this works.”

Void energy covered Dereks palm, and he raised his hand. Just as the creature turned suddenly to try to land one more strike, Derek unleashed his palm on the Void Beasts head. Its outstretched arm fell to its side limply, and the light in its eyes flashed out. Its body fell over to the side.

Derek smiled halfheartedly. “I guess the brain is always the hardest thing to strengthen.” He bent down. He was still not sure if the beast was really dead, but when he tried to pull it into his bracelet, he succeeded. His bracelet could not store living things, so that mystery was solved.

Derek studied his surroundings before finding a large stone to sit on. He had planned on summoning and fighting as many Void Beasts as he could before the next day, but his last kill had left a bad taste in his mouth. He was out here to fight monsters, but not sentient ones. Sure, he had killed hundreds of human and alien races, and thousands of monsters, but he had never gone out of his way to hunt intelligent species or monsters.

He did not know the odds of calling an intelligent Void Beast, but one in three was his current ratio. He had also been thinking about trying some Void Beast cooked by the Crown, but all thoughts of that were now out the window.

Hunting and eating intelligent monsters was actually a common practice, according to what he had seen while he had the old system. There were some monsters that would even give permanent increases to stats. Of course, this only extended to evolved monsters, not actual intelligent beings. Still, it was one of the things Derek was unable to get behind.

Now Derek was in a dilemma. On one hand, he wanted to level up Void Call on the chance that it could increase to a controlling skill. On the other, he no longer felt like fighting Void Beasts. He was definitely going to head back to Torith in the morning, though.

Derek stood and sighed. I guess I need to find a river or stream somewhere. The one thing he did know was that he needed to wash all the blood off. Heh… I wonder what the guards would say if I showed up at the gate covered in blood.

Derek searched around and listened for a while, finally coming to the decision to go back to a stream he passed by on his way to hunt the Poison Fengs. By the time he reached the stream, night was falling. He washed up as best he could and decided to work on Void Call another day.

The next morning, Derek examined his scar covered body. All the wounds inflicted by the Void Beast were gone. Some of his previous scars were also gone. It seemed like his bodys healing healed not only the wounds, but even the scars that had been cut open by the beast. Some scars even looked weird. It was like someone dragged a knife up his abdomen, but kept lifting it in the process, leaving portions unscarred.

He did not like that. Derek had refused to remove his scars so he would have a reminder of what he had been through. Plus, he thought they looked cool. Now, some of the ones on his abdomen and chest just looked odd.

While checking over his body, he tried to communicate with Silvi, but was unable to. It made sense. He was quite far from the city. He was already surprised when he found that they could communicate with each other half a city apart, so he had no hope that it would actually work this far away.

Derek dressed and ate some jerky from his bracelet. He had a long run ahead of him, and he hoped he could make it back to Torith by lunch. He set his sight in the right direction and took off.

***

Derek arrived at the city gates around noon. The first thing he did before going through was try to communicate with Silvi.Silvi, can you hear me?

‘What do you want? A reply came through.

‘I was just checking on you. Did anything exciting happen yesterday? Did y ’all stay out of trouble?

‘No trouble. Mount idiot. Getting tricked. Silvi answered.

‘What do you mean? Tricked how?

‘Girl acts nice. Wants ring. Mount idiot.

Silvi had a way with words. Derek understood immediately. Thomas must have met a girl, but she really just wants to find a way to take his storage ring. Derek shook his head.Well, dont let her steal the storage ring. If she tries, dont kill her, just keep her from taking it. Ill talk to Thomas in a bit.

‘Girl not here. They meet later. Silvi replied.

‘Good. I have to take care of a few things, then Ill meet up with you. Derek said. No response came back through. Derek sighed and shook his head. Lazy bunny.

With that, Derek showed his Adventurers Guild badge to the gate guards and was let through. At least its good for something. He thought. Time to go get the real thing. He set of to the Adventurers Guild.

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