The sound of barking. A stampeding sound. Dogs. Hundreds and hundreds of them, looking at a group with crazed expression.
The group consists of two women and two men. An archer, an alchemist, a trickster and a man shrouded in shadows.
They were in front of the limestone hill and they want to enter the caves…but the horde of dogs in front of them is resisting.
They have been fighting them for the alst five minutes since they arrived here with the help of Loki book.
Considering Azief newfound power, he could rush inside the caves and escort his group. But he has different ideas when he is confronted by the horde of dogs.
A profitable ideas. After assessing the gains and loss, he believes the gains are better than the loss.
What they lost is only a time while the gains are their increasing power.
So he give this time for the member of his team to gain exp. Especially Sina. Considering that Sina is one of his team member that is hard to level up, she is given priorities.
Not to mention the drop and loot does not interest Azief considering his unique skill as a unique class but the same could not be said for his team member other than Loki.
Badge also in the verge of evolving and Sofia needs more EXP.
Sina on the other hand requires skill book to make skill points pill and she needed to refine it for a week.
Azief is waiting for the last batch to be refined first. The last time they robbed the stronghold they got a lot of skill books which Sina uses it to concoct the Skill Points pill.
No matter what, Azief still thinks Sina abilities is a cheat…before he found out that the effort needed to level her up is very difficult.
She has been killing hundreds of dogs yet she did not yet level up to the next level. She is now level 24 and she shows no sign of leveling up.
Azief did not enter the battle to much because if he enters the distribution will be equal, not to mention the monster ability is too weak compared to him.
Even though they are around level 30 they posed no threats to him.
He tries it once. He need to only punch them once to turn them into bloody pieces of meat.
His body is harder and powerful than before and the force of his punch could probably destroy a car with one punch.
So, he is now using Shadow Imitation to help his other teammates clearing up the dog horde.
‘Careful, Sina!’ Azief yelled when he realizes that one of the dog jumped and tries to bite her.
She rolled to her left side and jumped backward, retreating from the spot, while Sofia who was in front of her turn her body behind as she released an energy arrow that pierces the dog head and the dog head exploded into bloody pieces.
‘Thanks’ Sina gratefully said, while showing a thumbs up to Sofia.
Sofia then follow up with her Torrents of Arrows which killed hundreds of dog horde.
Loki on the other hand remains invisible and sometimes Azief could see that some dog head decapitated without reason and he knows that was Loki works.
Remaining invisible and all of his traces erased, he was the relaxed one in the group. He might be leisurely walking while slicing left and right killing the horde.
He lack the explosive power like Azief, or the AOE attack of Sofia but he compensate that with his perfect stealth.
One of the large dogs suddenly crowded Sofia.
‘Sofia!’ Azief yelled and Sofia jumped backwards releasing herself from the encirclement of the dogs.
Azief activated Shadow Binding to bind the dogs.
The more numerous his target the more power he expend but since this dogs is not that powerful it did not trouble him that much.
The moment Azief bind the dogs, Sina comes running with her dagger and skillfully slit their necks in a fast motions.
only a splatter of blood could be seen as Sina once again enter the middle of the enemies formation.
‘She is using me’ Azief sighed.
Since he was the most powerful in the group and probably in the world right now, Sina is effectively using him to raise her level.
Not that is bad for him.
Unlike him, every time Sina reach a new level a new recipe will be shown to her making her able to create more magical pill.
But the bad thing about her is that her defensive and offensive abilities is put on the backburner.
Azief believe if he was level 10 right now, he might still win against a level 24 Sina. That is how weak Sina defensive power really is.
She usually increases her comprehension stats the unique stats for her class. Those stats help her in comprehending pills recipe and increase her probability of success.
As it seems that they needed help Azied dash forward and with his punch, he decimated the dogs encircling Sina and Sofia.
Each time he punch a sound of explosion could be heard as every bones in the dogs body exploded and melted because of the power of his punch.
Their blood vibrates and splash around the field.
He could see energy coming inside him when he defeated the dogs. Sofia glares at him. Before turning away and releasing an arrow at a dog that is trying to approach her.
‘Sorry’ Azief said.
This is meant for Sina and Sofia level up. Loki with his helmet is pretty much farming exp points right now
He could only imagine the smile on Loki face right now. Smug and mischievous. At least that is what Azief think.
Azief discovered that his binding technique did not resulted in him sharing the EXP but if he inflicted damage then he would share EXP with the other that did the damage equally.
‘Get out of the way Azief’ Sofia said.
‘I can handle it.’
Azief with reluctance jumped back and just stands there, looking over Sina progress.
‘Right!’ He yelled to Sina. Sina not realizing her right side is beings surrounded quickly distance herself from the encirclement.
Sofia look at Azief who is really worried about Sina and she felt something and her face turns sour.
Because, she felt angry. And she doesn’t understand why she is feeling angry. And not understanding why, made her angrier.
Sofia then began employing all of her abilities to the max. She is about to release all her angry emotion towards the dog horde.
Each of her energy arrows destroyed a dog, each one accurately aimed at their head and their weak spots.
Even those big dog can be defeated easily by Sofia. Sofia targeted their weakness like the legs, eyes groins are and unprotected region.
Sina on the other hand struggles.
She is not proficient with a weapon or any self-defense technique and Azief helped her by using binding on her opponent.
He didn’t have to worry about Sofia since Sofia could handle herself.
And looking at Sofia ruthless attack, killing dozens of dogs with her skills, Azief could feel relieved as he could focus on helping Sina.
The fact that he had to only help one of them, make the pressure eon Azief lessen considerably and it also helps in increasing his compression towards his own skills.
Each loots and gold are all gathered by using shadow manipulation. Then Azief could hear whisper on his left ear
‘I’m done’ the voice said and a man appear on his left. It was Loki panting on the ground.
‘My stamina is not very high. My pillars are focused on something else.’ He said explaining his lack of stamina.
‘You leveled up?’
‘34’ he replied.
Azief look at the left side of the battlefield and sighed. It seems it is hard to level up. Not everyone is as lucky as him.
Azief also began understanding the principle of levelling up in this world. The higher the risk, the more dangerous the task, the more powerful the monster, the higher the exp.
It also correlates with user own level.
If for example a level 0ne user defeats a level 20 monster than the amounts of exp he will get will increase exponentially and would give a shocking transformation.
It also depends if people are helping or not.
If people are helping the EXP is thin. If the danger towards you is real and you persevere and endure, usually the energy that will enter the user body is denser and thicker.
‘Rest’ Azief curtly said.
Loki hearing the word he wanted to hear, smiles and quickly lying on the grass and take a breath.
Slowly Loki closes his eyes. That is how much he trust Azief to cover his back.
He is confident enough to take a nap while the group is fighting a horde of monster dogs. Well, they are dogs.
But, they are monster dogs.
The hundreds of dogs from the left side swarmed towards Azief to attack Loki who killed their brethren.
Azief looking at Loki behavior could only sigh.
Azief bring out his sword from his bag of holding. The hundred dogs is rushing to him like a cavalry of horses.
Azief is calm and is waiting for them to come to his most effective range of attack. Three seconds passed and his eyes narrowed the closer the horde gets to him.
When they are 50 meters from him Azief slice diagonally and energy shot out from the sword imbued with one of his attribute…death.
And another slash imbued with the attribute of time.
The slash even though was shot out at different interval from the first slash they fused with each other seamlessly.
It was like the second slash accelerated to catch up with the first slash.
Time and Death. Two attributes in one slash.
The moment the energy reach the rushing dogs they first tremble, then slowly their fur wilted and then they wither and slowly they age as their skin sagged and wrinkles and then the last phase they rot until the only thing that is left from them is their bones.
Azief after breaking through level 40 realize that he could imbue the attribute he has got in his attack.
This has nothing to do with skill but his attribute.
The moment he got the attribute, the information about it was already in his mind, kind of like he downloaded the information from some source.
Attribute is already decided.
When anyone break through the level 40 their attribute is already decided.
It also depends on the innate abilities of the user that determines how many attribute they will first get in their first initial leveling up.
But more doesn’t always mean better.
It depends on how the user uses the attributes. And Azief has become completely proficient in combining the Time and Death attribute in his attack.
In higher level monster his attack might not be as eye catching as what he did to the dogs but it add an added advantage to his survival, combining attributes.
When he leveled up later he would get to choose other attributes.
‘Azief!’ Sina yelled.
Hearing the yell Azief looked at Sina vicinity and found out that some of the dogs is changing their targets to Sina.
Azief was about to step in when a torrents of arrows from the sky rained down from the sky and destroys all the dogs near Sina vicinity .
Looking at Sofia direction he nodded as a sign of thanks. She nodded back and continues clearing the area.
Azief keep standing on his position, like an invincible sentinels, watching over his group like a dark protector.
Loki who is now woken up after the sound of the dogs began to disappear asked Azief.
‘What did I miss?’ Azief just smiles.
‘Nothing’ he replied.
‘Now get up. We’re almost done’ Azief said and Loki nodded.
The area around the limestone hill is about to be cleared. Azief looking at the hundreds of dog’s corpse around the hill could not help but feel like it was an offering to the caves.
And he also thinks the monumental task in front of him.
Even with hundreds of monster being killed by him, there is no sign that he is about to level up.
This frustrates him more than he let on.
Loki after resting for a while put on his helmet again and enter the battlefield again while Azief look at Sina.
After the past hours she began showing a more relaxed expression while battling the monster and she is no longer flustered or startled when she is ambushed.
Sofia on the other hand improves the fastest. Her attack is becoming bolder, stronger and faster.
Her arrows are like some kind of machinegun weapon that keeps churning accurate and deadly shots.
Blood splattered the soil staircase leading to the limestone cave as they climb the stair one by one while rotating their attacking pattern.
When it was Azief turns, his prowess can really be called invincible. All of this monster on the outside is about level 25 to 32.
To Azief, they were practically ants.
His attacks will not spare any soul and combine that with his attribute with one slash he destroys hundreds of dogs.
He alone creates mountains of bones, and rivers of blood.
His presence makes the other people in his group could catch a breath and rest. When it was his turn, he alone is enough to make sure that the monster did not pass him.
When he is defending he is like a mountain. Unbreakable and unyielding. When he attacks he was like lightning, fast and deadly.
When he moves he was like the wind, unpredictable and graceful. Then after a routine of resting and fighting they reached the last staircase.
They all looked at the sceneries in front of them. But none of them wanted to puke or disgusted what they see.
They are hardened by battles, forged by hardships.
In front of them, the sceneries that would make Azief before the fall puke is thousands and thousands of dog corpses, bodies that was mutilated so bad that only bones were left, blood that flow down the staircase was like a heavy rain just poured down.
And the smell. The smell of meat and blood assaulted their senses but they stand there, looking down at the scene with heart strong as steel, determination burning in their eyes.
You have to stepped down millions of monster to be strong, you have to kill millions of monster to become the strongest.
You have to shed blood, lose some skin, endure hardship, take risk to be strong. Great men are forged by fire, tempered by hardship.
This is their first step. And for Azief, this first step si important. He needs to conquer his fear, he needs to be reborn anew, stronger and braver.
He decided….and once he decided that seed of will sprouted inside him….to be stronger…to be the strongest of them all.
Fearing nothing, walk unhindered….and protect everything he want to protect. Thinking of this he look at Sofia and he smile bitterly.
Looking down at the thousands monster he killed, he stands there like a victorious general, looking down upon heaps of corpses with an unswerving coldness…and strengthen his resolve.
One steps that will lead him to his greatest journey.
Then as they finally take a breath, they looked at the entrance in front of them. On the gate was a carving of runic words….that Azief and the groups does not understand.
The gate of the cave was blue in color and emits some ancient power that enables it to deter the monster for entering.
The others might not know but Loki knows what the runic words are.
The word directly translates to Protection Against Evil, A Million Evil May Never Enter, Enlightened Ones Could See But Not Enter, Blessed By Essence Of Creation One May Reap The Benefits Within.
It was an ancient spell by the World Orb. Monster may never enter, no matter how they tried.
Enlightened ones refers to people of the other star systems but not blessed. Blessed by Essence of Creation refers to user or them.
World Orb blessed all of them with the essence of creation thus awakening the Etherna gene.
Azief on the side is talking to Sina and Sofia about their plan while Loki looks at the cave and he is reminded of the great events of the future
The World Without the Prince as his contemporaries dubbed the event. It was the event where the Prince meets his greatest enemy yet.
It also reveals information that humans have the Etherna genes. The Etherna gene is named after the Etherna race of a destroyed star system.
In long time pass, there is a race called the Etherna. With golden bodies and eyes radiant as the sun, their size is as big as earth, their planets is the size of one zettalion earth combined.
Their bodies are made of pure energy when they mature. They were destroyed when the first time the Destroyer awakens.
The World Without the Prince event witness the Deharian Race annihilator that crashed to Earth fight the strongest hero of Earth.
The fight between the Prince and the Annihilator during that event destroyed the African Continent and sunk about 5 to 6 island.
There is also the Time Crisis when the Dark Speedster helps the Prince on his quest to discover about his prophecy.
The Prince and the Dark Speedster nearly ruptured the Time Continuum and ripped apart the fabric of reality.
There is also the Marriage of Earthsaker and the Divine Archer which witness the events of the attack of the League of Freedom by Narleod and ends with the Divien Archer making a bold decision.
But the most tragic of all this event must be the War of Sovereign which started because of a woman. Paulette. That woman now must be near Jean.
She was the cause of the War.
Each Sovereign take sides during that war. Raymond and Jean….was the face of that war but the cause was Paulette.
He and the Prince at first remain neutral. The Prince even give Jean a prophecy that if he keeps remaining stubborn, it will bring about calamity.
The Prince did not have any intention of entering the War until certain events happen that made the Prince enter the war.
He, however did not enter until the end, which is why he believes, he survived that war.
‘Whose side are you on?’ He still remembers Raymond ask him, a long time from now….if it ever happens this time around.
Even though the G7 convene, no agreement was made. It could be said the G7 convention only made thing worse.
He did not come here to stop the Time Crisis. He did not come here to stop the War of the Sovereign. He comes here to ensure the promise for tomorrow.
And tomorrow decides that if the Prince did not overcome the test that is about to come, then there is no tomorrow for Earth.
He comes to the past for the Prince. But it was not him that sends him to the past.
‘Let’s go’ suddenly Azief said as he enter the caves. Sina follows behind him, while Sofia looks at Sina with apparent dislike.
She clicked her tongue and then follows behind her.
Loki on the other hand looks at Sofia who is now disappearing as she rushed to enter the cave and said.
‘You sent me here. I hope you didn’t send the wrong man’ Saying these words, he enters the cave.