Book 2, Chapter 75

The First Visit

As soon as he entered the backyard, Richard suddenly felt a strange feeling envelop him. He quietly stopped moving, using the door to prop himself up.

The yard of the inn was quite large, and the presence of the stables and lots of junk made it look very disorderly. A ghostly white figure was flying around under the night sky, gliding across the air as if it was water. Her eye-grabbing white outfit looked fuzzy as the air seemed to glide around her, as though gray lightning dancing around her body.

This was Waterflower!

Richard quietly stood beside the door without disturbing her. The young lady seemed not to notice, moving around the messy backyard without issue. She was fast as lightning yet completely quiet, blended into the night sky and its surroundings. Judging from her speed she’d levelled up, but even then she would need to have acquired a skill to reach this limit.

It took an unknown amount of time for the girl to finally tire, appearing in front of Richard with a flash. She lifted her tiny face, fixing her gaze onto him.

Richard looked closely at her as he asked, “You upgraded in level? And you have a new skill?”

Waterflower sounded her agreement, speaking slowly yet awkwardly, “Level 10 now. New skill… You could call it Wind Walk, it’s what I showed just now.”

There was a wild side to the girl’s pure eyes, but there was something else in her gaze as well. She still had that scraggly short hair she cut herself with her sword, and the awkward and rigid tone showed how seldom she interacted with other people. Even now, as a member of Richard’s party, she was no different.

These few sentences were enough for Richard to finally realise how much he was neglecting his soulguard. She seemed like a lone wolf, always carefully avoiding humans, but he just hadn’t taken the initiative to get to know her further.

He muttered inaudibly to himself for a while before speaking up, “Wind Walk? It seems powerful. I’ll come look for you in a few days, let’s see if I can craft a suitable rune.”

The young lady’s eyes brightened up for a moment, but she remained silent and only nodded her head.

The alcohol seemed to be fading from Richard’s bloodstream by that time, but the headache started to grow worse. The pain was extraordinary, as if something inside him was tearing his mind apart. He let out a low groan, rubbing his forehead as he waved at Waterflower and proceeded up the stairs to his own room. The orcish alcohol was disgusting, but it was strong and the hangover was violent. He struggled to bear with the intense pain as he got back in his room.

He scanned the entirety of his room out of habit as he entered, a habit cultivated under Naya’s tutelage in the Deepblue. Whoever one was, being attacked at random every few days as you entered the room would imprint such a habit onto oneself. This was merely habit, however, and once he was done scanning the room Richard prepared to throw himself onto the bed.

However, his body suddenly grew rigid as all his hairs stood on end. His breathing came to a halt, and he scanned across the room inch by inch from left to right. Details about the things he usually ignored grew clear and magnified.

Now he could confirm the anomaly in the illumination in the bedroom, which was darker than usual. Even with the clouds covering the moon and stars some light normally seeped into the place, it should not have been as dark as it was.

He tried to look over once again, this time concentrating on the shadows everywhere. He was finally able to make out the outline of shadows slowly making their way towards him from the other end of the room.

He exhaled slowly, shifting his body to the right. Two metres away, the nameless sword was standing erect against a corner of the wall. The shadows seemed to sense the unusual movement, however, suddenly coming to a stop.

Richard’s heart filled with an overwhelming sense of danger as the shadows began to converge onto a position. A creature that looked like a tigress appeared in the room, a smooth black figure made of formless shadows. A pair of faint red dots blinked into existence on its face, watching Richard with a cold stare.

All Richard saw in those eyes was a cold desolation. There were no emotions behind that hollow existence, none of the intimidation a predator put on its prey. It was merely… empty.

In the short period of time the shadows needed to take form, he’d taken the opportunity to glide two steps forward and get his hands on the hilt of his blade. His heart immediately calmed down, as he managed to identify this being and subconsciously go through the information he had about it.

This was a nightmare panther, a low-level nightmare creature known for its speed and cunning. Even as the lowest tier of nightmare creature, however, it still carried all that came with that name. These beings spent most of their time travelling the void between planes, braving the violent energy within. It was strong and mysterious unlike a planar being, with even the weakest of nightmare panthers being between level 11 and 12. Their intellect also far surpassed other beasts, the median of their intelligence comparable to shamans and mages. Higher-level nightmare creatures were smarter than legendary beings, some even more clever than demigods!

The panther in front of Richard crouched low, bending forward in preparation to attack. However, just as it was about to raise its paws a strong smell of sulphur burst forth from Richard’s body, and a silver full moon flashed into existence above his head. The edge of his longsword started blazing with the power of the silver moon, the tip flying out to strike at the creature!

Eruption and a secret sword of Silvermoon. Richard had brought all he could to bear in but an instant!

The nightmare panther had already leapt forward, but it still awkwardly maintained the same crouching stance in mid-air. It fell onto Richard’s blade, as though it had sent itself to its death.

The sixth secret sword: Snow Moon. Silver moonforce pervaded the area, forming a spiral of attacks that would not stop till the target was killed. The tip of the sword penetrated the nightmare panther’s body, but the creature did not flee at all. The shadows grew more viscous as they wrapped around the blade, making Richard feel like it had suddenly sunk into a marsh. Even moving a single step proved to be difficult.

Richard reacted instantly, however. He let out a loud cry as he placed both hands on the sword, energy bursting forth from his entire body as the fourth moon took its place atop his head instead. The moonforce at the edge of the blade turned blue instead of silver.

The fourth secret sword: Annihilation!

The room was suddenly filled with gleaming blue moonlight that tore all the shadows apart. Richard’s body crashed into the nightmare panther, the energy tearing it completely apart. As the creature died, he finally managed to shatter the countless shadows apart.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA