Chapter 91 - EPIC I
It was now the morning of the fourth day in the Shadow Dukedom. Even with most of my time cooped up in the [Waterworks] dungeon, I was still able to spend some time watching the mundane and sometimes extraordinary lives of the people living here.
They weren’t too different from the masses that I was used to in the Frozen Kingdom, only looking slightly more impoverished as they had access to less food.
I was standing next to a frozen field in one of the designated plots of land that were usually heavily protected. They treated the source of their food with this much importance.
Princess Adelaide had mentioned that the vegetables growing in these fields were called [White Radishes]. They were a strong plant that grew in the extremely cold conditions very well. But the soil of this Dukedom and a few others around the Frozen Kingdom had been seeing reduced crop yield on lands that were normally fertile.
I wanted to test the usefulness of [Budding Farmer] after the surprise that [Cook] brought me, so I would try the skill before I head out to clash with the strong attackers waiting for us.
A lone Princess was standing far behind me in another light blue dress, the cold winds not bothering her one bit. I could also feel the presence of Night that I had recently felt like she was watching me just a tad bit too much.
I raised my hand towards the small field that had a few hundred [White Radishes] growing and casted [Budding Farmer]. Rough winds roiled about as the essence around the field condensed and visibly changed to a tinge of green that landed on the field.
The green color shone for just a few seconds as changes on the plants began occurring. The somewhat dried [White Radishes] had their white leaves begin to extend and grow, with them sprouting from the ground so quickly that half of the body of the radishes could now be seen bunched together fighting for space.
In the next minute, the field I casted the skill on had undergone a complete change, becoming vastly different from the surrounding fields. Sparkling and robust [White Radishes] now valiantly stood in the fields.
The Princess that couldn’t contain her shocked expression even with her cold face went forward to pick one up as she continued to be surprised. It turns out the new vegetable that rapidly grew under the effect of [Budding Farmer] was twice as large as normal ones. Gears were turning in the mind of the Princess as she began walking back and forth rapidly.
This skill, just like the previous [Cook], had shown extravagant effects. Especially the amazing economic use that [Budding Farmer] had. The Princess had already started to look at me with her shining dark eyes as she realised the possible impact of something like this in these frozen lands.
I casted the skill on a few more fields before leaving, with the Princess letting me know she would come up with an excuse of being blessed with a unique skill that raised the land’s fertility and increased the growth rate of produce. She would use this opportunity to expand her influence even further in this Dukedom.
This aligned with my current thoughts of remaining in the shadows while moving around, and the fact that whatever influence the Princess continued to amass in the future would also become mine. I confirmed this as I continued to spend my time with her, affirming her claims of her providing me with whatever I wanted. The time for me to take what I really wanted would come soon enough.
With the testing of the non standard skills I received from the first clears of this world’s dungeon done, I moved on to the next phase that I was excited about. A collection of mercenaries with an EPIC ranked powerhouse in their midst had been patiently waiting for us in snowy lands. I didn’t want them to wait much longer as the last combination of skills met the standards I set for myself before.
These past 4 days, after the constant activation of the skills, I was able to combine the rank A+ defensive skills of [Man of Steel] and [Protection of the Earth] to bring out the S ranked [Rune of Defense- An archaic rune spreads throughout your body. +200% Defense]. [Dual Element Armor] and [Beastial Hide] produced [Dragon Scales- Your body is surrounded by defenses that are meant for the highest beings].
In addition to the defensive skills, the covert rank A skills were also able to become A+, with [Obscure] and [Shadow Escape] becoming [Abstruse Cover]. [Illusory] and [Chameleon’s Skin] came together to produce [Barrier of Illusion].
With the increased confidence of these new skills, I would move out today to see the power of someone of the next level once again. The previous time I was matched against two beings of a higher level, with me becoming gravely injured where even a limb was lost. I was going to be careful enough that even with confidence in the many skills I had active, such a scene would not make its appearance again.
The information we continued to receive from the Shadow Guards keeping track of the mercenaries set to ambush us was that they were camped near the only pathway leading out of the Shadow Dukedom. They wanted to corner the caravan the Princess was leading on the only path that could be taken.
This also meant that I knew where they were, and they had no idea I would be coming. A smile crept on to my lips as I observed the procession of carriages and wagons ready to move out of the dukedom. I would be making the move first, and meeting the attackers before this procession even reached that position.
The Princess was staring in the air with an expectant expression on her frozen face as she waited for me to return. I flew out of the dukedom with vigor, looking forward to the clash that would undoubtedly provide me with an amazing skill of the next rank.
In a cold and blistering environment with heavy snow falling, a group of people were angrily fanning the flames in a small makeshift hideout they created. Their bodies were extremely powerful, with most of them at rank S and one even being EPIC ranked. But after constantly facing the cold these past few days with their targets not appearing, their defenses continued to wane.
A group was cl.u.s.tered together as they talked in hushed tones while looking towards a figure that stood in the stormy cold outside with heavy armor plastered over her body. The cold didn’t seem to bother her in the least as her body emanated a level of power that kept the ice elements at bay
"Hey, do you think we can at least tear the veil off after we capture her?"
"Hah, only if you wanna spend the rest of life being tortured. Keep to the assignment details, our task is to handle the guards and destroy the wagons. We leave the main target to the Commander."
"Aaah, I know I know. It’s just hard not to think about it after you’ve seen her face once you know?"
"Tsk, focus on the mission. Visit a brothel after this if you need to, but don’t let your stupidity cause your death. We act as soon as we see that woman’s caravan."
Flames crackled as the snow fell. Not too far from this group, a flying figure was meeting with someone that was keeping watch of these rowdy mercenaries without their knowledge. The figure’s eyes honed in at the location of the collection of mercenaries, his presence so thin that even the falling snow passed through him.
A hunter had found its prey.
[Noah Osmont][Occupation: Hunter]
[Focus: - ]
[Skill(s): [F][E][D][C][B][A: Flight-100, Guardian’s Light-100, Instant Transfer-100, Infernal Purge-100, Arc Lightning-100, Area Expansion-22, Pain Resistance-100, Recorder-100, Language Comprehension-100,Healing Light-100, Lion’s Roar-23,Water Barrier-100, Pierce-100, Executor’s Speed-100, Sense Heat Source-100, Silent Communication-55, Regal Archer’s Eyes-66, Cook-33]
[A+: Arctic Zone-100, Relegator’s Spear-23, Immutable Regeneration-100, Abstruse Cover-2, Barrier of Illusion-2]
[S: Protection of the Wounded-100, Flash-11, Aura of Belligerence-23, Enfeeble-11, Phoenix Arrow-1, Shield Slam-1, Obfuscation-33, Rune of Defense-2, Dragon Scales-2, Budding Farmer-8]
[S+: Saint’s Return-41, Devastation-45, Plague Bearer-39]
[Equipment: (3x B-Ring of Storage)(A-Ring of Storage)(S-Storage Pouch)(S-Veiled Suit)(S-Legion Armor)(S-Viridian Boots)]