The night had arrived, but the street lamps along the street allowed good visibility. Jack could see from the man's robe and the staff he was holding that he was a Magician. His God-eye monocle inspected the man and found him to be level 9. No wonder he was having trouble, he was surrounded by four level 10 goblins and one level 11 Skeleton Thug. The poor guy was unlike him who had dual-class which provided him with an advantage on stats.
The man was surprised by Jack's interference. He was still standing there when a goblin made another slice on his leg. The cut woke him up with an ouch. Jack came forward to his front just as the other goblins approached. He used Swing and forced them back.
"Fall back!" Jack said to the stranger. "Use your spells to hit them from distance. I will hold them from coming near you."
The magician nod fiercely and did as told, he was not going to argue with his rescuer.
The Skeleton Thug which had fallen together with a Goblin had gotten back up again. The two of them charged together. Jack had used his Swing skill so he currently had no Fighter skill available to deal with multiple opponents, and he didn't want to expose his Magician skill in front of a stranger. He resolved to use his advantage in speed to deal with the two opponents. He had changed his weapon skill to Dexterity +2 once he arrived on the scene.
With his dual-class attributes, he practically over-leveled all the monsters here. He had also fought their types continuously every day, so he had basically memorized their attack patterns. Even without relying on his Magician skills, he could still whittle down the monsters' HP.
He skidded through the monsters' attacks with ease and sent them a slash whenever he saw an opening. Once in a while there would be magic balls coming from behind and hit the monsters. He was impressed, he had thought that due to there being too many monsters, there was a high chance the guy would just run away after being saved. Apparently though, the guy held his ground instead of saving his own skin.
With Jack holding the monsters back, the magician continuously fired off his spells. The Magician's damage, however, was nothing compared to Jack's. Not long after, the last monster fell to the ground and broke into dust. Three copper coins and an iron ore were lying on the ground. Jack went around and collected them without reservation. After all, He could safely consider the monsters his kills, the Magician was only there doing background noise.
After finished collecting, he looked at the Magician. The guy didn't seem to mind about the loots. He looked like a teenager that was just a little bit younger than him. He gave out a grateful smile when Jack approached.
"Thank you for your help, brother," he said with a bow. "I would have been a goner if not for you."
"No trouble," Jack replied.
"I am Star Bowler," The guy said.
"A cool name that is."
Yeah? And yours a cute one that is, do you like bowling that much? he thought in his mind but didn't let it out loud. Instead, he asked, "what's your level?"
"Nine, brother. And yours?"
After the incident with Ogre and Mouse, Jack had decided to be cautious of strangers. But the magician gave out an honest answer without hesitation. Therefore, he would do the same.
"Thirteen," he said.
"T–Thirteen?" Bowler's eyes were bulging. "You aren't joking, are you brother? This is really unexpected. I'm really fortunate to have been saved by an expert."
Jack just shrugged and said, "how come you end up in this mess? You know better than to disturb a pack of Goblins which are higher level than you."
Bowler's face turned gloomy by the question, he said, "that is true, but… sigh, I'm not used to talking bad about people, but guess sometimes I could end up with bad companies. I was originally traveling with another two companions.
We are heading towards the place that voice in the sky asked us to go. But there was this road not far from here which was patrolled by that group of Goblins. If we were to avoid them, we would have to make a large detour. In addition to that, we have reached there by sneaking through many monsters. If we go back to make a detour, we would risk getting caught by the monsters we have sneaked by. So, we decided to fight it out with the Goblins… or at least I thought so."
He gave another sigh and continued, "They told me to take a position opposite them and had me attack with my range spell to lure the monsters over. The plan was for them to flank the monsters and dealt as much damage from the ambush, so as to lessen the burden for all of us in fighting them off. But in the end, they ended up…"
"Leaving you once you lured the Goblins over?" Jack interjected.
"Yeah," he nodded sadly, then his expression was replaced by anger. "Those assholes! After the time we went through together, I thought it meant something. I've even saved their asses before during our travel."
"People tended to do ungrateful things when they tried to survive," Jack said.
Bowler nodded in agreement.
"I assume you are also heading to that place the beam of light is shining on, right?" He asked.
"After that notification from the sky? I think everyone who is still alive will be heading there." Jack answered.
"I supposed that's true," Bowler said. "Do you mind if I tag along?"
Jack looked at him in silence.
"I don't think I will be able to make it there alone," he added, with a hint of helplessness in his voice.
"All right," Jack said after some consideration.
"Thank you, brother!" Bowler was ecstatic.
"Just don't slow me down."
"I won't, I won't!"
"It's very late already, let's find someplace to spend the night."
Jack brought him back to the office building he was from before. After climbing to the fifth floor, he took out his tent again.
"That was neat! Where did you get that?" Bowler asked.
"Home appliance store," Jack answered.
"I should get myself one."
"You should find some sheet or chair cushion or blanket, to use for laying down. I can't share this tent with you."
"Yes, of course," he said, and went away searching.
"He seemed like a nice guy," Jack heard Peniel's voice from behind. He turned around but didn't see the Fairy there.
"Don't worry, I'm still hiding as you requested," the voice was coming from the air.
"Please stay on guard for tonight," Jack said. "I don't want to get ambushed in the middle of my sleep."
"Come on, are you asking me to stay awake all night?" Peniel protested.
"Please, I'll make up to you. It's either that or I chased him away. I don't want to take the risk."
"All right, all right," the Fairy relented. "You owe me one!"
"Yes, I do," he said, then added. "Thanks."
He didn't get a reply.
Bowler's head poked out from the door. "You mind me sleeping in this room here, or I have to find another one?"
Jack considered for a while before replying, "this room is fine. I'll go to sleep first. I suggest you do the same. We will have an early start tomorrow. If you can't wake up, don't blame me for leaving you."
"Don't worry, I'm an early riser. I will take a bath first, I found a toilet with running water. It has been a while since I last took a bath."
"Okay," Jack said, and laid himself down.
Letting the guy stayed near him would increase the risk if the fellow had bad intentions. But it was also necessary in order to determine if he could trust him or not. If the guy would double-cross him, it was better to find out sooner rather than later. He entrusted Peniel to watch over him. The guy didn't know about the Fairy, if he tried anything, he would be in for a surprise.