1-19 Brawler

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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

The following morning marched in with a warm greeting. Erin found herself waking when the light from the morning sun shone through the lonely window and straight onto her face. She didn’t have a clock nor a pocket watch, and neither did this small town have a clock tower for anyone to tell the time. It was up to the people themselves to discern the hours. Going by her own judgement, it was somewhere around eight in the morning. For those with a normal and leisure life, eight was just the right time to greet the new day but for adventurers, it was late.

Before a quest and depending on it, there was much to be prepared, such as sharpening one’s weapon, gathering provisions, preparing the right tools, polishing one’s armors, and many other monotonous but important tasks.

Erin took great care of not waking Lyra as she wriggled herself off the bed. She gave Lyra a small peck on her forehead as a gesture of good faith, or maybe affection, but Erin herself wouldn’t as she was still a fawn to the idea of intimate affection.

However, she cared for Lyra, that was something she knew full well of.

Erin quickly put back on her tunic, trousers, and armor. Per Lyra’s suggestion from last night while they were grinding their passion in the heat, Erin rolled up her light bluish white hair into a bundle and held it all together with a hair pin. The pin was something Erin got from Lyra. It was nothing fancy. It was just a trinket and a token of one of Lyra’s many old flames. Lyra had a look of surprise when Erin just accepted the pin without much hesitation. There had been a hint of disappointment in Lyra’s face when she noticed the lack of reaction from Erin.

For Erin, the concept of jealousy and envy in the affairs of love were still far off.

Currently, Lyra was still snuggling comfortably in bed, tinged with a small smile on her face. Even after so long, Erin noticed Lyra’s honeypot was still twitching intermittently.

Is she dreaming about our copulation?

Erin wondered but quickly banished such thoughts away and focused on her own preparation. Though she had two steel swords now, one from the bandit she looted from and the other one from Sven, she ultimately decided to take only Sven’s sword with her. The bandit’s sword had too much rust and chips in its blade and carrying two swords would definitely slow her down.

Alright. Weapons, armors, check. Hair tied, check. Sack for spoils, check. Pouch, check.

After making sure everything was in place, she headed out of the room but not before whispering a word of farewell to the still slumbering Lyra.

Of course, Erin didn’t forget to stretch her limbs on the way to the forest.


Her quest was to investigate the Goblins and their whereabouts but on the surface, she received the quest of some herb gathering that could only be found deep in the forest, which gave her a reason to venture deeper than the average adventurer would.

Before heading to the forest, she had stopped by the smithy to check on her order. Although it had only been a day, Erin couldn’t help but to hope for her commission to be ready. Although, reality rebuffed to her wishful thinking as the silver steel sword would only be completed by the morrow. For today, she would have to keep making do with the steel sword.

Since Erin was starting to get a grasp of her body more and more, she sprinted her way to the forest. It didn’t take her ten minutes for her to reach the boundary of the forest.

Stretching her limbs for the last time, Erin trod into the forest.

She passed by some other adventurers in the forest but she made no stop to introduce herself. As it currently stood, she was more famous than she liked to be. Familiarizing herself further with the town folks and adventurers would literally turn her into the talk of the town for weeks to come, not that it wasn’t already currently the case. She also encountered some Rot-rats and Serks but she didn’t bother herself with them. If she stopped at every monster she saw, it would be evening by the time she reached her destination.

Hmm… someone’s following me.

For a while now, Erin could feel someone was on her tail, proverbially speaking. At first, she thought nothing more than just an adventurer who happened to be going in the same direction as she was. But now, she could tell whoever it was, they were following her every step but they made sure to keep some distance from her. Thankfully, the wind was blowing in her favor.

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I don’t recognize this scent but I’m pretty sure it’s not someone affable. It’s certainly not Nivia. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It’s a man… and it doesn’t smell like Kane.

She wanted to just turn around and carve some answers out of her stalker but her present and pressing concerns were raising her level and completing her quest. Without further hesitation, Erin climbed onto the trees and continued her traversal by leaping from branches to branches. She thought it would take some time getting used to balancing herself on the thin branches but to her amazement, she quickly grasped the maneuvers despite being in a new body. She could be wrong but it felt like her tail was the main contributor in maintaining her balance.

Maybe having a tail isn’t so bad after all.

In just a few minutes, Erin managed to throw off her stalker due to the advantage of the different terrain she was traversing through. After a mile, Erin completely lost the scent of her stalker.

Oh good, he gave up. I can be at ease, for now.

Although she no longer had anyone on her tail, her journey wasn’t so smooth. She was venturing into the deep depths of the forest. It would be extremely odd if her journey was smooth.

It wasn’t long before she came upon a group of monsters that were lurking in the trees. Much less of an encounter, it was more of an ambush. Wood Apes, Erin recognized the monsters as such. As the name suggested, they were essentially apes but with a more profound hostility towards other races and their skin were covered in wood-like carapace instead of fur. They were also half the size of the average person. This wasn’t a monster Erin knew but she did read about it in the books. And from what she had read, they were pretty much the same as Rock Apes from her old world in terms of appearance and behavior. The only difference being the element they were attributed to.

Four of these monsters instantly surrounded her as she moved among the trees. Giving a sidelong glance, one of the Wood Apes fell into her sight. It was really uncannily similar to the Rock Apes she knew. If their anatomy wasn’t any different than Rock Apes, Erin didn’t have anything to fear.

The four Wood Apes pounced from all directions with piercing screeches, a notable trait of these creatures.

Without sparing her ambushers even a glimpse, Erin unsheathed her sword and spun in a full arc with the sword in one hand and the sheath in the other. When she completed her spin, she instantly sheathed her sword back into its scabbard.

With the sound of a “click”, the four Wood Apes fell from the trees with their throat cut wide open.

[Experience gained +15%] [Experience gained +15%] [Experience gained +15%] [Experience gained +15% – Level Progression: 60%]

The bane of humanoids and humans alike, the throat. As the former Sword Saint, it was always the part where she struck. If that part of them were armored, it would hinder their neck and head movements. Which was why it was almost always exposed, almost. There were some rare cases where the monsters had tough hide around their neck but these hides were as flexible as rubbers.

Now, what should I do about these carcasses?

Erin contemplated on harvesting their Core. It would take some time to gather the Cores. She had a schedule to follow but she was also in need of money. While she didn’t know how much a Wood Ape’s Core would sell for, she doubted it would be anything less than the Kobolds.

Hmm. If the monsters deeper in the forest are stronger and providing that’s the probable thinking, wouldn’t their Core sell for more??

Erin came to a decision. She would leave these carcasses unharvested and went for the Cores of the monsters further into the forest. Should the carcasses remain untouched when she returned, she would harvest them if her sack still had some space.

With that trivial matter settled, Erin proceeds deeper into the forest. Along the way, she met many kinds of monsters, familiar or unfamiliar but each were easily dispatched by her.

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In the short span of time of endless assaults from monsters, she leveled up twice and gained a single point in Finesse due to all of the nimble and lithe movements she performed.

[Finesse: 12 increased to 13]

She was never an agile fighter in her past life. Although she could perform these movements in her past life, she would never use it in a serious combat as it just wasn’t suitable for someone of her former build. But with the slender and supple body that Erin currently possessed, she could even tie her body into a knot, not that she had confirmed it, yet. At the pace of her traveling speed and her tenacious defence against the monsters, the day had become noon when she reached her destination, a clearing with more flowers than trees. This was one of the places where Goblins were sighted.

The scenery immediately raised a string of questions and doubts in her mind. For one, the vast clearing did not resemble a place where one would find a Goblin. Second, it was far too quiet, something Goblins would not be able to manage. Third, there was none of the usual heavy stench that accompanied a Goblin. Even when she was still Argon Raze, she could pick up the scent of a Goblin from yards away. Now that she had a nose dozen times more sensitive than a human’s, no such stench trickled into her nostrils.

Still, he didn’t doubt the reports. The Goblins in this forest did not conform to the usual expectations of a Goblin from the start. There was no reason to doubt the witnesses’ words.

I should gather the herbs first.

Erin went and plowed through the small field for the herbs while keeping constant vigilances to her surroundings. Although the herbs weren’t her real quest but it still needed to play the role of a front. It would defeat the purpose of a front if she came back empty-handed.

At the precise moment she finished plucking the herbs, her skin shivered at a dreadful premonition that sieved through her pores. There was no sound. There was no scent. However, there was a disturbance in the winds.

[Sixth Sense activated. Hostiles detected.]

Erin immediately threw herself to the front and avoided a huge claw that dug into the spot where she had stood. When she rolled into her stance and faced her assailant, a wolf with the size of an average human stood menacingly in front of her. She saw a Dire Wolf. However, the Dire Wolves that she knew of did not have a pair of tusks and neither did they have a small horn protruding from their forehead.

Compared to all the monsters she had faced in the forest until now, the Dire Wolf would be at the top of the food chain. Worst of all, Erin was not able to smell it out or even picked up the sound of its movements. Although Erin would put Nivia and the Dire Wolf on the same scale, what made them different was their conviction. Nivia was holding back a lot to avoid heavily injuring Erin but the Dire Wolf had no such consideration.

This is bad.

It was no time to weigh the potentials and prospects of her skills. Right now, her biggest concern was her own survival. With exactly six skill points in her hands, she raised Arcane Armor’s level all the way to five. For her abilities, she put four points into Might and spread the remaining two points equally between Arcane and Finesse.

[Arcane Armor Lv. 1 has been increased to Lv. 5] [Might: 14 increased to 18] [Arcane: 11 increased to 12] [Finesse: 13 increased to 14]

The Dire Wolf lunged with its jaws spanned wide to its limits. Erin was tempted to stab right into its mouth but doing so would also very likely result in her own demise. Thus, she twisted her body to the side as the Dire Wolf plunged into the dirt. She drew her sword and thrust it at the Dire Wolf’s exposed neck in quick succession.

Ah. Damn it.

She uttered a curse when the scenario played out like she anticipated. Even with Mystic Blade coated on the steel blade, it still couldn’t penetrate its hide. At that failure, she conjured up Arcane Armor around her head and torso. The Dire Wolf flailed its head and sent Erin flying through the air before crashing right back into the ground. Thanks to Arcane Armor, she did not fractured any parts of her body but even without looking at her status, she could tell her back suffered some minor injuries.

Looks like Mystic Blade isn’t too effective towards physical substances.

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Erin quickly got to her feet and prepared for the Dire Wolf’s next attack. She dodged low under a bite and aimed for its legs but it was still in vain as the blade bounced off its tough hide. She hastily rolled out from under the Dire Wolf before it slammed its body down onto the ground.

Well, if a sword doesn’t work…

Erin stabbed her sword into the ground and cracked her knuckles.

Let’s do this the old and traditional way.

Although Erin was the Sword Saint, there were times when a sword wasn’t the ideal weapon to be used or she just didn’t have a sword in hand at the very moment. And so, she was forced to learn conventional martial arts.

When the Dire Wolf charged again, she dodged its majorly obvious attacks and countered it with a right hook to the side of its face. Of course, she coated her knuckles and forearm with Arcane Armor beforehand. She heard something crack as her fist came in contact with the Dire Wolf and it wasn’t her Arcane Armor or her bones.

Her punch did not send the Dire Wolf flying away but it managed to make it howl in pain. The volume of its cry managed to even send birds flying off from the trees. Before the Dire Wolf could recover from its daze, Erin moved in and landed more punches on its face. The Dire Wolf spun its whole body but Erin gracefully and swiftly flipped over its tail swipe.

“Take this, you mutt!” Erin shouted as she utilized her falling momentum by sending a fist down that slammed the Dire Wolf’s head smashing into the ground.

As soon as she regained her footing, Erin kneed the stunned Dire Wolf and sent punches after punches. The Dire Wolf lunged with only a meagre distance between them but Erin easily denied its retaliation by dodging low and elbowing its jaws.

Erin followed up with an uppercut unto its jaws. The Dire Wolf’s head jerked up from the punch as it bellowed in agony. With its under-neck exposed, Erin sent a straight infused with Magic right at that spot.

The Dire Wolf couldn’t even howl its affliction this time. It only gagged at its pained moans. Erin did not back off with just that and followed up with another straight that was also infused with Magic. For this attack, Erin managed to send the Dire Wolf sprawling away from her across the ground.

[Combat Arts: Brawler Lv. 2 – Acquired]

Just what I need and it starts off at level two to boot. Heaven must be smiling on me.

A smile appeared on her face as she dumped her remaining two skill points into Brawler.

[Brawler Lv. 2 has been increased to Lv. 4]

All those tedious times of learning something that she had no interest in, it was finally paying off and she couldn’t be more proud.

The Dire Wolf got off the ground and gazed at the grinning Fox-kin with raging eyes. It shook its body and fur of the dust and dirt. It swallowed up the air until its belly bulged slightly, then it howled into the sky.

Oh.

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Violet lightning shrouded the Dire Wolf’s whole body and its eyes shifted into the intense color of thunder. Queer and meaningful markings appeared all over its furs.

Lightning?!

At that moment, Erin realized she had been wrong. Whatever this monster was, it was certainly no Dire Wolf.

Erinthea – Faerie-kin: Fox-kin

Level: 9 | Status: Mild Exhaustion | Bruised: Back

Might: 18 | Arcane: 12 | Finesse: 14

Magic Arts – Spirit Magic Lv. 5 | Arcane Edge Lv. 2 | Arcane Armor Lv. 5

Combat Arts – Sword Art Lv. 6 | Fleet Foot Lv. 5 | Brawler Lv. 4

Innate Skills – Self-appraisal Lv. Ex | Night Vision Lv. Ex | Sixth Sense Lv. Ex | Toxin Resistance Lv. 1 | Lust Deviant Lv. Ex

Unique Talent – Mystic Blade Lv. Ex

Level Progression: 35%

Remaining Skill Points: 0

Remaining Ability Points: 0


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