1-6 Lyra

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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

It had been a sweet dream. The best years of his life. All around him were familiar faces and their expressions were nothing but joy.

Suddenly, that merry scene faded into darkness. A pair of crimson eyes emerged from said darkness, gazing at him into his very soul. The eyes became bigger in his sight as it drew near.

Before the baleful gaze could reach Argon, his hand sprang up caught something that had approach him.

“Eeek!” cried a feminine voice.

Argon opened his eyes and he woke from his slumber. He found himself staring at a crouching girl in a cloak with her hood pulled up and her arm in his grasp. Even though her face was in the shade of her hood, Argon could make out she was quite a looker. She looked as young as his current self or maybe even younger and she had some brawn to her sleeveless arms. In her other hand, she was holding a sack.

“Can I have my hand back please?” the girl asked.

Argon tightened his grip around the woman’s hand to gauge for her reaction.

“Hey hey! Calm down!” she entreated in an alarming tone. “I meant you no harm.”

“What were you trying to do?” asked Argon. For some reasons, Argon wasn’t feeling nervous in front of a pretty girl like her. He usually stammers when talking to females, especially young ladies. Maybe it was because of the circumstances, he thought.

“I was just trying to wake you up,” the girl answered.

“Canting his head, he questioned, “why?”

“In case you don’t know, you do not want to be out here when it gets dark.”

Looking at the sky, Argon saw that the sky had darken. It was dusk.

Was I out for that long?

After confirming that the girl truly meant no harm to him, he let her hand go. “Right, sorry about that. Thanks for telling me,” he said and pushed himself to his feet. He was still feeling kinda wobbly but it was probably just the effect of waking up.

“Are you alright?” the girl asked as she stood up along with him.

“What makes you say that?” he shot back her question.

“Well…” Her eyes darted at his clothes. “You’re sleeping on a rock and your clothes were…” Her sentence trailed off.

Realizing her meaning, Argon turned away from her and tidied up his robe. He did put it on hastily before dozing off. And he was even sleeping on places one would never sleep on under favorable circumstances. He must had look like a victim of a sexual assault. He didn’t forget to bandage up his ample chest.

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Remembering what he did just before he lost conscious— or rather, why he he lost conscious, red flushed his cheeks as his shoulders quivered slightly. He was also reminded of the Innate Skill he acquired just after his o̲r̲g̲a̲s̲m̲. It was an innate, which mostly likely meant that he had no control over the activation. He made a mental note to look for garments with ample coverage and to sate his carnal desire occasionally.

“Are you alright?” she asked again when she noticed Argon’s mildly shaking shoulders.

“I’m fine,” Argon answered, turning back to face her once he calmed his thoughts. “I was not assaulted nor r̲a̲p̲e̲d̲ if that’s what you’re thinking.” There was some shaking in his voice but he hoped she didn’t notice it.

“Well, if you say so.” She held a dubious glance at Argon.

It was understandable. There were a lot of cases where women kept quiet about their “ordeal” to avoid lowering their worth to the eyes of the public. This was especially the case for bachelorette.

“I’m Lyra,” the girl introduced herself with a her right hand on her chest and a slight bow. “What’s your name?”

Argon froze. He wanted to say his real name but he wasn’t sure it was a good idea. Even if he claim that he was Argon Raze, he didn’t have his signature skill and strength to prove it. Against his reluctance, he answered, “Erinthea. My name’s Erinthea.”

For now on, I am Erinthea, provisionally.

“Erinthea… what a beautiful name.” Lyra mused. She uttered the last part in a whisper but Erinthea heard it all with her sensitive ears. “May I called you Erin?” she asked.

Erin shrugged. It wasn’t her real name anyway, so she didn’t care that much. Now that she had a good look at Lyra, Erin realized she was taller than Lyra by half a head.

Hmm… I’m quite tall for a girl, aren’t I?

Lyra was donning leather armor that fit her slender body frame so well. Her muscles did not diminish her charm a single bit. On her back strapped a bow and a quiver of arrows. Her gears weren’t high grade but it couldn’t be said to be low either. Erin could vaguely make out her dark bluish hair color and similar dark bluish eyes to match under her hood.

“You’re not an adventurer, are you?” Lyra tossed such a sudden question.

“What gave it away, I wonder?”

Lyra chuckled at her foolish response but she humored her anyway. “You’re not armored, not even lightly. You don’t have a sack for carrying your spoils. And most obvious of all, you don’t have a weapon.”

“I had a weapon.” Erin didn’t know what an adventurer was but she could roughly guess what kind of profession it was judging from the name itself. “Is there a problem if I’m not an adventurer?”

“Instead of problems, it raises a big question. If you’re not an adventurer, what’s a fox-kin like you doing all the way out here? This forest isn’t a place for anyone to just stroll in. Only adventurers or fighters dare walk to enter this forest.”

“It’s a long story.”

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“I see.” Lyra understood what Erin’s overtone implied. “Well, I’m heading back to town now. Care to be my companion for this short journey?”

Erin had the Spirit Magic, Fae Guide if she ever needed directions but since Lyra had proven herself to be quite amicable, Erin saw no reason to refuse the offer. Plus, it was better to travel with a companion in such a place. “Of course, just lead the way.”

With Lyra taking point, the two walked downstream by the river. As they trod down the path, Lyra was sneaking glances at Erin, more precisely, at her swaying tail and ears.

After a few minutes, Erin had enough of Lyra’s occasional sneaky glimpses and decided to confront her.

“Is there a problem?”

“Nothing,” Lyra said. “It’s just that… Demi-humans are a rare sight around here. I hope you won’t mind the stares back in town.”

“That depends on how hard they stare.”

Beast-kin or any demi-humans for that matter, was also a rare sight for Erin in her former life. She probably had only seen two or three demi-humans in the four decades of her previous life.

“Um… can I ask request something quite personal from you?”

Erin’s brows raised with a crease. “Depends on what you’re requesting?”

“W-well… can I touch your tail and ears?”

“No,” Erin replied instantly and sharply. She didn’t know the ethics of Fox-kin but considering how sensitive they were, it was probably frown upon to be touched so casually by others.

“Yea… I figured as much.” Lyra looked down. “Sorry of asking. Just… I hope you won’t be offended when some of the townspeople asked the same thing. Some of them get kinda curious here in Green Scar.”

Hearing some foreign name, Erin furrowed her brows. “Speaking of… “here”, where are we exactly?”

Lyra blinked. “You don’t know? And you’re here, in such a place?”

“It’s a long story.”

“Well, we are in the forest of Green Scar.”

“Green Scar? Where is that?”

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“I’m not sure on how I should I answer that.”

After some thinking, Erin asked another question. “Do you know Evaren?”

“Evaren?” Lyra gave her an odd look. “If you’re talking about the continent, of course I do. This is Evaren.”

Erin widened her eyes. She didn’t hear her wrong. This was Evaren, she said. However, Erin didn’t know any place named Green Scar in Evaren. Evaren wasn’t a large continent nor was it small. It was just on the average tier. Erin had explored most of Evaren. She knew its every nook and cranny. For the parts that she missed in her exploration, she knew their name. That said, she couldn’t recall any of the place was call Green Scar.

Just where the hell am I? Is this somehow a different Evaren?

“Are you really fine? You don’t look fine.”

“I’m okay. Just where in Evaren is Green Scar?”

“Somewhere in the northwest, I guess?”

“You guess?”

“I don’t know. I’m not a cartographer.”

“But you’re an adventurer.”

“Hey, I’m a starless adventurer.”

“What’s a starless adventurer?”

Lyra stopped in her tracks and stared. “Do you even know what’s an adventurer?” she asked.

Erin too stopped to match her gaze. “I don’t,” she replied promptly.

“Okay… you didn’t know where you are and you don’t know what’s an adventurer?” Suspicions filled Lyra’s gaze. “That’s very concerning, are you aware of that?”

Erin sighed. “Like I have said, it’s a long—”

[Sixth Sense activated. Imminent Threat Detected]

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Her sentence was interrupted by a warning from Sixth Sense. Her ears and tail stood straight up with the warning.

“C-cute…” Lyra muttered. “Um… I mean, what’s wrong?”

Shortly after, a loud roar spanned across the whole forest.

“This early?” Lyra blurted out.

“What was that?” Erin asked, directing a worried look at Lyra.

“That— is why you don’t want to be out here during the night and why we should start running now.”

Saying so, the two began to run. Much like her appearance suggested, Lyra was in better form than Erin. She easily overtook Erin’s pace but she took heed to match her pace with Erin.

With her sensitive ears, Erin could pick up the sounds of other animals and small monsters scampering away from the roar. She even heard some monsters slightly larger than Rot-rats running downstream.

Remembering that she had two Ability Points from her level up prior to her sleep, she dumped them all into Might.

[Might: 9 has been increased to 11]

“I don’t mean to disparage you but do you have any movement-accelerating skills?!” Lyra shouted.

Using her old knowledge, Erin poured Magic to her feet to speed herself up. The sudden acceleration almost toppled her balance but she managed to hold her bearings.

[Combat Arts: Fleet Foot Lv. 1 – Acquired]

Oh damn, it worked. So, it’s called Fleet Foot, huh.

“Well, I’ll be damned!” Lyra exclaimed. “You’re not as delicate as I thought you are after all.” She also sped up by pouring Magic to her feet.

The huge roar echoed out again and shook the forest.

Hearing the roar that somehow felt nearer than before, Lyra increased her speed and Erin allocated one point into Fleet Foot.

[Fleet Foot: Lv. 1 has been increased to Lv. 2]

Erin still wasn’t at the speed of Lyra but she was definitely a tad faster.

“What are we running from?” Erin asked with her voice raised as they ran.

“A Razor Grizzly,” Lyra replied. “The king of this forest.”

Erin knew about Red Grizzlies and Black Grizzlies but he had never heard of a Razor Grizzly. She wasn’t even sure if Razor Grizzly was even something remotely similar to a bear at all. “What do you mean just now when you said it’s early?”

“It’s suppose to only come out during the night when the sun has set completely. Something must had awakened it sooner than the intended time.”

“Or someone.” Erin recalled the bandits. “Could be bandits.”

Lyra gave a short laugh. “There are no bandits here unless it’s a huge group.”

“Why?”

“Because—” They jumped over a large log in their path. “—if Adventurers knew, we will band together and hunt them down. They are a threat to us Adventurers and our pockets.”

“But I saw some bandits just this afternoon.”

“Well, they must be new.” The dodged low under a fallen tree. “If they are the one who woke the Razor Grizzly up, good riddance, then.”

“How much further to the town?”

“Not far. Just another mile and more.”

Just another mile and more… you said it like it’s so easy… Hmm? What’s that?

It was fast in hiding itself from her view but Erin saw it in the semi-darkness due to her Night Vision innate skill. There was something following them on the other side of the river. It was extremely silent with its movements. Erin could neither smell or hear whatever was stalking them. She had thought that Lyra was the one who woke her up but after knowing Lyra, she couldn’t have been the one who woke her up with an intimidating aura.

Erin put herself on full vigilance in case it attacked them at any moment’s notice— but it didn’t. It stopped following them after a while.

What the hell was that?

“Hey, don’t slow down now. Are you getting tired?” Lyra asked without a strain to her voice.

“I-I’m f-fine,” Erin struggled to reply.

Using her own level system’s standard as a measure, Lyra’s Might must be much higher than hers since she could easily run for this long without loosing breath, as oppose to her own current condition. She was already drawing quick breaths.

While she was undeniably better than she was during the day, Erin was still no where near her expected optimal level.

Still, with her eleven points of Might and another minute run, she managed to reach safety along with Lyra as they finally exited the forest and the town came into view.

We’re saved…. I’m saved.

Erin gave one last view to her back.

It truly had stopped following them. She relaxed her breath but until they safely made it to the town, she wouldn’t be letting her guard down.

Erinthea – Forest-kin: Fox-kin

Level: 4 | Status: Moderate Exhaustion | Strained (Legs)

Might: 11 | Arcane: 10 | Finesse: 10

Magic Arts – Spirit Magic Lv. 3,

Combat Arts – Sword Art Lv. 5 | Arcane Edge Lv. 1 | Fleet Foot Lv. 2

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

Level Progression: 0%

Skill Points: 2


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