When I got back to my room after dinner, I was dead tired. Thus, I didn’t look at my stats until morning.
|All In (Strength)|
|Club Mastery (2)|
|Dodging Mastery (1)|
|Melee Weapon Mastery (1)|
It didn’t really surprise me that I had levelled up. I had probably missed it in all the confusion with fighting the wolf, but I should have been close from just rabbits anyway. Wolves would be worth more experience, right? I supposed I didn’t have a really good idea about that. My Strength growth had slowed rapidly as it neared 100… but it was still growing. Toughness and Constitution increased… but I wasn’t really happy about that as I felt the soreness in my left forearm. Luck had gone up that day because… of Kantrilla? That could be the only option. Except, I’d been to see her several times before. Maybe today was just the “Lucky” day… or maybe it was because she touched me. I needed to talk to her about that, and there were some other things I needed to learn too.
If all wolves were as tough as the one I fought, I thought perhaps I couldn’t survive in this world unless a class was really, really impressive. Well, I could continue to just hunt horned rabbits forever… if I could find enough.
I supposed I could get a job doing manual labor. It wasn’t my first choice, but it wasn’t that bad of an option either. Not long ago I would have killed to be able to do manual labor. Or, you know, stand up.
In the end, I was just feeling melancholy because I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. Sure, I was much stronger than some definition of ‘average’, but the wolves were stronger too. I’d just imagined that I could defeat them in one blow. Actually, hadn’t I done almost that? I was just careless afterwards.
Sgar had already found about my fight with the wolf. “See what I mean? They’re dangerous.”
“Well, I didn’t exactly fight one on purpose.”
Sgar nodded, “I know. Still, your equipment isn’t really suited. Blunt weapons aren’t suited to take them down quickly- you just got lucky with that first hit. Then you were careless.”
“Yeah I know… wait, what weapon would be better?”
“Oh, swords are good… or halberds. They have reach, which is quite nice. It really depends on how many you’re fighting. Well, in your case anything that increases your reach would be handy.”
I hadn’t really considered that. All I had been fighting were rabbits, who were much smaller than me. My reach was far superior, though their quick movements made it somewhat less useful. I would have to seriously try out other weapons. That said, I didn’t think anything would be superior to a club for dealing with horned rabbits. The large striking surface was very useful.
After testing out a number of training weapons, and working to learn how to use them with Sgar, I decided that a halberd was indeed the best fit. I would still use my club- or rather its descendant, as even the very hard darkwood had started to show wear. However, the halberd would be better for fighting wolves… and I wanted to try them out. Well, preferably single wolves. I was planning to hang out on the edge of their territory. I had to range around near there to find horned rabbits anyway. I had wondered how the horned rabbits survived there, but it turned out the wolves preferred larger prey. Horned rabbits were just too much trouble.
I also had to wonder how so many predators managed to survive in the area… and the answer I got was ‘magic’. Apparently, plants grew faster in places with more magic, and animals could survive with less food so their numbers could increase significantly. Apparently deep in the woods there were things even worse than wolves, but I wasn’t interested in getting anywhere near them. All I wanted was to fight a wolf…
I got my wish. Well, I got twice my wish. Fortunately, I saw both wolves coming together. This time I was prepared with a new weapon and specific advice on how to combat wolves. It didn’t mean I wasn’t nervous… but I was less so than when I fought my first one. This time, it was on purpose and with confidence.
Unfortunately, two wolves was also more than twice as dangerous. They could work together, and as I saw them circling around to different sides of me, I couldn’t help but be slightly nervous. Even so, I turned to face one, and kept my senses open. This time, the wolves weren’t as intimidating. I didn’t feel the same sort of pressure. Actually… were these smaller? It was hard to say, but it felt like it.
I pointed my halberd toward the wolf in front of me. Pointing a club at something was stupid, but a halberd actually had a spear tip on the end, so it was a perfectly functional weapon that way. It also had an axehead, which was useful in different situations. The wolf in front of me kept several yards away. Then, I heard a shuffling sound and it was darting toward me. At the same time, I moved. If I was merely going to receive its charge, I could just hold the spear end correctly and let it run into it… but I had to deal with the one behind me.
By the time I had half turned, the one behind me was almost upon me. It had started moving first, after all. Turning my halberd point around to face it would take too long… but I didn’t plan to do that anyway. Instead, I stood sideways and brought the butt of the halberd up into its chest. It was knocked flying, but probably wasn’t significantly damaged. Using the rebound from that motion, I returned the front of the halberd to the ready position. I had to adjust the point, but that was a small quick motion… and with a quick thrust I stabbed the chest of the other wolf. It had been stopping just outside of where it would have impaled itself, but with its remaining momentum and my thrust the spearhead went clean into its ribcage.
The one behind me was just getting up, but it only took me a moment to pull back my halberd. As the wolf hesitated over whether to fight or run, I charged forward and impaled it. I grinned. Wolves weren’t so scary after all… in groups of just two. I had to thank Sgar for his advice. Knowing some specific moves to combat what a pair of wolves might do was very helpful. It didn’t hurt that these wolves were smaller. Actually, I learned later that the first wolf I fought was just bigger.