(Patreon) Strength Chapter 22

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It wasn’t long before we managed to find exactly two wolves. It was good luck… but was it good Luck? It was hard to say what it actually did and didn’t do… perhaps it was best not to think about it. I had already defeated two wolves alone, so I was confident this time. After all, I was much stronger… and I had backup, too.

However, right from the start, the battle played out differently. Though one wolf circled around to each side, they stayed out of my reach. Kantrilla was behind me, and the wolf closer to her narrowed the distance. I could have struck it with my halberd, if I were in her spot… but I wasn’t.

Meanwhile, I had to face the one on my side. While my tactic had worked once, it wasn’t really a great plan not to focus on an enemy. The wolf kept moving around, and in… then back out suddenly when I tried to attack it. Meanwhile, the wolf Kantrilla was facing had come in close and was snapping its jaws at her and growling… though I heard her swinging her mace at it. I honestly didn’t expect her to hit, but it was probably enough to dissuade it. She was keeping it away with her shield, as well.

Finally the wolf facing me moved close enough. I stabbed out… but it dodged to the side. This one was smart…. But not quite good enough still. I swung the blade of my halberd to the side, chopping into the wolf. Though it was awkward to change from a stab into a swing, I had the Strength- and magically enhanced Dexterity- to pull it off. Even though it wasn’t an optimal hit… With how much Strength I’d built up the blade sliced cleanly into the wolf which cried out briefly. With depth it went in and the effort it took to pull it back out, I knew that wolf wasn’t going to be fighting any more. Even so, I kept an eye on it for a few moments to make sure.

After that I turned toward Kantrilla. She had been holding the wolf she was fighting in a stalemate, but when I killed the other one, it seems the one she was fighting had run off. It was somewhat disappointing to lose the money and experience… but we could always find more.

I skinned the wolf. I was getting quicker at that in general, even though I was less familiar with wolves than horned rabbits. This pelt would be worth a bit less because of the giant wound where my halberd had gone in, but I had to remember that it was worth 100% less if I didn’t get it or if I died. Even if I took an injury and had to get it healed, that was around half of the cost. Since Kantrilla was adventuring with me I wouldn’t be charged, but I would still have to stop hunting for the day if the wound was more than slight. Even if I didn’t care about safety, there were pure monetary reasons to make sure I won the fights as quickly and safely as possible. Some of those who cared more about the money didn’t consider those details, however. At least, that was what Sgar said.

That day, we found another group of wolves- three of them. We killed them, and even found a few small groups of horned rabbits. We could find more wolves in less time if we went further into the woods, but the problem would be if they came in too much less time… many all at once. Thus, we decided to stay safe- even if Kantrilla was Lucky.

—–

By the start of the next week we had managed around five successful wolf kills per day. There were some small injuries- mostly claw mark- but it was mostly damage to our armors… which was exactly what the armor was for. We had to get the armor repaired, but wolves brought in good money so it was still more profitable. Besides, even horned rabbits could cause damage if you were careless enough to let them get in a straight hit.

Kantrilla was convinced I would level up soon, and I believed her- but I wasn’t sure she had any real basis for it. At least, there wasn’t any she gave. Wolves were definitely higher level than horned rabbits, if they had levels anyway. Regardless, they gave much more experience- I could see it pour out, and it was easily more than ten, maybe twenty times as much. Judging an accurate quantity of a mist wasn’t possible, but my approximations indicated they were certainly much more. I just wasn’t sure exactly how much was required to level. I was just sure that killing enough horned rabbits to level would take months, even at the highest rates I had ever found them at.

I was glad I hadn’t shown up in this forest when I was summoned. The chance of me beating a wolf then would have been very low. Two or more would have been completely hopeless. Now, I could fight three or four- with Kantrilla’s help. If I was asked to judge her contribution to the combat… I wouldn’t be able to give a proper answer. She would most certainly keep one occupied, but her enhancements on me and the safety net she provided in terms of possible healing weren’t really immediately apparent on the combat. With her things didn’t die any faster, but my personal probability of death was much lower.

With her, I wasn’t even afraid of fighting five wolves… cautious, yes, but not afraid. I wouldn’t have chosen to fight five, but that was what we were fighting. It was rather problematic, because I could hold off three wolves fairly well, and Kantrilla could handle one… but that left one extra. That one was nipping at Kantrilla, and she was starting to panic. I almost did… but what good would it do me? I needed to keep my head. After all… what good was all this Strength if I didn’t use it properly?

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