The Only Thing I Can Upgrade is Strength chapter 124

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Sitting around waiting when I was so close to finding Kantrilla was basically the worst I had ever felt. It was like suddenly being unable to walk again. No, it was like being able to walk but being told you aren’t allowed to. Somehow, that made it even worse.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t argue with Kazik. We couldn’t afford to get careless and get caught. If we did, it was very likely either I or Kantrilla would be hurt or killed. It was already possible they suspected something was up, but if they had time to prepare again… well, I really didn’t like losing without being able to fight, like last time. Since they wouldn’t be in a hurry to leave, they would also make sure I was dead in some way they didn’t get caught. I wasn’t sure what they wanted with Kantrilla, but if my appearance made them panic it was possible they would kill her or… something. I still wasn’t sure why they would capture her.

—–

Just like Kazik had said, it took a few days for him to contact me again. “Alright kid…” he started. I would have reminded him I was an adult, but even at twenty-three I was still pretty young. “I’ve scouted the place out. I’ve seen at most one of the party go in at a time. Someone just left, which means the place should be empty for another hour… maybe.” Kazik shook his small head, “I didn’t go inside. Doors are the easiest way to get caught sneaking around, and I don’t fight. Not much good at it. Anyway, we have to go now.”

“Now?” I looked down at myself. “Let me get my weapons.”

“Sure thing. I hope you won’t need them, but… well, it’s better to have them.”

I already had my armor on, thankfully, so I just rushed to strap on my weapons.

Within about fifteen minutes Kazik and I were in the twisty backstreets where the hideout was. “Okay, see that building? The little one with green trim? That’s the entrance.”

I walked up to the door and prepared to open it… only to find it was locked. “They’re not here, right?”

“Well, I’m not quite sure… if there’s another entrance maybe they are, but I’ve seen them go in and out one at a time so-”

I kicked the door down. The only reason I didn’t kick it apart was the hinges and frame gave out first.

“Dammit kid! I was going to say one of them could still be hiding inside…” He came forward and looked inside. “Just stairs down. Great. Look, I can’t get caught in there. I can’t fight anyway so…”

“It’s fine.” I shook my head, “There’s at least one less of them… and Kantrilla’s not too far.” I gripped her guild card tightly… though I was careful not to break it. I left Kazik standing in the alleyway and headed down the stairs. It was dark… so I had to use the light spell. In a way, I was fortunate that I was weak with that spell. It barely gave off any light, so people wouldn’t notice me coming from far away. On the other hand… I would have liked to limit it on purpose instead of just barely being able to get a candle light from it.

I came to a hallway at the bottom of the stairs, and there ran into a problem. I had my choice of doors. There were two on each end of the hallway, and one directly across from the stairs. What made my choice for me was the flicker of light underneath the door in front of me. While going towards a place where there was more likely to be a person was more dangerous… it also was more likely to have Kantrilla in it.

There wasn’t much in the room- a few glowing magical stones to provide light, a table with a large amount of magical junk on it, and Kantrilla… chained to that table. She was pale, and her eyes barely seemed to register my movement as I stepped toward her. My first order of business was to figure out how to remove the chains while not hurting her. Maybe I could just break the table where she was attached?

Then I felt I prick in my neck. I pulled away, and and at the same time grabbed the handle of my mace and swung it next to me. At least, that was my plan, but my mace thumped against the nearby wall.

There he was. Enok Csorba. “Well,” he said as the shadows started bending around him, “Who would have thought you would actually make it here? I’m surprised. Good thing I felt like coming to check on things here.”

I didn’t have the inclination to talk as I felt something happening. Whatever pricked my neck was poisoned… I was already starting to feel it. Talking would just take energy I didn’t have. As he stepped forward to stab at me with a dagger, I maneuvered to swing my heavy mace, bringing it down towards him… but he suddenly moved to the side in a way I didn’t expect. My mace came down on the floor, creating a patch of ice. I immediately felt the drain on my mana as I had attacked with Bash. The same stuff again, was it? I couldn’t use any mana then or I would be out immediately. I took a step forward to swing at him, but somehow I ended up on the patch of ice I had made. It made no sense, because I was normally so careful. Somehow, I stepped just wrong and my boots didn’t even activate.

I fell onto my side, and Enok’s boot came up to kick me in the face. Even with a helmet, it sent my head ringing. I tried to scrabble to my feet, but felt my strength draining. It was the same thing again, but things were going even worse. Could I really not do anything? I didn’t remember being so pathetic.

No matter how much I tried, I could barely move. I couldn’t grip my weapon or stand, only barely keeping my consciousness.

Enok sighed, “It would be so inconvenient to kill you here. Still, this time I’ll make sure…” he leaned down toward me and pulled out a bottle of something, pulling off my helmet. I tried to reach out to strangle him, but I couldn’t even lift my arm. It was even worse than the previous time, as if I hadn’t even gotten the slightest bit of resistance to those poisons. He made me swallow the vile concoction in the bottle.

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