It took some time, but I learned Bash from Sgar. It was nice to have a sort of active ability to use, but it was almost completely useless against horned rabbits. I didn’t need it, and all it would do was waste my energy. Still, I practiced it on them some, because I needed to use it in real combat. After that, I trained with him for a few days, whenever I could. That was usually in the morning or evening, since neither of us were around during the middle of the day. Sgar noticed that my Strength kept growing… but there wasn’t anything I could say about that. In the end, my stats looked like this:
|All In (Strength)|
|Club Mastery (2)|
|Dodging Mastery (1)|
|Melee Weapon Mastery (1)|
My Strength kept growing quickly, almost ten points per day… but I was actually putting in more work now than I was before. A few other attributes increased by a single point, except Constitution actually increased by 2. That was probably due to the different methods of training I was now going through… not just walking around hitting things.
With Sgar’s advice and practice, my Club Mastery grew to level 2. That wasn’t anything amazing, but it was still nice progress. I also got Melee Weapon Mastery, which applied a 5% per level instead of 10% but applied to all melee weapons. As for whether it stacked with Club Mastery… Apparently that was a matter of some debate. Nobody could say for sure, but it was definitely better to have it than not. After all, a warrior wouldn’t always have their preferred weapon on hand.
I found myself on the way to train with Sgar one morning. That meant getting up early, which was hard to do without an alarm clock. Thus, I asked the innkeeper to wake me. Still, that particular morning I woke up even before the innkeeper came to get me. Perhaps my body got used to it after a few days.
I walked through the calm streets. They were mostly empty in the twilight, but people were starting to wake up. Still, it would be quiet for some time. Nothing but the sound of silence, maybe a bit of rustling, and a woman’s screaming voice.
Something was off there… before my conscious mind figured it out, my body was already running down the alleyway I had heard the scream from. My boots pounded against the cobblestones, and I heard a similar sound coming from a cross street up ahead. It was more than one pair of feet could produce. A figure ran out in front of me, still screaming. That was the woman, though her features weren’t clear in the light. Then another figure appeared behind her, merely a few steps behind… and catching up.
I wasn’t yet at the end of the alleyway, so I could only watch as the chasing figure caught up and stabbed out… however at that exact moment the woman tripped, and the man’s arm went over her head. Unfortunately, that also meant she lost her momentum and wouldn’t be able to escape.
The man stabbed out again. It looked like he had some sort of knife. Or dagger? Daggers were the ones that stabbed, maybe. Well, it didn’t matter. I had just reached the end of the alley, and my club was already swinging. The man’s head had slightly turned toward me, but I couldn’t see his face. Most of it was covered up… and I only got a brief glimpse anyway.
There was a resounding crunch as my club impacted the man’s ribcage. This had the added effect of knocking him back, preventing his stab from hitting the helpless woman. The man flew back perhaps five feet and collapsed into a heap. I looked down at the woman. “Are you okay?” I reached out a hand to help her up.
“Oh, yes! Thank you.” She took my hand and I pulled her to her feet, at which point she towered over me. With a closer look, her voice, and her height, I recognized her. It was the woman who had insisted I be healed by Father Thomas. My brain dredged up the name Kantrilla.
Then, I heard the sound of movement over from where the man was. I quickly turned and readied my club… but he was darting off toward the end of the alley. I was surprised he was still alive and could stand, let alone run… but then I remembered. Though I was stronger than a normal human, so were other people. Everyone, really. Levels existed here, after all. I didn’t think I could catch the man… and I was much more interested in just being safe.
After he was gone, Kantrilla spoke again, “Thanks for saving me! That was really scary! Oh hey, it’s you! You’re really strong! Lucky me, huh?”
“Well… I guess? Oh yeah, I’ve been wanting to find you to say thanks again… Without you getting my healed, I wouldn’t be this strong.”
She clapped her hand together, and I saw her smile in the growing light. “You’re welcome! I do hate to see people who are sick… but you saved me, so that’s probably why it felt so important.”
I tilted my head. That was a weird way to speak. “What do you mean? Can you predict the future or something?”
She laughed, “Oh, nothing like that. It just seemed like a good idea. Luckily, I was right!”
“Hmm, yeah. I don’t know about this ‘lucky’ thing. It doesn’t seem very lucky to get chased by someone wanting to kill you…”
She smiled even wider, “But I’m alive! I’d say that’s pretty Lucky indeed!” She seemed to place significant emphasis anytime she said that word. Then, her face fell to a more neutral expression. “I don’t know why anyone would want to kill me though. We’ll have to tell Father Thomas… and the guards! They won’t be happy to hear that someone tried to stab me inside the city!” She shook her head. Then, she grabbed my hand. “Well, come on! Let’s go!”
She didn’t have the ability to pull me anywhere I didn’t want to go, but I was already going the same direction anyway. Besides, I wanted to thank Father Thomas again.