My twisting swing had turned me around to face the two-horned rabbit that had just leaped past me, or rather that I had dodged. It wasn’t that it intentionally missed, but it couldn’t change its direction midair, and while it could twist itself to slash me with its horns, that was nowhere near the same as being impaled. Since I was prepared, I could avoid it.
Or at least, I had been able to avoid it. However, I was running out of steam. My arms were fine, there was no muscle fatigue yet. Instead, it was my mind that was running out of steam. This was the effects of overusing mana… which was strange, because I hadn’t used mana. The only thing I had to use mana was bash, and that wasn’t necessary against horned rabbits. Pure Strength was enough for them. Even so, I could barely keep my eyes open. I probably wouldn’t last long… but I didn’t need much more.
Besides the two-horned rabbit, there was only a single pair of regular horned rabbits. “Kantrilla, take care of the small ones!” I couldn’t afford to ignore them, but I also couldn’t deal with them and the two-horned rabbit. Not if I wanted to defeat it as quickly as possible… and that seemed to be necessary.
I focused on the two-horned rabbit… and as expected it performed another leap attack. There wasn’t really any other way for it to get enough power to matter, so it had little choice but to attack me that way. It could have retreated, but even with its subordinates almost defeated it didn’t seem to be afraid. After all, I hadn’t been able to hit it, and it could avoid my attacks.
I concentrated on its movement, and realized how I had been using mana. The slowed-but-not-slowed time was not an illusion I saw, but some sort of skill. I didn’t know what it was called, but I had been using it unconsciously. I only needed a bit more. A brief pause. The horned rabbit flying through the air… then it was full speed before I could really do anything. I’d reached the limit of my mana. I couldn’t afford to let the battle drag out, because I was so tired… and my muscles would become fatigued soon enough as well. I had to find a way… I clenched my teeth, or started to anyway, and just as the rabbit’s paws were about to touch my club, time slowed. During that instant, I realized I had to throw it off balance. All I could do was swing my club up as hard as I could.
My club’s momentum was already forward, so in a short time I could only barely change its trajectory. However, as the two-horned rabbit pressed down on my club, I pressed up. This caused it to experience more force than it expected, and it spun through the air. It still moved past me, but it didn’t land on its feet. I had to take the opportunity, and I turned and rushed toward the rabbit. It was on its back, though it started twisting around to get to its feet. However, before it could my club came down. *Cruuuunccch*. Its skull crumpled, but just in case I swung again. More bones cracked, and it stopped moving. It wasn’t particularly sturdy, just a larger rabbit. I’d long since been able to defeat them in a single blow, with less Strength.
I put my club head down onto the ground and leaned on it. My muscles had the strength to stand, but my mind barely had enough to tell them to do so. I turned my head to see Kantrilla fighting the last horned rabbit. Her face scrunched as she reluctantly swung her mace at it… killing it.
After that, I barely remember what happened. I know we somehow got the two-horned rabbit into the bag and I dragged it along. I think Kantrilla kept talking to me to keep me conscious, but I don’t really remember what she said. Once we got into the guild, I think I lost consciousness.
In the morning I woke up with a headache. That was from overuse of mana, apparently, though I hadn’t experienced it before. It wasn’t dangerous by itself, though if I had fallen unconscious in the middle of a battle it could have been extremely problematic. Even outside the city would have been a bit of an issue, as Kantrilla would have no way to bring me back. I doubted she could carry me, or even drag me very far.
I did remember making it to the guild, so someone must have carried me back from there. There were plenty of people who could do that, though it was somewhat shameful I needed it. In addition to my mental fatigue, my body was tired. With the various bandages on me I knew I had wounds healed, and such healing caused fatigue. It wasn’t as much as when I’d been cured of Muscular Dystrophy, but I was pretty beat. I still drug myself downstairs for breakfast, because that contained energy I would need.
The rest of the day I spent hanging around the adventurer’s guild, since I didn’t really need bedrest. I just needed food… and to not spend more mana. I could spend all day trying to sleep, but I didn’t like that. I’d spent enough of my life in bed… and more sitting in a wheelchair. Walking around was much more satisfying.
There was some discussion about whether or not opening the status window took mana. In the end, nobody could be sure, but it was certainly a very tiny amount if it did. When I looked at it, I was surprised at what I found.
|All In (Strength)|
|Club Mastery (4)|
|Dodging Mastery (2)|
|Melee Weapon Mastery (3)|
|Halberd Mastery (2)|
|Analyze Strength (2)|
|Bow Mastery (0)|
|Sling Mastery (1)|
|Ranged Weapon Mastery (1)|
|Martial Trance (1)|
|Whirlwind Attack (0)|
I had a class. I hadn’t specifically tried to acquire it, but I had it. I knew that had to be the case, because if every class had to be learned from someone, nobody would have a class to begin with. I just hadn’t expected to acquire a class by accident. On the other hand, classes were granted based on what a person learned and areas they were training in. Thus, it couldn’t be said to be an accident… but it also hadn’t been intentional. Especially since I didn’t know anything about the class except that nobody in Trona had it. Did that make it a special class? What did it do for me? Well, remembering the fight with the two-horned rabbit, I was pretty sure I liked at least one thing it had to offer.