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I fought so desperately with the Red Bear that when it was finally over, I noticed that the sun was already rising.
My body was seriously injured from when Red Bear tore at me with his fangs and claws. Moving around and looking for a safe place to rest would be an impossible feat. Moreover, my left arm was cleanly cut off below my elbow.
When I defended myself from one of the Red Bear's sharp claws, it got cut off and was sent flying, the cut off arm was then eaten by the Bear in the middle of the fight.
Because my left arm was lost beyond hope of salvaging I could only make a temporary fix by stemming the bleeding with my thread. In order to heal the wound properly countless systematic Recovery Skills would be needed. Fortunately Rapid Recovery has already activated, so the possibility that I bleed to death is unlikely.
There was a large amount of blood streaming from my body, why wasn’t it fatal? You might think this, but the blood that came out was already replenished by my ability. Contrary to appearances, the blood remaining in my body was sufficient.
Well, let’s talk about that later.
I can’t help but say the damage to my equipment is greater. Both of my estocs broke to their handles and became useless, my bowie knife’s edge crumbled into pieces, having a nicked edge, it was barely saved from breaking off the handle.
My primary halberd also had a terribly chipped edge, the long handle was distorted greatly from warding off the Red Bear’s constant attacks.
It hasn’t been destroyed, but it clearly needs repairing.
The protective gear which should have still looked new before the battle looks like a shadow of itself, its state is now a jacket and tattered shorts.
At first glance all you can see is a beaten dog. No, a defeated Hobgoblin.
I was in a horrible state.
But, I survived. I survived.
I did well not dying, truly.
[Rapid Recovery] and Recovery Skills, if there were no duplicate recovery abilities, I would have easily died more than 50 times in my current condition as a Hobgoblin.
If there were no Enhanced Defense abilities [Shell Defense], [Physical Damage Reduction], [Steel Hide], [Scale Armour Charge], and [Strong-Supple Frame] there were no Enhanced Defense abilities that were the same etc., it isn’t likely to have ended to the degree of damage of only losing one arm and there’d be lacerations to my entire body surely. Rather, even at my full strength, a graze from one of its strikes would send me flying. That’s how much of a foul play the Red Bear’s strike is.
I mean, that really was a cheat.
Even so, I still didn’t lose.
Starting from [Venom], [Electro Master], [Hydro Hand], [Spider Thread Creation] and various abilities, using simple combination attacks with various abilities as an effective way to whittle down its health.
Actually I’d rather use [End] type magic to quickly deal the killing blow; the problem is that right now my spellcasting is so slow that it’s practically useless in the middle of close range combat. Because the opening I’d give would be too big, I’d instantly die if I tried.
Moreover in the first place, when I tried to hit it with a sneak attack with a lance he dodged it, so chances are that if I even managed to get one off, it would just be a waste of time.
The beasts instincts were fearsome. Well, because it lost his left arm in the initial surprise attack, I was probably satisfied with that attack.
I was also lucky that my attacks with my halberd were extremely potent when buffed by my strengthening skills like [Improved Slashing Power], [Improved Piercing Power], [Improved Charging Power], [Improved Leg Power] and [Pump-Up] etc.
By the way, after using [Triple Stab] I confirmed it. It really turns out physical defense was ignored. However, there seems to be a requirement where the attacks pierce to the same depth as the middle attack.
Furthermore, the size of the hole naturally depends on the weapon used to make it: A hole left by a halberd is going to be larger than one left by an estoc due to the strength of the blow.
The ability that helped me the most was surprisingly [Vampirephilia] that I got from the Seven-Colored Bat.
This blood sucking action can ignore the target’s defensive strength only up to a certain extent, and the blood that was sucked can also be be used as my own blood immediately. It is thanks to this ability that I could replace the blood lost by the Bear’s attack that went through my defenses, which had been raised as much as possible, from the Bear itself.
In short, I was able to replenish my own blood using the enemy’s, and I deal an amount of damage proportional to the amount I took from it.
Because I currently can change a part of my body just like a Slime, if I turned my finger into something like a straw and pierced the Red Bear with it, by sucking the blood through it I needn’t worry much about blood replenishment.
Yep, if I had lacked any one of the abilities I have now, things may not have turned out the way it did.
Ah, that’s right, [Stench]. I guess I was helped by that, too. The very moment the Red Bear was about to bite my body I used [Stench] causing it to retreat, holding its nose in anguish. Well well, you never truly know what will turn out to be useful in the future.
Looking back at the fierce fight, for a while after the twilight, I turned my eyes in the direction of what was once the Red Bear.
In the middle of the trees flattened in the aftermath of a violent fight, was a great Red Bear that had ceased breathing. Its whole body was covered in injuries like me, but carved on its chest was a large mark as proof of my concentrated attacks.
My scarred figure looking down on it can be seen reflected on its empty eyes that had lost their light, and a bowie knife stuck deeply between its eyebrows, this was making me feel sad for some reason. I’ll say this over and over again, the Red Bear was truly strong.
Using my [Predict] I could see its attack trajectory as a red line, but even so, the attack was so fast there were times that I couldn’t dodge in time, its unique powers such as its explosion-like roar and its glare which was a technique that was inhibiting my movements were intermingled in the attack.
Furthermore, this thing is a Bear, and yet it blew fire like a flamethrower out of its mouth. “Really, what kind of Bear is this?”
Since I had [Fire Resistance] and [Hydro Hand] I didn’t receive much damage from the flames, but this and that are two different things.
Seriously, it was strong. A large part of me winning was due to luck.
But since I won, I have the responsibility to live on for the defeated.
I picked up the Red Bear’s hand that had rolled near its battered and whipped body, and I ate it in order to regain my strength.
Ability [Peerless Heavy Strike] learned.
Ability [Intimidation of the Strong] learned.
When I finished eating the right arm, all my exhaustion suddenly caught up to me and I felt my consciousness begin to fade.
During the fierce fighting I’d lost a lot of stamina, the body decided that the best way to survive was to cut off my consciousness and preserve my physical strength. Even now my [Rapid Recovery] and Regeneration are still restoring my body, so I’m confident that I wouldn’t die even if I fall unconscious. It’s my own body, so that much I can understand.
However, it’s obvious that I’m too defenseless if I faint as I am now. There is a high chance of getting eaten by other monsters during the time I was unconscious, so to remain alive I mustered what’s left of my strength and sent out my thread to make a wall around me and the Red Bear out of the trees that are scattered around as a result of being mowed down during our fight.
It was an impromptu shelter.
In addition to having the trees as camouflage, because I doused my thread in poison as I was sending it out, even if for example someone were to come and attack, surely the poison should do them in. If, for some reason, all this wasn’t enough, then that would be the end of me after all, I thought with resignation.
—As I used up the last of my strength to build the defenses, my consciousness—
You have exceeded the minimum required level.
Special requirements «Kingslayer», «Tyrant’s Swagger», «¦¦God¦¦» cleared, [Rank Up] to [Ogre:Rare Variant] now possible.
Will you [[[Rank Up]]]?
«YES» «NO» —With the last of my willpower I chose «YES» right before I lost consciousness.