Day 93

Day 93

We mostly went along via the mountain path, though sometimes the path was too narrow or the road had become overgrown. In total, there were three different paths that others had developed over the years. The one I decided to take us down ended up being the one along the riverside. It seemed to be the most heavily traveled and thus the safest in terms of transportation. The strongest monster in this region is the Hind Bear. Supposedly, there is also a boss-class Hind Bear similar to the Lord of the Forest that I had defeated earlier.

Also, the strength of this boss monster that inhabits the cliffs is apparently far beyond that of the Lord of the Forest. Along with the Hind Bears there is also a species of bird that lives on the mountain. It seems that it's a large eagle with brown feathers and 4 wings called a "Falaise Eagle". The average size of a Falaise Eagle is about 2 meters, and the span of its wings is roughly double that. The size is certainly enough to intimidate lesser opponents. It seems that it can also secrete a paralyzing poison from its claws.

Say what you want, but it certainly is a nasty monster to have to fight when you are making the trek on a path overlooking a cliff. I was informed that there weren't too many of them in the mountains, so at the very least, that is a benefit. Oh, and there is also a boss-class subspecies of the Falaise Eagle that leads them called the Jade Eagle. It can generate a small tornado from its mouth, which can force weaker prey off of the cliffs to their demise. The tornado is also said to change form into a torrent of blades that chops up enemies. Luckily, one of the humans I brought with me has extensive knowledge of this area.

He informed me that he used to live nearby and had heard stories about each of the mountain's creatures. The Red Bear here was powerful, but it moved alone. Since we're in a group, even if we encounter it, the bear shouldn't prove to be an issue. Though for now, it's best if we move as a group.

With our group moving in tight proximity to one another, we were quite secure whenever a Falaise Eagle appeared. They flew very fast and were hard to hit with most attacks. They would always strike at your blind spot to initiate the engagement. Being on a cliff, they were generally hard to deal with. However, thanks to my weapons and abilities, I had sufficient range capabilities to deal with them. Coupled with my ability 【Sense Presence】, attacking my blind spot proved a sure death sentence for the birds, and thus, I walked in front alone to draw the majority of them to me.

It was really surprising how easy it was to take them out once I got the hang of how their hunting instincts worked. We set out to strip the materials off of the eagles as I caught them. In total, we caught eighteen of them. Once we got in to a clearing, we fried and ate them. They were quite large, so the meal was satisfying.

The taste of the meat was quite delicious. I wanted to eat more, but there weren't that many in the mountains to begin with. I should probably avoid killing too many or I'll risk killing the population in the mountains.

Ability learned [Panic Voice]

Ability learned [Wing Growth]

Ability learned [High-Speed Flight]

Ability learned [Wind Reading]

Ability learned [Paralysis Claw]

Ability learned [Paralysis Resistance]

Around two in the afternoon, we reached a point on the road where the path widened greatly. This served to make myself feel far more secure now that the risk of being knocked off the cliff or the ridge collapsing is gone. The only concern is that this area has scattered piles of bones from various animals. There is probably a nest of a strong monster nearby. Eventually, we came across the signs of a fight: the fragments of human bones, armor and weaponry were scattered all about. These must be remnants of some humans that had come to subdue the beast that lingers on this path.

Just as I think this, I hear the hum and beating of wings and my Foresight warns me of the danger. In that very instant, my skin is beaten with a burst of wind that hit so hard, it felt like hundreds of razors hitting my flesh all at once. In the sky, I saw five Falaise Eagles. In addition, a substantially larger Jade Eagle subspecies was among them. All together, this group had an intense presence.

This feeling was far greater than the feeling I had when confronting the Lord of the Forest. When our eyes met, an uncomfortable feeling spiked around the nape of my neck. Their intention was certain: They came here for the kill.

The jade feathers of the subspecies sparkled like blades in the sunlight, seeming like they could cut anything. His beak and claws looked as if they were as strong as diamonds. It moved far faster than any of the other Falaise Eagles, striking from all directions rather than just from behind, making this opponent far more difficult to combat than the predictable average Falaise Eagles.

I saw a great deal of intelligence from the pair of big yellow eyes looking down at me. A supreme killer of the mountains with a stunning quality of grace earned through many battles of survival. From a first look, the fact that its color is altered means that it has probably obtained a [Divine Protection] with its own special system of abilities, just like the Lord of the Forest. For me, I desperately wanted to capture and eat this creature.

Leaving the rest of the party to defense, I grew wings like that of an insects using my [Elytron Generation], making an instant burst of speed to lunge at the enemy overlooking me in the sky. My halberd in hand and aimed at the core of the enemy.

An hour passed as I continued to battle my foe in the skies. My opponent was very powerful and had an advantage in the sky. It moved as fast as a bolt of lightning. If it wasn't for my latest ability, [High-Speed Flight], I may not have survived this engagement. Over the course of the fight, I got an understanding of just how much combat this beast has experienced to become what it is now. It used several attacks, including creating a series of mini tornadoes to disrupt my balance. With low experience with my wings, getting adjusted to fighting in the air with such an opponent was quite difficult. I can't even begin to count how many times my body has been ripped apart by its beak or how many times it's huge nails covered with paralysis toxins stung into my flesh and organs.

By this time, my whole body has been stained with blood, and many body fluids have been drained and lost. Even the Eagle's feathers were as sharp as blades, so even a successful dodge would not entail that I escaped without damage. There were no rules in this fight, however. Whenever I wasn't able to dodge an attack, I would use my metal arm as a shield from its claws. If it wasn't for this, I would have taken over another thousand strikes more than I already have. Apparently, there is even an effect from its saliva that inhibits recovery speeds. Whenever I was bitten, I would have to suppress the bleeding by tightening the muscles around the injury until I managed to purge the toxins. The subspecies' escorts were easily dispatched within the first ten minutes of the fight, though I had paid a heavy price for placing special attention to evening the numbers.

Fortunately, with [Severe Pain Tolerance] and [Desensitizing] even the most grievous of my wounds did not hurt, however, the fact that these injuries existed at all still needed to be remembered and dealt with. All of the martial arts that I have mastered were almost useless in the air, and all of my magical abilities were too difficult to manage due to a heavy level of my focus being spent on dodging and keeping myself in the air.

However, it is not like I was the only one taking damage. As I had said earlier, all five of the other Falaise Eagles had been taken care of early on in the fight. As for the subspecies, I had managed to cut off one of its legs with my halberd and punctured several holes in its body with the tip of my weapon. The feathers of the Jade Eagle are stained with blood in several places. I certainly am not losing out in my ability to fight regardless of the terrain.

Still, being unfamiliar with the sky had become my shackles and prevented a greater majority of my abilities from being usable. Some of my resistances were useless if I wanted to remain in the air, and others, I couldn't use because I could not keep near the Jade Eagle for longer than a fraction of a second at a time. Even though this battle has raged on for over an hour, neither of us has shown even the slightest drop in speed.

As the battle intensified, my halberd was knocked from my hands towards the cliff. Luckily, it landed and stuck in to the road, so it was easily retrievable. Though in my current situation, recovering it in the middle of the fight was highly unlikely. 

Whether the Jade Eagle saw the loss of my weapon as an opportunity or not, it took a deep breath and slightly withdrew, putting a large amount of distance between us. In an instant, my chest had been struck with the Jade Eagle's beak, spinning around like a raging storm.

The Jade Eagle had created a giant gust of wind and had shot straight through my body with an impossible to see level of speed that was almost unreal. Its speed must come from it's [Divine Protection]. Its body was covered with damage and scratches, so this ability must have been a last resort. At that moment, I coughed up a lot of blood, and even with all of my abilities, the pain was severe. With where it went through, my spine has probably been severed, and many of my organs are probably heavily damaged as well. This is really bad. Screams rose out from Redhead, Dhammi-chan and the rest of the party. Even Ogakichi-kun was shouting out with a worried look on his face.

With this, the Jade Eagle was convinced of its victory and went to begin feeding.

In this moment, the abilities that I use will decide who will win the battle. With the Jade Eagle's guard down, this could be my chance to finish this in one go. My body is several times stronger than that of a normal Ogre, so this blow was not enough to kill me, though the damage was severe. In this fraction of a second, I thought of the reward that could be gained by slaying this bird and decided to go at it with every last bit of strength that I had in earnest.

In less than a tenth of a tenth of a second, I activated many abilities that I hadn't used thus far in the previous battles because I had wanted to enjoy the fight on equal grounds.

My right metal arm was dripping with blood, but secretly, I was using it to store and produce more blood with an ability that I had shared with it using [Synthesis] called [Fluid Restoration]. Using the blood I had been producing, I instantly recovered all of the blood lost during the entire fight. Coupling this ability with [High-Speed Playback] and [High Speed Healing], my entire body was recovered in an instant. Using my Metal Arm, I cut off its other leg, fully removing a great level of its danger to myself.

Following up, I used [Exoskeleton Equip], which turned my flesh into something resembling a beetle. To further strengthen my shell, I added [Black Ogre's Strong Body] in addition to [Solid Armored Dragon Scales] to greatly increase my defense. In response, the shell turned black, and scale-like plates developed over the exoskeleton. With this, my body was nearly impossible to penetrate with anything the Jade Eagle was capable of.

In the split second it took to form my armor, I spun a thick version of my Golden Thread around the eagle's wings and used my ability that controls gravity to greatly increase the gravity around the eagle. It put up a great amount of resistance and managed to cut some of my threads, but after I enhanced my golden thread with resistances to physical damage, there was nothing more it could do.

The Jade Eagle plummeted towards the ground. Even at the speed it fell, the crater it left was pretty small. A normal creature would have been splattered on the ground after the impact it received, but it appears it sacrificed two of its wings to lessen the impact. Even with that, it is still pretty amazing it wasn't dead.

After I collected my halberd, I finally ended the Jade Eagle's suffering. I collected a jewel from the center of its head and several vials-full of liquid coming out of its body. After collecting the jewel and the liquid, I began carefully removing all of its parts, slowly stripping the skin as to not damage even the slightest follicle. When I got to the heart, I noticed a jade-colored stone with a cobblestone-like texture.

I used my [Item Appraisal] on it and discovered that the item was called 【 Soul Gem of Jade Eagle King 】.

I instantly thought to share this discovery with the others and showed my latest find to everyone, who in an instant, realized that it was the same type of stone on those who Ranked-up into a "Lord" class.

When I looked into it further, it seems that this class of item is indeed from the [Spirit Stone] category where it is [Legendary] level of rarity.

These objects are apparently present within boss-level monsters. Even among powerful monsters, these items are incredibly rare. The more powerful the monster, the larger the stone they carry within them.

Having said that, coupled with the fact that facing a boss that possesses a spirit stone is no easy task in and of itself, many famous monsters throughout this world's history have been said to carry these types of spirit stones called [Lord Stones]. In the past, it has taken entire armies to challenge monsters that had grown powerful enough to obtain a Lord Stone. Sometimes, it has been said that these armies that gathered to fight the monsters were annihilated. 

Therefore, something as rare as a Lord Stone could sell for enough money to buy a small country. However, the only people with enough money to purchase such a thing are monarchs of large nations or famous merchants that hold monopolies over the trade of several nations. These stones are used in the fabrication of unmatched magical items of with amazing war potential.

With this discovery, I had decided that I was still going to eat it, but the others thought that it would be best to hold onto it and sell it later. The money gained could be of great benefit. With everyone else adamant on this end I placed the Lord Stone and several other materials from the Jade Eagle into my item box.

While I was still picking off the jade-green feathers to finish skinning the Jade Eagle, my exoskeleton wore off. After eating several feathers, I got the weird desire to activate my exoskeleton again. This time, my shell was more bird-like in appearance. This must be the influence of the bird's feathers. I tried flying as a test and this change made flying far easier than it had been before with even my speed being drastically increased.

LN V3 2 030

With the battle over, I decided that I simply had to partake in eating the Jade Eagle now. I couldn't wait and began and eating it raw. Right after biting in, I cried out involuntarily.


Ability learned [Feather Arrow]

Ability learned [Predator of the Sky]

Ability learned [Divine Protection of the Storm God]

Ability learned [Complete Wind Resistance]

Ability learned [Adamantine Claw]

Ability learned [Sonic Flight]

With these abilities unlocked, I was more than satisfied. Many of these abilities looked very useful. After that, I set out to cook the rest of the meat and share a portion with everyone.

Looking over to the skeletons in the area, I decided that I'd at least give them a proper burial and cremated what was left of their bodies since I wouldn't get any abilities from them anyway. Though as payment, I decided to keep all of the equipment they had left behind. There were several items that seemed to contain potions or chemicals of some kind. On top of that, there was a large amount of gold and equipment, which I appreciated receiving, even if the collection of the equipment was a bit crude.

{Namu Amida Butsu}

After a short, silent prayer over the pyre, we proceeded on our travels.

Although we were making progress, I started to have mixed feelings, an almost sense of apprehension. For now, I'll just keep my guard up and some of my abilities on high alert. I never know where an attack might come from. All I can say is that I feel a crushing gaze beating upon me.

Day 92 == Day 93 == Day 94