31 Patrolling Mission 1
Two days passed since Drake purchased the potions and consumed the grade 3 Death Liquid. After falling unconscious and gasping for air an entire day, and feeling like he was dying for the following day, Drake was now in his peak condition, feeling much stronger than usual.
Drake just finished completing a meditation cycle and followed his training by completing a few revolutions of his Grand-knight breathing techniques. No matter how he looked at it, his growth rate was astonishing. One might forget that he was barely 16 years old.
[Beep! Meditation cycle completed! Expected benefits: +0.005 point of spirit]
[Beep! Grand-knight level Breathing Revolutions completed. Expected benefits: +0.008-point constitution, +0.004 point of dexterity, +0.004 point of strength. Consumption of Goldrich flower increasing the benefits by 48%.]
'If only I could practice my breathing technique on a daily basis…I would be unbeatable by now', Drake complained.
His breathing technique indeed provided incredible benefits. Ever since his proficiency reached peak, the benefits were maximized and since it was adapted by the biochip to suit his own body, its efficiency was actually several times higher than that of normal Grand-knight level techniques.
However, it also came with a drawback: practicing it on a daily basis would surely increase his attributes, but his body would grow used to the stress it provided, similarly to how you reach a plateau by always doing the same workout.
Hence, Drake could only practice his breathing technique for a limited period of time per day, or complete an entire revolution and let his body rest for a few days.
The obsession of getting stronger, along with the training and analysis of his biochip had led him to utterly surpass his own father, at the young age of 16. It truly was a huge achievement. In less than a year, Drake managed to breakthrough and reach the peak of the knight realm. Of course, going to Helios was probably the most benefitting trip he ever made.
[Name: Drake Moonlight. Age – 16 years. Rank: Knight, Rank 1 Acolyte
Status: Peak Condition.
Strength – 6.5 | Dexterity – 4.1 | Constitution – 3.3 | Internal Energy – 15.3
Spirit – 6.0 | Mana – 6.0
Perk: Mutated Heart (+200% base recovery rate)
Skills: Lunar Elven Sword Art (Knight level, proficiency: advanced), Moonlight Shield Mastery (knight-level, proficiency: Advanced), Moonlight Breathing Technique (Grand-Knight level, proficiency: Peak), horsemanship (proficiency: Advanced), Original Meditation Technique (Proficiency: Peak)
Knight Killing Technique: Arclight Chop (Sword speed: 200%, [Strength*3] degrees of physical damage, 2 degrees of internal damage).
Enchanted Heavy Armour Set – Absorb up to 12 degrees of damage.]
The gap between Drake and Franklin had significantly shortened upon the consumption of the Death Liquid. However, Drake still felt a lingering anxiety. The stakes were just too high. Although Helios laws ruled out any possibility of his death, he still didn't want to part with his newly acquired armour. In a duel, there was no such thing as absolute confidence in winning. Especially when the two opponents were evenly matched.
'I guess it will depend mostly on my new spell…'
Drake was still a few days away from fully analysing the spell. Afterwards, he would have to spend a few weeks to master the spell. Even if it was a high-quality spell, [Wind Bindings] would only bind his opponent's movements. At best, it would further increase Drake's advantage in terms of mobility. At worst, Franklin's strength would completely nullify the spells effects, though Drake was quite confident in its effectiveness, since it was an enhanced spell gifted by Magus Kayle.
Drake returned to the Bear Tavern and had a bath. Thereafter, he ate breakfast. It was still early in the morning, yet Felicia was loyal to her punctuality, and already prepared it.
"Tell me, Felicia. If I were to bring you meat from a magical creature, would you be able to cook it? I mean, not a whole magical creature, but the best pieces, like its liver", Drake asked out of curiosity.
"Of course. In fact, if it weren't for the lack of clients, I would cook such high-quality meals on a daily basis in exchange for magical stones. Why? Oh right, I forgot you were a body-refinement acolyte. Indeed, eating the flesh of strong creatures are bound to complement your training sessions and strengthen your body. After all, even us normal acolytes would benefit greatly from eating it"
"Mm, I may have joined a faction", Drake confessed.
"Really? It took you a long time. If I were you, just reading the conditions they offered would have made me go crazy. Access to the arcane laboratory labs, or the Shadow mercenaries' network? Even your family would benefit from you joining a faction!"
"I actually joined the sentinels."
"I joined the sentinels. Come on, don't look at me like that!", Drake said upon seeing Felicia's dumbfounded expression, "The deal is great. I get to go on patrol missions and acquire experience for free, and I even get access to their training facility. Rey even introduced me to a witch who gave me a huge discount. She was a grade 3 alchemist, for fuck sake!"
Felicia was a bit reassured upon hearing Drake's arguments. Still, it felt like a waste for someone like Drake, a grade 5 talent, to walk down the path of Body Refinement. However, whenever Drake felt a hint of doubt in his choices, he would stare at his attributes and grin.
His knight-killing attribute sufficed to match a peak rank 1 acolyte's strongest spell. As for his dexterity…just his sheer speed made it difficult for an acolyte to follow his movements. As for casting a spell on him, Drake knew that it would definitely be difficult.
"Whatever, it's your choice. It's not like you are entirely wrong. When I was injured, my faction, the Fire Sisters, kicked me out when I was in my lowest. This is why I joined the Arcane Order. In Helios, you cannot trust anyone but yourself. Since you already reaped some benefits, it's good for you. And if you are so set on walking the path of body refinement, I am sure you will greatly benefit from their facilities and experiences", Felicia said.
"Well, thanks for the meal, I have to go in a patrol mission with your contact Rey. Thank you for introducing him to me, he really was helpful."
"Rey, huh?", Felicia said absent-minded, "To be honest, I didn't exactly know him. I ran into him in a mission and saved his life, so he owed me one. It's a good thing he looks after you."
"Well, I owe you one now", Drake said while leaving.
On his way, he gave his immaculate soldiers and Lewis a new task. Although they were great warriors, their use was beginning to fade as Drake became increasingly stronger.
Hence, Drake decided to give them a shot at becoming stronger by giving them access to the sentinels' training ground. They would get to compare their skills with fellow preparatory knights and knights from the entire Porfield Kingdom, spar with true powerhouses. If they became strong enough, they would definitely become useful in hunts and patrol missions.
On the back of his horse, Drake found out that he was slightly late, being the last to arrive.
"Oh, you are here! Let's go!", Rey said in a hurry
They were exactly 15, including Drake and Rey. All of them were knights, though Rey was probably the only one who had mastered a knight killing technique.
When they arrived at the gate, Rey only needed show his face to the guards and his sigil to the gargoyle in order to leave. He had that much influence among sentinels. Although Drake shared the same rank, it was only because of his acolyte status, and not because other sentinels acknowledged his strength. If he wanted to prove himself, he had to perform exceptionally in patrol missions like this one.
"We are heading to the Western borders, like usual. This time, will have to watch out for a rank 1 flaming bear. If we do encounter it though, we will be able to use the stationed acolyte's support. We just have to report its location to the stationed acolytes if we manage to track it down. Doing so will grant us a bounty of three magic crystals.", Rey said.
Every knight sighed upon hearing that. It wasn't a sigh of disappointment, but rather, a sigh of relief. To them, magical creatures were monsters. Every time they fought one, someone would suffer greatly from injuries or even death. Each year, a dozen sentinels would die this way. The slightest mistake determined whether they would survive or not. A second of inattention could turn into a death sentence at the borders. It was a well-known truth among sentinels.
Drake had only heard of magical beasts in his life. Yaksha, flaming bears, thunder wolves, blood eagles…There were so many magical beasts in the Porfield Kingdom, and so many of them were perfectly described through the numerous books he had read in the library.
And now, he got to meet one in real life. It was both an exciting and frightening thought.