“What beast is that?” Rey asked as soon as the whole group gathered.
Slightly surprised, everyone looked at him. After few moments, Vern’s facial expression changed and there could be seen an understanding.
“Right, you don’t remember... That’s footprints of a Gsarh. However, this one Gsrah is slightly different.”
Rey didn’t interrupt him and continued listening.
“This one is much larger than a usual Gsarh. And it’s a stroke of luck that we’ve found only its footprints and not the Gsarh itself, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do anything but run. In the past year, three of us died by its claws,” with a sad tone, Vern said.
“And five more people two years ago,” one of the hunters added.
Upon pondering this information, Rey asked, “But why didn't you kill him?”
“This beast is very cautious and doesn’t hunt in the afternoon. And most importantly, we have never found its footprints during the winter…” the hunters nodded to each other with understanding and excitement in their eyes.
However, these words weren’t enough to clarify this situation to Rey, “Why is winter time so important?”
“We have a chance to find the Gsarh only at this time of year,” Vern turned his head to Rey. In his eyes there could be seen a clear killing intention. “Because its wool is black, just like the night itself.”
‘It makes sense,’ Rey thought. ‘During winter, the Forest doesn’t look that dense due to the absence of leaves... But really? Is this Gsarh actually so clever that they didn’t have a chance to catch him?’
While Rey was looking at the predator’s footprints, Vern instructed, “Moving back to the town. It’s time for revenge.”
Rey could even hear how tightly everyone clenched their fists at this moment. However, he himself didn’t really carry about the deaths caused by this beast.
After spending two days and one night traveling across the Forest, they arrived at the town. When Vern told guards at the gate the reason for their return, it was possible to notice appearance of fire of hatred in their eyes. Upon witnessing such a reaction, Rey praised cohesion of the Forest folk once again.
Within an hour, a hunting group of sixteen hunters was gathered. The whole Forest was under bright illumination of the Moon. Excited, Vern commented, “That’s perfect night for our hunt.”
Rey stood in the square in front of the southern gate. He was in the middle of a huge crowd, watching the group leaving the town. People wished them good luck. Every hunter in the group was wearing a hood, and in the front of the whole group was Arvus, dressed in strange gray armor.
When they left the town, the crowd began to disperse slowly. It was unknown how long the hunt would last, so Rey also left. He headed in the direction of the training room. However, he went there not for practice but to left his equipment.
Afterwards, he left the town. He needed to confirm the theory, which appeared in his mind during the hunt. Trying to avoid people, who still were at the southern side of the town, Rey decided to go into the north direction.
Just like usually, he was in the form of a snake. After finding a small wolf, he deftly crawled to it. Rey used to inject poison into the most important body parts, but this time he chose the wolf’s paw as his target. The wolf, which was lying in front of him, was only about a meter long. That’s why even in the form of a snake Rey still looked quite impressive.
Within one quick movement, he easily pierced through the skin of the young beast, but that wasn’t all. Immediately turning into a Forest person, he took from the Inventory a pair of daggers, which he took from the killed elite hunter back then.
The wolf also didn’t stand still. After being bitten, the wolf was about to counterattack its offender. However, when the wolf saw appearance of the man instead of the snake from nowhere, the wolf froze up for a second. This time was enough for Rey to stab the beast’s head with one of the daggers. He absorbed the wolf’s soul and finally checked the Status. Even after finding that nothing had changed there, Rey didn’t pay much attention to this, simply turning into a snake again...
Pretty soon it became clear that there were quite a few wolves in this area of the Forest, but Rey was looking for single wolves, which were away from main packs. So it took some time.
And now, after an hour, he stood near the carcass of the fourth wolf, which he had just killed. There could be seen a glint in his eyes. The reason of his satisfied look was that he had already checked the Status and successfully confirmed the theory. The specialization [Daggers] advanced to second level, and with its level up Rey also got a new skill [Retreat].
And it’d seem that Rey was supposed to be pleased, but he mentally cursed himself at this moment.
‘I should have guessed it earlier... This is a game, and it’s obvious that players wouldn’t want to pay money to train all the time…’
Rey straightened up and started figuring out how to use the new skill. To his surprise, everything turned out to be quite simple. As soon as he thought about it, his body teleported one meter back.
It was quite a strange feeling, because Rey didn’t even feel any movements. Upon trying to activate the skill once again to better understand it, he realized that couldn’t do it. But this time, Rey quickly understood what the problem was. That’s why he simply waited for a while. He could find out cooldown of the skill only by experimentations; the game didn't give any information about such things.
‘That’s very basic skill, so its cooldown mustn’t be too long.’
And Rey was right. After fifteen seconds he could use it again.
After several successive tries, Rey completely got used to it. He could do nothing but admit that this skill was incredibly useful, because it could be used without any delay. Only a small green flash remained on the trajectory of movement, but it appeared only after applying the skill, so it didn’t really change anything.
‘It’s still worth experimenting a little…’
After spending five minutes experimenting, Rey made few more conclusions about the skill. First of all, it could be used only to move back and only in a standing position. Secondly, the skill wouldn’t work if there was something behind him. Thirdly, he didn’t have an idea whether usage of this skill spends something: after dozens of tries, Rey didn’t feel any fatigue or anything else.
Feeling satisfaction, he turned into a snake again. It was much easier to find a prey in this form. Turning his white head in the direction of the accumulation of heat, Rey moved there. There was a pack of wolves. Probably, this night would be the last one for this pack of wolves, because Rey wasn’t going to stop his hunt only after increasing level of his skill by one.
Unfortunately, his plans weren’t meant to come true. Having absorbed the seventh wolf’s soul, he heard a loud howl from the side. There were several dozens of wolves and it was impossible to fight such an amount of beasts for him right now. Without thinking for a long, he turned back into the form of a snake and moved to the south, where the town was.