A few minutes passed and Liam ’s group was still unable to spot anything alive in the area.
There were just acres and acres of plain grasslands all around with a few small rocky heaps here and there.
Who were they supposed to loot and plunder?
”Well… it doesn ’t matter. As long as we survive for the next couple of hours, I should be able to get the experience points. Not to mention all the bonus experience points. ”
Liam shrugged and led his team back to the portal where they idly sat down.
The small fox and the bird tumbled on the green grass and played around. The sun was gentle and the breeze was comforting. It was a nice day to enjoy nature.
Some of the demons even started to lie down and look at the blue sky. Their own lands were not this pleasant. It was always dark and dreary, with black rain pouring from the sky endlessly.
So this change in atmosphere was very nice. One even fell asleep, snoring soundly.
They had all heard terrifying tales about invasion missions, but this didn ’t seem bad at all. They were almost regretful that they hadn ’t joined this type of mission sooner.
While everyone else was completely relaxing or rolling around, Liam sat down on the grassy ground in a meditative position.
Since he had nothing else to do at the moment, this seemed to be a perfect chance to test his proficiency in controlling fire magic.
He had been grinding out fireballs one after the other for a while now, so he wanted to see just how much he had improved.
Liam focused on the spot in front of him and summoned his mana there, picturing the image of a ball of fire. He then practiced making it bigger and smaller by regulating the amount of mana.
Making it smaller required more mana compared to making it bigger as it was more difficult to compress the ball of burning energy.
The attack would also have a lot more impact and attack damage when compressed to the maximum.
Liam continued practicing this technique and just as he had expected, just spamming one skill over and over again and again had helped him a lot in the comprehension of the spell.
Watching him do various things and play with fire, the small fox that was jumping around, suddenly stopped and landed in front of him.
It cocked its head to the side and observed his actions for a few seconds, before attempting to repeat them.
Just like Liam, the fox as well produced a ball of fire and shot it out towards a distant rock.
Bang! The impact on the rock was clearly visible.
For the next attempt, just like him, the fox as well made the attack smaller and compressed.
BANG! This time the impact was even better!
As Liam watched this, his lips twitched. It had taken him so many hours of practice and two lifetimes to grasp this same concept, and the small spirit did it in a single try?
This was innate talent. This was genius.
Spirit beasts were supposedly born from a fragment of the element to which they had an affinity, so it was not that surprising that the fox was a lot more talented than him.
But unlike the fox, he was not a born genius so he had to rely on this kind of rote grinding to really drill the concept into his brain.
Liam chuckled wryly and continued his practice. He aimed for the same rock and sent out another attack.
This time he tried compressing the ball of fire as much as he could and also fiddled with the blasting speed of the attack to give the maximum impact.
After doing this a few times, it was very clear to him that the stronger and more compressed an attack was, it was also that much faster.
Liam then tried adjusting the shape of the attack and turning his miniature fireballs into fire bullets.
This proved a lot more challenging than simply fiddling with the size of the attack. Reducing a fire ball to a fire bullet was basically compressing it several times over and over.
Liam began sweating profusely just after a few seconds of practice. His stamina was also plummeting steadily, for which he tossed a berry into his mouth and kept going on.
He had two hours to spend and he was determined to train thoroughly with the time in his hands.
Bang! He tossed an attack aiming at the same rock.
And immediately after… Bang! The fox as well sent out an attack. It was treating this as its playtime.
In this manner, the two of them kept shooting at the rock one after the other.
His attacks became a lot more refined and he now had more control over his mana, but Liam was still not satisfied as he hadn ’t yet heard the notifications that he was waiting for.
Sucking in a big breath, he was just about to cast another attack when suddenly, a loud rumbling noise echoed.
The noise instantly woke everyone up, including the wind ripper and the demons who had nicely fallen asleep.
Liam as well sprang to stand up alertly, ready to attack. He looked around to see what the hell was making this noise and what enemy they had to face.
But nothing seemed to be coming for them. He looked in all directions and there was absolutely no beast or monster approaching them.
”Hmmm… What is happening? ” Liam pondered and just as his eyes shifted, he finally noticed something moving.
The big heaping pile of rocks that he and the little fox had been practicing on all this while actually moved!
The rocks rumbled and tumbled until they rose up to form some sort of a giant rock being.
The thing was like an iceberg with only the tip having been visible earlier and now that the whole body was revealed, it was nothing short of terrifying.
”Fuck! ” Liam cursed as he looked up, staring at the enormous rock giant.
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