Chapter 349 – Breakthrough?
Liam clenched his fists in excitement. He knew what he needed to do next. It was time to grind.
He grinned and leaned forward to grab the little fox who was silently nibbling the fresh bear meat.
Now that he thought about it, he quickly connected the dots. The little glutton was eating all the time!
”Didn ’t you just eat? How are you hungry already? ”
Hearing his words, the little fox ’s face instantly changed.
It went from a loving, adorable smile to great shock and then realization, followed by a pouting, sulking, pitiful expression.
Liam was speechless. He only stated the obvious, so why was this girl ’s reaction so exaggerated!
”Sorry. Sorry. I misspoke. I meant… since you haven ’t eaten much, you should be hungry now. Aha ha ha. ”
Liam smiled and continued coaxing the little fox. ”How about you take these guys and do some hunting? ”
”They are very dumb, and they don ’t know heads from tails. How about you take them under your wing, protect them, and teach them to kill? ”
”Can you do that? ”
Seeing Liam ’s gentle face, warm smile, and soft words, the little fox instantly flipped 180 degrees and nodded her head enthusiastically with a bright, bubbly smile on her face.
She even sent Liam a mental message.
[Yes, master. Luna will make them strong.]
”Good girl. ” Liam chuckled and dropped her down. ”Don ’t wander off too far, and if there is any danger, immediately talk to me or come back to me. ”
The little fox nodded and then swung its body to face the small ghost army.
She growled, commanding the spectral beasts to follow her, but the undead only responded to Liam, so he also had to wave at them from the back.
The group then swiftly left for their hunt.
Liam watched them go and let out a deep breath. He had a lot to do and a lot to finish before the others returned.
He turned around, leaving in the opposite direction to find more bears.
It looked like forging Level 25 beasts was currently his limit as this in itself placed a lot of stress on his mind and body.
A few seconds later, Liam spotted another couple of spiked mountain bears, and just as he was about to lunge toward them, another party beat him to it.
A couple of fireballs landed on the spiked mountain bears from the other side.
”Hmmm… who is here? ” Liam quickly activated [Stealth] and then cautiously moved forward.
However, just after a few steps, he halted in place. The scene in front of him was too surprising.
Five wandering goblins were fighting with a pair of lesser dryads. From the looks of things, the dryads were on the winning side.
But that was before they aggroed the two spiked mountain bears. Now both the goblins and the bears were charging at the lesser dryads.
How could the Level 20 lesser dryads possibly handle this big group of monsters bearing their claws at them?
But unexpectedly, at this exact moment, another new person entered the fray.
At once, the goblins, the bears, and the lesser dryads all turned to look at Liam. Whose side was this enemy on?
Liam grinned in amusement.
He unsheathed his sword and made a quick work of the goblins and the mountain bears, just leaving the dryads alone unharmed.
Lucky for the dryads, it looked like their savior arrived.
The two lesser dryads gawked at the human being in puzzlement. What a lovely person!
However… the next second, the purple sword once again flashed. Liam had not stopped with the goblins and the bears.
In the end, his main targets were the two lesser dryads!
In a couple of carefully placed moves, the first one was critically injured and collapsed on the ground with just a sliver of health left.
SLASH. SLASH. SLASH.
The next one was directly killed with no health remaining. It turned out they weren ’t lucky after all.
Liam quickly kept his sword back and then focussed on the soul-bead seeping out of the lesser dryad ’s body.
There it was!
This was what he wanted all along. This was a beast that could cast magic spells. So would the resulting undead also be able to cast magic spells?
He wanted to find out!
He hurriedly stabilized the soul bead by infusing the small thing in dense mana and then started his refined process.
He did not want to take any chances this time so he started with two huge mana hammers and proceeded from there.
DANG. DANG. DANG.
He slowly and patiently hammered the small bead.
Sure enough, the difficulty in forging this soul bead was much higher than the spiked mountain bear.
Even though the level of this lesser dryad was lower than the bear, its essence, the soul bead was probably more complicated.
Liam felt a crushing weight on his body and mind, as pain rippled all over. It felt as if his hands were holding something colossal.
No, it felt as if his entire body was lifting something colossal. The pressure was simply unbearable.
Every single time he tried to manipulate the mana, his body twitched in pain.
When he willed the mana hammers to descend on the soul bead and forge it, it felt as if a pair of giant hammers was beating him down as well.
But Liam gritted his teeth and bore the pain.
Even though everything was just one step away from collapsing entirely and probably giving him a huge backlash, he felt as if he was close to something.
If he let this slip, he had a feeling that he would be missing out on something important.
After getting a taste of what this power could be, Liam couldn ’t bring himself to give up without putting up a fight.
This dryad could push his undead followers to a new level. He needed the two magic damage dealers in his lineup.
He needed stronger followers faster!
His reddened eyes shone with resolution as his greed and pain warred inwardly with each other.
However, this was not a process that Liam could do blindly. He needed to be very conscious and very aware of what he was doing.
He did not think it would be this difficult.
Otherwise, he wouldn ’t have attempted it, and now he was far too deep to back out. He had to keep going. That was his only option.
So he bore the pain completely and continued the forging with all of his mental acuities.
But unfortunately, that was not enough.
Liam felt the pain tear through his consciousness. This was his limit. There was simply no stretching it further.
Just as everything was about to collapse and backfire on his face, he remembered something crucial.
The loot that they had picked up in the last dungeon! There were five fire essence crystals in the haul!
Liam did not want to expose everything about Luna in front of everyone so he had stored them away for later use.
And now he couldn ’t help but think of those fire essence crystals.
In the past, he had obtained these crystals from slimes and he had also absorbed them.
They in fact improved his ability to manipulate the fire element and gave him a damage buff.
So if he absorbed these five crystals now, could that help him get through this?
Was this forging so tricky because the soul was branded with fire magic or something like that?
Several theories and conjectures popped up in his mind but Liam knew that he did not have time to think. He had to act NOW!
He quickly summoned the inventory space and took out the fire essence crystal from within it.
Another pang of horrendous pain tore through his brain.
But Liam bore everything and crushed the crystal in his palm. ”ABSORB! ”
He shouted out loud. He could no longer think clearly. He was on the verge of collapse.
However, his efforts were not in vain.
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