Chapter 25: Wolf Tide [Part 1]
William sat on Ellas back as he led the goats towards the pasture in the valley. He was currently pondering the path that he wanted to take in the future. After experiencing the power of having two job classes, the boy wanted to do an experiment and change his subclass.
For some reason, he was unable to change his main job class. According to the system, the first job class that he learned would be his permanent main class till the end of time. Meaning, he couldnt swap the Shepherd Job Class for any other classes.
Although he was disappointed, William thought that having the Shepherd Job Class was also good. After all, if not for having acquired it at the crucial moment, he would be already on his way to his second reincarnation.
Still, now I understand how hard it is to have multiple job classes, William thought.It takes time to level up a job class to reach level forty.
According to the system, the Prestige Classes would only be unlocked once William managed to reach level forty on two job classes.
What did this mean? It meant that for the Archer Class to change professions to a Hunter, Ranger, Scout, Tracker, or any of its advanced job classes, it first needed to reach job level 40.
It took William nine years to upgrade his Shepherd Job Class to level 28. Of course, the slow leveling process was due to him being cautious. Low-tiered monsters didnt give much experience points, so his level advancement was limited.
Even so, William didnt regret his decision to accumulate enough stats and skills before challenging his First Boss Fight. In most games, it was better to be over-leveled than under-leveled when fighting Boss Monsters.
William didnt want to regret anything. Because if ever that time came, it would be too late for regrets.
Currently, his Ice Mages Job Level was 8.
The skills he currently had were Mana Regeneration, Ice Armor, and Ice Wall.
He had just fought the Hobgoblin Leader a few hours ago. The Eleventh Floor was uncharted territory for them and William didnt know what kind of goblins he would be facing when he stepped on that floor with his Mama Ella.
“Ill find out tonight,” William muttered as he gazed at the Valley in front of him.
“Oi! William!” Theo shouted from a distance. “What took you so long?”
“I woke up a bit late,” William shouted back. He then dismounted from Ella and hugged her neck. “Mama, Ill leave the herd in your care.”
Ella bleated and the rest of the goats behind her arranged themselves in three rows. She then led them to the area that was assigned to their herd.
William walked up to where the other Shepherds were resting and sat beside Theo. In the town of Lont, there were six senior shepherds and five apprentices.
Theos father, Marcus, was the most senior among the shepherds. Theo and William were both apprentices and didnt have many duties aside from tending their own goats and sheep. Since both of them were almost of the same age, the two got along really well.
A screech echoed in the distance and one of the senior shepherds looked up with a smile. In the air, a hawk circled the valley as its eyes scanned its surroundings looking for any danger that could harm the herd.
The hawk had a wingspan of over three meters. It was the animal companion of John, one of the senior shepherds of Lont. Its name was Blitz.
“The coast is clear, I guess this will be another peaceful day in the valley,” John said with a smile.
“Peace is always a good thing,” Marcus replied as he gazed in the distance. A wild boar was lying beside him. This was Marcus animal companion and its name was Thunder.
“True,” John admitted. He then looked at the kids who were lazing around under the shade of trees. When his gaze landed on William, a look of surprise appeared on his face.
Marcus followed Johns gaze. As his gaze fell upon the boy who was laughing with his son, a smile appeared on his face.
“Well, well, well.” Marcus raised an eyebrow. “It seems that another troublemaker will be appearing after a few years.”
“Indeed.” John nodded. “The Ainsworth Family never fails to amaze me. I guess things are not going to be peaceful for long.”
Both of them exchanged a knowing glance with each other before returning to their duties.
A few hours passed as the sun reached its zenith. All the shepherds gathered under the shade of the biggest tree in the valley to have their lunch. The apprentice shepherds sat together in their usual spot and shared stories of their recent adventures.
William listened to his friends with a smile on his face. Theo and the others were bragging about their recent shenanigans. Their stories were filled with exaggeration as if they were heroes battling against dragons in order to seize the treasures in their lairs.
William was half tempted to tell them of his own adventures inside the Goblin Crypt. However, the boy knew that if he actually did that, no one would believe him.
Suddenly, a shrill shriek broke the happy atmosphere in the valley.
John, Marcus, and the other senior shepherds, immediately stood up. Their expressions became very serious, which was a very rare thing to see.
Blitz let out another shriek and this time, it sounded very urgent.
“Dire Wolves! And there are hundreds of them,” John reported. “We need to evacuate, now!”
Marcus did two things after John reported the current situation. The first thing he did, was to throw a black ball towards the sky. The black ball exploded and two black intersecting swords appeared in the sky above the valley.
The second thing he did, was to take out a small steel whistle. He blew on it which caused the grazing herds to raise their heads in attention.
“Thunder, round them up!” Marcus ordered.
The Wild Boar grunted and ran towards the sheep and goats in the distance. It gave a long and shrill squeal. As if hearing a royal decree, the sheep trotted towards their direction in haste.
“Ava, get the kids back to the village,” Marcus ordered. “The rest will bring up the rear!”
Ava, the only lady among the senior shepherds, immediately issued her orders. “Theo, William, and the rest of you brats, come with me!”
“B-but, what about our herds?” Theo asked. “Whats going on?”
“A wolf tide is upon us,” Ava explained. “We need to hurry. We dont have much time!”
“Mama Ella!” William shouted. “We are going back to the town. Call the herd back!”
Ella bleated and the herd under her command ran alongside her. Theo and the other apprentices looked at this scene with amazement. Even Ava was surprised at Williams mastery over his herd.
William didnt stand idly and ran towards Ella. He immediately mounted her back and both of them stood at the rear of their wards.
Ava snapped out of her daze and ordered the kids to run as fast as they could. A sea of white goats and sheep started to retreat in an orderly manner. The senior shepherds had grim faces as they listened to the shrieks of the Hawk that circled the sky.
“My God, to think that we would be in the way of a Beast Tide!” John. “There are even two Centennial Beasts and one Millennial Beast leading the wolf pack.
(A/N: Aside from levels, there will be instances where monsters will be labeled as Centennial, Millennial, and Myriad Beasts in the story. As the name suggests, these beasts are as strong as a hundred men, thousand men, and ten thousand men.)
“Dont worry, Ive already sent the signal,” Marcus replied. “Even if the herds are lost, we must ensure that the kids return safely to the town. Everyone, none of you are allowed to kick the bucket, do I make myself clear?”
“Old Marcus, the only one who will be kicking the bucket is you.”
“Its been a while since something this exciting happened in Lont. Why dont we have a competition?”
“Same old rules?”
“You bastards better not step out of line,” Marcus snapped. “I know those thousands of Dire Wolves and their Alphas doesnt mean sh*t. But, the Centennial and the Millennial Beasts are no pushovers! You can start your rampage when the kids have safely reached Lont. Until then, all of you will hold the rear!”
The other senior shepherds replied grumpily. Although they were confident that they could easily handle the small frys, the Centennial and Millennial Beasts were a pain in the butt.
In truth, none of them were confident that they would be able to survive this battle. They were merely boosting each others morale so that they could buy enough time for the children to escape.
In order to deal with the wolf tide, they needed more people. If the others from the village would arrive on time then they would be able to survive this disaster.
William kept gazing behind him. Since he was safely mounted on Ellas back, he was sure that his safety was assured. However, Ava, Theo, and the other shepherds were running on foot. William decided to stay with them and help if the need arose.
A long shriek reverberated in the valley as Blitz dodged a lightning bolt that was shot in its direction. The Hawk uttered a shriek of defiance as its mighty figure hovered in the air.
William shifted his attention back to the valley. With the Eagle Eyes Skill, his vision was able to see farther than the average person. It was then when he saw a black tide appear at the East end of the Valley.
The speed of the raging tide was quite fast, and William knew that it was only a matter of time before it overtook them.
William saw thousands of two-meter tall dire wolves, with black fur, and bloodshot eyes running towards their direction.
Theo and the other kids faces went pale at the sight of the approaching tide of death. Their legs suddenly sprang to life as they ran for their lives.
“Hold the rear!” Marcus ordered. He was mounted on top of the Wild Boar, Thunder, as he issued orders one after the other. “Our priority is to reach the town. None of you bastards are allowed to die before then!”
John summoned a black bow from his storage ring and jumped high up to the air. The Hawk grew in size until its wingspan reached six meters. John pulled the string and fired a barrage of arrows at the incoming wolf tide.
Blood blossomed in the air as John hit his targets. It was then that another lightning bolt was shot in his direction. Blitz immediately did a nosedive in order to avoid the long-distance magic fired by the Thousand-Men Beast.
The other senior Shepherds summoned their weapons as they prepared to protect the herd. All of them were trying to buy as much time as possible until their reinforcements arrived.
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