Rays of the morning sunlight shot through the gaps between the branches in the dark forest.
The branches were barely visible, and the Glowing Mushrooms by the root of the trees were not shining due to the dim sunlight. Trees, grasses, and leaves all sank into the darkness.
Angele was advancing slowly on his horse. He glanced around, but everything was dark. He could barely see the road under the morning sunlight.
It was silent in the forest. No birds, no insects, the only noises were made by the galloping horse.
"It's probably the darkest time of the day in the forest," Angele mumbled, "There were Glowing Mushrooms bringing the light to the road during the night, much better than the early morning sunlight."
He rode on the black house with a crossguard hanging beside his waist and his body was slightly shaking as the horse moved forward. The dim sunlight hit him from the side, and the light was coated with a strange blue glow.
The air was wet and cold. The smell was like grass mixed with mold.
Angele narrowed his eyes and looked at the road ahead. He kept controlling the direction the horse was going with the reins in his hands.
It had already been a day since Angele left Emma City. He wanted to make sure everything had gone as he planned since he was carrying Water of Asu with him. He couldn't afford to lose those two precious tubes since it was impossible for him to obtain more Water of Asu at the moment.
Angele picked all the shortcuts since he left the city. He found those small paths on his way here, and with the help of Zero, he created the simulation of the best route on his map.
Based on Angele's calculation, he needed about two more hours to reach the outer area of the school after daybreak. Choosing a route like this would eliminate the possibility of being followed by the spies who saw him trading with Delanya. Also, he wanted to go back to the school as fast as possible. Although Master Liliana had a horrifying appearance and Angele heard rumors about her eating someone alive, she would still try her best to protect her students.
Masters in the Wizard world were usually very kind to their talented wizard apprentices because those wizard apprentices would become a part of their force after being distributed to different kingdoms. The network they created would be incredibly helpful, and it would be stronger than any large family on this land. A strong wizard started to recruit disciples when he decided to create a strong force.
Formal disciples of the wizards would reunite from time to time and would form a strong alliance to fight against others. A network like this was named as School Faction.
As a top wizard in the Ramsoda College, Master Liliana's name was well-known in the enemy wizard organization, Northland Alliance. If one could be taken in as a disciple by her, he would be able to gain strong power from Liliana's faction.
Angele needed to take this chance. If he successfully became a wizard, he would be taken into this unknown faction. However, his talent level was 2, so he was worried if two tubes of Water of Asu was enough for him.
Master Liliana would gift him one serving of Water of Asu after she took Angele in as a formal disciple, and with three servings of Water of Asu, the chances of Angele successfully breaking the limit would be greatly increased.
Also, as a disciple, he would probably gain access to the material shop. He wanted to craft the Nightmare Potion to increase his success rate again.
*Ta-ka Ta-ka Ta-ka*
The horse stomped upon the leaves on the ground, the noise echoing in the silent forest.
Angele suddenly pulled the reins and stopped after traveling for a while.
'Distance limited again, need to scan again,' Angele thought as he halted the horse.
'Zero, enable the objective sensor.'
'Objective sensor enabled. Scan radius, sensor limit, 32.1 meters. Threats will be marked with red,' Zero reported. The radius was determined by Angele's sensory limitation. If he was on a high ground, the radius would increase. Angele's sensory ability would change based on the environment.
Angele closed his eyes and opened again immediately. A flash of blue blinked through his black pupils.
Everything in Angele's sight was coated blue. It took several seconds for the color to disappear.
A moving red crosshair appeared in the middle of his eyes, and various information was displayed beside it.
Angele looked to the left. The red mark stopped at a large black tree.
A list of data appeared beside the tree, 'Black Skin Tree. 132 years old. Not a threat.'
The hardness, humidity, usage, and environment requirement were all displayed beside the tree. Angele glanced around. His eyes were wide open, and there were blue light dots flashing in his eyes.
After several seconds, he looked relieved, 'I'm very close to the school. It seems like there's no threat around.'
The crosshair in his eyes suddenly started flashing as he thought.
'Warning! Warning! Strong creature detected! Distance from you, 103 meters.'
Angele's expression changed and he looked at the marked area. There was a grassy ground on the left side of the trees.
Something black was lying on the ground. It seemed like there many black strings moving around its body. The creature had the size of a bull.
The creature was not roaring. Angele could only hear people laughing and clapping their hands. It sounded like there were many children dancing around, but the black creature was the only thing in Angele's sight.
'I should choose another path…'
He held the reins tight and tried to turn his horse around. However, the horse just stood there and refused to move. The horse was anxious and was breathing heavily. No matter what Angele did, it just would not follow his order.
"Damn!" Angele cursed. He jumped off the horse and tied it to a tree beside.
'The creature is approaching you. Distance: 102 meters, 100 meters, 98 meters, 96 meters…' Zero reported as it detected the creature's movement.
Angele realized that he had already been detected.
He was trying to steer away from trouble, so he chose another route as he was carrying some rare materials. However, the horse was stunned due to fear. It needed some time to calm down.
Angele drew the crossguard sword without making too much noise. He lowered his footsteps and started walking toward the creature.
As he got closer, he finally obtained a clear view of the black shadow under the morning light.
'A black cactus but the needles were replaced with moving arms…' That was Angele's first impression of the creature.
The black shadow revealed itself. It was a ball-shaped creature with black human-like arms all over its body. It had about 80 arms, each hand having a dark red eye in the middle of its palm.
Angele's presence made the creature that was covered with a huge number of arms excited, and it pointed all of its eyes on the palms at him.
"Ha… Ka… KAKAKA…" Some strange noise came from the middle of the arms.
'Hundred-Eyed Monster… It's the Hundred-Eyed Monster!' Zero finally displayed the information in Angele's sight.
'Hundred-Eyed Monster: Strong mid-size creature. Strength 5. Agility 3. Stamina 21. Mentality 5. Ability unknown. Data incomplete. Please keep a safe distance from the creature,' Zero reported as the Hundred-Eyed monster approached. The monster was marked with a red glow by the chip, which meant the creature was a threat to Angele.
Angele blinked his eyes and disabled Zero's scan function. He held the crossguard sword tightly with his hands and stayed alert.
He had heard about this monster before. He was told that this monster had an extremely strong physique, and it was highly aggressive. Hundred-Eyed Monster enjoyed swallowing its prey in whole, it was very strong when it became an adult. However, the one in front of Angele was still in its younger stage based on its size. An adult Hundred-Eyed Monster weighed more than 10 tons and was larger than a Glowing Elephant. Barely any information about its actual battle ability was recorded, so the only way for Angele to find out was to actually fight it.
"KAKAKAKA… KAKA!" The monster waved its arms, which sounded like it was trying to say something.
Angele was about ten meters away from the monster, but he could not understand a single word it was trying to say. Thus, he just stayed there and observed its movements.
The bull-sized monster did not get any response from Angele, so it became furious.
"KAKA!" The high-pitched voice came out of its mouth and it started charging toward Angele. It tried to embrace Angele with its dozens of arms. The bloody eyes on the palms were blinking and they were trying to grab Angele from all angles.
Angele's scalp numbed. He stepped back immediately.
The creature grabbed a tree behind Angele with its arms and broke it into half. Many leaves were dropping to the ground as it raised the tree trunk into the air.
The tree trunk was swung toward Angele in full speed.
The Hundred-Eyed monster charged forward while the tree trunk was still flying toward Angele, the monster's large body and countless arms left no chance for him to dodge its attack. It almost looked like a huge black slime trying to jump on Angele.
It sounded like clothes were torn apart.
Angele jumped backward and escaped the incoming arms. He landed on the grassy ground that was several meters away from the creature. He had no expression on his face, and there was blood dripping down the tip of his silver crossguard sword.
Several arms of the monster were cut off by Angele and dropped to the ground. The fingers on the hands were trembling, and the bloody eyes still blinked several times.
The Hundred-Eyed Monster charged forward again. The tree trunk in its hands was howling in the air while being swung toward him.
Angele simply stepped back and dodged the tree trunk.
"Ysta-man… Zio!" He roared and pressed the blade with one of his hands.
Blue electric pulses immediately rose upon the blade and covered the whole sword within seconds.
The silver crossguard sword turned blue, and the electric pulses were sparking. Intense electricity kept flickering around the blade. The noise it produced was irritating.
When Angele saw the Hundred-Eyed Monster trying to swing the tree trunk again, he lowered his body and charged forward.