18 Chapter 18

Darius had a limited amount of skill points he would receive each level and it was currently unclear whether he would gain less of them when he entered the Journeyman stage or if they would stop altogether.

His spells would naturally take precedence, so it was unlikely that this skill would ever progress beyond level 1, meaning that Darius would forever remain at the level of an Amateur skinner.

On the pro side, Darius would be able to acquire basic knowledge in as many fields as necessary to make himself somewhat adept. As for the con, it was that he would never progress further and would basically be giving himself a list of mouths to feed.

More skills with a finite amount of skill points was not a pleasant thing and would increase the pressure for him to choose effectively. This was why the saying 'jack of all trades, master of none' had been developed and used as advice for those who wanted to be proficient in too many things at once.

Whatever the case, Darius had a new skill and he would use it for as long as it was necessary. While such a thing might cause headaches for lesser men, Darius had no problem because he knew how to prioritize.

He flipped his iron dagger and plunged it into the meat of the Grey Bear, but not as carelessly as before. This time, he carefully tried to cut along the tendons in order to mimic a butcher.

After doing this for a minute or so, he received another notification.

[Congratulations! You have learned the skill, Butchery!]

[Butchery - Level 1 Skill

Cost: 2 Stamina per minute

Description: Expertly carve up the meat of any carcass with flesh. The quality of all butchered meat is raised by 5%.]

Another misc skill he would never increase but was useful at this moment. Once the knowledge flooded into him, Darius changed the way he held the dagger and began separating the meat semi-expertly.

The end result was a lot of prime cuts that glistened with fat and blood, but also stank like a slaughterhouse. Luckily, he could easily get rid of it by placing what he had collected into his Inventory.

Of course, he certainly couldn't cut up the entire carcass with his limited knowledge, so there was still some meat around certain parts like the ribs, head, and lower torso.

Darius saw no reason to tempt any predators to add him to their meal list alongside this fine carcass, so Darius quickly walked away from the site of the battle.

Now that he had exited the forest, all he saw were endless plains before him, with pockets of trees here and there. There were also a few hills that blocked his eyesight to the horizon, but nothing too jarring.

He spotted quite a few plains animals moving about in their herds calmly, only giving him cautious glances when he got too close.

Of course, there were also predators that began chasing after those herds every now and then. Darius pretended not to see such things and kept his distance when it happened.

However, to remain unmolested through his casual stroll had turned out to be impossible. Eventually, he was confronted by a small pack of hyenas that were giggling menacingly as they took in the sight of this solitary pink skin with tender features.

Darius could swear that if they could speak, they would be thoroughly mocking him. They numbered a dozen and had fully surrounded him where he stood, even making dashes towards him then pulling back when he turned to face them.

He Inspected one of them.

[Laughing Hyena - Level 2 Beast

HP: 5/5 MP: 0/0]

Darius snorted when he saw this. Here he had thought they would be powerful, but it turned out they were just level 2 beasts with health at the level of the Wild Boar. Even the Reticulated Python had been far stronger than any one of them.

However, the issue was that they came at him as a pack of 12, and he only had one hand to cast. Darius had tried double-casting when he had been finishing off the Grey Bear, but although he was able to spam his spells, he had discovered that he was unable to cast more than one spell at once.

Even though a single Sparks could kill any one of the Hyenas, he'd have to fire it off 12 times to clear them all out. Darius estimated that while he might be able to kill 3 or 4 of them by using his spell, the rest would use that time to rip him to shreds.

However, despite his lack of professional knowledge of wildlife, Darius saw an avenue to correct that. He took out the iron dagger and held it in his right hand while he pointed his left at one of the Laughing Hyenas.

They looked surprised by his gesture and were wary of the weapon he held, but didn't back off. After all, he was a trapped prey that they were toying with, so there was no need to run.

Nothing could prepare these beasts for the sight of electrical bolts striking one of their own, shocking the creature to death as it fell into a slump.

Darius shouted and rushed forward with his dagger, waving it around while he pointed at another hyena. Due to his threatening moves as well as the effectiveness of his surprise magic attack, they all scattered backward in fear.

This was the particular racial trait of hyenas that Darius had aimed to exploit. They loved to prey on the weak but would turn tail in front of the strong. By killing one of their own instantly, and charging at them fearlessly, he had temporarily overwhelmed their base instincts and left them in fear.

This wouldn't last long obviously, so Darius cast another shot of the Sparks at a random hyena with his right hand that was holding the dagger, as they were fearfully focused on the hand he used to cast from previously.

His second target had no time to react before it was struck to death. The other hyenas leaped away from their deceased companion in fear and began yipping at Darius with a mixture of fear as well as anger.

Darius understood that they were warning him not to come closer, but he would be a fool to show even the slightest weakness in front of vindictive beasts like hyenas.

He thrust his hand out at a group of the hyenas and they yelped and dodged. He didn't cast a spell obviously, for if they realized that it was possible to dodge his magic, his danger rating would drop severely in their minds and he would be swarmed.

Instead, Darius made a show of clutching his belly while laughing at them. The act of mocking an enemy was universal, and even animals could understand it.

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