12 Just the beginning

The new Rank C skills I had bought were [Explosive Rune- Upon physical contact with your enemy, brand them with a chaotic rune that will explode on your command], [Aura of Haste- An aura that increases movement speed, attack speed and cast speed envelops you], and [Life Essence- Gain increased vitality(+30) and regeneration at a great cost]

These skills correctly fit with the direction I was going towards. Multiple skills that can remain active for me at all times along with my first offensive rank C skill. [Explosive Rune] was a BOSS killer that mages wanted in their arsenal because of its significant damage. The only problem is that it drained the entirety of a rank C's energy, and they had to come in contact with the boss to initiate it.

The Mage hunters had to make sure that they had full energy before the BOSS fight and that there was a competent enough Knight distracting the BOSS, otherwise the moment they get near themselves they'll get squashed

Once the rune was placed on the BOSS, half of the fight was done, as it dealt such a significant amount of damage that it could even outright kill a rank D BOSS if the rune was placed in a critical location or maim a rank C BOSS. The problem was, no mage ever dared get near a rank C BOSS unless they were wishing for death

With my overlapping defensive skills and the ever so increasing active skills, I should have no problem using [Explosive Rune] to its full potential.

After the sale was finished, the joyful man's face jiggled as he said "Here is my card. Give me a call or text whenever you're coming down and I'll be sure to receive you to the best of my abilities!"

I nodded to the man that had a full smile on his face and left the awakened center. As soon as I was out I blended into the rushing people and activated [Camouflage] once more

The nearest Hunter Lodging was not too far away from the Awakened Center, and I got there in under 10 minutes. I quickly received the keys to one of their luxurious rooms and found myself in a room similar to the one I stayed in before

I placed my bag down on the bed and eagerly began looking at my new skills. [Explosive Rune] would have to wait to be tested later, but as soon as I activated [Aura of Haste] and [Life Essence], a red and green color began appearing on my body. The colors would come and fade a moment later, being fairly transparent and only visible if you were to really focus

I felt my body become visibly lighter and saw a +30 appear on my [Vitality] attribute

Haha! As long as I found skills like these and layered them on my body, would I have anything to worry about?

I shook myself out of my reverie and ordered room service, this time getting 2 plates of a very huge lobster. I went over my day and thought about what I would be doing tomorrow while enjoying the supple texture of the crustaceans. This was a habit I was planning on developing regularly, to think back to what I did today along with any mistakes I made, and how to improve in the future. I went to sleep soon after as I was dead tired.

---

Anderson was holding a drink as he overlooked the city atop his mansion. The thing on his mind was the newly awakened hunter he couldn't seem to keep a track of. He knew all of the hunters that were C rank or near it in the city, and he made sure to introduce himself whenever new ones appeared

They were quickly reigned in and called upon whenever his team lost a member while diving in [Solael's Castle]. None of them could deny his words. So why was it that this new one pissed him off so much? Anderson thought back to that pathetic apartment and realized it was his eyes. Eyes that seemed unyielding, that seemed to say he wasn't afraid

Hah! How could he not be afraid? Whatever [Inherent Skill] he awakened, does he really think he could look at me with an expression like that? I held the paramount skill [Giant's Strength], which allowed me to stand toe to toe against a C rank TITAN. Who are you compared to a BOSS I killed every week?

The one person he usually listened to in this city had also told him to be cautious because of the many unknowns, but it only furthered his distaste towards the hunter. No matter. I will see exactly what gave someone like you the confidence to look at me with such a gaze

[Cohen Anderson][Occupation: Hunter]

[Vitality: 188]

[Focus: 163]

[Strength: 195]

[Skill(s): (F-Lightning Strike-41)(F-Shield-33)(E-Strengthening-41)(D-Minor Regeneration-43)(D-Quick Speed-42)(D-Harden-38)(D-Blade Edge-45)(D-Danger Sense-31)(C-Aura Blade-49)(C-Regeneration-23)(C-Heal-33)(C-Life Essence- 25)(C-Blast-19)(C-Blade of Lightning-55)(B-Giant's Strength){INHERENT-WRATHFUL}]

[Equipment(s): (C-Igneous Sword)(C-Igneous Armor)(C-Ring of Storage)(C-Fiery Boots)

---

Early morning the next day, I was already up and heading towards [Goblin King's Abode]. Tomorrow would be the day when I would head down to [Solael's Castle] with some of the highest rankers in the city, so I had to use my time as efficiently as possible today.

The first task was to rush through the dungeon in under an hour and a half as I was aiming to dive in at least 5 times. With this in mind, I bought a specialized hunter bag that was woven with materials meant to stretch. The bag had straps that tightly hugged your body so that a strong hunter could move without any issues.

This was a poor hunter's item, as the truly rich ones had purchased equipment that allowed them to store whatever they wanted in a large space. I put this item off for now as it would have taken a majority of my funds, and my goal was obtaining more skills currently

I repeated the same process as yesterday and arrived at the monolith at 7 am. It was a fairly cloudy morning and still early, so there were significantly fewer hunters around. Some had already set up shop with their skill books and cores, others meeting up and forming parties while getting to know one another

Still activating [Camouflage], I entered the dungeon and appeared on the clearing filled with trees once more. This time though, besides the skills I originally had, I had added [Aura of Haste] and [Life Essence]. I ran towards the first group of goblins that I could see and rushed up to them while I was still hidden

They were alerted the moment I came near them, but that didn't stop me from reaching my hand out and placing it on each of them while they were still disorganized. With my increased speed from [Aura of Haste], I could do this much without an issue. I then pulled back a few feet away and watched as black tattooish circles spread to cover ⅓ of their bodies

I observed them as they turned my way, none the wise about the runes that had sprouted on their bodies. I gave the command and the rank C skill [Explosive Rune] was fully utilized

BANG!

The portion of the goblins' body that was covered in the runes exploded with a huge force, throwing chunks of flesh and bones everywhere as 5 goblins were soon lying in their own pool of blood.

The damage was just as expected for a rank C skill, powerful! I speedily cleared the floors like this. With all the defensive and support skills kept active, I pressed down the floors with [Camouflage] hiding me and giving me enough time to come in contact with the monsters that exploded a second after. Some floors I still used [Flames and Torment] and kept on experimenting with it as it's proficiency continued to rise. More than an hour quickly passed and I was through all 29 floors and headed to the BOSS once more

The 6-meter tall Goblin King looked as ruthless as always, and noticed me as soon as I came down even though I was hidden. I walked towards it slowly until I stood a meter away, where it stared me down. This one was one of the peculiar traits of this BOSS that interested me. When the fight began it was always so calm as if it was measuring me up. During the fight though, it would go completely berserk

It was still a monster though and threw a fist down at me a second later. I raised my small hand to match this fist as my palm was opened to receive it

PAH!

A sound like that of the loudest slap resounded as [Arcanist's Sphere of Protection] absorbed all the damage and the ground beneath me cracked. The arm of the Goblin King rapidly had a runic tattoo spreading on it, and the boss quickly felt something wrong as it grabbed its skin and tried to rip it off

BOOM!

A deafening explosion rang out as it's entire arm blew apart and it let out a thundering howl. The enraged king reacted fast, throwing another fist with its remaining arm...only for the same thing to repeat

I was standing at the same location, the ground around me full of cracks as if an earthquake occurred. I had sunk a few inches into the ground as I calmly looked up at the Goblin King that was missing both of its arms

RAAAA!

It let out an angry shout as if it would not give up and kicked its right leg downwards.

PAH! BOOM!

The same scene repeated and now its right leg was gone. The large beast could not support its weight as it fell backwards with a loud thunk. Loud breathing could be heard as it's entire face was twisted in pain. I climbed out of the small hole I had been repeatedly kicked in and jumped up on top of the body of the beast, landing on its square abdominal muscles and traveling forward to its face

I looked down at it as it could not move or do much of anything else.

Besides the heavy breathing and a pained look, I could see another expression on the Goblin King's face after more than half of its body was blown away. It was extremely distinct while I looked at its huge eyes. I had seen this expression before. I had felt it before. It was fear. I reached my hand out and let my palm touch it's forehead, leaving it there as I commanded [Explosive Rune] to combust

BOOM!

Another deafening explosion rang out in the clearing before silence ensued. [Arcanist's Sphere of Protection] and [Arctic Armor] didn't allow even a single stone or meat to land on my body, negating the force of the explosion as if it was nothing.

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