After the two went to their respective sides of the mall, there were no more words to be said and the sounds of silence filled the air.
He was situated very far away from Sofia who was already snoozing off. He really couldn't understand how someone in their position could sleep that soundly.
Unbeknownst to him, it was only due to his presence she could rest so easy.
If it was before, a light pitter-patter could send her into a full-blown panic attack.
For whatever reason, his presence reassured her and she dropped her guards completely. If Azief knew her train of thought, he would have laughed at her for being naive.
Nonetheless, he didn't and was currently lost in thought thinking.
Azief had finished the first step of many in his grand plan and his storage ring was almost full of supplies.
What he wanted to do now was to return to his village to check on his family.
After sorting all of that business out, he would come back and deal with the matter of his advancement quest. He would make the Shadow Lord class his, even if he died trying.
In this new world, status meant nothing. Money meant nothing. The only thing that meant something was power and, right now, the best way to gain power was to fully unlock his unique class.
He was also sure that there was something he had missed when he killed the beast with Tan and wanted to go back and check.
Thinking up to that point, Azief checked his status:
● Name: Lord Shadow
● Gender: Male
● Level: 20
● Class: Shadow Lord
● Strength: 14 (+8)
● Agility: 35 (+12)
● Vitality: 11 (+14)
● Stamina: 20
● Spirit: 17 (+10)
● Endurance: 10 (+6)
○ Storage Ring
○ Ring Of Minimal Strength.
○ Ring Of Minimal Strength.
○ Ring Of Dark Spirit.
○ Ring Of Speed
○ Shadow Lord Set
■ Body Fortification I
■ Precision I
■ Perception I
■ Divine Sense I
■ Beast Tamer II
● Strong Fist Badger Taming Time: 6 days
■ Heal I
■ Slashing Wind I
It seemed like his status board had changed slightly after unlocking skill points. Now, after each skill, a roman numeral was attached to signify its level.
This entire time, he had been wondering which skill he should level up.
Maybe Slashing Wind I? That would certainly increase his offensive power.
Maybe Heal I? If he did he could walk the path of a rogue healer.
Precision? Perhaps that would help him target vital points?
Thinking about it for a while, he came to a decision. He'd level up Beast Tamer II.
It would be another 6 days before his pet was finished taming. That was too long. If he successfully tamed the badger, it would be the same as gaining another life. The last time he upgraded his skill, it shortened the taming time. That was what he was betting on.
"One point to Beast Tamer II."
Beast Tamer II has been upgraded to Beast Tamer III.
● Using this skill, you can tame world orb beasts. To tame, use the skill on one of the beasts and keep them, for the indicated amount of time, inside the beast portal. Activating a beast portal requires 2 SP per hour. The cooldown depends on the beast tamed.
● This skill is nearing perfection. When it reaches the pinnacle, it will have the chance to evolve.
○ Strong Fist Badger Taming Time: 17 Hours
Reading the notification Azief was excited. In less than a day, he would have a reliable bodyguard. Laying down, he dozed off.
The sun had risen and it was a new day. The two people in the mall were preparing to leave. Most of the mall has been cleaned out into their storage rings. Sofia had two storage rings and was the designated pack mule. Azief, of course, was the main attacker.
"Ready?" Azief asked as he threw on his hood.
"Ready as I'll ever be," the woman replied.
"Open the gates." Then Azief ordered. "Follow me. We need to get to the place where I fought the beast yesterday."
"Why?" Hearing Azief's orders, she finally understood where yesterday's beastial roars came from.
"I need something."
"Is it so important that you need to go back there?"
"You're being nosy. Do you want to follow me or not?" Azief simply stated and walked away.
Sofia ground her teeth in anger. He didn't listen to her input at all. Still, she had no choice to follow.
They slowly made their way to the area where Azief left Tan's corpse.
Occasionally there would be some zombies that ran over to attack them, but the pair dealt with them seamlessly.
Nonetheless they were slightly worried. This, after all, showed that zombies did in fact have the capability to evolve.
When Azief killed the zombies in the past, they always dropped golden coins, but something had changed. Now only silver and copper coins dropped.
However, Azief noticed something that caused him to come up with a new hypothesis. When Sofia killed the zombies, items and gold coins still dropped.
What if gold only dropped when fighting monsters that were in the same level as you?
What if the stronger people got, the harder it was to gain something from a lower level opponent?
If that was true, it would explain why grinding zombies was less effective for him. If he reached level 30, perhaps these zombies wouldn't even give him anything.
Regardless, Azief kept on killing.
Although it was a somewhat tedious task, killing zombies didn't take much of his stamina due to his evolved sword and stats. And any that was consumed was regenerated by his spirit stat.
To be completely honest, he could have easily left the killing to Sofia to level her up, but he realized that whenever he killed a zombie, a translucent dark grey orb entered his sword.
It was collecting his victim's souls to regenerate its durability and to evolve further.
By his calculations, he could kill 100 to 200 zombies before his sword's durability dropped by a point.
This little detail made Azief happy because it meant that he wouldn't have to change his armor as it grew with him and was capable of repairing itself.
Fighting the entire way there, they now approached the area he was in yesterday.
Even with his enhanced eyesight, the only traces of Tan's corpse were the smeared blood on the floor.
Suddenly his expression took a turn for the worse. Someone was trying to steal his bead. Rushing over, he left Sofia to collect their loot.
Azief appeared next to the man, stealthily as a shadow, and drop kicked him, cracking his armour and sending him flying. And though he seemed to be fit and muscular, he didn't even have the chance to protect himself.
The people following the muscly man, who appeared to be their leader, gasped.
Azief stood on the beast corpse and looked around furiously.
"Where. The. Fuck. Is. The. Bead."
Even though his voice was quiet, everyone around him could clearly hear his words as he enunciated each and every single syllable.
He fought a horde of zombies, risked his life to fight the beast, and even lost his companion to kill the beast. If he let someone else reap the fruit of his efforts, he would truly be damned.
As he stood there, seething in anger, he seemed to emanate a physical aura. His spectators could practically see the inky blackness that seeped from his being.
"I will ask you one more time. WHERE. IS. MY. BEAD!"
Everyone unconsciously shuddered. The venom that dripped from each word was enough to terrify grown men, and the killing intent was palpable.
If he found out any one of these people took his bead, it would result in a party wipe. He couldn't care less about the loss of human life at this point. He had to have the bead!
As he coldly assessed the group in front of him, he felt, for the first time, what it was like to be truly powerful.
Powerful enough to lord over the lives of people like ants. It was an intoxicating feeling. Out of the 12 people, only the muscled, armored man seemed somewhat strong, but Azief was confident that if he really wanted to do something, he would only have to use one move.
Behind him, a woman could be seen catching up. On her face was a silly expression of shock.
This was her first time seeing people other than Azief. Not only that, but Azief seemed to be suppressing all of them.
Remembering why they were there in the first place, she figured out what happened.
'They stole Azief's loot…'
Sofia couldn't predict what would happen next. She looked at Azief, standing overbearing as a mountain, and then looked at the group.
Suddenly, Azief made his move.
Editor's Note: Formatting the status board was… a challenge. So, first of all, it seemed like he had the right number of stats, but his vitality didn't increase at all even though he just put a bunch into it a couple chapters ago. So I took the creative liberty to put a couple points into Azief's VIT. I also really wish you guys could see the table boss designed. It's an actual status board. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work in Webnovel's reader interface so I replaced it with just a couple bullet points. I'm not even sure that my formatting will transfer over, so I'll have to check on that. Anyway, if it doesn't work, I'll just figure out another way…
Editor from the future: Well shit. The next three chapter files got corrupted. 5-6 hours of hard work vanished just like that... *sigh* I'll get those out by tomorrow then.