Rise of the Nightmare Crestmaster -
Chapter 61 Hunting Monsters (2)
Aldrich returned his bow to his back and grabbed the tree branch as the second impact shook the tree, even more so than the first. Aldrich tried to think of something but his ideas deserted him.
The next impact didn't come, instead it went quite and Aldrich instantly felt that something wasn't right. Aldrich looked around but he couldn't see the Umvorax under the tree. For a brief moment he thought that it left him alone and ran away.
Aldrich wasn't fooled, he could feel the Umvorax from the opposite direction, where he couldn't see because of the direction of the branch he was hanging on.
It was like he was somehow aware of the general location of the monster even if he couldn't see it. Thanks to his enhanced perception.
Aldrich decided to take this chance to pull himself up and stand on the branch he was holding onto, then he walked along the tranche's length. When he was close enough, with the least amount of noise possible he jumped over to the nearest tree.
Aldrich possessed great physical strength and flexibility such a jump was easy work for him. The hard part was making the least amount of noise while landing. He held on to one of the big branches of the tree so it can take his weight.
The big branch didn't shake as much, and Aldrich breathed out in relief. But he wasn't done yet, he went on the other side of the tree, the side that was perpendicular to the tree he was originally on, the one that the Umvorax was still climbing.
Aldrich made a similar jump and landed on a tree that gave him an unobstructed view of the beast that was climbing the tree.
He watched the Umvorax was using its eight limbs and sinking its claws into the the tree to climb it. It wasn't fast by any means but it was not slow either.
Right above it's right shoulder his second arrow stuck out. Looks like his last arrow hit the mark after all.
Aldrich pulled out an arrow and nocked it on the bow, pulled the string to the fullest. Even if the Umvorax dodged this arrow too that wouldn't matter. If it made such a sudden movement it would fall and that will be the end of it.
The Umvorax was at the higher section of the tree, that was three stories high. The result was already decided. Aldrich loosened the string and the arrow shot straight at the unaware beast.
The ears of the Umvorax perked up, it quickly climbed several steps higher once again foiling Aldrich's plans. Aldrich cursed out loud, there was no point in being discreet anymore.
He momentarily shot the second arrow and it was forced to dodge to the side, the arrow missed again. But that hasty movement was too fatal, it went falling down. Aldrich watched as it fell down breaking branches all the way down.
A thud soon followed, Aldrich quickly climbed down and looked at the fallen Umvorax. He didn't get close. This beast had taught Aldrich that a grade zero level 3 monster was exceptional, it was both cunning and strong.
Aldrich took out another arrow, aimed at the beast and shot it. The arrow struck the beast in the abdomen and it leapt to the ground roaring and growling. Aldrich took out his sword while feeling a little scared.
This monster was probably as powerful as the armored husk. Several of its limbs were broken and it was bleeding everywhere and yet still in managed to stand. Aldrich debated on waiting it out, with such injuries it will succumb soon.
But then again the Umvorax could just escape, Aldrich and the Umvorax were not alone in this forest. There were other hunters and other monsters. Aldrich didn't quite like the idea of handling his hard earned kill over to anyone whether it be beast or man.
Aldrich was definitely wasn't above just backing down and retreating until the beast died of blood loss but then again the current circumstances didn't allow for this tactic.
Aldrich lamented this bad luck but he wasn't afraid of fighting head on when the time called for it. Aldrich threw his bow and quiver to the side. He and the Umvorax exchanged glares, because Aldrich wanted to buy time.
'Can you do me a favor and just roll over and die.'
The more time passed the greater his advantage. The beast was too angry to die seemingly as it charged at Aldrich, the way it ran proved to Aldrich that it had several broken limbs.
Aldrich two-handed the long sword and slashed at the lower chest of the beast as he side-stepped the charge of the beast. This was a trick he learned from his daily combat with husks in the nightmare realm.
The Umvorax fell down, it tried to get up several times but it failed. Aldrich finished it off for good, cutting its throat open. Aldrich watched as lifeblood drained from the beast and it thrashed on the ground. Aldrich wiped his sweaty forhead.
Soon after Aldrich collected his real prize, eight essence orbs. Truly a generous amount, the most he had gotten out of any one creature. This made his day and cemented a theory he had. The stronger the creature the more essence orbs it was likely to give.
The second most he had gotten was four essence orbs from the great boar that was was killed by a direwolf when he was escaping the slaver goblins with the halfling Tarzin.
The weaker creatures like the giant roaches, Auizolt mice and the skinned dogs gave out only one essence orb. On the other hand husks gave two. The armored husk will probably be like the Umvorax and give out a similar amount of orbs.
At least he had confirmed that he was ready to face and defeat the armored husk at last he was getting there. If the Umvorax was considered a grade zero level three monster then the armored husk should be the same.
Just now he almost messed up because he wasn't used to the weight of the half plate armor. He would have been injured for nothing and an injury when he was alone in the Sunken valley might spell his doom.
Aldrich tied the Umvorax upside down and hanged it from a tree branch to let the blood flow out of the body. As he had previously expected the Umvorax was much heavier than it looked.
Since it had a small body the blood drainage didn't take long after which he untied the rope. Aldrich went to get his backpack from the hiding spot, and he tried to open the folded cart. 𝑖𝓷n𝘳ℯ𝐚𝐝. 𝒄om
This task turned out much harder than he expected, he wished he had tried doing that a few times before he ventured out. Finally, before Aldrich lost his temper and trashed the cart he managed to open it correctly.
Aldrich hauled the body on the cart and breathed a sigh of relief. This monster was very tough, it truly resembled the armored husk.
Suddenly Aldrich heard a twig snapping.
Aldrich narrowed his eyes, he wasn't surprised, he had expected that the smell of the Umvorax's blood might draw in some vermin.
What surprised him was that the sound was much closer than he would have liked. Whatever it was, it managed to sneak very close with him noticing.
Aldrich made his way to his discarded bow and quiver, he quickly notched an arrow and hid behind the cart. As he watched the direction of the sound he just heard a vaguely familiar silhouette revealed itself from the forest.
It was the snow white head of a direwolf, it stood bigger than a wolf and longer than two meters without counting its tail. The direwolf looked at the corps of the Umvorax with its ice-blue eyes.
It looked around cautiously and lowered its posture, taking a prepared stance. Aldrich waited and calmed his breathing down, he remained still even when the beast started approaching.
The direwolf pack was said to be roaming the eastern plains, this was one of the reasons why Aldrich wasn't taken off guard. He knew they were close by but if he had to face a whole pack then he would just turn back, he was strong but he wasn't insane, Aldrich watched the monster growing closer to the cart.
Suddenly the wolf stopped and stood in place, it began looking around and sniffing. That's when Aldrich shot his arrow at it, he knew if he gave it anymore time he might loose the chance.
The arrow struck the wolf in the neck sending it rolling, Aldrich took the second arrow and shot again. He knew one arrow was nowhere near enough to bring down a monster like that.
The second arrow missed because the wolf stabilized itself and charged at Aldrich in a zigzagging pattern. Aldrich discarded his bow and quiver, it was time for close combat.
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