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138 Again

Frankenstein was waving his hands like a maniac under the puzzled gaze of Lulu, who soon got lost in her friend's complex line of thinking. While Lulu nodded, Lumia and Snowflake were trying to follow Frankenstein's reasoning as well, yet a distressed frown was hung on their face.

At first, Helial had thought that Frankenstein was a wanna-know-it-all maniac. He didn't expect him to be a fully-fledged genius. And yet he was; the Knowledge Grade of Frankenstein's Skills was constantly changing. Sometimes they would evolve, some others they would weaken. But they stayed never the same. Frankenstein couldn't stand still for more than a couple seconds. Helial had saw him unconcerned of blooding injuries covering his body while fully focused on his experiments. The young Goblin would willingly strain his body to the limit in order to come up with a new Skill form.

What was most astounding for Helial was the fact that at the basis of this was his thirst for knowledge.

They all felt their personal kind of urge to continuously improve. Frankenstein would follow his desire for knowledge, while Helial felt a desperate urge for power. He would willingly slaughter his way to this goal.

For her part, Lumia yearned for power too. She would sacrifice everyone but her brother to lay her hands on it. After all, if she were unable to keep up with Helial's progress, she would turn out to be a burden to her brother once again.

Lulu and Snowflake felt a fierce desire for strength too. Though if the reasons driving the former were clear, the same couldn't be said of the latter. What drove Snowflake was indeed just as mysterious as his origins. Many times Helial had caught himself wondering what the descendant of an Ancestral Creature must be doing on such an insignificant planet. Despite not knowing how pure Snowflake's blood was, the boy was pretty sure he must be some important Clan member.

The only one who didn't seem to car at all about progress was Vlad. While everyone was getting ready to fight, he thought if fitting to lean against a tree and take the most peaceful nap.

Helial scanned the Dungeon carefully.

The humid stones the tunnel walls were made of were covered in musk. As they walked through the entry, they noticed disgusting dark worms crawling all over the walls. From time to time, they would fall down then crawl all the way back to their starting point.

Helial clutched Curse of the Demon with both hands as he let his Mana flow through his Meridians.

They stepped on a lush green valley, whose luxuriant landscape seemed to be complemented by a great deal of dirt too. For every bunch of bright fresh flowers was a putrescent one gaddled by an indistinct pulp of dark worms.

Snowflake jumped on the closest tree to sweep his eyes across the valley. He waved his paw at Helial to hint that he drew closer.

The Dungeon was home to Second Phase monsters. They needed to pay full attention. Any wrong move would put their life at risk. They were already in formation. Helial was ready to engage in battle at any second. Their plan was to proceed unnoticed and kill the Infernal Seagulls one by one. If an entire pack should attack them, their chances of winning would drop down to zero. Worst-case scenario, they would beat in retreat.

"Oh shit," whispered Snowflake from his higher position.

"What is it?" Helial was taken aback.

"I think we should leave this Dungeon. We'll come back later!" Snowflake said urgently. His whiskers rippled up as his pupils dilated exponentially.

The whole group took a fighting stance. They were ready to face the sudden incoming pack of birds. When suddenly…

BOOM!

PRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

A powerful fart was let out of the supreme cat's rear orifice. The tree Snowflake had climbed on was split in two by a cyclone that immediately eradicated all the surrounding trees. Snowflake fell down like a dead weight.

An unpleasant smell spread across the valley. Some of the dark worms fell on the lawn, where the painfully powerful smell didn't even let them writhe in pain.

They all fell silent for an instant. It felt surreal.

After the fart, the valley seemed to lapse into silence.

Inside Helial's Soul, Iblis went on reading his recipes books undisturbed. A clip appeared out of nowhere was holding his nose. He had a slightly disgusted expression on his face. "And Heavenly Star Tigers are the noblest creatures in the universe, huh?" Iblis shortly shook his head before leaning the book on his legs.

Helial glared furiously at Snowflake. "What the actual fuck!"

That morning, Snowflake had had his usual breakfast: lasagne, jelly donuts, milky cream, apple pie, lamb casserole, and salad – to keep it healthy. Since he was the moving DPSer of their team, he couldn't risk not being at top of his energies. He had also decided to renounce to his usual additional hard-boiled eggs, spaghetti with mushroom sauce and parmigiana he usually ate after breakfast.

However, another lasagne – double, this time – had compensated for such lack.

Helial's words shattered the quiet of the Dungeon.

Suddenly, the shrieks of the Infernal Seagulls pierced the silence from every direction. The little group turned pale as a shiver ran down their spines. They had a situation.

Skill activated:

Perception

You employ more Mana! Efficiency of Perception increases by 300%.

Helial pushed Perception to the limit. He caught sight of a huge indistinct Mana fleck outflank them from every direction, including the escape route on their back. Helial noisily cursed as an unusual detail took him aback; Vlad was still sleeping. Helial appeared in front of him and delivered him a kick to urge him to get a move on.

Pooff!

Helial's kick only hit an afterimage. Helial glanced up, expecting to see Vlad ready to run. But Vlad was still asleep, this time on a huge branch of that tree.

Craaa! Craaa!

Countless packs of infernal Seagulls appeared in the distance. Their steely beak glistened in the sunshine. One of those beaks would be enough to kill one group member. The only one whose build was resilient enough was probably Helial.

No Seagull could easily pierce the Body of a Qilin. However, even Helial didn't know the exact nature of the resilience of his body. He surely wouldn't expect to remain unharmed if not fighting those seagulls.

A huge pulsing vein bulged on Helial's forehead as he looked at Snowflake, who was gazing at the pack of infernal Seagulls with a distressed frown on his face.

The gaze of Helial and Snowflake met. They nodded and put their feelings aside. They couldn't afford losing their focus now.

Iblis glanced up and gazed at the sky in Helial's Soul. He bit his lower lip. He clenched his fists as he grabbed his apron embroidered in purple bats. Around him, the grass waved violently as his Aura spread until it filled every centimeter of that place. After some seconds, he withdrew his Aura and relaxed. He went back to reading.

His pupils gleamed as if in an attempt at piercing the sky to catch a glimpse of the universe's far ends and of the stream of reality flowing through the infinity of time and space.

"They won't die today," Iblis sighed as he shrugged.

A huge pack of Infernali Seagulls was about to dart towards the group, when suddenly Helial planted Curse of the Demon to the ground and joined his palms.

Mental Energy 420,324/420,324

He inhaled deeply, his expression unchanged.

Skill Activated:

Flame of the Qilin

Unlike the other Stats, Flame of the Qilin employed Mental Energy instead of Mana. Mental Energy was a new Stat appeared in Helial's Stat window only recently. Iblis explained him that not every Skill needed Mana to activate, since most of them actually relied on the user's control. Mental Energy wasn't but the resource which let him take control over the Energy of the Qilin.

The Energy of the Qilin measured the concentration needed to best employ Body of the Qilin. If Helial had had an infinite amount of Mental Energy at his disposal, he would have probably managed to turn the entire universe to dust. However, using Mental Energy wasn't that easy. To expand Flame of the Qilin so as to create a one-meter long globe, he would need to employ thousands of Mental Energy points. If he wanted to cover a mere Nation with his Flame, how many Mental Energy points would he need?

Everyone gazed at Helial, wondering what he might be doing. Hundreds of Seagulls were dashing towards them, and he just thought it best to stop! What did he have in his mind?

A flash of utter fierceness crossed Helial's eyes as he separated his hands. The attrite made air explode all around them.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

All around Helial appeared white flames which seemed to have come out of an underworld. Their power could blast anything to dust.

You used 12,682 Mental Energy Points!

You used 10,342 Mental Energy Points!

You used 16,224 Mental Energy Points!

A number of huge flaming globes surrounded Helial until they slowly condensed altogether.

As the pack of infernal Seagulls reached for them, a tornado of white flames appeared out of nowhere engulfing everything but their group. Instantly, hundreds of Infernal Seagulls were swept away as grains of sand.

Snowflake gave Helial a shocked gaze. He knew the boy was a freak. But as the tornado of white flames blasted its way through the valley, he couldn't but wonder about the gap between them. He had always thought to be only one step behind Helial. All of a sudden, however, that single step seemed to have widened up to the distance between heaven and earth.
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