‘Resonance Hawk (named according to ability): Second form of Grey-feathered Hawk, Form 2 evolution totem. Not upgradable.
Ability: Resonance Burst (the sarcoma on its head can induce the enemy’s heart to beat with it, increasing the burden on its heartbeat, and in extreme cases make it burst, causing death. Natural strength (it is very powerful)’
Garen closely observed the sarcoma on the Hawk’s head. The growth beat non-stop like a heart. He reached out his hand to touch it,, and felt that it was warm and with a sturdy quality like rubber. It didn’t feel as thin as it looked. When he sniffed it, he smelled the odor of eggs.
He straightened up and took a customary glance at the other Silver Totems around him. The other two Grey-feathered Hawks and the Blue Back Lizards were cowering in a corner, shivering, frightened away by the Resonance Hawk’s presence.
He swept the corners of the hall with his gaze. There was a pile of leftover bones there, a creature had probably be brought in here by these little pets and eaten up.
Garen walked up to the store room and used his key to open the door. Inside, there were many crates of different foods and drinks.
He had prepared these in advance, supplies enough for ten people to survive on for a year. This was also the reason he left his pets here.
Opening one of the boxes, he took out a hard loaf of young grain bread. This long piece of bread was extremely sturdy, and was nearly as hard as a baseball bat. Just a little bit would be enough to keep someone full for a day.
He pinched off a bit and stuffed it straight into his mouth. There was instantly a crunchy crackly sound of chewing, as though he was chewing wood. He then took a pre-filled bottle of clean water, twisting off the cap and chugging it down.
He then lifted the whole box of supplies and walked out of the storage room, closing the door behind him and returning to the hall on the first floor.
After putting the box onto the floor next to the sofa, he sat down on the sofa. Wiped his face with his hands.
He hadn’t had a proper chance to catch his breath all this time, so now that he finally had time to rest a little, Garen just sat on the sofa, and before he knew it he was lying down and fell asleep.
His consciousness a blur, he didn’t know how long had passed when Garen suddenly awoke from the darkness. There was the sound of the Deep Swamp Croc roaring from the yard outside, together with the sharp piercing sobs of a baby.
He sat up in an instant, sensing two more little dots in his detection that were moving together next to the Deep Swamp Croc.
"Could it be a parasite?" He stood up, feeling his brain was still slightly fuzzy, and massaged his temples. "After coming here, I wonder if I had ever completely relaxed and rested even once… It sure feels good."
As he sighed, he walked to the window and looked out.
In the yard of the villa outside the window, the Deep Swamp Croc just happened to be biting down on a dead baby, and then swallowed it down with a few cracking bites. It was surrounded by two black beetles, about half a person tall.
The beetles were glistening bright, their outer shells reflecting light like a mirror under the moonshine. Their heads didn’t have eyes or noses, but a large mouth full of sharp teeth, with a white snake’s tongue poking out from it intermittently.
They were just like two round balls. They pushed their bodies forward, letting their mouths chomp down on flesh and blood, pulling the food into their stomachs.
The two parasites actually worked together to take down a dead baby, their fighting power was formidable.
"So those are the Deep Swamp Croc’s parasites?" Garen carefully felt the Croc, and instantly discovered the minute connections between the Croc and the beetles.
Under the moonlight, Garen swept his gaze over the front yard.
The yard’s neat and orderly grass had been utterly destroyed, and only yellow dirt and dark red blood stains remained. The fencing around the yard had also been knocked over and damaged.
A few red-eyed rats would occasionally scuttle across the main road of the suburbs outside, and a couple of Unihorn Lizards also dropped down slowly, crawling over the streets. The two Lizards saw the Deep Swamp Croc and the parasites but didn’t attack them, treating them as one of their own, ignoring them and slowly passing by the front of the villa.
Garen let down the curtain, and ducked into the darkness of the villa.
There was occasionally the strange cry of the Unihorn Lizards from outside, as he hid alone in the villa, going up to the second floor by following the stairs.
After entering the study, he pulled out Angel’s little notebooks from his pocket.
He put the three pale yellow notebooks and lightly drew the curtains, using the matches on the table to light the oil lamp. Suddenly, the whole study was illuminated.
He was very confident in the safety of the villa. The Deep Swamp Croc was patrolling outside, together with its two parasites. Now this was number three.
He had observed a little just now, and concluded that the parasites were equal to a Form One totem, and a rather fiercer Form One totem at that. It was just slightly weaker than a Unihorn Lizard, and already made a decent guard.
"The Deep Swamp Croc can produce three a day at most, but without a suitable parasite, the parasitism would not work so easily. While I’m studying tactics, I might as well have it leave one parasite to watch the house, and take one out myself for hunting. That way it can be used as food, and it can catch other parasites."
Garen sat down, and gave the Deep Swamp Croc the order to go hunting on its own with the largest parasite.
The Croc in the villa’s yard instantly crawled out of the pitch black corner and soundlessly left the villa, crawling into the distance, followed by a small beetle behind it.
"Remember not to hurt anyone." Garen added an order. That was the benefit of Silver Totems, they had a specific level of simple intelligence, and could act on their own away from the main body. There was no need to worry about their loyalty either, as he could monitor their movements at all times, and control their lives at his will.
"Resonance Hawk, go stand watch." Garen gave the large hawk in the villa other orders.
Soundlessly, the hawk with a height of two to three meters and a wingspan of four to five meters took flight from the yard, landing on top of the villa before quietly furling its wings to perch there. The large hawk eyes swept the surroundings with a radius of several hundred meters at all times.
The two Grey-feathered Hawks followed it up there, and started to bring twigs and pieces of tree bark to build a nest on the roof. The Resonance Hawk, on the other hand, sprawled on the roof lazily, ordering its lackeys to build it a nest.
Garen decided to chase the three Blue Back Lizards out as well, so that they could patrol the yard at all times. He let them eat and stay outside, lest they stink up the inside of the villa with their unbearable odor.
"It’s too bad their intelligence is still too low, and they don’t know how to clean up." Garen sighed and shook his head, thinking that scattering his little pets around the villa would greatly increase its safety measures. In these almost apocalyptic times, he had a sense of safety.
"Right now, even Iron Tank City isn’t as safe as my place. After all, these monsters all consider the Silver Totems as their brethren, so they won’t start a large scale attack."
Garen straightened up and stacked the three notebooks on top of each other, flipping open the first one.
"Anglo Academy Secret Tactics: Sight Sharing"
The title of the book was written in a small line of delicate and graceful pale red letters, using the Kovistan standard language. As one of the strongest countries in the East Continent, the Kovistan language had very wide coverage. Many other countries were also fluent in this language, making it something of a lingua franca.
Garen flipped through it. This tactic required the continuous release of fifteen trascendent glyphs in a short window of time.
Transcendent glyphs were the figures written in the air using their natural ability.
This tactic required fifteen transcendent glyphs, all of different shapes with no repetition whatsoever. And the easiest one still required five strokes, while the hardest needed more than ten.
Garen referred to the necessary time limit at the top of the page: within 3 seconds.
He remembered when Angel released this tactic back then, it did seem like she used very few movements. But thinkng back closely, her hands did move extremely quickly, and there was a slight tremor to it. The tremor wasn’t involuntary, but well defined and rhythmic. It seemed to be the gestures needed to release an even higher level tactic.
Garen easily flipped through the whole notebook, and it remained fresh in his memory.
Satisfied, he glanced at his attribute pane.
‘Strength 2.66. Agility 2.72. Vitality 2.76. Intelligence 2.53.’
"My intelligence has been fully restored, returning to the peak level from my previous life." Garen’s gaze slid down, and he looked at the skill pane with a hint of anticipation.
There was still no movement there. Obviously tactics didn’t fulfill some requirement too become a skill, or rather that potential points had no effect on tactics.
Slightly disappointed, he pulled back his gaze and focused all his concentration on carefully researching this Sight Sharing tactic.
Time trickled past. The oil in the lamp gradually grew drier, and grew less.
Garen repeatedly memorised everything in the notebook, and then began to draw it out with one transcendent glyph at a time. Each successful etching would light a whitish flame on the tip of his finger.
That was how he knew if he succeeded or not.
The flame of oil lamp burst a little, as though it had ignited some form of impurity.
Garen instantly awoke from his concentration.
With Master-level ability when it comes to precision blueprints, his hands were as steady as an intricate machine, but his speed was still not up to par. He could only complete three trascendent glyphs in three seconds.
Taking out his pocket watch to look at the time, he realized it was already four in the morning. More than three whole hours had passed
"If it’s this hard to progress for me, with Master-level precision blueprint steadiness, who knows how hard it must be for those who are weaker, at Intermediate-level, or Beginner-level."
Garen touched the sides of the notebook. It was full of wrinkles from being read too often over a long period of time. Be it the original owner or Angel, they must have read it countless times.
"I can’t make it a skill, so I’ll just have to practie non-stop the old fashioned way, with no shortcut to take." Garen quieted his heart. With his Divine Statue Technique, he had extraordinary endurance, and needed only three hours of rest per day to fulfill his biological needs.
Judging from this speed of progress, he would need at least a month or more before he can more or less grasp this tactic skill.
But this speed was all because of the micro-control needed for the secret techniques he had originally trained in, added together with his Master-level precision blueprint steadiness. If it was anyone else, they would need more than a year before they could even think about it. And yet the real result would more than likely be that they couldn’t quite accomplish it even with more than a year’s time.
The pale white sky quietly shone through the black cloth curtains.
Garen stretched, and finally brought his mind back from his training.
He glanced at the potential value in his attribute pane. It had jumped from that pathetic 16% to 132%.
"According to the previous comparisons, a Unihorn Lizard would equal to about 60% potential value, so now I have enough for two Unihorn Lizards. That sort of dead baby looked scary, but in truth it didn’t have that much potential value. I killed one on the way, killed another just now, and after the Croc went it at least killed another, and yet we only reached 132%."