The bear-wolves were gray wolves with a lot of fur, and they had a body length of around three meters. The first impression one would have of a bear-wolf was that it was a very threatening 'big wolf'. However, people would soon realize this was a big misunderstanding after seeing its thick paws. The bear-wolf wasn't just about size. The destructive power of its paws was more like that of a bear.
The bear-wolf was struck by the White Tiger Sword's pillar and flew up five meters. At first, it was confused by the power and instinctually rotated into a position to gain acceleration. This was a near explosive move. The bear-wolf borrowed the power of gravity, and its hundreds of kilograms fell toward Mercedes' face. It was an instant cast skill that couldn't be avoided by humans or even elves.
However, Mercedes avoided it with relative ease. Her insight and experiences allowed her to read the attack easily. Therefore, she narrowly avoided the bear-wolf's linked skills.
As Mercedes avoided it, the bear-wolf used the wolf's agility to place a paw on the ground and did a wheel spin. The perfect conversion of the bear-wolf's missed attack aimed at the defenseless Mercedes. Mercedes sensed the attack late, so she gave up on counter-attacking and instead secured a safe distance away from the bear-wolf.
Perhaps it was to gain leverage to leap forward...? The bear-wolf bent forward with its chest close to the ground.
'I think it will spin.
Mercedes recalled the bear-wolf's body structure and agility, using it to predict the power of the next attack. She held the White Tiger Sword in one hand and another sword in the other. This was the moment when the legendary knight went all out against a monster.
Ttang! Ttang! Grid couldn't hide his embarrassment as he almost finished repairing the portable furnace.
"What type of monster is that?"
Grid imagined himself in the situation that Mercedes had just been in. He might've been able to avoid the first strike, but he likely wouldn't have been able to escape the pivoted paw that followed immediately afterward and would be thrown into the air. Grid would've ended up being battered.
'Kraugel wasn't exaggerating.'
Sword Saint Kraugel had called the bear-wolf 'strong' and said that they wouldn't be easy to hunt. How could a field mob be a threat? Grid had jokingly thought this at the time. However, he now realized it was true. If Grid hadn't brought Mercedes here, he wouldn't have been able to raise the level of his Overgeared Skeletons alone. He wouldn't be able to control the Overgeared Skeletons while hunting the bear-wolves at the same time.
Beniyaru's admiring murmur entered his ears, "Going up against an ancient species..."
"I am referring to beasts or organisms that have been present since the beginning of the world tree's existence. The bear-wolves are one of them. The damage they suffered during the elves' thousands of years of history hasn't been severe, but for a human to be facing them…"
One person was dealing with the bear-wolf alone. She even seemed to have room to breathe.
'Truly a legend...' Beniyaru was reminded of the half-elf Povia, the legendary archer. Then Beniyaru returned to her senses when she heard the bear-wolf's piercing scream. The bear-wolf had started spinning like a spinning top. It had expected to mangle Mercedes with its sharp claws, only for the situation to reverse. As its front paws were pierced by Mercedes' twin swords, the bear-wolf howled. The White Tiger Sword's rapidly rising weight pushed down on the bear-wolf's heavy body.
[There will be a one-second penalty in the recovery of the White Tiger Sword.]
This was the moment when the fatal disadvantage of the White Tiger was revealed. Mercedes couldn't retrieve the White Tiger Sword that was pressing on the bear-wolf. At this moment...
"Haaap!" Mercedes' two swords shone. She swung the other sword in her hand, leaving the White Tiger Sword in the bear-wolf. Then just as she was about to deal the finishing blow, she stopped. Mercedes was reminded of her mission. Her role was to attract the bear-wolf's attention, not hunt it. The finishing blow...
Clack! Clack clack!
That was for Randy and the Overgeared Skeletons to do. They unleashed an onslaught on the bear-wolf but the damage naturally wasn't high. The Overgeared Skeletons only decreased the bear-wolf's health by one, while Randy turned into Grid but could only deal damage in the thousands.
The bear-wolf jumped up, not even seeing the Overgeared Skeletons and Randy who were sticking close to it. It only rushed at Mercedes. This was like watching a bullfighter and a bull. As requested by Grid, Mercedes' drew the wolf's aggro.
Ttang! Ttang! The repair of the portable furnace was coming to an end. Grid determined that the bear-wolf didn't have much health left and began shouting orders, "Okay! Go!"
He was looking forward to the Overgeared Skeletons and Randy getting experience. In particular, he wondered what would happen once the Overgeared Skeletons reached level 100. Would their stats awaken like players? Additionally, would there be the concept of a promotion like how ordinary skeletons might become skeleton warriors or magicians? Grid had extremely high expectations for the Overgeared Skeletons.
There was a loud noise as forest trees broke and collapsed. At first, it was hundreds of meters away. Then it got closer and closer. A giant tree behind Mercedes fell down, and a new bear-wolf appeared. It pushed through all the trees in its way with extremely developed shoulder muscles and swung its paws at Mercedes.
Only five minutes had passed since the first bear-wolf appeared. It was okay up to here. Mercedes handled the first and second bear-wolves without much difficulty. She grabbed the aggro with constant damage, allowing the Overgeared Skeletons and Randy to concentrate on hunting. However, the situation became somewhat urgent after the third bear-wolf appeared.
The three bear-wolves acted together like systematically trained soldiers. They attacked Mercedes relentlessly from every direction, and she was wounded for the first time. The bear-wolves became stronger every time their number increased. Still, Grid wasn't worried. He believed in the legendary knight.
"White Tiger's Attitude." Mercedes used the skill of the White Tiger Sword at 100%.
[White Tiger's Attitude]
[Acquires the attitude of the White Tiger.
Attack power and movement are reduced by 80% and defense is increased by 198%.
Skill Mana Cost: 17 per second.
Skill Cooldown Time: 30 minutes.]
The now more durable Mercedes endured the pincer attacks of the three bear-wolves. Her swordsmanship was optimized for defense. Grid finally finished repairing the portable furnace and put the white phosphorus wood inside. Then the temperature rose.
[You have defeated a bear-wolf.]
It happened when the fourth bear-wolf appeared. In other words, the first bear-wolf turned to grey 20 minutes after it appeared. The rewards far exceeded Grid's expectations.
[The level of Overgeared Skeleton One has risen!]
[The level of Overgeared Skeleton One has risen...]
[The level of Overgeared Skeleton One...]
[The level of Overgeared Skeleton One...]
[The level of Overgeared Skeleton Two has risen!]
[The level of Overgeared Skeleton Two has risen...]
[The level of Overgeared Skeleton Two...]
[The level of Overgeared...]
[Doppelganger Randy's level has risen!]
[Doppelganger Randy's level has risen...]
The Overgeared Skeletons gained a huge 14 levels while Randy gained three levels! Was that all?
[39,000,100 experience has been acquired.]
As the master of Randy and the Overgeared Skeletons, Grid also gained experience. It was only a fraction of the experience, but it was still a considerable amount.
'It is worth the long hunt.'
This was as expected of the hunting ground Kraugel recommended. Grid commanded Mercedes, "Keep the number of bear-wolves to two!"
In any case, the bear-wolves constantly appeared every five minutes. There was no need to play with three or more bear-wolves at the same time. Mercedes received Grid's order and showed her power for the first time. The ground around Mercedes shook due to White Tiger's Cry.
[White Tiger's Cry Lv. 1]
[Creates an earthquake with a radius of 5 meters.
All objects within range are subjected to a 'loss of balance' status and a 13% reduction in defense, evasion, and accuracy. If the target is using a spell or skill, casting is forcibly canceled.
Mana Consumption: 1,500
Skill Cooldown Time: 10 minutes.]
The bear-wolves stumbled! They wanted to resist the loss of balance with their innate athleticism, but Mercedes didn't miss this gap. A storm of sword energy swallowed up the bear-wolves.
Grid watched Mercedes' movements. He intended to design an armor and shield optimized for her. However, there was something he had to make sure of first.
"Collect all the loot from the bear-wolves and give them to me later!"
The bear-wolves' cries kept echoing through the forest as the hunt continued. Grid's experience increased by 0.5% and the Overgeared Skeletons reached level 100 even though Grid wasn't involved in hunting at all! Then...
[Overgeared Skeletons One and Two have received their first stats awakening!]
The Overgeared Skeletons' stats were awakened at level 100, just like the players'. Furthermore...
[Overgeared Skeletons One and Two can be upgraded. Please select the desired class.]
Upgrades were also available. Grid's expectations for the Overgeared Skeletons were perfectly met. What would be the secondary classes of the plain skeletons? Grid's heart thumped as he looked excitedly at the class list rising in front of him.
Clack! Clack clack!
Were they aware of their own growth? Overgeared Skeletons One and Two were also excited. They held hands with each other and danced around.