Chapter 10 – First Encounter

A wolf makes his way through the forest, trying not to draw attention to himself, the wolf staying close to the ground, only moving close to the trees for cover.


It had been 3 hours since Kieran had killed the Xunarian and taken his wolf form. He was now so used to this form that every move felt natural to him.


Luck wasn’t with him during those 3 hours. He had not found a single target, he had crossed several crystal beasts, but most of them moved in groups, while those who moved alone made Kieran’s heart tremble just at the sight of them.


“I understand now why everyone joins an expedition team, being alone restricts my movements. I may try to find a team back at the shelter.”


While Kieran was thinking about what he was going to do, he saw some silhouettes from the corner of his eye.


Slowing his steps, he approached them, hiding behind the trees.


Two crystal beasts were fighting against each other. One looked like a fox measuring 2 meters high, its claws were made of purple crystal, and on its forehead was a crystal horn with black blood flowing on it.


The other was a crystal beast that stood on four legs, his body was covered with black fur, and he had a huge mouth starting from his face down along his neck until reaching his abdomen with blood flowing from it, its front legs had large protruding claws, and black smoke was emanated from its body.


The two rushed each other, not paying attention to their surroundings, the trees were smashed all around them.


The fox had a deep bite on the side of his body, blood bled from the wound all the time, but the beast covered by smoke didn’t come out any better, he had a gaping hole in his chest.


Kieran examines the two Crystal Beasts in front of him, his gaze shifting to the fox before looking at the other crystal beast.


“I remember this beast was called a crystal horn fox, and the other should be a smoke beast.”


He remembered what he had read about those two crystal beasts. A cold glint shone through his eyes, watching every move they made.


The two crystal beasts showing no mercy for each other, the fox quickly jumped towards the smoke beast. Purple light emanated from the crystal horn on its forehead, blinding the smoke beast.


The fox raised his claws in the air, slamming them down on the smoke beast. Before the claws could slice him, thick smoke erupted from his body, hiding him inside. The fox’s claws only sliced through the air, the smoke gone, the smoke beast could no longer be seen.


“He can still use his ability despite his injuries?!”


Kieran was shocked by what he saw in front of him. The smoke beast could no longer be seen, but the fox was still on guard. Kieran saw a dark blur moving in his vision.


Sharp fangs sank into the crystal fox’s body, causing it to howl, the purple light on its horn appeared again. Twisting his body, he stuck his horn inside the smoke beast.


The smoke beast still wouldn’t let go of the fox, its fangs sinking deeper and deeper into its body while its protruding claws tore at its flesh.


The fox was getting weaker and weaker, but he still wouldn’t give up. The purple light from his horn intensified, burning the smoke beast’s body.


The two beasts were doing everything to kill the other first. The smoke on the smoke beast was disappearing, the purple fox light was losing its glow, the two were in their last breaths.


The smoke beast seemed to be winning this fight.


Kieran watched the scene unfold before him without making the slightest movement, hiding it through the trees not even daring to breathe, his limbs were tense, his gaze was fixed on the smoke beast, not taking his eyes off it for a single second.


As life began to disappear from the eyes of the fox, Kieran used all his strength to push on his back legs, taking the shape of a giant wolf, he quickly arrived behind the smoke beast.


The smoke beast had no time to react when Kieran’s claws descended on his head, ripping a piece of his flesh from his head, leaving his brain exposed to the open air.


*roars*


A deep roar came from the smoke beast as he unleashed the crystal fox, trying with all his might to return to the forest, he staggered at every step he tried to make forward, Kieran’s strike had shaken his brain, leaving him in a dizzy state.


Kieran had no trouble following the beast of smoke, he continued to slash it without stopping.


Finally, the smoke beast could only make a few more meters before falling under its claws.


Kieran stared at the lifeless body below him, thinking of the crystal core that monsters as powerful as these two possess. He couldn’t help a smile from forming on his wolfish face.


Just as he was about to undo his wolf transformation, he suddenly felt a chill down his spine. The wind whistled when an arrow made entirely of water suddenly came from the forest heading straight for his head.


He dodged quickly on the side before he could get back on the ground, an iron arrow flew down on him, not having time to dodge the second arrow. He tried to twist his body as much as he could while swinging his tail toward the arrow to stop it.


The iron arrow went through Kieran’s tail like it was nothing before ending up in his shoulder, making him scream in pain.


“Argh!!”


Kieran couldn’t find where the arrows came from, he didn’t know who attacked him or how many they were as he searched for figures through the trees, a man equipped with a plate armor with a tower shield in his hands charged in his direction.


Kieran swung his claws at the shield. The man adjusted his position to stand firmly on the ground before raising his shield in front of him.


*klang*


The sound of metal against metal echoed through the forest when the man was pushed back several steps.


“Damn, he’s strong!” the man glanced behind him “Catherine, Landen help me hold him in place.”


A woman emerged from behind a tree with an arrow made entirely of water in her hand, with a gesture of her hand, the arrow flew in the air towards Kieran.


The arrow flew straight at him, but before it could reach him, he canceled his giant’s transformation, barely dodging the water arrow.

Another arrow came from the trees in the distance, forcing him to jump forward to dodge it.


“He has a size-changing ability, be careful!”


The man yelled at his comrades, charging Kieran again with his shield.


Before Kieran finished getting up, a giant shield entered his view, hitting him in the head. Without being able to oppose any resistance, his body was thrown several meters backward, with blood flowing from his head.


His wolf transformation vanished, taking back his human form. He slowly got up, gasping for air while holding his shoulder, which still had an arrow lodged in it, blood running down his arm and from his head.


The man who was chasing after Kieran stopped in his footsteps when he saw him regain a human form.


“It’s.. It’s a human?! Shit! Stop attacking! Catherine, bring bandages. We have to heal him quickly!”


Kieran staggered on the spot before falling on a knee. He watched the cultivators in front of him coming closer, he raised his guard, ready for any move they might make against him.


It was necessary to know that once out of the refuges which served as shelters through the rift, the rules of the alliance no longer existed. If a person coveted the possessions of another, he could very kill him without hesitation.


Kieran knew this fact very well. His father had reminded him several times the day before.


The man was surprised to see Kieran’s age, seeing the caution in his eyes, he slowed his pace, raising both hands in front of him.


“Hey, you don’t need to be so suspicious. Earlier, we didn’t know you were human. It’s our mistake. We’re sorry. Let us heal your wounds.”


Kieran was having trouble moving his arm without his wolf transformation so he nodded slowly, letting the man come closer to him with bandages.


The man snapped the arrow in half before holding Kieran’s shoulder with one hand while the other held the rest of the arrow that was still stuck in his shoulder.


“Sorry, this is going to hurt.”


The man pulled out the arrow sharply.


“Arghhh!!”


Kieran’s scream of pain echoed through the forest.

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