TDL BK I: CH 3: Foetooth

Chapter 3: Foetooth

Not yet recovered from his last battle, Dunstan’s reaction was too slow. He barely managed to put his left arm in the way of the attack. The leopard bit into it, her fangs going clean through flesh and bone. Dunstan could not help but scream. Still, he acted quickly, not wanting her to toss her head about and rip his own arm off, he attacked quickly. Bright light burst to life in his palm and he slammed them into the leopard’s head. 

[Detonation Point]

Searing heat and light washed over them both as the force of the explosion threw the monster off him. The bones in Dunstan’s left forearm snapped like twigs. The daemon’s fangs, combined with his attack, left his arm as nothing more than shredded, burning flesh. Only the fear and adrenaline rushing through him kept him from going into shock. Instead, he aimed his other hand at the burning leopard and cast the spell again. 

[Detonation Point]

Bright essence poured out of him, compressing itself into a pinprick of light next to his target before exploding in grand fashion. Any mundane beast, no matter how ferocious, would be done in by one blast to talk of two. Unfortunately for Dunstan, the foetooth was not a mundane beast. It was a daemon, a creature that was to ordinary animals what cultivators were to mortal humans. 

Innately magical and incredibly powerful, foetooth leopards were highly successful predators. They stalked their prey through the grasslands, drawing close before finishing the hunt with a pounce that buried their twelve-centimetre-long fangs into their victims. Most times, they bit clean through, severing the spine or tearing out the back of the neck with ease. This particular foetooth was relatively mature. It was a Daemon Lord meaning it was equivalent in power to your average Exultant cultivator.

On a good day, Dunstan could fight maybe two at a time without much worry. Despite being on equivalent tiers cultivation-wise, he was an experienced fighter who was able to punch above his weight class. Today was not a good day. With no weapons at hand, no time to prepare and an already flagging condition, he was simply lucky to discover it before it attacked. That was the only reason he was not dead.

The first explosion caught the foetooth off guard, blowing her away and burning the side of her head. It caused the left side of her face to look like it had been left on a grill for too long. Her left ear and eye were nothing but char and her flesh had seared away to reveal her teeth and jaw. It was a challenge for even her toughness and resilience. She recovered quickly, employing a bounce and roll for her to right herself and squirm out of the way of the second explosion. She then blurred into action, attempting to circle around him and attack his exposed back. The battle was already adjoined. There could be no retreat. 

Dunstan did not plan to make it so simple for her. Engaging his movement skill; [Pursuing Shadows]. He went after her. Thick streams of dark essence coiled around his body doubling his speed and allowing him to track the leopard’s movements. To a mundane onlooker, all that would be seen is a straw-coloured blur and a roving shadow trading positions. 

Dunstan rained explosions on his opponent, lighting up the darkening sky with bright bursts of fiery essence. Yet, he was unable to hit his target. The foetooth was too quick and agile. However, the shock waves they released were enough to toss her around and slow her speed.   

With a mighty pounce, she lunged for his throat again. The movement was so fast, Dunstan barely saw it. He dived out of the way with an ungainly leap that left him wide open. The leopard did not let the opportunity go by. Pain lanced through his side when her claws made contact, ripping through him with a glancing blow. He did his best to ignore the pain, rolling with the force and rising with an unsteady stance. No sooner had he done so that it lunged again. Throwing caution to the wind, Dunstan let her have it. Ignoring the drain on his meagre reserves he poured all his essence into an unending fusillade of explosions.

[Detonation Point]

[Detonation Point]

[Detonation Point]

The explosions of fire, light and sound threw the leopard around like a ragdoll, tearing it to pieces but Dunstan could not care less. He kept it up until he was certain the monster was dead. Only then did he slump to the ground; drained and in immense pain. His opponent was unrecognisable. Its fur was burnt and blackened, filling the field with the acrid smell of burning flesh and hair. Its head had been blasted open, same for its belly. A proud daemon lord had been reduced to a charred, tattered corpse.

Sadly, Dunstan could not enjoy his handiwork, not when he was not far from death himself. Acting quickly, he tore a strip from his undershirt and tried to bandage his left arm. It was of no use. He despaired when he looked at the wound he meant to mend. His entire forearm hung limply. The shredded flesh, broken bones, burns and flowing blood told him all he needed to know. He was done for! He wasn’t a healer and he had just used the last of his life-saving pills. Being stranded in the wild with no medicine meant there was no hope of treatment. Exultants were transcendents with vitality and recovery abilities greater than any mortal but Dunstan doubted that any Exultant could recover from a wound of this magnitude. At least, not quick enough to matter. An infection was all but guaranteed. 

A howl rent the air, reminding him that he was not alone in the wilderness. Sooner or later, some curious daemons and scavengers would come to check out the commotion. With his wounds and depleted essence reserves, he stood no chance in hell of fighting them off. That would be a death sentence! His best bet was to take off now and hope he could elude any pursuers. Then, he could find a place to hole up until his mana recovered before setting off for home. 

“Fuck!” he cursed as he wrapped up his arm. 

Coming to the desolate fields had been a simple 4-hour trip, but that was when Elder Anthony flew them. Leaving on foot? He would be lucky to make it out in three days. Three days in the wilderness with a broken arm and a large open wound while he tried to avoid magical creatures which would love nothing more than to snack on him. Yep, very doable.

[User has defeated his first overworld enemy! +100 Achievement points]

[User had defeated a monster lord! +50 Achievement points]

[Claim Remains?]

  • Foetooth life essence
  • Foetooth template | creature | Grade: Rare
  • Foetooth Daemon Core
  • Foetooth carcass

‘What the..?’

Staring sceptically at the panel floating in his vision, he accepted the prompt. Immediately, a large empty panel appeared over the carcass of the daemon beast and … scanned it? Dunstan watched in amazement as the panel absorbed the carcass and transformed it into separate items in his inventory. There was even an option to further break down the carcass into skin, bones, meat, organs and blood. Did it only work with creatures he killed? 

A second later he had inventoried a small shrub and broken it down into roots, wood and leaves. With a glint in his eye, he turned to the corpses that littered the area. Most cultivators had restrictions on their equipment to protect them and prevent others from using them. Such security measures could be very difficult to break especially those of a senior cultivator like Elder Anthony. If this inventory function could bypass them then…

Pretty soon, Dunstan grinned as he stared at an inventory screen that held Elder Anthony and all his goodies. This included, of course, emergency medicines. Suddenly, his odds of making it out of the desolate fields alive appeared very secure.

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