Soulmancer – Chapter 2: The Blind Walker II

“KIEEEKK! HOB… BIT!!!”

A sharp shriek escaped the Goblin King as it lost balance and fell onto its back with a loud thud.

THUD!

Without hesitation, Izel jumped onto its muscular chest, pinpointing the exact location of the ‘fragment’, and slashed at it as hard as he could.

Fortunately, the gray monstrosity was concussed from the fall, giving the blind man the opportunity to attack.

“Damn it, it’s so tough!” He couldn’t help but spout profanity. With such a blunt impact, the sapphire-like fragment didn’t sustain a single crack; instead, a sharp sound echoed through the passageway and trembled his body.

“Ugghhh!” Izel gnashed his teeth as blood burst from his ears. “I will not give up; I will defeat you and become stronger!” Ignoring the pulsating agony, the flame of determination to triumph burned within his heart, and he continued to stab and slash with vigor. After nearly a dozen hits, the fragment began to slightly crack.

The Goblin King, despite the concussion, whether due to fear of death, adrenaline, or wild instinct, quickly tried to retaliate as its eyes brimmed with murderous intent.

“KRAAAAAA DIE… HOBBIT!”

Knowing the sneering difference in size, it planned to grab the pathetic fly and crush it with its enormous meaty hand, rapidly morphing into sizzling heat as crimson-hot as lava.

[Hand of Abomination], one of the trump cards of the Goblin King in this dire situation, utilized the condensation of magical power around its palm, enough to shatter a big iron boulder into smithereens instantly.

‘As expected of an E-rank boss monster,’the blind man snorted, having predicted this endeavor. Izel deftly evaded the grapple by imbuing mana onto both his feet to lighten his torn calves and jumping off the Goblin King’s chest.

“KRAAAAAKKKKK!!!”

In its rage, the boss monster failed to consider how collapsing on its chest would damage the ‘fragment’ from the aftermath caused by such a resonating impact, which was already damaged, resulting in the small cracks expanding.

The King, now faced with the ground, attempted to stand back up, but before it could completely rise, Izel rushed toward it in a desperate but ingenious maneuver.
Using his battered longsword, which might as well be a toothpick in comparison to the monster before him, he jumped up above the monster and thrust his sword down the king’s spine at the base of its neck as hard as he could, hoping to strike between the vertebrae according to the [Flawation] visual.

The gray giant’s muscular flesh was tough, but the magical longsword was able to pierce cleanly through its spine. The goblin boss was now paralyzed.

“Good…!” Panting from exertion as sweat seeped from his forehead, but determined to finish the fight, Izel repositioned himself until he was in its line of sight. Deciding to impart some last words, “You’re scared to die? Well, guess what? I am too. It’s that fear, that desperation, that pushes me forward. Your arrogance was your downfall.” Imbuing his longsword with magic power, Izel thrust one last time toward the Goblin King’s fragment.

[Longsword Effect activated.]

[Damage +10.]

“Go to hell.” With great force, the magical sword’s tip struck the crystal, shattering the blue gem.

The Goblin King has been slain.

Shortly after the message pierced his ears, the Goblin King’s scarlet eyes darkened, and the magic power that infused every organ in its body dispersed. Lifeless.

Time left: 0 minutes, 9 seconds.

The E-rank dungeon was successfully raided.

Izel collapsed upon the fallen prey, gasping for air. His heart raced wildly, and his lungs contracted and inflated as if they were about to burst. His trembling legs were bruised and torn; blood oozed from cuts on his cheek, and his hand couldn’t stop shuddering.

Amidst the dripping sweat, his head pounded, feeling the unfamiliar rush of adrenaline. He couldn’t fathom if this was the sense of victory that other hunters felt after defeating a powerful foe.
Strangely, it felt natural, the emotion of accomplishment he hadn’t experienced on Elilaum, satisfying him so much.

“I had slain the Goblin King after all, with only ear and leg injuries,” he mused. It was surreal and rare for a hunter who couldn’t even defeat a normal goblin in the real world. After catching his breath, he smiled brightly—a smile that could instantly brighten a woman’s dull life.
That was enough for the thrill of triumph to blur his mind. Yet, it didn’t last long as he became despondent again, recalling what had happened until now.

Just like his last dungeon attempt, he barely managed to survive this time too. Although Izel did turn the tides in the end, that wouldn’t work on a smarter monster.

“I wouldn’t last for ten seconds against a hobgoblin,” he regretfully admitted. The Goblin King might be the strongest among goblins, but it still had the same clear weakness as a partially exposed fragment. An evolved goblin, a hobgoblin, would have been equivalent to the Grim Reaper if Izel had to fight it.

Nonetheless, all those considerations were pointless now that he had successfully defeated it. Staying positive, he knew that the only reality was that he survived. After taking a deep breath, he finally felt a wave of relief.

Congratulations. You have successfully raided the E-rank dungeon of the Fortress of Dungeons.

As a reward, you have acquired the skills [Soul Assimilation (E)] and ’10 Verdes’.

As a bonus reward, you have acquired the skill [Hemostasis (E+)] and ’50 Verdes’.

“Soul Assimilation,” Izel repeated aloud, feeling elated to have received his first personal skill apart from the one acquired at birth. Although he also gained the gear skill in the second tutorial, it was only usable when he wore a special blindfold. The joy of seeing his hard work pay off was undeniable.

‘The bonus rewards feature is new to me though,’ he contemplated the reason behind receiving such bonuses. However, he welcomed the extra skill and Verdes nonetheless. A sentiment filled his heart that he couldn’t describe with words. Yet, his musings were abruptly interrupted, giving him little time to dwell on them.

Please move to the Waiting Room.

The air shattered; a portal, initially the size of a coin, expanded into a shimmering oval large enough for a human a few meters away. Ignoring the surging portal momentarily, Izel rose with a grunt, feeling the pain throb in both his legs, his whole body aching, and his ears ringing intensely. The adrenaline from the fight had masked the pain, but now it surged through him.

Annoyed, he scowled and kicked the Goblin King; after all, it was the cause of his agony. Despite the pain, he acknowledged he should be grateful—he was still alive and breathing. As he limped toward the fallen foe to reach the portal, a familiar voice tingled in his mind, accompanied by intensified haptic feedback.

[A special condition has been met. Activating ‘Soul Assimilation (E)’]

Inwardly, Izel asked, ‘What is this? A condition…?’ He was aghast enough to forget his pain; the deceased goblin was gleaming with a jet-black glow. Though he hesitated before the phenomenon, he instinctively reached out his hand.

[Would you like to devour the goblin king, ‘Albino’?

Yes/No]

Receiving a barrage of unfamiliar messages, Izel felt a sting in his mind. Confusion swept over him briefly, but he swiftly grasped their meaning. This ability offered a means to consume the Goblin King’s soul as transmuted essence, transforming it into an essential supplement for its caster. Overwhelmed by its potential, a flurry of wild thoughts raced through his mind.

The blind man urged himself to regain composure. Acquiring a new skill shouldn’t disrupt his calmness; there was still much to accomplish. It was premature to celebrate. Mentally fatigued, he accessed his status window, scanning for any alterations, including explanations of the newfound skills.

[Name: Izel Ethalt Blind.

Age: 19 years old.

Strength: 22 Stamina: 35

Agility: 38 Mana: 15

Constitution: 12

Active skills

Gear: Flawlation (F)

*Soul Assimilation (E)

Hemostasis (E+)

Passive Skills

Sound Reading (Innate)

Fortress Currency

Verdes: 62]

The status that he hadn’t heard in a while swarmed through his head, almost unrecognizable due to the significant progress he’d made within the fortress.
Since it had been such a long time since he’d last heard about it, alongside his new skills – both active and passive, as well as his gear skill – he urged the voice subconsciously for further details about his new ‘Soul Assimilation’ skill.

[*Active Skill: Soul Assimilation.

Rank: E

Proficiency: 0%

Effect (1): Transduction…]

[Transduction: Devour the soul of the slain targets into transmuted essence. Automatically notify its host close to its slain target.

Demerit: The effective success rate will be lowered if the target has an overwhelming presence when alive or has a weighty soul when dead.]

Izel, as he had thought previously, could devour the transmuted soul of any target he had slain. Furthermore, there was an interesting demerit: a lower chance of devouring the soul if the target held significant worth when alive or if its soul carried considerable weight after death. Ultimately, he needed to bear in mind that when the skill failed, he would understand why. The blind man resumed the voice

[Bonus Effect (2): Augmentation.]

[Augmentation: The host can permanently increase stats by up to five randomly allocated points, depending on the devoured essence.

Demerit (2): Stats can’t increase more than five randomly allocated points, no matter how worthy the devoured essence or how high the skill proficiency is.]

“Holy sh~moly!” He exclaimed, a slight profanity escaping his lips, as the reward he had risked his life for proved to be more than worth it: a bonus effect that could permanently increase his stats. Astonishingly, his stats in general had slowly increased over the last three days he had spent at the fortress. Now, he could further boost his stats. The sensation of winning a jackpot enveloped his heart.

[Bonus Effect (2): Capacitance.]

[Capacitance: The host can store up to ten devoured transmuted souls ‘essences’ for future use.

Demerit (2): Essence capacity depends on the host’s willpower. Reserved essences will possess the host if their will is sufficiently weakened.]

To maximize the effectiveness of the willpower barrier, Izel knew he had to maintain a level-headed demeanor at all times. A steady mind was essential to prevent possession. “Overall,” he mused, “it was a pretty dodgy demerit.” Deciding to move on, he shifted his focus to inquiring about the ‘Hemostasis’ skill.

[Active Skill: Hemostasis.

Rank: E+

Proficiency: 0%

Effect: Using blood cells, the host can quickly recover from bruises and mild internal injuries.

Demerit: cannot recover excessively damaged muscles, or severed limbs. Also, overuse of this skill could lead to Hypovolemic shock.]

Despite being a rare recovery skill that could heal its caster mid-battle, this particular one wasn’t very effective. The demerit rendered the skill practically useless, especially since every hunter inevitably encountered such a situation.

However, Izel considered the skill might be helpful during fortress raids or in extremely dire situations. Progressing would become tougher; the next dungeon awaited at D-rank. He couldn’t help but imagine the dangerous nature of the upcoming raid.

The blind man had no way to prove it, but after three days in the fortress, he sensed the ‘administrator of the fortress’ wasn’t providing these skills out of kindness. Though the only way to acquire them was through the risk-inducing rules, the demerits were confined solely within the fortress.

“Damn it…”

Despite the potentially profitable rewards, living with various demerits was inevitable and hazardous. Failing a raid meant instant death, as, unlike monsters in the subterranean labyrinths’ on Elilaum, a Hunter couldn’t escape a fortress dungeon without clearing it. It was a bleak prospect for a blind man. There were risks that no sane, sightless person would take, but Izel was no ordinary man. He harbored an incredible ambition: to become the strongest hunter and live a life of luxury.

Initially, these were just premature and absurd goals he told himself while listening to famous hunters on the news. He even recorded a ‘list of rules on how to raid a ‘subterranean labyrinth and become an Ascender even if disabled’ to listen to every day upon waking. Yet now, he felt these pursuits were within reach; all he needed was the strength to grasp them.

“I can’t die, no matter what.” He clenched his fist tightly in determination. The blind man knew too well that everything would be futile if he perished. To continue fighting and stay alive, he couldn’t let his guard down—not for a single second.
He yearned for the privilege to look down on the strong, even without his eyes. To achieve that, he needed to learn more about how to utilize all the resources he had been given.

Izel decided to agree to the message and devour the stiff, gloaming Goblin King.

[Soul Assimilation (E) has been activated.]

A jet-black, hazy transmuted soul flowed from the hefty, decaying body and swarmed into him. Simultaneously, another notification rang in his mind.

[Effect (1): Transduction has been activated.]

[You have devoured the essence of Goblin King ‘Albino’]

[Capacitance: 1/10.]

After the stream of messages, a simple but concise message announces the new outcome of his skill.

[Due to devouring your first bodily transmuted soul, ‘essence’, Soul Assimilation (E) has risen by 5%.]

A bizarre sensation pervaded Izel as if he were overflowing with vitality. He somehow knew exactly how to utilize this skill. His stats could be enhanced by simply wishing for them at any time.

‘Is this how all necromancers feel every time they devour the dead?’ wondered the blind man, as surreal sensations continued to affect his body. Before he could inspect them further, more suggestions echoed forth after a message.

[Bonus Effect (2): Augmentation had been activated.]

[Would you like to permanently augment your stats using the essence reserves?]

Inwardly, Izel responded, ‘Yes’.

[Augmentation has been acknowledged. Permanently augmenting stats using the essence reserves…]

[Strength augmented by 1.]

[Constitution augmented by 1.]

[Capacitance: 0/10.]

An abnormal sense of enhancement surged through his body; Izel felt his burdens lifting from his shoulders, experiencing a surge in energy. Though injured, the pain became more bearable. Tempted to test his newfound strength and inspect his changed body, he swiftly reconsidered: “No need to rush for now.”

He needed to prioritize healing. With blood trickling from his ears and injured legs, along with fatigue and mental exhaustion, he hesitated to immediately test his altered abilities. The blind man was so weary that he lost count of the times he grunted from exhaustion.

Teleporting to the Waiting Room.

Izel trudged through the crimson portal, and his surroundings transformed back to the room.

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One Reply to “Soulmancer – Chapter 2: The Blind Walker II”

  1. Anastasia The First

    I am just wondering. He is blind, yet he can read those ‘messages’ like it’s outside my common sense?
    I mean… where and when did he learn the alphabets or the words when he cannot see shapes, was that something like common knowledge that was stuffed into his head like any other leveling system novel or what?

    Reply

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