Hour Empty Child
About a week passed by, and the intense training of the E-Plus continued well underway.
Their days were filled with constant grinding on the unfortunate monsters in the fields around Triun. It became known far and wide around the city that the E-Plus was not to be trifled with. The Alpha Heart were known for their eccentric adventurers, but they never expected that the youngest of the adventurers would be as battle-driven as veterans.
The E-Plus continued hunting monsters, gaining loot and raising their levels and proficiencies to the point of reaching their limits.
The limits of their classes.
The first to upgrade was Kudo and Hinota, who after three days of hard hunting without break from a full 12-hour day grind, they have reached the next Class Up.
During the evening, the sky dipped in orange and the setting sun was beginning to lose its shine as it crosses over the horizon, the E-Plus dealt the last attack to a monster known as Tortugient—a larger-than-life turtle with its shell made out of strong obsidian metal that could break a rampart or two.
The Tortugient was a mid-boss of considerable size, about 3 meters in height still on its four legs. Mid-bosses were nearly identical to large bosses except that their abilities rank lower, but they aren’t supposed to be underestimated.
The E-Plus gladly took it on for the sake of giving their leaders the necessary experience points. Dealing with the Tortugient was difficult, to say the least. Its most annoying feature is that the Tortugient is nearly invincible once it retreats itself into its metal shell.
Not even Hinota’s full powered Flaming Strike—powered by her Flaming Soul skill and increased enchantments—could do anything against it except give it a scorch mark on its obsidian gloss.
And when it finally releases itself from its home, the Tortugent opens its mouth and shoots a hot steam breath that could melt even the ground around it. They couldn’t get close to it, and they couldn’t take it down with magical attacks either, so Kudo and Hinota devised a plan.
Using Mizuri’s special paralyzing potion she made to increase her Alchemy skill proficiency, they covered Raika’s arrows and Kuki’s bullets to the brim, loaded their ammo, and baited the Tortugient to come out by releasing several magical attacks at once.
Once the giant turtle believed that it was under attack again and popped its head out to shoot another steam breath, Raika and Kuki shot their ammo at its head—making a direct hit and eventually leaving its head out fully paralyzed.
It became easy after that, so there was no need to explain it further.
Once the Tortugient released its last breath, Kudo and Hinota received notifications from their screens. The both of them asked them if they would like to go through a Class Up to their specific Class—For Hinota, it was Blaze Samurai, and for Kudo, only half was revealed, showing Bright.
Once they accepted, both pillars of incredible energy burst forth from their beings. For Hinota, it was a pillar of incredible raging fire that felt hot even from far away from the other members. For Kudo, it was a pillar of bright white light that extended far above the sky, the brightness nearly leaving the party members blind.
Once the pillars of energy dispersed into flying particles, leaving behind on Hinota’s side completely singed ground with bits of fire on some of the blades of grass, each party member saw their leaders reveal themselves.
Hinota had her eyes closed as she ascended from her class, and when she opened them up, within her purple eyes they could see a blaze so brilliant that the colors just burst out from them.
For Kudo, he opened his eyes all the same, revealing two sparkling yet empty jade eyes. The party members were left staggered at their standing, each one gaping at the sight of their leaders ascending from their past classes.
Kudo and Hinota looked at their hands first before turning to each other, noticing their eyes giving a small sparkle from their energy bursting forth before dissipating to their normal colored eyes.
The two of them grinned and turned to the rest.
“It’s your turn, guys!”
“Don’t let up.”
Hinota and Kudo shared their remarks to their teammates, making them share their optimism by punching the air with their fists. Eventually, they showed their class status to everyone else.
Name: Kudo Valkyria Braven
Class: ???? Bright
Title: Ritheru's Vessel: (All skills with ‘Plus’ in their name will always have the highest damage.)
HP: 23480, MP: 21410 SP: 20490
Guild: Alpha Heart
Attack: 3058, Defense: 1153, Sharpness: 56%
Magic Attack: 5234, Magic Defense: 615, Speed: 796
STR: 223 INT: 198
VIT: 218 WIS: 46
DEX: 221 LUK: 953
Available Points: 15
Name: Hinota Flamver
Class: Blaze Samurai
Title: Flaming Duke: (Increases Fire-based Skills’ damage by 15%)
HP: 22360, MP: 41370, SP: 21960
Guild: Alpha Heart
Attack: 3175, Defense: 1154, Sharpness: 100%
Magic Attack: 5370, Magic Defense: 648, Speed: 810
STR: 278 INT: 934
VIT: 263 WIS: 86
DEX: 289 LUK: 16
Available Points: 10
Afterward, once they got into the momentum, the four members of the party were soon following their leaders’ footsteps. First off, it was Tsuchi and Mizuri who had higher levels than Kuki and Raika.
After defeating a fair number of monsters, eventually killing another mid-boss, a scorpion-like creature, they received their notifications and ascended to their next class.
Tsuchi’s class—Earth Chief—turned into Earth Captain, and Mizuri’s class—Aqua Strider—turned into Aqua Dancer.
Of course, Mizuri was made fun of by Tsuchi concerning the name of her class which eventually led him to be grappled in a full nelson from Mizuri’s wrath.
Now it was the ranged shooters’ turn as Kuki and Raika achieved their Class Up from another mid-boss a few miles away from Triun, a tree-like monster called a Truant.
Upon achieving their ascension, Kuki’s class—Wind Soldier—turned into Wind Specialist, and Raika’s class—Jolt Artisan—turned into Shock Artist.
If you were wondering, upon accepting their Class Up, Tsuchi was surrounded by a pillar similar to that of a sandstorm that made everyone’s eyes itchy while Mizuri surrounded herself in a pillar of water. Kuki’s ascension was a pillar of wind, and more dangerous than anyone else’s, Raika’s pillar of electricity nearly shocked everyone around her.
Kuki actually recalls the last time Raika took on a Class Up, and remembered every one of their students being shocked, making the other members take caution the next time she takes a Class Up.
The E-Plus party soon became a force to be reckoned with amongst the young generation of adventurers in Triun.
After two weeks of solid working to the bone, they have been paid in full by seeing their statuses with increased stats and levels. Their skills have also gained enough proficiency, and of course, they have also gained new skills on top of that.
Other than the leaders, the four members managed to gain new useful skills. For Kuki, he learned Air Recovery, a useful passive skill that allows him to create his own bullets, though the power wanes a little bit, by breathing the air around him. It won’t work if the air is polluted, but when shot, it allows him to make more accurate shots than before.
For Raika, she learned the skill Magnetized Shot, which lets her shoot an arrow that has a powerful magnetic force that when shot around the monsters, instead of just missing them, the arrow will bring them closer to it and to each other, making it simple for the E-Plus as they can gather dozens of monsters together and kill them all in one big attack. During so, the more time the monsters kept spending being dragged by the arrow, they will keep getting electrocuted from the powerful shocks received by the arrow.
For Tsuchi, he learned Dummy Clay, a skill that allows him to summon an earth clay made with a special scent from the earth that call other monsters towards it, changing the priorities of weak monsters to the dummy instead for a short time.
Finally, Mizuri’s skill was more incredible as she learned Transparent Strike, a stamina-based skill that allows her to recover both her health and mana by hitting her opponent directly with her bo staff. If raised, it will prove to be a powerful skill as Mizuri can gain back her mana without using drinking so much of those bitter Mana potions.
With those skills at their disposals, their repertoire of abilities increased, meaning their options grew bigger for monster control. And thus, time passed as they got used to their new abilities.
Back at the Alpha Heart guild, the rampaging sounds of adventurers filling the air with their screams and joyful merriness being the norm, the E-Plus were celebrating over their success at gaining more levels and rare items from looting monsters.
“Cheers!” Kudo screamed aloud.
“Cheers!” The rest of the party responded.
They raised their mugs, each of different shapes and sizes for each of the members, and tapped them together. The clinking sound echoed as their drinks nearly spilled before they returned their mugs to their mouths and chugged their drinks.
“Puaah!” Kudo let out a big breath after chugging a fair bit of carbonated juice, wiping the remaining liquid trailing down his lips with his arm.
He looked at the others who were also enjoying their drinks more than he did.
“Whoo! We’re the best!” Kuki raised his mug again in the air, his head stretched upwards as if he was screaming it to the Upperworld gods.
Kudo felt the same way with a small grin on his face.
“I still can’t believe that we all got our Class Ups… It feels incredible!”
Raika, with both hands holding the mug filled with juice and sipping it once in a while, said it with excitement and disbelief.
“You better believe it, Rai! Cuz’ the facts never lie!” Mizuri pointed a Raika with her own nearly empty mug, with furrowed eyes and a sharp grin on her face.
“We got luck and skills on our side! We’ll never lose!”
Tsuchi followed up with a bellowing laughter, resulting in everyone laughing the same way. Seeing his party members celebrating, Kudo’s smile never left him as he turned to Hinota who had already drunk her juice at a fast pace.
“I think this should be the time to focus on gaining some points for a rank up, don’t you?” Hinota offered up to the party, their heads turning like a swivel straight towards her with smiles on their faces.
“Ooh! That’s a good idea! Let’s do it!” Kuki said aloud.
“L-Let’s not pick a quest too dangerous, okay…?” Raika said, holding her mug close to herself tightly as her ears mildly shook once.
“What’s there to worry about, Rai!? We’re the best, aren’t we? We can handle anything!”
Mizuri tapped Raika’s mug with her own as she said this, trying to cheer Raika up who smiled wryly at her nearly-drunken demeanor, despite that Mizuri wasn’t even drinking alcohol.
“I agree,” Kudo answered. “If we keep training like this, our progress is just going to slow. We need to travel to more places, and the only way to do that is to get permission from the guild to head into those dangerous areas.”
“D-Dangerous, you say…” Raika nearly shivered at the thought.
“We can’t move ahead if we’re still at Rank-C. We need to complete enough quests so that we can raise up to at least Rank-B.”
Hinota said as she placed her mug down on the table. The other five displayed eyes of solemnity, their smiles forming into straight lines.
“Right,” Kudo agreed. “So Hinota and I are going to the counter to get a good quest that’ll get us lots of points. It might be difficult, but with the party like this—” Kudo flashed a smile, resembling that of a proud father. “I think we can handle it with ease.”
“Hehe, if Kuu says so, then I agree!” Mizuri copied his smile as she gripped the handle of her mug tighter in excitement.
Seeing that everyone agreed, Hinota and Kudo shared another look with each other before raising themselves out of their chairs and heading towards the counter where the cute dwarf maid was.
Reaching to the counter, the cute maid turned around, her hazel-colored short hair fluttered as she did to spot the two adventurers, specifically the Master Jr..
“Ah, you two! It’s been a while since you accepted a quest!” Liria responded with a cheerful disposition, infecting the other two to show a smile. “How may I help you?”
“We like to take a quest, Liria,” Kudo answered.
“Ooh, any requests?” Liria tilted her head while flashing the brightest smile she could muster.
This brought Kudo to turn Hinota, “Now that I think about it, we never considered what quest to take…”
“Mmh, that’s a problem. How about we look around?”
Liria pointed them to the electronic board that was a bit far from them. Once they reached it, they saw that it was about two feet taller than them, showing a bright emerald screen, and at the center was where the mark of the Alpha Heart was.
There were several white squares with information on around the mark, acting like papers for assigning quests. Alpha Heart has long evolved into an era where they no longer needed to use parchment to lend out quests, something which Kudo and Hinota grew used to during their time here.
“There aren’t that many C-Rank quests to take here…”
Hinota eyed over at each white square by touching them one by one, enlarging them so that their information can be displayed.
“Mmh…” Kudo, however, glared profusely at one square that Hinota has not picked, and touched it. Enlarging it, the quest showed the rank of that quest, showing that it should only be taken by adventurers that are ranked equal or above Rank-C.
“Hey, Hinota, I found one!” Kudo let out a scream of delight. Hinota furrowed her eyes.
“You and your luck…”
In the end, she smiled ruefully as she should have just left it all to Kudo instead. She came closer to read the quest.
“Mmh, it says here that the client found out that a relative of hers has gone missing. Details said that he’s gone missing for the past few days now, and there was no sign of him ever showing up in anyone’s sight,” Kudo read the details thoroughly.
“So, it’s a missing person’s case. Those are troublesome, but it makes sense that they need a high-level adventurer to take it.”
Hinota considered the proper ranking of the quest. Kudo saw the button on the quest that said ‘Accept’, and smiled.
“Guess we’re on a search now.”
Kudo said, giving her a cause to nod which prompted Kudo to touch the button.
The E-Plus has officially accepted the request to find the missing person.
The E-Plus has finally found themselves their first quest! But this quest… will everything be alright?
Here’s another chapter of Vol. 8! As always, some comments are appreciated, and likes and votes are also very appreciated! Keep up on reading the volume!