Wolfcrest Village was extremely far for someone who resided in the City of Gloria, especially for those who had to walk on foot to get there. Perhaps if you had a magical carriage that could cross the long distance, or managed to hitch on a cart of a friendly driver that had [ Acceleration ] Skills applied on his horses then you could arrive in a few hours instead of perhaps a day or two.
But whatever went through Owen Liddell's mind when he first insisted he would leave the comforts of living in the city and start from scratch at a village with decent ingredients available in the woods—and also walk there?
It was definitely out of his mind now.
The bright rays of the sun beat down harshly on his back while sweat dripped on the sides of his forehead and drenched his shirt. It had already been several hours since he left the city, but he was far from getting anywhere near the village of his choice.
He was no Runner, or had any athletic type of Class as some people may have pursued as a hobby. But when he said he was going to walk to get to his destination… his grandfather hadn't really prepared a carriage, cart or even just a horse for him to ride at all.
The old man expected him to live up to his word.
He might have cursed the man if it weren't for him agreeing to let him go in the first place. It would have taken a lot more time if it were just him trying to convince his grandmother.
"Owen, you don't have to leave to start pursuing what you want. It's fine if you stay here—are the ingredients what you're having trouble with?" His grandmother said in her soft voice, pushing up her spectacles to give him a look. "We can definitely get it delivered here if you wish, all you need to do is to specify what you want."
"Don't try to stop him. Let him do what he wants, Ylena—it's better that he leaves and actually starts doing something than stay cooped up in his room like some groundrat."
And so he was now walking all by himself.
Of course there would be some travelers just like him, but while some might have offered him a ride on their cart, offer him meals. There was even a friendly Runner coming back and forth over the roads and trying to engage in a conversation with him… he only did the bare minimum of being polite and carried on at his own pace.
These people had other places to be, and so did he.
Owen Liddell could have stopped at a village when he saw the sun already dipping down, and stars began to twinkle. But he was inclined to get to Wolfcrest Village, and he wouldn't settle anywhere else. It was stupid, naturally. Any traveler with some sense would have chosen to stay at an inn and be delayed for a couple of hours to get rest and hot and filling food.
He had enough coins for that.
The man understood these choices and decisions of his were born and stemmed out from both a desire to prove himself and not necessarily on logical things—but nobody would have turned down money.
He was a young man that came from a well-off family, it would be stupid not to use the resources he had… except he went past the villages, one after another, and ended up in a stretch of woods that reached heights which might have scoured up to the moon in one's perspective.
Now he was accompanied by the eerie sound of creatures filling his ears. The hoots of blue-speckled owls and the rustles amongst the trees and brushes and other flora available in this area.
Owen Liddell tore off a branch from a tree, and through the use of flint, made fire.
He gulped down a stamina potion and kept walking despite his exhaustion. The young man knew it was a terrible choice for someone who had stayed inside of his room for about a month without leaving—this was incredibly taxing, but he continued on.
The effects of a stamina potion would wear off soon, but the excruciating pain in his legs and the weariness actually made him feel alive. It was thrilling and almost pleasurable to go about and actually be somewhere else. He really shouldn't have done something stupid like locking himself in his room, but now he could go out and experience the world for himself.
Along with that was even the uncomfortable parts of being alive.
Owen was scarfing down a ration of food he had in his pack when he was met with a sound that definitely didn't sound like creatures from the woods.
Dead silence filled his entire ears.
It was far too quiet.
A rustle came here and there, but when he'd try to look back—it would be gone. This would carry on for a couple of minutes until Owen threw off his backpack into the dusty ground. He sighed. He held on to the torch of fire in his hand and gazed at the pitch black darkness surrounding him.
"If any of you had the guts and wits, then you should have attacked the moment I arrived here."
Nobody was stupid enough to come out after that.
But arrows swooped in from multiple directions aimed at the young man—Owen threw the fire into the ground and a cloud of smoke erupted all around him. It was in a density which made no sense except for the fact that it was probably a Skill. Strangled screams erupted inside of the woods, along with the quick clash of blades, before it clattered down onto the ground.
When the smoke screen finally dispersed around Owen Liddell, he would gaze at the three unconscious people thrown into the small clearing. The same one he had once had been standing on earlier. The young man held on to the cutlass in his hand with a dismissive look, a weapon he disarmed from the weaker and lower-leveled enemy right after he dispatched the other two. A broken bow lay among the roots of a tree. Close to it was a quiver holding a few more arrows. A jagged dagger was stuck in a tree.
He was both lucky and prepared.
It was no joke to say that being the grandchild of two of the highest leveled people he'd ever known was anything to underestimate. Owen Liddell stepped towards his backpack and took out some ropes. The enchanted ropes seized and wrapped itself among the three intruders with no trouble at all. The enchantment of binding was good.
If he assessed their terrible dark clothing with some strewn patches and their hesitation in attacking him—perhaps they were probably averaging around Level 6 to Level 12, give or take.
The one with the arrows probably had a decent Skill of [ Multi-Shot ] which would have been terribly hard to avoid if it was accompanied by an [ Aiming ] or [ Precision ] skill. But the Archer, Bowsman or whatever Class the person held had none of it. And the other two weren't really that good either.
He would have been able to tell if it was too dangerous for him to enter the woods through his own Skills. The young man had already known and even accepted the fact that the world was unfair.
He was a living and breathing example of that unfairness.
And Owen Liddell wouldn't have it any other way.
Author's Note: Hi there, Reader! Welcome to TGIF Mass Release where I'm releasing five chapters this Friday. Here's the second one. (April 16, 2021 GMT+8)