/Servant's hidden affinity unlocked
Beast master (level 1)\
Cranberry flinched when an unexpected message popped up in front of her eyes.
It threw off her aim and she tore a white wolf the size of a semi-truck in half instead of just breaking its legs.
She sucked in some air and shook off the blood from Zombie's arm.
She took a quick glance at the rest of her group.
Blueberry was clawing at a big gray wolf, Arion was entangled in a vicious dogfight with a large brown wolf, and Mary was swarmed by four dog-sized brown wolves and was trying her best to keep them away with her whip.
They all were too busy with their respective fights to pay attention to Cranberry's mishap.
So using that as her chance, Cranberry delivered a powerful kick at the giant corpse and send it flying deep into the forest.
"Wh-what was that?! Cranberry?! Where's the white one?!"
The commotion that she made Mary look in her direction.
"I hurt its legs and it retreated! I went too easy on it!"
Cranberry shouted back while making sure that twenty more big gray and brown wolves won't jump at her companions.
"Damn it! I knew we shouldn't have left the rabbit corpses yesterday! Those bastards must have eaten their fill and are at full strength!"
Mary cursed and her left hand started glowing.
She cracked her whip and blinded one of the wolves surrounding her, jumped at it, and slashed open its throat.
"I see the bond with Blueberry leveled up?"
Cranberry casually grabbed the tail of the gray wolf that tried to jump past her and threw him back away from her companions.
"Yeah! It feels so good to not have to bite my opponents!"
Mary laughed and slashed at another wolf while keeping the other two away with her whip.
Suddenly she flinched and the wolf managed to jump away at the last moment.
"What is it? Did any of the new wolves died?"
Cranberry asked while catching and throwing back another two wolves.
"N-no...! All of them just got stealth skill!"
Mary responded sounding completely shocked.
"And all of a sudden they got a lot more status points from a level up! Like, umm, four times more than before!"
"Wha...?! But it hasn't even been an hour yet!"
Cranberry swung Zombie's hand threateningly and the large wolves backed off a step.
"I kno... AH! One got a new skill! Huh?! Slash?! But it's a wolf! They can scratch and dig with their claws at most!"
Mary got taken aback by another message.
Slash skill was given only to monsters with strong sharp claws and talons, or to humans specializing in using slashing weapons.
But wolf's claws were too short to fulfill the criteria, so Mary's bewilderment was understandable.
"Another got a skill! Crunch...?! Upgraded bite?! Already?! What is going on?! Even Arion doesn't have it yet!"
Even though Mary seemed to be losing her cool, she managed to nab one of the wolves she was fighting with and finish it with a beast skill.
Cranberry frowned and tried to remember what she knew about the affinity that Zombie unlocked.
As she charged in front of the large wolves trying to push past her and attack the others, she remembered.
Beast master was the highest skill that a tamer could receive from the system.
Even at level 1 it granted +500% EXP to the friendly monsters in the party and made the proficiency level required to gain a skill drop 7 times, it influenced the growth rate and possible evolution of the monsters too.
It was basically every tamer's dream to gain the beast master skill.
And Zombie had it as a hidden affinity.
It meant that just as with leg power, it was his inborn latent talent that got unlocked after a specific condition was fulfilled.
Cranberry clenched her teeth and the next wolf that tried its luck passing her got its head blown off and its body twitched on the ground while spraying blood on the surrounding leaves.
"Another level up! Ah! They unlocked pack hunter affinity!"
Mary was unaware of Cranberry's bad mood.
And before she could even finish off another monster...
"Again! Another level up! What are they even fighting with?!"
And as if to answer her question another message popped up for her.
"Now they've all gained the assassination skill! And their speed stat is through the roof!"
"Haa... It's going to be a long day."
Cranberry frowned and started massaging her forehead.
By the time they were finished with the den, the new wolves gained 4 more levels and gained a plethora of skills.
At one point they got the rabbit slayer title, which solved the riddle of what they were fighting but ended up confusing Mary even more since Cranberry hadn't told her about Zombie's unlocked affinity.
"Mary, send Arion and Blueberry to Zombie."
While walking to another den, Cranberry seemed to have decided on something and asked the brown-haired girl.
"D-don't you think that they'll be more useful to us?"
Mary answered nervously.
"I'm more than enough to keep you safe, and your two monsters would be way better off with my Zombie. I'll write him a note or something so that they'll stop wasting time with rabbits and go for the wolves."
Cranberry waved her hand dismissively.
"Are... are you saying that whatever is happening to make those new wolves grow so much have something to do with Zombie...?"
Mary picked up on the hint and liven up.
"In that case, maybe all of us should join him...?"
She proposed shyly.
"Nope. It won't work unless you're a monster."
Cranberry shot her down instantly.
Mary clicked her tongue and looked away.
"Or you can try becoming Zombie's pet."
Cranberry shrugged her shoulders trying to lighten the mood she dampened herself.
Mary blushed and looked away.
Cranberry clenched her fist so hard that her knuckles turned white.
"Joking! I'm just joking! I swear!"
Mary quickly laughed and waved her hands in denial.
"Zombie is only yours!"
She assured her and indeed, Cranberry breathed out and relax a bit.
Then she tore off the head of one of the dead wolves and handed it to Blueberry.
"Make sure he'll understand."
Cranberry said patting the baby griffin.
Blueberry screeched with her beak full.
Arion barked questioningly glancing at Mary, but his master simply nodded so he joined Blueberry and they both ran in the opposite direction than Cranberry and Mary were going in.
"...I thought that you've said you will write him a note...?"
Mary tilted her head.
"I did, but did you take a pen and paper with you? Because I didn't."
Cranberry glared at her coldly.
"You managed to fight off four small brown wolves, you should be able to defeat two gray ones, or even a white one."
Her voice sent chills down Mary's spine.
"Cranberry! Don't be like that! I'm going to die!"
She cried holding the whip close to her body.
"Ah...! Their skills leveled up again..."
Mary raised her brows surprised.