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6 The Hunted becomes the Hunter

    His light headache was gradually vanishing, and he nodded towards the imaginary prompt in his mind.

    [Derrick Tarlin, 16 years old (Body), 37 years old (Mind)]

    [Class : Necromancer]

    [Strength : 2.3]

    [Agility : 1.1]

    [Endurance : 1.5]

    [Vitality : 2.1]

    [Magic Power : 5.3]

    [Traits : Enhanced Body, Enhanced Vision, Death's Valet, Gluttony]

    [Skills : Appraisal, Contract (1/2), Summoning (1/1), Craftsman]

    [New trait! You have acquired the trait Gluttony. When you eat the meat of monsters you've vanquished, you will acquire a part of their strength and, in rare occasions, inherit one of their skills! You can also feed meet to your summons to accelerate their growth]

    Derrick was floored. Such growth was phenomenal, to the point where he couldn't help but think he was blessed by the gods. While getting off the ground, he started inspecting his surroundings, making sure he didn't attract other creatures. When everything was clear, he went towards Io who still stood guard and patted him.

    ''You've done well earlier. I'll definitely make you stronger in the future''

    After thanking his companion, he looked towards the meat that was still laying on the pouch.

    ''I can't be that vulnerable again... I'll have to figure out a way to consume this in a safe environment''

    After packing his things, he left the bloody scene and headed out, leaving the depression. He was resolute and his gaze was full of determination. He knew what he had to do next.

    ''System, show me the map of the cave''

    The design of the cave appeared in his mind, along with the remaining 236 red dots and the path towards the exit.

    ''Time for the hunt to begin...''

    Derrick's face slightly contorted and his heartbeat accelerated. After the fight he just experienced and what he gained, this cave was clearly a blessing in disguise. Leaving anything behind would be a terrible waste.

    ''Let's find another lonely beast. I'm not strong enough to take on these small groups. There's one pretty close..."

    However, before proceeding, he kept thinking and slapped his forehead.

    "But it could also mean it's strong enough to have its own territory... Ahhhhh...''

    After a long sigh, he came back to his senses. He had indeed risked a lot by coming here, and he knew that a creature that was alone was not necessarily an easy prey. It could turn into his downfall.

    ''Anyway, my rotten luck seems to have turned around and overthinking things won't accomplish anything either. I'll just have to stay cautious. Let's go!''

    He jumped on Io and they immediately left. They flew in the cold and moist ambient air for a few minutes before landing on a small, rock-like hill. It didn't have any cover, but it was still far away from their target and it allowed them a fair viewpoint of the battlefield.

    Io had already merged in his shadow and with his armors' special abilities, he was basically invisible to the naked eye. However, what he saw in front of him left him speechless.

    ''What the hell is that thing?! It looks like a **ing dragon!''

    Using his Enhanced Vision, he could see every detail of the beast, sending chills throughout his spine. It was dozens of meters long and ten meters high. Its body was covered in dark greenish scales and its eyes were pitch black, seemingly without pupils. Its legs were long and muscular, equipped with razor-sharp claws. A massive tail was swaying around, waiting to act like a club that would turn its opponents to smithereens. It also had a long, slender purplish tongue hanging out of its mouth. It gave off a poisonous aura and accompanying it were teeth that would lacerate anything they came in contact with.

    ''System, use Appraisal!''

    [Viper Varanus Komodoensis]

    [Strength : 1?]

    [Agility : 1?]

    [Endurance : 1?]

    [Vitality : 1?]

    [Magic Power : 12]

    [Traits : ???]

    [Weakness : ???]

    [The Host isn't strong enough to see all the stats!]

    ''Ah?! I'm too weak to fight this bastard... Only my magic power is strong enough to detect its counterpart. Thank god I didn't charge in there... I'd be dead in an instant...''

    After analyzing the creature for a while longer, his fear disappeared and greed was now covering his face. He was thinking about all the benefits that would come when he killed it and how it would propel him to a new level. After inspecting the map once again, he had come to the conclusion that this was the strongest monster in this place. It was the golden ticket that would allow him to begin his revenge.

    ''Well, if that's the strongest out there, it's time for me to get moving...''

    His green eyes shone and he disappeared in the darkness.

    ***

    Just like that, a few months went by. The boy that was clumsy and weak had vanished. His skin had turned pale white and his previous golden hair were now a shade darker. They also arrived at his waist. He had matured at lightning speed and bulging muscles were covering his body. He was covered in scars reflecting the hardships of his adventures. Derrick had grown an inch taller, sitting at 5'10" (1.78 m). For a 16 years old, he was a freak of nature.

    His green eyes were shining like emeralds, and they were the only light radiating from him in the darkness. He had replaced the old gear that allowed him to assassinate multiple monsters. His new armor looked ordinary, but it radiated a dangerous aura. The weapon stringed on his back was a bone-made sword that emanated strong bloodlust. He was walking in the direction of the location he had left all these months ago and a sinister smile appeared on his face.

    ''I'm finally back... I hope you haven't missed me too much...''

    Derrick's shadow strongly trembled and Io's eyes shone through in excitement.
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