Wearing full sleeves clothing at Nik's request, the entire group finally reached the first destination Nik had in mind for his disciples, including his partners. In these seven days, unlike Lanruo's expectations, Nik wished to drill a few methods in each one present so that they don't neglect their fortune of being born without any limits. Klas, Ray, and Nik would start their own practice once the girls left for their own objectives. Instead of lucrative beds and lavish furnishing, Nik was content by setting up a large camp and directing the girls to start chopping the surrounding trees to set up a perimeter. This would be the base while they explore the Star Dou forest in the next four days. Since Gojira tagged along, Nik didn't feel the need of making it easy for the girls. Nik himself chopped the wood using the side of his palm, training his [Absolute Sharpness.]
In the next hour, the campsite was ready and Nik gathered everyone in front of him while observing the tents erected by the girls. Of course, he himself stayed up all night yesterday to read the materials regarding camping and such to make the experience as 'raw' as possible, and looking at the slightly refreshed faces of his girls, Nik felt like they began on the right path.
"As I said yesterday, we will be training your bodies and spiritual cultivation. This area is, in fact, a resource point lent to me by the Alchemist Association. In a radius of 15 kilometers, you will be able to find raw meat mushrooms and outreach fire poison roots. They are the most basic of the herbs present within the region but both of these herbs are guarded by a single species Grassman Monsters. They come in various shapes and sizes but the most common feature about them is their age. This species cannot grow over the limits of a hundred-year-old. Take caution of archers within the group and you are not allowed to kill any of them if not necessary. We are ravaging their treasures, not committing slaughter."
Nik exhaled softly as he felt a little appreciative of how he didn't have to openly state the need of his girls wearing their battle/training outfits for the camp. Even Lanruo, though slightly lavish, wore an enthralling outfit that traced her curves and attracted Nik's attention every now and then.
"Ray and Klas will stay with me, their training needs continuation. Meanwhile, Xiao Xue, Gin Jiu, Pen Hua, and Xiao Xiaji, you four though not well-versed with my techniques, already have the basic hang of it. Gojira will scout the surroundings," meant that Gojira could play around and find her 'fans,' "while the remaining will explore the region in pairs of two."
"Korra-Ziyun, Asami-Ning'er, Gin Jiu-Ryu'er, Shen Xiu-Xue Yin, Lanruo-Xiao Xue, Pen Hua-Xiao Xiaji... that's a formidable line-up you have there, Nik. Not to mention Gojira and Ye Han~"
"Elsa... Ye Han is dead. Her name is Elsa," Nik stated somberly. Everyone within the camp was already affected by higher gravitational pressure. Such a fluid control did surprise Ray slightly but in the end, the Succubus could only shrug. Nik had already done a favor huge enough by sharing a martial arts imbued with multiple insights that, if practiced continuously, could increase Ryu'er's strength marginally even without any rank-up.
"So... Ray..." Nik stated as Klas placed the last wooden tub around them and returned to Nik and sat close to him, "I was thinking of I could make a detour before ranking up..."
Ray's hand over his cards froze. Thinking for a minute, Ray changed his hand and placed one of the most vicious cards in the existence of the multiverse.
"Draw 4," Ray stated plainly as Nik's mood soured and he proceeded to pick four cards from the bundle. "And you do understand that after our experience is maxed out, the further we travel without ranking up, the further world root would only become poisonous to our existence... If I recall correctly, something about or fate is modified, guaranteeing a harsher rank up the more we delay."
Klas flinched since she had ignored her rank up and continued to adventure for a total of six times after her experience bar was filled. Meanwhile, nodding at Ray's words, Nik placed a blue colored card, "It's to help Klas. And... I think you would also realize that this world is"
"I don't mean to say that I won't tag along. Adventuring alone is boring so we both are gold on that matter. What confuses me is that why can't we just go to Klas's world after ranking up? Even if it's a rank 1 world, we will be appropriately restricted before being allowed to enter the world."
"It's because of war," Klas spoke up, "My world is in a continuous war between three races. Us, the crystal-men, the creatures of flesh mermen, and the creatures of soul spirits. Every day I delay, we risk a chance of my family member losing its life once and for all."
Furrowing his brows, Ray turned silent before speaking in a resolute manner, "Then I won't be accompanying you this time, after all. With the rank-up quest being the participation in Paradise wars, I don't want to risk my life."
"Fair enough," Nik sighed before shrugging. Anyway, he didn't intend to get more world root in that world and just wished to help Klas with her troubles. She had bonded in that world and now with Nik's ability to instantly take away most of the distressed crystal-men from war, Klas dearly wished to make this a reality as soon as possible.
"UNO," Ray sighed and placed the last card down before standing and gesturing with his fingers, "Now, let's find a spirit ring for myself. I wanna experience this world for myself... let's see what's great about these rings."
"Yes, yes..." Nik stood with a groan followed by Klas as they, too, made their way within the certain direction of the forest.
Xiao Xue wore her battle qipao as usual. The modest dark-pink qipao traced her slightly grown-up curves with a pair of pants that refrained her top to expose her slender and plushy thighs as it did with Shen Xiu before Nik changed her world. A pair of spiritual glove fitting her knuckles perfectly as she observed her surroundings. Lanruo, meanwhile, took the lead and carefully looked for the spirit herbs mentioned by Nik. It was at this time, Xiao Xue hesitated before steeling herself and inquiring in a whisper, "Um, Sister Huyan... is it not dangerous for us to explore a patch of star dou forest without any spirit rings?"
The elder pinkette looked back and replied without any hesitation, "Grassman Monsters are easy to deal with. Their entire structure is, in fact, a clever play of placing various forms of leaves in a manner that allows them to stand tall. Their attacks, however, are weaker than an average rank 1 spirit master. And we only need to beat any we come across till it cannot move."
Xiao Xue picked her pace and walked beside Lanruo as she continued her queries, "Then, Sister, what about the strange pressure. Each step really takes a lot out of me. Does Master train in such a manner every day?"
Lanruo hummed. The training of few girls was far more intense since they also had Nik for themselves during the night, but to Xiao Xue, even a 50 percent increment in gravity was a considerable change even after she trained her body from childhood.
"Pretty much~ Of course, we do get a 'special' treatment later at night," Lanruo smiled with an illicit wink that caused Xiao Xue to blush softly. She truly wanted to ask if certain rumors regarding her Master were true or not but held her urges and continued to observe the surroundings. Though a hormonally charged teenager far more interested in girl talks than actual threatening battles, Xiao Xue still knew how to keep her calm after years of training. Just like this, the groups divided by Nik continued to look for the nonexistent herbs... well, none of the mentioned herbs or spirit monsters for that matter, existed within the radius of 20 kilometers.
This place was one of the safe zones marked by the Alchemist Association and the only reason Nik sent the girls out was to have an open chat with Ray and help him get his spirit rings before placing his request. The hidden agenda, however, was for the girls to be able to vent their own frustrations out by chatting with each other. This would be a special occasion for then since they would have nothing else to do but turn to their partners and chat away before returning in defeat.
Meanwhile, Nik, Ray, and Klas slowly made their way towards the actual spirit monsters to the west and soon found one of their intended targets. Dyed in purple fur with a lion's body and a scorpion's tail, the l.u.s.t manticore dug its veiny knot into the soft ground. The fact that it still had a single knot denoted that its level was below a thousand-year-old. However, seeing such heated actions of the grotesque monster pulled looks of amus.e.m.e.nt from the two beings far more debauched than the monster itself while Klas only frowned.
"I would say like to say that this is a perfect monster for you..." Nik continued before recalling the cute and regal pink manticore that still attracted Nik wildly, "but your Kitty is far better."
"Well, we just want the spirit ring... and this monster isn't my type..." Ray muttered while Nik turned to him, "You have types for monsters guys?"
"Don't you when it comes to monster girls?"
"That's true," Nik nodded, "So? Do you wish to try your hand or should I beat it half-dead before you go for the kill."
"This one looks simple enough... I'll need your help with that snake..." Ray muttered and walked out of the bush, his scent instantly attracted the l.u.s.t manticore who looked back, and seeing such a tender target, let out a feral grin. Its knot seemed to have bulged a notch harder and it instantly pounced on Ray before 'devouring' him by pushing it down or so it saw itself doing without even realizing that its chest had been stabbed by the ordinary boy.
"See? The more l.u.s.tful a monster is, the easier it is to control their mind~ Easy peasy!" Ray smiled as the body of the L.u.s.t Manticore crumbled over the ground, leaving a yellow-gold spirit ring over its corpse. "Hey~ Look over me while I absorb the spirit ring, all right?"
"Sure, sure," Nik walked out of the clearing and looked at the corpse before placing it within his spatial ring. This would be today's dinner, after all. Not minding the act, Ray still cautioned Yar and finally sat cross-legged before placing a single hand on the spirit ring. In a haze of pink mist, Kitty once again reappeared. The spirit mewled towards Nik softly before jumping on Ray's head and inhaling audibly.
'Wait... isn't this...' Nik held a thought within his mind as Sky affirmed his suspicions. "It looks like you aren't the only one blessed with sentient spirits. Ray has his fair share of knowledge regarding awakening a spirit's true form..."
Unlike his expectations, the absorption lasted for barely a few breaths before the manticore burped cutely and disappeared into Ray. Opening his eyes with a pleased expression, Ray grinned, "Let's go! Romanji Snake is our next target!"
Recalling the equally sweet and slender Hissy, the purple-scaled python, Nik smiled in anticipation.
"Hey, I am purple, too!"
Asmodeus complained from within as Nik snorted. He would be damned if he thought Asmodeus as anything remotely near an ounce of cuteness. She was merely a debauched slime that had long gotten itself corrupted with multiple tentacles and Slime hentai.
*Sad Slime Noises*
"By the way... I only have a single spirit ring... unlike those two..." Sky muttered with unveiled intentions as Nik's smile grew bitter. Fortunately, all the conditions for his spirits could be fulfilled within the Star Dou Forest itself... but unfortunately, their level of request simply grew too high during the few remaining spirit beasts.