After breakfast, the sun shone the warmest. The lukewarm sunlight bathed the atmosphere in a comfortable warmth.
Kieran was sitting on the sofa under the sunlight. He had almost finished the thick book in his hands while he sunbathed.
Nikorei was beside him tasting her tea, waiting for him to finish.
When Kieran read the last page, she said, "So, can we begin?"
Kieran rubbed his temple, which was swollen from the extensive reading, and replied in a nasal voice, "Yes!"
"What is the main feature of a Night Walker pack?" Nikorei asked.
Kieran raised his head in surprise.
"Huh? I just read 'The Features of the Demon in the Well'. Why would you ask me about Night Walkers?"
"Look for the old so you can learn something new. I did not say that I would test you on what you just read!" Nikorei smiled.
Kieran was sure she was doing it on purpose.
As a matter of fact, a week ago, Kieran had been anticipating Nikoreis lessons on Mystical Knowledge with delight. He had not expected her methods to be quite so traditional though.
He had to study and then answer questions.
It was how kids learned in elementary school, even though they did not learn about strange, deep Mystical Knowledge.
One thing was for sure. Nikorei's traditional method was very effective.
Although Kieran had not mastered the skill [Research of Mystical Beings], every time he answered one of Nikoreis questions correctly, he gained a certain amount of experience.
When his experience reached a certain level, it would eventually become a skill.
This was what Kieran believed, so he tried to recall what he had read about the Night Walkers and their packs.
Thanks to his good memory, he found the answer fast.
"The Night Walkers are divided into three main kinds and a special sub kind."
"The three main kinds are Duwurk, Hedurk and Felwurk. Among those three, Felwurk is the most mysterious kind. Some say there are prophets among them. Hedurk is the battle fanatic of the bunch. They are able to utilize most of the weapons known to men and have a far stronger body than humans. Duwurk is the kind that has mastered the art of Potionology. They like to live in the forest and are extremely friendly to humans."
"The special sub kind is the traitor of all three tribes. They like to devour humans and gain strength from their flesh. Because of that, their eyes, teeth and skin have undergone some unique changes. They're the most dangerous kind of Night Walkers. Humans need a squad of thirty fully-armed men to deal with one of them," Kieran said slowly.
"However, all kinds of Night Walkers hate Chamaejasme grass. They like buff, mature men, and they mate with humans to extend their bloodlines. After they get pregnant, they leave silently," Kieran added after recalling two more points.
When he finished, Nikorei put her cup of tea down and clapped.
"Very good!" she said.
A series of notifications suddenly popped up in Kierans vision.
[Lesson learned, Experience gained on Research of Mystical Beings]
[Research of Mystical Beings leveled up...]
[Master Skill: Research of Mystical Beings (Basic)]
[Name: Research of Mystical Beings (Basic)]
[Related Attributes: None]
[Skill Type: Ancillary]
[Effects: You have learned some of the features of mystical beings, including but not limited to, their habits, attacks and rearing methods.]
[Remarks: You have only acquired a limited knowledge of mystical beings. There are still a lot of mystical beings that you havent even heard of.]
[Hint: You have acquired this skill through a lesson and not a Skill Book. Therefore, you cannot level it up with Points and Skill Points. If you want to level it up, you will need to continue learning or get a Skill Book!]
Kieran let out a breath of relief after the notification popped up.
It had been a week. A whole week! Other than sleeping, he had spent all his time doing research on this skill.
Although he had been able notice the increase in his experience, he had not known when he would master the skill as a whole.
He had been planning on spending the rest of his time in the dungeon researching, but he was spared from that tedious chore after acquiring the skill.
Now he could focus his remaining attention on the other three skills he needed, [Alchemy], [Potionology] and [Astrology].
At this point, he did not care that [Research on Mystical Beings] could not be upgraded with Points.
His goal was to learn all four of the basic prerequisite skills to level up [Mystical Knowledge] and handle supernatural situations in future dungeons.
[Mystical Knowledge] had played an important role in Kierans dungeon clearance.
A simple example was the [Wandering Beast] dungeon. If he'd had a high enough level of [Mystical Knowledge] then, he would not have needed to face Trumbo and his almost perfect defensive mechanism. He would have relied on [Mystical Knowledge] to predict Trumbos end game and destroy his plans before he'd even completed his magic circle.
If Kieran had been able to do that, it would have eventually raised his dungeon rating as well.
It was crucial and tempting, because he needed a big amount of Golden Skill Points and Attribute Points.
A high level of [Mystical Knowledge] would also give him an advantage in the current dungeon.
Nikorei had granted him access to all her books, so it was a pity that Kieran could not understand almost 3/4 of them.
"You are able to read simple phrases related to Alchemy, Potionology, Astrology and Research of Mystical Beings!"
The Master Level [Mystical Knowledge] remark made it very clear.
Kieran could use the [Master of Runes and Symbols] special effect when it came to unknown symbols and runes, but that was pretty much useless.
He might be able to understand a single word or symbol, but he couldn't read a whole paragraph in a book...
Kieran felt like he'd be rewriting a book if he understood nothing about it.
In other words, he'd be making up gibberish.
"Rei, I hope I can learn more about Mystical Knowledge. I am interested in Alchemy, Potionology and Astrology. Or course I wont abandon the study of Mystical Beings either!" Kieran stated his request, explaining why he wanted to learn all those things.
After spending a whole week together, he had come to know Nikorei well.
She was very humble, and she sometimes acted like a child, but she also hated people who quit halfway through.
Did Nikorei know anything about Alchemy, Potionology or Astrology?
"When people say that she is the most powerful shaman on the West Coast, they do not just mean that she is strong. She also has different types of skills and abilities, every single one of them at the peak of perfection. Her skills include, but are not limited to, Alchemy, Potionology and Astrology."
Kieran had read this in a book called "The Supernatural Collection of the West Coast, Pre-Er990". The author had been someone named Weister Rei.
Kieran was sure that this was not Nikoreis penname.
Although Nikorei behaved like a child sometimes, she did not like to boast. Kieran was very confident about that.
Her vast pool of knowledge and the lessons she had taught Kieran had shown her humble nature.
Kieran had also noticed something else after a whole week of studying under her wing. She was someone who kept their promises.
"If you can keep up on your studies about mystical beings, I don't see why you can't learn other things as well!" Nikorei replied with a smile, just as Kieran had expected.
"I want to learn about Potionology!"
It was Kierans priority, since he had a couple of prescriptions in his game lobby.
"No problem, lets" Nikorei nodded before pausing. "2567, I think we might have to put off our lessons for a while. My old friend has paid me a visit!"
Old friend? Kieran squinted before saying, "Morenderke?"
He might have immersed himself in his studies for the past week, but he had not forgotten the name Nikorei had mentioned.
Morenderke had to be a powerful man to have Wilco as a lackey, so his name had made quite an impact on Kierans mind, especially considering that he was an enemy of his.
"Yes!" Nikorei replied softly before she stood up.
Tiki, who had disappeared for the past week, appeared again and jumped straight into Nikoreis arms.
"Ferad, Ill be away for some time. Probably for about a week or ten days. Ill leave the house to you," Nikorei ordered the spirit butler.
"Yes, madam," Ferad wrote.
Then Nikorei waved at Kieran and walked out of the study.
A hunched figure was standing in the garden, holding a crutch to support himself.
He was wearing an oversized men's hat that looked ridiculous, but no one would dare laugh at him if they saw him.
Beneath his feet were countless bones that were wailing in sorrow. The eerie wails trashed the garden, and the countless souls around him tore the air apart through the ripples of the soundwaves they produced.
He was like a tyrant high in his throne, scourging bones and souls at will. A mere thought was enough to make them turn into ashes.
The scene was no illusion. Kieran did not see any [Fear] or [Illusions] notifications in his vision.
It was all real.
The bones beneath the figure were huge. They definitely did not belong to a human. The man looked fierce, deadly and monstrous. The souls around him had three eyes and four arms. Some even had eight legs. They were the souls of monsters.
Kieran puckered his lips, because they felt dry.
He didn't have to guess to know how powerful those monsters were. Yet those powerful monsters were crawling at Morenderkes feet like slaves.
How powerful was Morenderke?
And how powerful was Nikorei if it only took a word from her to force Morenderke to appear?
It was certainly a meetings of monsters.
Messy thoughts formed in Kieran's mind as he held his breath in deep concentration, watching Nikorei slowly approach Morenderke.