23 Chapter 21: Sleeping Beauty
Kira yawned, stretching out her long arms. Kicking aside her blankets, she froze. Hadn't she been about to die? How was she here? She'd flared her |Berserk| and |Ancestral Linkage| Skills, which would have exacted a great toll on her immediately after combat ended…
The memories came rushing back to her: fighting madly for their lives in that dark place, knowing that her time had come, James saving her from the last Mimic by literally falling from the ceiling. Shuddering, she suddenly panicked. James! Had he been okay? Their kidnappers definitely wouldn't have let them escape so easily. She'd failed him as a [Maid]; she hadn't been able to see to his daily needs because who knew how long she'd been unconscious, not to mention that she hadn't been able to even take care of herself. In fact, what if James had wasted much of his precious resources to save her? She knew what type of condition she'd been in; people did not come back from that.
Rubbing her eyes, Kira squinted around the room, trying to figure out where she was. She relaxed when she saw Diana's bed next to hers. The [Knight] appeared to have already gotten up though because her bed was already orderly made. Instead, James sat on a chair between the two beds reading a book beneath the late morning sunlight. With her keen sight, Kira could tell that the title was Philosophy of the System: An Anecdotal Analysis of the [Repair] Spell.
She puffed her cheeks. That title sounded so boring; how could James be more interested in that silly book than her? Much to her delight, James set down the book upon hearing that Kira was awake and smiled at her. "Morning, Sleepyhead."
Kira grinned happily as a flood of messages poured into her head now that she could focus on them. She hadn't even been able to closely examine the cool Skills she'd gotten for killing that demonic bear: the kidnapping had taken all of her focus at the time, not to mention that she'd been restrained and unable to test their effects without attracting notice. Now, she reviewed it all again in detail. Like always, she could glimpse some of the System's Timestamps, revealing how and why she'd received the System Notifications.
Error! Failed Requisites for [Maid] Class.
Level 34->33 (Failure to attend to Master)
Level 33->32 (Making Master worry)
Warning! Skill Regression!
|Timeliness (Adv)|->|Timeliness (Int)|
Kira frowned. Her [Maid] Class was very important to her because it let her better see to James's needs. For a second, she felt a flash of worry that James might start looking for a new [Maid] if she truly regressed too much in level, but the warm smile James shot at her right then made her realize her worries were ridiculous. While James ran his thumb over the back of her hand, Kira realized a smile matching James's was plastered onto her face. Comforted once more, the Hersha turned toward the rest of the System's Notifications.
Level 27->28 (Defeating Demonic Bear)
Level 28->29 (Bonus for Combat Domination)
Level 29->30 (Defeating Immortal Being: Death Wrath Oliath)
Level 30->31 (Defeating Immortal Being: Death Wrath Ilath)
Level 31->32 (Defeating Immortal Being: Death Wrath Philth)
Notice: You have attracted the gaze of the gods for being the first to slay an Immortal Being in over three decades. For slaying three brothers of pure evil formed from the deceased souls of the fearsome [Necromancer] brothers who sought to raze the continent three millennia ago and were slain by the Hero of Light, Valencia, you have earned the favor of the Gods.
Awarded Skill: |Divine Fortune|.
The angels cast their eyes on you and are more willing to aid you in your time of need.
Notice: Fuse |Delayed Fuse| and |Timeliness (int)|->|Perfect Timing|?
Kira paused, considering the option. Turning to James, She was about to ask for his advice when he interrupted, "I know what you're going to ask, and as I've said before, it's your choice. Besides, they're Skills that you've earned."
Purring happily as James reached over to rub between her ears, Kira focused on her conundrum. Finally, she decided that she wanted it. Immediately after she'd solidified her choice, she heard in her mind:
|Perfect Timing| Gained! Notice: You can no longer access the Skills: |Delayed Fuse| and |Timeliness (int)| ????????
Kira frowned. Reportedly, question marks sometimes occurred when the System encountered something it wasn't meant to… She shrugged. It wasn't the first time she'd encountered something like this. After all, the [Berserker] Class was usually filled with question marks.
Skill Gained: |Self-Bomb Status Immunity (Int)|
Skill Gained: |Strengthened Throw (Adv)|
Those two skills were pretty obvious and very handy. They would definitely help assure her whenever she had to use mist bombs.
Skill Gained: |Winds of Fate|
Kira frowned. That sounded almost like a [Mage]'s Spell Skill. Now, she felt a bit worried because she really despised the idea of studying all day to become a [Mage]. Who would take of Master James then?
Skill Upgrade: |Warrior's Awareness|->|Warrior's Intuition|
Her tail curled. This was exactly the type of Skill that would let her better protect James! Now, she'd be able to better sense danger around them. Kira had to admit that getting Levels was a bit like opening presents…
With a bit of trepidation, she focused on her final Class before yelping in shock.
Level 18->19 (Mimic Battle)
Level 19->20 (Mimic Battle)
Level 20->21 (Surpassing Limits in Battle)
Warning: Class [(Hershan) Berserker] has been consumed by ????. All Class Skills have been lost.
She fell silent for a bit. That had been the first Class that she'd had since as long as she could remember. [Berserker]s were born classes, one of the few hereditary ones that acted much like how Nobles' Bloodlines did. It was one of the few things that connected her to the parents she'd lost when she'd been enslaved. A tear unknowingly fell from her eye.
James started speaking while stretching his neck, not looking at her, and, thus, not noticing her current sorrow. "Hey, Kira. I'm sorry, but I had to use a bit of… some special blood to invigorate your vitality. You were in a bad shape back there… Anyway, you might see some effects in your Class. I'm not quite sure what dra- the blood will do. I'm really sorry if something happened. On the other hand, it looks like it's more than taken care of your dietary needs while you were unconscious..." He trailed off when he saw the tears in her eyes.
The gears in Kira's mind turned. 'Dra?' Kira thought a bit more, remembering the countless trips James had made to the Queen, coming back with small boxes that had smelled suspiciously of blood. The only creatures kept in the Queen's Castle were the Royal Wyverns… and the Royal Dragon, which wasn't really a creature nor kept in the Castle but rather a guest. Her eyes widened. No other creature but a dragon could provide the blood necessary to save her from what her condition had been, and not even a dragon's normal blood would do: James had sacrificed the blood essence of a dragon to save her!
Update: Class [(Hershan) Berserker] has been consumed by Dragon's Blood Essence.
Kira leapt forward to hug James. "Master, thank you for saving this one's life. This one truly appreciates what you've done for her. I'll never be able to repay your kindness. No matter what happened, I know you did what was best for me."
James awkwardly patted Kira's back. "There, there, it's not like I could just leave you there! You're family."
Kira wiped away the misty figures of her family, replacing them with James's smiling face. New tears of happiness shone in her eyes as she gleefully kissed the stubble on James's cheeks. Calming down in his warm embrace, Kira continued looking through her System Notifications.
Notice: Dragon Blood Essence has stimulated Hershan [Berserker] Bloodline!
[(Ancestral ???) Berserker] Class Gained!
Converting [(Hershan) Berserker] related experience.
Level 1->Level 7
Gained |Berserker's Skills|: |Bloodlust|, |Berserk|, |Ancestral Linkage|, |Hack|, |Fast Healing(Int)|, |Enhanced Strength(Adv)|, |Berserker's Will|, |Basic Warrior's Skillset|
Gained applicable Skills from original [(Hershan) Berserker] Class: |Blood Rites|, |Pain Resistance (Adv)|, |Status Resistance (Int)|, |Great Slam|, |Fearsome Roar|, |Fur Armor|, |Brawl|, |Tear|
Gained Skill: |Eye of the Tiger|
Gained Rare! Skill: |???|
While the loss of the [Maid] Levels had upset her a little initially, Kira felt blissful by the end. After all, she had Leveled again! And so many times to boot! In fact, gaining five levels from a single Combat experience was almost unheard of. Just who were those three black figures she had defeated so easily? It was a bit strange that the System would reward such an easy Combat Situation so highly. Well, that Rare Skill she'd gotten was unspecified, but she'd figure out what it was eventually. Normally, Rare Skills were extremely useful and powerful.
James whispered into his [Maid]'s furry ears. "You ready for the Lake Festival?"
Kira jerked upward, almost hitting him. Her eyes wide, she eagerly asked, "When is it! Did all the days pass by when I was unconscious? Wait, oh no! Did we miss the trial?"
James chuckled. "It's no problem. The Queen helped out with that. You were unconscious for two days, so the Lake Festival's already tomorrow. Maybe you should try to go on Quests more so that time passes by faster."
Kira stuck out her tongue. "And leave you to take care of yourself? Please, Master. Have you looked at yourself? You look like you've lost a whole stone's worth of weight!"
James coughed dryly. "I'll have you know that I learned how to cook perfectly well in college back at my homeland. In fact, can you smell that delightful aroma coming from downstairs? I cooked lunch a while ago. You can have some if you're hungry."
Kira raised an eyebrow. "Oh, really? How come I've never heard of this college? And don't just claim like you always do that it's because your homeland is in a really far away land. Why don't you try to cook dinner tonight then? Hmm… Put some action behind your words. I'll watch from the side." She smiled while nestling her head beneath his chin. "This poor [Maid] needs to recover. Don't feel any need to feed me with your cooking though; I remember the last time you set fire to the kitchen."
"Hey, we promised not to bring that up! I guess I'll have to torture you until you decide you're healthy enough to cook then!" James tickled the delightful feminine figure in his grasp as she giggled hysterically, writhing in his lap, causing a natural tent to form in his pants. Nearly falling out of the chair, Kira coyly turned toward James. "Okay, okay! I'll do it, but only if you sleep the afternoon away with me."
Glancing at his watch, James kicked off his shoes and picked Kira up. Setting her onto the bed, he crawled in with her and raised the covers. A few minutes later, Diana nearly dropped the pan she had just finished frying as she heard some loud moans from upstairs. A blush crept up her cheeks, but she stamped her feet as Howard laughed out loud.
Her hair still glistening from taking a shower after her time with James, Kira happily lay a dish on the table, her tail wagging back and forth happily. Looking at the delicious food on the table, she paused, seeming to remember something. "Wait, James; where's Jeffry?"
James's eyes widened. "Wait, I forgot to feed him the last few days with all the kidnapping business."
Diana winced at that; she couldn't get over her guilt about that. She hesitantly opened her mouth, "Actually, I fed him this morning. He hardly even looked at the food though… I wanted to help Kira out since it's my fault she couldn't take care of Jeffry. Kira and James and, I guess, Grandfather, I'm really sorry for going on that Quest and making you all worry." Diana glanced down, afraid to see how the others reacted.
Howard gently smiled. "I could never be mad at you, Granddaughter. You were trying to be a [Knight], but you're still young. A [Knight] has more duties than just charging after every evil he or she sees. Take it as a learning experience."
Kira hugged James and whispered something in his ears. James reached over and grabbed Diana and Kira's hands. "I'm just glad that you're both safe."
Kira warmly smiled, embracing James. With a purr, Kira said, "And I'm just happy we can all eat together!" Diana awkwardly watched the pair of huggers. Suddenly, Kira pulled the [Knight] in as well, making Diana yelp in surprise.
After a moment, James cleared his throat. "Dinner's getting cold." The four sat down and began their own private feast, celebrating the success of a Quest, good business, friendship, and a hopeful future.