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James’s sleep was fretful. He woke the next morning with a tweaked neck and tight muscles. He must have become more familiar with sleeping in a pile of furs than he had realized. At first, he thought the fur piles were just a step up from the ground, but actually sleeping on the ground had shown him otherwise.
Like a gift from the gods, he heard a noise that under any other circumstance would have sent him into a rage. A rage so bloodthirsty that he would have been able to give Torunn the cold shoulder as payback for yesterday, and not even feel sorry about it.
James would indeed have to clear out these Ingos if he slept here again. He was happy they were here right now though since he needed their furs to make bedding and proper shelter. Waking up to them under any other circumstance was not acceptable. It was one thing James vowed not to stand for in this world. Adult Martyrs fighting their wives, letting Torunn tackle him; those were all things he could deal with. But he could not cope with waking up to Ingos anymore.
The new human was sleeping inside the crude shelter James had built the previous night. James stood up and leaned a bunch of branches onto the center tree. Then he started a small fire inside. It wouldn't have been enough to keep out rain, but fortunately, it didn’t rain last night. Actually, James pondered, the weather hadn’t changed once in this world at all. Yet another thing he needed information on.
After a good stretch of his tight muscles, James walked up to Torunn - who was out in the clearing doing his thing with the herbs again. James couldn’t even be sure that Torunn had ever stopped working with his herbs last night.
“Hey, Bonehead. I am going to hunt some Ingos. Do you want to come?” James asked his Martyr brother, who shook his head in response.
“Skins,” Torunn growled.
“Yea, skins. I am going to get some,” James responded as he began to walk away.
“SKINS!” Torunn yelled as he hopped to his feet, pointing at the Adventurer’s Satchel on James’s back.
“Oh, that’s right. I probably already have some,” James said as he dug into his pack. He silently wished he had remembered last night. He wouldn’t be in the pain he was in now if he had. James pulled out the skins, which were promptly snatched away by Torunn.
“Hey!” James exclaimed.
Torunn growled and turned his loot away from James. “Need,” he said.
“Whatever. I was going to get some more anyway. Keep an eye on this other guy, will ya? If he wakes up, come find me.”
James remembered he should have some Ingo meat as well and was looking forward to eating it, but when he looked in his satchel, and the interface came into vision, the Ingo meat was gone. If he recalled correctly, some of his items would drop on death depending on the rarity of the items and his bag. He checked his equipment and confirmed that the Ingo meat was the only thing lost.
Torunn grunted his agreement, and James set off. He didn’t have to wander far until he heard the splashing of Ingos in their small lakes. He revealed his Martyr skinning knife and made sure his Bent Copper Buckler was in good repair. It wasn’t, but James figured it was because of the quality of the item, and not because it was going to fall apart at any moment. His weapon and his shield were both greys in his interface and had a “Widespread” quality attribute. If his sword had held up all this time, he was sure the buckler would too.
James peaked his head into the Ingo clearing and counted. “One, two, three, four, this won’t be a chore,” he whispered to himself, before letting out a soft sigh, “I should work on my rhymes.”
James activated Jump Strike at the Ingo furthest from the others. It didn’t stun the creature, but it did surprise it, allowing James to get an unmolested sword strike in. The Ingo reacted quickly to the attack and struck out with its beak with startling speed. It impacted James in the arm right above his shield, causing him to seethe in pain. James thought he should have easily been able to block the attack, but figured he probably needed to get used to fighting with shields first.
James killed his first Ingo before the others reached him. He backed up and activated Jump Strike again. This time the 30% chance to stun worked in his favor, allowing him to focus on the other two Ingos. Although things were going okay so far, the Ingos still had him surrounded. The stunned Ingo regained consciousness and re-joined the fight before James could dispatch any others. He lowered his body and spun around, letting his blade trail out in an arc that cut against the legs of the two closest Ingos. They stumbled and squawked in pain, giving James a second to backup and activate Jump Strike. His earlier suspicion was correct - the closer he activated Jump Strike, the higher in the air he would go. Trying not to succumb to his fear of heights, James distracted himself momentarily by looking at his Health and Endurance bars. His Health was at 48 out of 60. He had lost 12 HP so far and had 18 more to go before he went into shock. His Endurance points were at 20 out of 50 since he had already used Jump Strike three times.
James finally landed but unfortunately didn’t stun his prey. He was starting to regret his strategy of investing most of his points into Wisdom. He had gained five levels so far, and the Ingos were still almost as hard to kill as they were the first time around. He obtained a modest advantage from his new Jump Strike ability, and the damage increase from his higher short sword skill helped, but he still thought it should be easier.