The First Legendary Beast Master - C.206 Good Stuff

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Once the resources were safely stowed away, there was no more need to hold back on the combat, and Karl pushed as much energy as he could into the oversized blade, allowing it to slice deeply into the wounded Giant.

It wasn't going to be that easy to take it out, and despite the heavy bleeding and awkward angle from a prone position, the Giant still managed to punch Thor so hard that both barriers on the Cerro shattered, and he was sent staggering back.

The giant began to get up as its wounds healed at an incredibly accelerated rate, already knitting back together.

It reached for the plants, but found them gone, and began frantically searching for them or whoever might have them.

The magical signature of the plants would normally give away their hiding spot, and make it obvious who was trying to loot the battlefield in advance, but with them safely in Rae's space, it was as if they had never existed. She had even taken the roots with them, just in case that was the valuable part.

The distraction turned out to be its downfall, as Karl's blade slid through a partially healed wound and deep into the creature's torso, aimed upward for the vital organs. With a gurgling gasp, the giant turned and swung a backhanded strike at Karl, who dropped to the ground and rolled out of the path of the enormous blade.

That effort twisted the blade still lodged through the Giant's back, and it collapsed to the ground, already dead.

The second Giant fell seconds later, and while the warriors caught their breath, the clerics collected evidence and updated their notes.

Once he saw the Clerics' routine, Karl also made a note of the day's kills, recalling how he had been questioned about them by the lawyers.

Hawk flew back up to scouting height and looked for other resources and monsters. Mostly resources, and he was finding a lot of them.

Karl took notes as Hawk updated the map with resource points, including their likely strength, and the monsters that had been drawn to them. In Hawk's mind, that was likely the important part. He might not know what the plants did, but if they attracted monsters that were similar to him, Thor or Rae, then they were likely going to be useful.

Most monsters worked on instinct and confirmation bias. If others like you thought it was true, it probably was. Sometimes it was genetic memory, sometimes just a guess, but everyone would fight over the resources all the same.

Karl dismissed his blade, which was trapped under the Giant's body, and the Church Guard came over with a leather pouch from the hip of the other Giant.

"It's a healing salve of some sort. It looks like it works fairly well, going by the magic in it." He explained.

"The Giants were regenerating abnormally rapidly as well. I've never seen a [Shred] wound heal that fast before. Normally, the jagged edges make it nearly impossible for monsters to deal with, but these ones were even able to stop the blood flow from Lacerate without applying the ointment." Karl agreed.

The Church Guard took a portion of the ointment into a trio of jars, and then passed the leather bag to the cleric attached to the military unit.

"You can turn that in at the end of the mission if you like, but you might need it." The experienced Guard cautioned him.

The extra jars were passed to the other clerics, who would be doing the group's healing duties, and Thor began to eye the plants in Rae's space with renewed interest.

If they could make him regenerate that fast, wouldn't he be nearly immortal? He was already tougher than some silly Giant, who had barely cracked his scales, and they were mostly healed on their own.

Of course, Thor was overlooking the fact that the Giant did that with a single solid hit through two layers of barriers, and if he had been hit any more, he would have taken serious injuries. That sort of thing didn't matter to the Cerro. There was strength in numbers, and if he got hit, someone else could go forward until he healed. It only took a few minutes.

Tessa gave Thor a pat on the side, and healed the last of his damaged scales, along with the slight bruising underneath, which left him in an even better mood while the Red Dragon Cleric went to check on the second Giant's body.

"There are some good things here, and more of the same ointment that we found on the other Giant. We've got an assortment of dried magical herbs in the bag, and there are magical bracers, which will have to be altered, but are potent enough to survive a reforging." She explained.

That was the sort of thing that Karl's group had always left behind before. They were huge and heavy, difficult to carry and not immediately useful. But sometimes, they would make themselves functional for the right person.

"Do we know what they do? High Priest Doug taught me a trick, and sometimes you can get them to activate and adjust themselves to you." Karl suggested.

The Church Guard did a double take. "Did you say High Priest Doug, as in Doug Mackenzie?"

Karl nodded. "He took and passed the test to the Commander Rank at the same time that I made it to Ascended Rank."

The Guard shook his head. "We will never hear the end of it. Doug Mackenzie made it to Commander Rank before I did."

Karl smiled. "The Clergy is a lot like a small town, isn't it? Everyone knows each other."

The Guard shrugged. "It is at the higher levels, but there are hundreds of thousands of staff, lay priests who aren't blessed with magic, and devoted nuns cloistered around the nation whose names most of us will never even hear, much less learn.

But at the same rank and close to the same age, it's hard not to know each other even if we're in different branches, and on different details."

Tessa laughed. "Plus, everyone knows Doug. He's the only Nature Cleric I know that's less reliable outside of combat than Lotus. Speaking of which, where did she go this time? Can you send Rae to go find her and bring her back?"

[Rae? Can you take your Golems and make sure we don't lose our tiny cleric? Give me updates if she finds good things.] Karl instructed.

[Already on it. She found tasty mushrooms. They eat blood from dead monsters.] Rae replied.

They were only a few metres into the trees, and if they weren't crouched down looking for mushrooms, everyone would be able to see them. Once he knew where they were, Karl found them with thermal imaging.

"She's right over there. They haven't gone far this time." Karl explained.

Lotus' voice carried through the clearing. "Hey! Everyone, come this way. There is a whole bunch of good stuff in the woods."

The Soldiers spread out, only vaguely aware of what they were looking for, but everyone could at least pick out some of the major magical plants, and things that didn't look like they belonged in a normal forest.

"Sister Lotus, I think I found something." One of the soldiers called, holding up a bright red mushroom with black spots that looked oddly like skulls.

Karl looked at Tessa. "That's poison, isn't it?"

She smirked and nodded. "Yup. But it's a paralytic, not a lethal toxin. He's going to collapse in... Oh, there he goes."

Lotus pranced over and tucked the mushroom in a specimen jar that she threw to Rae before she cast a cleansing spell on the warrior and helped him to his feet.

"What is the first rule of unknown magical plants?" She asked him.

"Sister, you see..." he began.

"What is the first rule of unknown magical plants?" She repeated, with her hands on her hips, looking fierce, despite her diminutive size.

"Look with your eyes, not your hands." The young man replied sheepishly.

"Exactly. Look with your eyes, not your hands. That means, no grabbing the death's head mushrooms. Now, are there more of those? They're quite useful for a number of potions." Lotus asked.

"Sister, there is some sort of glowing grass over here, and a plant with leaves that look like Golden Dragon Scales." One of the others reported.

That drew the Church Guard over to assist, and the unit went into full gathering mode, hunting in the area for more magical resources, the original target plant long forgotten.

Updated from fr𝒆ewebnov𝒆l.(c)om

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