13 Grinding

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Michael, Tiara, and Fenrir only stopped working when it was time to eat. They had to replenish their energy and eating delicious chunks of Tier-1 monster meat was the perfect solution. The meat was rich in nutrition and was also highly invigorating.

It was tasty as well!

Other than savoring the meat they grilled and ate, the three worked relentlessly until late at night. If not for the seemingly infinite darkness that spread across the dense rainforest at night, Michael and the others might have continued burning the midnight oil.

Working in darkness was not possible given the lack of light sources, furthermore, everyone was tired after working for half the day.

Fenrir kept on hunting until it was too dark. He killed a total of 17 Low Tier-1 Monsters with the use of the protection barrier, and he reached the Low refinement degree of Tier-0 through the energy share of the killed monsters.

Without Fenrir, everything would have been for naught. He could hunt monsters of a higher Tier thanks to his exceptional display of combat experience, spatial awareness and reflexes. His strength couldn't be underestimated just because he made use of the territory's protection barrier. It was not easy to injure Monsters of a higher Tier, no matter how easy Fenrir made it seem.

Meanwhile, Michael used Extraction on the monster corpses to dissect them neatly. He removed their Monster Cores and their most valuable parts at first. Afterward, Michael focused his attention on the monsters' blood. He extracted their blood twice to filter out impurities. This left him with the most potent blood, which was stored in the leather flasks Tiara had prepared beforehand.

The leather flasks were marked to make sure that everyone knew which monster the blood belonged to before it was safely stored in Tiara's War Rune. Her War Rune's storage was much bigger than Michael's but that was only given. After all, Tiara's War Rune was already at the 1st Tier!

When Michael found out about this first, he was confused. It was already very uncommon for a Lord's personal maid to be from a different race, let alone be in possession of a War Rune. However, Tiara was also not that weak. Michael just thought that she wasn't that powerful at first because she didn't really show what she was capable of.

That changed over the course of the day. Talking to Tiara for hours and observing her meticulous work made it clear that she had dexterous hands and that she knew what she was doing.

Her huge storage space came in handy as well. A War Rune's storage space preserved ingredients, which would go bad if left as it is for days. With that basic understanding of the War Rune, Tiara gladly accepted turning into a living fridge.

The extracted meat, organs, and blood were kept inside her War Rune, making sure that nothing would go bad. They didn't want to waste any ingredients because they could be of future use or sold outside the Origin Expanse.

Michael wanted to use his Soultrait as often as possible. It was currently the only way for him to get a better feeling of the energy in the Origin Expanse, and to increase his mastery of the Soultrait's utility.

He worked meticulously and didn't throw anything away. His life as Lord had just begun, and it was necessary to gather as many items as possible to fund his future expenses.

However, that was something for later. Now, he and his subjects deserved to get some rest. So, they all returned to the manor.

Everyone had an assigned room in the wooden manor. There was little to no furniture but there were beds, and that was enough.

After a tiring but fruitful day, Michael got in bed and accessed the storage space inside the War Rune.

Three Ordinary Summoning Scrolls, 108 Summoning Scroll Fragments, and a blueprint for a treehouse complex were stored inside.

While he retrieved a handful of Summoning Scroll Fragments multiple times, a faint glow engulfed them. The glow intensified the more Fragments he retrieved. At last, once 25 Summoning Scroll Fragments had been retrieved, they began to hover in the air. The fragments swirled around one another and connected to one another, merging into one.

Slowly the glow dimmed, and a newly formed summoning scroll ended up falling into Michael's hands.

'25 fragments form a complete summoning scroll? That's great!' Michael thought excitedly before he repeated the same mythical process three more times.

He was now in possession of seven ordinary summoning scrolls and one blueprint. Even if Fenrir killed monsters a Tier above his rank, being able to extract this kind of loot from less than 20 monsters was simply insane!

His Soultrait, Extraction, was truly something that couldn't be put on the same level as other 2-star Soultraits. Michael would never exchange it for a 4-star Soultrait, even if he was given the opportunity!

He was dead-tired while lying in the comfortable bed and was ready to sleep. However, the thoughts flashing through his mind prevented him from falling asleep.

'Today was really interesting. Who would have thought that I would end up in a rainforest, surrounded by Tier-1 Monsters?... Well, I was able to handle the situation pretty well thanks to the Heroic Summon. Fenrir is a little unfriendly, and I cannot really see him warming up to me even in the future, but it should be fine.'lightsnovel

'...It has to be.'

'Fenrir…I wonder where he comes from…why does his name seem so familiar…Cleave Fenrir…'

Michael spent some time pondering over Fenrir. His eyelids got heavier by the second, and he could barely keep himself out of the dreamland.

'Which family has black hair and black eyes… athletic but not bulky…spear arts…Cleave–....'

Unable to keep his eyes open, Michael finally fell asleep. The physical work he had done throughout the day was not that tiresome. However, repetitively unleashing his Soultrait in its full power – over and over again – drained him both physically and mentally.

He deserved some sleep, at least until the sun rose again and the second day of his life as a Lord would officially begin.

While he was deep asleep, Michael was pulled back into a familiar scene. He had just seen it the day before, but he found himself watching a chaotic battlefield yet again.

Tightly clutching the blood-soaked spear and clad in black leather armor that had been torn to shreds, a man stood facing his opponents with a sly smile.

His jet-black hair was disheveled, and his body was bruised and battered. However, he paid no heed to the wounds and instead, let his gaze roam over the vast expanse. His vibrant eyes and his fierce gaze observed the enemies that surrounded him from all sides.

There was no way out. The man knew that he would die here.


But even in the face of imminent death, his expression did not falter. It was filled with mockery, and he was staring right at Michael.

It was then that an illusionary, semi-transparent image of a familiar, grim-looking man appeared next to the man. Both of them wore different armor and wielded different-looking spears, but their eyes and hair were the same. Even their expression was the same.

The illusionary image and the man slowly merged, fusing into one.

They were now one and the same persona.

'Isn't that..?' Michael thought before the space around him twisted once again.

He was pulled out of the dream, and woke up, gasping in shock.

It was already early in the morning and the first rays of sunlight shone on his face through the open window.

His second day as Lord had just begun officially, but Michael couldn't think about that, at all. He was sweating profusely and his clothes clung to his body.

Instinctively, he looked down at his chest to make sure that there was no gaping hole.

'It was a dream…right?'

He looked down at his chest out of reflex and tried to calm himself by taking a deep breath.

However, the image of Fenrir and the man, whom Michael recalled as the Fang family's first ancestor, fusing without causing the slightest change left him shell-shocked.