Summary: Playing as a priest wasn't easy.

Set before Wolf meets Lan.

Mostly manhua-verse, mixing in parts from the novel.

For the 'explore' prompt in halfprince_fics lj community.

X3 I'm currently attempting to write characters who are not Kenshin or Arctic Fox, and also trying to not make the fic all about them. Stretching out what I'm writing again. We'll see how long this lasts. XD;;

And ffnet gets rid of my triangular brackets. :( Boo.


Beginnings

By Dark Ice Dragon


Edging forward from behind the tree, Tian Lang frowned thoughtfully at the cougar that was snoozing in the shade. He should be able to defeat it at his level. But then again, he was a priest, so that complicated matters.

And to complete the quest, he had to get ten blood samples altogether. Well, he thought, preparing himself, he wouldn't get them if he stood around all day. Summoning his staff, Tian Lang snuck closer to the mob. It didn't wake up, and the only indication that it wasn't bugged was that its tail twitched this way and that every couple of seconds.

Holding his weapon high in the air, he then sent it crashing down on the cat's head.

[ Cougar HP -2 ]

... That was not good.

The cougar yowled, tail lashing, and was completely and utterly awake now.

He swung at it a second time before scrabbling back as it pounced at him, claws outstretched. It missed -just barely- and he used that to get a third hit in.

[ Cougar HP -2 -1 ]

He really wasn't doing that much damage.

After a couple of minutes, he fell in to a routine of dodge and counterattack, sometimes sprinkled with healing magic instead when he hadn't moved fast enough too many times. It took several more minutes for the cougar to finally die. By the end of it, Tian Lang's legs were shaking from the exertion, his clothes were muddy from where he'd fallen, and he had bits of grass and tree tangled in his hair.

Walking a little stiffly to the corpse, he pulled out the vial that would hold the blood. When it was filled, he stoppered it and placed it carefully in his pouch.

And now to get another nine samples.

Wherever they were. He had never seen cougars in the game before, only deer and boars, but that was probably because he had never ventured out this far from the starting area either. So, he would have to tread very carefully around here to make sure he didn't accidentally run in to something when he wasn't ready.

After the third cougar, Tian Lang grinned when he saw that he'd levelled up. 'Now, where to put the skill point...'

He was about to spend it on intelligence when he paused, really thinking it over. Intelligence would help with his spell power... but he didn't need that right now; his healing spells were sufficient at the moment to keep him alive when he needed them. What he needed right now was the ability to kill mobs reasonably quickly.

Nodding decisively to himself, he allocated the point into strength. He didn't feel that much different from before, but it was only one skill point. Feeling more confident, Tian Lang dove straight back in to the forest, on the look-out for another cougar.

It took the sixth cougar to level him up again, and after seeing a little improvement from the last skill point, he didn't hesitate in putting the new point in strength again.

Pleased, he went back to the starting village to complete the quest. It continued like that for a while, going in and out of the village to do one quest or another. Belatedly he would put skill points in willpower and intelligence when he remembered to, but the majority of them continued to go to strength.

Eventually, the cougars and the other mobs near the starting village ceased to challenge him.

'Well, I supposed I've been here long enough,' he admitted, looking at the map. The closest city was... Star City.

Destination chosen, Tian Lang set out, making sure he had enough mana potions to last the trip there. Maybe he should check out the adventurer's guild when he got there - it would only get harder once he started properly focusing his points on enhancing his healing again.