Chapter 34 — Healing Up
His wound opened up once again; by the time Soran let go of the spear, blood was oozing out from the wound on his thigh.
The battle was fine at first, but the two leaping attacks worsened his injury and cracked the clots holding the wound closed. He was limping when he stood up and had no choice but to get carried back by the merchants on horseback.
It was worth it; Soran received 1800 Slaughter EXP from the battle, and he could now level up Rogue to Level 6 if he wanted to.
"Tell the merchant squad to come over." Soran glanced at the head guard. After affirming that the head guard was listening, he continued, "These insects are worth quite a bit. It would be hard for us to dig them up, so we should get some help. I suppose you guys need quite a bit of money after this."
As he finished this line, Soran looked around at the guards. One heavily injured and six lightly injured—this was the cost of the battle. Those who were lightly injured only received scratches and would recover in a day or two, but the heavily injured guard lost one of his arms.
This basically meant that his career as a guard was over; it was impossible for a commoner to pay the cost of regrowing a limb. It cost over 3000 Gold Derahls to receive treatment with the high-level divine spell Limb Regeneration, not to mention that the priest had to consume a part of his own life force. Due to such a reason, back in the game Soran only managed to get his severe injuries treated with the spell Greater Restoration by a priest after half a month.
According to common practice, the loot of monsters that the merchant squad encountered during their journey belonged to the guards. They would sell the materials for money, and use that as funds to compensate the injured or dead. It was rather fortunate that no one died during the battle this time; defeating ankhegs who had higher levels with no deaths was not an easy feat. (The ankhegs were Level 10, while the average level of the guards was approximately Level 6 to 7.)
"Mark," the head guard said to another person as he nodded, "call them over.
"Let's drag these insects out of the ground. Wrap your hands with cloth, and be careful not to touch their acidic blood."
Soran did not help this time and stayed on the horse.
"The head shell is the most valuable part. It is the toughest part of the ankheg and can be used to make armor.
"Do you see the shell on the side of its mouth? That can be sold easily as it’s useful for making gauntlets.
"The main piece of the head shell is a natural enchanted shield. Peel it off, polish it a bit, and it can be sold for 150 Gold Derahls in most cities.
"Someone remove the shells on their tails too. Those can be used to make half plate armor.
"Oh, leave the back shell and meat alone. The back shells are basically worthless as only highly skilled blacksmiths can forge those into tower shields, and no one eats the meat.
"Ankheg blood can be sold at the swamps, but no one in this region needs it.
"Their hearts can be sold to wizards for around 10 Gold Derahls each, so harvest those too."
Soran gave them instructions on how to dissect the ankhegs and retrieve the valuable parts. The guards felt more and more respect for him; not only did he finish off two ankhegs, he was also knowledgeable about things and willingly shared that knowledge. Knowledgeable teammates were always great to have, even back in the game, as they could optimize profits from battle by harvesting every sellable part.
Indeed, the guards needed money right now. They had to prepare a pension for the injured guard who was forced to retire and buy him a plot of land; the least they could do was ensure he had a stable source of income for the rest of his life.
The merchant squad soon arrived, and the merchants began ordering the workers around. They dug the ankhegs out, harvested the valuable parts, and loaded them onto their carts. A small team of guards stayed alert while the others were busy helping out.
After the intense battle, the merchant guards finally showed smiles on their faces. According to what Soran said, these three ankhegs would fetch them a whopping 1500 Gold Derahls in profit. Deducting the amount reserved for the guard who lost his arm, there was still enough money for each of them to receive 10 or so Gold Derahls, which was equivalent to their original payment for this job.
The head guard had discussed how the profit would be distributed before they began harvesting the monsters. The head guard would receive ten percent, the heavily injured Castro would receive fifteen percent as his pension, the six injured guards would split twenty percent, the nine other guards who took part in the fight would split fifteen percent, the eighteen guards who did not participate in the fight would split ten percent, and the remaining thirty percent would go to Soran.
Although some received more than others, everyone agreed it was fair to split the profit in such a way. Soran, who would receive thirty percent of the profit was undoubtedly the one who contributed the most as the two battles would not have been so easy if not for his help; it was really a miracle no one died.
Distributing profit fairly was crucial for the team; it was even more important than their friendships in a sense.
Adding 200 Gold Derahls from the profit to his past savings, the injured Castro could buy a hundred-acre farmland and live his life as a kulak, hiring farmers to tend the fields in his stead. This ensured that he would have a stable source of income and would not fall into despair and poverty due to the loss of an arm.
As a matter of fact, most adventurers were concerned about this issue. They were always exposed to danger, and they never knew when they would be forced to retire due to injuries.
As the merchant guards held Soran in high regard, other workers also showed their respect and were curious about him.
Rogues; they were either petty thieves or legendary adventurers. After all, those who travelled alone in the wild were qualified to be the main characters bards sang of in their tales. (Just like Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.)
On the large carriage, the mistress could feel the intensity of the battle just from looking at the corpses of the ankhegs. She then ordered one of her servants, "Tell the merchants to reserve some money as pension. I will only take twenty percent of the profit this time."
The servant quickly left the room and went to discuss the matter with the merchants. Apparently, the mistress had not realized that Soran had maximized their profits from the battle.
The mysterious woman glanced at Soran and noticed the blood on his thigh. She frowned as she said, "Get on the carriage. That wound needs to be stitched, or else it will not recover."
Knowing the severity of his injury, Soran got off the horse and limped his way over to the carriage.
The interior of the carriage was spacious. Fluffy wool and cloth covered the floor, and one could tell it was a very comfortable room to stay in. In the center of the room was a short table with a metal incense burner (unknown) and a deck of casually placed tarot cards. There was a faint fragrance in the room, but Soran could not tell what the smell was. All he knew was that it helped clear his mind up, similar to the incense used by wizards to help them focus when memorizing spells.
The mistress bent down searching for something. Her plump, well-rounded buttocks were almost like a full moon, and Soran could not help but be attracted to the wondrous view. Knowing it was disrespectful to peek at a lady's buttocks though, especially when she was about to treat his wounds, Soran immediately looked away. While he waited, he placed his shirt under his thigh to prevent his blood from staining the precious fur he was sitting on.
"You do it, or I do it?"
She took out a curved silver needle and some semi-transparent threads which were made with special materials to prevent infections.
Soran looked up and replied, "Ah, let me do it myself then."
"Alright," she said as she lit a candle and sterilized the silver needle by heating it with the candle flame for a while. After weaving the thread through the loop, she handed it over to Soran.
Soran took the needle and removed the bandages. He pricked the needle into his thigh and began stitching the wound bit by bit, gritting his teeth in great pain while doing so. It was a wound which could not be healed simply with potions, and stitching it was the only way to stop it from opening up over and over again. Even though potions had similar effects as divine spells, they were not omnipotent nonetheless.
By the time Soran finished stitching the half-foot wound, he was soaked in cold sweat and had a pale face.
The mysterious woman silently looked at him and asked, "Looks like you have learned about medical treatments, hm?"
"This much is necessary for surviving in the wild," Soran casually replied.
He applied some ointment onto the bandages and carefully wrapped his wound with them.
A data log appeared:
"You have successfully stitched the wound and lessened the injury."
It was only then that Soran noticed he had obtained a handful of new skills, most of which were basic ones.
Attributes: Strength 14 (+2), Dexterity 20 (+1), Constitution 19, Intelligence 18 (+1), Wisdom 15, Charisma 16
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Profession: Level 10 Commoner (Max)/ Level 5 Rogue (0/3000) 【Grade 2】
Health Points (HP): 52/52
Experience Points (EXP): 3650 Slaughter EXP, 100 Profession EXP 【Unassigned】
Skill Points: None
Attribute Points: None
Profession Skills: Sneak 103, Steal 35, Pick Lock 45, Snare 55, Diplomacy 3, Appraise 1, Deception 3, Literacy 1, Evasion (Rolling) 5, Listen 3, Heal 2, Spellcraft 1, Perform 1
Legendary Skills: Omnipotent Hands 【Sealed】 (Weakened State)
Personal Abilities: Nimble Left Hand, Eidetic Memory, Perseverance
Profession Abilities: Grasp of Shadows, Martial Weapon 【Proficiency】
Combat Skills: Shadowstrike
Apart from the basic skills, he gained 3 points in Listen and 5 points in Evasion (Rolling) from fighting the ankhegs and 2 points in Heal for stitching the wound, in addition to another point in Diplomacy.
It seemed that basic profession skills could be raised through training!
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