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Chapter: 98

William rolled on the ground as he evaded a wind blade directed in his direction. After regaining his balance, he immediately summoned his bow and took aim. The young boy fired three consecutive arrows in rapid succession towards his target.

The bird of prey who had shot at William with a wind blade, evaded his attack with swift aerial maneuvers that made William click his tongue in frustration. Three months had passed since he started his training with John, and his proficiency with the bow had reached the peak of the Silver Rank.

The surprising part about all of this was that William wasn't relying on any Job Classes. Instead, he had used everything he had learned from his previous instructors and put it into play.

Owen's Stamina Training allowed him to hold his ground in a battle of attrition.

Trent's Perception training allowed him to read the trajectory of the opponent's attacks so that he could evade them.

Dwayne's flexibility training gave William an edge on performing difficult stunts for both attack and evasion as he firmly held the bow in his hand.

A shrill cry reverberated in the sky as Blitz warned him of another incoming danger. Another bird of prey flew from the outskirts of the forest in an attempt to rend William with its claws. It seemed that it was the partner of the other one he was engaging in combat, and the two beasts decided to work together to subdue the boy that they intended to eat for lunch

-- Birds of Prey

-- Threat Level: D (High)

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-- Cannot be added to the herd

-- A voracious hunter in the forest, this bird of prey is well-known for its viciousness when hunting for food.

-- Able to use Wind Magic up to the First Circle

"Blitz!" William shouted and the hawk dove from the sky to answer his call.

The young boy jumped on the hawk's back and gave the two birds of prey a side-long glance. If it was only a one-on-one battle, William was confident that he could beat it. However, since its backup had arrived, the young boy decided to retreat.

He was not a fool. With his job classes sealed, fighting two Class D Beasts was suicide. With a flap of its mighty wings, the Hawk left the outskirts of the forest and landed near a small camp where its Master, John, was waiting for them.

"How did it go?" John asked.

William shook his head. John had tasked him to look for suitable prey inside the forest for lunch, but he hadn't seen any beast that was easy to deal with so he decided to circle around the outskirts in the hope to find an opponent he could take down.

After an hour of searching, he finally found a horned rabbit digging into the ground. He was about to go for the kill when he was interrupted by the Green Scaled Archaeopteryx.

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Naturally, the horned rabbit was alerted and immediately ran away. William, on the other hand, engaged the bird of prey because he felt that he could beat it. Unfortunately, the Archaeopteryx was one tough cookie. The two battled for a quarter of an hour before its partner came to its aid, leaving William no choice but to retreat.

"I guess we'll be having boiled potatoes for lunch." John grinned as he took out four potatoes from his storage ring.

William sighed because it was their third day of eating boiled potatoes in a row. Blitz left them in order to hunt for his own lunch. He was the type of bird that didn't like to share his spoils with other people.

"What's wrong?" John asked as he stared at the depressed boy that was sighing beside him.

"I finally understand how hard it is to hit a moving target," William replied as he gazed at the pot of potatoes over the fire. "It is much easier to hit them when they are standing still."

"If someone were to shoot you with a bow, would you keep still?" John inquired.

"Of course not," William answered. "I don't want to die."

"Correct." John nodded his head. "Naturally, the beasts you are fighting against don't want to die either. However, that's just how the world works. It is either you are the hunter or the prey. These two roles could interchange at any point in time. One minute you are the hunter, the next second you are the hunted."

William knew that John was telling him the truth. It was the same when they fought the Hobgoblin Shaman for the first time. They were the hunters, but they kicked a steel plate. In the end, the tables were turned and the Hobgoblin Shaman almost wiped out their entire party.

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"Then, how do you hit moving targets?" William inquired. He was hoping that John could give him some advice.

"Predict where they will move next," John replied. "This is why I asked you to hunt for our food. You need to use your perception and predict your target's next moves. That way, you will be able to land a hit on them."

"Predict…" William frowned. The movements of the Green-Scaled Archaeopteryx were too eratic for him to predict.

What William didn't know was that aside from archery, John's role was to teach him to read his enemy's body language. All Martial Artists were proficient in this field, but Hunters were the ones who paid extra attention to their targets.

Hitting your enemy from a distance is no easy feat. It required strong concentration and perception in order to land a hit on your target's body.

John's Profession was an Aerial Cavalier. He was a hunter that specialized in shooting his targets from the air while riding his mount, Blitz.

The thing that he was proficient in was hunting moving targets. This was why he was able to hold the Strathmore Horned Wolf at bay until James and the others arrived as his backup.

Another month passed and William had gotten used to hunting on the outskirts of the Strathmore Forest. Thanks to John's advice, he was able to hit his target 6 out of 10 tries. Although the hit rate was just barely passable, it was a great improvement in William's archery skills.

He had just killed a Wild Boar when he heard the cries of birds in the forest. William's sixth sense warned him that danger was approaching. The young boy didn't even think twice and ran towards the exit for the forest.

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Although he felt regret for needing to leave the wild boar behind, his life was more important.

He had just traveled a mere twenty meters when a Black-Winged Panther lunged at him from the side. William had already jumped to his left, but the panther's claws still managed to land a scratch on his chest.

Fortunately, it wasn't too deep, but it still dyed William's clothes with his blood. William looked at his assailant with dread as his appraisal skill identified the creature in front of him.

-- Winged Black Panther

-- Threat Level: C (Mid)

-- Cannot be added to the herd

-- A panther that liked to stalk its prey from behind before delivering a fatal strike.

-- Beautiful, yet ferocious, this Beast is a difficult adversary on land and in the sky.

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'System unlock my Job Classes now!' William ordered. He knew that now was not the time to withhold his strength because he was fighting against an opponent that was stronger than his Mama Ella in her War Ibex Form.

William wouldn't take his chances against such an opponent.

William felt his body getting lighter and stronger after his abilities were unsealed.

'System, switch my Sub-Class to Monk.'

William stored his bow inside his storage ring and ran away in haste, he zigzagged through the trees using his movement speed, Heavenly Phantasm.

The Shadow Fang looked at him in disdain as it jumped from branch to branch in pursuit of its prey.

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When the panther was about to jump to the tree near William, the boy kicked the tree bark with all his might splitting the tree in two. The sudden change caught the Panther by surprise as it flapped its wings to adjust its landing.

William chose that opportunity to charge towards the Shadow Fang and deliver the most powerful trump card in his Monk Arsenal which was the "Overwhelming Strike".

-- Once a day you can deliver one full-powered unarmed strike that contains all of your strength.

-- Damage dealt is equivalent to your Strength Stat multiplied by 20.

-- Knockback Effect

A powerful clap resounded in the forest as William's fist connected with the panther's leg. The panther roared in pain as it was knocked away by William's full powered strike. Its front leg was bent at an unnatural angle which proved that the boy had successfully crippled his attacker.

However, the battle was not over yet. The panther flapped its wings and several feathers flew in William's direction. The wings of the Shadow Fang were as hard as steel and it could use their feathers as range weapons when dealing with its enemy.

William bent his body in an unnatural angle to evade the feathers, which was only possible because of his flexibility.

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After dodging the attack, William ran away because this was his only opportunity to do it. He hoped that the Winged Panther would call it quits and leave him alone.

Sadly, no one heard his prayers as a vengeful roar echoed through the forest. Even though its front leg was crippled, the Shadow Fang could still move its body by flying in the air.

When William exited the forest, the Shadow Fang was already above him and was prepared to take his life.

It was then when a loud shriek pierced the sky and Blitz collided with the Winged Panther with its talons poised to strike.

The Shadow Fang was forced to abandon its plan to bite William's head off from his body and turned to clash with the hawk who dared to get in its way.

The Panther and the Hawk engaged in a fight in close combat as they clawed, pecked, swiped, and bit each other in the air. William could only watch the spectacle unfold as the two Beasts fought tooth and nail against each other.

"Stop playing around, Blitz," John said as he appeared beside William. "Don't play with your food."

Blitz cried out reluctantly as it looked at the Panther with a sneer. The Shadow Fang felt that something was wrong, but it still continued to attack the Hawk in front of it.

The Hawk's body grew in size until he was as big as two buses combined. He lashed out his sharp talons against his enemy and left deep gashes on the panther's chest. The Shadow Fang knew that it was in trouble and decided to run away. But, Blitz didn't give it a chance to do that.

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The Hawk's talons tore the wings off of the panther's body. The Shadow Fang roared in pain as it crashed to the ground head first.

Blitz was about to deal the finishing blow when a whistling sound tore through the air. An arrow flew towards the Panther's open jaw and pierced through its head. Seeing that its enemy died before its eyes, the Hawk gave William the "Dafuk are you doing Bro?" stare. Clearly, Blitz didn't like its prey getting "Kill Stealed" by someone else.

Wiliam, on the other hand, had a smug look on his face as he landed the killing blow to the Beast who almost took his life earlier.

"Uncle John, so this is what it's like to predict your enemy's movements," William said with a smug expression. "Everything went according to my plan."

The corner of John's lips twitched as he looked at the shameless boy beside him.

'Just which part of what happened was part of your plan?!'

This was what Blitz and John wanted to ask the smug-faced boy who was looking at the Panther's corpse with greedy eyes. For a brief moment his gaze reminded them of what James looked like when he was about to rob a bandit's camp of their treasures.

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