Chapter 235

Chapter 235

Unable to dodge the attack, Arthur managed to roll with it as it came crashing down, shifting his injured left shoulder in the way as he hunched behind it. He felt bones crack and muscles burst and bruise as he was thrown into the ground, bruising himself against the roots that stuck up around them.

Scrambling to the side, Arthur kicked out with his foot, striking his opponent in the leg. It barely shifted his opponent, even as he drew another fist to the side to slam down again. No enhanced attack this time though, even as Arthur felt his Bark Skin technique fall to the way side, unable to be sustained.

Instead, he could only weather the sudden flurry of punches that came his way. Blocking it with his arm, feeling the punches sink into his body, into his shoulders and his face, reeling from the attacks that kept coming, Arthur was battered senseless.

But killing a man with punches took a lot more work than most people realized. And after a dozen, maybe two, flurry of blows, Arthur could sense the slowdown. Exhaustion, the Yin poison finally working its way all through the man’s body.

Attacks slowed, then stopped.

Looking back, his opponent tottered, backwards and forwards, attempting to focus on him. Arthur wanted to move, to shift away; but everything hurt. He couldn’t find the energy to do so, even as the large bodybuilder finally crashed backwards, falling backwards with an almighty crash.

“Got you.” Arthur whispered.

He grinned, even as a niggling sense of incompleteness tugged at him. In his concussed, injured and punch addled brain though, he couldn’t figure out what it was.

Whatever. Probably wasn’t that important.

He flopped backwards, sinking into the water, barely keeping his face above it as he leaned against the roots beneath the water. For a time, he just floated in the pulses of pain and agony that ran through him, fighting it back with every breath.

Then, movement.

Feet. Elegantly turned out.

Oh, the archer.

Arthur knew he should have been surprised, worried, scared. Instead, all he could feel was an empty numbness. He could not move, could not even make himself care through the fog.

The only thought he had was that he never noticed the archer had so small and delicate ankles.

Bodoh!” Uswah said, leaning down and gripping him.

Arthur blinked, as she used her single hand to pull him out of the water and drag him, rather roughly, onto shore properly.

“You’re here,” he said, dumbly.

Ya lah.” Uswah snorted. “You think we left you unwatched.”

“But… training…”

“I already have a movement skill. Idiot.”

“Oh… right.” Arthur winced, remembering. He found himself trying to understand why, why he needed to leave. Why didn’t he think of that earlier. Why didn’t he ask? Then again, he sort of knew why. He had been enjoying his time alone, doing what he had thought would be his life. Hunting, fighting, killing. Training.

Not being a politician, not building a Clan or being in charge of others.

“Go heal,” Uswah said, firmly.

“Uhh… yes.” Arthur said after a moment, closing his eyes and focusing on the healing technique. He struggled to do it, struggled to pull the energy needed and in the end, gave up. It was always working, after all, so rather than triggering it further, he tried to push the energy into his mind, to focus it.

After all, till he fixed his concussion, everything else was going to be a problem.

Unknown mindless hours later – or probably minutes – Arthur coughed and spat to the side, clearing clots of blood from his throat and broken nose. He moved to wipe at his face, only to wince as he realized his other arm was still pinned.

“Uhh… Uswah…” he called out, coughed, and winced at how soft it was. He tried to raise his voice, finding himself unable to raise his voice.

Luckily, she did hear him. She came over, frowned and after his explanation bent down and yanked it out. With a quick slap of a bandage around his arm, she kept it in place until it clotted again, going with her rough and shoddy nursing.

Arthur sighed, and leaned back. He needed to fix more, his arm, his shoulder, his stomach. The cracked and broken cheekbones…

He had so much injured, and not a lot of time to work out how. More importantly, now that his head was clear, he gestured to the body of the barbarian with his right hand, wincing at the moment.

“He’s still alive,” Arthur said, calling to her.

“He’s not.” Uswah said, as she came back with his spear. “He drowned.”


Uswah shrugged, propping the spear next to him. “Where’s your kris?”

“I lost it.” Arthur waved in the direction that he had dropped it, when he had been grabbed. “Near her body.”

“Idiot.” Tromping back over, she got back to cleaning up, leaving Arthur alone.

He sighed, closed his eyes again and tried to restart his healing technique. The only advantage of being so beaten up was that he had a good opportunity to test his healing techniques. In particular, with so many crushed bones, he had a chance to see what he could do about healing and perhaps reinforcing it.

Eyes closed, he let his focus fall within. It was better if he focused anyway, it took his mind off the pain. More importantly, he could sense there were refinements to be made, the way the body pulled and tugged at the shards of bones, the way it stitched itself together.

He had a lot of healing to do, and some learning.

And after that, he had a real test. Dealing with the rest of his Clan and apologizing.

For all his desire to not be stupid and reckless, he had just done it again.

Back to blog

Climbing the Ranks is a LitRPG cultivation novel by Tao Wong that publishes serially on Starlit Publishing. While the whole novel will be free to read, you can purchase a membership to receive chapters weeks in advance of the public release.

Join Tower One for $5/month to read 3 weeks of advanced chapters or Tower Two for $10/month to read 8 weeks of advanced chapters.

Want to read new chapters in your inbox?

Receive new chapters of Climbing the Ranks either daily or weekly in your inbox.