Chapter 142

Chapter 142

Arthur’s spear hissed through the air, the dark wooden shaft and watersteel blade a shadowed emissary of death. He thrust with his backhand, shuffling the weapon through his forehand that steadied, and adjusted the trajectory. On the other side, the jenglot swayed as it swung its left arm, seeking to behead Arthur at the same moment, its movement a touch later than Arthur’s own. Baited from its position.

Arthur turned his hand, guiding the spear head—not towards the moving, dodging torso in to the opposite direction. Aiming at the fast-moving arm that had risen and swung towards him. The motion was meant to intercept the attack, to pin the biceps and upper arm via bone, to tear flesh open whilst stymying the attack.

Simultaneous motion, minute adjustments. Spear striking flesh, tearing into it even as claws struck at hunched head under raised shoulders. He felt the claws clip the top of his scalp, send him reeling a little before the momentum of his spear’s stop-thrust broke through and ended the jenglot’s attack.

A savage twist of his weapon dislodged it while opening the wound wider and sliced tendons and muscle bands. At the same time, Arthur stepped into the void of the falling arm, using the leverage of his motion as he shuffled up and sideways to gain ground even as the other arm swung at him.

This time, Arthur blocked with the haft of his spear, striking downward. The monster snarled, but had already planned on abandoning the attack, for it moved away from its starting position for the first time. Using its greater height to lean over and bite at his head.

Rather than dodge or lurch backwards, Arthur instead jumped. An inch or half off the ground, pulling his ankles to his butt at the same time. He dropped, faster than the monster expected, as gravity took him and yanked him down, allowing him to fall beneath the attack.

Pain screamed up his legs as he landed, Arthur forced to grab at the ground with his lead hand to stop himself from collapsing. The wounds along his legs, along his calf woke up, no longer faded to the background and blood gushed anew.

Even so, Arthur could not help but grin as he looked up.


Then, from that angle below the monster, he unleashed the Refined Energy Dart. Directly into the monster’s groin. The attack was not aimed at the dangling maleness, for not every creature reacted the same way to such an assault.

No. It was targeted just a little higher. Where in a human, the superior pubic ligament connected the pelvis front together and offered stability and control of movement. It was an educated guess that the creature had a similar structure to other humanoids—and similar vulnerability.

No bone in the way. Nothing but flesh and ligaments and tender, tender organs before one reached the spine. Where bundles of nerves and muscles and blood vessels met nearby, and an impactful attack could be agonizing and crippling at the same time.

His Dart burrowed in through coarse, almost metallic fur and impacted. And the creature howled.

Spear pulled close and shortened, he stabbed upward. Not at the part now protected by reflexive hands but at the jenglot’s torso. He had no time to get back on his feet, so he stabbed and stabbed, plunging spear into exposed torso, weapon skittering off bone and fur and finally making a puncture.

He had meant to use Focused Strike here, to pin the monster in the head as it bent down. To end the fight in moments. He had intended to do much more damage, but his body had betrayed him.

Then a swinging backhand caught him on the jaw and sent him tumbling away to fetch up against the edge of the slope. His spear fell aside.

As his head rang, the monster lurched towards him in ungainly fashion, stability threatened by the damage to its pelvic area. But it still leapt, seeking his blood, to close the distance and put claws into Arthur and end the battle.

Curled up on his side, Arthur rolled further. No spear, so he tucked his feet in close to his body and took the falling creature on them. His legs screamed, the right foot buckling beneath as claws lashed down, scoring his chest and opening a deep wound.

Rolling backwards even further, so that his feet were literally over his head, tucked into a ball as the monster lashed out, Arthur threw everything that he had into extending his legs entirely. Kicking upward, right leg still lagging, he managed somehow to throw the jenglot off. It now sailed over the rise, fingers still

clawing, unwilling to let a moment pass without trying to end Arthur’s life. Only to realize after a moment that it was dropping past the ledge and to the level below. It twisted in the air then, bestial recognition on its face that it needed to take the impact, the fall, properly.

Only for the swallows, that had been held at bay till someone crossed an invisible boundary, to fall upon the jenglot. Pecking at it as the hairy creature fell and crashed to the ground. It was swiftly covered by a pecking swarm.

In the meantime, Arthur was rocking back from on the edge himself, legs tucked over his head. Only a last minute lurch of his body, and the weird angle of his backpack, that stopped him from sharing the jenglot’s fate.

Leaving him bleeding and exhausted on the slope, but alone.

Victorious, if you could call it that.

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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.

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