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359 After Awakening

 "It seems like it worked."

Gillian said with a smile. She stood within the wreckage in the middle of the room, observing the girl who was in a deep sleep.

At this moment, Anne was curled up and encased in a pale green fog; her hair was emitting a bright and beautiful golden light.

"This is... elemental awakening?"

Rhode wrinkled his brows when he saw another NPC with an illogical pace of growth. It couldn't be helped; he used to be a player in the game who progressed systematically. For races like pure-blooded humans, whether they were NPC or players, all of them needed to reach the Legendary Stage before they could truly stabilize their powers.

Let's take Barter for example. As long as his feet were touching the ground, a steady stream of power will flow into his body. But he was only at the peak of the Master Stage just before attaining Legendary. Frankly, both players and NPCs who'd stepped into the Legendary Stage would only then be able to grasp 'Elementalization,' - meaning that they would be able to display their elemental strength.

Anne was different though. Rhode checked her stats and found out that her level shot from level 18 to 25. This meant that she had stepped into the early stages of Elite.

But just below the system prompt, Rhode noticed another inconspicuous line.

[Special Attribute: People of the Wind Bloodline Awakening. Elemental Manifestation. Elemental level: LV 1]

Swell. Everything is rainbow and unicorns when you have great parents...

Rhode was speechless. After struggling so hard in the midsummer festival, he had only managed to hit level 28 - and furthermore, it was impossible for him to attain Elementalization at this stage.

Just look at Anne now; so what if she was only an Elite? As soon as her bloodline awakened, she was able to utilize elemental power.

Ahhhh.... these NPCs don't follow any logic to level up...

Even though Rhode's heart wallowed in sorrow, he made sure not to reveal it explicitly. Still, he was genuinely glad that Anne's choice ended with excellent results. Anne had suffered plenty as well, so she truly deserved this 'reward.' Nevertheless, her awakening would benefit him anyway; Anne would contribute her strength to the mercenary group in the future, so if any of his members became stronger, he would naturally be glad.

Elementalization wasn't just for show; instead, it was a result of elemental aggregation. After reaching a certain threshold, the elements would then be available for the holder to control in both offense and defense. Both Wind and Earth elements were perfectly suited for defensive play - an ideal combination for Anne's class. Unlike Rosen who had misused the Wind element by forcefully stimulating it, Anne was a genuine case. After all, a pirated version can never match the authentic copy.

"Did it work, Miss Gillian?"

Lize asked in uncertainty as she gazed at Anne's sleeping figure.

"That's right, Little Lize. Anne is now fast asleep; she merely needs time to get used to the strength in her body. She should wake up by evening."

"So then Miss Gillian, is there anything that we need to do?"

Marlene who had been silent finally spoke up. Gillian held her fingers up and stroked her chin.

"Yes... Prepare loads of food because bloodline awakening requires a massive amount of energy. Furthermore, Anne even consumed an Awakening Potion. I will suggest that all of you should begin preparing~ If not, it will be too late to regret."

-

They finally understood why Gillian requested them to prepare the meal earlier. But even so, they still underestimated Anne's neverending bottomless pit.

"Agh..."

Looking at the mountain of plates stacked precariously upon one another, Lize paled and subconsciously cupped her mouth before leaving the dining hall. As for the others, they could only stare dumbfoundingly at Anne swallowing the food on the table - Yes, swallowing.

Just as Gillian said, Anne woke up in the evening. However, there were no dramatic scenes or tearful exchanges of hugs because the first sentence that left Anne's mouth was: 'Leader, Anne is hungry.'

And now it had been over three hours since Anne woke up.

"..."

Rhode observed the petite wolf-girl wolfing down her food as though she hadn't eaten in centuries. At the same time, he couldn't help touching his throat. It wasn't that he was nauseous from Anne's ravenous table manners - instead, his stomach growled just by him looking at Anne's blissful expression as she ate.

But as the saying goes, there's always a limit to everything.

After swallowing nearly hundred chicken drumsticks, twenty roasted pigs, ten kilograms of bread, and three barrels of ale, only the few who could stomach the sight of her consume the food remained in the dining hall.

"Will Sister Anne have a tummy ache eating like this?

Christie tugged at Rhode's sleeve and stared at him with uncertainty.

Rhode shook his head with a complicated expression before shifting his attention towards Gillian who was leisurely savoring an apple in her hand like a squirrel nibbling on a nut.

"This shouldn't be an issue... right, Gillian?"

Even Rhode began to worry about Anne's current state. After all, her table manners were far too scary. In only three hours, Anne had consumed nearly a hundred gold coins worth of food - Oh Holy Soul, this amount of food would be able to sustain a mercenary group for about a month, and if Anne required this much for every meal, it would only be a matter of time before Starlight's bankruptcy.

No wonder it's said that the biggest enemy is always within ourselves ah...

"Don't worry, Master."

Gillian seemed to understand what Rhode was worried about as she smiled and winked towards him.

"This will happen only once. Of course, after awakening, Anne will naturally expend her energy more than normal humans. But..." Gillian's eyes suddenly revealed a trace of cheekiness and chuckled. "... but Master, there's something else that you need to be wary of okay~"

"What is it?"

"This... has something to do with you, Master. It doesn't really concern the rest of us."

Gillian was grinning from ear to ear.

"You should remember this point. As an awakened half-beast, Anne will be more unrestrained due to her bloodline. And Master, you will have a hard time. Hehe. Puppies must be raised from young for them to be loyal to their masters, am I right?"

Gillian leaped off from the chair and winked naughtily at Rhode.

"I hope Master has been watching 'Animal World' in your free time."

After this comment, Gillian hummed a tune and left, leaving Christie with question marks written all over her face as she pondered over the meaning of Gillian's words - Why did Gillian say that? What did she mean?

"Ahhh~!!"

Anne made a huge cry of relief as she placed an empty ale bucket to the side. The table was devoid of food, and the plates were stacked into several mountains taller than her. Anne finally stretched her limbs in satisfaction before standing up.

"Hu... So delicious, Anne is full now!"

"It's good to see everything's fine."

It was already late at night, and the entire dining hall was empty except for Rhode and Anne. Christie was still young, so she had to go to bed early. As for the others, after witnessing Anne's 'meal time,' perhaps they've already lost their appetite for the next day.

Rhode shook his head when he saw how casually Anne behaved. His eyes slowly traced down to her stomach; he just didn't know how could such a petite body hold that enormous pile of food. What was even more illogical was that her stomach didn't even bulge afterward.

... Is her stomach a four-dimensional spatial pocket or something?

"Hehe..."

Anne stuck out her tongue in embarrassment.

"Sorry, leader. Anne actually wanted to thank everyone, but Anne was too hungry..."

"Don't worry. I think they didn't mind too."

Rhode gestured and interrupted Anne.

He was right, though. What Marlene and the others were more concerned about was if they still had the appetite for food the next day... However, it was evident that Rhode had no intentions to be entangled with this silly problem.

"How do you feel now?"

While her stats didn't reveal any abnormally, Rhode didn't let this chance slip to check with her personally. Besides, players had never experienced Elementalization below the Legendary Stage, so Rhode wasn't sure if they would be any side effects in the future like what happened to him when he forcefully exhibited Legendary Stage sword skills while he was an Elite.

"Anne feels very good now, and Anne's body is full of energy from head to toe! Anne's body is also feeling so light... Heh...!"

Anne brandished her fists in the air delightfully before immediately spreading her arms and throwing herself into Rhode. At this moment, a green, wind elemental light flashed suddenly and the girl shot forward like an arrow.

"Wa... ah!!" Even the girl didn't expect her speed would be that fast.

Even Rhode was stunned momentarily. After all, Anne was already level 25 after her bloodline awakening and was only three levels behind Rhode. Furthermore, the Wind element had drastically increased her speed. Therefore, Rhode only saw a flash in his eyes and Anne was already on him. He could only had enough time to extend his arms before both of them collided with the wall.

"Wu, wu..."

Anne's world was spinning as she lifted her wobbling head. On the other hand, Rhode stared at her with an ice-cold expression.

"It seems that I have to give you basic training on how to grasp your strength."