6 Chapter6-The Challenge and the Forest Wolf

At that moment, three figures appeared in the group's line of sight, causing an immediate stir.

"Why is he here?" "Who...wait, isn't that Menard Jeffers?" "And with him are Guy Jeffers and Boris Jeffers, the brothers, right?"

"Indeed, the renowned Jeffers brothers, famously nicknamed the lion and the fox... They're some of the most famous independent awakened in Saint City."

"They often refer to the Jeffers brothers as the lion and the fox. So, what does that make Menard?"

"Well, rumor has it there are three in the Jeffers clan: a lion, a fox, and a dog. If the brothers are the lion and the fox, then Menard must be the dog."

"Ha! The dog... I mean, Menard is really fortunate to have two strong awakened brothers to lead his leveling team."

"With two awakened leading, Menard will level up much faster than us."

"Look, here comes Menard with his brothers. This is going to be interesting..."

Two burly men, resembling human-shaped bears in their stature, walked towards the leveling team, leading a younger yet equally robust boy.

The young man's gaze was fixed intently on Howard, filled with both resentment and jealousy.

Members of the leveling team recalled how Menard once pursued Abby.

After being sternly rejected, he tried to force himself on her.

But Howard intervened and gave Menard a sound beating, creating a lasting enmity between them.

Now, with Abby having an S-level talent awakening, the entire Jeffers family must be oscillating between anger and fear.

Had Menard succeeded in winning over Abby back then, the holder of the S-level talent would have become a member of the Jeffers family.

But now, Abby, with her S-level talent, not only refrained from joining the Jeffers but has also developed enmity towards them.

It's nothing short of a catastrophe.

And the root cause of all this trouble — Howard Hughes — has naturally become the target of the Jeffers' family's wrath.

That's how people are.

When they make mistakes, they rarely blame themselves, often finding it easier to point fingers at others.

Realizing the weight of the situation, a trace of schadenfreude appeared in the team members' eyes as they looked at Howard.

"Howard is in for some bad luck..." was the prevailing sentiment amongst the group.

"Ha! Good to see you, Mr. Alec. It's been so long; I've missed you."

"Oh! The Jeffers brothers. It's been a while. Are you here to level up with Menard?"

What surprised everyone was that apart from Menard, who was glaring at Howard with clear resentment, the other two brothers approached Alec with smiles on their faces.

And Alec, in turn, greeted the two warmly with a wide grin.

From their conversation, it seemed they had quite a close relationship.

It appeared that the younger of the lion and the fox brothers had once been Alec's student, sharing a deep bond.

After the brief pleasantries, the silent Menard suddenly pointed at Howard, raising his voice, "Howard, I challenge you for Abby's hand. Do you dare accept?"

The atmosphere turned icy, and a hush fell over the crowd.

Everyone looked at Menard as if he'd lost his mind.

"You, with a level-D Bear Force talent, challenging an F-level magic talent? Is this some kind of joke? Bear Force, a melee talent, even against an equal level magic awakened, could easily overpower them. Isn't this a bit shameful?"

Moreover, Abby is an awakened with an S-level talent!

Are you seriously suggesting her affiliation be decided by a duel?

Are you joking?

Though these thoughts ran through everyone's mind, oddly, no one voiced them or stood up to condemn Menard's shameless challenge.

Many held grudges against Howard, wondering how an F-level awakened even made it into the leveling team or ended up beside someone as prized as Abby.

Most of the young men present eagerly anticipated Howard's impending humiliation.

But a few young women darted their eyes between Howard and Menard, secretly hoping, "If Howard gets knocked down by that fool Menard, I'll rush to his rescue, playing the part of the beauty saving the hero."

"Maybe, I'll get a chance to get close to Howard."

"Abby always kept Howard to herself. Now with her gone, it's my turn."

"With Abby's S-level awakening, she'll soon surpass me in power and rank. If I don't seize this opportunity, I might never get close to Howard again."

"Even if I can't have Howard entirely, I need to seize this chance, to get a taste of what's been off-limits..."

Ever since his enrollment, Howard's dashing and charismatic demeanor left an indelible mark in the hearts of the young women of Soulspark Academy.

Unfortunately for them, Abby was always at his side, like a protective kitten, warding off anyone who tried to approach Howard.

Howard, known for his purity and indifference, never reciprocated their advances, leaving them with no chance to get closer.

Now, Menard's challenge presented an opportunity for all the girls to approach Howard.

Even if they couldn't compete with Abby for his heart, they could, at least temporarily, have a piece of him.

Facing the challenge, Howard was hesitant to reveal his true power but wasn't the type to shy away.

Just as he was about to retrieve the Mana Drainer from his storage ring to teach Menard a lesson, Alec, who was just having a pleasant chat with the Jeffers brothers a moment ago, abruptly changed his demeanor, reprimanding sharply, "What do you think you're doing?"

"Private duels are strictly forbidden in the academy! Are you disregarding my presence here and breaking the rules?"

No one expected this sudden shift from Alec, not after his jovial conversation with the Jeffers brothers.

Even they were taken aback and tried to whisper an explanation, "Mr. Alec, you've misunderstood. This was Headmaster Jay's idea..."

But, to their surprise, Alec's face darkened further upon hearing the Headmaster's name.

Pushing away the brothers, he sternly retorted, "Don't you dare bring up his name for your schemes! Headmaster Jay is not like this. If you ever use his name for your mischief again, I'll have you both sent to the guards."

"Howard is a member of my team, and it's my duty to ensure his safety. No one will stir trouble on my watch!"

To the onlookers, hearing the name "Headmaster Jay" made the situation clear.

The shameless principal was probably trying to oust Howard to make space for some privileged trust-fund kids.

But Alec's unwavering stance in protecting Howard, even after hearing the headmaster's involvement, was quite surprising.

It was evident that once the leveling team disbanded, the principal would make life tough for Mr. Alec.

Howard, understanding the nuances, looked at Alec, an acquaintance he had no personal ties with, and thought, "Whatever your reasons to stand by me, I'll remember this act of kindness and ensure it is repaid."

What Alec didn't realize was that today's unwavering commitment to his principles would pave the way for an unparalleled future for him.

Of course, all of this would come to pass later, but that's a story for another time.

Watching the duel being halted, the young women present felt an unmistakable pang of regret.

This interruption meant they'd missed yet another chance to interact closely with Howard.

"Ah! I guess I might never get to be fucked with Howard in this lifetime. What a dream that would be," lamented a few bolder girls internally.

On the other side, the Jeffers brothers, whose advances were curtly halted by Alec, had faces ashen with anger.

They dragged their enraged sibling away, but not before casting a malicious glare at Howard and snarling, "Watch your back, boy. I'll be keeping an eye on you. Make sure you're never alone, or else..."

The unexpected incident cast a strange silence over the leveling team. Everyone exchanged bewildered glances, uncertain of how to proceed.

"Alright, it's time to move on," Alec said, his hawk-like gaze scanning the crowd. "Any further delay and we won't achieve our leveling target for the day."


On the outskirts of Saint City lies the low-level monster gathering area:

The Silent Forest.

Home to a plethora of creatures under level 25, such as slimes, goblins, gnomes, Forest Wolves, Enchanted Boars, and the like.

Led by Alec, the group ventured to the forest's edge, where the monsters were even lower-leveled and fewer in number.

However, this area was less dangerous and better suited for novices to level up.

A roar resounded.

A Forest Wolf, nearly two meters tall, sensing the large presence of humans, lunged out in excitement.

But its pre-attack roar was abruptly cut short.

With one swift move, Alec struck it on the neck with the back of his blade.

The creature fell, not injured but unconscious.

The wolf's attribute panel then appeared for all to see:

[Forest Wolf]

Level: 5

HP: 625

Attack: 39~57

Defense: 45

Skills: Bite, Pounce, Sharp Claws

Description: A common predator of the forest, it hunts purely by instinct. For beginners, it presents a significant challenge. If you aren't confident, it's best to stay away...

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