To say that he was not nervous would be a lie. It had happened numerous times that someone expelled him from the group inside the Fortress because of how weak he was, but this was the first time he left on his own accord. He knew that his chance of survival alone was much lower than if he were in a group, but he couldn't risk revealing something he shouldn't have to other people. He would first need to test his own ability, see if there were any peculiarities that could be harmful to him, and so, only after he was sure it was safe and that it would not have any repercussions for him in the future, he could show other people the blessing that he received.
As he walked, Noah opened his hand and started to "move" his "sixth finger" so that a small flame appeared in his hand. Looking at it, the flame was no different from a normal flame. Yellow and red: Noah saw nothing unusual about the flame not until he remembered what the skill description had said. Hell's flames were no different than normal flames, but after purifying so many sins and so many sinners, it would become the most powerful flame, -that is, he would need to purify creatures or people in order for the flame to become stronger.
While he played with the flame control by testing some things he could do, the deadly silent sewage tunnel, out of nowhere, began to make some noise. With the heightened senses which he had trained and developed over time, Noah discovered that the noise came from a rat that was swimming in the water, probably coming after him. These monsters had very high senses when compared to normal humans or animals on earth. Even tens or hundreds of meters away, monsters could still smell human sweat, and that rat was no different.
Preparing himself mentally, Noah took the military combat knife he always carried with him and went into battle. Only one of the two would make it out alive after this confrontation, and with the new blessing he received, Noah felt it was going to be him.
He had already extinguished the flame of hell a long time ago, and he intended to leave it extinguished so as not to give any clues to his enemy as to what asset he would use during the battle.
At some point, a pair of black eyes crept slightly out of the water and began to watch Noah cautiously. Just as the rat watched Noah, Noah watched him, trying to predict what the rat would do.
'This rat is watching me… something is wrong. Usually these monsters just attack without thinking about the consequences, just following their instincts, but not that rat; he is intentionally watching me and analyzing his opponent… Hmm… What's going on here?' Noah thought about his current situation in the Fortress.
Knowing that the rat was going to let that cry out to try to intimidate him, Noah simply ignored it and reacted faster than the rat expected by pointing the knife in its direction.
In a split second the monster that was already in the middle of a jump realized that jumping was not the smartest decision it could have made. Since the rat's size was almost as big as a motorcycle, it was not difficult for Noah to stab at it. However, with the size of the animal being greater, its resistance was also proportionally greater.
The knife penetrated only 4 cm into the rat's rib before stopping. Noah quickly plucked the knife out of the wound, causing the blood to spill out more intensely as well as doing more damage to the rat's organs than leaving the knife there. He moved away from the rat again.
The rat, feeling intense pain in its ribs, felt its anger increase exponentially and launched itself again towards Noah. Learning from its mistake, this time the rat did not jump but came running across the floor after Noah, causing the cut from the knife to continue to grow and more blood to leak.
Visibly, the rat was more agitated, but Noah knew it wouldn't remain that way for long. As the rat ran towards him, Noah opened his left palm and pointed toward the rat as a great blast of fire came out of his hand and engulfed the giant rodent.
Sensing the danger of fire, the rat tried to run back into the sewage, but the moment it turned its back on Noah to try to run, Noah took the opportunity to stick the knife in the monster's head, thus ending the creature's life.
A small black window with words written in red flames appeared, floating in front of Noah quickly before disappearing again.
This time Noah knew that the words in the window were actually written with the flames of hell, and when he tried to compare the quality of his flame with the flame of the window, Noah couldn't help but sigh in disappointment as he realized the long road he had ahead of him. He'd have to wait a while for his flames to become as aggressive and intimidating as the flames in the window.
When Noah used a great blast of fire on the rat, he felt that much of his energy was being drained from a misuse of energy. 'My control over the energy is terrible, either in what I can do with the flame or how much energy I waste for such simple movements. In time I will need to train this.' Noah thought.
Looking at the dead rat on the floor, Noah looked at his left hand and decided to test his theory. With an open hand, Noah tried to control the flame more strictly so that he didn't waste so much energy, but when he paid more attention to it, he realized that previously it was as if he had lowered his bike gear and he was pedaling as fast as possible to get up a slope, when he could just increase the gear so that he didn't need to pedal so fast and thus saved more energy.
Of course, his control had improved little from this deduction; this was something he would need several tests and time to improve upon and not spend so much energy on unnecessary things. Trying to waste as little energy as possible with the fire he created, Noah pointed his hand at the rat and ordered the flame to go towards the dead body. Like a bonfire, the monster rat was burned until only the ashes were left.
As the rat burned, Noah felt as if his hunger was slowly being quenched. It was not literally hunger, but it was more as if by burning the rat, his flame was feeding, getting nutrients and becoming more powerful.
When the rat was completely burned, Noah opened his palm and summoned a small flame. Incredibly, he could feel the flame really had gotten stronger, obviously just a little bit stronger than it was before, but it really was stronger. If he kept killing monsters, it was only a matter of time before his strength moved from Rank F to Rank E.
Remembering the message, Noah opened his profile. "Status."
[User: Noah Stern
Level: 01, 1/100 exp
(Hell Flames Lv 01, Exp 1/100: A technique that consists of invoking the flames of hell itself. The flames of hell were no different from normal flames, but after purifying so many sins and so many sinners, it became the most powerful flame, having even burned the flame god himself, making him beg Lucifer to extinguish the flames before he died. To increase the power of the hellfire flames, the user must burn sins or sinners.)]
"Hmm, so from killing the rat I got 1 Exp for my level and from burning the rat I got 1 Exp on my skill. Interesting... So if I burn 99 more rats, my skill will rise to level 2 and become stronger. How much stronger will it become? Maybe just some new functionality from the skill? Because for now, the only thing I can seem to do is control the flame like a flamethrower, regulating only the intensity, but with bad control. Writing words like the system window is literally impossible for me today." Noah began to reflect on his own ability and what he could do with it in the future.
Surprised and excited by the infinite possibilities, Noah had a hard time controlling himself not to run through the sewage burning every rat he saw, but he knew that if he did that, eventually his energy would end and the rats would just devour him.
"Patience is a virtue. Patience has kept me alive until now and it will not be now that I will abandon it," Noah told himself and walked away calmly in search of another rat.