Finally, back on Earth, Jake has to adapt and evolve as his hunt continues....
With a huge open planet before him, Jake has literally grown wings as he begins his conquest of the local wildlife. With his newfound freedom, he finds his true Path as a hunter. All the while trying to avoid the responsibilities of having founded the first city on the planet. Oh, and bird friends.
Meanwhile, all across Earth, Pylons of Civilization are claimed. Cities are constructed, humanity beginning to regain its foothold. Factions grow and expand as political alliances are formed and professional relations are created, as godly and mortal factions alike move to establish themselves as the dominant force on Earth.
None of which Jake cares too much about while he finds himself far too busy doing what is truly important in life:
Hunting, alchemy, and getting that D-grade evolution.
Book three of the hit Primal Hunter LitRPG series is here. Grab your copy today!
About the Series: Experience an Apocalypse LitRPG with levels, classes, professions, skills, dungeons, loot, and all of the great traits of progression fantasy and LitRPG that you've come to expect. Follow Jake as he explores this new vast multiverse filled with challenges and opportunities. As he grows in power and slowly transforms from a bored office worker to a true apex hunter.
Release date: August 30, 2022
Publisher: Aethon Audio
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The Primal Hunter 3: A LitRPG Adventure
”As we both know, the Bloodline offers abilities that are on a qualitative level at the peak of the multiverse. Merely doing by instinct, dodging anything and everything is simplicity itself, but that does leave one obvious flaw: attacking. Don’t get me wrong, the instinct to attack weak points is still there, but such a simple instinct may do more harm than good. When attacking, you are forcing a reaction, not being the one to react, meaning our predictive instincts are far less useful,” sim-Jake explained as he flew towards his foe, Jake easily keeping up.
“So let me show you how I truly fight. Ultimately, that is what you are here for, isn’t it?”
Jake didn’t confirm as they both knew the answer. He stopped a bit away from the spider-like creature that had already noticed the approaching human. It was sitting on a massive web with hundreds if not thousands of eggs beneath it. Its many eyes were shining purple as it looked at sim-Jake and didn’t do anything until sim-Jake stepped his foot onto the web. It was likely due to a system restriction of some sort, or maybe it was just a territorial creature.
“One word,” sim-Jake added under his breath as his body exploded with power as the sky above darkened and thunder rumbled.
A spider several times faster than sim-Jake descended upon him. A leg bathed in deep shadows shot forward, but rather than block, Jake dodged under it and stabbed the side of the leg, using the creature’s momentum to make his katar sink in deeper.
The spider made a screaming sound as it attacked again, but the same pattern repeated as several blows were exchanged. Sim-Jake was clearly using a very intense boosting skill at this moment, and Jake saw him begin to take damage as the intensity of the dark sky above increased. When the web below began shining silver, sim-Jake did not hesitate to jump into the air away from it and floated backward. The spider followed him into mid-air, where he finally blocked a blow, but as he was in the air and already going backward, all that truly happened was that he was sent flying.
“Two objects colliding will result in damage from the sum of their speeds upon collision. Two objects hitting each other, each going forty kilometers an hour, is the same as a single object smashing into a solid object at eighty. Simple physics, really, and even if this law doesn’t truly apply anymore in its elegant simplicity, it is still a thing. It is hard to stop an attack mid-swing no matter what, and the blow will deal more damage if you hit it mid-swing as not only will you hit it – your foe will hit itself upon your weapon,” sim-Jake communicated as he landed on the ground below. He clearly knew the spider did not want to follow, as he sat down and stared at it, drinking a potion. His boosting skill was also deactivated, but the dark clouds above persisted.
“Winning in a single engagement is naturally out of the question. This beast is far too durable and even has energy stored inside the web. However, it is also territorial to the level of making it a fatal weakness. It will not leave its net and the eggs it protects unless absolutely necessary. The unique dark lightning I use is a perfect weapon for a situation like this. The dark mana hampers regeneration and lowers its perception while the lightning burns its mana. An additional effect gained from merging these two concepts also means it burns stamina,” sim-Jake explained as he regenerated.
Jake looked at the spider and did detect the dark lightning still lingering. The dark clouds above seemed to also pressure the entire area, something that only affected the spider.
Ten minutes later, sim-Jake rose once more. “Second round.”
He stormed forward as he engaged the beast in yet another bout of melee with his boosting skills fully active. His fighting style was like before. A mix of dodging and then the occasional stab whenever an opening presented itself. It all looked incredibly simple, but the more Jake watched on, the more confused he became.
Wait, that was such a good opening? Why stab there? Wait, did he delay the strike? Why? Now! No? What?
Jake was very engaged in the fight, but he didn’t get it. It seemed, well, not random, but arbitrary when sim-Jake chose to strike. He let obvious openings pass and instead went for tiny, tight openings to land a hit.
Yet the result was clear as the spider slowly got whittled down. Sim-Jake retreated several times until, finally, the spider seemed to realize this could not go on. The entire web began glowing and moving as the energy stored within was fully absorbed, making it fall apart.
The spider, with renewed vigor, attacked sim-Jake and left the web. Its eight legs carried it forward at a swift speed as it followed Jake when he tried to disengage. This forced their brawl onto the ground, where Jake saw how the dynamic instantly changed.
This time, sim-Jake went on the offensive. Power revolved around his weapons as lightning roared forward. It covered the spider, but as a D-grade, it was far too durable to take any noticeable damage. Sim-Jake nevertheless went close to attack with his weapons. The spider retaliated as suddenly sim-Jake pulled back. He delayed his attack by a mere moment, making the spider miss with a dark lance of magic, allowing sim-Jake to land a blow uncontested.
Once more, the spider tried to attack its attacker, and it missed by a narrow margin yet again. Jake observed and stood there dumbstruck. The spider was missing, despite its far higher speed and power. No, sim-Jake did not dodge… it was the spider missing. In every exchange, its timing was off. Like they were dancing, following set steps in the choreography, but sim-Jake was almost half a second behind, making the spider off-tune.
The spider was, purely stat-wise, probably three or four times stronger than sim-Jake. It was a wider gap than any opponent Jake had faced during his Tutorial besides the King of the Forest. In all of Jake’s fights, he had been struggling, he had overcome his limits, and he had come out victorious. Sim-Jake did not need to overcome any limits. He had spent his entire life pushing himself towards perfection, and the system had only allowed him to flourish more.
This did not mean he wasn’t struggling. Jake saw how his simulacrum was running out of energy and had taken many minor wounds - sacrifices made to avoid more dangerous blows or land a counterattack. Of course, these would build up and, with time, become an issue.
If the spider had simply fought from the beginning and not allowed sim-Jake to constantly reset and consume potions, it would have no doubt won. But… it hadn’t. It had allowed itself to be slowly whittled down. Sim-Jake had targeted one leg many times and finally managed to sever it. This led to a chain reaction as it stumbled, only to get another near-fatal stab with the katar into one of its eyes. It retaliated, but sim-Jake turned to lightning, dodged behind it, and stabbed again.
He moved from blindspot to blindspot and landed puncture-wound after puncture-wound. It couldn’t heal due to all the dark lightning, and finally, sim-Jake landed the final blow. He stabbed the katar through the weakened skull of the spider and pushed down, the creature finally breathing its last breath.
Less than a second later, the dark clouds above dispersed like they had never been there. Sim-Jake himself shook for a moment as he spat out blood and fell backward onto his back. His eyes were now bleeding, and Jake saw his arms and legs begin to turn purple, along with several dark spots appearing on his body.
“Another tip,” sim-Jake whispered in a coarse voice. “Never show weakness and give your prey hope.”
He then turned his face and looked towards Jake, who stood near the corpse of the slain D-grade. “Thank you for observing what may be my final fight.”
With those words, the scene ended. Jake frowned deeply. What? Final fight? Why wou-
Jake then felt something odd. Like a pull was on him or something. A summoning. He tried to figure out what it was, and his eyes opened wide as he accepted.
Jake found himself standing inside the same old white familiar room. The Guide had been the one to just speak, sitting in a chair across from sim-Jake. Confused, Jake looked at what the hell was going on. Him appearing there was not a usual scene transition at all… it was instead as if he had been asked to be there.
“For my third tutorial purchase… I want to reveal and become able to interact with him within the confines of this room until the Tutorial Store expires,” sim-Jake said as he turned and looked at Jake. The system acknowledged, and Jake knew his simulacrum got some system prompt that he accepted.
Once more, Jake felt himself be “asked” to approve of this. With a thought, he could reject it, but he chose to accept it once more.
He felt solid ground beneath his feet for the first time in a long time as Jake knew…
For the first time, he truly met the eyes of himself – of sim-Jake. No longer a mere observer but a physical entity now within the room. They stared at each other for a moment as sim-Jake smiled.
“Hey me,” he said in a melancholic voice. “Good to finally meet you… me. Us.”
Jake looked at his simulacrum and nodded in recognition. “When did it click?”
“I guess I always had my suspicions, but it was when I met Umbra I truly understood. We have the same Bloodline. I am a Bloodline Patriarch, which means I am the only one with it… except you. Which means you are either some descendant from the future, or you are me. I still had that tiny sliver of doubt, but just a few minutes ago, I confirmed it using my first of five purchases from the Tutorial Store,” sim-Jake answered.
He was calm. Awfully calm, if not too calm. Jake would have been at least a little distressed or, at a minimum, weirded the hell out. Then again, perhaps his simulacrum had already gone through all that before during a scene Jake did not see. Or, he was just that much calmer than Jake.
Jake had also not seen the usage of the Tutorial Store coming in. Jake remembered the custom option back then could offer anything. Even information, it seemed. There did appear to be some limitations as it had to ask Jake for permission before bringing him there and making him visible, but that could also potentially just be due to the way sim-Jake made the purchases. Had to be cheaper if Jake went along with it.
“I will be honest; I am unsure how to handle this situation,” Jake said. “But I guess an explanation would be a start?”
“Before that, let me ask you a question,” sim-Jake said. “Are you stronger than me?”
“Yes,” Jake just answered.
“But you are also older, aren’t you?” he followed up.
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“So… if I had the same time as you, who would be stronger?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
Jake smiled. It was exactly the kind of question he would ask if he stood before another version of himself. He also knew the answer.
“I would. But if we switched situations, I am sure the answer would be the same. You are stronger than me in certain areas while I have you beat in others. You have abilities and skills from growing up I do not, but my upbringing also means I have some things you don’t,” Jake said with a smile.
“And what would that be?”
“Friends,” Jake just said as he stared his other version in the eyes.
His simulacrum, surprisingly enough, didn’t protest that answer but instead asked: “Do you trust them?”
“Well, I guess that is a stark contrast to who I became. I haven’t trusted anyone besides myself since I was a child. Besides you… which should maybe have been a clue too. Trusting you is just trusting myself, after all. Now, if you will enlighten me what exactly is going on,” sim-Jake asked.
Jake decided to just be completely honest. “You are in a simulated world of sorts created by the system as part of a system event showing what would have happened if I made a different impactful choice at some point in my life. In your case, it was not stopping mom and dad from leaving the house the day they died. I did that in my world, and it resulted in me growing up with a family, a brother, and overall it completely changed my trajectory of life.”
“For the better or worse?”
“Better, I would say. Granted, I did end up suppressing my Bloodline to fit in and more or less made myself depressed since I was a child, viewing the whole world with apathy and boredom, so that part did suck, and I never really did form any meaningful relationships with anyone outside of my family either, but it was sure as hell better than you,” Jake said with a laugh.
“I guess we are dysfunctional no matter which choices we make,” sim-Jake said with a wry smile before turning a bit serious. “But this does mean I never truly existed, doesn’t it?”
Jake shook his head. “I don’t know how this entire thing works, to be honest.”
Sim-Jake turned to the figure of the Guide, who was still just sitting there, unbothered. “Which one of us is real?”
The system entity looked at them. “Both are parallels of the other and hence both real.”
“So, what would happen if I just leave this store like this and go on back to Earth and act like nothing happened? Will I cease to exist one day randomly? Will I just have never been?” sim-Jake pressed.
“Negative. Simulacrum will persist in the simulated world until destruction, at which point the simulation will be closed.”
“I guess that answers it,” sim-Jake sighed. “Kind of pointless, isn’t it? Man, living in the simulation, knowing you live in a simulation, does suck. Tell me, is it possible for me to be transferred into the real ninety-third universe right now?”
“Negative. Parallels possess identical Truesoul signatures, and multiple separate copies are unable to exist in the same universe.”
Jake heard this and remembered something from quite a while ago. Back when he wanted Rick, the gardening troll, out of the dungeon. It was about how multiple versions of the same creature could not exist in the same universe. Remembering this, Jake also knew the answer to the follow-up question.
“Can I then just fuse with my other version?” sim-Jake asked before throwing Jake a look. “I gotta ask. If I can "survive" I sure as hell want to.”
“Negative,” the system once more said. “Secondary Truesoul signature shall be automatically delegated and potentially assimilated into the original with no impact on Records.”
“Bummer,” sim-Jake said as he looked onto the ceiling. “Hey, original, what did you even hope to gain from this kind of event? Was it really as we discussed?”
“I wasn’t sure in the beginning, but it was truly just learning from you. Especially your melee fighting skills, which are quite a bit better than mine,” Jake answered.
“Huh. While I would love to give you a crash course, I am pretty much dead, and it seems pretty pointless. Besides, this tutorial store business will end semi-soon,” sim-Jake shrugged.
“Sorry,” Jake muttered.
“Eh, not your fault. Shit happens, I guess, and as fucked up as it seems, you were the only friend I had throughout my life, even if you turned out to be me,” he shook his head. “Besides, I have one more gamble.”
“System, I would like for my fourth purchase to be a method on how to exit this simulation and enter the true ninety-third universe while remaining who I am and staying a unique and separate entity,” sim-Jake asked.
“Unable to provide an acceptable result with current funds,” the system responded, surprising Jake and sim-Jake a bit.
“What?” sim-Jake asked, confused. “Fuck. I hoped there was a way…”
Jake stood there and stared a bit as he felt kind of shit about this entire thing. However, as he stared, he got an idea.
“Guide is the reason transference cannot happen due to the requirements of unique Truesoul signatures?”
“In that case, is it potentially possible for the Records of this other version to enter the ninety-third universe through some other medium? In other words, making his existence tied and dependent on our shared Truesoul while still allowing him to remain unique and separate?” Jake asked.
The system paused for a while. Sim-Jake also looked at him oddly before the system finally answered.
“Positive. Transference of Records into a non-living Soulbound entity that is tied to the primary being is possible through storage within a suitable vessel. Additional limitations may apply.”
Sim-Jake looked at Jake for a moment as he also understood. One would think another person would be angry or offended at what Jake insinuated, but instead, sim-Jake just shook his head and sighed.
“I guess this is a start?”
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