My last memory from my past life was walking into a sewer hole after my middle school graduation ceremony.
There was a feeling of falling into a never ending darkness, but the reality of death never came.
When I finally gained consciousness, I saw a mountain of skulls before me. Panicked, I looked around but the reality didn’t seem to sink in. No, almost like I didn’t have any emotions. I checked my body, hands and legs, and saw only bones. I had become a skeleton soldier like right out of a fantasy novel.
I reached out to touch the screen floating before my eyes.
Name: N/AGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: SoldierRank: H-Level: 1/5HP: 5/5MP: 1/1Damage: 1Defense: 1Agility: 2Intelligence: 1✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1]
‘I had wanted to come to such a world, but why did I have to be a level 1 Skeleton soldier? Why!?’
For me, who had dreamed of worlds found in light novels or fantasy games, this situation was terrible. Regardless, my new life as a nameless skeleton soldier began.
‘Still, at least there is a level and ability system. If I work hard and practice my skills, shouldn’t it be possible to improve?’ It was at this time, while trying to motivate myself, that the skulls around me began to move.
Bones and skulls began rising randomly, attempting to find their rightful place and form a skeleton.
I tried to say, but only managed to make the sound of jaws chomping down.
Meanwhile, dozens of skeletons had been assembled and they began walking down the mountain of bones.
‘What’s going on, are we going for a walk?’
The appearance of the skeletons varied greatly: first the skulls were different, some were tall, others short. Then some had a missing arm, pieces of rotten flesh still attached, a dagger in one hand and one was even equipped with with a sword and shield.
From afar, I heard someone shout.
“Gilian, I told you we should have brought a priest over!”
“Don’t you know how hard it is to find a priest these days?”
“Oh never mind, the skeletons are already here, please hold them off a while, I hope this magic will be effective against them.”
‘Are they adventurers or just a group of bandits?’
The walls of the corridor in which the skeletons walked were of dark marble, giving an eerie feeling. The path had been largely unused and looked like an underground graveyard with a thick layer of dust and many spiderwebs. Along the way we had to avoid several pits where the old floors had crumbled.
“Block your ears!”
“Fire Elemental heed my call! Rafflema strike!”
A large fireball flew in the air and hit the leading skeletons, resulting in an explosion sending all of them flying. I was hit by several debris and bone shrapnels until finally the shockwave also blew me away into a pit.
‘Oh no, it’s just like the sewer hole I had died in my previous life!’
I fell into a dark pit, unable to see anything.
Before losing consciousness a message appeared.
[You have learned Falling resistance Lv1]
‘Am I going to die like this again? No wait, wasn’t there a resurrection skill?’
My sight darkened, as if the power had gone off. When I finally opened my eyes again I was in a wreckage of skeleton soldiers, hundreds of broken bones all around me.
‘Am I the only one who has resurrected?’
I had been conscious for a while now, but no other skeletons showed any sign of reviving.
I just stayed in the same spot with a blank look
‘Should I do something, go and explore this world?’
I looked around and noticed that some equipment from the dead skeletons were still intact. Scavenging around I acquired a small dagger, shield and broken helmet. Energized from having worn some equipment, I suddenly felt like a player in a fantasy game.
‘So where to next?’
I was in h high spirits, I thought of raising my level, wearing the best equipment and becoming a great warrior. But then it sunk in, a lowly level 1 skeleton soldier can never become a hero.
Walking for a long time in the dark I realized I was in a complex underground tunnel system with many branching caves. The only sign of life were the occasional rats, but they could spot me from far and would scare easily.
‘I have to kill something to determine whether my level can actually go up. Still, could a level 1 skeleton soldier even catch a monster, maybe not?
After about an hour of wandering around I had a good grasp of my environment and the structure of nearby caves. There seemed to be no big, terrifying monsters just the occasional rats and liquid like slimes in the area. In RPG’s, the slime is often a beginner monster with high physical damage resistance and since my only offense was the small dagger I scavenged previously, I decided to give up on hunting slimes for now. My only option was going after those rats but the problem was that they were too fast.
‘If I catch them using a trap would my experience still go up?’
It seemed like creating traps and attracting the rats to it might be my only option. The cave had very little in the way of vegetation, but there was some moss in hard to reach places, previously I had witnessed them eating some on several occasions. I went around the cave gathering moss and carefully picked out a cave which was a dead end. After spreading the moss around inconspicuously, I sat down against the wall motionless, appearing like any other dead skeleton, waiting for my chance. One hour, two hours, on a few occasions the rats would come to the entrance attracted by the smell of the moss, but they were hesitant to enter knowing it was a dead end.
‘Are the rats too cautious…?’
These rats were bigger than mice, but smaller than puppies. They wouldn’t be hard to kill if they came within reach of my dagger, but therein lay the difficulty. Exercising patience, I remained motionless playing the part of the dead skeleton.
‘Finally it’s coming’
But there was a problem, four of them were approaching at the same time. Perhaps emboldened by their safety in numbers, they approached the moss cautiously. I stealthily readied my hand holding the dagger.
‘Wait, I don’t have muscles so how can I move?’
Just as the rats were nearing, my mind was filled with unnecessary thoughts. Still approaching carefully, the lead rat came before me and began to sniff me, maybe I smelled
of moss or perhaps they were just ensuring their safety. I planned to catch as many as possible so I stayed motionless like a dead skeleton.
The rats talked among themselves, confirming it was safe, the other three also rushed towards the moss.
The moment I had been waiting for finally arrived. I stabbed the closest rat with my dagger and threw the shield in my left hand to pin down the other three. Although I had been quick, the rats’ reaction speed was beyond my expectation. I had caught one but the other three had nimbly sidestepped my shield.
[+11 experience points]
[Acquired knowledge of Tomb Rodents]
The two messages appeared instantly before my eyes and I could see the status of the remaining three rats in the corner.
Status: NormalType: Tomb RodentRank: H-Level: 2/5HP: 7/7MP: 1/1Attack: 1Defense: 1Agility: 5Intelligence: 1✧ Unique SkillsN/A
‘What! Are those rats really a higher level than I am?’
I hadn’t leveled up by killing just the one and wasn’t sure how many I needed, but for now the problem at hand was how to catch the last three in front of me. The rats watched my movements carefully, smelling around looking for a way out. While I stood in this choke point they couldn’t escape, but if I advanced to attack them they could run along the sides. However, I had discovered my greatest ability as a skeleton soldier, unlimited stamina. I had been walking around for hours and realized that I didn’t feel thirsty, hungry or tired. So, in situations like the current Mexican standoff, I had an absolute advantage over any living creature.
Several hours later, the tomb rats’ physical strength was waning. Perhaps it was because they were originally hungry, and along with the ongoing tense situation, their body’s energy was quickly drained. I, on the other hand, was always in optimal condition. I didn’t need to move, didn’t tire and didn’t even need to use the bathroom.
A few hours more and the tomb rats’ stamina had finally hit rock bottom. They bared their teeth, poised for their final outburst of strength. It seemed they had decided to try for a last hurrah rather than dying of exhaustion. But, over the last few hours I had been moving my body ever so slightly to one side, purposely creating this opportunity for them. I worried that in a life and death situation they would rush at me in panic, but if they saw an opening I could better control the situation.
‘Finally the moment I had been waiting for.’
The biggest of the three lurched forward and the other two followed closely behind. I was delighted to see that they took the bait and all aimed for the small gap I had created.
I simply stabbed forward in an underhand movement, the dagger skimming above the floor almost as if I were brooming. The rats were running too quickly in single file and all three skewered themselves on my dagger.
A message appeared before my eyes.
[+11 experience points][+22 experience points][+44 experience points]
[Level increased 1 ➢ 4]
[Acquired ｟Title: Rat Trapper｠]
‘Huh…? The experience? Is it different because I killed three at the same time?’
The first time I hunted a rat I only gained 11 experience points, but when I killed three I gained 77, that’s more than twice as much as what I expected!
‘Is it because catching them at the same time gives more experience? Check status!’
Name: N/AGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: SoldierRank: HLevel: 4/5HP: 15/15MP: 1/1Attack: 3Defense: 1Agility: 2Intelligence: 1✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper]
I wanted to continue to catch more rats to gain experience, but it seemed none would approach because they could smell the stench of blood. I cleaned my dagger on a dead rat’s fur and took the moss with me, searching for another dead end cave to repeat the process.
This time I waited for a much longer period of time, but still no rats approached. When even the moss I had carried over was beginning to dry, a huge creature, unlike any previous tomb rats, appeared.
‘What! It looks like a big boar, but… what did it eat to get so big?’
The big creature was actually a tomb rat, but it was rank G. It was a named monster shining in gold ‘Tyrant of the Tombs’. Could it be like the unique monsters found in RPG’s? Still, compared to the current me, a level 8 monster was far too strong.
Name Tyrant of the TombsStatus: NormalType: Tomb RodentRank: GLevel: 8/15HP: 44/44MP: 10/10Attack: 20Defense: 5Agiliy: 10Intelligence: 1✧ Unique Skills[Dash] [Gluttony] [Berserk]
Every instinct was telling me that if we were to fight, I’d certainly get one shotted. I leaned back against the wall and tried to stay still while it was eating. However, after it finished eating the moss it turned to me with interest. It approached and started sniffing and tussling my body every which way. It even became interested in the dagger in my hand and tried to take it away.
‘No way, I can’t lose this dagger’
Without a dagger it would be very difficult to hunt. Just as I began to apply some power in my arms to resist, the Tyrant rat noticed and immediately tore off my entire arm.
A roar never before made by a rat was heard in the narrow cave. He spat out my arm holding the dagger to the side and took a step back, preparing to dash towards me.
‘Shit! I should have just given up on the dagger!’
Before I could get back on my feet, he rushed me and pinned my bones up against the wall. Thrashing around it tore off my remaining arm and legs, scattering them across the floor and squished me into the wall.
‘Shit! I’ll get my revenge!’
I was stuck in the wall, no limbs and hardly able to move. It took hours just to shuffle my way a few centimeters.
Finally, a few hours later I was able to pull out my body from the hole in the wall.
‘What a rude guy, threw my limbs around, is it too much to ask to at least put them in a neat little pile?’
I began crawling slowly towards my bones scattered across the cave. I found a piece and tried to put it in its place and was happy to know it fused well. Going around I slowly gathered more pieces and limbs recovering some strength. I had realised that my HP had diminished significantly since I had lost some bones. After about 60 ~ 70 hours I finally found all the pieces and recovered my strength.
‘Ughh… I’m feeling alright but my right arm and dagger…’
My missing right arm and dagger were the biggest problem. I was left with only the one arm, two legs a shield and an old helmet.
I returned to the pile of bones where I had found my previous equipment, looking for a suitable weapon.
‘What about this one?’
It was a broken femoral bone from a skeleton soldier which was most likely a deceased colleague of mine. I tried to sharpen it against the rock wall but it would always crumble and seemed to have very low durability. At the very least it was nowhere near as solid as iron.
‘The Tomb Tyrant’s attack power was 20 right? But I’m somehow still alive, was he just fooling around with me?’
My anger towards the big rat was rising and I really wanted to get my revenge.
I thought about trying to level up once. It might only be one level but I hoped something would happen if I hit maxed level.
I gathered some more moss and created the same trap, waiting. Eventually two tomb rats took the bait and I made quick work of them, absorbing the experience. It felt like I had become more skilled after a few attempts.
[+11 experience points][+22 experience points]
[Level increased 4 ➢ 5]
[Level has reached Max]
[Evolution is now possible]
‘Was evolution possible?’
Thoughts were racing through my mind as I decided to check my status. What kind of evolution would it be, would it help me overcome that Tomb Tyrant?★
Name: N/AGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: SoldierRank: HLevel: 5/5 (Max)HP: 15/15MP: 1/1Attack: 7Defense: 3Agility: 5Intelligence: 1✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper]✧ Evolution Choice[Skeleton Warrior] [Skeleton Wizard] [Skeleton Rogue]
The evolution options seemed to follow a standard RPG series. The skeleton warrior most likely focuses on strength, the wizard seems to be able to manipulate magic and the rogue is probably an assassin type.
Because of my current one armed situation, the wizard path seemed the most advantageous for me. Also, the Tyrant didn’t have any magic powers so magic was most likely it’s weakness making my evolution path an easy choice.
I stretched out one finger and selected the wizard option on the sphere before my eyes. A light shone on me and it felt like my body was heating up.
‘What? Is it done? What’s changed?’
I searched every nook and cranny on my body but couldn’t find any differences, confused I looked again at my status on the shining sphere.
Name: N/AGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: H+Level: 1/20HP: 5/5MP: 5/5Attack: 1Defense: 1Agility: 2Intelligence: 3✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Lv1] [Fire Shock Lv1]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper]
‘Hmm.. just Fire Shock?’
Having played many RPG’s I was familiar with many magic spells. Fire Shock would usually be one of the lowest level fire spells.
I shouted pointing towards the wall
[Magic Chanting Level 1 ➢ 2]
[Fire Shock Level 1 ➢ 2]
Somehow when it came to magic chants I was able to speak, but except for the magic spells it was still impossible to vocalize anything besides the sound of my teeth chomping.
‘This has quite a lot of constraints’
Waiting for my mana to refill I sent out more Fire Shocks towards the wall and began grinding the skill, repeating the cycle thousands of times. I had endless stamina, suffering from neither hunger nor fatigue so besides waiting for my mana I could train the skill endlessly.
[Magic Chanting Level 5 ➢ 6]
[Fire Shock Level 9 ➢10]
[Fire Shock Level has reached Max]
I had maxed out the skill after using Fire Shock about 4000 ~ 5000 times.
I also concluded that using magic alone didn’t give out any experience points.
‘How much time has passed?’
Underground in these tunnels I couldn’t sense the passage of time because of the lack of fatigue, hunger or need for sleep. Although it was a bit annoying to grind the skill endlessly, I was mostly curious to know if I could become impatient because in my previous life I would probably give up after just 10 tries.
I decided that the slime would be my first victim to practice my magic. Naturally, in RPG’s the beginner slimes had physical resistance but were conversely weak to magic. Besides, trapping tomb rats was time consuming and there was always the chance that they escape.
When my spell hit the slime which was spread out like a puddle it instantly gathered up into the shape of a ball. I didn’t know anything about it’s stats or level because I first needed to kill one to check it’s status page. The slime turned and began moving slowly in my direction since I aggroed it with my magic.
‘I might be in trouble because I only have enough MP for one Fire Shock.’
So I elected to use hit-and-run tactics because the slime was quite slow. Simply running away and waiting for my MP to refill. The slime chased me wholeheartedly, but I could easily keep my distance by simply walking a bit faster.
‘Has it been about 20 shots?’
[+77 experience points]
[Acquired knowledge of Tomb Slimes]
[You can now learn new magic]
[Acquired ｟Title: Hit-and-Run｠]
The slime’s body melted into a pool of liquid, sinking into the cave floor.
‘What! It was just the one but it gave as much experience as hunting three tomb rats at the same time.’
It was a good decision on my part to avoid the slimes at the very start, judging from how much experience they gave they were quite powerful. I opened my status page
Name: N/AGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: H+Level: 4/20HP: 17/17MP: 25/25Attack: 3Defense: 2Agility: 5Intelligence: 12✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Lv6] [Fire Shock Max]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run]✧ Spell Selection[Fireball Lv1] [Lesser Slow Lv1] [Minor Poison Lv1]
It was the perfect fit for me, Fireball would be a bit redundant considering my Fire Shock but Slow is exactly what I needed. Finalizing my selection I turned to a nearby slime.
Status: NormalType: Tomb SlimeRank: G-Level: 7/15HP: 22/22MP: 1/1Attack: 1Defense: 1000Agility: 5Intelligence: 1✧ Unique Skills[Physical Resistance Lv2]
The slimes were originally quite slow but after casting my slow spell, I could simply outwalk it nonchalantly. I decided to raise the level of my Lesser Slow as it might be a crucial survival tool in the future. Beginning the long skill grind I casted Lesser Slow and waited for my mana to refill.
Eventually, after several thousand chants…
[Magic Chanting Lv7 ➢ 8]
[Lesser Slow Lv9 ➢ 10]
[Lesser Slow has reached Max]
Magic Chanting was surprisingly difficult to level up compared to other skills. I thought it was a crucial skill to focus on as it served as a foundation to all other spells and in battle, a fraction of a second could make a huge difference. Still, I decided to put it to the side for now and simply let it increase as I grinded other spells.
Now, hunting slimes with Fire Shock was a piece of cake. A single Fire Shock could wipe out 3 HP from a slime.
‘Hmm… It seems I would need 15 Fire Shocks to bring down the Tyrant of the Tombs, I don’t have nearly enough mana at the moment right?’
One Fire Shock consumes 5 MP, so 75 mana should be enough to kill it. Actually, considering that I’ll need to kite it with hit-and-run tactics and casting Lesser Slow ,100 mana would be a more conservative number. Obviously going head to head with it was impossible.
[Level increased 4 ➢ 6]
MP increased from 25 to 40, as I was a Wizard my mana growth was substantial. I eventually caught all the slimes nearby and was able to hit level 10. Occasionally I would see the Tyrant in the distance but I always chose to avoid it. After a few sightings I was able to map out its trajectory so I would be ready for my revenge fight. Unfortunately there were no more slimes left to level up.
‘I’m not sure how Magic Acquisition works. I thought simply by leveling up I would gain new skills but after reaching a threshold like level 10 I didn’t receive any message.’
I tried to brainstorm some new hypotheses for Magic Acquisition. Could the new skills depend on which monsters I hunt? Is there a maximum number of skills I can learn?
Regardless, worrying about it wouldn’t help so I decided to simply try to catch some tomb rats, but I needed a different strategy since I had no dagger. I decided to max out my Magic Chanting and hoped with the faster cast speed I could hit those quick rodents. Several thousands of Fire Shocks later Magic Chanting reached Max. Now, by focusing well I could cast Lesser Slow within 0.3 seconds.
I gathered some moss once again and began waiting patiently.
‘Please Tyrant, don’t show up.’
Fortunately it was four tomb rats that showed up. Do these guys always travel together?
Just as last time, they were cautious at first but eventually, thinking it was safe they rushed to eat the tasty moss.
I casted four consecutive spells.
“Slow! Slow! Slow! Slow!”
Within the short span of just 1.2 seconds, all four rats were slowed considerably. At the end of the chorus, I quickly finished them off individually with the bone knife.
[Level increased 10 ➢ 11]
My leveling speed was much slower compared to the slimes but at least there was some improvement. MP was rising steadily so I prepared another trap and sat down to wait, but this time around there was a problem.
‘Shit! The Tyrant!’
I chose a cave which was far from it’s usual path but somehow it appeared before me. The moment it saw me it crouched low, heels digging into the ground it’s huge body ready to explode with great strength.
‘Oh… he seems to have recognized me instantly it’s quite intelligent. Uhh… what should I do?’
My thoughts were in turmoil but the giant rodent had already sprung forth, rushing towards me. I had less than half a second to make a decision.
“Slow! Slow! Slow!”
I quickly casted three Lesser Slows, unsure but hopeful that it could be stacked. Just as it arrived I jumped to the side, narrowly avoiding its charge as I checked its status.
State Slow (Low)
Unfortunately the skill didn’t stack but it should be fine. I was capable of dodging its charge if it was in a slowed state. Just like I’d done with the slimes I ran around the cave, alternating between Lesser Slow and Fire Shock. Always calculating and keeping in mind my MP consumption, I continued to kite the Tyrant. After going in circles about 10 times the Tomb Tyrant’s face became red, seemingly getting angry.
‘Shit! Are you using Berserk? Right, it’s quite a common skill among bosses.’
Although it didn’t dispel the slow effect, its speed increased noticeably.
The Tomb Tyrant only had 6 HP left, I could finish him off with only three more Fire Shocks.
The problem was that I only had 7 MP remaining, which only left me with enough for a maximum of two Fire Shocks leaving him with 1 HP.
I racked my brains searching for a solution.
‘Yes, I can try that.’
A crazy idea came to me. It would be too depressing if my other arm were torn off so I needed to defeat him now at all costs.
I sent the first spell out and put my back up against the wall, facing the incoming Tyrant.
‘I have to go through with it, it’s the only way.’
I lift up my bone knife to the charging giant rat, my solution was to use its incoming momentum to cause the remaining 1 point damage. Of course my body would also be smashed in the process but it was the only plan I could think of.
I heard the bones in my arm crumbling as the Tyrant rammed me into the wall. I quickly shoot out my last Fire Shock with my last MP right before losing my last arm. Time passed so slowly, like in increments 0.1 second. I saw my bones and ribs splintering into tiny pieces just as I saw my HP drop to 0 on my status window.
My vision went dark like a computer which had been powered down.
When I finally came to it, I opened my eyes and saw my body had been completely crushed, tiny pieces of my bones littering the cave floor. In the middle of it all lay the Tyrant of the Tombs, motionless.
‘Did I succeed…?’
If I had not managed to use Fire Shock at the last second perhaps he would have survived and taken the rest of my limbs. I wondered if I would be able to cast magic without having a left arm, but to be honest It was something I would rather not have to find out first hand.
Just like the first time, I was embedded into the wall from the collision and struggled to wiggle myself out. With my HP at rock bottom my movements were sluggish and I struggled to gather my bone pieces scattered on the floor like a mosaic. This time around it took me 200 ~ 230 hours to collect all my pieces because my condition was much worse. Perhaps it was because compared to the first time, when the Tyrant was just fooling around, it was in a berserk state with its life threatened.
‘Ah right, did I gain some experience and level up?’
I opened my Status page just as I finished reattaching my left arm.
Name: N/AGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: H+Level: 9/20HP: 19/19MP: 70/70Attack: 12Defense: 2Agility: 7Intelligence: 21✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run]
Surprisingly my level had dropped despite having killed a named monster. Could it be a death penalty? Looking closer I even noticed my stats had dropped slightly.
‘Hmm… can dying be such a big loss? Well… oh, wait a minute.’
I quickly checked my Status page to confirm something.
Unfortunately there was no way to verify my hypothesis at the moment so I simply put it to the back of my skull and began to cut apart the giant rodent’s body. I was searching for my missing right arm, expecting to find it half digested in its stomach but all I found were pieces of moss and the bodies of tomb rats.
‘Where did this guy put my right arm?’
Trying my hand at tracking, I retraced its steps and searched several times along its usual roaming routes until I came across a side path I hadn’t noticed previously.
‘It’s my first time seeing this right?’
Following the new path carefully, I was led to a dead end cave with a mountain of glittering jewels, shiny gold, equipment, and my right arm holding a dagger.
‘Is this the Tyrant’s hideout? Is this all of its spoils? Where did all these jewels come from?’
I reattached my right arm and started rummaging through the mountain of spoils looking for something useful. Perhaps I was being too enthusiastic because the pile of jewels and gold collapsed
I noticed that there was a hole that was previously hidden from sight behind the mountain of treasure. Looking past I noticed it led up to a familiar place with marble walls. The Tyrant had most probably collected all these things from across this hole and brought them back to his hideout.
By holding an item in my hands I could check its properties by simply clicking on the blinking light in the Status page. After going through all the equipment I decided on a red robe, a magically enchanted dagger with an embedded jewel in the hilt and a sturdy round shield with glittering gems.
It seemed like the Tomb Tyrant was very fond of shiny objects. I looked a bit like a hip-hop artist with all this bling but it felt good. I was ready for the new adventure beyond the hole.
‘Should I get started?’
I crawled through the hole and ended up in a dark cave in which only the moss emitted a faint light, illuminating the space somewhat allowing me to see some rough silhouettes. When my eyes finally adjusted, I was able to see clearly thanks to the Night Vision skill.
It had a different vibe compared to the previous place. For one it was a much bigger space and the marble walls were a dull, dark black. The only things I was able to make out in the darkness were a few stone statues and pillars but that alone was enough to stimulate my sense of adventure.
‘Should I go take a look around?’
Maybe since I had become a skeleton my concept of danger had changed somewhat. Or is it possible that because I’m living an adventure then I naturally become braver? In my former world, I would never consider roaming through such a dark and scary place.
I began walking around but even after some time, I hadn’t seen any signs of life or movement for that matter. Unlike the previous cave and tunnel system, this area was incredibly vast so I decided to think of it as Catacombs. After some exploring I did find two places that could possibly lead me to other floors but they were both blocked by large iron doors.
I began searching nearby, hoping to find a key or some mechanism to unlock the doors but it was all for naught. There was this one room that had a pile of treasure inside but despite looking carefully I didn’t find any keys or useful items.
‘If I take all these treasures could I enjoy a luxurious lifestyle?’
Just as the thought crossed my mind I realised the folly of it and became depressed.
If people were too see a rich skeleton walking around with jewels I would definitely be beaten down and robbed of all my valuables. To top it off, I’m also a good source of experience points,so I’ll definitely be killed.
‘Damn it, why am I a skeleton? Even if I were a gremlin or goblin, I would at least be able to enjoy these jewels.’
My head hung low, dejected by my current situation.
‘Well, there’s nothing I can do about it. Perhaps these treasure might be useful later so let’s just take them.’
Finding two expensive looking pouches nearby I filled them to the brim with jewels, gems and any shiny items before carefully placing them within my robe, out of sight from greedy eyes.
While rummaging through the pile of treasure, I seemed to have knocked a transparent bottle to the floor but fortunately it didn’t break. A light within it began to shine.
Huh… What’s that, a firefly?
Looking closely I noticed a bright, shining fairy-like creature the size of my index finger.
It seemed to be grumbling and malcontent about being stuck in a bottle, but I couldn’t make out what it was saying.
I stared at it in the bottle a while longer. It had pointy ears, rich golden hair and the perfect face of a cute Western child from a fantasy game.
However, it appeared very angry at the moment, showing its teeth and seemingly screaming at the top of its lungs but the bottle was well sealed and very little sound was heard.
‘Should I set it free?’
I could empathize somewhat with its situation because although I wasn’t stuck in a bottle I did feel trapped within these Catacombs.
The sound of the sealed lid being opened was quite loud because it had been closed for a long time. The little fairy inside seemed dazed by the change in atmospheric pressure. I reached out to carefully grab it and placed it on my bony hand. It was strange to see it laying on my hand but be unable to feel it. It was somewhat out of place seeing such a beautiful creature on my ugly skeleton hand.
“You didn’t have to open it so forcefully!”
Grumbled the fairy as it stood up and rubbing its ear to check its hearing.
I tried to ask if it was ok, but only the clacking of my teeth could be heard
“You aren’t just any skeleton right? Interesting, have I been stuck in a bottle for too long and the world has changed? Do skeletons have intelligence now?”
The fairy took to the air with its little wings, flying around inspecting me with an incredulous look on her face. I felt somewhat uncomfortable by her rude actions, but it was my first time meeting another being that could speak so I simply accepted it.
‘Should I ask her to follow me?’
I stretched out my index finger pointing to the fairy.
“Huh? What are you doing?”
I point at her, myself and then used two fingers to do an impression of walking.
“Uh … what does that mean? Do you want me to follow you?”
I nodded my head.
“Wait, why? Why do I need to go around with a scary looking skeleton like you?”
I pointed to the opened glass bottle on the floor.
Hmm… so because you set me free I should go together with you?”
I nodded again.
“Sorry, thanks for opening the bottle but I don’t want to follow you around.”
My shoulders dropped as I was disappointed by her response.
“Instead, I’ll simply ride on top of you! HeHe!”
She flitted her wings and landed atop my helmet.
“I’m caled Gwyn. I’ll be riding you from now on, Giddy up Giddy up!”
I seem to have become a fairy’s mount but I didn’t really mind. It wasn’t so bad to have a somewhat noisy friend tagging along. Although I wasn’t able to join in and start a conversation just hearing Gwyn’s voice brought joy to my heart.
“So one day I was playing in the woods, when suddenly a rogue wizard locked me up in that bottle. If it had just been a normal bottle I could have easily gotten out but it must have been sealed through magic so I was stuck.”
I would have preferred for Gwyn to speak more slowly or even sometimes stay quiet, but it was just my wishful thinking. I didn’t have any way to communicate with her my desires and even if she knew, I somehow doubted she would listen.
While carrying Gwyn on my head, I searched all the nearby rooms carefully but there wasn’t any way out.
“Hey you, do you have a name?”
The fairy hovered in front of my face questioningly. It was such a small and pretty doll like face. Despite her clothes green and tattered, her skin was soft and had a healthy pearl glow giving her a mysterious look. However, when she starts talking I get the impression that she is quite mischievous.
I shook my my head
“Oh really? Then I’ll give you one.”
Gwyn frowned, appearing deep in thought so she didn’t notice me trying to wave her off with my hand, it was already too late.
“Chompy! How about Chompy?”
As expected, such a ridiculous name from the impish fairy.
[Name ‘Chompy’ has been selected]
[Status for your friend Pixie Gwyn is now available]
A message appeared before me.
‘Oh a friend… Are you a pixie? I thought you were some kind of fairy.’
I first focused on the second message about Gwyn because it was my first friend in this world. Despite her giving me a funny sounding name I patted her head in acknowledgement.
“So are you happy I named you? Hehehe… I came up with it because it’s the sound you make when you try to talk Chomp! Chomp! It’s perfect right? From now on you’re Chompy!”
Rushing back to her place atop my head she yelled.
I purposely chomped down with my teeth and began to run around halls making more chomping sounds. Listening to Gwyn’s voice I felt such excitement that I ran too much and overdid it.
Despite running for so long I didn’t feel any fatigue but I noticed that my HP had dropped.
“It’s enough… I’m getting dizzy!”
Luckily the little passenger was also getting tired so we just sat down in the corner to rest. After a little while, we heard the sound of something approaching in the distance.
“Chompy what are those sounds?”
Gwyn fluttered her wings and hovered before my face with a curious expression but I shook my head
“Well? Don’t you want to find out? Let’s go see what’s going on.”
“Come on Chompy, faster!”
Gwyn go back on my helmet and I hurry along toward the sounds.
“Chompy slow down, I can hear some people.”
I could hear the sound of footsteps and two people talking approaching from a distance so I decided to hide behind a few stone statues.
“Is here ok?” asked Gwyn
I pointed my finger at her and then to my empty eye sockets, it was the only way to hide the light she was emitting.
“Is it ok? Wouldn’t it hurt you?”
It would probably be fine since my eyes sockets were empty. Oh right, without any eyes how was I able to see what’s in front of me. The mystery of how my skeleton body worked was truly beyond me.
Gwyn went into my eyes, a glow escaped adding a certain life to them. I listened to the footsteps and covered my eyes with my shield.
As they got closer I could make out their conversation more clearly.
“Gillian is it true that there are heaps of treasure here?”
“Yes, when I came about four months ago I wasn’t able to explore too deeply because of the number of skeletons but I’m sure there’s a bunch of treasure.”
“My subclass is Historian and I can guarantee that what Gillian said was true.”
“Sigh… Pirate, I already regret coming to these old and smelly Catacombs, You better be right about all that treasure because if you’ve tricked me, I’ll tell your wife that you cheated on her with Lyllian last year.”
“Oh no, please don’t Azelin will kill me!”
“So quickly show me where that treasure is, do you have any idea how much it costs to hire a priest these days? It’s not an amount that some small fries like you can afford to pay.”
Listening to their conversation I realized they were most likely the same group of people who attacked my group of skeletons with a fireball causing me to fall down into the pit.
‘Seems like this time they brought along a priest. Wait, has it already been four months?’
Between the training and monster hunting I had no clue how much time had passed down in the caves but after hearing their conversation it must have been four months.
Crrrrack! Crrack! Crack!
As their footsteps approached two of the statues around me seemed to gain a life of their own.
‘What, they weren’t normal statues?’
The demon shaped winged statues began to slowly move, shaking off the dust.
‘It’s a gargoyle’
It was what first came to mind when I saw the stone statues move. A gargoyle is a stone statue in the shape of a winged demon that has been given life. It generally has decent resistance to both physical and magic damage. Only my enchanted weapon might have a chance of piercing its defenses.
I looked at the dagger in my hand, it’s an enchanted weapon with a gem in its hilt, emitting an aura of frost magic.
‘They don’t seem to think of me as enemy, I should stealthily escape to where those adventurers came from.’
When the people came in I had heard the sound of a door opening which for me represented a way out.
“Shit! Hey… what do we do?”
The door closes behind them automatically Gillian turned to confirm the door was closed before coming to terms with the situation at hand.
“What are we going to fight them with?” ——– No choice! Fight !
“Our weapons won’t even scratch them.”
“Ian! How about your magic?”
“Right now I can’t, the casting time is quite long. Quickly, Gillian! Pirate! Buy me some time!”
Gillian let out a grunt as he received the brunt of two gargoyles’ attacks, defending against the greatsword. Pirate, perhaps a thief, attacked one with his dagger but was sent back flying from the impact.
They were a group of four, A warrior and thief in the frontline with a magician and priest in the back. When the thief was sent flying, the priest had to focus on healing him so the warrior was soon overwhelmed and retreated, unable to defend from the Gargoyle’s heavy sword.
With the frontline having crumbled, the mage and priest were vulnerable. A gargoyle heads towards the spellcasters, counter attacking never even crossed their minds as they did their best to barely dodge with awkward rolls.
“Lord, grace me with your strength! Bless!”
The Priest quickly cast some emergency healing and buffs but it wasn’t very useful. The warrior was trying to use block to intercept the gargoyle going after his friend Pirate, but it didn’t seem to work as it continued to advance towards the wounded thief.
The warrior slashed the gargoyle but the sword bounced off and he is sent flying by the rebound. As he struggles to stand up, the advancing gargoyle tramples him with all its weight.
The sound of bones breaking could be heard as the warrior that was just stepped on spurts blood out from his mouth.
‘That’s going to be a party wipe, no one will survive.’
I had played many MMORPG’s in the past and encountered similar situations. If the frontline crumbles the squishy backline should immediately retreat, otherwise it would result in them all being wiped out.
Neither the priest or mage seemed willing to abandon their party, but to be truthful with the door having closed behind them there wasn’t anywhere to escape to, the result had already been decided.
“Should we intervene, what if they can help us get out of here?”
Asked Gwyn, but I shook my head. Coming to a dungeon they should have been prepared for such an outcome and besides, it wasn’t certain that they could help me get out. But above all, it’s very likely for them to misunderstand the situation if they see a new monster coming out and I didn’t want to deal with such a nuisance.
“Ian! Melinda! Run Away!”
The thief cries as he struggles to get up and place himself between the
gargoyle and the squishy spellcasters. By how much he was staggering, it was clear that he had not yet recovered. When the gargoyle swung his heavy sword Pirate had no way to defend himself and was sent flying far away, landing with a thud.
‘That’s a fatal blow, he couldn’t have survived that.’
I watched quietly on the side but felt Gwyn who was hiding in my skull get emotional.
“Chompy… please help them out, I’ll find a way to make it up to you later. I am a being which is contracted with spirits, so if I don’t help out in such situations I’ll suffer a penalty.”
Penalty… I didn’t know what that represented but the possibilities were troublesome. I wasn’t so inhuman as to deny my first friend’s request and I was also looking forward to how much experience a gargoyle would give.
I took off my helmet and covered myself completely with a hooded robe, hiding all traces of me being a skeleton. The priest and mage were avoiding the gargoyle’s sword but it was just a matter of time.
Carefully sneaking up behind the other gargoyle I readied my dagger. It noticed me instantly and turned around but there were no signs of hostility in its eyes.
‘Well, it doesn’t seem to consider me as an enemy but I wonder how long that will last.’
Using two hands I stabbed deeply into the back of its head. I worried that my dagger wouldn’t do any damage because his head is made of stone but the dagger was sharp enough. Fortune was with me as the gargoyle moved slightly and the dagger got wedged in a crack, it worked perfectly. Is it stuck now? But the bigger problem was that both gargoyles turned to me, I had aggroed both of them!
“Who…who are you? Thanks for your help.”
I heard the priest and mage say but i was only focused on the gaze of these two stone demons.
‘Dammit! Why didn’t you get one shotted!”
I began to retreat instantly and casted slow on each gargoyle. Having prioritized me as their enemy they were both chasing me down but thankfully they originally weren’t very fast and with the slow debuff I could easily outpace them.
“Chompy! So cool! When you cast spells you can speak? But, why are you running away now?”
I couldn’t speak so I had no way to answer Gwyn. Contemplating some strategies I realized that the magic in the dagger would surely drain the first gargoyle’s strength and it was likely weakened, the bigger problem was the other one. How should I handle him?
I rested for a while, allowing them to close the distance I could hear their heavy footsteps heading my way.
‘I think I should pull out the dagger and use it on the other one after he collapses.’
Thud! Thud! Thud!
The sound of footsteps was getting louder. This floor is very large but it only went in one direction so I had no way to lose them. I decided to lead them them toward the pits where I fell down the first time. Relying on my knowledge of the landscape I could lose them in the complicated cave system. I had been slowly leading the gargoyles towards the hole connecting the two floors.
Finally I arrived before the hole and waited for them to catch up. When they came into sight I jumped in.
“Thud! Thud! Thud!”
The footsteps were getting further away, they didn’t follow me into the hole. I then remembered that gargoyles were originally stone statues meant to protect something and it seems that a different floor is outside of their range. This might make hunting them quite easy but first I’ll need to confirm one thing.
I came out of the hole and casted slow on the gargoyles which were heading back towards the priest and mage.
“Slow! Slow! Fireshock! Fireshock!”
Within just 1.2 seconds I casted four spells and regained their aggro. They turned towards me and began their slow running motions, definitely under the effects of my slow. I ran back towards the hole and waited just outside its entrance.
‘Come! If this works you guys are dead meat!’
I stayed near the hole, giving the gargoyles time to catch up. This time I waited until the very last second so as to confirm my hypothesis.
Just as the gargoyles swung their heavy stone swords I dodged, leaping into the hole.
As expected they immediately lost interest in me when I left the floor’s perimeter. Shortly after, I jumped back out and casted.
As soon as the two spells hit they turned back towards me, truly such simple minded creatures.
With my idea of escaping down the hole I didn’t need to waste mana using slow so I could be more efficient. I jumped down the hole and just as they turned around I came back out again.
The gargoyles were mindlessly going around in circles, slaves to their aggro range. I repeated the process many times, trying to find the most efficient downtime between spells in order to allow my mana to replenish, but after 10 cycles I had finally run out.
I went down the hole to hide in the pits, slowly recovering my MP. When it was restored I had to run and catch the gargoyles, slowly kiting them back towards the passage, casting fireshock when I had a chance. Finally after the 100th Fireshock the first gargoyle fell.
[+277 experience points]
[Level increased 9 ➢ 15]
[Acquired knowledge of Tomb Gargoyles]
Messages appeared before me as the gargoyle which I had stabbed with my enchanted dagger had finally fallen.
“Hey Chompy, did you finally manage to kill one?”
Gwyn who had been sleeping in my skull the whole time just woke up, evidently bored.
‘I’m going through all this trouble for you but you’re just sleeping!’
I wanted to scream at her but I could just clack my teeth.
“Hehehe ~ good job, keep it up! I’ll just go back to sleep.”
Having just acquired some new spells after killing a new monster, I gained some certainty towards my previous hypothesis regarding the acquisition of new magic.
‘So killing different monsters gives me access to new spells, do I also need to level up or just kill a new monster? Regardless this was a great harvest.’
While I was resting in the hole, rejoicing about all my gains the second gargoyle had turned around.
‘I won’t let you escape!’
I went out to catch it while opening my status window.
Name: ChompyGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: H+Level: 15/20HP: 29/29MP: 30/170Attack: 16Defense: 4Agility: 12Intelligence: 34✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv 1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max][Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run]✧ Magic Selection[Lesser Petrification Lv1] [Intermediate Slow Lv1] [Fireball Lv1]
Perhaps because I had killed a gargoyle I was able to learn the new petrification magic. It was an interesting choice but I figured that I already had the slow spell as crowd control and needed to increase my dps. It wouldn’t always be the case that I could kite monster across the rooms or use a trick like I had done with the hole.
[You have learned Fireball Lv1]
As I was running to catch the last gargoyle I picked up my enchanted dagger embedded in its partner’s corpse. When it came within view I used my ability to check its status.
Status: (Slowed) RareType: Tomb Gargoyle/ Granted lifeRank: G+Level: 24/80HP: 144/484MP: 1/1Attack: 100Defense: 1000Agility: 12Intelligence: 10✧ Unique Skills[Physical resistance Lv3] [Magic resistance Lv1]
Gargoyles were so strong compared to the slime I had hunted previously. Incredible HP and defense making it a great tank but its attack damage was still enough to one shot me. No wonder it took so long to hunt the first one, my Fireshock only does about 2-3 damage.
I stabbed it in the back with my dagger and ran away chanting my spells
I brought him back towards the hole and used the same aggro cheat until it eventually collapsed.
[Level increased 15 ➢ 18]
The rate of increase had slowed down, seems like it required noticeably more experience as the levels got higher. I was slightly disappointed because I was expecting to evolve.
“Wow did you take care of the last one? Good job Chompy!”
‘This guy… such a terrible friend to carry around’
I was complaining but only the sound of my teeth could be heard.
Gwyn flew out from my eye socket and hovered before my face with a playful expression.
“What did you say? I couldn’t hear you, repeat it once more!”
‘Ughh I have to endure… just ignore that little rascal. I leveled up and gained a new skill, let’s just focus on that.’
I turned around and headed back towards the main hall.
“Hey there! Thanks for your help!”
The priest and mage watched me approach from far away, fortunately they were not yet aware that I was a skeleton because the only light down here was emitted by the moss on the walls. It was very hard for them to see well, so I only appeared as a human surrounded by shadows.
Gwyn quickly hid in my skull and shouted at the approaching adventurers.
“Don’t come near me! I’m unable to be close to people.”
It was funny to hear Gwin try to pass her voice off as mine. Having her voice echo through my skull was also a weird feeling, it was a situation that could only be found in some strange movie.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know…”
They shivered and stopped advancing.
“Please save our friends!”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to help you earlier, but you should return to where you came from, this place is not safe.”
Gwyn’s tiny voice escaped from my skull but the adventurers didn’t seem to have any intentions of going back.
“We don’t know how to get back, the door we came through has been locked and we can’t get through.”
That must have been the scraping sound I heard while the fight just started, but it was good to get a confirmation.
“I don’t know of any way out so take care of yourselves.”
Gwyn struggled to squeeze out those last words and I quickly headed off to the small hole. The longer we stayed talking the more suspicious they would get which might lead to a troublesome situation. It was afterall quite difficult for such a small being to imitate a human’s speech. Although she couldn’t keep it up for long, I was glad to have Gwyn talk in my stead because otherwise, I could only run away immediately which would be even more awkward.
Shortly after a few messages appeared in front of me.
[Acquired ｟Title: Savior Lv1｠]
[Acquired ｟Title: Coldhearted Lv1｠]
‘Huh? Was that supposed to be a compliment, is it agreeing with my actions?’
The implication of the titles was somewhat disturbing but I chose to focus on the problem at hand.
I was now back in the tomb, rummaging through the Tyrant’s pile of spoils. I searched for many clothes so that the next time I meet people I can better hide my identity as a skeleton. The tyrant loved shiny things the most so all the clothes he had collected had some jewels in them. I wore an ancient but good quality robe, gloves and shoes all enchanted with durability spells to stand the test of time. With all that “bling” I looked more like a hip-hop warrior than ever before. I wasn’t interested in covering my face with some rags so I used a full helmet to cover my skull.
“Chompy, you look so fat! How am I even supposed to get in?”
Having so much clothes and armour was too constraining and made my movements quite stiff. Gwyn was also complaining that she had no way to access the inside of my skull if I wore the helmet, but it wasn’t a big problem. If Gwyn really needs to go in, I can simply take it off. I kept listening to her grumbling, insisting she be let inside. The problem was whether I’d be able to hunt those tomb rats with such stiff movements.
After separating from the two humans I decided to further explore the Catacombs.
Maybe I would get lucky and find an exit somewhere. If I hadn’t found the Tomb Tyrant’s treasure cave I wouldn’t have found the path to this floor so the possibility existed that there were other hidden paths.
Eventually I discovered another new path, half hidden behind a large rock. Surprisingly, it was located nearby the pit I had originally fallen down through.
‘I had been trying to find an exit so badly but it was in front of me the whole time!’
“Chompy! I can smell some water in this cave!”
I would have never known because having no nose, I had no sense of smell but luckily Gwyn was with me. I was feeling hopeful because if you are trapped underground following running water is usually a good way out.
It was the sound of an incredibly large beast reverberating along the cave floor.
“Chompy! What’s that sound? I’m scared!”
Gwyn struggled to push up my helmet before sneaking in and hiding inside my skull. But really what’s the difference, it’s not like being in there guarantees her safety.
Looking around I realised that the walls of the narrow path were glossy and smooth, almost as if the rock had been melted.
‘How hot must the fire be to melt walls?’
The trembling was getting louder as the beast was approaching.
‘Damn! I need to get out of here!”
Running at top speed I went back the same way I came.
“Hey… where are you going? Are you going to help them find a way out?”
Gwyn had come out, flying besides me trying to figure out my intentions.
Gwyn looked at me beaming, proud of my selflessness but I shook my head.
“Oh oh oh then what are you doing?”
I grabbed Gwyn and stuffed her back into my skull.
“Umm… excuse me but do you have something to eat?” the priest asked as I got closer.
It seems like he had been following me the whole time, fortunately I had thrown Gwyn inside just in time and tapped my skull to remind her of her duty. I had heard his footsteps getting close so I reacted quickly, Gwyn was upset that I threw her in without any warning, but when she heard his voice she calmed down and understood.
“Hmmm…nope I have no food.”
Gwyn was definitely useful in these kinds of situations.
“We really have no food at all, could you give us just a little bit?”
I crossed my fingers in the shape of an X, helping Gwyn and the humans understand that I didn’t have any food.
“Sorry but there really isn’t any, I said before that you shouldn’t have come to this place.
“Sorry I have to ask because Ian is is dying of thirst, do you have any water?”
I again showed the X sign with my fingers.
“Sorry I don’t have any water either.”
“How is that…? How could can you survive without water?
He was visibly angry, most likely having misunderstood that I had food and water but was unwilling to share.
“I don’t know” Gwyn’s simple reply left him perplexed as I kept waking away, anxious to distance myself from the newly explored cave.
Kuwoong! Kuwong! Kuwoong!
Looking across the hall I could see an immense four legged monster which seemed to be the boss of the area.
‘Is that a dragon?’
With such long legs it must be nearly 10 meters tall if it were to stand up. If I face him head on I’ll definitely die.
The priest had approached from behind me and pushed me down. I had been too focused on the dragon and hadn’t been aware of my surroundings, it was my mistake.
“Ha! You wanted to eat alone and live well! Also when we were in danger with the gargoyles you didn’t exactly rush in to help. You can consider this as our revenge. Ha ha ha! We will soon die of thirst but you will join us!” He cried as he ran away.
I rolled over and saw his back running away, I had risked my life to save them from the gargoyles and yet this is how I was repaid.
I realized I was on death’s door, my body was frozen in fear, simply watching the dragon approach as I stayed sitting down.
It had a gigantic grayish-brown body, its countless scales were hard like turtle shells in hexagonal shape. It’s height from its toes to the top of its head was approximately 3 meters (TL 7+ meter legs?) and it had the long nostril face of a crocodile but with bigger and more menacing teeth protruding. It also had a short neck, much like an alligator.
It quickly closed the 6 meter gap we had and uses its large nostrils to smell me.
Gwyn who was hiding in my skull was suffering greatly from the stench but luckily I couldn’t smell anything.
‘Is this how I’m going to die?’
I was completely immobile, so it wasn’t clear if It knew I was alive simply by smelling me.
‘I hope it thinks I’m dead… Oh dear.’
It chomped down at my thighs, seperating my upper body and immediately swallowed me without chewing.
‘I am so nauseous! ’
I went straight to its stomach, tossing and turning until I couldn’t differentiate up from down and uncertain how long I had been inside.
Luckily when I finally recovered my bearings, I checked my status window and my stats hadn’t dropped. I was in its stomach, but I hadn’t been digested yet.
When what remained of my robe touched the gastric acids, a sizzling sound was heard. His stomach was quite large and there were more pieces of meat inside than I expected. Despite having lost both my legs, I was able to walk around on my thigh stumps, albeit very awkwardly.
‘Damn humans…I’ll never forget my mistake today. A skeleton isn’t supposed to help people.’
“Chompy… I’m sorry, I didn’t expect him to be such a bad human.”
When I had overheard them talking when they first walked into the dungeon, I knew the priest couldn’t be a good person, but I never imagined that he would repay my kindness with evil. I will definitely have to get my revenge if I ever get out of here.
‘Can I use magic inside its stomach?’
I was curious to see how vulnerable its inside’s were, Its scales were definitely incredibly hard but would it be the same case for its squishy interior?
[Fireball Lv1 ➢ 2]
The area where the fireball impacted was charred black, it was was probably cooked medium-well.
The dragon cried in pain, it definitely was more sensitive on its insides. It rolled over in pain which meant I was sent flying every which way inside the stomach.
This is my last resort! Taking full advantage of my quick magic chanting I let loose continuous fireballs until my MP dropped to 0.
[Fireball Lv2 ➢ 3]
[Fireball Lv3 ➢ 4]
“Go Chompy! Show him who’s boss!”
Just as my MP was running low, I finally broke through and was poured outside along with all the other stuff in its stomach.
I had also wrapped Gwyn up in my robe because I had noticed it was somewhat resistant to the acid.
It was the sound of my robe resisting the stomach acids as I felt fresh air for the first time in awhile. I quickly pulled off my robe and rolled outside avoiding as much acidic fluids as possible.
[You have learned Acid resistance Lv1]
The dragon vomited terribly before collapsing to the ground, clearly devoid of any strength. Although it was still alive, it was in critical condition because it had a burnt hole in its stomach.
After carefully confirming that the half-dead dragon was on its last legs, I took the time to look around. We appeared to be in its nest judging by the hundreds of large broken bones as well as three large eggs. Although two of these roughly 50 centimeter wide eggs were already broken, one did appear intact.
I made my way towards the last egg, If the dragon somehow recovered its strength I planned on using it as a hostage to escape safely.
Out of nowhere three one meter thick larvae like creatures dug their way out from the ground.
“It’s a worm!”
Gwyn was great at pointing out the obvious.
The fallen dragon tried to scare them off with a show of force but it couldn’t keep up the facade for long. Although the worms were intimidated at first, when they realised how weak it currently was they didn’t hesitate to approach and began feasting on its body.
The dragon tried some last ditch efforts but soon lay down in defeat, allowing the worms and their incredibly sharp teeth to gorge themselves until they swelled to double their original size.
“Eewww disgusting, they’re known as the underground cleaners. As far as I know they don’t attack living creatures, but I’ve never seen such big worms. ”
Gwyn was informing me from within my skull.
‘Hey Gwyn don’t you realize that we almost melted inside that guy’s stomach?’
I was grumbling in my mind, but Gwyn seemed to have completely forgotten about our previous life and death situation, and had quickly returned to her chatty ways.
“The worms are going to eat his soft parts, Look! Look! Does a dragon’s tough meat even taste good?”
I never expected that these worms could eat so much. It didn’t even occur to me to run away and I just stood there motionless, watching the scene of a dragon’s body being systematically dismantled and gobbled up until only a small pile of bones and flesh remained.
[+10224 experience points]
[Level increased 18 ➢ 20]
[You have learned Status Check Lv1]
[You have learned Sage’s Wisdom Lv1]
[Acquired ｟Title: Dragon Slayer Lv1｠]
A slew of messages appeared before my eyes.
‘Oh did it count as my kill? Sweet!’
After finishing their feast the worms immediately disappeared underground, not bothering with me in the least. I faced Gwyn and pointed to my missing legs.
“You want to find where the your legs are? Alright! I’ll fly ahead and look for you.”
I crawled on the floor using my arms, I definitely have to find and reattach my legs before going through with my evolution. I didn’t know if I would still have my ability to reconnected my limbs after evolving so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“Found them! Come here! This way!”
Gwyn guided me for the next 30 minutes as I struggled to crawl along the floor, back towards my legs and the passage leading back to the Catacombs.
I gnashed my teeth.
‘I will get my revenge!’
I opened the status window as I reattached my legs. Gwyn was flying around aimlessly.
Name: ChompyGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: H+Level: 20/20HP: 42/42MP: 180/180Attack: 17Defense: 4Agility: 11Intelligence: 32✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max] [Fireball Lv4] [Acid Resistance Lv1] [Identification Lv1] [Sage’s Wisdom Lv1]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv1] [Coldhearted Lv1] [Dragon Slayer Lv1]Evolution Choice[Skeleton Enchanter] [Skeleton Shaman] [Skeleton Wizard/Rogue]
I was curious about the two new skills, Identification seemed to be an improvement of the status viewer I’ve been using on other monsters, but what was Sage’s Wisdom?
<Sage’s Wisdom is a skill which answers questions you have about information in a status page.>
The answer simply appeared in my mind.
‘Is it some kind of help system?’
There was no answer, perhaps it didn’t understand what was a help system and was therefore unable to answer. Regardless it sounds very convenient, let’s give it a try.
‘Explain to me the characteristics of the Skeleton Enchanter and Skeleton Shaman.’
<Skeleton Enchanter is an evolution which allows you to enchant weapons and armor. It focuses on Intelligence, at the cost of Attack damage. Skeleton Shaman is an evolution which allows you to use curses and summons. It also focuses on Intelligence, but it may incur a karma penalty.>
<Karma indirectly influences your evolution choices and is a result of your actions.>
‘Does that mean the evolution is solely determined by karma?’
<Your current Sage’s Wisdom level is insufficient to answer this question.>
‘Huh? Do I also have to raise its level?’
It seemed like a very convenient skill but I would have to level it up more to use it properly. I decided to use it to resolve some hypotheses I had formed so far.
‘Explain to me about the death penalty if my level is low.’
<At low levels, if your level can no longer drop then your stats will be reduced.>
‘Well that explains why my stats dropped the first time. Ok, then explain to me about how resurrection works’
<The death penalty applies when you resurrect, but if you die when you are level one there is a chance of failing to revive. As your Resurrection skill level increases, the death penalty decreases.>
<The power of Sage’s Wisdom has been used up, it will now enter a period of hibernation.>
‘Wait…what? Was there a maximum number of uses? Hey! Couldn’t you have told me that first? Uhm… hello? Mr. Sage?’
There was no response.
‘Damn it, if I had known I would have carefully considered which questions to ask. How many times did I use it again? Ughh, Such a waste!’
Finally I decided to give up on the Sage’s Wisdom and focus on picking my evolution path by evaluating their pros and cons.
‘I think the Enchanter sounds pretty good, magic weapons aren’t easy to find and it’s a pretty good skill to be able to enchant any item I want. Shaman has the golem summon ability which is cool, but I already don’t like the fact that I am a monster, so I don’t want to be walking around with one as well. The dual class of Wizard/Rogue seemed interesting but less so than being an Enchanter.’
After confirming that both my legs were fully reattached and functioning, I chose the Enchanter evolution.
[You have learned Weapon Enchantment Lv1]
[You have learned Armor Enchantment Lv1]
I had gained two new spells so I opened my Status page to see.
Name: ChompyGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: EnchanterRank: H+Level: 1/50HP: 12/12MP: 40/40Attack: 5 (+3)Defense: 2 (+2)Agility: 14Intelligence: 12Luck: 4✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max] [Fireball Lv4] [Acid Resistance Lv1][Identification Lv1] [Sage’s Wisdom Lv1] [Weapon Enchantment] [Armor Enchantment]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv1] [Dragon Slayer Lv1]
My stats weren’t bad at all, although it was lower than when I was a level 20 skeleton mage, gaining levels early on was easy so I should be able to quickly make it up. It also seemed like I could see more information, probably due to the Identification skill.
I returned to the nest where what was left of the dragon’s body remained. I skinned the dragon’s hide which hadn’t yet rotted and set it aside to dry. I also pulled out a few of it’s larger teeth because they looked sharp and menacing.
“Those must be useful, dragon’s skin and teeth are always valuables tools in games.’
I then went up to the dragon’s egg thinking what about what to do with it.
“Chompy what are you doing here? I’ve been looking around for a while. Wait what? Your color has changed!”
Hearing Gwyn’s comment I look at myself for the first time and noticed my bones which were originally white had suddenly become red as if someone had painted me.
I nodded back to her.
“Pretty! Pretty! Hehehehe!”
Although I personally felt really weird that my color had suddenly changed, it helped that Gwyn seemed to like it.
“What should we do with this egg? Have ourselves some breakfast?”
I wouldn’t eat it, well to be precise I don’t exactly eat at all. The question now was whether or not I should take it with me.
I shook my head to Gwyn, shooting down her breakfast idea. Looking around I began to collect some bones on the floor, most likely from monster which the dragon had hunted. Connecting them together I made a basket to carry the egg in. I then tore off some clothes on my back and fused the bone basket with my body. Although the egg was originally quite heavy, after attaching the basket to my skeletal structure it became manageable.
“You’re going to carry it around? What if something hatches, will you raise it?”
I nodded to her and began walking with my egg. If you’re in a fantasy world, isn’t it everyone’s dream to one day ride a dragon? Despite being a skeleton, it remained a dream of mine.
Gwynn looked surprised by this ridiculous idea. But, when she saw how enthusiastic I looked when carrying the egg, she threw her arms up in surrender and simply flew up to sit upon it. As she stretched out on the egg she said arrogantly.
“You should remember that the creature which hatches from that egg might be your enemy because you killed its mother.”
‘I know but that was in self defense, we won’t necessarily be enemies right?’
I returned to the tyrant’s lair, bringing all my loot with me. The priest was nowhere to be seen and a large portion of the treasure was missing. It was probably his doing but I wasn’t bothered by it because those treasures were worthless to me.
I made pile with the remaining treasure and sat my egg on top.
“Chompy are you really going to hatch this egg?”
I nodded to Gwyn who had a worried look. Covering the egg with some of the dragon skin, I took the rest with me and went back to the small caves which I had used to hunt so many of those nimble tomb rats.
Putting Gwyn into my skull I sat down and reverted to my original method of catching grave rats. It didn’t take long for them to appear.
I started off by hunting the first two, and then continued until I had almost wiped them all out, helping me hit level 8.
The amount of experience received was lower because of our rank difference and it was getting harder to level up. I continued to grind my enchant skills on the miscellaneous items from the tyrant’s lair until they both hit level 3.
‘Finally it’s time to get revenge on that good for nothing priest!’
Yes, the reason I was in such a hurry was to get my revenge, after all priests are also the nemesis of the undead.
If I were to be hit by his holy magic when I was level one I could have been one shotted, so I chose the safer path and leveled up somewhat first.
Going through the hole, I walked towards the Catacombs. I was fully geared with the equipment from the tyrant’s lair.
“Are you going to get revenge?”
I gave a firm nod.
“Well… could you spare the mage? She hasn’t exactly done anything wrong.”
I shook my head this time, I knew it was unlikely for her to forgive a monster which killed her colleague.
With a determined face I entered the Catacombs, Gwyn kept complaining about my lack of compassion, but I simply ignored her.
The first cave was completely silent.
‘Could they have escaped?’
After searching a while I realized it was not the case. The priest was dead on the floor having committed suicide with a dagger while the mage, dehydrated and dying of thirst whispered weakly.
“Please, give me some water…”
I felt somewhat sympathetic to the mage’s pitiful appearance and changed my mind, I was also somewhat influenced by Gwyn who was banging the inside of my skull.
Looking around I found the bottle she had previously been sealed in and squeezed on some of the moss which I had used as bait to collect water.
“Thank you so much, you saved my life!”
After those few words the mage fainted immediately.
I thought carefully about the current situation. The priest had committed suicide so I wasn’t responsible for his death but neither was I able to get my revenge. Although the mage had never harmed me and was innocent, It was unclear how she’d react if she learned my true identity. Still, for now there wasn’t any reason to kill her and burden my conscience. First I ripped up the dead priest’s clothes and made a fire to roast some dragon meat.
I point to my finger to the meat, trying to ask Gwyn if it smelled cooked because I didn’t have any sense of smell.
“Smell? It just smells like burning meat ”
I looked at the meat carefully and it was indeed overdone. Promptly snatching out of the fire I cut it up into small pieces and let out to dry. At least she’ll have something to eat when she gets better.
I was surprised by how much dragon meat there was, it was enough to last an adult at least a month if it was well rationed.
I went around gathering moss throughout the cave, to prepare more water. It took me about two days to prepare 10 fist sized bowls of water. I had collected almost all the moss available and what was left had been wrung dry and thrown in a pile to the side.
The mage was still in a very weak state, sleeping most of the time. The short time she’d be awake would be to take some sips of water and eat a bit of meat before going back to sleep.
[Acquired ｟Title: Savior Lv2｠]
I gathered the mage’s bags and packed it with all the dried meat. Nearby I found a large empty bag near the warrior’s corpse and decided to take it with me.
“Are you going to go down there?”
I nodded as I threw the dragon egg inside the bag, I no longer had any opponents in this area, the slimes had been wiped out and the rats were too scarce.
It might be hard for the mage to survive by herself, but I think it’s for the best. If she wakes up and figures out my identity it would be rather troublesome, it’s better to part ways.
I will go down and explore the other side of the dragon’s nest because when this little guy comes out of his shell, I can’t exactly feed it it’s mother’s flesh.
The monster meat I had seen in the dragon’s stomach would be my next target experience-wise. Grabbing a hold of my bag I set off.
“Hee hee ~ adventure time~”
Gwyn cried out as she climbed onto the bag.
“Wait, I can smell some sulfur” said Gwyn. I wasn’t able to detect any smells but I had my suspicions that there was an abundance of sulfuric gas. The smoke in the air had a distinct color, there were mushrooms growing along the way and the moss which was originally light green was turning yellow. After what felt like two hours of walking along the same road, I had yet to meet a single living creature.
“Huh? I can hear the sound of water!” Gwyn shouted excitedly.
The sound of water flowing down a waterfall could be heard in the distance.
“Common Chompy! Giddy up!”
It had been a long time since I had heard some sound, so I ran forth excitedly.
After another dozen or so minutes we finally arrived to the end of the tunnel, there was a large pit, about 40 to 50 meters high with clouds in the air and sunlight shining down from above. It looked like a huge garden, roughly 500~600 meters wide. I could hear the birds chirping, and a waterfall running down the cave wall to finally form a lake in the middle.
The mouth of the tunnel in which I was standing was roughly 15 meters from the floor, it must have been the passage the dragon used to travel back and forth.
A lush and vibrant rainforest existed here and the sounds of various animals could be heard.
“No way! This is great~! Woooow! I can’t believe there’s a forest here, Can I maybe meet some of my kin? So cool!”
The moment I stepped out of the cave my bones were exposed to the burning sunlight.
[You have learned Sunlight resistance Lv1]
Although I didn’t feel any pain there was a certain unpleasantness. I carefully covered all my bones with robes and stepped into the light. Fortunately I learned that if there was no direct contact with sunlight I was fine.
Gwyn forced her way out from within me and rushed towards the forest.
Gwyn immediately came running back almost three times a fast, she was being chased by 3 large albino white ant-like insects the size of a child. They looked somewhat similar to the food I encountered within the dragon’s stomach.
As they were approaching I quickly used my new Identification skill to view their Status Page.
Status: NormalType: Giant TermiteRank: G+Level: 19/30HP: 322/322MP: 10/10Attack: 50Defense: 30Agility: 15Intelligence: 5✧ Unique Skills[Magic Resistance Lv2]
‘Magic resist… this is going to be hard.’
I didn’t expect a monster which looked like a giant ant to possess magic resistance let alone level 2.
I quickly casted a slow spell for each but surprisingly one was able to resist its effects. I calmly sent out another slow as I kited them back towards the tunnel I just arrived from.
Fireball was both a high damage and area of effect spell so it was ideal for this kind of situation with several opponents but it would consume so much of my mana.
‘Uggh so annoying!’
Because of the termite’s high magic resist my fireball only did about 30 damage and my MP could only sustain 10 fireballs.
[Fireball level 6 ➢ 7]
With it being at Level 7 the damage each fireball caused them was now 35. Perhaps I could level it up more it would somewhat offset their ridiculous magic resistance.
I casted some more slows and then took a break to let my MP regenerate. Although I was a bit slower now that I was carrying the egg, I was still able to outrun these termites. When my MP was back up to about half, I once again started dishing out the pain.
[+144 experience points][+288 experience points][+576 experience points]
[Level increased 8 ➢ 12]
[Acquired knowledge of Giant Termites]
[New spells selection]
[Acquired ｟Title: Exterminator Lv1｠]
I didn’t like the sound of the new title but I was receiving a tremendous amount of experience points through this slaughter.
I had heard that termites get around and mark trails with their pheromones which explain why countless of them were rushing towards my position. Gwyn who was flying in the air alerted me of the incoming trouble.
“Chompy! There are more and more termites coming up.”
As expected they swarmed together but they weren’t quite all in the AoE of a fireball so I cast slow on the ones in the front, to group them together.
“What are you going to do? There are already at least 20 of them”
I was chanting magic and clacking my teeth.
My slows soon wore off and I was glad to see that they achieved the desired effect. The termites were now running in a tight, huddled formation chomping their mandibles as they hurried along.
‘Great they’re all running at the same pace, time to move on to phase two!’
I turned around and sprinted along the tunnel until I reached the area with the strange yellow smoke. Looking back every once in awhile I was able to confirm that that they were still chasing me down.
‘Perfect they’re still behind me.’
I took out the bottle from my bag and pointed to Gwyn.
“You want me to go inside?”
I nodded and Gwyn went in, We had developed a sense of trust over the last few adventures so she didn’t doubt my intentions.
Their mandibles seemed to be chomping down in anticipation.
I look back once more to verify that they are still following me before finding a small corner where the smoke didn’t reach. When the termites rushed in to the designated area, I didn’t hesitate and immediately spammed my spell.
[Fireball level 7 ➢ 8]
The yellow smoke immediately combusted upon contact with my fireballs creating a series of deafening explosion. The flames enveloped the insects, charring their exoskeletons black.
Gwyn was rolling around in the bottle, evidently dizzy but otherwise unhurt.
[+144 experience points][+288 experience points][+576 experience points][+1152 experience points]. . .[+147,456 experience points]
[Level increased 12 ➢ 50]
[｟Title: Ant Exterminator｠ 1 ➢ 2]
[｟Title: Coldhearted｠ 1 ➢ 2]
Dozens of messages appeared before me.
‘Great! This is what I aiming for, killing several monsters at the time is so rewarding!’
I quickly open my Status window to indulge in my beautiful stats.
Name: ChompyGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: EnchanterRank: H+Level: 50/50HP: 312/312MP: 844/844Attack: 24 (+9)Defense: 12 (+2)Agility: 32Intelligence: 74✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max] [Fireball Lv8] [Acid Resistance Lv1][Identification Lv1] [Sage’s Wisdom Lv1] [Weapon Enchant Lv3] [Armor Enchant Lv3] [Sunlight Resistance Lv1]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv2] [ColdheartedLv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1][Ant Exterminator Lv2]✧ Skill Selection (2)[Inferno Lv1] [Intermediate slow Lv1] [Poison Lv1] [Water Sphere Lv1][Necromancy Lv1] [Lesser Swiftness]✧Evolution Choice[Lich] [Skeleton Shaman] [Skeleton Tamer]
‘With so many rewards I’ll definitely thrive here.’
Making up my mind I decided on the two skills; Inferno and Water Sphere. The latter was to make sure my baby dragon wouldn’t die of dehydration if I couldn’t find a water source and Inferno was simply to increase my dps. My evolution choice was of course, the Lich. I was already walking along the path of a mage so it felt like the natural next step. When I confirmed my selection ,my bones went from the previous red to a dark black.
[You have learned Necromancy Lv1]
[You have learned (Passive) Lifesteal Lv1]
[You have learned (Passive) MP regeneration Lv1]
[You have learned Physical resistance Lv2]
It was a good thing I hadn’t selected Necromancy previously or I would have missed out on an extra skill. Unfortunately, there was also an unexpected side-effect of my evolution.
‘Oh right …. I forgot what being a Lich meant.’
With a passive like Lifesteal, I would be constantly absorbing life force from creatures within a certain radius, looks like it’s time for Gwyn and I to part ways.
Despite it being burnt, I separated the insect meat from its shell and stored it in my bag. I then grabbed the bottle holding Gwyn and headed back towards the small forest, still carrying the egg on my back. Gwyn was asking why I didn’t let her out now but I could already notice that the bright light she emitted was dimming. It hurt my heart knowing I’d lose my companion but we had to split up.
I looked around carefully for signs of monsters, finally choosing a safer part of the forest. There was a small stream and the running water was crystal clear, nearby colorful flowers were blooming creating a utopian vibe.
I opened the bottle letting Gwyn out.
“Chompy! What are you doing? Do you intend to leave me here?”
I nodded heavily.
‘Why? Why do we have to separate?”
I pointed at myself and then Gwyn while moving my thumb across my neck.
“I will die because of you?”
“I can’t die!”
I shook my head, although a pixie is a spirit which enjoys long life it will still die if exposed to a Lich’s lifesteal over long periods of time. I could already feel Gwyn’s life force draining and the plants around me had begun to wilt. She also seemed to understand the situation and had a resigned look on her face. Taking the egg with me I began walking away, unable to look back.
“Chompy! I’ll just wait here! When you get a chance come and visit! I’ll always be waiting to see you!”
Gwyn’s voice began to fade in the distance, I had lost my great smiling companion who’d always stay inside my skull.
After a few hours of walking, I had come back to the dragon’s nest. I was returning the egg to its proper place. I didn’t have much of choice because I worried it would also die due to the lifesteal.
‘Come on, break out!’
‘Hm, are you awake in there?’
Although I did have to leave it behind I had the selfish desire to want to see it born.
The little guy was struggling to get out and finally breathed a lungful of fresh air. It was about as large as a mid-sized dog at 40 centimeters high. Sticking it’s head out, it looked around before its gaze settled on me.
‘Don’t come near me!’
I tried waving it off but it kept approaching enthusiastically.
While running back I try to check its status.
‘Oh nice, he has that!’
[Lifesteal Resistance Lv1]
After just a short time it had naturally developed a resistance to my lifesteal passive. Unable to contain my happiness I gave it a big hug.
While hugging it was licking me vigorously, seemingly it recognized me as its parent. I had been sad since separating from Gwyn but I was lucky to quickly find a companion I could be close to.
I began to think of the weak mage, lying alone in the cave. She would probably have a much better chance at survival in the lush forest. I carried the little guy on my back and because it looked hungry I threw it a piece of burnt termite meat from my bag. It tore at the meat with such gusto one might believe it actually tasted good. It was cute to hear it’s snoring sound as it immediately lay down to sleep, satisfied with the meal.
I went back to the Catacombs to check on the mage’s condition. It had been nearly 4 days and she seemed to have recovered considerably during that time.
“Thank you for the meat you left me.”
Maybe the dragon’s meat contained special properties which helped her heal quickly. She tried to approach me to express her gratitude, but I held my hand out signalling her to keep her distance.
I had determined that my passive lifesteal had a radius of about 5 meters so if she came any closer she could be in danger. I began walking the same way I came, turning around and signalling her with my hand to follow.
She quickly picked up her bags and came along, at least she was smart enough to keep her distance. When we arrived to the small forest several hours later she couldn’t contain her joy.
“Wow! This is simply incredible! I’ve never seen such a beautiful scenery!”
She was clearly unable to recognize the dangers present. If only she knew how dangerous this place was she wouldn’t have such a blissful look. I pointed out a relatively safe spot, indicating her to go and wait there.
‘Is this a good spot?’
The baby dragon on my back finally woke up and was stretching innocently, not a care in the world. I placed him down gently and stretched my hand out to grab a nearby sapling.
I was quickly sapping the vitality of the tree I was holding. As it weakened I was able to easily push it down to the ground.
It fell down with a loud thud. I repeated the same process with other trees until I had several pieces of timber. I leaned them up against each other to form what looked like a small pyramid. My intention was to make an Native American style teepee.
I used the spell to lightly burn the leaves and twigs on the floor. Fireshock wasn’t very powerful so there was no real combustion, but it was useful in this situation for cleaning and disinfecting possible bacteria. I picked out some large leaves from outside and lay them down on the floor to make it more comfortable. Unfortunately, as soon as I had grabbed them they lost their vitality and color, but they still did an ok job.
I then decided to look to its defenses, I chose to make a deep chasm by using my magic.
[Inferno level 1 ➢ 2]
An intense flame storm burnt through the earth, sucking up all the oxygen. The result was a hole which was about 7~8 meters deep and 5 meters wide. It was deep enough to hopefully offer some sort of protection. I expected the 5 meters would be too far for the termites to jump and the heat from the inferno had melted and hardened the walls of the moat making it very smooth and slippery.
I waited for my mana to recover before continuing with inferno to completely circle the teepee’s perimeter with a deep ring. I then picked up some leftover trees and created a small bridge to be able to cross. The result was a small fortress which was virtually impenetrable by simply moving the bridge from the inside. To make it easier for the feeble mage to move the bridge herself, I placed a large round support beam in the middle to act as a pivot and by simply turning the bridge 90 degrees, she could isolate herself from the other side.
I then went back to fetch her.
‘Huh? Where did she go?’
She was nowhere to be found and it was almost sunset, I worried she would be attacked by monsters.
The baby dragon cried in hunger, I threw it a piece of termite meat which it quickly gobbled it up before climbing up on me to go back to sleep.
I started walking around, searching for her when I heard some water rustling in the distance.
‘Ah right I never asked if she was thirsty!’
I remembered that all the water I had squeezed from the moss had long been finished. Walking towards the stream I came upon a scene of a naked woman washing in the water. ‘Oh, would she be embarrassed because I saw her?’
I turned my head, intending to look away.
“Who are you?” the mage asked, not bothering to cover herself up at all.
“Oh! It’s mister. I’m sorry I was so dirty I just had to go for a wash.”
I simply pointed to her clothes lying on the side of the stream.
“Aaaaah! I’m Naked! Look away!”
I turned around, giving her the chance to get dressed.
‘Oh, seems like being a skeleton, I am no longer attracted to women. Despite seeing the body of a beautiful naked woman I didn’t feel any emotions, it’s really too unfortunate. If this had happened in my previous life, I would have shouted, Lucky!!! But now, it just felt like I was observing a nice painting, devoid of any sexual emotions. Seems my mentality has changed greatly according to my species.
“Mister I’m dressed.”
Her clothes stuck to her wet skin, emphasizing her curvaceous body.
I lead the way letting her follow at a distance.
‘Was her name Ian?’
I somewhat remember the priest calling her that, but because I wasn’t able to speak I would probably never call her by name.
There were many bugs in the forest, thankfully because of my Lifesteal, none would approach me.
“Ouch! Go away! Go away!”
She was beating back the bugs, I hadn’t bothered to implement any countermeasures for them back in the teepee.
‘I wonder if it will be ok?’
By the time we arrived to the small fort the sun had all but set, I pointed to the bridge signalling her to cross. Once she was on the other side I pushed the bridge over, effectively cutting off all access from the outside. I grabbed some trees nearby, allowing some time for my lifesteal to weaken their vitality before throwing them in the hole.
After a few spells, the timber caught fire adding another layer of defense.
‘This should be safe for a while.’
Having ensured her safety in the teepee, I was ready to move on to the next step. As I walked away I noticed Ian staring at me until I melted into the darkness.
Crouched down, I was staring at a huge muddy hill up ahead, It was my next target.
When I had originally come to this place, looking down from the tunnel entrance I had seen 3 of these mud hills. I kept this in mind when choosing the teepee’s location and was constantly scouting, after the white termite’s skirmishes, they would drag their comrade’s bodies back to the hill.
These three mud hills must be the homes of the termites, the rulers of this small, unusual area and my goal was to take them out. Termites are a kind of insect so coexistence isn’t possible, the only solution is extermination and if it also provides some experience points , then all the better. However, I was unsure of their numbers so I was engaging in a little reconnaissance.
It would be a huge help If I could learn their fighting habits and I had previously seen them fight each other so it was a great chance.
Even during the night they continued to fight. They would fight in small teams of 3~4 along with some airborne ones as well.
‘Seems they also have flying termites.’
(Author Note – Termites are much bigger than cockroaches but their habits are almost same. Termites also have a king which is different from an ant’s hierarchy.)
I used my Identification skill to observe their status window. The land termites were between levels 15-24 while their flying counterparts were stronger from level 25-29. The airborne ones also had an ability to spit out a certain liquid. Having once witnessed it burn through another termite’s exoskeleton I concluded it must be some kind of powerful acid. Their damage is around 50-100 so if I’m confronting 3 or 4 it would be hard to stay alive.
I opened up my status page.
Name: ChompyGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Skeleton/ UndeadClass: LichRank: H+Level: 1/60HP: 121/121MP: 120/120Attack: 10Defense: 102 (+2)Agility: 12Intelligence: 32Luck: 6Charisma: 3✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max] [Fireball Lv8] [Acid Resistance Lv1][Identification Lv1] [Sage’s Wisdom Lv1] [Weapon Enchant Lv3] [Armor Enchant Lv3] [Sunlight Resistance Lv1] [Physical Resistance Lv2] [Inferno Lv2] [Water Sphere Lv1] [Necromancy Lv1] [Lifesteal Lv1] [(MP Regeneration Lv1]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv2] [Coldhearted Lv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1][Ant Exterminator Lv2]
At the moment my MP was quite low, but it was still quite a bit easier to continuously use spells because of the increased regeneration. I was now able to spam Fireshock non stop and never worry about running out of mana. I could use a Fireball about every 10 seconds, but Inferno had high mana cost at 50 MP, so it was still quite difficult at the moment. My higher dps spells still required some hit-and-run tactics.
From what I had observed, the termites health could range from 300-700 depending on their levels so in worse case scenarios that would be almost 10 Fireballs at roughly 80 damage each or 5 Inferno at about 150 damage. My biggest worry at the moment were those flying termites because I had no way of dealing with their acid spit.
I used Armor Enchant. As I had learned in my fight with the dragon, it seemed to give some acid resistant properties.
‘Do I have a chance?’
I didn’t worry about dying because I could simply revive, but if they were to split my body up into different pieces, then there was a chance I’d be alive but unable to move or fight back, it would be a terrible kind of torture. Also, I was currently only level one so considering what I learned from Sage’s Wisdom there was a chance for resurrection to fail at lower levels so this was a very dangerous period for me.
I first looked for a small group separated from the rest.
There had originally been 4 or 5 fighting, but now there was only one which was seriously wounded and two in ok shape. I made a quick judgement to engage and casted some spells.
They all turned to look at me momentarily before resuming their fight.
‘Well this is insulting, aren’t you supposed to run away or something?”
I checked their Status page to confirm their condition. The wounded one was at 120 HP and the other two were quite healthy at 210 and 230 HP.
I sent the two healthy ones a fireball apiece, they finally stopped their fighting as they seemingly decided to take me seriously. Still, it was too late for them as I had begun chanting.
[+144 experience points]
[+288 experience points]
[+576 experience points]
[Acquired ｟Title:Exterminator｠ Lv3]
[Level increased 1 ➢ 2]
‘Wait what? I gained so much experience but only leveled up once?’
It looked like the Lich required far more experience to level up, if it had been previously with those three kills I would have hit level 4 or 5. No reason to give up though, it just means I need to grind some more experience.
I kept searching for a group of stragglers as I let my MP regenerate.
This time there were a total of 4 fighting a 2 versus 2.
They turn to look at me, so are they going to fight each other again?
Unexpectedly they all chose to charge to me but their healths were within the 210-230 range which was still manageable.
“Fireball! Fireball! Fireball! Fireball!”
I hit each of their chests with a Fireball and checked their statuses to make sure they were under 150 health.
The baby dragon on my back finally woke up, did it get up because it’s hungry?
[+1152 experience points]
[Acquired ｟Ant Exterminator｠ Lv4]
[Level increased 2 ➢ 3]
The Inferno had burnt them to ashes.
‘Phew, I was so surprised’
Shik shik shick!
I heard the sound of countless termites rushing towards my position and became worried. Thinking back it seemed like the dragon and the termites were mortal enemies so hearing the sound of a baby dragon might have enraged them.
The young dragon was still crying and seemed to be complaining with whiny yelps. It helped the termites to lock onto their target.
I threw the last piece of termite to it and began to run away.
‘There’s no way I can fight against those numbers but I don’t think I can escape, what to do?’
The termites had caught the scent of a dragon and were not far behind. The only escape route is the tunnel and I should choose my path carefully because otherwise I will lead them to Gwyn and Ian’s hideout.
I could also sacrifice the dragon, but that would mean giving up my fantasy dream of being a dragonrider! I kept trying to find a solution for so many termites but it was proving difficult. The sulfur gases could possibly take out a couple hundred and if I use inferno in tight passages where they are stacked together I can maybe take out another hundred but, looking back I noticed I’m being pursued by a swarm of thousands. I can’t seem to find a way out of this one.
‘Damn! How can there be thousands, just what do these guys eat?’ Climbing up to the tunnel I could only think of escaping when faced with such an impossible scenario.
Completely focused on escaping, I was thinking of ways to deal with the horde of insects, when I realized I had forgotten something.
‘Oh right! I still have that way!’
I first ran past the sulfur gas to hide the baby dragon in a safe location, before coming back to ambush them.
When the wave of termites neared the sulfuric gas, I immediately bathed them in fire.
[+589824 experience points]
[Level increased 3 ➢ 6]
‘Wow, thats insane! I gained so much experience but only went up 3 levels!’
I had no time to complain though, as I could see some termites coming through the ashes and stepping over the burnt corpses of their comrades.
‘Do they not feel any fear?’
It was time to put my plan into action, so I once again ran away. When I arrived to pick up the dragon It was already awake and wailing, I fed it some meat to pacify it and hurried along the tunnel. After some time, I arrived to the narrow passage connecting the dragon’s lair to where I first hunted the tomb rats .
‘This should work!’
The leading termites were already approaching.
I continued with this combination trying to shave of their HP. Constantly checking their statuses when they neared about 20 health, I backed up into the aisle and waited for them to arrive. Because the path was so narrow at most 2 of them could approach me at the same time. As the first one approached I enchanted my dagger and thrust out.
‘Okay! That’ll be the first minion!’
Seeing another stick its head out, I gave him a taste of my dagger, turning him into some experience.
‘Oh, can they do that?’
Unexpectedly three of them had managed to come in a the same time, two were running along the floor while the third had jumped on top of them.
Shick! Shick! Shick!
Fortunately my plan was a success and the termite I had first killed, rose as my minion.
[Necromancy level 1 ➢ 2]
I was going use the full potential of a Lich. I could also use my lifesteal to finish off the weakened termites and then revive them.
I seemed to have found some answers through this experiment. I had to stay on the front lines, in order to continually be using my Lifesteal. Still, a revived giant termite only had ⅓ of its previous strength, so I had a long way to go in order to gain the upperhand.
As new termites approached, I bathed them in fire, but it was important to restrain myself and not kill them with Fireball because I realised that a corpse that was burnt to ashes wouldn’t be able to rise up again. I had to be constantly checking their health and when one would be low, I’d either strike out with my dagger or kick it away, creating some distance and giving time for my lifesteal to finish it off, or allow one of my minions to deliver the killing blow.
The only inconvenience is that I wouldn’t gain experience for those which my minions killed. Still,I was slowly creating a small army through Fireballs, my daggers and expert kicking.
[Necromancy level 2 ➢ 3]
[Acquired ｟Title: Ant Exterminator｠ Lv5]
The first minion I had revived dissolved into a pile of grey ash. It seems like their duration is about 10 minutes. However, this limitation wasn’t a big deal as their were more and more bodies and my MP regeneration could keep up.
My army of dead had risen to a total of 30 and the number of termites I had to personally face was diminishing. Still, I was able to continue to amass some experience through my dagger thrusts and lifesteal kills. Although it was repetitive work, I never became bored because there were so many variables to account for, although I did try to maintain a certain pattern. Their numbers had swelled to a swarm of almost 10,000, but thankfully the tunnel could only allow about 30-40 at the time and only three could go through this narrow passage.
[Necromancy level 3 ➢ 4]
The number of troops I can sustain increased as my Necromancy level rose. I now had 40 revived termites forming a frontline while I repeatedly sniped those who were low on health. I was controlling the situation while always keeping an eye on their HP. After about an hour of this stalemate, I suddenly felt threatened.
Fortunately I had moved at the last second, as the spot where I had been standing melted from the acid projectiles. It was the saliva spit out from the flying termites. Although the passageway was narrow it was almost 3 meters high allowing the airborne insects to bombard over their frontline.
My small army was hit hard by the acid which almost instantly collapsed my front line.
I cast the spell I had prepared for them.
Inferno has great combustion power and burns at high temperatures, leaving a mini vacuum in its wake. I aimed at the guy flying in the back which caused those nearby to fall down to the ground.
‘Seems like I can’t keep it up and have to move on to the next step, damn I was planning to take out about 1,000 here, too bad it failed.’
My original plan was to take out about half of them here, but I never expected they would be almost 10,000 so my calculations were way off. That meant I should try to kill at least half of them with the next step.
I backed out of the passageway and into the tombs, my eyes always on the incoming termites.
I revived those who were pierced by my dagger or killed through lifesteal, always retreating and by letting my minions fight on the front line, I was safe from their acid spit.
Suddenly, the walls and ceiling were collapsing around me. I could see the termite heads and mandibles protruding.
‘Did they dig through the walls?’
Although their jaws did look strong, this was solid rock we were talking about, I was completely caught off guard. Little by little my group of minions were being pushed back and we would soon be out of the safety of the narrow passage and into a wider area of the Tombs.
I couldn’t keep up this same strategy in a larger area, because I would be easily overrun. Therefore, I decided to get in as much damage as possible before moving on. Spamming my spells, I threw everything I had at the walls, creating chaos with my countless fireballs and infernos. My plan was to cave in the passage to buy some time, even if it meant not receiving experience for the termite kills
The narrow passage was filled with dead termites and piles of rocks but I could see them using their strong mandibles to dig, or acid to melt their way through. I shot out some more fireballs and inferno.
‘Shit, I can’t continue like this, my MP is running out!’
Using Inferno required a lot of MP. I could only use it a maximum of 3 times, before having to wait for the regeneration to kick in. Meanwhile, the termites were digging through and enlarging the passage.
[Acquired ｟Title: Ant Exterminator｠ Lv7]
‘Time to move on, how many have I killed? 2000? 3000? I had yet to kill ⅓ but was already running out of tricks.’
I had lost count after 2000, it was too hard to keep track of my kill count. When the flying termites died, the acidic liquid in their stomachs would ooze out and melt the floor and walls further enlarging the tunnel. When we had first faced off I was able to hold my ground along with my minions, but the caves were now too wide and we would quickly lose any engagements forcing me to pull back.
‘Shit, time to abandon this position.’
The pits where I first fell down would be too wide and I’d be overrun by thousands of termites were swarming in.
Therefore, I decided to head past the Dragon’s lair and into the Catacombs.
‘Damn, this is my last chance!’
The baby dragon cried again and he was really starting to get on my nerves. I threw him some more termite meat to keep him quiet, before moving on to my last resort.
Thud Thud Thud
I came to the large cave hall which was full of stone statues, yes my plan was to use the gargoyles. Because I had killed two gargoyles previously, they immediately recognized me as an enemy and woke up from their slumber. The termites had also followed me through the hole and all the way to the current cave. All that was left to do, was to trick them into fighting each other.
“Slow! Slow! Slow!….”
I cast slow on 14 gargoyles. Having successfully aggroed them, I began to run back towards the swarm of ants with a determined face.
As far as the eye could see, there were termites rushing towards me, with the occasional flying variant as well. We were now only 10 meters apart and close to clashing.
Acid spit was landing all around me, termites in front and gargoyle’s behind I was completely surrounded.
‘This is the moment of truth!’
I quickly pulled out the dragon hide and used it to wrap my head, shoulders and shield.
I sent Fireballs to both the termite and gargoyle frontlines The insects were now just 2-3 meters away and I could hear the chomping of their mandibles.
Likewise the heavy steps of the gargoyles sounded just meters behind me.
I rolled to the side and hugged the wall as I cast Inferno smack in the middle of both sides.
The momentary vacuum it created pulled a few termites in and likewise moved the gargoyles albeit much less because of their weight. The vacuum effect caused the two sides to run into each other, effectively changing their aggro priority. I used this short window of time to sneak past, behind the gargoyles which were still in a slowed state.
When I had almost slipped through all the gargoyles I saw a giant sword swinging towards me. I instinctively dropped and performed several awkward rolls to evade it
The young dragon on my back was thrown out and hit the floor, struggling to stand up. Worried, I quickly check its status.
The hit wasn’t too bad and its health had only gone down a little. It probably had good physical resistance and the rolling helped reduce the impact.
I witnessed a great battle before me, dozens of termites would gang up on one gargoyle, but even with their acidic spit, the gargoyles still stood strong. One swing of their large stone greatsword would crush everything in its path.
I aimed at the flying termites because they were the most dangerous and could be useful on my side. It was difficult to keep track of all their HP’s, but I killed so many that eventually I was able to form a small group.
Ptuui! Ptuui! Ptuui!
I had revived a squadron of Flying ants and had a great combination of strong frontline gargoyles as the perfect tanks and ranged acid missiles supporting from behind. I was simply conducting the battle from the back, but I noticed that the power of their numbers was too great.
Death by a thousand cuts, the termites were wearing down the gargoyles with countless bites, scratches and acid saliva, slowly eroding their stone bodies until they fell down one by one.
‘Seems like it’s still not enough, I’ve only killed half!’
I was getting nervous because there were only 8 gargoyles left, which I figured would only last me another 10 minutes tops. I had nowhere to go with the locked Iron doors at my back and thousands of angry termites before me.
[Acquired ｟Title: Ant Exterminator｠ Lv8]
[Level increased 8 ➢ 9]
‘Oh sweet! What spell is it?’
Name: ChompyGender: N/AStatus: NormalType: Lich/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: H+Level: 9/60HP: 147/147MP: 241/388Attack: 24Defense: 312 (+2)Agility: 21Intelligence: 74Luck: 7Charisma: 4✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max] [Fireball Lv9] [Acid Resistance Lv2] [Identification Lv1] [Sage’s Wisdom Lv1] [Weapon Enchant Lv4] [Armor Enchant Lv3] [Sunlight Resistance Lv1] [Physical Resistance Lv2] [Inferno Lv5] [Water Sphere Lv1] [Necromancy Lv5] [Lifesteal Lv1] [MP Regeneration Lv1]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv2] [Coldhearted Lv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1][Ant Exterminator Lv8]✧ Skill Selection[Corpse Explosion Lv1] [Intermediate Slow Lv1] [Poison Lv1]
I cheered inwardly, it seemed like Lady Luck was finally smiling down on me.
[Corpse Explosion level 1 ➢ 2]
Pointing at a dead body I cast my spell, instantly killing the crowd of giant termites nearby.
The mana consumption was only 10 and it did about 50~60 damage in a 5 meter radius. With such low mana cost it wasn’t a problem to spam continuously.
The only downside was that I couldn’t revive the bodies once I had blown them up. I had to choose whether to revive them through Necromancy or use Corpse explosion, because I couldn’t do both.
“Corpse Explosion! Corpse Explosion!”
I pointed at several bodies, resulting in a series bangs similar to a fireworks show.
The young dragon stuck his head out and began to scream, maybe it was complaining that its food was being destroyed. I put the noisy guy back into the bag on my back and closed it tight.
The last of the gargoyles had already perished in the corpse explosions and there were none left standing. Likewise, my small hit squad of flying ants had already expired and turned into gray ash. It was just me against the swarm, but my new spell more than made up for it. The fireworks were still ongoing.
More flying termites were coming in a tight formation, rows of 5, zipping through the hall.
I aimed it high, right above the middle of their formation the inferno burns brightly creating a strong vacuum which pushes them all to the ground.
[+312 experience points][+614 experience points]…[+2,557,152 experience points]
[Acquired ｟Title: Ant Exterminator｠ Lv9]
[Corpse Explosion level 4 ➢ 5]
[Level increased 15 ➢ 20]
A wealth of experience points continued to be displayed before me. I had been advancing step by step and for the first time I was gaining ground as I was killing them faster than they could advance.
I already passed through the narrow passage, retracing my steps. Past the Catacombs and through the dragon’s lair, killing my way towards the Jungle pit, all the dead termites became my experience points.
‘It seems that for the first time I can sense some meekness on their part , Is it because of my title?’
A big reason as to why they had lost their momentum was also because their frontlines would hesitate upon seeing me, it was an instinctual fear. I kept on advancing.
As they were retreating the efficiency of my corpse explosions were reduced.
‘I’ll have to give them some enticement’
I pull out the baby dragon from the bag and parade him in front of me
It seemed to be complaining about being woken up and having to walk around but it served as a beacon of light to all the termites ahead. Instantly their rage overcame their fear and they rushed forward.
“Corpse Explosion! Corpse Explosion! Corpse Explosion!”
[Acquired ｟Title: Ant Exterminator｠ Lv10]
[Corpse Explosion level 6➢ 7]
[Level increased 20 ➢ 24]
The damage and and range had doubled compared to Level 1, so now with 3 Corpse Explosions I could wipe out a 10 meter area.
‘It feels like Level 10 isn’t the max for this title.’
I kept advancing with my dragon in front and could finally gauge their numbers.
‘Are there about 3000~4000 of them left?’
I had killed off more than half their numbers, as my explosions could wipe out anywhere between 10-20 of them at once. At this rate I should be able to wipe them all out in 6~7 hours.
It had been 12 hours since the battle began, If I was human, I would have long dropped down from exhaustion, but being an undead was very advantageous in such situations.
Conversely, the giant termites were beginning to show signs of tiring. The dragon’s pheromones were constantly driving them to push forward and after all these hours of being tightly packed together in the tunnel, their stamina was low, even for those who hadn’t fought yet.
Eventually, I had pushed them back to the edge of the tunnel and could see some sunlight again. There were only about 1000~2000 left between me and the termite’s main nest.
At that moment a terrible shriek resounded from the very same termite nest.
‘Oh…what’s that thing? Is it also a termite?’
About 200 meters away a gigantic monster broke through the hill to get out. From far away, I decided to check its stats.
Name: King of the PitGender: MaleStatus: UniqueType: Ethereal TermiteClass: KingRank: E+Level: 62/70HP: 6733/6733MP: 2511/2511Attack: 1400Defense: 800Agility: 132Intelligence: 251✧ Unique Skills[Magic Resistance Lv5] [Physical Resistance Lv3] [Acid Poison LV5] [Quake Lv3] [HP Recovery Lv2] [Call to Arms Lv1] [Flying Lv2] [Lighting Shock Lv2] [Telepathy Lv1][Mind Reading Lv1]✧ Titles[Owner of the Pit]
I was in a state of panic after seeing his stats. Even without the status window, I could see that it was a unique monster because of the golden name.
I looked towards that giant King of the Pit, flanked by the remaining thousand somewhat ants.
‘What is that thing? Is it a dragon? Those stats, skills and level …. I definitely have no chance at all. I mean Flying? Really?’
Flap! Flap! Flap! Flap!
The sound of its wings reverberated throughout the cave as it flew towards me. I looked back at the tunnel which I came from and stared at the little dragon on my back.
‘Do I need to run away again?’
Looking back, I noticed that the termites had cut off my escape route. My army of revived minions had also long disappeared. I had no choice but to focus on the large King approaching. As he got closer, I could see him more vividly. He was about 8 meters long and 3 meters high with a protruding horn on its head and giant mandibles half my height. A mix between an ant and dragon would be the most accurate description.
‘What kind of crazy monster movie are we shooting right now?’
It dropped down 5 meters in front of me, looking down on me imposingly. More and more termites kept surrounding me to form a circle with a 20 meter diameter.
‘Is this some schoolyard fight?’
When I went to once again open his status page, some words appeared in my mind.
‘Little man, Are you the one who has been killing off my colony minions?’
It was able to communicate telepathically, directly in my mind. Is it using its ability?
I tried to respond by organizing the thoughts in my mind.
‘I was just acting in self-defense, they attacked me.’
‘Is that not the spawn of a dragon which you are carrying on your back?’
‘Then you can’t claim self-defense since you are protecting our enemy.’
‘I don’t like it when others interfere with my possessions’ I answered.
I never thought there would be so many difficulties with raising my baby dragon. Of course, simply giving it up was no longer an option because I had killed so many of their comrades.
‘Good! You scum, you challenged my authority! Today only one of us will be left standing!’
‘I’ve already been prepared for this outcome.’
‘Your courage is praiseworthy, little man I’ll remember you.’
‘Why don’t you save those words for after you’ve beaten me.’
It was talking down to me with a confidence that implied it had already won. Of course, considering the circumstances its confidence was understandable.
It lifted its head to the sky and let out a deafening roar.
The little guy gave out a cute roar in response,surprised by the loud noise.
The King of the Pit stared me down as he circled around me.
Although when he spoke to me it sounded like he was underestimating me, his mannerisms led me to believe he was taking this seriously.
In the case of the dragon I was lucky to be swallowed alive and hit it from the inside, there were also those worms which finished it off, but I had no such luck this time around. Be it in skills or stats my opponent severely overshadowed me.
The close to 2000 remaining termites were chomping with their jaws, resembling and applause which added suspense to my situation.
‘Its joints are weaker that its other parts.’
Looking at the opponent’s body, I was trying to formulate a strategy.
‘It has decent Physical Resistance but even worse is its Magic Resistance at Lv 5, it’s such a terrible match up for me, it even has Health Regeneration so drawn out battles don’t work.’
It was no simple task to take it on alone, It is like some raid boss monster that could only be killed with a large party.
The Fireball which I sent out as a test sizzled out shortly after hitting the King’s body. It looked down at me with an air of arrogance, awaiting my next attempt.
‘I’ve got no choice but to keep trying!’
I thought up a good combination.
I aimed it at the its lower stomach and the vacuum which formed after the explosion, sucked in dozens of dead corpses which littered the floor.
“Corpse Explosion! Corpse Explosion! Corpse Explosion!…”
Bang! Boom! Ka-Boom!
I burst dozens of bodies simultaneously resulting in a large explosion sending dust everywhere.
‘Did it work?’
As the dust began to settle, I heard a voice in my mind.
‘Was that the best you’ve got? What an insult to my fellow species, how disappointing.’
I could slowly make out the figure of the King standing upright, completely unharmed.
‘Damn it’s a monster among monsters, how am I going to deal with it!’
It was nonchalantly walking towards me in a haughty manner. It was really frustrating to know that there was nothing I could do. Faced with the certainty of death, I was unwilling to go out this way.
‘Do I have to die like this?’
I looked at the large number of termites around me.
‘If I die they will completely trampled my body in revenge, in that case would it be possible to revive?’
I looked back at the approaching King, giving me the feeling of my impending doom. I was ready to simply give up and take my chances with the resurrection, were it not for the sudden cry of hunger from the baby dragon behind.
The sound jolted my mind awake, giving me a sense of purpose, I turned around.
“Fireball! Fireball! Fireball! Inferno!”
I was now able to instantly kill the giant termites with the combination of 3 fireballs and an inferno. Dozens of bodies littered the ground behind me.
“Corpse Explosion!Corpse Explosion!”
I had carved out an escape path behind me by blowing up the dead bodies.
The King’s roar resounded behind me as his massive footsteps approached, I ignored him and sprinted away at top speed.
‘You thought it would be a duel but I never agreed! I’ll exterminate your entire colony, this is war!’
The spot I had just been standing on was hit with thick burning acid.
‘If… if I’m hit with that there will be nothing left of me to revive!’
Since being reborn as a skeleton this is the greatest fear I’ve experienced, The King sent out several Acid spits but I somehow barely managed to dodge them all. I was hoping to draw the King to the sulfur gases as it was my strongest form of offense.
‘What should I do if even that doesn’t work?’
A fierce will erupted in my mind, born from the desire to survive. As the King neared a voice appeared in my mind.
‘Little one, this is as far as you go. Time to meet your maker!’
A huge blob of liquid acid, about 1 meter wide was flying towards me.
‘I must hold on!’
I use the dragon hide to cover myself from the incoming acid.
Fortunately my idea worked, I guessed that it had faced off with the dragon before, so in principle, the dragon hide should be able to resist the acid attack without melting. Looking down at the floor, I realized that If my guess had been wrong I would have melted and disappeared without leaving any trace.
‘Now it’s time to counterattack.’
“Fireball! Fireball! Inferno! Inferno!”
I used up all my MP spamming spells in combination with the sulfuric gases surrounding the approaching King.
Previously, I had simply sent out small spells to ignite the gases but this time I let it all out, aiming for the gaps where the gas was seeping in from, causing an enormous explosion.
Boom! Bang! Ka-Boom!
The cave collapsed under the unprecedented scorching red fire storm. I was completely covered in the Dragon skin, but I was still sent tumbling and rolling dozens of times while I embraced the baby dragon protectively.
After some time, the dust finally began to settle and I could see King buried beneath the rubble, I checked its status hoping to have done a lot of damage. Unfortunately, against all expectations, it was already back to full health, what insane regeneration power. At least it appeared to be stuck and unable to move under all those heavy rocks.
‘Little bastard, you surprised me with that trick but it’s not enough to finish me off. I’ll simply call over my minions to help me remove these rocks, you have no way of hurting me.’
He was right, even now the King still held the upperhand because as soon as those rocks were removed, we’d be back to square one. Luckily it was currently unable to move its head around, so it couldn’t use it’s glands to spit out acid, one of its greatest weapons was temporarily neutralized.
Putting the young dragon down to the side, I pulled out two triangular shaped objects from my bag.
‘What…what is that?’
I held the objects in each hand and approached it without answering.
At the last moment, from the horn on his head, the King shot out a lightning bolt in self defense.
[You have learned Lightning resistance Lv1]
[You have learned Stun resistance Lv1]
The lighting didn’t affect me because of the dragon skin, it simply bounced off on contact and hit the floor.
‘So nice, I learned two skills without suffering any damage!’
Reading the messages which appeared, I was once again thankful for the protection the dragon skin provided.
The last hurdle were the king’s large mandibles. It was worried about my approach so it lashed out in self-defense.
Although it’s size is enormous it still has the body of an insect so the joints are it’s weakness. I got close and aimed directly at the joint under its chin.
The two spells hit the sensitive joint almost simultaneously making the King flinch and give off an involuntary shudder lasting just 0.6 seconds. I used that short opening to jump up, using it’s jaws as a step and stabbed the sharp triangular object I was holding into its eye.
It was a large tooth I had scavenged from the dragon. Even if its eyes were tough, it was by far the weakest point on its body and I thought it would be possible to penetrate it with a dragon’s tooth.
Pak Pak Pak
I was holding a tooth in each hand and using them like pickaxes, trying to dig through the King’s tough gelatin like eye, seeing it twist and squirm in pain. As it tried harder and harder to resist and break itself out it simply created more shockwaves, causing more stones to fall down, further sealing him in.
‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ It threatened.
‘Is this enough?’
I had completely dug out the entirety of one of its eyes and stood in front of the large groove.
The fire burned the soft inner flesh widening the hole and causing some melted liquid to ooze out.
The King moaned in incredible pain but I payed him no heed and continued to rained down spells with his hollowed eye. The more he struggled the more rocks fell down on him. I climbed into its eye socket and crawled as deep as I could.
‘Is it about time to cause some serious damage?’
‘You…what are you trying to do!?’
I ignored any of the messages he kept sending telepathically to my mind. Even if he knows what I was up to there was nothing he could do about it. I finally had a method to kill him and I wasn’t going to stop.
Pak Pak Pak!
I was using the tooth to make a hole and dig deeper in the corner of the eye socket.
I concentrated all of its power within the deep, narrow hole.
Ignoring the King’s wails of suffering, I continued to dig through his body with a combination of spells and the dragon tooth.
‘I’LL KILL YOU!”
His crazy threats resounded in my mind but I didn’t waver, until finally it was silent, it had finally died.
[+ 17,721,152 experience points]
[Acquired ｟Title: Ant Exterminator Lv14｠]
[Acquired ｟Title: Giant Slaughterer Lv1｠]
[Acquired ｟Title: Wizard of the Pit｠]
[Obtained ownership of the ｟Jungle Pit｠]
[Level increased 24 ➢ 32]
[You can now own a Familiar]
‘What? Ownership? Familiar?’
There were some new messages that I wasn’t able to comprehend. Looking around I was able to clearly see the entire terrain of the Jungle Pit despite it being behind a wall of stone. Also, all living beings within it appeared as translucent shapes with their statuses readily available.
‘Is this what it meant by ownership?
In the various status windows I could also see that all living creatures were either neutral or friendly towards me, including the information about Gwyn and Ian.
Curious, I decide to try it out on one of the giant termites. Immediately the surrounding companions rushed towards it and chopped it up into small pieces, its status window disappeared.
‘This… this… I the power over the life and death of any creatures in my area?’
I seemed to have inherited this position after I killed the previous ruler, the King of the Pit.
I had just realised the incredible powers attached with ownership in this world.
‘Huh?… wait what’s going on there!’
I was surprised to see that a horde of termites were assaulting the small fortress I had created for Ian. It seems like she was already un direct attack and her health was dropping rapidly.
I couldn’t forgive them after all the effort I had gone through to protect her.
I used [Erase] on the termites in her immediate vicinity, but her health was still declining.
I was trying to rush out of the dead King’s corpse as quickly as possible. After digging for some time I came out from her butt.
The path was now almost cleared because the minions had been put to work previously by their King. Running towards the teepee, I was ignored by all termites because we now had a friendly relation.
‘No! You need to hold on!’
Ian was down to only 20 health and it seemed to still be dropping due to a bleeding state, I didn’t think I could arrive in time.
‘What could I even accomplish if I get there, if I get near her won’t it just be worse?’
It was a difficult situation, and I didn’t exactly have any healing spells.
I was able to quickly arrive just outside the teepee and look inside. The surrounding moat which I had dug was filled the corpses of dead giant termites. She was still breathing, laying in a pool of blood among insect corpses.
Faced with so many termites, she had been surrounded before she could run away. Although she had tried to use her magic and succeeded in killing a few with fire, it wasn’t enough.
‘What should I do?’
I thought about an ability I had just gained, it was a longshot but possibly her last hope. What if she became my familiar, perhaps in that case she could be healed. This world seemed to follow the settings of an RPG and in many games familiars shared some of their master’s abilities.
Still, she was a person, so maybe her free will would be too important to her. If it would follow an RPG setting, then it’s possible for her personality to change into one of servitude.
‘Well, you’re certain to die this way, so it can’t be helped. I’ll let you choose your own fate.’
[Ian has accepted to be your familiar]
[Human Ian has been registered as your permanent familiar]
[You have learned Possession Lv1]
‘Huh? Permanent? Possession?’
“Thank you, I didn’t expect to see you again.”
Ian barely opened her eyes and whispered before losing consciousness.
I didn’t want to risk absorbing her lifeforce so I was keeping my distance. Her bleeding state disappeared and her health was slowly rising.
[Your Familiar Ian has transformed into a Witch]
Taking a look at her status, under the class section it had indeed changed to Witch.
‘This… finally is it good for her? It was the only option, so I had to save her from dying. I didn’t want to imagine what would have happened otherwise.’
She had lost her friends in the Catacombs recently, an ordeal she barely survived. She was once again assaulted by termites now but she survived and somehow became a witch.
I was keeping an eye on her status and saw her health was improving.
Leaving her behind, I went back towards the tunnel to pick up the baby dragon. Some termites had dug their way through the rubble and were gearing up to attack the baby dragon, I used [Erase] and they quickly became corpses. If I grilled them I wouldn’t need to worry about feeding the little glutton for a long time.
Catching sight of me the dragon began stampeding towards me with his little legs, his tongue slopping about. I fed it a huge piece of meat which I had succeeded in roasting after a few attempts before placing him in the bag behind me.
It was feeling better already, after the regular swaying of the bag and the rhythmic sound of my footsteps it easily fell back asleep.
‘Having just saved this little guy, I should go back and check on Ian. Oh right, why don’t I take the chance to pay Gwyn a visit as well.’
Having just survived a difficult ordeal, I was looking forward to seeing her, she was after all my first companion in this world.
“Oh! Chompy is it you? Chompy! I’m here! Did you come over?”
I using the sound of my jaws biting down to call out Gwyn. She quickly rushed out, but I remind her with a hand gesture to keep her distance.
“Hey Chompy, is that a new look? It’s… I mean, it looks great! Ehehehe! Are you doing well?”
I nodded, it was always nice to hear her praise. I know her compliments comes naturally without any hidden agenda. I listened to her for a long time while she narrated her story about her life here by the stream. Her small and simple stories brought a sense of calm and peace to my heart which was filled with death and pain.
In the meantime, I noticed that Ian had woken up and was walking around so I bid Gwyn goodbye.
“Chompy! Will you pass by to visit me again? I’ll keep waiting for you!”
I nodded my head to her and walked off. Ian was up and looking around when she caught sight of me, staring from behind.
The sudden encounter exposed my skeleton appearance. Shocked and somewhat frightened, she hid behind a tree, staring at me carefully from a distance.
“Are you the one that saved me?”
I nodded back.
“You’re not human.” she said somewhat hesitantly, unsure how to continue.
‘Not only am I not a human, I’m an enemy of humanity.’
“Enemy of humanity?”
[Familiar Ian the Witch has learned Spiritual Connection Lv1]
‘What? Spiritual Connection?’
It seems that as my familiar we had naturally formed a connection and she could read my thoughts.
“Was it you that saved me?”
“Did you save us last time?”
“Why did you you save your enemy?”
She stepped out from behind the tree and approached.
I realised she was getting too close and quickly thought.
‘You can’t come near me, I’ll absorb your lifeforce.’
She stops walking and takes a good look at me.
“Are you a skeleton?”
‘Right, a Lich to be exact.’
Her facial expression turned sour for a second before composing herself.
“You need to absorb other’s life force to survive right?
I shooked my head. ‘Although it’s a passive skill it isn’t necessary to my survival.’
“Then why are Liches mortal enemies of humans?”
She asked me with a curious expression. I shrugged my shoulders, unsure. All I knew was that in RPG’s, Liches were always mortal enemies with humans, dark and blasphemous creatures.
“What should I call you?”
‘Well, my friend gave me a nickname but it’s a bit childish, Chompy’
“Maybe I could give you a different name.”
I had high expectations, hoping she’d give me a good name.
I gently nodded.
“Johra! How’s that? I just came up with it!”
I agreed happily, finally a normal sounding name.
[Second Name ‘Johra’ has been selected]
My favorite message to date appeared before my eyes.
“Johra! Just as I was on my last breath I received a request”
“And… did you accept?”
“Yeah, in my mind I thought anything would be better than dying.”
I nodded in agreement.
“By the way, I feel like something about me has changed, look at this.”
She took a small hop and stayed in the air, hovering about one meter off the ground.
Tap Contrary to my expectation there wasn’t any loud sound despite having dropped from a relatively high height.
“This… I’ve changed right?”
‘Maybe it’s because you’re now a witch.’
“A witch? Really?”
I nodded once again to confirm, but surprisingly rather than be anxious, she seemed quite pleased.
“Wow! Since I was little I would always be jealous of witches in story books, flying freely on their broomsticks. I was a mage, so I always thought I wouldn’t be able to do that.”
I was glad to see her face light up with a childlike delight.
“Will I be able to soar through the sky in the future?”
‘I’m not certain, but I think it should be possible someday.”
I opened her status window
Name: IanGender: FemaleStatus: Normal (Johra’s Familiar)Type: WitchRank: H-Level: 1/20HP: 30/30MP: 20/20Attack: 2Defense: 1Agility: 8Intelligence: 10✧ Unique Skills[Summon Fire Spirit Lv2] [Elemental Fireball Lv5] [Spiritual Connection Lv1] [Flight Lv0]
Her ability seemed similar to a tomb rat’s, maybe it was because she was still level 1 after her evolution.
‘It should be possible for you if you get stronger.’
“Really? Wow ah!”
I was worried she would get hurt by practicing her hovering ability but it seemed like she would always land very softly.
‘Ian, would you please come with me?’
The little guy behind me suddenly woke up.
“Oh my! What’s that cute creature on your back?”
Ian rushed towards me as if she had heard the most lovable sound in the world. I realised that she had never met the baby dragon, as he was usually sleeping inside my closed bag.
‘It’s a young dragon, it spends most of its time sleeping.’
It pokes its head out curiously, it was the first time I’d seen it show affection to someone other than me.
‘This guy… It’s hard to walk because he’s always swaying around.’
I placed him down gently on the floor.
It immediately rushed towards Ian, scaring her somewhat.
“Sir… can I hold it?”
‘I am worried he would bite you’
“No… he’s just too cute for that!”
Indeed she was right, rather than bite it instead stuck out its large tongue and began licking her vigorously. Ian just hugged him tightly and smiled, seeming to enjoy the affection.
Leaving the two lovebirds behind, I walked off towards the sound of termites fighting. This seemed to be their fighting area.
Tak Tak Tak
After our long battle, their numbers had decreased significantly, but it didn’t seem to affect their internal struggles.
The termites which heard the baby dragon’s roaring sound, rushed towards me.
‘Ian, go and take shelter in that small cave nearby, I’ll pull some giant termites and you’ll finish them off with your magic.’
“Alright! Got it!”
Ian dragged the baby dragon towards the cave on the side. All I had to do is carefully control how many I pull, she has to be able to one shot several of them to maximize experience.
‘Is this power leveling?’
‘Tak Tak Tak’
“Slow! Slow! Slow! Fireball! Fireball!…”
Out of the original 30 termites that were fighting, only 10-20 were left. I just reduced their health rather than killing them, so that Ian could get the finishing blow. Still, I felt strange because rather than chase they prostrated themselves before me with their heads on the ground.
‘Damn, I feel a bit bad being the bully like this, but you need to become sacrifices to level up Ian.
I wasn’t able to pull them, so Ian had to come over, as soon as they caught sight of her they rushed to attack.
‘Ian! Do it now!’
“I call upon the fire spirit King Jungryong, defeat the enemies before me!”
A giant fire elemental appeared before her.
Khoooo Pat pat pat…
It summoned 5 great fireballs and shot them out towards the incoming termites, before disappearing in a whisp of smoke. All the termites which had been rushing towards Ian were turned to ashes.
I had been expecting a simple fireball, but this was a different kind of magic.
‘Just what was that?’
“It’s a summoning spell, my mana capacity is very low, so I made a contract with a fire spirit.”
Her MP was quite low so normally she could only sustain one fireball, but her summoned spirit sent out five! Sure, the summoning had exhausted all of her mana, but it was still worth it. Checking her status, I noticed she had jumped up 19 levels, it reminded me of the good ol’ days when leveling was so easy.
‘Lets try for round 2, please follow me.’
“Hey, you don’t need to be so formal with me, you’ve saved my life countless times already, so it’s awkward when you speak to me so formally.”
‘Ok then, Ian just follow me.’
“Yes sir! I will follow your command!”
Ian responded powerfully.
Going back, there were still dozens of termites with their heads bowed down to the ground.
They didn’t even move their heads despite hearing the sound of the young dragon. Four flying ants approach submissively and repeatedly did subtle head jerking movements.
‘Do they want me to follow them?’
They were being too subservient and friendly, so I couldn’t bear to wipe them out with my magic.
‘Ian, head on back to the teepee’.
“Sure, catch you later.”
I followed behind the four flying ants, heading towards their nests. There were three giant mud hill with their entrances facing inwardly towards each other, roughly 10 meters apart. It seemed like the queens of each colony were on their way to meet me. Normally, they wouldn’t move often because of their huge size, which was required to lay the eggs.
‘Lord, thank you for accepting our invitation.’
Three voices rang inside my head simultaneously.
‘Is it the Telepathy skill?’
Just like the previous King, they could use Mind Reading to know my thoughts, and respond with Telepathy. Using my Ownership View, I could see that the names on their status windows were: Alpeon, Vega and Trisila.
‘Why have have you called for me?’
‘To formally submit to you Lord, we are willing to obey any of your commands. Please forgive our manners for being unable to come out and greet you in person, but our bodies simply can’t leave the nest.’
Alpeon spoke to me as their representative, while Vega and Trisila kept their heads bowed. Alpeon’s nest was the tallest and largest of the three mounds whereas Trisila’s was the one which was partially destroyed when the King broke out.
‘You are aware that I have the power to Erase you?’
‘We will follow any of our Lord’s commands.’
‘Are you aware that you almost killed those under my command?’
‘Please forgive our impertinence, if it is our Lord’s wish, we will pay for these sins with our lives.’
Immediately, all the termites in sight brought their jaws to each others necks, ready to abide by their queen’s order.
It was a weird sensation, Although I didn’t hesitate to kill those who threatened me, mass genocide just left a bad taste.
‘Forget about it, if you listen to my orders you can continue to live here.’
‘Thank you my Lord.’
All termites removed their jaws from their comrades’ necks and resumed a submissive posture.
‘Do you not hold any resentment since I killed your King?’
‘We obey the lord unconditionally, there is nothing else to consider, you are the King of the Pit.’
I could see Alpeon lower its body to the floor in subservience through my Lord’s view.
‘Everyone’s postures look uncomfortable, just make yourselves at ease.’
Instantly, when all the termites lifted their heads it seemed like the entire landscape had changed. A termite’s back was was milky white color whereas the bottom of their neck and upper body was dark black leading to a drastic change in scenery when they all looked up at the same time.
‘I have a question for you.’
‘Please, don’t hesitate to ask.’’
‘What do you guys eat that allows you to grow so big? I am very curious how you maintain your high numbers’.
‘My Lord, you are the owner of this Pit and have every right to know, please follow us.’
This had been nagging at me since I had first come. Termites would normally live and feed on trees, but the trees in this jungle were largely untouched. There definitely wouldn’t be enough trees to support the 10,000 somewhat termites that used to exist.
I followed Alpeon down the winding tunnels of their enormous colony. After having walked for nearly an hour, I heard Alpeon’s voice in my mind.
‘Lord, the answer lies within the room before us, none can enter without your express permission.’
Perhaps it had been the command of their previous King, but I needed someone to explain the situation inside, so I had Alpeon follow me in.
‘Come inside with me.’
I couldn’t understand the sight before me, giant tree roots were growing in the wrong direction, defying gravity and pointing towards the sky. They also had a golden gleam to them adding to their mystery.
There were a total of four roots protruding from the ground with circumferences of dozens of meters, a golden liquid could be seen flowing within them.
I tried to use my Identification skill to learn more information.
[Identification level is too low to view status]
It seemed like the level discrepancy was simply too large.
‘What is it?’
‘They are the roots of the sacred tree answered the queen.
I was slowly unraveling the mysteries behind these large termite colonies. The golden liquid form the sacred tree was likely very nutritious, which allowed for their large size and numbers.
‘This one drop is enough to sustain 1,000 termites for a month, and if you collect all the liquid, it fills up within a week.’
With just a quick look, I counted roughly 100 drops available. It seemed like for the colony food wasn’t a problem. This much could easily maintain 10,000 termites, my curiosity was satisfied.
‘Previously our King controlled how much liquid was extracted, as well as its distribution, what are your thoughts on this, my Lord?’
‘I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep increasing your numbers, it’s useless if you’re weak.’
‘Yes, well… the previous King was worried about being overthrown if he gave away too much liquid.’
Naturally these drops were incredibly nutritious and had strengthening properties so it was afraid of creating rivals.
‘Ok, continue taking the same amount of liquid as before but reduce your numbers by 75%, I don’t like having just cannon fodder.’
‘It will be as you command my Lord.’
‘For the moment you can go ahead and leave first, also from this day forth, you three queens are not to fight each other, is that understood?’
‘Of course, our conflict had been instigated by our previous King so it will now end.’
‘Rather than fight each other, you must work together to develop your strength.’
Alpeon bowed down to the ground and answered.
‘I am most graceful my Lord.’
‘May I mention something which I believe my Lord should be aware of?’
‘Every 3 full moons, the envoys will come.’
‘Those who wish to rule this Pit.’
I could understand others coveting this piece of real estate considering it’s natural defensive formations and vast resources.
‘Hmm? When the time comes I’ll fight them off, in the future, explain it to me in greater detail.’
‘Anytime, my Lord.’
‘Oh right, bring by some liquid to my teepee sometime tomorrow.’
‘As you wish.’
Leaving Alpeon behind, I headed back to the surface guided by a soldier termite. When I stepped out, I realised that the sun had already set, the stars and half moon were visible in the night sky.
Walking through the dark forest, I arrived to a peaceful scene of a witch and dragon sound asleep inside the teepee. With the half moon providing some light, I enjoyed the serene calm until daybreak.
“What are you doing? What time is it…huh? Johra! When did you come? You should have woken me when you arrived.”
Ian rubbed her eyes and complained to me who was watching from afar.
‘It’s ok Ian, I like to watch you sleep.’
“Well… I didn’t snore right?”
‘No, It was good scene’
Tak Tak Tak Tak
Four giant termites brought over roughly carved wooden bowls and placed them before the teepee, backing up and placing their heads on the ground.
I sent them away with a wave of my hand, and they disappeared into the forest.
‘Ian, bring in the bowls outside and we’ll split it with the young dragon.’
“Ok, got it!”
I was hoping it would have a positive effect on them.
I let them drink it, and watched carefully from a distance. The baby dragon basked in a golden aura circling around him, I opened the status page to learn more.
[Blessing of the World Roots]
Great, I was able to learn its hidden identity through the status effect. Although the extent of the benefits provided was still unknown, based on what I had seen with the giant termites, it was helpful towards your evolution. I had let them drink 2 out of the 4 portions, and now sprinkled one over my body, keeping the last one in reserve. I wasn’t able to drink it and worried that simply spraying on my body wouldn’t work, but I was also blessed.
“Sir Johra,this is amazing! Where did you get this stuff? I no longer feel hungry after drinking it.”
The baby dragon was nudging Ian’s arm, expecting there to be more to drink.
‘Don’t worry you can have some again next time, I can always get more.’
Fortunately both reacted positively to the blessing, without any apparent side effects. Now, I had some work to do as the owner of the Pit. Using the Ownership view, I knew that there were 3 main forces.
The first were the giant termites with whom I had already come to an understanding. There were now two more forces which I had to meet with. I decided to meet with what I hoped would be the less demanding of the two, and figured I should enlist the help of my first friend.
‘Ian, I’m off to meet the spirits. I think I’ll need Gwyn’s help, she can be a bit chatty so just bear with it.’
“Are you friends with a spirit? I’ve already formed contracts with elemental spirits so I understand their nature well.”
‘Right, please bring along the last World Roots’ nectar.’
Ian followed me to meet Gwyn at her stream.
“Ah! Chompy is coming to see me! Flowers look, that’s my friend!”
Gwyn had spotted me in the distance and was speaking to the flowers nearby.
‘Can spirits talk to flowers?’
“Even a spirit can’t talk to flowers, Johra was that the pixie friend you mentioned?”
I nodded to Ian.
She had overheard me thinking to myself, for the first time, I realised I would need to be more careful about my thoughts while next to Ian.
‘Gwin you are looking great!’
“Yes! I’m fine, How have you been doing Chompy?”
[You have learned Telepathy Lv1]
‘Hmm? Wait… did I just gain a skill?’
“Huh? You’re talking to me right? Is that you Chompy?
I could finally celebrate the end of my life as a mute skeleton. Of course, the sound of me cheering was still the clacking of my teeth.
“Hey you! You should speak more politely to Johra, you are just such a pixie!”
“Hm? Aren’t you that mage we saved back then? Since when have you been following Chompy?”
“Oh, was it you who gave him that strange name?”
“Aah! Let go, let go! Put me down! Why are you doing this?”
Somehow The two seemed to be fighting but I couldn’t get close so I had to somehow separate them from a distance through telepathy.
‘Ian, let her go. She’s a bit naughty but still a good kid.’
“No, when it comes to spirits you need to stamp out these bad habits, or else they might get out of hand.”
“Let go! Put me down! Do you want me to tell King Jungryeong later?”
Ian flicked Gwyn’s forehead while still restraining her.
“Hey, Pixie! Didn’t King Jungryeong teach you how to properly treat a contractor?”
When Ian mentioned King Jungryeong Gwyn’s tone changed drastically.
“You shouldn’t treat Johra that way, ok?”
‘Ian, that’s enough! Don’t go any further Gwyn is a friend of mine.’
Gwyn was finally freed when Ian learned of my displeasure.
“Pixie, I’m warning you, this time I’ll stop because of Sir Johra, Ok?”
“Hihi, Chompy is on my side!”
Gwyn quickly flew away to hide behind me as soon as she escaped Ian’s grasp.
‘Gwyn stay away from me, you know it’s dangerous.’
“But… that bitch is more dangerous!”
“Who’s a bitch! My name is Ian!”
“I also have a name! It’s Gwyn!”
Gwyn and Ian finally greeted each other while the baby dragon announced its hunger in the background.
“Oh, is this the guy that came out from that egg? What’s its name?”
‘Yes somehow he hatched’
Gwyn’s face shone brightly, If I let her name him it would definitely be something ridiculous.
“Sir Johra can I name him?”
“Me! Me me me, I want to name! Kueeky, how about Kueeeky?”
‘Well, with a name like that, when it grows up and becomes a big dragon…I would feel too sorry for it.’
“Hey kid pixie stop talking! Sir, how about Mallepi? It sounds cute but cool!”
The young dragon seemed to like its new name.
I nodded my head in agreement.
“Tchhh! My name was better! Hmph hmph!”
Gwyn looked really upset
‘Ian could you give this to Gwyn?’
“Pixie, come and drink this, Johra brought it for you.”
I had never seen Gwyn eat something, I guess pixies didn’t need any nutrition to survive, but she had mouth so could probably eat and drink.
“Really? Chompy’s giving this to me?”
The best part about Gwyn was that her mood could change instantly. She was so happy drinking the Blessing of the World Roots that she finished it in one shot. I wondered how it even fit in Gwyn’s small body.
“Waaa~ this is really good! Thanks Chompy, it’s delicious! I feel like flying!”
Gwyn was flying around me, sprinkling golden dust. I opened her status page to see if anything had changed.
‘Oh, Life Absorption Resistance? Since when has she had that, was it the nectar?’
“Ehehehe! So I can follow Chompy around now right?”
Gwyn seemed to have read my mind because she responded immediately.
“No, naughty pixie, you’ll just be bothering Sir Johra. If you want to come, you should ride with the other guy on my shoulder.”
“I don’t want to!”
Mmmme, Gwyn stuck out her tongue.
“I’m going with Chompy!”
Gwyn rushed up to me and after opening the visor in my helmet, swooped inside of my skull.
“Oooh, I haven’t been here in awhile. Is it cozier than before? Where should I lie down?”
Gwyn lied down in my skull as stretched lazily.
“Sir Johra! Don’t let it build these bad habits, let me discipline it!”
‘It’s fine Ian, just let her do as she pleases, we’ve been together like this for a while now.’
‘Enough Ian, I have some creatures I need to meet, come with me.’
A grumbling Ian followed from behind as we headed off, Gwyn should play a decisive role in the next meeting. I also realized that Ian might also have an important part to play after I saw her interact with Gwyn previously.
We walked towards the lake which formed in the middle of the territory. Including the waterfall, all the water in the Pits would flow here and there were residents who lived inside.
‘Nymue, come out, I know you’re there.’
I projected my thoughts telepathically towards the lake.
Water soared past the surface and took the shape of a small child.
“Waaa! Wha….What is that Sir?”
“Ah! I know what it is! You… what are you again? Ugh…”
Ian was staring at the lake in amazement, she had been so surprised she fell down on her butt. Meanwhile, Gwyn was zipping around, holding her head in frustration, trying to remember.
The water disappeared and the fairy became visible, bright white clothes shone like a new dawn across her body. She had shiny silver hair with slick white eyebrows, her eyes were a deep cobalt blue, just like the color of the lake water. Her orange lips were a sharp contrast on the pale face, like the blossoming of a beautiful flower on a calm sea. She looked exactly like a fairy in one of the games I had played as a kid.
“Lord of the Pit, why have you come?”
“I’ve come to greet your people.”
“We were ignored by the former king. What would the new Lord want from us?”
Nymesu was level 50 and the leader of the spirits in the lake. Almost all of its stats, except for one, were significantly higher than mine. If a battle were to take place I could only be victorious if I survived its initial onslaught.
I shook my head towards her.
‘It is merely a visit to express my goodwill.’
“Right, Nymesu… Nymue! It’s the traitor Nymue!”
“Damn pixie shut your mouth! Go to Oberon with that dirty shaking ass of yours!”
“Pfff ~ my ass is clean! Look, look! Isn’t it clean?”
Surprisingly Nymue and Gwyn had a bad relationship. I had heard the name Oberon before, wasn’t the name of the fairy king, Oberon Gengha?
Mallepi jumped off Ian’s shoulder and barked excitedly towards Gwyn like a puppy.
‘Gwyn that’s enough, we’re here to make friends.’
There were about 20 spirits in the lake, all with a neutral status. Since I took ownership of the Jungle Pit, I wanted all the creatures within to have a friendly status towards me.
“My Lord, if you let such a disgusting pixie tag along, it’ll hurt your image.”
‘Enough! Gwyn is a friend of mine.’
“If it is the Lord’s command, I can say no more.”
‘I have a proposition for you.’
“Please, do tell”
Nymesu face held a calm expression, not betraying any of her thoughts.
“Join me, and I’ll share with you a part of the World Root’s nectar.”
“Would you really…? We are just exiled spirits with hardly any power…”
‘Don’t have such a low opinion of yourself. Regardless, since you’re a resident of my land, it would be troublesome if we have a bad relationship.’
“Naturally, we are willing to submit to our Lord.”
It seemed like the value of the nectar was much higher than I had originally thought. Her calm and collected poker face had completely crumbled when I mentioned sharing it with them. Clearly, just a short while ago, she held a wary attitude towards me, but she now had a friendly status.
“Ehehehe ~ Nymue is under my friend’s command, that means she should also follow my orders!”
‘Gwyn, that’s enough, you’re making me angry.’
“Why? You don’t like me anymore Chompy? Is that elderly fairy better than me?”
‘It’s not like that, but Nymue is an ally, so you can’t treat her badly.’
“You mentioned they are under your command!”
I snatched her wings such as one would grab a dragonfly, forcing her to greet Nymue properly.
‘I apologize on her behalf for the disrespect shown.’
“A small matter, we thank our Lord for his generosity.”
‘I’ll have the termites bring some nectar soon, in the future it will be shared regularly.’
“We are forever indebted to our Lord, please let us know if you require our assistance.”
‘I’ll be leaving now, until next time.’
I gave her a slight nod, Nymue however, had very polite farewell, grabbing both sides of her robe before bowing and disappearing into the lake.
I turned around and looked at Ian, she was still in same position, sitting on the floor while Mallepi licked her leg.
“S..sir… Johra, that fairy…. You know her?”
‘It was the first time I met her”
“But, it’s the rogue fairy which the fairy king warned me about. How can you feel comfortable around her?”
It seemed like Nymue had a bad relationship with the fairy king, Oberon.
‘I think I don’t need to fear her because she’s a resident here.’
“Sir Johra, you always leave me amazed. First, it was your identity as a skeleton, but also your way of thinking.”
‘It’s all a coincidence, I’m just going with the flow.’
Suddenly, Gwyn hovered in front of Ian, sticking out her tongue and making childish faces.
“Hee hee hee~ You fell down on your bum because you were surprised by the chick from the lake!”
“Tsss~ Naughty kid, don’t let me catch you!”
Ian chased Gwyn down for a while, trying to pinch her cheeks until they both gave up, exhausted and out of breath. Mallepi also joined in on the running game and was soon panting, so I fed him some more termite meat.
‘Let’s get going, there are more creatures to meet.’
“Alright! Off we go!”
Gwyn was a very naughty pixie, but somehow Ian was too susceptible to teasing. Their relationship was like oil and water, never able to get along.
“You… If sir Johra wasn’t around, I would put you in your place.”
Gwyn flew back to her resting place in my skull. I wondered If I was spoiling her too much.
Regardless, at the end of the day the inhabitants of the lake accepted the alliance. Although Gwyn and Ian were far less helpful than I had expected, the end result was still a success.
Just thinking of my next meeting brought a frown to my face, will I be able to create an alliance with them?
“Johra, there are incredibly large cobwebs ahead.”
The forest before was covered entirely in white, there was even a giant termite hanging on one of the many webs.
‘How is this considered neutral? They captured one of my termites to feed on.’
I was also somewhat worried, after all, the spider queen Bianca was a level 70 monster. Be it in terms of stats or skills, it wasn’t very different from the previous king.
‘Still, since when has the outcome of a battle been decided solely by the Status page?’
Many spider webs, as thick as finger appeared out of nowhere.
Whenever any of them got close to my body, they would break apart and dissolve.
‘Seems to be the work of my Life Absorption skill, I’m glad I don’t need to deal with all these spiderwebs. Wait, why did all their statuses change from neutral to enemy all of a sudden?’
The monsters in this forests were spiders named Arachnids and until now they had been listed as neutral. One of them sprang up to a nearby tree and stared at me with its many eyes.
‘Are you guys truly trying to pit yourselves against me?’
The spider that was just slightly bigger than a giant termite fled instantly upon hearing my telepathic message.
“Huh? How did you do that Sir Johra?”
Ian and Mallepi were both stuck in a web behind me, jerking around. struggling to get loose.
I simply approached them and the web instantly turned to dust. Mallepi was staring at me, completely dumbfounded.
‘If you consider how easily I destroyed their webs, I just might be a spider’s natural enemy.’
“Whoa ~ I’m alive! I really hate spiders!”
I could understand Ian’s loathing and even shared it somewhat. It was more of an instinctive distaste for their species.
‘Ian, I’m afraid I won’t be able to solve this problem peacefully, please return to the teepee.”
“But… I want to help you.”
I shook my head firmly. In a battle with monsters there were simply too many variables to consider, and if I had to worry about protecting Ian, it would only be that much more difficult.
“Hee-Hee! Definitely I’m the most useful!”
‘You head back too Gwyn.’
“Why? I’ll be helpful!”
‘It’s too dangerous.’
“But I’ll be safe inside your skull.”
‘No, just listen to me alright?’
Gwyn was staring at me with a pouty face while Ian looked at Gwyn with her arms crossed, giving off an “as expected” feeling.
“Sheesh! Ok, I’ll go back to where I always stay. Next time you come, you better bring a present, otherwise I won’t play with you!”
Gwyn seemed a bit more upset than usual.
‘Ian, head back now.’
“I’ll watch for just a little while”, she answered.
I couldn’t persuade her to go back right away after seeing her worried face.
‘Fine, just don’t stay too long.’
“Yes, in turn please promise that you’ll come back safe and sound.”
I moved into the forest of cobwebs, after giving Ian a nod.
The spiderwebs around me disintegrated and scattered in the wind.
‘It’s really quite useful, with so many spider webs… it would be very annoying if I didn’t have my life absorption skill.’
Dozens of webs were sent flying in my direction.
‘Haven’t they realized that it’s pointless? Wait… Damn!’
They weren’t aiming at me, but Ian who was holding the young dragon further back.
‘How dare they!’
I had finally lost my temper. Watching more than a hundred spiders running along their webs, I exploded my spells in their cluster.
“Inferno! Inferno! Inferno!”
The spiders which were running along the webs suspended in the air, fell down heavily to the ground when their webs burned. I walked towards them, locking eyes with the few who dared to look at me.
[+771 experience points][+1542 experience points]…[Acquired knowledge of Arachnids]
[Acquired ｟Title: Spider’s Bane Lv1｠]
[You have learned Death Stare Lv1]
‘Is it a new skill?’
I looked at the others with eyes full of anger. I also threw Infernos towards the ones running in the air and corpse explosions when they fell down to the ground.
“Inferno! Corpse Explosion! Inferno! Corpse Explosion!”
[+771 experience points][+1542 experience points]…[+394752 experience points]
[Level increased 32 ➢ 33]
[Acquired ｟Title: Spider’s Bane lv3｠]
My Death Stare seemed to be extra effective because of the spiders’ numerous eyes. Inferno was a great mid-distance spell and all the spiders running in the trees became offerings to the fire god as it ravaged their exposed underbellies. If they were lucky enough to survive and come down to the ground, a Corpse Explosion made quick work of them, resulting in a wealth of experience.
Kuwoong! Kuwoong! KyaOoO!
I heard a tree fall in the distance along with a strange roar.
‘It seems you have decided to fight me. Ian head back to the teepee now, I’ll join you soon.’
“Yes I am sorry, I will go right now”
Mallepi seemed to really dislike all the spiderwebs.
After sending Ian back, I stayed at the outskirts of the forest, waiting for it to make its appearance.
It had a huge body, but when compared to the King it was still quite a bit smaller.
Bianca, the boss of the arachnids appeared before me . Her hairy legs were about 2 meters long, which was relatively short compared to her large body, at around 5 meters high. Just looking at its appearance brought me a sense of disgust. I opened its Status page to have a look.
Status: NormalType: ArachnidRank: ELevel: 70/80HP: 3600/3621MP: 1229/1229Attack: 800Defense: 100Agility: 216Intelligence: 136✧ Unique Skills[Physical Resistance Lv 1] [Webs Lv Max] [Poisonous Bite Lv 3][Health Regeneration Lv 1] [Call to Arms Lv 1] [Telepathy Lv 1] [Mind reading Lv 1] [Last Stand Lv 1]✧ Titles[Mother of Arachnids]
‘Is it you, little boy? Are you the new king?’
Bianca communicated with me as I observed her stats.
‘Yes, and are you planning on being the first leader to fall at the hands of your king?’
‘Ha ha ha ~ funny guy, do you think I’m not aware that you only defeated the previous king due to luck?’
‘Good fortune is also a type of ability, are you planning to find out?’
‘I’ll try you out. My children have already informed about your battle with the King, and I won’t be falling for any of your little tricks. Once I kill you, I’ll be the new Queen and rule this area.’
‘Why are you so chatty, are you scared? Come at me, I’m busy and don’t have much time.’
I tried to provoke Bianca as much as possible. True, her power was considerable, but when compared to the King, she was weaker in every regard.
‘I’m not afraid, I always do my best when hunting my prey.’
Thud! Thud! Tsshhh~
Bianca raised her abdomen and sprayed a spider web towards me. The thickness of this web was on a completely different level when compared to that of its minions. Giant strands, almost 20 cm thick were flying my way. I lazily stretched out my arm and let my Life Absorption do the rest.
It disintegrated into dust and was blown away in the wind.
The spell appeared below Bianca’s abdomen creating a vacuum which sucked her in, effectively pulling down to the floor.
‘How dare you humiliate me like this, I am going to kill you!’
‘Ok, just try.’
I ignored her meaningless threats as I let loose a barrage of spells on her head.
Compared to when I fought the King, I had leveled up somewhat and more importantly my MP recovery had increased. This allowed me to spam spells more freely and use more combos. Also, unlike the KIng, Bianca didn’t have any magic resistance so she had to take all the damage head on.
‘Hmm… Now I understood why he was the King.’
Bianca’s health had already dropped by 30%.
‘Stop being so noisy and come at me instead of complaining.’
I kept insulting her as I kept my distance and let my MP recover. She struggled to stand and gave me a venomous look.
Bianca stood up again while staring me down.
‘Will it try some assassination attack next?’
Its long range web’s were ineffective, whereas my magic was very strong. It would almost certainly try to make this a close quarter fight and use her Poisonous Bite.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
It rushed towards me but my MP bar was alrady half full.
I was getting better at using my magic and was now aiming the inferno at the ground in front of her, causing her to lose her footing and stumble. All the while, I was creating some distance and filling up my mana. Of course, Inferno would also cause some damage, but in this case I was using its vacuum effect as crowd control.
I took the chance to back away even further, keeping a careful distance.
‘Coward! You’re the King, how can you run away!’
‘Why is it you refuse to accept me as your Lord?’
‘You’re just a coward!’
‘Well… I guess we will have to revisit this conversation after I beat you.’
Bianca began walking towards me rather slowly . It seemed like she had learned her lesson, and didn’t want to overcommit until I had thrown my spells.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
‘Hmm…Seems like you’re finally using your brain, but don’t you know that my mana has been getting cold.!’
My MP bar was already full.
My first two missed due to her quick, sudden dodges, but the third one was accurate, forcing her back down to the ground.
‘Interesting, you’re quite the cunning one.’
“Inferno! Inferno! Inferno!…”
Hitting her once again with several Infernos, her HP dropped even more, she was now in quite the predicament with less than 40 % health.
It’s color was changing as a narrow red band appeared on it’s black body.
‘Is it using its Last Stand already?’
She once again lifted up her abdomen, and after having locked onto me, shot out a web.
‘Don’t you know by now that it’s ineffective against me?’
Still, the color of this web was different. The fluorescent green gave off a very dangerous feeling when compared to the previous webs.
‘Let’s avoid it just in case.’
It was too late to dodge with just my body so I quickly casted Inferno on the ground nearby and let the vacuum effect pull me to safety. As I rolled to the side, I saw my previous position had completely melted.
‘Is it a Black widow?’
‘That’s too bad, it would’ve killed you in one shot’
Bianca tried to lock onto me again, clearly aiming to send some more corrosive webs my way.
“Fireshock! Fireball! Inferno!”
I cast all three spells to her lower abdomen, in order of the shortest casting time.
My timing was perfect, intercepting her missile just as it left her spinnerets, her body suffered from the explosion of the spells.
‘Are you stupid, how can you use the same strategy twice?’
‘Cheater! I’ll hack you to pieces and hang them around my neck!’
‘Just try it!’
Bianca seemed to be in deep thought, contemplating her next plan of action. With only 25% of her health remaining, she probably knew it would be her last attempt. Using the Lord’s view I could see about 200 spiders hiding in the forest behind her.
She retreated back into the forest.
‘Is she trying to lure me into an ambush? Good, I was hoping to end this soon enough.’
There were three reasonably high leveled spiders, and looking at their status windows I noticed they also had unique skills.
‘Bianca, you’re aware that if your next attack fails you will die right?’
‘What’s wrong with dying, I’d rather die than be under your command.’
‘But are you willing to gamble with the lives of your family hidden in the forest behind?’
‘Well… do…do you really think I would resort to such cowardly tricks?’
‘You just panicked, don’t be foolish and think that these small tricks could stay hidden from my sight. Also…’
I gently clapped my hands for effect.
‘Alpeon! Can you hear me? Bring over some children.’
‘Master I have been awaiting your instructions.’
Buuwoong! Buuwoong! Buuwoong!
Hundreds of flying termites flocked towards me.
‘What… weren’t you alone?’
‘Hey, you’re not alone either, so you can’t exactly complain can you. You’re aware that if they all use their acidic spit towards the forest, your children will die.’
I had instructed Alpeon to focus on hatching and feeding the nectar to the male flying termites, and was glad this squad had been produced in time. I might otherwise have had to force myself somewhat, to take care of all the spiders by myself.
Suppression through overwhelming power, it was my last resort to subdue the Arachnids, the last rebellious force within my Jungle Pit.
‘If you are set on killing, then just exterminate us all.’
‘Bianca stop being silly, don’t you see I am trying to give you a way out?’
‘I’m not willing to serve someone weaker than I.’
‘How am I weaker than you? We just fought one to one and you’re on death’s door.’
Bianca seemed lost in her own thoughts.
‘I just don’t want to be your under command.’
Her pride simply didn’t allow her to bend the knee.
‘Fine, then how about as an ally?’
‘Are you willing to spare my children?’
‘Yes, but any form of betrayal won’t be tolerated. Also, Legol, Arin and Hattan must be sent to Alpeon’s hill as hostages.’
I had asked Bianca for the 3 unique and high level spiders as collateral, so that she would have to think twice about betraying me in the future.
‘What? I can’t agree to that!’
‘If you agree, I’m willing to share with you a portion of the World Tree’s nectar. If not, I will wipe out your entire family on this very day!’
Bianca became silent as she weighed her options.
‘My Lord, I can accept, but I have one condition.’
‘Name it, and I’ll take it under consideration.’
‘Once one of my three unique children grow strong enough to replace me, allow me to challenge you once again.’
I thought it would be alright to allow this small consideration, to avoid the threat of a rebellion in the near future. Also, I was confident that with my current growth rate, by the time Bianca challenged me she wouldn’t be much of a threat.
‘Fine I accept, then about the alliance….’
‘No need, I am willing to submit. You have accepted my condition, so I will serve the new King wholeheartedly.’
I was willing to discuss terms of the alliance, but surprisingly she submitted immediately.
‘Great, then when will you be sending your three children over?’
‘They will arrive tomorrow. Also, we are very good at guarding the borders, that’s why the former King also gave us a certain amount of freedom.’
‘Are the boundaries of the territory marked by your spider webs?’
‘Yes, will we also continue to have the duty of watching borders?’
‘Thank you my Lord!’
‘By the way, make sure not to feed on or capture anymore of my minions alright? Or else….’
‘Absolutely, we are completely devoted to you my Lord!’
With a clap of my hands, the flying termites retreated into the distance.
‘I will leave now.’
Bianca was still in a submissive posture with her head to the ground.
‘Now that this is taken care of, we’ll be ready for the next step.’
After a long walk through the forest, I arrived before the largest of the termite mounds. It felt good that all the termites I met, prostrated themselves to the floor until I was out of sight.
‘My Lord, I have been waiting.’
Alpeon was the most hardworking and intelligent of the queens, it was the correct choice to entrust her with my tasks.
‘Alpeon, thank you for your hard work.’
‘Not at all my Lord, If I had known she would rebel I would have wiped them out earlier.’
‘Don’t be so quick to choose confrontation, the current amicable situation is a better result for both.’
‘I will follow my Lord’s instructions.’
Stroking Alpeon’s antennae, I found the large and shy queen quite adorable.
‘Tomorrow three spiders will arrive. Although they are hostages, they must be treated with the utmost respect. I will have a use for them someday. ’
‘I shall follow your command.’
I saw my reflection in Alpeon’s large eyes. I didn’t feel strong, despite being a Lich, my magic powers were still too weak. Although I had survived and had successive victories, luck had played a big role and I definitely had to improve my power.
‘Tell me more about the delegation you mentioned last time.’
‘My Lord, they usually arrive in three distinct groups.’
Alpeon paused to wipe it’s antenna before continuing our telepathic conversation.
‘Pardon my rudeness.’
‘Not at all, please continue what you were saying.’
‘Wise King, the future of the Jungle Pit is bright with my Lord at its helm.’
Alpeon was considerably talented at ass-kissing, it was hard not to feel good from so much praise.
‘The most powerful group are known as Lost Asmodians.’
‘They want to return to their magical homeworld and claim that somewhere within the Pit lies the key.’
Normally, a magic race like the Asmodians would be among the strongest in a fantasy game, but the fact that they had the word “Lost” in their title meant they had a special history.
‘So what do you think we should do about their claim?’
‘If you give them the Pit, allowing them to return to their mysterious promise land, they would be willing to offer another piece of land in exchange.’
I expected their excuses to be a scam, what they really wanted were the endless benefits which the World’s Roots nectar provided.
‘That doesn’t make any sense.’
‘Yes, I agree’
‘So, I guess they aren’t looking for a diplomatic resolution.?’
‘You are very wise, my Lord. The former King came up with a plan in which the three envoys would fight between themselves, to pick a winner who he would then face in combat.’
I almost asked if it was no longer a visit of delegations, but a small tournament instead. Still, it made sense, in a 1 to 1 duel, there were few beings that could overcome the previous King.
I had won mostly through some luck and use of the terrain. Also, the two dragon teeth were indispensable in breaking it’s defenses.
‘What about the other 2 forces?’
‘One of them are Elves who have lost their hometown.’
‘Yes, they a similar to humans except they have longer lifespans and stronger magic.’
Wasn’t that a super common fantasy, meeting and dating a beautiful elf? Well, of course that was no longer the case for me.
‘Hm… right, then are the elves weaker than the Asmodians?’
‘The Asmodians have almost always won the elimination tournament among the envoys. It has been mostly them who have fought against the previous King.’
It seemed like the Asmodians were quite a force to be reckoned with, even more so than the elves.
‘What about the last group?’
‘The final delegation aren’t very strong but they are regarded as wicked beings.I am not sure what kind of species they belong to because their representatives are always changing, they call themselves the League of Reincarnation’
Reincarnation? I felt they were same as me. Maybe I wasn’t the only one who had a previous life.
Still, I responded to Alpeon in a calm manner.
‘I see, but what do you mean by wicked?’
‘Those from that delegation would always have strange powers. The previous King mentioned that they are wicked because they go against the laws of the world.’
The King would have been able to see the stats of all beings within the Pit.The envoys who experienced reincarnation must have had some strange power, and when the King checked their stats, he must have mistaken it for wicked (Devil) power. I was beginning to form an interest in their group.
‘Thank you, actually there is one more thing which I am curious about.’
‘Please do tell.’
‘How were the duels against the King, did the he win easily?’
‘They were always incredibly vicious and close fights. Still, the King mentioned that it was his duty to keep ownership of this place, and he always kept that promise.’
Such terrible news! If even the previous King struggled so much, how would I fare in an open duel, where the use of tricks and terrain were limited.
‘Ok, thank you for the information Alpeon. Regarding my previous instructions, how has the development been going?’
‘According to my Lord’s wishes, the children have been getting stronger, but…’
‘Well, what is it?’
It was strange for someone like Alpeon to hesitate. It was her nature to always speak frankly,. so if she was reluctant to speak, it must be something big.’
‘Something unexpected has occurred.’
‘A few of them have experienced a golden mutation across their bodies.’
‘Hmmm? So what’s the problem?’
‘Well, the children have become much stronger than before. I was worried that my Lord would be angry.’
I let out an inner cheer, I definitely needed powerful minions. Using my Ownership View, I checked the status pages of those with strange mutations.
‘Mir, Tagan and Jenna, was it those three?’
‘Well done, great work Alpeon. You should raise them well and provide them with a larger portion of nectar, is that understood?’
‘Thank you, so… you aren’t angry?’
‘No, you’ve done really well.’
Walking out of the termite hill, I let a scream of satisfaction within my mind
‘Aaaah, finally things are taking a turn for the better.’
It was already sunset, the stars were shining in the sky.
Today marked the end of the year, so there should be about 15 days left. I had some things to take care of before the arrival of the envoys. Still, I wasn’t up for it right now and went to Ian’s teepee to rest my weary mind.
“Zzzzz Sir Johra… Not the Pixie! Why not me Zzzzzzz”
Ian talking in her sleep talk and Mallepi lay near her, snoring comfortably.This had become one of the most peaceful and precious moments of my new life. I was certain that I would do my utmost to protect them.
‘It would be perfect if Gwyn were here. Oh right!’
I just remembered that Gwyn had asked me to bring a gift next time I’d come see her.
‘Hm, what does Gwyn like…?’
As I remember, Gwyn liked having some beautiful things. Ever since I had become the King of this Pit, I could check the information of any living being within my territory.
‘Could I get that?’
There were many rare flowers growing up on a ledge, behind the waterfall. Still, even among those, there was one which stood out. Adonis, it’s name shone in a golden light, demonstrating its unique status.
I climbed up the cliff, enduring the pressure of the waterfall to reach the cluster of flowers. When I arrived, I could see Adonis’ strange and unique beauty for myself.
There was a special rainbow surrounding the flower.
The rainbow pushed my hand away.
‘Is this for real?’
I take a closer look at Adonis’ status page. Surprisingly it had its own level and HP. Although it didn’t have any attack power, its defense was almost 1000! It stood upright, like a proud and untouchable monarch.
‘This was no longer just a flower, has it become a monster?’
It’s petals shone with a platinum lustre and it’s robust stem was a vibrant green. I was so surprised that I thought it might actually be a monster.
‘What to do…’
Its tremendous defense value implied that the rainbow which was now reflecting the starlight held some deeper meaning. This rainbow seemed to be absorbing the power of the stars.
‘It would be easier to carry Gwyn here and just show it to her.’
I had been trying different methods to dislodge it, but it appeared untouchable. My last resort was to break off a part of the cliff, but as the owner of the area, I preferred not to ruin the natural landscape.
Giving up, I climbed down the cliff and noticed some ordinary, wildflowers growing along the stream.
‘I’ll just settle for these, I’m sure she’ll like them just the same.’
I gathered a few small, pretty looking flowers and held them in one hand.
‘Oh right, I still have the Life Absorption passive.’
I realised that I had prepared quite the poor gift as the flowers in my hand had already begun to wilt. Still, already having made up my mind, I decided that they would just have to do.
Grasping what might be considered as the ugliest bouquet in the world, I walked off to meet Gwyn.
Her voice still sounded a bit upset.
‘This… this’, I stuttered as I was somewhat embarrassed of my gift.
“What… are those dead flowers?”
‘They’re a bit sick, but there not that bad to look at.’
Gwyn grabs the bouquet of flowers from my hand and tried hard to keep a straight face. Still, the occasional look of disgust did slip past her poker face.
“Thank you for bringing a gift, but…”
“I hate you! You never bring me on any of your dangerous adventures. Before, it was because you worried about the Lifesteal, but not anymore! I really like going places with you but it seems you don’t, that ‘s why I am so angry!”
Gwyn had a pure heart, She would always be very sensitive, and it was careless of me to have missed this.
‘All right, I’ll make sure that we are always together. I’ll become stronger to always be able to protect you.’
“Really? In that case I’ll accept these flowers. Suddenly I’m in high spirits, hihi~”
It never ceased to amaze me how quickly her mood changed, it was the best part about her.
‘Come live with us at the tent, that way my mind can be at ease.’
It has been difficult for Gwyn to be sleeping outdoors like a homeless person.
“No, I don’t like it there. There’s an ugly witch living over there.”
‘Ian isn’t ugly.’
“Fine! A bad witch then.”
‘Gwyn, Ian is now a comrade of ours so please try to get along.’
‘Gwyn, we will always be together so you have to be nice with Ian, will you listen to me?’
“Fine, I’ll stay in the teepee, but just far away from Ian. I only like Chompy! ”
Their differences were simply irreconcilable, there was no middle ground to be found.
‘Give it a try, ok?’
“I’ll try really hard for Chompy.”
‘Good, do you promise?’
“Yuup~ Ok, time to ride in my very own skull!”
She had already lain down comfortably inside.
‘Gwyn has always wanted to be as close as possible to me. Still, on many occasions her light heartedness has helped me overcome many issues.’
I had faced many challenges since coming to this new world. Most notably, was how little regard was held for life. Killing had immediately become common practice, and I could preserve some sense of humanity through my interactions with Gwyn. So it was natural for me to have developed a deep affection for her.
I returned to the teepee with Gwyn inside my skull. I stayed watching Ian and Mallepi’s sleeping scenery until sunrise.
“OMG Again? Again! Sir Johra It’s illegal to watch someone while they sleep!”
Ian was so upset that she had to stop and wipe her saliva foaming near her mouth. Still, I found her very cute even when she was angry.
‘Ian, I’ll be gone for the next ten days. I told Alpeon to keep an eye on things, so everything should be fine.’
“Where are you going?”
‘Hmmm… I need to get stronger. Don’t worry, I’ll be back safe and sound.’
Ian came up to me and held my arm close.’
‘Ian… your life force….’
“I’ll wait for you, so please come back to me. I don’t ever want to be alone again.”
Ian’s eyes were tearing up, she had been through many difficult situations recently.
‘Don’t worry I’ll be back soon, and didn’t I warn you last time about getting too close?’
Her health was steadily declining.
“I don’t have life absorption resistance…”
She had a face full of disappointment, it seemed like it was an ability she really wanted to have.
‘Well, I have to get going, take care.’
“Johra, you’re too cold!”
She looked a bit angry.
“I’ll be back!”
Ian went back to the teepee and began stroking Mallepi.
“You have to!”
I heard Ian’s voice from afar as I headed towards the termite nests.
‘Alpeon, where are the spiders?’
I visited the termite hill first thing in the morning. The spiders were definitely supposed to be here according to my ownership view, but despite going to the spider’s allocated chamber, they were nowhere to be found.
‘They don’t like termites, so they hide in their cocoons.’
It seemed like they were within the cocoons which were fixed against the wall. Even if I had the ability to view statuses, I wasn’t able to locate them.
The ability of Legol, one of the three spiders, was a skill which blocked my ownership view.
‘That’s a pretty useful skill.’
‘Indeed, a desirable power.’
‘Alpeon, could you please bring over the three special one’s you mentioned yesterday?’
‘They will arrive soon.’
I approached Cocoons.
‘Legol, Arin, Hattan, show your faces.’
‘Forgive us Lord, we have no faces’
Are these kids serious, quite cheeky aren’t they? Time to put them in their place.
I gave one of the cocoons a hard poke.
Surprised, they fell awkwardly out of their cocoons, flat on their backs.
‘Lord, are you purposely trying to embarrass us?’
‘Was it not you three which ignored me?’
They kept silent, actually they were still young children so I felt they were quite stubborn.
‘Come follow me, we will be going somewhere during the next few days.
As I was instructing them, Alpeon’s message appeared in my mind.
‘The children have arrived.’
I couldn’t believe my eyes, they were about one and a half times larger than an ordinary termite. If they were to stand up right it would be about the same size as me. Also, instead of the usually transparent milky white color, their carapace had a golden lustre to it.
It seemed like those who gained abilities from the Root’s nectar would also have a color similar to it. Their Powers were also roughly twice that of a regular termite but there levels were still low so I expected there would be room for growth.Their translucent golden wings hanging on each side added to their majesty, and likened them to some imperial knights.
‘Mir, Tagan, Jenna, do you all possess telepathy?’
‘That is correct, Lord.’
I was heartened to hear their voices ring in my mind. Each of them had some unique abilities so we would be able to coordinate best if we could all communicate through telepathy. It seemed like prioritizing quality over quantity was the right choice, and the results were humongous termites.
‘You guys will follow me today, is that alight?’
Termites had excellent loyalty, a Hierarchical system was second nature to them, and they responded quickly to commands.
‘Alpeon I’ll be borrowing these children for about 10 days, is that alright?’
‘Of course, may I ask where you will be going?’
‘I’ll be heading to the neighbouring territory.’
Alpeon was surprisingly quick to understand my intentions.
‘Go, Mir, Tagan, Jenna, Regal, Arin and Hattana.’
I was headed back towards the where I first came from, leading my 6 strange minions.
I was intent on conquering the Catacombs where I came from, while raising my personal strength and nurturing my unique minions.
‘Lord, why do you also take along these eight legged traitors?’
Jenna, the only female of the termites, asked telepathically.
‘They are part of my objective this time around, same as you.’
Jenna seemed to be pouting as she clacked her mandibles strongly while walking away. On our way there, after about one hour of traveling, the bickering between species was becoming unbearable.
‘Jenna, Arin!, come stay near me.’
They were the two most troublesome. Both were female and their talents were unique, so they had personalities which didn’t allow them to back down.
‘You two are on a time out, so behave.’
They walked on each side of me, like punished children.
I had quite the headache, in order for the races to coexist within the Pit in future, it was imperative for the younger generation to be on good terms. But, it didn’t seem like they were off to a good start.
Well, one thing I can try to foster better unity, is to find them a common enemy.
I led to the Catacombs through the hole.
‘I will award the one with the best performance by doubling their portion of nectar, so work hard to kill many monsters.’
I could see that they had gotten excited. An increase in nectar was the best reward for them, as it would improve their future prospects. On foreign species such as myself, the nectar seemed to only provide new abilities such as telepathy. However, for locals like them, it would revamp their entire constitution, much like an evolution.
He who received a double portion would certainly be ahead of the pack. Not to mention that these six were already unique among their generations and were like seeded candidates to lead their respective races. If they could one up their competitors, their position as future ruler would be all but assured. Although it was a bit irresponsible of me, at least the Spiders became noticeably more serious.
I took the children with me towards the iron door I had discovered early on.
‘Jenna, I’ll be needing your help.’
In fact, this was one the main reasons I had them follow me to level up.
Jenna was capable of spitting out a highly acidic secretion, much like the previous King’s. Likewise, Arin was able to send out poisonous web shots, just like Bianca. I valued them highly for their toxic skills, and was planning to use them as part of a combo.
Still, the door was thick and sturdy, although the acid abilities did melt away part of its surface, it held strong
‘Your turn, Hattana.’
This was the second step.
It froze the door by bombarding it with spiderwebs which had both, ice and cold magic properties.
‘Mir, Regol, join me for the last step and release your flames!’
Mir had the ability to spit out a lava-like secretion while Regol could send out flaming spider webs. I topped it off with several Infernos and the door finally gave out.
Despite it being a thick steel door, it finally couldn’t stand up to our triple-tiered combo of Acid, Ice and Fire. I finally learned that the door was about 15 centimeters thick, and I would have had no chance at getting through it if I had been alone.
‘Great, time to conquer the Tomb I was born in.’
I stepped through the door with my six powerful minions in tow. On the next floor, we encountered the black half of a giant chessboard. The pieces were stone statues, somewhat similar to the gargoyles I’d fought previously.
I looked around carefully before walking down the stairs, we were no longer within the confines of my Pit, so I couldn’t access their Status page as easily.
‘Would it be possible to gain ownership here?’
Actually, another reason why I was so hell bent on getting past this Iron door, was that I wanted to take ownership of the Tombs as well. Compared to the open area of the Pit, the Tombs were easier to hold and defend with their narrow tunnels. It would make a great fallback point in an emergency situation.
‘Let’s all enter the floor together at the same time. Before the statues have a chance to prepare themselves, Legol, Arin and Hattan, try to restrict their movements with your webs. Mir, Tagan and Jenna, climb along the ceiling and drop some black pockets on them.
Everyone nods in agreement.
‘Alright, let’s go!’
Thud! Thud! Thud! Shick! Shick! Shick!
As expected, once we crossed the threshold of the stairs, a new iron gate fell down behind us, blocking our retreat. The statues before us slowly began to awaken, shaking off the dust. All the pieces of a chessboard: pawns, knights, bishops, towers and the King and Queen, began to move about.
‘Regol, Arin, Hattan, get a move on!’
I had underestimated the inexperience of these young spiders. Their hesitation to charge out towards a new enemy, had caused them to miss a precious opportunity to restrict their opponent’s movements.
Ptuii! Ptuii! Ptu!
When they finally shook off their indecisiveness and shot out their webs, they were easily countered by the Knight’s and Bishop’s magic.
‘Ugh, these guys!’
Arin quickly fired a web at the feet of the advancing pawns, trying to make up for the previous mistake. At least she managed to make the eight pawns trip up, but the stronger backline was only stymied for a short time, as they stumbled over them.
Fortunately, the golden termites waiting on the ceiling performed their duties well. They dropped the six black pouches on the line of pawns. The pouches broke like eggs on the stone statues, except that instead of it being yolk that poured out, it was a corrosive liquid which melted the pawn’s stone bodies.
As the backline of chess pieces stepped over the pawns which were still sprawled on the floor, they were able to largely ignore the liquid. The young spiders who had erred at the start of the fight, rushed up to redeem themselves. Unfortunately, faced with the high defenses of the stone pieces, their attacks had little effect.
Jenna tried using her acid spit against the Rook, but it also had a limited effect.
‘These stone statues seemed to be difficult opponents for my insects. It should be an interesting fight.’
I sent them all a message through Telepathy.
‘I will sit back and judge your performances, so work together to defeat them.’
I retreated to the back and crossed my arms, intent on remaining an observer.
The golden ants kept trying to drop black pouches, to almost no effect. The spiders tried a more active approach, running around and trying to create traps with their spider webs. However, they were frustrated to learn that their opponents, the stone chess pieces, would always break out by working in unison.
‘You’ll never win if you guys don’t cooperate….’
I had expected for the six of them to cooperate together and defeat the stone pieces with their combinations, but sadly it was not the case.
When I finally realised that they would have no chance of winning and that the situation would soon get dangerous for them, I ordered them to retreat with my Telepathy.
‘Back off you idiots!’
I cast my magic, aiming for the center of the chess pieces.
True, the stone pieces were very heavy, but when compared to bosses like Bianca, they were still a bit lighter. The vacuum effect from my inferno pulled in all the pieces into a cluster.
‘Throw out your skills in the same order we used to break down the door.’
I was still enthralled by the devastation of the Acid/Ice/Fire combo we used to break down the iron door.
The stone chess pieces crumbled under the onslaught.
[+1622 experience points]…[+415232 experience points][You can now learn new magic]
[Level increased 34➢ 35]
‘Legol, Arin, Hattan, you guys get minus two points. Mir, Tagan, Jenna, just the minus one. You three spiders hesitated too long so that was minus one point, also none of you cooperated as a team so minus one point for everyone.’
It was silent as none dared to talk back.
‘Hm, actually Arin performed quite well so you’ll be spared the penalty this time.’
‘Huh why? If it wasn’t for that spider girl, things wouldn’t have been so difficult!’
Jenna’s telepathic message was burning with hostility.
Jenna, minus one point for promoting internal discord, anything else to add?’
It seemed like there were many obstacles to overcome before they could function well as a cohesive unit. As I walked around the hall, looking for the stair to the next floor, I opened up My Status page to view my new magic selection.
Name: Chompy (Johra)Gender: N/AStatus: NormalRace: Lich/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: H+Level: 35/50HP: 1417/1426MP: 2933/3441Attack: 101 (+2)Defense: 832 (+2)Agility: 122Intelligence: 1027Luck: 9Charisma: 7✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max] [Fireball LvMax] [Acid Resistance Lv2] [Identification Lv1] [Sage’s Wisdom Lv1] [Weapon Enchant Lv4] [Armor Enchant Lv3] [Sunlight Resistance Lv1] [Physical Resistance Lv2] [Inferno Lv8] [Water Sphere Lv1] [Necromancy Lv7] [Lifesteal Lv2] [MP Regeneration Lv3][Lightning Resistance Lv1] [Corpse Explosion Lv8] [Possession Lv1] [Stun Resistance L1] [Telepathy Lv1] [Mind Reading Lv1] [Spiritual Connection Lv1] [Death Stare Lv3]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv3] [Coldhearted Lv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1][Ant Exterminator Lv14] [Spider’s Bane Lv3] [Giant Killer Lv1] [Wizard of the Pit]✧ Skill Selection[Magic Research Lv1] [Polymorph Lv1] [Meditation Lv1]
‘Hmm? Am I seeing things… it seems like this skill opens up a lot of possibilities.’
Recently I had been somewhat disappointed with my skill selection. Since I had become a Lich, I had expected to have overpowered skills and the ability to create my own spells. But, at least with magic research my hopes were rekindled.
‘I still didn’t know how the spell worked, but my expectations were high. I wish I had Sage’s Wisdom …’
Although Polymorph and Meditation were interesting, for me there was only one clear choice.
[You have learned Magic Research Lv1]
[You can now select a spell to be the target of Magic Research]
It looks like I even get to choose which spells I want to focus on, thank God it sounds easy to use.
Opening up my Status window, I selected ‘Inferno’. It had been my go-to spell for quite some time now and it was both powerful and flexible in its uses.
Having been walking for some time as I multitasked with the Status page, I had finally arrived at the staircase leading to the next floor.
‘You guys take care of this door.’
I stepped back to evaluate their teamwork.
Much to my surprise, they were able to break down the door on the first try. It seemed like their cooperation had already improved somewhat, making me feel proud.
‘Let’s head down.’
I went down the staircase followed by my six insects, unsure as to what we would encounter next.
The next floor was surprisingly very cold, even the walls were freezing to the touch.
‘Whats going on?’
We had just arrived from what was a tropical-like climate, to now almost being in the Antarctic. The ground was frozen over,and my poor insects were reluctant to even step onto the new floor. Although it wasn’t too bad near the stairs, the further out you went, the colder it would be.
[You have learned Cold resistance Lv1]
‘You guys wait for me here.’
The cold was an insect’s nemesis, and I didn’t want to torture my poor minions too much.
Also, I wanted to scout ahead so as not to get caught in an impossible situation.
‘Lord, we also….’
Just stay here and be prepared for whatever enemy might come. I don’t know what we will be facing, so if I need to make a quick escape, you guys will be my fall back position.
They sent no telepathic responses, as they remained quiet, ashamed of their inability to contribute. I walked into the hall, leaving the insects far behind.
After walking for a short time, I came across a peculiar door.
‘This definitely looks like a door a boss monster would be hiding behind.’
At the end of the hall stood a magnificently decorated arched gate. Thick, black iron doors, inlaid with gorgeous silver and golden sculptures, depicting a wide variety of creatures. For a moment, I thought myself to be standing before the gates of Heaven.
‘I can’t seem to use my Status check from outside the door….’
I was careful by nature, so I decided to make an elaborate trap in order to be prepared for any scenario.
‘If I’m going to make a trap, might as well go all out.’
The temperature in the hall remained constantly well below zero. It was a situation where I could finally make use of that useless skill.
“Water Sphere! Water Sphere! …”
[Water Sphere level 1 ➢ 2]…[Water Sphere level 5 ➢ 6]
Spraying water on the ground I was able to make a thick sheet of slippery ice. Also, although it was somewhat time consuming, I could concentrate the spell on a single point to create some ice sculptures. These could be used to confuse the enemy or hide behind to dodge spells if I were ever in a tight spot. I took my time to create as many of these sculptures as possible in the hall.
‘This should help.’
I was forcing myself to think positively, despite the fact that I had gone over the top and made far too many of these sculptures. I had turned the hall into a giant ice maze, well at least it’s better than nothing.
I had spent the better part of a full day creating this giant frozen maze. As I became more proficient in the use of Ice, I was even able to use it to create reflections which could confuse the enemy.
‘Hmm… somehow I feel like I’m ready.’
[Magic Research has been completed]
[Magic Research level 1 ➢ 2]
[You have learned Gravity Control Lv1]
‘Ohh! This is just the kind of spell I needed!’
Every time I fought a large monster, I wished I would have this skill.
‘Magic Research is such a useful skill. Hmm… what should I pick next?’
[Selected Magic Chanting]
‘Wow, Is this going to work?!’
The increase in casting speed had been a crucial part in all my fights, allowing me to spam any spells as long as my mana could keep up. I was looking forward to what new spell I’d receive by focusing the research on my Magic Chanting.
‘So, is it about time to open this door?’
My bony hands were shaking.
‘Behind this door might be an incredibly powerful monster, but if I turn back now, I might regret it in the future.’
Most of the enemies I had fought to date had been out of desperation and not by choice. I was still trying to summon up the courage to open the door. This might be the first life threatening situation I’d deliberately put myself in. I wasn’t counting my previous battle with the spider boss, Bianca, because throughout the fight I was always in complete control. Now, if I were to go past this door, it would be without knowing anything about what kind of enemy I’d face, or what my chances of survival were. Not to mention that judging by the grandiose gate, the guardian behind was bound to be powerful.
‘What is the purpose of these Catacombs…?’
These tombs were definitely strange if you stopped to think about it, from the mountain of bones in which I first rose, to the Gargoyles, Chess pieces, and finally this frozen hall. What could be the reason of its existence?
‘Well, opening these doors might be the only way to find out!’
The large heavy doors which had been stationary for a long time, opened with but a gentle push.
The area beyond the door looked like an extravagant cathedral. In the middle of the room, there was an extravagant throne upon which sat a monster wearing fancy wizard robes.
“Finally, my old enemy has arrived!”
Surprisingly, it was a Lich. Hundreds of skeletons which had been sitting on the benches, like pious believers kneeling during Sunday mass, they rose from their slumber.
I was able to access the Boss’ Status page, because we shared a similar race. I quickly took a look to see what I was up against.
Name: SolesteGender: N/AStatus: NormalRace: Archlich/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: C+Level: 634/999HP: 24170/24170MP: 125455/125455Attack: 3233Defense: 9999Agility: 724Intelligence: 10240✧ Unique Skills[Night Vision LvMax] [Magic Chanting LvMax] [Identification Lv3] [Flame Mastery Lv4] [Frost Mastery Lv5] [Death Stare LvMax] [Fireball LvMax] [Inferno LvMax] [Meteor LvMax] [Blizzard LvMax] [Ice Wall LvMax] [Absolute Zero LvMax] [Summon Dead Lv7][Grant Life Lv5] [Life Vessel Lv1] [Necromancy LvMax] [Lifesteal LvMax] [MP Regeneration LvMax] [Telepathy Lv1] [Mind Reading Lv1]
✧ Titles[King of a ruined Country] [Master of the Catacombs]✧ Identities[Summoner Lv2] [Archlich Lv3] [Mastery Lv1]
‘What’s this, Archlich? What are those Options supposed to mean?!’
Soleste’s level and skills were simply on a completely different level than an ordinary Lich.
Putting the boss aside for a second, just his minions were incredibly powerful. The 200 or so approaching skeleton were made up of skeleton mages, priests, knights and thieves, each equipped with expensive looking weapons and armor. I wasn’t even confident I could take on these skeletons by themselves.
‘This… I have to run away immediately!’
Seeming to know my intentions, Soleste easily created a wall of ice to block off the only exit.
In a panic, I sent out some Infernos, hoping to breach the ice wall and distance myself from the incoming group of skeletons.
‘What, I’ve only managed to melt this much?’
The Max Level Ice Wall had only melted about halfway, despite consecutive Infernos.
Behind me, I could hear the loud rumblings or the ever approaching skeleton army.
Looking back, I noticed Soleste wearing the satisfied smile of a winner, looking down at the last futile attempts of a cornered rat.
I turned my attention back towards the army.
Bathing the frontline in a firestorm, I was able to crush some of their bones, but it was all for naught. The skeleton priests situated in the back simply reformed them with their healing magic.
‘Hm, I can’t do anything to these skeletons.’
I turn back towards the Ice wall.
With but a simple spell from the Soleste, all my effort and progress disappeared. It was the attitude of a small child torturing an ant, a sadistic situation where you’d give it some hope of escaping before crushing its dreams.
‘Oh…. I see that because our level difference is so large, you enjoy treating me like your toy? Am I the ant, and you the human?
I gnashed my teeth in frustration.
“Gravity Control! Inferno!”
[Gravity Control level 1 ➢ 2]
‘ If I can’t break through it, I’ll go under it.’
I had influenced the Ice Wall’s center of gravity, causing it to tip towards towards me The Skeletons were getting very close and time was of the essence. I quickly jumped into the small hole I had created under the wall of ice with my Inferno.
Soleste sent out incredibly powerful Ice magic as it realised that I was about to escape, but it was just a bit too late. Everything behind me had been frozen solid, but I had narrowly escaped.
I went past the door and run back at full speed towards the staircase leading out.
‘Everyone fall back! Fall back!’
We had no chance whatsoever in defeating the Archlich, so retreating was our only option.
‘Lord, we have already joined together to break down the iron door, just in case.’
Arriving to the stairs, I was greeted by a makeshift fortress which the insects had cooperated to build together, as well as the door which had been broken through. I was heartened by the progress they had achieved when compared to their previous performance, but there was no time for praise.
‘Retreat immediately to the Pit!’
I was a bit embarrassed to be addressed as their Lord considering that I was fleeing for my life in a pathetic fashion. Still, I knew there was simply nothing to do when faced with such overwhelming power.
During our retreat, the arachnids and golden termites set up some traps, intending to slow down any pursuers.
After some time, Arin came up to me and sent me a telepathic message.
‘Lord, I believe no one is following us.’
‘How can you be sure?’
‘I’ve set several traps along the way using my special colored spider webs, but I have yet to feel any vibrations from them.’
Arin’s colored webs were one of her special skills. I slowed down, somewhat reassured.
‘Great, I don’t know why, but it seems we aren’t being followed.’
With the help of my insects, we created some more traps, just in case, as we returned to the Jungle Pit. We had been gone for only to days, but the incredibly dangerous experience made it feel like a lifetime ago.
[Magic Research level 2 ➢ 3]
[You have learned Fire Mastery Lv1]
‘This skill never seems to disappoint.’
‘Alpeon, quickly come and help me block this hole.’
I sent out my telepathic message towards his termite hill. It was convenient that Alpeon had high Psychic awareness, and was able to receive my telepathic messages from further away than most.
‘Yes, my Lord’
We blocked the tunnel at the entrance of the dragon’s lair, and continued to monitor for any movements using Arin’s colored webs. But, even after a few days there had been no signs of activity on the other side.
‘It seemed like Soleste wasn’t terribly interested in me.’
I had never been in such a hopeless situation. Sure, I had been in life and death situations, but I had always found a solution to pull through.
But this time it was on a totally different level, it felt like Soleste was on the level had the power of a Final boss from a game. To date, I had faced off against different bosses, but I had never faced such absolute power.
‘Wait, he said I am an old enemy, what was that supposed to mean? And why is it that he can’t leave that place?’
I had countless questions on my mind, but no way to answer them. The tunnel leading out had already been blocked with the help of the giant termites, and it would take a long time to clear it out.
After returning and checking that Iand, Gwyn and Mallepi were doing well, I headed out to the termite nest to have a chat with Alpeon.
‘Alpeon, do you know anything about the Master of the Catacombs?’
‘Sorry I don’t know much, even the former King was reluctant to talk about the Catacombs.’
He is incredibly closeby, but there isn’t any information….There must be some special reason. After all, who would have such a strong ability to keep a guy like that trapped.
I couldn’t help but assume that Soleste would eventually find a way out. It was just a matter of time, and I hoped our luck would last. I had to find a way to deal with him.
‘Soleste, I’ll definitely repay the humiliation I’ve suffered at your hands.’
I once again decided I’d have to sharpen my teeth, and then my private quarters which boasted an entire pond filled with the World Root’s nectar.
The fateful day finally arrived.
‘Lord, the envoys are here.’
Standing at the precipice of the cliff, three groups were waiting to descend, a full moon hanging behind them in the night sky.
‘Come along Alpeon, and message Bianca to meet us by the lake.
‘I will see to it.’
I had been working hard to improve my strength during the past ten days. But, when compared to Soleste, it was still like the difference between a grown man and a child.
‘These envoys… well, at least the King managed to defend this place from them for so many years. That feat alone is worthy of respect.’
“Chompy! Are you going to teach them a lesson? Do you want me to go out and do it?”
I wanted to smile because of Gwyn’s overconfidence, but of course I had no lips.
‘No way Gwyn, You…you’re not at all on their level.’
I somehow crushed Gwyn’s dream.
“Johra, although they call themselves a delegation, their numbers are much smaller than I thought.”
Ian seemed to be more confident in our side seeing their small numbers. Possibly when learned from me that 3 groups would send envoys to try to capture our land, she expected a larger show of force.
‘It seems that their low numbers is due to the longstanding pact between the former King and their respective powers.’
Noticing the envoys, Mallepi let out a cute roar.
As they entered within the boundaries of my territory, I became able to observe their Statuses. They were six in total, just as in Alpeon’s story, there were 3 delegations with 2 members a piece. Although they tried to present themselves as envoys, their intentions were all but diplomatic .Their names were all marked in gold, demonstrating their unique status and their levels, stats and skills weren’t much different from the previous King I had defeated.
‘They’re all just E rank.’
They were of course strong, and held respectable statuses within their organizations. But, for me who had narrowly escaped from a life and death situation facing Soleste, their intimidating posture simply caused me to yawn.
‘Would I be able to win facing all six of them together?’
I had been obsessed with improving my strength, so I was imagining ways to challenge myself.
‘Are my chances about 50/50?’
“My Lord, how are you planning on handling them?”
Nymue had just risen from below the lake, and asked me in a cordial manner.
‘The King will do what he has to do.’
“Are you confident you can keep possession of the territory?”
‘No one should have any designs on what is mine!’
Kuwoong! Thud! Tak Guwoo!
It was the sound of 5 beings landing on an empty spot by the lake shore.
I brought my subordinates over to greet the envoys.
As I approached, I was shocked by their actual appearance because it was not at all what I had imagined in my mind, based on their status pages.
“Are you the new King? How disappointing, I was expecting a great battle.”
It was a massive a Asmodian which spoke out with a deep, rumbling voice. It stood at 2 meters tall, with dark skin and black and red horns on its head. Its name was Talvin and his clan was a mixed race, half-human and dragon. Judging by his stats, he seemed to be the strongest of the 6.
‘Lord, I’ll bring you back the head of that noisy fellow.’
‘Enough, without my command, you are not to engage them.’
When Bianca had wanted to go out to battle, Legol, Arin and Hattan had readied themselves to join the brawl.
‘Lord, this envoy is a bit too rude’, Alpeon said
Boo! Woong! Boo Woong! Boo Woong!
Alpeon flew in the air appearing menacing, with Mir, Tagan, and Jenna by her side.
‘You too Alpeon? Are they not my guests?’
‘Yes my Lord, as you command.’
“Baby King, do you know why we have come?”
A beautiful Elf warrior Leon asked me, in an arrogant and aloof manner.
‘You Elves and Asmodians wish to return to your homelands right?’
I answered them telepathically. At that time, the Asmodians and Elves appeared flustered. Perhaps they didn’t expect me to have mastered Telepathy.
‘And are you from the League of Reincarnation?’
I directed my attention towards a gigantic golem with a little girl sitting on its shoulder.
“We.will.only.watch.today” he spoke each word separately its voice thundering across the Pit. The golem’s name was Matilda.
‘All of you today are welcomed as my guests.’
It was something which I had already decided on.
“We do not require your hospitality, we are simply here to compete and select who would be the one to take you on.”
It was the smaller Asmodian named Pylbiam who spoke out, she had a paler complexion compared to Talvin.
‘Fine, all six of you can come at me together. If any of you manage to knock me down, I’ll gladly relinquish ownership of this place. However, If you don’t succeed, you’ll have to agree to one request of mine. Let’s st the time limit as the next sunrise.’
“How could we agree without knowing in advance what your request might be?”
An Elf hunter, Naarin, seemed sharp and caught the trap hidden within my conditions.
‘How can your resolve be so lacking! In order to return to your long lost hometown you’re not even willing to accept a single request? If that’s the case you don’t even have the right to challenge me.’
I had managed to provoke him, as he started an intense discussion with his partner, Leon. Meanwhile, Talvin came forward to speak after exchanging a look with his comrade Pylbiam.
“Baby King, can the requirement be limited to just us?”
“Good, I like your confidence, I’ll challenge you alone.”
“Stop, Talvin! Are you trying to steal the territory before us all?”
Naarin rushed out to intercept him. Most likely he was worried that were Talvin to win, he would become the new King by default.
“Hm… worry not, if I am to win, I will accept all challenger after the fact. Baby king, Is it acceptable?”
I nodded again
“Hmm, a Golden Lich, I’ll be the first to verify how great the new King is!”
Talvin rushed towards me, swinging a large log which he wielded with but one hand.
I lifted my arm nonchalantly to block it. My opponent was shocked by the powerful vibrations which resulted from our clash, indicating my incredible physical strength.
‘You are indeed the King. Please forgive your subjects for not knowing their place.’
Alpeon showered me with praise and apologies, indicating his respect.
In the past few days I had been training constantly to improve my power. I had continued my Magic Research while staying submerged underwater in my nectar pond, choosing to focus on Falling Resistance and Physical Resistance. Possibly, due to the natural environment of the water pressure working against my body, my Magic Research managed to merge the two into Physical Immunity. At that time, my body became coated in the color of the World Root’s nectar, giving my bones a rich golden hue.
It wasn’t an evolution, but rather a significant upgrade as my two skills merged into one. Also, despite its name, my [Physical Immunity Lv2] didn’t provide me with a perfect immunity. Instead, it allowed me to ignore physical damage within a certain threshold.
With Talvin’s attack stat being at only 350, I was completely confident in my ability to block it. Of course, If my opponent had been Soleste, I would never had exhibited such boldness.
Despite the several hundred kilograms of power behind his swing, including his power, momentum and the weight of the log. I was able to block it with just a single finger. My Physical Immunity skill created a situation which defied all logic, as my single finger was deeply embedded in wooden log.
Talvin cried out in surprise, he pulled back the log to rest upon his shoulder, before withdrawing back hastily.
‘I don’t require any tricks to face you all, so stop wasting my time and come at me together. My patience is wearing thin, I don’t have all day.’
Talvin exchanged a glance with his comrade Pylbiam, before taking an offensive posture, both of them ready to pounce on me at a moment’s notice. I faced then calmly, stretching out my arm with my palm facing to the sky, slowly curling my fingers in. I felt like Neo from the Matrix, striking a confident pose. I didn’t know if they’d recognize the provocation in this world, but I figured they’d be able to read the mood.
“Fine, these are your words so don’t regret them later!”
They were getting ready to attack.Likewise, Leon and Naarin began using reinforcing spells and enchanting their arrows.
I looked over at the the golem carrying the little girl.
Why don’t you guys join in as well, it’s too much of a hassle to take care of you individually.
The girl who had yet to speak a single word bared her fangs at me. Perhaps I had finally gotten under her skin. Her name was Roslin and she was a vampire.
Kuwoong! Kuwoong! Kuwong!
The angry golem was stomping its way towards me.
‘What’s the hold up? I’m not escaping or anything, just come on over.’
I continued my endless provocations.
The remaining 4 envoys followed closely behind the giant golem, we were now about 5 meters from each other.
The golem held up its fist, ready to strike, but I had been preparing my magic spell. I pointed beneath the foot of the golem and casted.
Kwaddddddddddd, Kwadddddddd, Kwawang!
The ground exploded violently and red scorching hot magma spurted out. At approximately 1000~1400 degrees Celsius, magma was the hot substance on Earth. It would certainly melt anything it came in contact with, including a golem.
Volcano was the highest level spell I had obtained by researching Inferno.
The explosion from the volcano had knocked the golem Matilda backwards, causing it to lose balance and fall down on it back.
“Kyak! Die. you, worthless. skeleton!”
The vampire girl Roslin was running along the golem’s body, rushing towards me wielding her sharp nails which stretched out longer and longer.
‘Wow they look like lion claws.’
It was a skill I had noticed on her Status page previously, but seeing it first hand I began to think that it might not be so simple.
At the same time Naarin let loose an arrow from behind while Pylbian threw his javelin after having locked onto me.
A great wall of fire rose before me, and Roslin who had lept into the air from the edge of the golem’s foot, was pulled down into my Firewall through Inferno’s vacuum effect. Likewise, the arrow and javelin’s flight were thrown off with the vacuum, causing them to miss.
The golem Matilda tried to reach out with her hand to pull her out, but unfortunately it wasn’t very agile and couldn’t stand up quickly.
Leona and Tavlin broke through the Firewall in a heroic attempt to catch me off guard.
‘You’re wielding enchanted weapons.’
They seemed to have rich fighting experience, and having seen the infectiveness of physical attacks, quickly pulled out their enchanted weapons.
They rushed over, shouting their skills out loud, which didn’t actually matter since I was familiar with their Status page. Still, Leona’s Sonic Blade caused powerful shockwaves which blew away my Firewall, helping Roslin roll out as she tried to douse the flames on her body.
As the two Asmodians were closing in, my Gravity spell sent them crashing down to the ground.
They fell down awkwardly on each other, unable to cope with sudden increase in weight.
‘Wake up, the night is still young and my fun has just started!’
I once again provoked the envoys who had such arrogance when they arrived, but now had faces flushed with embarrassment.
“We’ll make you regret this!”
I calmly watched them as they organized their formation, feeling not the least bit threatened.
“We have to give up our honor and pride, and focus solely on defeating the King.”
Leon was telling Talvin, while wiping the dust off her face
“I will simply try do my best in my fight with the King.”
Talvin had finally accepted the current situation, this King was not an opponent he could afford to underestimate.
Roslin and Matilda looked more serious.
All the while, Naarin stood at the back, ready to let loose her arrow if I were to show the slightest opening.
‘Hmm… what’s the fastest way to take care of these clowns.’
Such arrogant thoughts were running through my mind.
‘Would you like me to show you something awesome?’
It was one of the strongest spells which I had researched in combination with the Roots’ nectar. We now only had about 10 meters of distance between us, so I cast my spell, trying to suppress its range as much as possible.
As my Fire Mastery rose, I was capable of controlling the power and size of the AoE. Focusing on my Meteor spell, limiting what was originally large scale magic to only a dozen meter area.
Just a single impact caused a large cloud of dust to form. Everyone fell down to the ground from the tremors and the ancient trees in the Jungle shook violently. Birds took to the sky in panic and any loose rocks along the cliffs came tumbling down.
“Gravity up! Gravity up! Gravity up!”
I suddenly manipulated to gravity to 8 times the norm. I had a good enough degree of control over the spell that I wasn’t under it’s influence as the space would seem to bend around me.
I advanced slowly toward the envoys who were in a terrible shape. They had suffered greatly from the Meteor, despite me having held back my power considerably. For them, the increased gravity that followed was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The first to fall was the giant golem, his face contorting in pain, followed by the Asmodians who dropped down to their knees. In fact, only the two elves and the vampire girl were left standing. Naturally, having a smaller mass was very beneficial under an increased gravity.
“I summoned the power of the spirits to aid me vanquish this evil before me….”
The elf had begun chanting Spiritual Magic which was the spell I had been most wary of.
Luckily, it had a long casting time so I was able to easily interrupt it.
Naaring was brought down to his knees as he was hit by the backlash from his failed spell. Even if elves had a strong and light physique, the combination of the 8x gravity and the spell backlash was simply too much to handle.
Perhaps if he had managed to hit me with it I would have taken a lot of damage. It was after all, an elemental spell tailored specifically for the undead. For this reason I had been constantly watching for it and was able to react quickly.
Right now, there was only the female elf, Leon and the vampire Roslin. The little girl had been extra careful since her ordeal with the Firewall, and Leon held a defensive posture near Naarin, clearly worried about his condition.
I slowly walked over to the center of the delegations.
“You…! What are you doing!”
Talvin who had his knees glued to the ground, still held a stubborn attitude.
It was the main reason I came over. I was intent on using my passive lifesteal on these trapped opponents of mine. My goal was to deeply imprint on them a fear of me and quash all thoughts of rebellion. I figured that a hopeless situation where you were trapped and your life force was slowly being stolen would be quite the traumatic experience.
Roslin seemed to have understood my intentions and lunged towards me, deciding to go all out. Her long nails shining with a deep blood red colour. Even Leon had gathered her spirit and backed her up, wielding an enchanted sword.
It was finally time to take out my new spell which I had been saving for just this occasion.
It was an upgraded version of the lightning attack which the former King had used against me. The only downside was that it wasn’t able to distinguish friend from foe and would even strike the caster.
I didn’t know how many people would get hit by this attack.
Pazzzzzi Pazzzz Pazzic
Thousands of lighting bolts danced between myself and the envoys, creating a gorgeous fireworks show.
[Lightning Resistance level 1 ➢ 2]
[Stun Resistance level 1 ➢ 2]
Although most of the lightning had bounced off me because of the dragon skin I was wearing, I did suffer from a short stun because of the small gaps in my armor. Still, compared to the envoys around me, I was in excellent shape, the combined effects of the 8x gravity, lightning, repeated stuns and lifesteal put them out of commission. They had already been struggling to barely hang on, but the lighting stun put them over the edge and they all fainted. The sole exception was the golem which just stayed immobile on ground because of the increased gravity.
‘Ah. I just wanted to challenge myself and see how strong I was, don’t be too angry.’
I spoke to the golem and them looked at the other delegation members.
‘Alpeon, take in the envoys and treat them well. Bianca, make sure you tighten up security along the borders.’
Having given them each their tasks, I walked over to my comrades.
“Chom…py!!! You were wonderful out there, like a great evil Demon King!”
‘Is that supposed to be praise, Gwyn?’
“Well… don’t you know how much I admire the Demon King?”
“Ha! If King Oberon were to hear you say those things…”
Nymue who had been watching from the lake, naturally intervened.
“Uhm.. No problem! He won’t hear about it.”
An argument spontaneously occurred between them. Meanwhile, Ian approached carefully with Mallepi and asked
“Sir Johra…will you kill them?”
I shook my head
‘I will spare them but I will have them serve under my command.’
“Wow, I’m glad to hear it. I was worried you were going to kill them, and was thinking how to convince you not to.”
Ian seemed troubled.
“I was afraid Johra would stop being Johra….”
Mallepi’s inquisitive roar might have been the first sign of its intelligence.
‘But, If I considered something to be a threat to my friends or this place, I won’t hesitate to kill.’
I had come to a difficult decision in my mind. Someday in the future I might even have to kill some humans. It was why I had to share my decision with my comrades, especially Ian. Although that day had not yet come, it was bound to arrive down the road.
‘Alpeon, when the envoys awaken, treat them to a small amount of the Word Root’s nectar.
‘Lord, wouldn’t that be a bit risky? What if they spread our secret?’
‘Don’t worry, if I thought they had that kind of personality, I wouldn’t be sparing their lives right now.
‘Of course, pardon me for not recognizing the Lord’s will.’
I had gotten a good idea of their character during our fight. They had great self esteem and confidence, but also held strong bonds of friendship. I judged that these kinds of people would not easily go back on their word.
I was planning to shackle the 6 envoys to me using our earlier promise. And to smooth over the process, I was going to use the nectar as the carrot. After drinking it, perhaps even the most devious among them would not consider breaking their promise.
“Chompy! Are you an evil guy now? Hehehe! I also want to try being bad!”
Gwyn who had been following me suddenly used her hands to attempt a menacing face, which only ended up as an adorable expression.
“Chit!! Did you see me laughing just now?”
The best part about Gwyn was that she would always steer me back towards the light, if I were to walk along the path of death, Through her cute and childish facial expressions, my evil side was somewhat curbed.
‘Gwyn, I have to have a cold heart for the sake of protecting us all.’
“Oh…that, then me too!”
I once again chuckled inwardly at the silly expression she made.
‘Ha…Gwyn, you’re making me laugh too much.’
“Hehe~ do you feel better because of me? That’s great! Have I done well?”
I gave her a small nod.
“I want to rest in my skull for a long time! Can I?”
Without waiting for my answer, she rushed in to lie down in my head.
I was slowly walking along the lakeshore, when Nymue approached, matching my pace.
“My Lord, am I disturbing you?”
I shook my head, I was simply enjoying a rare moment of peace, as I waited for the envoys to gain consciousness.
‘Nymue, could I ask you something?’
“Sure, just ask away.”
‘What do you think about the outside world?’
“It isn’t nearly as beautiful as it is here.”
‘Although I’ve never been outside, I’ve never felt the desire to leave this place for another….’
Nymue was watching my expression intently, as she matched my pace along the lake shore.
‘In the future, I’ll almost certainly have to leave, but…’
“It’s not something you want to do.”
‘Exactly, everything I love is here, but I feel I’ll have to leave’
“Will you be coming back?”
“Then isn’t everything you’re doing for the sake of this place?”
Seeming to reached an important decision, Nymue then reached out into the lake and drew a long, pale sword. It looked simply magnificent, seemingly attracting the starlight to it.
“I can’t think of any other way to aid you, so I’ll simply give you this.”
‘What is this?’
“It was the item which the fairy King Oberon threatened us to hand over, but we were stubborn and refused, leading to our current bad relationship. It is a magical item with many abilities but it was not meant for us to wield. I hope it will help the King defend the territory.
I checked the status of my new sword.
[HP Regeneration Lv1] [Blessing of Light Lv9] [Magic Resistance Lv7] [Locked] [Locked] [Locked]
No way, my heart could not stop beating after having read the name. Among fantasy enthusiasts, who hasn’t heard of the tale of King Arthur and his legendary sword Excalibur. Also, in the legends it was mentioned that the sword came from the fairies in a lake.
‘Wait, but wasn’t the fairy’s name Vivien?’
I could immediately sense Nymue’s displeasure at my question.
“Vivien is nothing but a turncoat which betrayed us all by informing Oberon about the existence of Excalibur. If ever I meet her, I’ll make sure she pays for what she’s done.
It seemed like Vivien was a touchy subject for Nymue, so I made a mental note to avoid the topic in the future.
‘Thank you Nymue. After my journey, I will return it to you.’
Nymue shook her head.
“This sword is useless for us. We want you to keep it for as long as you promise to protect us.”
In the end, I became the owner of the legendary sword Excalibur.
‘What did the locked abilities in the sword mean?’
Although I was curious about its hidden abilities, simply possessing such a great sword was more than enough for me.
‘Lord, the envoys have awakened.’
Alpeon had messaged me.
‘Have you provided them with a portion of the nectar?’
‘The representatives from the League of Reincarnations refuse to drink.’
There were many things to discuss with them as I was especially curious about their organization.
‘Not a problem, just treat them properly as guests.’
‘But… Bianca is causing a ruckus. What should I do if she doesn’t heed my words?’
‘Say that it’s my command, she is not to touch the envoys.’
‘As you instruct, my Lord.’
From the beginning Bianca didn’t seem to see eye to eye with the delegation members. In fantasy worlds, it was usually the case that spiders and elves would be mortal enemies, so it might have been that which triggered her.
‘I should pay more attention to Bianca.’
Well, it was too late to regret so I simply hurried up to arrive sooner.
‘Please don’t create any problems, Bianca… control yourself!’
Finally arriving to the scene, I was left speechless.
Furious, I called out to her telepathically.
‘Lord, did you call me?’
Bianca claimed she wasn’t guilty.
What do you mean you’re innocent, there’s evidence, who else can shoot out webs?. Except for the Golem, all the envoys were trapped in numerous, tightly spun spiderwebs.
‘Bianca, have you forgotten what my instructions were?’
The appearances of the poor envoys were quite miserable.
‘He told me not to touch any of them.’
‘I indeed didn’t touch them and simply shot some webs.’
‘Ugh, this guy! How dare you interpret my words as you see fit!’
‘Anyways you know they are our enemies, so let’s just use them as nutrients. Also, we completely wasted some nectar on them.’
I knew that it was Bianca’s style to never forgive an enemy, but I simply couldn’t just let her insubordination slide.
‘Legol, Arin, Hattan, tie her up.’ (TL: It seemed there were others that could shoot out webs present…)
‘Lord, I was just giving our enemy the treatment they deserved!’
I shook my head.
‘You interpreted me command to suit your will. Reflect on your actions by hanging on the ceiling for the next week.’
‘Quiet Bianca! Stop being so noisy.’
She was stuck to the ceiling, the spiderwebs keeping her tightly bound.
I approached the delegation which was still trapped in the webs.
‘Alpeon, proceed with removing the spiderwebs.’
‘At once my Lord’
‘Please forgive us for the disrespect that has been shown.
I bowed slightly to the envoys which were in a miserable condition, showing my sincerity.
“King What are you doing!”
The Asmodians were examining the webs, they seemed curious about the ingredients of the web The Elves however, were furious and protested angrily against the treatment they had suffered. The Golem Matilda was too large to be affected by the webs, and was busy trying to help Roslin out.
‘Forgive me, It was my subordinate which acted out.’
“You are responsible for the actions of your servants! It seems you are far too lenient with them.”
Leon had gone slightly too far. It looked like because I had constantly been emphasizing to treat them as guests, they had forgotten that they were actually my captives.
I gave Leon and stern look.
[Death Stare level 4 ➢ 5]
Although he didn’t die from just a single Death Stare of mine, his HP had dropped by a third and he fainted on the spot.
Kuk ku ku!
The Asmodians watching from the side seemed to delight in the misfortune of others.
‘I had asked for your forgiveness because of my subordinate’s previous actions, but don’t go and take it as a sign of weakness!’
I made my position clear.
‘Come, follow me Asmodian envoys, I wish to speak to you privately.’
We walked along the lake until we reached we reached a spot with large rocks, stacked together to form a small hill.
“Lord, forgive us for our disrespect.”
Talvin came up to me and knelt down on one leg.
‘Although he has his pride, Talvin seems capable of admitting his mistakes, I could work with that.’
Pylbiam seemed to hesitate for a second before joining him on one knee.
‘Do you wish to return to your homeland?’
“Yes, us Asmodians have been wandering the world, separated from our homes for generations, it is our most dear wish.”
‘Where is your Homeland?’
“ Our homes are in Ibilsa.”
‘And where is that?’
Tavlin shook his head, expressing his ignorance.
“We don’t know.”
‘Then why are your people so intent on taking ownership of the Pit?’
We learned from old historical archives, that a long time ago this territory was named after the stomach of Ibilsa.
‘Is that the only clue you guys have?’
I groaned inwardly, It seemed like the former King had never bothered to discuss with his opponents and only thought about keeping ownership of the land. It definitely seemed possible to have come to a compromise, but perhaps that was a limitation of insects.
‘I can help you return to your homeland.’
“Lord! Will you really?”
Talvin’s voice seemed to have changed drastically.
‘Yes, just pledge your loyalty to me. By the time I’ve returned, I’ll show you my sincerity by helping you find your homeland.’
Well my Lord… I would first have to discuss it with my tribal chiefs.
I pointed to Pylbiam.
‘You stay here while Talvin goes and to ask the chiefs for their decision. How many days do you need?’
They looked at each other and seemed to have come to an agreement. Talvin turned back towards me.
“Give me a month, by that time I will have your answer.”
“I’ll be departing immediately, please help me get across the cliff.”
‘Alpeon, help Talvin get over the cliff as he’s in a hurry, and find some quarters for Pylbiam, he will be our guest for the coming month or so.’
‘I will see to it, my Lord’
Boo Uoong Boo Uoong~
Dozens of flying termites arrived, and in unison hoisted Talving up, giving him a free ride past the precipice. Pylbiam headed back to the Alpeon’s hill, escorted by a few giant termites.
‘Now it’s time for those stubborn elves.’
I messaged Alpeon once again.
‘Guide the elves to where I am on the rocky hill by the lake.’
Nymue had come up from the lake for a chat while I waited.
“Lord, Elves are a hard headed race.”
I nodded in response.
“When dealing with a stubborn child, a strong, forceful hand at the decisive moment is more effective than a gentle approach.”
I nodded once again. She seemed worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the elve’s temperament.
‘Thanks Nymue, but I think I have it covered.’
“Lord, then I’ll be watching from beneath the water. Sounds like fun, watching those stubborn folk fall into your hands should be good.
She plunged back under the lake surface with a mischievous smile. In the distance, I could see the pair of Elves approaching, escorted by a golden termite. It seemed that Leon had not yet recovered from my Death Stare and needed Naarin’s support to walk. I hadn’t expected it to do so much damage.
‘Did I go too far?’
I had used Death Stare for just a moment, but it was still too strong for them. Elves have strong magic and attack power, but their HP was too low. If I didn’t control my strength properly, I could accidently kill them.
‘I’ll have to go a bit easier on them next time.’
“ King, what is so funny? Why did you harm Leon?”
Leon’s lips were blue, and she couldn’t seem to get a hold of herself.
‘You questioned my relationship with my subordinates, so I had to draw the line.’
Naarin bit her lower lip, trying to accept the humiliation.
‘Why do you Elves want to take possession of this Pit?’
I changed the topic as we weren’t getting anywhere. I didn’t care much about their feelings. They seemed to have some hostility towards me, but I didn’t regret any of my actions.
Naarin stared at me for some time before answering.
“To return to our hometown.”
“Yes, at the top of this world lies our hometown, Elfheim. We wish to return there at all costs.”
Since it was located at the top of the World, I guess there would be a connection to the World’s Roots which would justify their interest in this Pit.
‘But I am the owner of this place, it’s impossible for you to take possession.’
Naarin was gnashing his teeth so hard I thought he would start bleeding. He seemed frustrated by his powerlessness.
‘But, if your tribe makes a deal with me, I could help you in your search for your hometown.’
“What kind of deal?”
‘It’s simple enough, serve me for the next ten years and I’ll aid you in your search.’
Actually, I already had a good idea as to where it might be, but I kept that to myself.
“Lord, what you fed us… was it the nectar from the World Roots?”
‘It was indeed, but you should keep that fact to yourselves. If others find out and come seize this place, you’ll lose your chance to go back home.’
The carrot and the stick, these were the tools I chose to tame the rebellious Elves. Although Naarin seemed troubled, the result had already been decided. When there is such a large discrepancy in power, the weaker party has little choice but to follow the will of the strongest. Such was the way of this dog eat dog world.
‘I have no intention of causing you or your people any harm. Also, although it will be a 10 year, master/servant relationship, I will grant you 3 occasions to reject my commands.’
I felt it was a pretty reasonable proposal.
“Lord, I would need to confirm with our leaders before coming to a decision.”
I nodded and pointed to Leon.
‘Naturally, but the woman stays behind.’
“Is she a hostage?”
‘Well, since you are still my enemies, she will have to remain here as Alpeon’s guest.’
“I accept Lord.”
The flying termites which had been stationed nearby carried Naarin past the cliff.
‘Treat this woman as a guest.’
Giant termites came and helped carry Leon back towards their nest.
‘It’s time for the long talk.’
I tried to visualize my next conversation, pondering with arms crossed.
“Lord, you are very cool. You managed to make master/servant relationship with those picky Elves. Even if you created a situation where they had little choice in the matter.”
Nymue had already come out of the water and sat on the rock for a chat.
‘As long as the Elves desire it, I can use it against them. In order to protect this place, I should guide the lost sheep, so to speak.’
“The old King simply tried to defend the place, but it seems you are thinking one move ahead.”
‘It’s nothing special, if you stop someone from achieving their desires, they would only return stronger. But, if you give them some small hope, their defiance crumbles.’
I headed back to the forest, leaving Nymue behind. There, I met the Golem Matilda holding Roslin with both hands, as one might hold a precious jewel. Despite being exhausted from our fight and Bianca’s subsequent treatment, it still seemed to care deeply about it’s comrade.
‘Matilda, can we talk?’
The tone was a bit strange, but I didn’t feel any hostility.
‘I couldn’t help but be a bit forceful in our previous fight, please understand.’
Roslin was fast asleep, perhaps now that the sun had come up we should move her to a darker place.
‘Alpeon, could you transport Roslin to a dark room please.’
‘I was waiting for your instructions, Lord’
Giant termites arrived near Matilda.
‘You have my word that she will be safe,’
Matilda carefully handed the sleeping Roslin to the termites, who then disappeared into the forest. Most likely bringing her back towards their nest.
‘Why does the League have an interest in this place?’
‘Is your group made up of people who have reincarnated?’
The golem looked around cautiously, perhaps afraid of eavesdroppers.
‘Worry not, all my underlings are far away, it is just the two of us here.’
Everyone was at least 20 meters from our location, so if Matilda controlled it’s voice, there shouldn’t be any problems. (TL Uhmm…. The name of their group is League of Reincarnators…)
‘How many do you have in your league?
‘Then. you’ve had more in the past?’
At least I could take some comfort in that I was not alone, but it also brought a certain amount of insecurity.
‘What kind of presence is Soleste?’
‘Was it the League that sealed him?’
I could more or less understand the current situation. Soleste seemed to be the first to reincarnate in this world, but his thirst for power was too strong, forcing the other reincarnators to band together and create the League, which sealed him away.
‘Well, at least I’ve confirmed that Soleste is properly sealed, and with the tunnel being blocked, that’s one less thing to worry about.
I remember seeing the Summon ability in his Status page. Perhaps I was also summoned towards that gate and he had been secretly influencing my thoughts without me knowing.
‘Alright, knowing your good intentions, I wish to have an amicable relationship with the League.’
‘He ignored my goodwill, should I go ahead and use some more forceful methods?’
A dangerous thought crossed my mind.
It seemed like the entire League would be coming to my place. Well, I realised it was just 3 more people so it wasn’t very threatening, but they had managed to seal a power like Soleste, so they couldn’t be disregarded.
‘In the future you should ask for my permission before organizing a visit. However, we can consider this time as a special case, so I’ll allow it.
Despite his apology, I didn’t get the feeling he regretted his actions.
‘Okay, I have something to take care of so we’ll talk some more later.’
I still had many unanswered questions, but my business with Alpeon was the priority so I left the golem behind.
‘The League… it’s still unclear whether we will be friends or foes.’
Just another headache I might have to deal with. I had many things on my mind as I headed down to the room with World Roots to meet Alpeon.
‘Is it about time for another adventure?’
I was a bit afraid, but mostly filled with anticipation as I watched the World Roots.
‘Alpeon, arrange for all fighting termites to be stationed nearby. They should arrive promptly if called upon to fight. Also, bring the golden termites and the special arachnids to this room.
‘I will see to it my Lord.’
‘Alpeon, do you know what is down there?’
‘I don’t know, all that is known is what is passed down from each generation, which is not to dig past this point.’
Alpeon’s antennas were bobbing up and down as he was in deep thought.
‘What about the former King?’
‘He didn’t seem to have any interest in what lay below us.’
‘Well. It seems there are creatures below us.’
‘Well…’ Alpeon might have been hesitant to answer knowing my adventurous spirit.
‘I’m going to hunt them!’
Below the bottom of the termite’s nest, there were monsters called Void Scuttle.
Their status pages indicated that they were D- rank. It was the highest rank I had seen if we excluded Soleste. It seemed that because they were at the boundary of my territory, I could identify their name and rank, but not any other information. Still, it was clear that they were harvesting a certain portion of the Roots’ nectar before it arrived to us.
‘Lord, Did you summon us?’
The first to arrive was Arin, she was a bit willful, but a hard worker so I didn’t scold her too much.The next to arrive was the golden termite Jenna, it was better now between them and they would bicker much less. I looked around the room and began giving out my instructions as everyone else joined.
‘Below us lie numerous monsters known as Void Scuttles, they are our next targets because they’ve been stealing our nectar. Do you understand the situation? This is a punitive expedition to bring to justice those thieves!’
Actually, depending on who you asked it was hard to judge who was the rightful owner of such a precious commodity. But I claimed ownership, because whatever arrives to my home is rightfully mine!’
‘I wonder if we will be able to deal with them.’
I had first come in contact with their status page when I was deeply submerged in the pool of nectar, training and discovering new skills. At first, I was worried about their high D- rank, but after my performance with the envoys, I gained some confidence.
‘Alpeon, get started on the tunnel, make it deep and narrow.’
‘Yes, my Lord.’
He sent the workers to start digging the ground. It was relatively close as I judged we were only separated from the other side by 10 meters of earth and rock. When the workers had gone about 8 meters deep, I had them stop.
‘Legol, Arin, Hattan create a strong spiderweb around me to use as a harness.
‘Jenna, Tagan, Mir make a pond near the hole and fill it with poison.’
‘As you command.’
We were preparing our arsenal with poison spider webs and a poison liquid pond.
‘On my command, bombard the enemy with everything you’ve got!’
‘Alpeon, step back, there is no need for you to participate in this battle.’
‘Lord, please allow me to witness this historical moment.’
I nodded slightly, it seemed Alpeon had a curious nature.
I stepped to the edge of the 8 meter deep hole and prepared myself mentally.
“Gravity Rise! Gravity Rise! Gravity Rise!”
Although I was able to control the spell to not affect me, I chose not to in this case, because I couldn’t afford to have my attention split during the upcoming battle. Regardless, because I was just made up of bones, even if the gravity increased 8x it didn’t affect me much.
I drew Excalibur and cast an enchant spell on it. It became bathed in fire, lighting up the room.
The termites were stomping on the floor in unison, like the beating of drums. It seemed everyone was excited for the upcoming battle, similar to an army with high morale before a war.
I pointed my hand downwards and cast my magic.
Between its firepower and the vacuum effect, it tore threw the last 2 meters of rock, finally connecting the two spaces. I got my first look at these so called Void Scuttles.
‘Huhuhu… they actually look like cockroaches, disgusting!’
They were large golden cockroach-like creatures, roughly 70 to 90 cm long. Noticing the disturbance caused by the Inferno, they all rushed towards the new entrance.
I used my strongest magic to greet the incoming swarm.
The magic was too strong for the narrow hole, and the entire cave shook. FInally, the edge where I was standing crumbled and I plummeted down like a rock.
In this case, the 8x gravity was a terrible idea! The spiderweb which was supposed to be my harness and lifeline snapped so easily.
‘Bu Woong! Boo Woong!’
Golden flying termites took to the air, preparing to rush to my aid, but I simply waved them off.
‘Circle above, but don’t come down. Wait for my signal to smother them with your acid.’
I landed heavily on the ground, sinking almost knee deep into firm rock. I had fallen into what appeared to be a new cave which existed right below my territory.
Hundreds of critters used the opportunity to come and take a bite of me. Worried, I open my Status to check my HP, but was heartened to know that the damage was negligible.
‘Luckily they can’t break the defense of my Physical Immunity.’
“Chain Lightning! Chain Lightning! Chain Lightning! Chain Lightning!”
Although I didn’t know how much damage it would cause, I was confident that the stun effect would go through.Those which were hit by my skill, fell down on their backs in a stunned state. I stabbed forth with Excalibur, piercing their exoskeleton like a hot knife through butter.
[+10478 experience points]
[Acquired knowledge of Void Scuttle]
Golden liquid splashed in all direction, it was a one-hit kill!
The other critters hesitated for a second, surprised by my chain lighting, but they soon rushed towards me once again.
As soon as the surrounding opponents were stunned, I took the chance to examine their Statuses.
Name: N/AGender: N/AStatus: Blessed by the World Roots’ Nectar , StunnedRace: Void ScuttleClass: WizardRank: D-Level: 34/50HP: 6255/8762MP: 1099/1099Attack: 100Defense: 1999Agility: 315Intelligence: 50✧ Unique Skills[Darkfield Lv6] [Division Lv3] [Hibernation Lv1] [Mana Steal Lv2] [Gluttony Lv4]
Although they had stats to match their rank, their skills were severely lacking. Still, because they had Mana Steal, if too many got close to me it could become problematic.
‘This might be a bit troublesome, but the experience should be very rewarding.’
The Scuttles were stunned and stayed immobile on their backs. Looking at them from above, they were completely helpless, as they they were just waiting there to be exterminated.
‘Each hit from Chain Lightning deals about 300~400 damage, and they receive maybe 5-6 lightning strikes with the chain effect which is about 1300 damage. I should be able to clean them out with 6 spells.’
When I finished all these damage calculations in my head, I sent out the order to attack.
‘Now! Aim for all of them which are flipped over on their backs! Take out as many as possible.’
These monsters might as well have been sacrifices for my experience. Although their defense was high, they had almost no magic resist and their attacks barely left a scratch.
My minions rained down Hell upon them. Poison, cold and flame spiderwebs, as well as the acidic pond from the termites was poured out, bombarding the helpless critters. I estimated there to be about 400 of them around me on death’s door.
‘Now is the time for the finishing blow!’
I widened the area of my Meteor strike to make sure to hit all the injured Void Scuttles.
[+10,478 experience points][Acquired ｟Title: Void Scuttle’s Grief Lv1｠][+20,956 experience points][+41,912 experience points][Acquired ｟Title: Void Scuttle’s Grief Lv2｠]…[Acquired ｟Title: Void Scuttle’s Grief Lv5｠]
[Level increased 36 ➢ 50]
[Sage’s Wisdom level 1 ➢ 2]
‘Nice, I can finally use Sage’s Wisdom again now that it has leveled up.’
Several messages filled my view, including one with an incredible amount of experience points. However, as far as the eye could see, countless more critters were making their way towards me. My gravity spell had worn off so I figured it was time to retreat and digest my gains.
‘Alpeon, tell them to come lift me up and then block this pit.’
‘Yes as you command.’
Boo Wooong! Boo Woooong!
Dozens of them flew down and grabbed hold of me, hoisting me to safety. Workers quickly worked hard to plug up the hole with rocks and dirt. Of course, there were a few critters which made it through and killed some of the workers, but after almost 30 minutes of working together to repel the intruders, we managed to cover the hole. Although it had come at the cost of several worker termite’s lives, I felt the losses were acceptable.
Fortunately, once the hole was filled, the Void Scuttles seemed to have lost interest in the mysterious tunnel and didn’t try to force their way through.
‘Take the time to rest, make sure we are prepared for the next round of battle.’
All of my minions seemed to have benefited greatly from the skirmish and evolved. Even Alpeon who joined last minute in the attack, was ready to evolve. I took the time to check their status windows, but faced a multitude of options.
‘Hmm… am I supposed to choose their evolutions?’
It seemed that their evolution process wasn’t as simple as mine. There were three different branches and up to 10 evolutionary possibilities.
‘Ugh, why so many choices? Too complicated, I’ll just take a look at my status first.
Confused by all the choices, I decided to put off the decision for later. Excited, I opened up my own window
‘Ah…. looks like it’s my first big step towards overcoming Soleste. Which one should I choose?
After checking my status, I let out a scream in my mind.
Name: Chompy (Johra)Gender: N/AStatus: AverageRace: Golden Lich/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: E+Level: 50/50HP: 4421/4421MP: 12024/16771Attack: 3411 (+2499)Defense: 2832 (+2)Agility: 256Intelligence: 3133Luck: 10Charisma: 9✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max] [Fireball LvMax] [Acid Resistance Lv2] [Identification Lv1] [Sage’s Wisdom Lv2] [Weapon Enchant Lv4] [Armor Enchant Lv3] [Sunlight Resistance Lv1] [Physical Resistance Lv2] [Inferno Lv9] [Water Sphere Lv4] [Necromancy Lv7] [Lifesteal Lv3] [MP Regeneration Lv3] [Corpse Explosion Lv8] [Possession Lv1] [Stun Resistance Lv2] [Telepathy Lv1] [Mind Reading Lv1] [Spiritual Connection Lv1] [Death Stare Lv4] [Gravity Control Lv3] [Physical Immunity Lv4] [Magic Research Lv3] [Meteor Lv5] [Flame Mastery Lv3] [Chain Lightning Lv4]✧ Titles[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv3] [Coldhearted Lv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1] [Ant Exterminator Lv14] [Spider’s Bane Lv3] [Giant Killer Lv2] [Wizard of the Pit] [Specter’s Grief Lv5]✧ Skill Selection[Avatar Lv1] [Polymorph Lv1] [Meditation Lv1]✧Evolution Choices[Golden Arch Lich] [Golden Lich King] [Golden Slime]
‘Let’s first choose which new skill I want. Hmm… Polymorph and Meditation seemed to have come out again, but what is Avatar? I need to get some learn some more about that skill. Sage’s Wisdom, explain the skill Avatar.’
<Avatar is the ability to create a clone of yourself, while retaining the majority of your skills. While you are in control of your Avatar, your main body will enter a period of deep sleep. Your abilities and degree to which you can use your skills will depends on the level of the Avatar skill. You can’t create more than one clone, and if the clone dies, the Avatar skill is permanently lost.>
‘Wow just one life… it’s like some game character in hardcore mode.’
I had experienced many life and death situations in this world, so the Avatar skill was very attractive for me.
‘Um… but if I used the polymorph skill I could likewise visit a human village. Avatar or Polymorph… how to choose between them!’
Visiting a Human settlement in a Fantasy world was right up there with my dream of being a Dragonrider. When I first reincarnated it seemed impossible, but now polymorph would give me this one chance. If I were to give it up, it wasn’t clear I’d get another opportunity.
Conversely, Avatar is like an ultimate insurance, giving me an extra life and raising my survivability.
Romance versus survival, this was the dilemma!
‘Ugh, I don’t know! Damn, let’s just try to pick my evolution first. Sage’s Wisdom, explain Golden Arch Lich, Lich King and Slime.’
<Arch Lich is the result of an advanced mage sacrificing his personality to become an undead and gain eternal life. Only if it has received the blessing of the World’s Roots could it achieve Golden status. It specializes in Magic Research and the creation of a Life Vessel.
If a Life Vessel is selected, the ArchLich can be resurrected within the Life Vessel>
<Lich King is an undead creature with near infinite power. Only if it has received the blessing of the World’s Roots could it achieve Golden status. It specializes in Magical Combat skills and the Summoning of undead. Also, if it chooses a tribute as sacrifice, it can resurrect endlessly so long as the tribute is intact. >
<Golden Slime, all abilities and skills of it are [Unknown].>
‘What, the last option Golden slime is unknown?’
<Everything is unknown>
‘Hey, does that last one even count as an answer?’
‘Damn that stupid Sage’s Wisdom. I had so many questions I wanted to ask it, but one was just wasted.’
My mind was set. In order to defeat Soleste, my path of evolution was clear.
‘Yes, it has to be this one.’
[You have evolved into a Golden ArchLich]
My body was immediately bathed in a golden light.
“This… what’s this! Aggggh!”
At first I was incredibly happy to learn that I could speak, but what followed was an sudden wave of emotions, giving me a splitting headache. I held my head while rolling around on the floor in pain.
The insects seemed very worried about me, but at the same time they feared my presence at such a deep, primal level that they couldn’t approach.
“Leave me! Now!”
I barked out, causing them all to flee the room in panic. All my emotions which had been suppressed since I first woke up in this strange world, rushed into my mind at the same time. The longing for family, fear of death… all my human emotions returned.
“Damn it! Damn it! Why now?”
I couldn’t understand, the life which I had been living and thought to have been quite nice, suddenly felt so incredibly bleak. I felt only suffering and rejection towards this world.
After a longtime of rolling around the floor in pain and sadness, I sat up with my arms hugging my knees, staring at the World Roots.
“Have my emotions returned?”
I finally understood why I had adapted so easily to the new environment and wouldn’t so much as blink when faced with countless deaths. As an undead, my feelings were completely suppressed. But an Arch Lich is considered a high ranking undead so they would have their own unique personality, opening the floodgates of my bottled emotions.
I looked at my hands which were only bones.
‘My mind can’t seem to accept that this is now my body.’
A fear of my new being, as well as all my recent experiences filled my thoughts. Also, the fact that I led an army of insects and was the owner of this strange territory wasn’t something my human mind could comprehend.
“Damn! I’m all alone with no emotional support, why did this have to happen now?”
The fear of everything that was new and strange left me weak and vulnerable.
“If I had been a human I would be crying, but I had no tears to shed.”
I don’t know how much time had passed before I chose to move. I had decided to see Gwyn and Ian, so I walked out of the termite nest and went towards the teepee.
“Ah… was this place always so beautiful?”
It felt like I was seeing the landscape of the Pit for the first time. As if I had been watching television in black and white my whole life, and suddenly it was upgraded to color. The world was bright and wonderful, which unfortunately only contrasted with my existence even more, making me gloomier.
“Huh, Sir Johra? You can talk now?”
“You still can’t come over, remember?”
I took a step back to avoid Ian who was rushing towards me.
When Mallepi caught sight of me, he began rolling in my direction. These days, he had gained a new rolling skill and never missed the chance to show it off.
He finally arrived and bumped into me.
“Hey little guy!”
I grabbed it by the tail and lifted him up.
His tongue got to work and was furiously licking my face. I held him to my chest, feeling my affection towards it for the first time. Looking at Ian, I began.
“Well… I remember many things.”
Ian noticed I was feeling anxious, that’s why her tone became questioning towards the end.
“Previously I was not myself, I had lost a lot of memories and emotions.”
“Are you feeling ok?”
“I’ve lost the absolute confidence in myself I used to have.”
Ian and I shared a soul link, allowing her to glimpse the many complex emotions which I was facing. Her facial expression became complicated.
“But since I’ve talked to you, I feel a lot better.”
Ian’s face became gloomy, she was suffering from our link.
“Sorry, I just remembered something I needed to do.”
“Johra, wait a minute!”
But I didn’t respond, I left without looking back, leaving Ian in the teepee.
‘I can’t burden Ian with these dark feelings.’
Everything I thought about caused me pain, and it wasn’t something I wanted to force upon her because of our Master-Familiar bond.
I walked for a little while before arriving to her stream.
“Hey, Chompy came!”
Gwyn was still a bit upset, she wanted to stay in my skull but I had refused her because it was dangerous, that’s why she was still pouting.
“Ohhh?? Chompy! Can you talk now?”
“Tch! Seems like I’m not needed then, was that what you came to tell me?”
“No Gwyn, I need you more than ever.”
“Really? Do you need pretty me? Really? Ehehehehe”
Gwyn flew around me, sprinkling her golden pixie dust.
“Yeah, I felt like I was falling into a deep abyss because Gwyn wasn’t there.”
“Yes Yes Yes! I will always stay by your side! But… I feel depressed when you try to push me away. ”
“No, it wasn’t my intention, I just wanted to protect you.”
“Why do you want to protect me?”
“Because you’re Gwyn.”
“For real? Don’t go taking your words back later! I really liked it when you said you’ll protect me because it’s me! From now, I’ll never get upset, even if you scold me.”
Gwyn who had been circling above began shouting loudly as she zipped into my skull.
“Chompy has now been promoted from my mount to my guardian! Hehehe… time for a little nap.”
She cried playfully and then lied down, pretending to sleep.
Although it started off as a joke, she actually fell asleep.
‘Huh… this guy. Still, I was worried she would also be influenced by my emotions because she had the mind reading ability.’
Unlike Ian, Gwyn was like a bottle of sunshine, always positive, which helped relieve some of the burdens on my mind. Maybe It was just my newfound emotions, but her actions felt more exaggerated than usual, as if she was trying to cheer me up.
‘Maybe not, such a childish mind couldn’t entertain such complex thinking.’
Regardless, I had never felt such simple and honest emotions as when I spoke with Gwyn.
‘Gwyn, my greatest fortune in this world might have been to have met you.’
It was always Gwyn who saved me from the brink of darkness, so it was natural for me to appreciate her existence in my heart.
‘So, let’s decide on a skill.’
‘Sage’s Wisdom, would it be possible to gain experience with my Avatar.?’
<Any experience gained by your Avatar is indeed valid. However, if the level of the opponents is too low, it will be a negligible amount.>
It was an answer which followed common sense.
‘Then what happens if my Avatar dies?’
<When the Avatar dies, the spell is permanently deleted, but there are no negative effects on the main body.>
The fact that it could experience death without any risks was a nice advantage. I now had to focus on my important questions because wasn’t sure how many I had left.
‘Sage’s Wisdom, what are Identities in the Status page ?’
<Identities are character choices that you can swap between .In order to gain a new Identity, you have to kill a reincarnator and absorb their Karma.>
‘Karma? It seemed to have mentioned it the first time around. Hmm… maybe it was the reason Soleste had three Identities, he must have killed at least two other reincarnators. Explain Karma.’
<Karma is absorbed when you gain experience. It affects the direction of your evolution, acquisition of skills, titles, etc.>
‘Explain the effects of titles.’
<You can choose to have an Active title, once in use it can affect what karma you receive.>
‘Karma… I still didn’t have a good grasp on what it was, but it appeared to have an impact on almost everything. I should keep trying to get a better understanding of it. Oh right, I learned that I could choose an Active title, that’s new.’
I took a look at my Status page and decided on my skill.
[You have learned Avatar Lv1]
‘I wonder what my Avatar would look like? Sage’s Wisdom, explain the appearance of an Avatar.’
<The Avatar’s appearance can take any form you visualize. Once determined, barring some specialized skills, the appearance is usually fixed.>
Although this time around the explanations were a bit better, I was still left disappointed and wanting more.
‘I’ll have to be even more cautious in my selection next time around, I still have so many questions.’
I brought Gwyn over to the teepee Ian was sleeping in, and then headed back to the termite’s nest. On the way, I took a look at my Status page.
Name: Chompy (Johra)Gender: N/AStatus: AverageRace: Golden ArchLich/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: C-Level: 1/666HP: 3122/3122MP: 31324/31324Attack: 3111 (+2499)Defense: 1411 (+2)Agility: 107Intelligence: 2122Luck: 10Charisma: 9✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision Lv1] [Falling resistance Lv1] [Magic Chanting Max] [Fire Shock Max] [Lesser Slow Max] [Fireball LvMax] [Acid Resistance Lv2] [Identification Lv1] [Sage’s Wisdom Lv2] [Weapon Enchant Lv4] [Armor Enchant Lv3] [Sunlight Resistance Lv1] [Physical Resistance Lv2] [Inferno Lv9] [Water Sphere Lv4] [Necromancy Lv7] [Lifesteal Lv3] [MP Regeneration Lv3] [Corpse Explosion Lv8] [Possession Lv1] [Stun Resistance Lv2] [Telepathy Lv1] [Mind Reading Lv1] [Spiritual Connection Lv1] [Death Stare Lv4] [Gravity Control Lv3] [Physical Immunity Lv4] [Magic Research Lv3] [Meteor Lv5] [Flame Mastery Lv3] [Chain Lightning Lv4][Avatar Creation Lv1] [Avatar Flip] [Avatar Remodelling Lv1]✧ Titles (Active)[Wizard of the Pit]✧ Titles (Inactive)[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv3] [Coldhearted Lv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1][Ant Exterminator Lv14] [Spider’s Bane Lv3] [Giant Killer Lv2] [Specter’s Grief Lv5]✧Magic Research[Life Steal]
I decided on Wizard of the Pit as my Active title, keeping the rest as Inactive.
‘Hmm… what kind of Avatar would I want? Oh, how about that?’
I kept the image of the Avatar I wanted in my mind and cast the spell.
I felt my mind drift outwards, like a first out of body experience, I felt like I was floating among the stars.
When my conscience finally awoke within the Avatar, I saw a golden skeleton lying down on the floor before me.
“What… My body..can I really fall asleep on the floor in such a position?”
The pitch of my voice was slightly higher than usual.
I felt around with my hands, exploring my new body.
“It’s big and soft…”
I opened my Status page.
Name: N/AGender: FemaleStatus: NormalRace: AmazonClass: N/ARank: G-Level: 1/30HP: 94/94MP: 30-30Attack: 2544 (+2499)Defense: 8 (+2)Agility: 31Intelligence: 11Luck: 10Charisma: 9✧ Unique Skills[Telepathy Lv1] [Mind Reading Lv1] [Spiritual Connection Lv1] [Double Slash Lv1] [Physical Resistance Lv1] [Magic Resistance Lv1] [Avatar Flip Lv1]✧ Titles (Active)[Wizard of the Pit]✧ Titles (Inactive)[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv3] [Coldhearted Lv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1][Ant Exterminator Lv14] [Spider’s Bane Lv3] [Giant Killer Lv2] [Specter’s Grief Lv5] [Decoy Lv1]
‘Amazon… I like it but,
I had found an unfamiliar title so I tried to activate it.’
I could see that for the most part my skills had changed but my titles remained.
‘Oh, what is Decoy? Is it possible to hide my status?, I feels like it could be quite useful.’
I looked carefully for a long time before messaging Alpeon telepathically.
‘Alpeon, come alone to the room with the World’s Roots.’
‘Tak Tak Tak, Kieeek’
When she walked into the room, she saw my golden skeleton body lying awkwardly on the floor, with a stranger standing nearby. Immediately, she began emitting hostility and was ready to pounce, but I held up my hand and messaged him once again.
‘Stop it, its me.’
‘Don’t worry, this is my Avatar.’
‘I see, forgive me Lord for the misunderstanding.’
Not a problem, that’s why I called for you first. Please explain the situation to the others.
I walked to the corner of the room and sat down before using “Avatar Flip”, allowing me to regain control of my ArchLich’s body. I could see my Avatar’s body sitting down motionless.
‘Alpeon, move my body to a safe location, and arrange to feed it the golden nectar once a day.’
Shortly after a giant termite came in to carry my Avatar away.
‘Good, now gather the troops once more.’
In but a flash, my minions were assembled within the room and we were ready for our second expedition.
‘This time I will kill twice as many.’
This time around I jumped in fearlessly, Already confident in my ability to deal with the Void Scuttles. After passing through the whole, I was greeted with a Swarm of those critters. Countless of the were amassed before my eyes.
‘Just how many of them are out there? Well, it doesn’t matter!’
I used my Flame Mastery to widen the AoE of Meteor, stretching it out to its maximum.
Hundreds of them had approached my body and attempted to nibble at me. I Wasn’t particularly worried because while looking at my HP bar, I had established that one bite from them only caused me -1 damage.
The only problem with the spell was its long cast time which was about 3~4 seconds.
“Chain lightning! Chain lightning! Chain lightning! Chain lightning! Chain lightning!”
All the Scuttles which had engulfed my body now littered the floor, sprawled on their backs.
Because of my MP regeneration and incredibly vast Mana pool, I could keep spamming my spells like this for hours, and had just killed hundreds of these critters.
[+10,478 experience points][Acquired ｟Title: Void Scuttle’s Grief Lv6｠][+20,956 experience points][+41,912 experience points]…[Acquired ｟Title: Void Scuttle’s Grief Lv9｠][Level increased 1 ➢ 114]
IAn incredible number which would be far too difficult to spell out appeared before my eyes. Still, I had only achieved level 114, my level didn’t rise as easily as I had expected.
‘Just how many monsters did Soleste hunt?’
I continued on like this for some time, and after 2 tireless days of massacring the Void Scuttles, I hit level 410.
‘Lord, Bianca has informed that outsiders have been detected along the border.’
‘Is it the League?’
‘It is still unclear, they are camping at the edge of the cliff.’
‘Okay, then block the hole, Is it nighttime now?’
I was encountering less and less Void Scuttles. At first there had been thousands of them but after having killed so many, there were only a couple hundred left and they were mostly scattered about. The amount of experienced I received was becoming progressively smaller, and it was hardly worth the grind.
‘Oh right, I still haven’t settled the evolution for my termites and spiders.’
I felt a bit bad, I had delayed their long awaited evolution just to satisfy my selfish need for experience and leveling up.
‘Well, that’s it for hunting the Void Scuttles.’
I gave the remaining critters a mocking bow, they had after all been a great source of experience points.
With the help of my flying termites, I returned to my Pit, and proceeded to plug up the hole with little trouble.
‘Let’s get going Alpeon. Have a squadron of Flying termites carry our new guests over and have some fetch Roslin and reunite her with Matilda.
After becoming an ArchLich, my level was now what I considered satisfactory. Of course, I was still not qualified to be Soleste’s opponent, but I was confident in dealing with just a handful of League members.
If I had been thinking carefully, I would have remembered that Soleste who was still much stronger than the current me, was also sealed by them. However, everything had been a smooth ride for me so far, and my arrogance led me to underestimate these newcomers.
I walked out of the termite nest and headed towards an empty spot by the lake.
‘Alpeon, what about Ian and Gwyn?’
‘They are asleep.’
‘Oh right, it’s nighttime isn’t it?’
While in an undead’s body, I failed to sense the passage of time. Days and nights held little meaning to me. Well, actually at first, daytime was a bit troublesome, but since I had gained the golden blessing from the nectar, there was no longer any difference in my eyes.
In the distance, saw the Golem Matilda talking with a group of strangers.
‘Is it them?’
I opened up their status pages to learn the skills of my new visitors.
‘Rank G… how suspicious. They must be using Decoy or a similar skill.’
If their rank was a least E, I would be able to accept it, but G… that was the same rank as my Avatar. Of course, it was still possible for it to be their real rank, but I estimated that they were either stronger, or at the very least the same level as Matilda. After careful consideration, I decided to go ahead and greet them despite not having the full picture of their stats and skills. I was simply confident in the progress I had made as an ArchLich.
‘Alpeon, have everyone back up about 100 meters.’
“Hello, fellow Reincarnators, welcome to the Pit!”
I opened up my arms and gave them a friendly welcome, like an ambassador NPC in a game.
“Matilda, Is he…an AI or something?
I was standing up with my arms open in an awkward position.
“Oh…do you guys not have any sense of humor?”
“Hmm… I heard he was a former student, but judging by his jokes he feels more like a senior.”
The woman wearing a full set of platinum armor came over to greet me with a small smirk, holding her helmet in one hand. From the Status page, I knew her name was Lorina.
“Oh Lorina, did you not like my joke?”
“You quite the strong undead, how many humans did you have to harm?”
“I have seen humans die in the Catacombs, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve met one.”
Giving Lorina a quick glance, I used Death Stare to test her out. I was hoping to get a measure of her true strength.
“Hmm… seems like you’re not worth the trip here.”
She easily kept eye contact, showing me a confident smile.
‘No effect whatsoever?’
Clearly she wasn’t Rank G, otherwise just that quick glance would have put her in a critical condition. Since she didn’t seem to suffer at all, it became clear to me that no part of her Status page could be relied upon.
The little vampire had just arrived from behind.
After a short sprint, she leapt through the air and into Lorina’s embrace.
“I was worried!”
“No, it’s okay I’m fine.”
Standing upon the shoulders of Matilda who had just spoken, were the other two strangers, each with different sized swords. they stayed silent, with their eyes closed during most of our greeting. When Roslin arrived they took a quick look before closing their eyes, clearly uninterested.
‘What about those two?’
From the moment Lorina had casually disregarded my Death Stare, my opinions about the League had been completely flipped on it’s head. Roslin and Matilda were almost certainly their weakest members.
‘League of Reincarnators… if we were to become enemies it would be troublesome indeed.’
Even though they had been a bit rude, I decided to go forward with a friendly attitude.
“Now that we have secured Roslin, it’s time to put an end to your evil doings!”
“Evil doings? What are you harping on about?”
I was so confused by Lorina’s words that I didn’t even have the chance to get angry.
The Golem Matilda seemed to take my side.
“No, just take a look at that guy’s level. Just how many lives did he have to end to level up an ArchLich so much? He must be the same as Soleste. He can probably hide his status with Decoy, he’s someone I will never recognize as a companion.”
“What’s so bad about it? I just got rid of a few pests to level up.”
“Pests? You called living beings pests? He’s worse than Soleste!”
“I didn’t know what to say, it would probably be another situation where I needed to persuade others with my strength.”
“I welcomed you as a guest but you treat me so -Save a stranger from the sea, and he’ll turn your enemy-.”
“Ha! Save a stranger from the sea, and he’ll turn your enemy….I have not heard that expression in long time. Enough! Matilda, Roslin, Nabe, Sigdal, to me! Help me out! We do our best and subdue him!”
When Matilda’s Large body positions itself aggressively, my insects respond.
‘Bianca, Alpeon, leave them to me, I can take care of this alone.’
“I shall annihilate all evil with this heavenly sword! Doombringer, bring thy enemy to justice!”
Lorina pulled out a large sword from behind her back and cut through the air, causing a white blade aura to shoot towards me.
‘What is this ridiculous technique?’
My surroundings were devastated by the skill, and I was scared by the deep scar left on the ground.
“You…now you’ve really made me angry, prepare yourself!”
I rarely became this worked up.
“Whoa! You could stay standing despite receiving an attack from this sacred sword, he’s too similar to Soleste. Let’s all work together to get rid of him!”
‘Her logic was so twisted, if someone were to be of similar strength to Soleste, then he would necessarily be just as bad?’
“Gravity rise! Gravity rise! Gravity rise!”
I quickly manipulated gravity to increase the power of my next spell.
‘Every one of them looks strong so I can’t afford to hold back.’
“Sigdal prepare your shield, it’s coming!”
I aimed my Meteor at Lorina, limiting it to a 20 meters squared area.
“In the name of the God which defends against all evil! Aegis Shield!”
It was Sigdal, wielding a one-handed sword like a western styled knight who held out a round shield and covered it with a vibrant membrane,allowing it to endure my Meteor’s impact.
‘Is that a special skill applied to his shield? Shit, just who are these guys!’
“Nabe! Take the chance to finish him!”
A man resembling a Japanese Samurai rushed towards me, wielding a black iron katana.
‘Uhm…my Physical Immunity should be able to endure that… right?’
Very shortly after my thoughts were proven wrong.
The black katana pierced through my bones and proceeded to nail me down to the ground.
“Cut – Rip -Multiply”
Nabe shouted out a spell and the number of black katanas piercing me increased several fold, securely fastening me in place.
“How are you not affected by the increased gravity?”
As soon as I had finished speaking, he was slammed to the ground. Perhaps he had used some dashing skill to delay the gravity effect.
“This… I can’t move my body. What have you done to me!”
“Hahaha! You can no longer run, just sit there and accept my final skill! It’s the one I have been preparing expressly to take care of Soleste. Doombringer! Go forth and destroy all evil in the name of the god, Deusgarth!”
This time around the light which poured out of the sword formed into a round ball and slowly approached. If I had not been trapped, I could avoid it while yawning, but Nabe’s Katana held me in place with some strange magic.
“Damn! Lorina, I won’t let this go!”
“I don’t care whether or not I am cursed by villains. Sorry Nabe, we will always remember your sacrifice!”
“Live well in my stead Lorina!”
“Wait, since when have I been a villain? Those stupid, crazy guys!”
I tried to screamed but the circle of light was only 2 meters away.
I heard a deafening sound and was bathed in a bright light, everything within a 10 meter radius of me was completely devastated.
‘Am I just going to die like this? Uh… didn’t I have the resurrection skill? This light is a kind for holy cleansing right? I hope it doesn’t have any effect on my resurrection. Damn! Why didn’t I make a life vessel beforehand!’
I had been to proud and overconfident with my recent powerups. I hadn’t prepared adequately for the situation and could no longer think of any possibility which didn’t lead to my death.
“This isn’t fair!”
[+31412 experience points][You have gained a new Identity]
The bright light began to fade.
‘Was I not annihilated? And what about these experience points, was it me who killed Nabe?
‘I gained a new identity, what happened?’
“Wha… what’s going on! Why hasn’t he disappeared? Answer me Sage!”
Lorina was frantically calling upon her Sage’s Wisdom.
‘Oh, did she also have this skill?’
It looked like they were arguing with each other.
“Shut up Matilda! Don’t you remember how you were also hesitating to kill Soleste and for that reason we lost a comrade? And how’s that possible Sage’s Wisdom, have you lost your mind? He didn’t die because he had insufficient evil Karma? Don’t say such stupid things! How could he achieve such a level without accumulating evil Karma? Hey Sage’s Wisdom! Answer me, don’t go back into hibernation! Damn, what’s going on, how could Nabe die!”
“Lorina, Nabe was sacrificed because he believed in you, but is that king not evil after all?”
Lorina and the other League members continued amongst themselves, while my insect minions rushed to surround them.
‘Lord, are you okay?’
‘I’m fine, but I can’t move at all because of these swords.’
The swords which held me in place were impossible to dislodge, even when I tried pulling with my full strength.
‘I will kill all these intruders!’
‘Be careful Alpeon, they are quite strong. If possible, catch two of them alive, I need to learn how to remove these swords.’
‘Lord, I’ll tie them up with my webs.’
Bianca was shooting out spider webs, and along with the help of the termites, I was confident they would be capable of defeating the enemy. Although the League members were strong, their numbers were small and their HP and MP weren’t very high.
“Uh… time to go back, there’s nothing to gain here anymore!”
Lorina was panicking as she sensed the impending crisis..
‘Bianca, cover the sky with your webs!’
I ordered her to block their escape route.
Bianca and the other Arachnids shot their webs into the air, crisscrossing them every which way, completely sealing up the sky.
“Damn it! What are you trying to pull by keeping us trapped here? It’s not like we can help out with your situation. Only a Chosen human warrior can pull out that sword, so just stay there and reflect on your actions for eternity!”
“What do I have to reflect on? I regret none of my actions! I swear this, you and your so called League members will pay for your actions today!”
I once again tried with all my might to pull out the swords, but it was all for naught. If Lorina’s words were true, she might have inadvertently given me a clue. I was beginning to formulate a plan to get out, but figured it was more important to focus on dealing with them first.
‘Bianca, Alpeon, don’t let them get away’
“Sigdal, Can you use that skill now?!”
While I was commanding my minions, she spoke to the western styled knight..
“I am ready, quickly come near me! Harken my words, in the name of God, return us to the Temple! Byfrost!”
‘Bianca interrupt that warrior!’
Just as the spider web was about to make contact, 7 multi-colored lights shot down from the sky. Like a rainbow enveloping Sigdal’s group, before disappearing in a flash.
‘Lord, the intruders are gone!’
Bianca web shot flew through the air harmlessly, I assumed that the previous spell was a form of teleportation magic.
‘There is nowhere in this world where I won’t find you!’
I had made a solemn vow to myself to hunt down the League members to the ends of the Earth.
‘Alpeon, order everyone to gather around me.’
The League had left, but the magic of the sword remained and I was still stuck.
‘Hu… I will first help them evolve. I should really have done this earlier.’
I had plenty of opportunities to evolve my minions, but had put it off for the sake of my personal power. Perhaps if I had focused a bit more on them, they might have been able to stop the League members form escaping. I had suffered my first bitter defeat since my emotions had returned, and it had been due to my arrogance.
‘I am going to proceed with your evolutions, please don’t be too surprised if your appearances change.’
‘Thank you Lord, I will forever serve you loyally and wholeheartedly.’
I could feel how thrilled she was by the trembling in her voice. I felt terrible at how incompetent of a commander I had been. She was showing such appreciation but all I had to do was select an option on her Status page.
‘Let’s see, Alpeon…Queen Antillien? Well there is only one option, so I don’t have much of a choice,but what’s an Antillien?’
Alpeon’s appearance changed into that of a half human half termite. Her Telepathy had jumped up 2 levels and she learned a new skill, Cold Breath.
“Lord, I feel very moved!”
“Oh, Alpeon can you speak now?”
She was now a cross between a human and a termite. Except for the two antennas, she had a womans upper body and face with stunning silver hair.
“Thank you Lord for blessing me with this opportunity.”
She bowed down to me and I patted her head.
Next in line were the Golden Termites, Mir, Tagan and Jenna who evolved into Golden Antillien
Of the three, Jenna was the one who resembled a human the most. If she were to cover here arms, legs and wings, she would look like a strikingly gorgeous woman with her golden hair and eyes.
“Jenna, you are the closest to humanity, from a human’s point of view, there might be none who would refuse you.”
“Lord, I care not for the affection of others and seek only your favor.”
Her clear and melodious voice was a welcome change, helping somewhat ease the pessimism of my current situation.
“Thank you Jenna, I look forward to it.”
Mir, Tagan and Jenna had respectively gained the skills: Water Shield, Flame Armor and Explosive Saliva. Also, Jenna had gained the extra skill, Hiding. All the other Giant termites which participated in our expeditions evolved into Antiliens. Their stats more or less doubled and they gained a more powerful acidic spit.
‘Now it was time for the Arachnids.’
“Legol, Hattan, Arin, come on over!”
‘Lord, help us evolve into wonderful beings!’
Arin spoke to me telepathically, clearly excited about her evolution. But what was I to do if there was only one choice?
‘You are now High-Arachnids.’
Their upper body had become that of a human.
“Lord … is this the upper body of a man?”
Arin asked me somewhat disgruntled, not all surprised by her newfound ability to speak.
“Not at all, you look beautiful.”
“Well… if the King likes it then it’s ok?”
Her expression changed so quickly, was it the power of my praise?
‘Lord, why can’t I evolve as well!’
I was wondering when Bianca would start complaining.
‘It’s because you were disobedient last time around, but I’ll still give you a chance.’
Ignoring her grumbling, I decided to focus on the hint Lorina had let slip.
‘It’s such a disgrace to have been completely sealed by those League members in my own territory!’
I opened my status and selected the skill Avatar Change.
[You have used Avatar Change]
[Creating a new Avatar]
“Yes Bianca, despite having been uncooperative, you will get a second chance.”
I was thinking that if I wanted to be able to pull out this sword, I had to first become a Champion of the human race and well, of course most warriors were men. Unfortunately my dream of possessing a female Avatar was impossible.
[Avatar regeneration is completed]
‘Damn it, my romance has been destroyed…my big and soft…Stupid League of Reincarnators, I’ll definitely make you pay for forcing me to give up on my female body!’
I was sitting on the floor, grumbling and cursing towards the sky with a closed fist.
I woke up in my reserved room in the termite’s nest.
“This is … so in the end it’s a man’s body.”
Dissatisfied with my new body, I punched the walls several times in anger before opening up my Status page.
Name: N/AGender: MaleStatus: NormalRace: HumanClass: WarriorRank: E-Level: 1/99HP: 73/73MP: 66/66Attack: 48Defense: 8Agility: 34Intelligence: 24Luck: 12Charisma: 34✧ Unique skills[Telepathy Lv1] [Mind Reading Lv1] [Spiritual Connection Lv1][Double slash Lv1] [Physical resistance Lv1] [Magic resistance Lv1][Avatar Flip Lv1] [Sword Slash Lv1] [Holy Defense Lv1][Quad Slash Lv1] [Dodge Lv1] [Shield Bash Lv1]✧Title (Active)[Wizard of the Pit]✧ Titles (Inactive)[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv3] [Coldhearted Lv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1] [Ant Exterminator Lv14] [Spider’s Bane Lv3] [Giant Killer Lv2] [Wizard of the Pit] [Specter’s Grief Lv5] [Decoy Lv1]
‘So, I just need to become a Champion amongst humans to draw the sword right?’
I came out of the nest and walked to the lake shore where my body was sealed.
“Who are you? You smell like the Lord.”
Arin, stood before me.
“This is my avatar, no need to be so guarded.”
“My … king?”
I walked past her, as she stayed frozen with a surprised expression, Alpeon approached me.
“Lord, your avatar has changed.”
“Yeah, I had no choice”
I got close to my skeleton body, but felt that my strength was leaving me.
‘It looks like the Life Steal passive is still in effect. Shit, I have to quickly try and pull it out!’
The katana didn’t budge even when I went all out. After a few attempts, I gave up and walked a few steps back from my body.
‘She said that only chosen warriors can draw it, so I guess I’m screwed if I don’t selected. I stayed sitting on the floor for quite some time, worrying about my situation and wishing I still had the Sage’s Wisdom.
“I’ll be heading back.”
I bid the insects goodbye and headed back to the tent. Maybe Ian or Gwin might know something about chosen warriors. However, I hadn’t realized that since changing to my new Avatar, I had been walking around with no clothes.
“Who is it? A person… it’s a pervert!”
Ian and Mallepi who had been relaxing in the tent, were surprised with my appearance.
“Lord, what’s happened?”
“Lord, are you ok?”
Jenna and Arin jumped out from the forest, had they been following me?
“Gah! A naked pervert and human-looking monsters! Johra! Johra!”
Ian was screaming out my name, but also reaching out to me telepathically.
“Ugh, Ian it’s me, stop shouting so loudly.”
Ian who had been covering her eyes with her hands began to peek through.
“Lord is everything alright? A human, what’s all the fuss about?”
“Lord! What has the human done to you?”
Jenna and Arin were eager to defend me.
“Hey guys, I told you go back for your duties, why are you here?”
“My business is only with you.”
“Well… me too.”
Jenna and Arin replied with a straight face.
“Johra…are you human?”
I shook my head at Ian’s question.
“It’s my Avatar.”
“Are you Chompy? Really? Really? You’ve changed so much, where am I going to sleep now! You look strange!”
Gwyn who had been hidden behind Ian flew towards me.
“Gwyn… is that really the first thing that came to mind?”
“Hehehe! I Can’t help it, I just have to lay down on your head.”
Arin is startled when Gwyn actually proceeds to lay down on my head.”
“You are being too rude to the King you worthless fly!!”
“It’s fine just let her be, she’s harmless.”
“Lord, you are too soft, that’s why you suffered at the hands of those pathetic Reincarnators.The former King simply overwhelmed them with all the insects.”
I had been wondering how the former King had defeated them, but Jenna’s answer revealed it all. If it was an all-out battle, then they would have little chance. After all, their mana levels were low and their skills weren’t useful against the large number of insects.
“Well, I have my own way of doing things.”
Although I regretted my mistakes I still defended my pride with a vague comment.
“I can finally be near Johra, but why are you naked?”
Ian approached me very carefully.
“Yes, there are no Life Steal problems with this body. Ah right, I should probably get dressed.”
“Hehe~ ~ Is this too close to you?”
Ian ‘s expression brightened up, losing her previous guardedness.
“Human! Do not get too close and spoil the dignity of the King!”
Jenna and Arin tried to intercept Ian.
“I am not just any human being! I am Johra’s familiar!”
A three way cat fight ensued and I had no choice but to split it up.
“Stop! I have something to discuss with Ian, so Jenna and Arin go wait for me at the termite nest.”
They both cried out in complaint.
Jenna disappeared into the forest grumbling. Arin however stayed quiet, but the look on her face betray her unhappiness. Ever since they had evolved into half-humans, I had become more sensitive to reading their thoughts and facial expressions.
“Johra, is it okay if I stay next to you? I’m in a good mood.”
“Uhm… sure. I just resolved the problem with our latest intruders but I’m now in a bit of a predicament.”
“What’s the problem?”
I explained to Ian what had happened with the League and my current situation with the black katana.
“Wow, what a story! Those League members are simply too rude, are you ok?”
“Well I think that except for the fact that I’m sealed and can’t move, my condition is ok.”
“So all you need is to become a Chosen warrior? It might be connected to a title given out by a temple to adventurer’s. The first thing to do is register as an adventurer and inform yourself what the criterias for being a Chosen warrior entail. As far a I know, when you’ve reached a certain rank as an adventurer, you are entitled to take on quests from a Temple. Perhaps then, if your performance is exemplary, you would qualify to become a Chosen.”
‘It looks like I’ll have to go on a small adventure into the human realm, but is it ok for you to stay behind?’
“Do you wish to become an adventurer? If…so… I can help you out.”
“Ian, you’re a witch now, so wouldn’t it be a bit too dangerous for you to be among humans?”
“Right… that makes sense. ”
I saw her shoulders drop down in defeat.
“I will need someone to stay in contact with while I’m outside, so I’ll be needing your help with that.”
Designating Ian as my spokesperson in the Pit was a natural choice because our Telepathy wasn’t restricted by distance because of our Master-Familiar bond. Although there were some limitations as to how many times per day it could be used, it was still ideal for very long distance communications.
“Ok, I’ll explain everything you’d need to know to become a proper Beginner adventurer.”
“Then I’ll try to learn well from Ian.”
Mallepi who had been drinking too much of the Root’s nectar had become round and fat like a little piglet.
“Why don’t we make him exercise a bit?”
“He’s been getting fatter and fatter these days…”
“I’ll have a chat with Alpeon, put him through his paces and have him work out.”
“That…I will also join, I think I need it too”
Ian pinched the side of her hips in concern.
“I don’t think there is any problem.”
“Also.. uhm Jora… it might be a good idea to put some clothes on first.”
Oh, yeah… I’ll come back after finding some clothes….”
I went back to the lake and stole the clothes Nabe had been wearing. They were a bit used and torn but they fit well and endowed me the spirit of an adventurer.
“I’m sorry but I wasn’t the only one to attack you, please don’t blame me.”
I had lucked out and my passive Life Steal dealt Nabe the death blow. Of course, Lorina’s trump card had chunked out the majority of his health but it was my Life Steal which took the last tick. His body was now wrapped in a white webbed cocoon, which must have been Bianca’s doing.
‘Alpeon, please give him a proper burial.’
‘Yes Lord, it is good to show compassion towards your enemies. But…’
‘What is it Alpeon?’
‘I’ve tried digging around your body and the sword in order to set you free.’
Alpeon seemed very worried about me and was being very proactive in trying to find a solution.
‘And the result?’
‘The katana seems to have grown endlessly, like a tree stretching out its roots and it is also impervious to any attacks, we can’t destroy it.’
‘Thank you for your hard work, but I’ll take it from here. Perhaps it was all part of Nabe’s ultimate skill. I’m the only one that can resolve this situation right now. Still, it will require me to leave the territory for some time, so coordinate with Bianca and create some traps and pitfalls along our borders.
I was a bit frustrated seeing the pathetic appearance of my body nailed to the ground.
‘Lorina, I’ll collect this debt with interest!’
Fortunately I had solid clue and a good chance to pull out the sword, but it would take considerable time.
I retrieved Excalibur from my body.
Even when I tried to strike with full force wielding Excalibur, I wasn’t able to leave behind a single scratch.
‘Doesn’t that mean it’s also indestructible? Maybe it was just like my Excalibur in that sense. Then should I try to cut my body instead?’
My Excalibur which had just used to attempt to surgically cut a hole around the black katana had been bounced away.
‘That doesn’t make sense, is it also due to the seal? Is there a magic spell that can repel even Excalibur?’
“Lord, why are you in your human form?”
Nymue had just appeared from the depths of the lake.
“I was surprised to see someone else wielding Excalibur. Wait, is that not your body lying down over there?”
“Have you been sealed?”
“Be careful, it seems you’ve been trapped by the power of some evil High God”
“Evil? High God ? Do you know something? Please tell me everything you know Nymue.”
“I don’t know much, just that High Gods can be partial to certain humans, and occasionally even bless monsters.”
“Hmm… well, I’ve heard that only a Chosen warrior would be able to pull it out. Do you know anything about that?”
“Perhaps the evil High Gods who decided to put certain restrictions on it so as to protect it influence of others. Those arrogant and self-righteous gods… narcissistic Oberon, he was bad but the evil High Gods are worse. They even put a certain curse upon Excalibur.
“Yes, they’ve also cursed Oberon, preventing him from rising to the position of a High God. They’ve probably used a similar curse on the black katana, so that only a Chosen could wield it.”
I recalled Excalibur’s abilities which remained [Locked].
“Looks like I don’t have much of a choice. I’m going to have to go to the Human realm and become a Chosen warrior. I’ll also take the opportunity to find out what I can about the League of Reincarnators and see if I can track them down.”
“Ha, so are you conquering the Human world now?”
“It’s more of a struggle for survival than a conquest.”
“If you come across a lake in your adventures, you can summon me with Excalibur. That way I can come and meet you anytime!”
“Well then~ safe travels, see you again next time.
Leaving Nymue behind I headed back to the tent.
‘If it’s a curse from the gods, then there is only one way to resolve this.’
I went back to the tent to learn the basics of being a human adventurer. From where the nearest human settlement was, to joining the Adventurer’s Guild, I stayed until midnight to absorb all this new knowledge.
“Ok Ian, I have to get going now.”
“Are you sure you are ready for this?”
“I don’t know when the League members will return and I’m also on a clock because I have to be back here to meet with the Asmodians and Elves.”
“Yes. I understand, I will keep thinking about how to help you.”
“Ok, until next time!”
We parted ways and I met Alpeon as I was leaving the tent.
‘Alpeon, I’ll be sending my Avatar to the human world. While I’m away, we can stay in contact through Ian, so keep me posted on the situation here.’
‘Yes Lord, but isn’t it possible for us to complete this mission in your stead?’
‘It would be difficult, it requires a lot of socializing with the humans.’
‘You could take Jenna and Arin along with you, they have the Hide skill.’
Taking both of them would definitely bring about trouble because they would still bicker.
‘Yes but I’ll only be taking Arin this time around.’
Although both Jenna and Arin were capable of using Hide, Jenna was even more capable having more unique skills. However, most importantly she had a very fickle personality and would sometimes get out of control. I would definitely feel better leaving her behind.
‘Alpeon, I’ll be back!’
‘I look forward to seeing you return, Lord.’
Arin and I flew up to the top of the Pit precipice with the help of the Golden Antilliens .
“Wow, the view from here is spectacular.
Looking back I stared at the jungle below, with the river flowing into the lake as it reflected the bright moon hanging in the night sky.
“Let’s get going.”
I took Arin along and headed to the closest human settlement. I was carrying a small bottle of nectar, Excalibur wrapped up in a cloth and slung on my back and a small pouch containing precious jewels which I kept hidden away.
“Lord, why don’t you just kill all your enemies?”
Arin who was walking beside me asked, breaking the silence.
“Well, in most cases creating a relationship with your foes can be more fruitful than simply killing them off.”
“Hmm… more fruitful. I can’t seem to think of anything, the best use I can think of for an enemy is to use them as nutrient for the children.”
I worried about her mindset. If she kept going through life as a violent savage, she would end up with too many enemies which could be the end of her.
“Arin, There are many people out there who are stronger than us, so we have to cooperate and find allies to fight them off together.”
“The way I see it, Lord you are the strongest in this world.”
“Well there is Soleste, and have you seen my main body’s pathetic state after the battle against the League?”
“Soleste is stuck in his Tomb, and the League are nothing but a bunch of cowards using tricks. The King is the strongest!”
In Arin’s mind I seemed to be the strongest in the universe and I didn’t wish to burst her bubble.
“Still, we have to foster friendships and form alliances in order to prepare for an uncertain future.”
“It sounds like something the Lord would say, I’m too immature to understand, but I’ll try my best.”
I definitely approved of Arin’s attitude.
After walking for 4 days we had finally arrived the the village Ian had mentioned.
“Arin you wait for me here. I’ll visit you from time to time, so don’t go anywhere”
“If you see humans approaching, just go and hide in those hills nearby.”
If she were to encounter a veteran adventurer, her life could be at risk.
“At worst you can message me through Telepathy, and if you get hungry, just drink the nectar.”
“What about you Lord?”
“I will just buy some human food in the village.”
I didn’t have the time to teach Arin about the basics of human economics.
“I’ll explain later.”
Leaving Arin behind I proceeded to enter the village.
[Welcome to the Adventurer’s Holy Land, Midgard]
A large sign hung at the top of the town’s entrance.
‘Alright, time to activate Decoy.’
I set my Status to represent that of a normal human. Ian had informed me that if I were to join the Adventurer’s Guild, they would check my status as part of the application process. I was a bit careful and I really wanted to hide the fact that this was my Avatar, so I used decoy early.
‘Oh right, I still don’t have a name.’
Despite trying to designate a name for myself, It wouldn’t appear no matter how much I willed it. Johra was acceptable, but Chompy would be far too embarrassing. After some thought, I decided to connect telepathically with Ian, after all she had the more reasonable naming sense.
‘Ian, is this not a good time?’
‘Oh, Johra! No, it’s ok, just that Mallepi was peeing in the tent, so I in the middle of scolding him. Can I help you with something?’
It had been some time now that the little runt was getting fat and lazy, refusing to leave the comforts of the tent.
‘Talk to Alpeon and get him to exercise. I’m doing well, but I have a favor to ask of you.’
‘Tell me, I’ll help you with anything!’
‘I need a name! I’m worried because my avatar doesn’t have a name.’
‘Well, hm… how about Gaspard? I heard it was the name of a king in some country, I think it suits you!’
‘Gaspard… I guess it’ll do.’
[The name Gaspard has been selected.]
As I entered the town and walked along the main street, I could seems several shops trying to sell items to adventurers. I decided on the Jeweler’s and walked in.
A small bell hanging on the top of the door tinkled and an employee stepped out from behind the counter to receive me.
Perhaps he thought of me as a beggar because my clothes were in tatters. I took out my pouch, instantly flipping his preconception on its head as I spilled out several jewels on his counter.
“Whoa, is all that for sale?’’
I nodded in response and the clerk began to examine the jewels excitedly, using a lense to look for impurities.
“Dear customer, I would like nothing more but to buy all these jewels, but unfortunately it exceeds the worth of my store! Could I buy just two of these?”
I looked at the rank of the jewels he held in his hand. They were both E rank jewels, which should go for about 10 purple gold coins.
“Good. How much are you willing to pay?”
“These are unique jewels, but their condition isn’t great… how about 1 purple gold coin a piece?”
“Hey, are you trying to scam me?”
“Twelve for the both of them, I won’t accept anything less than that.”
I started to put the jewels back into my pouch.
His face was squirming and his eyes seemed to be tearing as he saw the jewels disappearing before his eyes.
“Four purple gold coin each.This is just for the sake of our good relationship, I’m even making a loss here.”
It was definitely below their true worth, but these jewels held little value in my eyes and I needed the money to buy human items, so I decided to settle. I had learned from Ian that 1 purple gold coin was equal to 10 platinum, which in turn was worth 30 regular gold coins and each of those could be exchanged for 100 silvers. A single home in a remote village such as this one would at most be worth 10 gold.
‘Wow, this was just some jewel containing low level magic which I picked up from the Catacombs…’
I was surprised how little value I attached to money right now. In my previous life, if I had gained this much money and become a tycoon, I would have been ecstatic.
“Just break down one of the purple coins into smaller denominations, otherwise it will be to difficult to buy items in regular shops.”
“Yes, as you wish customer.”
I left the shop with a good amount of coins in my bag and headed to a blacksmith to gear up with proper weapons and armor. Hoping to present myself as a beginner adventurer.
‘Is it about time to apply to the guild?’
Opening the door which was larger than that of the town hall, I walked into a room where dozen of adventurers were gathered and discussing their latest exploits. As I walked up to the receptionist’s desk, I felt their gazes turn to me.
“Good morning, it’s the first time I’ve see you around here. My name is Rina, what can I do for you?”
The lady behind the desk asked me amiably with a pretty smile.
“I’m here to register as an adventurer.”
I heard people gossiping about me from behind.
“Great, just fill out this for over here and the application fee is one silver please.”
I fetched a silver coin from my bag and proceeded to fill out the form.
Hearing the rattle coins from my pouch, the receptionist leaned over and spoke to me in a small voice.
“I know it’s your first time coming here but there many people behind you, and as wealthy beginner adventurer you might bring trouble upon yourself. You are the first adventurer I have registered, so I wanted to give you some advice and hope you can survive for a long time.”
Listening to her tips changed my perception of the adventurers behind me.
“Thank you Rina, I also look forward to seeing you again, here is the completed form.”
“Great, it’s all filled out. Now please place your hand on the Adventurer’s Stone.”
I put my hand on the stone Rina had placed before me and my Status page appeared. Of course it was the one I had set with Decoy, but she seemed to accept it at face value. She reached into a drawer and handed me a medallion.
“Here you go, it’s a beginner adventurer’s bronze token, just hang it around your neck. It can be used as identification and is required to hand in quests, so be sure to carry it around at all times.”
I nodded, Ian had already informed me about the Adventurer’s Guild rankings; Diamond> Platinum> Gold> Silver> Iron> Bronze.
“You also have the Quests Board here on the right, so you can go ahead and choose if anything catches your fancy. Please note, that there is a rating limit for each quest.”
I walked to stand before the Quest Board, looking around.
“Hey friend, looks like you’re a rookie. My name is Tartan, why don’t you join us, we are two Iron grade adventurers.”
He looked like a trickster, taking me for a naive fool.
“Not interested, unless it’s a proper party, I’ll just go at it alone.”
“Oh~ don’t be like that. Don’t you know how lucky you are to partner up with us veterans? The quest we’re going on is the Orc’s Cave and we aren’t sure about their numbers. It’s the only reason why a rookie like you even gets to join us, so what do you say?”
He tried to place his hand on my shoulder, wanting to appear sincere, but I avoided his grasp by dodging slightly.
“Ooops? Why I am doing?”
That guy almost fell down, losing balance, and then he looked around in embarrassment as others began to laugh. He didn’t have a small frame, but he seemed the cowardly type that would shrink from danger.
“I’m busy so I don’t have time to party with others.”
I replied coldly and continued to examine the board. I found the Orc’s Cave quest he had just mentioned and noticed that it was available to bronze rank.
‘Hm, it should be fun for a first quest.’
My original stats that weren’t hidden with decoy were quite high by humanity’s standards. From what I had observed when I walked into the Guild, these adventurers’ levels were similar to Ian’s
“I’ll take this one.”
I showed Rina the quest sheet and asked her to register me.
“Are you sure, I know it’s listed as Bronze rating, but it’s designed for a party.”
“It won’t be a problem, please register me.”
“Ok, but if you get into any danger just run away all right? Also, you should consider other adventurer’s as enemies on this one…”
After listening to Rina’s long sermon I was able to finalize the quest acceptance, and I set out towards the Orc Cave. I found the location with little difficulty, but when I arrived there were already 3 parties camping out front.
“What, why are you here? What party did you end up joining?”
It was Tartan whom I had met earlier in the guild and pretend to be friendly with me.
“Don’t stick your nose in my business, I hate bothersome people the most”
“Well, If you experience any difficulties just let me know, I don’t have any ulterior motives.”
After I spoke seriously, Tartan left with an awkward face, looking back at me several times as he went back to his party.
‘Has he noticed that I am alone? Is he planning to rob me with his partners once we enter the cave?’
After heeding Rina’s warning, I was able to notice the glint in Tartan and his party members’ eyes.
“We’ll be the first to go in!”
As the morning sun rose in the sky a party consisting of two men and three women declared their intentions, and headed in. After that, Tartan’s party of 6 followed in and a party of three women went in last, giving me a questioning look as they disappeared inside.
‘Well, I’m not in much of a hurry.’
It was my first quest, but I wasn’t exactly worried about it’s completion. I was a bit curious how the others would fight, so I took my time to enter. After about a dozen minutes, I packed up my baggages and nonchalantly went up to the cave entrance.
‘Cave… isn’t it larger than the Catacombs I had woken up in?’The cave which the orcs used as a home was actually a maze of tunnels far more extensive than I had imagined. There were the occasional banging sounds, but I had yet to meet a live Orc.
‘What’s this? Is it even a Orc subjugation quest?’
“Awww! Please… spare me!”
I heard a girl’s desperate pleas for mercy, she was most likely from the group which had entered before me. I also heard what sounded like an animal making pig-like snorts chasing her.
‘The first Orc!’
I ran towards the sound in excitement.
By the time I had found her, she had already been surrounded by 5 dark-skinned, pig faced orcs. I couldn’t prevent a stupid grin from forming on my face.
‘I’ve finally found my precious experience.’
They were too preoccupied with the woman and didn’t sense my approach.
I held the steel longsword I had purchased at the store in one hand and a basic round shield in the other.
“No! No way!”
I stabbed my sword deeply in the back of the closest target, who was just about to rape the huntress. A pig-like squeal rang throughout the cave as messages appeared before me eyes.
[+113 experience points/ Main body +13][Level increased 1 ➢ 2]
[Double Slash level 1 ➢ 2]
[Acquired knowledge of Orcs]
The Orcs turned around to stare at me, the woman had long fainted
‘Let’s find out what you fellows are all about.’
Name: N/AGender: MaleStatus: Perverted,( In Heat)Type: Orc/Tanic tribeClass: WarriorRank: FLevel: 3/20HP: 35/35MP: 5/5Attack: 10Defense: 5Agility: 6Intelligence: 8✧ Unique Skills[Darkfield Lv1] [Greed Lv1] [Strength Lv1]
Although they were stronger than Tomb rats, they were far from being my opponents. I formed an evil smile.
[+113 experience points/ Main body +13][+226 experience points/ Main body +26]
[Level increased 2 ➢3]
[Double Slash level 2 ➢ 3]
I used my skill to finish off two more opponents in just 0.3 second, but the last two managed to escape, running away with their hands in the air wailing.
‘Do human warriors level up so quickly?’
I put away my sword and shield, before walking up towards the injured woman.
She seemed to be spouting out gibberish while unconscious , clearly traumatized by her previous experience.
‘Well, you’ll just have to find you own way out of these caves.’
Thump! Thump! Thump!
It was the sound of several Orcs coming my way. Perhaps the two that had escaped managed to return with reinforcements.
My conscience got the better of me, so I carried her outside, stashing her in a safe place before coming back to the cave.
The Orcs seemed to be approaching from many directions. It was quite useful to have acquired knowledge of my opponents because once I had it, I could see their status approaching even before they came into vision.
‘Hm, killing just one provides such little experience, I definitely need to aim for multi-kills.’
It was a situation where I could easily one-shot them, so my double and quad-slash skills were the best hunting methods. Unfortunately, Double Slash resulted in a 1 second stun penalty whereas for Quad Slash it was a full 2 seconds, so I definitely had to keep this in mind.
As I turned the corner I ran into a pair of them and didn’t hesitate to unleash a Double Slash. Other Orcs heard the screams and closed in on my position.
‘Let’s see, groups of two, two, three, this is fine, but five is too much!’
I was escaping from Group of 5 Orcs, It felt like a game of hide and seek. Well, in truth It was more of a game of true slaughter as I was eliminating anything that came my way. Of course I was receiving a generous amount of experience, but after having killed about 40 of them I realized that the remaining 10 were staying together in a group.
‘Oh, do Orcs actually have some intelligence?’
Those parties which had mistaken orcs for pig-like animals must have suffered greatly as they were ambushed by larger numbers. At least there intelligence felt superior to that of regular Giant Termites.
‘10 Orcs… If they’re together it could be troublesome so I’ll to find some way to split them up.’
Picking up a stone from the ground, I walked towards the group of 10.
‘This should do the trick!’
I had found a place where the cave forked into 3 tunnels, and I threw my stone down one of these tunnels.
The ones leading in the front of the pack ran towards the sound of the stone hitting the ground. I decided to use Double Slash which had a shorter stun penalty, in order to be ready to deal with the Orcs which were still behind.
Without much suspense, the two of them turned into my experience points, but I had miscalculated their movement speed and their comrades were already upon me. The 1 Second stun period was really too long for a life and death battle as they were just 0.7 seconds away from reaching my position. When their weapons had already reached me I still had 0.3 seconds left on my stun!
Their weapons bounced off my armor harmlessly, it appeared that they had no way of causing me any harm.
‘Is it perhaps my Physical Resistance?’
Armed with the knowledge that I wasn’t all that vulnerable during my stunned state, I had no reason to hold back.
Of course it resulted in a longer stunned state but it didn’t matter in my case.
More pointless attacks bounced off me as I waited my turn.
[+113 experience points/ Main body +13][+226 experience points/ Main body +26][+452 experience points/ Main body +52][+904 experience points/ Main body +104]
[Level increased 10 ➢12]
[Acquired ｟Title: Orc slayer｠]
[Quad Slash level 4 ➢ 5]
[You have learned Octa Slash Lv1]
‘Octa, does that mean I can now take care of 8 of them?’
I wiped the blood off my sword and took a look at my Status page.
Name: Gaspard (Avatar)Gender: MaleStatus: NormalRace: HumanClass: WarriorRank: E-Level: 12/99HP: 277/277MP: 144/144Attack: 131 (+21)Defense: 12Agility: 54Intelligence: 62Luck: 14Charisma: 41✧ Unique skills[Telepathy Lv1] [Mind Reading Lv1] [Spiritual Connection Lv1] [Double slash Lv5] [Physical resistance Lv1] [Magic resistance Lv1] [Avatar Flip Lv1] [Saint’s Slash Lv1] [Holy Defense Lv1][Quad Slash Lv5] [Dodge Lv3] [Shield Bash Lv1]✧Title (Active)[Decoy Lv1] [Orc Slayer Lv1]✧ Titles (Inactive)[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv3] [Coldhearted Lv2] [Dragon Slayer Lv1] [Ant Exterminator Lv14] [Wizard of the Pit] [Spider’s Bane Lv3] [Giant Killer Lv2] [Specter’s Grief Lv5]
‘Have all those who entered the cave already died?’
Going by my Status check I could see the dead corpses of multiple adventurers, but none of those were female.
‘Could it be true that Orcs use women as sex slaves?’
I noticed the statuses of several Orcs in the distance. Of course I was going to collect the experience and cared little about saving the captured women.
‘Well, that’s quite a few of them.’
It appeared that I had stumbled upon their lair. There were a total of 20 Orcs and as expected, the 5 missing women were being savagely raped. They were taking turns with them and their cries for help were mixed in with the pig-like grunts of pleasure.
‘It looks like there are 5 young Orcs, 10 warrior Orcs, 4 Wizards and finally a Unique Status Orc.’
I was a bit distracted by the screams, but was able to calm down and analyze the situation carefully.
‘With these numbers, wasn’t it just suicide for anyone which was bronze ranked?’
I felt puzzled by the Guild’s difficulty rating, did they misdjudge the Orcs? Forget about a party Quest…hell, even if 100 Bronze ranked adventurers gathered they wouldn’t succeed.
‘There’s also that Unique monster, although I could gain generous amounts of experience and possibly new skills, he must also have powerful magic and it’ll be quite dangerous.’
I hesitated to come to a decision, If I had been in my skeletal body I would have simply charged in. But the human feeling and most notably, the fear which accompanied them was clouding my judgement, making me weak. I was even beginning to feel some sympathy for the raped women.
‘This is troublesome, these emotions of mine will get me in trouble someday. I have to focus on the task at hand, If I can’t even clear out these small fries, how could I ever get my revenge on the League?’
I steeled my heart and told myself to ignore the sounds of the women being raped.
‘Yes, to become a Chosen I’ll need at least this much resolution!’
I messaged the Unique Shaman Orc named Brahin Telepathically.
‘I’m going to kill you.’
He had a stupid grin on his face while watching his group engage in rape, but he immediately turned serious and started looking around when he heard my message.
‘Here, I am over here.’
I tried to spread panic amongst them as they wouldn’t be able to pinpoint my location with my use of Telepathy. My strategy was to force him to send out scouting parties which I could easily pick off one by one, but the Boss was smarter than I expected.
Brahin gestured at the young orcs who were not participating in the rape to pick up a shield and get in formation.
‘Oh, not as stupid as I thought, this won’t be so easy’
There were four Orc Wizard’s each with their own elemental affinity, but the most troublesome was the Boss who was a Shaman. With such advanced recovery magic, unless I was able to oneshot them, it could turn into a long and protracted battle. Not to mention that the Orcs currently busy with their sex slaves were slightly higher leveled and I wasn’t confident I could finish them off with just a single slash of my longsword.
‘Well, it’s now or never.’
I stepped out of the darkness and into the light of their burning torches, allowing them to catch sight of me.
The Orc Shaman was the first to spot me and immediately got the others to leave the women alone and focus on me.
“Come one guys I’ll show you a real fire show!”
I hadn’t become angry due to the despicable actions of the Orcs, but rather at my inability to fully control my emotions and the sense of inferiority it entailed.
I threw my sword out, piercing the chest of a young orc. Dropping the shield I held in my left hand I drew my two-handed Excalibur.
“Ha! You guys don’t even stand a chance!”
I didn’t hesitate to use my new skill on the approaching monsters. Be it flesh, bone, armor or shield, my Excalibur cut right through it like a hot knife through butter.
The Shaman tried to cast restoration, but it was too late and they were already corpses. The wizards were stunned by the horror scene before them and were late to begin casting. When my 2 seconds of being stunned wore off, I rushed towards them, not giving them the chance to finish chanting.
‘Kuur Krru Kuuue’
The sounds of pig snorts, axes banging and magic chanting rang throughout the cave. Meanwhile, the female adventurers that could still move took the chance to escaped to the sides.
Ting! Ting! Boong!
[Physical Resistance level 1 ➢ 2]
[Magic Resistance level 1 ➢ 2]
My Octaslash easily cut down 8 more Orcs, whereas their weapons and feeble magic bounced of me harmlessly.
The last Orcs remaining were just 2 cowardly warriors, one Wizard and the Shaman Boss. The warriors were trembling in fear and had picked up a woman to use a human shield.
‘Hmm… her body is not bad.’
The reason I was entertaining such pointless thoughts was that I was in a stunned state and had little else to do. Unfortunately, this time around they had taken notice of my my weakness and were ready to capitalize on it.
‘Damn, two seconds is way too long!’
As the two warriors approached me holding a female hostage, the Wizard was busy enchanting one of the warrior’s axe. The bigger problem however, was the Shaman which was busy with a long incantation which resulted in vicious looking black clouds gathering above him.
‘Hm, one enchanted axe and a Shaman’s dark spell… either of them could spell my doom.’
Even with my level 2 magic and physical resistance, I wasn’t confident I had the HP to survive those attacks.
Just as I was released from my stunned state, the Shaman had finished chanting and the spell was headed my way. Likewise, the enchanted axe was bearing down on me, intending to split my skull in two.
‘Shit! Why am I always gambling with my life like this?’
I used the skill I had gained from Excalibur at the very last second. It was a defensive skill only available to warriors. I didn’t know how effective it would be, but it was my only option so I hoped that it would at least repel the dark clouds sent by the Orc Shaman.
[Holy Shield has been activated. You may choose to release the skill in 30 seconds.]
The black magic and enchanted axe were both easily repelled.
“What kind of OP skill is this?”
They continued to attack me but my shield would negate it all. Unfortunately I was also rendered immobile while it was in effect or else taking care of my enemies would be no different than chopping vegetables.
‘Hm, the shield is nice, but there are some situations were being immobile for so long would be way too inconvenient!’
After the 30 seconds had passed, I was finally able to move my hands.
‘I feel like I would be able to release the skill now….’
Outside the shield the Orcs were staring me down, still holding the female hostages.
‘How should I handle them?’
For the moment I was safe inside my shield, but as soon as I released the skill, they were sure to rush me. It also seemed that they had adapted to my Multi-Slash skills after seeing countless of their comrades die before their eyes, and were now standing far apart. Not to mention that the Boss Shaman situated himself at the far back, in the safest location. I definitely had to form a proper plan before releasing the shield.
‘If I go with Double Slash I can probably take out the two warriors, but I’ll once again be at the mercy of the wizard and Shaman.’
The best course of action would be to head straight for the boss at the back, but it didn’t seem feasible. I would suffer to much from their attacks and my HP was too low for me to be comfortable with taking the risk.
‘Lorina had a sword skill to attack from a distance, I hope my Saints Slash skill works in a similar fashion. I guess I’ll just have to give it a try.’
Calming my mind and sharpening my hearing, I timed it to when the four Orcs were breathing in and cancelled my skill.
[Holy Shield has been deactivated.]
I slashed through the air, aiming towards Brahin
‘Good, It works! It’s extending!’
From the tip of Excalibur, a deep blue energy wave shot out towards the Shaman. However, the boss wasn’t that easy to finish off. He had rolled to the side at the very last second, getting away with a deep gash on his shoulder.
An axe struck my back, but the enchantment had already worn off. Of course I had already deduced its duration based on the Wizard’s level and proficiency.
Ignoring the warriors, I rolled forward and with a thrust, I cast my skill.
I had appeared before the Shaman, trying to finish him off first.
He let out pig’s squeal, but he was still a Boss that was on a different level from regular Orcs. He had once again just barely dodged my sword, tumbling to escape with a light scratch.
Cries for help were coming from the women who were being used as hostages. Of course I didn’t at all feel compelled to save them.
[+8144 experience points]
[Level increased 15 ➢ 16]
[Acquired ｟Title: Orc Slayer Lv2｠]
With a swing of my sword I was able to take the head of the Shaman who was off balance, before turning around to face the two warriors. They panicked and held their axes to the hostages necks, indicating me to stay back. Naturally I cared little for their threats and kept on advancing.
Their blades had cut the women’s carotid artery, splashing blood all over my face, but I figured it all.
I instantly separated their heads from their necks in two clean strokes. The last Orc Wizard ran away while I was in my stunned state, and so the battle had concluded.
The two women who had been used as hostages looked at me with accusing eyes, as if I were a monster, before bleeding out to death.
‘I had no choice, I wasn’t willing to put my Avatar at risk to save you.’
I thought to myself, it was an easy decision on my part, a stranger’s life wasn’t nearly as valuable as my Avatar’s.
I wrapped Excalibur back up with some cloth and proceed to pick up my shield and longsword which remained embedded in the young Orc’s throat.
“Th..Thank you for saving us, my name is Kishande.”
One of the two female adventurers who had been able to hide away, came up to thank me. I helped her out by picking up some torn clothes on the floor to cover herself. She was in quite a sorry state, with a swollen face and bruise marks all over her body from the abuse.
“My name is Gaspard, but there is no need to thank me, I was just completing a quest.”
I replied, as I cleaned the blood off my longsword.
“Do you know how to leave this place? Can you help us?”
The other survivor seemed to be a priestess as I felt myself being healed by magic.
‘Well, I guess it wouldn’t be a bad idea to be on good terms with a priestess.’
“Just follow me, I doubt the remainder of the Orcs would dare to trouble us.”
Looking at each other, both women agreed with a nod before going around to pick up the loot on the floor and following behind me.
“I’ll go slowly so please come along.”
I could always see the Status pages of the nearby Orcs, so it was easy to escape safely.
The huntress whom I had saved earlier on rushed out from behind a bush and into each other’s arms.
“Miranda, you’re alive!”
“Yes sister! At first I was being dragged away and beaten but he saved me.”
They stayed hugging and crying together, reminiscing about their tragic experiences. They felt only their weakness and failure as an adventurers.
“Since you were all lucky to survive, you should take the chance to quit being adventurers. You’re not cut out for it and who knows if next time around you’ll be lucky enough to keep your lives.”
I gave them some heartfelt advice, having judged their low skills.
“Gaspard, we’re adventurers! The threat of death is part of our everyday lives, I wouldn’t have set upon this path if I had the choice. When I get the chance in the future I will definitely repay this favor. Thank you, but we must get going, Miranda, Ashe let’s go!”
Ashe, Miranda and Kishande thanked me once again before setting off.
I wonder what is pushing them so hard to be adventurers that they’ve so easily given up their pride as women?’
I was curious as to what was driving her. In my case, I cared somewhat about my troops in the Pit, but I would always place my own life above all else. She was indeed a strange woman whom I wasn’t able to comprehend.
‘Well… if you don’t quit being an adventurer, we’ll meet again sometime.’
At that time, I had no idea that we would indeed meet, just much sooner than expected. They had left with all the spoils and I had kept none. In my eyes those poor items were all but worthless, but they were F and some times E grade so for a Bronze level adventurer, they were quite luxurious. At least those women had gained some small compensation for the horrors they had experienced.
Out of all the people who entered the cave, Tartan and and the other men had died, only those three women had survived by being used as sex slaves, I wasn’t sure which of the two were less fortunate.
‘Time to head back to the Guild?’
I took my time on the way back, enjoying the scenery. When I finally came through the Guild doors, the atmosphere was very different compared to the first time.
“Hurray for Gaspard! The epic tales of Gaspard’s heroic deeds have already spread! Would you please hand over your token?”
I put it in Rina’s outstretched hand and she placed it on the Adventurer’s Stone, all the mobs and their ranks which I had killed were displayed. Rina expression quickly changed to one of wonder.
“Wow, did you really kill all these guys? You even killed an E ranked Boss, you’re the best! Unfortunately the highest rating I can hand out in such a small town is Silver.”
As she finished speaking she handed me a brand new silver token.
“Gaspard now that you’re Silver class, you’ll have to head to a larger city in order to rank up. However, there’s no need to rush things and you can slowly accumulate merits.”
I nodded and received one gold coin as the quest reward.
“By the way, who commissioned the quest? It definitely shouldn’t have been at the Bronze level…”
“Well, it comes down from the top, so it’s difficult to track down who commissioned it.”
Looking at her expression I realized that if I presses the issue, she might get into trouble.
“Guess I’ll have to look into it myself, in the future you should be more careful about what ranks you assign the quests otherwise there will just be more corpses piling up.
Leaving Rina behind, I stepped out of the guild and headed towards an Inn.
‘Looks like I have no choice but to spend the night at an Inn now.’
Unlike my skeleton body, as a human I require regular sleep. Also, I was looking forward to the many delicacies provided as I had yet to eat a proper meal in this World.
[Golden Go Inn]
I decided upon the place with the best view in town.
“Just give up!”
As soon as I walked through the entrance I saw three female adventurers arguing with the owner.
“We have the money, look here! Why can’t we get a room!”
“Sorry, I can’t allow women who’ve had their bodies sullied by Orcs to reside here.”
It was the same three women I had rescued back at the cave. Perhaps the rumor about what they had experienced had already circulated and the Inn’s owner wished to protect the reputation of his establishment.
‘But who could have spread the rumor? There shouldn’t have been any survivors apart from us.’
I wondered inwardly as I called over the Innkeeper.
“Owner, do you have a room available?”
“Yes! Five silvers per night.”
Hearing the Innkeepers answer the three women lowered their heads dejectedly, they were probably ashamed at their current situation.
“This should be enough to cover two rooms and four meals for the duration of a year right?”
I fished out a purple gold coin and placed it on the counter. Actually, with this amount of money I could afford to rent out the Inn for several years.
“Ah… well, it’s a matter of our Inn’s reputation…”
I pulled out my Silver token.
“Wouldn’t a Silver ranked adventurer staying here boost your reputation even more?”
The owner came to a quick decision.
“How much money should I return as change?”
“I’ll be here for one year, and I don’t require any change.”
“Ye…Yes! I’ll empty the entire top floor for you, Welcome to the Golden Go Inn.
The Innkeeper’s atmosphere had completely changed.
“Gaspard! We also have money!”
Ignoring Kishande’s words, I headed to the top floor.
“This room looks good!”
Locking the door behind me, I lay down on the bed.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
It was obviously Kishande, but I wasn’t in the mood to converse with her.
“I’m tired, we’ll talk in the morning.”
“It’s simply something I did on the spur of the moment, don’t read into it too much. Also, I’m a deep sleeper and won’t wake up during the night, so just leave me alone ”
“I won’t bother you.”
I heard her reply, her pride clearly hurt. The only reason I had helped them was to satisfy my curiosity.
‘More important than her own life….’
I closed eyes and cast my spell.
A clear sky and shining stars came into view.
[Magic Research Complete]
[Simultaneous Enchant Lv1 has been Acquired]
[Ghost Lv1 has been Acquired]
The fruits of my latest research appeared before me.
“After all, the sky view from the pit is the most beautiful.”
“Lord, you have returned.”
Alpeon was already near my body.
“What’s going on, why aren’t you in your nest?”
“I just wanted to be close to you, Lord.”
Alpeon answered in a smooth tone.
“This is unlike you.”
“I know, it’s just that things seemed to have changed since you evolved us, it isn’t only me, but my family as well.”
I studied Alpeon carefully, She seemed more human than ever. Be it the expressions on her face or the twitching of her antennas, they all portrayed her emotions.
‘These changes might have some connection with the strange emotions I’ve been feeling these days…’
“I think us subordinates change according to our Lord.”
Alpeon iterated out loud what I had already been speculating in my mind.
“Even if I’m stuck here, at least I can look at the night sky in peace.”
“Yes, although the Lord, has been sealed, it isn’t so bad because I can accompany you like so.”
“Is that right? Then in the future I can enjoy these relaxing nights with Alpeon.”
“Just those words alone fill me with endless happiness, my Lord.”
I stayed there and discussed the progress of the traps along our borders as well as the future development of the territory until the break of dawn.
“I’ll have to get going now, don’t forget to contact me through Ian if anything happens.”
“You can go to your Avatar with the confidence that I would die trying to protect your main body.”
“No, If danger comes this way, just escape. If you can stay alive, we can always meet again in the future.”
She nodded to me with strange smile.
Obviously I had been alone when I had gone to sleep. I had previously considered setting up some magical formations or spells to protect my Avatar while I was away, but perhaps I had been too tired and negligent. Also, I was counting on the reputation of such a large Inn to guarantee my safety. But, I arrived to an unexpected situation.
When I opened my eyes, the three female adventurers had joined me on the bed and were sleeping in their pajamas. They were all hugging me as if was their body pillow.
‘This… what’s going on?
After using Avatar Flip, it would become nothing but a lifeless doll, completely unconscious. The three women must have taken the opportunity to break into my room and sneak onto my bed!
“Sir, I’ve brought you breakfast.”
I was in a difficult spot as others would certainly misunderstand the situation. Before I could open my mouth to respond.
“Come in and leave it on the table.”
Kishande who had just awoken, replied shamelessly. As the owner walked in through the door, he even dropped his tray in surprise.
“Ugh… I’m so sorry sir!”
Looking at the innkeeper scramble to pick up the plates on the floor, I couldn’t even find a proper excuse to explain the situation.
“Hush~ it’s fine since we didn’t wake you right?”
Kishande Looked at me with a soft smile and licked her lips seductively. It took some effort to look away and then retrieve my arm which was wrapped around Miranda’s waist.
No… first of all, what are you three doing on my bed?”
I spoke out with a tinge of anger. It wasn’t that I was in a bad mood, but rather I didn’t like being put in a situation I didn’t control.
“We were thinking how to pay you back for your kindness and this was the only thing which came to mind. Do you not approve because our bodies are unclean?”
I wasn’t able to stay angry at her if she showed such an innocent expression, stroking her head gently, I kissed her on the cheek.
“I don’t think that at all.”
I Spoke my thoughts clearly.
“Then in the future, please don’t refuse us.”
Although I couldn’t indulge her wishes, I still allowed them to come and go as they pleased. Naturally it led to several rumours of a wicked Silver ranked adventurer, indulging in the carnal pleasure with his unclean slaves.
It was clear to me that they were looking for warmth and protection. After the traumatic experience they were like a beaten animals, just looking for any shred of kindness in others.
We then returned to sweep all the surrounding Orc caves clean. It was very efficient work, because although they were weak, they could fill in the gap of my stunned state with miscellaneous skills.
After ten days of countless slaughter, they had overcome their fear of the Orcs and were promoted to Iron class adventurers.
“Gaspard, why are you postponing your rank up, are we holding you back?”
Kishande with whom I was closest, asked with some measure of guilt. Afterall, she knew I definitely had the strength to earn the Gold rank.
“I was just biding my time, I will soon proceed to pick a quest to rank up.”
“Good, then we’ll follow you.”
Although I felt comfortable among the three women after 10 days of hunting together, it would be another matter to babysit them during a Gold Quest.
We left the same day, heading toward a larger city. After three days of travel, we arrived to a city named Gartmar, which was the center of several surrounding mining towns.
“There doesn’t seem to be too many people around.”
“Gaspard, this is ‘Gartmar’ the miner’s hometown and will forever remain in their hearts. At the end of the month, the workers return and the market is incredibly lively.
We had arrived at the beginning of the month which was when the city was relatively quiet. Kishande and Miranda were daughter of miners and this was like a second home to them, so I was able to learn a lot about it. As we walked through the Adventure Guild’s door, we noticed 30 or so people split into two groups, ready to jump at eachothers throats.
“Hey, whose side are you guys?”
Two locals looked at us questioningly.
“What are you talking about?”
“Are you for or against the Elf expedition?”
I had no Idea what he was talking about.
“Haven’t you heard? The Elves have posted a quest for adventurers to aid them in their search for a way to return to their homeland. But those guys over there are opposed to it and think that we souldn’t meddle in their affairs.”
“Makes sense! The Elvish problems should be solved by Elves, have you ever heard of them helping out us humans? Plus, it’s bound to be a perilous quest, just think about it!”
I began to understand the situation and a trace of anger appeared on my face.
Leaving the three women behind I silently walked towards the group which was supporting the Elvish expedition.
“Hey, are you the ones willing to support the Elves?”
“Yeah, are you on our side?”
The local kept speaking but I disregarded him.
I punched him straight in the face, causing him to go flying all the way into the end of the room and hit the wall, sliding down unconscious.
“Who else wants to help out the Elves?”
“What are you…?”
The next person to speak up didn’t have time to finish as my fist found his face. At that point I just decided to beat the entire group up. My level had already hit 60, and with the growth potential of a Warrior, I was already close to my when I was a low leveled Golden ArchLich with regards to physical strength. The Adventurers in here were at best Silver class which was about the same stats as when I was level 15. I was almost 20 times stronger than them and there being no mages in the room, the result had already been decided.
“I will not go easy on those who wish to help out the Elves, spread the word that helping out Elves is tantamount to suicide!”
I had take a hard line against all those who were sympathetic towards the Elves. As a result had knocked out almost 20 people before proceeding to the receptionist’s counter and took out my token.
“I’m here for a rank upgrade.”
“Ah… Yes! Right away sir!”
Having witnessed my performance, the clerk didn’t hesitate to hand me a new Gold token.
Even though I had spoken calmly I was still a bit riled up from the brawl and had intimidated the clerk. Speaking in a softer voice I asked.
“What do you want?”
“Actually… to obtain Gold class or higher, it is required to achieve a specific upgrade quest.
You have already achieved the points requirement, but still need to complete a gold level quest.
I turned around to look at the Quest board only to see the three women standing there giving me the thumbs up.
“Gaspard’s too cool!”
“Oh yeah, putting those hillbillies to shame!”
They were all smiling happily at my performance. Actually, they had also leveled up quite a bit lately, but their progress had stagnated. For humans, it appeared that in order to level up their profession they required their respective God’s grace, which could only be obtained by completing specific quests.
“Let me see the Golden Quests…!”
“Oh, are you already Gold rank?”
They asked curiously, I pulled out my medallion and showed it to Kishande.
“Wow! Gaspard! You gained a different class!”
“It looks like I’ll have to choose from these quests. Let’s see; Eliminate Orc village, Slay the Goblin King and Elvish Expedition.”
Reading the last one I once again became angry. But, I just barely was able to control myself.
‘Damn Elves, I’ll definitely repay this treachery.’
The Elf Quest would only start in 3 months so I put it to the side and focused on the other 2.
The Orc village one sounded boring, Slay the Goblin King….
Oh, he seems to have already sacked several villages and even the troops sent out by nobles have failed.”
Miranda interrupted me as I was reading out loud.
“Does this one interest you because of the difficulty?”
“You’re not thinking of going at it alone right?”
Kishande asked me, clearly anxious.
“Regardless of how confident I am I won’t go alone, I’ll prepare a group”
Looking back I realized that all those I had confronted had already left the place and only the adventurer’s which were against the Elvish expedition remained in the Guild.
“Hey you guys, who wants to join the Goblin expedition? I’ll pay 4 gold per person and I’ll double the reward if we succeed.”
“What! You’re offering such good conditions?”
“But, it’s a quest which even the army failed in.”
Some were still cautious until one of them banged on the table and spoke up.
“Those that don’t have the courage to join this expedition might as well quit being adventurers! These Goblins have pillaged several villages already and here you are sucking on your thumbs! Brother, I will join you, I don’t require any compensation!”
I liked the spirit of the faction which refused to help out the Elves, after that short inspirational speech, their eyes all lit up with a sense of justice.
“Good, I designate you as the expedition’s manager and hire you for 10 gold coins. You handle the hiring and logistics, what’s your name?”
“I’ll accept the position, but I’ve already told you that I don’t require any pay. My name is Tyr!”
“Good man Tyr, my name is Gaspard. I’ll be staying at the most expensive Inn in town, just come find me when you are ready to set off.”
Tyr cupped his hands to me in salute before turning around to address the rest.
“Hear that you worthless oafs? You’ll finally do something great with this life of yours!”
“I don’t need to listen to this shit from you Tyr! But I’ll take the gold coins!”
“I’m joining too!”
Tyr seemed to be the right man for the job and one by one they pledged to join. Satisfied, I left with Kishande and the other two women to find a suitable place to stay.
“Gaspard why don’t we just book one room?”
I shook my head. I still needed some privacy to switch between Avatars. Although they would still sneak in every night, I would already be sleeping so my secret was safe.
“But, anyways we end up on the same bed…”
Miranda and Ashe whined with as their faces blushed.
“Everyone will see us entering your room at night…”
“Right~ doesn’t everyone already know?”
Ashe was a shy person but had been opening up lately.
‘Have they been getting too attached to me?’
I was beginning to worry about the inevitable day when we would have to part ways.
“Miranda, Ashe, Gaspard has already spoken so let’s leave it at that.”
Kishande seemed like the big sister and could easily control the other two and with but a few words they would fall in line.
After walking around for some time we arrived the the city’s largest Inn.