I had tried to leave Miranda behind in the village, but in the end I couldn’t bear to be apart from her. We were sisters, from the same poor family in a small mining village. As girls, we couldn’t work in the mines and had to rely on our parents, but the world was not so utopian. We had been cast aside by our families and had to odd jobs which were dirty and involved hard labour. Even then, the reward was a pitiful meal and a filthy place to sleep.
“Sister, when we become adventurers, we’ll be able to eat and live well!”
I had often seen adventurers dressed in fine clothes, coming in and out of the village’s Guild.
“We shall be Invincible, fighting off monsters and protecting the lives of the common people!”
It was but a fantasy of two dreamy young girls. We worked hard for several years, saving money little by little until we had enough to register. I’ll never forget the day we finally succeeded in registering at the Guild. Our adventurers were going to go so smoothly, because we had increased dexterity stats from only the hard labor we had performed. Humans are animals which can easily adapt, and I was ready to embrace my life of luxuries. Still, when things seem to be going too well, life has a way of throwing you curveballs. On our first assignment one of our party members died at the hands of goblins. That child who was always so bright and got along so well with my sister, had died in pain as poison spread throughout her body. Her death should have been my first warning, but I ignored it. Instead, I was glad that I had survived. In the end, it mattered little whether I heeded it or not, after all I was not willing to return to my life of depravity. Since that time, I’ve survived many situations, never once recognizing the amount of luck involved.
Eventually that fateful day of the Orc Subjugation quest had come. By then I would regard most Bronze quests as easy. True, I was also still ranked Bronze, but I had a lot of experience and could adapt easily. Our party of 5 was the first to enter, carrying our torches in the dark cave. At first, we were relieved to not have encountered any Orcs, thinking we might be able to complete the quest without any incidents.
“Just two Orcs!”
We were confident that we could overpower them with our numbers so we began to chase and they had turned tail and run. However, we had thrown caution into the wind, and soon walked into their trap.
“Shit, their numbers are growing, we’re surrounded!”
Noticing the situation someone had shouted out.
Ashe was my closest friend except for Miranda. Over the years of adventuring together, we had come to regard each other as sisters. She was a priestess which was useful to have in critical situations.
I found Ashe by waving my arms around in the dark.
We were completely surrounded by Orcs, our frontline had already died and my magic was useless because it’s cast time was too long. Likewise, Ashe’s healing spells wouldn’t help in this case.
The Orcs didn’t proceed to kill us, and instead approached slowly. Their rotting stench reminded me of a terrible saying.
‘Orcs liked to catch women and use them as sex slaves!’
Unfortunately we were able to confirmed this rumor first hand, as most of the female adventurer’s in our party had been captured alive and carried of to their lair. At least, I was heartened to be unable to spot Miranda amongst us. It wasn’t long before those crossbreeds of humans and pigs ripped our clothes off and penetrated our most special place.
Ashe and I had already given up all resistance by that point, resigned to our fates as a monster’s sex slave. A couple of young orcs then picked us up and moved us to a more secluded corner, perhaps they fancied our bodies and wanted to keep us all to themselves.
It was then, that from the darkness a voice of hope appeared. After all, there were about 20 orcs in the lair and I estimated that their boss had the strength of 5 silver class adventurers.
Still, the voice rang out.
“Come on guys I’ll show you a real fire show!”
The Orcs had been provoked, of course they didn’t understand human speech, but the meaning was conveyed in the mocking tone.
A long sword pierced the chest of the young orc who had been dragging me off. The orc which had carried Ashe left her behind and went to join the fight.
It was a fierce battle, although the man was much stronger, the Orcs used their superior numbers to put him in a difficult spot. Towards the end, they even used some female slaves as human shields but the man cleanly severed the Orcs’ heads without caring about collateral damage. It was the right choice. Still I trembled in fear, it was common for adventurers to fall prey to other stronger adventurers. It was for this reason that it was normal to form parties to ensure safety. Despite defeating the Orc’s, the man had no reason to show us any kindness.
I managed to thank him and learn his name, but he asked us not to be grateful and mentioned that he had only thought about killing the Orcs.
If he would have received our thanks, my interest towards him would have ended there.
Instead, I gained a measure of confidence in the man named Gaspard, who looked cold but spoke frankly. I saw him accept the consequences of his actions with regards to the slave women, reminding me of my ideal adventurer from my dreams. Of course, Ashe and I had not forgotten to retrieve the items from the dead corpses, thinking back, it was quite shameless of us.
Gaspard then proceeded to guide us out of the cave where we met Miranda. It was the sister I had never expected to see again in my life, and I was endlessly grateful to both God and Gaspard.
We weren’t in great condition, so we agreed to quickly leave together and clean up. We sold off our loot in the shops and then pocketing the enormous wealth, headed back to our Inn to rest. Later, we headed towards the Guild to inquire about the quest, but when we walked through the doors, we immediately knew that rumours about our situation had already spread. It must have leaked when we had sold off the items .Trying to escape the gossip, we headed back to our Inn rooms, only to learn that the weight of the rumours had been tethered to us.
“Sorry but we can no longer allow you to stay at our inn, otherwise gossip will spread.”
We had been driven out of our accommodations despite having already payed for the room in advance. We walked around trying other Inns but the results were the same. In the end, we went to the most expensive Inn in town, but the manager refused to let us stay, saying that it wasn’t a question of money. It was at that point that Gaspard walked in, seeing us in a truly embarrassing situation. Fortunately, he proceeded to rent out the entire second floor by using the influence of his Silver token, and we had gained a room to stay. As we got settled in, I banged on his door, claiming that I would gladly pay our costs, but all I received was a cold response.
“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.”
It would have been simple if he had rescued us and then asked for a reward. We could have payed him and expressed our thanks, but now we were in his debt.
Us three girls gathered in the adjacent room and talked about Gaspard. I learned that they held the same opinion as me which was that we’d do anything for him.
My sister wanted to hear his breathing so she put her ear up against the wall.
“Miranda, what if Gaspard burps,would you be disappointed in him?”
“That can’t be, Gaspard wouldn’t do that.”
In Miranda’s mind Gaspard was already a deity. Likewise, Ashe’s face would turn red when she talked about him. I didn’t know what kind of expression my face had, but I guessed it wasn’t much different.
“Quick, sisters, listen to this!”
“Puttyukulakanipakuti and Rikipauushindo Kusu Kella Aeon Wenie Econo Gunenie Enkaveni Ukumemezain Aenom Shindo Rom …”
It was complete Gibberish and not some magic spell. Concerned about his condition, we rushed to his room. Before was a horrible scene of Gaspard continuously chanting nonsense as his body shook and his eyes turned white.
Miranda was calling to me but I couldn’t think of anything to do except worry for him. I wrapped my body around him, trying to control his shuddering while Ashe and Miranda mirrored my actions. I wasn’t sure what we had done, but Gaspard proceeded to fall asleep peacefully with his eyes closed.
“Sis, didn’t Gaspard say that we shouldn’t bother him while he slept?”
Indeed it felt like Gaspard had something to hide during the night. I put my index finger on my lips.
“This is our little secret, alright?”
They both nodded silently. And so we fell asleep until the next morning, holding Gaspard’s body tightly. Although he felt awkward when he woke up, he didn’t seem terribly angry about it.
We exchanged a look amongst us three girls, affirming our decision to keep it our secret.
And so it continued, during the day we hunted, and at night we helped him sleep.
We had formed a party and slaughtered the Orcs, as a result we had advanced to Iron class.
Even during battles, we would always look to Gaspard, trying to know what he expected from us. Then one day, I summoned the courage to ask him.
“Gaspard, why are you postponing your rank up? If it is because of us, do you think we’ll get hurt. “
Gaspard then gave me a look I will not soon forget. Going forward I would not dare to advise our benefactor.
After renting our rooms in the new Inn, everyone quickly went to sleep.
Next to my body sat Alpeon, waiting for my return.
[Magic Research has been complete.][You have learned Silent Casting Lv1][You have learned Multi-Death Stare Lv1]
The results of my Magic Research appeared before me.
“Alpeon You waited for me again.”
“Yes, I know that you will usually return around this time.”
“Thank you for your diligence, but you don’t have to overexert yourself.”
“No, it is my pleasure to wait upon you, Lord.”
Due to to the inherent hierarchical system of termites, Alpeon would follow me unconditionally. Of course, it was also a little worrisome because I questioned whether she would continue to be loyal to me would I lose ownership of this Pit.
“It seems like the Elves have betrayed my trust.”
“What you were worried about has happened. How should we deal with the hostage?”
“Let’s just hold on to her, they might come to rescue her so she could serve as good bait.”
“Okay, I shall remain alert.”
I had a heavy heart, I had been making too many mistakes as King. I had been too naive, believing in a utopian world where I could make alliances with all. This weakness of mine led to both the League and Elves’ betrayal.
“I’m sorry Alpeon.”
“What do you mean? Everything is according to the Lord’s will.”
I was unable to express to Alpeon how sorry I was regarding my incompetence, and didn’t want to cover it up with some flowery speech, so I just recounted to her some of my recent adventure in the Human realm.
“Send Jenna to me.”
“Are you worried the Elves will attack soon?”
“Okay, then I’ll immediately get started on our defenses.”
“Are Ian and Gwyn doing well?”
“As instructed, I am having Ian and Mallepi exercise by having them run three turns of the Pit daily.
“What? Three full turns?”
The diameter of the Pit was roughly 6~700 meters, which meant a circumference of about 2 kilometers and they had to run it three times.
“Yes, I’ve assigned them the minimum amount of activity to constitute exercise”
“Um… but isn’t 6km too long for them, How are they coping?”
I asked somewhat worried.
“Mallepi struggles a lot, often laying down on his belly, but Ian is doing well.”
‘Oh, Ian was in surprisingly good shape.’
Ever since Ian had become a Witch, and then later the constant consumption of the nectar, led to an improvement in her constitution. Of course she had never noticed this until she tried working out.
“Explain to Jenna that I’ve tasked her with tracking down the Elves. She is not to engage and simply keep an eye on their movements.”
“She is a bit thick, but I think she could manage that much.”
I continued to discuss with Alpeon regarding the fortification of our territory until the sun came up.
“Then see you again next time, Alpeon.”
“You can leave it to me, Lord.”
Returning to my Human body, I awoke to being surrounded by three beautiful women.
‘I guess I’ve just gotten used to this.’
It had already been 15 days of waking up to the same situation, sometimes if one was missing because she had gone to the bathroom, I would feel a bit empty inside.
“Uh huh… Sir Gaspard… it’s not that…”
‘Just what was Ashe dreaming about that included me?’
“It’s not fair if you keep him to yourself.”
Kishande was speaking to Ashe in a sleepy voice. Meanwhile Miranda was cuddling up with my arm, soundlessly asleep.
‘Well… at least life isn’t too bad.’
Looking back at the past few days I thought about all the little pleasures I could enjoy. Ashe was a shy girl but was very considerate. Miranda would always giggle when we made eye contact. Whereas Kishande was the most mature of the group, being their big sister. She would also be the one to handle the information gathering for the quests, and was my go to person if I needed some tips about this society.
We had always been together during the past 15 days, especially when we went hunting. Of course, I was capable of clearing those Quests by myself. At least the risks were significantly lower because they did proper reconnaissance before every mission, allowing me to learn a lot of useful information. Still, The biggest advantage of having them in my party was to overcome my stunned period.
I gently stroked Kishande’s hair as she leaned on my left shoulder. They felt such gratitude towards me for saving them from their traumatic experience in the Orc cave, but it had not been my intention. In fact, if they had come between me and my objective, I would have most likely terminated them. Although I didn’t bring up the topic, listening to Kishande’s story about my rescue, I realized how she portrayed me in a heroic light. It was a story which was far too removed from the truth, In which I had saved them from a tragic fate. I didn’t have the courage to tear down their hero’s image of me, and would simply laugh it off when they recounted the tale. Burying the guilt and shame of my actions deep in my heart.
‘Would they hate me if they knew the truth?’
I began the day with a heavy heart due to those dark thoughts.
“How about we go take a walk around the city?”
“Yes, there so many things we need to buy and we also need to pass by our Guilds.”
Kishande and MIranda had to learn Magic and Huntress skills at their respective Guilds. As a Priestess, Ashe would have to visit the Temple to learn new skills. Being a Warrior, I should also visit my Warrior Guild for new skills, but I fet that it wasn’t necessary at the moment.
“Here, take this.”
I handed Kishande three small pouches.
“What’s this Gaspard?”
“We’ve been working together on the past few quests, so it’s only natural to share the compensation, please split it fairly among yourselves.”
“This… we can’t accept it. We’ve even been getting all the loot from the monsters, it would be far too unfair to receive this. Not to mention that most of the hunting has been done by you….”
I raised my hand to cut her off.
“I didn’t take any of those items because I had no use for them, it doesn’t change the fact that the quest rewards should still be shared fairly. Also, if you buy some equipment with the money, it would benefit the entire party’s strength. Let alone that learning new skills from your guild’s require a substantial amount of gold.”
“I don’t like it, you already pay for the Inn and you take care of us so well so…”
I stroked her face gently.
“Take it as an investment in our party’s future strength. I’ll be heading down first so meet me on the first floor when you’re ready.”
I went down the stairs, leaving Kishande with a pouting face.
‘Well, does that mean I can feel a little less guilty now?’
Although I had mentioned that they were small pouches, they actually contained 30 gold each, it was an amount which was almost 10 years of salary for them. Normally it was such a large amount that it would lead to an awkward situation.But because I had already saved their lives and been considered as their benefactor, they just saw it as one more favor to repay.
Only after waiting for a considerable amount of time, did the three women come downstairs to meet me. It seemed that they still kept an interest in fashion. Even being adventurer’s they still had a clean set of clothes, set aside for a special occasion.
“ You three look like aristocratic ladies, where could you possibly be off to that is so important?”
“How dare you tease us Gaspard!”
“Hehe, but I like the praise.”
“Do we look nice?”
Each of them was wearing fashionable clothes which accentuated their femininity. Walking around the city with smiles, we started off at a famous clothing shop. By the time evening had arrived, we had already bought far too many accessories and items and I was stuck carrying multiple heavy bags.
“Why don’t we top by the Inn and drop off the luggage?”
“Yes, it does look quite heavy.”
After leaving the bags at the Inn I turned to ask Kishande.
“Will you be going to your Guild?”
“Yeah, how about you Gaspard?”
“I’ll be heading to the Warriors Guild, let’s meet up at the town square at 7 o’clock”
Kishande asked with an anxious expression, I had never before taken the initiative to propose an outing.
“I want to have dinner with you three.”
Their faces lit up with joy. Although I had been feeling content ever since my emotions had returned, it was at this moment that I realized that I had everything I needed in the World.
‘Well, there no reason to refuse emotions of joy.’
I sent them off first and then asked for directions to the Temple. On the way, I did quick pit stop to make dinner reservations at an extravagant restaurant.
“Come in, God is awaiting your confession.”
The priest who was tasked with guiding people at the front doors spoke out to me.
“Actually, I was hoping to meet Lord Rohan…”
“I’m sorry, but you can only meet a High priest if you have an appointment.”
I stealthily slipped a silver coin in the priest’s hand.
“But then again, God favors the industrious.”
‘It sounded like a God that truly cared about money.’
I was grumbling inside, but kept a composed appearance. The priest let me through the Temple hall and into a small room designated for guests. After some time, a wrinkled old man walked through the doors and spoke to the priest.
“All is well now, you may go.”
The High priest dismissed him before turning to me with a smile.
“Why do you seek an audience with these old bones of mine.?”
“Are you the Lord Rohan, the High priest of this Temple?”
“Well.. yes, my name is Rohan, and it isn’t a special title or anything, but I am indeed the High priest. I’m sorry if you expected me to be something more.
The old priest had a welcoming charm, inviting me to open up and speak frankly. It was not at all the same vibe as the earlier greedy priest.
“My name is Gaspard and I became a warrior because of some peculiar circumstance. I have no choice but to become a Chosen warrior, can you guide me?”
I had learned from Ian that in order to embark on the path which led to becoming a Chosen, a warrior would first need to receive a priest’s blessing. It was my reason for coming here today after overhearing a conversation in the Inn, mentioning a highly revered High priest at this Temple.
“Well… some peculiar circumstance huh… I’ve never been so curious before, let’s take a look.”
Rohan examined my face carefully, before closing his eyes and falling into deep thought.
“God has spoken to me and he has many plans for you. There will surely be a path for you to become a Chosen warrior.
I didn’t quite understand his meaning but it seemed like a positive result.
“Right, do you require this old man’s blessing? Please stretch out your hand.”
As I extended my arm, Rohan began to paint a complex spell formation on my palm. A bright light shone briefly before disappearing as he finished his work.
“Now that you have received my blessing, the rest is in God’s hands. Will you come and join me in prayer sometime?”
“Of course, thank you very much. You blessed me without prying into my situation, I am endlessly thankful.”
“I don’t usually bother enquiring about people who hide their status, but what was your plan if I were to inquire?”
I shook my head, naturally if that were the case I was planning to simply walk away. Keeping these thoughts to myself, I respectfully bid the High priest farewell, before taking my leave from the Temple.
I had received the desired blessing and had taken my first step on the road to be a Chosen warrior known as the Legendary Quest. Although Ian’s explanation had been vague, I expected it to involve some great storyline, or perhaps it was just another one of my inner romances.
After returning to the village to purchase even more essential item to send back to the Pit, I walked out of village, before messaging Jenna telepathically.
‘Make sure this arrives to the Pit, and into Ian’s hands.’
‘I’ll get Mir to come pick it up, Lord.’
I returned to the square to wait for the appointed time, enjoying my free time as I watched the people walk by. At some point, I noticed a suspicious group of people who stood out from the rest.
‘Aren’t they Elves?’
I had originally caused a scene at the Guild in order to flush out those traitorous Elves, but I hadn’t expected for my plan to bear fruit so early.
‘Jenna are you there?’
‘Lord, I am nearby and keeping an eye on them. What are your instructions, do you want me to engage?’
‘No, regardless of what happens, just keep watching them. Later, when they take off at fast speeds, I will be relying on you to keep me up to date on their position.’
‘Unfortunate, but I will obey your orders Lord.’
The Elves’ forces seem to be hidden away. Have they realised that I had spotted them?. Anyways, at this point I was completely relying on Jenna’s ability to keep track of them.
I kept enjoying the peaceful time to myself, until the sun started coming down and I saw the three women walking my way.
I had forgotten that they couldn’t see as well as I could in the darkness. So after some time of waving my hands in the air pointlessly, I shouted out to them.
“Gaspard, how long have you been waiting?”
They were also a bit early. It was only 6:30 but our meeting time was set to 7 pm.
“No worries, I was passing the time watching people walk past, shall we get going?”
“Alright! But, you shouldn’t come so early next time, it makes us feel bad.”
Both Kishande and Miranda had a pouting expression, unhappy that I had been early and was waiting for them. I put my arms around them to comfort them and brought them to the restaurant in which I had made prior reservations.
“What’s this… the place looks expensive.
“It’s ok, we don’t eat out often.”
“Hehe good! Our first time eating out!”
“God guided us on our path to you, thank you Gaspard!”
They seemed happy with my choice of restaurant, especially when all the employees came out to greet us as we stepped in through the doors.
“We’ve been waiting, Gaspard’s party please come this way.”
“What’s going on Gaspard?”
I had booked the whole restaurant. Even if it was a place of great repute, I was easily able to make reservations and it wasn’t too expensive. This was largely due to my recent rise to fame, with the spreading of rumors about me taking the Goblin King’s punitive Quest. They were extremely glad to host me and even offered me a 50% discount.
“Well… we do have to celebrate sometimes.”
Because I had chosen such a high class establishment, we were able to enjoy the fine cuisine, accompanied by a musician playing the lute and a poet singing in the hall.
“I’ve never eaten such a delicious meal!”
“Miranda, please eat quietly.” chided Kishande.
“God, I think I was born for this day. No, I can’t fall for the temptation of such delicious food!”
Ashe and Miranda were acting cutely, like children discovering something new. Kishande however, was looking at me quite nervously, hardly touching any of her food.
“Kishande, if you eat so little, isn’t it impolite towards the chefs who have worked so hard?”
“We don’t deserve this kind of treatment.”
“Stop it, you’re spoiling the mood.”
Kishande went back to eating, slight tears forming in her eyes.
‘Hmm, crying while eating…is it because the food tastes bad?’’
I called the waiter over.
“How can I help you sir?”
“Have my instructions been prepared?”
“Yes of course, would you like to have it now?”
As the waiter returned, Miranda and Ashe were squirming in anticipation, while Kishande had a slightly troubled look.
“Oh it’s nothing much, I just don’t remember celebrating since we first met. We are now a team, so I guess we can consider today as some kind of anniversary.”
As we conversed a large cake and bouquet of flowers were placed on the table, a single candle was placed in the middle of the cake.
“Kishande, why don’t you be the one to light the candle.”
“I determined to never again cry…but, today you… sniff.”
“Oh sis, stop crying so much, this is a happy occasion.”
“Right, God may give us many trials, but he also blesses us with days of joy.”
While we had been together the last few days, their hearts had healed a lot. On that dreadful day, they had become broken and sullied women, unable to walk into any shops in town. Still, to this day I wasn’t sure how the rumor had spread so quickly, just that it had. Though they had been relieved by their survival, the World had already designated them as outcasts, and only through our recent companionship have I relieved their burden somewhat. It was out of consideration for them, that I prepared this dinner today, and wished to see them happy as we sang a celebration song together. Of course my pitch was terrible, leading to Kishande both crying and laughing at the same time.
“Cheers everyone! This party is the best!”
“To the best Party!”
After the toast the owner brought out a platter of fruits and more wine. Kishande seemed to finally forget her troubles, and was the first to fall asleep at the table. Miranda continued singing more songs and her voice was improving the more wine she drank. I also tipped the musicians generously and allowed them to leave early as most of us had already drunk too much. Ashe who had survived towards the end told me “ Don’t sleep!” before passing out on my shoulder. Being a warrior, I had a much stronger constitution and was able to sober up before the women.
“Customer, I have prepared a carriage outside.”
Thanks to the thoughtfulness of the restaurant owner, it was considerably easy to arrive back at the Inn. After helping the women to their room, I came back to my own and settled down.
“I hope that it helped settle their pain a little.”
The burden from thoughts I had this morning, regarding the actions I had taken when we first met in the cave, had already disappeared.
Returning to my main body, I awoke to find myself surrounded by Ian, Gwyn, Mallepi, as well as the rest of the insects. All them seemingly waiting for me.
Ian’s bright voice and Mallepi’s cries made me feel warm and comfortable.
“Right, I’m back.”
“Do you like these clothes? I’m wearing one of the new one’s you’ve sent over.”
I wasn’t sure about Ian’s body size so I had to go with a rough estimate when I was purchasing, but judging how good it looked on her I had a pretty good eye for this.
“Does it look strange?”
I shook my head.
“No, I was staring because you’re pretty.”
“Oh ho, a heartfelt praise from Johra, but i heard you’ve been spending your days with three women….”
Although her lips suggested she was laughing, her eyes flashed with a dangerous glint.
“Of course, I needed to blend in with the Humans.”
“Please tell me what you’ve experienced, we heard from Alpeon that you would usually return around this time.”
Ian pulled out a notebook, ready to jot down what I said. The Insects were likewise listening with rapt attention while Gwyn just took the chance to settle down in my skull.
“Ahhh, finally! This is indeed the best place to sleep after all!”
Gwyn was always living in her own little world.
I spent the night recounting my adventures in the human world. Ian seemed somewhat relieved when I mentioned booking two rooms at the Inn. the Insects however were truly interested by my tales, after all, they rarely met humans or the other creatures I mentioned. When the sun rose, I returned to my Avatar.
They had been fast asleep in the adjacent room, but somehow still managed to arrive on my bed. My morning routine started as I changed my clothes and picked up some breakfast for them. Kishande was the only one up and we ate breakfast together. While she helped the other two women change out of their clothes, I left for the Adventurer’s Guild to quickly check on the status of my Goblin King’s punitive force, before returning home to find the three women all dressed and waiting.
We once again spent the day shopping and and visiting restaurants. In the evening we returned to eat a delicious dinner prepared by the Inn’s owner. We spent the night telling stories, particularly Kishande’s adventures and Ashe’s misguide theology. After spending a long time talking, we were quite tired and went to sleep.
I was quite content, enjoying the peaceful days, but alas it was not to be as the very next morning I received a message from Tyr, saying that the expedition was ready to set off.
‘Well, this punitive Quest should be a walk in the park.’
When I returned to the Inn to tell the women the news, they were clearly disappointed.
“Why don’t you take us with you, are we too weak?”
“No, it’s not that, just that it would be a bit difficult at your current level is all.”
“I don’t like it! We should all be together, I’d rather die fighting than be left behind.”
Kishande and the rest were waiting for me to make a final decision, biting their lower lips in anticipation.
‘Ugh, their dependence on me is become a bit troublesome.’
Still, I as a bit worried that I had gotten used to fighting with them at my side, and that it would leave behind openings in battle.
“Ok, but you have to agree to completely follow my commands.”
They nodded vigorously with large smiles.
It was the morning of our departure, and 30 adventurers had gathered before the Guild, waiting for Tyr to begin his speech.
“Well listen up now you imbeciles, If there is one thing that’s true in this world it’s that you’re all just as stupid as me. Just how stupid are we to purposely go to a place where monsters feed on humans. If you think us stupid people can make a difference in this world, then that’s the real stupidity. Anyways the world won’t change, we know that already but we’ll still go! Right? It’s because we’re stupid!”
From the back of the crowd an old man cried out.
“What kind of nonsense are you talking about, how could we possibly be as stupid as you? “Let’s follow our expedition leader!”
Tyr’s speech was truly inspiring. It might be that nobody would remember our sacrifices. We were putting our lives on the line for what? Money and experience points, if we died none of these would matter. Hell, even if we succeed, it would just be another level up.
Still, I had something to say to this rowdy bunch. Speaking out in a low, but powerful voice, I addressed the adventurers before me that had just learned that they were stupid.
“While this may not go down in history as some epic battle to write poems about. Many lives will be saved and those involved will surely appreciate our self-sacrifice. Just this is a sufficient justification, so let’s go ahead and take up this wonderful challenge!”
The crowd cheered in unison, brimming with energy. It had only gone so well thanks to Tyr’s opening speech, I was becoming even more interested in this Tyr fellow.
“Tyr, Thank you for the wonderful speech.”
“Oh please, it was nothing compared to Gaspard’s speech, It made my heart pound and proud to be a man.”
We officially set off, Tyr had prepared horses to increase our marching speed and ensure the troops arrived to battle well rested. As we travelled, Kishande, Miranda and Ashe worried that the other adventurers would have heard the rumours about them, and thought them as unclean. But it couldn’t have been further from the truth as they would often sit around the campfire exchanging stories.
“Ladies, do you know what I’ve always been wondering? How great must Gaspard’s stamina be to be able to satisfy three women every night!”
“Hey stop it! Nonono! ”
“Ahahahaha! But on the other hand, Gaspard’s manhood must have some problem as he always tries to keep his distance from you girls .”
“Right! You don’t need to mention how strange he is. Despite sharing the same bed for so long, he’s never once seen us as women!”
Miranda and Ashe were truly drunk, and oversharing with the other adventurers.
“Enough Miranda, you’re always getting drunk, when are you going to grow up, go to sleep!”
The party-pooper Kishande had arrived and Miranda headed off to bed to avoid any further scolding. Ashe however, continued talking.
“Meeting Gaspard has been the greatest blessing from the Goddess. There’s a saying, only after having experienced misfortune would you know what true happiness is.”
When Ashe gets drunk her speeches would become even more religious and philosophical. It was a bit annoying to endure, but when she would start speaking like that, we knew she could not last long and would soon fall asleep. Finally, Kishande dragged her back to her sleeping bag and the party was over as everyone headed off to get a good night’s rest.
I deliberately placed my sleeping bag a bit further from my companions, in a slightly secluded area. My intentions were to lure out the Elves who had been following us since we left the town.
‘Are they still here Jenna?’
She has been tracking the Elves’ movements for me.
‘They aren’t far now, are you sure I can’t engage them?’
‘Absolutely not, the mission is to find their main camp, so don’t spoil this opportunity. Is it understood?’
‘Yes Lord, I’ll definitely find their base, in exchange please allow me to draw first blood!’
While I was speaking telepathically with Jenna, the three Elves who had been on our tail were hiding in the bushes, just a couple of meters away from me.
‘Hmm they really are cowards, stop dragging it out and just attack already!’
They were quite careful, observing me for a full 10 minutes. It was quite annoying because I had to keep pretending to sleep with some fake snoring.
‘Good, are they finally moving?’
Despite their stealth skills, I could see their Status windows. I wordlessly cast my skill.
[Holy Shield has been activated. Please choose to release the skill after 30 seconds.]
Even if I felt I could receive their attacks with my body, I wanted to completely overdo it with this OP skill of mine to see their frustration. Despite it rendering me immobile, I wanted to see the despair in their eyes.
“Evil human, die!”
“Bring death to all evil, Holy Elvenheim!”
One of them sent out a spell while the other two rushed me with their daggers.
Ting! Ting! Bong!
“What was that?”
“What was that sound?”
“It came from Gaspard’s location!”
They had tried to put their entire body weight behind their dagger’s thrust. Of course the result was that they had been sent flying. Despite me being immobile, they were utterly unable to harm me at all. Still, not comprehending the situation, they continued trying.
“Die you savage!”
They once again rushed at me but the conclusion was the same.
“Wha…what’s going on?”
“Rihanna, there are more filthy humans coming this way, we’ll have to give up for today.”
“Damn! We have to escape while the enemy is helplessly lying down before us!”
‘Jenna, I’ve changed my mind. Capture one of the three and have someone bring him back to the Pit as an additional hostage.’
I had originally planned to let them go scot-free, but was peeved by their arrogance. It seemed that all peaceful options were no longer on the table When Kishande and the others arrived, I was still in my immobile state, feigning sleep.
“Oh, is Gaspard sleeping well for once?”
“Look over there, those footprints don’t appear human.”
MIranda who was a huntress had a sharp eye, and had noticed the disturbances despite the darkness. But when they saw me sleeping peacefully they ignored the signs.
“We should sleep here right?”
“Well Gaspard did say not to visit him tonight.”
“Oh really? I don’t recall him speaking such words.”
I had been worried about their safety were the Elves to attack me tonight, so I instructed them to stay away. But in the end the three women came to sleep by my side, luckily the incident had already passed.
‘Lord, I had Mir come over to carry the captive back to the Pit. I’ll continue to pursue the other two, is that okay?’
‘Yes, quickly find the whereabouts of their main camp. But don’t engage, just get me a location and return to the pit for further instructions.’
‘Yes Lord, I know my life is precious to you.’
Seeing Jenna’s Status window disappear into the distance, I turned off my Identification skill and looked up at the night sky.
‘Is it because the stars are so bright tonight? They are shining beautifully here, just like the view from the Pit.’
Looking up at the stars I tried to connect them in order to recognize some constellations. It had been a long time since I had gotten some normal sleep. In fact, since my main body didn’t require sleep, this would be the first time I would truly sleep in this World.
I was so tired that I don’t even remember falling asleep, waking up with the morning sun and not at all recalling what I had dreamt about. Most adventurer’s had the habit of waking up early, because it was a very competitive profession where the more quests you completed the more money you could earn. By hunting just one more day, you could gain more experience, quickly outgrowing your competition and leaving them behind in the dust. Everyone was already up, packing up camp and double checking their equipment.
However, the three girls next to me had become quite spoiled in my care and were still sound asleep. It was normal for them to wake up late and search me like a baby bird looking for it’s mother. Still a bit sleepy, I likewise tried to rest for another extra hour or so, at least until breakfast would arrive. It would usually be Kishande that would wake up first to prepare breakfast and take care of us.
“Oh dear, look at these babies oversleeping again, it will be hard for you guys to survive as adventurers.”
Tyr had stopped by to laugh at us. Of course he was right, and I should probably stop pampering them. After all, there were other female adventurers in the group, but they were much tougher and always the first to wake up.
‘Well, I’ll have to try and change them overtime, nothing I can do about it right now.’
I had been soft on them to try and help their minds heal from that traumatic experience, but hearing Tyr’s jesting, I realized that I might have to cut back on it somewhat.
The Elves hadn’t returned after their failed attempt. They were either searching for their kidnapped partner, or were heading back to their base. Either way I hoped Jenna was properly tracking them.
We knew that the Goblin King was in the process of attacking a village just one day’s walk from our current position. We had met a villager on the road, who escaped after seeing the Goblin army approach. After learning of this tragic slaughter, we urged our horses on, trying to arrive as quickly as possible.
‘Is there any news from the Pit?, Has the captured Elf arrived? Any news from Jenna?’
‘Yeah, the Elf arrived and Bianca has taken custody. We haven’t heard from Jenna as of yet and….’
‘Actually I’m very busy right now so we’ll talk more some other time.’
‘Ah just one thing then! Alpeon figured out a plan to temper ourselves using the Void Scuttles. We’re all training really hard and improving our Skills and Stats. Let’s talk some more when you have time.’
I could feel how excited she was. Seems Alpeon had figured a special tactics to be able to engage those higher ranked scuttles, I was looking forward to their growth.
‘I should focus on the Goblin King right now.’
We had just walked over a hill and the sight of a burning village came into view. Waves of dirty greenish-yellow monsters running about.
“Chaos lies before you! Are you ready to die you Fools!”
Tyr’s voice rang out and everyone shouted in response.
“Kill or die! But if you’re going to die, then kill first!”
A ridiculous slogan was heard from the adventurer’s as they charged out to meet the Goblin King’s army.
“Fireball!”“Ice bolt!”“Double Slash!”“Magic Arrow!”
Kihic Kihec, Neighiing!
From behind magic spells and arrows were shot out, while the front was held by warriors and thieves, easily sweeping away the dirty green Goblins before us. I struck out with my long sword and cleanly cut a goblin’s torso in two.
[+214 experience points]
[Acquired knowledge of Goblins]
Although Goblins were much weaker compared to Orcs, they excelled in breeding. There were hundreds before us and perhaps they were over 10,000 in total within the village.
“Hold the frontline! Don’t let any of them through!”
According to Tyr’s commands, the warriors at the very front would switch out when they were injured or too exhausted. Also, the more squishy backline where Kishande and the girls were would support with spells, arrows and healing from priests.
Although we were only about 30, Iron ranked adventurers were comparable to a dozen ordinary soldiers. Synergized with Tyr’s strategic commands, we were able to represent a force of several hundred soldiers.
Still, the endless wave of Goblins wasn’t something we could overcome. We had soon formed a pile of dead monsters before us, having killed about a thousand or so, but our side was quickly tiring. The magic spells and priest healing was arriving more intermittently as their mana was low and our side was slowly losing ground, being pushed out of the village.
“Don’t retreat!, If we go past the village entrance we will be besieged on all sides! Keep fighting! Backline, continuous support!”
This time around Tyr’s instructions weren’t enough to turn the moral, as the troops were too exhausted. To make matters worse, a strange cry rang out.
In the middle of the town square a large goblin, 1.5 times bigger than the others appeared, flanked by other equally large elite goblins.
“It’s the Goblin King with his Goblin Commander and Shamans!”
I heard Tyr cry out.
Taking the time to look at their statuses, I noticed that the Goblin King sported a golden name with an E+ rank while the elites beside him were in the E~F+ range.
‘I can forgive almost anything, but not someone who steal the limelight from me!’
I bit down angrily on my molars.
“Great! Kishande, Miranda, time your skills to buy me some time when I’m in a stunned state. Ashe, continue to support the adventurers.”
Having given out my instructions, I ran towards the center of the Goblin’s army. I heard Tyr scream out my name, but I simply ignored him. As I charged forth, I noticed groups of goblins taking the side routes to double back and surround our party from all sides.
‘Mir, tie up those Goblins that are trying to go around us, protect our flanks!’
‘Yes Lord, I’m on it.’
After Jenna had left to track the Elves, I had Mir join me just in case. Although her stealth wasn’t as good as Jenna’s, she was still easily able to hide her presence from the human adventurers.
I instantly killed down dozens of Goblins that were in my way with 8 quick cuts. The risk of being attacked during my stunned period was halved because I was riding on a horse. It was also useful to pierce through the Goblin lines as just the momentum was enough to send them flying.
Pung Pung! Shoot Shoot!
Kishande’s spell and Miranda’s arrow felled two goblins who were about to strike me.
“I second… 2…”
After being released, my distance from the Goblin King had narrowed to just 10 meters.
In response to my advance, the King rushed out to meet me, holding a glaive with both hands whose length matched his height. He was joined by 3 Goblin Commanders while a Wizard and Shaman stayed back, chanting magic from a distance. I threw the long sword I held in my hands towards those two in the backline, before drawing Excalibur.
Pung Pooung. Shoo shoot
The Goblin King’s glaive and my Excalibur clashed and I was able to cut through my opponents glaive. Still, because it was so large, despite ruining his sword I still have to bear the brunt of it’s weight.
The shock was transmitted to my horse which could no longer stay standing and its legs gave out. Falling down from my horse, I rolled to the ground expertly, allowing me to dodge the slash form one of the Goblin commander’s greatsword. Despite not having a clear line of sight, I instinctively used my skill.
I was once again able to cleave the sword in two, but the goblin commander was able to retreat in time leaving a common goblin to take the hit.
Pung, Pong Shoot
Kishande and Miranda’s skills arrived at the perfect timing, allowing me to overcome the 1 second stun period.
By now the Goblin King and Commanders had backed off, and was barking orders as they surrounded me with regular Goblins. Likewise, the Wizard and Shaman stayed far behind.
‘Are you turning this into a war of attrition?’
Having crossed swords with Excalibur, it appeared that the Goblin King had realized I was no easy foe, and had cunningly chosen to wear me out with his troops. Such planning indicated a certain level of intelligence.
Having dashed out alone, I was quite isolated from my group of adventurers. Not to mention that the Goblin King and Commanders were always lurking nearby, ready to pounce if I showed the slightest opening.
‘I’ll just ignore these small fries and focus only on the King!’
Believing in my Physical and Magic Resistance, I simply charged forward towards the Goblin King who was hiding behind his minions. Opening a path with my skill.
The King reflexively brought up his damaged glaive to block my skill, but it was unable to hold up against such overwhelming power. It bent awkwardly, allowing the remainder of the skill to continue forward and nick his carotid artery. Blood spurted out, but unfortunately the Shaman was quick to react and his healing spell stemmed the blood loss. Although I suffered from the stunned period of this skill, least least the King was in no condition to capitalize on it.
I still had the support from both women, but it made all those Goblins who were focusing on their injured King, turn the attention back to me.
‘The crude Gobin weapons aren’t a threat to me, the only problematic ones are the Goblin Commanders who wield two handed swords’
Their weapons had been enchanted with Ghost Magic by the Wizard.
Two commanders rushed towards me with their sword held high over their heads.
Ting! Ting! Ting!
It was the sounds of the regular Goblins weapons hardly leaving a scratch on my body. Still, even if the damage was negligeable, It might become dangerous if it stacked up too much, and I still had the commanders closing in on me.
Out of nowhere, 5 veteran adventures had carved a path towards me, coming to my rescue.
“Gaspard how could you go out on your own, let’s die together!”
“Right, we also have the right to have a cool death!”
Tyr was among the five who despite their average weapons, were barely able to block the Commanders’ two handed sword strike. I could see them put their lives on the line to defend me.
“Why did you guys follow me to the heart of their army?”
“I still haven’t received my compensation from you!”
It was a lie, I hand already payed Tyr extravagantly, but I was touched by his words.
“Everyone step back, you only need to defend me when I’m in a stunned state.”
Their actions had moved me. Previously I had only cared for Kishande’s group, but I had now made some new friends.
Excalibur shone brightly in the battlefield, making quick work of the two Commanders. By now the Goblin King had replaced his broken glaive and was ready for round 2. The Wizard and Shaman had gone back to chanting while Tyr and his group held off the regular Gobins.
‘The party starts now!’
As soon as I broke out of the stun, I reached for the small water bottle at my side and chugged down it’s contents.
“Everyone get out of my way!”
I dashed towards the Goblin king, our gazes locked onto each other.
The Goblins in my path were sent flying, like dead corpses raining down from the skies.
We clashed with both weapons at a very close distance, but once again my Exclaibur cleaved right through his new sword.
“Let’s give them a fight they won’t soon forget!”
The 5 man group of adventures were on their last legs, and the same was true for our main force. It was now or never, and this was my stage.
The Goblin King frantically tried to roll away, but he couldn’t escape Excalibur’s range.
My sword fell down on the kneeling King’s skull. A deep cobalt blue light shot out from Excalibur, instantly ending his life.
[+10214 experience points]
[Acquired ｟Title:Irregular Lv6｠]
[You have learned Vampiric Sword Lv1]
[You have learned Roar of Rage Lv1]
[Acquired ｟Title:Goblin Slaughterer Lv2｠]
Surprisingly I had acquired two skills, I wasn’t sure i it was due to my doping with the World’s nectar or the recent blessing from the High priest.
Kuwaeyeek! Kuwake! Keeerk!
Having lost their King, the Goblins were escaping mindlessly, like chickens without a head.
‘Mir, try and capture as many of them as you can and move them to the Pit.’
I ordered Mir to gather as many as possible. Although they were stupid, I could create a large cannon fodder unit because of their high fertility.
“Wow Gaspard, you’ve done it! I didn’t expect you’d defeat the Goblin King by yourself. He’s even been named Widow-maker because of all the adventurers that have fallen to him.”
Tyr proceeded to lop off the Goblin King’s head and holding it by the hair, held it up for all to see.
“We’ve fought well and won! All hail Gaspard!”
A battle cry was heard across the village as the last of the goblins were fleeing into the distance.
‘Mir should be able to handle this.’
“Goblins who have lost their King would no longer be a threat to these villagers. Time to head back, I miss my cozy Inn!”
Tyr spoke to me with, with eyes of worship.
“Come on now boys, time to get drunk with all this money!”
“Ah~ I can get married now! Wait for me Daisy, I’m coming!”
Everyone was excited to have survived this great battle without any large injuries. The campsites on our way back were very festive. Wild Boars were hunted nearby and roasted on a firepit. Drinking the last of the alcohol the adventurers had brought with them, everyone fell into a happy, deep sleep.
“Gaspard, why did you go to such lengths, putting yourself in such danger?” While everyone was about to sleep Kishande approached and asked me.
“It wasn’t that dangerous for me.”
“Gaspard you seem to be walking on the edge of dangerous cliff, along the line of life and death, but I don’t understand why. If you don’t want to tell me it’s fine, after all you are our savior. I just hope you could remember me… hick”
Kishande had also drunk a lot of alcohol and in mid-sentence fell asleep on my shoulder.
“Was it dangerous?”
Since I had first arrived in this World I had always been surrounded by danger. I had somehow overcome these situations with wit or dumb luck, but perhaps because of my success rate, I have thought myself as infallible. Maybe it was also this line of thinking which clouded my judgment and hadn’t seen the betrayal of the League and Elves.
‘Well, now that I know about it, I should definitely try and show some restraint.’
‘Lord, do you favor this human? ’
It had been quite some time since I had heard from Jenna.
‘Mind your own business, have your found their camp?’
‘Yes, but it’s a bit bigger than expected.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘It seems like they’ve gathered all the tribes together for this one.’
‘All the tribes?’
‘Yup, I’ve heard they’re a total of 64 tribes gathered here to march on the Pit.’
‘64? How many fighters does that mean?’
‘I can’t be sure, but I tracked down a single tribe’s camp and there were about 300 Elves.’
I started to do some calculation ins my head. Among 300 elves, maybe only 100~150 would be capable fighters. Then if there are 64 tribes, that meant an army of at least 8000. Not to mention that they would recruiting adventurers, so the final count would be unknown.
‘This is going to be on the scale of a full-out war!’
I gulped in dismay as I realized the gravity of the situation.
When we returned to Gartmar, there was a large crowd of people, waiting to welcome us. As it was nearing the end of the month, all the locals from the nearby coal villages had arrived to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the market. Now however, they were out on the street, waiting to welcome their savior which had solved their greatest problem, the Goblin King.
”Our city officials, guild masters and citizens all welcome our hero, Gaspard!”
The streets were teeming with people, eager to get a look at the hero. The city bureaucrats were standing respectfully, joined by the guilds which were led by the Adventurer’s guild standing in front.
“Ugh… this feels troublesome, why are there so many people gathered?”
“Gaspard, it’s easy, just give them a small wave.”
Tyr came over and gave me some wise counsel.
Although I had simply waved my hand, the crowd erupted into a cheer. We enjoyed a warm welcome as we were escorted towards the Adventurer’s guild, like a conquering General that had returned home.
“Please accept this certificate, if you visit the Temple and show them this, you can upgrade your rank.
The clerk in the Guild bowed deeply and thanked me for my great deeds.
“Well… it was just a Quest.”
“No, my family lived in one of the coal mining villages that suffered at the hands of the Goblin King. After defeating the noble’s army, none would dare find trouble for him and his reign of terror spread. Also, people were considering joining the Elves’ Quest, so our city was truly concerned. The reward amount didn’t match the difficulty of the quest, so none would accept it. If it had not been for you, sir Gaspard, many more would have died. Please accept this small gratitude.”
After rejecting her many times I finally caved and accepted.
“Gaspard, I don’t even care about the prize money, next time if there is another opportunity, let’s adventure together once more.”
“Yes I had forgotten the reason I had become an adventurer. But having felt all the cheering from those crowds, I regained my motivation. Don’t forget about us for the next quest, you’re our Captain!”
I repeated the title.
“We’ve decided to call you Captain Gaspard!”
“Yes! The Captain!”
“Call us anytime, regardless of how much gold, we’ll show up!”
“I don’t mind losing a leg if it’s for the Captain!”
The Adventurers who had joined me were bathing in the ecstasy of the Town’s warm welcome.
“Please say a word to the men.”
Kishande came over and whispered in my ear with a small wink.
‘Should I make speech?’
“Okay well, we might be stupid, but we’re less stupid than that Goblin King, we’ve won and survived!”
Everyone was shouting within the Guild hall.
“I’ll invite you to dinner tonight, let’s eat together…”
“No! We’ll invite you!”
“Yes, let’s, didn’t we just receive a large sum from the Guild.”
That was a lie, their reward was only 50 silvers per person, it was barely more than a regular quest.
“Sorry to disturb you all but the Merchant’s Union has already prepared a banquet for you all this evening, our treat of course.”
A well dressed man in rich, colorful clothes led us towards the banquet.
“Cheers to the heroes of the people!”
Not only the merchants, but also many from the crowd joined in on the festivities. A large pagoda was erected in the center of the plaza, and all of us who had participated in the punitive expedition were treated as VIP’s, sitting at the center of it all.
“Gaspard we’ve become true heroes”
Kishande spoke to me in a low voice, appearing uncomfortable.
“No choice so we might as well enjoy it.”
I laughed awkwardly. Miranda and Ashe who were sitting nearby also couldn’t control their awkward smiles.
“You three women should stand proudly, I don’t know how we could have achieved victory if you had not joined us!”
Tyr laughed loudly, praising the girls. Although all three blushed deeply, they also straightened their backs and opened up their shoulders.
Tyr was right, they had indeed been there to help me at the most crucial moment. Maybe because we had a lot of experience hunting together, but they were always able to gauge the right timing. I was certainly glad that I hadn’t followed through with my original plan to leave them behind, because in the end they had played an important role.
The pagoda had been built upon a podium, and when the mayor stood up to give a speech, the plaza quieted down seeing that he was raising his arms.
“As you know, Gartmar is quite a secluded city, and we had to self-govern ourselves most of the time, but we do pay allegiance to our kingdom. However, with the arrival of the Goblin King, I had to ask on 5 separate occasions before the kingdom’s troops reluctantly came to eliminate this spawn of evil, but it was all in vain. We had to support their expedition with food and gold, completely emptying our treasuries but they still failed!”
Several boo’s rang out throughout the crowd.
That’s right! They failed to catch the Goblins and our villages were lost!”
The emotions in the plaza were boiling, and the guards were nervously moving in.
“Quiet! Quiet! This is no place to throw around criticism so calm down!”
The shouting gradually faded and the mayor continued his speech.
“I mean are they our Kingdom or Bandits… Oh dear, did I just say that out loud?”
The previous serious atmosphere had become far more lighthearted with a simple joke.
“I might be suffering from a slight dementia, but I’ll try to continue. We tried asking the Elves for help but, well we all know the result of that. They didn’t bother coming to our rescue and 36 villages or rather 2000 souls, men, women and children all became Goblin food. These were my people, my friends and family, so I was so desperate that I even considered asking a neighboring country’s army to interfere.”
The crowd was now completely sober. After all, the idea of mobilizing a neighboring country’s army was equivalent to rebelling.
“Oh what to do, another slip up, what should I say….”
Ha ha ha ha!
Every single person in the plaza burst with laughter at the old mayor’s humor.
“But then came a brave foreign adventurer. First, he beat up those cowards that were trying to ride the coattails of the Elven expedition. He then proceeded to gather like minded, brave men and succeeded in slaying the Goblin King!”
I had officially been cemented as the Hero.
“Despite them setting out, the odds were against them, I felt torn by the uncertainty of their success. Why you ask? The cursed Goblins ruined my hometown and killed my uncle, and nephews and my lovely…. ”
The market was silent, understanding the mayor’s emotions.
“Sniff, sorry I have something in my throat…”
People began balling their eyes out throughout the plaza
“Cheers for the mayor!”
Steeling his will, the mayor pulls through and continues his speech.
Here, today, the wine we toast is filled with tears for our loved ones that have lost their lives to this evil. And the bread we serve is our heart which will never again be quite whole. As we live, we will always tell the story of you brave adventurers who’ve liberated us from this tyranny, for generations to come. This is my promise to you, as a representative of my people!”
“Cheers! To the heroes!”
The mayor walked down from the podium and shook my hand vigorously.
“Do you have a few words you would like to say?”
The teary eyes of the citizens in the market were already worth more than a hundred words. Still, I nodded and stepped onto the podium, grabbing a magical speaker to enhance my voice.
“I’m embarrassed to say that I never sought this kind of attention or admiration. The Goblin quest had simply piqued my interest as an adventurer and I received a lot of help from my comrades.”
I took a small pause, looking at the crowd before me.
“After listening to what your mayor had to say, I realised how impactful my actions were, but I still don’t believe I deserve such gratitude.”
I heard some whistling and people crying out in encouragement.
“ These unnecessary thoughts aside, your love and encouragements have truly moved my heart, so in the future, if Gartmar were to ever suffer from a similar situation. Please call me, and I would gladly lend a helping hand, regardless of rewards or pay!”
One after another, the people were expressing their support for me, chanting my name. I decided to wrap up my speech.
“This is my solemn promise to you!”
“Long live the hero of Gartmar!”
Hurray![Acquired ｟Title: Gartmar’s Warrior｠]
My new title appeared before me as I stepped down from the podium and was swallowed up by the crowd.
The banquet started soon after, but I was stuck meeting and receiving the thanks of all the citizens.
‘I’d rather fight monsters than face a sea of lunatic fans.’
It was only past midnight that the crowd started to disperse whereas the banquet continued well into the morning. With the rising sun it was common to see people passed out here and there along the streets, as if the city had suffered from a zombie attack.
In my case, even if I drank a lot I would sober up very quickly. I carried the women up to their rooms at the Inn, before walking back down to relax in the main hall.
“Huh, It was more tiring than the Quest”
A cloaked man opened the squeaking door and approached me.
“What is a priest like you doing over here?”
It was was the High priest Rohan, that had just walked in. It was certainly unusual to see such a senior priest away from the Temple, and at an Inn of all places.
“Are you busy at the moment?”
“Not at all, please have a seat.”
The priest Rohan had sneaked out at dawn to visit me. He knew that if others at the Temple had known about this, it would have possibly caused a big commotion.
“I came because I have a favor to ask of you?”
“Sure, what is it?”
The priest Rohan stared deeply into my eyes before beginning.
“I don’t know if it’s because I am too old, but I was deeply moved by your speech.” It felt like the honorable words of a sovereign. You are the person with the most noble bearing that I’ve ever met.
I felt ashamed by Rohan’s praise. I was after all just a skeleton, which was very far from the meaning of the word ‘noble’.
“That was the reason why I chose to come and meet you. Can you meet with the Sage?”
“I can’t bring just anyone, but if If it is someone with a noble character, he ordered me to bring them to him. ”
Alarm bells began ringing in my mind. If he was a Sage, he might know that this was an Avatar, and might even be able to figure out what my main body was. He might think of me as enemy, and it would be the equivalent of walking into the tiger’s den.
Seeing my expression, Rohan spoke before I could give my reply.
“But, I can see that you have a complicated history, will you refuse?”
“I think it will be a bit difficult.”
“The Supreme Sage is in a difficult situation right now and requires the help of a capable warrior. Please, I promise to reward you handsomely.”
I couldn’t help but feel some pity for the sad looking priest.
“Here, take this as a down payment.”
Rohan handed me a ring instilled with a large ruby.
“What is this?”
“I had received it from the Supreme Sage, I was told that it could grant one wish.”
That was certainly an attractive proposition. I was confident that even is this so called Sage was strong, if I had an all purpose wish I could easily escape. Still, the title of Supreme Sage was a bit worrisome.
“What kind of difficult situation has the Supreme Sage found himself in?”
“Well, he was trapped by a team of warriors and subsequently sealed.”
My thoughts had immediately thought of a guilty party. It definitely sounded like the work of the League, perhaps they had other warriors besides Nabe capable of sealing. Still, if they were enemies with the League then perhaps I could meet a kindred spirit.
“How was he sealed? If he was a great person and a defender of justice, I don’t understand how it would be possible for him to be targeted.
“He said it was a small misunderstanding.”
“Sealed as a misunderstanding, what a strange choice of words.”
“It would be better if you heard the details from the Supreme Sage himself. He is still, sealed and had plenty of time to share stories. He was accidentally discovered within a cave by a priest which was investigating Divine miracles.
I was still a bit skeptical, why didn’t the Temple release the seal, and why would he want to meet me?
“By the way…”
“Ah, I guess you’re curious why we chose you.” he quickly cut me off.
“I was told that the seal could only be released by a Chosen Warrior. I was also informed not to announce this information to the world, the priest that had found him had sworn a vow to secrecy, one that I will likewise uphold.”
Maybe it was just a coincidence, and the High -priest had simply approached me because I had become a Chosen. Perhaps they didn’t know anything about my main body.
“Please lead the way, I will meet him.”
“Thank you, thank you, I am quite old so I brought a carriage, please follow me.”
The wagon was mostly white and dark red, with the horses harness likewise being painted red. It reminded me of a Blood donation truck from my previous World.
“Hop in warrior.”
I sat in the carriage with Rohan for about an hour, before arriving to a secluded cave.
“From his point, you will have to proceed alone.”
I nodded towards Rohan and entered the cave.
“Ugh… Come this way… Gas….Pard?”
There was a large emerald green gem placed upon an altar. The voice coming from the jewel sounded familiar.
“ Are you the Supreme Sage?”
“Yes it’s me I go by the name of Gnoss”
I took a close look at the gem.
“Have we met before?”
“Well, isn’t it?”
Hearing his voice, I remembered that one time while clearing out an Orc cave, I had come across a similar looking green gem, albeit of a difference size. I recalled that its status window was a bit weird, just like this one, except that at the time I hadn’t payed it any heed.
“What is your connection with the Orcs?”
Did he quiet down because I hit the truth or insulted him?
“What is your connection to the skill Sage’s Wisdom?”
Silence once again.
“Do you not want me to unlock the seal?”
“Yes! Could you please release me?”
“Sorry, but I’m not a Chosen Warrior.”
“Yes I’m aware, but I could show you the path, after all that is the role of a sage.”
I had guessed correctly, Rohan was most likely a subordinate of this Supreme Sage and he indeed knew about the selection of Chosens.
“Tell me all you know.”
“I won’t divulge it until you give me your word.”
“Aren’t you uncomfortable, stuck in there?”
“Yes, but it’s a great honor to become a Chosen Warrior, so I can’t simply tell you for free.”
His words sounded innocent, like those of a naive child, but he protected his secret quite fiercely.
“Okay, let me analyze the situation. You’re sealed and you don’t want to tell me how to break the seal. Why don’t I just walk away then?”
I deliberately turned around and began walking away for extra effect.
“Don’t you need to become a Chosen Warrior?”
I had decided to answer honestly for once.
“I also have a seal to unlock.”
“Sorry, I can’t tell you.”
“Hm… it’s not Soleste is it?”
Oh, it looks like this Sage knew about Soleste.
“You’re not some terrible demon are you?”
“No, of course not.”
Well, not yet at least.
“Gaspard, can you pledge to me that you won’t use your powers for evil?”
“Whose standards should I use to judge evil?”
I had learned through my interactions with different races that not everything was as clear cut as simply black and white. It often depended form whose point of view you were looking at it from.
“Gaspard, you are a wise man with a unique perspective on life.”
“Well, let’s just say that I’ve seen a lot of strange things.”
“Ok, then how about you pledge that you, Gaspard, would not use the power of the Chosen Warrior to do things which you consider as wrong.”
I was happy to make such a promise as it was in line with my usually way of doing things.
“But what if my idea of righteousness doesn’t lign up with others’?”
“You were brought by Rohan right? He’s a good judge of character and has yet to fail me once. ”
“If that was the case why did you ask me so many questions.”
“Just being extra careful, after all it was my negligence that led to me being imprisoned here.”
I was curious as to what he was talking about but the first order of things was to learn how to become a Chosen.
“I agree to the pledge so you can tell me now. ”
“Recite to me your vow, and I promise to hold up my end.”
I took a deep breath and began my pledge.
“I vow to only use the power of the Chosen Warrior for my version of righteousness.”
As I finished reciting my pledge, I saw the Emerald gem emit a faint glow.
“The path is simple, climb to the top of the Sage’s Tower and read the Codex. Rohan will be able to lead you, tell him it’s the tower without an entrance, just remember your vow!”
I still didn’t know the extent of its strength, but it didn’t seem all powerful After watching the sealed emerald gem for some time, I finally decided to go ahead with my plan.
“I have something to ask of you.”
I took out the ring I had received from Rohan.
“That… is that the ring of Obedience? Did Rohan give it to you? Damn it all!”
Gnoss voice held a hint of panic.”
“I’ll speak my wish now, I want you to be with me to answer my questions when I require it.”
This time the light from the emerald shone considerably brighter.
“Huh… why did you make such a simple promise? With that ring you could ask absolutely anything of me.”
“All I require is knowledge, that alone will suffice.”
I had been annoyed by my Sage’s Wisdom skills which was always on cooldown when I required it most. My intention was to replace the skill with Gnoss. Having concluded my business, I turned around to leave the cave.
“You have to become a Chosen Warrior and return to free me, or else you will suffer a penalty.
‘He was right, I had little choice.’
As I returned to meet Rohan, I knew that my only way forward was to become a Chosen.
“How was his story?”
I simply nodded in response.
“He instructed me to head to the Tower without an entrance.”
“Hmm, if it’s a tower with no entrance… well there is one such in the temple, but why would he send you there?’
“I don’t know, that’s all he said.”
“Okay, let’s get going then.”
We took the carriage back to the Temple, Rohan guided me to a large pillar, about 20 meters tall. It looked nothing like a tower and was situated in a remote corner of the Temple.
“Here you are, best of luck, I need to be heading back before others notice I’ve been gone.”
As the priest disappeared I began doing the turn of the tower, knocking on the stone to try and figure out a way in.
‘Do I have to use brute force?’
The tower looked quite old, constructed with solid black stones, but there were no entrances or windows that I could see. I had done the turn of the 4 meter diameter pillar and had yet to find a way in.
‘Ah, there’s a hidden mechanism…’
Passing my hand over the wall I had felt something different.
I got sucked into the tower.
I was dropped into a large, but simple room, no decorations, just a large spiral staircase which led up.
‘Hm, it was only 4 meters wide from the outside, but here it’s at least 10 in here. There must be some spatial magic at work.
I started climbing the staircase, without any end in sight. After 3 hours of climbing I could no longer see the bottom floor, but neither was the top visible. I walked for another 3 or 4 hours before arriving to a large door.
‘Is it finally the end?’
Upon the door was inscribed the following question.
“What creature sometimes has four feet, two, three, one or none?”
‘Is it like some riddle from a sphinx? Is it one of those silly answers like breakfast, lunch and dinner?’
I thought about it for quite some time but could not come up with a good response.
‘Tch, if he sent me here to do his errands he should have at least provided me with the answer.’
I spent two hours looking around and trying different methods to get across the door without solving the riddle, but finally gave up.
‘It looks like solving this question is the only way past the door. It’s been quite troublesome trying to remove the stupid sword sealing me.
Some of the stairs behind me had collapsed. If I answered wrong, a certain number of staircases would fall down, so I only had a limited amount of tries. Feeling hungry, I drank from the bottle of the World’s nectar.
‘Should I ration it?’
I was planning on saving some for later but eventually just drank it all. As hours turned to days, I still couldn’t figure out the solution and would soon die of thirst.
I returned to my body at the Pit.
“Lord, how come you’e returned during the daytime?”
Alpeon was sitting next to me.
“Uhm… Alpeon do you sit near my body all day long?”
“I like being near you, Lord”
She made a cute face which I couldn’t scold.
“Well I guess it’s fine then. By the way, are you good at riddles?”
“What’s a riddle?”
“Well, it’s like a clever question and you have to figure out the answer. It’s usually quite challenging, like a brain teaser.
“If that’s the case then maybe my sister Trisila would be good at it. I will call her over.”
It’s the first time to meet Trisila since she became an Antillien.
“Did you call for me Lord?”
“Yes, I have a difficult question I need answered.”
“Please ask away.”
“What Creature sometimes has four feet, two, three, one or none?”
Trisila’s face turned bright as she fell into deep thought. Her antennae twitching in excitement being faced with a difficult challenge. After about a dozen minutes, she exclaimed happily.
“Lord I think I’ve got it!”
“What is it?”
“I’ve heard from Arin the lives of adventurers. When they are born they crawl on all fours, as they grow up, they walk on two feet, but if they become injured they may lose one or maybe all their limbs!”
I nodded my head, it made sense. Indeed among humans, adventurers were the most exposed to danger.
“Thank you Trisilia, I shall reward you at a future date.”
“Thank you Lord!”
I woke up near the edge of the stairs.
‘Wait, why am I all the way here? Did my body move while I was away?’
Pushing my doubts to the back of my mind, I stood up and spoke clearly towards the door.
The door gradually opened.
Within was a large room, and the ceiling was finally visible. In the middle of the room stood a pedestal, with a large book on it.
‘Is that the Codex?’
As I approached the book the characters within it began to shine.
‘Ugh… do i have to read it all?’
Fortunately I was spared the tedious task and the letters in the book turned into a bright light which was absorbed into my eyes.
‘Those who know the name of God, wield his power.’
The contents of the book were engraved in my mind and my surrounding wrapped my in darkness. When I could see again I found myself sitting outside the tower.
“Is it over now?”
I asked for Rohan’s assistance and he lent me his carriage to guide me back to the cave, thanking me for my troubles. Arriving shortly after, it was once again time to meet the Supreme Sage
“Gaspard, Stop right there! It isn’t a good time to come in!”
A red light filled the cave.
“Gnoss, what’s going on?”
“I had warned you not to interfere with this Mortal World, Gnoss. I banish you to the void for all eternity!” with this
A ringing sound reverberated throughout the cave and a bright light flashed
The altar upon which he had been sealed disappeared entirely.
“Hello…Gnoss are you there?”
I called out in the cave but there wasn’t any response.
“Gnoss, I need you!”
“Damn, just when you need them most…”
“Did you call me?”
Suddenly the gem he was trapped in reappeared through a dimensional rift.
“Wow, I thought you were a goner there.”
“Yes, I also thought I would be trapped in the void, luckily the promise of the ring is absolute.”
The ring of obedience give off a small light.
“So what just happened to you?”
“Don’t worry about it, not a big deal. So have you read the Codex?”
“Not a big deal you say… who was that the being who banished you?”
“It has nothing to do with you. Well, now that you’ve read the Codex, there is just one last step before becoming a Chosen Warrior.
There was no reason to press the issue, like he said it wasn’t any of my business.
“You need to get my permission as the prophet to the Divine will.”
“Ok, let’s quickly get it over with.”
Something was off, why was he hesitating?
“I met some unfortunate circumstances in the Higher plane, and lost most of my Divine Grace”
“What did you say!”
I spat out both irritated and angry. It was the feeling of having come so far, only to fail at the very end.
“No, it isn’t a big deal and the ceremony can still proceed, just that you won’t be a complete Chosen Warrior. With the amount of Divine Grace I have left, you can only wield the strength of a Chosen once, before requiring to charge it for around one year’s time.
“Is there a way for you to regain your Grace?”
“No, my Grace doesn’t regenerate. I only acquired it when I inherited my position as Supreme Sage.”
Well there wasn’t much of a choice, At least I would be able to release my main body.
“Okay go through with it, but keep in mind that removing your seal will not be my priority.”
“I accept because this is my fault, just sometime in the future please remembers to remove my seal. ”
He spoke out dejectedly.
“Worry not, I always pay back those I am indebted to.”
“Okay, this will just take a sec.”
“Ali Pandamelini Mani Grad Ali Alonawatouwake and Nafunji Akazazuu Kungpun Disha Fishing Akinya and Chakenakusumani U Palme and Yinbingu Nehriwalioma Skinny and Loho and Waao Atonanashi“
I floated into the air, embraced by a bluish nimbus filled with energy, which slowly seeped into my body. After a short time, I dropped back down to the ground as I noticed the new Chosen Warrior title on my status page.
“Phew, that was a close one, I was worried for a second that it would fail because of the lack of Grace.”
“Good, now Gnoss, will you continue to stay here? Isn’t it dangerous?”
“Well… I’ve been fine so far, but that does seem to have changed.”
I picked up the green gem within which he was sealed.
“What are you doing?”
I have a lot of uses for you, so you’ll get comfy accommodations in my jewelry pouch.
“How dare you treat me like some common gem, I am the Supreme Sage!”
“Do you have telepathy? You must since as you just mentioned you are the Supreme Sage. Make sure to use it when we are around other people, can’t have a talking gem now can I?”
Ignoring the chatterbox, I left the cave and headed back to the Inn.
I met the women on the first floor, apparently they were worried that I had gone missing.
“I have to leave to take care of some personal business.”
“Can’t we go together?”
I shook my head, I really didn’t want them to come over to the Pit.
“Will you be coming back?”
“Of course, there are still many quests waiting for me.”
“Okay then… we’ll wait for you.”
Kishande stayed quiet after that, while Miranda and Ashe were in tears.
“I’ll be back as soon as I can, so in the meantime don’t do anything dangerous.”
I rushed out of town, galloping towards the Pit, trying to arrive as soon as possible.
‘Gnoss, I’ll share with you a bit about myself, so try not to be too surprised.’
‘Oh, do you mean the fact that you’re the King of the Pit, or that your main body is that of a Golden ArchLich?’
‘What, how’d you know?’
‘My Identification is at Max Level, I can even see all of your stats. Speaking of which, have you experienced a special event? You appear to have a unique ability that allows you to receive exponential experience for multiple kills. I’ve never heard of such a trait.’
Multiple kills, I had also been wondering why hunting several monsters at the same time would reward me more than others. Even if others would perform the same feat as me, their level didn’t rise as quickly.Was it a unique trait of mine?
‘You also have an extra Identity, have you killed a Reincarnator?’
I proceeded to tell him all my experiences since I’d arrived in this World. I needed his wisdom and could count on his discretion, after all he was sealed and resided in my pocket. He would be my new substitute for the Sage’s Wisdom and would resolve all that was unknown to me, so I chose to be upfront with him.
‘How should I refer to you, Chompy, Johra, Gaspard?’
‘It matters not, you can choose.’
‘How have you managed to survive so long? You seem quite innocent with that straightforward personality of yours. Was it because you began as a skeleton and had no emotions? You truly are an interesting case study, Kekeke.’
I probably wouldn’t have shared my life story with him had I known he had such a creepy laugh.
‘I see, so you were sealed when fighting that childish League of Reincarnators. ’
‘Hey, please tell me it wasn’t you who made Lorina a Chosen Warrior.’
‘Geez, a least make some selection process, how could you have given such power to a waste like her?’
‘Well.. I refused at first, but she later returned with a divine writ from a High God. If I continued to deny her I would probably end up losing my position as Supreme Sage. They may be a bunch of trouble makers but they at least fulfilled their oath and sealed Soleste, but when I tried to retrieve the Divine Grace bestowed on them….’
‘They sealed you instead?
I could somewhat understand what Gnoss had gone through. As a Supreme Sage, his role was to lead those he deemed worthy on the path of a Chosen Warrior. However, when he tried to take back that power, it was used against him instead.
‘Then was that red light a High God?’
‘No, it’s the Messiah,an errand boy so to speak. High gods never come down to this realm.
On our way back I continued to converse with Gnoss, absorbing as much knowledge as I could.
‘So the Elves have finally organized an expedition? You have some tough times ahead. You managed to cause those prideful Elves to put aside their differences as well as a thousand years of disagreements and bickering among tribes, to band together for a common cause. Of course, at the end of the day, their greed for the World’s nectar is the main reason.
‘Then do you know of some allies I could find to help beat them back?’
‘Of course I know I am the Supreme Sage. If you’re looking for allies, then you have to consider your enemy’s enemy. The first are the Dwarves, although rocks and trees may coexist peacefully in nature, It isn’t the case for those two races as they are always at eachother’s throats. I will tell you how to make an alliance with them. Then there’s the Totem Orcs, they are a rather peaceful species but will always avenge an enmity. Finally, you told me that you’ve reached an agreement with the Asmodians. That’s good, they are honorable beings, and would not easily go back on their word.’
It was a great use of my wish to have Gnoss accompany me, he was like a fountain of wisdom, providing me with all kinds of useful information. Maybe he was being more cooperative when he found out I hated Lorina.
“Ha~ Finally arrived.”
Standing on the precipice, I looked down at the beautiful scenery with a sense of pride.
‘Is this the Pit you spoke of? It looks bigger than you let on.’
Although Gnoss didn’t have any eyes he could see with, he could view the Status pages of all living creatures, allowing him to have a good grasp of his surroundings.
“Lord, I’ve been impatiently waiting for your return.”
Winged Antilliens came up to greet me, and with their help we arrived before my sealed body by the lake.
‘Gnoss, do I just need to pull the sword out or is there something special I should do?’
‘Once you grasp the hilt of the sword, try to visualize something Divine. Most of a Chosen’s powers originate from that mental image.’
I grabbed the sword, and focused on the image of a pure white angel.
I pulled the sword out, finally regaining my main body’s freedom.
“Ha ha ha! I’m finally free!”
‘Ugh, why so loud. You sound like a villain that’s just been released.’
I heard Gnoss’ grumblings but simply ignored them.
“We must celebrate the King’s release!”
The insects that were nearby were hopping around in ecstasy, while Ian Gwyn and Mallepi stood nearby.
Ignoring the festive mood, I spoke urgently to Ian with my telepathy.
‘Ian, I have important business to take care of. I’ll be back to meet with you, Gwyn and Mallepi later.’
After nodding back, I signaled Alpeon.
“Prepare 20 of our finest soldiers, I’ll be heading out shortly.”
“I’m on it!”
Ten minutes later, 10 Antilliens and HighArachnids assembled before me.
“Good, Arin you’ll lead them as their captain.”
“Thank you for the honor Lord!”
All of them had maxed out their levels and had a unique skill.
‘What’s the matter with my Avatar?’
My human body which I had left by the lakeshore was trembling uncontrollably, making strange sounds.
‘Why is it doing that Gnoss?’
‘When there is no soul inside the Avatar, a wandering soul is born. However, if there are other souls in your proximity then you’ll be fine.’
“Alpeon, please have some of your children accompany my Avatar.”
“Of course Lord”
As the Antilliens neared my human body, the seizures immediately stopped.
‘Hmm… was that the main reason why the women would accompany me every night?’
I had always assumed it was because they had been traumatized, but by the looks of it they might have had a more altruistic purpose.
“Arin, let’s get going.”
Leaving the Pit behind, we headed toward the Wetheros Mountains at a brisk pace. Carried by the Antilliens, I helped by reducing the effects of gravity, speeding us along. A journey that would have taken 5 days on horseback, was completed in just 2.
‘Gnoss, this is the Dwarves’ home right?’
‘Yes, just wait a short while and they will appear.’
Although the huge cave before me appeared to have been formed naturally, upon closer examination the rock seemed to have been melted.
‘Was it a dragon?’
“These are the lands of the King under the Mountain! None can enter!”
A unit of small, but sturdy dwarves appeared before us. It was the same dwarves that were renowned for masonry and blacksmithing skills, as they were dressed in gorgeous armor and wielded fierce weapons.
“I came seeking an audience with your King.”
“Return from whence you came, our King does not meet with outsiders.”
Tell him I came to fulfill the Supreme Sage’s promise regarding Valenor.”
“Vale… never heard of it. Now leave or would you rather have a taste of my hammer!”
The unit leader threateningly swung his hammer around a few times, seemingly with no intentions of passing on my message to his king.
‘Hand him what we’ve brought, dont fight!’
Gnoss shouted out to me urgently.
“Arin bring it here.”
She brought forth of a keg’s worth a the World’s nectar.
“We present you with a gift for the King under the Mountain, a token of friendship and goodwill.”
“What is it, beer? How could it possibly be more delicious than our dwarven ale?”
Propping open the barrel’s lid he had a taste of the nectar. The other dwarves approached him with curiosity as he was bathed in a golden light.
“Hey, you can’t possibly be thinking of drinking the whole barrel before presenting it to your king?”
“Aahh… You there! Present this barrel to the King and explain to him the situation here!”
Having tasted the nectar and accepted our gifts, the dwarves were considerable less hostile.
“So captain, what’s your name?”
“Norin, son of Valin, how about you?”
“Dwarven child, how dare you presume to ask our Lords name.”
Arin intimidating presence made the dwarves instinctively take a step back.
“Do you want to fight? Norin son of Valin is no coward!”
Despite his words of bravery, his cowering body betrayed his true self.
“Arin, we did not come here to fight.”
“Dwarf, next time you address my Lord, refer to him as King. Otherwise I’ll munch on that delicious looking head of yours.”
“Ha, just you try it!”
Since that time we no longer exchanged any verbal pleasantries, making for an awkward period of time, until finally the sound of trumpets were heard from within the cave.
“The King has arrived!”
The well dressed Dwarven King appeared before us.
“I am the King under the Mountain, who here speaks of the promise with the Supreme Sage and gifts me a barrel of the World’s nectar?”
He wore very formal clothes but spoke quite amiably.
“It is I, the King of the Pit. I come to help you due to my relationship with the Supreme Sage”
“Hmm….King of the Pit you say. I’ve been hearing rumours of those filthy Elves banding together to deal with you. Is that why you’ve come, do you wish for us to join you?”
“I’m not sure what you’ve heard from the Supreme Sage. but the promise of Valenor is quite risky for us as well, if you fail we will lose our homes. Were you aware of that?”
‘Gnoss, what is he talking about?’
‘Oh that? Don’t worry about it you can handle it.’
‘Handle what? What are we talking about here?’
‘No big deal, you’re good at this stuff.’
‘Just what are you hiding from me?’
‘Just go along with it, I’m also here to help. Regardless this is the easiest way to gain the dwarves’ support.’
I felt something was off, but if I wanted the dwarves to aid me I needed to do as he said.
“I am a friend of the dwarves, the Supreme Sage trusted me, and the King under the Mountain should trust me as well.”
“Hmm… Dwarves keep their promises so we will trust you with this. You guys, escort them to the chamber.”
‘Gnoss, you better quickly explain to me what this is all about. Although I’ve already decided to go along with it, I think I deserve a proper explanation.’
I spoke to Gnoss as I followed behind the Dwarves.
‘It’s no big deal, you just have to defeat the owner of this mountain range. Just a catching a small lizard is all….’
‘If you’re calling a dragon a small lizard, then I’ll just go ahead and bury this gem in some godforsaken land where no one will ever find you.’
‘Well… ok it might be medium sized and look a bit like a dragon… ha ha… but please don’t bury me! Don’t worry I’ll lend a hand when it comes to defeating it.’
I was little bit worried about facing a dragon, but I regained my confidence when I remembered I had already slain one.
“King of the Pit, from here on out just the two of us can proceed, your attendants will have to wait outside.”
“Stay here Arin.”
Leaving my insects behind, we walked into the chamber. The gate we had just crossed was sturdy and one meter thick iron, not at all inspiring confidence. The passage led to a decent sized terrace, overlooking a huge hollowed out chamber, the size of my Pit. Under us was boiling lake of black magma.
Inor cried out loudly.
From the beneath the pool of lava emerged a silvery snout, the size of a house.
‘Gnoss you really tricked me this time around, that’s definitely a dragon right?’
‘It appears to have grown up a bit, in my defense it wasn’t nearly as big last time around!’
Gnoss’ response was disappointing, but I kept calm and trying to ignore the dragon’s enormous size, deciding to focus on it’s Status page only to go pale with fright.
★Name: ValenorGender: FemaleStatus: NormalRace: Platinum Dragon / DragonClass: N/ARank: B-Level: 4231/9999HP: 7892300/7892300MP: 278901/278901Attack: 78991(17821)Defense: 173225Agility: 1341Intelligence: 38956✧ Unique Skills[Dragon’s Breath Lv5] [Flying LvMax] [The Lost Mantra Lv5] [Magic Cleanse Lv7] [Physical Resistance Lv9] [Magic Resistance Lv8] [Dragon’s Roar Lv3] [Polymorph Lv5][Potential Lv5] [Summon Hellbringer] [Telepathy Lv1]✧ Titles[Dwarves’ Disaster] [Master of Magma Hall]★
I couldn’t help but doubt my own eyes, this was the strongest monster I had ever met. After encountering Soleste, I had been wondering what monsters ranked B or higher might look like, but I was already regretting my curiosity.
‘Hey Gnoss, that’s not the creature I’m supposed to defeat right?’
‘Well… I had promised the Dwarf King to send a champion to defeat the dragon Valenor. Likewise Valenor had been waiting for a worthy adversary… and so this contract was formed.’
‘So that’s what this whole Valenor promise was about.’
“Sorry about that, I never expected that in just 100 years it would grow to be this strong. Last I remember it was barely C rank…’
‘Wait what, you’ve been trapped in that gem for over 100 years! All you informations is so outdated, I’m now destined to die from this silver dragon before even facing off against the Elves.’
“Have you called Inor? It’s been at least 20 years.”
The dragon’s entire head rose up from the magma in order to speak to us face to face. Although its voice was much softer than one expected from such a large creature, the entire hall still shook when it spoke.
“Oh glorious Valenor, Your promised adversary has arrived.”
“Huh, are you talking about that yellow scrawny skull standing beside you?”
Valenor looked at me in disappointment.
“Master of the Magma Halls, I am the King of the Pit. I was looking forward to fighting with you, but it appears you are simply trash which underestimates its opponent.”
I became confrontational because of her insult, but perhaps it wasn’t the right reaction considering her size or stats.
“Hmm… do you not even dare to look me in the eyes? Still, I have grown bored waiting for the worthy opponent promised to me by the Supreme Sage. Will we fight now, King of the Pit?”
Valenor appeared to be itching for a fight.
‘Gnoss? Gnoss? Supreme Sage?… Ugh worthless!’
The self proclaimed Supreme Sage stayed silent.
“Let’s change location, this terrace’s vibe isn’t a suitable place for our duel.”
Actually the terrace was a beautiful piece of art created by the dwarves. They were natural masons and were able to work the stone in incredible ways.The real reason I wanted to change location was simply that I didn’t want to give the dragon any homefield advantage. “Agreed, oh King of the Pit. where shall we fight?”
“Let’s move to a more secluded location.”
Valenor took a deep breath, sucking all the air around her until a tinge of redness appeared near her mouth.
Aiming the Dragon Breath toward the ceiling of the Magma hall, she tore a hole through the mountain, allowing us to see the blue sky above.
‘If I’m hit with that I’ll completely cease to exist.’
As I contemplated my chances of survival, She turned to me.
She gracefully flew out towards the opening, at an unbelievably quick speed.
“Inor, allow one of my attendants to join me, I require Arin.”
“Okay, I understand”
‘Arin! Come in!’
As we opened the massive door from the inside, I found all my minions were waiting anxiously on the other side. They had probably been troubled by the disturbance caused when Valenor ripped a hole through the mountain.
“Carry me and fly to the top”
Arin took to the sky in pursuit of Valenor holding me in her embrace. However, we weren’t even close to matching her speed, so she ended up wait for us at the top for quite some time.
“Will this place be suitable?”
Valenor rested upon a kilometer wide ice cap, formed at the peak of the mountain. It was gleaming and smooth, almost like a natural formed skating rink.
“Good, Let’s go!”
BooWooong sppat kukoong!
I fell down awkwardly, landing on my butt. Standing patiently across the ice floor was Valenor.
“Arin, stand to the side and wait.”
“That’s an order.”
“Yes, I shall follow your command.”
Arin backed off with a reluctant expression, choosing to have faith in my abilities.
“I am now ready to proceed with the duel promised to you by the Supreme Sage.”
I looked around at our surroundings, before my gaze settled on her Status Page.
‘I really have no chance.’
‘Ah! Finally it’s ready huuuu’
‘Damn fake Supreme Sage! How could you have stayed silent this whole time!’
‘Relax, I’ve been busy trying to devise a method to integrate your skills. Let’s see… yup just follow and repeat after me, just imagine in your mind the melding of your skills.
The Supreme Sages words were like a sudden lifeline appearing in an otherwise hopeless situation.
“Puttyukulakanipakuti and Rikipauushindo Kusu Kella Aeon Wenie Econo Gunenie Enkaveni Ukumemezain Aenom Shindo Rom …”
“What are you up to King of the Pit, has the duel started?”
Without bothering to respond to her, I continued focusing on reciting the words as instructed, as I visualized the magic spells coalescing into one.
The whole incantation lasted for 40 seconds, luckily Valenor was confused enough to not attack me during that time. I knew I had achieved something monumental when a rainbow colored message appeared before me.
[You have learned Creation Magic Lv1]
[Magic Research has been fused with Creation Magic]
I was now capable of making up spells on the spot.
‘Gnoss, is this really what I think it is?’
‘Yes, right now you are only limited by your imagination.’
‘Is there a level cap on the skill?’
‘Yes, even for a Supreme Sage such as myself, the limit for Creation Magic is level 3. If you were to ever max out the Skill you will have stepped into the realm of the Gods. Think of it as my reward for putting you in such danger.
‘Why don’t I give it a try?’
[You have learned Levitation Lv1]
I rose about 1 meter off the ground.
‘Oh right, I forgot to mention that only a maximum of 3 Creation spells can be maintained at a time. By making any new spells, you will automatically delete the oldest ones.
“Are you ready?”
Valenor lowered her head ever so slightly, perhaps a sign of respect, before assuming a battle posture. I ran hundreds of simulations in my mind, but still couldn’t find any path to victory.
I opened up my arm and spoke to her arrogantly.
“You go ahead, I concede to you the first strike.”
“What? You are willing to let me strike first? King, you truly are crazy! hahahaha”
The ice floor cracked due to the large bellows of Valenor’s laughter.
“Ok, I admire your confidence, receive the full strength of my breath!”
Oh oh oh!
Valenor took a deep breath and the size of the flames gathering within her mouth were three times larger than when she burst a hole through the mountain.
‘Arin, get far away from here.’
After confirming that she had hidden herself far away, I turned back to face Valenor. There were bright streaks connecting from her stomach to her jaws.
‘Can you see those shiny lines, that’s here mana travelling to her mouth. Judging by the amount you really stand no chance.’
‘Oh, then do you really rate me lowly?’
A fiery breath escaped from her jaws, heading my way as it blotted out the sun. I had but a short moment to come up with something
[You have learned Teleport Lv1]
I teleported myself above Valenor’s head. Looking up before me, half of the ice plateau had evaporated, and several mountain peaks in the distance had disappeared entirely.
“You seem to have a bag full of tricks.”
“Thank you for the compliment Valenor”
[Teleport level 1 ➢ 2]
I teleported away behind her, dodging her incoming tail.
She dove backwards, trying to flatten me with her weight.
Despite being surprised by the unorthodox strategy, I managed to teleport away just in time
“Ha ha ha! This is fun, Since I was a child, I haven’t faced such a troublesome foe!”
She turned into a large, three meters tall demi-dragon after realizing that her huge size was a disadvantage.
“Ha, now you won’t be able to climb on me so easily!”
“Well it was fun to roll around on your body! Fireball!”
I cast out a Fireball very casually, but she still endured it with her body, as if nothing had happened, even sporting a nonchalant grin.
‘As expected Valerno, I’ll be victorious this time.’
‘Johra, are you crazy? You don’t have any chance. Wait, could it be….?
Gnoss seemed to have gained an inkling of my thought process.
Valenor pulled out a 4 meter long sword, dripping with reddish magma and wielded it with one hand.
“I’ll give you a new stump with this sword. Take care, any injuries caused by this sword can’t be healed!”
Foo Woo Wooong!
She swung her sword towards me, I hurriedly pulled out Excalibur to receive her strike.
I managed to block her Hellbringer, but was thrown backwards due to our difference in power. I only cancelled the inertia by teleporting away.
“Oh, that’s a pretty sweet sword you got there that’s able to block Hellbringer. What’s its name?”
“Ah, so it’s that sword that the Fairy kind received and caused all the gods to squirm from jealousy. Ha ha ha, you are truly a wonderful foe!”
She struck out again and I was once more sent flying away. At least I was able to properly parry her strikes due to my experience as Gaspard when I was a swordsman.
“Teleport! Fireball! Gravity Rise!”
I could now cast without chanting, but the cast time would be lengthened and surprise wasn’t what I was aiming for. I was able to cast all three within just 0.3 seconds using Multi-Spell. Also, the purpose of gravity was simply to stop her from taking to the skies and pursuing me with her speed.
“Kehahahaha Those can’t work to me”
I once again dodged her Dragon’s Breath.
“How will you manage to best me if all you do is run away?”
I quickly used Creation Magic to make a new spell.
‘Create Summon Skeleton Mage’
[You have learned Summon Skeleton Mage Lv1]
“Summon Skeleton Mage, Summon Skeleton Mage, Summon Skeleton Mage….”
[Summon Skeleton Mage level 1 ➢ 5]
I continued to use Multi-Spell to raise as many Skeleton Mages as possible, just outside the range of Valenor’s sword.
“What are you going to do with all these small fries!”
Hwaruk! Hawaruk Kang! Kang!
I continued teleporting to dodge her Breaths, while I raised even more Skeleton Mages. Their lifespan was continuously increasing as I raised the level of my skill. Also, my MP regeneration was so high that I always had max mana.
I was up to nearly 300 summoned mages, engulfing her in constant fireballs but she simply ignored that and continued to try to hit me with her Dragon’s Breath. Until suddenly,
Valenor shouted out loudly, causing the Mages to cease to exist, and even the entire mountain trembled for some time.
‘She’s just used both Dragon’s Roar and Cleanse. Johra, it’s a good thing you are relatively far away. If you had been hit by that you would have truly suffered. Her breath is easier to dodge because of her long ‘animation’ required, but her Dragon’s Roar is almost instantaneous.’
‘I’m aware Gnoss, do you know what I’m trying to do?’
‘Yes, no matter how high her defense is, you’re planning on chipping away at her HP, taking advantage of the fact that she doesn’t have any health regeneration skill.
‘Yes that’s the gist of it but….’
‘Right, can you examine and let me know all of her skills to make sure she isn’t covering anything up?’
‘Sure, I’ll take the time to properly look at her Status Page.’
I continued to summon more Skeleton Mages as I dodged her breaths or blocked her long distance sword slashes with Excalibur. After repeating the process, by which she eliminated all my Mages with her Dragon’s Roar and I re-summoned them, about 4~ 5 times, I had finally gotten her health down to 40%.
“King of the Pit, you are using your Undead body’s endless stamina to great effect! It’s truly wonderful, I’m so happy to be able to fight with you! Ha ha ha!”
Unlike the first time where a fireball had completely been ignored by her, they were now landing on past injuries and widening the wounds. Also, my strategy of dodging her Sword strikes and Dragon Breaths was very effective and as an Undead I could continue this monotonous tactic endlessly.
“Good, I’ll now be coming at you with everything I’ve got!”
‘Ah… it’s a big deal! She has been hiding some skills and has Lv3 Health Regeneration, she’s just been toying with you!’
‘It was the worst scenario possible, my strategy to chip away at her health was worthless. Valenor’s scales turned from their previous bright silver to a reddish hue, as she activated he Health regeneration skill.
My wounded adversary had revived just when I thought I had the situation under control.
She managed to cut her animation time in half by reducing the power of her Dragon Breath to ⅓ it’s length.
I managed to avoid it, but had I been just a fraction of a second slower I would have disappeared from this world. The biggest problem was that her HP was rising quickly, and the flames had once again wiped out the majority of my Skeleton Mages.
‘Damn it’s so unfair! I’d be KO if she connects just once, whereas I spent hours chipping away at her health only be on the back foot once again. What could I possibly do?’
Ting, Ting Pooooak
The situation was reversing, her Dragon Breaths arrived quicker, she still had the instant cast Roar and Cleanse. Not to mention that her health regeneration outpaced my DPS and after about one hour was back up to 50% health.
‘I can’t go on like this, it won’t end well for me.’
‘Sorry Johra, I wasn’t well informed and matched you up with an impossible adversary. When I had seen your Stats I expected you to succeed easily.’
Gnoss was truly frustrated by his mistake. I had no chance of winning this and it was also in his self interest to make me survive, in order for me to unseal him at a later date.
The battle continued for hours as I dodged her attacks, looking for an inspiration, when I finally found one by examining her wounds.
‘Gnoss, what if I cause her Mana to leak out?’
‘It might burst out or possibly backfire on her internally, is that what you’re aiming for?’
I summon the maximum amount of Skeleton Mages and had them all attack simultaneously. Focusing their fire solely on the her largest Mana vein running along her stomach.
At first it was just a scratch, but by constantly concentrating the attacks of more than 300 mages, I was able to slowly chip away at those armored scales, causing the first stream of to leak out from the largest Mana vein.
The timing was perfect as she was just about to unleash another Dragon Breath. Her spell backfired on her, causing an internal explosion which sent her flying into the air before landing with a loud thump.
That exchange alone had taken 5% of her HP, but my Skeleton Mages didn’t let up on their attack.
What began as a small nick had turned into a deadly wound as her silver blood poured out. A [Severe Bleeding] was seen on her Status and her health was dropping quickly. She reassumed her Dragon body, unable to maintain the Polymorph.
“You are a worthy adversary.”
Lying helpless on the Ice floor, her Hp had dropped dramatically, now only at 10%. At this rate she was facing imminent death and had but seconds to live.
[You have learned Cure Lv1]
Suddenly I dropped to floor, having forgotten that I exceed my maximum of 3 Creation spells.
‘Johra what are you doing? Surely you’re not thinking of….’
As I teleported to her side, the Skeleton mages had disappeared as i no longer owned the skill.
“Cure! Cure! Cure!…”
Valenor was on death’s doorstep, having all but lost consciousness. I had to cast Cure countless times because considering her HP, each spell had a negligible effect. After thousands of chants, the wound started to close up until she finally recovered from her Severe Bleeding state. After that, her health regeneration kicked in and her life was no longer in danger.
‘Johra how can you do this? You were just lucky to win that time and can’t guarantee your safety. She was the one that was trying to kill you.’
‘Shut up, I can’t bear the thought of killing such a magnificent creature.’
I spent the night by her side in this icy world, waiting for Valenor to wake up and as the morning sun rose in the sky, she opened her eyes.
“Worthy foe, why did you not end my life?”
“I simply like people that are loyal and can stand by their word. You waited patiently for 100 years for your opponent to show up, and you were even willing to forego you advantageous location of the magma pool for my benefit.”
“Ha ha ha, are you saying you spared someone who had tried to kill you for such trivial reasons?”
Valenor’s booming laughter shook the skies, it was the incredible power of her Dragon’s Roar.
Valenor transformed into a heavily armed demi-Dragon and knelt before me.
“From this moment to the end of days, are you willing to accept Valenor as your faithful servant?”
I had no choice but to take pride it my achievements. Managing to overcome and inspire such confidence in my opponent that she would be willing to submit to my commands despite being superior in power. I spoke out without much consideration.
“Yes, I would like it if you stay close to me.”
Too late, I realized what my words might be misunderstood and Valenor’s silver white skin blushed red form embarrassment. I just now remembered that she was female and scratched my head in chagrin, I can’t exactly take my wards back no can I?
‘Uhg…gee! Did you intent to marry her all along? What you’ve just said is the equivalent of a proposal among dragons!
Before I had time to retort to the Supreme Sage, Valenor walked over and kissed my bony hands.
“Valenor accepts the King as her lifelong companion.”
It took me a few seconds to understand what had just happened.
‘Ha, looks like your single life is over. I never knew that this Supreme Sage had such matchmaking abilities! What are your thoughts, it’s impossible to cancel the marriage now though, although it might be a good thing was this you purpose?.’
My mind was a mess. Yesterday’s respected and powerful opponent was today’s loyal and obedient wife. I had yet to decide if it was a positive outcome.
“My King, I require nothing in return and wish only to be by your side, crushing your enemies and obeying your commands. This is my oath to thee who was the first to defeat me, naturally you will also receive the benefits the agreement entailed..”
I didn’t have the courage to tell her that I knew nothing about the proposal and that it had never been my intention to marry her.
“Do not later regret your decision, Valenor”
She rushed in to hug me with her huge, 3 meter tall demi-Dragon body.
“I would never, my king”
After returning to her original dragon body, she cradled me in her arms like a baby before falling asleep.It appeared that although her condition had improved, she had not fully recovered.
‘Hey Gnoss, what was this benefit she mentioned.’
‘I’ll explain later.’
I called over Arin who had been watching our fight from a distance.
‘My Lord…. Was it your intention to marry her from the very beginning?’
Arin shouted out angrily through Telepathy. Normally she would congratulate me on my victory, but it seemed like this was a sensitive issue for her. Although I couldn’t guess what she was thinking, I had never once thought of Arin romantically.
‘That’s right, respect for my worthy adversary led me to embrace the marriage. I was deeply moved by her commitment to me.’
‘My King… it’s your decision, it’s just….’
‘Do not doubt my love for you and your siblings, you will always be my children.’
‘Ah, yes Lord’
‘Good, now return and inform the Dwarven King of the result of our battle. Then continue with the plan we had spoken of.
‘Are you talking about the tribe of Totem Orcs?’
‘Yes, they revere true power and have a very hierarchical structure. According to Gnoss, they would be great allies.
After sending Arin away, I continued to Cure Valenor. She would occasonaly wake and stare at me with her giant eyes. I felt it cute to be stared at with loving eyes that were larger than my body. I had even deactivated my passive Life Steal to aid her recovery. It was an option I had learned with my recent Magic Research.
We spent the next few hours healing and exchanging stories about our lives, but I was pressed for time and couldn’t continue just chatting away.
“Valenor, I have enemies upon which I need to enact justice.”
“I am both your spear and shield. Simply command me, I don’t require you to provide any justifications.”
She knelt down, allowing me to climb up behind her head.
“Johra, were shall we be heading to?”
“Let’s first stop by and see Inor.”
Soaring through the sky before nose-diving back into the mountain. Her sleek silver wings cutting the wind and moving at impossible speeds. Within but a blink of an eye we had arrived back to see Inor kneeling on the terrace.
“Dwarf King Inor, have you waited long?”
“I have heard of the Lord’s victory and according to the pact of Valenor, the Dwarves of Wetheros Mountain submit to our Lord.”
“Under my command?”
‘Gnoss, what exactly was this promise about?’
‘Well, about 100 years ago there was a dispute between the Dwarves and the dragon Valenor over some mining issues. I was brought in to mediate because the Dwarves faced extinction should Valenor prove confrontational. The agreement was that it would be settled through trial by combat and that I would select a champion. Luckily Valenor was patient enough to wait for the past 100 years.’
‘So I was what, your fixer?’
‘You know Johra… I thought it would be an easy win for you. I never knew Valenor had grown so much and it did work out in the end. So… pretty please don’t bury me somewhere!’
Although I hadn’t gotten over my anger of being used by him, I did have to admit that my gains this time were quite substantial.
‘I’ll be putting off releasing your Seal for another 3 years as punishment.’
‘Three whole years!?’
‘Why, did you think you deserved more?’
‘Oh, no, nothing.’
“Inor, I believe in the sincerity of the Dwarves and will treat you as allies, not servants. Send out a delegation to the Pit, where we will iron out the finer details of our future cooperation.”
“Thank you Lord, I will do so as soon as possible.”
Shortly after Inor left the room Valenor spoke to me.
“My King, I will now hand you ownership of these lands.
[Acquired ownership of Magma Halls and Wetheros Mountains]
‘Gnoss was it possible to simply hand over ownership like that? And even the whole Wetheros Mountains?’
‘Sure, the owners can do as they please. By the way you’ve just received a windfall! There a countless precious resources that even the Gods covet located within these lands
As the new owner I was now capable of seeing the statuses of all living being within my territory. Be it the difficult lives of the miners, thieves, orc villages, dwarves and countless other creatures. These mountain ranges spanned the size of three countries, or ⅓ of Canada from my previous life. All this information was something Valenor had to manage for the last 100 years.
The wave of information overwhelmed me, not to mention that having a detailed explanation of a the creatures in your land which lived in misery was quite depressing.
“Lord, is it sympathy for your new subjects?”
“It’s my first time owning such a large area.”
“You will get used to it. It also took me some time at first, but I’ll help out and walk you through the process.”
We stayed about half a day in the Magma Hall, as I asked her questions and she answered me patiently. Sorting out and dealing with all the new information I had access to.
“Valenor, over there.”
‘Your Pit is quite beautiful Johra.’
I was seated just behind her head, as she descended from the clouds. Because of her maxed Flying skill, we completed a trip that owuld take 4 days on horseback, in just 1 hour..
‘She flew so high at almost 10.000 meter and going at speeds upwards of 300 km/h. My poor bones have all but frozen over.’
I had felt like my body was taking a beating, but it became obvious later that it was the cold from the heights and the fast speeds.
“You’re going too fast. Please land softly”
‘Ok, I’ll slow down.’
Valerno flipped her body in mid air and used a mini Dragon Breath to halt her momentum. Considering her large frame, the violent actions scattered all the nearby clouds.
“Uhm, next time try and slow down more gently rather than slamming on the brakes.”
‘Johra don’t be a cry baby, I know this is nothing for you.’
“Wah… but I’m all bones and no skin, I’m truly quite weak.”
Ignoring my complaints, She dipped down into the Pit, landing near the lake.
Once on the ground, she resumed her demi-dragon form and drop me down from her shoulder.
“Lord, I’ve been waiting.”
Hundreds of Antilliens and Higher-Arachnids had assembled nearby.
“Great, you’re all here. I have an announcement to make, I am now married to Valenor over here.”
‘Congratulations to the king!’
I received several telepathic messages as the insects bowed down differentially.
“Chompy are you really married? Isn’t she too big for you?”
Gwyn flew towards me making trouble as usual, but Ian hung back, teary eyed and as she held Mallepi.
‘Just let me speak Johra. I don’t know why you’ve decided to cast me aside and marry a dragon, but as your Familiar I can only offer congratulations. As for myself, I can’t express any happiness because….’
I could guess what her last unfinished sentence meant, but in my eyes I would only ever see her as a sister.
Ian ran off crying, without any other telepathic response.
“Johra was that your Witch? And is this shrimp some pet you’re raising?”
When asked by Valenor I naturally shook my head.
No, she is like a sister to me.
“Truly, a sister? I find the magic of birth incredibly confusing.”
Gwyn hovered before me, barking more nonsense.
“Johra, even if you come to hate me, I will never do so in return. You can always put your trust in me.”
Valenor tried to cheer me up as I stared at Ian’s retreating figure.
“Good, but stop speaking nonsense, I won’t ever hate you so I don’t want to hear you talk like that.”
She held me firmly by her side, I was more trapped than anything.
“Lord, I can understand Ian’s words.”
Alpeon began to speak to me with her arms crossed.
“I also wanted to speak out just as she did when I learned that you married a dragon because I share her feeling for you Lord. It’s just that I am more loyal to you and was able to control myself from an outburst.
“You too Alpeon? Are you saying you love this skeleton body of mine?”
“So do I Lord!”
Not surprisingly Jenna chimed in as well.
“I don’t know what the situation is, but me too! me too!”
Gwyn interrupted without understanding what was going on.
“Everyone, enough! I think of you all as my children, how could you do this during my marriage announcement?”
“Lord is too much! We didn’t have any chance!”
It began with Alpeon, then Jenna, the chorus continued. Outright refusing my rejection of them until Valenor stepped forward.
“You all wish to marry my King? Good, but he has no need for any weak partners. Defeat me and you shall have a place by his side!”
‘Hey Valenor, Are you trying to kill all my subordinates?’
‘Stay quiet you playboy, I shall solve this problem.’
Valenor stared at me with dagger in her eyes.
She brought forth her majestic dragon form, terrorizing all before her into submission.
“Who dares challenge me?”
Her voice rang throughout the Pit in contempt, but none answered her. Who else besides a crazy skeleton like myself would dare?
“If no one steps up, do you all agree that only I am fit to be his wife?”
The insects fell flat to the ground in submission.
She looked down once more at the insects in disdain before turning back to me.
“I think it’s time for the celebration! How about it Johra?”
I had to admit that I enjoyed Valenor’s cool declaration of our marriage, so imposing.
‘I think I picked a good one, none can stand up to her.’
When I had learned for the first time of Alpeon, Jenna , Arin and Ian’s feelings, I felt such a headache as to how I would resolve this in the future. But a single challenge from the dragon Valenor was enough to quiet them up.
“Johra, I like everything about you, but you are too kind to women. Although it’s ok to treat me like that, I hope you refrain from doing so with other women.
I nodded back silently because deep down I knew she spoke the truth, I had truly attracted to many females.
“Then do you have any other women for me to take care of?”
I couldn’t look her straight in the eyes as the three female adventurers came to mind.
Valenor replied, with softly tapping my shoulder.
“Don’t worry about it I will solve this problem.”
Although for her it was just a few light taps, considering her overwhelming strength I was suffering greatly, was she doing this on purpose?
‘Johra you seem to have been doing well for yourself, surrounded by so many women, but in the future it might be safer for your sake to focus solely on Valenor.’
‘Shut up you Supreme Sage.’
‘Hey, why are you angry with me when I’m trying to offer some free marriage counseling?’
Although I wasn’t truly angry with Gnoss, he was an easy outlet to just dump all my frustration out on. Deeming the situation resolved, I sent the insects back to work.
Laying by the lakeside in Valenor’s comfortable embrace until sunset.
‘Johra, there’s a fairly large group of people approaching our position.’
‘It’s too early for it to be the Elves, so who could it be?’
Resuming her dragon form, Valenor dipped her head, allowing me to mount her. Enjoying the relaxing night flight, we went out just the two of us to meet our unwelcome guests.
‘That’s quite a bunch of them, should I burn them or stomp on them?’
‘Johra, those guys aren’t a raiding party.’
The Supreme Sage spoke to me telepathically, and I finally noticed all the little things that seemed off.
‘Hold off on attacking them Valenor, something is strange.’
It was a large group of Asmodians, but rather than a standing army. They looked more like a group of refugees, with elderly, women and children filling their ranks. We were flying too high above for them to spot us.
‘Hm… Jogra I think you’re right. They indeed look like refugees as I’ve seen many in my time as the owner of the Wetheros Mountain range. However, this is my first time seeing Asmodian refugees.
‘Let’s just continue watch for now Valenor.’
We tailed them as they approached ever closer to the pit.
‘Lord, a suspicious group is approaching.’
‘Alpeon I’m aware and monitoring the situation. Stand down for now, they appear to come in peace.’
The group of asmodians were quite a large force, numbering about 2000. Of course, their actually warriors wouldn’t amount to much more than just 7~800. Although they were quite strong individuals, when confronted with all my forces including Valenor and my own prowess, they stood little chance. I didn’t feel threatened by them and wanted to know their true intentions, confident in my assessment of Talvin’s honest appearance.
The Asmodians halted their advance about 1 kilometer from Pit’s cliff. Two ambassadors continuing ahead by themselves, following standard diplomatic procedures.
‘Johra, it appears it is as you said and they mean no harm.’
‘Yes, is there still any meaning in waiting?’
“Invincible King! Our Asmodian Chief asks for an audience! ”
The spokesperson who walked ahead of his tribe spoke out. Although it wasn’t nearly as powerful as Valerno’s Dragon’s Roar, his booming voice was still enough to startle the Antilliens, causing them to fly out of their nest.
‘Let’s head down Valenor.’
Climbing down from her head, I stood before their leader about 10 meters between us.
“Did you call for me?”
“Are you the King of the Pit?”
He asked in a polite tone.
“Yes, it is I.”
“The Asmodians here before you have accepted the terms presented by Talvin.”
“And what about Talvin himself?”
“Unfortunately our people have been divided, some choosing to believe that the Devil King will show them the way home. During this bloody feud, Talvin lost his life.”
‘Hmm, did Talvin truly die to uphold his promise?’
It was but a fleeting moment, but I felt true respect for the warrior Talvin who died for his ideals.
“Who struck him down?”
“He was killed by the Devil King himself.”
‘Johra, It is far too early for you to clash with the Devil King, he’s much stronger than even Valenor.’
The Supreme Sage’s voice appeared in my mind counseling patience, but it only piqued my interest.
“I promise to avenge him in the future and will uphold my end of the bargain I struck with Talvin. If you swear allegiance to me, you shall receive your reward. This is the least I can do for the sake of Talvin, an honorable warrior.”
After having suffered a betrayal from the Elves, I was all the more thankful for Talvin’s loyalty especially since it costing him his life.
‘Alpeon, open our stockpile of Nectar to these fine people.’
‘I will see it done, Lord.’
The Antilliens flew up and began distributing the nectar. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as I noticed that the majority of these Asmodians were on their last legs, having suffered several tribulation before arriving here.
“Invincible king! We will never forget your graciousness.”
“You have all placed your faith in me and journeyed far and hard to arrive here. You are worthy of being my subordinates and I will not treat you poorly!”
‘Valenor, let’s quickly take a look how Inor is doing.’
Waiting for me to climb on, she spread her wings and took to the sky.
The scenery was flashing through my eyes as she sped off into the distance.
‘Geez Valenor, was your previous speed not the maximum?’
‘That was our marriage celebration flight, so I flew casually. How are you doing, want to see my top speed?’
She took off again, doubling her previous speed, every corner of my body was completely frozen.
‘Please remember you have a passenger who is turning into a block of ice.’
‘Do you want me to heat you up with a Dragon’s Breath?’
‘Ugh, forget I said anything, are you trying to wipe me out entirely?’
Her booming laughter caused enormous shockwaves, scattering all the clouds around us and disturbing the weather. It even led to some thunder and lighting and I likened her to a flying natural disaster.
This time she chose to slow down using a combination of her Breath and Large wings. Although it was still a terrible experience, without the use of her skill I probably would have been sent flying and crushed by the impact.
‘Valenor….I am weak! Please try to think of your husband some more!’
Valenor ignored my words and called out the Dwarven King.
“Did you call for me Ms. Valenor?”
“Hm, don’t forget that he’s still a king, isn’t calling him out by his name a bit too casual?”
“Um…I agree with you and will be more careful. Dwarf King Inor, please gather your top stone masons, your Lord requires it.”
“Yes! They will arrive shortly.”
Valerno had relayed my wishes without needing any instruction. I petted her mane to commend her newfound initiative.
“Johra don’t, that’s a very sensitive spot for me. I might sneeze or cough because it’s too ticklish and end up burning Inor.
Inoru immediately wore a terrified expression.
“I apologize Dwarf King.”
“Please don’t incinerate me, there are so many alcohols which i haven’t sampled yet! hahahah!”
Fortunately Inor was an easy going king. He spoke to me about his obsession with drinking and even going on about tales of how he would ignore the advances of pretty women in favor of new ale. His story was only cut short when the masons entered the hall.
“Is that them? Your most skilled masons?”
The one with the fullest Dwarven beard among them walked forward and responded in a haughty tone.
“Did you summon us? We only get involved for large projects and our fee is very expensive.
I tossed out a pouch filled with jewels, landing before their feet.
“Consider this as the deposit, if you complete the task I’ll reward you with a wagon full of platinum.”
One of the masons stepped forward to inspect the pouch. As he pulled out a large gem, his eyes went wide with greed. Without giving it a second thought he shouted out.
“When do we start? Let’s get going!”
Valenor turned around signalling us to get on her back.
“Get up here!”
“Woo, we’re riding a dragon!”
The twenty or so mason dwarves joined me on Valenor’s back, but even then it was quite spacious up here. It was hard to hold back my laughter as we seemed they looked like tiny insects crawling on her back.
‘What’s so funny Johra? I can feel you are trying to stop yourself from laughing.’
‘It’s nothing Valenor, just that the tiny dwarves look comical compared to your size. Also you should take your new passengers into account and fly at lower speeds.
“Common Dwarves, hold on tight!”
Within seconds we had left the Magma Hall behind us and were zipping through the air
One of them had already fallen off but Valenor reached out and caught him with her claw.
“Hu hu, thanks for the save.”
‘Valenor, I know it’s difficult for you but do try to slow down. I’d rather not have any deaths on this trip.”
“Okay Johra, I got it.”
“Long live the Dwarves!”
“ Curses… my beard is freezing over!”
Although Valenor had put in a great effort and we were travelling at just ¼ her maximum speed, the cursing and groaning sounds continued until our arrival. Once in the Pit, she threw them unceremoniously into the lake. Of course Nymue came out to complain.
“Lord, why have you thrown these dirty dwarves into the lake? You’re ruining the purity of my home! I can’t accept this, remove these filths at once.”
“Oh hello there, Why haven’t I seen you around these days.”
“Do you even need to ask, don’t you know how I feel about you….?”
“Oh please continue, I’m quite curious.”
Valenor’s giant head bore down on Nymue intimidatingly.
“Uhm it’s nothing oh great Valenor.”
“Really? It was regarding my partner so I’m really curious.”
“I just remembered I have something important to take care of, please get rid of these dwarves!”
Nymue escaped to the depths of the lake.
“Johra there are so many beautiful females surrounding you, why did you choose me? True I’m just as beautiful but hardly what others might call feminine. Isn’t that the usual criteria for a partner?”
I was in a tough spot, I could hardly tell her that we accidently got married now could I? After all she was too scary of an opponent to say no to.
“They are only friends of mine, I was looking for someone powerful and respected as my wife.”
“Truly Johra, despite having lived for hundreds of years you still manage to make me blush.”
Her large white face gained a pinkish hue as she replied in embarrassment. It was a cuteness that didn’t match up with her huge size I thought, as I stroke her mane peacefully.
“No Valenor! If you do that you’ll decimate the Pit!”
I desperately screamed to stop her from coughing.
Huuuuo, that was close. Johra, I’ve told you already that I’m too sensitive there.
“I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself, you’re too adorable.”
“Ha, you’re the first to ever say that a large dragon like me is adorable!”
“King, we have already defrosted thanks to being dipped into the lake, how should we proceed?”
The dwarves climbed out of the water, more than a little peeved by their circumstances.
“My Lord, I am here and ready to serve.”
Nearby the Antilliens and High-Arachnids were standing by.
“Dwarven masons, you will receive the help of my minions in order to build a residence for the Asmodians as well as a palace for myself.”
Yes, they are camped outside, weak and the mercy of nature. PLease cooperate with my insects and focus first on building them a dwelling.
“We will follow the King’s instructions.”
“It will take quite a while with just us 20.”
“Don’t underestimate my subordinates, they work faster and are more useful than you give them credit.”
I sent Tillian to oversee the insects in assisting the dwarves and watched as they walked off to work.
“Alpeon step up our time frame in training the goblins. The weaker ones will be ignored while the strong will be assigned a portion of the World’s nectar.Let’s try to keep their numbers under 500.”
“I will see to it my Lord.”
Initially the total number of goblins caught by Mir had been 500, but their numbers had already grown to 2000. Although their reproduction rate was outstanding, I was looking for them to evolve. Also feeding them wasn’t much of a problem since I just had to provide a minimum amount of nectar and the strong would cannibalise the weak. My hope was that a few Goblin Kings and Commander would appear as they had been quite the troublesome foes.
‘Gnoss I have question’.
‘What is it?’
‘Why have the Elves decided to betray me and form this great expedition?’
‘Isn’t it obvious? You fed the some nectar to the Elf with you sent as a messenger. This provided them with all the evidence required to know that you possessed the nectar in these lands.’
‘Is that really all?’
I guess I was still underestimating the value of the World nectar, perhaps taking it for granted. It properties were truly magical as it could be used as substanance and even to evolve your troops.
“Valenor, can you wait for me here?”
“Is it because you are going to see your familiar Ian?”
I nodded back.
“… ok, I’ll be here.”
She was going to say something else but finally held back, reconsidering a retort.
Walking in, I noticed her sitting down with her knees tucked in, back facing the tent’s entrance.
“Are you hurt because of me?”
“You are my only friend Everyone else has colleagues, but I remain alone. Sure I have Mallepi, but he can’t talk and Gwyn and I don’t have the best of relationships. After you and Valerno became married, what am I left with?
I thought I understood her well, but only now did I realise that I never truly knew her heart. After a long period of silence I decided to speak.
“I have some people to introduce you to, would you like to make some new friends?”
“Not interest. It’s enough if you are my only friend.”
Well. of course we will always be friends, but if you meet other people at least you won’t be as lonely when I’m not around.
“Are you planning on leaving and handing me off to these people?”
“No, I would never. You’re my one and only familiar, so wherever we are you are always connected to me. Don’t you already know what is in my mind?
“Johra is too mean, how can you act this way when you know what’s in my heart?”
“… I’m just a skeleton so I just can’t help it.”
“You’re terrible but I still like you, what should I do? Johra… Sniff!”
A woman’s tears are scarier than any sword or magic. It was only Ian that could make me feel pain.
“Please don’t be so sad because I do care about you. I’ll introduce you to others and you can make some new friends.
“I don’t know… I want to be alone now.”
Sensing her need for privacy, I decided to take my leave.
Mallepi was ramming his head into my legs, blaming me for Ian’s woes.
‘Hmm, What should I do…’
Ian seemed sad but there wasn’t much I could do to cheer her up.
‘Guess I’ll go see Gwyn, she might be able to help.’
She enjoyed spending her time among flowers and had built herself a nice little garden retreat.
I was of course banned from entering, so I called out to her from a distance. Although I could always deactivate my passive Lifesteal, there was always the slightest aftereffects that remained which might cause the flowers to wilt.
“Is it Chompy? Chii Piii ”
“Gwyn what are you up to?”
“Don’t you know that we aren’t talking anymore?”
“Why? I still think we are good friends, do you not feel that way anymore?
“No…? I also like you, but I thought now that you were married you wouldn’t need me anymore…”
She went around waving her arms with a pout on her face.
“Not at all, Gwyn has always been very dear to me.”
“Is it true, do you really care for me so despite having a huge dragon, you still need me?”
“Of course, Gwyn was my first and closest friend and that has never changed.”
“Really? Then I don’t feel bad anymore!”
Gwyn’s simple mindedness made finding a solution so easy.
“But I think Ian is still hurting.”
“Really? You cheered me up, then It’s my turn to do the same to her!”
I watched Gwyn fly towards Ian’s tent, silently cheering for her.
‘Do your thing, you always manage to make people smile.’
I returned to Valenor after seeing Gwyn off.
“Johra it looks like your meeting didn’t go so well. Anything I could do to help?”
“Indeed it might take some time for her to heal. Let’s focus on the more pressing problems at hand”
“You mean the issue you sent the golden Antillien to handle?”
I nodded back, quite worried. It had been two days since I had tasked Arin to meet the Totem Orcs, but I still hadn’t received any news.
“Get on Johra.”
Valenor lowered herself to allow me to easily mount her.
“I’ll get there as soon as possible.”
“Uhm… can’t we, you know travel a bit slower. You don’t exactly want a frozen skeleton for a husband do you?”
“How can we travel slowly when you are worried about the safety of your subordinate.”
Valenor ignored me and zipped away at her maximum speed and high altitude. Of course I had cold resistance that allowed me to endure, but that didn’t prevent the moisture in the air from freezing upon contact and creating icicles.
Valenor slowed down in the sky, above the location where the Totem Orcs should have resided.
“They aren’t anywhere nearby.”
“Right, there are signs of a big fight. I just hope it wasn’t with Arin.”
The earth had been scarred with magic spells, as I looked around I noticed it was mostly orcs and human corpses.
“Do you think there are any survivors?”
“Not sure, let me check.”
I managed to find one hiding within a collapsed tent which was buried beneath several corpses.
Clearing out the bodies I found a child Orc weeping uncontrollably.
I handed him my nectar bottle which I always carried around with me, hoping to silence his wailing.
“Is he the only survivor? He doesn’t seem to be afraid of me, is it because he was so hungry?”
Valenor had a look in her eyes as she stared and me holding a child orc in my arms, feeding him from my bottle.
I looked around with my ownership view, hoping to find any other survivors as well as signs of Arin. However, the Wetheros Mountain Range was incredibly vast and it would take some time to sift through all the information.
“Found them, make sure to fly slowly this time Valenor.This baby Orc is very weak and might die.”
Valenor was travelling the slowest I had ever seen her fly, but we still quickly closed the 20km gap with Arin. The group chasing her seems a bit strange, but fortunately I could see that she was uninjured.
“Over there Valenor, go down towards Arin!”
Valenor spread out her wings, hovering over Arin’s position.
“Arin, what’s going on here?”
“I’m glad you are here my Lord, I tried to send you a message but I became too absorbed in the show..”
Pointing ahead Arin was indicating at the attackers. They looked liked strange beasts, neither human or orc.
‘Gnoss, what are those?’
‘They are Chimeras, the result of a fusion experiment between a human and beast. They are a biological weapon created by the Balkan empire to the north.
Those fusioned creatures showed a movement speed and power superior to most humans. Despite only being a dozen of them, they were easily sweeping away this entire Orc tribe.
The rank of most orcs was about F+, whereas those chimeras were in the E- to E range. This was enough of a gap to allow them to terrorize these superior numbers. Of course Arin could have put up a good fight, but if they were to have hurt her I would have crushed them into fine dust..
“These orcs are just being attacked too easily. The plan was to bring them back to the Pit alive, but they are so weak that i felt we should let them undergo some natural selection.”
I feel afraid of her cold judge. Arin was quick to judge because of her insect nature. In her eyes only strength mattered.
The orc child in my arm began wailing, perhaps in tune with the plight of his people.
“Arin didn’t you have orders to protect them?”
“I apologize Lord, I will do so now.”
I stopped Arin from interfering. I was now interested in the strength of these creatures and wished to test them out myself.
They still hadn’t noticed our presence as we were about 1 kilometer behind them. Not to mention that they were too busy harassing the stragglers of the tribe.
“Valenor let’s circle around and stealthily descend from above them. Arin, you take this child. If it cries then just feed it some nectar.”
“Ah yes… is this an orc baby?”
I nodded my head as I left the child in Arin’s arms.
“Valenor make sure to keep your distance, I want to test them a bit.”
I hovered in the air, approaching the chimeras who were still chasing the Totem orc tribe.
“Run, run pig monsters!”
“Captain why don’t we just finish them once and for all?”
“No, we lost 5 good men when we assaulted their camp, this is our revenge for our comrades!”
Sneaking up on them from behind, I listened in to their conversations without being discovered.
“Hey guys, sorry to say but I’ve had my eyes on these orcs so I won’t be handing them over to you.”
“Wha…what are you?”
“A flying golden skeleton? A mage?”
“No it’s a Lich!”
They quickly got in formation to deal with the new threat.
“Hmm, I guess I’ll give you guys an 8 out of 10 for your reaction speed.”
I wordlessly cast my Gravity spell to test them out a bit..
“What’s going on? Why do I feel so heavy?”
“I saw the Lich was pointing his finger at us.”
“Is this a silent magic spell of his?
“No.2! No.9! Cleanse it with your magic.”
This was what I was looking forward to. The orcs weren’t enough of a challenge for them so I couldn’t gauge their potential. I was curious as to how they would counter my spells.
“In the name of God, purify this evil!”
Their chant was a bit wordy and it required the cooperation of two casters but it still managed to lift the Gravity spell which was praiseworthy.
“Good, how about this one? Fireball!”
I casually threw out a fireball towards their group.
“I summon the power of the cold winter! Ice wall!”
The icewall held fast in the face of my fireball. I was a bit surprised considering my high Fire Mastery and Lv9 Fireball skill.
‘These guys are fun.’
I was like a child who had found a new toy. I was having fun seeing how they would respond to some of my weaker magic.
“Huk huk! Is this monster toying with us?”
Unfortunately they were too weak and tired easily, so I couldn’t play around with them all day long.
‘Sigh! Only this much I guess. Arin have you gathered the Orcs under you?’
‘Yes Lord, it went just as you expected and they fell in line easily when they discovered my superior strength, a very hierarchical system indeed.’
‘Good, lead them to the Pit, Alpeon knows what to do with them.’
Most of the chimeras before me had already collapsed to the floor, exhausted. Only their leader and two other elites were left standing, but their mana had been used up.
“Hmm… I like you guys, I’ll have some use for you. Valenor!”
No way, A dragon!? Silvery white!”
Valenor’s enormous body appeared in the sky, blotting out the sun. the Chimeras knelt down on the ground, having lost all hope.
“Are you planning on capturing these things?”
Valenor spoke softly but the surroundings still trembled.
“Yes I wanted to take them alive.”
‘Create Magic Bind’
[You have learned Magic Bind Lv1]
I proceed to to tie up the chimeras with a magical rope and attached them to Valenor’s front claws as she took off to the skies, heading back towards the Pit.
“Oh~ Johra your Palace is coming along quite nicely.”
“Indeed, they are working faster than I expected, but it will be our Palace. It was designed to accommodate you in your dragon form.”
“Hahaha! I don’t care where I stay as long as it’s with you. But I’m touched that you were so considerate.”
Valenor dropped them off into the lake.
The chimeras were struggling to swim in the water, but we simply looked at them, not intending to lend a hand. Their captain swam confidently and helped his retinue to the shore.
“What do we do now?”
“What do you think Valenor?”
“I thought you wanted to experiment on their bodies.”
Valenor and I continued conversing, as if the involved third party wasn’t standing before us.
“Valenor how do you always know exactly what I’m thinking?”
“I’m your wife, it my duty to know.”
I think I’m both happy and scared. It’s possible you know what I’m going to think before even I do.
“Sure, would you like me to tell you what you are going to say next?”
“Okay maybe just this once.”
“Lord, the prisoners are ready for battle.”
Alpeon interrupted our little banter, much to Valenor’s displeasure.
“Can I say something Johra?”
“We will give you guys a chance to live. Although you deserve death for irritating my husband, you also have interesting abilities. If you take care of monsters’ training, I will give prize depending on the success.”
Clap Clap Clap
Although it was only my bony hands, it was still an applause. She had stolen the words right out of my mouth.
“I chose you…”
“To train us?”
Valenor was annoyed by the intervention and hit the culprit with her tail, instantly ending his existence.
“How dare you interrupt my husband! You should ask for permission before speaking.”
Previously the chimeras had been somewhat confident in their fighting prowess, but the recent demonstration had put them to shame. They remained silent and paled face with their mouths wide open in awe.
I felt a bit bad for the guy who was blown to bits, but it was necessary for the others to learn their place.
“I’m glad I chose you Valenor.”
“Glad to hear it, Tell me more often.”
Valenor sat down with her paws holding her giant head, contemplating what I had just told her. I was able to see her blushing face, which I believed the be the platinum dragon’s greatest weakness. The fact that their pale white scales easily portrayed their emotions.
I had to control myself from instinctively petting her mane, It wasn’t easy as she was just too cute, but I restrained myself as I thought of the well being of all my subordinates within the Pit.
“So do you agree with my wife’s proposition?”
“Do we have another option?”
The captain’s tone became polite but I didn’t like the comment.
I pointed out the the corpse of the unfortunate fellow who suffered a blow from Valenor’s tail.
The captain of the chimeras exchanged a quick look with his colleagues before kneeling down.
“If you spare our lives we will serve you well.”
“Good, Alpeon have them serve as the Goblin’s instructors, teaching them how to fight.”
“I will do as you command, Lord.”
“It was so sweet of him….”
Valenor was still talking herself softly, but of course her voice was too powerful.
“Yes Johra, did you need me?”
“Could you transform into a smaller creature?”
“ I don’t know if it’s possible as I haven’t tried it. What did you have in mind?”
“How about a human?”
“Why a human, where did you want to go? Polymorph!”
She transformed without waiting for my response. Considering her strong personality, I expected her to be something like an Amazon warrior in human form, but the results were completely unexpected.
She had transformed into a cute little girl with deep blue eyes and silver hair, barely 160 cm tall.
‘Valenor is too cute! I want to bite her!’
Is what I was thinking to myself but I just told her she looked pretty.
“You look quite young in that form Valenor… but you should probably get some clothes to cover up.”
“ I’ve simply transformed into a body I feel comfortable with. Perhaps it’s because as dragons go I’m actually quite young. And clothes? Is that something normal humans wear?”
“Gravity down! Gravity down! Gravity down! Gravity down! Gravity down! Gravity down!”
After drastically lowering her weight, I sat her upon my shoulders.
“Alpeon bring me some clothes.”
While Alpeon went to fetch her some new clothes, I spoke to my wife.
“Valenor I’d like it if you assumed this appearance more often, I truly enjoy giving you a ride on my shoulders.
“ Although it’s a bit embarrassing for me to ride upon your shoulders in this form. If you like it so much then I guess it’s ok. It’s something I’d only do so because you’re my husband.
“Oh, so is this like one of the perks of being your husband?”
“Yes. I really like you as a partner.”
When Alpeon returned we were able to dress her up with some new clothes. Following behind Alpeon, I descended into the termite hill with Valenor seated upon my shoulders. Valenor seemed to be enjoying the little ride and I really wanted to stroke her mane. The only problem was that it was likely to bring the entire mound crashing down on us, and I had no interest in turning my subordinates into burnt termite meat. Mallepi was fat enough as it was.
“Hmm, what’s this? I feel like we are approaching some holy energy.”
I walked into the room with the World’s Roots.
“Valenor, these are the World Roots and this over here is the nectar we collect from them.”
I brought before her a bowl filled with the delicious sap.
“Smells tasty, can I have it?”
“Of course, I’ve prepared it for you.”
She drank greedily, and as she wasn’t accustomed to the body of a human girl, was spilling a lot of the nectar from the sides of her mouth.
Emptying out the bowl, She was bathed in a golden nimbus. The blessing from the nectar making her more beautiful than ever.
“Valenor, are you ready for dessert?”
“Dessert? I’m already full.…”
“Don’t worry, they aren’t very filling.”
Alpeon went ahead and opened the trap door which connected the to underground area. However the hole was only enough for one Void Scuttle to pass at the time and Valenor definitely needed more to be satisfied. Still carrying her on my shoulders, I jumped to the underground chamber.
“It’s pretty dark in here, is this where you were planning on spending our first night?”
“Not exactly, stop joking around, think of this like a game with a bunch of food lying around.”
“Lets go! Munch time!”
Tudududuk duduk dudu
There are tons of void scuttles surrounding us, but they hesitated to approach because of Valerno’s intimidating aura.
“ Hmm, shall I burp because I am too full?”
A rumbling of dark red fire appeared in her mouth.
I cast out a meteor, widening the AoE as much as possible. I had to at least get some damage in if I wanted a share of the experience.
Although her breath in human form carried only 1/30 of its maximum damage, it was after all still a Dragon’s Breath. The Scuttles that has gathered before us had all been burnt to ashes and our experience was steadily growing.
After four days of enjoying the slaughter alongside Valenor, we had almost completely cleared out the infestation from this floor.
“Johra we’ve run out of dessert.”
“The critters have indeed disappeared, Valenor is so awesome!”
As praise I decided to slap her butt with my bare hands.
“Uhm… what was the meaning of that act just now?”
“It means you’ve done a good job!”
I felt a bit guilty because I was lying to her, but I didn’t want my head to be burnt off.
Oh is it like that? And here I expected it was some sort of naughty behavior, if it’s a praise then I’m happy.
‘If I hadn’t made up that excuse I would definitely get scolded.’
Despite not having any sweat glands my back still broke out in cold sweats.
“Since we didn’t completely exterminate them, I hope their population can replenish.”
“They were indeed tasty snacks.”
We climbed out, still carrying her on my shoulders. As we exited the termite mound, the sun was shining bright and the temperature was quite hot.
“The sun is quite strong today, Johra.”
“Yea, still those dwarves and insects are hard at work, it seems like we will soon have our completed palace.
Valenor resumed her dragon form and lowered her head, asking to go for a ride.
“Ah, did you want to get a bird’s eye view?
It was indeed quite the breathtaking sight, seeing such a large construction from all the way up here. The Asmodians’ dwellings had already been completed and they had already been assigned their homes.
“The dwarven stone masons seem to quite diligent.”
“It is because of the King’s proper instructions.”
Valenor responded gently.
“Valenor, what do you think about going for a ride around the world?”
“A honeymoon? Sure sounds good, hold on tight!”
I was intending for a casual joy ride but Valenor took off before I could finish my thought.
Everything looked small when you were 10,000 meters in the air, and I had calculated that her maximum speed was somewhere between 700~800 km/h. After about 14 hours of flying to the West, we arrived to the end of the continent which was about 1,2000 km from the Pit.
“How are you feeling? This is one end of the continent.”
I was curious whether this world was also round like Earth.
“Valenor, is it possible to keep going?”
“Well… sure but then we’d arrive at the end of the world.”
“What’s the end of the world?”
“I’ve only heard rumours about it, most are too afraid to venture out so far.”
“Let’s go take a look then!”
After 24 hours of flying over nothing but water, we arrived at a new land.
“What, why is the some land over here?”
I was surprised that Valenor had never flown this far out. This will probably be known as the New World.
‘Gnoss, is this a new continent?’
‘What? Oh, right. This is a continent that has long been forgotten by history. There used to be a great civilization that occupied these lands, but they were destroyed by the war to end all wars.
“Hm, huge war…we’ll talk more about this later.”
“Valenor, we’ve probably discovered a new continent so let’s explore some more!”
“New continent? Great, let’s fly until the end of the world!”
The technology of this new world seemed severely lacking. As we flew past we didn’t spot a single city, only hunter gatherer tribes. Although we did spot some ancient civilizations, they were all in ruins, having long been abandoned. Some consisted of large megalithic stone much like Stonehenge in my previous life, making me curious.
“Do you want to take a look at those ruins?”
“Sure, but let’s come back another time. Today’s mission is to find the end of the world!”
“By the way are you feeling hungry Valenor?”
“Mm, I’ll be fine if we just take a small break.”
She landed in the grasslands below and we lied down together.
“Being a dragon is quite convenient, you only require the mana flowing from the earth to satiate your hunger.”
“Well, you don’t even need to eat or drink, but you’re right, it doesn’t sound as cool as absorbing mana from the ground.” Valenor countered.
‘Right, it’s not the first time that I’ve completely forgotten that my body is an undead. Since I’ve become an ArchLich it’s been happening more and more, am I showing signs of dementia like Gartmat’s mayor?’
It just thinking about it brought back memories of the Mayor of Gartmar, Kishande and all the other adventurers.
‘Are they all doing well? I wonder if I will have time to visit them like I promised.’
Lying down comfortably in the grass and staring up at the night sky, I took the time to observe my Status page.
★Name: Chompy (Johra)Gender: N/AStatus: NormalRace: Golden ArchLich/ UndeadClass: WizardRank: C Level: 582/666HP: 12172/12172MP: 62364/62364Attack: 5111 (+2499)Defense: 3454 (+2)Agility: 357Intelligence: 3454Luck: 12Charisma: 10✧ Unique Skills[Resurrection Lv 1] [Night Vision 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 Lv3] [Inferno LvMax] [Water Sphere Lv4] [Necromancy Lv7] [Lifesteal LvMax] [MP Regeneration Lv3] [Corpse Explosion LvMax] [Possession Lv1] [Stun Resistance Lv7] [Lightning resistance Lv7] [Telepathy Lv1] [Mind Reading Lv1] [Spiritual Connection Lv1] [Death Stare LvMax] [Gravity Control Lv7] [Physical Immunity Lv4] [Creation Magic lv1] [Meteor Lv7] [Flame Mastery Lv5] [Chain Lightning Lv8] [Multi Spell Lv7] [Ghost Lv2] [Silent chanting Lv5] [Multiple Death Stare Lv2] [Life Vessel]✧ Titles (Active)[Wizard of the Pit] [Master of Magma Hall]✧ Titles (Inactive)[Rat Trapper] [Hit-and-Run] [Savior Lv4] [Coldhearted Lv4] [Dragon Slayer Lv1] [Ant Exterminator Lv14] [Spider’s Bane Lv3] [Giant Killer Lv2] [Scuttles’ Grief Lv9] [Goblin’s Slaughterer Lv6]✧ Identity[Avatar (Warrior) Lv1]✧ Creation Spells[Teleport Lv3] [Levitation Lv2] [Summon Skeletal Mage Lv5]★
‘Hm… my number of spells hasn’t been growing much these days. I’m not sure your Creation Magic was worth losing my Magic Research.’
‘Oh… is it so? Yea, I guess it was indeed a very powerful skill so it might not have been ideal, sorry.’
‘Gnoss do you know of anyway to retrieve my Magic Research skill?’
‘I don’t know much about Magic Research. My specialty lies more on the creation of entirely new magic, sorry Johra.’
I felt it was a pity to have lost Magic Research which held such long term benefits. Of course Creation Magic was very flexible and powerful in the short term so it had its pros and cons.
‘Should I take a look at my wife’s page?’
★Name: ValenorGender: FemaleStatus: NormalRace: Platinum Dragon / DragonClass: N/ARank: B- Level: 4681/9999HP: 7922300/7922300MP: 283901/283901 Attack: 79591(17911)Defense: 178225Agility: 1375Intelligence: 39356✧ Unique Skills[Dragon’s Breath Lv5] [Flying LvMax] [The Lost Mantra Lv5] [Magic Cleanse Lv7] [Physical Resistance Lv9] [Magic Resistance Lv9] [Dragon’s Roar Lv3] [Polymorph Lv6] [Potential Lv5] [Summon Hellbringer] [Telepathy Lv1] [Self-Gravity Lv3]✧ Titles[Dwarves’ Disaster] [The Lord’s Wife] [Scuttles’ Grief Lv3] ★
‘Hmm… what a wonderful title, The Lord’s Wife. ’
After looking at her stats I was still amazed at her raw power. Also her new skill Self-Gravity was probably obtained while drinking the World’s nectar. Controlling her own weight could be a powerful spell considering her already enormous mass.
“Aren’t the stars beautiful tonight Valenor?”
“Do you like them? I think you are brighter than them though.”
Despite the darkness, I could see her face turn red after saying that. I stretched my arm out to stroke her gorgeous mane.
Ehh ehhh ehh Chhi!
She let out a cute sound that didn’t quite match up with her large frame. Releasing a mini-breath which lightly burned the forest before us.
“Oh the power of your sneeze is less dangerous than I expected.”
“… are you disappointed?”
“Not at all, it’s adorable.”
“Calling a Dragon’s Breath adorable, you must be the only person in the world.”
“Still, it was cute.”
“ Oh okay”
Valenor laid back comfortable and slept peacefully until dawn.
“Time to find the end of the world!”
After 20 or so hours of flying we had arrived at the coast line of the new continent.
“It’s the end of the new world!”
“Yup, looks like it’s another trip across the sea for us!”
After another 30 hours of travel we spotted another piece of land.
“Johra, that’s the East coast of our homeland! I remembered having travelled here in the past. How is this possible?”
“Haha silly Valenor, it’s because the world is round!”
“Round? Isn’t there supposed to be some ending?”
“Nope, and we’re probably the first to have done the turn of the world!”
‘Dream on, this Supreme sage has of course done the turn of the globe.’
‘Go back to sleep you useless Gnoss, couldn’t you have told me that before?’
It took us about 90 hours of flight to do the turn of the planet, which represented about 60,000 km. This meant that this world was slightly larger than my previous life’s Earth.
When we returned to the Pit, we indulged ourselves in some more nectar before proceeding to hunt more Void Scuttles. By further exploring the area, we found that there were much more than simply one floor and were currently alternating between 4 levels. When we had almost wiped out all the critters on one floor, we would move on to the next one, leaving time for them to repopulate.
“Lord, your Palace has finally been completed.”
It had taken them a little more than a month of hard work, but the dwarves and insects had completed their task.
“You dwarves have done a splendid job, and will properly be rewarded in platinum.”
“It was nothing Lord, we are honored to have worked on such an extravagant project.”
After trying to refuse several times, they ended up accepting my wagons of platinum. However, once they arrived back home in the Wetheros Mountains, they spoke to their King Inor and he sent back armor and weapons of the highest quality to arm my Asmodians and insects.
‘Lord, the Elf expedition has begun to move out.’
I finally received my confirmation from Jenna who had been keeping an eye on them this whole time.
‘Where are they right now?’
‘They are marching along the plains, about two days out.’
‘Good job, keep tracking them and don’t engage.’
“Valenor, are you ready to go on a little trip?’
“Sure, but do we have to go walking again?”
Recently I had opted to walk as my preferred method of transportation, as it was difficult to communicated when I was covered in ice. However today we would be flying.
“We’ll fly and you’ll have to stay high in the air to avoid detection.”
“Great! My body has been getting a bit stiff and I needed a workout! Polymorph!”
I climbed up behind her head and she soared up into the sky, up to 20,000 meters high. The air was too thin for most creatures at such an attitude, but luckily I didn’t need to breathe and as a Dragon, Valenor was hardly affected by these low levels of oxygen.
“What direction should we go?”
“Let’s head to the plains, there should be an encampment there.”
“Is it the Elves?”
“Then let’s go Johra!”
After some time we arrived above their camp, at 20,000 meters distance they were unable to spot us.
“Shall I burn them all?”
“That won’t be necessary, I have a more interesting idea in mind.”
From so high up the Elves below appeared like little ants. Thousands of them already gathered to march on my Pit, with there numbers continuing to swell.
‘Create Ice Wall’
[You have learned Ice Wal Lv1]
“Ice wall! Ice Wall! Ice wall!…”
It was a simple spell which I used to create huge blocks of ice in mid air. Each were roughly ten meters long, three meters high and one meter thick. Although there normally wouldn’t be anything threatening about an Ice Wall, I was now 20,000 meters up in the air.
As the blocks of ice dropped towards the ground, their incredible speed caused a certain amount of friction, causing most of them to break down into 3 chunks. Each of these weighed between 100~200 kilograms and combined with their acceleration, they packed quite the punch.
Kuooong Kung, Quazzzic
The combination of so many chunks of ice falling was similar to the destruction brought about by a meteor shower. Of course I could also cast meteor, but it consumed far more mana and had longer casting time. It was a hail storm on the level of a natural disaster.
Even if it was hard to aim, as predicting how each Ice Wall would break off and where the chunks would fall was almost impossible, it wasn’t at all necessary. It had become more of a large AoE spell and it devastated the Elves’ forces, squishing hundreds of them before they even arrived on my borders. The only unfortunate part was that I didn’t receive any experience, perhaps it was because I only indirectly caused their deaths.
Well, the important thing was that with my victory here, the overall war should be much easier to win.
“Let’s continue flying over the rest of their troops, Valenor.”
“Ok, let’s do that.”
I persisted in casting more Ice Walls and the Elf troops were seriously dwindling. Their armies of thousands had already been cut down by half, the survivors scattered and with likely low morale.
“That should be enough for today.”
“Why don’t you go down and fight in person Johra?”
“The war hasn’t even officially begun, I just wanted to tip the scales in our favor. Unfortunately I didn’t expect that I wouldn’t receive any experience, so I think it’s best to stop here.”
“Ok, I’ll bring us back to the Pit.”
After returning together, I decided to gather my armies to take stock of our fighting strength. I was finally sitting on the throne of my highly anticipated palace, Valenor sat together me and the various chiefs of my Pit forces assembled before me. At the front of them all stood Alpeon, with a cordial attitude.
“Alpeon have the traps been prepared according to my instructions?”
“Yes, everything has been completed Lord.”
“Good, and are the Goblins ready?”
Observing the Goblins before me I noticed that there were 500 of them, all waiting to be evolved.
‘Let’s see… we have Hobgoblin, and a Goblin King.’
Naturally I understood that having too many Goblin Kings would be counterproductive, so I selected the strongest out of them to be the King, while turning the rest into Hobgoblins.
“Lord, thank you for taking us into your care.”
The Goblin King had acquired the ability for human speech. After confirming that they would follow the lead of the king, I gave them my orders.
“Good, from now on you shall be known as Chuck, take your men and crush our enemies.”
“Yes Lord, I shall show you a glorious battle.”
I had assigned the goblins to the outermost section of my Pit’s territory.
“Lord, we are also looking forward to doing battle!”
It was Brugan from the half dragon, half human Asmodian tribe who had spoken up.They had improved significantly through the consumption of nectar and hunting of the Void Scuttles. The Asmodians were natural born warriors, so their strength would be a great asset in the upcoming war.
“You and your tribe shall defend the center. Those of you that can fly will join the vanguard to go on the offensive.”
Asmodians had an innate talent for magic. I considered them as a core part of my force because of their useful skills like strengthening magic and mini Dragon Breaths.
“Yes, I will defend the position with my life.”.
“What instructions did you have for us Lord?”
No.0, the captain of the chimeras whom I had renamed as Gregory spoke up. They had been exchanging death stares with the group of orc since the beginning of the meeting.
“You shall take control of a patrol and act as scouts. Arin you will command both, but lead a contingent of airborne scouts.”
“Yes Lord, as you command.”
The Chimeras followed behind Arin obediently.
“Have you called for me my King?”
“Yes, take all you High-Arachnids and form a web along the top of the Pit.”
“Do I really cover the whole sky? Wouldn’t that inconvenience Valenor?”
“Ha ha ha! Don’t worry, as if your puny web could ever impede me.”
I felt the tensions rising between them so I decided to quickly move on.
“Bianca the Elves seem to be employing some birds, so quickly ready your web.
“I’m on it Lord!”
She left the throne room with her High-Arachnids in tow. The only minions remaining were Alpeon, Nymue and the Totem orcs.
“You guys will act as support. Especially the Orcs, you lack training and are too weak to directly engage the enemy. I hope you use the upcoming battle as an opportunity to improve your strength, Is it understood Grockson?”
“Thank you Lord.”
The Totem orc tribe had become proficient in the human language after having consumed the World’s nectar, I had elected to name their chief Grockson. Also their strengths had increased and their ranks had gone from the previous F to an E. Unfortunately they hadn’t received the option to evolve as of yet so I didn’t want them to throw away their lives needlessly.
Of course I also had the headache that the chimeras and the orc tribe were mortal enemies. Luckily, Valenor had a clever idea which was to organize and official duel in one year’s time to settle their differences. It had settled the tension somewhat and fostered a rivalry which would be good to improve their strengths.
“Johra when an we next go out for a little ride?”
“My plan is to just wait for the actual war to start and kill some personally, it would be too much of a shame to miss out on such free experience otherwise.”
“Ah, great idea.”
“Then we’ll just wait and take the time to relax.”.
“I heard there is a bed in our palace chambers, Inor mentioned that we should sleep together….”
“That sounds like a great idea!”
“Let’s go then!”
Valenor had been mostly keeping to her human form these days, she must like sitting upon my shoulders. For the moment she was still on my lap in the throne, giving me a cute little wink.
“Lord, what about the Elves, will there be any complications?”
“Don’t worry about it Alpeon, They are an easy opponent.
“Then I will update the Lord if there are any changes.”
Perhaps I should have taken Alpeon’s concerns more seriously, but ever since I had regained my emotions, I had become confident and even arrogant, which would often land me in trouble.
I laid back resting on the bed while the human shaped Valenor snuggled up to me. On the ceiling of my bedroom there was a large beautifully painted fresco, depicting my territory of the Pit. At the center of it all was my likeness, portrayed with the awe of a god.
“Although it is my appearance, it somehow feels wrong. Is it because of my human memories?”
For humans, undead and skulls were perfect representation of death. So although I carried the authority of a god in the painting, I thought I looked like a villain. Despite having come to terms with my undead body, I would still occasionally have these strange moments where my human emotions were conflicted.
I was now a abnormal existence with the power to possibly resurrect endlessly as an undead. Also, now that I was an ArchLich I could make a Life Vessel that could almost guarantee my immortality. Perhaps with the absence of the fear of death, I no longer enjoyed the little things in life as much. Life didn’t feel as precious as it perhaps should. I had faced down annihilation more times than I could count in the last year, but I always came out on top.
I now had a Dragon for a wife, a powerful military force at my disposable and considerable lands including my Pit and the Wetheros mountains. My power could no longer be compared to that of a weak human and perhaps only a vengeful God could strike fear in me now.
When compared to my previous life where I was a nobody junior high graduate with no real future to speak of, I was satisfied with my current success.
Although the elves had arrived for war, I was confident and not once considered losing to them. In fact I was confident that i could take on any country in the World.
‘Should I consider establishing an empire next?’
‘Easy there Johra, don’t let all this newfound power get to your head. The Elves aren’t particularly special or powerful, if you think….’
‘Oh quiet you noisy Gnoss, you’re ruining my dream.’
Of course I knew Gnoss was right and that there were plenty of powerful entities out there I couldn’t yet hope to match. But was it wrong for a guy to indulge in some fantasies every now and then?
“Yummy Yummy I can’t eat more, I’m too full Johra.”
Valenor looked too cute when she was talking in her sleep so I stroked her head.
I quickly blocked her nose and mouth, worried that she would burn down our new chambers.
Foo Foo Foo~fuuuu
She was unconsciously struggling to let out the sneeze. As I looked at her fast asleep, I hoped this peace would last forever.
“If I’m strong enough to shoulder all future conflicts, there shouldn’t be any problems.”
The undead never required sleep. Although it was advantageous in certain situations, it was quite annoying because I never got to rest and be at peace with my thoughts. As a result I would never stop thinking and wouldn’t experience the ups and down of a regular life like the cycle of fatigue and rest. Imagine a song that always held the same beat, without any variation.
Luckily I had my beautiful Valenor beside me. Her heart beat like a drum, bringing music and energy to my life, filling the void caused my undead curse.
“Lord, I apologize for the interruption but I bring urgent news.”
“No problem, go ahead.”
I was in a good mood, satisfied with my life.
‘Alpeon this is unlike you, just spit it out.’
I jumped out of bed and left Valenor sleeping on the bed, rushing the the highest tower of my palace. It was high enough to see past the cliff of the Pit and I could see the army of Elves assembled on the plains nearby. Above them soared five multicolored dragons.
“Shit, there are actually five of them.”
I wasn’t able to see their status pages because of the distance, but I could tell that two of them were the same size as Valenor and one of them was much larger.
‘Gnoss, those dragons….’
‘Yes, those must be the dragons who have formed contracts with the elves. There had been rumours of this happening in their major families, but their numbers couldn’t be confirmed. It was one of the main reasons why I brought you to meet Valenor.’
‘ Well it doesn’t help much, 5 vs 1 is hardly a fair fight.’
We might have had a small chance if we were able to face them individually while I acted in concert with Valenor. Of course this probably didn’t apply to the large green dragon because for their race, their size was often an indication of their age and power.
However now that they had all gathered together and were also backed up by a coalition army of elves, human adventurers and kingdom soldiers.
“Ughhuaaa! Johra why didn’t you wake me up!”
Valenor rushed up to meet me on the observatory. She looked very calm, still wearing her pajamas.
“You were sleeping so well.”
“Oh the elves have arrived… wait, why are my people with them as well.”
I responded to her without betraying any of my insecurities.
“So how are you going to deal with this?”
I crossed my arm, deep in thought.
“I don’t have any idea.”
“Lord you must have a solution right?”
“Hmm, I’m thinking now”
“Alpeon you forget yourself, my husband is King.”
Luckily Valenor intervened on my behalf
“No, I would never dare doubt you my Lord.”
“Why don’t you just focus on battle aspect.”
I ordered Alpeon with a tinge of coldness.
“I’ll see to it.”
When Alpeon had left, Valenor approached me and spoke.
“Five dragons, isn’t that a bit too much to handle? Will we be running away Johra?”
I was surprised by her suggestion.
“We are not likely to win versus five dragons. I’m perfectly fine with eloping with Johra and leaving the Pit behind.”
Valenor proposed with a bright expression. No wonder she waited for Alpeon to leave.
But I was quite stubborn and hated the idea of turning tail to run.
“Sorry Valenor, I know we can’t win… but I just hate the idea of running away, I know I’m stubborn….”
“No problem, does that mean we won’t be backing down.”
“Yea, but in the end, if we really have no hope, then we should find a way to escape and survive. After all keeping our lives is more important than our pride.”
“I’m the rightful owner so I refuse to give any of it up.”
“Why is it that you sound like a villain?”
“Really? I never noticed, I’ll just focus on winning!”
“So do you have a plan, what will you do?”
I looked out at the Elves’ camp in the distance.
“Once I settle something, we’ll ride out and meet them.”
“Yea, please give me a ride in a bit.”
“Ok, I’ll wait for you here. Polymorph!”
Rushing down the stairs I returned to my bedroom and fished out a gorgeously jeweled belt from my treasure chest.
The belt shone a faint red as the spell took effect.
“It’s a bit risky this time so I’d best take all the precautions.”
I dressed myself in all my equipment, including a standard leather upon which I could secure 20 bottles of nectar. I also reached out for the two swords hanging on my wall and strappe them to my back. Finally, I secretly hid Gnoss’ gem under the bed.
‘Johra what are you doing? You’re going to need me!’
‘Shut up! At the most critical times you always hold back some information. It might not be intentional, but you always seem to have a hidden agenda. You’re staying behind so take the time to reflect on your actions.
‘No, Johra if you don’t have me….’
Blocking out his telepathy, I climbed back up to the observatory.
“Let’s head out now.”
I climbed up behind her head.
“Thanks for the ride Valenor.”
“On your way can you please fly over the lake.”
As she flew near it I took the chance to throw in the Treasure Chest containing my Life Vessel. I was hoping Nymue would look after my life saving trump card.
“Ok, let’s go!”
“Hold on tight!”
Four of the dragons greeted us as we approached. We were still about 1 kilometer from the Elves army, which seems to suggest that the dragons wouldn’t get involved until the battle started. They were all different colors, one was dark blue while another was pale. There was also a red and brown colored dragon. I was surprised to see that they were all rank B which was even stronger than Valenor. Their health was in the 14~18,000,000 range which was much higher than Valenor’s, but they didn’t seem to be very proficient in magic. Still, they all had a HP Recovery skill which made my tactic of trying to grind away their health useless.
Of course the biggest problem was still the green Elder dragon. Positioned at the back of the army, I could see that it was a rank A monster. His HP was over 70 million and had an array of maxed out skills and titles. It was the perfect boss monster in every sense of the term.
I took a closer look at the Status page.
‘Damn, even the other four dragons combined don’t match up to half it’s power. And what are those specter like creatures? Have the Elves I killed yesterday been revived in some way? Wait, does it also have that?’
★Name: NoradrianaGender: FemaleStatus: Balanced/Blessing of the world’s nectarRace: Green Elder Dragon / DragonClass: Protector of the Boundless NatureRank: ALevel: 78241/99999HP: 71,865,541/71,865,541MP: 5,678,344/5,678,344 Attack: 141,324(32,411)Defense: 697,110Agility: 3769Intelligence: 156,724✧ Unique Skills[Dragon’s Breath LvMax] [Flying Lv5] [Resurrection Song Lv3] [Magic Cleanse LvMax] [Physical Resistance LvMax] [Magic Resistance LvMax] [Healing Song Lv5] [Fairy Dragon Summoning Lv3] [ Potential Lv7] [ Summon Healing Spring Lv7] [Telepathy Lv9] [Mind Reading Lv7] [Greater Magic Nullifying Song Lv7] [Life’s Protector Lv6] [Nature’s Blessing Lv8] [Nature’s Army Lv7] [Nature’s Sanctuary Lv4] [Greater Healing Lv8] [Health Regeneration LvMax] [Elder Dragon’s Authority] [Claws of Purity Lv5]✧ TitlesThe Guardian of Life] [The Guardian of the Dragons] [The Lord of the Ellen Forest] [The Lord of the Lake of Life] [The Guardian of the Rain] [The Messiah of Gaia] [The Destroyer of Darkness][The singer of everlasting]★
I nervously swallowed my saliva. The pressure was much more than my first duel versus the former Pit king, or even my recent one with Valenor. Actually, even if I disregarded the monstrous rank A boss, I still couldn’t deal with the other four dragons.
‘Should I have brought Gnoss along and asked him about some of those skills?’
It was too late to regret my actions as the red dragon came forward.
“Do you wish to fight, right here and now?”
He spoke out challengingly with his loud Dragon’s Roar.
‘No, I’m here to discuss terms, please relay them this message.’
“The King of the Pit wishes to speak with Noradriana”
Valenor spoke out on my behalf.
“Why is it that one form the glorious dragon clan has become a servant to an evil undead?”
‘Don’t get angry Valenor, they are only seeking to divide us.’
Valenor was ready to attack them so I needed to reign her in.
“Again, the King wishes to speak with Noradriana.”
For the next little while the four dragons would exchange looks with their Elder, most likely conversing through telepathy.
“My mother has allowed for the King to come forward and speak. However, the little female dragon must stay behind.
‘Johra let me go with you!’
‘No Valenor, I’ll have to go alone this time. No matter what happens, don’t start fighting. Just take who you can and escape, got it?’
‘You must come back alive!’
‘Don’t worry, I’m an undead. I won’t easily die.
It was the truth as the Life Vessel provided a safe resurrection point. If were to die in this hostile situation surrounded by dragons, I would simply resurrect in the same spot, allowing them to camp my location.
The pale blue dragon arrived to pick me up and I hopped onto his back.
“Time to go undead.”
It was a short ride before I was standing before Noradriana.
“What did you want to speak to me about, undead.”
“Noradriana, Guardian of Nature, my name is Johra and my title is that of King. Please refer to me properly as these are formal negotiations to prevent a war.
The Elder dragon looked at me with bored eyes before continuing.
“Tell me, what concessions could you possibly enforce on me, undead King? Speak quickly, I hate long and drawn out conversations.”
“Ha ha ha, you are indeed a prideful dragon. Still, at least you have the strength to back up such arrogance. I have but one condition, Go back home and I will proceed with helping the elves find their homeland.”
She couldn’t contain her laughter.
Do you really believe that I serve these puny elves and came here for the purpose of finding their homeland? That kind of thinking can only originate from such a small head. Unfortunately, you are terribly mistaken. I am the Guardian of Life, so I’m tasked with eliminating pesky undead before they become even more dangerous. I owed a favor to a certain warrior and she called it in just for you. Children, seize this miscreant!”
‘Shit! I was their target all along! That warrior must be Lorina!’
Kuuu Kung Kuukung
The four dragons chased after me, trying to stomp, bite or smack me with their tails. Staying behind lazily, the green Elder dragon cast curses to slow me down and buffed her children’s speed.
Fortunately, I wasn’t relying on my movement speed and they weren’t able to keep up with my teleports.
‘I’ll make you regret this.’
I was mixing in the occasional Meteor between Teleports in sync with my Multi Spell. Although the Elves had approached to box me even, they served little purpose other than for me to vent my anger on as I buried them in magic spells.
“Set up Magic Shields! Don’t stop shooting!”
“Try to predict his next teleport location!”
Some of their best commanders were trying to salvage the situation, but I had fought Valenor for five days straight in this fashion and was well versed in the tactic. It’s impossible to lock onto me if I jump between the dragons. Moreover, these dragons focused on the physical prowess and had few magic skills. As they weren’t able to polymorph, their large bodies couldn’t handle my quick teleports.
“Don’t worry about defending, I will heal all your injuries!”
Noradriana shouted out, and her children proceeded to go all out on the offensive. They tried their Dragon Breaths, Claws and tail slashes, but I simply teleported from dragon to dragon and they couldn’t handle it.
The Elder dragon shouted out with her Dragon’s Roar and Magic Cleanse However, I had experienced it often with Valenor and could notice the telltale signs. Whenever she used these spells, I would simply teleport to the opposite side of another dragon and use it as a meatshield.
“You dare call yourself a King when all you are doing is scurrying around like a little rat?!”
“Ha ha ha, how dare you speak of pride when you assaulted someone who came to negotiate! Meteor! Teleport!”
I continued focusing on killing the elves, throwing in the occasional Multiple Death Stare. Whenever they approached me they seemed happy, as if they had succeeded, but instead my magic spells were cutting them down like cattle. I would mix it up between short and long range spells, trying not to form a pattern that they could easily predict.
“I will instill upon you a true fear of death!”
[You have learned Invisibility Lv1]
I ran along the common elves, invisible and having turned on my Life Steal skill.
I ran amongst their lines while also casting long range spells. The Elves’ formation was completely in shambles and between my invisibility and quick teleports, the dragons couldn’t get a lock on my position.
“Greater Magic Nullifying Song!”
After casting the spell, she continued in a long and deep song. Soon after my invisibility disappeared and I was no longer able to cast any spells.
‘Has she created a null-magic zone?’
It was the worst possible situation for someone like me that relied heavily on my magic spells. I no longer had any way to evade their capture.
‘Damn it! I’m doomed!’
I ran away as my last hope was to get as far as possible from her her song, hoping to leave the spell’s range. The elves took the chance to drown me in waves of arrows, but faced with my physical immunity, they barely stung. Luckily Noradriana’s spell also stopped others from using magic as well.
She had been rushing towards me but was still aways out. I turned around to see Noradriana had stopped singing and raised her head.
Within moments, a shadow twice as large as Valenor appeared and ignored me as it flew past.
Noradiana was opening her jaws to unleash a terrible Dragon’s breath while Valenor was pushing her speed to the limit, attempting to save me.
I realized that I could no longer hear the Elder’s Song so I reached out to Valenor Telepathically.
‘Quickly, Polymorph to my favorite form!’
Noradriana had interrupted her Greater Magic Nullifying Song in order to deal with Valenor.
“Teleport! Teleport! Teleport!”
I was able to arrive just a fraction of a second before she was hit by the flames. Hugging Valenor’s human form, I teleported us out of there and onto the green Elder dragon’s back.
“Ha ha ha ha, Noradriana, thanks for the free ride!”
She turned her body to try and flatten me on the ground, but I simply teleported to her underbelly
“Ha ha ha ha, it seems like your stomach isn’t green!”
I stood upon her like a conqueror riding a ship. Her claws chased me but they were able to match my teleporting speed.
“Noradriana,my companion is quite wild! Attacks of that level aren’t enough to reach him.”
Valenor also joined me in taunting the Elder dragon. Although the four dragons had surrounded us, they didn’t dare launch and attack on their mother’s body.
Noradiana tirelessly tried to catch us but her speed simply couldn’t match up. After a long time of being unsuccessful, she finally lost patience.
“Elder Dragon’s Authority!”
The Elder dragon’s eyes turned green and Valenor’s hand clutched her head, screaming and twisting in terrible pain. I was momentarily distracted by my wife’s torment and was just slightly too slow in teleporting away. Her claws had finally reached me and tore my body apart.
Luckily I had still managed to teleport, but I had lost my lower half and crashed down into the ground holding Valenor.
“Make it stop!”
Valenor continued to squirm in pain.
Gooooo Shoong Paaaah
The spot I had just been in erupted in flames as Noradiana has sent a breath and several spells my way. Having missed, she knew she had to seal my magic in order to catch me and began her song. However, this time I was ready for it and was able to escape its range in time.
“Teleport! Teleport! Teleport!”….”
I escaped with a series of short jumps, expecting the Elves and dragons to be hot on my tail, but when I looked back I was surprised to see that they hadn’t chased after me. The green Elder dragon was simply staring at me from afar. I quickly arrived back to my Pit, meeting the Goblin King , Chuck and the chimeras on the way. I instructed them to position themselves to maintain a 10 kilometer distance from the enemy before teleporting back to my palace.
“Damn! What have you done to my wife!”
“So,sorry Johra, Ahaaac!”
Despite our distance from Noradriana, Valenor was still clutching her head in pain, and had almost fainted. I rushed her back to our bedroom and lay her on the bed.
“Alpeon, quickly bring over some nectar!”
“Lord…. Your lower body!”
“I’m fine, just hurry!”
“Yes Lord, right away!”
I sprinkled what little nectar I carried with me on my lower waist before emptying the contents down Valenor’s throat.
[you have learned Cure Lv1]
I had lost the power of levitation and without any legs, fell down to the floor.
“Damn it all!”
I was angry with myself because of my arrogance and moment of inattention that led to this result.
Touching her forehead, I continuously cast cure until her condition appeared to have improved. Valenor who had suffered for a long time, simply passed out.
“Here it is Lord.”
“Thank you, now return to the frontline and keep me updated on any developments.”
I gave her my orders and fastened the new bottle of water securely to my back.
“As you command, Lord.”
After Alpeon walked out, I reached under the bed and fished out Gnoss’ gem.
‘Gnoss, what was that skill used on Valenor?’
‘Oh, I thought you didn’t need my help.’
‘Don’t misunderstand our relationship. I ask and you answer, that’s all. Don’t go around thinking that we are equals or something and don’t forget that I could always drop you in a deserted wasteland. I’ll give you one last chance, for your sake I hope you answer me correctly this time.’
‘Oh geez, can’t you even take a small joke. Despite being the Supreme Sage I was left under a bed, I mean….’
‘Is that all you have to say?’
Oh no no, Johra the skill used was [Elder Dragon’s Authority].It’s a special skill which only senior level dragons can use. It’s basically a punishment towards a junior dragon which has gone against their will. Just a single hit and you’ll be out of it for a couple days. There are a few other side effects but they aren’t serious and there isn’t any cause for concern.’
From the explanation I understood that Noradriana wanted to stop Valenor from interfering in our fight. If I had known of the skill beforehand, I might have been more aware and able to counter it. As it stands, Valenor would be out of commission for the next few days.
‘What’s the effective range of the skill?’
‘It’s unclear, somewhere between 1 and 2 kilometers maybe. It’s a skill where you have to lock eyes so a specific distance is hard to determine, much like your Death Stare skill.
The green Elder dragon was so large that the range might even be 3 or 4 kilometers, so it would be very hard to face her in the future.
‘Gnoss, I’ll be taking you with me this time. Tell me if you think of any way out of this, and if you hold back any information, I will toss you aside without a second thought.’
‘I’ll do well… by the way, what happened to your lower body.’
I put the gem in my pouch and answered.
‘Noradriana’s doing, a price for my arrogance.’
If it were normal damage caused by a physical attack, I should have been able to heal it. However the claw strike seemed to carry some purifying properties and my decimated lower half was unable to be restored at the moment.
I ground my teeth in anger, I had to get revenge for what she had done to my wife and legs.
‘What do you think is the reason that Noradriana and her army of dragons and elves aren’t advancing?’
I wracked my brain trying to come up with an answer but couldn’t find any. To make matters worse, since Lorina and her idiotic League were somehow involved, they were sure to strike at the most opportune moment.
‘Can’t we just run away?’
It was a situation where I couldn’t see a path to victory. Once the actual battle started, it would result in an overwhelming defeat on our end. Although I had been arrogant and suffered a loss as a result of it, I didn’t want to be the incompetent leader who abandoned his subordinates.
‘Lord, the enemies are setting up their camp and organizing their troops, they aren’t advancing yet….’
‘Thanks Alpeon, you only need to notify me if there are any changes.’
Escape wasn’t a viable option because Noradriana had claimed her purpose in coming here wasn’t the pit itself, but rather to exterminate me. She was likely to chase me down to the ends of the earth were I to escape.
‘Gnoss, there is something strange about the Elder dragon’s actions, what do you think is going on?’
‘I am curious as well, why don’t you start by explaining to me what you’ve experienced so far.’
I proceeded to explain how the negotiations started, the ensuing battle a well as the fact that the dragons didn’t pursue me.
‘You said Lorina had sealed you before right?’
After listening to my explanation, Gnoss asked me.
‘Hmm… the biggest issue I’ve always had with Lorina was on whether we should mete out punishment based solely on race. Although it’s true that Liches tend to lean towards the darker side, it isn’t a universal truth. I advocated to give them a chance to choose where as Lorina preferred to nip the problem in the bud.’
‘Gnoss you are correct in your thinking.’
‘However, with Soleste we followed my philosophy and the results were disastrous. An entire nation fell and countless lives were lost. Also….’
‘Right, didn’t they first sealed Soleste and then returned to seal you?’
‘Yes, that was indeed what happened.’
‘But isn’t that just a single case? It doesn’t prove anything.’
‘Regardless, it was a determining factor for most people. Now you’re my last living proof of my claim that race doesn’t determine good or evil. Of course, this also means that the dragons over there can’t allow you to live.
‘They are just giving me more reasons to fight them.’
‘That’s right, but if you go on and slaughter the people that come to stop you, it only proves their point that you’re a killer, further proving Lorina’s point.
‘So it’s a problem even if I somehow win?’
‘So Gnoss what would happen if I were to contest the words of the League of Reincarnators?’
‘Then maybe next time around they will bring a huge army, led entirely by top Reincarnators. Maybe even the Messiah will tag along as well….’
‘The Messiah? Like in that guy who banished you to another realm within your cave?’
‘Right, actually Noradriana is also kind of a Messiah, although Gaia is technically only a demi-god so the distinction is unclear…. Oh right, that’s why!’
‘What are you talking about Gnoss?’
‘What you asked before. The reason Noradriana isn’t advancing is probably because Gaia is restricting her actions.’
I quickly asked Gnoss for a clarification.
‘Then for how long is that the case, do I have a chance to turn things around?’
‘No, but listen carefully. I have a good idea!’
I nodded back a proceed to hear his explanation.
‘Hm, then all that’s left to worry about is the League of Reincarnators’ interference?’
‘No, I don’t think Lorina wants to show herself. As an uninvolved third party, their goal is most likely to observe and report the situation back to the celestial gods. Most likely they are hoping for you to succeed in slaughtering the elves and dragons, which would lend credence to their cause.’
‘Is that so, then isn’t the best scenario for me to get along with the dragons?’
‘Perhaps it is, but it is unlikely for the prideful dragons to agree to it. It guess it was the League comrades who interfered after seeing you unharmed by her Doombringer strike. If that didn’t kill you it meant that her cause wasn’t justified, so she stirred up this war in hopes that you’d engage in mass slaughter.’
‘Hmm… the golem Matilda did try to dissuade her at that time. Was it her who helped me?’
‘For now I think we can ignore the League’s involvement.’
‘I wish I could, but I think it’s best to be prudent just in case.’
‘Just let you subordinates be extra careful while scouting the area.’
I climbed back up to the observatory, leaving Valenor peacefully sleeping downstairs. It was already nighttime and the lights of the enemy’s camp located roughly 20 km away were dimming.
‘Take all our troops and under the cover of night, retreat to the Wetheros Mountains. The weak shall be flown out while the rest march.’
‘Will we be abandoning this place?’
‘Yes, there isn’t any reason for all of you to lose your lives here.’
‘When will we be leaving?’
Alpeon had only momentarily paused her thoughts, demonstrating her great confidence in me.
‘Set out immediately, bring everyone and all the resources. Set up another kingdom in Wetheros.’
‘Okay, but won’t you be leaving with us Lord?’
‘I will join up with you guys later.’
‘Are you thinking of fighting them off all by yourself?’
‘How is that possible? Oh right, take Valenor as well, make sure no harm comes to her.’
‘Good, take Ian and Mallepi as well, leave as soon as possible.’
‘It will be done.’
Under Alpeon’s effective management, they were properly split up into different squadrons. The airborne golden Antilliens and Asmodians were in charge of transporting the weak and valuable resources. Zipping through the night soundlessly, they were closely followed by the infantry who marched on behind them, slowly trickling out through the back so as to not be noticed by the enemy.
‘Johra, you can’t try and shoulder all the responsibility this time!’
‘Don’t worry too much about me Ian, I’m just grateful to have met you, Gwyn and Mallepi.
Ian was probably feeling bad because the last time we spoke she was angry with me.
Dawn was soon rising and my last Squadron of infantry had just set out. However, Alpeon refused to leave and stayed by my side.
“Why? I want to stay with you Lord.”
“Sorry but that isn’t possible, what I’m about to embark in can only be done alone.”
Alpeon dropped her antenna and said.
“Somehow I get the feeling that I won’t be seeing you again Lord!”
It was not the Alpeon I was accustomed to, her usual self would never show such helplessness.
“Don’t worry about me Alpeon, I’m hard to kill. Quickly go back first, everyone is waiting for your instructions!”
I stroked her antennae and she finally left with a worried expression.
When the sun finally rose, shining its rays upon my Pit’s palace, there was no one left but myself.
“Time to begin our counterattack!”
In the distance I spotted some movement amongst the Elves’ army.
The enemies were probably very confident due to yesterday’s victory and were slowly advancing, expecting to win easily.
“Is their speed reduced because they are escorting the an offspring of the World’s Roots? Gnoss, it’s perhaps just as you expected, they are transplanting a young bud and want to use the nectar here to provide for it.”
‘Although it isn’t certain, there are very few explanations as to why a dragon would choose to march so slowly. They may indeed be escorting the World Root’s offspring to the Pit.
The entire Elves army was advancing steadily with the Elder dragon in tow. All their actions screamed of them trying to protect something precious. My next move was going to be completely crazy, but hopefully one that they wouldn’t expect. I had no choice to send my minions away and to try this risky gambit of mine. Even if I were to die I could resurrect, but the same wasn’t true for my subordinates. From now on I will be the invisible arrow which strikes the enemy’s heart.
‘Time to begin my counter attack!’
I hid myself perfectly before the enemy commenced their assault.
I quickly passed the through the Elves and dragons, but no one noticed my presence. I had arrived just behind Noradriana and found a colorful carriage, slowly and ceremoniously advancing.
‘Is that it?’
If activated, Noradriana’s spell could nullify all magic, but it wasn’t possible for her to stop me from physically interfering. The carriage wasn’t as well guarded as I had expected. Perhaps no one considered that anyone would be crazy enough to attack it under the Elder dragon’s watch. With a combination of Levitation and Invisibility, I approached the carriage soundlessly. Although I had yet to have been noticed, the danger of being spotted increased the longer I stayed here.
‘Gnoss, can you confirm that it’s an offspring of the World’s Root?’
‘Yea, that’s right.’
The buds before me were tiny in size, their names flashing in rainbow colours. I carefully reached out to grab them.
Noradriana had sensed something and stopped advancing. Likewise, all the elves turned around to stare at the carriage.
Without giving the green Elder dragon a chance to sing her magic nullifying spell, I hightailed it out of their as quickly as possible, taking the buds with me. She was closing in on my position. Although I was invisible, I couldn’t hide the green light emitted by the seeds.
Koo Woo Woo!
The Elves and dragons were left behind in the dust, only Noradriana could barely keep up with my teleporting speed, but she didn’t dare to use her Dragon’s Breath for fear of harming the young roots.
“Ha ha ha, continue to chase me!”
I was moving very fast with a series of quick and short teleport jumps. The sounds of the Elven troops could no longer be heard, so I looked back to see what was going on. My pursuers all moved at different speeds forming what appeared like a pyramid heading my way.
‘As expected, Kikiki’
I also noticed that Noradriana was struggling to catch up to me. It appears that through successive teleports I was slightly faster than the speed of sound.
‘Gnoss, how much time until Noradriana reaches my position?’
‘She’s about six kilometers out, so in about 30 seconds.’
‘Great, plenty of time.’
‘Allow me to give you the right incantation….’
‘In a second, I’m almost done there.’
I had travelled a significant distance, about 20 km away from my Pit. and was looking back at the dragons closing in on my position.
‘Ready! Use this spell!’
This had been my plan from the beginning, planting the buds away from my pit, and sealing them so they couldn’t be moved. That way Noradriana had no choice but to stay here and defend them.
I quickly used my Creation magic and followed Gnoss’ instructions.
[You have learned Special Sword Sealing Lv1]
I planted the the young offspring and pulled out a black sword. It was the same sword Nabe had used to seal me.
‘You just say ‘Seal’, it’s the trigger word to begin the spell.
I brutally stabbed the young roots with sword and a sort of darkness spread to the plant, as it hung to the side looking half dead.
‘Did I inadvertently kill it?’
‘No, the Sealing skill is quite cruel in the sense that you can trap a target indefinitely without it ever dying. Later, if it’s unsealed there is a chance of it dying, but we can’t allow that to happen now because then we wouldn’t be able to control Noradriana’s movements. Perhaps she would be punished for her failure, but that’s still uncertain and not something we can count on.’
‘Is there a chance that Lorina could come and retrieve it?
‘Maybe, but if they were to unseal the root, it is sure to die. I made some small modifications to the spell.’
‘Gnoss, do you perchance have a bad personality?’
‘Well…I have also suffered at their hands.’
Huu Woong Huooong
The green Elder dragon finally arrived to the scene of the crime.
“Ha ha ha, I’ve sealed the young plant here, so you have no choice but to stay here and protect it now!”
She looked at me without approaching too close, hatred pouring out of her eyes.
“King of the Undead, to you really think you have won with this little stunt of yours?”
I saw the four dragons approaching in the distance.
“Why? Are you curious what my intention is? The young offsprings are just a bit sick but they won’t die as long as they are sealed. That means that you are also forever bound to guard them here, just don’t try to pull out the sword or they might die! Ha ha ha, sorry I need to go back now and greet some unwelcome guest! Teleport! Teleport!….”
I was heading back to the Pit, while Noradriana tried to hit me with a lucky Breath. Of course I had expected her to attack as soon a I was no longer near her precious plants, so I was randomizing my teleports so as to not create a pattern.
“You bad guys, don’t you know it’s polite to knock when you enter another’s house?”
The Elves’ ground troops had suffered losses due to the numerous traps and pitfalls, whereas their airborne division had run in the almost invisible spider webs placed by the High-Arachnids and had been poisoned.
It was time to wrap up my plan, having successfully separated the dragons from the troops. I could finally collect all these free experience points and rush towards my next evolution.
“Meteor! Fireball! Volcano!….”
Spamming my wide array of spells, I proceeded to decimate their number, earning boundless experience.
[+3741 experience points][+7482 experience points][+14964 experience points]….
[Level increased 664 ➢ 666]
[Level has reached Max]
[Evolution is now possible]
It was a beautiful message which I hadn’t seen for a very long time. I quickly opened up my Status page to look at my options despite being embroiled in battle with several angry Elves.
✧ Evolution Choice
[Demi-Lich] [Golden Dragon] [Golden Slime]
‘Gnoss, what’s a Demi-Lich?’
I asked telepathically while continuing to teleport and rain death upon them.
‘Is that truly the one that you want? It is a class filled with darkness and you become a foul monster. Although powerful, you will become evil incarnate and will be drawn to the dark side.’
‘What about it’s rank?’
‘It usually starts up at around B+, but it could go up to A depending on the levels. Still, try to ignore the rank…you would be the representation of death itself.
‘Is it certain that I’d fall to darkness?’
‘Johra, are you truly set on picking it?’
‘Do I have a choice? Would the Golden Dragon or Slime be helpful in this situation?’
‘Okay, but just promise me one thing.’
“Fireball! Meteor! Teleport!”
‘What is it? Haven’t I already made an oath to you?’
I was conversing with Gnoss while trying to kill as many Elves as possible. They were so numerous that despite their countless deaths, they had already advanced to the palace grounds. ‘Promise me that you will not succumb to the darkness. That you won’t become a envoy for evil and reign destruction upon the land.’
‘Why should I make this promise?’
‘Actually I had been holding on to some Divine Grace, if I were to give it to you it would give you some measure of resistance towards the darkness of a Demi-Lich. However, once I do hand it all over to you, I would become nothing more than an empty shell. That’s why I require your word on this.
‘Are you truly worried I’d fall to darkness?’
‘The sole existential purpose of a Demi-Lich is to bring about destruction. You will naturally harm all the living near you, and this bit of Divine Grace is the only way to prevent that from happening.
‘Fine, If you want it so much, I promise to not want to destroy the world.’
‘Great, and also don’t try to kill Noradriana. If you do Gaia will descend to this plane and take avenge her, and she isn’t an existence you can contend with. So keep that in mind and always be rational. Please repeat after me. Oakasa Mana Amata Pita San Manatama Room Nama Hase Tamara Samraya Avechi … ‘
I was fixed in place as Gnoss completed his complicated spell. Deep blue tendrils of lights were slowly seeping into my body. I was happy when the chanting finished, as I could finally take my revenge on the pesky Elves who had taken this opportunity to land several attacks on me.
[Acquired ｟Title: Protection from Darkness｠]
‘Is it over now Gnoss?’
There was no answer, the emerald green jewel had lost its lustre. The battle continued however, as I couldn’t wait for him to answer and was expecting the four dragons to arrive momentarily. I sprinkled the last nectar that I was carrying around on my belt and proceed with the Evolution on on my Status page.
[Evolution is complete][You have learned Aura of Terror Lv7][You have learned Greater Magic Dispel Lv1][You have learned Harm Lv1][You have learned Paralysis Stare Lv1][You have learned Energy Drain Lv1][You have learned Magic Immunity Lv1][You have learned Soul Seal Lv1][You have learned Turn Undead Lv1][You have learned Flight Lv1][You have learned Of Death Lv1][You have learned Astral Projection Lv1][You have learned Death God’s View Lv1][You have learned Frozen Immunity LvMax][You have learned Electric Immunity LvMax][You have learned Magic Jewel Creation Lv1][You have learned Undead Creation Lv1]
With a flash my golden body gained a pinkish hue, as I became a Demi-Lich. Immediately my visions changed dramatically, I was able to clearly separate living and nonliving forms due to being able to see their life force.
I locked eyes with a Elf nearby and reached out to touch him. Paralyzed by our eye contact, he was unable to escape and as soon as my hand reached him, he instantly turned to ashes. I did the same to all the Elves nearby and absorbed all their lifeforce.
[Harm level 3 ➢ 4]
“It’s a walking disaster!”
“He’s a Death God!”
“We can’t fight him, run away!”
The Elves who just moments ago had been rushing towards me, were now fleeing for their lives. It was a instinctual fear due to my Aura of Terror, as well as seeing their comrades turning to ashes with but a simple touch which caused them to flee in panic.
I continued to pursue them as I would paralyze them with but a single fleeting glance and then turn them to ashes. Perhaps this kind of death would even prevent them from being Resurrected.
They had soon escaped from the palace and climbed the cliff walls to return to the plains. Having lost all thoughts about attacking me, they were only focused on preserving their lives and no magic spells came my way. Still, even if they had tried to damage me, I could easily gain all the HP back through my Lifesteal.
Watching them escape I realized that it wouldn’t be interesting to chase them anymore.
‘They are just puny bugs to me now, I don’t even receive any experience points for killing them.’’
I could see the 4 dragons approaching me while Noradriana stayed behind to protect the young plant. There were no longer any elves in sight as they had either all died or run away. Their reserve armies were no longer approaching as they probably learned about my terrifying existence.
I willed myself to take to the air and my body rose naturally.
[Flight level 1 ➢ 2]
I was able to soar through the skies, unlike levitation which only allowed for me to hover.
“Cursed undead, you have truly become a wicked being!”
The dragons had arrived and kept about 100 meters distance from me while cursing my existence. They were perhaps wary of my newfound power and were taking the time to evaluate my abilities.
“Foolish dragons, you are digging your own graves!”
Without the presence of Noradiana, these four dragons were nothing but experience points in my eyes. I could simply reach out and grab the source of their life force which would prove fatal to them. As long as they didn’t attack me first I wasn’t even considering attacking them.
Since the moment I had become a Demi-Lich, my life felt very bland and filled with boredom.
“Hoooh Although I’m not confident if we can win, we have no choice but to go all out! If we don’t put an end to him now, he will be a plague upon this world!”
The red dragon roared to his sibling, I pondered on the fear I sensed in his voice. He wasn’t attacking me out of pride or arrogance, but for fear of his own life and I didn’t wish to kill someone that was simply acting out in self-defense. This was despite knowing that he would gladly end me if given the chance.
“Go, I will spare you but don’t make me regret it. You can gather the Elves’ bodies and take them to Noradriana to be resurrected, I don’t like them littering my lands.”
In end I was able to restrain my desire to kill, because of Gnoss’ last will which was for me not to fall into darkness. I sensed that if I were to kill the dragons right here and now, I would continue down a never ending path of slaughter.
“What are your intentions?”
The pale blue dragon asked suspiciously.
“I simply changed my mind, you can thank a kind friend of mine for your lives.”
Turning my back to them, I flew back to my observatory and looked down at my territory that had become a tomb for countless lives.
“I beautiful portrait of death, I shouldn’t have asked the dragons to remove the bodies.”
My only driver was the desire and love for death, and only the Title bestowed on me by Gnoss had allowed me to somewhat reign in the need for mass slaughter.
I were were to ignore the title and list it as inactive, I had no doubt that I would become a calamity for all living beings on the planet, just as Gnoss had feared. It was a temptation for pure power that was always lingering in my mind, but at least for the moment I still had some measure of free will.
The dragons were now removing the last of the dead bodies and I continued to stare at the battlefield well into the night.
The next day, the Elves who had survived as well as their reinforcements officially retreated.
The four dragons continued to monitor my movements from afar, staying in caves which were close by Noradriana’s position.
‘Is everything ok Johra? I was worried about you and wanted to know what’s going on but I didn’t want to interrupt you at a critical moment.’
‘Nothing to worry about Ian, the battle has been won, so you can tell the others they can return now.’
When I heard Ian’s cheerful response, I realised that despite winning the battle, it came at the price of my human emotions and wasn’t sure I liked the tradeoff.
“The reason Demi-Liches resort to violence and fall to darkness must be due to excessive boredom. Still, I feel like even if I were to destroy this world it wouldn’t cure my apathy.”
I stood in the midday sun, looking out into the fields and muttering to myself in a bored voice.
“Is there even any fun left?”
I felt a loss as to how to proceed until I thought about Lorina. I was able to motivate myself by thinking of all the terrible things I would do to hurt her as much as possible.
“Whoa! Lord… please control your wrath!”
Alpeon was the first to arrive back at the palace but upon meeting my gaze he was instantly intimidated and paralyzed.
“Get back, don’t allow anyone near me.”
Valenor had yet to recover from her mental injury and was still sleeping peacefully. None of my subordinates could resist my Aura of Terror, including Gwyn, Ian and Mallepi. If any would approach me they would instantly feel the presence of death looming and were likely to faint shortly after.
As a result of my victory over the elves, I spent most of my time by myself in the observatory tower, lonely.
‘Damn, just when I need Gnoss the most!’
‘Did you call for me?’
Gnoss answered me telepathically.
‘Are you still alive?’
‘Not exactly, I can’t do anything except speak with you.’
‘Oh were you able to use your telepathy with other beings before?’
‘Yes that used to be the case, but now I’m effectively dead to the rest of the world. I can only converse with you because of the contract we made in the cave where I would always be there to answer your questions. You could say that I’m just a shadow of my former self, being held together by the power of that oath.
‘How suspicious, you were able to speak telepathically with other people as well?’
‘Don’t worry about too much, it wasn’t something that concerned you. Now tell me what questions you have and I shall answer. You’ve kept up your end of the oath so I have to honor our contract.
‘Alright good, listen to my plan Gnoss, I require some advice.’
I proceeded to give him some more details about my intentions.
‘Hm it sounds like a reasonable long-term revenge goal. Although it does involve the suffering of many people, it might be a necessary evil to shock the world and set it back on the right path. I’m ready to help as you see fit.’
Hearing his answer convinced me of the viability of my plan. The small problems I wasn’t able to account for could be remedied with Gnoss’ knowledge.
‘Also, is there any way for me to control my Aura of Terror or my Paralysis Stare?’
‘Unfortunately I don’t have any Divine Grace left so I can’t restrict them.’
‘Divine Grace… then if I level up can I expect to have a better control over my skills?’
‘Maybe… but now that you’re at a relatively high rank, you’ll find it much more difficult to level up. That is unless you go to the Chaos Lands’
‘Chaos Lands?, Is it the same place that the Asmodians are trying to return to? Would it be easier for me to gain levels over there?’
‘Although it is hard for ordinary creatures to survive, if they do somehow manage to thrive, then they would be much stronger than monsters in this World. There is a legend that that the elve’s homeland, Elvenheim also can be found there by following the World’s Roots, but they have yet to succeed.’
‘Right, well at least I know where the World’s roots are.’
‘Yes, with that as a first clue you have a good chance of reaching those lands..’
Although it may be inconvenient to take care of my subordinates right now as I couldn’t meet them directly, they will be necessary tools in my grand revenge plan.
I instructed Alpeon to summon the best dwarven craftsmen.
I was able to magically create gems out of thin air. Although the skills level was still low, if I managed to improve it I could later create some higher level jewels.
In this world magic gems were quite rare and expensive. For those that were unable to use magic they could be used as a substitute and had many uses such as heating during the winter months and a power source to boil water. I was indeed an anomaly, a crazy skeleton. I required 10~20,000 MP to create a jewel. A normal wizard would require 10 days of rest after creating one and it wasn’t worth their trouble. I my case, my current MP was more than 120000. and my Mana Regeneration was level is 8 which meant I could recover 20000 MP in 3 hours. This meant that I could use the spell several times per day while still maintain maximum mana levels.
[Magic Jewel Creation level 3 ➢ 4]
As the skill level rose, the amount of gems created at a time rose to 10~15. Naturally, the rank of the gems also increased from F to E.
‘Lord, I’ve brought the Dwarves as requested.’
‘Here catch this!’
I threw down my magical jewels to Alpeon from the observation tower.
‘What is this?’
‘Hand it over to the Dwarves so they can make some specialised equipment.’
I soon heard a commotion breaking out.
‘What’s going on there? Is there some sort of problem?’
‘Not at all, they are simply very surprised to see so many unique magic gems. Normally it is hard to see just a single one.
The craftsmen that encountered the pouch full of gems sighed in amazement.
‘Tell Inor that it is my command, and he is to sell the equipment he produces to the humans at a high price. Try to accumulate as much gold as possible. Also inform him focus on developing and discovering these new mines.’
‘I will see to it.’
I proceeded to give Alpeon the location of al the Iron, copper, silver, gold and platinum mines within the Wetheros mountains that I could discover due to my ownership view.
‘From now on come to collect more gems from me once every three days. You can also accept silver as payment if gold becomes too scarce, and use half the funds acquired from this venture to purchase grain seeds and begin planting immediately.
‘Yes Lord, I will do so.’
I continued to devote myself exclusively to the production of magical jewels. The following day, Valenor finally woke up from her deep sleep and joined me on the top tower in my favorite human girl form.
“Johra why didn’t you wake me up, what’s happened since? Oh no, what’s happened to my husband’s lower body! Are you okay?”
Fortunately Valenor was unaffected by my aura or gaze, at least I wasn’t completely alone in this world.
‘Everything is fine now Valenor, it was all taken care of.’
Valenor hugged me tightly but I couldn’t do the same. If my palm was to touch her then my skill that violently absorbed lifeforce would be activated, which could prove fatal even to her.
“It was due to my incompetence that you were injured, this isn’t right! I will curse those guys until the end of time and make sure they suffer one thousand fold what you have for their crimes.
“It’s ok… everything’s fine now so relax.’
I petted her with my back of bony hand, seeing her her eyes fill with tears.
I also had to block Valenor’s hand who was reaching for my own.
“What wrong, why don’t you want to hold hands?”
“It’s too dangerous for you, you might die.”
“Oh, what;s happened? I also noticed that your body is more of a light red gold rather than your previous golden color.
I nodded back to her.
“I’m now a Demi-Lich”
“Demi-Lich, what is that?’
“ Well the dragons said that it was a harbinger of death and destruction.”
“Destruction, good if that is my partner’s wish then i will fully support you!”
“I wouldn’t do such a troublesome thing, I just hate it when others covet my own possessions.
“Just follow your heart and do as you wish, I will stand behind you. If you want to burn down this world and fill it with death, I will join you.
Valenor’s eyes were burning with passion.
“Ok, but I don’t want to do such an annoying thing”
“ You want to protect what’s yours? I can understand. I am Johra’s wife and swear to forever be your shield.”
Valenor leaned her head upon my chest and muttered quietly to herself.
“But you can’t get hurt because of me again, it isn’t fair…”
I gently storker her head as she fell back asleep in my embrace.
‘At least I’ll always have Valenor here by my side.’
Your wife is indeed strong willed. Most dragons would not be able to stand your Aura of Terror or your gaze, it means she trusts you unconditionally. If she had any doubts or second thoughts, then she would probably suffer instead, I was a good matchmaker after all….’
‘Really Gnoss, just how long are you going to keep up this lie?’
‘All’s well that ends well right?’
‘Why don’t you repeat that to my lower half?’
‘Are you still angry about that?’
‘Enough, if it weren’t for the fact that I ended up with Valenor I would have already buried you in some no-man’s land on at least 10 different occasions.
After quieting down Gnoss, I turned my gaze to the mountain range to the East which now housed the dragons.
‘It seems like they are planning to remain here and keep watch over me. Looks like I’ have to go over there and show them who’s boss.’
Noradriana and her other dragons were after all still hostile with me, so I couldn’t allow such a threat to persist so close to my Pit.
‘Gnoss, last time you mentioned that it was possible to bind dragons to you through a vow.’
‘Yes, Dragons are powerful creatures, but the strength of an oath supercedes all that. Are you planning on forcing them into serving you?’
‘I can’t very well allow such risk to remain on the doorsteps to my new kingdom.’
‘Hmm… ok then but it would be better if you challenged them to a duel. If you try to force them to take a vow the result might not be the best, but if you can best them in a duel, it should give you control over them.’
‘Right, propose a duel with certain conditions, however make sure not to kill any dragons or else the High Gods may intervene.’
‘Who are these High Gods and why do they always stick their noses into my affairs?’
‘They are quite arrogant and meddlesome. Actually your level right now is sufficient to fight one of them head on, but as soon as there are two then you’d have no chance, so for the moment it’s best for you not to meet with them.
Although I was originally planning to force the dragons into obeisance, I decided to do it Gnoss’ way instead.
Without sleep I continued to produce gems non-stop. I became known as the skull jewelery manufacturer. Due to my flooding the market, the price of the precious gems was bound drop drastically.
‘Bring all those who have some farming experience to meet Alpeon tomorrow.’
Alpeon was to play a crucial role in the first stage of my long-term plan. I was planning on establishing a large metropolis with my Palace at the very center. According to Gnoss, although most Asmodians were hunter-gatherers, some of them should be specialised in agriculture. Although we were self-sufficient at the moment, the goal was to create a vibrant city that could provide for its own needs.
“Did I oversleep too much again? I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay Valenor, you woke up just on time. Come with me, we’ll be going over there.
I pointed with my finger towards the Eastern mountains which housed the dragons.
“Good, are we going to get revenge?”
“I’m going to beat them into submission.”
I climbed up behind Valenor’s head. Although I could now fly by myself, it was more gentlemanly to ride a dragon.
In but a short time we had arrived before Noradriana and her children.
“Why are you here, do you wish to fight once again undead King?”
Noradriana spoke to me with her booming voice, but held far less hostility than last time. Our distance from each other was roughly 500 meters, although she could speak to me, my voice wouldn’t be able to reach her so I used telepathy.
‘Elder dragon, despite having invaded my lands I have elected to spare your children’s lives. However, going forward I can’t allow those who are hostile towards me to remain within my territory.
“Oh are you looking to fight again? Good, I also don’t like you! I was simply thankful that you allowed the remaining elves to escape with their lives, that’s why I’ll allow you the first move”
‘I’m challenging you to a duel.’
“A duel, why would you want that?”
‘If I lose, I agree to be sealed for all eternity. Butt if I win, you have to submit to me and guard my lands forever.
“Are you trying to treat us like guard dogs?”
‘Don’t forget that if I were to lose I would be sealed forever as well.’
Noradriana turned to her other dragons and they proceed to discuss amongst themselves.
“Cowards! How can you even be scared when it’s 5 versus 2!”
Valenor added fuel to the fire, and they became even more agitated.
“We accept, but she is not to take part in this, it will be us 5 versus you!”
“What! Such lowly cowards! Where is your pride as dragons?”
Valenor was fuming at their proposal, but I proceeded to nod my head.
“Johra just ignore them, you don’t have to accept such unfair conditions!”
“It’s fine Valenor, I’m confident in my victory.”
I flew out from behind Valenor’s head and sat down before Noradriana.
“Come here little Dragons, it’s time I show you the true meaning of fear!”
Noradriana didn’t hesitate to interrupt my provocation in order to try to catch me off guard with her null-magic zone and prevent me from escaping.
‘At least my flight continues to be effective within a null-magic area.’
It was the result I was hoping for, because I felt that flight had become an innate ability which didn’t require an incantation to cast.
“Undead King your flight isn’t magic! Regardless, there is no way you can best us in this space!”
The red dragon was the first to rush towards me. Since they also couldn’t use any magic spells, they had no choice but to rely on their physical attack and breath. The only thing that I was worried about was their claws that caused both physical and magic damage at the same time. Although I had high physical and magic resistance, an attack that combined both would be capable of breaking my defenses.
I pulled out a magic jewel from my pocket. I had learned from Gnoss that these jewels could store a limited amount of magic, allowing me to cast some spells despite being in a restricted area.
The red dragon’s claws swiped through my previous location, but I had already landed upon his forehead.
“You need to learn to stay quiet and be more humble.”
I reached out with my hand, and using my Death God’s view latched onto one of his larger life strands. It quickly turned black from my mere touch and his vitality was severely crippled. I then used the power within the jewel to teleport away.
Speuugh Kuu Woong!
The dragon puked out blood and his HP had dropped drastically. The harmful abilities brought about by the touch of my palm were innate, this meant that although I couldn’t control it, it also remained functional within this null-magic zone.
“What have you done undead King? How is it possible for you to be using magic here?”
The other three dragon flocked to their sibling’s again and asked me worriedly.
“You’d best clear this magic blocking song of yours and focus on healing him Noradriana, if left alone his vitality will drop. You don’t want him to die now do you?”
I continued to deliberately provoke her.
She stopped her song and I patiently waited with my arms crossed, allowing her to help the red dragon recover. I was confident that I could reproduce the same result regardless of how many times we went at it.
“Ok, let’s do this one more time!”
Despite being healed, the red dragon continue to suffer from a great mental trauma. My Aura of Terror was doing wonders on him after having suffered from my touch of death. He and his siblings were now easily suppressed before me and had it not been for Noradriana’s presence, they would have long submitted.
“King, you are indeed evil and mighty!”
“Is that supposed to be some praise?”
“Noradriana, You are quite talkative for someone who’s on the back foot in a 5 versus 1!”
Valenor decided to join in from the side, provoking them by attacking their ego.
“ I have a question for you, King!”
“Oh are we battling with words now? Sure go ahead.”
“How did you receive the Divine Grace to remain lucid as a Demi-lich?”
I quickly asked Gnoss.
‘Is that something that I should reveal?’
‘No problem, please tell them that you’ve made an oath with Gnoss. After all it might just be my greatest lifetime achievement.’
Gnoss spoke to me proudly through our telepathy. Although I didn’t like his smug tone, it was true that he had risked his life to protect my sanity.
“It was a gift given to me by the Supreme Sage, at the cost of his own life.”
“Was is that guy named Gnoss? Damn why would that female warrior mark you as an enemy then? How pathetic, am I expected to attempt to purify you at the cost of my own life, there isn’t any real reason to do so if you were accepted by a Supreme Sage. How should I proceed? Please Gaia show me the way….”
“What are you doing in the middle of a fight? And what, you want exchange your life to purify to me? just go ahead and try.”
Although I was truthfully a little worried when she mentioned a special ability to cleanse me, I felt reassured knowing that I had my Life Vessel as an insurance.
‘Johra you need to remain cautious. Don’t forget as a pseudo-Messiah, Noradriana carries some Divine Grace from Gaia, so the results can be unpredictable.’
‘Gnoss… Why didn’t you mention this before? ‘
‘Sorry it had slipped my mind, anyways be careful because I don’t know what kind of special ability she has.’
I kept acting nonchalantly on the outside, but I was in fact watching her every move with rapt attention.
“I will ask you one last thing undead King!”
What pledge did the Supreme Sage require you to make before bestowing on you his last Divine Grace? Knowing him he would surely not take the oath lightly. I’ll hear the weight of your pledge and choose my actions accordingly!”
“He asked me to vow not to bring destruction upon this world. Are you done talking now, can we continue with our duel? This is getting boring….”
As I finished talking I noticed the five dragons before me had lowered their heads to the ground. It was the same posture Valenor had taken when I defeated her in our duel.
‘You’ve won Johra, that’s the dragons posture for defeat and subservience.’
“From this day forth, we pledge to be the eternal guardians of the Pit and the Lord.”
“Not just the Pit, you have to defend your King’s entire Kingdom! And don’t forget that I’m second in command so you also need to follow me!”
Valenor arrived beside me and spoke brusquely to the dragons.
“We are not under the King’s command, we simply keep to our vow of defending the Pit.”
Noradriana answered her in a soft voice.
“I shall believe in your vow.”
“Lord, we hope that you don’t go astray and fall to the darkness.”
The pale blue dragon spoke out to me.
“That has yet to be determined, I only lash out to those that my come and provoke me just as you have. Let’s get going Valenor.”
I hopped onto her back and returned to my observatory tower.
‘Lord, I have gathered the Asmodians which you asked for.’
‘Good, help them dismantle all the traps and proceed with transforming the land into agricultural fields.
The large plains surrounding the Palace were quickly being transformed into fields that could sustain large-scale planting. The High-Arachnids, Orcs and Hobgoblins were all pitching in to till the land and expand the fields.
The Antilliens helped by digging underground waterways which were used to create an elaborate irrigation system, and the Blue dragon had a spell which could summon the rain, making my lands very fertile.
‘Lord, the dwarves have returned with the gold and seeds for our crops.’
A long procession of caravans were seen approaching from afar, carrying a tremendous amount of goods and materials.
‘Soak the seeds for at least four days in the World’s nectar before planting them.’
There were still many unknown benefits from the nectar. Even Gnoss didn’t have a complete knowledge regarding it, so I was eager to experiment. Because it was currently late spring, our main crops to plant at the moment was the soybean. Although I currently had enough for my people to survive in this world, I was instead envisioning an empire that could thrive and be prosperous.
‘Johra, last time you mentioned that you had some friends to introduce me to, is that still possible?’
Ian had contacted me telepathically when she had recovered her condition. When they had returned from Wetheros she was one of the first to rush towards me and had suffered as a consequence, so now she learned to only speak to me telepathically.
‘I’m also worried about the well being of my friends since I haven’t seen them in quite some time. Please go and meet them Ian, and take the chance to make some new friends’
I sent Arin to lead Ian, Gwyn and Mallepi to the city of Gartmar. They would kind of be my secret spies sent under the guise of a militia using the name of Gartmar’s savior, Gaspard.
In but a few days I received a message from Ian.
‘Johra, I’ve met up with them and Kishande, Miranda and Ashe are all very kind. Everyone is doing great and have asked several times about your wellbeing. Did you really disappeared without mentioning anything?
‘Well… there’s a story behind it….’
‘Johra is such a bad man, leaving behind people who care about you and just walking away! At least everyone here even thinks of Gaspard as their great hero, so I’m happy to be here. Mallepi is always following me around so people have asked if he is my pet. Gwyn and Kishande have also become close. I should have listened your advice much earlier, am I such a bad girl for not doing so?
‘I don’t think so, well anyways I was worried about them but I’m glad to hear they’re doing well. Stay there for the next little while, I will send you the necessary supplies through Arin. I might also requires you to make some purchases of items we require here….’
‘Yeah! I do my job properly Captain!’
‘Isn’t that what they called you when you were the mighty Gaspard that led them into battle against the Goblins?’
I was glad to learn from Ian that the city was safe and doing well. I was worried that they would suffer from the aftershocks of the elves invasion due to their proximity.
The cultivating of new lands was progressing smoothly and the fields were getting greener by the day. Weapons, armors and ornaments were produced with help from my Jewel Creation ability and the Dwarves’ workshop which was always running. These products crafted by the dwarves had made waves in other villages and became our primary source of revenue.
We used the funds raised from these operations to create new fortifications and buildings. It also went into buying livestock and material used to expand our city. We hired skilled workers and worked on a design that grew the city while keeping the Pit’s Palace at the very center.
The dragons showed interest in my plans for developments and had elected to help out from time to time. While expanding, they helped break down mountains and carried the large chunks of stone to the stonemasons for them to work on. They also helped develop enormous furnaces for the dwarves with their Dragon’s Fire.
Surrounding tribes quickly heard rumors of our new city and migrated their clans to join us. It was soon recognized as a paradise where non-humans of all races could coexist peacefully.
Through Alpeon’s diligent management, districts were set up in such a way that rival clans were less likely to meet, and the peace of my city was ensured. Our population and growth was explosive due to all these people and creatures joining us in such large numbers. It began with the talented fairies, then more dwarves joined with their highly skilled labor. We even had some gnomes come who were capable of producing mechanical products and great feats of engineering. All our unique products were then exported to the world which came to know us as Necropolis. The profits created from these new businesses and ventures helped catapult the city into a new age of prosperity.
At the heart of all the operation was Alpeon and her Antilliens. Because the insects innately very Hierarchical and loyal, I never had to worry about corrupt bureaucrats. They were also an effective police force who would travel the streets and solve all sorts of conflicts, playing an important role in my city’s development.
One of our greatest industries was husbandry. The crops which grew from seeds that had soaked in the World Root’s nectar were nutritious and plentiful. Likewise the cattle that was raised and fed these crops provided meat and milk of a superior quality.
After a few merchants had exported these goods to the outside world, the demand for them never dropped and a healthy commerce industry was established. Nobles from across the land would start bidding wars for said meat because of its delicious taste and limited quantity. People began to recognize it as the legendary city of the Undead King and as such was termed Necropolis.
However, unlike what the name might suggest, it was a vibrant city for the living, where all creatures who weren’t human could thrive. A place where art and technology flourished, in an environment which condemned discrimination on account of race and where hard work was rewarded with a proper standard of living. Where special delicacies as well as finely crafted works by the dwarven artisans were plentiful.
Because the only humans allowed in were the merchants, it was natural for myths and legends to travel the world as forms of gossip. Stories of rarely seen monster races living in harmony and tales of 6 dragons guarding the gates of the legendary city Necropolis spread far and wide, exaggerated as rumours usually are.
The merchants who were allowed to visit and trade with Necropolis soon gained a unique status in the human world. They had gained more respect and power than many nobles simply by virtue of having access to Necropolis’ goods.
Within but a year and a half of my city’s expansion plan, stories of Necropolis were spoken across the continent. They were often filled with praise and awe, and few people remembered about nor mentioned the war with the elves or the conflict with the League of Reincarnators.
“Damn it! Why is everyone jumping on board with this new city of Undead? Don’t they realize how evil that guy is? He is using this as a foundation to later conquer the world!”
In a dingy bar, a woman dressed as a warrior was in the middle of a drunken rant. The ones sitting nearby by had no choice but to listen in while trying to enjoy their wine.
“Lorina, considering all the good their city has brought, would it be bad for him to conquer the world in such a way? The truth of the matter is that he isn’t hurting anyone.”
Lorina was sitting together with the little vampire girl Roslin. They had separated from their original group of Reincarnators and were now known as the Warriors, because Matilda and the others didn’t share their views. At first they had been in agreement to kill Johra, but after the Elves’ no one would support them.
The elves which had been mobilized by the tribe of dragons had been thoroughly defeated and the dragons involved had even ended up serving the Undead Lich. After stories of how Johra had spared the Elves’ lives had spread, the Messiahs of the High-Gods had chosen not to intervene and simply act as observers.
Gnoss’ plan had succeeded with that change of public opinion, therefore Lorina and Roslin’s voices were largely ignored by the masses. The success of the Necropolis had been instrumental in this.
“That villain is but a wolf in sheep’s clothing, how could everyone not see him for who he truly is!”
“How could Matilda be right? An undead not being evil, it’s simply not possible! Damn it all, this world is going to shit!”
“That’s enough Lorina, you’ve been drinking way too much. Let’s try to come up with a proper plan tomorrow when ours heads are clear.”
Roslin left the drunken Lorina to return to her house in the middle of the night. She owned a large mansion which had been bestowed to her my the kingdom due to the contributions of her party.
“Huh, royal guards in front of my house?”
She was surprised by the heavily armed guards standing before her gates. She was mystified by the situation and was not prepared for a fight. Was she not part of the great adventurer party which had served the kingdom and stood against evil on so many occasions? Roslin walked up to the guards and shouted out.
“What is the meaning of this, why do you guards block the entrance to my property?”
“We have been waiting for you miss Roslin, you have been charged with treason and by order of his majesty we are here to arrest you. We do not wish to use force and hope you follow us peacefully to keep your dignity as a great warrior.”
“What did you just say?”
Roslin couldn’t help but think she had heard wrong. How could the humans have turned on her.
“You fools! We have sacrificed so much and helped your people out on so many occasions, just what are you trying to pull here?”
Roslin was truly angry, and it was not only because of the excessive amount of wine she had just drunk. She had been working together with Lorina for sometime now, and although it was true that Lorina’s views were somewhat more radical, her motivations in helping the humans were those of righteousness and justice.
As a vampire she constantly thirsted for human blood. Still, she had never become corrupted and fallen to depravity, she simply consumed the blood in small quantities and kept control over her mental faculties largely due to this mindset of right and wrong.
However, now that Lorina’s beliefs had been shaken and she was no longer sure if the undead was truly evil. Roslin was likewise found herself doubting her thinking, and right when she was the most vulnerable, the fact that she had been betrayed by the humans despite having always stayed true to them had crossed her bottom line.
“Miss Roslin, I truly hope you come with us quietly, I don’t wish to do anything which would tarnish your honour….”
“Noisy bunch, how dare you doubt me. I will end your pathetic lives!”
Within seconds she had torn apart the ten royal guards apart limb from limb, using innate vampiric ability to paralyse them with fear. Her vampire instincts for bloodshed and violence as the nobility of the night had awoken and she slaughter those poor souls.
The very next day, Roslin, Lorina and her party of Warriors were charged with treason and there was a large bounty placed on their heads, wanted dead or alive. Rumours soon spread that their band had recently collaborated with a traitorous Marquis which had fallen to darkness and was known as the Devil King
‘Really? Those pieces of trash actually banded together? Ha Ha Ha! Great, dealing with them together is much simpler than chasing them down individually.’’
I was glad to hear from Alpeon the news about Lorina. I then proceed to begin negotiation talks with the kingdom that had turned on turned Lorena’s crew into rebels. We were discussing the possibility of establishing exclusive trade routes, a benefit which could not be overestimated because Necropolis had yet to do so with any other kingdom.
The land surrounding Necropolis had long been inhospitable to humans so other kingdoms held little claim on it. After all there had been many monsters inhabiting these areas which would make it quite challenging for a human settlement to survive. With Necropolis as it’s capital, the surrounding lands were soon recognized by other powers as an independent nation. In just a few short years it had developed into a booming economy with its unique products and its military force didn’t even need to be mentioned if one simply remembered the number of dragons it housed.
Having trading rights with Necropolis was something that any of the nations on the continent desired and they had sent countless diplomatic envoys to such end, but to this day they had all been turned down.
When the Athenian Empire heard of the trivial conditions that the new superpower Necropolis asked of them, they didn’t hesitate to throw the group of misfit Warriors under the proverbial bus in order to secure this deal. It was a testament to how powerful Necropolis had become, being able to deal with Lorina’s group with but a few simple promises. Roslin night of slaughter against the guards had been more than enough to sway public opinion, turning the former heroes into enemies of mankind. The human mind is quite petty in the sense that it is more likely to focus on one mistake than 10 acts of benevolence.
Necropolis’ influence was so large that for fear of offending them, no kingdom was willing to accept their band.
At the end of the day they had no choice but to join the Devil King’s nation. This was because they were the only kingdom which was at odds with Necropolis and therefore welcomed them with open arms because they were looking to increase their military strength.
The Devil King had been shocked by the defeat of the Elven army led by dragons, and was worried about Necropolis’ military might. His forces now joined with the Warriors, were on a mission to improve their strength and had gone on countless punitive expeditions within the north where there empire was located. Razing several smaller nearby kingdoms to the grounds with an army of consisting mostly of Asmodians
Rumours of these atrocities committed by the empire in concert with the band of Warriors which had until recently been regarded as heroes, led to further resentment towards them in the eyes of humanity.
For many years now the continent had been at peace under the watchful care of the gods. There was a certain harmony between the Asmodians and Human races, which were the two most powerful on the continent. However, the Asmodian that used to be scattered and leaderless, had now gathered under the ruthless Devil King and the era of peace had come to an end.
In order to deal with the new threat, humanity’s kingdoms likewise had to form a union, simply to ensure their own survival. And the war between the Devil King and Humanity’s union had been now been ongoing for some time. To deal with the new threat of the Devil king and the Warriors which had joined him, one of the High God’s Messiah had descended to join the fray.
‘Hmm… looks like they are all fighting amongst themselves, so far everything is going according to plan.
‘Johra when you first explained to me your plan I thought it was one of peace and prosperity, but now seeing it for what it truly is I’d say you would be hard pressed to find someone who is crueler than you. You played with those poor warriors live’s like a puppeteer. First forcing them to betray humanity which caused them to lose the favor of the gods. You gave them little choice but to join up with the Devil King’s army, permanently cementing them as the villains.
‘That’s what I enjoy most, seeing the brutal betrayal and their struggle to survive while I watch on casually.’
‘Remind me to never make an enemy out of you.’
While conversing with Gnoss I was looking down at my metropolis from atop the observational tower. Half of it was the golden fields used for agriculture while the rest was a vibrant city.
It was truly a gorgeous city, home to countless artistic pieces made by the dwarves and I was proud of the different number of races that were all coexisting in harmony. I had formed a habit of looking down on them every so often while Valenor lay her head against my chest and fell asleep. I had everything I would ever want.
‘Alpeon, how has the digging been going?’
‘Lord, I was just about to make a new report to you, while digging a new layer full of bizarre insects has been discovered.’
I had instructed Alpeon to proceed with excavating along the World Roots. About every 1 km we would without fail encounter an new floor filled with a new species of insects and the further we dug the stronger these new species would be. It was a fruitful affair as the more layers were discovered, the more I could raise my level and the more nectar we could collect.
We had indeed collected an abundance of the nectar, it was was enough to provide for more than 6~7 times Necropolis’ current population. However we weren’t distributing it for people to drink and it was reserved as a strategic resource to be used only for the crops. The extra grains from these crops would then be crushed into fine powder which if mixed with normal water, would produce similar result to the pure nectar; albeit being far more economical.
Some of the more scientific craftsmen in Necropolis were also focusing on researching new dishes that could be created or fields of magic to be studied in concert with the nectar.
As time went by, the development of Necropolis never slowed down and likewise the level and strength of my subordinates also increased. I wasn’t at all arrogant in thinking that i could take on the rest of this world with my army. The Palace warehouse contained uncountable riches and rare items from around the world and Necropolis’ prosperity was evident on its citizens’ faces.
“I’m starting to get fed up of this peaceful lifestyle, is it time to get my revenge on those Warriors?”
I asked Valenor while I stroke her silver hair with the back of my hand. She nodded back enthusiastically.
The time for laying low had past and the phase for my true revenge was about to begin.
‘Alpeon, inform the Union’s Kings that the Lord of Necropolis will lend a hand to defeat the Devil King.’
‘Has the time for our revenge finally come?’
‘Yes, we’ve waited a long time! Prepare the bottles of nectar, select but the bravest and strongest to join me on the battlefield and I will show you a great victory!’
‘It will be an honour Lord.’
From that day forth, Necropolis began to finally reveal its true form. Although its peaceful atmosphere hadn’t changed, the forces which I had been amassing and training in secret, deep beneath the ground had finally surfaced. It was the concentration of the world’s finest soldiers and equipment all in one place.
Indeed Necropolis was a city designed and built for war. Although its economic and cultural development wasn’t trivial, its main purpose was that of military power because none of that mattered if you weren’t strong enough to hold onto it. It had the power to take on any army in the world, this was without even mentioning its guardian dragons.
Still, for those that knew the truth, they would say that the true guardian of the city would forever be the pinkish gold skeleton. Just this Undead King alone could bring an entire nation to its knees with but a single glance.
So, in but a small and otherwise peaceful corner of the world, Necropolis with simply over one hundred somewhat troops was about to rewrite history on the continent.
I had selected my top 100 soldiers and readied them for departure. Over the past year and a half we have been using the Void Scuttles found beneath us to train and improve our strength. I also recruited exemplary creatures from the many races which chose to join our great city.
Our entirely airborne, top 100 man unit consisted of several different species, 1 Demi-Lich, 1 Dragon, 30 High-Antilliens, 30 Elder-Arachnids, 20 Asmodians, 10 High-Orcs and 8 Rare creatures which had joined us a bit later.
My troops were for the most part situated in the E~D rank range and were about the same level as the former King of the Pit. If he were to be faced with such a force, he would have no choice but to turn tail and run.
Of course I was still miles ahead of them in terms of strength, but I couldn’t take on a bunch of nations on all by myself. I was proud of the squad of elites that I had raised of the past year or so.
Naturally the one with the largest gains was my partner, Valenor. She had absolutely ravaged the Scuttles until her rank was promoted all the way to B+. The difference between a B- creature and a B+ was like that of heaven and earth. She had also shored up one her her biggest weaknesses which was her low health. With her now 20 million HP and a passive recovery skill gained from hunting various monsters, she was a true force to be reckoned with.
I had mostly been working on maxing out my skill levels. Unfortunately, there were some like Creation Magic and Undead Creation that didn’t rise with simple repetition. I would have to find another approach for them but Gnoss didn’t seem to have any ideas.
“Can’t we go ahead just the two of us?”
“No, I’d rather that we all travel together and fight as one cohesive unit.”
According to my sources, the Devil King’s armies which were spearheaded by Lorina and Roslin had been engaging in multiple raids against the Human Union’s resistance points as well as the Messiah who aided them. When I learned that the Union was on the backfoot, we came to their aid, travelling at great speeds
When my forces arrived, we positioned ourselves between several vulnerable castles which we believed to be likely targets. Should any of them suffer from an attack, there was a beacon system in place to alert allies, and we could respond as quickly as possible.
“Johra, are they over there?”
Valenor’s dragon vision was superior to mine and she could see a part of a castle burning from a great distance.
We were the first to arrive to the castle, and Valenor perched herself atop it’s tallest tower.
“Ha ha ha! It’s been a long time, Lorina!”
I laughed loudly upon seeing the miserable sight of the person I had wanted to get revenge on for some time now. Her formerly sparklingly heroic armor was scarred and covered in human blood, her air of superiority and smugness had long disappeared.
I was truly excited by the scene.
“Damn undead, was this trap all your doing?”
She cut down the surrounding humans with a swing of her sword before pointing it up to me angrily.
“Trap? Ha ha ha, well if you can call your current hellish life a trap then sure.”
Lorina was staring at me, angry and weary from battle
Likewise Roslin and Sigmund were nearby, also tired from the long battle.
‘Shall we kill them all Lord?’
The Asmodians in their army were also quite strong, but they were nothing more than experience in front of my superior forces.
“Eliminate everyone except for those Warriors.”
Instantly my subordinates fell upon them, tearing those Asmodians to pieces. They didn’t even use any magic, simply cutting or tearing their way right through them. The magic wielding Asmodian on the Devil King’s side had disappeared into the silence of the night, hardly putting up any resistance.
“Wha… Just what are these monsters? Sigmund!”
Lorina cried out to her tanky comrade in panic. He in turn tried to cast the Shield of Aegis, but it proved insufficient. I instructed my forces not to rely on magic because I was aware that the Warriors group had skill to counter it, that’s why we simply tore through them with brute force.
“Can I have just one of those tasty looking humans to myself?”
“Sorry, even if you are my wife I won’t give you a single bone on their body, they are mine to deal with!”
Although Valenor had difficulty controlling her thirst for battle, but this revenge was going to be entirely mine.
One of the Asmodians on my side which had not yet learned proper discipline had mistakenly kicked Roslin in the back. I gave him a stare and he immediately dropped down to the ground paralyzed.
“Johra you are truly merciless.”
Valenor cried out in a surprised tone when she saw my actions.
“They’re all mine.”
Lorina, Roslin and Sigmund remained in a defensive posture, as they looked around trying to find a way out of their situation. I had to commend them on their ability to remain standing despite being faced with my Aura of Terror and Paralysis Stare, but they had already reached their limit.
Even if Sigmund’s Aegis shield somewhat reduced the effects of my passive abilities, it didn’t mean that they could escape.
“Hmmm… it looks like things have been settled, I’ll be going down now Valenor so just continue observing form here.”
I used my flying ability to casually descend before Lorina.
“Do your know your sins, Lorina?”
“What sins? If I had any it would only be fighting and betraying the human race.”
“Yes, yes, I thought that might be the case. That’s why I’ve decided to give you some special treatment.”
Wicked undead! Even if you can deceive the world, I know you for what you truly are! Despite killing me today, another will rise up to punish you someday!”
“Lorina even at the very end you still can’t acknowledge that you were wrong. Why do you think it was that even Gnoss had chosen to oppose you?”
“…Gnoss? Are you somehow connected to that Supreme Sage?”
“It’s not terribly important. How about I start of with the two of you, Roslin and Sigmund.”
Although you both sinned against me, you were simply accesories to the fact so I shall grant you death!”
I flew over and simply grabbed Roslin by the neck.
“Curse you Undead king! You shall also die by another’s hand!”
“Yes I will, just not today.”
Rosling had been completely destroyed by my deadly touch.
Sigmund had slumped down to the ground.
“I don’t know you very well, but my greatest regret is dying while being regarded as the bad guy.”
Sigmund had likewise become a pile of ashes.
[You have gained a new Identity]
“Die! Come out and show your might, Doombringer!”
Lorina had used her unique Chosen warrior skill while I was dealing with Sigmund and had my back turned to her. Unfortunately for her, I had been anticipating her move and simply blocked it with Excalibur.
“Wha…what? How did you block my sword?”
“Don’t think that your skill is undefeatable, it was a lot more fun fighting the dragons. Teleport!”
I grabbed Lorna from behind and reached out to touch her main Life line, causing her to immediately drop into a critical bleeding state.
“Lorina don’t think for a second that I will grant you a simple death.”
“Keohok! I won’t even let this go you evil undead!”
I turned the severely weakened Lorina into a lv1 skeleton warrior. Of course with my skill I could have turned her into a higher level undead, but that would have defeated the point of my punishment.
She tried to shout something at me but only succeeded in clacking her teeth.
“What do you think, how do you like the feeling of being an undead?”
Lorina tried to rush me with kicks and punches but it was no use.
“What was that? Sorry I can’t hear you! Ha ha ha!”
I laughed at her sorry sight for some time before looking up.
“Valenor can you grab her please?”
“Make sure not to kill her though, is it understood?”
“Troops, locate the Devil King and inform me of his position, I’ll go deal with him and then this can all be over.”
There was another beacon that had been lit in an adjoining castle, The Devil King had separated his forces and was attacking different locations. After sending out my men, Valenor and I took Lorina out for a nice ride in her claws and I was delighted to see her squirm.
“Will we be going to that place?”
We had flown all the way to the New continent that we had previously discovered together. After throwing the skeleton soldier Lorina down into an abandoned plain, we promptly flew off.
“Next time we meet I hope you’ve grown a bit Lorina, Ha ha ha!”
With my Undead Domination I had control over all of my created undead. No matter how far Lorina was, I could always know her location and all her information. Even more interestingly, I had access to her first person view. Therefore, throwing her on this continent would be a constant source of amusement for me as I watched her struggle to survive first hand, much like a TV drama.
“Ha ha ha! Watching Lorina struggle as a level 1 skeleton soldier is so refreshing!”
“Johra, I want to see it too!”
“Sorry Valenor I’m unable to share this skill.”
I enjoying watching Lorina struggle on the way back as I rode upon Valenor.
‘Johra if you focus too much on that view you might fall off accidentally.’
‘Oh stop it Gnoss, I bet you also smiled when I did that to Lorina.’
‘When did I?’
‘Stop trying to hide it, I know you too well.’
‘Well… it didn’t feel bad.’
‘Ha ha… Gnoss do you feel better?’
Gnoss was almost certainly enthusiastic about how things turned out. Lorina had been the main cause behind him being sealed and the subsequent unfortunate events, so it was only normal to expect him to also feel some satisfaction from such a perfect revenge.
“We are almost here, I see them up ahead.”
From a distance I could see the Devil King and his forces confronted with my 97 subordinates and the allied human forces. I had only suffered one loss which was the Asmodian which I had paralyzed myself.
“Ooh! It’s a dragon!”
“It’s the Silvery-white dragon, the guardian of Necropolis!”
“Oh! Is that the Pink-Gold Skeleton, the King of Necropolis on the dragon’s head?”
Countless loud cheers could be heard from our human allies as we approached.
“Valenor you are quite popular!”
“I only worry about what you think, I could burn the rest and not care less.”
“Ok, just don’t kill these poor souls because they also seem to like me!”
“Yes, since that’s the case then they get a pass.”
Valenor’s cheeks reddened as she blushed
After but a moment I arrived before my subordinates.
Damn, how dare that guy make me an undead! I’ll get revenge for my colleague’s deaths and pay him back at least one thousand times worse!’
Lorina who had recently been turned into a skeleton soldier was clacking her teeth angrily. She was full of despair, faced with much stronger beasts within those grasslands. She had no weapons and had only her undead body to rely on. Naturally she retained none of her previous skills and didn’t have the luxury that Johra had with a resurrection skill. The only skill she had right now was the ability to check the Status page.
[Acquired knowledge of Field Mouse]
‘Damn, why is it so hard to catch such a weakling mouse? How shameful, I’ll definitely get you back for this!’
She proceeded to hunt more and more small rodents that roamed the plains. Her journey for revenge had begun, but what would be waiting for her at the end of it had yet to be seen.
“I wonder if I should have left her a weapon, she seems to be struggling too much.”
“I think you were too merciful as it is, allowing her to keep living.”
“No Valenor, to her, this pitiful existence is far worse than a quick death.”
It was just as I had expected, Lorina hated her current form and the disgrace it entailed so much. Still, she had managed to pick herself up and embark on her path to revenge against me.
“Shall we move on?”
While we were busy discussing Lorina’s current struggles in the New Continent, my troops had begun their attack on the Devil King’s armies.
While his troops were in the rank F~E range, they were hardly a match for my elites. Not only were they of a higher rank, but they had learned to work well as a cohesive unit over their past year of training. If we added my and Valenor’s power to the equation, the Devil King’s defeat was inevitable.
His army had been worn down over the past few months, fighting battles day in and day out. They had succumbed quickly to my elites, and the only few that were left standing were those surrounding the former Marquis.
I exchanged a look with the Devil King and was surprised to see that it didn’t affect him in the slightest.
“Are you the Undead King?”
“Indeed… and I guess you are that Marquis. You also killed Talvin who had acted as an ambassador did you not?”
“It was only natural to have killed a man who had abandoned his pride.”
“How dare you say that, it is you who has lost his pride! It is the Asmodian’s eternal goal to return to our homeland! What about you, do you even have a home to return to? That day you murdered our people, and today you will pay for those crimes!”
It was Brugan, the leader of Necropolis’ Asmodian division who shouted out angrily.
“Well Marquis, it’s too late to regret now anyways, so it hardly matters anymore.”
“Johra can I take care of him, I haven’t done much in this expedition.”
Valenor was finally tired of lurking in the background and wanted to stretch her legs a little.
“Sure Valenor, I’ll leave this guy to you.”
They were only about 100 of them left, but only the Marquis was willing to fight. Brugan really wanted to fight with him, but I was suspicious of the Devil King’s rank and wasn’t confident that he could win. That’s why I allowed Valerno to go out and fight him.
“Are you a dragon?”
“Come on, let’s fight! Although it will probably be over in a few seconds, it will still be painful for you!”
‘Valerno, where did you learn to speak like that?’
I was curious as to where she had picked up and it seemed like the Marquis was also surprised . In truth the Marquis wasn’t a terrible person, simply another ruler that was ambitious and wanted to gain more power. Unfortunately for him, we were on opposite camps and I would have to deal with him for the future stability of my Necropolis.
‘Valenor, be careful he has a special skill called Harbringer of Destruction, it might be dangerous if it catches you by surprise.’
In truth her chances of losing to the Marquis should be close to zero because he was only rank D+. However, that special skill was such that it could transcend levels.
“You will regret having pushed me to my limits, I shall let loose a true disaster upon this world! You who dwells deep within me, I offer my blood and soul as sacrifice! Come forth and bring about the destruction of this world!”
When the Marquis had finished casting his spell, a dark smoke swept over him.
“Valenor back off!”
I thought that it would be dangerous so I tried her to stop, but she didn’t listen to me.
‘I can deal with this much! What is that?”
A large fist emerged from behind the smoke and struck Valenor. Even if she was in her polymorphed form, she was surprisingly unable to outmuscle this new creature. Considering her weight, very few creatures were strong enough to send her flying.
“Are you ok Valenor?”
“Yea, it just caught me by surprise is all.”
As the black smoke dispersed, a four meter tall giant emerged. It was entirely black, with golden armor protecting it’s vital points. The black smoke however remained around his head, stopping us from seeing his face and giving him a menacing aura.
“You dare to strike my wife?”
The black giant didn’t respond. Despite using my special eyesight, I was unable to see any life force which was incredibly unusual.
After saying some incomprehensible gibberish much like the Golem Matilda’s talking style, it raised its hand and began a strange chant, and a type of magic began forming around his fist.
‘Gnoss what is that thing?’
‘That’s a Golem of Destruction, it was created by High Gods. It’s a creation with powerful magic that requires no guidance, its sole goal is that of destruction. It’s a pretty bad match for you because it is a lifeless vessel so many of you spells are ineffective against it.
Everything was made clear thanks to Gnoss’ explanation. It had no lifeforce because it was simplya golem created by High Gods.
“Hmm… Arachnids, Antilliens, smother him in poison!”
It appeared that this level of poison would have no effect on it at all.
‘Gnoss, what is the magic skill around his hand?’
‘It’s probably extremely potent destruction magic. It will continue chanting like this for half a day, then everything within a 10 kilometer radius all life will cease to exist.’
‘Wow, what a devastating result.
It was a creation by High Gods when they were still warring among themselves. When the Mortal and Divine worlds were separated, its powers were most likely sealed and the Golem became what we know as the Devil King.
‘Is there any way to stop it?’
Its Physical and Magical resistances are at a very high level because it is protected by countless defensive spells cast upon it by the High Gods.
Valenor jumped out and try to kick it, but was only sent flying as a result.
“Careful Valenor, it’s not an opponent you can win against.”
‘Gnoss what is that guys rank?’
‘It’s in the B+~A- range, but if you take into account its armor and defensive spells it would be an A+. It’s incredibly durable, which makes sense since it was created to fight against the gods.’
‘These kinds of problems should be dealt with gods, they have to clean up their own mess.’
“We’re retreating, this isn’t our problem to deal with!”
Valenor looked at me unhappily, but I simply shook my head. I had done my part by dealing with the Warriors and the Devil King.
On our way back we warned the Human Union using Valenor’s Dragon Roar that they would die at the hands of the Golem of Destruction if the stayed here.
After I had returned to Necropolis, news of its massacre kept coming in. It first killed the allied soldiers who refused to retreat, before moving south. The only good news in this whole affair was the death of the Devil King.
A I was sitting comfortably on the observation tower overlooking my Necropolis, the Red dragon approached me. I was alone at the moment because I had asked Valenor to do something for me. “Lord, have you heard of the Golem of Destruction?”
The Red dragon asked me carefully from a distance, clearly with a hidden agenda.
‘Yes, I was present at the time of its summoning.’
I replied telepathically because of our distance.
“Are you willing to just let it run rampant?”
It is not my responsibility, it was the High Gods who created it, so the Gods should take care of this.
“The High Gods have taken an oath to not directly interfere in this world. Therefore it falls to us to deal with this harbinger of death.
‘Why don’t their Messiahs come down to deal with it then?’
“Just look at Noradrianna, Messiahs also have their own limitations. Perhaps it’s is only you who could stop this abomination.
‘So annoying, then why don’t you guys try going?’
“I have little choice, the Golem of Destruction will eventually came to Necropolis and then can I engage it because I am duty bound to defend this place.
“Is it your excuse?”
“Lord, aren’t you aware that the Golem won’t stop until it destroys all life? It is sure to arrive to Necropolis eventually.”
“Damn! Just why am I responsible for this mess caused by the High Gods?”
The Red dragon didn’t respond and simple flapped its winged, maintaining its position.
“My mother said that if you stop this Golem she will offer you compensation.”
“Ha ha ha, a reward form a Messiah! I’m looking forward to it.”
I decided I might as well get it over with and at least get some compensation since it appeared that I would anyways have to deal with it eventually.
‘Alpeon, take care of things while I’m away.’
“Will you be leaving now Lord?”
“I have some things to prepare first, as a dragon you should learn to exercise some patience.”
“Lord, As we speak thousands are losing their lives!”
“Enough! Why are you trying to make it seem like their deaths are my fault? If you feel so responsible I give you permission to fly out and fight it, but I move at my own pace”
The Red dragon returned to Noradriana’s side, and after a short discussion flew North with his siblings by his side, seeking out the Golem by themselves. They were woefully uninformed of the Golem’s abilities and would not be able to stop it. Still, they would at least be able to delay it somewhat buying some time for me to arrive and take care of it.
‘Lord, I’ve brought to your bedroom what you asked me for.’
Taking with me my essentials, I flew to the North. I knew Valenor would be angry if she found out I left to do this by myself, but I didn’t want to risk endangering her.
I felt it was my responsibility to deal with any external threats to Necropolis and I knew that in the worst case I would revive with my Life Vessel.
After a long flight, I finally spotted the Golem of Destruction in the distance. The Allied forces were drowning it in magic and arrows as well as Dragon Breath from my guardians. Still, it caused negligible damage on the golem and it persisted with its chanting.
‘Gnoss how much time until the next explosion?’
‘Maybe around four hours?’
‘Ok, it’s a bit tight but I should make it.’
“Everyone get far away from it, I will deal with this monstrosity!”
I cried out to those that were attacking the Golem. Thanks to my aura of terror they didn’t think twice before heeding my words and retreating.
“Damn, how troublesome!”
I flew up straight into the sky, higher and higher. The air continued to thin out until I had broken past the World’s atmosphere and was looking down at the beautiful white and green planet from space.
‘This should be enough.’
I took out Excalibur and cast Gravity Rise on it several times until its weight matched Valenor’s. I had embedded some of my finest gravity attributed gems into Excalibur which I activated, further increasing its weight.
Calculating its direction, I dropped it carefully and followed right behind it. As it accelerated to great speeds, I followed it from behind, make sure to make some small adjustments in order for it to strike true.
“It should be good form here.”
After I was certain that it would hit, I slowed my speed with my Flight magic. Excalibur proceeded to pierce the Golem right in the head. Although it was created with incredible Physical and Magical resistance, Excalibur was a very sharp and indestructible sword. Combined with the increased weight and speed, it wasn’t something that its defenses could withstand.
A huge crater had formed in the ground where it had struck and the Golem had completely disappeared without a trace. Excalibur had pierced deep into the planet’s crust, resting in a pool of magma.
“What incredible power.”
Those who had been standing to the side and seen what had happened were stupefied. No one had thought that the Golem which had resisted all their attacks would be taken care of by simply dropping a sword.
I cooled Excalibur down with several Icewalls and brought it weight back to normal before descending to retrieve it. Cleaning the dirt off it, I strapped it to my back and returned to the surface.
“He did it!”
“Long live Necropolis!”
Cheers rang out as I departed with the four dragons in tow.
“Tch How troublesome.”
I muttered to myself.
Upon returning I had to suffer from Valenor’s never ending nagging because I had left without her. She had truly been angry and worried about me and would not let me off lightly.
When she had finally cooled down, I settled down to enjoy the show of Lorina’s life.
‘Ha, only level 3! She still has to run away if she encounters five Field Mice.
Lorina had just struggled to take care of four Field Mice which made her unhappy. It was so pathetic of her to have difficulty facing such weak creatures.
‘Should I hunt a Prairie Boar next?’
She was ashamed about the fact that she had run away from these boars on several occasions. Working hard, she created an elaborate trap and gathered its favorite grass to attract it. However, despite not understanding the trap, the boar managed to only eat the grass without activating it.
‘Damn! How could a simple boar be that cunning!’
Intelligence was the key to surviving in the wild. The longer one would manage to survive, the more cunning it would become. It was the rule of this world, those that were smarter could level up more and rule over the others..
‘Hmm… Lorina seems to be struggling a lot, should I give her a weapon?’
“Johra what are you thinking about? Are you watching the woman who you turned into a skeleton soldier again?”
I nodded at Valenor’s question.
“Valenor, next time we go let’s give her some cheap weapon and armor.”
“Are you helping her now?”
“I just want to give her some false hope!”
Although I said that, I indeed wanted to help her out a bit. I was hoping that she would improve a bit, after all the higher they climb the harder they fall. This was all part of my plan for revenge.
Later in the night the Red dragon arrived to my observatory.
“Lord, my mother would like to see you.”
Although he spoke bluntly, a measure of respect could be heard in his voice.
“Do you want to go for a ride Valenor?”
Climbing on her head, we headed out to meet Noradriana.
“Thank you for your hard work Lord! I heard that you managed to take care of the Golem of Destruction.”
“Indeed, so why is it that you wanted to see me?”
It might not be enough, but I will give you my most prized possession.
I stared at Noradriana as she began to mumble a magic spell in a soft voice.
[You have learned Resurrection Song Lv1]
‘Oh, was that something that could be passed on to others?’
‘Right, that is a skill that was obtained through Divine Grace, so it could also be passed on. I performed a similar action with you when I bestowed you with Creation Magic.’
Gnoss advised me telepathically.
“Lord although it might just be a small gift, I think it can be useful for you. I’m tired now and require some rest.”
Noradriana immediately went to sleep because she was quite exhausted.
“When your mother wakes up tell her that I appreciate her gift.”
The dragons nodded silently in return.
“Let’s go Valenor, it’s finally time to take care of something which I have postponed for too long already. Let’s head back to the observatory first.”
After returning to the palace I contacted Alpeon.
‘Begin clearing the passage we blocked to the Catacombs!’
After four days of hard work by the Antilliens, the passage was once again open.
“Everyone else stay here, Valenor you follow me.”
My walking along the tunnel with Valenor was like a throwback down memory lane.
“Is this where Johra first came from?”
“Right, I was nothing but a poor little skeleton, just trying to survive in a harsh world.”
We kept walking as I reminisced about all my adventures as a skeleton soldier; noticing the sulfur gases which had saved me on more than one occasion.
“Was that where Johra fell down?”
“I nodded, looking at a pile of skeletons which could very well have been my comrades at some point.
“Oh right, and what about the Tyrant’s mountain of treasure? Will we go there? Oh wait, nevermind, don’t tell me I want to find it myself!”
Valenor was sniffing around like an excited child on her first adventure.
“Valenor you look like a puppy right now.”
“Quiet you, I’m trying to focus on smelling the treasure.”
Surprisingly she actually managed to find the treasure room simply by using her nose.
“What is this pile of scrap metal?”
Valenor was truly disappointed with the quality of the items collected by the Tyrant.
“Sure, but at that time this was truly valuable to penniless guy like me.”
“Let’s keep going!”
I moved the rock that was blocking the hole which was half hidden behind the pile of treasure. It had been locked down with Jenna’s webs, but that hardly stopped me with my current abilities. Simply by approaching with my hand, the web disintegrated into dust.
“I remember this place being darker… was it just me that changed?’”
“It’s a pretty nice place here right? Johra, where exactly was it that you were born?”
“Hmm… I wasn’t so much born here, rather it was the first time I opened my eyes.”
While conversing with Valenor we passed by some gargoyles which I had no idea still remained. They were pulverised when Valenor chose to step on them.
After a short and relaxing walk, we finally arrived before Soleste’s majestic door.
To Valenor’s question I simply nodded. The being behind this door was my first experience of total defeat in this world. Perhaps without this lesson, I would never have striven so hard to improve my power and wouldn’t have survived the subsequent challenges. I have come a long way since then and was now ready to face my enemy which had managed to humble me so.
“Ha ha ha….You came back for me my enemy,great! Come to kill me and toward your steps!”
Somehow Soleste felt more like an NPC character than a Reincarnator from another world. This Soleste which at that time felt like an insurmountable mountain, was now an existence which I could squash like a bug.
“Is it true what you said? Was he truly the first to give you the taste of defeat?”
Valenor’s reaction was expected, after all our current rank difference was quite substantial.
“Well… it was a while back.”
Chomp Chomp Psshhh
Soleste legion of undead crumbled under my Paralysis Stare.
“Wonderful, my wish has finally been fulfilled! Come, put an end to my existence!”
“How noisy, even if you claim that you want to die, I can see that your arm holding on to the throne is shaking.”
He had nothing to say. Even if he had managed to somewhat resist my Paralysis Stare, he wasn’t immune to it and his body was still shivering.
“I have a question from the Supreme Sage to ask of you. Why is it that you killed so many people? In my experience as an ArchLich, although you are indeed pushed towards the path death, it isn’t too difficult to resist it.
“… then is Gnoss doing fine?”
Soleste asked me in a soft, melancholic voice.
“He is only a shadow of his former self, but he still lives. Why don’t you hurry up and answer my question?”
“Well, you see it all began when I learned of a prophecy.”
“Right, it spoke of the end of the world. In retrospect, it might have all been an elaborate trap.”
“Sounds like an interesting story, go on.”
“It all began when Talesias, The Archwizard of the kingdom came to find me.”
‘Who’s that Gnoss?’
‘He’s a Messiah, but I don’t know what his involvement is.’
“Talesias spoke to me of a prophecy and told me of how certain he was about its accuracy. He said that only a Lich which had gone past the ArchLich level could put an end to it.
“Past the ArchLich level?”
“Yes, a DemiLich, just like you. Sigh, and all along I thought I was the only one that could accomplish it.
“Having heard Talesias’ counsel, I proceeded to massacre an entire nation in order to try and level up as much as possible. I rationalized that the sacrifice of one kingdom was nothing when faced with the destruction of the world.”
I could fill in the rest, While he was in the process of massacring a nation to level up, when he was intercepted by the Warriors and had been sealed away over here.
“Okay then, but why was it that you called me your enemy?”
“Talesias also informed me that in the prophecy, the one to kill me would likewise be an undead.”
“Soleste, were you by any chance a student in your former life?”
“Oh, how did you…?”
“I had spoken to Lorina about your situation.
“Yes, those Warriors do mention the most meaningless things. I no longer have any worries since I know you’ve taken care of things. I am ready for my eternal rest now that you are here to save the world.”
I simply shook my head.
“No, I still have many questions for you and I’ll be needing your help in the future.”
“How can I help you when I can’t leave this place?”
“Just let me know where the object used to seal you is and I’ll set you free. I agree that we shouldn’t allow the destruction of the world, so serve me and you can help me stop it, alright?”
“Uhm… don’t you fear setting me free? I’m a monster which has taken the lives of so many.”
“Sure you’ve done some bad things, but I still have a use for you. Will you obey my commands?”
“It’s great that you don’t mind the blood on my hands, if you can undo my seal then I will join in helping you stop the destruction of this world.
I had Soleste submit to me using my Undead Authority which was a sub-branch of Undead Creation. I then proceeded to bring over my Gaspard Avatar.
Alpeon had kept my other body in good condition by constantly feeding it the World’s nectar. I felt much lighter in the body than I could remember and I can feel my emotions again. This human body wasn’t plagued by the constant boredness.
“I guess it isn’t so bad to take my Avatar body out for a spin every now and then.
I ran over to where Soleste was sealed and had Alpeon follow me as well.
“Oh, have you become a Chosen Warrior?”
This body’s name is Gaspard, I will visit here sometimes, I hope you remember my name”
I used all the Divine Grace which had accumulated over the past year or so, lifting the seal on Soleste’s Gates which were stopping him from leaving. I Then changed back to my DemiLich body and handed my Avatar to Alpeon to carry back home.
“Soleste, from now on I will pick a new name for you to live under, a fresh start.”
“I will do as you say.”
Your new name will be Noc, which means night. Mine means morning so I think it fits well since you came to this world first.
I had several reasons for beginning Soleste over to my side, but the biggest one was his summoning ability. It was a special skill which only Reincarnators such as us could have.
I was already envisioning a great army to rival the might of the gods, or whatever else the other dimensions might hold and I felt like his summonings would play an important role in that.
“Noc,I will ask favors of you such as summoning… ”
“You have just to command me and I shall obey.”
I left Nox behind in his Crypt and returned to Necropolis along with Valenor. From atop my lookout, I stared down at my very own metropolis.
“Valenor, let’s do what I mentioned before and hand over a weapon to Lorina.”
“Ah right, did you want to go now?”
I nodded at her and she was delighted. She seemed to want to see Lorina suffer almost as much as I did. Switching to her view, I realized that she had adapted quite well and had already managed to hunt the Boars which gave her so much trouble last time. At the moment she was looking for even stronger prey.
Valenor changed into her dragon body and waited for me. Just like a kid going for a walk with his parents.
I met with Alpeon who had prepared some beginner equipment for me and then jumped up behind her head.
“Let’s get going!”
“Ok, hold on tight!”
I had commissioned the dwarven blacksmiths to create a suitable harness that made riding Valenor more comfortable. It was made in conjunction with some fairies and the material needed to be durable enough so we used Valenor’s own fallen scales. This made the ride far more enjoyable and convenient than our past ones.
I had no choice but to hold on tight to this new harness if I was to endure her top speed. After about 30 hours of flight, we had finally arrived to the New Continent and located Lorina in the plains.
“Is it that skeleton over there?”
“Yes that’s her.”
“She’s adapted somewhat right?”
It was just as Valenor had mentioned. The skeleton before us was wielding a bone knife and wearing a leather armor made from boar skin. All things considered, appearing to be a competent hunter.
“Valenor let’s land out of sight for now.”
After arriving down onto the plains, I pointed and an empty space.
“Summon Skeleton Mage!”
I equipped it with a shield, armor and longsword brought from Necropolis . There was too large of a level difference between it and Lorina, so I made it use warrior weapons instead of its magic to help balance things out. If she could defeat it, she could win those items.
“Hmm… is this enough of a handicap?”
Despite it not being able to use magic, it was still a level 10 creature which was far more powerful than the current Lorina. Using my Undead’s Authority, I commanded the Mage to go and kill Lorina.
“Valenor, it’s finally on!”
“Huh? But I can’t watch it!”
“Ha ha, but I can!”
“Hey, that’s not fair.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll give you a play by play.”
As I watched the skeleton mage chasing Lorina as I returned to Necropolis with Valenor.
The next day I went over to meet Noc
“Thank you for visiting, Lord”
Noc greeted me amiably and I went on to sit upon his throne.
Noc, do you know who it was who summoned you to this world?”
“I have no idea.”
I had previously learned from the League of Reincarnators that Soleste was the first to be summoned to this world. I was curious whether he knew who it was that summoned him, but I didn’t have any high expectations.
“Why didn’t you summon others?”
“Once someone is summoned here, they can’t go back to their previous world. I figured that many people wouldn’t want that so it doesn’t actually succeed often.”
“Why is that?”
When I try to summon someone, I can communicate with their soul. I need to get their permission or else it has a very low chance of succeeding. Also I can only use it once a year.
Was it the same for when Lorina crossed over?”
“Did I also do the same?”
“If I remember correctly then yes.”
I had no recollection of such an event so I was curious if I had actually had a conversation with Soleste.
“What did we talk about?”
“It was a simple one, told you that I was going to summon you and asked you what your opinion was. You then asked if you could escape from the darkness. When I answered that it would be possible, then the summoning went through. Your soul left the dimension of darkness where it had been sealed away.”
After that point I pretty much knew the rest, I had entered the body of a skeleton soldier and had gained consciousness.
“So does that mean that when you summon a soul you need to have a body prepared?”
“Right, I personally was summoned into a body that was brain dead.”
“Then what about our bodies in the previous world?”
“I believe that they would have experienced death.”
“Did I truly die in that World?”
Noc looked back at me silently. Despite having finally learned how my soul had been summoned into this world, I didn’t have any significant emotional reaction.
“Understood, if I ever need you to instruct me further with regards to summoning, I will call for you. Where will you be staying from now on?”
“ I prefer to remain here. If you require my presence, simply call for me and I shall arrive by your side at once.”
He understood that as an ArchLich in a large city, he would only be an inconvenience to me. Of course it was even more true for a DemiLich such as myself, but I was a special case that would stay locked up in my tower. After granting him permission to remain in his crypt, I headed back to my observatory and stayed with Valenor.
“Ho ho, Lorina seems to be suffering at the moment.”
“Come on Johra, I also want to watch her torment! I hate her and want to see her suffer!”
I continued to watch Lorina struggle as the undead mages I had unleashed chased her down tirelessly. Lorina would only engage them for a short period before choosing to run away because she knew that she couldn’t beat them.
‘I really wish there was a recording function for this, if only I could watch these scenes over and over again. Compared to here even I was luckier in my first few days as a skeleton.’
Lorina’s torment was never ending, although she had an undead’s body and wouldn’t tire nor want for food and water, the same could not be said for her mental state. The idea of constantly being pursued by a higher level monster was quite daunting. It was the perfect torture that could go on forever if she didn’t manage to somehow improve her strength.
Naturally the easiest solution was to simply turn around and fight it. Even if she died, it would be a welcome change to this endless torture. But I knew her to well, I understood that her pride and desire for revenge drove her to never give up, allowing me to always have a channel to relieve my boredom.
She began to herself, finally realizing that she had caused her colleagues’ deaths.
Her mental situation was currently too unstable and was unable to come to terms with these things. Her solution was simply to attribute all the problems in her life to Johra, and simply focus on revenge.
She clearly wasn’t aware how harmful this was to her, and that she was now very likely to fall on the path of darkness. Johra could notice these small changes because he knew everything about her.
‘She’s definitely headed towards evil, was it simply luck on my part that I didn’t do the same?’
‘ No Johra, it’s a choice, you were always in control.’
‘Perhaps Gnoss, but I also feel that there was a certain amount of chance involved.’
I had to admit to myself that despite what Gnoss had said, I had also come close to falling to the darkness.
“Well… it’s just a hypothetical.”
Valenor gave an inquisitive look, but I just continued to casually stroke her hair with the back of my hand.
Today’s Necropolis was a thriving city. The creatures which had previously been hunted and persecuted by the humans had banded together and created a metropolis which was the envy of all.
‘Lord, there’s a rumors flying around which you might be interested in.’
‘What is it Alpeon?’
I had instructed Alpeon to organize a spy network to span the continent and gather useful information, but this was the first report I had received.
‘It concerns the Elves which had lost the war.’
‘Oh interesting, so what is going on with these Elves?’
‘They began being hunted by the humans and are now being sold as slaves. They are being treated as an inferior species because of their audacity to attack Necropolis.’
I was excited by the news. The Elves had gone unpunished after betraying me, so I was still undecided as to how I wanted to punish them.
‘Lord, should we accepts these gifts from the nobles?’
‘Indeed, following your incredible victory over the golem of destruction, the kingdoms have taken it upon themselves to enslave Necropolis’ enemies and present them to you as gifts.
I was indeed very interested in owning Elven slaves because they had been a race that had betrayed me and I felt that their enslavement was justified.
‘Good, create a shelter to house these Elven slaves.’
‘Should we consider them as livestock?’
‘Indeed, our hospitality shown to them will be on the level on animals.’
Necropolis’ architecture was sublime, filled with carefully crafted pieces of art by Dwarven artisans. It was decided that the slaves pen which would be no different from a chicken coop, would ruin our image, so it was built more on the outskirts.
‘Alpeon, let’s also make a gladiator’s pit.’
It had been a suggestion from Valenor. She mentioned that despite living together in harmony, most of these creatures still had a violent and bloodthirst nature. Extended periods of peace was an unlikely scenario so they would need an outlet to let loose.
Gladiator fight would be welcomed by all and be a new attraction for the city. Also, the loss of life wasn’t a concern with my new Resurrection Song.
‘I will do as you say Lord.’
Although I had only asked for a single gladiator pit, after consulting with the heads of the other departments, they built 5 large coliseums like the one in Rome.
It had been an idea from the Gnomes to rank them in order of strength and have a fixed schedule, allowing it to become a huge tourist attraction. Large inns and restaurants were built around the coliseums that had been constructed on the outskirts of town, catering to countless tourists every day.
Necropolis had previously been a city that focused on production, but after the coliseums had been built, it also became a famous tourist destination. People came from around the world to watch the fights, and aspiring warriors came here to make a name for themselves.
“Wow it’s so crowded all of a sudden.”
“Johra should I go and burn them?”
“No need, wouldn’t Alpeon get angry?” I answered.
“I’ll just make Alpeon deal with the aftermath.”
“Although it’s a bit overcrowded, it is indeed fun to watch the gladiators fight.”
The name of the highest ranked arena was Necroforge. The name was inspired by all the heated battles that were fought there and only the strongest and most famous gladiators had the privilege of fighting in it. The fights in that coliseum were always very popular. Nobles came from all the kingdoms to buy front row seats and I would also join in on the fun occasionally.
“I think it’s funny when I see you fight with your avatar, can I also join?”
Valenor was unable to control her own strength, if she were to join she was sure to be disappointed, but more importantly it would be a disaster for all the other gladiators.
“Okay, but only sometimes and make sure to reduce your strength a lot.”
Even if I disagreed with the idea, I wasn’t able to flat out reject her.
If someone were to die, then I would have to bring them back to life. If it happened too often then me resurrection ability would become known to all which would be annoying. Valenor definitely had to control her strength or else she would cause me an endless amount of trouble.
‘Lord, 2000 slaves will be arriving tomorrow. Would you like more or is it sufficient?’
Alpeon had just messaged me telepathically. Reducing their numbers meant killing them. Although it sounded terrible, I felt it was fine considering their betrayal.
‘How many slaves can we currently accommodate?’
‘At the moment our slaves pen can house 5000, but it is still under construction. Once it’s been completed we can hold twice that number.’
‘Ok, then just accept as many slaves as you can and allow them to participate in the lowest ranked coliseum.
‘I think it should be fun to give those slaves a chance for freedom.’
‘Will you truly give scum like them a chance?’
‘Well we can’t be cruel and rob them of all hope now can we? It would be more enjoyable to see them struggle for their freedom.’
‘Okay, I will do as you said.’
I was making an evil smile but my skull fae was unable to have any facial expressions.
“Johra, why did it get cold all of a sudden?”
Valenor was very perceptive, but I couldn’t tell her about my evil smile.
“Um… maybe it’s the change in the seasons.”
“Ah, it must be that.”
The autumn harvest season was coming to an end and winter was just around the corner. Valenor and I went out for a ride to enjoy the changing of the seasons.
My name is Binyë, I was a proud member of the Ellin forest tribe. My ancestors told us that we were expelled from Elfheim about two thousand years ago, banished to our current world. This was an old tale which occurred long before I was born.
For many years my people have tried to find their way back home, but were never successful. Finally, three years ago a clue was discovered about the World Tree. It was a chance to return to our homeland. All the scattered Elven tribes united under one banner, and marched on the so called Pit. We were even accompanied by the Elder green dragon and her four children who have long been the protectors of our people.
My role in all this was only to care for the weak and elderly, by Elven standards I was still relatively young.
None of our people had ever considered defeat to be an option. Only the young ambassador which had originally gone to confirm the rumors argued against such action, but no one listened.
Unfortunately the result of the battle was quite gruesome. Among those of us who participated, few managed to escape with their lives. Most had died at the hands of the powerful Lich turning to dust. Only the few that had died by other means were able to be revived by the Elder dragon. They then managed to escape but were for the most part easily captured by human slavers.
Although the rest of us tried to rally and save our brethren, we completely failed. Instead, a full-scale Elf hunting and enslavement expedition was launched.
Humans were truly cruel beings, taking advantage of my people during such a trying time.
They who had built their glory and civilization thanks to our guidance, had now turned on us. They attacked our villages and enslaved our people whether we resisted or not.
Their reason was this.
“ You are a bunch of low lives for daring to attack Necropolis.”
It was a simple logic brought on by the wondrous new products which Necropolis had unleashed on the continent. Revolutionary foods, improved weaponry, jewelry, etc. Everything was of the highest quality but the prices were still competitive, allowing them to easily control the market. Hunting and enslaving the Elves in order to have the chance to trade with Necropolis was both a justified and lucrative cause.
Overnight my former human friends had become enemies, it was already much too late for our species. With the exception of some secluded High-Elves, most of my people had been captured. Even our formidable warriors weren’t able to put up much of a fight, having been exhausted from the recent war.
I was no exception, although I had originally managed to evade capture, after around one year of being on run I was put in shackles by the humans.
One day a guard had come to my slave merchants’ place of business and proclaimed.
“We come with a royal order to conscript all Elven slaves.”
There was little different between our lives as slaves and those of convicted felons. We were treated as beasts and our future was bleak. I couldn’t blame many of my people for choosing to commit suicide, although I managed to stay somewhat positive.
I had shared my optimism with one of my colleagues, but he responded to me.
“It’s because you’re a little girl who knows nothing of the world. Your hope is the privilege of the ignorant.”
Although I had become angry at the time, he was probably right.
“You have all become slaves of Necropolis, now get ready to move.”
It was a declaration made by one of the kingdom’s officials, and we had promptly been moved to several carriages. They herded us like animals and many of us didn’t survive the trip. Still, these deaths made little difference considering the large number of us Elven slaves. Endless carriages for as far as the eye could see, I wondered if it was the entirety of my people.
“Have you heard the rumors? There are monsters in Necropolis!”
“I’ve heard rumors that they feed on Elves!”
“Why did our leader try fight against the King of the Pit? Even the dragon’s couldn’t manage!”
Sighs were let out here and there. However, unlike them I still held some hope. I had seen the wondrous products created by Necropolis during my time on the run. I figured that a city that could produce such wonderful things couldn’t been so barbaric.
I still held hope that Necropolis would be a heavenly city for artisans, that could craft and produce food better than even us Elves ever could.
It was nighttime when we had arrived on the outskirts of the city.
“From here on out we continue on foot.”
The slaves were brought down from the carriages one at the time and put in shackles so they couldn’t escape.
Looking up, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
A village in the Elven forest always had a natural beauty to it. The cities of men were often dirty and disorganized in comparison, but still had a homey feel to them, the imperfection of the humans.
However the city before me was the likes of which I had never seen. A stone tree birthed from the ground, and shining brightly in the dark night. The rock woven together to create a masterpiece.
I was not the only one who gaped in amazement. Our entire convoy stopped to stare, crying out in shock at the beauty before us.
“Quickly! Get a move on! I don’t want to miss today’s games.”
We were all waddling along, staring at the gorgeous sight therefore moved very slowly. Our overseers were unhappy with our slow speed and we were flogged often.
Although it was painful, our thoughts remained on the majestic city before us. None of us could believe that the people who built this place were barbaric enough to feast on our flesh.
“How nice would it be if we could live in that city?”
Although Elves held an affinity for nature, it was impossible not to admire the this city. Despite it being made out of stone and most likely created by those dirty dwarves, it didn’t change our attraction to it.
“If the city is so beautiful I wouldn’t mind be a slave so much.”
Many of us had spent the last few years hunted and on the run. A fate which was even worse than that of a slave, that is why we were so accepting of our fates.
We walked for quite some time before arriving to what appeared to be the royal palace.
It was a grandiose construction with towers so high they seemed to pierce the heavens.
The drawbridge rose and we were escorted into the main courtyard and waited there as thousands of us came in. Finally, the last had arrived and we had all but filled up the place.
The courtyard had been constructed with precious stones and a tall observatory could be seen on one end of the palace gardens. The top of it was decorated with lavish gems and giave of an ominous and oppressive feeling.
Elves were very sensitive creatures and could predict danger using their sixth sense. For that reason, all the Elves in the courtyard were now looking up to the observation tower, as if faced with a mortal enemy.
“Do you think they brought all of us here only to then slaughter us?”
“Damn demons! Why have you done this to us?”
“If you wanted us dead why have you spared our warriors?”
A commotion broke out amongst the elves. It was a situation where their enemy had even defeated their protector dragons, so they were powerless against him.
A thunderous voice rang out and quelled there disruption. None were able to breathe let alone speak out.
“ You are all members of a foolish race which chose to act against my husband. If it were up to me I would burn you all but he is a merciful King, and has allowed you all to live as slaves.”
With such insulting words we had every right to be angry, but we were all instead filled with hope and ambition.
“But if any of you try to betray us and try to rebel, I will give you a death that is worse than a thousand years of torture regardless of what my companion thinks… wait, stop that Johra!”
She helplessly let out a booming laughter.
“Ha ha ha ha!”
We were all so nervous that we chose to follow and laugh along, creating an incredibly awkward situation.
“Quiet! Do you all want to die? No! Johra stop or I’ll bite you!”
Apparently the voice had been annoyed by King Johra’s interruption. It was clearly a lovers quarrel which made us women envy that she was married to the ruler of such a magnificent city.
“Hmm, good all quiet. Anyways you should thank my husband who has saved your life from the cruel nobels. However I don’t want to simply feed and take care of useless mouths, you will be required to work to earn your keep. Use your work here as atonement for your mistaken invasion, and be thankful to my merciful husband who is allowing you to live in this beautiful city! No…Johra! Hiiing. You guys can go to your accommodations now. Alpeon, lead them away. Johra bother me when I have my serious voice! HHing~”
The last tone was definitely lovely and charming. They must truly love each other. We had just learned about our bleak future here as slaves but none of us could refute her words.
Obviously the voice from before had been a dragon, us Elves could easily recognized the voice as our people had long been acquainted with them. It would be incredibly stupid of anyone to try and cross a dragon.
We agreed with her claim. The reason we became slaves was that we invaded the nest of a powerful dragon, so the result was understandable.
“It’s a monster!”
“Stop making useless noise and proceed to your designated dormitories. The number you have each been assigned with will guide you to your new rooms.
A shining golden creature with a human’s torso and the lower body of a termite guided us and he spoke.
We arrived to a large stone building. We were disappointed upon seeing its simple and rugged exterior and sad to learn that it would be our new home. However when I arrived inside I was truly surprised upon seeing the room. Each accomodation included two rooms which were quite spacious. There was a well crafted bed and a desk with paper to write on.
It was a place fit for a noble, not a slave.
“Is… this really my room?”
“From the outside we couldn’t notice it, but it’s really well made indoors. Look at this wood, it looks alive! It must have been made by someone who knows trees well!”
Us Elves were very close to nature, so we could appreciate the craftsmanship of the beautiful furniture.
“Just what is going on here?”
It was a child who would share the room with me, a little girl named Pirin. Despite her young appearance, she was brilliant and mature. Elves aged very slowly so even one that looked like a child could be wise and experienced.
“I think Necropolis is testing us.”
I said the first thing that came to mind.
Pirin asked me.
“A test to see whether or not we are worthy of joining Necropolis.”
“Why would they go through the trouble?”
Pirin replied, clearly confused.
Necropolis is a city for all creatures that were persecuted by the humans, that would definitely apply to us right now.”
“But aren’t we slaves?”
“I think it might be because in the past we attacked Necropolis.”
“What choice did we have, since returning to our homeland has always been our people’s greatest desire?”
“Well that’s just our perspective, from their point we were definitely the invaders.”
“Should we even be talking about this outloud?”
I continued discussing it all night long with Pirin in hushed voices but were unable to come to a conclusion. The only thing we had agreed upon was that we knew too little about the reasoning behind our peoples invasion.
We soon fell soundlessly asleep, drowning in the comforts of a bed which we had not had for so long.
Knock Knock Knock
Rise and shine! Everyone line up outside, double time.”
A deep voice coming from outside woke up all of us Elves. Although I was tired, I knew it would be a bad idea to disappoint our new owners on the first day. Likewise Pirin woke up from her deep sleep.
“Let’s hurry up and get ready.”
Pirin and I exchanged a knowing look and quickly got dressed before lining up outside. There were hundreds of us, all in an orderly formation. We were flanked by dozens of the golden insects that had led us to our rooms just last night. Going solely by our numbers, we should have been able to overwhelm them, but we knew that it would be impossible.
“From this day forth you are now slaves of Necropolis. This is a great city where even the lowliest slaves are well fed and housed, but never forget your statuses as slaves. You are all a foolish race which chose to stand against us, so you will work and work until you pay off your crimes!”
We were then led to the large farms and pastures on the outskirts of the city, under the careful watch of the flying insects. From sunrise to sunset, our labor consisted of caring for the plants and animals.
It was enjoyable for most of us because Elves had an affinity for nature and animals, we enjoyed taking care of them. Also, the insect overseers simply watched us work, not edging us on or inflicting pain in order for us to work faster.
“Can we really be called slaves?”
Pirin who had been playing with the young lambs suddenly asked me.
“It is indeed fun to play with the animals and although agriculture can be hard work, are the rulers of this city unaware that it is a joy for us?”
The truth was that Gnoss and Noradriana were aware, and had gone to great lengths to create an enjoyable environment for the captive Elves.
If either Johra or Valenor had known about this, they might have been a bit angry as their resentment for the Elves ran deeper. However, many elves also felt that it was too good to be true and didn’t believe that slaves could be treated so well.
“It’s time to eat.”
The bread and soup that the insects distributed among us was of a heavenly flavor. What more can be said about a grain which had been soaked in that sacred nectar, or the meat of the animals that were raised on such a superior grain.
For the Elves who had not lived in Elfenheim for tens of thousands of years, this was the ideal food for them because their bodies were more sensitive to it’s heavenly properties. Despite thousands of years having past since they had fallen to this world, their race’s constitution hadn’t changed much and was craving the nutrients found in this revolutionary food.
Outbursts of pure nutritional ecstasy were heard here and there, as if their bodies recognized the taste of home. Although the insects had prepared generous rations, it wasn’t nearly enough and it had all disappeared in a flash.
“Wow, this was really tasty right?”
“It’s a bit suspicious that they are feeding us so well, are they trying to fatten us up for later?”
“Ah ha ha!”
Pirin and I joked together, it had been some time now since we could live peacefully, with a comfortable bed and abundant food.
It was indeed the life of a slave in Necropolis; warm bed, great food and an enjoyable job. It wasn’t only Pirin and I who were content, but all the Elves walked around with a vibrant smile.
When we returned to our rooms after work that night, although on the surface we appeared tired, it was an enjoyable day.
We were not the only one judging by the laughter which rang out in our slave accommodations.
“Could this be a paradise for Elves after all?”
“I worry that I’ll wake up tomorrow and this will only have been a dream.”
Pirin and I talked late into the night, before falling asleep, exhausted from our day’s work.
Knock Knock Knock!
“Time to get up and gather outside!”
Pirin and I jumped out of bed and lined up outside with a smile on our faces. The voice which we had originally been apprehensive about, was now a welcome alarm clock, signalling the start of a wonderful new day.
Normally Elves would eat very little, having just a single meal per day. Once they became adults, they would usually only eat twice a week, but even that amount would only equal to a single human meal.
In Necropolis however, the Elves had gained the title of gluttonous eaters. Even the overseer insects were blamed by the city bureaucrats for not preparing sufficient food. It was important for Necropolis’ image and prestige that even the lowliest slave be well fed and cared for.
However, even if they had prepared two times yesterday’s amount for the meal time, it was once again entirely consumed. Us Elves simply couldn’t get enough of this heavenly food which reminded our bodies of our long lost Elfheim.
The same situation occurred on the third day and they kept trying to increase our portions until we were satisfied. This went on until the tenth day when they finally gave up and began controlling our rations more carefully. Finally by the fifteenth day they had managed to find a proper equilibrium, but of course Elves still ate more than four times more than other races.
“There’s a rumor going around that Elves are like pigs that only eat all day long! Our image as a graceful and noble race has been eroded!”
On the morning of the twentieth day the instructors told us that we would be working two hours of overtime. Naturally it wasn’t a problem for us because it occurred after dinner which was the time that we were the most content.
“Is it just me or are many of us getting healthier by the day?”
“Ah you too! I also feel a bit different.”
Ever since our race had been banished from Elfheim, our constitution had declined and weakened. However, now that we were receiving such nutritious food and had gained the blessing from the nectar, we were slowly regaining our lost strength.
After only a month as slaves in Necropolis, our strength had taken a qualitative leap. It was an aura that had previously only been found in the few High-Elves of our race.
“How terrible it is to be an overseer, I don’t even eat as well as the slaves I’m in charge of!”
It was a bit irritating to hear the insects’ complaints of self-pity every morning, but all in all the life of a slave in Necropolis was quite enjoyable. There were no dangers, great food and beds with enjoyable jobs. The best part of it was that I could share in all of this with my people and friends.
The was nothing to be upset about, except for the occasional nagging from our overseers which reminded us of our position as slaves. Still, us Elves knew that we would be able to enjoy a calm and peaceful life in Necropolis.
However we are a prideful race and there is a saying, give an inch, and they’ll take a mile.
Although our overseer insects didn’t intervene often, we were still required to do hard labor and follow instructions. To us evolved and noble Elves, the occasional nagging from the overseers was starting to frustrate many of us and we would mock them in secret.
It all began with such a simple action.
“You can’t leave your workplace.”
It was not easy for a single insect to supervise dozens of elves, but they had no choice but to do so because of the difference in numbers. It wasn’t possible to always catch the Elves who would wander from their posts, but when the overseers did call them out, they would obediently go back to work.
That was until the one day where one of the Elves felt that he didn’t want to work anymore. How could a high and noble Elf like himself obey the commands of a lowly insect.
“I’m an Elf, I don’t need to follow the words of a mere insect!”
“You Elves are slaves and I’m your overseer, know your place!”
If that Elf had simply heeded his command and returned to work, our peaceful days would have continued, but he did not.
“What, I was being kind and now you’re overbearing? Do you want me to show you the power of a slave then?”
It was an Elf that had originally been talented in magic, and now that he had received the blessing of the World’s Root, he had become even stronger. In his arrogance he had believed himself to be much more powerful than a simple insect.
“You’d best stop right there Elf, your magic is weak….”
The largest fireball I had ever seen was fired out from the Elf’s hand. In truth many of us were worried about the insect’s wellbeing as he had been treating us quite well.
‘Please don’t die!’
Against all expectations the fireball didn’t harm him in the slightest.
“You’re a slave and I your overseer, you will have to pay for your crime.”
The overseer simply struck once with his leg.
The rebellious Elf had just lost an arm, and was now rolling on the ground in pain bleeding out on the earth.
“You there, help treat his injury.”
The overseer pointed at one of us who knew healing magic. We were all standing around in shock, as the Elf ran forward to heal him.
Pirin and I had witnessed it first hand, standing less than 10 meters from the man who was rolling on the ground. Later rumours of the incident spread and the truth was twisted as they claimed that the Elf died of his injuries, or that the overseer cut off his head in one merciless strike.
“I think this might blow up into a big deal.”
“I thinks so too.”
Pirin and I were worried about the current situation. We had been living very comfortable lives, but that was all about to change. The more radical Elven factions were grouping and entertaining the idea of rebellion.
“Pirin if our people rebel wouldn’t we be ostracized once again?”
“Maybe the insects will simply kill us all in cold blood, or the dragon will come and burn us alive.”
“What should we do?”
“I have no idea!”
“Pirin do you think there is any way to put a stop to all this?”
She thought carefully for some time and finally offered a suggestion.
“What do you think about becoming a gladiator?”
“A gladiator, why?”
I couldn’t help but ask for a confirmation, thinking she had misspoken.
“If you win the gladiator melee, then the King of Necropolis will grant you one wish!”
“Yes! If you win then you can ask him to peacefully resolve the current situation!”
“But would it even be possible…?”
Trust me, I’m a high priestess and I know that you’re decent with a sword.
Pirin and I agreed and began formulating a plan.
Although it wouldn’t be easy to succeed as a gladiator, it was the only way forward. By now the rebellious factions among us had been stirred up, and the consequences could be terrible.
“ I will only warn you gluttonous Elf slaves this once. Lately there has been a lot of slacking during work, and there are whispers of a rebellion. If such a thing occurs, your punishment would be very severe, I urge you all to heed this warning.”
When the overseer had finished speaking, I approached him with Pirin and informed him of our decision to join the gladiator fights.
“Although I don’t understand why two young weaklings such as yourselves want to be gladiators, I have no choice but to acquiesce because it is the Lord’s will.”
An incredibly large golden termite approached us and led us to the fight the coliseum while being blindfolded.
“Why can’t I be alone? I want to fight by myself!”
“Sorry but the rules state that there must be three people in a team.”
A female knight with a petite figure and wearing shiny armor was being refused due to not having any teammates. I turned to ask our termite guide.
“Do we also need to be a team of three?”
“For slaves it is possible to register in teams of two.”
“Can we allow her to join us?”
The insect gave me a quick glance before going to inform the lady knight on our behalf. “She has agreed to join your group, so quickly go and register your team before it’s too late. I will wait for you here until you have finished your gladiator fights.”
Leaving the golden termite behind we went up to talk to the female knight.
“Thanks for helping me out guys, I was started to get annoyed.”
“Nice to meet you, my name is Bryonë and this is Pirin.”
“Uh… right, you can call me… Valen.”
The act of hesitating to say her name led us to believe she had given us an alias. Still, it didn’t matter for gladiators and we were just happy do have an extra member, increasing our chance to win the championship.
After finishing the registration Valen came up and told us.
“You only need to hide behind me when the fighting starts because it will get quite messy”
We only actually understood the meaning of her words in the first round.
We were fighting the in the fifth and lowest ranked coliseum which was designated for newcomer fighters and slaves. There weren’t many audience members but the number of contestants was quite high. We were almost 100 gladiators in a decent sized arena.
“There are a surprisingly large amount of Elven gladiators.”
It was just as Pirin had mentioned, many of them had joined for the sake of winning a wish from the King, but for the most part they would fail to secure the championship.
“Do we even have a chance?”
Simply by glancing around I spotted many warriors who seemed stronger than us.
“Worry not little Elves, just stand safely behind me.”
Valen had spoken as she held a small dagger and shield in each hand.
The ringing of the bell marked the start of the fight. If you were sent out of the ring, unconscious or willingly surrendered, then you were eliminated. If you could survive for 15 minutes then you moved on to the next round. After two rounds of qualifications the remaining teams would face each other in elimination matches to decide a champion.
Valen ran into the middle of the fighting, causing us to crie out to her in panic.
Puuuk Pung Puppebuc!
However the next moment an incredible sight appeared. Despite having a small frame at only 160 cm tall, when she clashed with the Lycan tribe warrior who was several times her size, it was the other guy that went flying outside the arena.
She then struck another one with her fist and the same result occurred, stunning all the gladiators around her. Valen however was already sharking around, hungry for another opponent.
“Isn’t she a little too strong?”
Without responding to our cheers she continued to knock out seven more gladiators out of the arena.
I didn’t understand why she bothered to equip herself with a dagger and shield, her punches and kicks alone were fearsome enough. Wherever she went the fighters would disperse in fear, like Moses parting the red sea.
Anyone unlucky enough to be caught in her attack range was punished without exception.
When the 15 minute bell rang again, there were fewer than 10 gladiators left standing on the stage.
“Ah, a nice little warm up! I even managed not to kill anyone by properly controlling my strength.”
Valen chuckled to herself in high spirits, not at all feeling tired.
“Miss Valen, how are you so strong?”
“Oh-ho… isn’t this the strength of an ordinary man?”
I caught her murmuring to herself, but found no reason to object. We had luckily found a very powerful comrade.
The same situation occurred in the next qualifying round. Valen would run around like an enraged stallion, knocking around the competition like they were made of paper. When the time was finally up, only a lucky 10 were once again left on stage.
The next step was the round of 16 and our team would only need to win 4 more time to be crowned champions.
“Thanks again Valen!”
“Oh it’s nothing special, it’s just that these opponents are too weak, you guys would be able to do the same.”
How was that possible, I was certain that any one of those opponents she sent flying could be more than a match for Piring and I. Not to mention that our future opponents would only be stronger.
“Actually we feel a bit ashamed since you are the only one fighting all the time.”
“Ah don’t worry about it, if it wasn’t for you two I wouldn’t even have been able to join!”
Pirin and I could not have been more thankful. With Valen’s help we advanced to the quarterfinals, the semi’s and onto the finals. It was the first time that someone had defended against her punches and kicks.
Our opponent was a human warrior joined with two skeleton soldiers which seemed incredibly strong. Seeing them, I heard her grumbled for the first time.
The skeletons only stayed behind and observed Valen fight the human warrior. Although we tried to join in and help, they were moving far too fast for us to keep up.
Puk pupupupu puk!
He was the first to have resisted her strikes, and Valen was staring daggers at him.
“Don’t forget that we can’t go overboard…hey, just control yourself! Ok?”
The human male was speaking casually with Valen, as if they had a history.
“No, in a fight you need to try your best!”
The stadium floor which was made out of solid rock was crushed under the weight of her next step.
“Aiii I surrender!”
Seeing Valen’s determination, the man jumped outside the ring.
“Hey! Why are you running away?”
“No need to continue anymore!”
He ran off with the skeleton soldiers and Valen chased after him.
Eventually Pirin and I were the ones crowned champions.
“Can the two of us really accept this result, Pirin?”
“We don’t have much of a choice, they said that they are unable to locate Valen.”
Although the tournament organizers looked everywhere for her, she was nowhere to be found. We were still part of the winning team despite not once having fought, and were scheduled to meet with Necropolis’ King on the morrow.
“Yes, we did it!”
“It’s all thanks to Valen.”
Exchanging a knowing look we both erupted into laughter. I thought about Valen’s heroic feats and figured she could be halfway around the world by now.
The very next day we were invited to the royal palace for the award ceremony. While marching in along with the winners of the other coliseums, I noticed the faces of Necropolis’ citizens shining brightly. They had a happy and healthy appearance which spoke volumes of their quality of life in this city.
“I’m so envious of them Pirin.”
“Yes, if our people could simply swallow their useless pride, I’m certain that we can eventually join this fair city and become just like those citizens.
“We must strive to be even happier than them!”
Thinking of the possibility Pirin and I started giggling.
Eventually we had arrived and lined up with the other winners before the Necropolis ruler’s observatory tower.
“The King is pleased with your victories.”
A person flew down from the tower and touch the ground soundlessly, it must’ve have been a magic skill I thought to myself.
She was a 160 cm tall girl, who descended from above like a celestial goddess.
“I Valenor, wife of your King, have come to hear your wishes.”
The little girl’s voice who claimed to be Valenor was identical to Valen’s. Even many of her mannerisms were the same.
Pirin and I locked eyes.
We spoke out to each other simultaneously. Valenor who had been hearing the wishes of the other champions turned and gave us a sharp look. After listening to all the other winners, she finally arrived before us.
“And what do you Elves wish for?”
I hesitated for just a moment before speaking out courageously.
“I worry that my people will revolt, I hope you can find a solution to this problem!”
Valenor’s face turned into a frown, and after a moment of reflection, flew back to the top of the observatory.
“You may all leave, your wishes have been heard. The two Elven girls however shall stay behind.”
After some time Valenor’s voice rang out from atop the observatory, and we couldn’t help but anxiously stay rooted in place.
She eventually flew back down.
“You Elves, better make sure to keep the fact that I am Valen a secret!”
Valenor glanced at us and whispered strongly.
She then gave us a cute wink and we nodded back.
“My husband will take care of the situation so you don’t have to worry about your people anymore.”
We were relieved by her words. Valen, no, Valenor, was someone who we could trust.
“But there is one condition.”
Pirin and I stared at her nervously.
“You two will have to act as intermediaries and ambassadors for the Elves.”
It was all smooth sailing for there.
In order to uncover who were the ones responsible for spreading the rumors which ignited this rebellious spirit, all the parties involved were given a fair trial. The elves themselves were the jurors and the guilty were found and treated accordingly.
Since that day, Pirin had been designated as the representative for the Elven slaves. She was an intermediary, collecting complaints from her people to deliver to Necropolis, and relate back to them on the city’s decisions.
Necropolis had decided to make three important promises, which had become the hope of my people. Since then, none of us had ever again thought of raising arms against them.
The first promise was that the Lord of Necropolis would find Elfheim. The second was that after ten years of servitude, the Elven people would gradually be accepted as Necropolis’ citizens. The third and perhaps most important was that in 20 years time Elves will be guided to their homeland in Elfheim. Until that time however, they would have to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to Necropolis’ success.
None of the Elves opposed such generous conditions and if any Elves tried acting unruly, they were handled internally. Nothing would come between us and our dream of returning home. After all, for a long lived race like the elves, 20 years was a relatively short period of time.
“Is it just me or do the Elves look healthier and happier than when they arrived?. Somehow I feel like I have been duped.”
“I agree Johra”
“Hmm… even if it smells fishy I can’t really do any major public changes or I’d lose face, I will have to find a way to secretly punish them individually.”
From the observatory the King of Necropolis had seen the entire thing play out, and was having dark thoughts about sneakily making the Elves suffer.
If there was one human settlement which had benefited the the most from Necropolis’ sudden rise to power, it would definitely be Gartmar. What used to be a small and reclusive mining town, had now transformed into a full-fledged city.
It was the same Gartmar which had been all but abandoned by the kingdom’s capital, but they still enforced an 80 percent tax on the mining which impoverished the people.
Then came along the Goblin King which terrorized the countryside. They asked for aid from the government on many occasions and when they finally arrived, they did little to combat the threat and rather preyed on the population, demanding exorbitant bribes for their services. When they eventually faced off with the Goblin King, they were one sidedly massacred and Gartmar never recouped their losses.
The smaller villages that neighboured them had been massacred, and now Gartmar was next on the Goblin King’s path. Unfortunately this tragic event just happened to coincide with the Elven expedition, causing adventurers to take up these seemingly easier quests which offered richer rewards, leaving the Goblins free to rampage.
The mayor, angry over the death of his relatives who had been living in the countryside even went so far as asking a neighboring empire to help, which could be interpreted as a rebellion against the crown. Even then, the nearby empires weren’t interested in interfering and Gartmar’s suffering continued.
Just as everyone had lost hope, a hero appeared out of nowhere. Leading a small band of a couple dozen adventurers, he managed to slay the Goblin King. A feat which thousands of the Kingdom’s soldiers had failed in.
The citizens cheered wholeheartedly for this hero who had saved their lives and that of their families.
However, this infamous hero had not been heard of since. Even the three female adventurers with whom he was supposedly close, were embarrassed to say that they had no news of him.
Regardless of how far, or how hard they searched for him, there were no clues to be found.
People began to talk, and rumours spread as it is so often the case in these small towns. There was talk that he was one the God’s apostles, a Messiah descending from heaven to aid them in their plight and now that the deed was done, he had returned back to heaven. He quickly became immortalized as the town’s legend and all of the citizens worshipped him.
Shortly after that the Elven expedition was in full effect. There was talk that their armies numbered in the thousands and that they were led by the mythical dragons.
All of Gartmar held their breath during that time. They all remembered how their hero had punished Elf sympathizers and were worried about retribution. Still, they never once supported the expedition, despite the overwhelming pressure of such a large army.
The power of such a force was so big that even if the different human kingdoms were to rally under one banner, it was unsure whether they could defeat them in open battle. All the neighbouring countries were watching the expedition very nervously.
In the end, everyone’s expectations had been shattered. The Elven forces retreated in panic, scattering in their forests. It was even rumoured that their dragons had submitted to the Pit’s King. The citizens of Gartmar once again silently thanked their hero. Had he not expressly stood against the Elves, perhaps the city would have aided them and suffered the wrath of King’s Pit as a result.
Shortly after, a woman appeared in town, claiming to be friends with Gartmar’s hero. She introduced herself as Ian and was accompanied by a talkative fairy and cute baby dragon. She became close with the three female adventurers and was quickly accepted by all the people in town who worshipped the hero.
As a result of that, Gartmar would once again receive a great boon. Alone, products made by the fairies and dwarves were not incredibly popular or sought after. However, when they combined the fairy’s enchantments with the dwarves’ superior craftsmanship, the value of such items skyrocket.
These incredible items were at first sold at relatively cheap prices by the hero’s friend, Ian. Superior weapons, armor and accessories had become a common sight across the town. Word of this quickly spread across the continent and the interest in Gartmar’s products had risen dramatically.
These products were soon traced back to the King of the Pit, but his city didn’t allow for human to visit for extended periods of time and establishing a trade route with them was incredibly difficult. Gartmar quickly became the only place to find these highly sought after goods.
Soon after, the city had been recognized as Necropolis’ exclusive trade partner, and Gartmar rapidly grew in size even rivaling their own kingdom’s capital. Necropolis had grown so much that simply by virtue of being their intermediary, Gartmar had profited immensely.
Of course, when things are going well for you, others are bound to be jealous of your success. The kingdom’s capital coveted Gartmar’s newfound power and luxuries. They had long viewed them as a town of country bumpkins and did not have a harmonious relationship due to years of extracting tax revenues, but providing few benefits. The king therefore was planning to remove the mayor of Gartmar and replace him with his own puppet to do his bidding.
Through his network of spies he had managed to learn that the mayor had sought help from a neighbouring empire during the Goblin King’s crisis, so it was used as a legal pretense.
“The mayor of Gartmar has been summoned to the capital to answer the crimes of treason.”
The King’s envoy had announced in the middle of Gartmar’s market, which had by now grown to be the largest in the country. From the nobility’s perspective it was unacceptable for such a small town to overshadow their great capital. The king felt that his plan would go off without a hitch, but that was not be. The carriage which was escorting Gartmar’s mayor to the capital was intercepted by adventurers who had never agreed with the nobility’s bully tactics.
“Mayor, we’ve come to save you!”
A group of adventurers arrived in the market led by Tyr and Kishande.
“Why would you do something so foolish, by saving me you are endangering everyone in town!”
“Isn’t it just you who is the target?”
Kishande quickly spoke up and the Mayor nodded.
“Ok, no use crying over spilt milk, we are we could now be considered to have officially rebelle, so we need to come up with a plan.”
The capital sent out a large army under the guise of delivering justice, while the mayor dipped into the town’s coffers to organize a militia and request support from his neighbours. It was at that moment that he met with Ian who had just walked into the market.
“You are Ian, right? Can you communicate with the hero?”
“The thing is we kind of have a bit of a problem…. ”
“Since he made a promise to protect this place so I’m sure he’ll keep his word.”
Although they were simple words that had just been said in passing, not to mention that it had all occured not too long ago. Naturally the citizens knew that Gaspard had every right to refuse the request, but they still held hope.
An army from the kingdom’s capital was marching on Gartmar. It would take them about one week’s time on foot, so that was all the time the city had to ready its defense and prepare for battle.
In the meantime, the diplomatic envoys sent out requesting aid had all been turned down. Their neighbours had also been jealous of Gartmar’s success and likely also had their own designs on occupying it.
Ten days later there was still no sign of the kingdom’s army. They sent a scout out to learn where they might be hidden, but there were no traces found. Later some rumors were spread among the adventurers that a large force of undead had been spotted marching on the capital, but no one had made the connection between them and the missing kingdom’s army.
Although how it happened remained a huge mystery, the result was incredibly favorable for Gartmar and disastrous for the capital.. They had sent out almost all of their army, leaving just a skeleton force to defend and keep the peace back at home. The jealous and greedy nobles had all pooled their private forces together and created a 50,000 man army, but somehow they had all disappeared into thin air.
“Your Majesty! Please spare us, our house can’t afford to send any more troops right now!”
“What! Are you trying to disobey a direct command from your king?”
The king threatened the other nobles using his position, It would be difficult for him to keep his title and stranglehold on his own city, let alone the country with only 3000 soldiers, when the capital’s population was 100,000.
The next day they received even worse news.
“What, a massive army of undead are marching on us?”
“Yes your majesty… with our small amount of troops we are unable to engage them.”
“Although the undead are normally quite weak and easily killed, but with such high numbers one can expect for there to be a necromancer involved which can easily revive them. Also, the most troublesome point are their suspicious numbers…”
“So the size of the undead force is similar to that our army which we have lost contact with?”
“Yes sire, it was reported by one of our senior scouts so its validity can be assured.”
“Lechan! Come in and report what is going on!”
The king summoned his chief royal knight who was guarding the throne room entrance in order to confirm the report. Normally he would always be by the kings side to ensure his safety, but he had to be sent to guard the entrance due to a shortage in manpower.
“ Yes sire, there are indeed about 40,000 plus skeletons and zombies. Their numbers are almost exactly the same as the troops which we sent out.”
“What is the meaning of this!? Quickly call for reinforcement from our allies! The civilians should also be armed and ready to fight. Well, what are you oafs waiting around for? Get to it!”
The impatient king had lost patience and gotten angry. He had thought that by sending a 50,000 man army to Gartmar he would be able to easily flatten that town of upstarts.
Of course he hadn’t sent his entire ary just for the sake of dealing with a remote village like Gartmar, but rather to put pressure on this new so-called super city which was ridiculously named Necropolis.
However, with his soldiers having disappeared and an undead army on his doorstep, it was akin to a one-two knockout combo and the kingdom safety couldn’t be assured.
It was problematic that the king would only consider his own soldiers as a simple numbers, rather than living human beings. If his soldiers had known his thinking, they would be turning in their graves, that was if they had been buried rather than marching on their own capital at the moment.
“Contact the Temple and tell them to dispatch priests! Aren’t the undead something that they should deal with?”
“I will do so immediately your majesty.”
“You don’t have time to answer! Quickly find a solution to these cursed undead!”
The king was frantically ordering his subjects, as he was trying to wrap his head around the current situation.
“Damn! When did it all start crashing down on me? Was it when I started interfering with Gartmar’s mayor? Or was it when I sent out the military? Could all of this have happened because I was falsely accusing the mayor for treason?”
The king was deep in thought, trying to unearth the cause behind his recent troubles. How does his own army disappear and then become a legion of undead marching on his capital in just 10 days time?
‘There’s no one on the continent with that kind of ability right? Wait, wasn’t Necropolis’ ruler a DemiLich? Then maybe….’
Suddenly all the pieces of the mystery were coming together. What if Necropolis’ ruler had some sort of connection to Gartmar? It would explain the small town’s recent rise to fortune, and as a DemiLich he would have the ability to raise an army of undead.
That cursed King was powerful and had even managed to subdue the Elves’ dragons, so with that and the connection the recent undead, gave credence to his suspicions.
“How dare he get involved! Bring me the god’s stone!”
The Mirin Kingdom had long protected this sacred stone, they had received it as part of a covenant with a High God many years ago. However there was a price to use the god stone, which was the king’s very own lifeforce. For that reason it was a trump card which few kings had ever used, save for grave matters of life and death.
Facing Necropolis’ ruler who had managed to subdue dragons and kill the Devil King and now stood at the top of the continent, the poor king felt his impending doom and didn’t hesitate to use the god stone.
Holding the sacred stone which emitted a bluish light in his hands, he began the proper incantation.
The blue light brightened, absorbing the king’s lifeforce as his face aged and deep wrinkles appeared.
“King of Mirin! According to the oath taken by your first king and ancestor whose blood runs through your veins, I, Michael have descended. Kneel!”
In the middle of the throne room an eight-winged angel appeared and all the servants, knights and king in the room prostrated themselves before him.
“We welcome you, Oh envoy of the God’s.”
“I already know of your troubles, and will fight your war. In four days time I will appear before your northern gate and await the enemy.”
Having finished speaking, he disappeared in a blinding flash of light.
“Make sure that all our forces are ready and mobilized in four days time!”
By the kings order mandatory conscription was done among the peasantry. He was ready to risk it all in this clash against Necropolis. If only he could defeat them here, he would naturally become the new superpower on the continent.
All the civilians in the capital could be subject to conscription, and out of their population of 100,000 they had managed to arm a force of about 40~50,000 men, women and children.
And so began Johra’s new challenge.
‘Lord, it appears that the human king has begun conscription among his population.’
‘Truly? Well, although I doubt it could change much, just keep me updated of any other changes.’
‘As you wish Lord.’
“Hmm… is he really so desperate that he had to conscript his own people?”
I was shocked when I learned that they had sent an army of 50,000 men to attack Gartmar. I had long considered that town as a second home, so I couldn’t let his action slide.
Therefore, bringing only Noc with me, we headed out and intercepted it midway. I had Noc turn them all into undead and using my Authority skill over them, sent them back to attack their own capital as a warning.
Of course there was a slight hesitation on my part and did not lightly take so many human lives. However, in the end I felt that I couldn’t show compassion to those that pointed their swords at Gartmar.
Although they tried to resist, they were no match for the prowess of Noc and I. By the time dawn arrived, we had already finished mopping them up and converting them into undead.
“Lord, this will cause you to be seen as an enemy of humanity.”
“So what? I care little about the opinions of others, but if they try to touch my property, then I have no choice but to interfere.”
I had this short chat with Noc as we flew back to Necropolis and didn’t tell the others about our little adventure.
“Where did you and Noc run off to in the middle of the night?”
“It was a guy thing.”
“Hmm, I wonder if guys were the only part of that story….”
Although Valenor kept trying to rpy the truth out of me, I kept it a secret. I didn’t want others to know of the massacre I had committed last night.
‘You will regret your terrible actions Johra. I won’t help you unless it’s related to good deeds, I don’t care how many times you threaten to bury me!’
I had already expected for Gnoss to have some serious misgivings about yesterday’s slaughter.’
‘I was simply doing what I felt was right, stop complaining so much. And don’t you have something to tell me regarding the treatment of the Elves?’
‘Tha…that, well because you didn’t ask, I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.’
‘What are you talking about? I asked you on several occasion and you said that they were suffering appropriately. How could you have misunderstood my meaning?’
‘Well… since the Elves were kind of forced into the expedition, and had already suffered and hunted down by the humans, I thought that they had suffered enough already.’
‘Who gave you the right to make that decision? Did you ask me for my consent? You were purposely hiding the truth from me and now you’ll have to pay the price.’
‘But… you never listen to me!’
‘And why should I? When we first met you made me swear an oath and I’ve always stood by it. I’ve only now realized that despite my transparency, you’re always trying to deceive me and that there’s no longer any reason for me to keep you around. We can’t work well together if you are continuously lying to me.’
‘Johra stop! You still need me! Hey!’
Blocking out his cries for attention, I called Alpeon over.
‘Catch this and go bury it deep in some place that no one will ever find.’
From the top of the observatory I threw her the green gem in which Gnoss was sealed in.
“It’s Gnoss’ punishment for deceiving me, let him wallow in regret for all eternity.”
“What was that jewel? Isn’t that the one that you always keep close to you?”
Valenor had joined me on the tower and I stroked her mane with the back of my bony hand.
“It’s no big deal, I tried to be the good guy and give many chances. But in the end I realized that there isn’t any hope if the other person is constantly trying to cheat and one up you.”
“Johra, I would never hide something from you.”
“I know you wouldn’t Valenor.”
We stayed together that way, watching the fiery red sun set into the horizon.
‘Hmm… should I watch the battle against the capital?’
I created an ethereal copy of myself by chanting softly while Valenor was sound asleep. It was a copy of myself which had about 20 percent of my power.
Unlike an Avatar, it would only last for a week before dissipating. However, just like with my Avatar, I could only control one body at a time and it’s death didn’t affect my main body.
‘Should I get going?’
Hovering over my body momentarily, I watched Valenor’s peaceful sleep before proceeding to leave with my flight skill. According to Alpeon’s intel, my army of undead was set to arrive to the capital today.
If I was using my top speed I could arrive there in 4 hours, but I was currently travelling much slower because of the limited power of an Astral Projection.
“Ugh, this is so slow. Have I gotten too used to Valerno’s speed?”
I had just barely arrived in time to see the fight break out as the morning sun rose crept into the sky.
Usually undead would have to return to a cave or dig a hole to hide from the sun. But those who were under my control had gained a certain amount of resistance towards the sun just like I had and so they marched on boldly under its rays.
I hid my body and watched the show about one kilometer away.
“This should be pretty interesting. Kukuku~”
My 50.000 undead army were like a white wave of locusts heading towards the capital. As the yellow sun rose and its rays lit them up, they instead gained a bright fiery orange color as they move through the fields.
On the walls of the city humans could be seen running back and forth, preparing army to fight against the undead.
Kugu kugu ku!
As the undead trudged forward, the bleak rhythmic sound of the undead’s march could be heard from afar.
“What is that?”
Atop the center of the northern gate stood 3 large white winged creatures, flapping their wings in the air. One of them boasted 12 wings and was wielding a longsword, perhaps 4-5 meters in length. The morning sun reflected of it creating a dazzling appearance.
Silvery particles were gathered around the sword as it appeared to be charging power. The the being slashed out and a silver half-moon beam shot out and cut through the ranks of the undead hundreds of meters away.
Pung! Pung! Quaddddd Pung!
The sword beam which was about 10-15 meters long cleaved right through the mass of dead flesh and terrain alike. It resulted in a crater maybe 30-40 meters long, completely disintegrating everything in its path.
“Hmm… is that an Angel? That magic seems to have holy properties that are super effective versus undead, and its power is also surprising.”
One of my strongest spells was meteor, but if I were to be honest it was a bit lacking when compared to the power of that Angel’s slash.
“He’ll be hard to beat.”
For an undead like myself, an Angel was like an insurmountable wall. My Aura of Terror and Paralysis Stare were unlikely to be very effective considering its level, and I was unable to see any lifeforce as if it were some kind of golem.
The two smaller angels behind it watched on as their leader pulled out a golden trumpet.
The loud trumpet sound shook the heavens and within moments thousands of rays fell down from the sky. Although their individual damage wasn’t all that impressive, they made up for it with their numbers and large AoE of 10 meters which disintegrated anything in its range. to begin with the undead weren’t very strong and with their weakness being such holy magic, they took severe losses.
In under 30 minutes their force of 50,000 had been reduced to less than 10,000. At that moment the two angels in the background made their move, armed with miniature trumpets and daggers.
The larger angel on the other hand was busy casting some sort of enchantment as a silvery light appeared over his head. A beam from the magic circle above his head connected to the two smaller angels and they doubled in size, reaching a height of 3 meters and overflowing with vitality. Their small daggers transformed into 4 meter longswords and every time they swung, dozens of undead perished.
“Is it an enchantment which gives their swords holy properties? They use some very unique skills, what a great learning opportunity!”
I was observing the scene curiously, like an uninvolved third party. The truth was that I wasn’t attached to the undead army I had created. I had simply sent them out on a whim to show my displeasure towards Mirin’s King, and had never intended them to actually succeed in conquering the capital. Still, it was interesting to learn that they had this kind of trump card as a defense.
When there were only a couple thousand undead left, the city gates opened and the humans joined the fray. The angels then flew back into the sky and observed the battle emotionlessly.
“What else should I expect from the cowardly humans? They only joined in after victory was assured.”
While looking at the battle with my arms crossed, I momentarily felt some killing intent from the large Angel.
“How’s it possible, did I slip up? He shouldn’t be able to find me while I’m invisible.”
The large Angel began chanting a complicated magic skill and the other two linked arms with him.
“Should I run away? No, surely they can’t see me….”
Just as the larger Angel finished casting, they disappeared in a flash of light and reappeared before me.
“Wow, they could see me after all!”
They looked different from up close, the smaller two were closer to 2 meters in size while the largest one was over 4 meters tall. It pointed out to me and cried out.
“Spawn of evil, I don’t know what you are doing here, but it is my duty to eliminate the likes of you.”
“Bind! Freezing! Null Magic Field!”
The three angels quickly cast their spells, and I suffered as a result of hesitating for 0.2 second and therefore lost the chance to attack first.
“Why does he not fall, is his flying ability not considered magic? Regardless you will die today wicked creature!”
The great Angel pierced me in a flashing light.
‘Damn! I have no magic jewels with me.’
Aside from only having a fifth of my power, having no items was another downside of the Astral Projection. If I had had some magic jewels with me I would have been able to escape, but it was already too late for me.
I suffered greatly from the Angel’s sword strike as its holy flame burned my insides. I learned that although death wouldn’t affect my main body, pain was still fully transmitted.
“Johra what’s the matter?”
“Damn! No, it was nothing go back to sleep.”
As soon as my Astral form perished I had returned to my own body. However the vivid memory of being burnt alive had stayed with me. It was my first time feeling such pain since I had become an undead, it felt like I was being roasted in the fiery pits of Hell itself.
‘Do I have a chance of beating the Angels with my undead body?’
I sighed unconsciously.
“Johra what’s wrong, did you have a bad dream? Wait, you don’t sleep so how could you have a nightmare!”
“It was nothing Valenor.”
‘Alpeon, double our scouts between us and Mirin’s capital. Also have all of our standing army alert and on standby in case of an emergency.”
I had mobilized Alpeon and Necropolis’ resources, but in truth they were unlikely to be much help. Considering the Angels’ prowess, only myself and the dragons would be able to meet them in battle.
“Johra are you sure everything is ok? I just saw Alpeon leaving in a great hurry.”
Valenor had noticed that something was up, so it was better to simply come clean and explain the situation.
I had remembered what I had told Gnoss, about how it was impossible to have a good relationship with someone if you were always keeping secrets from them. So I decided to take my own advice in this case.
I told Valenor everything that had happened recently, from the undead army to the new Angels.
“What’s the big deal Johra? If I felt like it I would even incinerated millions of people.”
I shook my head towards Valenor
“That has never been my intention, it’s just that those fools were greedy and attacked the city where friends of mine are living.”
“I understand, so do you think that the Angels will come here to find you?”
“I don’t know, I just have this sinking feeling that they might.”
“I’ve never fought an Angel so I can’t be sure, but I believe that if the two of us team up, we could even take on a god.”
I who had seen the Angels fighting realized that I had overestimated my own strength.
“You’re wrong Valenor, the Angels are the greatest foes we have ever met.”
An undead such as myself was severely disadvantage against an Angel, and the combination of all three made it even harder.
“So what do you want to do?
“Will we simply fly off and leave all this behind?”
“ I can go anywhere as long as it’s with you.”
“Valenor is the best partner after all.”
“I will simply follow whatever decision you make.”
I began strategizing while she leaned her head on my shoulder.
‘It might be difficult to win, but I should come with a plan to at least minimize the losses. I can’t let them ruin all the good work we have achieved.’
It was a rare moment of peace as an undead and polymorphed dragon stood upon the observation tower, looking at the sunset as the winter days approached.