Leveling Up Is Better Than Reality (Chapter 19)

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  • edited February 2016
    haha yeah... evilnerdypete, i don't want to ruin the story, but also think about the king's character. As for Zellin's parents, they don't know anything about this. Don't take anything too seriously for now. this isn't meant to be a super intense story, though it may have its moments. I hope the situation becomes more comfortable as the story goes on.

    and yea UC, i'll try to take it slower.
  • Chapter 13: Fated To Die Alone


    “Really?” Liu called out. “Doesn’t that basically mean we can completely ignore all danger to us?” He asked.

     

    “Exactly.” Zellin responded with a nod of his head.

     

    The group’s teachers could only shake their heads from afar.

     

    The walk through the city was quite peaceful, with most people ignoring them. Some people would occasionally raise an eyebrow at the goblin following their group, but most couldn’t care less.

     

    The group leisurely walked out of the city and onto the road, walking for several hours, occasionally passing other parties who chose to ignore them. During the night, these seemingly harmless travelers would eventually turn into vicious criminals when the people grew sparse and the eyes on the road became few. Unlike Zellin and his friends, most people didn’t have the luxury of being guarded by high level characters such as the group’s teachers, so they would have to plan their trips carefully, returning to the city as night fell.

     

    The Hide skill, was a common skill book, available to most who wished to remain elusive to the laws of the world, which provided limited information on the deaths of a guild’s guild members, depending on the strength of a guild. The Hide skill’s usefulness, likewise, depended on the user’s level, but it was more than useful in getting rid of average kids of Zellin’s level and reputation.

     

    The group wasn’t in any hurry, as the knowledge of being guarded has ironically lowered their guard. Having to travel back in the night has suddenly grown to be a much more relaxing event to the group.

     

    When they arrived on the hill where the Unfortunate Child Church stood, they saw that there were several groups spread out on the very wide graveyard surrounding the hill. This graveyard spread out several kilometers and many groups could be seen fighting low-leveled ghosts.

     

    Zellin began to leisurely walk down the hill, towards the graveyard. “Let’s get on with this.” He said, as if this was a menial chore that he was forced to do.

     

    As the group walked by the numerous graves, they saw that the graves had no names engraved onto the tombstones. These children were found dead by the World Moderators, who hadn’t bothered to engrave a name onto their tombstones. They were purely there to be experience points for the living.

     

    Most of the families of these children, given the choice, wouldn’t have buried their children here, in a place for people to level.

     

    “What’s going on?” Zellin asked, confused. “How come no ghosts are coming out?”

     

    “Most of these ghosts are simply confused, not inherently wrathful. We have to provoke them somehow.” Greenz explained. “But may I make a suggestion?” Greenz asked. Zellin nodded to him, telling him to go on. “Many ghosts never suffer true deaths. They simply lose their power to manifest their spirits in this world because their ‘bodies’ or apparitions lose their energy when they become damaged. But I suggest we purify them.” Greenz said, looking to Zellin for approval.

     

    “And how do you suggest we do that?” Liu asked.

     

    “With fire.” Greenz replied.

     

    “I say we do it.” Reyal said, stating his opinion. “No one deserves to live in that wretched state. I have flame enchantments ready to go.”

     

    “How are we going to provoke the ghosts?” Liu asked plainly.

     

    Zellin looked around, waiting for someone to bring up a better idea before sharing his. No one spoke up; everyone was in the midst of thinking, so Zellin spoke his mind. “We could, literally, piss them off…” He said quietly.

     

    Reyal turned to look at Zellin, disappointment in his eyes. “Dude…” Was all he said.

     

    “What?” Zellin responded with lifted hands and shrugged shoulders, as if he didn’t do anything wrong. “Do you have a better idea? Isn’t the point to provoke them?”

     

    “I’ll do it.” Sasha responded, immediately receiving a loud, “No!”

     

    “No wants to see that. Seriously, Sasha, have some respect for yourself.” Zellin responded with disdain.

     

    After a moment of debate, the group forced Liu to do it. No one else wanted the burden of the act weighing down their karma.

     

    Liu didn’t mind much and peed freely. After a moment, two apparitions appeared out of two graves, forcing Liu to finish up and retreat quickly. Zellin shook his head as he silently thought, did he have to pee on two graves?

     

    They had emptiness where their eyes and mouths should be, looking rather gloomy. Their bodies faded into nothingness at their waists, and their hands extended into sharp claws. The almost translucent, green-glowing apparitions let out loud shrieks, extending their hands out threateningly, and displaying the might of Level 8 Ghosts.

     

    “Reyal.” Zellin called out, signaling the flame enchantments, while he called out Bear and his own fire enchantment spirit. Their already ready weapons all lit up, a flame encompassing them with an intense heat. The flame enchantment spirit fused with Bear’s body, similarly encompassing his body with flames, making him look like a hellhound.

     

    “Don’t let them pass through you! Always be ready to defend with your weapons; they won’t be able to pass through them.” Greenz called out.

     

    Liu charged at one ghost while Bear charged at the other. Liu and Bear both leaped in the air; Bear lunging in with his sharp, burning fangs, and Liu brandishing his new Level 8 50 kg Claymore, activating the skill Guard Break as he neared the ghost. He relaxed his hands and let the intense weight of the claymore come crashing down onto the ghost, before skillfully ending the skill and regaining control of the sword.

     

    Though the claymore was almost twice Liu’s weight, he had always worked hard to increase his strength despite his scrawniness, and was able to wield the heavy claymore relatively easily. As for the immense weight increase as a result of the skill Guard Break, it was simply a matter of balance and control, which Liu had been adjusting to for a long time.

     

    The ghost Liu attacked screeched as the burning sword hacked into its apparition, causing a mild headache and a loud ringing sound in Liu’s ears. The ghost swept out with its long arms as Liu landed on the ground, ripping its claws into Liu’s face. The wound didn’t bleed, turning black where the claw bit into Liu’s face.

     

    Not good, Liu thought urgently, struggling to regain his balance and flee. The ghost immediately swept out with its other arm, but was blocked by Coral’s swift figure and burning daggers, giving Liu enough time to back away.

     

    Bear was simply savage, allowing himself to take a beating as he clawed and bit into the ghost. Zellin took advantage of this situation by freely making use of his Stab Dismemberment skill; not bothering to control the swift stabs, and simply allowing the flaming spear tip to stab without restriction as Zellin doubted he could actually dismember a ghost.

     

    Greenz and Reyal took every opportunity to send out fireballs towards the ghost Zellin was facing off against. Because Bear’s ability to defend was more limited than Liu and Coral’s, Bear’s opponent was naturally made the main target.

     

    Sasha also contributed by shooting flaming arrows. As she didn’t have a fire enchantment spirit like Zellin, she didn’t allow any of her pets to come out.

     

    Though the group’s average level was lower than these ghosts, their teamwork allowed them to slowly whittle down the ghosts’ health. Eventually Zellin’s opponent let out a hopeless screech, the last of its health being consumed by Reyal and Greenz’ fireballs. The ghost’s now mostly translucent body became engulfed by flame and disappeared, leaving behind a glob of almost translucent, green-glowing ectoplasm.

     

    With one ghost down, it didn’t take long for the other ghost to join it in the next life as its body also disappeared into nothingness in the midst of a flame.

     

    Reyal quickly gathered the ectoplasm while the others gathered the money. “Hey, check it.” Zellin said, picking up a bronze, rusty ring. “A Level 7 Specter Ring. ‘Distorts one’s image, making one semi-translucent, and allowing one to blend into their surroundings.’ Hmm, you can activate its effect 5 times a day.” Zellin read aloud. “Here, Coral.” He said softly, walking over to Coral and handing her the ring. He still felt quite awkward around Coral, which is why he spoke so softly, but the ring suited her the best, so he instinctively gave it to her.

     

    Coral grabbed the ring and looked at it before a shy look appeared on her face as she misinterpreted the softness in Zellin’s voice. “Zellin, I was actually going to talk to you about this earlier, but… You see, my father’s not quite normal. He’s very… whimsical. That ‘engagement’ the other day doesn’t have to last if I come to him in a few years and explain things clearly. The other day’s event was purely to satisfy a passing thought.” She tried to explain awkwardly. “So you see, I don’t think I can accept this.” She said, holding the ring back up to Zellin.

     

    Zellin was silent for a moment, in shock, slowly processing the information and slowly becoming revitalized. Before long, a wide grin appeared on his face and he began to giggle at his past dilemmas before calming down and letting out a sigh of relief. “Ah, thank you Coral, I needed that. You don’t understand how much I hate the idea of marriage. I truly don’t believe that two people can truly love each other in such a close relationship without a piece of themselves dying in the process. Unfortunately, I love myself and I love freedom. I’d only be miserable in a marriage. Thank you, Coral, truly, thank you.” Zellin said, closing in on Coral and giving her a heartfelt hug.

     

    Reyal smiled wryly at the situation. Dude, aren’t you fated to die alone? He couldn’t help but think.

     

    Zellin released Coral and began to walk back to the church, merrily whistling and taking in this moment of freedom. “Ah, the ring!” Coral called out as she followed behind Zellin. “Keep it,” Zellin replied. “It fits your class the best.”

     

    Back atop the hilltop, Reyal took out some cooking equipment, cracker ingredients, the ectoplasm, and some blood, getting to work on the Ghost Crackers.

     

    The group lounged around for about an hour before Reyal finished. “I’ve made quite a lot, but hopefully we won’t need this much.” Reyal told the group.

     

    Zellin summoned Leggy as they walked into the creaky, old church, to see that Leggy now had a silk sac attached to her abdomen. Zellin simply raised at an eyebrow at this development, wondering how much money he would make from these spider hatchlings. Zellin considered producing his own personal spider army, but his mind wouldn’t be able to handle that many spiders and he wasn’t sure of Leggy’s own ability to control the spiders.

     

    Zellin had Leggy climb up to the ceiling and lay down a spider web trap, which Reyal put some green-glowing crackers onto. Then the group simply sat around and waited. According to Greenz, Ethereal Mice were apparently quite brave due to their very successful, sneaky ways, so the group didn’t bother to hide and simply sat around on the church pews, attempting to seem casual as they engaged in some light conversation while they waited.

     

    Zellin assumed they would have to wait for quite a while, but 15 minutes later they suddenly heard subtle nibbling sounds. Zellin looked over and saw that some crackers were being slowly whittled away, with chunks disappearing to nothingness.

     

    Zellin gave a mental signal to Leggy and the web that was laid down abruptly rose into the air, trapping the creatures inside. Zellin casually walked over and grabbed the web in the air, holding it up to see an empty space in the middle of the web. Zellin heard some nibbling sounds, assuming that the little buggers were trying to bite through. Unfortunately they weren’t able to, and the web grew still.

     

    “Playing dead, eh? Well I won’t fall for it.” Zellin said playfully. Zellin suddenly wondered if he could put them in his inventory, when he suddenly remembered that Bo had done the same for his spider prince. Zellin casually followed Bo’s example, putting the web into his inventory. “Well, mission accomplished. Let’s head back.” He said to the group.

     

    “What’s the rush?” Liu replied. “It won’t matter if we stay a little longer. Why don’t we level for a bit?” He suggested.

     

    “Guys,” Coral responded. “I don’t think we should tempt fate here. It’s true that I might be guarded, but that’s no excuse to act reckless. We should go back while there’s still light out.” Coral said, worried.

     

    “Relax, Coral. You’re the princess, what’s the point in worrying? The king wouldn’t let anything happen to you. Besides, we haven’t leveled together ever since we came to Ultimate Super Fighter City. C’mon, it will be like the old days.” Reyal responded.

     

    Coral looked to Zellin, urging him with her eyes to support her, but Zellin simply shrugged. He really didn’t care.

     

    In the end, Coral could only follow the group as they continued to hunt.

     

    I have a bad feeling about this, Coral couldn’t help but think to herself, unable to let go of that feeling in the pit of her stomach.


  • edited February 2016

    i didn't edit this thoroughly, so let me know if there's any mistakes


    Chapter 14: We All Want Her Forgiveness


     

    “Well, I’m not going to rely on possible guards to keep me safe. Farewell.” Sasha said frankly, walking away. Once she was outside, she summoned a large white bird, which she used to fly away.

     

    Coral really wanted to go with her, but she couldn’t abandon her friends, so she stayed, albeit, reluctantly.

     

    “She’s finally gone; thank god.” Zellin exclaimed.

     

    The group hunted for a couple hours, storing their pee into bottles so they could gently sprinkle them onto unfortunate graves when they wanted to fight. The method worked fine, conserving the urine so that the group didn’t have to urinate continuously.

     

    Another passing group expressed their disgust with Zellin and his friends, explaining that all they had to do was hit the tombstone a couple times, leaving Zellin and his friends thoroughly embarrassed. Zellin coughed awkwardly in response, telling the other group that if you urinate on the graves, the ghosts become more savage and reward more XP.

     

    The other group’s eyes widened in surprise. “Really?” They exclaimed.

     

    The embarrassment was too much for Zellin to take, so he lied to make himself seem less monstrous, which ironically, turned him into more of a monster, for that other group would surely test out this theory. Before he could be blamed for seducing the other group into doing what they were originally so disgusted about, he told his friends that it was time to leave.

     

    By the time the group left, the sky was already beginning to darken. Coral slowly began to walk faster and faster as they walked along the road, hoping that she could subconsciously urge these guys to hurry up. It worked for quite a while. Though Zellin was lazy, he really didn’t want to be outclassed by a girl, so he, along with the others, continued walking faster and faster, unaware that this was out of the ordinary, or that they were being tricked by Coral’s superior mind.

     

    Coral walked as fast as she could without running, but it wasn’t enough. About half way on their journey, it became thoroughly dark on the road, and two thirds of the way there, a stranger appeared on the road, blocking their way.

     

    Coral’s figure suddenly disappeared, preparing a preemptive attack.

     

    “Well, well, well, little ones, it seems you have reached a crossroads.” The masked figure called out, causing Zellin’s eyebrow to raise as he thought, dude, the road only goes straight from here. “One path leads forward, to the city, the other leads… to your graves. How to find the right path you ask? Of course, gold will naturally pave the path to a brighter tomorrow!” The masked man said theatrically.

     

    Zellin looked around to see that five others have surrounded them, and their levels seemed quite a bit higher than Zellin’s.

     

    “I wouldn’t try anything if I were you.” Zellin called out calmly. “You are in the presence of a princess.” He explained.

     

    The man laughed out loud in response. “You mean this little one, here?” He asked as he abruptly thrust his hand out and grabbed the air, causing Coral’s image to appear out of the darkness. The man wrapped his arm around her neck and pointed a dagger at her face. “So you’re saying that if I kill this little girl, there will be deadly consequences?” He said unimpressed, with a mocking grin. Coral closed her eyes in fear. She was scared, as scared as she’s ever been. She couldn’t even struggle against the man’s unmovable body.

     

    Zellin was about to explain further when the man suddenly released Coral, only to thrust his dagger under her chin, all the way into her brain. The dagger immediately took the majority of her health, inflicting the bleed effect. The shock from the dagger stabbing into her brain caused her brain to shut down soon after, and soon after that, she bled away the last of her health.

     

    Zellin watched with wide eyes as Coral crumpled to the ground, and as her body glowed white before shattering into pieces, fated to disappear into nothingness, like so many monsters Zellin has killed before.

     

    “Hahaha!” The man laughed. “Princess my ass. Now hand over your money lest-” The man called out before the sound was drowned out in Zellin’s mind. Zellin was completely still as he stared at the pieces of white light drifting in the air, his mind processing this information slowly. He suddenly felt a silent scream fill his mind with immense intensity. I was wrong, I was wrong, I was… He constantly repeated in his mind.

     

    The world around Zellin suddenly started to move, and he realized he held his spear in his hands. Realization of the situation occurred within Zellin and tears streamed out of his eyes as he thought, come back, come back, please god

     

    There was a flood of thoughts that entered Zellin’s mind, and as was his nature, his urge to escape overwhelmed him. “AAAAHHHH!!!” He screamed with all his strength.

     

    The world disappeared before Zellin into a white, hot rage and an intense pain filled his entire body. I deserve to die, he thought sorrowfully, before completely passing out.

     

    Later that night…

     

    Zellin struggled to open his eyes to see that he was back in his room. He looked down at himself to see that he was heavily bandaged. An intense pain filled his body whenever he willed himself to move.

     

    He slowly recalled what had happened and tears, once again, began to stream out of his eyes. He sobbed softly, regretting everything; his decisions, his character. Is god fucking with me? Why would he reincarnate a useless fuck like me? I should have truly died back then, before all this…

     

    Zellin opened his eyes and looked up at the sound of the door, to see Reyal walk into the room. When he saw that Zellin was awake, he turned on the lights to reveal his grim face and bandaged body. “Hey…” He said dejectedly.

     

    “Reyal, I-” Zellin tried to explain selfishly before Reyal cut him off.

     

    “Zellin, it’s okay. She’s alive.” He said softly, causing Zellin’s tear-stained eyes to widen. “She was resurrected at a church, here, in the city. She’s back in her room, but she hasn’t woken up yet…” Reyal explained.

     

    Zellin was dumbstruck for a moment before asking, “What happened?”

     

    Reyal smiled wryly at the question. “I don’t really know.” He responded. “After Coral died, you lost your mind and began to attack, screaming at the top of your lungs. The rest of us joined the fight, but he we weren’t their match at all. Eventually I passed out and when I woke up, I was back here.”

     

    Zellin immediately guessed the situation. Our guards knew that Coral would be resurrected and only stepped in to save us at the last second. Zellin could only smile wryly. He was happy that no one truly died, but he intensely hated himself for causing the situation.

     

    “I see.” Was all Zellin said. After a moment, he struggled to get out of the bed.

     

    “Easy, there. You look pretty banged up. Where are you going?” Reyal said, worried.

     

    Zellin smirked in response. “Aren’t you also injured? I’m going to see Coral. I need to ask for her forgiveness.” Zellin said determinedly, as he struggled to walk to the door.

     

    Reyal didn’t try to stop him and simply sat there in depressed thought. We all want her forgiveness… He thought to himself.

     

    Zellin slowly managed to walk out of the door and walked down the hall for a distance before he approached Coral’s room.

     

    He slowly opened the door and peeked in to see Coral sleeping peacefully on her bed, in one piece. Zellin let out a sigh of relief, thanking god in the process. He walked into the room, closing the door behind him. He pulled out a chair from a nearby table and placed it next to Coral’s bed.

     

    He sat there for several hours, awaiting Coral’s return to the world. Zellin was sleepy, but his need for forgiveness let him ignore it.

     

    Zellin watched Coral’s sleeping face with gentle eyes, careful to avoid anything that might disturb her peace. I never knew how much I cared for her, until that moment… He thought to himself. He never wanted to experience something like that ever again. In both of Zellin’s lives, no one had ever died on him, with the small exception of his grandfather dying when he was at a very young age. As such, the pain of loss bit into him at that moment like the cold in middle of a snowstorm. Like he was naked in that storm… Cold and vulnerable, only wishing for escape.

     

    It wouldn’t have hurt that bad if Zellin didn’t care for Coral the way he did. It almost makes him want to regret caring in the first place… Such was Zellin’s selfishness. He needed Coral’s forgiveness like he would need water in a desert. It was necessary for his survival in this world.

     

    It wasn’t until dawn when Coral’s eyes began to flutter open. She looked at Zellin’s smiling eyes before remembering what happened. As her memories flooded in, so did the pain. Her tears flowed out uncontrollably from her closed eyes. “Get out.” She said quietly.

     

    Zellin didn’t quite understand. “Coral, I-” He tried to say before getting cut off.

     

    “GET OUT!” Coral screamed. Zellin really didn’t understand. In the instant before her death, Coral had felt everything. The blood streaming out of the hole under her chin, and her stunted thoughts as the dagger pierced her brain. She tried to scream, but her broken mind wouldn’t allow it. Before it ended, she had felt the pain in full.

     

    “Coral, please.” Zellin said, attempting to dissuade her.

     

    “No, Zellin! I – said – GET OUT!!!” She screamed at the top of her lungs, her tear-stained eyes unable to even look at Zellin.

     

    What could Zellin do? It felt like his heart was breaking, and he was helpless to do anything but leave the room, struggling not to cry.

     

    Zellin closed the door behind him, and leaned back against it, tears once again staining his face. Fuck, I’m pathetic. She’s the one who died, and I feel like I’m the one who needs pity. “URGH!” He exclaimed, biting his lip till it bled. FUCK ME!

     

    “Zellin, are you OK?” Came a voice.

     

    Zellin opened his eyes to see that it was Sasha, holding her hand out as if she was afraid he would collapse. “Fuck off, Sasha! What the fuck are you even still doing here!? Get the fuck out!” Zellin yelled, letting out her frustration on Sasha, before storming off as quickly as he could.

     

    Sasha could only sigh helplessly at Zellin’s distant figure. He’s still a child. If he wants to survive in this world, he’s going to have to grow up. Sasha thought to herself before re-opening the door to Coral’s room.

     

    Coral was sobbing quietly with her eyes closed, and didn’t notice Sasha as she walked over to sit next to her. Sasha waited for her sobs to slow before she spoke. “You know, I’ve died before.” She said, causing Coral to open her eyes and stare at Sasha with empty eyes. “I was burned to death with magic. The pain was excruciating. Until today, I’ve never fully recovered, but do you know why I continue onwards?” She asked.

     

    “Why?” Coral asked quietly.

     

    “Because of my sister.” Sasha said, an unexpected softness in her eyes. “You see, Coral, when someone truly cares for you, you’re not allowed to give up, because to give up would be to spit in that person’s face. You can only repay that love by living.” Sasha explained. “Tell me, do you have anyone that cares for you?”

     

    A bitter look suddenly appeared on Coral’s face. “No one cares about me. I thought my father did, but he let my guards watch me die. I thought my friends did, but they ignored my opinion which lead to my death.” She said, looking down with despair in her eyes.

     

    Sasha sighed in response. “I wouldn’t make that decision just yet.” Was all she said before she got up and left the room.

     

    Coral stared at where Sasha’s figure was. She wants me to regain my hope… Coral thought to herself. She sighed and closed her eyes. For some reason all she could think of were her carefree days back at the academy…

     

    Zellin was sitting on a bench in the courtyard, staring blankly at the slowly brightening sky. He tried to stay as still as possible, as silent as possible, hoping everything would just pass by him. I should probably leave after today... He thought to himself. I’ll find a good bar, get good and drunk, then, hopefully, I’ll die from alcohol poisoning.

     

    “Zellin.” Came a voice from behind Zellin. He looked up to see that it was Liu, bandaged and using a crutch to walk. “We’ve been summoned.” Liu said.

     

    “The king?” Zellin said with a raised eyebrow. “Why bother? I’m leaving soon anyways.” He said in disdain.

     

    Anger flashed across Liu’s face, and he grabbed onto Zellin’s throat from behind with immense strength, allowing his crutch to fall to the ground. “You pathetic fuck.” Liu said with gritted teeth. “I’ll kill you before you run away. Coral just died, you asshole! What we need to do right now is stay by her side! Let me know right now if you can’t, cause I’ll end you right here if I have to!”


  • here, to get that sour taste out of your mouth


    Chapter 15: Insight Into The Dao


     

    Zellin responded by quickly jabbing Liu in the nose with his fist, then continued to throw him over the bench. Zellin sat on Liu’s body and sent fist after fist at Liu’s arms, which were blocking his face. “Fuck you, fuck you.” He said as he struck out.

     

    Liu winced every time his bandaged arms were struck, and Zellin winced when he simply moved his arms. Liu immediately began to time Zellin’s punches, then suddenly threw an elbow at Zellin’s face, striking him to the ground.

     

    Zellin simply lied on the ground, breathing heavily, with a gash on his face where Liu elbowed him. There was no more fight left in him. Liu, likewise, also lied on the ground, breathing heavily, with his arms flaring up in pain.

     

    “Liu, she doesn’t want me here anymore.” Zellin struggled to say, discouraged.

     

    “Fuck you.” Liu said with heavy breaths. “Aren’t we a team? Fuck your feelings, Zellin. You’re the only friends I have; like hell, I’m going to let you leave.”

     

    Zellin stared at the sky from the ground, thinking about what Liu said. He suddenly smirked, self-mockingly. Liu’s more of a man than I am, and I’ve lived three times as long as this kid. He’s as selfish as I am but he doesn’t give a fuck what anyone thinks. Zellin thought to himself. I want to stay friends too…

     

    “Yeah, Liu.” Zellin said slowly. “We’re a team.”

     

    A couple hours later, Zellin, Liu, and Reyal were gathered in front of the king’s throne, kneeling with their hands on the ground, struggling from the pressure the king exerted.

     

    “If I didn’t need you, I’d extinguish your little life, here and now.” The king said, discontent in his voice. “Do you have anything to say for yourself?”

     

    Though the king sounded displeased, seeing how depressed these kids were gave him a strange sense of joy. When the king was told of these kids’ situation at that time the king had ordered Coral’s guards to teach these kids a lesson by saving them at the last second and allowing Coral to die. Coral had already suspected his father for doing this, since she had been guarded closely ever since she was born, and also because she knew her father the best, and his character wouldn’t see this act as being out of line.

     

    As the king saw it, since he’s the one who sacrificed his life force to set up a Resurrection Contract with Coral and the laws of the world, it was naturally his right to use Coral’s life as he wished. Though he loved his daughter dearly, to him, it wasn’t like she was truly going to die. Plus, when he considered the torment that he had to go through to reach his level, he simply summed the whole thing up as a good learning experience.

     

    Zellin tried to say something, but was he was already struggling hard enough to simply breathe.

     

    “Do you know the name of this city, of this kingdom?” The king asked, receiving no response. “Ultimate Super Fighter City of Super Kingdom.” The king said slowly, expressing a point. “Do you know why I’m allowed to name my kingdom like an idiot? Because my strength is sufficient enough to allow my idiocy.” He explained seriously. “But as for you kids, you kids are worse than shit in the eyes of the world! You have no right to act like an idiot!” The king yelled, the intensity of his voice causing Zellin, Liu, and Reyal’s ears to ring. “The only way for you to survive in this stage of your life is to cling to life like a cockroach, using all possible means to survive, and taking the least amount of chances possible. Thus, as your king, I’m ordering you to stay within the vicinity of the city unless I decide otherwise. Until you kids gain some insight into the Dao of cockroaches you’re grounded until further notice. Dismissed.”

     

    Though the king said ‘dismissed,’ he simply lessened the pressure exerted on Zellin and his friends. The king sat back and watched the kids struggle with all their might to lift their injured bodies and hobble towards the doors.

     

    As the doors to the courtroom closed behind Zellin and his friends, they looked at each other seriously. “He’s right, guys.” Reyal said solemnly. “We can’t keep fucking around like we use to.”

     

    Liu nodded in response then looked to Zellin who had some hesitance in his eyes. After a moment, though, Zellin’s eyes grew resolute. “Yeah,” he replied. “We can’t waste a second.”

     

    When they got back to the house, Zellin went straight to work on some body-mending pills to help their recuperation. Though their HP was filled to the max, their actual bodies were still recovering.

     

    As Zellin worked in his lab, the door opened to reveal Coral’s shy figure, still dressed in her sleepwear. Zellin turned around and was stunned into silence for a moment. “Hey, Coral…” He said cautiously. “How are you feeling?”

     

    “Better.” Coral responded shyly, unsure of how to approach. She felt quite guilty for yelling at Zellin earlier. It was an emotional moment for her, and Zellin was unlucky enough to be around. “Zellin, I just wanted to say I’m so-”

     

    “No, Coral. You don’t have to say it.” Zellin swiftly responded. “I’m the one who should be saying it to you. But I won’t, instead, I’ll earn your forgiveness. I promise to work harder from now on.” Zellin said, the words almost feeling empty in Zellin’s mind. He’s repeated those exact words so many times in his two lives, but he usually reverts back to his lazy mindset. But this time, the experience that changed him was associated with a death of a loved one, which deeply affected Zellin. This time, it wasn’t just for himself that he desired to change, but for the well-being of his friends. I’m not going to let you down ever again, Zellin though resolutely.

     

    Coral simply smiled in that bittersweet moment. “Friends?” She asked.

     

    Zellin smiled back. “Friends.” He said, pulling close to hug Coral.

     

    Sasha walked in on the touching scene and couldn’t help but mentally pat herself on the back, somehow feeling responsible for this moment. But as Zellin hugged Coral with closed eyes, enjoying the moment, he sensed her presence and simply said, “Fuck off, Sasha.” He didn’t want her to ruin the moment.

     

    Sasha could only frown and leave the room.

     

    “Why are you so mean to her?” Coral asked, releasing Zellin from the hug.

     

    “It’s probably because she walked into our lives without properly attempting to be our friends.” Zellin said frankly.

     

    “Well, be nicer to her. She’s a good person, and we’re lucky to have her in our group. If you’re nicer to her, she just might open up to you.” Coral scolded, before leaving to comfort Sasha.

     

    I should be nicer to her, Zellin thought to himself. Or else her crazy strong sister might seek revenge…

     

    Once Zellin reverted back to peak condition, he began to train every day, harshly punishing his body and pushing it to the limits. Since he couldn’t leave the city to level, he was determined to raise his skill levels instead.

     

    Zellin frequently sparred with his teacher, using several different kinds of pole-arms. Whenever he grew accustomed to using one, he would store it in his inventory, causing his weight to grow over time, and only forcing him to grow stronger. After reaching his weight limit, Zellin trained in martial arts, slowly growing accustomed to the weight.

     

    He would also train together with his pets, improving their coordination and overall fighting skills. Zellin experimented with various tactics he could use with his current skills and matched them up with his friends’ various skills, analyzing their synergy.

     

    During the night, Zellin continued to read about the Primordial Tongue, his mind slowly becoming accustomed to the effect the book exerted on his mind. As his wisdom stat grew, he began to slowly understand that this was a book on teleportation, which was related to summoning in a way. There were other uses for the Primordial Tongue that were lightly touched upon in the book.

     

    Except for a somewhat detailed account of a minor explosion-type Runic Formation, the rest of the lightly touched upon subjects were useless to Zellin, and only served to expand his general knowledge of the Primordial Tongue.

     

    Although teleportation was way out of Zellin’s league, a Runic Formation of teleportation was also described in a very detailed manner. After numerous attempts to create the formation, he eventually succeeded in an attempt, granting him the Runic Formation skill. And with the information that flooded into his mind about Runic Formations, Zellin managed to follow the bread crumbs in his book and construct a minor explosion-type runic formation.

     

    In this unusual, new manner, Zellin worked hard every day, working even when he was resting, and growing stronger each day.

     

    Eventually, the New Year came around, and Zellin received a notification that it was almost time for the Noob Village tournament. Zellin casually brought it up to his friends and they were oddly excited for the event. They had stayed dormant within the mansion for half a year and were eager to test their strength.

     

    A couple days later, Zellin took Reyal and Coral to the Noob Originals base to see the guild leader and join the guild. After joining the guild, they found Bo and signed up for the tournament, naming themselves Las Cucarachas.

     

    Bo also took this time to give Zellin his share of the money he received from the World Moderators, as he rarely saw Zellin anymore. During the last summer and fall, Bo had been helping Zellin find mates for Leggy, because Leggy seemed to hate all males and ate all of her partners. As the king refused to give anymore handouts, Zellin and his friends were forced to find their own way to make money, though Zellin naturally found a lazy way of going about it.

     

    Though Zellin and Bo split the profits of selling spider hatchlings 50/50, Zellin was still making several hundred gold with each transaction, and Zellin never actually did anything. Since Leggy became a spider elite, she would only mate with males of that rank, and Bo was forced to find these spiders, while making sure that they were below Leggy’s level, so that Leggy would be able to eat her partner afterwards. Zellin simply did nothing but take his share of the gold, causing Bo to feel quite unsatisfied, even though he was also making good money.

     

    Bo even went out of his way to lead guild members to several spider caves, in the hopes of driving up the price for the spiders.

     

    Unfortunately, when winter began, Leggy refused to mate, thus ending this lucrative business.

     

    Eventually, the day came for the preliminaries of Noob Village’s Floor 1 teams.

     

    “Well, the fated day is finally upon us.” Zellin began to recite as he waved his hands around to accentuate his words. “Let us make haste to the arena, so that we may sooner vanquish our enemies and rejoice at our victory!”

     

    “Okay, Zellin, calm down. We all get it, we’re heroes on a quest to rule the land, blah, blah. Stop making a scene; people are starting to stare.” Reyal said in the midst of a large crowd who were on their way towards the nearby arena.

     

    People from all over the city were gathering in the arena to watch the fun. Many guild leaders have also come, hoping to see the talent of the younger generation.

     

    Noob Village was a trial guild, created by the kingdom’s numerous powers, and was similar to a college basketball team. It was a place for the younger generation to stand out among their peers, and ultimately show the real guilds what they’re worth. Getting into a good guild, meant less worries in life, and automatic power granted by ready connections.

     

    Because of the many powers backing Noob Village, it also had many connections, allowing members to easily make money and slowly grow rich enough for the very expensive class upgrades, whose prices were purposely set by the World Moderators to be expensive.

     

    Las Cucarachas followed the crowd into the arena where they found an usher to lead them to their contestant’s seats.

     

    It wasn’t long before the main arena was filled to the max, with many people standing along the aisles just to see the show.

     

    “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen!” Called out a well-dressed man, walking to the middle of the large platform in the middle of the arena. The crowd grew silent and focused on the man, making him a little nervous. “Who’s ready to see a good show today?” He said loudly, which was followed by more silence.

     

    “Get on with the fighting!” Someone from the crowd yelled loudly, followed by a, “Yeah! Let’s get shit moving already!” The crowd raucously agreed.

     

    Well fuck me for trying to put on a good show, the announcer thought to himself.

     

    “Right, on with the show.” The announcer said, complying with the crowd. The announcer hurriedly went on with drawing lots and announced in which arena which fights would occur in. Then the people began to stream out, heading to the fights they wished to see. But many people stayed in the main arena to watch the team which was said to be the most likely to win. For the first floor, this team was Bo’s team, which Sasha’s sister also belonged to.

     

    In a separate arena, where the crowd was somewhat sparse, Zellin, Reyal, Liu, Coral, and Sasha stood on stage opposite a group of teenage warriors, dressed in chainmail and leather. The other group’s members were all Level 8, and were all wielding either swords or axes.

     

    “Las Cucarachas vs. Team Ravage is about to begin.” The referee announced. “Remember, to win you must either push the other team off the platform, cause them to concede, or kill them all. Yes, everyone, killing is allowed, and Noob Village will take responsibility for all deaths; not that anyone can really do anything about it. Yeah, I’m talking to you, group of fresh off the teat, Level 5s. Back out now, while you can. No? You know their team is called Team Ravage right? It means destroy, in case you didn’t know. I can literally feel that these guys plan to kill you. No? Okay, but don’t blame me. Right, everyone take a moment to get ready.” The referee said, ignoring these kids’ foolishness.

     

    Zellin took this moment to summon Bear, Leggy, and Sparky, who was now half a foot thick and 3 meters long.

     

    Sasha also summoned a wolf next to Bear, a two and a half meter long, pure white dire wolf. The dire wolf looked to its smaller, half-its-size counterpart, Bear and began to let out a low growl, causing Bear to back away. Sasha looked over to Zellin, and Zellin watched as Sasha’s mouth slowly curved upwards, ever so slightly, into a self-satisfied smirk.

     

    Zellin could only smile wryly, thinking, fuck you, Sasha.



  • edited March 2016

    sorry for the wait


    Chapter 16: Nell, Necromancer


     

    Sasha also summoned her white bird, the Snow Garuda. The bird immediately gave Sparky a glare when she came out, which Sparky simply ignored. This type of birds hate snakes with a passion. If Sasha wasn’t there to control it, it would undoubtedly try to rip Sparky apart.

     

    As Sasha climbed her bird and rose to the air, Reyal enchanted everyone with several spells and Zellin summoned some enchantment spirits.

     

    “Reyal, what does the scouter say about their power level?” Zellin asked, with an eager grin.

     

    “It’s over 9000.” Reyal replied dryly, not seeing the point, but Zellin told him to say it earlier, and he really didn’t care.

     

    Zellin covered his mouth as he began to giggle uncontrollably. Fuck, I love that show, Zellin thought to himself.

     

    Earlier in the year, Reyal got a job to fix the enchantments at a local bathhouse near their house, which served to keep the water hot and produce bubbles. When Reyal heard of this magical public bath, he naturally spent some time peaking on the women’s side of the bathhouse.

     

    Reyal would sneak in when no one was around and hide behind a bush, waiting for women to come in. But one day, he was appalled to see that some old man took his hiding spot. Reyal pretended to be an angry employee to hide his shame and the old man began to get scared of getting exposed so he offered him an apprenticeship to keep Reyal quiet.

     

    The old man actually turned out to be one of those rare, reclusive Scribesmen, who spent their lives analyzing and recording others’ skills into skill books that they made available to the public. Since class colleges would be so secretive were their skills, there were naturally people like the old man who wanted to learn those skills.

     

    Although class skills were usually immediately bought by their respective colleges, Scribesmen still managed to make money. Actually, the fact that Zellin was able to get his desired Contract skill before getting his class, was simply pure luck.

     

    Eventually, through his newfound apprenticeship, Reyal learned the skill Insightful Eye, which allowed him to analyze basic skills and people’s levels and classes. At higher levels they could even analyze the flow of mana in people’s levels.

     

    “But seriously, these guys are all Level 8 Warriors.” Reyal responded.

     

    “Whatever,” Zellin replied nonchalantly before casually suggesting, “Blitz?”

     

    “Fine, but we have like 8 minutes. My mana will run out at that time.” Reyal replied, also not caring too much about it.

     

    “You guys ready?” The referee asked, receiving nods from both teams. “Right, begin.” He said as he got out of the way.

     

    The first thing to reach the other team was a hail of arrows from above. With Reyal’s enchantment and her natural skill, Sasha’s hand was a blur as she drew three arrows at a time and released them in her bow in an instant, before continuing to send three more in the next instant.

     

    The second thing to reach the other team was Zellin, who was not only enchanted by Reyal, but also his own enchantment spirits, along with his Sprint skill. As the other team struggled as hard as they could to block the arrows with only their swords while occasionally getting shot, Zellin came in as a blur, thrusting out with his quarterstaff, and using the impact of his quarterstaff hitting his opponent square in the chest, to stop before the enemy team.

     

    Zellin’s opponent was thrown into the air, traveling a large distance, and almost falling off the stage. But before this unfortunate person could let out a sigh of relief, multiple arrows pierced his body as he became Sasha’s only target, for her fear of accidentally hitting Zellin. The person let out a begrudged wail as he threw himself off the platform.

     

    As this happened, the other team had realized the arrows were gone and immediately turned to attack Zellin, but at this time, Reyal and Coral joined the party and picked out their opponents while Zellin defended against the other two.

     

    Then Liu, Leggy, Bear, Sparky, and Sasha’s dire wolf came, and, well, you can guess the rest…

     

    “We concede! We concede!” The other team yelled after finding themselves being beaten to the ground.

     

    “Team Ravage concedes, Las Cucarachas wins!” The referee announced.

     

    The sparse crowd couldn’t help but have some complaints.

     

    “Isn’t that a little unfair? Their team has two Summoners!” One person complained.

     

    “Half the battle was before the actual battle when they were summoning their pets and enchanting each other. They shouldn’t have been given that time.” Someone else said.

     

    “Are those guys really Level 5?”

     

    Zellin and his friends levels might make people assume that they’re weak, but their stats were comparable to regular Level 9s thanks to constant training, and their skill levels were possibly higher than some Level 10s. And though it might be unfortunate, the group’s style of fighting half the battle before the actual battle, was all within the rules.

     

    “Hmm, not bad,” Zellin said, pleased. “I wonder how long we can keep this up?” He asked. Zellin usually had a negative predisposition towards the future, thus is uncaring attitude. He always expects life to fuck with him somehow, especially if things were going well.

     

    Their next battle, a couple days later…

     

    Sasha didn’t have time for a preemptive attack. The enemy’s archer immediately targeted Sasha, with a slightly lower speed and skill than Sasha, but nonetheless, it managed to hinder her. As Sasha’s Snow Garuda was an elite beast, even considering its low level, it was able to easily dodge the incoming arrows and block whatever managed to close in, but this slowed Sasha’s rate of fire. Sasha grew annoyed, and the enemy archer unfortunately drew her focus.

     

    The enemy mage had also began the attack with the enemy archer, she held out her staff and electricity gathered at the blue pearl staff head before releasing the skill Chain Lightning which bolted out of the staff and headed straight for Zellin.

     

    Zellin reacted quickly, using a trick he had recently discovered, his contracted shield in his inventory was summoned out and was immediately equipped by Zellin.

     

    Reyal wasn’t slow either, casting an earth element enchantment on Zellin, causing a layer of stone to grow on Zellin’s shield.

     

    Zellin aimed the shield as the Chain Lightning clashed against its rocky surface; though the stone absorbed much of the lightning, Zellin still felt the shield grow hot and a shock run through his body. Zellin shrugged it off and called out to his friends. “Time it well,” he said.

     

    Zellin, his friends, and their small army of pets, ran forward at a steady pace, unlike their previous battle’s all out sprint, straight towards the warrior in the middle.

     

    Zellin led the charge, as he was wary of the mage, and he was also the only one with a shield. But the charge would only take a couple seconds, so it wasn’t of paramount importance unless the mage had a secret insta-spell that had some intense effects. But as the mage saw there was going to be a heated fight, she began to gather storm clouds; this spell would take longer than a couple seconds. She was hoping for the warriors to hold out for a little longer.

     

    The other two warriors that held back at the sides grew worried as they saw the charge, and immediately rushed to help, making it at their companion’s side just as Zellin and his friends arrived. But just as they arrived, Coral and Reyal leaped high into the air with the support of Reyal’s enchantments and sprinted towards the mage.

     

    Unfortunately, the enemy warriors couldn’t be bothered with it, as they had their own fight to worry about. Fucking kids, one of them thought. You’re out of your league; this tournament wasn’t made for Level 5s!

     

    Though this might be true for Zellin’s slightly weaker pets, Zellin and his friends had more than enough right to fight on this stage, which they immediately proved as the enemy warriors became overwhelmed seconds after they began to clash.

     

    And by this time, Sasha had dealt with the archer, forcing him off the stage, and the enemy mage, was similarly dealt with, becoming beaten to a pulp.

     

    “Hmm, maybe we’re better than I thought.” Zellin wondered to himself.

     

    The third match was more challenging.

     

    They enemy team was composed of a dark mage, a priest, a hunter, and two heavily armored knights with lances and shields.

     

    The first thing the enemy did was lower their eyesight with the priest’s spell, while the dark mage slowed their movement, causing some irritation among Zellin and his friends.

     

    But they responded as best as they could. Sasha’s Snow Garuda, Hail, jumped off the ground and began to take flight as Liu hopped up on its back and Coral grabbed on to its leg. With the Reyal’s enchantments basically cancelling the dark mage’s slow effect, and Hail’s natural overwhelming speed, Liu and Coral swiftly found themselves at the other side of the platform while Zellin began the charge.

     

    The two knights hesitated for a moment, before falling back to defend against Liu and Coral. But even though they weren’t being slowed by any spell, their heavy armor, lances and shields, caused their reaction to be somewhat lacking. By the time their lances were in range, Liu had already knocked their hunter into unconsciousness and Coral had forced the dark mage off the stage, while the priest managed to run off to the side.

     

    Liu would be able to manage the fight quite well, but Coral would have to struggle as her daggers’ range was negligible in this fight. Luckily, Zellin arrived at this time and with his help they managed to defend against the knights, while Reyal took care of the priest.

     

    Then, in the end, like their other fights, they managed to win because of their overwhelming numbers.

     

    Though the audience hated the way Zellin’s group won their matches, they couldn’t keep their eyes away from their overwhelming charge, which brought in even more spectators to grumble about Zellin’s team and their unfair advantage in numbers. In this way, Las Cucarachas earned some fame as ‘that horde of fucking cockroaches.’

     

    Eventually, Las Cucarachas made it to the top 14, where they would be forced to fight in duels involving only one person from their team, along with the team match. The team match was worth 2 points, and the duals would continue until a team won 3 matches, for one point each.

     

    When it came time for their next match, Zellin and his friends had come early to watch the other matches and see what level the top 14 was at, but Zellin wasn’t really in the mood so he went to competitor’s lounge to take a nap.

     

    When Zellin walked in he saw that someone else in a black robe was already napping on one of the couches. Zellin ignored it and chose a couch to lay on.

     

    Soon Zellin was in a deep sleep, dreaming about cockroaches.

     

    “Ah… no… no… I can’t die… cockroaches are… invincible! Ugh? Ah?” Zellin exclaimed as he abruptly woke himself up. Shit, how long have I been sleeping? Zellin asked himself.

     

    Zellin got up and saw that black robed kid staring at him from the other couch. “You’re weird.” He said dryly.

     

    “Screw you, you’re weird.” Zellin retorted.

     

    “You’re that summoner from that cockroach team, right?” The kid said.

     

    “Yeah, you?” Zellin asked casually.

     

    “Nell, necromancer.” He replied, just as casually.

     

    “Hmm, so we’re like the same.” Zellin said, comparing their classes.

     

    “Yeah, we both have others do our fighting for us.” Nell replied frankly, immediately causing some annoyance in Zellin. Screw you, he thought. I fight all the time.

     

    “You’re level?” Zellin asked.

     

    “9, you?” Nell said, continuing on in that casual tone.

     

    “You’re level 9? But you’re like my age; how often do you level?” Zellin replied, avoiding revealing his level, as he was quite embarrassed about it.

     

    “I don’t really level. Most of the time I’m putting together skeletons, which I send out in the wilderness to get experience for me. They die a lot, but it works.” Nell responded.

     

    Zellin’s mouth twitched as he heard this. For some reason this kid is pissing me off, he thought.

     

    “Hey, is that girl Coral on your team?” Nell suddenly asked.

     

    “Yeah, what of it.” Zellin responded.

     

    “I heard that she’s the daughter of the king.” Nell said with curiosity.

     

    “Where’d you hear that?” Zellin said, becoming slightly defensive. “And why’d you want to know?”

     

    “Oh, no reason.” Nell said nonchalantly. “It’s just that it’s always been my dream to get with a princess.”

     

    Zellin’s face twitched again, and was just about to teach this kid a lesson when Liu entered the room.

     

    “Zellin, we’re up.” Liu called out.

     

    “Au revoir, I’m out.” Zellin said to Nell as he headed out of the room. It’s probably better if I don’t attract attention to Coral’s status anyway, lest some kidnapping situation or something occurs, Zellin thought silently, already regretting not beating this little pervert into a pulp.

     

    Unknown to Zellin, Nell’s eyes were wide in shock. Was that French? Is there even a French language in this world? There is English… Damn, if I could only google it... Nell began to wonder.

     

     

  • changed tournament rules in last chapter, sorry for the inconvenience

    Chapter 17: The Enemy of All Women

     

    For the one-on-one match, the group sent Reyal out first, since there was no way to know who their opponents would send out. Though Liu had the most battle-oriented class, Reyal had the most ability to adapt because of his enchantments. And though he was an Enchanter, and this world was setup like an MMORPG, this world didn’t really wish to take away people’s individuality and freedom. This allowed numerous ways to develop your ‘character’ and allowed classes to be less stereotypical.

     

    Ever since Reyal picked up the sword, he was interested in mastering it, and with hard work and the assistance of his new skill, Insightful Eye, Reyal’s mastery over swords became no less than Zellin’s skill with spears, and perhaps he was more skillful.

     

    Though this world only restricted the armors and clothing you can wear by level and not by class, Reyal still chose to wear free-flowing robes. They grew wide near his legs to allow free movement, but were still tailored perfectly as to not allow it to get caught under Reyal’s shoes. They were much like Zellin’s robes, and were likewise, Level 8 clothes.

     

    Reyal wasn’t too worried about its defense. Though its defense was still quite good, compared to heavier armors it was somewhat lacking. But Reyal wasn’t worried about getting hit either, as he had a lot of confidence in his skill.

     

    Reyal went up to the fighting platform and took out his sword as he waited for his opponent. To Reyal’s surprise a pretty girl walked up to the stage and also took out her sword, a katana. She was wearing the loose clothes of a martial artist and Reyal saw that she was a Level 10 Swordswoman. Swordswomen or swordsmen, typically had high levels of mastery over the sword compared to regular warriors.

     

    Reyal was immediately disheartened and began to walk off the stage.

     

    “Where are you going? Do you wish to forfeit?” The referee asked.

     

    “Yeah, whatever.” Reyal said with a waved hand. “I don’t want to fight a girl.”

     

    The swordswoman’s eyebrows furrowed in annoyance. “Why are you afraid I’m not your equal?” She asked with displeasure.

     

    Reyal stopped and looked back. “No, it’s just you’re so pretty. I’d rather date you than fight you.” He said boldly.

     

    The swordswomen only grew more annoyed. “Are you saying women are only good for dating and that they can’t fight?” She asked again.

     

    Reyal grinned in response. “You’re feisty; I like that. I’ll fight you if you promise to go out with me.” Reyal said eagerly.

     

    Zellin shook his head in shame as he watched from his seat. It won’t be long before you’re the enemy of all women, he thought to himself.

     

    “I’d rather die.” The girl said frankly. “But if you impress me with a fight I might grow to respect you as a fellow swordsman.” She said, holding in her disgust. Though she had no intention whatsoever of respecting Reyal in anyway, she wanted to thoroughly cut him up for looking down on her.

     

    “Okay,” Reyal said, resigning himself to the girl. “But when I win, we should get some lunch together.” He said confidently.

     

    “Finally!” Someone from the crowd called out. As they were in the main arena and the matches were being held one by one, the packed crowd was forced to listen to that whole scene. “Seriously, who cares about your love life?”

     

    “Start stabbing each other already!”

     

    “Dude, you didn’t even get her name and you’re already asking for dates?”

     

    Reyal and the girl held their swords out, and slowly drew closer together, wary of the other’s skill. Soon there was only two meters between them.

     

    Reyal moved into a more defensive stance before saying, “How ‘bout you go first? It’s the lady’s right.”

     

    The girl’s eyebrow twitched as she charged in.

     

    Reyal sighed at this frontal charge. I was hoping she’d show some more grace, Reyal thought in disappointment. But the girl unexpectedly disappeared as she was about to close in. Shit! It’s a movement skill! Reyal thought as he hurriedly threw his body into a roll, away from his original position.

     

    Reyal felt the eerie presence of a blade pass above his head as he ducked and threw himself to the ground. Reyal’s hair was quite long, so some hair was inevitably cut off.

     

    I better start taking this seriously, Reyal thought to himself as he got up and activated some enchantments. “You’re quite impressive,” he said as he prepared himself for the next bout.

     

    The girl, was now behind where Reyal originally was, didn’t say anything. She fully focused in this fight. She charged once again.

     

    Like before, the girl seemed to have disappeared, but Reyal was prepared this time and was about to send his elbow back to where Reyal sensed the girl’s presence. But he froze. Fuck! I really can’t hit a girl! He said helplessly as he felt a cold steel blade cut into his neck sending blood spraying out of the wound.

     

    Reyal instantly threw himself to ground and yelled “I concede, I concede!” as he curled his body up and defended his face.

     

    “Pathetic.” The girl exclaimed coldly.

     

    The audience immediately began to boo in displeasure.

     

    “You’re a fucking loser!” Someone called out.

     

    “Go home! No one wants to go out with you!” Someone else yelled.

     

    Reyal used his Preserve skill to stop the bleeding on his neck then slowly walked off the stage with slumped shoulders. This is the biggest failure of my life, he told himself.

     

    “Wow, Reyal.” Zellin said as Reyal sat down. “You actually successfully dodged the first time and failed to dodge the same move the second time. As failures go, that was pretty impressive.”

     

    “Las Cucarachas, send up your next competitor.” The referee called out.

     

    “I’ll go.” Zellin told the group.

     

    The girl grew quite wary as Zellin walked onto the stage. She knew that Zellin was a Summoner and that it would be tough to get past his pets and face him alone, so she decided to taunt him. “Tch! A summoner!” She exclaimed in disdain. “If you were a real man you’d fight me by yourself.”

     

    The crowd immediately expressed their approval. “Yeah! Stop hiding behind your summons!” Someone called out, while others also expressed their agreement.

     

    Zellin smirked in response. “Fine, I won’t use my pets. But the result won’t be any different.” He said.

     

    It wasn’t long before the two competitors were facing each other. The girl thought that beating a summoner without his pets would be simplicity in itself and didn’t plan to do anything special as she closed in to attack. But as soon she got close, Zellin threw a powder into her face which served to immediately blind her.

     

    Zellin showed no mercy as he stabbed the girl over and over, causing her to concede. Though Zellin also believed in equality for all, Zellin had no innate concern specifically for women like Reyal did. Fuck feminism, he thought. It’s nothing more than excuse to be a bitch. It’s better to simply be a humanitarian.

     

    Reyal shook his head in shame as he watched from his seat. It won’t be long before you’re the enemy of all women, he thought to himself.

     

    Zellin’s next opponent was an ice elementalist who sent a barrage of ice spears at Zellin, and tried to finish him off quickly before he could summon any of his pets. But Zellin pulled out his shield and dodged as he summoned a speed enchantment spirit; after fusing with it, it wasn’t long before the enemy mage was repeatedly being stabbed into conceding.

     

    The next opponent was a paladin, to which Zellin immediately conceded, causing loud boos from the crowd. Instead, Liu went up to face the opponent.

     

    Liu went up on stage and pulled out a large, weighty, meter and a half maul.

     

    The referee announced the beginning of the match, and Liu confidently walked towards his opponent with his war hammer over his shoulder. From the way he held his weapon, you might assume that it was a tough weapon for him to wield, but that assumption is dead wrong. Liu’s strength stat is the highest among his group of friends, far surpassing the strength of regular Level 5 warriors, and was closer to, or might be higher, than most Level 10 Paladins; he could wield the weapon like it was an extension of his hand.

     

    As Liu got closer, he asked, “Ready?”

     

    The paladin smirked under his helmet. “How could I not be ready for a child?”

     

    Liu shrugged in response before holding out the full weight of his maul. He raised his maul as if he was about to strike, but unexpectedly charged instead. Liu activated the skill Tackle, which tripled his speed and strength as he closed in from close-range.

     

    The paladin was caught unprepared and Liu charged into him, causing him to step back and lose his balance. But Liu didn’t stop and immediately used the skill Guard Break, increasing the weight of his maul as it aimed to hammer the paladin’s head.

     

    The paladin took another step back and hurriedly raised his shield. The maul and the shield collided with the loud sound of metal clashing against metal. As the force was too much for the paladin, his shield was forced downwards by the impact, and his chest immediately became the target of a heavy kick from Liu.

     

    Liu concentrated all his strength above the paladin’s center of gravity, on his sternum, causing the paladin to inevitably fall down to the ground with a heavy thud.

     

    “AAAAAHHH!” Liu cried out, activating the skill War Cry, which increased his damage by 10%, before ruthlessly beating the paladin on the ground.

     

    The paladin became frantic and hurriedly raised his shield as he healed himself. This caused Liu to begin aiming for his legs, but just as the maul was about to strike, the paladin rolled out of the way, causing the maul to clash against the solid arena floor. As this stage was usually meant for fights between much higher leveled people, the floor was extremely sturdy.

     

    The rebound vibrated up to Liu’s hands with intensity, causing him to release the maul. “Shit.” Liu exclaimed.

     

    The paladin got up and instantly pounced on the unarmed Liu, savagely slashing at him with his sword.

     

    “We concede!” Zellin yelled from his seat.

     

    “Las Cucarachas concedes, stop fighting!” The referee called out, causing the pissed off grudgingly walk away.

     

    Liu wasn’t happy either. “Why’d you concede?” Liu asked after walking off the platform. “I could have beaten that guy.”

     

    “Your stubbornness would have gotten you killed.” Zellin reprimanded. “Here take this.” Zellin said, handing Liu a pill, before leading the group to the platform for the team battle.

     

    They immediately had an advantage as the swordswomen couldn’t fight because she was still blinded, making it that much simpler.

     

    The opponents were somewhat smarter than their previous opponents. They had a warrior, a paladin, the ice mage, and an archer. They grouped together, with their fighters at the front, and waited for their opponents to come to them.

     

    Zellin and his friends responded by pulling out their bows and sending a barrage of arrows at their opponents. Though most of them were only mildly skilled in archery, it wasn’t hard for them to simply aim and shoot.

     

    The warrior and the paladin were hammered with arrows, and whenever the ice mage or the archer moved out from behind them to send out their own long range attacks, they immediately became targeted.

     

    The ice mage did the only thing she could think of and prepared the spell Cold Mist, causing a mist to soon spread out over the whole stage. It effectively chilled Zellin and his friends, slightly slowing their movements and hiding their enemies.

     

    But Zellin was slightly positive about the situation. This could work out, he thought to himself.

     

    Reyal activated Insightful Eye while Coral’s activated Night Hunter Vision, which all served to enhance their eyesight. Insightful Eye would be able to pick out subtle changes in Reyal’s surroundings, and Night Hunter Vision was a sort of thermal vision skill.

     

    Reyal and Coral charged out to hunt, while Sasha took to the skies to see from above. Zellin also let Sparky out, many snakes had a skill similar to Coral’s.

     

    It didn’t take long for the other team to quit.

     

    “Is it me, or we much better at this than I think?” Zellin couldn’t help but wonder.

     

    In the end, the crowd was still mad as Zellin and his friends cowardly avoided confronting the other group. Then when they won in the midst of the mist, they could only attribute it to foul play.

     

    A couple days later…

     

    5 teams remained, and the other teams gathered in the arena to see who would get the free pass to the next round.

     

    “And the winner of the draw is… Las Cucarachas!” The announcer called out.

     

    “Awww! Of course they won!” Someone in the audience called out in displeasure.

     

    “Those guys don’t deserve it!”

     

    Zellin could only smile wryly. “How did the crowd end up hating us so much?” Zellin asked his friends.

     

    “Well, first, we won most of our matches by outnumbering our opponents. And our last match probably didn’t help either; especially since you blinded that girl.” Reyal replied.

     

    “Yeah, why didn’t we just fight them normally?” Liu asked.

     

    Zellin shook his head in disappointment. “Liu, don’t you see? Fighting like cowards will only lead us further down the path of the cockroach. You need to meditate more and gain some enlightenment.” Zellin reproved.

     

    Liu couldn’t respond, and only sighed as he thought, the only enlightenment I’m having is I’m slowly on the path of losing all my honor.


  • edited March 2016

    made error in chapter 16. top 14 not top 10.


    Chapter 18: Fucking Losers

     


    The next day, Zellin and his friends watched the other teams from the top 7 do battle. Zellin couldn’t help but be a little intimidated. Zellin cringed at the thought of fighting Bo’s team as they completely slaughtered the team they faced. Everyone on their Bo’s team had high skill levels for this Floor 1 competition, and Sènah’s huge polar bear was absolutely ferocious.

     

    Zellin also saw that Nell’s team made it to the next round. The crowd hated him as much they hated Zellin’s team. Nell overwhelmed his opponents with a large pack of beast skeletons that were seemingly endless. Zellin was quite impressed by the fact as he couldn’t manage controlling that many summons; his current limit was 4 summons. So whether he summoned his pets, an elemental, or an enchantment spirit, he could only summon 4 at once.

     

    Eventually it became time for the next round, and unfortunately for Zellin, his team was facing off against Bo’s team, according to the structure of the tournament. Zellin could only sigh helplessly as he made his way to the arena with his team. I wonder how soon we should forfeit, Zellin pondered to himself.

     

    They had come quite early today, before the crowds came in, as the tension got to the whole team, causing them to become restless.

     

    Surprisingly, when they walked into the arena, they saw that Bo’s team had also come early.

     

    Sasha immediately rushed to hug her sister.

     

    “Woah there, little sister.” Sènah exclaimed as Sasha wrapped her arms around her. “I know I said to follow your friend everywhere he goes, but you should visit more often. This way, you won’t be so excited whenever we meet.” She said with a smile.

     

    She greeted Zellin and his team as they approached. “Sorry if she’s been a bother. I didn’t expect her to take my words so seriously and start living with you.” She said with an awkward smile.

     

    “Yeah, it’s not like you dropped off a baby for me to take care of, or anything.” Zellin said wryly. “It’s not like you left her there expecting me to find a home for her and buy her skill books, or anything. It’s not like she relentlessly follows me everywhere I go, or that I sometimes find her outside my door, waiting for me, in the morning or anything.” Zellin expressed nonchalantly, in detail.

     

    Sènah smiled in return, ignoring Zellin’s sarcasm. “Well, thanks for taking care of her.”

     

    “Zellin.” Bo signaled, nodding his head to the side.

     

    Zellin took the hint and walked off to the side where the two could talk privately.

     

    “Since when have you been friends with Sasha’s sister?” Zellin asked casually.

     

    “Ah, her. Yeah, I never really noticed her until half a year ago. At that time, she was suddenly popping up everywhere, asking to go hunting, and do quests together. Or just to spar and practice our skills. She’s kind of clingy.” Bo replied without thinking much.

     

    Zellin smiled wryly in response. “Did she mention she had a sister?” Zellin investigated.

     

    “Ah, yeah. I asked if she had any family once, and she said she just had a sister, but that she would likely become jealous of any friends that Sènah makes.” Bo replied.

     

    That bitch! Zellin thought to himself. She pawned off her obsessive sister on me so that she could get a boyfriend! Bitch!

     

    “Anyways,” Bo continued. “I have a proposal to make.”

     

    “Ah?” Zellin said, snapping out his thoughts of revenge. “What is it?”

     

    “How ‘bout we call ‘no summons’ for our match?” Bo suggested.

     

    “Ah? Why? All you guys really need to do is sent out Sènah with that beast of a beast of hers, and the match is yours. Are you perhaps giving us a chance?” Zellin asked with a raised eyebrow.

     

    Bo grinned in response. “Let’s just say it’s a way to enhance both of our teams’ individual battle skills.” He said. As Bo had a somewhat close relationship with Zellin, he didn’t want to be ruthless.

     

    “Okay.” Zellin agreed. “Do you want to set up the individual matches too? I suggest you send Sènah out first. I’d love to face her without her summons.” Zellin suggested.

     

    Bo grinned as his sense of competition arose. “Okay, fine. Who do you want for our second and third participants?” Bo challenged.

     

    “How ‘bout the warrior and the shapeshifter. And how ‘bout we say that spirit enchantment summons are allowed, as they’re basically normal enchantments?” Zellin suggested, hoping to get as much as he can get. They also had a flame elementalist, but that guy was seriously deadly and Zellin wasn’t inclined to having slow healing burn scars for the next couple of months.

     

    “Oh ho ho. You don’t want to face up against me?” Bo taunted.

     

    “Are you kidding?” Zellin responded, intending on being frank. “You’re just as bad as Sènah’s polar bear. No one wants to face up against you.”

     

    “Alright. If that’s the way you want it, that’s fine with me.” Bo said, complying with Zellin’s wishes. “But you know, you’re still going to lose, right?”

     

    “Yeah, yeah.” Zellin said dismissively. “We’ll see for sure when it’s done.”

     

    The two teams simply sat on the arena platform and chatted as they waited, knowing that it wouldn’t be long before they were fighting instead of chatting on that platform.

     

    Time flows on and the arena slowly becomes filled with people. Soon, the arena was packed and the referee announced the beginning of the match.

     

    Zellin went on stage, and as agreed upon, Sènah went up too.

     

    “Begin!” The referee called out.

     

    Zellin simply stood there, waiting. Sènah also remained still for a moment, before calling out, “Should we have a moment to enchant ourselves?”

     

    “Sure,” Zellin responded. Zellin summoned the spirit of a cheetah and fused with it, causing his agility to gain a boost. Zellin didn’t stop there, he also emptied his inventory of all his weapons. Multiple spears and staffs appeared out of thin appeared and landed on the ground with a clang, along with a halberd and a glaive.

     

    Zellin stretched his arms and legs before moving all his weapons off to one side and equipped two javelins. “Ready.” He called out.

     

    Sènah raised an eyebrow at this sight. Is he aiming for a long ranged fight? She asked herself. Sènah also fused with some enchantment spirits after equipping her mace and shield, then prepared for the javelins.

     

    “Okay,” She replied. “Let’s start.”

     

    The words barely left her mouth before Zellin’s body flickered slightly and Sènah saw that the javelin was already upon her. She instinctively raised the shield to cover her face. CLANG!

     

    As the javelin clashed against Sènah’s shield, Zellin was already sprinting forward. When Sènah lowered her shield, her eyes widened as she saw the second javelin flying straight at her, leaving her only with enough time to raise her shield again. CLANG!

     

    When Zellin threw the second javelin, he instantly summoned a reserve spear from his inventory, and when his javelin once again clashed against Sènah’s shield, he was already upon her.

     

    Sènah lowered her shield and instantly felt a sharp object poke her neck; Zellin’s spear was subtly resting on her throat.

     

    Zellin sighed. I was going to stab her mercilessly, but after getting to know the other team, I’m just not in the mood.

     

    Sènah also sighed. She could receive the damage from the spear and attempt to fight back, but if she was too slow, the spear could pierce through her neck, leaving her trapped. Though she’d have sufficient health points left over, Zellin could literally pick her up with the spear and throw her off stage.

     

    “I concede.” She said with some bitterness.

     

    The crowd was surprised. “Well that wasn’t too bad.”

     

    “Yeah,” Someone else said with a nod. “He actually used some skill this time.”

     

    “Yeah, and he didn’t mercilessly stab a helpless girl either.”

     

    Round 2. Zellin vs. the warrior.

     

     

    Zellin had seen this guy on that spider dungeon clearing the guild did. Though he seemed quite skilled, Zellin wasn’t really sure as he never had the chance to stand out while Zellin was watching.

     

    Zellin thought about using javelins again, but quickly abandoned the idea. It only worked last time because Sènah’s shield limited her visibility, but the opponent was wielding a two-handed sword; plus, they’ve already seen that trick. Zellin equipped a simple spear.

     

    The warrior didn’t waste any time and activated the skill Charge, which was pretty effective in closing the distance with your opponent in a short time. He abruptly stopped and lunged his sword out; he was slightly wary of the range of Zellin’s weapon.

     

    Zellin quickly dodged to the side and thrusted his spear with his right hand, but then he saw his opponent’s sword was already sweeping in from the side. Zellin had no choice but roll to the ground, mid-strike. He’s faster than I thought, Zellin observed. Zellin quickly got up and defended against the next strike. As Zellin was quite confident in the durability of his spear and his own strength, he held his hands out and let the shaft of the spear accept the full force.

     

    “Ugh!” Zellin couldn’t help but exclaim as he felt the force of the impact. Shit, he’s stronger than I thought too, Zellin thought with slight worry.

     

    As the warrior pulled back the sword, Zellin abandoned the idea of transitioning his stance as it was too slow, and simply let go of the spear as he opted to insta-summon another short spear which he immediately stabbed at his opponent’s wrist.

     

    “Fuck!” The warrior exclaimed as the spear pierced his wrist, disabling his left hand’s movement, and forcing him to wield the two-handed sword with one hand. That didn’t stop the warrior though, as hurriedly slashed down once again, but before the sword got far, Zellin leaped and insta-summoned a shield which he used to block the sword before it was half-way down.

     

    Zellin smirked. This is more my speed, he thought as stabbed his short spear into his opponent’s jugular, midair. He activated the skill Penetrating Stab, and forced the spear in deep before once again, abandoning the spear to insta-summon another, which he used to completely disarm the opponent’s sword, leaving him at the mercy of a series of quick stabs.

     

    “I concede!” The warrior exclaimed. The warrior awkwardly pulled the spear which stabbed down his throat and into his chest. He cringed as the spear painfully made its journey out of his body, before handing the spear to Zellin and walking off the stage.

     

    Round 3. Zellin vs. the shapeshifter.

     

    When the referee announced the match to begin, Zellin quickly sprinted forward, while the opponent took the time to transform. The shapeshifter’s muscles bulged out, his hair grew thickly on the sides of his face and fur grew on his bare upper body. Zellin threw javelin after javelin as he ran, but the shapeshifter refused to dodge and allowed the javelins to pierce into his body. Then the shapeshifter’s eyes began to glow with a yellow light and his hands transformed into deadly claws.

     

    By this time, Zellin within range, and he thrusted his recently summoned pike out. The shapeshifter’s elongated arms weren’t slow, and managed to catch the pike, mid-strike, and ripped it out of Zellin’s hands. Zellin tried to summon another spear, but as a new spear found itself in his hands, the back-end of his pike, now in the hands of the shapeshifter, whipped against his face sending him to the ground.

     

    After that, the shapeshifter’s beastly and bloody body pounced, and thoroughly ravaged Zellin into conceding.

     

    “Fuck,” Zellin exclaimed, as he walked off the stage. “What a beast.”

     

    “Who wants to go up next?” Reyal asked.

     

    “I’m not going.”

     

    “Me neither.”

     

    Coral and Sasha immediately refused. They didn’t want to be at the mercy of a savage beast.

     

    “I’ll go.” Liu called out bravely.

     

    For the win. Liu vs. the shapeshifter.

     

    “He fought bravely,” was all Zellin could say when Liu’s beaten and bruised body walked back to his seat. Liu was simply overpowered. Whether it was speed or strength, he was thoroughly beaten when up against that beast. It didn’t take long for him to be cut up with claw marks, and it didn’t long after that for the beast’s immense strength to send him flying off stage.

     

    “Crap, I guess it’s my turn.” Reyal said dejectedly. He couldn’t force this responsibility on a girl.

     

    Reyal bravely went on stage, but the second the shapeshifter charged forward on all fours, he immediately yelled, “I concede!”

     

    “Fucking losers!” The crowd yelled out.

     

    Zellin shook his head thinking, there’s no point in trying now. Zellin saw that they only really had a chance in the one-on-one duels, and had no expectation of winning the whole match. He only went this far for the fun of it, so he went up on stage and announced his team’s forfeit to the referee.

     

    The crowd was no doubt, displeased, and quickly commented on their team’s cowardice. But Zellin didn’t care, as there was no way to win against Bo’s team. He’d rather save himself the trouble.

     

    Though Liu was also displeased that they forfeited, he too, saw no way of winning.

     

    The king shook his head as he watched the match disguised as an old man from the crowd. What a bunch of babies. How am I supposed to raise that kid if he has no fighting spirit? That Liu kid though, he has potential. I seem to remember he began walking down the road of the blacksmith. Maybe, I should help him out… The king thought to himself.

  • edited March 2016

    /

  • i'm thinking of rewriting the story, let me know what you think


    Chapter 19: Living In A Well

     

    Though they lost, it didn’t faze Zellin. He had no real intention of winning the tournament anyway; he just wanted to see how much progress he’s made.

     

    After their match, Zellin and his friends stayed to watch the next match.

     

    Zellin watched the one-on-one duels, but he grew uninterested after sometime as nothing impressive stood out for him. Then the group match began, and a curious light flashed in his eyes as he saw Nell walk up on stage. He was curious as to whether or not he could pass this stage.

     

    The other group were no pushovers. They had three highly skilled clerics, an enchanter quite proficient in archery, and their leader, a beautiful minstrel. They even won the earlier one-on-one duels, albeit, barely, with a 3 wins, 2 losses record.

     

    But Nell didn’t seem impressed. He looked as uninterested as Zellin when this match began.

     

    The referee announced the beginning of the match and both teams immediately went to work. The three clerics charged and the enchanter raised their agility and strength, while the minstrel took out a fiddle and began to sing.

     

    That dick who cut in line,

    I’ll make sure to cut his dick off,

    That asshole who stole my swine,

    I poisoned it! So I hope it melts his ass off,

    And any piece of shit that wants to whine,

    I’ll beat you down, ‘til you’re begging, ‘Ma’am, all I want is to fuck off!’

     

    The song, no doubt, immediately had the whole crowd singing along. Zellin couldn’t help but smile as he thought, what a vulgar girl.

     

    Although the song was amusing, it was just as effective, and served to raise the damage of the party by 20%.

     

    The clerics spread out as they charged with their maces and shields, leaving room for their enchanter to aim where he needed to. The four warriors of the opposite team, also spread out to meet them, in order to protect Nell behind them.

     

    Nell casually pulled out a bag from his inventory, from which he grabbed a handful of rocks, which he apathetically threw in the air. When the rocks landed, it summoned a black smoke from which appeared his wolf skeletons.

     

    The rocks were actually Gravestones, a Necromancer summoning tool.

     

    Nell continued to reach in his bag and throw stones in the air without a care, until the bag was empty. Soon, there were more than 30 wolf skeletons summoned, which charged out to meet the clerics.

     

    Though the clerics’ eyes went wide, they didn’t lose faith just yet. With their immense buffs, it didn’t long for them to defeat the warriors, knocking them unconscious, and then they faced off against the undead with determination. They were confident as they were all capable of holy spells.

     

    Nell watched the battle for a while, unfazed as his skeleton wolves toppled on after the other. He simply pulled out another Gravestone and threw it beyond the battle in the center of the stage.

     

    The stone flew and exploded into black smoke a short distance from the minstrel and the archer. The smoke faded, revealing 3-meter long bear skeleton who immediately pounced on the minstrel. It threw her down to the floor where it began to ravage into the minstrel’s neck and face.

     

    “Shit!” The enchanter exclaimed. “Retreat!” He yelled at the clerics, as he pelted the bear skeleton with arrows, attempting to draw its attention. But the undead bear was a Nell’s slave and simply ignored the arrows at the command of its master.

     

    The minstrel’s health became dangerously low, so she was forced to yell out their forfeit.

     

    Fuck, Nell exclaimed in his mind with disappointment. I wonder how it feels to kill someone…

     

    The next day, Zellin and his friends fought the losing team for 3rd place. They had lost the one-on-one duels with 3 losses, and 2 wins, but they managed to get 2 points from the team match. Though it was a struggle, they had ultimately won through numbers. Sasha took out the minstrel with her arrows as she dodged the enchanter’s arrows, while everyone else ganged up on the clerics. Without their damage buff, it wasn’t too hard to accomplish. Eventually, they forfeited begrudgingly.

     

    Then it was the match for 1st place. Bo’s team won 3 straight one-on-one duels and ravaged the wave of undead in the team match to win the whole thing. It was simply no contest for Bo’s team throughout the whole tournament, so it wasn’t a surprise that they won.

     

    They were going to have an awards ceremony but the unruly crowd wasn’t interested and they had all left. To most of them, a kid’s tournament was simply to amuse themselves or a small while. To others, it was to see if anyone really stood out, but most of the children were ignored.

     

    The announcer smiled wryly and awkwardly gave out the top 3’s prizes. Zellin’s team had received amulets that allowed for 10% more experience in battles, while Nell’s team received the same but with 15% more experience, and Bo’s team got 20% more experience.

     

    All in all, Zellin was satisfied for something he did on a whim.

     

    In the king’s courtroom…

     

    “Congratulations on third place.” The king asked casually.

     

    Zellin let out a satisfying grin. “Not too bad.” He said, appraising their performance. “It was actually quite simple to get into the top 3.”

     

    The king gave them a blank stare before he responded. “That’s right. It wasn’t much at all; actually it was quite unimpressive.”

     

    Zellin and his friends raised an eyebrow. They thought they had done pretty good for their levels.

     

    “It was a tournament for children. At that age, most kids simply focus on leveling to raise their stats and disregard skill and stat development through training. Also they didn’t have the luxury of being supported by me to buy all their skills; forced to earn money the hard way. So at this level, most kids only have basic weapon and spell proficiencies, and sometimes the additional crafting skills. So you’re right, it wasn’t much at all. And no, you shouldn’t feel good about it, especially since you so cowardly forfeited that match.” The king solemnly admonished.

     

    Zellin smiled awkwardly. “Aren’t you the one who said we should live more like cockroaches?”

     

    The king laughed in return. “Yeah, but who really wants to be a cockroach. That’s just shameful.”

     

    Zellin could only continue smiling awkwardly, not knowing how to feel. Isn’t this the worst sort of role model? He asked himself.

     

    “Anyways,” the king continued. “From now on you need to continue leveling, raising your skills, and making money, as you won’t be receiving any from me. In addition, I will occasionally be giving you quests, so be prepared, lest you die from laziness. Dismissed!” The king said, watching as the group turned to leave. “Zellin, wait a moment.” He said abruptly.

     

    Zellin’s friends turned to look at Zellin, who simply shrugged before turning back to the king. “Yes, king?” He said after his friends had left.

     

    The king’s eyes, once again, turned serious. “I know my daughter’s death has had a severe effect on your behavior lately, and I know you’ve been working hard to make sure she stays safe. And I want to say I’m proud of you.”

     

    Zellin didn’t know what to say, so he just said, “Thank you, king.”

     

    “But, unfortunately, simple effort isn’t enough to keep my daughter safe in this world.” The king continued. “As you grow older, you’ll realize that the diversity of your skills and their levels will become increasingly important. If you watch the rest of the tournament for the 2nd and 3rd floors of Noob Village you’ll understand.”

     

    Zellin’s eyes also turned serious as he listened intently. “As such,” the king continued to speak. “The most valuable asset your team has is currently your friend, Reyal. As he’s learning to be a Scribesman, the variety of skills he can provide your team will greatly improve its overall quality. So keep that in mind.” The king instructed. “And to further the quality of your team, I have provided a gift.”

     

    Hmm? Gift? Zellin thought expectantly. Two tomes floated over to Zellin which grabbed in the air. Death Alchemy? One tome was a book on Death Alchemy, and the other was a skill book, for the skill Transmute.

     

    “Death Alchemy is a rare and evil art, that focuses on corrupting the soul. Though it’s despicable, it is extremely powerful. As, in you’re the group, you’re the one with the most common sense, I chose to give it to you; use it wisely.” The king warned ominously. “Remember to continue working hard. I have high expectations for you and if you disappoint me, I’ll torture you for 3 days and 3 nights. Now go.” The king said dismissively. At that, Zellin’s determination could only grow in face of the threat of torture.

     

    Over the next few days Zellin and his friends watched the rest of the tournament, and it was as the king said. The skills used in the floor 2 and floor 3 tournaments were at a much greater level than the floor 1 tournament; more than double. Also, the diversity of those skills were greater as well. There were mages who used two-handed weapons, and warriors who used magic; their skills became applicable in numerous situations so the struggle against each other was greater and the battles were much bloodier than the floor 1 tournament.

     

    Zellin was amazed at the immense difference in quality from the floor 1 tournament; it’s as if he had been living in a well all these years.

     

    After the tournament…

     

    Zellin was sitting on the floor of his and his friends’ living room, with Sasha, meditating. He had found out a while ago that by simply thinking and philosophizing about ways he could achieve his dream of a lazy heaven, his Wisdom stat would grow. So it naturally became part of his daily routine.

     

    He instinctively tried to teach Sasha, since she followed him around everywhere, but Sasha had no real aspirations of a better world, so she couldn’t understand. She simply meditated and imagined herself dancing in the snow with her sister, but that was enough, and her Wisdom stat slowly grew as well after finding her happy place.

     

    A maid suddenly came into the room. Though she was a maid, she was also a trained assassin. Most people in this world had some sort of battle skills.

     

    “Zellin, Sasha, there’s someone at the door for you.” The lady said. Though the maids and guards were friendly to Zellin, Coral was the princess, so Zellin and the others were treated casually.

     

    Zellin and Sasha went downstairs to the front door to see a black robed, scrawny man.

     

    “Hello, my name Vrago.” The man introduced himself, to which Zellin also introduced himself. Sasha remained silent. “I represent a Summoner’s guild in the northern country, Alfheim, called The Conq-” The man tried to say, but was interrupted by Sasha.

     

    “Zellin, tell this man to leave.” She said with a sour face, before walking back inside.

     

    Zellin raised an eybrow. What’s with her? He wondered, before turning to the man. “Sorry, not interested.” He said frankly, before closing the door behind him. Zellin had no plans to move to the north, so he payed no attention to the offer.

     

    Later that day…

     

    Liu walked into the guild and met Bo near the bar. Liu was currently learning the art of blacksmithing and Bo was helping him sell his merchandise. Unfortunately, the quality wasn’t very good, so Liu had to modify his products to suit children even younger than Liu. Bo was using his connections to sell them to schools in the city that trained children.

     

    As they conducted their business, the one-armed bartender approached them. Liu’s eye twitched as he saw him approach. What does this guy want? He wondered with annoyance. Ever since the incident with the whiskey, Liu naturally grew to dislike this guy.

     

    “You’re Liu?” The man asked in a gruff voice.

     

    “Yes? Do you want something?” Liu asked.

     

    “Let’s talk in private.” He said, before walking out of the room. Liu raised an eyebrow before following him out to the alley nearby.

     

    “Do you want to learn some real blacksmithing?” The man asked when they were alone.

     

    “Eh?” Liu said in surprise. “This seems kind of shady.”

     

    The man ignored him and continued to speak. “The king seems to dote on you and your friends a lot. As such, he’s asked me to teach you a skill of mine.”

     

    “Why would I want to learn a skill from you?” Liu said in suspicion.

     

    “Why else? To grow stronger.” The man said frankly. “This is a harsh world, and if you want to live through it with your friends, you’ll want to use any means necessary.”

     

    Liu thought about it for a moment and his eyes slowly grew more resolved. “What will you be teaching me?”

     

    In the park…

     

    Nell was enjoying a sunny day at the park, when he was suddenly approached by a black robed, scrawny man, who introduced himself as Vrago.

     

    “Hmm… The north, eh?” Nell pondered. “That’s quite a ways. How ‘bout if I’m ever in town, I’ll look you guys up.”

     

    “Yes, well, if you ever change your mind, this ring will instantly teleport you to our headquarters.” The man said as a he handed Nell an engraved ring with a red crystal. “Think it over thoroughly. Our guild can be very supportive, and offers a freedom you won’t be able to find here.” The man insinuated. He had seen the disappointment on Nell’s face when he saw that he couldn’t kill that girl, and he instantly knew that Nell would fit in quite well in their organization.

  • Thanks for the chapter. You know I am not going to lie I was kind of worried you quit.
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