“Lord Maeza, my soldiers have opened the door but the inner area has been set with fire. My skeletons are hesitating in front of this dirty fire, and I need time for them to adapt.”
The necromancer lowered its head with its body deeply hunched. The green fiery flames flickered in its eye sockets with a cunning gleam, but it placed its arms across its chest to show obeisance.
Madara had a restrictive aura based on levels. Anyone who tried to approach them would feel deep fear from within their souls. This was especially true because there were undead wizards who were naturally effective in manipulating and torturing the soul.
The undead wizard acolyte tapped his long pale fingers on the black silk robe. He stood on the top of the hill and oversaw Bucce’s bells rang out loudly in the darkness.
The humans would fall into deep despair.
But this nightmare was just the beginning. Not far from here there was an undead army hiding in the darkness, and a reserve army within the forest at the sides. He had ordered them to fire the arrows at the village, and the next round of arrows would be fired again.
And that next wave would be fire arrows, the blue flames of icy soul fire.
And when the raging flames caused the living to be drowned in fear, he would order skeleton soldiers to invade them.
“How long?” The future undead wizard’s voice was cold and sharp.
“About,” The necromancer estimated with its head lowered: “Eight minutes, no, at most five minutes.”
“I do not have the time to wait, but I will leave a squad to you. Eleven skeleton soldiers. Enough, Kabara?”
“Sufficient, my lord.”
The future undead wizard laughed cruelly: “It is best that you do not let the rats slip away from the back door.”
“Do not worry, my lord. I have already placed the soldiers as your had ordered earlier.”
“Then I shall wait for your good news when I return, Kabara.” He pointed towards the front and looked meaningfully at its subordinate: “I am going to accept the village’s submission, and enjoy the humans’ suffering of eternal death. But Marsha above, I pray that my decision to attack early would not affect Sir Incirsta.”
“It will be as you wished for, my lord.” The necromancer bowed deeply.
The interior of the house was flooded with billowing smoke. Fire embers kept licking from under the smoke, and the blistering flame not only stopped the undead’s invasion, it also blocked all visibility.
The increasing heat were roasting the back of two people, the blinding smoke forcing them to shut their eyes, their throats and noses were constantly pricked. But Sophie’s heart was in a state of frozen numbness.
What should he do?
“Give me the hammer.” The young man finally stretched for it. He had been listening attentively, and beyond the crackling flames, he had heard the unique ringing of a bell.
Bucce had sounded the alarm.
Mother Marsha above, he hoped that the guards in the village were smart enough. He prayed silently in his heart, as he had no hope for the militia as they were only a bunch of hot-blooded youths. The only hope he had for them was to survive this night.
They were Aouine’s future seeds.
He immediately checked his thoughts. Perhaps he was unable to even survive past this situation.
“Are there enemies outside?” The merchant girl’s eyelids opened and she passed the hammer over.
“I am not sure, but it pays to be careful.” Sophie wanted to be optimistic, but the situation might turn towards to the worst outcome, and he needed to prepare for it. He was an experienced warrior who relied not on luck but cautiousness.
“Yes?” He stopped his action of opening the door.
“You seem to be a little different today.”
He was exposed?
Sophie’s heart squeezed tightly. But that should not be right. Based on logic, his personality and Brendel’s was similar, and he also inherited his memories, how did he get found out so quickly?
“What….?” He could not restrain the anxiety in his voice.
“Hmm, I can’t really tell, it’s just a feeling.” She contemplated for a while and asked earnestly: “You will protect me right, Brendel?”
“Is there something wrong with that?”
“No, thank you.”
“It’s not necessary to issue a nice guy tag to me, Miss Romain.”
Sophie grinned but did not reply, and the tense feelings in his hearts were greatly relieved. He drew a breath and tensed his body, lightly pulled the latch and placed his hand on the door handle.
He was going to open it.
What fate was going to wait for him outside, a brand new world? Or an abrupt death? Was Mother Marsha going to play a trick on him?
But it was a taboo to fathom Mother Marsha’s intentions.
“MIss Romaine, I’ll count to three, and we will rush out together.”
“I’m sorry, I’m too tense, I should count from 1…….”
“It’s okay, Brendel……” Romain hid her face under her hands. She knocked onto the youth’s firm back, and her heart jumped.
She was certainly not a person who was so easily embarrassed.
But Sophie did not have the mood to appreciate the girl’s thoughts. He was also embarrassed from making such a silly mistake. He thought he should be calm about this as they were merely a few skeletons.
He grit his teeth and opened the door. Before the smoke dissipated, a gleaming sword stabbed inside.
There was indeed an ambush.
Sophie’s mind had never been this calm in his life. It was as if his thirty-one years in-game as a warrior merged with this body’s own lifetime. The blooming black rose emblem from Brumand on the metal plate were reflected in his eyes as the sword swung in a straight line.
It was rigid. And Sophie knew the weakness of it.
He understood that he could not directly match the enemy’s strength with his own, and held Romain back while evading it. The cold steel sliced across his shirt without drawing blood.
Then Sophie swung the hammer from above towards the skeleton. The smoke parted to reveal the skeleton’s chest and with a loud crash, three of its ribs were cracked open and hurled backwards.
The skeleton stumbled backwards from the impact, and the youth immediately took the chance to dash out from the sea of flames.
He immediately surveyed the battlegrounds. The sight of four skeletons soldiers filled his veins with ice. If there were only one or two skeletons he might even have the mood to curse at them.
It seemed that Mother Marsha knew his mettle very well.
A single thought remained in his mind.
The enemy really thought highly of him and treated him like a scout instead of a commoner.
That made sense, as Sophie believed his performance was no less than what the best scouts could do. In this rustic area, a typical scout would be nothing more than an ordinary hunter.
It certainly looked like being flashy was not a good thing……
He felt Romain gripping his hand tightly. The subconscious reaction from the girl showed off apprehensive she was. He wanted to comfort her by saying something but he did not know what words to use.
When he looked over to the dark forest that was at the bottom of the hill, he wondered how he would be able to cover the distance.
The wind blew across his face and the chill spread across his sweaty forehead.
The four skeleton soldiers were surrounding him.
What could he do, just close his eyes to await death? Sophie could only try to cover the merchant girl behind him with his body, and wished that he had his warrior with hundred and thirty levels. It would only take a single blow to smash to bits…..
But this world did not have the word “if”.
Reality was ever so disappointing.
Wait, levels? The young man suddenly felt he had missed something. His heart trembled as he realized, the Ring of the Wind Empress! He used it to kill a necromancer and two skeletons, combined with Brendel’s own kills, 6 EXP!
The requirement to raise a swordsman only required 5 EXP to level two, what more for a militia?
He hoped that there was not much of a difference between this world and the game’s. If the omniscient Mother Marsha gave him one brand new level, he would be able to escape.
Time was running out, the four skeletons were already in front of him, he only had a breath’s time, four seconds, to life or death.
He used his fastest speed to check the data in his retina.
XP: 6 (Commoner Level 1: —, Militia Level 1, 0/3)
Thank the gods!
He understood what he needed, even though investing the XP into a militia class was an obvious waste, but he could not care less.
Any wastage was better than becoming any icy corpse, right?
“Militia, 6 EXP, quick, level up!” He yelled in his mind, 4 skeletons had raised their sharp swords, and the merchant girl behind hugged him tightly.
“Brendel, they’re coming!”
And the data changed again.
XP: 0 (Commoner Level 1: —, Militia Level 2, 6/10)
A warmth coursed through his veins. He understood that his body was changed with the 0.1 strength and physique addition, but they were currently unimportant.
A swordsman in comparison would have gained 0.2 strength, physique, agility and even perception. A militia would be utter garbage when compared.
But they were currently unimportant.
What was important, was the chance to pick the unique talents when a character levels up to two. It was the first chance to pick the one out of the three unique talents in this life.
This was the first chance, the fairest chance, the chance that would bring him new life.
He anxiously waited, a second was like a millennia, but the panels for unique talents finally lit up.
“Unique talent, Unyielding.”
Scorching flames blazed in Sophie’s eyes. Four swords swung at his body, but he lifted the masonry up as if to conquer the world, while shifting his head, heart and organs away.
Kssh, kssh, kssh.
Three swords stabbed into the youth’s bodies at the same time. The only feeling he thought was it fucking hurt!
But Sophie now had the ability to resist from becoming unconscious from bleeding for five minutes, and he would not die from any physical attacks for thirty minutes.
He had only one chance now to bring Romain away from here. Then he needed to find a health potion with the remaining time he had.
He did not know if there was something like that in this world, but he could only have faith in his heart.
There was no other option.
“Brendel!” Romain’s voice changed from the fear.
“Hold on tightly to me, Romain.”
“Hold on tightly!” The youth had no time to explain and roared angrily. Brendel appeared to look like a real hero covered in blood at this moment. The girl looked astonished.
“I got it, sorry, sorry, Brendel.”
Sophie drew a sharp breath. He lost count of how many times he did something like this, but he needed to calm down. Even though he knew that breathing made his injuries burned with pain, he understood that pain was like an illusion to him right now…..
The three skeletons pulled out their swords and looked puzzled. The human in front of them was losing the warmth of a life, and a different sort of energy emanated from his body.
The power of the soul.
The ‘Unyielding’ talent was activating the Soul’s fire, and was similar to how the undead were controlled.
The undead soldiers started to consider Sophie to be the same as them, but that was a mistake. Sophie gritted his teeth and knocked the four skeletons flying backwards.
This was not because the youth’s strength had suddenly increased, but because they had not expected it.
Sophie grabbed Romaine’s hand and quickly dashed out there.
“Miss Romaine.” He ran and said with considerable strain.
“Listen…. carefully….” Sophie panted. The undying feature did not allow the body to retain its strength, and he already felt that his surroundings were becoming blurry.
The only thing that was clear to him was the howling wind in his ears due to their running.
“If I faint, bring me to Bucce and avoid the Madara’s troops…… Go to the holy church and….. seek for a health potion, do you understand?”
“I, I got it, Brendel…… You won’t die right?”
“I…. Don’t know….. Cough….. See what Mother Marsha has arranged for us…..”
Sophie did not know whether the merchant girl really understood, but he only had the remaining energy to talk this much. He had to leave the rest to fate.
He turned back to look and saw the flames in the hilltop amongst the blur. He sighed and closed his eyes tiredly. Was he still that otaku who was addicted to games?
The life that he once had was definitely gone now.
He could not believe it. That one day he would act so decisively and bravely. Even if he was to die like this, he would be able to find solace.
“Because….. I am no longer a useless person…..”