TL: Edit 09/05/2017.
“Lord Maeza, my soldiers have opened the cellar’s door and cornered them, but the interior has been set on fire. My skeletons are hesitating in front of this dirty flames 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 Acolyte Wizard tapped his long pale fingers on his black silk robe. He stood on the top of the hill and oversaw Bucce’s bells ringing loudly in the darkness.
The humans were falling into deep despair.
But this nightmare was just the beginning. Not far from here was an undead army hiding in the darkness, and another reserve army hiding at the sides of the forest. He had ordered them to fire arrows at the village, with the next batch of arrows to be fired again.
They would use the Arrows of Soul flames.
These raging Icy Blue flames cannot be extinguished by normal means…… He would order the skeleton soldiers to invade their village when the living were drowning in fear.
“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. I will leave a squad to you, eleven skeleton soldiers. Is that enough, Kabara?”
“Sufficient, my lord.”
The future undead wizard laughed cruelly: “It is best that you do not let these rats slip away from the back door.”
“Do not worry, my lord. I have already placed the soldiers upon your order 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 will receive the village’s subjugation and enjoy the humans’ fear of eternal death. But Marsha above, I pray that my decision to attack early would not affect Sir Incirsta.”
“It will be as you wish for, my master.” The necromancer bowed deeply.
============= Brendel’s POV =============
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’s wrong? What are we waiting for?” Romaine asked while coughing.
“Give me the hammer.” The young man finally started to act. He had been listening attentively and beyond the crackling flames, he had heard the unique ringing of a bell.
Bucce had sounded the alarm.
[I hope the guards in the village are smart enough to do something. I should give up counting on the militia there because they’re only a bunch of hot-blooded youths. If anything, they should just try and survive the night—]
They were Aouine’s future.
But he immediately checked his line of thinking. 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 he needed to prepare for the worst outcome. He was an experienced warrior in the game who relied not on luck but cautiousness.
“Yes?” He stopped his action of opening the door.
“You seem to be a little different today.”
[I’m exposed already? But that shouldn’t be! Brendel and my personality are actually quite similar and I inherited his memories. How did I get found out so quickly?]
Sophie’s heart squeezed tightly.
“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 be courteous with me, Miss Romaine.”
Sophie grinned but did not reply. 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 is a taboo to fathom Mother Marsha’s intentions—‘ Brendel’s memories told him.
“MIss Romaine, I’ll count to three, and we will rush out together.”
“I’m sorry, I’m too tense, I should start from one…….” Sophie realized his mistake.
“It’s okay, Brendel……” Romaine hid her face under her hands. She knocked onto the youth’s firm back, and her heart jumped.
She was not a person to be 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 opening the door because they were merely a few skeletons.
He gritted his teeth and opened the door. Before the smoke dissipated a gleaming sword stabbed towards him.
There was indeed an ambush.
Sophie’s mind had never been more calm. It was as if his years in the game as a warrior merged with this body’s own lifetime. The sword’s emblem, Brumand’s blooming black rose, was reflected in his eyes as it swung in a straight line.
The skeleton’s movements was rigid and he knew its weaknesses.
He understood that he could not directly match the enemy’s strength with his own, and held Romaine 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 blocked the rest of the skeletons from advancing, 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.
[Damn it, the enemies seemed to think highly of me. Am I treated like a scout? It certainly looked like being flashy was not a good thing……]
That made sense to him. He believed his performance in killing a necromancer 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.
He felt Romaine gripping his hand tightly. The subconscious reaction from the girl showed off scared she was. He wanted to comfort her by saying something but he did not know where to start from.
When he looked over to the dark forest that was at the bottom of the hill, he wondered how he would cover the distance.
The wind blew across his face and the chill spread across his sweaty forehead.
The four skeleton soldiers were surrounding him quickly.
[What can I do, just close my eyes and wait for death’s embrace?]
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 them to bits…..
But this world did not have the word “if”.
Reality was ever so disappointing.
[Wait, levels? I killed a necromancer and 2 skeletons. Brendel killed 1 skeleton. I have 6 Experience points! ]
The young man suddenly felt he had missed something. His heart trembled as he realized, the Ring of the Wind Empress!
The requirement to raise a swordsman only required 5 XP to advance to level two. How many XP would it need to raise a Militia’s level?
He hoped that there was not much of a difference between this world and the game’s. He would be able to escape if he had just one level.
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, he could not care less.
[Any wastage was better than becoming any icy corpse, right?]
“Militia, 6 XP into the profession, 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 unimportant.
What was important, was the chance to pick the unique talents when a character levels up to two. It was the first of three chances to pick a unique talent in this life.
This was the first chance, the fairest chance, the chance which 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 his 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.
Three swords stabbed into the youth’s body at the same time.
[Fuck!!! That fucking hurts!]
But he now had the ability to resist becoming unconscious from bleeding for five minutes, and he would not die from any physical attacks for thirty minutes. Red warning signs appeared all over his eyes as his Lifeforce dipped below zero.
The ‘Unyielding’ talent was activating the Soul’s Fire, and was similar to how the undead were controlled.
The skeletons did not attack any further as they perceived him as an undead, but Sophie roared and swung his hammer at them. Their balance broke as they stumbled back and their swords were withdrawn from his body, but he did not let his voice leak out.
He had only one chance now to bring Romaine away from here. Then he needed to find a health potion with the remaining time he had. He did not know if it existed in this world but he could only have faith in his heart.
There was no other option.
“Brendel!” Romaine’s voice changed when she saw the injuries on his body.
“Hold on tightly to me, Romaine.”
“Hold on tightly!” The youth had no time to explain and roared angrily. Brendel appeared to look like a real hero covered in blood in this very moment.
“I got it, sorry, sorry, Brendel.” The girl looked astonished as she said.
Sophie grabbed Romaine’s hand and quickly escaped.
“Miss Romaine.” He ran and said with considerable strain.
“Listen…. carefully….” Sophie panted. The Undying ability 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 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….. We should see what….. Mother Marsha has arranged for us…..”
Sophie did not know whether the merchant girl really understood, but he only had enough energy to give her this set of instructions. 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 tired eyes.
The life that he once had was definitely gone now.
[I can’t believe I actually risked my life just like that. Was I ever so decisive and brave?]
Even if he died he would be able to find solace.
[At least I managed to save someone and it wasn’t a failure this time……]
He thought as the world turned dark.