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Congratulations! Your skill Mental Strength has increased 1 Lvl.

The notification took Randidly by surprised. He had a weird pressure in his head, but hadn’t imagined that he would encounter an enemy that could use mental attacks. And this enemy was the leader of the nearby Newbie Village.

Due to the presence of a bunch of random people, including the eccentric seeming leader, Randidly wanted to leave for now, and come back later to confront the Police Officer. It wasn’t worth the hassle of dealing with this many people to resolve this. Not when he could simply sneak in and steal what he wanted. But if the other wanted to be an asshole...

“Interesting,” Randidly said, turning to look back towards the ridiculous man wearing the crown, who he assumed was the source. There had certainly had been something strange about the way he spoke, but without the notification, Randidly probably wouldn’t have noticed it was a skill. The combination of his high Willpower and the Mental Strength skill made most things like that useless.

“I assume you would be the mayor? I’ve heard rumors about you.” Although his tone was light, Randidly was inwardly pondering how to handle this situation. If the mayor’s skill was enough to control basically everyone else, having a base next to them would certainly make things difficult. On the other hand, he certainly could use his influence to obtain what Randidly wanted quickly. Was it worth the risk…?

Perhaps killing him was the best option…?

Randidly frowned. No, it definitely was the best option. But there was a certain part of him, the remnants of the person he had been before, who was repulsed by the thought of killing another man in cold blood. In self defense, perhaps, but an anticipatory killing…?

Although it was pretty obvious this guy was deranged.

The man bared his teeth. “Call me Constance. And I am the King. So KNEEL before royalty, peasant.”

A slight tremor went through Randidly’s body, and then he laughed aloud, amused at the fact he had gained another skill level in mental strength, and by Constance’s words.

“Did you seriously call yourself king? I suppose the world has a definite fantasy cast these days, but I wouldn’t have imagined someone would be willing to take it so far so quickly. ”

Randidly supposed he should be happy that so many people were willing to fight against monsters so quickly after the world changed. Admittedly, the presence of rabid wolverines and fire throwing imps helped, but still.

Constance was just looking at him in shock, seemingly lost. Something in Randidly’s mind abruptly clicked.

“Oh, your random class… it literally ended up being King? That explains your strange skills… but not your behavior.” Randidly remarked, shocking himself with how chatty he was today. He supposed he was just in a good mood from gaining two skill levels so quickly.

“... A king has three burdens, and three tools….” Constance said slowly, his eyes malicious. “The first is the Will of the People. In my hand I hold their Hammer! By their will, you will Kneel.”

Randidly snorted, shrugging off the mental pressure almost instantly. “You can only throw as much of that will as you can handle, and I guarantee you can handle less than I can. I was raised for this.”

Grinding his teeth, Constance stepped forward to the edge of the bus and pointed at him. “The King’s second burden, the second tool…. The Weight of their Country. On my shoulders I bear its mantle. It will Crush you.”

This time Randidly staggered, taken slightly a back by the immense physical pressure that fell on him. Ultimately, it didn’t seem to be so immense at it felt initially, but the fact it was able to catch him off balance was impressive.

Although his Strength was only 18, so perhaps it wasn’t so surprising.

“And now, you die. Guards, gun them down,” Constance remarked coldly, and two guards stepped forward with submachine guns. The guard at the mounted gun pulled its barrel around, aiming towards Randidly and Decklan. The three individuals heading into the embrace of Constance had thrown themselves into the piles of body lining the road, terrified. Randidly’s eyes flashed.

Roots ripped up through the bus and grabbed the ankles of the two sub machine gunners, twisting and throwing them to the ground. The roots also rose up and gripped the mounted gun, ripping out the bullet belt and forcing the barrel to point towards the sky.

“You…!”  Constance’s voice was furious, but Randidly’s eyes were already cold and determined; he had made his decision.

“No second chances.”

Randidly produced an Arcane Orb in each hand and pressed them together, the combination sputtering and twisting violently, and the collision of energy shot itself towards the bus. It was difficult to maintain the projectile, the energies wanting to violently explode on any contact, even with each other. But Randidly forced his will on the object as it shot forward.

He ignored the two skill levels he received for this action, and closed his eyes.

The explosion rocked the road, turning most nearby corpses to mush. The bus was thrown backward, ripping the boards off from their hastily made nailings, ending up about 5 m further away, a huge hole in the middle of it.

With a grinding noise, the bus rocked backwards and stilled.

Through it, Randidly could see the crumpled form of Constance, who had been thrown off the bus and onto the ground. The weight lifted from his shoulders, Randidly wasted no time in rushing forward. The King would die this day.

As he burst through the hole in the bus, he was met with a hail of gunfire, as the nearby guards had enough presence of mind to pull out their small caliber weapons and fire. Randidly’s mana shield took most of the bullets, breaking after 10 or 12, and by then he was already through the choke point and rushing towards Constance.

Randidly saw the head police officer off to the side, scrambling to his feet, but he wouldn’t make it in time.

But in a move that surprised Randidly immensely, Constance sprung up to his feet, whirling around, and grabbed Randidly’s hand.

“The Final Burden! The Final Tool! The Mandate of God, Geas. On my head, I wear their crown: You belong to ME.”

This time Randidly shook a huge mental attack slamming against him. Grunting, Randidly tried to withdraw his hand but the flesh of his and Constance’s seemed to have been bonded.

For several seconds he futility struggled, attempting to pull his hand away. But whatever it was, this skill was somehow preventing it. And Randidly was beginning to feel that the mental attacks were growing stronger, originating from that hand contact.

His Mental Strength improved once more, but still the attacks came. Narrowing his eyes, Randidly focused and poured all his mana, funneling it all into Summon Pestilence, creating a huge, humming cloud of flesh hungry insects.

He directed them towards their stuck hands and told them devour.

Constance began screaming as the bugs attacked both of their hands, but still the bugs were deaf to his cries, a powerful Willpower pressing them onwards. Even as he maintained his will, Randidly swayed unsteadily. But then he gritted his teeth and marshalled himself, enduring the next wave of mental attacks.

The insects ripped and tore, digging their pincers into the flesh to rip it away, bit by bit. Bite by bite, they feasted.

And then their hands finally parted, Constance’s hand having been picked clean of any scraps of flesh, leaving only bone. The insects hadn’t let them alone either, and they all sported visible tiny teeth marks and scratches.

Randidly directed the insects to continue attacking Constance, and looked at his hand, steadying himself.

There were some small marks, but the difference in their Endurance made Randidly’s hand a much more difficult meal for the insects, and thus they opted for the soft flesh of Constance’s body.

“Wait! You must stop!”

The policeman shouted, running forward. Randidly regarded him coolly, his head still pounding from whatever skill Constance had tried to use on him. Constance continued to scream, clawing at his mouth and nose as bugs burrowed their way into them, directed by Randidly’s will. All in all, it was quite satisfying. He pressed them onward, aiming to devour his tongue completely.

He even got a skill level in Summon Pestilence.

“Please! You must let him live. He is the only thing holding this town together. If it falls… really want the burden of all these refugees on your shoulders?”

The bugs continued to buzz, ripping small pieces of Constance’s flesh away.

“You want the glassware right? That is only possible with him. If he dies, things will be too fractured for you to get your glassware.”

Randidly thought about it for a bit, but did not call off the insects. The screams from within the buzzing cloud grew louder and louder.

The police officer stared on helplessly, but a new voice cut across.”Let the man live and I will give you this.”

A strange man appeared with a serious expression, offering Randidly a large black coin. There was something familiar….

But then Randidly stilled. This was the same emblem that was on the golden coins used to found Newbie Villages. Except the design on this coin was larger and more complex.

A black Nexus coin…?

And as Randidly studied the figure, he realized why he looked familiar. Even though this figure had different, mild features, their was the same vacuous smile on his face, the same empty eyes. This was the village.

“How will that help me?”

The screams now grew hoarse, the volume dropping precipitously to rasping moans.

The Village Spirit paled, but shook his head. “I… I cannot… Please. You must understand, we can only walk on the paths in front of us. To tell you is not my path. I am but one half of a whole. But if this man dies…”

Something cracked on the Spirit’s face, and his whole form shimmered, then refocused. There were no tears in his eyes, but his eyes were empty. “Please.”

The only noise that Randidly could hear now was the buzzing of insects.

But then, to his own surprise, Randidly sighed, and then snapped his fingers. He didn’t know why, really. Part of it was the lack of threat, and part of it was the glassware, and part of it was some sliver of him that hesitated in taking another’s life.

But a bigger part of it… there was something about this Spirit, a sadness over its own fate, that swayed him.

“Even still,” Randidly rumbled, taking the coin. “You owe me.”

*****

“This…!” Nul’s eyes widened, looking at the black coin. Randidly regretted taking it, because Constance would undoubtedly become a problem in the future. If his skill was already at a point that it could threaten him…

Randidly’s eyes narrowed. But he would not make the same mistakes twice. Next time, the King would die before he could activate his strange abilities.

“I hope its worth the trouble that asshole is going to be…” Decklan mumbled, his arms folded across his chest.”

“Of course it is!” Nul insisted, his eyes glittering. “This will let us found the Town’s Dungeon an entire tier early. With this… our future is assured! You must give it to me!”

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