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A note from puddles4263

2/7

Randidly’s eyes glazed over at the level of detail his sudden “guide” went into. The man had swiftly gathered over thirty scrolls and brought them back to his desk and subjected Randidly to one of the most headache-inducing presentations in his life. It was stress inducing how closely they resembled college presentations. “Ah… please… let’s just focus on the… big points. I don’t think the currency fluctuations during the time of the Spearman’s prominence are really relevant…”

This seemed to bring the gaunt and long-limbed young man, who had introduced himself as Trentyon, to a halt. “Really? You wanted to hear about the historical exploits of the Spearman. I personally believe his heavy-handed methods regarding the Inter-School Economy is one of the most under-explored areas of study. Would you believe if that he allowed the tariffs on spears and scrolls, yet completely neglected building materials and foodstuffs? Due to that, the Heart School was able to-”

“Trentyon,” Randidly said with a sigh. “Please. Overview. Shouldn’t I get a broader picture before digging in on the details?”

Not that Randidly had any particular connection with this dusty and gaunt young man. Sure, he had helped him find some relevant scrolls, but that wasn’t enough to sway Randidly’s empathy these days. No, what made Randidly have a slight sense of delicacy while dealing with the young man was how when he was excited, his whole person seemed to be filled with some inner illumination. It reminded Randidly of some of his casual acquaintances who were in things videogames or anime clubs back at Rawlands University. Because they were so rarely allowed to talk, they were incredibly excited by the prospect of gushing about their area of interest.

So Randidly, as long as Trentyon got the point, allowed the meandering discussions. Or at least he had so far. Much more, and he would be reaching the limit of his patience.

“Ah,” Trentyon blinked. “Of course. Context is important. To return to the beginning…”

They were currently sitting in the small area in the center of the catwalk area where Randidly had found Trentyon originally, surrounded by a few piles of scrolls. There must have been at least 30 that Trentyon considered relevant enough to bring back up with him. After peering at the largest pile, Trentyon grabbed a scroll and spread it for Randidly. “...let’s start here. This is the Song of the Spearman, which depicts a stylized interpretation of most of what the Spearman accomplished in the brief time of his activity. And the song starts thusly: “Before, Tellus had no water and no peace. Not because we were consumed by war, but because there was naught else but war. We lived in a dead land until the day the Spearman split the sky and brought us light…”

There Trentyon expertly rolled up that scroll and grabbed another. “Although the Song is mostly complimentary driven, it cannot be denied that all experts agree that Tellus was all barren deserts and salt-rich seas before the Spearman came. The population was naught more than 100,000 people. Mostly, the survivors lived on the coast and harvested frogman’s gallbladder to obtain the membrane that removed the salt from water. A warlike and nomadic people, the original people of Tellus didn’t keep enough records to know much, but the impoverished state of the world is clear.”

Randidly frowned. “With the System, why wasn’t something done about the food supply? And how high Leveled were the frogman that-”

“Ah, this is a common misconception,” Trentyon said, cutting Randidly off. “The Spearman brought the System to Tellus. Before him, it wasn’t there. Or perhaps rather, we didn’t have the energy for it. Much like our current situation, it seems likely that the people of Tellus were cut off from Leveling before the Spearman returned.”

“That’s…” Randidly’s mouth stalled out as he struggled to understand what Trentyon was saying. They didn’t have access to the System before the Spearman came? How was that possible?

“...however, the Spearman did not come without enemies,” Trentyon continued, heedless of Randidly’s confusion. “It is widely agreed that as the Spearman saved the world, there was a great notification from heavens, that since our world had passed a great trial, a Calamity would descend upon us five years later. Most historians agree that this was the most prosperous time underneath the Spearman’s rule, as the entirety of the population united underneath the Spearman in the five Schools. It was also during this period that people began to utilize the benefits of the System to become strong. The hidden locations of the VIllages were discovered, and Dungeons became active.”

“Five Schools? You mentioned that before. There is a fifth School?”

Trentyon gave Randidly a reproachful look, then he turned and fumbled in one of the side piles of scrolls. “DId you not say to avoid the ancillary details? Yes, there was previously a fifth School on Tellus. Technically six, because originally the Spearman had his own following before he became the spiritual leader of the world. Eventually, the remnants of his faction became interspersed throughout the others… Ah yes, originally there was the Spear, the Spearman, Memory, Fate, Abyss, and Halo Schools. The Halo School was the School that was destroyed.”

“And the others? Which became Heart and Death?” Randidly asked.

“...it is not known, but there are a lot of theories. Do you want to go into theories?” With sparkling eyes, Trentyon reminded Randidly of a cartoon drawing of a child on christmas.

Randidly shook his head vigorously. "Not at the moment."

Annoyed, Trentyon pulled two scrolls out and set them in front of Randidly. He indicated a specific passage on them both. “The details are highly contested on what the great Calamity was, or how the Spearman dealt with it, but it is clear that he was successful. Victorious, the Spearman returned to Illuminauct, his citadel. This portion, the histories agree. After returning to Illuminauct, there was a grand banquet. During which, there was another message from the world. Another Calamity must be overcome for the world to survive.

“A strange portal opened up in Tellus to another place, where the puppet-like Wights emerged from. They were all completely manipulated by their Propagators, and a great war was fought. All of Tellus rose in support of the Spearman. It was a war that makes the current invasion seem like border disputes. Rivers ran red with blood. 50% of the population was rumored to have perished. Most historians state this was the time where the Halo School was destroyed and the Spearman’s faction was dispersed through the others. But despite it all, the Spearman was victorious.

“Once more, he returned to Illuminauct. He conferred upon his three apprentices great prestige and power. To congratulate them, another great banquet was held. And once more, a message from the System came down: to survive, our hero must ascend to a higher place...:”

Tapping his finger against the same line in both scrolls, Trentyon said, “At that point, the Spearman went pale and said this ‘In order to protect my people… I must leave, immediately.’ Without waiting for the banquet to end, the Spearman departed. Most assumed that he was ascending to a higher land because not a whisper of the Spearman was to be heard. But, after a year, another notification came. But it gave no information. It was only the word ‘Warning’. No one could find the Spearman. Since then, Tellus has been waiting for word of what had happened, but no one can tell. That, Mister, is the context for all this.”

Randidly just looked at the bright-eyed Trentyon with something approaching shock. There was too much strange from the historical account of things. If the first Calamity was truly the first Calamity, what was going on before? The System wasn’t even present? That obviously wasn’t possible, unless the way the System work had changed drastically since the fifth cohort.

What seemed more like was that Tellus had somehow failed a test, maybe to do with a Danger Zone, in a way that affected the world similar to the drought of energy caused by the Raid Dungeon. Was there another task for the world when enough Zones connected?

That was worth thinking about. It might not just be so simple as the Calamity’s arrival. After that, the First Calamity was defeated, and then the great war started when the Second Calamity came. Just that information was valuable because it seemed to indicate that the fear reflection created by the Second Calamity was something that could reasonably annihilate the world if a transcendently powerful image wasn’t used.

It gave Randidly a headache to think of Donnyton becoming a war zone.

But those were thoughts for another time. After beating the Second Calamity, it seemed that they received the notification that the Patron of Ash had mentioned with the year time limit to ascend. At that point, the Spearman disappeared. It was unfortunate that the story didn’t provide any concrete clues regarding Randidly’s suspicion regarding the Second Calamity: that it could only be overcome by condensing a ‘Greater Fate’ by reaching Level 100.

That was a clue obtained from clearing a Danger Zone, so Randidly had hopes clearing more would be more illuminating. But he also had hoped Tellus would be helpful, which had not yet been the case.

Cursing himself, Randidly wished he hadn’t been so torn apart by the painful image of ash at the time, and thought to ask more concrete details regarding what would be coming. But, he supposed, it had been a rather harrowing experience. It was to be expected there were questions he would miss.

Randidly looked up at Trentyon with a frown. “What about the Spearsource? What is it?”

Trentyon smiled. It was a wide and smug smile. “Huhuhu, finally a good question. What actually is it? It was rumored to be the personification of Tellus’ will that enabled the Spearman to bring the System. Others say it was a blessing gifted by the Gods to the Spearman when he found the one true Path. Most agree that it was the weapon with which he slew the first great Calamity.”

Then Trentyon leaned forward. “...however, there are numerous problems with this interpretation of historical events. After all, of all the contemporary primary sources that speak of their encounters with the Spearman… none mention the Spearsource.”

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