Thomas stood in front of the gaping hole in his tent and looked at the last survivor of the group that tried to assault him. The man had thrown out some lame insults in an attempt to get Thomas to not just shoot him dead and he'd agreed. Not for any sense of mercy or from falling for the taunting. He simply wanted to give his new sword a nice test run. While he waited patiently for the battered and bleeding thug to climb to his feet and prepare himself, Thomas glanced at the three corpses around his tent.

When he'd first woken up he'd seen the shadow of the first victim coming closer to his tent. It didn't take a genius to understand they didn't have friendly intentions. If they did they could have done plenty of things to wake him up and let him know they were coming. Disabling his alarm and sneaking closer showed they were up to no good and that was more than enough of a reason for him to kill them all.

The first person he'd killed had been the easiest. After waking up from that odd dream-that-wasn't-a-dream he'd seen the shadow and immediately pulled out his Peace Maker. He patiently waited for the shadow to sneak closer while feeding mana into the revolver and forming a ball of pure mana in his empty left hand. Once he was sure the shadow matched the location of the man's body, the man had turned his head and looked directly at Thomas. So, he fired the gun and shot the man in the head.

The gunshot had been louder and had far more recoil than he expected it to but it wasn't unmanageable. The more surprising thing had been the fact that half of the dead man's head had been blown to bits by the gunshot. With the first target down he heard shouting so he charged more mana into his gun and aimed at the next closest target he could find by their shadow. It wasn't as clear as the first so he'd gone for a center mass shot. With the second shot fired he saw the shadow of his target go flying back and fall to the ground without moving again.

After the second target fell another one came charging toward the tent with his weapon raised. Thomas converted the mana he'd been holding in his left hand to the wind element and threw his hand forward to launch a powerful ball of magic at the charging enemy. He hadn't had time to charge much mana into his gun yet so he shoved the melee fighter back to buy more time. As the melee fighter rolled away an arrow pierced through the tent and sliced a small gash into his left leg. An inch lower and it would have pierced into his thigh.

Now that he knew there was an archer, Thomas had leaned toward the hole in his tent and spotted the shooter. With mana pouring into his revolver he stuck it out of the tent and shot the archer. With three of the four he'd seen dead and the fourth one still lying on the ground from the wind spell, Thomas squeezed his way out of the tent and started to charge more mana into his gun to finish off the last one. As he was doing that the fourth person attempting to assault him had shouted about men fighting without using guns like cowards. Thomas thought that a man attempting to kill another in his sleep with three friends calling someone using a gun a coward was the height of hypocrisy. However, he relented and stored the gun in his inventory while retrieving his enchanted short sword.

He might not agree with what the man said at all but he was very interested in testing out his other weapons so why not use this opportunity? Thomas channeled mana into the shortsword causing it to emit a low humming sound as the wind mana circled around the blade. The last living thief had taken his time to prepare himself and was now glaring at Thomas. Ignoring him, Thomas glanced into the tent and saw a very bored looking Snowlily yawning. During the entire incident, she hadn't moved from her spot and had only woken up after the first gunshot had been fired. The little puppy seemed more upset that she'd been woken up than about the four people trying to kill Thomas.

Thomas shook his head at the sight of the lazy puppy and paid more attention to the last survivor in front of him. The man had taken out and drank a healing potion so the small wounds inflicted by Thomas's wind spell had been healed and he looked like he'd recovered enough to fight at his best. Thomas patiently waited while yawning. He'd not really gotten any proper sleep yet. First that odd dream and then the attack. Getting to the end of his patience, Thomas called out, "You ready yet or what? I'd like to get some sleep you know."

Black One looked at Thomas and nodded. Black One gripped his shortsword tightly. The two of them were using similar weapons so he felt neither had the advantage there. Black One bent his knees and sprang toward the target with as much force as he could muster. His body instantly accelerated while he aimed for a thrust.

Seeing the simple and straightforward thrust coming at him, Thomas twisted to the side and struck down with his own weapon. Thomas's shortsword slammed into Black One's and knocked the tip down. With his thrust redirected Black One lost his balance a bit and stumbled to a stop. Thomas quickly retreated from his already ruined tent to the open area around them. No need to risk further damage that he would need to repair.

Black One spun around and the two of them charged at the same time. Thomas was a fair bit faster than Black One but they both seemed about equal in Power. Their two swords clanged and clashed repeatedly as they fought. Black One did his best to try to kill Thomas while Thomas used the fight to test the durability of his sword and practice his sword fighting skill. Within thirty seconds their swords had crossed nearly fifty times and Black One had been unable to gain an edge against Thomas at all. Both of their sword fighting skill was improving but Thomas still maintained an edge over Black One.

As the fight continued Thomas got bored and decided to put an end to the conflict. He coated his left hand and arm, up to his elbow, in mana and converted it to the metal element, specifically into steel. Within moments his hand and forearm took on a metallic sheen. When Black One sliced down at him, Thomas used his arm to block instead of his sword. Black One was monetarily shocked by Thomas's use of magic. In that single moment, Thomas's sword stabbed deep into Black One's chest. Thomas poured more mana into the enchantment to increase it to maximum power. The whirling wind around the blade carved through Black One like he was made of paper and shredded his ribs, heart, and lungs.

With a look of shock and horror on his face, Black One collapsed to the ground and stared at the sky in his death. Thomas flicked his sword to toss off the blood on it and examined Black One's corpse. This was the very first time he'd killed other players so he was curious what would happen. He was certain they were players since Black One had recognized his weapon at first sight and even called it a gun. The locals would have no idea what his Peace Maker was really capable of.

Looking around, Thomas could see that all four bodies were still where they had fallen. They hadn't faded away or disappeared in some fashion yet. He wondered just how long they would be around. He also had another thought, could he loot their bodies? He knelt down and tried to dig into Black One's clothing to see if he could find a money pouch or something else. Unfortunately, when Thomas tried to touch Black One's body there was an invisible barrier that completely stopped him. Grumbling about that, Thomas looked to the sword laying on the ground next to Black One. It was an odd looking sword with that black fuller. He reached over and picked up the sword without any issues.

He spent a bit of time examining the sword. The edge was completely intact even after so many clashes against his own sword and the black fuller was rather unique. It looked like the fuller had been pounded out properly and then coated in black. After looking over it for a while an information window finally appeared.

Weapon Type: Unknown Shortsword
Rarity: ???
Quality: ???
Description: An unknown shortsword claimed from the corpse of a defeated enemy. Must be appraised before it's attributes can be known.

Reading over the information, Thomas cocked an eyebrow. He'd never had to have anything appraised before. But thinking about it, he'd made all of the stuff he had or bought it from a shop. This was the first piece of real loot that he'd ever picked up before. Needing to have it appraised was annoying but not unbelievable. Appraising items was rather common in games so it was almost to be expected. Thomas stored the shortsword in his inventory and went to the next nearest corpse, the archer.

Thomas ignored the gory mess that his gunshot had caused and tried to pick up the archers bow. Like Black One's body, the bow was covered in an invisible forcefield that prevented him from touching it. Thomas checked the other two bodies and tried to loot some items from them as well but he was unable to pick up anything else. The weapons of Black Zero really drew his attention though. He recognized the kukri's and looking closely could see the makers mark for Rock's Armory on them. He couldn't help but laugh at the idea that someone had tried to use weapons made at Rock's place to kill him. On top of that, it was a weapon design he'd taught them himself!

Thomas had a rough, very rough, idea of how looting players worked from this encounter. Out of the four people he'd killed he was only able to loot a single weapon, so his guess was that the odds of dropping something on death were pretty low. There were probably other factors that he was unaware of. Things like there maybe being a bounty on their heads or a crime rating or something. He just had too little information to go on so he could only assume it might happen if he was to be defeated. The exception being his Peace Maker that was soulbound to him.

Thomas returned to his tent and reloaded his Peace Maker, Ejecting the three spent shells and putting in three fresh ones. He still had plenty of ammo and wasn't too worried about it. He could always make more, even out here in the wild. With the gun reloaded he deposited it in his inventory and pulled out a roll of cloth. After cutting a piece off he used it to cover the gaping hole in his tent and used his 'Transmutation' to fuse the new cloth to the tent cloth. It was a simple patch job.

The entire time he worked he kept his eyes on the corpses of the people who had attacked him. A few minutes after he completed his work the bodies started to disappear one by one in the order that he'd killed them. There was a significant gap between the third and fourth corpse. Judging by the time it took, Thomas guessed it was about five minutes after they died before their bodies faded away.

Stepping away from his tent he checked the spots where the corpses had been and only found bloodstains. It looked like nothing else had dropped but the unknown shortsword. Thomas left the area and checked on the rods for his alarm system. Three of them were still stuck in the ground but the forth had been yanked out. The dealer that sold them hadn't warned him at all that the alarm could be disabled so easily. Thomas removed the rods for the alarm and stored them away. He couldn't stay here for the rest of the night, those four might come back again while he was sleeping. It would be best if he just left and continued his journey for a while longer.

It didn't take very long for Thomas to pack everything up, but Snowlily was not amused at having to be awake in the middle of the night. She was even less amused when Thomas placed her inside of her sling and started to walk down the road once again.

A note from thomasdarkrose

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About the author


  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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