Mortimer lay on his bed, staring at the capsule for Royal Road. Normally, he would be playing right now, but he wasn’t. This wasn’t because he didn’t want to. However, after considering the various details, he’d somewhat come to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth it. Specifically, it would be too hard to get up, walk across the room, and get in the capsule. This wasn’t because Mortimer was lazy. In fact, he’d mostly gotten over his lazy habits. Rather than being lazy, moving had become too difficult. As he was laying there comprehending the
“Please knock next time, Angela.”
“Oh please. Your door was wide open.”
“Only because I no longer have the strength to spare. Soon, I won’t even be able to talk. Thus, I will need you to be the scribe for my will.”
“Is it that bad?” Angela asked teasingly.
“Honestly I’m not sure if I could sit up right now.”
“Are you training for a competition or something?”
“I… don’t think so? Master Valarao hasn’t mentioned anything like that.”
“Then… why are you training to hard? You were even out all of Sunday.”
“Really? I thought… that I lost track of the days.” Mortimer moved slightly, planning to scratch his head, but then just groaned slightly. “Anyway, it seems he isn’t satisfied with my current physical condition and training.”
“Is that so? I thought your… physical condition… was pretty good. What, is he trying to turn you into a soldier… or a super spy?”
“Definitely a super spy. Didn’t you notice my entire closet full of tuxedos?”
In fact, Mortimer did have a closet with tuxedos in it. However, only one of them fit him. The rest were just there for the sake of nostalgia. Ones he’d had when younger. Some of them, he’d only worn once. Most of them he’d worn more than he wanted to. As a child, he hadn’t appreciated how he looked dressed up, and he definitely hadn’t appreciated attending fancy parties. He’d learned to fake it well enough, though. His parents and Angela obviously knew he didn’t enjoy it, but everyone else believed his facade well enough.
“Well, take care of yourself cousin. We can’t have any members of my guild dying.”
“I’ll take that into consideration.” Mortimer smiled. “I’m gonna sleep now. Can you close the door on the way out?”
Over the next several weeks, Mortimer gradually became less exhausted after training. The training also didn’t increase in difficulty anymore. Apparently, it seemed that the current routine would get him to the level that master Valarao wanted, whatever it was. The virtual reality training also never went as far as the first time. It still left Mortimer very mentally tired, but he felt that his senses and reactions were improving. He even noticed some changes in Royal Road. His listen skill started improving rapidly, likely because he was using it more efficiently. His other sensing skills improved similarly quickly.
In Royal Road, Quietus had arrived at the location where Aullet’s notes had been buried. The area was covered in undead, especially dullahan and other knight and warrior type monsters. It made sense, because it had been a large battlefield. The strange thing was, these undead were even aggressive towards Quietus and his undead. Thus, he had to proceed carefully.
Quietus first formed a small group composed of nearby monsters that he had converted to undead. Then, he would go hunt down a small group of the enemy undead. He made sure to soul bind all of them. This made it so they took much longer to respawn. Since he could not convert them over to his own side, he had to made sure they stayed dead. After killing one group, he would leave the area. These undead were very powerful, being in the late 200’s to the early 300’s, so he always lost some of his own. In addition, other groups would quickly show up to support any group that was attacked fairly quickly. Thus, he had to use hit-and-run tactics.
He would have liked to say that he immediately thought of this method. However, in reality, he had died several times before figuring out what he needed to do. Quietus could, though, confidently say that the deaths hadn’t been pathetic. He thought he could hold his own almost indefinitely against a group of ten of them. That was definitely the result of master Valarao’s training. He was able to tell approximately where they were and how they would attack, even when he wasn’t looking at them. As an interesting result, his endurance and vitality were actually increasing somewhat, since he was actually surviving at low amounts of health… at least for a time.
Sadly, the dullahans and death knights weren’t kind enough to restrict themselves to small groups all the time. This was the place where an army fought and died. Thus, Quietus quickly found himself up against groups of twenty or more. He could survive for some time, with liberal use of potions, against such numbers. However, after that, even more arrived and he couldn’t keep his health and mana up. If they had been living, his mana wouldn’t have been a problem, since thanks to the sadism stat and the bleeding effect of his knife, he would gain a significant amount of mana regeneration. Sadly, undead were immune to both bleeding and pain, and thus the effect didn’t trigger.
For short bursts, Quietus could normally deal quite a significant amount of damage, alternating between spells and his dagger. However, his spells were all dark element, which meant that they were less effective on undead. Because of the effect his dagger gave when alternating between spells and physical attacks, it was still more efficient than only using his dagger, but not by much, and it was extremely mana intensive. In the end, the only way for Quietus to survive a large group was to run before there were too many. Sadly, this was usually only possible immediately after respawning, when they weren’t prepared.
Thus, after several deaths, which were made significantly more convenient by the fact that he didn’t have to return from town after each, he came up with his hit and run tactics. Slowly, he and his army, which was really more like a squad, whittled down the native undead population.
Quietus was now stuck with the task of finding exactly where the information was buried. The area where the battle had happened was quite large, and unfortunately there wasn’t a nice marker anywhere that indicated the exact boundaries, or told him where Aullet left his notes. Therefore, Quietus set his undead to put their burrowing skill to good use. He gradually went back and forth between the nearby area, creating more undead and setting them to digging. He kept some of them free to help him take out the enemy undead that eventually started respawning. That was a relatively easy task, though, since they were mostly alone. The only difficult part was that he had to soul bind them again, so that they would again take longer to respawn. As a side effect of using soul bind on so many knight type undead, he gained a new skill.
You have gained a new skill!
Undead Mastery (Passive)
Because of the knowledge you have gained about certain properties of the undead, some of them grow more powerful.
Current bonuses to undead minions:
+5% weapon damage
Quietus was sure that if he studied enough of any type of undead, he would get additional bonuses. In addition, the skill would be able to grow somewhat more powerful on its own, as his undead gained its benefits. Killing undead and creating them probably both applied. Quietus planned to try to make monsters such as skeleton mages eventually, but most monsters were unsuitable, and he didn’t actually have any way to create them specifically.
Thus, Quietus kept himself busy for quite some time. He did have to somewhat start over every day, since the undead respawned after that time even after soul bind, but he got to keep his ever growing army that he was building up. When he was logged off, he would just have them rest underground, where they would be safe. Just in case, though, he made sure to tell them to still defend themselves if something managed to attack them while they were underground. He didn’t think there were any burrowing creatures, like giant worms, giant badgers, or… rabbits, but he didn’t want to come back to a dead army.
End Chapter 69