Back in the castle of woods, vegetation stretched as far as the eye can see. Lazarus kept on following Jim who was gazing at the ground while constantly glancing from left to right, seemingly looking for a mark or something.
With each step, they made crunching noises as they pushed through the tall grasses that reached up to their waist. It was already dawn but because they were in the middle of the forest it was still relatively dark.
“I think it was somewhere around here…..” Jim muttered and scratched his head, he wasn’t sure where “it” was because it was hard to see.
Illuminating the area with magic was a bad idea since it could easily attract monsters. Lazarus knew this and decided to ask. “So, what’re we looking for?”
Jim stopped to gaze at Lazarus for a moment before he finally processed his question. “Erhm… a chain...”
“Hmm…..” Lazarus placed a hand on his chin and thought that maybe they’ve already passed by it or maybe it really was somewhere around here. He knew that Jim’s instinct should be right since, he should know where “it” was.
Suddenly, a deep robotic voice echoed in Lazarus’ mind.
-= Master let me assist you. Filtering image…….=-
In Lazarus’ night vision, several boxes of red lines began zooming in the ground making beeping noises as they locked on to several areas as far as Lazarus could see. In just a few minutes, one of the red boxes began flickering from red to white, making louder bleeping noises than the other ones.
The flickering image, enlarged itself as the rest of the white boxes of lines disappeared. And there, Lazarus saw a fraction of the chain, hidden beneath the leaves. He pointed it out and said “Is that it?”
Jim looked curiously towards Lazarus, sure enough that he shouldn’t be able to find anything in this vegetation and darkness.
Lazarus sighed, and went towards the chain. He pulled it up and showed it to Jim who had a dumbfounded look. “H-how did you…?”
“It doesn’t matter.” Lazarus pulled the chains up, making the leaves rustle for a moment and the sound of wood knocking and the chain clinking caught his attention.
“W-well this is it…. Our hideout...” Jim’s voice faltered, making it obvious to Lazarus that he was somewhat nervous.He moved in front of Lazarus and began removing the pile of leaves, and in just a few moments, revealed a small wooden door on the ground.
Lazarus pulled the chains up, and the moment the door creaked open. A drop of sweat formed on Jim’s forehead, and he hesitated. Lazarus sighed and urged him to lead, or there would be consequences.
“A-alright….” Jim hesitantly nodded and willed his finger to emit a bright light, revealing that behind the wooden door was a staircase that lead to an underground passage. He took a quick glimpse back at Lazarus before proceeding to walk downstairs.
Lazarus followed him while cautiously keeping his distance. And just to be safe, he closed the door behind him so that he wouldn’t have to deal with monsters.
The moment they entered, Lazarus noticed that the air was chilly and the sound of their boots clacking against the wooden flooring echoed throughout of what seemed to be like a makeshift mine.
While Lazarus was staring at Jim from behind, he placed his arm behind him and in just a just a second, several sparks formed a figure on his hand before forming into one of his Deagles.
There could be traps so Lazarus didn’t feel the need to dispose of Jim just yet. But still, he felt that materializing the gun was necessary, simply to be prepared if anything happened.
Jim’s hand was trembling, Lazarus had asked him to lead him into their hideout, and of course he didn’t have the luxury of refusing. So if Lazarus would get his hands on their stash then, what other use could Lazarus have for him? He thought.
There was a bit of silence between them. And a few minutes passed in silence and they arrived at a large room. Jim gazed around, his heart throbbed rapidly, but he knew that if he took too long then Lazarus would get impatient.
Jim bit his lip and hesitantly touched one of the walls, channeling his mana at the tip of his fingers, emitting a greenish light that began crawling up into the walls.
The light began branching into several beams of light, traversing the walls like some sort of snake before heading towards coal like stones in the corners of the room, as the light of mana came into contact with the stone, they began glowing, illuminating the room with a dim blue glow.
The room was quite big and was held by several beams of wood that would seemingly snap at any moment. There were pieces of metal and bones scattered all over the place.
There were cobwebs everywhere but what caught Lazarus’ attention was the big brown fabric filled with dust. The fabric was bulging in several different areas making it obvious that there were a lot of items hidden beneath it.
Jim abruptly pulled the blanket, and the next thing Lazarus knew was that the entire room was filled with dust.
Although it didn’t exactly bother Lazarus because of the nanomachines in his body, but Jim on the other hand was suffering the consequences of his action, letting out violent coughing sounds as he flayed his arms around to try and shoo the dust away.
He couldn’t help it, he was nervous.
As the dust cleared, Lazarus cold gaze turned to one filled with excitement and curiosity, gazing at the many weaponry. And not just any kind of weaponry, most of them had several runic symbols around their bodies, and Lazarus knew that it only meant one thing. Those are enchanted weapons just like Eris’ sword.
Several pieces of weapons ranging from daggers to spears were all over the ground, leather armor, steel armor and some jewelries making Lazarus even more excited.
Although Jim was frowning and sweating. He had fulfilled his purpose and now, it was the time to decide. Jim gulped and kept blinking rapidly while gazing at Lazarus who after gazing at items, let out a sigh and looked towards him.
As Jim kept on staring at Lazarus whilst bracing himself, he noticed that Lazarus’ right arm was hidden behind his back.
And just like that, the pressure on the atmosphere suddenly became suffocating. Lazarus knew what he had to do, silence fell between the two, simply staring at one another.
But then Jim suddenly spoke, his voice faltering. “I-I’ve listened to all of your request, now…. as promised. L-l-let me go.. Please..”
Lazarus frowned. “I only said that if you listen to me then I wouldn’t kill you. I never said anything about letting you go.”
Jim gulped, his skin felt as cold as ice, his heart throbbed violently and the pupils in his eyes narrowed. He felt that Lazarus was implying that he wouldn’t let him go. Desperate, he tried to twist Lazarus’ words. “S-so… i-if I still listen then you won’t k-kill m-me…. right..?”
Lazarus gazed deeply at Jim, gripped his pistol and raised his arm, pointing his pistol at Jim who’s eyes were suddenly widened.
“W-wait…. I-...” Jim trembled, he had told Lazarus about what he and Leo had done, how many people they’ve killed as well as their fun times with the women they had captured. And he himself knew, that Lazarus had no reason to keep him alive. No words escaped his mouth. Just empty and shallow breaths.
Without a word, and with a click, the gun flashed with a boom and Jim’s body fell to the ground with a thud.
Lazarus huffed, shook his head and rubbed his temples. No matter how many times he did it, he could never get use to seeing someone just fall down lifelessly. He felt a little disgusted at himself how he could easily kill off someone. Sonia wasn’t wrong. Even though he knew that he had to.
“Damnit….” Lazarus clicked his tongue and de-materialized the pistol. He was somewhat irritated that Sonia’s words were getting to him, he knew he did what he had to do and to criminals at that, but still.
Heaving yet another heavy sigh, he walked over to Jim and de-materialized the green backpack loaded with C4 from Jim’s back before heading over to the treasure of weaponry.
Lazarus gazed at the pile of weapons for a brief moment. Curious, he kneeled down and began rummaging through the pile.
Then he stopped, noticing a pitch black double sided battle axe with crimson red runic engravings on its handle.
“This looks valuable, I wonder how much I could….wait..”Lazarus paused. “Maybe I could use them..?” But then Lazarus shook his head in disappointment and put the thought aside.
He himself knew he couldn’t use the full potential of any enchanted weapons since he didn’t have mana. So it was better to sell them to buy some more materials. But then, FS decided to correct him.
-= Master, you can still utilize these weapons if you deem necessary. =-
“--Huh...? What’re you talking about?--”
-= It is stated here in one of the books that enchanted weapons have both passive and active skills. Just like Eris’ sword, the passive perhaps had something to do with making the body of the user faster. Passive skills are innate ability of the weapons and thus require no mana from the user, since it utilizes the mana within its core unlike active skills. =-
“--I see, so at least I won’t have to resort to wasting my bullets if I can help it.--”
-= Not just that, each weapon has its own unique set of passive and active skills based on the mystalia crystal infused within each of them. =-
“--Mystalia crystal hmm….. Wait, don’t I have one of those…?--”
-= Affirmative. S class mana regeneration, though it would hardly benefit you in anyway. =-
Lazarus sighed. “--So I guess I’ll just sell that crystal then? And you’ve mentioned S class, so I’m guessing passive skills are based on the strength of the crystal like an RPG game right?--”
-= Affirmative =-
Lazarus sat down and began registering the items in his D-storage. He sat down, bored for several hours until he heard the sound of an alarm clock ringing in his head.
Lazarus huffed and dusted himself up. And in just a few moments, the weapons were all engulfed in crackling electricity and in just mere seconds, disappeared into thin air.
“Now that’s done. Maybe I should test one of em out?” An innocent smile appeared in Lazarus face, obviously excited by the fact that he could try the weapons out.
Lazarus willed the D-storage menu to pop-up. With a blink of an eye, a blue screen hovered in front of him. But then Lazarus brows turned to a frown.
“--FS? Something’s wrong….--” Lazarus placed a finger on the screen and began swiping down, he noticed that every single one of the weapons were blank. An image icon was displayed at the side but there were no names.
-= Master, there are several axes, spears, swords in the storage. And since they are unique then, we cannot categorize them we cannot group them as one. =-
“--Well, that makes sense.--” Lazarus rubbed his chin. Unlike the weapons back on home which were mass produced, each enchanted weapons were all unique and different.
It didn’t take long for a smirk to appear on Lazarus as he swiped the blue screen until he saw the pitch black axe with red runic engravings he saw earlier. With a tap, the item turned grey in his screen, before several crackling electricity formed on Lazarus hand, materializing the axe.
“Mordred.” Lazarus muttered to himself.
-= Mordred? =-
“That’s what I’ll call the Black axe since it looks menacing. It’s easier to remember them that way. Each time I’ll use them, maybe I’ll give them a name.”
Lazarus eyed the axe carefully. It was large about half the size of him, if not more. It wasn’t that heavy since Lazarus’ strength wasn’t exactly normal either.
Lazarus took deep breaths, gripped the axe and then he suddenly felt a violent throb in his heart, as if a miniature shockwave exploded. Surprised, he frowned and wondered. “What the hell was that?”
-= That would be it’s passive. The moment you grip the weapon you get an idea of their passive. Although, the meaning behind those feelings are taught by mage instructors. =-
“Welp, too bad I got a scientist as an instructor.” A sarcastic smile appeared on Lazarus face. ”Anyway, better to try it, since I don’t have a clue what I just felt.”
Lazarus gripped the axe, raised it up before smashing down on the wooden floor. The moment the edge came into contact, the floor suddenly burst open, emitting a powerful shockwave that shook the room and dust to blow in every direction.
If Lazarus hunch was correct, the force should’ve been half as powerful as a shock wave from a grenade. This made him wonder, how didn’t he get blown away? Maybe it had something to do with the weapon’s passive he thought.
“FS, is it possible to have multiple passives in a weapon?”
-= Yes master. =-
Lazarus curious and excited, revealed a childish smile. “Then how do I know, what passives the weapon has?”
-= You cannot. Only a weapon’s smith in this world can know, alternatively an enchanter. =-
Disappointed, Lazarus sighed but his disappointment didn’t linger for long as he de-materialized the axe and decided to give another weapon a go. The moment the blue screen reappeared, he noticed that the name ‘Mordred’ was registered for the axe.
Lazarus felt a strange sensation of satisfaction swirling inside of him. He then began swiping the screen, without noticing that he had been grinning like an idiot, before he suddenly stopped at an image of a spear, the base was painted with a golden color while its body had a light blue coloring, and the tip had a blade arching upwards like a chinese spear.
Lazarus willed the spear to materialized, it’s icon turned to grey before reappearing in Lazarus grip.
Lazarus took a deep breath and then formed a stance, before thrusting the spear at a blinding speed. In the middle of the thrust, Lazarus suddenly felt being stretched, as if something was tugging his skin. In that exact moment, the spear extended fast, piercing the wooden wall which was several meters away.
“So this thing, extends……How’s that even physically possible?” Lazarus felt a bit giddy but at the same time kind of surprised. But then he remembered a problem. How in gods name could he turn it back to normal?
Lazarus was left thinking, and staring at the spear. He tried to will the spear back to its size, and just like he thought, it retracted back to its original height. He gazed at the spear while rubbing his chin.”Any ideas FS?”
-= Spear 1 =-
Lazarus sighed. “Right, what did I even expect from an AI…. I’ll call it, Dragon Fly instead.” Since there were no objections, Lazarus decided it was a good name. After dematerializing the spear, Lazarus was feeling as if he was forgetting something.
He wracked his brains for answers, but then he remembered. He had to go back, he had already been gone for several hours and who knows what that half-elf would do.
He rubbed his temples before slowly walking away. He was somewhat excited of the idea of having to use enchanted weapons. But in the end, selling them was better so he could build even more powerful weapons.
But for now, he decided to hold on to them until he could get a good deal.
As he neared the exit he took a quick glimpse back at Jim’s body. Heaving another sigh, Lazarus then continued to walk away.