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A note from Blacky

I was supposed to release this 3 days ago annnddd......... well. I failed....

Sorry for the delay, that said here's the new chapter and I hope you enjoy :)

“Just for abit. I had something I wanted to ask you.” [Eris]

“Hmm….” Lazarus placed a hand on his chin, before he glanced back at Eris and spoke. “Will it take long?”

Eris nodded lightly but Lazarus couldn’t ignore the possibility of other bandits being present in the forest so it was better to have a chat where it was safe, to which he replied. “Maybe later….”

As the two conversed, Sonia kept her head lowered, still feeling a bit gloomy. But somehow she was curious to know what Eris wanted to ask and unconsciously started listening in on their conversation.

Eris took a quick glimpse at Sonia before looking down for a moment. It was something she wanted to discuss in private so taking him up on his offer would probably better. “Then…. okay...”

“Alright.” Lazarus nodded before he turned to walk away, but before he could take a step. He felt a light tug on his cloak followed by a feminine voice seemingly as soft as a whisper. “Rex?”

Lazarus stopped and glanced at Eris, who was giving him a slightly curious look. “What?”

“You going back to snayping?” [Eris]

Lazarus nodded.

“Then later..?” Eris repeated.

Lazarus didn’t intend to run away so he simply gave a half hearted response ”Yeah..yeah.. Got it.”

Seemingly unconvinced by his words, Eris didn’t release her grip and spoke “Promise?” as if asking him for some assurance.

Although Lazarus had boycotted her during their first meeting, it didn’t mean he was going to do it again.

Despite her having her usual expression, Eris didn’t seem particularly convinced. Lazarus could see that it was something she had to know and he knew full well how stubborn Eris can get.

Something must have happened, Lazarus thought. He didn’t want any loose ends so knowing what she had to say, though it might be something utterly useless or something important which, either way, it was better to be safe than sorry.

Trying not to give a half-assed response this time. Lazarus glanced back at Eris and spoke in a firm tone. “Promise.”

With a promise set, Eris nodded, released her grip on his cloak and waved her hand. “Bye-bye”

Lazarus then continued walking away while Sonia only took a quick glimpse before she averted her gaze yet again. “-What did she want to say?-”

After walking further up ahead, Lazarus hid behind a tree, knelt down and opened his palms “Rufus” he called out softly.

The moment he spoke, a purple rat with red beady eyes appeared, his head lowered and was downcasting his gaze, looking at him like that, Lazarus felt something was off and decided to ask. “Why’re you looking like that..?”

Rufus let out a soft and low toned squeak that didn’t exactly answer his question.

“Did you do something wrong?” Rufus nodded slowly, his body tensed up as he braced himself for electrocution. Lazarus saw this and frowned. He wasn’t concerned about what Rufus had done but was more concerned why Rufus looked at him like he was some sort of abusive owner.

This wasn’t how he wanted their relationship would be, so he slowly lowered Rufus down on the ground and spoke calmly. “I won’t electrocute you for every little thing that you do wrong you know…..”

Rufus didn’t trust his words and kept on eyeing him with fear with its’ head lowered.

With an idea coming to mind, Lazarus materialized some pieces of the steaks he had stored and lowered it in front of Rufus who looked curiously towards him, eyeing him cautiously. *Squeek?*

“Good job on stalling Leo so here.” Rufus was hesitant for a bit but the aroma that the steak was giving off was too much to ignore. Lazarus continued. “Go ahead. It’s yours.”

By swinging a large piece back and forth, as if tempting the little guy, Rufus’ mouth began to water. It didn’t take long before his instincts took over as he gnawed on the meat and began chewing like there was no tomorrow.  

Lazarus was somewhat curious about what Rufus had done but decided to let it go since it couldn’t be something that’d be a threat to him. Hopefully…..

While watching the little rodent greedily munch on the meat, it somehow reminded him of the very first time he had a pet in the virtual world. A dog he once called Milo who later died at the age of 9.

It felt strange, and looking back at it now, Lazarus felt it was stupid to cry about a dog who never existed in the first place, remembering a bit of his past somehow made a little smile appear on Lazarus face ever so slightly.

It was stupid. But nothing could replace those stupid moments. While Rufus continued to munch on the meat, he noticed Lazarus was looking at him, his gaze seemed distant. This made Rufus curious, he stopped chewing and made a little squeeking sounds.

But it was only for a brief moment, the air around Lazarus suddenly turned different, he suddenly lowered his gaze as he whispered softly “Well...none of them was real…. not even Sena and Smith….Heh...”

And then he became dead silent while still gazing at Rufus with a faint smile. Rufus also stared at Lazarus, but somehow his smile didn’t seem to match the lonely feeling he was giving off.

Rufus, didn’t think too much about it and continued to chomp on the meat.

With a huff, Lazarus shook his head and climbed up in the trees and began sniping. He could see where Eris and Sonia were from his scope, as they moved further away, he would often change positions without lagging behind.

It wasn’t long till night arrived although they didn’t encounter any other monsters other than a few goblins which Eris dealt with, without breaking a sweat.

Night came and the girls set up a campfire, before Sonia began chatting with Eris. Lazarus couldn’t make out what they were saying and simply kept on watching the surroundings for any other possible ambush. He scouted the area and used both his night vision to scan the area the first time, and then use thermal vision the second time. Just to be sure.

But it didn’t look like anyone or any monsters were nearby so Lazarus decided that they weren’t in any danger so he leaned against the tree while hovering several meters up with nothing but a single branch holding him up.

“I wonder what she wanted to ask me….” Lazarus muttered while thinking about what Eris wanted to say.

As he held the L115A3 AWM closer to his chest, he began thinking to himself “-I wonder when I can build the tower…?-”

-= Master =-

“-Yeah?-”

-= I am almost finished updating the combat software for the neural chip =-

“-Oh… so your updates weren’t only for worthless jokes?-” Lazarus snickered as he spoke sarcastically. “-So what percent you on and what kind of combat software are we talking about?-”

-= It is one of the latest updates that Doctor Rex Hargreave has developed himself which he created when you were still in elementary school. You do not have the necessary authority to inquire its  ‘AWESOMENESS’ as per Rex. =-

Lazarus snickered. “That crazed loon never changed at all has he? Speaking of which…. FS what did dad use to do? I mean… before he found me?”

-= According to my records, he simply used to play VR and would often build castles… Only to blow them to smithereens =-

Lazarus chuckled. It sounded like that’s what Rex would’ve really done which made him think. “-There were several space probes that were sent to find life on other planet right?-”

-= Affirmative =-

“-Other than Valeria. Did the space probes find anything else? Like aliens and stuff….-”

-= Negative =-

Well it was expected since there were hardly habitable planets. Lazarus was always curious about new things but he never had the time to relax after going on his mission to build the tower. Moments like these were somewhat calming for him.

The gentle cold breeze of the night as well as the two moons hovering the sky, that painted the scenery in a dim light blue and crimson red glow. Lazarus couldn’t help but admire the view from up above the trees.

Letting out a sigh, Lazarus knew he shouldn’t slack off and went back to sniping, knowing that being careless could be his undoing. The moment he glanced back at his scope, he saw that Sonia had already gone to sleep, lying down on top of a makeshift bed with leaves and using the clothes that Lazarus handed her as her pillow.

Lazarus moved his scope towards Eris and then he noticed. She was casually standing up while glancing around. “-What’s she doing?-”

Eris glanced back to Sonia and moved closer to her, she waved her hand and gave her a light push calling out her name. But Sonia had been too tired with the recent events that she had already fallen in a deep sleep.

Eris stood up again and raised both of her arms sideward. She chanted a few words before a silver magical circle formed beneath her, giving off a light silvery glow before disappearing, leaving a slight gust of wind that fluttered Eris’ skirt for a bit.

Then she nodded to herself, seemingly satisfied. This made Lazarus even more curious. Eris began walking further away and then stopped at an open area where a large boulder was surrounded by a small grassy field.

She casually sat down and unsheathed her sword, and began poking the grass. In just a few moments, she had written “Later.”

Lazarus blinked a few times. “What is she-..... Wait...”

The gears in Lazarus head began turning, he remembered the promise which he just forgot and felt a little stupid for it. Heaving a sigh, he de-materialized the sniper,  jumped down making a thuding sound as he began walking to her direction.

Eris casually combed her hair with her slender fingers and waited while the subtle glow of the moon reflected on her long and white silvery hair. The girl with the beauty of the goddess, simply made the scenery one to behold.

Eris heard the sound of grass crunching and muttered. “Did you forget?”

Lazarus couldn’t utter a word, he did forget but didn’t want to admit it. So he simply brushed the question aside and continued. “Anyway, what did you want to ask me?”

As if seeing through him, Eris glanced at him with her lavender purple eyes and spoke every so softly. “You forgot…..”

Although Lazarus couldn’t see it before when they first met, now he could easily see how stubborn she could get with the little details. Heaving a sigh, he nodded. “Yeah I did… anyway I’m here now so it doesn’t matter. What did you want to ask me?”

Satisfied with his honesty, Eris nodded before she extended her left palm, making Lazarus raise a brow as she gazed at her finger middle finger, decorated by a golden ring with small engravings, she spoke. “The Aria the stole it… was here..”

“Aria?” [Lazarus]

“The purple creature that took away my ring.. I thought it was a coincidence… but just this morning I saw it again... ” Eris pointed towards her neck. “It now had a collar. And Sonia didn’t recognize it.”

Lazarus now understood why Rufus was looking a bit gloomy, Eris must be very sharp if she managed to piece the puzzle together just like that, he thought. Unaware of the fact the Sonia had told Eris.

Lazarus simply let out a sigh and spoke. “If that’s all you wanted to say then I’m going back to sniping.”

“No...” Eris stood up, walked towards Lazarus making him furrow his brows with her unusual actions. The moment she was only a step a way, she stopped, lowered her head slightly and spoke. “Thank you”

Lazarus simply stared at her, somehow shocked that the only reason that she called him out was so she could earnestly express her gratitude to the right person.

Curious why he hasn’t responded, Eris glanced up at him and spoke. “What’s wrong?”

A subtle laughter escaped Lazarus’ mouth as he shook his head, somehow feeling a bit stupid. “Nothing…. You really are something else.” he chuckled.

Eris tilted her head, seemingly confused why he reacted the way he did. “What do you mean?”

Lazarus dismissed her with a wave of his hand and began walking away, after taking a few steps, he stopped and glanced at her. “You’re welcome.”

Seeing a slight change in Lazarus’ attitude, Eris lips slowly curved up to a subtle smile. One barely noticeable from a distance, but nevertheless a smile.

As Lazarus was about to walk away, he suddenly heard strange flapping noises. It was faint but starting to grow louder and louder. He glanced back at Eris with brows furrowed and spoke. “Are there still monsters in this area?”

“There shouldn’t be....” [Eris]

A subtle wind made the leaves of the trees rustle every so gently making Lazarus frown. The wind seemed unnatural.

The fluttering sound grew louder and needless to say Lazarus knew something was moving closer. He glanced at Eris who also glanced at him and nodded.

As if in sync, the two dashed towards where they had left Sonia. But the moment they arrived, a massive shadow went above their heads. With each flap of its wings, it let out powerful gust of wind. Lazarus looked up, to see a figure of a scaly beast descending down.

In a quick motion, Lazarus materialized his sniper and hid behind the vegetation, Eris drew her blade and dashed towards Sonia was still asleep despite everything.

The moment she was about to reach her, three figures dropped down from the back of the dragon like creature.

The figures surrounded Eris, and at that moment, Lazarus, cocked the gun and took aim, the moment he locked onto one of the figures, his eyes widened. 

 

_______________________________________

Chip battle sequence upgrade: 97%

 

 

 

 

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Blacky

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