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Ch005-Already Dead

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[Human (Warrior) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Koschei] has reached level 2!
+Perk: Golden Egg
+Skill: Appraisal (I)
+5AP

[Perk: Golden Egg]
-While in contact with the needle, increase health and stamina regeneration by 50%
-While in contact with the needle, decrease the effect of curses by 50%.

[Skill: Appraisal (I)]
Skill level can be increased by appraising targets.
I – Get basic information about the target.
*Can see up to 10 levels higher than your own.

[Skill: Draining Touch (I)]
Skill level can be increased by draining enemies.
I - Absorb health, stamina, and mana from the target.
*Requires physical contact.
*May not work on targets with a high enough resistance.
*May not work on targets without mana channels.

[Skill: Optical Illusion (I)]
Skill level can be increased by creating optical illusions.
I - Create a false image using your mana.
*Quality of image depends on the caster’s skill and understanding.

[Skill: Auditory Illusion (I)]
Skill level can be increased by creating auditory illusions.
I - Create a false sound using your mana.
*Quality of sound depends on the caster’s skill and understanding.

Interesting… So, it registered Draining Touch as a skill, instead of a spell. Is it because it doesn’t use up any mana? Then shouldn’t optical illusion be a spell? Why is it a skill then? Starting to wish Ciege was a mage, rather than a blacksmith. But beggars and possibly monsters can’t be choosers.

And why didn’t it register before, when I first used it? Is the [Koschei] class the reason it registered?

Letting the man’s dead body fall to the floor, Sylver removed his almost burning steak from the stone, and set it aside to cool down for the moment.

Total Level: 2
[Koschei-2]

CONS: 11
DEX: 1
STR: 1
INT: 11
WIS: 11
AP: 5

Health: 421/110
Stamina: 173/55
MP: 290/110

Health Regen: 1.65/M
Stamina Regen: 0.825/M
MP Regen: 1.21/M

And I have 5 points to distribute right now. I’ll sort them out after I see what the necromancer class does for me. It shouldn’t be too hard to get it. You need to sew a shirt to get the tailor class, make a weapon to get the blacksmith class and kill something with a sword, to get the swordsman class. It only makes sense that you get a necromancer class if you raise something from the dead.

Sylver saw that his hands were shaking, and was concerned the body was rejecting him. Bile rose to his throat, and he ran away from his camp, vomiting violently into some bushes. Tears rolled down his face, as his throat burned. His knees gave out and he nearly landed into his own sick. For a few seconds, pure terror took over his body, as he focused every drop of mana into his senses to try and find whatever was doing this to him.

He fell backward, and couldn’t breathe properly, crying and dry heaving, and panicking more and more.

And then just as quickly as it had started, the feeling receded. He spat into the bushes, to get as much of the taste out of his mouth as possible, and walked back to his fire, extremely confused. Rinsing his mouth, he put the whole thing behind him.

He’s never killed another human being before... God’s, I hope this goes away soon. What if this happened in the middle of a fight? Should I just mutilate the guy’s body, to get this nonsense out of the way? Would that be enough to destroy whatever of Ciege is left?

But it is a pretty good body…

I’ll raise it for now, since I don’t like being alone like this. And this surely can’t last for long...

Waving his hands over the dead body, Sylver allowed his mana to escape and surround it. Forcing its way into the body, the corpse began to twitch and rattle, teeth clicking inhumanly fast. Pushing the mana further inside he managed to get to the heart and began to slowly carve the spell framework onto it. Once that was done, he moved his attention upwards and carved the skull to complete the spell.

The dead body glowed bright yellow for a moment, before liquifying and turning into a puddle of dark mush. The puddle of black sat around, swirling consistently, pieces of the body showing up now and then.

Sylver watched the puddle and waited patiently, adjusting it slightly with more mana when it was necessary. While waiting he ate his steak and found it incredibly over-salted, and so overcooked, he thought he was eating leather. With his limited mana supply, he had to spend way too much time on the thing.

Finally, after almost 4 hours of constant work, the puddle started to slowly rise in height and was forming itself into a rough shape of a man. The shiny black liquid burst like a bubble and revealed a black and yellow figure underneath.

It stood at roughly the same height as Sylver, but with a much skinnier build. In its hands was a bright yellow dagger, almost glowing from the dim light of the campfire. Its whole body was covered in yellow-tinged cracks but was otherwise entirely black. The clothing was now much smoother, but barely visible on account of its skin and clothes being the same tone. Now and then a wisp of yellow or black smoke would escape from it, surrounding the creature with a very faint dark aura.

[[Shade (Petty)] Raised!]

[Necromancer (Rare)] class available!
Req* Mana Perception
Req* Mana ManipulationReq* Raise an undead (Any)
Req* Negative Affinity
-Few have the ability required to pull the dead back from the abyss. But with your strength of will, strength of mind, and strength of soul, you have managed it.
-Command the forces of darkness, and bend the dead to your will.
+10INT
+10WIS
+Trait: Undead Domination
+Trait: Deathly Aura

[Skill: Raise Shade (I)]
Skill level can be increased by raising shades. (Repeat raising of the same shade will not increase skill level)
I - Turn a corpse into a shade.
*Quality dependent on the corpse.
*Quality dependent on the soul.
*Possibility of failure is dependent on the skills of the castor.

[Trait: Undead Domination]
-Enemy undead can be converted into temporary allies.
*Difficulty increases exponentially as the level difference between castor and target increases.
*Under the same level as the castor, or lower, have a very high chance of a conversion.
*Cost of dominating undead is [Target Level]*15)MP
*Undead below 10% of the castors level, will convert automatically.

[Trait: Deathly Aura I]
-Surround your body with darkness, clouding your figure, and increasing the effects of all dark magic by 10%.
*Undead allies will automatically heal when within 20m of you.
*Undead enemies will not take damage.
*All none undead, will take damage.
*This trait can be toggled.

Oh damn… 4 levels worth of attributes. Well, it is a rare class, so that’s to be expected. Strangely it didn’t instantly give me a specialization. Might be a level requirement, I’ll have to look into it.

And the system even recognizes soul qualities. I wonder if I’ll get soul sight as an actual skill if I’ll be able to see the quality of a person’s or creature’s soul.

Also, it’s weird that Raise Shade is a skill and not a spell…

[Necromancer (Rare)] class accepted!

*

“If you joined me for dinner, we could have worked something out. I wouldn’t have let you leave, since you did kill an innocent person, but I would have at least known your name. Luckily, your soul is still here, so it’s not all bad.” Sylver said, watching the would-be murderer, packing his things up for him.

“A bit upsetting that you can’t talk or write or anything, but considering I’m only level 3 that’s somewhat to be understandable. And no offense, but your soul was pretty weak. I’m not certain you would be able to talk, even if I had more power when creating you.” Sylver said. The shade continued with its work, dispassionately and diligently.

Other than the man with the dagger, no one else had disturbed him.

He helped the shade put the backpack on, and adjusted the straps so it would be comfortable.

The two walked together in silence for a long while. Sylver because he was occupied with thinking about what he should do first when he gets to Arda, and the shade because he couldn’t talk.

In the serene silence of the forest, one thought that Sylver had been doing his best to ignore, managed to force itself into the forefront of his mind.

What the fuck am I supposed to do now?

Everyone is dead. I don’t even know how long it’s been since I died. I don’t even know where I am, I’ve never been this far west.

If Aether was alive, the world would know it. Ciege would know it. At his level, he could probably live for what? A thousand years? Two thousand? If he hadn’t been killed I mean.

And I’m not even a 10th tier necromancer anymore. Can I even call myself a member of Ibis? My soul is the same, but my body is that of a teenager. I don’t believe there were any stipulations about reincarnation, or whatever the fuck this is.

I could do what Nyx did. Become an adventurer and spend my retirement just relaxing. The plan was to watch over Oska and the others, but I wasn't exactly thinking of passing down the mantle anytime soon. Then there was the war with the Kardish to worry about, that nonsense in the south, I never really got any free time to sit around and think things over.

Should I try it? I’ll need to get stronger anyway, regardless if anyone from Ibis is alive or not. Not to mention, I never want to lose someone like that, ever again. I’ll try to figure out if anyone from Ibis is still around. But I’ll need funds for that. And in the event, our rivals survived and thrived, enough power to defend myself.

It’s not a plan. It’s not even a good start to a plan.

But at least it will be a good starting point for when I do have a plan. I can’t imagine there’s a whole lot I’ll be able to achieve if I'm poor and weak.

So for now, let’s focus on becoming an adventurer and getting rich and powerful.

*

“I very rarely get a chance to name my summons. Almost all of the ones who had a name just carried on using the one from when they were alive. Everyone else was usually just a number, or just whatever they were. I don’t want to have to keep calling you Shade, so how about Reginald? No too fancy, you don’t deserve it. Henry? It’s close but I like Henry, I’ll save that for later. Thomas? Tommy? Tom. Yeah. You look like a Tom. Welcome to the team, Tom.”

[Shade (Petty)] has received the name [Tom]
[Requirements for evolution not met.]

Huh… So the system knows about undead evolution… A little unsettling that any dipshit who raises something, and tries to name it, gets such valuable information.

“I always had a preference for shades, Tom. They don’t smell, you can make them as intelligent as you need, and most importantly, they’re cheap as hell in terms of mana and maintenance. Skeletons are also good, but I always hated how brittle they were. And zombies are fine if you have the equipment to maintain them properly. If I can find a good alchemist, I might make some permanent zombie guards or something. There’s also the matter of…”

The entirely one-sided conversation, which was not a rant or a monologue, purely because of Tom, continued for the remainder of the journey. Either through luck or the fact that Sylver never stopped talking, not a single animal or person approached the two. After a full day of walking, as the suns were settling down, the two finally could see Arda.

The only thing Sylver knew about Arda was that it was a teeny tiny town, known for its greenish salt. It was its only export, and more often than not, the only reason people ever came here. At least that was how an atlas he had once read described it as.

But now it was a massive city, surrounded from all sides with huge walls of stone, and built into the mountain that used to be the salt mine. The city was built in layers, almost like a pyramid, with houses getting larger and fancier, the higher up the mountain they went. From this side, Sylver could see 4 large and tall towers, standing separately from the buildings surrounding them, and stopping with a perfectly flat top. There was a large river, running down the mountain and separating the city into two halves. Various bridges were built on top of it, making the river and waterfall, barely visible in some areas.

The entrance was quite easy to discern, as there was a line of people waiting at it.

Telling Tom to put the bag down, and rummaging through it, Sylver found a cloak he took with him just in case and covered the dark-skinned specter with it. Pulling the hood tight over his head, and making him slouch his posture, made it so Tom almost looked like a regular human.

“Now remember. Even if someone tries to kill you, don’t fight back. Just take it and let me deal with it. At the same time, if you see someone trying to kill me, go for their throat and eyes. Even if you’re torn to shreds, as long as I’m alive you’ll be back. Any questions?” Sylver said to Tom, getting a raised eyebrow in response.

“What? Don’t look at me like that. You’re a shade. People might mistake you for a wild one and try to kill you. I’m making assumptions from the memories of a blacksmith, there’s quite a bit of guesswork in this. They’re not going to do anything to me, just because I’m a necromancer, but I want to see what things are like there before I start showing off my powers. I’d hide you in my shadow, but I’m worried they’ll have a way to sense it, and might consider it as me smuggling you inside.” Sylver explained.

He got an unenthusiastic shrug from Tom in response.

Walking towards the back of the line, Sylver stopped behind 2 men, covered from head to toe in feathers, and talking to each other in a very fast and high-pitched language.

The line moved forward rather quickly, with only a few people being led away into the wall, and the rest being allowed through the gate into the city. Thankfully Sylver could see the people led inside come out after only a few minutes.

Sylver wasn’t certain if this was the usual pace, or if the guards were particularly quick today, but he got to the gate in only half an hour or so. Despite the wall blocking most of it, the night’s bone-chilling wind was still ever present. But given how Tom was currently using the cloak, Sylver had to resort to using up his precious mana to warm himself. It was oddly unsettling to see the blue bar disappearing. He had a general sense of how much mana he had, but physically seeing it shrink, upset him for some reason.

Seeing the two feather-covered men were pulling their cloaks rather tightly against themselves, he extended his warming mana out towards them. Neither of them seemed to realize that he was the cause of this, but they stopped shaking from the cold at the very least.

The two showed a small wooden board to the guards and were ushered through without any further comment.

“You don’t have an ID card?” The guard asked. He was 2 and a half meters tall and carried a very well-made steel claymore on his back. His helmet and armor covered his body entirely, with only small holes for eyes and a raised vent for the mouth area.

“I don’t,” Sylver answered. Ciege never got one on account of never venturing into a city, and falsifying a document using Ciege’s father’s as a reference was more work than it was worth. And pointless considering they didn’t cost anything, other than time.

The guard called over a small man, who led Sylver and Tom into the wall. Inside was a long hallway, with both sides full of various doors. Sylver was escorted into a small room, with walls covered in reinforcing sigils, and a large crystal ball sitting on top of a small table. On one side of the table was a small woman, looking at an empty teacup.

When she saw them, she wordlessly started to write something down onto her clipboard, glancing up at Tom and Sylver now and then. She had very bright yellow hair and wore a blue uniform covered in small golden strings.

“Please put your hands onto the sphere. Name and main class?” She asked after Sylver placed his hand on it. Feeling the magic latch onto his fingertips, he recognized it as one of those idiotic lie detecter attempts. He could trick it by forcing his heart to remain constant, but there wasn’t any point right now. Plus it could be that they are purposely using something so simple to trick, to see if he will try to trick it.

“Sylver. Necromancer.” Sylver answered.

The glass sphere started to glow a pale white but otherwise didn’t do anything. The woman in turn stared at Sylver for a while, before nodding.

“Your reason for coming here?” She asked, jotting more things down in her clipboard.

“I’m looking for work as an adventurer,” Sylver answered. The glass sphere remained white.

“Do you have any active warrants or criminal history?” The woman asked.

I doubt warrants remain active after the man in question dies. And does it count if it’s criminal ancient history?

“No?” Sylver answered, uncertainly, but thankfully the sphere remained the same and the woman just moved on.

“Great. Any friends or family here who could vouch for your identity?” She asked.

My Sylver identity or my Ciege identity?

“No?” Sylver answered, looking down at the sphere which made a noise and turned red.

“Weird thing to lie about, but I’m sure you have your reasons. Do you have any curses or diseases right now?” The woman asked.

“I have a small curse on my eyes, but it doesn’t do anything, so I haven’t tried to solve it. And I like the mysterious look it gives me.” Sylver replied.

The woman smiled a little at this but remained silent for a while, scribbling down information onto her clipboard.

For a few minutes, she asked a whole lot of basic information, that Sylver just answered as if he were Ciege. The crystal ball didn’t get set off once during this exchange.

“Are you married?” She asked.

“I am not,” Sylver answered. The woman didn’t write anything down.

“Any active relationships?”

“None.”

“First time in Arda?”

“Since I’m sitting here and getting my identification, yes.”

“Right sorry. So, you’ve never been to the singing fountains?”

“I have not. But they sound interesting.”

“Are you a follower of Astraea?”

“I am not.”

“Fantastic. Any food allergies?”

“I’ll throw up if I eat boiled monk root, but otherwise no.”

“Great. Are you free tonight?” the woman asked, looking up from her clipboard.

“In general, or for you specifically,” Sylver asked, putting on a friendlier smile and taking a chance.

He thankfully guessed right and got a slight blush from the woman. “For me specifically.” She murmured under her breath.

“Then yes. For you, I am completely free.” Sylver answered, getting a slightly livelier shade of red blush as a response.

“Alright. Your ID card is ready, and I will be seeing you tomorrow at sundown in front of the red tower.” The woman said. She waved her hand over her clipboard, and it transformed into a small placket of wood. Handing it to Sylver, she held his hand a little too long, before standing up and leading him out of the room.

Distracted by reading the information on the card, he didn’t notice that both he and Tom were already out of the wall and inside the city. Looking around the woman he had promised to meet was nowhere to be seen.

The streets were brightly lit using some sort of magic lamp Sylver wasn’t familiar with. The road was very wide and tall multi-story houses were on either side of it. Near the bottom of the houses were various vendors, either sitting on rugs or with makeshift wooden tables, showing off and shouting out their wares.

Walking through them, he let his eyes wander, and was surprised at how many enchanted items there were for sale, from weapons to utility tools that he couldn’t discern the purpose of.

Stopping at a man selling art supplies, Sylver bought a large leather-bound sketchbook and a bundle of pencils. The whole thing only cost 80 coppers, and he put them all into Tom’s backpack.

*

It was around midnight when Sylver entered the adventurer’s guild. The building was mostly empty, with only a few small groups sitting off in the corners, drinking and whispering amongst themselves.

At the front desk was a woman with two long horns, curled into a spiral near her ears, and a white woolen hat, that matched the rest of her white wool uniform. A small iron name tag indicated her name was Shera.

He was vaguely familiar with the adventurer’s guild system from Ciege’s memories, as well as some of the letters Nyx had sent complaining about it.

“Alright. Given that you have both a rare and a unique class, I would normally say that finding a party will be easy. But with the… Do you have any preferences for a party?” Shera asked, finishing up Sylver’s paperwork, and looking up at him. She seemed nervous around him, but Sylver jotted it down to a quirk of whatever her race was.

“Someone with really good mobility. Teleportation or flight would be ideal.” Sylver answered.

Shera noted it down. “Anything else?” She asked.

“Someone who wouldn’t have an issue with dark magic. Ideally, someone who gets strengthened by it, but immunity is also fine. Anyone with a holy attribute is a complete deal-breaker.” Sylver said, his face turning slightly pale for a moment. Shera wrote in silence for a while.

“That writes out quite a lot of potential party members… With how few there are looking for members… And a necromancer on top of that… I’m sorry to say, but we don’t have anyone who would fit those criteria.”

“Would you settle for a beast tamer with a flying mount? I’ve known him for a while, and he cares more about money than that you’re a necromancer. But he does primarily use holy magic.” Shera said, trying to sound as positive as she could.

“That won’t work. I use a lot of spells that will break easily from the interference, and we would just get in each other’s way. Plus, I’m fairly certain it will hurt me to just be around someone with a high enough holy affinity.” Sylver said.

“In that case give me a few days. In the meantime, there’s plenty of rats down in the sewer you can practice on. It’s easy money, and worst comes to worst, they’re slow enough that you can run away any time. It’s 40 copper per rat below level 10, and a silver for every rat over level 10.” Shera said, placing a quest for killing rats on the table. Unlike the one in Sylver’s hand, it didn’t even have a ranking on it.

“I already decided on this,” Sylver responded, placing an E rank clearance quest on top of the rat clearing one.

“Your handwriting is decent, and yet your reading seems to be lacking. You do understand this is for level 40s and higher, and a party of 3, right?” Shera asked, trying hard not to sigh as she said it.

“I do, yes. Right after the part where it says, ‘recommended’,” Sylver answered simply.

“You’re planning to take on a pack of giants, all on your own?” Shera asked, just to make sure they were on the same page.

“That’s the idea,” Sylver responded as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

“You’ll die!” She said loudly, causing a few of the other adventurers to glance up at him.

“They’re stupid and slow,” and I might be immortal, “and I’ve got a surefire way to kill them,” Sylver responded, grinning at the shaking woman.

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KingKennit

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