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Ch019-Coming Home

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“I see you made yourself right at home. Did you find anything useful for your research?” Sylver asked, forming a body for himself inside his mind.

“Plenty. How long can I stay here until it starts becoming an issue?” Lola asked.

“A few months at the very least. But once I get you up and walking as a shade, you can have access whenever you need it. It will be a little tricky when I make you a proper body, but I’ll figure something out by then. What kind of magic can you use?” Sylver asked, leaning lower into his sofa.

“You’re going to make me a proper body? As in a complete resurrection? Isn’t that-”

“Impossible? Yes. It is. Once someone crossed over, past the veil, they’re gone for good. No amount of skill, or power, can ever change that. Trust me, I’ve tried..” Sylver said with a grimace. “But your soul is still here, so you aren’t dead. Just without a body. I’m already making one for someone else, so I’ll just double the ingredients I need, and make you one as well. But I’ll have to make you a core from scratch, so I need to know what you can use.”

“Light, fire, and air. And some water.” Lola answered carefully.

“Good. Dark is the only one I can’t properly replicate. And they changed the system. At least my people did. It’s now push, pull, solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Push used to be light, pull used to be dark, earth is solid, water is liquid, and you get the picture.” Sylver explained.

“Since fucking when?” Lola asked incredulously. She went as far as actually stomping her foot.

“Since Aether took an interest in the subject. You can’t imagine the shitshow that occurred when a 20-year-old, snot-nosed brat, went around disproving tens upon hundreds of theories. I had to drop everything I was doing to follow after him, killing off assassins and disgruntled mages. I mean, people really wanted him dead by then. Even more so when he started getting involved in politics. And the fucker didn’t learn to fight until way into his 30s.” Sylver said, with a grin and chuckle. He reached his hand out towards the books above them, and one flew into his hand. The book had a solid gold cover, gems embroidered in the edges, and the leather looked as smooth and pristine as if it were alive.

The four forces of magic. By Aether Nosfora,” Lola read out loud.

“I’ll add the other ones he wrote to your pile, I highly recommend them, game-changer, every single one,” Sylver said, waving at Lola’s pile of books, and adding more on top.

“Who was he?” Lola asked, flipping through the book.

“A genius. A talent unlike any other. A master of anything he ever laid his eyes on. The world’s best and greatest mage that had ever lived or died!” Sylver said, waving his hands around and sending showers of golden sparks around.

“He is? Where is he now?” Lola asked absentmindedly, already reading through the book.

Ths floating sparks disappeared instantly, leaving behind not even a wisp of smoke.

“Dead. Killed by a traitor of our order.” Sylver said quietly. The small fire in the fireplace had died down completely by this point.

“I’m going to go now, shout if you need anything.” He finished, closing his eyes and disappearing.

*

*

*

Waking up from his sleep, Sylver’s arm was killing him, but he decided now was a good time to do something he’d been putting off.

Total Level: 19
[Koschei-3]
[Necromancer-16]

CON: 20
DEX: 1
STR: 1
INT: 75
WIS: 34
AP: 5

Health: 100/100*
Stamina: 50/50*
MP: 375/375*

Health Regen: 1.5/M*
Stamina Regen: 0.75/M*
MP Regen: 5.3/M*

Well, I certainly feel like half the man I used to be. And now my health, stamina, and even MP seems to agree. Can’t believe I’ve got 5 points I forgot about. I should really start assigning those things as soon as I get them.

After failing to get off the bed, Sylver had Fen help him get up. He had control over his right arm, but it was far too weak to do anything other than cast. Trying to lift a mug, showed that it didn’t even have the strength to do that. And his left arm was completely useless, just a limp appendage. But there was something off about it, it should be in a state of necrosis right now…

And yet he could certainly feel something from it. He hadn’t done anything to heal it yet, so why were a few nerves connected?

Unless…

[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%.
*While in contact with the needle, over time all negative status effects will be removed.

This wasn’t there before…

Wait… Does this mean if I leave it alone long enough, it will heal by itself? That would actually solve a lot of future problems if I don’t have to worry about damaging my body because it will just heal itself over time. Is it this perk specifically, or does the system naturally regenerate the body? If I increase my constitution even higher, will I be able to regrow limbs on a whim?

“There’s a needle in my chest. Take it out and stab it in my bicep.” Sylver ordered.

Fen had to press quite hard against his chest to get a grip on the tiny thing, but managed to get it out and stabbed it through Sylver’s bicep on his right arm.

It was very very subtle. But he was certain he felt something happening there. It may have been a trick of the light, but it even looked like the dead flesh was gaining some color. It certainly hurt a whole lot more than last night, so at the very least the spell was working.

Would it even tell me if proximity does anything? I need to wait for the channels to relax first before I do anything else anyway, so I guess I’ll just wait and see.

Taking another swig of painkillers, Sylver stumbled his way out of his room to see Salgok in the process of packing things. Edna would be out of it for a few more hours, black ale was not something humans should ever drink. She was still on his bed, and looked a little better after sleeping a little bit of it off.

“You’re leaving already?” Sylver asked, walking around the giant bag full of miscellaneous items.

“Tomorrow morning. Horace had Kitty organize a few things for me and even took care of the paperwork I’d have to file. I’ll be fully licensed by the time we get there. And why didn’t you tell me I would be the only dwarven smith? Do you know how much pull I’ll have with all the other dwarves if I’m the only smith?” Salgok explained quickly.

“It’s fascinating how quick she can get things done. I was planning to spend a few weeks here while they got the ingredients for me if I’m being honest, but in the span of a few hours, they brought me white Osake, shimmering oak, and even got unprocessed leaves from a Dolton tree. Which is a little insane in my opinion.” Sylver complained, sitting down at the bar and using his working arm to move his dysfunctional one onto the table.

“Don’t get used to it. It’s better to trade with them in favors or services. I asked how much it would cost to have a message delivered to a friend of mine back home and… Let’s just say, it’s a very good thing you’re on their good side. Because if they charged me so much just to move a piece of paper around, I can’t even begin to imagine how much all that shit you asked for cost. How are you by the way? You look a little less pale.” Salgok said, moving back to his normal spot behind the bar, and snapping his fingers. A plate full of eggs and fried meat appeared out of nowhere.

“I’m fine, thank you for asking. Where is Horace by the way, he’s only got a few hours left.” Sylver asked, trying to eat the food with a fork before giving up, and calling a shade to feed it to him.

“He and Kitty went to see the girl. He said he’s not coming back, and that he’s grateful for all that you’ve done.” Salgok answered, clearing away whatever it is he has going on underneath the table.

“You’re taking everything extremely well,” Sylver added between mouthfuls of breakfast.

“I’ve seen weirder stuff than just talking cats who have more sway with the government than the noblemen. And also, I’m drunk, and making an effort not to think too much about it.” Salgok explained, despite not so much as slurring his words.

“Me too if I’m being honest. I find the whole thing worrying, more than I should. But here’s the optimistic way of looking at it. We now know that there’s a whole secret cat order, that’s rich and powerful. And now that they know about us, there’s a good chance we can build a relationship and use each other. Like I’m planning to do with the Cord.” Sylver said, making sure he had Salgok’s attention for the last part.

“Oh? Do you not have one yet? I can introduce you to some people in Arda if you want, I know a man who used to be stationed here but moved there a few years ago. He’s not very high up, but good enough for an introduction.” Salgok said nonchalantly.

“It’s fine, I’m already working on it. I just wanted to make sure you wouldn’t have any issues with working with an evil necromancer, who works with the evil and bastardly Cord.” Sylver said with a grin.

“Evil necromancer. Sure. Saved the life of a little girl, brought a cat back to life so it could say proper goodbyes, and then forced a dwarf who gave up on smithing back into it.” Salgok said in a mocking tone.

“I never forced you, I simply made you an offer, and you accepted it. Do you need any help packing?” Sylver asked, finishing his breakfast.

“I’m fine. I’ve already got everything I need packed away and ready. All that’s left is cleaning up the bar properly and getting it ready. Having said that, I’ve got a few bottles of wine and ale, that are too brittle to travel, and a waste to just leave here.” Salgok said, placing the bottle of wine in question, onto the table in front of Sylver.

“Well, day drinking isn’t something I usually participate in, but I can’t do anything without my arms anyway, so I’d be honored. And it would be rude to refuse.” Sylver answered.

“Very rude,” Salgok repeated with a grin, as he popped the first bottle open and gently poured a glass.



*Edna

Waking up, Edna found herself alone, and with the worst hangover of her entire life. Immediately casting multiple healing spells on herself, the pain somewhat lessened, and by the time she was ready to get out of bed, had completely disappeared.

She looked around and was confused by her surroundings. This wasn’t the Retching Roach, and more importantly, she didn’t remember going to bed. The last thing she remembered was talking to Sylver and discussing with the dwarf just how strange it was that the cats could talk. Everything was a blur after that point.

She turned her head at the sound, and walked out of the room to see Sylver’s red face, mumbling something incoherent and getting a similar mumble as a response from the equally red-faced dwarf.

Looking out of the window, Enda realized that she had slept for an entire day and it was nighttime already. She walked over to the bar and sat down next to them. Salgok continued to mumble incoherently, as he snapped his fingers, and a glass full of ale appeared in front of Edna.

The memory of the hangover was still extremely fresh in her memory, she declined the glass and had it taken away by a shadowy hand from behind. The black and yellow cracked figure moved the glass away from her and placed it near Sylver, who then drank it.

She did her best to try to talk to him, but he kept responding in the same mumble that Salgok was making. It was only after listening to the two speak it for a few minutes, did she realize that they were both speaking in dwarvish. It sounded like an entirely different language this time for some reason.

She simply sat there for a while, flipping through a mental catalog of things she can buy with the 20 gold, and being careful not to get envious of the fact that the drunk man in front of her had made 5 times that. She consoled herself with the fact that he had irreparably injured himself for the money and felt sick at having to have to justify it to herself this way.

Feeling sick from her own thoughts, she left the inn and went for a long walk.

 

*Sylver

“...no, no no. Platinum gear, with gold-threaded edges. It has to be replaceable, otherwise, I’d have to have to remake the whole thing again in 5 years.” Sylver argued, letting his head rest on the bar top.

“5 years might as well be an eternity away for you. I’m telling you, solid tungsten alloy, and just lubricate the damn thing. In 5 years, I’ll make you an even better one, free of charge.” Salgok repeated, slurring his words ever so slightly, and hitting the table to emphasize his point.

“I don’t need a better one in 5 years, I need mine to still work in 5 years. I slather all my tools with my mana, do you have any idea how annoying it will be to have to start all over again in 5 years? I’ve had this dagger for a few weeks, and it’s already trying to move around by itself.” Sylver retorted, getting the dagger in question pulled out of its sheaf by Fen and placed onto the table between the two. True to his word, the small dagger was rocking ever so slightly, and turning to face Sylver.

“How are you doing that? I have tools that I’ve used since I was a child, and I’ve never made any of them alive?” Salgok wondered, touching the dagger and feeling it moving away from his finger.

“Control, my friend. My mana does exactly what I tell it to. I’m looking at yours now, it’s floating all over the place, you’re not even trying to hold it in. If you spent another 100 years in this bar, it might start running itself. Now, look at mine.” Sylver said, waiting for Salgok to turn and look at him.

“Where is it?” Salgok asked, his mana perception not seeing anything. Staring down at the man’s finger, Salgok was amazed to see it covered in an extremely dense layer of mana, hiding the finger itself from sight.

“Yeah! And I’m not even sober enough to walk in a straight line! It’s why everything I use is so much stronger than it has any right to be. Even my body is constantly saturated with it. Now imagine that, but with a clear purpose in mind. Like grinding a material to a precise coarseness and uniform size. Or turning at a certain torque, or pressing with-”

“I get it, I get it. It’s just such a waste of perfectly good platinum.” Salgok whined.

The discussion continued well into the night, as neither man seemed to be in a rush to do anything or go anywhere. They simply talked shop, and more honestly, argued on Sylver’s design choices, some even getting edited due to Salgok’s suggestions.

Sylver had to drink another dose of painkillers, which was a good stopping point as any. He went back to his bed, and after getting the point of waking him up at sunrise across to Fen, fell fast asleep.

*

*

*

Sylver was startled awake, as something was touching and gently rocking him. He almost catapulted himself out of bed, before realizing it was one of his shades waking him up. Being helped out of the bed, he sat on its edge and waited for the world to stop spinning.

After a very brief checkup on Lola, he willed himself sober and stumbled his way into the main room.

Nearly throwing up from drinking Salgok’s hangover cure, he steadily walked back into his room and checked the progress of his arm.

And to his great surprise, there was actual progress. Certainly, it was awfully slow, but his dead flesh and mana channels were recovering. He’d spent years developing the proper enchantments to create a body that would heal itself, and now he appeared to get it for absolutely no effort on his part. Other than accepting the class, and killing things to level it up of course. Even his left arm that’d he’d done nothing other than stabilizing, was ever so slightly improved.

Sylver was almost insulted by this. Aether, sure, the kid was practically born already immortal he didn’t count. Nyx certainly had to work for it, but not to the extent he had to. Even Solari didn’t have to do as much legwork and research as Sylver had, the man just had good blood.

And now Sylver got it within a few days of waking up here. It was either somebody spitting in his face and mocking everything he’d achieved, or praising him for what a single man managed to accomplish. Sylver wasn’t certain which one he preferred.

He made Fen move the needle a little higher up his shoulder, so it would gradually heal the skin going down, instead of from the middle. By Sylver’s estimation, it would take another 3 months, before he regained full functionality in his right arm at this rate. Thankfully he had a faster method of healing, and wouldn’t have to rely on this.

Out of curiosity, he put all 5 points into his constitution to see if it would make any difference.

CON: 25
DEX: 1
STR: 1
INT: 75
WIS: 34
AP: 0

Health: 126/126*
Stamina: 64/64*
MP: 379/379*

Health Regen: 1.90/M*
Stamina Regen: 0.85/M*
MP Regen: 6.25/M*

My MP has gone up. And the regenerations went up too. So at the very least, these debuffs aren’t permanent. Hopefully.

“Were you drinking to celebrate, or to mourn?” A voice asked behind him. Sylver turned around and saw Kitty sitting on the desecrated body of the girl mage, who was wrapped up again, to be thrown away at a convenient time.

“To speed up my recovery. Horace?” Sylver asked, getting off the bed again.

“Gone... I’m going to send an escort with you to Arda.” Kitty said, her tail swishing behind her.

“That would be nice, thank you. And what did you want in return?” Sylver asked.

“When you eventually talk to Raba, I’d like you to tell her you’re a friend of Naut’s. And I would recommend talking to her as soon as you can.” Kitty answered.

“Why? Who’s Naut? And I’ll say it however many times you need me to, I would really, really, rather not get involved in any politics, or turf wars, or anything that I can’t walk away from. I am a simple adventurer, and for as long as humanly possible, I’d like to remain that way.” Sylver responded.

“Naut is a woman we use to communicate with the Cord and a few other groups. If you tell Raba you’re a friend of hers, you’ll get to skip past a lot of tests and scrutiny that she’d otherwise make you undergo. It’s obviously up to you if you want to tell her this, but it would make getting that alchemical grinder you wanted, much easier. At the same time, if we ever need to communicate with you, it would make it easier for us to get in contact.” Kitty offered.

“First off, stop doing that. And secondly, I want to be perfectly clear here, if I tell Raba I’m a friend of Naut’s, will she, or anyone else, think I am allied with Naut, and you by extension?” Sylver asked.

“No. In the same way, using the Cord’s services through Raba doesn’t ally you with them, being a friend of Naut’s won’t ally you with her or us. And while I respect your decision, it’s a stupid decision. We’ve seen what you can do, we wouldn’t waste your time or talents on benign shit, you’d be doing difficult, but extremely well-compensated work.” Kitty explained.

“Then I’ll take you up on the escort, and being a friend of Naut’s offer. If you find something really interesting, and well-compensated, let me know. If I can continue to remain anonymous, and neutral, after it.” Sylver added.

The two finished the conversation off, with discussions of how exactly Yeva’s protection will function, and what it would entail. The two had to stop as Salgok was already finished with everything, and Sylver’s was the only room that needed packing.

Thankfully, he had a small army to do everything for him, and in a few minutes was ready to go.

*

The ‘escort’ turned out to be a group of D rank adventurers, that just so happened to be on their way back to Arda. Their leader was a woman named something or other, Sylver had trouble concentrating with all the painkillers inside of him, and spent most of the journey home asleep.

Salgok had a few cases of tools and clothes and the like, and it just so happened that the group of adventurers had a carriage he could use.

The journey back was entirely uneventful. Either through the fact that the local bandit factions were still afraid of the soul-eating necromancer popping up, or the fact that the group Sylver was in was too powerful, and too numerous to bother with. He had the woman mage's body discarded along the way, removing the focus from her staff, and throwing the wooden stick into her grave.

He dropped her body into the same hole where the rest of her comrades in arms lay. Not out of any sense of sentimentality, but just because there was no reason not to. Without his constant pressure, her soul had dissipated at some point, and now only her body remained.

He learned about halfway there that Salgok had been offered a slightly better deal from Kitty, on terms Sylver wasn’t privy to. He only wanted 50 gold as a result, and promised Sylver a 5/95 split on future profits, as well as preferential priority on whatever it is he needed. Since one of the main reasons Sylver wanted Salgok to take up a hammer again was to have a smith he could rely on, Sylver was overjoyed at hearing the news. The money was secondary, but it was still quite a lot of money. Now he at least had an extra 100 gold to spend.

He slept during the day, made it through the night with ever-increasing doses of painkillers, and spent whatever time he could, talking to Lola and helping her out with her research. Right now reality was full of pain, and helplessness, and in his mind, he got to be a renowned arch necromancer helping out a fellow mage with her research.

*

*

*

It took a mere 2 days of travel to get to Arda. After passing through the guards at the gate with little issues everyone followed after Salgok. As Kitty had promised, Salgok was already registered, and ready to open his smithy. Sylver went with him to his new workshop, and had his shades carry the dwarf’s tools and belongings after them.

With the dullness from the painkillers, he didn’t even care about the fact that a lot of people were staring at the black and yellow carriers. Edna said her goodbyes, and went on her way after this. She promised to come to visit when she could, and even went as far as to help clean the workshop a little before leaving.

With Salgok more or less settled in, Sylver also said his goodbyes and went to his room in Ron’s rest. Thankfully Ron didn’t have any questions regarding the oily wrappings around Sylver’s arms, and simply let him pass.

Sylver slept for 5 days straight.

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KingKennit

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