Ch030-What Makes A Good Man?



All three of the men immediately turned around, and kicked the shade attacking them right in the chest. Two of the swordsmen shades exploded from the force, and Reg simply dissolved back into the shadows.

When they turned around Sylver was already gone.

An anti-instant-kill skill. That’s just fucking cheating. Sylver thought as he silently sprinted back down the tunnel. He could hear them running after him, and coated the floor behind him with a thin layer of ice. He turned a sharp corner and made Sho stand at the ready to get them where they least expected it.

Sylver managed to make it before the others and was relieved to see a giant piece of rope hanging down out of the tunnel. Around it stood 2 men and a woman. Going by the amount of mana Sylver could feel coming off her she only had 3 times his capacity.

A dagger nearly reached Sylver’s shoulder, as the man from before appeared right behind him and attempted to stab him with it. A shade hand caught it and pushed it out of the way, making the man miss with his forearm smashing against Sylver’s shoulder instead.

Tightly closing his eyes, Sylver brought his hand up to the man’s face, and cast a modified [Ball Of Light] that was quick and bright enough that even though tightly closed eyelids, Sylver still saw the light. The man screamed right in Sylver’s ear, as he dropped his dagger to clutch at his eyes.

The dagger didn’t even get a second of freefall, before another shade’s hand grabbed it and slashed it through the man’s exposed neck.

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

Sylver dodged another arrow, and pushed the corpse on top of himself to take the arrow after that.

Fuck me, they’re potentially up to level 48. Although this could have been the boss…

Optimism aside, this was better. Crawling through weird tunnels that his magic couldn’t affect, was about 100 times worse, than just killing 5 more people. At least now he had a direct goal to accomplish. A slightly more difficult goal than just hoping to find an exit, but certainly a lot more concrete.

One on one, not a single one of them would stand a chance. But killing just one of them, dropped Sylver down to 65% of his MP capacity. Not to mention they were too fast for him to take a second and drain a corpse for mana and health.

There was only one way to deal with this.

“I surrender!” Sylver shouted as he came out of the tunnel he was hiding inside.

Two men stood with their bows drawn and pointed towards him, with the mage woman pointing her staff at him.

Sylver walked over to them with his arms raised high in the air, and visibly shaking and crying.

The mage woman’s eyes widened for a moment, before she thrust with her staff and a bolt of energy came out of it, scorching Sylver’s head. The body dropped to the floor, and the lifeless corpse stayed there.

“Moira! What the fuck is wrong with you!” One of the men shouted.

“It’s a trap!” Moira shouted, looking around the area, scanning it with all her skills, and trying to see the trick. There was mana moving around all around her, but it could have just been the leftover mana from the dead goblins. She considered everything she knew about pyromancers, and dispelled her night vision spell to see if there was any light somewhere. The illusionary corpse had disappeared by this point.

Bright yellow arrows suddenly started coming from the tunnel where the shout had come from, and Moira cast a mana dome around herself and her companions, as they both nocked their own arrows and fired back at the tunnel.

Their arrows split the yellow arrows down the middle, and curved around the corner getting multiple shades at the same time. Moira kept looking around for the next attack, when she suddenly felt an unbelievable weakness.

She looked up just in time to see Sylver’s laying flat on top of her dome, and his hands sucking up the mana. Moira opened her mouth to warn them, as Sylver’s left hand passed through it, and a giant stream of blue fire came out of it.

All three screamed as the fire immediately filled up the entirety of the dome, as Moria made an effort to dispel it, but found that she didn’t have control over her own spell. She cast [Create Water] on herself and her on-fire companions, just as Sylver dispelled the dome, and allowed himself to drop right on top of her.

Moira screamed loudly as his hand went for her throat and ripped through it. Sylver set an explosion off on his foot, as he and the girl were both sent flying towards one of the tunnels, as the blinded and smoking men continue to put themselves out.

Dai and Sho lept out of his shadow and kept the two scorched men busy, while Sylver drained the mana out of the struggling woman, hitting the back of her head on the stone floor as he did so. Her attempts at casting were all in vain, as she didn’t get a single second to collect her thoughts to build a framework.

He pressed down hard onto her solar plexus with his knee, and grabbed both of her hands, crushing them using the mana he was draining from her. Despite the damage to her throat, she managed to scream loud enough to make his ears hurt. He could feel both the shades slithering back into his shadow, and allowed more to come out to keep the two distracted.

Sylver allowed the mana to stay in his forearms, as he felt the incoming stream getting thinner and thinner. Around him the shades were handling things extremely poorly, getting hit and going down one after the other, but each with the concrete knowledge that they were just buying time right now.

Finally, as Sylver felt the last drop come out of the dead woman, he breathed out in relief and dark smoke came out of his mouth.

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

It instantly spread all around the floor, hiding everything underneath it, and surrounding the entirety of the large room. Two more men came out of the tunnels, and looked around at the strange sight before them.

Arrows kept coming after Sylver, each one going straight into the dead woman’s back as Sylver crawled his way back into the tunnel. The four men quickly shouted orders at each other and joined into one large group before starting to advance on him again, as they never stopped firing arrows.

Sylver rounded a corner and let Fen take his place crawling away with the dead woman. They continued firing arrows at him and her as Sylver made his way around the group of 4.

He did a quick headcount and got everything ready as he raised his hands from the ground and the black smoke started to turn into hundreds of spirals, that all ultimately ended up in a dead goblins mouth or some other wound.

They got up together in almost perfect sync, a few with legs too broken to move raised their hands and weapons up in the air instead, and crawled.

Messages passed by Sylver’s eyes with blinding speed, as the system appeared to struggle to keep up with what he was doing, but thankfully he didn’t need that much of his attention to do this, it was just a matter of mana.

Sylver heard the men shout that it’s a decoy, as he ran through the group of goblin zombies and made it to the other end of the cave as the group of men came back out of the tunnel and saw him.

Arrows flew at Sylver, but were caught by a large hobgoblin, in his head and chest mostly, as Sylver made himself as small of a target as possible. The slow-moving goblins reached their mark quite quickly and were being cut down by 3 of the men, as the fourth continued to shoot at Sylver with his arrows.

Their metallic weapons made short work of the bone and garbage wielding goblins, as they started to pile up around them. The bodies leaked blood and filth as they were cut open, head rolled to the ground, and sat lifelessly at the group’s feet.

The hobgoblin taking the arrows in his back, dropped down to the floor as his body could no longer handle the sheer amount of damage they had caused, as an identical one took his place.

The archer noticed far too late that the hobgoblin was now defending as a black and yellow figure, wearing the disgusting jumpsuit Sylver had before, and pointed around the room with his bow drawn and looking for where the kid had disappeared to.

He looked up and saw the kid using weird black spikes to crawl on top of the ceiling, and promptly shot him in the head. The kid’s body dropped down to the floor, with a slight bounce, as the archer immediately nocked another arrow in his bow and shot the kid in the head again.

The body turned liquid and disappeared into the floor. The goblins around them finally stopped moving around, and they almost let out a sigh of relief.

All four looked around the room for the kid and the archer spoke with a crack in his voice. “He took the fucking rope!” he shouted pointing at the large tunnel leading back outside, which was now missing the extremely long rope they had used to descend down here.

They screamed and cursed at the kid, as they all nocked arrows into their bows and shot them as fast as they could before he completely disappeared from range.


An arrow went through Sylver’s thigh, and cut him to the bone. Breaking off the back of it, Sylver pushed it all the way through, and sealed the wound shut temporarily with darkness. He looked down at the knot he had made below him, a giant mess of rope he had pulled up and tied together so it wasn’t going all the way down, and grit his teeth through the pain as he continued to climb upwards.

Arrows continued to fly around him and a few landed quite close, all ultimately sliding down the tunnel back into the hands of the men who shot them.

[Optical Illusion (I) Proficiency increased to 89%!]

[Auditory Illusion (I) Proficiency increased to 16%!]

[Draining Touch (I) Proficiency increased to 97%!]

[Raise Zombie (I) Proficiency increased to 100%!]

[Raise Zombie (I) rank up available!]

The number seemed a little too high for draining touch, but maybe draining the life of higher-level enemies was the best way to level it? But raise zombie made sense, since he had effectively raised about 200 zombies all at once just then.

Granted they all only had room for 1 command, but the system didn’t seem to understand the difference between a high-quality zombie and an instantly raised one. Which was good for Sylver.

With nothing else to really do but climb, Sylver opened up the options for the [Raise Zombie (I)] rank up.

Choose 1 from the following:
Raise Zombie (II):
-Increase CON of all zombies under your control by 10%.
-Increase DEX of all zombies under your control by 10%.
-Increase STR of all zombies under your control by 30%.
-Decrease MP cost to raise new zombies by 10%.
-Decrease the rate of decay by 20%.
-Decrease light vulnerability by 10%.
-[Requirements not met]
-{Requirements not met]
-[Requirements not met]
-{Requirements not met]

Huh… There’s more options. The rate of decay reduction is from using darkness to coat my arm. And the light vulnerability reduction is from having dark element creatures under my control who can survive in the sun. I wonder if I could get them other and better resistances? If I burn several shades to death, can I get a fire resistance? If I make them swim in holy water, could I eventually work my way up to 100% holy vulnerability reduction?

The thought of his troops having total resistance to their one giant and glaring weakness sent a shudder through Sylver’s spine. He’d managed at most 50%, but it was so unbelievably expensive it was more cost-effective to just have 20 troops without any protection, instead of 1 with the protection.

Given how their strength was exactly what Sylver was after, giving his zombies a 30% boost was ideal. He couldn’t tell why zombies got a 30% boost instead of the normal 10%, but that is a question to ask his high tier necromancer when he goes to meet him.

[Skill: Raise Zombie (II)]
Skill level can be increased by raising zombies. (Repeat raising of the same zombie will not increase skill level.)
I - Turn a corpse into a zombie.
II - Increase STR of all zombies under your control by 30%.
*Quality dependent on the corpse.
*Quality dependent on the soul.
*Possibility of failure is dependent on the skills of the caster.

Satisfied with his slight increase in power, Sylver smiled as he slowly made his way up the rope. Ideally, he would have captured them all alive, but multiple lifetimes of experience taught him that the most important thing is to know when to run away. And this was such a time.

They’ll get fucked up by another one of those blood skitters. Assuming I didn’t kill the only one. Although I can’t imagine any of their weapons breaking through its exoskeleton. If they got it to hold still, maybe, but they didn’t appear to have any crowd control skills.

Either way, not my problem anymore.

Sylver continued to think over what he would be doing once he got out. If the old man was up there, he could kill him on the spot, thanks to the ear. If there are more guards waiting though, getting thrown back into the hole was a possibility.


Sylver severely underestimated how long this was going to take. It’s not that he didn’t understand that quickly sliding down an unbelievably long tunnel was a lot faster than slowly going back up using his hands and a rope, it was more that he didn’t want to think about it. He felt nauseous at the idea of having to crawl up the tunnel using the skitters’ legs, but kept them pocketed just in case.

But if the rope was going to be cut down, he would murder whoever made him resort to using them. Extremely slowly.


Roughly 2 hours had passed. Sylver’s arms and legs were killing him, completely unused to this kind of strain, but he pressed on nonetheless. During this time he’d managed to heal up all his shades, and even got back to full MP.

He had an idea of having the shades go ahead of him, and pull the rope up, but changed his mind before even finishing the thought. He still didn’t have one sentient enough to be able to understand if there was someone standing guard, or just a random person nearby throwing away garbage.

When he got back and got his gold and ingredients, the first thing he’s doing is getting Fen or Reg completely sentient.

The thought of all the money he would soon have, lifted Sylver’s spirit as he continued to put one hand on top of the other.


Sylver froze as he heard the sounds of two men conversing. He very carefully moved to the side of the rope using the skitters’ legs and made himself as close to invisible as he could right now.

Two men were slowly going down the rope and holding each other level using their legs pressing each other in the stomach. Sylver watched the strange device around their waist, slowing down their descent, and considered the possibility it had an up function.

Sadly he wasn’t in a great position to fight them, and simply waited for them to pass. Crawling back towards the rope, he wrapped it around his leg again, and gave Fen the go-ahead.

The shade very gently sliced the rope below Sylver, as the thing snapped and fell down the tunnel.

He heard screaming from below, and although he knew he was in for several hours of climbing, it put a small smile on his face.


Time passed and Sylver was almost shaking with joy as he felt the rope above him vibrate again. Once again he moved to the side using the skiters’ legs, and camouflage himself as best as he could.

His expression was indescribable as he saw that it was only one man this time. What’s more, Sylver couldn’t sense any mana coming off him, and when he saw the giant greatsword on his back, he almost giggled as a child would.

He allowed the large man to pass him, and took a dagger from Fen and using the rope wrapped around his leg as a guide, to slid all the way down, and stabbed the surprised man right through his open mouth, and sliced open the back of his throat, severing his brainstem.

The man didn’t even get a chance to scream, as Sylver twisted the dagger and grabbed him by the back of his collar, and started to drain him.

[Human (Warrior) Defeated!]

The shades took the man from Sylver’s grasp, as Sylver used his mana to stick himself to him, and with shaking hands took a closer look at the device tied to his waist.

He’d never seen anything like it before, but the two large green arrows, pointing up and down, were enough of an indicator for what it was. There was probably some sort of proper method of removing the leather bands attaching the man to the device, but Sylver couldn’t quite figure it out.

He simply just cut the man out of the leather bands, and then tied them into a large loop. As Sylver was getting ready to let the corpse fall, he got a better idea.

The reason he got the idea was that he had considered taking the man’s boots for himself, given how they looked to be about his size. But having gotten a better look at the large man, his armor was about the perfect size too.

In fact, this man had about Sylver’s build too.

And even a full head of hair to hide any scars…


It took a while because of three things. First was that Sylver was doing this while hanging off a rope. And did not have any of the proper tools.

The second was that he hadn’t done this since he was an apprentice under Nyx.

And the third was that he didn’t want to do this and had spent a solid 10 minutes trying to reason with himself into doing it. Because up until now he’d been doing a very good job of being, if not good, at the very least not psychotic. And this was straight out of several horror novels about psychopaths. His excuse was that this was necessary, and that he wasn’t doing it for the fun of it, or for some sick pleasure.

The naked body, with only a skull for a head, fell down the tunnel, smearing it with blood as it slid away.

In his hands, Sylver had what an order of priests he once studied under, would call a flesh mask.

It is normally made by cutting off the head of the person the mask is being made from, gently pulling out the brain, and very carefully breaking the skull to remove it too. The interior is then repeatedly washed, carved, and further treated, until a leather-like mask remains. Specially carved pieces of wood or other hard materials are inserted underneath, so it may retain its shape, in the event the wearer has a thinner head.

If done properly the mask can be worn like a soft helmet, completely covering the face of the wearer, and giving him the appearance of whoever owned the face previously. The skin underneath the chin and neck is made to be extra thin, so it may stretch and allow a person to put it on or take it off, without tearing anything.

In Sylver’s case, he was holding something similar, except for the fact that it was still warm. And bleeding. And he had the man’s eyeballs in his pocket, that he was planning to make lenses from to hide his completely black eyes.

All that was left was to put it on. Without any ability to treat it, the skin at the back of the neck, and along the bottom hairline had to be cut open so he could put it on.

But on the bright side, he was already bald like the priests were. Leaving only the issue that if they used appraise on him, it would all be for naught.

Sylver stared at the thing in his hands, and couldn’t understand where exactly this hesitation was coming from. That he’d had his slate wiped clean and got a brand new start with Ciege?

That he was a new man? Someone noble and righteous. The kind of person Edmund thought he could be?

He could just drop this thing right now and try his hand at taking Nautis head on. With the ear on his forearm, he had more than a fair chance. Take him hostage, get the guards to jump in the hole, or just negotiate with them for everyone’s freedom.

Do things without any cheating, lying, or trickery. The way Edmund would. “Fight fair”, as he would say.

And for a few seconds the thought filled him with warmth. And for those few seconds, he really thought he would do it.

But then he felt something inside of him turn cold.

The feeling spread like frost on a glass pane, infecting everything it touched with its biting chill. And when this ice-cold reached the warm feeling, he saw it for what it really was.

An idiotic belief that only the exceptionally powerful could afford to have. The kind Edmund could hold with zero repercussions because Sylver was always right behind him, whenever the rare person he couldn’t burn to death came up. The kind Aether had because he was just that smart and capable to get away with it.

The kind the traitor had when he decided to be polite to the dying man who was the last of his people.

The kind Sylver mistook himself to have when he’d won several fights in a row with barely breaking a sweat. Just because he could defeat a few people who underestimated him, didn’t get a chance to prepare, and didn’t actually have a way of killing him?

Arrogance is what the warm feeling was. But unlike Edmund, Sylver couldn’t afford to be arrogant. When killing him just meant burning his corpse, arrogance was not an option.

He’d be arrogant when killing him meant breaking the unbreakable, hurting the unhurtable, and withstanding the unwithstandable. When you’d have to be a chronomancer of unimaginable power to kill him then he would be arrogant.

Sylver put the mask on and got to work on the eyes.


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