Ch047-Day In The Sun
To Sylver’s surprise, Lola gained a racial class the same way he had. But hers came with a whopping 50 intelligence bonus, a massive 30 wisdom bonus, and a small 20 vitality bonus. Except hers wasn’t as mysterious as Sylver’s and was simply [High Elf]. And upon enchanting a small ring, she gained the [Mystical Crafter] class. Which was rare and came with an added bonus of 50 intelligence and 50 wisdom. And she could teleport. Relatively short distances, and she refrained from ever doing it when Sylver was around, but still.
In short, Lola was a true high elf in every sense of the word. Elves in general can be said to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but Lola’s was made out of fucking platinum. Even when Sylver enchanted an absolutely identical ring, he couldn’t do it to even a tenth of what Lola was capable of, and didn’t even get a basic crafting class.
Getting all of Lola’s 50 employees to Arda was both easy and instant. A man ‘Sylver’ had never met before called Tolga handled the entire process. They were teleported right to the front gate, and everyone got into line to be inspected and questioned and given ID cards.
But since Sylver was just the temporary guard, he took his payment of 3 gold and 50 silver and went on his merry way, leaving everything to the high and mighty high elf.
After dropping off all the miscellaneous gathered jewelry and excess weapons, Sylver just stood there looking at the literal pile of items. None of these were things he could proudly display on his walls, and very little of the steel was even worth the effort of melting down. There was also the fact that Sylver couldn’t remember where he got what from, and decided that the quartz eyeball he recovered from the tower was good enough as a memento. After polishing it to a shine he made a simple shelf and placed it on there with a small note underneath it to remind him where it came from.
The jewelry was disassembled by the shades, and Sylver ended up with a large box full of pieces of gold, and a small assortment of gems. It was pure habit that he was hoarding all these things, given that he no longer had a real use for them. But he enjoyed the process, and as strange as it sounds he liked knowing he had a box full of gold and gems.
“Did the temple of Ra fellows talk to you yet?” Salgok asked, as Sylver entered the workshop.
“No, I just got back. Why?” Sylver asked, sitting down at the bar at the opposite stool and moving his robe out from underneath himself.
“They’ve been up my ass about talking to you. Ron is off-limits for whatever reason, so I’m apparently the closest connection they have to you.” Salgok complained as he waved his hand over the table and an assortment of food and drink magically appeared on it.
“Did they say what they wanted?” Sylver asked, skeptically moving the food around to how it normally was.
“‘We need to talk to him’” Salgok said, switching out his normal dwarvish accent into a pristine local dialect, causing Sylver to burst out laughing.
“I’m not getting the sense that’s exactly what they said,” Sylver said between fits of laughter, tearing the steaming piece of bread into two.
“No. There was a whole lot of wafting around, and I did my best to be polite and courteous, but there’s only so much pointless dribble I can take. And every fucking day too! Like I’ve got nothing better to do than sit around listening to them explain that it’s urgent they talk to you, but not why it’s urgent, or what it is they want to talk about. They acted like I’m hiding you in my attic or something!” Salgok continued as he too sat down and started eating.
“I’ll go see them tomorrow. Did they at any point threaten you?” Sylver asked, shoving as much levity in his voice despite his ever so slightly darkening expression.
“Threaten me? In my own home! Perish the thought! As if I would ever let a bunch of sackless bastards threaten me inside my own house.” Salgok half-shouted, finishing a glass of beer as big as Sylver’s head in one single swig.
“Good. Sackless?” Sylver asked, looking up from his meal.
“Eunuchs. Or whatever the word is. Notice how there isn’t a word for that in dwarvish?”
“Lack of root? It doesn’t quite fit.”
“It might be a regional thing. But that’s the word for it. ”
“Might be... I was going to say it’s such a human thing to do. No offense”
“I’ve met eunuch dwarves before. It’s not a racial thing, it's a religious thing. And none taken,” Sylver explained, returning to his meal.
“Why do religious people do anything? To be closer to their god in some roundabout way. And because it increases the power of their magic significantly. I don’t know if it’s a case of concentrating better, or if the bits are genuinely as unholy as they think them to be and get in the way of their casting, but it's the easiest way to make your holy magic stronger.”
“Huh. I didn’t know that.”
“Because they keep it a closely guarded secret. It’s not as selfless if they get something in return, it’s just a transaction in that case.”
“Then how do you know about it? You’re not a priest?”
“I’m not. Although I trained under one for a very short while. Know your enemy and all that.”
The rest of the night very quickly progressed into talking about things of less importance. Like how Salgok’s been trying a new brewing method, and had to go to a healer because of how badly it poisoned him.
Or how the Pixies came back from their quest safely and even came over to Salgok’s to celebrate. They finished their dinners and went towards the two chairs Salgok had moved near the forge. The two men spoke while watching the warm coals of the forge cracking and breaking apart, and even made a game of moving them around using their magic.
An errant complaint from Sylver about how there’s too many teleporters around, accidentally somehow started a conversation he didn’t particularly want to have.
“So about that apprentice you keep promising me. Is he ready? Should I start preparing the guest room?” Salgok asked, his words slurred and reminding Sylver heavily of another dwarf he used to drink with, that sounded drunk even when he was sober.
“I don’t know. The situation changed too much, and I honestly don’t know what he’ll decide to do.”
“What do you mean? He no longer wants to be a blacksmith?”
“I mean I don’t know. When we last spoke he was really tense. And I’ve seen the look he has in his eyes before. There was… an incident. Where the fact that he was a blacksmith and not a warrior or a fighter ended up causing him great harm. And now I’m worried he’s going to try becoming a warrior or something, so he’s never in that position again.”
“Ah. I could have guessed that one. In a world filled with mages who can bring down castles with a single spell and men with enough strength to split a mountain into two with a swing of their sword, who wants to sit on their ass, waiting for them to get tired of your usefulness and just kill you for your money and weapons. My brother actually ended up trying to become a fighter after getting robbed once.”
“How’d that work out for him?”
“He died before even reaching level 31.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“It’s fine. But my point is that even if someone can get a skill or a combat class, it doesn't mean they’ll know how to use them properly. Even though there is always a chance some nut job will walk into your shop and kill you for whatever it is you’re selling, I’d still say it’s significantly rarer than just getting killed while out adventuring, or working as a guard. Plus in a nice big city like this, there’s guards plastered everywhere. And if you’re good enough, you start getting magical talking cats watching your back on top of it all.” Salgok said with a snicker.
“True. True. But he did manage to take down a few hobgoblins. Before I had to step in and help.”
“Hobgoblins? That’s quite impressive. But not exactly extraordinary either. My mother was a butcher and she’s killed hobgoblins a few times. Although, granted, all her blade related skills helped out a lot. And that she was using possibly the world's highest quality cleaver.”
“He had a sword that was too long and heavy for him, and only got as far as he did because the alcohol in his system smoothed out his movement and calmed down his nerves,” Sylver said, causing Salgok to choke on his drink and start laughing.
“He killed hobgoblins while drunk? Now that’s a dwarven soul if I’ve ever heard of one… Let me talk to him. I know it’s not really proper for a master to go to the apprentice, but I’ll make an exception.” Salgok offered, snapping his fingers and both of their glasses suddenly holding a different colored liquid.
“I’m not sure that will be possible. We have a somewhat strange relationship, and there’s a chance he’ll want to cut ties with me. If he tells me to fuck off point-blank, I’ll leave him alone. But if he’s wafty about it, I’ll bring you over to talk to him. Maybe you’ll manage to convince him,” Sylver said, taking a sip of the gold-colored brew and spitting it out into the forge.
After sleeping off the morning hangover and collecting his 11 gold reward from the guild, Sylver spent the day wandering around the city enjoying himself. Or more honestly he was going from one bookshop to the next, reading through every possible subject he had ever written a book on and seeing if another Carr Da’Nerto would pop up. There were a number that he could see the resemblance to his writing, but there were enough differences that he couldn’t say for sure.
There were hundreds of unique ways of drawing a framework to get the same effect, but that didn’t mean two mages couldn’t accidentally use the same one.
But there were 2 things Sylver had forgotten would get in his way.
The first was that a lot of the bookstore shopkeepers were old. And had a visceral hatred for necromancy. This meant that Sylver only managed to go into every 3rd bookshop he found, and the high-class ones, the ones most likely to contain copies of his work, were completely off-limits to a ‘filthy corpse fucker’.
And the second was that no one would show Sylver the books ‘in the back’, on account of him being perceived as poor, undeserving, and a stranger. The first part was solved quite easily, given that Sylver had a large sack of gold hidden inside his robe. But the other two weren’t something he could fix right away.
And what was worse, he couldn’t exactly tell anyone what he was looking for. Not in the sense he couldn’t make up a simple lie about his master’s books being stolen and copied, but in the sense that there were simply too many books that copies could have been made off. The one Carr copied was a book he never sold, and only gave out as a gift on rare occasions. So Sylver couldn’t even say for certain which ones may or may not have been copied.
In short, Sylver had to give up early, and decided to wait until he had a better idea then just manually reading through hundreds of books, in the hope he got lucky. He had the one lead, and that would have to be enough for the time being.
The temple was absolutely massive. The walls were a pristine pearl color, adorned with gold and orange, and the roof was made out of brilliantly shining crystals, each one glistening as if there was a fire inside of it. Silver coated metal fences lined the entirety of the temple garden, with beautiful green vines wrapped around each and every pole. The garden was littered with strangely small sunflowers, dahlias, yellow roses, red roses, poppies, and tulips. It gave the whole garden the appearance of being on fire.
Sylver waited patiently outside the main gates, pressing his finger against the faint barrier surrounding the entire area and trying to see how long it would take him to bypass it.
Sadly he didn’t get all that long to find out as a very tall man was suddenly standing right next to him, leaking enough holy mana that Sylver’s robe actually tightened around his body as a result. If this were in the past and a person was near Sylver and spreading the equivalent of poison around this freely, he would have taken it as a direct attack.
But after spending so long walking among people who leaked mana left and right, Sylver understood that very few seemed to have whatever the perk or skill is that would be responsible for keeping your mana under control.
The man silently nodded at Sylver and walked to the left of the gates, gesturing for Sylver to follow after him.
They walked for a while, Sylver walking behind the man and several times having to reapply his coating of dark mana around his head to stop the itching and slight burning sensation the man ahead was causing. The fence continued but Sylver saw that they had walked past the edge of the barrier around the temple, but carried on walking anyway.
There was another entrance, but this one was guarded by 4 men wearing identical silver and white gold plated armor and stood still as statues as Sylver walked between them and through the gate.
The man that was leading Sylver gestured towards the tall rectangular bushes up ahead that were in a perfect circle around a large gazebo, hiding it from view. Sylver walked towards it and felt the man who had led him teleport away without a word.
As Sylver tried to enter inside he saw his robe wiggling as if it were alive and had to brush away the forming spikes. As he walked inside he saw that there was a woman, looking slightly flushed and putting a metallic bracelet on her wrist the moment she saw Sylver entering. The bracelet had an instant and noticeable effect as Sylver’s spikes retracted back into the robe, and Sylver no longer felt like he was having his face held down inside a fire.
“Please, please, sit down. Would you like anything to drink? Tea? Coffee? Blood of the innocent?” The woman asked, as the drink in question appeared on the table in quick succession. “The last one was a joke, it’s actually tomato juice.” She said, taking a sip of the bright red liquid as if to prove it.
She had long dark hair that reached down to her lower back, and was adjourned with various jewels and gold plated clips. Her dress was very thin, but was covered in enough flower-shaped frills that it was hard to determine her actual body shape underneath it. As with the priests before the colors were a mixture of red, orange, yellow, and silver.
The dress was completely strapless and revealed the entirety of her shoulders and started just above the cleavage area. All over her chest and shoulders, there was a bright tattoo of a large red circle, surrounded by smaller different coloured circles connected to each other by faint lines.
Sylver sat down and looked around from his seat. As far as ambush sites went, this was utter shit. The gazebo was made of wood and Sylver could quite easily force his way through it and fly away at a moments notice. The area was open, so no hiding extra men, but not so open that Sylver didn’t have a ton of room to move around and run away. There was also the fact that he couldn’t feel anyone other than the woman in front of him nearby.
“I’ll have some tea, thank you,” Sylver answered after a short pause. The woman’s hands shook ever so slightly as she clapped her hands and the previously empty table was suddenly covered in a white cloth and with a boiling tea kettle and several paper thin cups with golden handles. There were also two cakes on the table, one was spongy and covered in very pale white cream, and the other looked to be made of chocolate, with chocolate cream and looked to be almost dripping with how moist it looked.
They sat in relative silence for a while, Sylver slowly drinking his tea, and the woman just staring at him, massaging her hands in one another and constantly reaching for the bracelet on her hand and turning it around. Sylver guessed that given that she could still use regular magic, it was suppressing her holy magic and aura so Sylver was a little more comfortable.
“This is all very lovely, thank you. But I was under the impression it was urgent I come to see you?” Sylver asked, putting his cup down and looking around as if to see if someone else was supposed to come.
“Sorry?” The woman asked uncertainty, looking around the area as Sylver had done before fixing her eyes onto his. She had beautiful green eyes, Sylver noted as she looked away and got up from her seat.
“Where are my manners? My name is Sofia Rala. I am the head priest of Arda’s temple of Ra.” Sofia said, doing an extremely formal bow that made Sylver amazed that nothing had fallen out as she did so.
“Sylver Sezari. Necromancer and adventurer extraordinaire.” Sylver answered, getting up in turn and repeating her bow.
He wasn’t certain if the shock he saw in her eyes was from the fact that a non-noble knew how to properly greet someone, or if she noticed that he hadn’t gone even an inch lower than she had. Meaning he wasn’t greeting her as a superior, but as an equal. Which in some circles was considered both a challenge, and an insult.
“Are you familiar with the book of Ra?” Sofia asked, the book in question already in her hands before Sylver could so much as answer.
“One of our tenets is dealing with any and all demonic threats, regardless of the source or circumstances.” Sofia said, opening the book expertly onto exactly the page she had intended.
Alright I can see where this is going.
“And there are two things I would like to ask of you. For the first, you will ask me to go fuck myself, and most likely storm off in a fit of rage. I would like your word that if you do, you will do so in a polite and courteous manner, and not raise a hand against me. Because then I would be forced to defend myself, and I have over 60 levels over you.” Sofia explained, coughing into her fist and drinking from a glass of water that wasn’t there earlier.
“I promise to be polite and courteous.” Sylver said, preparing for the question all necromancers are asked at some point in their careers.
“I would like to pay you in gold and equipment, to seal away your necromancer class.” Sofia said, with her shoulders tight and her volume lowering as the sentence continued to the point Sylver just barely heard what she said.
“How would that work?” Sylver asked calmly and politely, taking another drink from his teacup. This was not what he was expecting. People usually assumed necromancers could summon demons.
Sofia continued to sit with her eyes scrunched closed and quite literally waiting for a hit to the head.
She finally peaked through her finger and when she saw that Sylver was just sitting there, drinking tea, she appeared to relax ever so slightly.
“What do you mean by sealing my class? Do I lose all memories of how to use necromancy? Do I just lose the associated skills? Does the class completely disappear and I get to start over from level 1?” Sylver asked, each question making Sofia ever so slightly more relaxed.
“No. You keep everything as is. I have a way to give you a dummy class that can synthesize with your necromancer class and create a useless child dummy class. Your stats stay as they are, you keep all your skills and perks and traits, you just won’t be able to increase the level of your necromancy class anymore. And the dummy class will give you a perk that will make it impossible to get any more necromancer-like classes. So no dark sorcerer, dark mage, ghoul, vampire, hemomancer, bone mage, you get the picture.” Sofia explained, as Sylver’s eyes widened with each sentence.
“Among other things, there’s one I need to ask first. Why?” Sylver asked, leaning forward in his seat and placing his hands on the table.
“You know why…” Sofia said with a scowl.
“Tell me anyway.”
Sofia huffed and then sighed, and even crossed her arms over her chest as she tried to get a handle on what the man sitting across from her was saying.
“You’ve heard of the Mosely incident, right?” Sophia asked.
She appeared to be taken aback at this, but recovered quickly, “What about Genshli?” She asked, getting a shake of Sylver’s head. “Turok? Marseles? Hensoni? Warantili? Have you been living under a rock, or are you fucking with me?” She finally asked, as Sylver just shook his head with each name that she added.
“Can you please just tell me why necromancer is such a cursed class,” Sylver said, copying Sophia and also crossing his arms over his chest.
“Do you really not know? Then how did you-”
“I’m not from around here. And I was in an extremely secluded place for the majority of my life. So just tell me what exactly is the issue with necromancers.” Sylver interrupted and asked again.
“What happens if a necromancer dies in the middle of nowhere? And no one is around to burn his body?” Sophia asked, as if Sylver was suddenly replaced by a small child.
“Ah. So they all came back as death lords… I can see why you would want to rid the world of necromancy in that case…” Sylver said, now seeing the significance of all those names.
Death lords were… difficult. Although a few small circles considered them to be true epitomes of commanding death, in reality, they were just a gigantic bundle of souls that possessed the equivalent of 6th tier magic, and were usually accompanied by an unimaginably large amount of undead.
They were hard to deal with. Extremely hard. One of the few types of enemies that even Sylver the arch-necromancer only took on when he had an ally supporting him. Killing them was like killing a slime with a core you couldn’t find.
You can spend all day slicing it and crushing it, but until you get the core, you’re just wasting time. And the same was true with death lords, except that each and every cell had a soul inside of it, that quite easily maintained the death lord’s identity, more than long enough for it to heal and get all the other souls and cells back in place, starting the whole thing all over again.
They had to be killed all at once, you had to make sure there wasn’t a fingernail missing, you had to purify the body, and you had to make sure all of it’s undead minions were dead first.
“Not to mention they sometimes manage to open portals to the demon realm.” Sylver said, almost to himself. “To you, I am a walking timebomb of an issue.” Sylver summarized, seeing a kind of upset acceptance in Sophia’s eyes.
Death lords were incredibly rare. There were more demon lords than death lords, as far as Sylver was aware. But here? Who knows? The requirements might be significantly lower to become one, than they were in Sylver’s old world. With everyone teleporting all over the place, it wasn’t that much of a stretch to say corpses didn’t need that much to suddenly become a death lord.
“I know what you’re going to say. It’s rare, you’re not level 100, and that you’ll never die. But can you look at it from my perspective for a second? Imagine I had a one in a million chance of exploding and wiping out Arda entirely.” Sophia said, gesturing with her hands as she spoke.
“This is a pointless conversation. There is no combination of words you could possibly say that would make me even consider not being a necromancer. And there’s nothing you could offer me that I would want badly enough to trade it in.” Sylver said, gripping the table a little harder than he was intending.
Sophia stared at him for a solid minute. Didn’t blink, didn’t say a word, didn’t move a muscle. Every cell in her body focused on the singlehanded task of trying to think of something to say.
She finally sighed and appeared to deflate as she slumped in her chair.
“Every. Single. Time. I don’t know why I even bother anymore. You know you’re the first one who didn’t threaten me?” Sophia said, her voice a whole lot deeper than before and her eyes opening up properly for the first time since Sylver had sat down.
“I try not to make enemies as much as possible. So now what? We pretend to be friends while you send apprentices after me to kill me, or make me disappear?” Sylver asked, letting go of the table and reeling back the dark mana that had nearly reached the surface of his robe.
“No actually. Now I offer you work and hope you fall in love with one of our priests and eventually die somewhere where she sees you and brings your body back to us to dispose of properly,” Sophia said, leaning back in her chair and making Sylver realize her dress must be enchanted, given the fact that it hadn’t so much as moved an inch with all the moving around she was doing.
“Not what I was expecting. And it’s highly unlikely that-”
“4 out of 5 necromancer who work for us eventually accept my offer to seal the necromancer class and live happily ever after, dying of old age as a regular mage or one of the other elements.” Sophia said confidently holding up 4 fingers.
The problem was that even though Sylver was well within range, her soul was surrounded by far too much holy magic for him to even begin seeing her soul clearly enough to know if she was lying.
On the one hand it sounded impossible. On the other hand considering how easy it was for a person to become a ‘necromancer’ it sounds quite possible. Likely even. Trade in your shitty under level 20 class for a hot partner, easy work, and all the aid a massive temple can provide.
It sounded like bullshit. If Sylver was going by the metric of his old world... In this, he’d never met a necromancer to know what they were like. This actually gave Sylver an idea.
“Could I speak to one of these 4 out of 5 convertees?” Sylver asked, standing up from the table.
“I actually have something else to talk to you about, but sure. Give me just one moment,” Sophia said, before teleporting away.