Sylver Seeker

by

KingKennit

Ch087-My Troubles Have Trouble With Me(1/2)

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Ch087-My Troubles Have Trouble With Me

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Sylver gently placed the last bone rib onto the pile of bones and cartilage and leaned closer to Ciege’s motionless body to make sure there weren’t any shards left inside the bloodless cavity. He did as he had with the previous metallic ribs and applied a thin layer of treated oil onto it, before slowly pushing it inside.

After he finished wiggling it around to get rid of as much trapped air out as possible, Sylver reached for the final piece that would be replacing his sternum. The piece of metal was thin, and already slightly bent. Sylver held it next to his actual sternum and was glad his estimates were right.

He was a bit off, but nothing that he couldn’t fix himself once he was back in his body.

Sylver took the conical shell-shaped piece of metal and unraveled it until it was flat. There were three small rings to hold the needle in place that Sylver used to align it properly. Once the needle was in, he very gently rolled it back up and spent several minutes tightening it until there was barely enough width for a sheet of paper to go in. Or a blood vessel in this case.

Once he was satisfied the tiny metal fragment that hypothetically could kill him for good was tucked away and hidden behind 31 layers of hair-thin metal, Sylver pushed it underneath his metallic sternum and locked it in place.

He repeated the process for the [Rune Of Infinite Summoning] and [Xander’s Waystone]. Admittedly he was a bit tight on space because he hadn’t accounted for how big [Xander’s Waystone] ended up being, but at least now Sylver didn’t need to worry about being trapped.

Granted, the waystone did need nearly 10 minutes to work. And Sylver had to be next to motionless during that time. There was also a question of whether or not it would consider Sylver’s shades as part of him or as separate creatures.

It wasn’t ideal, certainly nowhere near as convenient as when Sylver could just discard his body and make himself a brand new one in the Ibis’s library, scaring the shit out of the sleep-deprived apprentices.

A skull clad in yellow light would appear out of the giant pillar holding the ceiling up, and it would be swearing in a language very few people knew, and in a matter of minutes, the skull would become a whole human skeleton. Shadows would rush from all over the room to cover the skinless man up, and he would descend onto the floor wearing a robe that looked like it was made out of darkness itself.

Which it technically was.

Sylver would adjust his robe, comb back his regrown hair, introduce himself to all the ammonia-scented apprentices, and then would be on his merry way, to fuck up whatever had managed to kill him or entrap him that he had to abandon his body.

Sylver glanced at his heart that was barely beating and was bouncing off the wall of its container as it floated around in the now dark red liquid. Sylver picked it up with one hand, and very gently lowered it inside its metallic confine. He very quickly stitched the previously cut blood vessels back into place and laid the thin layer of chainmail on top of his ribs.

All in all, Sylver’s wide-open chest looked like it belonged in an art gallery. Shiny black metal, so thin and intricate in certain places that it looked less like armor, and more like decoration.

“I’m going to start welding everything together now. I would advise you to not breathe any of the fumes in. My blood is… complicated, it might very well be poisonous,” Sylver said, as his shadowy body began to shake and break down.

“I’ll keep that in mind… Are you almost done?” Lola asked as Sylver’s body started to melt.

“Almost. But we’re past the dangerous part, the rest is just welding, adjusting, and then applying the rune,” Sylver’s voice said, despite the shadowy figure standing over Ciege not moving a muscle.

The pitch-black smoke that pooled around the floor, spiraled around the operating table. The carvings on the metallic plates that littered the floor sparked to life, and the black smoke flowed as if time had reversed and traveled up the operating table, and forced itself into Ciege’s wide open ribcage.

It covered it up, as Spring became visible and fell on all fours and started coughing. Ciege’s body shivered for a moment, as both arms slowly lifted, and placed themselves on top of the pool of smoke inside of Ciege’s wide open abdomen.

Sylver’s eyes opened up, as bright white smoke escaped from his darkness-covered ribcage, and pooled near the ceiling, as more and more smoke added to it. Sylver opened his mouth and coughed out more clouds of smoke, and took a very long and deep breath, as he slowly raised his head. Spring remained on the ground retching as if he were a cat with a hairball.

Sylver reached out towards one of the nearby floating bodies, and the stitches on his chest and stomach burned away as the wounds sealed. He breathed out a dense cloud of white out of his mouth as he reached for the next floating Krist.

[??? (???) Defeated!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]

By the time Sylver touched and killed the fourth one, there was barely any trace of the fact that he had been split open and had his organs removed and put back.

[??? (???) Defeated!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]

[Draining Touch (II) Proficiency increased to 67%!]

[Biological Manipulation (I) Proficiency increased to 37%!]

Save for the fact that against his pale skin, the pitch-black metal inside stood out like a giant bruise. Sylver caught the blood-soaked towel before it fell off as he slowly got off the table and kept himself covered.

He patted himself down and wiped away some of the dried-up blood with his hands, as he felt his chest and tapped against the metallic ribs pressing against his skin. Sylver took a deep breath and could feel the newly added constraints. He cracked his neck as he flexed his hands, and a wave of yellow light traveled up through his wrists and forearms up his arms and shoulders and illuminated his insides from within.

Spring finally managed to cough up the small pouch and slumped down onto the floor, barely keeping his shape. Sylver took very slow and deep breaths and with each passing second, the light coming out from inside of him became dimmer and dimmer.

Spring started to get to his feet by the time Sylver stopped glowing. Spring brushed himself off and went back into Sylver’s shadow.

“Can I ask something?” Lola asked, as Sylver adjusted the bright red towel around his waist, and patted his chest to check for scarring or inflammation.

“I feel like you’ve learned more than you ever wanted to today, but sure, be my guest,” Sylver said, as several shades made their way out of his shadow and started deconstructing the tent he set up, as well as draining the tanks that held the now dead and dried up Krists.

“What was the point of keeping your heart beating while it was in that jar? I can kind of eyeball all the enchantments you carved into the platinum plates, but the stuff you drew on the glass jar, I’m genuinely at a loss about,” Lola asked, as she pointed at the aforementioned jar, that was now no longer holding Sylver’s heart and was simply half full with an unnatural looking viscus red jelly.

“Ah… How do I explain it…? You understand that nothing you saw here can ever be told or described to anyone else right? I know it doesn’t need to be said, but I wanted to say it just in case,” Sylver said, as he raised his hands in the air and slowly stretched.

“It didn’t need to be said, but your secrets are safe with me. Your many, many, many secrets,” Lola said, as she started to stare off into blank space with a matching blank expression.

Sylver looked at her while he twisted his torso around and adjusted how his muscles wrapped around the metalwork inside of him.

“Anyway. Have you ever fought against something that could regenerate a new body from a small piece of itself? You burned the body away, but it grew a new torso, head, arms, and legs from a hand?” Sylver asked.

“Sure trolls, hydra, drakes,” Lola answered.

“Right, hydra are a good example. Why is it that if the main body is destroyed it will grow a new one from a lost piece of tail? But then why doesn’t every scale it drops grow into a brand new hydra while the main body is still alive?” Sylver asked. Lola nodded for him to continue as his body made a muted clink, followed by another muted clink.

“We live in three dimensions. Height, width, depth. Four if you add time, five if you add mana. Six if you remember that Ki exists. The number isn’t as important as the concept, we live in a certain number of dimensions and are unaware of the others, that’s the main point,” Sylver explained.

“In the way all elves are born being able to sense mana, dwarves can sense magnetic fields, is that what you’re talking about?” Lola asked.

“Exactly. But back to the hydra, why is it that every new scale doesn’t grow into a hydra while it’s alive, but does when its main body dies?” Sylver asked.

“Because of some dimension, I’m unaware of?” Lola asked as Sylver crossed one arm over the other and flexed until his insides clinked.

“Have you ever heard of primal energy?” Sylver asked.

“I think so…”

“Soul sense uses base energy. This is similar to that but based on primal energy. A living creature starts with a soul and grows a body around that. Later the body interacts with the soul and grows the soul, I’m getting off-topic. Primal energy is something like the energy of the world as a whole. Like one giant soul that affects everyone, and is affected by everyone. Sorcery, voodoo, blood magic, and some other miscellaneous magics make use of this connection. A sorcerer isn’t pulling spells out of his ass, he’s pulling it out of the world’s collective ass,” Sylver explained, as the shades gathered the inert plates of platinum and broke it up to store away.

“How does this relate to a hydra? And your heart for that matter?” Lola asked.

“A hair falls off your head, and your body tells the world that that piece of hair is no longer a part of you. Same with a hydra. It’s the reason there are healers out there that have zero understanding of how a liver functions, and yet they’re able to heal it to perfect health. Primal energy is the flow of information. If my heart is outside of my body, it means I’m dead, right? I’m human, the majority of humans have trouble staying alive while missing a heart,” Sylver offered.

“Most things do,” Lola said. She reached behind herself and her staff and silver ball disappeared under the folds of her white robe.

“It’s why there are certain scars that never go away. Healing magic uses primal energy as a reference, so there’s nothing to be done when the reference says everything is alright. Now if you happen to know how to manipulate this energy then-”

“You can make it so every scratch you make doesn’t heal… Or stop your body and soul from reacting even while you’re supposed to be dead because of a missing heart… Or kill somebody…” Lola interrupted.

“More or less, yes. Mixing and matching different energies can sometimes lead to great results. The carvings essentially made my heart think it’s still inside of me, so I didn’t have to worry about my soul detaching from my body. I was in my body, but I wasn’t in my body,” Sylver said.

Lola gave him a strange look.

“So everyone that can use death magic can sense this primal energy thing?” Lola asked.

“Oh, no. At least not that I’m aware. Aether could sense it, but Nyx couldn’t. There’s a way of sensing it through your mana, like throwing flour on an invisible opponent to see them, so Nyx and I used that for the longest time. But you’re right in that death magic does take advantage of this invisible energy. It’s why for some mages it sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t. I on the other hand know with full certainty if I’ll be able to kill someone using death magic, or if it will be a waste of effort,” Sylver explained.

The shades finished packing everything away, and Lola followed Sylver towards the exit. Lola was quiet as the door opened into Sylver’s bedroom and he walked into the bathroom to shower the dried up blood off himself. The shades sealed Sylver’s ribs and chunks of flesh into a metal chest, to be delivered to Sylver’s new home along with the rest of his belongings.

“What other things can you sense?” Lola said loudly through the closed door.

“While in Ciege’s body? Mana and souls, that’s it. My soul sense allows me to feel people’s attention on me, emotions, and in some cases intentions, but that’s about it. I would need to spend a lot of time meditating for Ciege’s body to start being able to sense the smaller things. I spent most of my time trying that while waiting for the Cord to show up when I was stuck inside Tuli, but I didn’t manage to achieve a whole lot other than getting slightly more accustomed to casting from inside Ciege’s body,” Sylver explained, as he pulled a piece of bone out of his hair and flicked it towards the drain.

*

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*

Once he was done freshening up, Lola escorted him to see Salgok. Sylver had already gotten used to his new center of gravity by the time he stepped into the dwarven blacksmith’s workshop.

“Show me,” Salgok said, as he looked up from sharpening a dagger of some sort and practically ran over towards Sylver.

“Show you what? I thought you said it wasn’t possible, that I would-”

“And yet here you stand regardless, with something that looks like all your blood vessels turned into metal inside of you,” Salgok interrupted, as he stared right at Sylver’s chest. “What’s it connected to? What’s holding it in place? Where does-”

“I’ll explain everything later, but I need you to apply the rune first. Keeping the equivalent of a house of cards from toppling over while inside of me isn’t as easy as you imagine,” Sylver said, as he walked over to an empty pallet and slowly lowered himself down onto it until he was laying on it on his back.

Salgok was next to him a moment later, holding a hammer in one hand, and a weird-looking pair of tongs in the other.

“On the sternum, nothing’s changed?” Salgok asked.

Sylver nodded and his robe pulled to reveal his chest. He ran his finger down along his sternum and the flesh parted to reveal a shiny piece of metal.

“This might hurt a bit,” Salgok said, as he used the strange-looking tongs to hold withof the [Rune Of Indestructibility] and angled the flattest part towards Sylver’s chest.

“There’s a lethal dose of painkillers in my system right now, I can’t feel anything,” Sylver said, as Salgok shrugged and held the rune against the metal in his chest. Salgok hit the top of his tongs and Sylver was blinded by the giant explosion of sparks.

“It’s resisting, hold still,” Salgok said, as he hit the top of the tongs again, and Sylver saw the produced light even from behind his closed eyelids.

“The compatibility is low…” Salgok muttered as he kept hitting the top of his tongs and kept creating giant explosions of sparks. Sylver counted 42 attempts before Salgok stopped trying and sat down to catch his breath.

“Too much, or too little material? What’s the problem?” Sylver asked. The hole in his chest filled up with darkness to stop it from bleeding.

“I don’t know. It isn’t meant for this, but it isn’t rejecting it outright, so it’s possible,” Salgok said as he got back on his feet and got a fresh pair of tongs that hadn’t folded in on themselves from the sheer amount of force he had applied to them.

“I’m not familiar with how exactly runes function, but is there anything I could do to help?” Sylver asked. Salgok closed his eyes as he took long deep breaths and ran his hands through his beard.

“How sturdy is that thing?” Salgok asked with a gesture towards Sylver with his hammer.

“Give me a second… Tell me when, you’ll have 30 seconds before I’ll need to wait for my mana to replenish,” Sylver said, as Salgok snapped his fingers and summoned a glass of water into his hand.

“Alright. Do it, tell me when to stop,” Salgok said, as the hammer in his hand disappeared and was instead replaced by a hammer that was half a step away from having the prefix of “sledge”.

Sylver braced himself as Salgok pressed the rune held in place by the pliers up to his chest and hit the top of it with his hammer.

Even though Sylver had sealed off his pain perception, he gasped out loud as he felt every single bone in his body flash with heat for a split second. He thought he imagined it until he felt his seared lungs buckle and force white smoke out of his mouth and nose.

Sylver saw the faintest smile on Salgok’s frozen in concentration face and braced again as the large hammer descended onto the chisel-like pliers. The second hit made the pain last longer, and Sylver felt his stomach fill up with smoke as one of his normal ribs bent under the pressure and pierced it.

Sylver tried to tell him to stop, but couldn’t get the words out of his mouth. Sylver’s body went lax as Salgok hit the pliers and rune again, the pain driving his recently displaced soul out of place. Sylver kept everything inside in one piece, as Salgok grunted with the effort, and Sylver saw that his large, almost “sledge” deserving hammer, was now a war hammer, with a head almost as big as Salgok’s body was.

Sylver felt the pliers slip and felt them strain against the fine chainmail draped over them, as he nearly screamed from the pain. The wooden pallet underneath him broke into pieces as Sylver dropped down onto the floor, filling his back with nails and wooden splinters.

[Binding Successful!]

[Perk: Iron Chest]
-While the needle is hidden within your iron chest, you will gain the following perks:
+75 % Resistance to Slashing Damage.
+75% Resistance to Piercing Damage.
+50% Resistance to Physical Damage.
+25% HP regeneration while motionless.
*Damage-related perks only apply to bones.

[Koschei] has reached level 5!
+Perk: Duck And Dive
+5AP

[Perk: Duck And Dive]
-While in contact with the needle, you will leave no footprints, scent, or trace.
-While in contact with the needle, +20% increase to Dexterity.

Sylver tried to get up from the floor but found himself pinned in place. It felt like every single bone in his body had been on fire, and was suddenly doused in cold water. He felt something wet pooling underneath him and patted the front of his pants to make sure it was just blood.

“You’re smiling? It worked?” Salgok asked. Sylver tried to turn his head, but couldn’t muster the strength. He blinked tears out of his eyes as he tried to stand up again.

Spring informed Sylver of what he had somewhat already guessed.

His metal ribs had pierced Salgok’s floor as if they were nails. Which explained the massive pressure Sylver felt in his chest, on account of his lungs being crushed from being trapped between the floor and Sylver’s indestructible metallic ribs.

He was about to ask Salgok to get a crowbar when Sylver remembered he could turn into smoke.

He brushed his front off as he inflated his lungs using magic and forced his ribcage back into its proper place. It popped back to where it was supposed to be.

The back of Sylver’s pants were completely soaked in blood, courtesy of the holes in his back from where his ribs had pierced his skin. Thankfully his robe was black, and the blood wasn’t visible on it.

“So? How is it?” Salgok asked as Sylver rapped on the piece of glowing metal in the middle of his bare chest and barely heard anything.

“…I think it worked?” Sylver said, as he patted himself on the area as the wound closed and the flesh fused into a pale scar down the middle. Sylver looked up at Salgok, who was still holding the oversized Warhammer. “Hit me,” Sylver said, puffing his chest out towards the dwarf.

While Lola looked horrified and was about to say something, Salgok was already mid-swing. Dark red tendrils of electricity followed the war hammer’s arc, as Salgok spun around once, and then hit Sylver square in the chest.

Sylver braced himself and even pushed against the incoming hit. He could feel the shockwave Salgok’s hammer created when it struck him, Sylver could feel it disperse through his bones and rattle them, and he could hear Salgok’s hammer cry under the strain, as it bounced off Sylver’s chest.

Sylver looked down at his chest, and aside from the skin that had been blown away, the ribcage held strong. There wasn’t so much as a scratch on the shiny metallic bones.

“What if it didn’t work?” Lola asked, as Sylver covered his barely bleeding chest with darkness and sealed the wound up.

“Oh, I knew it worked. It’s like having lead inside of me, but without the itchy magical restricting sensation. But it never hurts to make sure,” Sylver said, as he turned left and right and swung his arms around. “I feel better than I expected, truth be told,” Sylver said.

He looked around and saw that the skin that used to cover his chest had splattered everywhere, and half of Salgok’s workshop was now covered in small droplets of blood. Spring called shades out while Sylver, Salgok, and Lola sat down to have a small celebration.

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KingKennit

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