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Ch090-Hen In A Foxhouse

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Spring warned Sylver that someone was coming over, and Sylver had the other shades hide Red’s unconscious body, under the wooden floorboards as far away from the door as possible. Lawrence knocked on the door and Sylver opened it for him.

“Yes?” Sylver asked, fully covered up in his hood and mask. Lawrence looked around the room and appeared to be lost.

“Where’s Red-Eye?” Lawrence asked. He stepped inside but didn’t look around, focusing solely on Sylver.

“I’m not sure. He stepped out a few minutes ago, and said he’ll be back in a bit,” Sylver explained. Lawrence looked at the barrier device, but Sylver could almost see his eyes glaze over in boredom.

A carved rock wasn’t that interesting, if you couldn’t sense mana, or couldn’t read the framework formulae. Even if the aforementioned rock was the most important thing in this whole entire town.

“Bonny said the barrier’s been acting weird and wanted to make sure everything is alright,” Lawrence explained.

“That must have been why he left,” Sylver answered, with a small nod of his head. Lawrence looked down at the ground as he spoke.

“How was he? My father I mean,” Lawrence asked without looking up from his feet.

“Drunk. And depressed. He was very worried about you,” Sylver explained. He kept most of his attention on the blood that was clogging up some of the carvings and creating new ones, while he waited for Lawrence to leave.

“If you think you’re going to be able to guilt me into going home, you’re sorely mistaken. You think we’re all monsters for taking the town over, don’t you? Heartless lunatics, vying for power exactly the same way the nobles do,” Lawrence asked. Sylver flexed his hand as one of his nerves regrew and covered the whitening bone.

“I’m not trying to guilt anyone into anything. On top of that I’m not in a good position to judge anyone,” Sylver said absent-mindedly. His blood hit an unexpectedly dense piece of crystal that needed to be carved out of the way. Sylver very casually looked around the room and walked towards the barrier creation device.

“A very close friend of mine was sold off to a noble when I was a child. A man who was married 6 times, and whose wives all died under mysterious circumstances. And all he had to do was threaten to stop the merchants under his employ from coming to our town, and she was gone,” Lawrence explained. Sylver wondered why exactly everyone seemed to be constantly telling him their life story.

Maybe the difference in levels made them relaxed around him? That he was someone they could easily silence if they decided to? Maybe it was something about Ciege’s body?

“Is she still alive?” Sylver asked although he felt the change in Lawrence’s body language answered for him.

“She drowned in a bathtub. Fell asleep apparently. Happens all the time, the noble in question lost his previous two wives in the same way,” Lawrence explained. The barrier-creating device made a sound that was similar to glass breaking.

“If this is all about revenge, why aren’t you going after that noble specifically?” Sylver asked, moving slightly to the side to block Lawrence’s view of the device. He was almost done.

“I am. We all are. Every single person in the liberation army has been wronged by the high king’s nobility in one way or another. But we need an army to get to them, to get through their army,” Lawrence explained, as he leaned to the side to see behind Sylver.

“I see. And what’s the plan after all the nobility has been killed and the high king is no more?” Sylver asked, as he leaned further to the side and blocked Lawrence’s line of sight.

“You should talk to Bonny about it, she’ll be able to explain it better than me,” Lawrence said, as he walked around Sylver and approached the barrier-creating device.

“I’m not that interested in politics, I was just wondering,” Sylver said, as Lawrence crouched to look at the barrier device. It crackled with yellow sparks before it settled down. Lawrence narrowed his eyes.

“Where’s Red-Eye?” Lawrence asked with a suddenly deep and threatening voice. The barrier around the barrier device solidified and covered it completely while Lawrence slowly approached Sylver.

“He’s over there,” Sylver said meekly, pointing towards the corner of the room.

Lawrence straightened his back for a moment and Sylver saw a faint stream of steam escape from his nose. He walked over to the corner without a word and leaned down to pull the planks of wood out.

“One last thing,” Sylver said. Lawrence stopped and turned to look at him. “Never mind, it just takes a couple of seconds for the magic to kick in,” Sylver said.

Lawrence’s face became completely emotionless as he looked away from Sylver and went to pull the plank of wood up.

Red-Eye burst from beneath the wooden floor and screamed loud enough that Sylver flinched from the sound. His jaw was unhinged to the point that the skin that used to be his cheeks hung in loose clumps around his back teeth. Every tooth was elongated to the size of a large nail but significantly sharper and thinner. Like a piranha, but more circular, with matching bulging glowing bright red eyes.

Lawrence appeared right in front of Sylver and punched him so hard in the head that the dust on the ground flew away from the resulting compressed air. Lawrence staggered as his fist felt no resistance, and Sylver’s smoky form moved towards the door and disappeared through the cracks. Lawrence barely managed to grab the door’s handle, before Red’s fangs sank deeply into the back of his neck.

*

*

*

Sylver waited for a message from the system, but apparently editing a creature’s curse to make it comatose, and then feral, wasn’t enough for the things it killed to be registered as Sylver’s kills. Sylver shrugged his shoulders as he felt Red approach the door, and he made the vampire fall into a coma again.

A shade appeared inside the room with the barrier device and locked it closed from the inside. The door clicked several times as the various locks pressed themselves against the wooden door frame and sealed the feral unconscious vampire inside.

Sylver walked towards the mass burial site, and just barely managed to stop himself from flinching when Bonny appeared right next to him. Sylver wondered when was the last time that everything had gone according to plan, and didn’t require a comical amount of on-the-spot improvisation.

“Have you seen Red-Eye?” Bonny asked. Her tone was casual, playful even, but Sylver felt like there was an edge to it.

“He said the barrier was acting funny and went to check on it. I waited around, but it’s uncomfortable in there, so I left to get some fresh air,” Sylver said, as Spring informed him that 4 warriors were hiding behind the houses around them, and were following Sylver and Bonny.

“Ah, great, that was why I was looking for him,” Bonny said, walking slightly ahead of Sylver. They walked quietly for a while before Bonny started to talk again.

“Did you get a chance to talk to Red, or did he leave right away?” Bonny asked.

“We talked for a bit. He did most of the talking,” Sylver answered.

“He is… I do hope he wasn’t too rude to you,” Bonny said with a faint laugh and a great deal of uncomfortable embarrassment.

“Oh, no, he was very polite. We have several things in common, there was some initial awkwardness but I felt like we got along quite well. If you don’t mind me saying, you’re very lucky to have him,” Sylver said, careful to be casual about altering his course to get to the wooden platform and burial ground a little faster.

“He’s not good with strangers, I’m glad to see he’s been able to talk to someone. He was-”

Sylver leaned to the side as a great sword narrowly missed his neck, and continued to spin and fly until it crashed into one of the wooden houses and disappeared through the wall. Bonny’s eyes were wide open in shock as she turned around to look at the source of the flying piece of metal, and saw one of her warriors running towards her at full speed.

“He killed Red-Eye!” the warrior shouted, as Bonny turned around to attack Sylver, but instead saw 8 identical figures running away in different directions. Bonny lifted her fingers to her mouth and whistled loudly enough that the sound bounced around inside of the town.

The multiple figures clad in a black robe and wearing the exact same mask split into two at every turn that they took until over a hundred figures were weaving their way through the narrow streets of the town.

Bonny jumped into the air and looked at the town from a bird’s eye view, trying to count the number of, but having to start over every time one of them suddenly split into two. She saw several of them get attacked by her fighters, but their swords and fists didn’t have any effect on them. Their attacks passed through them without so much as slowing them down.

Bonny jumped into the air again and saw that one of the black robe-wearing figures moved a lot slower than the others. She leaped towards it and bounced off the walls and roofs to get to it. She saw one of her mages fly into the air, and raise his hands upwards. A giant cloud suddenly appeared at the top of the barrier surrounding the town and sent countless miniature bolts of lightning flying down onto the ground.

Bonny’s body seized up as one of them hit her, and just as she was about to ask what the fuck he was doing, she saw that all but one of the black robe-wearing figures disappeared in a puff of black smoke. The one that remained was standing over the wooden platform where they buried the corpses and seemed to be pouring something onto the wood.

Bonny took a very deep breath and raised her hands to her mouth.

“HE’S AT THE GRAVESITE!” Bonny screeched, loud enough that just about every single warrior on the ground turned towards the wooden platform and started to move towards it. The black cloud floating at the top of the barrier rumbled, as a single condensed bright white bolt exploded downwards towards the black robe-wearing figure.

Bonny had to look away as the lightning hit and she was momentarily blinded by the flash of light. Her vision returned to normal a split second later, and she saw that the black robe-wearing figure was perfectly fine, while a small cloud of black smoke directly behind him dispersed to reveal a two-handed great sword that was glowing red hot sticking out of the scorched earth.

Bonny landed at the very edge of the wooden platform and held her hand out to stop the others from attacking the figure. She saw that he’d been wounded at some point, and had splattered blood all over the wooden platform’s floor.

“You’re surrounded! Surrender right now!” one of the warriors shouted, as Sylver looked up from the wooden floor and looked around.

Sylver stood up and straightened his back as he sent a pulse through his blood to wake Red up from his coma.

“Who sent you?” Bonny shouted, as the warriors all spread themselves out and properly surrounded the figure. They formed a large semi-circle, around the wooden platform and the barrier wall it was directly pressing up against.

Sylver gave everyone a couple more seconds and sent the last of his mana down into the ground. An identical Sylver seemed to step out of the original Sylver’s body, which promptly exploded into a cloud of black smoke. All the warriors surrounding Sylver appeared right on top of the wooden platform and wordlessly kept their weapons at bay while they reached out with their hands to find the black-robed intruder.

There was a great deal of shouting and shoving before most of the warriors that were near a specific spot were sent flying high into the air, high enough that their bodies bounced off the ceiling of the barrier. Bonny’s ears were ringing as she looked at the barely recognizable wooden platform, that was now a small smoking crater.

Bonny barely touched the ground as she saw the black-robed figure standing a few feet behind the crater, and heard a crunch as her nose broke from smashing into the barrier wall. She recoiled from the shock and heard the sound of weapons bouncing off the barrier, along with the sound of people crumpling as they unexpectedly collided with it.

Bonny was one of the first to recover as she placed her hand against the barely visible barrier and couldn’t get through it no matter how much force she applied.

“You son of a bitch,” Bonny whispered to herself. “What’s your plan here? You’re going to starve us out? You fucking moron, we’ve got scouts coming back, give up right now and I promise you a painless death,” Bonny screamed, shaking slightly as she hit the invisible barrier with her fists.

Sylver remained quiet as he patted down his robe and brushed away the pieces that had turned to ash when he was hit with the first weak bolt of lightning. He held his hand up and pointed them towards the crater behind Bonny and the other warriors that were standing against the barrier and trying to break it with their swords and fists. Sylver saw one of the swords snap and chuckled slightly as the blade bounced away and hit one of the other seminude warriors in the stomach.

“What are you going to achieve with this? Do you think we’re so fucking stupid that we wouldn’t have contingencies in the event something happened to Red-Eye?” Bonny shouted, slightly less panicked and a lot calmer. The people around her stopped trying to break the unbreakable barrier down and backed away from it.

“Actually I-”

“You’ve got minutes until you’re fucking dead. Don’t test my patience, let us out right fucking now, and I swear on my name I’ll make your death swift and painless,” Bonny said, with the kind of calm and low tone that made Sylver’s skin crawl.

“Listen I-”

“No, you listen to me. Let me and my people out right now, and save yourself days of suffering,” Bonny interrupted, as Sylver turned around and muttered to himself. He reached underneath his mask and pinched the bridge of his nose. He took a deep breath and turned back towards the oddly overconfident group.

“Does the name-”

“I will skin you alive and will use a hot knife to stop the bleeding. You’ll have so much scar tissue you’ll look like you’re made out of rock,” Bonny interrupted. Sylver waited for a full minute, during which not a single person, inside or outside of the barrier said a word.

“Does the-”

“What gives you the right to do this to us? Who the fuck do you think you are to get in our way? Do you think this will end if you kill me? Kill us? The liberation army will outlive me; it will outlive all of us. Until the day the high king and his tyranny is gone, there will always be people fighting for what is right!” Bonny said slowly and calmly.

“Listen I-NO! SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Sylver shouted, as Bonny once again opened her mouth. Sylver coughed into his fist before he spoke in his normal voice. “Do the names Bear, Lion, Wolf, Nameless, Michael Oxmaul, or Andrey Do’Fidem sound familiar to you?” Sylver asked. Bonny’s completely blank stare answered for her.

“Alright, good. Don’t worry about starving to death, I don’t have the patience to wait that long,” Sylver explained, as some of the warriors behind Bonny reacted to a sound behind them and moved away from the barrier wall.

Sylver saw Red briefly fly into the air, clutching two small warriors by the throat and decapitating one with one hand, and sinking his teeth into the other. Sylver had to shield his eyes as Red disappeared as a gigantic bolt of lightning vaporized him and the two dead bodies in his hands. Not even smoke remained.

Bonny turned around from watching Red-Eye die and had a huge grin on her face.

“That was your plan? You made Red-Eye go feral and you thought that would be enough to kill all of us?” Bonny asked, while almost giggling. Sylver didn’t say anything as he kept looking behind her and saw the small pillars of smoke start to appear all over the barrier-covered town.

[Zombie (Petty) Raised!]

[Zombie (Petty) Raised!]

“Red was just a distraction, a way to buy some time. Didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped, but what can you do?” Sylver said, as there was a small commotion in the background.

“So now what? The second you step inside, you’re dead. And if you don’t come in, our mages will get us out, and then we’ll kill you. You could try running away, but remember when I grabbed your hand? I marked you, you can run to the ends of Eira and I will know your exact location down to which floor of a building you are in. You’re dead, regardless of what you do,” Bonny repeated, as Sylver saw the pillars of smoke get licked by small wisps of red fire.

“I’ll stay out, thank you very much. You on the other hand have to be careful of 3 things. The first is that you’re going to run out of breathable air in a little under half an hour. The second is that there are zombies that are covered in an extremely infectious and deadly poison. And third is that you have to defend yourself against both those things while in complete and total darkness,” Sylver said calmly as the color slowly drained out of Bonny’s face.

“What do you want? Name your price, whatever it is I’ll pay it,” Bonny said with a face almost as pale as Sylver’s.

“I don’t need money,” Sylver said calmly.

“What do you need? Just let me out, we’ll talk it out, I know things, I know people… I’ll swear allegiance to the high king, I’ll swear on my name, just let me out,” Bonny said, as someone shouted in the far back.

Sylver leaned to the side to see behind Bonny.

“This isn’t political. Or personal for that matter, as cliché as that sounds. I just want you all to die,” Sylver said, with the kind of casualness that made Bonny’s soul turn inside out.

“I’m pregnant,” Bonny said slowly, as if only now realizing it.

Sylver didn’t even look at her as he watched one of the zombies get thrown into the air, before being punched and raining down on the people nearby with chunks of infected flesh.

“Congratulations. But even if you were telling the truth, I don’t see how that’s my problem,” Sylver said. Bonny’s hand was on her stomach and she was staring right into the eyeholes on Sylver’s mask.

“Let me out. Please,” Bonny meekly begged, as Sylver walked over to the barrier and placed his hand on it.

“You think you’re hot shit? Come in here and fight me like a man! One on one, I will destroy you,” a warrior near Bonny screamed as he shoved her out of the way and pressed his face up against the invisible wall.

“I think I’ll stay right here, thank you very much. I’m doing this because I don’t think I stand a chance against all of you,” Sylver said, as the warrior pressed his face harder against the barrier.

There were more screams of challenges, insulting Sylver’s honor, or lack thereof, that he was a coward, that their friends would kill him, all falling on deaf ears as Sylver didn’t bother trying to properly listen to any one of them.

Bonny was staring right at him, holding her hand against her stomach, as Sylver sent a pulse of mana through the barrier.

The previously invisible wall slowly turned opaque, gradually turning darker and darker, before ultimately becoming as black as Sylver’s robe. The last thing Sylver saw was Bonny becoming hysterical and starting to cry.

Sylver removed his hand from the barrier and stepped back from it.

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 80 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 50 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 73!
+5AP

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 20 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 70 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

Sylver held his hand palm upwards, and a small compact grey-colored bomb appeared in his hand. A shade appeared next to him and took the bomb from him. It jumped upwards and crawled up the sheer black barrier wall, carrying the bomb in one hand.

More shades appeared and took more bombs from Sylver, as they either ran to the left or the right of the barrier or followed after the first and crawled upwards.

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 50 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 74!
+5AP

“Alright, make sure the fires don’t go out but be careful not to destroy any bodies,” Sylver said out loud, as a shade came out of the pitch-black barrier and was dragging a body along with it. It pulled the body all the way out, and another shade appeared nearby and helped carry it towards Sylver.

“How am I doing for points?” Sylver asked.

He stood quietly and alone for a while before Lorn gradually materialized.

“No one’s going to believe me,” Lorn whispered, staring at the pitch-black wall.

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 50 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 90 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 75!
+5AP

“Don’t worry too much about it,” Sylver said, as some of the shades let go of their bombs and watched them pass through the barrier. It was a little anticlimactic since the barrier was soundproof and Sylver could neither see nor hear the explosion, but Spring confirmed that all the bombs landed on target, with a few exceptions that were detonated midair by the mage that used lightning.

More shades came out of the barrier, dragging a corpse behind them.

“How do I even write this up? Between the vampire, the chase through the town, the bombs, the zombies, the poison, not to mention that you somehow managed to rewrite a barrier’s framework on the fly…” Lorn said in a low whisper, barely loud enough for Sylver to hear.

“I didn’t rewrite it, I just added a few adjustments. Like completely cutting off the part that allowed them in and out, while granting myself and my shades permission. And it already had a framework for filtering air, although it was meant for poisonous gasses, it wasn’t that hard to invert it,” Sylver explained.

“Where do I even begin?” Lorn asked with an exasperated tone.

“Oh, so my first fight was too quick and too simple for you, and now this is too big and complex. Make up your mind man. Or don’t, I just want to know if I passed the requirements to become a D-rank adventurer,” Sylver asked, as he handed more bombs out to his shades.

Lorn silently watched the shades crawl up the pitch-black wall and didn’t say a word for a long while.

“If this isn’t a pass, I don’t know what is… I’ll give you the sealed letter when you bring me back to the army camp. But you need to stop at the town first and get your quest marked as completed,” Lorn said, chewing the words as he spoke. It didn’t sound like he heard what he was saying.

“Oh, I’m not done yet. There are two more bandit camps I need to take care of first,” Sylver said.

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 40 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

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

[??? (???) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 30 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Necromancer] has reached level 76!
+5AP

“…What?” Lorn asked, as Sylver walked over to the first corpse and got to work.

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KingKennit

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