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Ch091-Not That Kind Of Story

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

[Necromancer] has reached level 87!
+5AP

[1 perk available for [Necromancer]]

Sylver ignored the message as he once again consulted the notes Bruno had given him. He slowly curled his fingers into a fist. The dark liquid-like substance lazily copied his movement, and the hand-shaped blob became a fist-shaped blob.

Sylver looked at it and flicked his hand. The blob extended for a moment, formed elongated and sharpened claws, and then lost strength and snapped back into the shape of a blob.

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

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

Sylver flicked his hand again, and the same claws appeared and snapped back in place just as quick as before.

“How likely is it that you’re going to tell someone about what you did here?” Lorn asked, half sitting half laying with his back facing the ground, floating right above Sylver and looking up at the sky.

He was understandably squeamish about what was going on below him. Most of the corpses had been fully intact, dying either through infection that made their blood thicken, or just passing out from the lack of breathable air. A few were unlucky and were eaten by the zombies, and a few were even more unlucky when their hiding spot was blown up via a series of explosives.

The shades organized the corpses into separate piles after they stripped them of their armor and cleaned them up as best as they could. After that the corpses were prepped for future use, mainly removing the internal organs that weren’t necessary, and draining the blood from the bodies that had too much mass to fit into a bone.

For whatever reason [Bound Bones] didn’t seem to consider souls into the calculation it was using when deciding the mana cost of storing something. Which was very convenient for Sylver, if a little strange.

Although the problem with that was that he couldn’t store souls by themselves inside of bones, that was a problem for the future, when Sylver could use souls for more than just a power source for their corpses turned undead.

Sylver had had all the useful corpses stored inside a bone, and then very carefully organized them inside of a wooden box, and then buried the box as deep as he could manage, along with a shade so he wouldn’t have trouble finding them later. These were genuinely excellent bodies, Sylver didn’t want to raise them out in the field while pressed for time.

He’d do it in his home, and make them extra special.

The ones that remained had been “harvested” for Sylver to attempt to make Bruno’s spell work, while he waited for everyone inside the barrier to pass out or die. Given that these corpses were originally too broken to be raised as shades, Sylver hadn’t been gentle when harvesting them. Sylver sat in the shade of a tree, while surrounded by a small mound of dead bodies, or bits and pieces of dead bodies in this case.

“I take it you’re going to sing a slightly revised version of what you’ve seen?” Sylver asked.

The black blob of muscle and darkness twisted itself around his arm and almost reached up to his shoulder.

“Slightly is an understatement. People don’t tend to like hearing about pregnant women being torn apart by zombies. And the protagonists of popular songs are very rarely so… cold? I guess that would be the word? I want to say rude, but that’s not quite the word I’m looking for,” Lorn said, as he strummed his lute every other word and built a simple tune.

“Brash? I’ve been kind of on edge because of the pieces of silver burning the inside of my shoulder,” Sylver offered. He made his darkness-covered hand into a fist and slowly turned it over as the mass of darkness coating his arm flatted against his skin.

“I almost want to say sadistic, but you didn’t look like you were having a whole lot of fun. Lifeless? More like- Oh fuck, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it in that way,” Lorn said, turning the right way round and floating down to face Sylver. Sylver raised both hands towards him.

“Calm down, it’s alright. I’m not alive, and I don’t take it as an insult. That stuff with Red-Eye… It’s a bit hard to explain, but don’t worry too much about it. Which reminds me, I would appreciate it if you didn’t include Urth in your songs,” Sylver said, as Lorn nodded along.

“I wasn’t going to. The place has a bad name as it is, I don’t want to pile onto it by mentioning that a vampire that aided in killing a town was from there,” Lorn said, as he glanced to the side, and instantly turned over to only look at the sky again.

“Bad name? Why?” Sylver asked. Lorn was quiet for a while, or merely grunting from trying to throw up without the use of a stomach, while Sylver got back to trying to figure out Bruno’s spell.

“You remember how Red-Eye mentioned whores and cripples?” Lorn asked. The shade holding the book open for Sylver flipped it to the next page.

“Sure,” Sylver answered, as he adjusted the framework in his head to account for the smaller amount of flesh being used. Bruno’s spell was supposed to be used on a body, not just an arm.

“Well, the word on the metaphorical street is that those so-called whores and cripples aren’t there by choice. And I don’t even mean they were tricked into coming there, under false promises of money, I’m talking straight-up kidnapping,” Lorn said. Sylver flexed his arm covered in the dark red blob and got an idea after seeing it catch the light in a certain way.

“I see,” Sylver said, as the blob of dark red goop moved off his arm and into the palm of his hand.

“And?” Lorn asked expectantly, as he struck his lute.

“And what?” Sylver asked.

How did master Ward do it? Bones for structure, muscle for movement, blood as fuel? Sylver thought, as he reached down with his ball of swirling flesh and darkness, and made it absorb and crush up fragments of bone and muscle. It formed bubbles on its surface as Sylver kept mixing and matching the interior structure.

“What are your thoughts on it?” Lorn cautiously asked.

Sylver felt like the solution was at the very tip of his tongue, as the seemingly boiling mass of flesh, blood, bone, and darkness swirled around in his hand and appeared to be eating and chewing itself.

“I don’t know. The few undead I’ve met recently have been polite and respectful, and more honestly, if there was a shred of truth in the rumors, the temples would have decimated the necropolis ages ago. But then again, I can see it happening. Not all undead manage to maintain their minds in the way I have. Even I had a period of time where I struggled to see the people around me as anything more than just walking meat,” Sylver said, as the swirling liquid in his hand went lax and dribbled all over the ground.

What am I missing? Is it an issue of volume, mass or is there not enough mana? Nic had less mana than I do right now and he could do it on a whim… Is the issue that it’s not my flesh and blood? Sylver asked himself, as he made a dagger appear in his hand and dragged it down the back of his forearm.

The pool of darkened minced meat and bone was slowly soaking into the ground, as Sylver held his hand over it and let his blood drip into it. He cocked his head to the side as he felt the connection form. But it felt strange, there was something too solid about the connection.

“Is that how you saw the liberation army? Just pieces of meat?” Lorn asked, with just the slightest change in his tone that Sylver understood to mean that there was more to his question.

“Believe it or not, no. They’re fighting for what they believe in, I can both respect and understand that. Maybe they’re even in the right, most people aren’t wholly “good”, it isn’t that far fetched for there to be a number of nobles that are “evil”, kidnapping young women to then drown them when they get bored. With Lawrence in particular, I almost feel bad about it. He didn’t really care about the whole liberation army thing. He joined out of love, I can admire people like that,” Sylver explained, as he furrowed his brows and focused on the puddle on the ground and saw it start forming into a blob again.

“But you still killed them?” Lorn asked, still floating in the air and looking up at the sky.

“I did. I needed the corpses, I needed to pass the quest, and I don’t like war, especially when it will get in my way and might cause my friends to get hurt. Like I told Bonny, this isn’t political or personal, it is entirely out of need,” Sylver explained. The blob formed into a blunt spike and reached upwards.

The tip of the spike coiled itself around Sylver’s hand and the rest of the body of liquid followed after it.

“So that makes it alright?” Lorn asked. Sylver’s arm shook from the weight as the dark red liquid moved up his arm and covered his shoulder.

“Nothing makes it “alright”. It is what it is, for better or for worse. If in some convoluted way the liberation army does manage to kill me and overthrow the high king, I will be remembered as one of history’s vilest killers. A monster in human form, that kind of thing. It’s all about perspective,” Sylver said quietly, as he very slowly adjusted the framework, line by line until he started to feel a building pressure around his arm.

“I’ve heard that before. Most of the army has a similar outlook on it, or at least all the soldiers I spoke to did,” Lorn said.

Sylver felt the pressure move up and down his arm in waves, as everything seemed to just click inside of Sylver’s head. This was only a portion of what Bruno’s spell was supposed to do, but it was almost better.

In fact, it was good enough that Sylver wasn’t all that certain there was any point consulting Bruno’s notes after this. Bruno’s magic was slow, grandiose, and effective, but came with a high cost.

This barely functional cobbled together and improvised piece of dark magic that Sylver was altering by the second was fast, small, extremely effective, and most importantly, cheap.

Sylver felt the blob of dark red darkness react as he sent a wave of mana through it, and nearly fell over as parts of it slammed and clamped themselves down and solidified.

Sylver looked at his armored-up hand, and for a split second couldn’t wait to tell Nic about it, and rub it in his face. Master Ward was always a little too smug about his advanced blood magic techniques.

The fact that Sylver figured out one of his spells and could use it after only a few days of thinking it over, using barely related spell notes, and with less than 3 hours of experimentation would take the wind right out of him.

“New perk?” Lorn asked, floating down to look at Sylver’s arm.

It wasn’t quite the same as master Nic’s blood armor was, but Sylver felt like his version worked better. Fragments of bone stuck out of flat areas in a scale-like fashion, forming a layered defense while allowing the armor to bend without breaking all the bone fragments off. Similarly, Sylver’s finger had matching bone fragment scales on the back and formed into slightly curved claws at the end of his fingertips.

Sylver closed his fist and found that the gauntlet had indents on his palm so the bony fingertip claws didn’t snap. Sylver walked over to one of the nearby trees and flatted his hand out. He shoved it towards the tree, and, for lack of a better word, wiggled the bone fragments, along with the rest of the gauntlet, towards the tree, and found that with the added momentum his hand was buried up to the wrist inside of the tree trunk.

“Does a mage even need a close quarter combat perk? Kind of seems pointless. Not to mention from what I’ve seen you’re all about speed and dodging, what use does armor have for you?” Lorn asked, as Sylver tried to pull his hand out of the tree trunk, but had to leave a large portion of the gauntlet inside. He looked at his hand as the armor on his forearm moved up to cover his hand.

Sylver touched the gauntlet stuck inside the tree trunk with the tip of his finger, and it very quickly liquefied and was absorbed by his gauntlet, moving some of the bone fragments around as it moved up his forearm and remade the vambrace portion of his armor.

Sylver took a step back and held his open palm towards the tree trunk. It took a few seconds, but shards of bone exploded out of it, with the body made up of solidified flesh and blood, and disappeared inside of the tree trunk.

As Sylver ran out of mana the whole thing turned into a mush liquid and slumped down onto the ground.

“It’s not a perk it’s-”

[Skill: Coat Of Carrion (I)]
Skill level can be increased through use.
I – Using the flesh, blood, and bone of the dead, empower an item or creature.
*Quality dependent on flesh, blood, and bone being used.
*Quantity of flesh increases power.
*Quantity of bone increases durability.
*Quantity of blood increases duration.

“-a skill?” Sylver asked as the notification popped out without any warning.

Huh…

“I wouldn’t have advised it, it’s better to acquire skills on your own, rather than through class rank-ups. Not to mention most people stick to one or two skills at most, there’s no point gathering a ton of skills if they’re all low level,” Lorn explained, as Sylver waited for his mana to regenerate.

Sylver looked around the area, and towards the blacked-out barrier, and lifted his arms into the air to stretch.

“There’s only one mage left,” Sylver said mostly to himself, as he stepped onto a giant warrior’s corpse, and slowly lost height as his feet went into the man’s chest.

Dark red liquid pooled inside of the corpse’s now hollow chest, and slowly traveled up Sylver’s legs. It barely reached Sylver’s waist before the corpse had completely disappeared. Sylver took a step towards the next one and nearly fell over as he felt something in his left leg snap.

He caught himself but could feel the bundled-up muscle in his calf and released the armor on his legs.

Fantastic, there couldn’t have been a more perfect time for me to find the limit of Ciege’s strength… Sylver thought to himself sarcastically, before realizing he was actually right.

Total Level: 92
[Koschei-5]
[Necromancer-87]

CON: 65
DEX: 100
STR: 1
INT: 150
WIS: 100
AP: 75

Health: 633/650
Stamina: 294/325
MP: 422/2250

Health Regen: 7.58/M
Stamina Regen: 4.88/M
MP Regen: 281.25/M

35 into constitution to get it over with. That leaves me with 40 points to distribute…

Sylver waited a moment before mentally adding 35 points into constitution.

The effect was noticeable.

It felt like his breathing was back to how it was before he confined his lungs into an iron cage. Not only that, the soreness in Sylver’s arm all but disappeared. It went from being almost painful enough to make him cry, to just barely itching. Sylver breathed in a breath of fresh air and gagged as the smell of shit and decay hit him all at once.

His eyes felt sharper, even without him enhancing them with magic, the faint rustling of leaves sounded louder, and Sylver felt his torn achilles heel slowly moving back into place, without any effort on his part. But the downside was that he could smell everything around him.

“HP is at a cool one thousand. Good choice, your opponents will always waste time trying to figure out if it’s the real number, or a fake one,” Lorn said, as Sylver went back to looking at his status.

It was… tempting was too weak of a word to describe the idea of dropping all 40 points into intelligence. It would bump up MP regeneration to almost 6MP per second.

Sylver flicked his wrist and made one of his daggers appear in it. He leaned down towards one of the other discarded corpses and poked it with the tip of the dagger. The poked area turned a dark red as it liquefied and moved up the dagger’s blade, coating it entirely in a few short seconds, before moving up the handle and doing the same.

The dagger in Sylver’s hand extended out slightly, as well becoming a barely noticeable amount thicker and wider. As Sylver moved it to the side, the dagger shimmied towards that side, adding a significant amount of force behind the movement.

He tossed the dagger into the air and caught it again, it didn’t spin even once. Sylver tossed it in the air again, without doing anything differently and it spun in the air so quickly that Lorn could barely track its movements before it fell back down and landed in Sylver’s hand. Sylver could feel that the added weight was already rubbing against the limit of what he could handle.

Although weight was the wrong word, his hands couldn’t handle the force the daggers added to his swings.

“If you forget the fact that that’s someone’s dead skin, that’s kind of cool,” Lorn said, as Sylver pulled his hand back and threw the dagger towards the tree.

As it made contact, bright red strings exploded in all directions and wrapped themselves around the tree trunk, using shards of bone to embed themselves deeply into it, like briar hooks. Sylver aimed his open hand towards the dagger and…

It shook for a moment before it fell onto the ground. With the speed of a snail, the dagger dragged itself through the loose soil and leaves and eventually came close enough for Sylver’s robe to grab it and move it back into place.

“Still absolutely disgusting, but it looks useful,” Lorn said.

Sylver thought it over for a while and tried to convince himself to ignore his lack of strength before he reluctantly dropped the remaining 40 points into strength. It wasn’t just the blood armor that he wanted the added strength, there was also the problem that Sylver hated seeing that single number whenever he looked at his status.

Total Level: 92
[Koschei-5]
[Necromancer-87]

CON: 100
DEX: 100
STR: 41
INT: 150
WIS: 100
AP: 0

Health: 988/1,000
Stamina: 496/500
MP: 1,488/2250

Health Regen: 11.67/M
Stamina Regen: 7.5/M
MP Regen: 281.25/M

Sylver cracked his neck as he disappeared into the pitch-black barrier.

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KingKennit

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