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A note from KingKennit

If you're looking for something to read after this give The Hedge Wizard a chance.

The gist of the story is that it's about a wizard.

But not the HP style wizards where you just have to point your wand hard enough to win a fight, this is a proper thought out "magic is basically science but cooler" wizard.

The more important part is that the characters are done right. Everyone feels real, they make sense, their past and present fit and makes sense, but the even more important part (in my personal opinion) is that the main character is sensible without being a psychopath. 

LITRPG wise it's the perfect balance of just enough crunch without having the characters spend a whole chapter sitting around discussing arithmetics.

Other than that, it's just an overall good story. The dude updates frequently too, which is a huge plus.

Anyway, give it a shot.

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Ch098-Cause For Celebration

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“It’s a prototype Lola gave me,” Sylver said.

Lola had said Sophia was aware of her attempts to figure out her magic, and apparently Sophia answered with a very smug “be my guest.”

Sophia did her best to keep herself covered up as she walked over towards the edge of the pool Sylver was sitting in and took the ring from his hand. She somehow managed to lean down without everything her other hand was holding back spilling everywhere, which amazed Sylver as much as it disheartened him.

She was wearing all of her bracelets, and the somewhat dim lighting in the room gave the red tattoos on Sophia’s shoulders and neck an odd glowing glint. Even the lines that connected them seemed to glow at certain angles.

Sophia mumbled something to herself and Sylver heard a very faint “-small for a bracelet-” before she contained a gasp and dropped the ring back into Sylver’s hand.

With a slightly redder face, Sophia moved a few steps away from Sylver and sat down at the edge, and allowed her feet to sit in the hot flowing water. Her hair had become damp from the humidity and had a glossy sheen to it.

“I would like to apologize for trying to hit you back then. I just… It doesn’t excuse it, but your letter was so casual and relaxed that I was certain you sent it more as a reminder that I owe you than as a real offer to find demon worshipers,” Sophia explained, while Sylver looked to the side so he wasn’t looking directly at her.

The room was mostly silent and the hard stone made even a whisper bounce around and sound loud, so it didn’t matter in which direction a person was speaking. Sylver’s eyes fell on the carving that he was now certain was a nude Sophia.

“Apology accepted. Truth be told, I was so angry when I tried to write it that I decided to leave it for last, by which point I had calmed down... once I had everything under control. Which brings this conversation to a slightly awkward topic…” Sylver said as he tried to see if he could make an on-the-spot decision on whether or not to tell Sophia about mixing Marshal’s blood into the demon worshipers' blood.

The fact that she came to Sylver’s aid while thinking he was lying, made this whole thing all the more difficult.

“Your hand looks better. You look better as a whole. If you ignore the scars and the giant bruise on your chest I mean,” Sophia said, while still looking away from Sylver.

Sylver looked down at himself and almost didn’t understand what she was talking about. His pitch-black ribcage stood out against his pale skin like a horrible injury, while the faint white scars that ranged from small arrow holes to long stitched up incisions, covered a good portion of Sylver’s skin.

“I promise all of this looks worse than it is. All the scarring is literally skin deep,” Sylver said, as he remembered he was still holding the ring and moved his hand down to hide it in the water.

They quietly sat together for a while, Sylver up to his chest in the slowly flowing hot water, with Sophia sitting a few steps away on the edge of the pool with only her feet submerged in the water. Sylver was staring up at the ceiling where the stone had been carved to look like an upside-down flower garden, while Sophia looked down at her feet and the flowing bubbly water.

“I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that there’s a but involved with the demon worshiper finding device? You need to sacrifice a newborn for it to work?” Sophia said with a barely audible laugh.

“And if I did?” Sylver asked with the same mock laugh in his tone.

“When it comes to demons, if I had to burn Arda to the ground to be sure, I would do it in a heartbeat,” Sophia said, without so much as a flinch in her voice.

“This is why I like you so much. You’re honest. But no, I don’t need any children to sacrifice, I’m not an amateur who needs untainted souls. A professional can use the taint and damage to his advantage. Like a woodcarver who can incorporate a crack in a piece of wood into whatever it is he’s carving,” Sylver explained, with a very poorly hidden note of pride.

“So what do you need?” Sophia asked. She turned towards Sylver slightly and didn’t seem as concerned about what he may or may not see.

“Is there something I could ask that you would refuse?” Sylver asked, without turning his head away from the carving he was staring at and trying his best not to get distracted by Sophia.

“Only if whatever you wanted would end up summoning demons. I’m not going to quote scripture to you, but with something as straightforward as the danger of demons, there is nothing I wouldn’t do to stop them. Anything less would be stupid, demons are too big of a threat” Sophia explained. Sylver moved the ring in his hand in the water from finger to finger and continued to stare at the stone flowerbeds.

And if you ever learn that I have a way of teleporting directly into Tuli you would come after me with much the same unshakable resolve, killing whoever you have to in the process…

The risk that Sophia and her lot wanted Tuli for something Sylver couldn’t allow was too great, compared to it being something benign or even helpful. Sophia had been prepared to throw her own life away to go there, Sylver couldn’t risk having her as an enemy.

“So if I asked you to accuse Marshal of being a demon worshiper, and have him tried and killed along with the others?”

“It would be a massive setback to our reputation if we couldn’t actually prove he was involved with a demon, and I would very likely be demoted and replaced, but I would do it. If that’s your price for finding the other demon worshipers,” Sophia said without so much as giving it a moment of thought.

“I see…” Sylver said, as he heard a splash and looked over to see Sophia was floating in the water and looking right at him.

“Given the way you phrased it, I take it you asked out of curiosity and there’s something else you want from us?” Sophia asked, as she floated along with the water and slowly but surely got closer to Sylver. Sylver nearly dropped the ring in his hand as the bubbles cleared up for a second and he saw that Sophia’s robe had disappeared somewhere.

“I might be gone for a while. I would like to ask that you keep watch over Lola for me. And if something like Marshal ever pops up again, you’ll handle it for her. I don’t doubt that she can take care of herself, but it would put me at ease if she had someone I can trust to do whatever it takes to keep her safe,” Sylver said, as Sophia kept casually floating closer and closer towards him. The bubbles had returned and had covered everything up, but it didn’t help that Sylver knew what was just beneath the foamy surface.

“Is that all?” Sophia asked.

“Also Salgok, but he’s low-key enough that I don’t think he needs anyone’s help. Ron too I guess, but he seems to have enough friends as is, so maybe just send someone to check he’s still alive and well every now and then?” Sylver offered, as Sophia was now about two arm lengths away from him. She stopped moving towards him and stopped there, while the water flowed around her.

“How long will you be gone?” Sophia asked with an odd change in her voice. It almost sounded desperate.

“Could be a couple of days. Could be a couple of years. I’m uh…” Sylver tried to think of a way of explaining the woman in white situation without actually explaining anything.

“There are certain things Lola and I don’t talk about. But I couldn’t help but notice that she isn’t from around here. She isn’t from around anywhere. And while that little village you claimed to be from does exist, oddly enough you appeared in it almost overnight. Is whatever you’re doing related to that?” Sophia asked. She was tall enough to touch the floor and was tiptoeing towards him.

“It’s along those lines, yes… I’d like to be upfront about this. If you’re about to do what I think you’re about to do, you should know that if you ever try to use it against me, I will never forgive you. I consider you a friend and it would break my heart if you would use something so personal in an attempt to get something from me,” Sylver explained, as Sophia floated another inch closer to him.

“I know. Did you get a headache when you tried to figure out the magic behind Lola’s enchantment?” Sophia asked without breaking eye contact.

“No. Or maybe yes, but I powered through it,” Sylver said. He didn’t know when exactly or how but the ring that had been in his hand had disappeared, and Sophia was now holding it just above the water between them.

She inserted a tiny amount of mana into the ring and made the framework inside of it expand until it was about the size of her head. Sophia closed one eye and turned the ring over as well as the framework until she seemed to see what she wanted. She very carefully turned it around until Sylver was supposedly seeing the same thing she saw.

“Look very closely at the very middle. Can you see a circle with lines coming out of it?” Sophia asked. Sylver stared at her for a few seconds before he closed his eyes and tried to see what she was talking about.

I have the whole thing memorized front to back, there aren’t any…

It wasn’t quite like getting hit in the face with a club, but Sylver genuinely didn’t understand how he hadn’t seen it before. The various lines and right angles that were 3-dimensional created a 2-dimensional image that looked very familiar.

Because it matched up exactly to the tattoos on Sophia’s shoulders and neck.

Sylver had been literately looking at the whole thing with the wrong perspective. He was trying to figure it out as if it were a spell, when in fact the whole thing was-

“It is a bit odd that Ra created a miracle through Lola, but you’re not exactly open to his wisdom, and I don’t have the skill for something like this. But it’s as always an indescribable joy to see one of my prayers get answered so directly,” Sophia explained with a worryingly wide grin.

“…”

Miracles were… debatable.

Debatable in the sense that it was near impossible to distinguish between a genuine miracle granted by a god, and a miracle created inadvertently because of a priest wishing for it hard enough.

Holy “magic” was closer to sorcery than actual “magic” and therefore didn’t abide by the same rules proper “magic” required.

Which meant there were three possible answers.

The first was that Lola, a woman who knew very little about dark magic and the undead, had through unexplainable luck managed to see something in Sophia’s magic that allowed her to do what Sylver and Nyx combined weren’t capable of.

The second was that Sophia was so hyper-focused on Sylver and getting into his pants that she unknowingly created and inserted all the information Lola needed to create a magical cock ring into her head.

Or the holy god of the sun Ra had decided to spend his very limited influence to help one of his head priests get laid.

The implications of the last possibility were terrifying.

Primarily because Sylver didn’t know what exactly a god would see if he looked at him.

But the more Sylver thought about it, the less likely option 3 seemed to be.

Gods had a theme.

A god of rivers and lakes wouldn’t ever appear as a burning bush. A god of fire would never appear in the reflection of a lake.

The god of burning shit to death, wouldn’t give an undead a tool that would stop him from being burned. Burned by one of his priests no less.

Meaning either Lola is a natural enchanting genius without equal, that can create enchantments two necromancers that were older than her entire family line couldn’t figure out.

Or Sophia was so frantically horny for Sylver that she essentially brainwashed Lola into making a god damn magical cock ring so she could have sex with him.

Sylver’s practical side wanted the first to be true, because if Lola is capable of this, what else is she capable of?

But Sylver’s human side wanted the second to be true, because it would stroke his ego in a way very few things in his life had ever stroked it. This would be at the very least within Sylver’s top 20 proudest achievements.

“You should… You should know I can’t have children. And that I have no plans to stay here or settle down. And that in the event I decide I would like to spend the night with someone else, you’re not going to consider it a betrayal,” Sylver said after an extremely long and awkward pause, during which Sophia had somehow floated into being within reaching distance.

“Funny you should say that. Because I don’t want children, I’m technically married to Ra, and as you said earlier, we’re friends. Friends help each other out from time to time,” Sophia said as Sylver felt something happening beneath the bubbles and underwater.

Was my bad luck with women back then building up to this?

I wonder how long this is going to last until I start waking up with silver spikes stabbed through my head again.

“Can I just… Why me exactly? With your position and all, I’m sure-”

“It’s precisely because of my position. You nearly pissed yourself when the topic of demons came up but came back anyway. You look me in the eye when we talk, you’re not afraid of me, you make me laugh, but most importantly, you treat me like a person,” Sophia explained, as Sylver felt her grab something that he wasn’t used to being grabbed. Only one person had grabbed it so far.

“I feel like you should set the bar a little higher. How does the whole married to Ra thing work with this?” Sylver asked as something warm and metallic came into contact with the aforementioned grabbed object.

“It’s something to worry about after I’m dead. Married might have been the wrong word, promised? I guess? In soul, I’m his, but my body is mine to do with as I wish. And I’m really curious about that thing Leke says you do with your-”

“You spoke to Leke?” Sylver interrupted, as Sophia somewhat roughly yanked the metallic ring into place.

“I did. Right after you left for your D rank exam,” Sophia said, as Sylver felt the ring’s magic kick into action and felt his skin crawl as it spread out all over his body. Sophia had a toothy grin as she pulled the first bracelet off her wrist. “I highly suggest you make the room soundproof,” Sophia offered as she tossed the bracelet out of the pool.

“I actually enchanted all the rooms to be soundproof for this exact scenario,” Sylver said, as he made a gesture in the air and made all the doors lock up.

And made a paper-thin barrier that would keep Misha and Masha from being able to enter the area. If there was an emergency Spring was right outside guarding the door.

“How thoughtful of you,” Sophia said, as she removed another bracelet and her skin started to glow a little brighter.

“There’s actually a way to get to my bedroom from here,” Sylver offered, as Sophia unclasped her necklace and tossed it towards the pile of jewelry lying nearby.

“Really? How?” Sophia asked, as she reached behind her head and with an odd wave of her hand made her hair tie itself into a tight bun.

“I think the statues need to face a certain direction, we can figure it out later,” Sylver explained, as Sophia pulled off her last ring and lunged at him.

*

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*

Sylver took a very deep and very slow breath as he held his hands perfectly still above the corpses. The material he had collected during his surgery to replace his ribcage saved him a lot of cutting and bleeding and sped up the whole process.

He smiled to himself as he felt his ocean worth of mana slowly drip out of his body and spread out through the sealed-up room. Some of the corpses were already shaking, while the bigger ones still needed a bit more time.

Sylver ever so slowly moved his hands in a circle, as the disconnected clouds of darkness began to mimic the movement and started swirling around the room, one by one, getting into every nook and cranny of each corpse.

79 bodies, Sylver had counted.

Well, 84 technically, but 5 would be used to strengthen Spring, Fen, Reg, Dai, and Sho. It wasn’t quite a proper strengthening; it was more right to say they would simply be inhabiting the bodies of stronger shades. Sylver had purposely lulled those 5 souls into a deep sleep, so there wouldn’t be any compatibility issues.

As the swirling cloud of darkness stopped dissipating from entering the waiting corpses, Sylver snapped his fingers and the whole thing became alight with bright yellow lightning. Sparks exploded everywhere, creating a weak cloud of pale smoke from where they made contact with something that wasn’t polished stone.

The corpses all shook in perfect unison for a moment, before all 84 disappeared into the floor, leaving only a pitch-black puddle, with swirling bright yellow lightning inside of it.

Spring, Fen, Reg, Dai, and Sho all appeared near their respective puddles and stepped into them in one fluid motion.

Sylver took another deep breath as 8 shades appeared around him and became perfectly still. They each wore Sylver’s robe, but now picked up a small carved gem off the floor and held it in their hands.

They clutched the gem as tight as they could and crouched down onto the floor to the point they looked more like a garbage bag than robe-wearing shades. The top of each one shimmered for a second as Sylver adjusted how much mana each individual shade was getting through [Shadow’s Agent]. Sylver slowly and carefully spun in place and looked to make sure every shade was still in one piece.

Sylver raised his left hand into the air-

A blinding arc of yellow lightning hit Sylver square on the fingers and tore away the flesh from his hand and arm. The clump of charred skin and muscle hung loosely from his shoulder, as Sylver kept his glowing bony hand up in the air and completely ignored it.

The skin on his right hand remained intact as he closed both hands into a fist and made the bright yellow lightning jump from one robe-wearing shade to another. Sylver continued to stand in the very middle as the arcs connected one shade to two more, and formed an octagram with Sylver standing at the very middle.

Sylver opened his hands again and the darkness at his feet started to crackle as if it were burning coal. The cracking spread out and in mere seconds the whole floor was covered in sticky-looking cracked darkness. It oozed into the swirling puddles and calmed them down until they appeared to be black and yellow slime.

The slime ever so slowly rose from the ground, and became taller and taller, until it started to tighten and formed individual arms and legs, heads and torsos. The blobs made of darkness and yellow lightning stood upright and swayed slightly in the windless room.

Sylver spread his hands out again, as far as they would go, and opened them. Twin discs of yellow appeared directly on top of Sylver’s palms, as he brought them together and clapped once.

The wave of light was so bright and intense that even with his eyes closed, Sylver still saw the light as if they were wide open. He would later find out that the magic hadn’t been as contained as he had thought, and that the whole house flashed a bright yellow for a split second.

The blobs began to grow bigger and bigger, enlarging as the cracks and splits started to tear.

Spring was the first to hatch and was surprised to find that his body now simply looked like someone had removed the space that encompassed a person. It was like looking at a silhouette, only the razor-thin tendrils of yellow on his joints and weapons, and the deep golden glow of his eyes made it possible to tell which way he was facing.

[Sinister Shade (Unique) Raised!]

[Seeing Shade (Common) Raised!]

[Scouring Shade (Common) Raised!]

[Sinister Shade (Unique) Raised!]

[Splintering Shade (Greater) Raised!]

[Skill: Undead Mastery (V)]
Skill level can be increased by raising undead. (Repeat raising of the same undead will not increase skill level)
I - Turn a corpse into an undead.
II - All undead under your control have +35% to all stats.
III - Upon death, all undead will return 40% of mana through [Dying Breath].
IV – Duplicated shades will have 45% of the original’s stats.
V – Cost of raising humanoid undead decreased by 50%.
*Quality dependent on the corpse.
*Quality dependent on the soul.

 

Sylver looked around the small room and watched as his barely visible shades all disappeared into the floor and slithered into his shadow.

Sylver called Reg out of it and the shade materialized directly in front of him.

The strips of cloth that had been wrapped around his head had become sharper looking and tighter, as they revealed a second pair of eyes directly beneath Reg’s normal eyes. They were much larger than the ones above them and nearly took up the entire cheek.

Sylver called Fen out of his shadow, and the shade materialized on Reg’s left.

Fen’s hat had changed shape and was now more rectangular, while the feather that normally looked fluffy and short, now curled all around his head like a sharp flat halo. Where Fen used to have his rapier, there was now a sword that looked like nothing more than a flat needle, with no distinction between the blade and the handle.

Dai and Sho came out of Sylver’s shadow and looked oddly unchanged.

Until the two stepped into each other and became one extra-large shade, dual-wielding both of their two-handed swords in each hand with two more arms sticking out from their torso.

Finally, Spring came out of Sylver’s shadow, and he…

Hadn’t changed at all.

Except his belt now had another line on it.

“Hey, you’re going to hurt my feelings looking at me like that. Watch this,” Spring said, as he reached out towards Reg and held his hand on the shade’s shoulder. Reg stood perfectly still until he turned into mush and slithered back into Sylver’s shadow to be healed up.

[Draining Touch]! Not only that, but I’m so much faster and stronger it almost doesn’t seem fair,” Spring shouted, as he showed Sylver his glowing hand, and then placed it in Sylver’s who then watched as his MP went up by nearly 1000 points.

The downside was that Sylver just barely had enough mana to heal Reg.

“On the bright side though, this opens up a lot of possibilities. I keep calling myself an unstoppable force, but now I feel unstoppable. Getting everyone armed and ready, we’ve got the cunt in white to see!” Sylver shouted, as the shades came out of his shadow and silently cheered with him.

Total Level: 103
[Koschei-5]
[Necromancer-98]

CON: 100
DEX: 100
STR: 41
INT: 200
WIS: 105
AP: 0

Health: 933/1000
Stamina: 140/500
MP: 417/5000

Health Regen: 11.67/M
Stamina Regen: 7.50/M
MP Regen: 918.75/M

[Skills:]
Appraisal (V) [18%]
Draining Touch (II) [92%]
Optical Illusion (II) [83%]
Auditory Illusion (I) [48%]
Physical Endurance (I) [96%]
Magic Nullification (I) [8%]
Biological Manipulation (I) [44%]
Coat Of Carrion (I) [30%]
Undead Mastery (V) [5%]

[Perks:]
Golden Egg
Dead’s Dogma
Eyes Of The Royal Tiger
Tools Of The Shade
Dying Breath
Hare’s Great Escape
Kindred Spirit Mitigation
Unholy Blessing
Shadow’s Soma
Shadow’s Agent
Iron Chest
Duck And Dive
Bound Bones
Dead Domination
Reaper’s Reward

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KingKennit

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