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A note from KingKennit

If you're in the mood for something similar to this (kinda) try Wizard's Tower!

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

I personally consider characters to be the most important thing in a story (the world can be the coolest ever made, doesn't mean jack shit if the characters exploring it are insufferable), and this story is a 10/10 in terms of characters.

It is a bit on the slow side, but not in a boring dungeon crawling, every chapter is the same with the monster names changed, but more in the sense it takes it's time, and doesn't rush anywhere.

Character wise, this story is basically what would happen if Sylver just called it quits and tried to isolate himself from the world (spoilers: nothing ever goes to plan).

The dude also just finished having a break, so he's not going to be burning out anytime soon.

Anyway, it's good, I liked it, and I liked it enough to recommend it.

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Ch109-Get Comfortable

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Sylver was almost thankful for his lack of leg as he had just enough room to sit comfortably in the small and narrow bathtub. It would have been awfully cramped if he had his left arm and leg.

The blue district was a bit different from the green district.

For one, Sylver’s Iris stopped working when he went past a certain point in the area. The large Iris that hung in his house explained to him that in such a magically dense environment, only devices with a direct physical connection could function.

For two, and this was something that made Sylver think about the thing again, there was very minimal surveillance equipment inside Sylver’s home.

Or outside it for that matter.

He was still a little hazy regarding how the whole “drone” and “camera” things worked, but allegedly they could store and transfer image and audio information through the connection Iris used to communicate with wherever the things Sylver bought through her came from.

Iris couldn’t explain it in a way that Sylver understood, she assumed a certain level of knowledge that Sylver plain and simple lacked.

There was mention of a cloud, but it was solid?

The main and important thing was that Iris and her controller couldn’t see what Sylver was doing inside his house.

Or at least that’s what she told Sylver, but he didn’t believe her. So Spring would stay in his shadow as a trump card, while Sylver figured out a way to use the few abilities he’d already shown he can use to their full extent.

[Coat Of Carrion] was doing most of the heavy lifting.

With [Dead Dominion] being a close second, but as long as Sylver never controlled anything other than [Coat Of Carrion] he was fairly certain whoever was watching him would think it was part of the same skill or perk.

Sylver closed his eye and just enjoyed the silence and the odd tickle of warm water touching exposed bone.

“How do you go about earning experience here?” Sylver said, so quietly that his [Auditory Illusion] created voice was just an octave above a whisper.

“There is an expedition every fortnight out into underwater dungeons. Citizens with a sponsor of a high enough rank are allowed to join the expedition party,” Iris answered from her Iris hanging downstairs in Sylver’s “living room”.

Even if she couldn’t “see” him, she could hear him no matter where he was.

If Sylver was back in Eira, it would have taken him all of 2 seconds to find every single piece of technology Iris was using to watch him.

But this realm played by different rules. Rules that Sylver didn’t know well enough to be able to know just how compact their technology could be.

Demolishing the house was an option, but he still needed walls and a roof to feel comfortable. And who’s to say there isn’t anything in the floor? Or one of the cupboards?

The more likely scenario was that unless Sylver left the city, he wouldn’t have any real privacy. At least that’s what his gut was telling him.

If he used his shades, he probably wouldn’t need to be holding people as one-eyed slaves and forcing them to work for him.

But being a mage and necromancer was one thing.

Being a necromancer that’s suspiciously above and beyond what every other known mage or necromancer is capable of, is potentially a giant problem.

In Eira at least he had the excuse of being taught in a secluded sect, there were thousands of those, rare but not uncommon at the same time. Sylver would have to limit himself as much as possible, using only the basic of the basic spells, and as few of his skills and perks as he could get away with.

“Iris? Could you send William, at 443 in the red district, an eclectic mail?” Sylver asked.

“Did you mean, electronic mail?” Iris responded from downstairs.

“I did, yes. Ask him if he’s free in the next half hour or so,” Sylver said as he started to get out from his small bathtub.

*

*

*

The red district was different from the green or the blue.

The most notable difference was that there weren’t any real houses, as far as Sylver could see at least. The lower floors were all a shop or workshop of some kind, while Spring informed him that the top floor had a kitchen, bed, shower, and toilet crammed into a single room somehow.

He saw several shops selling those weird boards covered in wires the books he took from the ship that exploded had instructions on. Sylver was saddened to learn that although the elves were in charge of the boat and the humans were the ones in cages, the books weren’t in “modern elvish.” It didn’t make sense.

From listening in on other people’s conversations Sylver learned that these boards were called “circuit boards”, and as the name implied they had the same function as the circuits in spell frameworks. Except instead of mana they conducted electricity and transformed it in a way Sylver didn’t quite manage to puzzle out from context.

The short of it was that most of the technology used in this realm functioned off electricity. Except unlike the dwarves on Eira they seemed to do a bit more than power magnets and motors with it. And the boards could think for themselves, although Sylver was very uncertain on how they managed to achieve that.

Sylver stopped at a shop that had 4 horrendously tall and muscular elves guarding the merchandise. The elf that Sylver assumed was the shopkeeper was bald, a little on the pudgy side, and was currently looking down a magnifying glass attached to his glasses to work on a small oddly long spring.

Sylver’s understanding of what a “gun” was got expanded somewhat, as he realized that all of the large pieces of metal he saw stacked up on the wall behind the shopkeeper were all guns. One was as long as Sylver was tall, and he felt like he’d seen it before. Unlike the guns around it, the place where the bullets came out of had a square covered with holes over it.

“Self-defense or the tower?” a voice asked out of seemingly nowhere. Sylver had to look down to find the source and saw a small child looking up at him.

“Is there a difference?” Sylver asked. The child glanced over at the elf working on the spring and Sylver saw the old elf’s head nod a touch.

“For self-defense, you want something small and filled with hollow-point rounds, so it doesn’t ricochet and hit something you didn’t intend to hit. For the tower you want something giant and threatening, filled with armor-piercing rounds,” the boy explained.

Sylver assumed it was a boy, but with all the lead around getting in his way, he wasn’t able to use his soul sense properly.

“You wouldn’t by any chance have any classes for these things? Maybe a lecture, some hands-on training, a practice session or two?” Sylver asked.

The child looked confused for a moment before he maneuvered his way underneath the table the old elf was using and cupped his hand around his mouth as he whispered in his ear. The old elf grumbled something back to the child before he pulled the magnifying glass away from his eye and looked at Sylver.

“Are you looking for craftsmen training, or do you just want to learn how not to shoot yourself in the foot?” the old elf asked.

“The latter,” Sylver answered with an attempt at a friendly smile.

The old elf grumbled something to the young boy who went through the door behind his back and came back with a small Iris. The old elf looked through it for a while, before looking back up at Sylver.

“I can recommend an expert that can give you 5 lessons, 1 hour each, for 1,400 cuts. He’s one of the few people in the Garden with the [Marksman] class. I can’t guarantee you’ll learn any new skills in 5 hours, but at the very least you’re not going to accidentally shoot your ass off,” the old elf said.

“That would be perfect,” Sylver said. He pulled out the large Iris in his bag and saw that she already had the location the old elf had said marked out for him, and even drew a path for him to follow to get to it.

Sylver spent a few seconds looking around but didn’t see much point in buying anything at the moment. He liked the look of the “shot guns” hanging on the wall but didn’t want to get their hopes up. The one that caught Sylver’s eye had a 19,999 cut price tag on it and seemed to be covered in a language that wasn’t like either of the two Sylver had seen in this realm so far.

*

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*

Will was exactly where he said he would be, and even though Sylver had warned him he would be coming, the man still looked surprised to see him.

“So Teal kicked you out. Did he at least give you a good price?” Will asked as he started to walk and Sylver followed next to him.

“I certainly think so. What’s the usual rate people get paid when they get evicted from a district?” Sylver asked.

“Usually Teal makes them an offer, and when that doesn’t work, he walks away while his guards “escort” the person out of their house. It’s been a while since he handled everything so cleanly. I won’t ask for specifics, but did he pay more or less than 2,000 cuts?” Will asked.

“A bit more than that. I’m looking for somebody. Well, 2 somebodies, but I need the first to find the second,” Sylver said. Will ran his hand through his wisps of grey hair.

“I might not be the best person to ask. It’s quite rare that red’s venture out of their district, I only took the job to guide you home because no one else would take it. After what happened to that guy who would have been a yellow, there’s an unspoken rule that the job has to be accepted by whoever’s nearest. I was visiting a friend and was plain unlucky on the way back,” Will explained.

“What happened to the guy?” Sylver asked.

“He woke up, found himself in pitch darkness and in an enclosed space, and had a heart attack. I mean, it’s lucky that he died, given that his tribe seemed to be one of those cannibal warrior types, but it made everyone realize that someone useful might succumb to the same fate if no one takes the job quickly enough,” Will explained, as he stopped to look at a stall selling circuit boards with a spinning fan attached to the side of them.

“Isn’t there an easier way of moving new people inside? The whole coffin and disappearing boxes thing was quite honestly very frightening. What if I attacked you?” Sylver asked.

“You were being watched anyway, if you tried to attack me the collar around your neck would have cut your head off. My father told me that originally those that were taken into the Garden arrived into an empty room full of screens, with recordings explaining everything. The flowers never really gave an explanation as to why they stopped doing that, or at least none that I’m aware of,” Will explained, as he picked one of the similar-looking circuit boards up and turned it over in his hand.

“My gran used to tell me that elves would just be dropped out of the sky and land into the lake in the yellow district,” the man selling the circuit boards said, as Will continued to look at the thing in his hands, while Sylver looked up to look at the man.

“They did find an elf’s skull that one time,” Will mumbled in agreement as he lifted the circuit board up to the light hanging off a wire.

“The expedition forces put down anyone truly dangerous anyway. When’s the last time someone got hurt accepting a new citizen in?” the shopkeeper asked while looking at Will.

“2 months ago? That girl with the markings on her face. Tried to fight a man three times her size, and he tried to subdue her but ended up snapping her neck. Was she one of the blue’s or am I thinking of someone else?” Will asked.

He put the circuit board down and picked up a different one. It had a slightly bigger fan than the previous one.

“I mean, probably. That’s where they throw all the…” the shopkeeper paused and glanced at Sylver’s blue-colored clothing as if to confirm that’s what he was seeing. “All the people most likely to enter the tower?” the shopkeeper awkwardly finished.

Sylver just shrugged his shoulders as Will said something filled with words Sylver didn’t know. The shopkeeper answered him with a string of unknown and unfamiliar words, which over the course of about 4 sentences turned into an argument.

Sylver left Will and walked to the other side of the street where a woman was selling jewelry. Sylver pointed at a small necklace made of silver and encrusted with hundreds of tiny diamonds.

“17,000 cuts,” the woman said.

“How much for just the diamonds?” Sylver asked. She gave him a strange look.

“They’re sold as a whole. You’ll have to talk to a distributor if you just want to buy diamonds,” the woman said.

“Anyone, you would recommend?”

“No,” the woman said flatly.

Sylver felt Will walking towards him and saw he was carrying two large paper bags in his hand.

“Really sorry about that. Who are you looking for again?” Will asked as he and Sylver walked away from the jewelry-selling shopkeeper.

“I need an information broker. And I’ll ask just in case, but you wouldn’t happen to know someone very skilled at technology and currently being harassed by Chen’s men?” Sylver asked once they were out of earshot and in a somewhat secluded alleyway.

Will was quiet for a while and kept changing his grip on the paper straps for his paper bag.

“You’ll need to be specific when you say technology. Are we talking a software or hardware specialist?” Will asked. When he got a completely blank look from Sylver he tried to explain.

“It’s uh… Software is… What are you planning to have them do?” Will asked.

“I’d like them to teach me the basics. How the Iris works, how the lights you use here function, how that floating sphere that rendered me immobile functions, those kinds of things,” Sylver said.

“Ah… And the being harassed by Chen’s men part?” Will asked.

“I’m in the middle of something, and if I can gain the favor of someone who can teach me, and at the same time help accomplish a second goal, it would be killing two birds with one stone,” Sylver explained. Will shrugged his shoulders as he adjusted the way he was holding the bag again.

“That’s a really strange idiom. Two birds, one stone… I don’t like it. And as far as an information broker is involved, that would be the kind of thing Chen’s people handle. At the very least, I don’t know anyone who could help with that. But…” Will said, with a not so subtle glance towards the Iris Sylver was carrying in his hand.

“How much,” Sylver asked simply.

He could always threaten the old elf, but that would be a line he couldn’t uncross. Will was being helpful, and frankly, Sylver kind of liked him.

“250 cuts. I obviously can’t guarantee anything, but he’s had a hard-on for Chen for a little over two years. If nothing else, he might be able to point you in a better direction than I can,” Will offered, while Sylver saw his Iris light up and give him the option to send Will 250 cuts.

Sylver touched the accept square and watched as the number on the top right of his Iris became a little smaller.

He had 29,140 cuts left.

*

*

*

Sylver had to wonder if he’d simply lived too long on Eira and had used up all of his allotted luck, or if the woman in white had lied about the amount of help she was going to give him.

Because there was no other word to describe what Sylver was seeing right now.

A man that fit Will’s description down to the stupid-looking mustache was being dragged out of an extremely damaged and withered-looking shop. 6 men, that had the same gun as the two who had ambushed Sylver outside of his home, were currently in the process of trying to light a piece of cloth coming out of a dark-colored bottle.

[Elf (Soldier+Warrior+Marauder) – 51]
[HP-4,881]
[MP-0]

All six had the exact same combination of classes, with very minor differences in their HP, and their levels ranged from 50 to 54.

“Hey!” Sylver shouted as he tried to contain his excitement as he walked towards them.

This genuinely couldn’t be more perfect.

“Leave,” one of the men said in a deep and gruff voice, as the mustached shopkeeper struggled to keep his hold on the cobblestones that made up the floor of this street.

It was a very narrow street, and there wasn’t a single other open shop. It was just Sylver, Chen’s men, and a guy whose name Will couldn’t remember.

As Sylver got closer to them, he saw them all exchange a look, before they placed their hands behind their backs.

“You’re not part of this, leave now,” a different man said, but Sylver had trouble telling them apart. Face blindness, and he didn’t care enough to try.

“Excuse me! Man with the lovely looking mustache, would you be interested in long-term employment!” Sylver shouted towards the man on the floor.

The man was too busy concentrating on not letting go of a particularly square rock he was holding onto to say anything.

“Go somewhere else kid,” the man standing closest to Sylver said, as the one who was trying to make the piece of cloth burn succeeded and moved his arm back to throw it at the shop.

The street was narrow enough that a good half of it had a shadow blocking out the sun. With how dusty and shattered all the windows on the side with the sun were, there wasn’t a whole lot of reflection. Sylver lifted his hand and made a very faint gesture towards the bottle.

The flame turned a deep blue, before getting snuffed out.

“The benefits include a stable income, interesting work, and protection!” Sylver shouted. His voice carried down the alleyway, as he gently stepped into the shadow-covered half.

Sylver felt like something fell down his chest, and saw one of the men standing at the very back do a double-take. The man all but ran over towards the one who was dragging Sylver’s future employee by the foot, and the man let go of it.

“We don’t want any trouble,” the man who had done most of the talking said, as he lifted his hand away from his gun and put both of them into the air.

“Sir on the ground with the lovely mustache. Are you interested in long-term employment?” Sylver asked, as the faceless men all sort of grouped close together and took a collective step back as Sylver continued casually walking towards them.

The elf on the ground looked up, and Sylver saw that he had two black eyes, a sliced open lip that split his mustache into two, and nearly reached his nose, which was broken to shit.

“Who are you!” the elf said in a strange panicked scream.

“Look, we’re just going to leave,” the man who had done most of the talking said.

“Tod, necromancer extraordinaire. If you work for me, you’ll never have to worry about Chen or his lackeys,” Sylver offered.

He saw the man’s eyes go wide at the word “necromancer” but Sylver didn’t feel that it was out of fear, more out of surprise.

“What-what-what do you want?” the man on the floor asked, as he looked around at the 6 scared men and tried to stand up from the floor, but seemed to change his mind when one of them moved towards him.

“I need someone to teach me about the technology being used in the Garden. The payment and details can be negotiated later,” Sylver offered, as all 6 thugs were now well behind the man on the floor and were being careful not to look away from where Sylver was, while at the same time walking backward.

“I-I-I can-I can do that! Anything you want, from Guava to M++, I’ve got certificates for just about everything! I-I-I-I’m a fast learner, if you need something built I’ll figure it out!” the man stammered out as he managed to get back to his senses and tried to get up from the floor but found something wrong with his foot. He crawled towards Sylver, as Sylver continued to walk towards him.

“Fantastic! Now then, all that’s left is-”

Sylver didn’t get to finish his sentence as the sound of a gun going off filled the dark alleyway with noise. Sylver’s head flicked back for a moment before the illusion stopped holding itself together and broke apart like shattering glass.

The cobblestone rocks on the floor curled upwards like a small wave and covered the man on the floor, as more guns went off and fired at the empty space where Sylver was a moment ago.

Sylver landed on the man he had decided was the leader, and for a split second the man was giving Sylver a piggyback ride.

But then he froze in place, and Sylver touched a man’s head with each foot and each hand, and then kicked himself off them, and head-butted the 6th man in the chest. The places he had touched all had a spark of yellow lightning disappear underneath their skin.

All 6 fell to the floor as if they were mannequins, while Sylver landed on his feet and brushed cobwebs off his dark blue shirt.

“You alright back there?” Sylver shouted, as he tapped his foot and the cobblestone shield went back into the ground and revealed a man curled in the fetal position.

He very slowly opened his eyes and started to look around before he patted himself all over the place.

“I’m fine!” the man shouted back.

Sylver unzipped his bag and pulled out two large jars.

“I’m relieved to hear that. I’ll be with you in just a second,” Sylver said, as he flicked his hand and the [Coat Of Carrion] wrapped around his forearm flowed up into his palm as he reached down towards the first frozen man’s face.

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KingKennit

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