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A note from MelasD

I finished my first 15 page paper yesterday and found a lot of free time on my hands. Since I don't play games any longer and I find writing Salvos to be meditative (see author's note here if you're curious about my reasoning), I decided to just bang out a chapter. 

Don't expect another chapter until friday, but don't be surprised either if one drops before then. 


13. Awesome!

I stared at the group of people gathered in front of me. They were people— but not Demons like me. They had pale, fleshy skin, with dark hooded robes covering most of their body. They were… Humans.

The lead Human stepped forward and I tensed.

[Cultist - Lvl. 45]

He was high leveled. Very high leveled. And I was exhausted— my entire body ached from having fought and ran nonstop since I had first encountered the [Djinn]. I did not get a moment of rest or [Rest] at all, and my health was running dangerously low. Fortunately for me, it didn’t seem like he was about to attack me.

The [Cultist] turned around, spreading his arms wide to address the others in the room with him.

“I told you all it would work! A virgin sacrifice. Yes, yes. Demons love it. That’s why we’ve been bestowed with two of them, and not just one!”

The other Humans— all of them were [Cultists] as well, just lower leveled— nodded their heads. They spoke hushed whispers, almost as though they were chanting some sort of praise to the lead Human.

Satisfied with their reaction, he turned around and approached me. I warily raised a claw as he pointed a finger at me, then past me. I followed it to see the [Djinn], Lucerna, bent over behind me staring at something in his hand.

“Great Lucerna— and your minion [Imp]— I have given you this sacrifice and accepted the terms of our contract, now I ask you to fulfill my bidding!”

The Greater Demon didn’t respond, continuing to look down at the object in the palm of his hands. I narrowed my eyes as I realized what it was. That’s… the ring around his neck? It had been glowing early— it shone when it sucked me in together with him to this place. But now, it was broken.

The [Cultist] went on, ignorant of this, as his followers bowed down together in sick reverence.

“You see, in the town of Dawnwind, there was this girl, Lucy. She was a pretty little thing who always knew how to steal a boy’s heart, but no boy could ever get her because they’d have to get the approval of her father, the [Baker]. And if you tried and failed, well, let’s just say you won’t be getting any bread for the rest of the year, which was actually really good. You know, he made this delicious cheese bread that…”

He trailed off, blinking as he realized he had lost his audience. Even his followers were giving him looks. The man cleared his throat and quickly turned back to face the [Djinn].

“Sorry, I went on a bit of a tangent. Anyways, as I was saying, Lucy would play with the feelings of all the boys in town, and I was one of them. Luckily for me, I had been an errand boy for the [Baker] and was able to get on his good side. I eventually worked up the courage to ask for his approval and I got it. I was elated! I was going to ask Lucy out the very next day, but…”

He took a deep breath as his brows arched darkly over his eyes.

“The next day, a group of Gold Ranked adventurers passed through our town led by the ‘mighty warrior’ Nolan, and Lucy fell for him! The [Baker] didn’t approve of this relationship, but she ran away with his party instead, leaving me behind and with a broken heart. Now, mighty Lucerna, I ask of you to destroy Nolan and his band of Adventurers. Make him pay for what he did to me!”

He made this declaration, dramatically pointing at the [Djinn] behind me. I wasn’t sure why I was listening to this man’s story. Perhaps it was because I was tired and this gave me a brief reprieve. But now, Lucerna finally moved. He stood up and I jumped back. I spun around, about to make a break for it.

But the [Cultists] were blocking my path! There were over a dozen of them, all within my level range. I couldn’t just get through all of them, especially if they expected me to kill this Nolan man like I had been asked to do. However, a voice spoke out from the side.

“Wait, Chris, didn’t you tell us that we were doing all this so we could get revenge on King Hale for the unfair tax he has put on us?”

The lead man, Chris, scoffed and folded his arms.

“Come on, did you really think that would work? A Greater Demon may be powerful, but there’s no way one can destroy an entire—”

A ferocious roar cut him off from behind. Lucerna turned an angry gaze towards me, smoke billowing out of his body as he pointed.

“You— you broke it! I will— I will—”

He didn’t even finish his sentence. There was nothing left there but hate in his one open eye. He had no words left to speak— only a guttural scream left his mouth. He swung at me with the Spear of Flames, but I backed out of the way. I whirled around and dashed past Chris to leave the room.

As I had expected, the lead man moved to block my way.

“Hey, what are you doing—”

I slashed my burning claws through his chest and he recoiled. Blood poured out of the wound as he staggered back, injured by the attack. I had expected him to do something to me, but he simply shouted.

“I said, I command you to—”

An explosion of smoke interrupted him. He erected a red barrier around him, stumbling back in confusion as Lucerna charged at me. He spun in the direction of the [Djinn] and raised a pointed object at him.

“Halt!”

Once again, his words did nothing and he was left with a confused look on his face. Then in frustration, he conjured a ball of fire and threw it at the Greater Demon.

“Obey me! Your contract obligates you to listen to my commands!”

The other [Cultists] huddled up beside the lead man, chanting with their hands held together. A crack opened on the ground just in front of Lucerna, forcing him to a halt as a wall of fire burst out. Chris shouted at the rest of his followers.

“Stop the [Imp]!”

Three [Cultists] moved to block my path. Light crackled between the fingers of the first and zapped in my direction. I dodged away from this electricity, meeting the other two as they raised their swords.

[Fire Strike]! [Fire Strike]! [Fire Strike]! [Fire—

I stopped myself as I realized two of the ones blocking me were lying on the floor and bleeding, and the last was stumbling away from me, clutching at his shoulder.

They were not dead just yet; I was about to finish them off for the experience when more ran at me from behind and I sent a [Fire Blast] at them, keeping them back. I backed up, finally reaching the only exit in the room as Chris was creating another ball of fire and aiming it at me. Then the wall of fire exploded.

The Greater Demon tore through the barrier blocking his path and roared. The lead man hurriedly turned his attention to the [Djinn] as three of his followers were crushed in a single swing.

My pursuers stopped, going back to help their allies as Lucerna rampaged through the [Cultists]. I saw this as my only chance— my opportunity to escape. Using the last of my energy, I sprinted out of the room and down a winding tunnel with [Double Step]. And I continued running and running as fast as I could, even as my feet bled and my body screamed for me to stop, I continued to run.

I burst out of the cave, into a dark and cold world, escaping into a dense group of brown and green protrusions from the ground. I ran and ran until only these trees surrounded me, but I did not stop even as the words no longer filled my head. With one last [Double Step], I broke into a small opening within the forest and collapsed.

 

Defeated [Cultist - Lvl. 19]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

Defeated [Cultist - Lvl. 23]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

Defeated [Cult Acolyte - Lvl. 20]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

 

Defeated [Cult Leader - Lvl. 45]!

Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!

 

Subspecies [Zelus Imp] Level Up!

[Zelus Imp - Lvl. 16] -> [Zelus Imp - Lvl. 17]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

 

Subspecies [Zelus Imp] Level Up!

[Zelus Imp - Lvl. 17] -> [Zelus Imp - Lvl. 18]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

 

Bonus Stats is awarded for the following feats:

Surviving at near death for a prolonged period of time!

+2 [Vitality]

Performing feats of strength far greater than your physical limits!

+2 [Strength]

Showing physical and magical durability even when stamina and mana are depleted!

+2 [Endurance]

 

“...huh.”

Then everything went black.

 

—--

 

It was an odd feeling, passing out. I had been awake ever since I was born, but for the very first time, I lost my consciousness. I didn't even know I was physically capable of doing that, but apparently I was.

So when I woke up, I was confused. Extremely confused at why everything went dark, and extremely confused at the blue sky overhead. Where was I? What happened?

It took me a moment to regain a sense of my surroundings. I last remembered leveling up— gaining additional Stat Points— and collapsing. But before that I had been…

Haec.

I jumped to my feet, glancing around for my companion. He wasn’t here, of course. He had been at the Lair— Lucerna’s Lamp. And that had been in the Demon King’s Domain, which was in the Netherworld. And I? I wasn’t in the Netherworld anymore.

I was currently in the Mortal Realm— wherever that was. And all around me were things I had never seen before; things I intuitively knew, but had never actually known about it before now. It was like seeing a rock again for the first time, except so much more.

There were trees, there was grass, there was dirt. There were clouds in the sky, and above that, a bright source of light that shone down brighter than the red sky of the Netherworld ever had— the sun. It was too much information to process all at once, so I stood there for a moment, just taking it all in.

Then I heard a sound— a rustling of the bushes. I snapped my gaze at the source of the noise, only to see tiny winged creatures flapping their wings and flying off to the sky. Birds. I felt my shoulders sag as I realized that it wasn’t the [Djinn] catching up to me.

If it had been Lucerna, I would have to run as fast as I could once again; I didn’t have a chance of defeating him as I was now. Even though I had leveled twice, I would still be less than half his levels. And that was assuming he had not leveled from slaughtering those Humans.

I slowly sat down on the dirt ground, feeling myself relax as I decided to distribute my Skill and Stat Points, since no one was actively coming after me.

 

Stats:

[Available Stat Points: 10]

[Vitality]: 20

[Strength]: 14

[Endurance]: 22

[Wisdom]: 26

[Agility]: 42

Skills:

[Available Skill Points: 6]

[Basic Fire Creation] - Lvl. 8

[Double Step] - Lvl. 5

[Fire Strike] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)

[Fire Blast] - Lvl. 4

[Passive - General Tool Proficiency] - Lvl. 2

[Unused Skill Slot] x2

 

First thing I noticed that my [Vitality], [Strength], and [Endurance] was indeed higher than it had been before; the feats I did— running, fighting at the brink of death, and overpowering the Greater Demon briefly— seemed to have been what determined the boost in Stat Points.

Regardless, I was already quite fast, so I decided to only raise my [Agility] by 3 Stat Points this time, while putting 4 into [Wisdom] to further raise my attack power. I split the remaining 3 evenly between [Vitality], [Strength], and [Endurance], deciding that it didn’t hurt to have those raised, even after their increase.

As for my Skill Points, I added 2 to [Basic Fire Creation], thinking that it would have been maxed out at Level 10, but was surprised to find that I could raise it even more. Hesitantly, I added another Skill Point to it, before adding 1 Skill Point to [Double Step] and [Fire Blast], saving the last Skill Point for any future needs.

With that settled, I got back up and looked around. I was in a strange place— a different… world? Somehow, that didn’t seem completely right, even if it was technically correct. This wasn’t the Netherworld. This wasn’t where I had been born, I could tell that much.

But even though I had no real attachment to the Netherworld itself, I still left my companion behind to himself.

This was a new world: a new place for me. And while I was curious about it— while I wanted to explore it, like I had done in the Netherworld— I had a reason to go back. So as the wind blew at my face and I took in my surroundings, I made my decision.

I need to find a way back to the Netherworld!

 

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MelasD

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