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A note from MelasD

Part 1 of 2.


92.1. A Nice Feeling

“...How many times must I tell you to always wear clothes when you’re changing back to your Mortal Form?”

“Uh…”

I tilted my head up, a single finger pressed up against my upper neck. Thinking for a moment, I began muttering to myself.

“Well, the first time you did it was with Edithe. Then after Edithe left you told me to—”

“It was a rhetorical question.”

“Oh.”

I slowly lowered my hand and faced Daniel. Dressed now in the blue jacket he had given me and some pants I had procured from my bag, I was fully clothed, and the Human man was no longer the same color as a tomato.

“Honestly, it’s a good thing you were still wearing that cloak. Even though it’s torn, it still covered most…”

He trailed off, blushing once more. Clearing his throat, Daniel walked ahead down the worn dirt path.

“Anyways, just remember not to do that next time.”

“Sure.”

I opened my palms and shrugged, not really seeing what bothered him. I knew Humans liked wearing clothes, but I didn’t expect it to be such a big deal. Edithe mentioned something about decency— however, I didn’t think clothes would make me any less decent at fighting than I already was.

The two of us were now heading back to Viechester. We had run into a bunch of Drakes— mostly because I wanted to see them briefly— and had to fight them off until we left their territory. I was pretty sure we could have taken on their Lair, but I decided we had no reason to attack it.

Going back to Viechester was the most important thing in Daniel’s mind right now, especially after what we were told by Lily about that Archdemon in the Brilsum Ruins. Level 138. Uses illusion magic and curses.

Not to mention that he had an army of monsters with him too.

So, the [Hero] wanted to go back to a Human settlement and warn people about this threat to Humanity. I wasn’t really as bothered by it as he was, but I could see why he would be concerned.

If Belzu attacks Viechester while Edithe and Rachel are in it… The thought wasn’t a very nice one. It made me feel the same kind of worry I felt for Haec when he had been captured by Lucerna.

Daniel came to a stop as the road split into two. He produced a map from his fake Bag of Holding and studied it for a moment. I peered curiously at the air around it— trying to see what kind of disturbance had been made with the mana threads in the air.

Then I realized it was familiar. I opened my mouth and gasped.

“That’s space magic!”

Blinking, my companion turned to me.

“Uh, what are you talking about?”

“That.”

I pointed at his bag, then at him.

“That’s not a Bag of Holding! And what you did just now to make that map appear… it’s the same kind of space magic Lily uses!”

I stared at Daniel accusingly. He took a few steps back, raising his hands placatingly.

“Wait, I can explain—”

I spoke over him.

“You’re not a [Hero], you’re a [Space Mage]! And you never told me!”

Daniel paused. He gave a puzzled look.

“Uh…”

“You’re not?”

I cocked my head.

“No, I’m not.”

Speaking flatly, the Human man made me deflate.

“Oh… but I thought you’d have been able to send me back to the Netherworld…”

Slowly, I felt my shoulders sag. They lowered as if they were being pulled to the ground by some force— like that gravity thing Daniel tried to explain to me when he talked about that physics thing that one time.

He sighed.

“I never thought anyone would realize it, but… it’s a Dimensional Storage Unit.”

“A what?”

“Basically, it keeps things in a pocket dimension. A piece of space that’s shrunk down and held within an item. In my case, it’s this pen I have in my bag.”

Daniel produced an ordinary-looking pen— the one I had used to sign my name onto the sheet the Adventurers Guild gave me. Other than being slightly decorated, I would have thought nothing else of it. But it was apparently something more.

“So, if I just touch it, I can summon anything that I’ve stored inside of it. See?”

A healing potion poofed into existence in my companion’s hand. I blinked a few times, confused at how that just happened. I had thought it was space magic earlier, but now that I knew what to focus on, it… wasn’t?

“And it’s not space magic.”

He confirmed it for me.

“Huh.”

“Yeah, it’s dimension magic. Instead of changing reality entirely like opening holes in it, it just manipulates it slightly.”

“How do you know so much about magic?”

The Human man sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose as if he was remembering something terrible.

“Well, I was, uh, tutored… about a lot of things… when I first came here.”

“A lot of things?”

I gave him a dubious look. He sputtered defensively.

“Look, it was a lot of theory and almost nothing practical! If you want me to tell you exactly how big a block of banclite needs to be to repel a spell from a Level 100 [Fire Mage], I can tell you that without a problem!”

“Sure.”

For some reason, that one word only worked him up even more.

“Salvos, I know I haven’t been much help to you when it comes to going back to the Netherworld, but it’s only because that’s a very taboo subject. But if you needed help with anything else, I’m telling you, I would be a lot more useful!”

“I believe you.”

I nodded and stopped. The two of us were now passing through a valley, having left a lightly forested area to cut through the mountains. The Motharis Mountain Range was vast, spreading out in high waves like an ocean, but with the right paths, we could cut travel time by a lot.

Placing a hand on Daniel’s shoulder, I met his gaze and beamed.

“I was just joking earlier. You’ve been a lot of help to me, Daniel. Thank you for that.”

I spoke simply before turning back around and entering the valley. The Human man halted for a moment, averting his gaze before murmuring a few incoherent words and hurrying after me.

 

—--

 

Days passed as we made our way through the Motharis, taking just as long to return to Viechester as it did for us to get to the Brilsum Ruins. We weren’t in any particular rush, and while I could have been even faster if I traveled by myself, I wasn’t just going to leave Daniel here alone to fight off the various dangerous monsters that could kill us.

“Watch out!”

 

Defeated [Flayer Vulture of Hunting - Lvl. 58]!

Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!

 

I struck down the massive, flying beast. My kusarigama’s chains dragged it straight down to the flaming bladed edge. It sheared the violet and red monster in half, spilling its blood all over the gray stone floor.

I wiped a bead of sweat from my head and turned to Daniel reassuringly.

“I saved you.”

“No, you didn’t. That monster wasn’t anywhere close to killing me.”

The Human man sheathed his sword, sighing. I raised a brow.

“Oh, yeah? Then I wasn’t anywhere close to dying to that Drake!”

“Are you still on about that? Ugh, fine. Yes, you saved me.”

I beamed and raised my chin.

“Praise me more!”

“What are you, a Fairy?”

“No, I’m Salvos.”

I cocked my head and gave him an innocent look. Daniel shook his head, walking forward and continuing down the steep decline. We had crested up to the top of a tall mountain, taking a shortcut that would lead us straight to the edge of the Motharis Mountain Range. Our presence had attracted a few Flayer Vultures. But they weren’t exactly the biggest threat to either of us.

Descending the mountain’s side, I cast my gaze over the vast landscape beyond. We had reached the ever-changing biomes of the Motharis. There had been deep, orange canyons and peaking, snowy mountains juxtaposed with one another. There were vibrant, green forests and dull, gray wastelands leading into each other.

But now, what I saw were plain, grassy flatlands, stretching out beyond the horizon, starting from where the hillocks and hills ended. A single road stabbed through the heart of the tumulous landscape, slicing a brown path through it and towards Human civilization. That was where we were headed. Although, we weren’t exactly as close to Viechester as we had been when we first entered the mountain range.

“Right now, we’re on the south side of the Motharis. When we came in, we went through the southwest. So it’ll take us a few days— maybe even a week— to get back to Viechester.”

“Can’t we just run all the way back? I’m sure I can get there in less than a day!”

I raised an arm, flexing it like I saw some Human men did when trying to hit a woman. Or was it hit on a woman?

“Yeah, you could. But I couldn’t. And I’d rather not sprint all the way there, Salvos.”

“Didn’t you say we’re in a rush?”

“Not exactly. We just have to bring this news back to the Adventurers Guild there. Or bring it to one in a town nearby. As long as word is spread about this Belzu, we’ve done our job.”

“I… see.”

I had thought the [Hero] would be more concerned about directly stopping the evil Archdemon trying to amass an army of monsters— and he was, just not in the way I thought he would be.

“What?”

He snorted as I gave him an odd look.

“Did you think I’d be leading the charge to slay an Archdemon over 70 levels above me? I’m not an idiot. I’ll let the Diamond Ranks deal with that.”

“So, we’re just going to be telling everyone about Belzu, then… what?”

“Then you try and get your Class, I guess. There really isn’t much else to do.”

I frowned, stopping behind him as he took a few steps further down. He turned back and blinked.

“What’s wrong, Salvos?”

“Don’t you want to do anything?”

I asked the question which suddenly came to me; I should have thought about it sooner, but I just considered him to be my companion. But—

“Are you really just happy with following me around like this?”

Daniel frowned and rubbed at his chin. He seemed to ruminate over it for a moment, then raised his shoulders in a helpless shrug.

“I don’t really know. I mean, what else is there for me to want? This isn’t my world. And I don’t actually have any friends here except for you and Edithe. So… yeah, I guess?”

“Huh.”

I peered at Daniel’s face, trying to see if he was maybe lying or not. There was no reason for him to lie, but I just wanted to make sure. He backed away when I got a little too close for his liking, then I nodded to myself.

“What, Salvos?”

“It’s nothing. Let’s just go back for now.”

I made the decision and pressed forward. The [Hero] from another world stared after me before catching up. We were right at the edge of the Motharis now. The landscape was getting flatter and flatter. The rocks and stone were being replaced by dirt and grass.

A light forest of trees smoothened the transition from mountain to flatlands. But it was only a smattering. It lasted briefly— and it was here, we were attacked.

“Hey, what’s that noise?”

Daniel blinked.

“What noise—”

The ground shot open. It exploded into debris and dust, breaking into a large crater with a tunnel at the bottom.

I grabbed Daniel and yanked him out of the way. I watched with wide eyes as a large monster burrowed its way to the top, casting its sweeping gaze at the forest around it. For a moment, I thought it would be a Centinel. But no— there would be no reason for a Centinel to be here.

They were destructive monsters. And they would take aim at Human settlements or other monsters’ habitats.

Instead, what I saw was a four-legged monster. One with sharp claws on its paws, each of them about as long as the finger they were attached to. Its palms were pink— and so was its long snout. The rest of its body was covered in gray fur, and it stared down at Daniel and me with beady, black eyes.

[Musur Craver - Lvl. 82]

It was like a [Howre], but larger.

“Wait, is that some kind of an evolution—”

The [Musur Craver] struck down at us. It loomed over the treetops as tall as a Gatho Mammoth. Its crushing hands did more than just break open the earth, it cut it asunder. I leapt back and away from the attack, pulling Daniel with me.

I glared up at the monster that attacked us without any provocation and yelled out.

“If you want to fight, then fine! Daniel!”

I turned to him. He drew his blade and nodded at me.

“It’s a bit high leveled, but not so much compared to the Mindreapers. I won’t have to use my [Hero’s Slash], so I’ll just distract it, and you’ll take it down with a Blazing Bolt.”

“Got it.”

I began creating a bow of fire as the [Hero] charged out. The large Ground Craver— some sort of a derivative evolution of the [Howres] we fought in the Silkfall’s Crevice— struck down at him. He parried the attack, even when it nearly sent him flying.

I focused not on the battle ahead of me, but instead only on the spell I was crafting in my hand. A Blazing Bolt. Or rather, a Refined Blazing Bolt. Would I be able to create one together with a bow, all by myself?

I wasn’t sure. But I was going to give it a try.

I felt the threads of mana weave together, forming an intricate design. A pattern of magic, forming a furious arrow. One with flame wisping out of its side, exuding an intensity that even I could feel. It was like my entire body was on fire— as if I had [Ignition] activated— and I watched as the ground just under my feet burned up ever so slightly.

I raised the fire bow, holding within it the blinding, brilliant arrow. Daniel blocked another dangerous blow from the [Musur Craver]. He countered it by striking at its feet, cutting a deep wound into it. And it caused the monster to stumble.

It fell forward, right as the Refined Blazing Bolt cut through the air. It pierced the skies and came flying at the [Musur Craver]. Its eyes widened as the bright light came closer and closer— until everything went dark.

 

Defeated [Musur Craver - Lvl. 82]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 10 levels above you!

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

 

The monster fell, its head blown open by the powerful spell. The attack drained a large amount of mana from me with each use. Sighing, I wiped my brows, swiping aside the beads of sweat forming there.

“That…”

I panted, doubling over as Daniel walked back towards me.

“Took a lot of mana.”

“Tired already?”

He laughed and offered me a hand. Gladly taking it, I straightened myself. The Human man turned around and stared at the body of the monster.

“I wonder what pissed it off so badly.”

“I don’t know. But it got what it deserved.”

I spoke simply, walking past him. Daniel shrugged as we began to make our way out of the small grove of trees. Until the earth before us exploded once more. A [Musur Craver] crawled its way out of the ground and stared down at us.

I opened my mouth.

“Another one?!”

Apparently, I must have become a [Summoner] because my words brought the ground behind us up. A second [Musur Craver] loomed over us. Then a third. And a fourth.

Daniel and I stood back to back, surrounded by the Level 80 monsters from all sides. He posed a question to me before the first monster decided to attack us.

“So… how many more times can you use that Refined Blazing Bolt?”

“Maybe a dozen more at most before I deplete myself.”

“Then let’s hope there aren’t a dozen of them hiding below us.”

“As long as there isn’t a Lair here… oh, who am I kidding. There probably is one.”

“Right—”

The first [Musur Craver] came swinging down at Daniel and was sheared in half. Daniel’s sword stopped glowing, the [Hero’s Slash] instantly killing the powerful beast.

“Well, I guess we better run then.”

The two of us made a break for it. However, the monsters still tried to bar our path. More and more popped out around us, outnumbering even the trees we had left behind. I created Blazing Bolt after Blazing Bolt— not bothering to refine them to deal more damage. Because I didn’t have the time for it. And we ran, fighting, keeping the monsters back, slaying some of them. Until eventually...

 

Defeated [Musur Craver - Lvl. 85]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 10 levels above you!

 

...

 

Defeated [Musur Craver - Lvl. 83]!

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 10 levels above you!

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

 

Subspecies [Midday Changeling] Level Up!

[Midday Changeling – Lvl. 64] -> [Midday Changeling – Lvl. 65]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

 

Subspecies [Midday Changeling] Level Up!

[Midday Changeling – Lvl. 65] -> [Midday Changeling – Lvl. 66]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

 

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A note from MelasD

I will release the next part immediately if you do me a favor and vote for me on TopWebFiction here! It would only take a couple of seconds to vote, and it would help me out a ton.

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MelasD

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