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162. It's Coming Home!

Defeated [Risen Draugr - Lvl. 121]!

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!

...

Defeated [The Remnants of Zacharius (Quisling of Fate) - Lvl. 143]

Abundant experience is awarded for defeating an enemy at least 40 levels above you!

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

More experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the Title Quisling of Fate!

Skill [Faux Limbs] Learned!

Experience is awarded for the learning of a Skill!

Class [Adept of the Fae] Level Up!

[Adept of the Fae - Lvl. 22] -> [Adept of the Fae - Lvl. 23]

Gained 2 Secondary Skill Points!

...

Class [Adept of the Fae] Level Up!

[Adept of the Fae - Lvl. 25] -> [Adept of the Fae - Lvl. 26]

Gained 2 Secondary Skill Points!

Subspecies [Daeva Cambion] Level Up!

[Daeva Cambion – Lvl. 102] -> [Daeva Cambion – Lvl. 103]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

Subspecies [Daeva Cambion] Level Up!

[Daeva Cambion – Lvl. 104] -> [Daeva Cambion – Lvl. 105]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

“Oh, I leveled three times!”

Pausing, I tilted my head back.

“Technically I leveled seven times since my Class leveled four times too!”

I glanced between my companions, an excited look on my face. They were tired. The battle had drained them greatly. I was also at the precipice of just falling over and passing out. The well of mana within me was practically exhausted. I had used all the mana potions I had, and was barely able to even cast a spell by the time the battle ended. However, I found my energy returning to me as I went over all the notifications in my head.

Frowning, my companions sat up.

“Wait, how did you level…?”

Daniel narrowed his eyes, and Edithe smacked her forehead.

“Of course.”

“What?”

I identified both of them. They were Level 102 and 95 respectively. I expected them to level at least by 5 levels, considering that they should’ve gained about as much experience as me when they were a lower level. But they did not.

“It’s because the experience you gain from killing something comes from how much damage you contribute to defeating it. It’s not an equal split, of course. But since the Lich just regenerates before the source of its life force is destroyed, all our contributions don’t… really count. At least, not as much as after the fact.”

“Huh. And I was the one to destroy it.”

I cocked my head.

“But you still leveled twice, right?”

“Yes, but that’s mostly from running and surviving an encounter with something that’s literally 50 levels above me. Same with Daniel.”

“I probably gained more than Edithe because of my experience multiplier as a [Hero].”

Daniel shrugged. The red-haired woman nodded. Two levels was still a lot, especially from a single enemy. A total of eleven levels split between the three of us was not an unimpressive number. However, I dealt the finishing blow to the unprotected Lich, which was why I leveled as much as I did.

Seven levels was the most I’ve ever gained from a single encounter. Even against that large Demon, I only leveled twice. Against Lucerna? Four times. And even with all the other feats added into the mix, the three of us only leveled a total of 10 times back then.

We didn’t accomplish as many feats for killing the Lich as we did stopping Lucerna’s path of destruction. It had something to do with the perception— we were seen as heroes for stopping Lucerna there and then. While the Lich was far more feared than Lucerna ever would be, he wasn’t directly threatening the lives of thousands of people at that moment he died. So, back then, we gained experience for many more things than simply killing a Greater Demon.

Of course, we did more than just level now. As Edithe said, running and surviving from such a powerful enemy was an impressive feat in itself. But it was a personal accomplishment. That was the main difference.

Bonus Stats is awarded for the following feats:

Surviving at near death for a prolonged period of time!

+5 [Vitality]

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

+5 [Endurance]

Performing feats of magic far greater than your magical limits!

+5 [Wisdom]

That was not all, either. I also received a new Title option for defeating the Lich. And it wasn’t something I hogged for myself even! My companions got it too!

Title for Great Feats:

Requirements for one Title have been met!

You now have four Titles available!

I ignored the other Titles I had already taken a look at, focusing only on the newest one.

Titles:

(Liberator of the Plaguelands)

You have freed the Plaguelands from the thousands of years of rule from the Lich of Zacharius the Quisling. The blight will not vanish in a day, nor will the undead leave their lands. But with enough time, perhaps life will flourish here once again.

+25 to [Vitality]

+25 to [Strength]

+25 to [Endurance]

+25 to [Wisdom]

+25 to [Agility]

“Woah.”

I blinked, and my companions gasped. We exchanged a glance.

“Did we all get the same Title?”

“Seems like it.”

Daniel rubbed his temples, for once, not because I was pestering him. But because it was almost too much to take in.

“This is awesome!”

I pumped a fist in the air.

“I’m taking it— wait, do I lose my previous Title Skill if I change my Titles?”

“You do, Salvos.”

Edithe was smiling. Did she already replace her old Title?

“But with these added Stats, it’s likely that it’ll be better than what you previously had.”

“And how do you know?”

I peered at her.

“Try it.”

That was all she said. I was slightly apprehensive. I didn’t know what I’d get. But Edithe reassured me, so I went ahead with the change anyway. [Zealous Call] had been useful up until now, but maybe it was time for a change.

Title Lost!

(Death of the Destroyer)

[Vitality] -5

[Strength] -5

[Endurance] -5

[Wisdom] -5

[Agility] -5

General Skill [Title Skill: Zealous Call] Removed!

Title Gained!

(Liberator of the Plaguelands)

[Vitality] +25

[Strength] +25

[Endurance] +25

[Wisdom] +25

[Agility] +25

General Skill [Title Skill: General Curse Resistance] Obtained!

General Skill [Title Skill: Recall Skill] Obtained!

My eyes grew wide.

“Wait, [Recall Skill]...?”

“Yeah. It’s exactly what you think it is.”

Edithe grinned. I had to sit down. That was a lot to take in. It meant that any Skill I had in the past could be used again, even if only for a short period of time.

“You probably can only use it once a day, if we’re lucky. Once a week if not. I highly doubt it’ll allow you to cycle between any of your old Skills within a single battle.”

“That’s still very impressive!”

I looked over at Edithe, waving my arms wildly.

“You know what that means, right? I can test out any new Skill I get without worrying about losing it ever again!”

“Relax, Salvos. Yes, yes, I know what that means. I’m a little bit excited about it too.”

She giggled, and the realization of what she meant sunk in.

“You could try summoning again!”

“If the Spirit Lord ever decides to forgive me? Yes.”

“That’s awesome!”

I hugged Edithe, and she laughed.

“Come on, Salvos. You’re suffocating me.”

“Oops.”

I pulled back away from her and glanced over at Daniel. The Human man was smiling too, but not nearly as excited as I thought he’d be.

“What’s wrong, Daniel? Is something bothering you?”

I asked the question as I sidled up next to him. He blinked, then shook his head.

“It’s nothing.”

He paused. His gaze slowly turned to where the Lich once stood. Taking a deep breath, he sighed.

“Well, actually, it’s something. I just… feel bad for the Lich, you know?”

“You feel bad about someone responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents?”

Edithe frowned, crossing her arms. He winced and quickly corrected himself.

“No, that’s not it. Let me rephrase.”

Daniel closed his eyes and placed a hand on his chest as I raised a brow.

“I feel worried. That I may fall down the same path as Zacharius. So far, things have gone well for me, Edithe, Salvos. Ever since I realized I was being lied to, things have been getting better in this world. I met the both of you, and you have both been so kind to me. Now I finally feel like I have a place where I belong. But… that won’t last forever, will it?”

He drew his knees towards his chest, hugging it.

“Things won’t always go the way I want it to. It pains me to even say this, but one of us may die. All of us could’ve died here. We were lucky to even survive, let alone kill the Lich. If something like that happens, would I be able to continue being who I am and not go insane as the Lich did?”

Edithe pursed her lips as Daniel finished. She didn’t have an answer for him. These were heavy questions— very complex thoughts which required delicacy.

I snorted.

“I don’t see what the big deal is. If you already know that, there’s no need to worry about it. Just try your best not to do the same things he did.”

“That’s easier said than done, Salvos.”

“Everything is easier said than done! Stop overthinking things, you idiot!”

I lightly bonked Daniel’s head with a fist, then hugged him.

“Anyway, you won’t go down the same path as Zacharius because you’ll return home to your friends and family. I promised you, didn’t I? I’ll find a way to bring you back.”

He stared at me. There was a pause where he didn’t say anything. Then he lightly pushed me off him.

“You do realize that being hugged by five arms from one person is slightly terrifying, right?”

I bared my teeth in a grin.

“I have a new Skill now— I can hug you with even more.”

“Please don’t.”

Daniel whimpered, and that was that.

Salvos (Liberator of the Plaguelands)

Species: [Archdemon of Pride]

Subspecies: [Daeva Cambion] - Lvl. 105

Class: [Adept of the Fae] - Lvl. 26

General Skills:

[Advanced Mana Manipulation] - Lvl. 7

[Identification] - Lvl. 5

[Racial Skill: Universal Language Comprehension] - Lvl. 1

[Racial Skill: Demonic Essence] - Lvl. 1

[Racial Skill: Partial Mortality] - Lvl. 1

[Rest] - Lvl. 4

[Lesser Enhanced Wisdom] - Lvl. 2

[Title Skill: General Curse Resistance] - Lvl. 1

[Title Skill: Recall Skill] - Lvl. 1

Stats:

[Available Stat Points: 0]

[Vitality]: 128 (+25)

[Strength]: 105 (+25)

[Endurance]: 113 (+25)

[Wisdom]: 200 (+25) (+6)

[Agility]: 250 (+25)

Skills:

[Available Skill Points: 2]

[Barrage of Cinders] - Lvl. 20 (Maxed)

[Demon’s Mark] - Lvl. 5

[Haste] - Lvl. 5

[Intimidation] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)

[Faux Limbs] - Lvl. 1

[Nebular Construct] - Lvl. 6

[Radiant Slash] - Lvl. 15 (Maxed)

[The Primordial Spark] - Lvl. 15

[Wings of the Netherworld] - Lvl. 1

[Passive - A Hunter’s Sense] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)

[Passive - Blue Flames] - Lvl. 20 (Maxed)

[Passive - Weapon Mastery] - Lvl. 20 (Maxed)

[Unused Skill Slot] x2

Secondary Skills:

[Available Secondary Skill Points: 2]

[Banish] - Lvl. 20

[Spatial Sight] - Lvl. 15

[Unused Secondary Skill Slot] x1

—--

“Rest well. I will make sure your families know of what happened here.”

Edithe stood before the destroyed garden, bowing. She spoke softly to herself, not meant for anyone in particular to hear, although I still picked it up.

The ice that had frozen over the landscape was gone. The statues had melted, leaving the rapidly decaying corpses of all the women who had been captured by the Lich. There had to be dozens of them in this courtyard alone.

Edithe said there were likely even more in the ruined castle. Most of them looked like adventurers, which was a surprise. The only adventurers that would ever venture this far into the Plaguelands were Diamond Ranks. But it made sense. The Lich must have been doing this for a few millennia.

Zacharius the Quisling came to this world after the Immortal King Alexander and the Oracle of Light Melissa. He was the reason why there was a lull in [Hero] summonings for so long. Never once before did people consider that a [Hero] would betray those who summoned them.

With all the resources that were spent in the summoning ritual, people decided that there were other, more useful grand magic that could be cast instead.

“So, what do we do now?”

I asked Edithe as she slowly walked back over to us. I glanced out into the rest of the Plaguelands, making out far fewer undead surrounding the Lich’s keep than before. His magic over them was gone. They had no reason to gather in this specific spot anymore.

“I think this adventure of ours has lasted long enough.”

Edithe spoke simply, glancing over at Daniel. The Human man made a noise in agreement.

“Mhm, we’ve had far too many close calls here in the Plaguelands. I think we should just head straight back to the Human lands.”

“Aw. Are you sure? Daniel’s at Level 100 now, Edithe. You just need a few more levels to reach your next advancement! Give it a week of fighting Draugrs or [Revenants]—”

“No.”

Both my companions spoke at the same time. Edithe crossed her arms.

“I’ve had more near-death experiences in the past year than most people have in their lifetime. I’d rather not take any more risks for now.”

“Then we could just kill those [Unarmed Skeletons]! Maybe it’ll take a few months at that rate, but...”

I paused as I saw the incredibly reluctant looks of my companions. Daniel raised a hand.

“We’re just tired of the Plaguelands. The blight, the constant fighting, the undead— we just need a breather.”

“I can reach Level 100 on my own, Salvos. I appreciate the thought, I really do. But we’re not you. You grew up in the Netherworld, so you’re used to it. We’re more used to not having a close call with death on a daily basis.”

Edithe offered me a wry smile.

“I hope you understand.”

I scowled.

“Fine.”

Then I perked up, an idea crossing through my mind.

“So, since you guys want to return as quickly as possible… what do you think of flying?”

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MelasD

  • Self-proclaimed most Successful Young Author on RoyalRoad based off the overly specific criteria he set. Hit 10,000 followers on the 21st of September, 2021, at the age of 21.
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