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A note from MelasD

Just watched Arcane. Highly recommend it. 

Also, shoutout to Verlin Merlin's brick story.

Equality.Prosperity.Choice.

These are the words that Agrea defines itself by, but to a brick that has known only ignorance, they are evils that rot a society. But destroying an ideal society will have to wait, first the brick must learn some pesky things, like how to pee or deal with pesky systems that seem to have a grudge against you.

I'm a brick! But why am I a Humanoid? [A Non-Level LitRPG with a Humanoid MC full of Magic, Drama and Comedic Undertone] | Royal Road


232. Interlude - Daniel's Devices Part 2

“[Let’s Make a Deal].”

Daniel stared down Ivan the Deathtouch. He tilted his head to the side, an amused look passing through his face. Then he crossed his arms, leaning back on his chair.

“Did you think that Skill would work on me? What, is that a Level 10 Skill? Nice try, but I’d rather we negotiate without any tricks.”

The man chuckled as he took a sip from his drink. Then he gently lowered it back to the table and rested his elbows on the table.

“Try that again, and things won’t end so well next time. But yes, you were right, let us talk.”

His gaze bore into Daniel as he snapped a finger. An artifact under the table activated, keeping them in a bubble of secrecy.

“Great going, idiot.”

Amanda snickered. The young man glared at her, but didn’t say a word. He shook his head.

“Ivan the Deathtouch, I’m sure you know about my circumstances. The Harrowed Vindicators are after my life. They are after my friends’ life.”

“Hm, yes. And why does that matter to me?”

“Because I know you’re being forced to do this. Amanda told me. How everything changed with your leadership. The threats they’ve placed on your life. Even if there is a bounty on my head, you don’t want to do this. You’re paid hires, not minions to some shadowy organization.”

There was a pause. A moment where Ivan didn’t say anything. Those words cut deep, even for Amanda. Daniel held his breath, hoping he broke through to the other man.

Finally, Ivan sighed.

“Alright. You’re right about that too. However, that doesn’t explain why we should strike a deal. I could just ignore you— pretend I never spotted you like I intended to before you came up to me.”

“You have something I want. I need your help. The reason why you do this is for money, isn’t it?”

Daniel’s eyes snapped between Amanda and Ivan. He reached for his Bag of Holding and placed a pouch of coins on the table.

“I have money. A lot of money. Just tell me the price they’ve put on my head, and I’ll pay you double.”

Ivan raised a brow as he eyed the coins.

“Unfortunately, you’ll need to offer me more platinum than a small country if you want to do that.”

“I’m a [Hero]— the Liberator of the Plaguelands. I will get it somehow. Plus, I’ll even let her walk free if you do this.”

Daniel gestured at Amanda as met the other man’s gaze. Ivan simply pushed the coins back.

“I do not want your platinum, [Hero]. I do not care about your friends. And I do not care about her.”

He waved a hand dismissively at Amanda.

“Fuck you too, asshole.”

She snorted. Daniel’s brows snapped together.

“Then what do you want?”

“What I want is simple, [Hero].”

“Stop calling me that.”

Daniel bit his lower lip, but Ivan smiled.

“That is what you are, are you not? A [Hero]. An otherworlder. Someone who will stand akin to the other great [Heroes] of the past. Your existence marks the start of a new era. Your name will go down in history like all the others before you.”

Hearing this made Daniel uncomfortable. He shifted slightly in his seat as Ivan spread his arms wide.

“Thus, you have something I desire more than even all the platinum in the world.”

“What is it?”

The assassin’s smile thinned, almost twisting into a maniacal smirk. He was only a Level 103 [Alchemist]. Someone Daniel could’ve handled with ease. And yet, that expression sent a prickling chill down the [Hero]’s spine.

Ivan spoke a single word.

“Power.”

He pointed at Daniel.

“You bring down whoever has been responsible for mucking up my work, and I will help you. It’s a simple deal. I get to resume doing whatever experiments I want—”

He held up a flask of glowing liquid.

“And you get to free yourself from that bounty on your head. It’s a win for all parties involved, isn’t it?”

Daniel blinked. That was exactly what he wanted. For what felt like the first time in forever, the young man sighed in relief.

“Then it seems our interests align.”

He held out the hand, and Ivan took it.

“Indeed.”

With that settled, Ivan leaned forward and told Daniel everything he knew.

—--

The headquarters of Harrowed Vindicator was located at the former Deathfall Dungeon. It was supposedly a Platinum Rank Dungeon that had been cleared out decades ago, reappropriated by the Inoria Empire for their own use— one of them being a production facility for wartime goods before the war with Elutra. Ivan marked its location on a map for Daniel to follow, but Amanda was apprehensive.

“Are you serious? Doesn’t this mean that we’re working with the Inoria Empire now?”

The brown-haired woman’s eyes widened, but the other assassin just shrugged.

“We’ve been their de-facto hitmen for a while, Silent Serpent. This shouldn’t come as a surprise.”

“It officializes this. Someone in the Inoria Empire is pulling these strings.”

“Yes, well, it’s up to the both of you to deal with it.”

“Me? Why am I wrapped up in this?”

Amanda was aghast, and Daniel crossed his arms as he fixed Ivan with a look.

“So, that’s it? You give us the location, you let us go, and you leave?”

“Indeed.”

Ivan cocked his head.

“Did you think I’d help you with bringing them down?”

“Perhaps.”

Daniel spoke slowly, hoping that Ivan would’ve said yes. Unfortunately, his hopes were dashed.

“No. I am not foolish enough to risk my life against them, just as I am not foolish enough to risk my life against you, [Hero]. But if you really want my help.”

Ivan glanced over at the side as he stood up. He reached for his artifact beneath the table— it was some kind of rune which he lodged onto the underside of the wood. He picked up, deactivating it as he turned back to Daniel.

“I’ll give you a warning, just to help you out a bit,”

“What is it?”

Daniel’s eyes flickered, warily gazing around the room. And then he realized that the [Bartender] was gone. Ivan chuckled as he uncorked a potion.

“I never said I was the only one who realized who you two were. Good luck.”

With that, Ivan drank it and vanished. Amanda stood up abruptly, staring at the entrance of the hideout. She pointed with her shackled hands.

“Shit that’s—”

A susurration ran through the room as assassins backed away from the group of men who just entered. There were five of them. Daniel frowned, reaching for his Primordial Longsword. The one in the middle stood the tallest. A man with raven-black hair.

“Who’s that?”

“They called him the Harrowed Inquisitor. He’s the one who’s been killing those who haven’t fallen in line with the rest of the Harrowed Vindicators. I don’t know who the others are, but they’re high-leveled too.”

Each of the assassins who accompanied the Harrowed Inquisitor was dressed in dark and shadowy cloaks. Their faces, their body, even their hands and feet couldn’t be seen by some obfuscation magic. Only the Harrowed Inquisitor wasn’t afraid to hide his appearance. His gaze fixed on Daniel in an instant, and he pointed.

“There you are. We’ve been searching for you for years, and you come right back to us. Honestly, you should’ve stayed on the run. You probably would have eluded us for a few more years. Alas…”

The Harrowed Inquisitor snapped his fingers and uttered a single word.

“Die.”

A hail of flaming arrows rained down on Daniel. He brought his Primordial Longsword up as a glow overcame his body. [Aura of the Sentinel]. It reflected the oncoming projectiles as it massacred the assassins in the room.

Amanda stumbled back behind Daniel, protected by his Skill. Her voice came out rasped and in quick breaths.

“Why— why the fuck is he doing that? He’s killing everyone!”

There were screams and shouts as the low-leveled assassins died. The four other assassins accompanying the Harrowed Inquisitor spread out, drawing their blades and weapons, ready to attack Daniel. The [Hero] shook his head as he took in their levels.

[Mage - Lvl. 113]

[Rogue - Lvl. 103]

[Rogue - Lvl. 101]

[Archer - Lvl. 107]

[Warrior - Lvl. 105]

“They’re not that high-leveled. I can end this quick. I just have to—”

Daniel blinked as the Harrowed Inquisitor stepped forward, taking in a deep breath. Then he unleashed a ball of raging flames. It was like Salvos’ old Skill— [Flaming Breath]. Except far, far, far more powerful.

An explosion shook the entire area. It leveled the whole hideout. The hideout had been maybe 50 feet underground, but it was now on the surface. Because a large explosion had collapsed the hideout and blown apart the earth. Daniel dusted himself off as he now stood under the moonlight, at the epicenter of a large crater.

The Harrowed Inquisitor and his assassins looked amused. They were the only ones who came out unscathed— everyone else had been incinerated except for Daniel and Amanda.

“Impressive. I didn’t expect you to survive that attack.”

“[The Will of the Hero].”

Daniel pointed his sword at them, eyes narrowed. He glanced over at Amanda as she looked around, blinking. Her voice quivered.

“T-that was… a Grand Skill...”

The [Hero] frowned and swung his blade once, dispelling the smoke surrounding them.

“Why did you do that? You killed your allies for no reason.”

“It would’ve been for a good cause. I’d have killed you too. But it seems that you have a few tricks up your sleeve. Maybe I played my cards too soon.”

The Harrowed Inquisitor chuckled as he created a flaming spear. It looked familiar to Daniel, but he didn’t focus on that now. He took a step forward.

“You’re a monster.”

“Mm, won’t be the first time I’ve been called that. Besides, why do you care? Sure, you’re a [Hero] and all, but those were assassins. Murderers and killers! There’s no reason to protect them. Seriously.”

Daniel furrowed his brows as the Harrowed Inquisitor gestured past him at the brown-haired woman lying behind him.

“If you really were smart, you know what you should do? Leave her to die, and it’ll probably buy you some time to escape.”

“W-what…?”

Amanda stared at Daniel.

“You won’t do that, right? We had a deal! You said you’d let me live!”

The [Hero] shook his head.

“Shut up. Both of you.”

His blade was coated by a soft glow. His [Aura of the Sentinel] was still in effect.

“I’ll deal with the five of you myself.”

He dashed forward, leaping into the fray. All five of the assassins attacked him at once. From all sides, they struck at him. With arrows and with magic and with daggers and with swords. He fought back with a flurry of blades, fending off their assault.

Daniel should’ve won with ease. Most of these assassins were lower-leveled than him. In fact, the Harrowed Inquisitor was lower-leveled than Amanda herself. And yet—

He swung at the Harrowed Inquisitor, only for the other man to parry it with ease and thrust his spear forward. The blade cut his cheek, nearly taking his head off. Right as Daniel leapt back, another assassin— one of the [Rogues]— appeared behind him, dagger already aimed for his throat. Cursing, Daniel grabbed the man by the arm and struck him across the face.

The [Rogue] stumbled back, mask broken and grasping at his cheek. Blood oozed out of the wound as he met Daniel’s gaze, before he vanished. Daniel blinked and was kicked by the Harrowed Inquisitor from the side.

He went flying back to Amanda, clutching at his arm. It wasn’t broken, but it hurt a lot.

“Daniel Song!”

The brown-haired woman called out. She gestured at her manacles— enchanted to prevent use of magic. It bound her by her arms and legs, restricting her movement. She spoke hurriedly.

“Free me from my chains. I can help you defeat them!”

Daniel’s eyes flickered as he glanced between Amanda and the assassins. Specifically, at the [Rogue] he had hit. The man hid behind the rest as the Harrowed Inquisitor sneered.

“Come on, now. Are you going to trust the woman who nearly killed you just a few weeks ago?”

“Don’t be foolish or we’ll both die.”

Amanda gritted her teeth. Daniel ignored her. His gaze was fixed only on the Harrowed Inquisitor now. He studied each of the other man’s movements.

The way the Harrowed Inquisitor smiled. The way he seemed to taunt Daniel. The way he bared his teeth.

And Daniel knew what to do.

“No.”

Daniel stepped forward, his sword shining with a brilliant light. The Harrowed Inquisitor raised a brow.

“Oh? Another one of your [Hero]’s Skills?”

“I’ll put an end to this, here and now!”

The light from his blade lit up the night. He raised it into the air and it seemed to disperse the pillar of smoke that billowed from the crater. It shone bright that the moon and the stars above. He shouted in a hallowed voice that echoed throughout the farmlands.

“[Hero’s Slash]!”

The assassins tensed. Even the Harrowed Inquisitor seemed to hesitated for a moment. They braced themselves for his attack— an attack that could bring down those higher-leveled than even them. Equal to a Grand Skill, perhaps. Daniel started forward—

And he spun around. He turned to Amanda who stared at him in shock. Then he brought his blade down.

“Wha—”

“Get us out of here!”

Amanda looked down at her broken chains— at the gleaming metal that leaked magic into the air. It lay on the ground beneath the assassin. She blinked.

“Oh.”

“Kill them!”

The Harrowed Inquisitor shouted, but Amanda grabbed Daniel.

“[Savage Step]. [Instantaneous Escape]. [Disengage].”

And before the assassins could act, the pair vanished.

—--

“You’re lucky those [Rogues] were the lowest-leveled of the group. If they were higher-leveled, they might’ve caught up to us.”

Amanda snorted as she let out a labored breath. She turned to Daniel who stayed silent for a moment longer, leaning against a tree. They were in a forest somewhere, miles and miles away from the crater. They could still see the smoke billowing up in the air from the explosion, even this far away.

The brown-haired woman sighed.

“I still don’t get why you wanted to run. The both of us could’ve taken those assassins on together. Honestly, if I’d known the Harrowed Inquisitor was that low-leveled, I wouldn’t be scared of him at all.”

“Those weren’t assassins.”

Daniel closed his eyes, recalling the [Rogue]’s face. Amanda looked up, blinking.

“What are you on about? How are they not assassins?”

“I broke one of their masks. I know. I saw— those weren’t even Humans.”

He straightened as he met Amanda’s gaze.

“If they were assassins— if they were Human— I’d have fought them. I probably would’ve been able to beat them all on my own. But I couldn’t. I know I couldn’t. Because…”

Her eyes widened as he finished/

“Because they were Demons.”

 

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A note from MelasD

Changed the title cause people brought up some stuff about the old title i never knew about.

Also, new cover


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About the author

MelasD

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