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A note from MelasD

Shoutout to Unliving by Avitue

For the longest time, Aideen Fiachna had only one prescient wish; to be the daughter her parents could take pride in.

The idea was a tall order, especially as her father stood at the head of the Templar order, and her grandfather as the Pope. However, she endeavored to try nonetheless.

Yet fate had a different path in store for her.

For all her efforts, all her best laid plans, were but the broken off crumbs of 'one day'. That day, she was brutally slain by a vile, accursed undead being.

Though, not even restful eternity awaited her in death.

She awakened inside a coffin. Her coffin. During her own funeral wake. Discovering, to her horror, that she had risen. Not somehow resurrected, no, but back in the form of that most hated of beings--the curse of undeath.

What will fate deal her next?

Unliving | Royal Road


233. Tournament

Salvos (Liberator of the Plaguelands)

Species: [Archdemon of Pride]

Subspecies: [Daeva Cambion] - Lvl. 109

Class: [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus] - Lvl. 49

General Skills:

[Advanced Mana Manipulation] - Lvl. 8

[Identification] - Lvl. 6

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

[Racial Skill: Demonic Essence] - Lvl. 4

[Racial Skill: Partial Mortality] - Lvl. 6

[Rest] - Lvl. 5

[Lesser Enhanced Wisdom] - Lvl. 6

[Title Skill: General Curse Resistance] - Lvl. 2

[Title Skill: Recall Skill] - Lvl. 1

Stats:

[Available Stat Points: 0]

[Vitality]: 136 (+25)

[Strength]: 112 (+25)

[Endurance]: 125 (+25)

[Wisdom]: 210 (+25) (+10)

[Agility]: 268 (+25)

Skills:

[Available Skill Points: 1]

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

[Demon’s Mark] - Lvl. 5

[Haste] - Lvl. 10

[Intimidation] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)

[Faux Limbs] - Lvl. 1

[Nebular Construct] - Lvl. 6

[Radiant Slash] - Lvl. 15 (Maxed)

[Salvo of Vanity] - Lvl. 5

[The Primordial Spark] - Lvl. 15

[Wings of the Netherworld] - Lvl. 5

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

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

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

[Unused Skill Slot] x1

Secondary Skills:

[Available Secondary Skill Points: 4]

[Mystical Projection] - Lvl 7

[Object Levitation] - Lvl 1

[Planar Navigation] - Lvl. 5

[Scatter Shift] - Lvl. 5

[Temporal Distortion] - Lvl 20 (Maxed)

Thanks to the Devil, I had leveled a bunch. I didn’t even know why that happened. Just that it did. Apparently he was teaching me something? I didn’t believe him. He seemed like he was lying. But I gratefully accepted the levels and the new Skill I gained, especially since he now wasn’t going to accompany me to Mavos Academy anymore.

However, that didn’t mean that everything he’d done was quickly forgotten. When I stepped onto campus, I was inundated with a deluge of questions from students who heard about the Devil, Sal.

“Is it true that the man who accompanied you to campus the other day was your father?”

“What level is he? I couldn’t identify him!”

“Is he single? I heard he’s—”

I shook them all off, denying every question they asked.

“No! No! No! No! And no! Wait, maybe yes. I don’t know if he’s single. You could ask him— maybe if he dates you he’ll be too busy to bother me!”

I ran off before I could be barraged by even more inquiries about Sal’s marital status. I headed straight to Saffron’s room, barricading myself shut before anyone could notice me. The pink-haired noble raised a brow as I entered.

“You’re here. I thought you’d be too busy spending quality time with your father to visit me.”

“Please don't say that. How’d you hear about it?”

I sighed as I draped myself across the sofa. Saffron scoffed.

“I have ears, Salvos. Plus— it is the talk of the entire academy. They say that Salvos’ father paid a visit and schooled one of the lecturers. He even had a confrontation with the Headmaster. Tell, is that true? Or an over exaggeration?”

“It’s not true!”

I groaned, then I paused.

“Ok, maybe what happened was kind of true. But he’s not my father, alright?”

“Hm, so is this some kind of out-of-wedlock thing or…?”

Saffron tapped a finger on her chin.

“No!”

I scowled and glared at her.

“He’s not related to me at all. It’s… complicated. Just trust me. It’s not something I can tell you about.”

My eyes flickered as I took in the room around us. I took in the general vicinity with [Planar Navigation]. I didn’t sense the Devil anywhere nearby me. But I couldn’t trust that. I didn’t know if he was actually here or not. Because he was far higher-leveled than me. He probably had Skills that let him follow me completely undetected. Sure, he said he’d just mope around in my Lair— maybe drop by a city and prank someone— but I didn’t trust him. I had no reason to trust him.

I’d rather not speak about him to anyone. Not even my companions. Not if he’d get upset about it. Or if they’d get upset about it. For now, I kept this secret tight to my chest. All I’d tell Saffron was one thing:

“He’s… like me. That’s all I can tell you.”

Saffron’s brows snapped together sharply.

“He’s a Demon?!”

“Shhh! Not so loud!”

I waved a hand, glancing about warily. There was no one nearby, and Saffron’s runes were active. But still, it was better to be cautious.

“Yes, he is like me. However, he’s not dangerous. At least, not to you. Not with me around here. I am… dealing with him the best I can, alright? But he’s a bit of a handful.”

The Devil wouldn’t leave me alone, no matter what I did. It was best to just let him train me— teach me a Grand Skill. It was a win-win situation for me. He’d finally go away, and I’d have a Grand Skill.

“A handful, huh?”

“Yep.”

I let out a frustrated breath, and Saffron peered at me. She looked slightly amused. I blinked.

“What?”

“It’s nothing. I want to feel bad for you, but I almost can’t.”

“Wait, why not?”

I stared at her as she chuckled.

“I don’t exactly know what you’re going through, Salvos, but it seems tiring. It seems like… maybe you’re finally starting to understand what I have to go through when dealing with you.”

“Hey!”

She grinned as I shook a fist.

“I’m not anywhere near as bad as the D— as Sal! Alright? And when I annoy you, i don’t do it on purpose… most of the time. I try to switch between being nice and being annoying! I know my limits!”

Saffron gave me a flat stare.

“Sure you do.”

“Look—”

I crossed my arms.

“Sal doesn’t understand boundaries. He doesn’t care about me in the same way I care about you. He just finds me interesting and entertaining— he’ll get bored in a few days or weeks and move on. But until then, I have to deal with his constant, incessant pestering—”

There was a rapping on the door as I froze. I slowly turned around, facing the doorway as Saffron stood up. She walked over to open the odor and I raised a hand.

“Wait—”

I narrowed my eyes. [Planar Navigation] told me that it was a regular man standing out in the doorway. He was a familiar man. But I couldn’t place a finger on why I recognized him. Could it be Sal? Did he overhear what I was saying about him?

“Don’t open it.”

“Why not?”

I pursed my lips as Saffron creased her brows. She reached for the doorknob regardless, and I spoke quickly.

“It could be him. Look, just… don’t open the door. Let me do it.”

I got up as she shrugged, stepping back.

“Sure, I guess.”

Steeling myself, I closed my eyes as I gripped the door handle. If Sal was on the other side, I’d have to lead him away from Saffron before he could try anything. I took in a deep breath and opened the door.

“Hey, Sal—”

I blinked when I saw who was on the other side. It was Matthew. Saffron’s butler.

I heaved a heavy sigh in relief as I swung the door open.

“Oh, it’s just you. Come on in.”

“Greetings to you too, Ms Salvos.”

He walked in, speaking in a flat tone of voice as I stepped to the side. He carried with him a Bag of Holding and an envelope. Was that another letter for Saffron? I was pretty sure he’d been bringing her a lot of those lately.

“Lady Saffron, I have brought you the ingredients as you requested. And another letter for your family.”

Saffron smiled at him, gratefully accepting the letter. She stared down at it for a moment, her lips pressed into a thin line, before finally, she waved at him distractedly.

“Also, you can give that Bag of Holding to Salvos.”

“To me?”

I cocked my head. Matthew nodded as he passed it over my way.

“Indeed, Ms Salvos. This package was procured for you. It is a collection of spare ingredients that you may need for the concoction of your Potion of Regeneration. It includes additional tempest-fused blood, and an entire Enigmatic Heart.”

“Huh.”

I stared in the Bag of Holding— at the large heart-shaped crystal that laid within it. I glanced up at him.

“You got all of this for me?”

“I did not, Ms Salvos. Lady Saffron had ordered me to acquire it for you. It cost her quite a lot and utilized most of her connections. You were fortunate. Items such as the Enigmatic Heart are not so easy to come across. It was mere coincidence that one of her associates had recently fallen into a dire financial situation and was selling his property, including this trophy here.”

Matthew gestured at the Enigmatic Heart. I nodded slowly. Then I smiled.

“Thank you, Saffron.”

I turned to hug her, but I saw how she continued to stare at her letter. She didn’t say anything until I repeated her name.

“Saffron?”

“Hm?”

She looked up at me, blinking. I hesitated.

“Um, thank you for doing this for me. I really appreciate it.”

“Oh, of course.”

Saffron quickly pocketed her letter and returned my smile.

“We are, as you say, companions. And with this single Enigmatic Heart, you’ll be able to probably convert it into a few dozen shards. I do hope you’ll still err on the side of caution in your brewing. I cannot promise that I’ll be able to find these ingredients so easily next time around.”

She wagged a finger.

“Remember, for potion-making, it is better to be meticulous than to be reckless. Even with your finals coming around, you cannot rush the process. It is better to take your time in concocting your Potion of Regeneration than to fail and have to start the process all over again.”

“Wait, it’s my finals soon?”

“Yes.”

Saffron sighed, and I cocked my head.

“Huh. It really is my finals soon.”

I stared at the calendar pinned on the wall. Saffron massaged her temples.

“I don’t know if I’m more worried whether you’ll rush your Potion of Regeneration and botch it or take too long and miss the deadline.”

I waved a hand off, laughing.

“Don’t worry about me! I’m Salvos, after all!”

She pursed her lips, looking up at me.

“Normally, I’d be reassured by that. But… recently, you’ve been a little out of it, Salvos. Because of… Sal, I’m sure.”

I bit my lower lip, and she placed a hand on my shoulder.

“I know I teased you about it earlier, but if you need someone to talk to, I’m here.”

I met Saffron’s gaze, staring into her glinting red eyes. Then I nodded, feeling my lips curl up.

“The same goes for you, Saffron. If you feel like I’m too much, just tell me. I won’t get offended by it.”

“Somehow, I highly doubt that.”

She laughed, and I giggled. Then I shook my head.

Seriously, Saffron. You’re my companion. Iif you need any help with anything, just let me know. I’ll do all I can to help you. I’m pretty strong, you know?”

I gave her a thumbs-up, and Saffron’s eyes flickered. She glanced down at her pocket— at the letter she had kept. Then she spoke softly.

“Perhaps… perhaps…”

Saffron closed her eyes and nodded.

“Thank you, Salvos. But for now, I suggest you focus on your finals. And I will focus on mine too. Everything will be fine.”

“I’m sure.”

But I paused. I tapped a finger on my chin.

“Although, I can’t believe it’s almost time for finals. There’s still a few weeks left. Huh, I wonder if there’s anything else to do until then...”

—--

Was there really nothing else to do until my finals? I had to finish my Potion of Regeneration— which was in the works. And I had a practical for my class on enchantment. But other than that, I was pretty well prepared. I just had to study and read and do the exact same thing I did for my midterms for my finals.

I walked alongside Valda and her friends as we headed for the library. I’d finish all my other classes, so it was time for our usual tutor session— finally. It felt like we hadn’t done this in a while. Unfortunately, however, she also heard the rumor about Sal. Fortunately, she believed every word I said.

“So, he’s just a weirdo who claims to be your father?”

“He is! Seriously, I’d have beat him up if he was actually causing any trouble. But he wasn’t, so I let it go for a while. Now, he won’t be a bother.”

“Woah.”

Valda’s eyes sparkled as I finished my story. She excitedly turned to her friends, whispering to them about how amazing I was. I raised my chin, happy that I was finally being praised again instead of being embarrassed. One small part of me was worried that Sal would suddenly show up just because I badmouthed him, but he never came.

Also, it was not like I lied about what happened. I was at least more truthful than the Devil. He was a weirdo. And if he was doing something actually harmful to me, I’d try to beat him up, even if I’d fail. So, I was mostly telling the truth. Unlike Sal who mostly lied.

We were just about the reach the library when I had a thought.

“Hey, Valda… this is a bit random, but is there anything in Mavos Academy that’ll be happening over the next few weeks?”

“Anything that’s happening?”

The blonde girl tilted her head back. I nodded.

“Yep. Any extracurricular activities? Anything interesting?”

“I don’t know…”

She thought for a moment, turning to her friends to exchange a few words. Then they all perked up at the same time, and she turned back to me.

“Actually, there is something that might interest you.”

“Really?”

I halted mid-step and leaned in, curious. She nodded eagerly.

“There’s a tournament that’ll be happening once finals are over. Over break. Anyone of any level can participate. There are various brackets for level groups. I hear a dozen Diamond Ranks are joining this year.”

“What A dozen other Diamond Ranks?”

My eyes widened as Valda smiled.

“Yes! Are you interested in joining? Although… many of them are higher-leveled than you…”

She trailed off. I crossed my arms.

“Do you think I’ll lose or something?”

“I mean…”

Valda shifted slightly, and I scoffed. I clapped my hands together, activating a Skill.

There was a flash. Golden flames poured out from my body and into the ground. Valda and her friends backed up in a panic, fearing that I was angry. But I wasn’t. I simply smirked as I watched motes and wisps break off from the deluge of flames, gathering into the vague shape of a figure.

“W-what is…?”

Valda stared as the golden fire formed a person. The clone stood right next to me, arms folded and staring at her as I spread my arms wide.

“[Salvo of Vanity].”

Valda’s eyes bulged as my clone copied my movements. I continued.

“My newest Skill. What do you think?”

“W-woah…”

She glanced between me and my clone. The blonde girl couldn’t say anything. Her friends were dead silent as well. I placed my hands on my hips.

“It’s more than just a clone. It can do a lot of things. You haven’t seen it just yet. And I can create another clone with my Skill.”

Originally, I could only create one clone at a time. But after expending 4 Skill Points into [Salvo of Vanity] so that it’d be at Level 5, I could not create two clones.

“Pretty great, huh?”

“It is amazing!”

Valda and her friends gathered around my clone and I. They kept looking between us, inspecting us from afar, although they really looked like they wanted to touch and prod at us. I didn’t let them. Instead, I turned to Valda along with my clone.

“So, do you still think I’ll lose?”

“No.”

She shook her head.

“I take everything back. I’m sure you’ll easily win the tournament!”

“Of course I will! A dozen other Diamond Ranks? And I’ll be fighting them? Easy! Where do I sign up?”

Valda quickly reached into her bag, producing a piece of paper. She nodded as she handed it to me.

“Here— this is the sign-up sheet. I was thinking of signing up, but… I decided against it. However, you’ll shock everyone if you do!”

“I know, I’m amazing.”

I beamed as I accepted the sign-up sheet. I looked it over, already reaching for a pen as my eyes scanned the form quickly. Then I frowned when I read words printed at the bottom.

No killing allowed… wait, what? Doesn’t that mean I won’t gain any experience? I thought to myself. Then I continued reading until it mentioned the next part. With the safety equipment, little-to-no experience will be gained from this event. The only reward will be the 50 platinum prize for each of the bracket winners.

I narrowed my eyes.

“Wait, really? That’s it? I don’t get any experience from it? Only money?”

“Yes”

Valda peered at me enthusiastically.

“Are you still interested in joining?”

I tossed the pamphlet aside.

“Absolutely not!”

 

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A note from MelasD

Took yesterday off cause I got vaccinated and also for Thanksgiving.


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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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