Whilst Edward and Charlotte rushed at the last goblin, Edward glanced at the corpse of the enemy they just killed. No skin remained on her head. All he could see was burnt bone and blackened muscles. Yet he could still tell that she scrunched her face into a look of sorrow and shock. At first, he felt he was just putting down wolves like he did in his Dream World. He felt like he was just slaughtering petulant monsters that knew how to do nothing but kill and feast on innocent people. But then he looked at the face of the last goblin.

His eyes glistened as he glanced at his dead comrade. His mouth quivered at the sight of his friend’s corpse.

Edward thought he’d feel elated after killing such violent, and gluttonous, and revolting animals. But an unusual feeling wormed up his stomach. The feeling was faint, however. Too faint to stop him from sprinting toward his enemy. Too faint to stop images of the meat wagons from leaving his mind. Too faint to stop his fists from clenching and his face wrinkling into an infernal scowl.

Pulling him out of his furious focus, Charlotte jerked her head towards the goblin’s corpse. “You should grab the weapons,” she said.

He nodded.

They both dashed to the side, away from their living enemy, and ran at the corpse. Whilst they sprinted towards it, Richard tried to occupy the goblin by flickering a flame in front of his palm.

The goblin dropped his shield, snatched a dagger off his belt, and flung it at Richard. He had to cancel his spell casting to duck and dodge the dagger. It flew over his head and clanged against a wall.

During which, Edward grabbed the axe and shield off the floor. After looking down at the axe...

Petty Iron Axe (Uncommon)

Strength: + 10

Durability: 5

As a result, his status screen looked like the following...

Level: 19

Strength: 26 (36)

Defense: 25

Agility: 24

Magic: 0

Despite 5 seeming like a low number, the axe felt much heavier than a weapon with an iron blade and a wooden shaft should’ve been. He clenched it and it didn’t break. Considering his strength stat, it should’ve snapped in his grasp. It couldn’t have been crafted normally. It had to be magical. He wondered what created such a thing. After looking at the shield...

Petty Wooden Shield (Uncommon)

Defense: + 10

Durability: 3

Once again, it felt much heavier and firmer than it should’ve been. But he couldn’t waste any time pondering on it. So after picking it up, he followed Charlotte, running at the last goblin.

Ever since Richard said he heard Wickancis and Unnalt were coming, Charlotte’s lips quivered and her eyes bulged. All of them were nervous before, but she was even more so. Considering her circumstances, it was only natural. She was disadvantaged. Yet she still kept fighting without hesitation. So instead of keeping the shield for himself, he chucked it at Charlotte. “Catch,” he said.

She bristled at the sight and caught it. “You should have it,” she said, glaring at him as they rushed at the last goblin.

Edward shook his head. “I already have high defense stats. I’ll be fine.”

Her glare broke into a smile, but then dropped back into a grimace as they quickly turned back to the last goblin.

Edward expected him to have been running at them whilst they grabbed the axe and shield off the ground, but he stood still. Not only did he stand still, but he closed his eyes. He was in an unusual stance. He crouched, grabbed his axe in both hands, and pressed the head of it on the ground. He breathed deeply and appeared at peace.

“Damn it,” Charlotte snapped, increasing her speed towards the goblin.

“What is it?” Edward asked.

“He’s using an ability called Agile Stance. I saw it with my Inspection ability. If he stands still in that specific stance and breathes in a specific rhythm for five uninterrupted seconds, then his agility stat will double.”

Edward clicked his tongue. One of the major advantages they had over the goblins was their higher agility stats. But now that was out of the window.

“I knew he’d try to use the ability whilst we grabbed the weapons but I hoped Richard could keep him occupied during it,” She shot a glare at Richard, as he shuddered and hesitated, unsure of what to do whilst all of his abilities were on cooldown. Cancelling his Ember still meant it went on cooldown, but it was shorter than if he shot it. “But his recent actions tricked me into trusting him too soon.”

Edward thought that was a bit unfair. Considering how low his HP was, there was nothing much he could do. But despite that, Richard furrowed his brows with resolve, appearing to come up with an idea, and pointed his palm at Edward. A swirling, glowing and ethereal emerald green ball flickered in front of his palm.

“Don’t do it!” Charlotte shouted at Richard. “Considering how close Wickancis and Unnalt are, we need to save your Agille Aura for when we escape! There’d be no chance of escaping without it!”

Richard lurched at her shout, nodded and cancelled the ability. They had to fight the goblin with the agility that they had. So whilst he continued to crouch on the floor in his Warrior stance, Edward and Charlotte leapt at him, devouring his figure in shadow.

His eyes opened. A pale green aura smothered him and filled his eyes with a lime glow.

Edward swung his axe down at the goblin’s nec-

He pivoted to the side and watched as Edward sliced the axe down at the ground, centimetres away from his nose. Chips of rocks splashed out of the floor from where he smashed the axe into.

Charlotte rushed to the goblin’s front. “It’s finally on the front of it’s face,” she muttered with a smile, probably referencing her Precision ability.

She shot the sole of her foot at the goblin’s fac-

He pulled his shield up and her foot smashed against it, wobbling the wood and shuddering his arm, but not doing much more than that. She clicked her tongue and flipped as she pushed herself off the shield. But the goblin followed. He shot up from a crouch into a sprint and whacked his axe at he-

The axe smashed against Charlotte’s shield, whacking her arm to the side, lifting her off her feet, and flipping her backwards till she crashed and tumbled onto the floor.

Edward chewed his lip at the sight. If the goblin could dodge their attacks, did it mean that he had higher agility than them? It probably did. If so, would it even be possible to land a hit on him? Wouldn’t he just keep dodging their attacks?

But then he thought of when he fought the direwolves. He had more agility than them, and he’d dodge most of their attacks, but there were still times when they ended up hitting him. That could be the same for him, Charlotte, and Richard. It had to be.

So when Charlotte staggered to her feet, they both ran at the goblin again. Edward leapt at him and thrust his foot at the goblin’s hea-

He ducked and smirked up at Edward as he flew over him. Irritation gnawed at Edward’s stomach as he landed behind the goblin. Especially when he felt himself pant, and saw sweat trickle across his entire body despite the freezing cold. The annoyance morphed into a fury when he saw his stamina was only at 50%.

Charlotte flung her fist at the goblin’s face. Her arm plunged past the rim of his shield and blurred as it zoomed at his ey-

The goblin rammed the rim of the shield against her wrist, pushing her fist up and away from his face. She winced, and dashed backwards, but her eyes snapped wide and sweat stampeded down her body when the goblin followed, axe glinting in the moonlight and morphing into a pale blue blur as he swung it at her nec-

The crackling of fire wafted into Edward’s ears. A ball of fire flew past him and flogged his cheek with a skin tingling heat. It filled the sewer with an orange lustre as it zoomed towards the gobli-

He somersaulted, and Richard's fire zoomed over his back as he rolled, dissipating as it slammed against the stone wall. The goblin rolled onto his feet, directly in front of Charlotte. She lurched at the sight of him.

Edward bristled and ran towards them. She dashed to side to dodge any potential attack, but the goblin and his axe followed. Edward reached out to Charlotte, chewing his lip till it bled and snapping his rattling eyes wide. Panic roared up his stomach and clawed up to his chest as the goblin’s axe zoomed towards her-

Charlotte pulled her shield up to her face, covering her neck and head. But her eyes still bulged. She still slammed the sewer with a shriek.

Because the goblin rammed his axe below her shield and into her oblique, splattering blood, cracking ribs, and sinking into her body till half of the iron vanished in flesh. Her HP dropped to 2%.

Before that wretched animal could do any more to her, Edward clenched his fists till he ripped the skin of his hands, made the goblin bristle because he let out a petulant roar, leapt at him, and flung his axe at the gobli-

He spun, ripping his axe out of Charlotte, who tumbled onto the ground and gushed blood onto the floor. He turned towards Edward and swung the rim of his shield at his wrist. But his arm rushed past it. His axe crashed against the goblin’s shoulder, denting and tearing chain mail, and soaking the tunic underneath with blood. The goblin yelled as he stumbled backwards, gripping his bleeding shoulder. But Edward clicked his tongue. His HP only dropped to 85%.

Edward shook his head when he noticed his panting intensify, his trickling of sweat ramping up to a stampede, and his knees wobbling. His stamina was only at 40%.

The goblin’s recoiling quickly ceased. He flung himself at Edward, whacking his axe at his ches-

Edward bent his knees, pushed off the groud, leaned to the side, and dashed away from the gobli-

The goblin’s eyes swivelled, following Edward’s movements. And in turn, his arm twisted. The axe shifted trajectory, shooting towards his tors-

The axe smashed into Edward’s stomach, surging a boiling agony across his body. Only a quarter of the blade sunk into his abdomen, but blood still spilled out of it, across the axe blade and shaft, and onto the floor. He bellowed a throat scraping yell whilst he dashed to the side, letting the axe leave his body, splattering pink flesh on the ground as it did so.

Edward’s entire body shook. He rapidly gasped for breath. Sweat rushed across his body and showered the floor, mixing with the blood that formed small puddles beneath him. His stamina dropped to 20%, and his HP dropped to 60%.

Prickling his cheek and curling up the beginnings of a smile on Edward’s face, a ball of fire shot past him and plunged towards the goblin. He ducke-

The fire already zoomed down to where the goblin crouched. It crashed against his face, smothering his head, ripping away skin from muscle and replacing green with the black of burnt flesh. He stumbled around and rumbled Edward’s ears with an agonizing yell. So whilst the goblin did that, Edward ground his teeth, pushing down the heart ravaging pain that rampaged up from his stomach and smothered his body, and sprinted towards the goblin.

By the time he slammed his foot a metre in front of the goblin, the flame dissipated, leaving behind patches of green and black skin, and the occasional muscle and bone peeking out from behind. That horrifying and malformed face jerked toward Edward and snarled. But the snarl morphed into a wide-eyed expression of shock when Edward swung his axe at his nec-

He pivoted to the side, letting the axe cut nothing more than empty air. Smirking at Edward’s grimace, he lunged at him, swinging his weapon.

The goblin slammed his axe down onto chest, cracking his sternum, rattling his ribcage, and drenching his torso with blood. Only a bit of the blade sunk into his flesh, but Edward still smothered the sewer with a screech and his HP still dropped to 20%.

He chewed the inside of his mouth, wrinkled the skin of his face with a scowl, and tightened his grip on the shaft of the axe, trying to shove the blazing pain down to the recesses of his mind. Lurching the goblin with a yell, he swung his axe above his helmet and whacked it down at the his shoulder.

His eyes followed it, he leaned to the side, and ripped his axe out of Edward’s chest so he could dash awa-

Edward’s axe crashed into the ground, sinking into the stone and splattering rocks into the air. The impact reverberated up Edward’s arms, wobbling him. The wobbling ramped up into a violent shake when he saw the goblin rushing towards him, looming over him, showering his figure with shadow, and horizontally slashing his axe at Edward’s nec-

He ducked and looked up, hoping to see the axe fly over his head. But he didn’t see it. The goblin twisted his arm, twirled the axe, and flung it down at Edward’s hea-

He heard Charlotte grunt. He heard something whoosh through the air by his side. Something brown smothered his periphery. In a fraction of a second, Edward glanced at it, and saw it was her shield.

He snatched it and rammed it above his head.

The axe smashed against it, surging a balance rumbling wobble through the shield and around his body, making him feel like he was in the middle of an earthquake. The axe’s blade poked through the shield, crunching through the wood and spraying shavings and splinters at Edward’s face. The goblin kept shoving the blade through the shield and thrust it towards him.

The axe sunk into his shoulder and sliced across it, filling him with a searing pain and ripping a shout out of his throat. Blood stampeded down his arm and torso. It felt like weights pulled down on every limb and muscle. His body shook as if he was rolling down a hill. He gasped for breath as if he just survived drowning. Sweat diluted the blood. His stamina was a mere 10%. And a boiling agony rushed across every inch of his body, because his HP dropped to 4%.

The goblin’s attack delivered less damage than it normally would’ve, however. Probably due to it having to smash through the shield to get to him. But it did much more than Edward would’ve ever wanted, so his heart ravaged his shattered sternum.

But despite the fear that begged him to run for the gates and break them down whilst the goblin killed Richard and Charlotte, telling him that Wickancis didn’t hire the Warrior to kill Edward, only to injure him and capture him because he was a vauable Dream Knight, Edward ran towards the goblin.

Considering the goblin’s previous attack, he clearly had no intention of keeping Edward alive. The Warrior didn’t expect a job to capture what they thought were a bunch of low-level humans to be so difficult. He didn’t expect his friend to die. So he didn’t want his boss’ money anymore. He wanted something more than that. He probably wanted vengeance.

As images of the slaughtered humans flitted through Edward’s mind, he scowled and declared that he wanted vengeance as well. So he tightened his grip on his axe, and lunged at the goblin, pretending to swing it at his fac-

He dashed to the side and cackled, dodging the attack he expected from Edward. But Charlotte’s training flickered in his mind, because the swing was a fake. He instead thrust a tip of the axe’s blade at the goblin’s face. It zoomed past the shied.

It plunged into his burnt eye, splattered blood out of the shattered socket, and ripped a squeal out of the wretched goblin’s throat.

But he rammed the rim of his shield up against the axe’s shaft, knocking the iron out of his face and above his head. It didn’t sink as deep into his skull as Edward hoped, but the attack still dropped his HP down to 5%. His regret for not being able to drop it further intensified when the goblin leapt at Edward, rumbled the sewer with a roar and whipped his axe at his nec-

Flame tickled his shoulder. A fireball zoomed past him and smashed against the goblin’s face.

“Yes!” Richard shouted whilst the goblin screamed, and flailed his hands that slapped against and clawed at his burning and blackening face. He stumbled around aimlessly.

Whilst he did that, excitement rushed through Edward, and he sprinted at the goblin.

“It came off cooldown,” Charlotte croaked, wobbling as she staggered to her feet.

Edward bristled as he ran at the goblin. If he used that ability, he didn’t know what he’d be able to do against it.

He heard Richard yell. He glanced backwards. Despite blood coating his entire body, and shuddering as if in a tornado, he pointed his palms at Edward, about to shoot a wind blast. Hope flickered in Edward’s heart at the sight. He could save Edward, just like he saved Charlotte. Whilst he was much further away than he was when he blasted himself over to her, if Edward jumped at the same time, he could still survive. But the goblin shot a glare at Richard.

He flung his shield at him. It spun and shot towards him just as wind began to waft out of his palms.

So he slapped his hands over his head and ducked, letting the shield fly over him and slam against a wall. Whilst his Wind Blast coulld've pushed the shield away, it wasn't a guarantee and considering how little HP Richard had, he probaby didn't want to take that risk.

As a result, the goblin was free to use his ability. His eyes flashed crimson.

“Speed me up, Wicky!” a faint but deep voice echoed from deep within the sewer. “If you want to save the Agile Aura till later then just hit us with a Wind Blast!”

“Shit!” Richard snapped. “After they’ve run past the next turn, they’d see us!”

For Unnalt’s voice to be audible, it meant that they were close. Too close. Edward winced as he ran at the last goblin. They needed to end the fight quick. Standing still and letting the goblin vanish and slice him in half with his ability was one way, but not a preferable one. Despite that, there was nothing else Edward could envision. So in that fraction of a second, Edward wracked his brain for something he could do. Something that could counter that ability. Something that could disrupt it. But he thought of nothin-

An idea flashed through his mind. So he froze. He stood still. Raising his hand so his palm was directly in front of his own, where the goblin’s would be after he dashed towards him, he watched as crimson glowed in the goblin’s eyes. Edward waited for the goblin's face to press against his palm. So his teeth chattered as he watched the goblin’s figure blur, vanish, and appear directly in front of him, devouring his periphery with the head of his swinging ax-

As soon as Edward felt an inch of mass pressing against his palm, the goblin’s face, he activated his Dream Touch ability. Blue light flashed in front of his palm, showering the goblin's face with cerulean.

Which is why his eyes closed. His body froze. His arm went limp and fell, pulling the head of the axe away from Edward’s neck. His body tripped and stumbled, falling to the floor.

A second later, the goblin’s eyes snapped wide, instantly exiting the Dream World. But not instant enough. He slammed his feet on the floor and pushed himself up to a stand. He tightened his grip on his axe just before it fell out of his grasp and turned to Edward. But by then it was too late.

Edward already rammed his axe into the goblin's neck, sinking into it until iron touched bone.

The goblin tripped and tumbled onto the stone floor, yanking his spin away from Edward's axe. Whilst blood gushed out of his sliced neck, he crawled across the ground and reached out towards the corpse of his dead friend, blood from his neck spitting and splattering onto her burnt face.

“Wh-what’s the point of this!?” He squealed whilst gurgling and choking on his own blood. “Why're th-these wretched animals even here!? All they do is murder, and conquer and...” His voice devolved into an incoherent and petulant cough and gurgle. But it calmed down into a coarse whisper when he finally reached his friend’s corpse and enveloped the cold hand of her cadaver with his own. The blood of his neck pooled onto the stone, merging with the blood of his friend’s corpse. His HP dropped to 0%.

Edward gulped at the sight whilst Richard jumped and punch the air, but afterwards he coughed violently, tripped to his knees, and spat blood on the ground. Even Charlotte smiled as she staggered to her feet, still trickling blood onto the ground from out of her wounded oblique.

His stamina was a mere 5% and his mind felt rattled, so he was not sure if it was just his exhaustion talking, but he couldn’t deny that the thought that these man-eating and bloodthirsty monsters were more similar to humans than he hoped wafted through his mind. Why did he think that such evil creatures were sentient like him and cared for fellow members of their species like him?

But Edward shrugged and sprinted for the gates. It wasn’t his world. He didn't have any intention of staying in it for much longer. All he needed to do was defeat Wickancis, the leader of the whole operation, get him to tell them how to escape back to their own world, and then slaughter him, preventing him from doing the same to any other human. The morality of it didn’t matter. It was kill or be killed. Those thoughts weakly emerged in his mind, weakened by the resistance of opposing thoughts, but it was strong enough to keep him moving forward.

Struggling to maintain his sprint, he looked down at his stamina and saw that it was a mere 5%. So he finally activated his Marathoner ability now that they needed to escape, boosting his stamina up to 100%, and finally made his way to the gates.

Whilst he did that, Charlotte staggered over to the corpses and snatched up a bow and quiver, letting out a raspy celebratory cackle and splattering blood on the ground as she did so.

Edward smashed the sole of his foot against the gate. A few bars bent.

“Take this,” Richard grunted behind Edward. He turned to look at him and saw that he shot an ethereal green ball at him, smothering his body with a green glow. It was his Agile Aura.

Edward nodded at him. “Thanks,” he croaked. He whacked the gate with his foot gain, denting all the bars.

A large and billowing piece of black cloth wafted towards Edward and rested on his shoulder. It was a cloak. “Wear this, as well.” Charlotte said as she stumbled towards him. She flung a cloak onto herself.

“Why?” Edward asked. “We don’t have time to worry about clothes.”

“Do you really think we’re gonna survive in the middle of a city filled with man-eating goblins as stark naked humans? We should at least wear cloaks with hoods as a weak attempt to hide our identity as humans. Without it we’re as good as dead.”

Edward nodded. It made sense now that he thought about it and would probably be worth the time it would take to put it on. So he handed Charlotte his axe and shield, snatched the cloak off his shoulder and shoved it over his head and bloody torso. “Where did you find it?” He asked.

“I found it in here,” she said as he pointed at a bag that she took from the goblins and slung over her shoulder. “There are many other things in here as well, but I don’t have the time to check them out now.”

“We sure don’t.” Edward finally pulled it over his bleeding body and flung the hood over his head, covering his face in shadow.

Charlotte staggered up to Edward’s side, bow and leather bag hanging on her shoulder, quiver filled with arrows strapped to her back, and axe and shield held in her hands. Richard limped over to his other side, still shoving on the cloak she threw at him, and covering his face with a hood. “You’re also gonna need to carry us,” Charlotte said.

Edward nodded, and scooped them up into his grasp, one for each arm, wincing at the pain of moving his injured body. He grimaced and continued bashing the gate, kicking it again and again. The entire thing bent and crumpled. But it was still in the way.

The bashing of metal against stone echoed through the sewer. It came from behind them, deep within the sewer. It was Unnalt and Wickancis’ footsteps.

Edward flung his foot at the gate. His leg plunged through it.

It crashed onto the ground. Edward smiled, leapt over it and dashed into the outside world, letting snow patter his head and a glacial breeze caress hiss skin. The footsteps got louder and clearer. They got closer. He heard the crackling of fire. So he turned.

Pale green aura covered two Level 25 Warriors who sprinted towards him. Wickancis stood still further behind them and a swirling fire ball that showered the sewer with a orange light grew in front of his palm. Unnalt crouched next to him, pressing the head of his axe against the ground, probably using the Agile Stance ability, even though an emerald green aura already covered him, probably the result of Wickancis’ Agile Aura.

He then jumped to his feet, filled the sewer with a swift rattle as his feet rapidly pounded on the ground. He sprinted towards them, slithering past the two Level 25 Warriors, leaping over the broken gate, and rushing towards Edward.

Panic wormed up his stomach and burrowed into his throbbing chest. Charlotte’s teeth chattered, and she wriggled in fear in his grasp.

“Turn around so I can face them!” Richard shouted with a shaky voice and quivering lips.

Edward nodded, turned, and pointed Richard towards Unnalt’s blurring figure. He pointed his palms towards the goblins.


Why are you reading this story? (Just wanna get a sense of where this story's strengths lie)
I like the premise
41.3% 41.3% of votes
I like the LitRPG system/worldbuilding
34.78% 34.78% of votes
I like the plot
8.7% 8.7% of votes
I like the characters
4.35% 4.35% of votes
I like (other)
0% 0% of votes
I don't like any of it, I'm reading because (reason)
2.17% 2.17% of votes
8.7% 8.7% of votes
Total: 46 vote(s)

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