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“How are the Heroes doing?”

“Scythe and Jason are still holding the frontlines, your Majesty. Izuka should still be dealing with the salamander situation up north, she is scheduled to come back in three months.”

“What about the three from the last batch?”

“Another dud, your Majesty. Minato showed great potential but he was caught by the empire’s inquisitors. We quietly disposed of the other two. They were utterly inadequate.”

*Sigh* “What is the church doing, sending us these clowns again and again…”

 


 

Sofia woke up to the same boring marble room.

‘You have defeated [Forest Slime - lv. 2]’

‘You have defeated [Vampire Bat - lv. 4]’

‘The hero : ‘Holy Skeleton’ gained a level!’

‘You have defeated [Starved Wolf - lv. 5]’

‘You have defeated [Wild Hare - lv. 1]’

‘You have defeated [Wild Hare - lv. 5]’

‘The hero : ‘Holy Skeleton’ gained a level!’

‘You have defeated [Wild Hare - lv. 6]’

‘You have defeated [Wild Hare - lv. 6]’

‘You have defeated [Wild Hare - lv. 2]’

‘The hero : ‘Holy Skeleton’ gained a level!’

The faraway skeleton had done some quality hunting during the night, going up to level 5. The shared experience wasn’t enough to get me to level up, it probably barely made a dent. Her idea of using the skeleton to speed up her leveling while she was stuck here wasn’t looking very promising.

She tried to leave but to her surprise her door was locked. Did they find out about yesterday? She checked and the rat skeleton and knife were still there. She let herself fall on her bed. It was still the only piece of furniture in the large room. It would be nice if I could get a bath. She had to sweat a lot to get her levels the previous day and felt unclean.

Her mana was full so she spent it all.

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 9’

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 10’

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 11’

Having that much mana really is cheating… I need to find a way to make it regenerate even faster!

Sofia had nothing to do in the empty closed room. She observed the city below through the large windows, it was too far down to really watch anything interesting happen, but she took the time to familiarize herself with the city layout. About two hours later something unexpected happened.

‘[Fast reading] reached level 14’

“What!”

‘Reading’ the city layout? Is this what it is? I was stuck at level 12 for so long and I could have just leveled it up by staring at things for long enough? Is my class broken or is the whole system broken?!

Her memorization of the city design got noticeably faster after the level up, but she got bored at some point and just went back to bed for a nap.

 


 

“Saintess, are you alright?”

“Uh. Irina? Yeah I’m just… sleeping.”

“Oh, alright then. I left the food for today here. The Magisterium cannot be here today so he sent me to inform the Saintess that the bathroom was unlocked and that she had to start reading the books. He’s referring to the second and third rooms on the left.” she says, pointing at the corridor behind.

“Enjoy your day off, Saintess. There might not be many more…”

“You sure know how to lift the mood, don’t you?”

“I…” the maid froze for a second.

“I’m sorry I just…” she continued in a softer tone.

“Don’t worry I’m not mad, I know I’m a captive here, it’s ok.”

“I- I’m going back to work, stay safe, Saintess.”

Irina left in a hurry.

The food in question was the same apple and soup she had gotten the day before, with an added loaf of rock hard dark bread. She still ate all of it. The next step was checking out the so-called bathroom.

Sofia came out of there more than an hour later, cleaned and with a new robe. They had even provided a gold headband engraved with weird sigils. It had quite some weight on her head, despite being very thin. Was this one of the rumored magic items providing various bonuses? She was shocked to have been handed something that valuable just like that, even if it turned out it wasn’t magic in the end it was still fully gold!

It felt weird walking with more money on her head than she had ever owned before. They must be very, very confident that I can’t even try to escape. I’ll show them! They’ve never seen a Saintess quite like me!

She spent the rest of the day reading through the books in the other room. The guards checked on her once, they even talked a bit, the duo was named Jeff and Yannick, both level 60 warriors. They said they didn’t have to do anything as long as she didn’t try anything funny or left the cloister without the Magisterium. If anything, they seemed quite sympathetic with her situation. Also, another duo swapped with them every night.

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 12’

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 13’

 


 

She left her room late at night.

As she was coming out of the books’ room one of the other duo of guards came out to see what she was doing. This one was kinda short and he looked bored out of his mind.

“Hey, what are you doing out of your room this late?”

“I- I just wanted to read a book under the moonlight.” She held up the book she had just taken. “I can’t sleep…”

“Just don’t leave the cloister.” The man sighed like this was the worst day of his life, and returned to the guard post.

Alright now to find a suitable spot…

It took her some time but she found a nice place with large and flat stacked rocks, out of view from the guards’ door. A perfect moonlit place for reading. She carefully took out the knife from between her breasts, the blade was rolled in some cut cloth. She moved the first rock of the pile away, and got to work carving on the second one.

She had drawn the necromantic skeleton circle many times before getting it correct in the crypt. She could almost do it with her eyes closed now, especially one as small as the one she needed, the only hard part was not making excessive noise. The stone was quite brittle which helped a lot. By the end, the knife’s point was ruined but the circle was complete.

She retrieved the rat skeleton in the folded rag she had tied to her ankle, it was quite tight to lessen the noise it would make and she struggled for a while to undo her own knot. I should have just cut it open. She would have to cut herself open next anyway…

She frowned. Can I not just use [Summon Blood]? Does it have to be mine?

‘[Summon Blood] reached level 2’

As the blood filled the carved circle the rat skeleton slowly reassembled and came to life.

[ERROR]

AGAIN?!

[User cannot summon the same hero twice, please choose one]

[Holy Skeleton (Human) / Holy Skeleton (Rat)]

That’s just it? No halved thing bullshit? No admin call? Alright I can deal with just this. Goodbye old skeleton I guess, you’re just too far away.

[You summoned the Hero : Holy Skeleton (Rat) - lv. 5]

It even kept the levels of the other skeleton!

The small rat skeleton stood still, awaiting his orders, his eyes emitting a soft golden light, a small, round but spiked halo of yellow light hovering, crooked, over his skull.

Her first command was to hide the lights. How could he do his job of being discreet if he was a walking lightshow. To her relief, it could actually be turned off. But she felt the rat getting significantly weaker without it.

She hid the circle by replacing the first rock on top of it, left the skeleton there and went back to her room. Her orders were to explore all unguarded places, as discreetly as possible. She established signals like ‘stop moving for a second’ or ‘immediately retreat then do a circle’ to know what exactly it encountered. Since it was still close to her, she could very precisely sense its position and movements. She restricted the rat to the first two floors. Higher up was dangerous, she assumed the thing would absolutely get caught if it went near a high priest, and she thought they had to be up there in the highest floors. People in power always love to live high up.

By morning, she would have mapped the entirety of the Holy See’s lower levels. It was good that she had napped for so long. She wouldn’t be getting a lot of sleep tonight.


 

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Mornn

Bio: I hope you like reading my fiction as much as I like writing it

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