Light Novel – Zectas – Volume 05 – Chapter 10

Author: John Nest
Proofreader: Overus

Note:  For easy character reference please refer to: 
Races and Religions


 A Sea of Green Giants

An excited Nash spent thirty-minutes cleaning up his room. The bed was made, his laundry were out of sight, and his Zectas game pod polished to a shine.

Sherry was going to arrive anytime soon. It was her first time to visit his house, and they planned to watch his battles in the 999th Magi Gagnant Tournament.

Also, he wanted to ask her opinion on what to put up next for his video, as he was running out of ideas.

“Nash! Sherry’s here!” called out Seth from downstairs.

Sprinting down the flight of steps, taking two of them double-quick, Nash arrived in their living room in record time.

“Hey, I thought you won’t be here for another five minutes,” said Nash. He came in for a tight hug and a quick peck on the lips.

“Oh, sorry. Were you still doing something?” she asked.

“Nah, not really. Just wanted to be the one to greet you, is all,” replied a giddy Nash. “Anyway, let’s go up stairs.”

As they walked up the steps, they heard Seth’s voice. “Don’t do anything foolish, you Two. Remember Mima is right down the hall!”

Nash and Sherry laughed, and headed into his room.

“So? What do you want to watch first?” Nash asked Sherry.

“The very first one, of course!” she replied. “Who was your first opponent, again?”

“The Prime Wizard of Vlahui City, Trottel,” answered Nash. “He’s a cocky tiger Lioumerean, who uses Lightning.”

Nash pulled his computer chair for Sherry to sit on, while he stood and watched from behind her.

One by one, the two of them reviewed his matches in the Tournament. Until finally, they saw Ouragan freeze him in a block of ice.

“That was a great battle! And that Fire Manipulation ability… looks really powerful,” said an excited Sherry. “Bet it costs a lot of mana though.”

Nash gave her a sheepish smile. She was right, he still had a long way to go in order to use his Fire Manipulation more naturally.

“Anyway, what really happened when I called you during the Tournament?” asked Nash, changing the subject. “I’ve been asking for a while now, but you still haven’t told me anything.”

Sherry let out a deep sigh. “I don’t know how to say this, but Mamelon lost a lot of her Avendre Mercenaries.”

“What! How?” asked Nash with a stricken expression. “Exactly how many did she lose?”

“She lost a little less than seven-hundred men,” she replied.

“How could she have been so careless?” asked Nash. “She should have known better than to take any unnecessary risks! How else could she have lost that many!”

“Nash, calm down,” said Sherry in her softest voice.

“How can you say that!” he asked, enraged. “And why did you keep this from me, for this long?”

He then walked over to his game pod. “I have half the mind to call her right now.”

“Nash calm down!” she shouted and sprang up from the computer chair. “Don’t you dare start throwing your tantrum at me! You’re not a kid!” she said, as she pointed her fingers at him.

Nash fell silent, and subconsciously backed away from her. “Of course, I’m not a kid. Why would you say that?”

“Every time something like this happens, you always blow things out of proportion,” began Sherry. “I thought you already had that hot head of yours under wraps?”

“Do you want me to leave? Is that it?” she threatened. “Because I will.”

“No, no. Of course not…” said a calmer Nash. “Sorry, it was just…”

He paused and walked closer to her.

“Please sit down,” he begged. “I’m calm, see?” he said and helped her take a seat.

“So, what happened?” he asked with restraint.

“First, you should know that Mamelon was not being reckless with the lives of the Avendre,” began Sherry. “She was out capturing dirus wolves when it happened.”

She took a deep breath, and clenched her fist. “She was ambushed by Macher and Sagen.”

Nash’s eyes fully opened. “Sagen? You don’t mean—”

“Yeah, the same one,” replied Sherry. “Apparently, he didn’t learn his lesson from last time.”

She paused and looked at him.

“What?” he asked, confused.

“Nothing, just checking your reaction,” she said. “His guild members have grown theirs numbers too.”

“Numbers don’t matter, if they’re all made of lousy members,” replied Nash.

“Oh, and there’s one more thing,” she added. She faced the computer screen, and quickly browsed through the Zectas website. “Now, this is sort of an iffy news.”


Shin: Anyone here saw the Magi Gagnant Tournament in Vitztyl? It looked great, but almost all the fights were obstructed.

Cashew: Where did that happen? Never heard of that Tournament. Is that for Knights?

PentaKiller: It’s in the Sawtorn Continent. Like @Shin said, the Vitzytl Kingdom. I would have participated, but I can’t leave my village alone. Orks are running rampant in those part.

ErcleX: @PentaKiller, you own a village? Or does your guild own it?

Edel: I wish there were Tournaments for Knights in the main cities. Vitzytl is a good place for Mages, but not so much for Knights.

Manita: Ha! Shut up Edel! I know how you’ve monopolized the guild leaderships between you and your fellow Paladin Lords!

KSKing: @Manilta, I don’t understand? What do you mean?

Manita: You too, KSKing! I know all about you guys. You exploit the weaknesses of the Mages’ against melee attacks, and tax them insane amounts of zecs.

Edel: Anyway, Have you guys heard about the new DarkElf in town? Smoke is now a thing of the past, along with that Tristan jerk!

KSKing: You’re talking about Faux, right? Yeah, I saw his fight. I must admit I was cheering for him to lose, but the guy surprised me. I bet if he made videos, the views would go through the roof!

ProfessorXectas: Wait, let me get this straight. You’re saying that Smoke and Tristan are out of the running and Amahan is the only one set to be number 1?

Edel: Hm. I don’t think you could consider Smoke to be in the contest. He was just some flavor of the month who made some interesting videos, and even that he’s been falling short lately.

Baskog: I’ll give you that one, Edel. I think Amahan and his Decane guild are a league above everyone else.

ProfessorXectas: I wouldn’t go that far, @Manita. Remember how Amahan made such a big fuss about getting that Djinn of his? Well, I’ve personally seen his Decane Guild and I haven’t seen them with a creature over five meters tall.

Manita: That was the statue of the Djinn you idiot!

TriTank: Ha! You’re one of those ignorant bastards that don’t know anything. Tristan is now stronger than ever. Only a fool would show his cards this early in the game.

KSKing: Going back to the topic on Knight Tournaments in Vitzytl. The closest one I could think of is the one in Nightro village, and the prizes are fairly decent.

Faux_Fan#1: Made this account just so I could comment on this thread. I used to be a fan of Smoke, but now that he’s been lying low. I’m converting to being Faux’s number one fan! I think I was the only one in the entire Pulper Arena cheering him that day.

TriTank: @Faux_Fan#1, guess he has you to thank for losing that day, then? Didn’t he lose the finals?

SmokeDisciple1093: @Faux_Fan#1, it’s people like you that give us Smokers a bad name! Stick to the one you think will win in the end. Smoke even got Ilad, the Flame Knight to work under him! What has your Faux ever done?

Faux_Fan#1: I know that, but seeing as Smoke is in Chayotl Kingdom and I’m in Vitzytl, then it will be useless for me to even try and apply for his guild.

TriTank: Smoke, Amahan, or even this Faux character… in the end the one who will win will be Tristan! Oh, and, @Edel, come to Thanotl Kingdom. It’s more diversified than Vitzytl. We have tons of Tournament for Knights here.

“So? What do you think?” asked Sherry. “On the bright side, there are still a few loyal fans.”

Nash grinned. “This is great! They’ve completely neglected Smoke.”

“But what about your videos?” asked Sherry. “Don’t you make your money from those?”

“That is, a problem,” he replied. “And I have to make one soon, too.”

“Well, you can’t make a video about your adventures in Vitzytl,” reminded Sherry. “Wish you could insert your own video of the Ifrit Quest.”

“You and me both,” agreed Nash. “But I still have a little over six months in Zectas time before I could retake that Quest.”

Both of them ogled blankly at the ceiling, thinking up of what to make for his video.

“And if you showed that you had the Fire Manipulation ability, people would get the connection that you’re actually Faux,” said Sherry.

Nash stared at her with furrowed eyebrows. “Fire Manipulation? No, I can’t show that, but I think you just gave me an idea,” he replied and kissed her on the cheeks.

* * * * * *

Hidden inside a forest patch near the outskirts of Votl City, Smoke glanced at the displayed time on the opened appointment window. It displayed eight in the morning. He nodded and grinned, as he still had an hour before needing to meet with Eleve and the rest of the Prime Wizards.

‘Alright, time to put her idea to the test,’ he thought, and took out two black metallic rods.

Equipped with the Florissant Journeyman Emblem, Aral’s Lightning Rods were lined with red flames as it received Xantico’s Inheritance.

He removed the Paradox Mask, Serval Shoes, and modified Wings of Cologus, as they were a clear give away of him being Faux.


‘Looks like it finally caught scent of me,’ surmised Smoke, now looking like his old self again. He bookmarked the scene to record for his next video.

From within the woods, Smoke saw two large yellow eyes and an even larger striped body of his prey.

He had asked Perdant if he knew of any ferocious monsters here in Sawtorn that were also found in Wysteria. The old stout Merchant hastily replied with one such beast, the lemurcat!

Smoke recalled how he had trouble fighting with a group of them before, even with the help of his albino Simiavulg friend, Saru.

‘Well, here goes nothing,’ he said in his head, and synergized with Igniz.

Forthright, smoke came out of his purple skin.

‘Oopps, better edit that out later,’ he thought as he charged the three meter long monster.

With his Agility of the Horned Rabbit now in Master level, Smoke delivered sixteen swift strikes to the  lemurcat’s head. On each strike, he delivered a small explosion which dealt 10,000 damage points. As the black metallic rods made contact with the beast’s fur, its life bar dropped down by 5% of its maximum capacity.

The lemurcat did its best to retaliate with its claws, but Smoke dodged each one. He could now afford to solo this beast without endangering himself.

When the monster’s life bar displayed (80,000/240,000 HP), Smoke leapt back and activated the black metallic rods’ special ability, Lightning Strike. Coupled with his Beast Monarch ability, Smoke burnt the lemurcat to a crisp.

Smoke released his Synergized state, and whispered to his chest. “Good job, Igniz!”

‘Now, I have the footage of a weapon blessed with both Lightning and Fire elements at the same time,’ he smirked and picked up the lemurcat’s pelt.

After which, he replaced the black lightning rods for two Orkish books. Ouragan had given him an Orkish ability tome, and now he was earnestly leveling up his Orkish. They were entitled ‘Angi Ork giyatapog Unano’ and ‘Ork Generalir: angi iyanir Sikritor.’ The books translated to ‘An Ork wrongfully murdered by a Dwarf King’ and ‘The Secret to becoming an Ork General.’

With both books in hand, Smoke headed towards the city. The progress bars on the books rapidly filled. He thought he could easily finish both books before they discuss their defensive plans for Votl City.

* * * * * *

As soon as he stepped out of the forest patch, Smoke found a large gathering of both Sonstwelters and Zectians alike, outside the gates of the amethyst city.

He roughly estimated them to be easily over a hundred-thousand.

‘They’re even more than the invading Brandals of Centzo City,’ he mused. A smile of confidence grew on his face. ‘Looks like we’ll be able to deal with the Ork Horde.’

Fortunately for him, he looked down and saw that he was wearing his Lunar Boots. He reflexively grabbed his face, and found that he forgot to change his equipment. He even forgot to wear the Paradox Mask.

Ducking down into the bushes, he hurriedly went back into the forest and changed his items to that of his Faux persona.

A few minutes later, he walked up in full disguise at the gathered masses.

“Hey, it’s Faux!”

He turned to the direction of the ones calling his name, and found that some of them were heading for him.

“Faux! Over here, over here!” said one of the Arch Mages.

Smoke waved, but did not come closer. He casually walked away from their general direction.

However, he bumped into a Sonstwelter who was slightly taller than him. He wore silver plated armor and had the Job of a Paladin Lord.

“Hey, sorry about that,” said the Paladin Lord, and offered his hand. “The name’s Edel, and I’m the Guild Leader of the Sunrise Kingdom.”

Smoke shook it and said. “Nice to meet you, but I have to go.”

“Wait, I was hoping that we could talk,” said Edel. “I want to discuss the benefits of joining our Guild.”

“Thanks, but I really have to get going,” replied Smoke.

“Wait, wait. Did you hear about the Kingdom Quest?” asked Edel.

Smoke then looked at the gathered crowd.

Edel followed his gaze and laughed. “Of course you did! Who hasn’t, right?” he said eagerly and laughed some more. “Anyway, the 16th Magietrois Florissant was named Prime General, and the three Prime Wizards as Vice-Generals. They were placed in command to lead the army against the Ork Horde.”

“Although, I heard that there’s one more Vice-General, but I don’t know who,” said Edel. He then paused and stood straight, as if trying to make himself appear taller. “Now, as Guild Leader of the Sunrise Kingdom, I can assure you a good spot during the attack. You’ll get lots of experience points for sure.”

Smoke did not utter a word, as he searched for Eleve and the Prime Wizards.

“Hm. I guess you already had other offers, huh?” said Edel. “Well, let me sweeten the deal. I’ll give you 50% of all the earnings in this Quest.”

Smoke moved his head, looking towards the group of black-clothed Warrior Guards surrounding several white tents.

‘Guess that’s where they are,’ thought Smoke.

Suddenly, Edel stood in front of him, blocking his view. “Hey, didn’t anyone teach you to look at the person you’re talking too?”

“Sorry, but I’m really not looking for a Guild,” said Smoke.

“Hmmp!” exclaimed Edel and walked away. “Can’t believe you’re this rude in person. Just because you got your fifteen minutes of fame. I’ll flood the forums of your true identity,” added the Paladin Lord and stormed away.

“Hey, Edel, I really wasn’t trying to be rude,” called out Smoke, but was ignored.

Walking closer to the white tents, Smoke spotted two familiar faces. A muscular tiger Lioumerean carrying a large brown sack, and a curvaceous LightElf with flaming red hair walked up to him.

“Hey!” greeted Smoke. “What are you two doing here?”

“We came to defend the Kingdom of course!” replied Chouchou.

Smoke expected a handshake from them, but Xantana ran up and hugged him instead.

“I knew we could count on you, Faux!” she said, all excited. Her hugged tightened even more.

Then, a strong grip fell on his shoulder. “I don’t know how you did it, but Trottel suddenly had a change of heart,” said Chouchou.

“I told you the guy I was working for had some power,” explained Smoke.

Xantana released him from her embrace, and motioned Chouchou to give Smoke the brown sack he was carrying.

“Oh! Right,” said the tiger Lioumerean and handed it over.

An unexpected notification window popped up.

+ Received
> 100,000 Zecs
> Ability tome: Fire Blister
> Ability tome: Cleansing Burn

With his face hidden, Smoke let out the most satisfied grin. ‘Ability Tomes!’ he thought, excited.

“Sorry about the amount,” began Xantana. “We would have wanted to give you more, but we’re planning on having a big wedding.”

Chouchou snuck from behind Xantana’s view, shook his head and shrugged.

Smoke looked at him, confused. This made the LightElf immediately turn around.

“And of course you’d be invited to our wedding!” hurriedly said Chouchou. “Our big extravagant wedding,” he added in a murmur.

“I’ll be there,” replied Smoke. “If I’m still in Vitzytl, when that happens.”

“Why? Where are you going?” asked Chouchou.

“I’m heading back home in a couple of months,” said Smoke. “Back to Wysteria.”

“Oh, you aren’t from here?” said a surprised Xantana. “I thought you were, because you’ve been really helpful to the Kingdom.”

“Looks like you won’t be able to attend our wedding, then,” added Chouchou. “She says we’ll need at least two years of preparation for it.”

“Wow? Really?” Smoke asked in disbelief.

Chouchou nodded with all sincerity. “Hey, we shouldn’t keep you any longer. I think those Warrior Guards have been signaling for you to enter,” blurted out the tiger Lioumerean.

“Alright, I’ll see you around,” said Smoke. “And thanks again for this,” he added, pointing to the brown sack.

Then, a notification window popped up.

+ Intimacy with Xantana and Chouchou has risen to ‘Trusted Friend’

‘Hmm. Trusted Friend, haven’t seen that in a while,’ he thought, smiling. However, it quickly disappeared as he realized that they knew him as Faux and not as Smoke.

* * * * * *

Entering the largest of the white tents, Smoke found the atmosphere to be heavy. Eleve and Ouragan were discussing over a large battle-table with the scale model of Votl City, while Chrys and Trottel stood on the sides.

“You’re finally here!” exclaimed Trottel, looking up at Smoke.

“Sorry, I thought our meeting wasn’t until nine?” he replied.

“Bah! It’s customary to be here half an hour early,” pointed out the tiger Lioumerean, while combing his long orange hair. “Even Chrys arrived early, and he looks irresponsible.”

“I just had nothing else better to do,” said Chrys with a shrug.

“No matter,” said Eleve. “Anyway, let’s itemize our resources.”

With her wrinkled hands, Eleve placed twenty short but thick black pieces in front of the scaled down city.

“These represent our legions,” she began. “Each one of them are composed of ten-thousand volunteers, both Sonstwelters and Zectians.”

Chrys raised his hand, and waited to be recognized by the 16th Magietrois Florissant.

“Yes, Prime Wizard of Vectas?” she asked.

“I’d like to know how many Sonstwelters turned up for this event?” asked Chrys.

“Event?” interjected Trottel. “Calling a fight for the lives of the entire Kingdom is so common for a Sonstwelter such as yourself!” he then turned to Smoke. “I bet you were calling this an event as well.”

Smoke waved both his hands defensively. “Sorry, I’m sure Chrys didn’t mean it like that,” he apologized in his behalf.

“Of course, I just wanted to know how many we can risk without care,” reasoned Chrys. “You very well know that Sonstwelters can just return after four days of being killed, right?”

“Hmmp! How barbaric!” exclaimed Trottel. “You’re willing to sacrifice the lives of your fellow Sonstwelters without any problem. That’s what’s wrong with folks like you. You don’t know the value of life.”

“No… That’s not what I—” Chrys tried to reason out, but was silenced.

“Enough! Both of you!” shouted Eleve. “I understand both your points, but like I said. Let’s first itemize our strengths.”

She then turned to Chrys. “Most of them have rushed here from the other cities, but we have a little over forty-thousand Sonstwelters.”

“Wait! Doesn’t that leave our other cities defenseless?” blurted out Smoke.

“Yes,” replied Ouragan. “That’s why Magietrois Florissant decided to have all of the standing armies, remain in ther respective cities.”

“I completely agree with the Prime General’s decision,” added Trottel. “What kind of nincompoop would even think of offering a city’s standing army.”

Trottel then shook his head and looked at Chrys. “They were created to defend the city,” he said to the green Prime Wizard.

Smoke stared at the tiger Lioumerean in disbelief. ‘He was the one who suggested to use them in the first place!’ he thought, irked.

“Prime Wizard Trottel, please do not stray the topic with your unnecessary comments,” said Ouragan with authority. “You’re only delaying our discussion.”

Trottel fell silent and lowered his head.

“Anyway, going back to Faux’s question, yes we’ve made sure to protect our other cities as well,” said Eleve. “But we’re focusing most of our forces here in Votl City because of you.”

Eleve looked at Smoke with proud eyes. “I know that the information you got is reliable, that’s why I have no problem making this decision.”

She then went on to explain herself further. “Leaving the other cities with just their regular defenses, is just a precautionary measure.”

Eleve then turned their attention to the scaled city. “I’ve decided to divide our 200,000 forces into four groups. East, West, North, and South.”

“I will personally lead the Eastern defenses of the city,” she quickly added. “Prime Wizard Ouragan, will take the Southern side. Prime Wizard Trottel to the North, and Prime Wizard Chrysopelea to the West.”

Smoke looked around, and raised his hand. “What about me? Aren’t I supposed to defend a section of the city as well?”

Ouragan patted Smoke’s shoulder. “Since you aren’t a Prime Wizard, the people will most likely have some difficulty following your orders.”

“You can’t expect me to do nothing,” asked Smoke.

“Ahem!” Eleve loudly cleared her throat. “If you would have let me finished, then you would have known that you will take command of a special unit, composed of 40,000 Knights.”

“Are you sure he has the qualities to command that many people?” asked Trottel.

“I envy you, Faux,” said Chrys. “A special unit sounds more interesting than defending a side of the city.”

From behind his Paradox Mask, Smoke was grinning silly. “So, what am I supposed to do with this special unit?”

“I said… let me finish!” yelled Eleve. “You’re as impatient as ever.”

And so, the Prime General and her Vice-Generals proceeded to plan out their defense of Votl City.

After an hour of discussion, they stepped out of the white tent to prepare for their defenses. Yet, not before the 16th Magietrois Florissant would give a morale-boosting speech. She headed over to the conscripted Kingdom Defenders.

Two large crimson phoenix wings sprouted out from her back and she flew over them.

“Brave Souls of Vitzytl, in behalf of King Kajou, I thank you for offering your services in our Kingdom’s time of need,” began Eleve. “As such, I have been given the honor to act as your Prime General. Also, Prime Wizard Ouragan, Prime Wizard Trottel, Prime Wizard Chrysopelea, and Faux were given the titles of being my Vice-Generals.”

The crowd erupted into a loud chatter after hearing the names of the ones to lead them.


Eleve let out a loud burst of flame from her wings, and silenced the crowd’s commotion.

“I do not know what the noise was about, but please head on over to one of our officers. So, you could know which General you will be assigned to,” she said, and pointed to the Warrior Guards in silver clothing.

Smoke could feel the eyes of the other Sonstwelters upon him. His eyes even met one of them. He recognized him as Edel, the Guild Leader who approached him earlier. The Sonstwelter gawked at him with his mouth wide open.

Suddenly, a hard slap came upon Smoke’s back.

“I knew it! I knew you were being treated special!” mockingly laughed Trottel, while he kept on slapping him. “Hahaha! Vice-General Faux having a special unit, a unit full of dummies!”

Chrys lightly punched Smoke’s shoulder and gave him a sympathetic nod. “I’m sure you’ll do great.”

Smoke stared at the two of them with raised eyebrows. ‘Guess they didn’t understand why Eleve gave me this mission.’

* * * * * *

Two days passed, and there were still no Orks to be found. Eleve had placed fire-flares on the red, brown, and blue mountains surrounding the amethyst city. During this time, none of them had still set off.

Standing in their posts and doing nothing for this long, made some of the Sonstwelters feel restless.

On the third day, as the morning sun rose to a quarter of the sky, Eleve and her Vice-Generals were all gathered on top of the eastern wall. They were still waiting for the invasion that has yet to happen.

“Are you sure the Orks are going to attack?” Trottel asked Smoke, while flipping his long orange hair. “The men under me have begun to lose interest.”

Smoke knew this as well. According to the last report, a total of 160,000 Zectians and 40,000 Sonstwelters registered for this event. Yet, only 40% of the Sonstwelters who signed up on the first day, logged in today.

Most of the Zectians were Mages, but only 20% of them were over level 100. If the Orks managed to enter the city, then it would spell the end of them.

“I’m sure of what I heard,” replied Smoke. He paused and looked over to the top of the blue mountain. “But this just makes me think that Wertlosvati is up to something.”

Smoke then turned to the red and brown mountains, but still there was no sign of the invaders.

“Same here,” agreed Ouragan. “Maybe, he spotted our incoming reinforcements from the other cities? And is still formulating a form of attack?” suggested the old HighElf.

“Military tactics?” asked Eleve. “That’s not the trait of the UrukHai Tribe or the MoriHai.”

Smoke opened one of his acquired knowledge windows. He skimmed through the one labeled Ork Races. “Yes, that’s something the OlegHai would do,” he added.

“Wait, are you telling me that all three tribes are coming to attack?” suddenly asked Trottel.

“Why does that matter?” asked Chrys. “That’s just one more Ork Tribe added to the mix.”

“Because the last time that happened, Kingdoms disappeared!” answered Trottel with a shudder.

While Chrys asked about the history of the Orks’ invasion, Smoke spotted a change over the horizon on the brown mountain. He hurriedly used his Telefax Vision to get a better look. As far as he could see, the surface of the mountain turned into a sea of green giants.

“They’re coming,” said Smoke, pointing towards the invaders.

“You could see them from here?” asked a surprised Chrys.

“Of course! Can’t you?” added Trottel, also looking into the direction where Smoke was looking at. However, everyone there could tell that he saw nothing.

A red flare shot up in the air, as the Orks activated Eleve’s early warning devices.

Then, two more red flares exploded. They came from the obstructed directions of the red and blue mountains. Smoke could not see the other sides, but he could already imagine the same frightening scene. He was certain that the varying colored mountains had all turned to a monstrous green.

“Sound the alarms,” calmly said Eleve to one of the silver Warrior Guards. “And send the notifications to the Sonstwelters that aren’t here.”

Eleve then looked down on the white tents outside the purple walls. “And make sure those tents are ready.”

Posthaste, the Warrior Guard left and ran to comply the Prime General’s orders.

She then turned to her Vice-Generals. “It is time,” she said and bowed down to them.

The Prime Wizards and Smoke bowed their heads and walked some distance away from the 16th Magietrois Florissant.

“May the justice of the great god Tlaltezin protect you this day,” she said and showered them with red flowers made of flames.

+ Received Tlaltezin’s Blessing.
> 30% increase to HP
> 30% increase to MP
> 30% increase to DEF
> 30% increase to MDEF

“Tlaltezin teaches us that only the strong survives,” said Eleve. “So, let’s show these Orks how weak they truly are!”

With that, she pointed her palms at them and teleported them to their designated posts. All, except for Smoke, who was left standing in front of him.

Smoke looked around, confused. “Why am I still here?”

“Your unit is well hidden, the Orks won’t find them,” began Eleve. “Before you go, I want you to see the benefits of being given the title of Vice-General.”

Less than half an hour later, the green monsters towering over two-meters in height, got off the foot of the brown mountain. They entered the scattered pomegranate forest patches, only to decimate its trees. Fallen trees were left in the wake of the Orks’ arrival.

He estimated that the Orks on this side numbered at least a hundred thousand. Not even the sight of all the gathered Brandals could compare to this.

‘So, this is an Ork Horde!’ he thought and shook his head, slightly intimidated. ‘And the same number can be expected on the other sides of the city as well.’

Staring down at the gathered Orks, he used his Telefax Vision and zoomed in on them. He focused on one who sat on a large dirus wolf. He appeared to be the one in charge.

From this great distance, Smoke could not hear what the Ork was yelling. But he could see him pointing at the white tents below.

At once, the Orks behind him charged for the tents. The same ones where Smoke and the rest of the Kingdom’s Generals met two days before.

From above, Smoke waited for them to run across his pit traps and activated them.

Dozens of Orks fell into it, and more bumbling giants followed through. There were those who tried to stop before the pit, but were still pushed into it as well. The momentum of the green monsters behind them was to strong to suddenly stop.

“See? I told you it would work,” said Smoke to Eleve.

While the other Orks bypassed Smoke’s pit traps, the ones who fell inside climbed out seconds later. Their life bars barely reflected any damage.

“That’s why I said that it won’t,” replied Eleve. “Orks are heartless monsters, but they are amazing climbers.”

In only two minutes, the charging Orks reached the white tents, smashing everything in sight as they entered it.


A series of strong and loud explosions erupted from within the tents. Several dismembered body parts of the Orks flew out. Numerous severed limbs landed beside the burning debris of their previous meeting ground.

At the sound of Eleve’s trap, a rain of elemental spells fell from the skies. Fire, Lightning, Wind, and Earth attacks bombarded the Ork Horde.

As the Orks scattered and surrounded the city from all directions, the Breathtaking Ballistae fired out large flaming fireballs at the invaders below.


Numerous Orks were blasted up in the air by the Breathtaking Ballistae, as the massive fireballs struck them. Yet, the green giants marched on, unperturbed by their ranged attacks.

Only a few minutes after the start of the Ork Horde invasion, and the early morning sky was filled with a grandeur of colors.

Smoke watched in awe, as several Sonstwelters simultaneously logged back in, and immediately went into action. The thirty-meter thick wall of the city was soon flooded with its defenders.

He observed that the Mages were enjoying themselves, safely casting their spells into the air. This created an arc which struck the Orks below.

However, Smoke could also see the tension of the Warriors and Knights guarding the top of the walls.

‘Right, those monsters are sure to climb here,’ he thought, after having seen them easily escape his pit traps. ‘If they can’t stop them, those Mages are sure to die.’

Seven more minutes went by, and Smoke still did not understand why Eleve had him remain there with her.

Eleve created a massive casting circle in the sky. Smoke then noticed that several such casting circles were constructed on the other sides of the city. Then, a large comet fell out of it, and crushed several of the Orks on the ground.

‘Right! I’ve got that ability now,’ he realized, all excited. He tried to cast his own Comet, but even then, his Flame Master stopped him.

“Wait, just stay there and watch,” she said.

As more Comets fell from the heavens, an unexpected notification window popped up in front of him.

+ Level UP!

You have 10 stat points ready for distribution.
Your HP has increased by 6,700.
Your mana has increased by 6,700.
Fame has increased by 1.


His life bar and mana bar glowed, indicating that it had been refilled to its new maximum capacity. Smoke looked at the window in disbelief. “But I didn’t even do anything?”

“That’s right, you gain experience by simply being here,” explained Eleve. “So, make sure that you don’t die.”

She grabbed Smoke’s shoulder and said. “I know that you were planning to risk everything, even at the cost of your own life. But this invasion is also a great opportunity for you to grow.”

“How did you know?” he asked.

“I may not have fondled you,” said Eleve. “But I am your Flame Master. Besides, you look like the type of person who gives out great advice but doesn’t take it himself.”

Smoke fell silent and respectfully lowered his head. He remembered what he always said to his private army members, to not take unnecessary risks and to protect their lives at all costs.

‘I really can’t die here,’ he reminded himself, imagining the levels he could gain. ‘But then why did she assign me that special unit in the middle of the—’

His musings vanished as he suddenly felt his insides tingle. He was being teleported.

“I thought we were still—” were Smoke’s last words, before only a fiery afterimage of himself remained.

* * * * * *

On the southern side of the amethyst city, Ouragan hovered over the invaders. He scrutinized the advance of the Orks, and could see that despite their ranged attacks, these green giants kept on coming.

“Xantana, Chouchou, tell your fellow Fire Mages to direct their spells through my casting circle!” he shouted to the two Pyro Mages below him.

Xantana and Chouchou were assigned to work under him. They were originally allocated to be under Trottel, but a sudden change of paperwork brought them here instead.

The LightElf and tiger Lioumerean led their fellow Flame Mages. The power couple casted their spells with burning intensity, that it encouraged others to give it their best.

Due to Ouragan’s amplifying magic, the damage of their flame attacks increased by 200%.

However, the Orks still kept on coming. Even with hundreds of Mages raining down their spells, there was still a gap in between them.

Especially with abilities such as the Comet. The long casting time alone, gave the Orks the needed opportunity to reach the city’s enclosure.

Ouragan had to reduce his amplifying casting circle to one, as his left hand targeted on the Orks scaling the purple fortification.

He sent wind-cutters at the green giants clawing their way up.

“To the walls!” cried out Xantana, and they walked past the Knights, Warriors, and other melee fighters.

The few city Archers fired at the Orks, but their arrows did little to no damage.

Chouchou stood next to one of them and launched his own fire-arrows. He targeted the green giants’ heads, and got in a few lucky shots, which struck the Ork’s eyes.

“Hey, can you enchant my arrows with flames?” asked one of the Archers.

“Sorry, but I don’t have that kind of magic,” replied Chouchou.

“Less talking and more attacking!” yelled Xantana and let out more fireballs.

Despite their focus-fire on the climbing Orks, the number of incoming green giants still grew.

It was then that Ouragan stopped casting his amplifying magic and flew down towards his division.

“Everyone, back away from the wall!” shouted the old HighElf.

He then flew towards the invaders, and created four large tornadoes right outside the eastern walls. The Orks tried to grab hold on to the city’s fortification, but pull from the turbulent winds was beyond their strength.

Ouragan looked down, and saw that there were still Orks hanging on to the walls. The ones who were blown away were just the ones that belonged to the MoriHai tribe. The mighty UrukHai Orks still continued to crawl up, as more UrukHai Orks walked past his tornado.

“Everyone, brace yourselves! The Orks are coming up!” shouted Ouragan. “Mages step back! Knights and Warriors, hold your ground!”

The sound of clanking armors and swords erupted. Ouragan studied the melee fighters’ faces, and he knew that he had to use his other Beggar abilities.

He switched his magic wand for two enchanted swords. One had strong winds surrounding its blade while the other was made of pure ice.

The old HighElf stepped in front of the fighters and shouted. “There’s nothing to fear from these monsters! Watch this old man kick their asses!”

As soon as the first UrukHai climbed up, Ouragan vanished like the wind. He sliced off the UrukHai’s right arm with his wind-blade. Then, with his ice-blade, he froze the green giant’s legs. After which, he pushed the Ork back down.

“Remember, we don’t have to kill them,” said Ouragan. “We just have to kick them out of the city!”

With that, more UrukHai Orks climbed up. The Warriors and Knights charged at the Orks, while the Mages standing behind them fired pin-point spells, always careful not to hit their melee comrades.

* * * * * *

With the Ork Horde surrounding Votl City, Smoke stood outside his hidden cave. He watched the battle for the city from on top of the red mountain. His Cunning of the Dire Fox sensed no enemies nearby.

‘Maybe Eleve had me stay behind, so that the Orks won’t notice me and my Knights,’ he came to realize.

From his vantage point, Smoke could not see the side of the city where Eleve and Ouragan were defending, but he felt confident that those two could handle things on their own.

He then focused his attention on the two sides clearly visible to him, the northern and southern sides of the amethyst city.

Several elemental spells fell down on the Orks, but one element stood out above the rest. On the northern side, it was Trottel’s Lightning Strikes. Even from where he stood, Smoke could hear the deafening sounds of thunder.

‘As a person he is really pathetic, but it seems he’s leading his men well against the Orks,’ observed Smoke.

Looking to the western side, Smoke saw a flying green-robed Wizard attacking the Orks by himself. There were several magical spells coming from his side of the wall, but Smoke could tell that this part of the city was less organized.

‘He did just become a Prime Wizard,’ reasoned Smoke, in Chrys’ defense.

Chrysopelea released a green cloud over the Orks, which Smoke assumed to be poisonous gas.

‘I don’t think that would stop them at all,’ he thought.

With a whistle, he called out his dirus wolf. “Freifahrt, time to go!”

A large dirus wolf over four meters in length walked up next to him. The mount which he left behind in the sequestered seminary, grew twice in size and now had flaming red fur on its paws.

“Looks like leaving you behind there proved very useful,” he said to his dirus wolf.

Mounted on top of the large beast, Smoke rode his steed outside the cave. There, he summoned forth his legions of his special unit.

“Legions Isa, Duha, Tulo, and Upat, fall in!” yelled out Smoke.

Straightaway, two-meter tall Iron Knights equipped with claymores responded. Moving in complete unison, they began to march out of the cave.

“Automaton Knights, stick to your assigned legions.” reminded Smoke. After double-checking their formations, he shouted. “Move out!”

He ordered the 40,000 guardians of the Florissant Seminary to action.

Despite them being lifeless soldiers, the Automaton Knights moved with great speed. They easily kept up with Freifahrt who left fire-paw prints on its path.

Attacking from behind the Orks’ formation, Smoke was free to pick out his target.

Suddenly, his train of thought was derailed, as another pleasing notification window popped up.

+ Level UP!

You have 10 stat points ready for distribution.
Your HP has increased by 7,300.
Your mana has increased by 7,300.
Fame has increased by 1.

Since both his life and mana bar were untouched, they only glowed. Thus, indicating that it had been refilled to its new maximum capacity. He had gained another level. It had only been an hour since the Ork Horde invaded, and he had already increased his level by three.

Closing the good news window, Smoke focused on what he needed to next.

“Igniz, I need eyes from above,” he said to his symbiote hidden inside the metallic orb on his chest.

Without delay, the dark ember sprite flew out and soared over the Orks. Although, Chrys’ poison cloud slightly obstructed the view. By using his Symbiote Vision, Smoke spotted the Ork giving out the commands. He saw an UrukHai riding on top a massive dirus wolf, who wielded a giant double-headed axe.

Igniz then glanced at the southern walls of Votl. Through the eyes of his ember sprite, Smoke found that the purple fortification had turned green with Orks.

Normally, anyone would hesitate to lead his own army into a poisonous green cloud. Yet, Smoke charged in without a care. During the Magi Gagnant Tournament, he had proven that his Poison Resistance could handle Chrys’ green cloud. Meanwhile, the Automaton Knights were impervious to such ailments like Poison.

“Chrys!” called out Smoke, as he entered into the horde of Orks. “Get back to your men on the wall. I’ll deal with the ones on the ground!”

A surprised Chrys looked down and spotted Smoke charging towards the thousands of Orks.

“Are you sure?” called out the green Prime Wizard.

“Yes! Now, go!” cried out Smoke and pointed his right palm at the Orks in front of him.

Sixteen earth-spikes launched out from the ground and pierced through the smaller Orks.

‘These are just MoriHais,’ surmised Smoke, as he led the charge further into the swarm of green giants.

From his brief aerial view, Smoke estimated that there were at least a hundred-thousand Orks in this side of the city.

‘Four against one,’ thought Smoke, thinking up plans on how to counteract the unfavorable odds.


As the Automaton Knights drew out their weapons, sharp sounds of claymores echoed around him.

“Legion Isa, take the left flank,” ordered Smoke. “Duha Legion, block the right.”

Both divisions hurried to their designated sides. They engaged the Orks that they encountered along the way. Despite their long claymores, it still took two Automaton Knights to engage one MoriHai Ork. Unfortunately, they were already badly outnumbered in the first place. As they advanced, the legions of Isa and Duha began to thin out, as more of the mechanical Knights were left behind to fend off the Orks.

“Legions Tulo and Upat, stay behind me, no matter what happens,” commanded Smoke, and continued to lead the charge forward.

Looking back, he saw a few of the magic-powered Iron Knights being dismantled by the Orks. He strengthened his resolve, as he sacrificed Automaton Knights of Legions Isa and Duha. Due to this, Smoke rode Freifahrt without having to engage any of their enemies, along with the Knights of Legions Tulo and Upat, who ran closely behind him.

Unopposed, Smoke and twenty-thousand Automaton Knights reached the Ork in-charge in less than ten-minutes. Both of them riding on huge muscular dirus wolves, but Freifahrt was slightly larger.

Although, he may have reached his intended target, but as he saw from Igniz’s eyes, Smoke and his Automaton Knights were now trapped inside the swirling masses of Orks.

“You’re either Boangi or truly brave to come and face me Inusarai,” said the UrukHai in Orkish. “Now, you are trapped like an ilagair!”

Smoke’s Orkish was still Beginner Level 9, hence the few words left untranslated.

“Kill you I shall! Prepare for your demolition,” threatened Smoke in Orkish.

The UrukHai laughed hard when he heard Smoke’s speak his native tongue.

“I commend you for choosing to katonir the most beautiful of languages,” said the UrukHai. “I am Niemand, the one who shall end you!” he said and pointed his double-headed axe at Smoke.

“Try it if you—” began Smoke, but Niemand’s axe came swinging at his neck.

Smoke quickly created a thick earth-pillar to block it.


However, the double-headed axe went through it with ease. Without his Manatl staff equipped, Smoke resorted to his only other defensive option. He created a Flame Shield of Beginner Level 2.


Smoke’s Flame Shield only reduced the attack by 2%, but it deflected it to lightly hit his shoulder instead. The attack, however, forced him off his dirus wolf. He tumbled on the ground, and his life bar reflected (441,500/463,060 HP).

Scrambling back on his feet, he quickly pulled back Freifahrt’s reins.

“Don’t worry about me,” said Smoke. “Go! Hunt down the other Orks,” he ordered Freifahrt, making sure that his mount was nowhere near this monster.

‘That was just a scratch!’ he reminded himself, as he covered his wound with his right hand. ‘Can’t let myself get hit.’

Despite being damaged, Smoke was glad that his 30% HP increase for this battle held firm.

Since his riding ability was only at Intermediate Level 3, Smoke decided to fight the Ork on the ground. He knew that fighting a mounted opponent was disadvantageous. So, he launched an earth pillar underneath Niemand’s mount. The Ork’s dirus wolf was sent flying through the air.


Niemand fell on the ground hard.

During this time, the Automaton Knights circled around Smoke and the UrukHai leader. The seminary guardians blocked the path for any of the other Orks to help Niemand.

“Come, I shall let you taste my—” began Niemand, but an earth spike aimed at his throat silenced him.

However, Niemand deflected it with one swing of his double-headed axe. “Ha! These puny attacks can do nothing against me!”

Then, Smoke dug a hole beneath Niemand’s feet, but before he could close it with spikes, the UrukHai had leapt out of it.

Sixteen earth-spikes struck him before he hit the ground. Yet, they could not pierce the Ork’s green skin.

‘He must have high Resistance to Earth,’ surmised Smoke.

“Igniz, to me!” he yelled out.

“Calling for reinforcements?” taunted Niemand. “It won’t do you any good.”

Then, a dark flame whizzed overhead and struck Smoke squarely on the chest.


Came out the muffled sound of them Synergizing. Violet smoke came out of his skin.

“What’s that suppose to—” said Niemand, but he shut his mouth when he saw sixteen flame-swords flying towards him.

Niemand tried to dodge, but eight earth-pillars grew out from the ground and held the UrukHai in place. His arms were stretched out, preventing him from wielding his double-headed axe.

Smoke watched as his flame-swords pierced Niemand’s green skin, revealing his draining life bar (601,000/700,000 HP).

After consuming the ability tomes given by Xantana and Chouchou, his fire attacks now had a new after-effect. Once the fiery swords disappeared, they left blisters on the Ork’s skin. These marks increased the damage of the burn effects when struck on the same spot by another fire attack.

An astonished Smoke, watched in disbelief as each of his flame-swords rapidly reduced Niemand’s life bar.

The Ork Commander struggled to break free. Desperate, Niemand tried to severe off one of his arms, but his wrists could not swing his double-headed axe to reach it properly. Instead, he only injured his arms with cuts and inflicted the Bleeding status on himself.

As more and more flame-swords penetrated Niemand’s body, the Ork Commander stopped squirming and accepted his fate.

“Orks! Leave me!” suddenly yelled Niemand. “Everyone climb the city. Kill as many of its residents as you can!”

The Orks near the vicinity stopped fighting the blocking Automaton Knights and charged for Votl’s walls.

“Rape, pillage, and bu—” added Niemand, but Smoke doubled the number of flame-swords and skewered the UrukHai leader.

Smoke forever silenced Niemand as the last of his HP drained out of his giant green body.

+ You have dealt a fatal blow to Niemand, Commander of the UrukHai.
+ You have killed Niemand.
+ You have gained 750,000 XP.

A few seconds later, Niemand’s body vanished as it crossed over to Mictlan.

Still protected by his mechanical legions of Tulo and Upat, Smoke walked over to the item left behind by Niemand.

+ Acquired uncommon axe: UrukHai Commander’s Axe

‘Pfft! What a rip off!’ he thought, disappointed.

‘Wait… If this guy was only a Commander, then where are the Ork Colonels?’ he asked himself.

“Freifahrt, to me!” called out Smoke, worried that he had not seen Wertlosvati or any of the UrukHai Colonels.

A few seconds later, his large dirus wolf dragged a MoriHai by the arm. It then laid the Ork down in front of him.

Pointing his right palm over the dying Ork, he pierced it with several flame-swords and ended his suffering.

After mounting his steed, Smoke called out to his four legions. “Automaton Knights! We’re chasing after those smelly beasts!”

He yelled loudly. Yet, looking back at his special unit, he realized that Legions Una and Duha were left with 7,000 and 6,500 Automaton Knights, respectively.

‘This is great training for when I face Duke Burmistrz,’ he thought, imagining leading his Avendre Mercenaries into battle. ‘But I need to minimize my losses.’

* * * * * *

Chasing after the charging Orks who left their Commander to die, Smoke chewed on his bison jerky and drank pompom juice. He was still deciding on which strategy to make before their attack.

‘They don’t have a commanding officer now,’ he thought to himself on a positive note. ‘So, this should be easy,’

However, he instantly realized how wrong he was. The last order given out by Niemand was to scale the walls and ravage the city, and that was what the surviving Orks were doing.

Despite being assaulted by elementals spells from above, the green giants pushed on and kept running towards Votl City. A random large comet would blast a few of them away, and slightly reduced their life bars. Despite this damage, these Orks merely picked themselves up and ran forward like nothing happened.

Of course, most of these Orks still had life bars over 200,000 HP. Some even had 400,000.

Yet, the most intimidating thing that Smoke felt, was their resilience and focus on wreaking havoc to the city.

‘They’re like those bunnies from hell, that keeps on going and going and going, with a never ending supply of energy,’ Smoke thought and shuddered, as he watched some of the amputated Orks scale the walls with one hand.

He even saw others stab their severed arms with axes and swords, and then used those to aid them in their ascent to the city.

‘Don’t mind that! Need to focus!’ he chanted to himself.

Even though hundreds of Orks have already died, Smoke and his special unit was still greatly outnumbered thirty-five to eighty.

‘Since I can’t face 80,000 Orks all at once, best to chip away at their sides,’ he decided and ordered his four legions to consolidate into one the nearest outer section.

With the Orks blindly charging forward, Smoke and the Automaton Knights took the green giants by surprise. Three mechanical Iron Knights simultaneously backstabbed one Ork, and fought them to the death.

After twenty minutes, the Orks on the ground numbered only 30,000.

‘Good. My plan is working,’ thought Smoke. ‘Now, we’re almost evenly matched in numbers.’

Yet a frown covered his hidden face, after he looked up. The reason the number of Orks were reduced, was because most of them had already gone up more than half way through the amethyst walls.

Smoke hurriedly joined the front lines of his Automaton Knights. Frantic to create a path towards the wall.

‘I need to stop them from climbing up,’ he thought, determined.

Examining his Iron Knights, he saw that most of them were already banged up.

“Eleve can fix them, anyway,” he said to himself, and ordered Legions Tulo and Upat to take the lead.

“Isa, Duha, don’t stay behind!” exclaimed Smoke. “Push forward! Tulo and Upat can’t hold them off for long.”

Ten minutes later, and Smoke finally reached the Votl’s fortification. Yet, 30% of his Iron Knights were still stuck behind, surrounded by a sea of Orks.

Smoke created firewalls after firewalls, but covering an area of 50,000 Orks was beyond his current mana and level.

So, he settled to create a path of firewalls towards him. Slowly, his Automaton Knights stepped into the flames, unscathed and intact.

However, when he counted, Smoke was only left with 28,000 mechanical Iron Knights.

“No matter what happens, stop them from climbing!” cried out Smoke. He then created thick firewalls after firewalls, leaving only four unburning paths for the Orks to take.

As Chrys’ poisonous green cloud corroded their HP, most of the invaders’ life bars were already below 85%.

“We can do this!” Smoke cheered the Automatons, but mostly for himself and Igniz synergized inside him.

Suddenly, a falling shadow brought Smoke’s attention to the ground, which made him look up.

“Waaaaaaah!” screamed a falling Ork.


Smoke heard the sound of bones being crushed, as it came in contact with the solid ground.

‘That’s one way to kill them,’ he thought, pleased.

As he kept on gazing upward, Smoke saw several more falling bodies.

‘Looks like it’s raining Orks today!’ he joked inwardly.

Using his Telefax Vision, he spotted that it was just not green giants who were falling down, but also the  Sonstwelter and Zectian volunteers.

After having seen the demise of the fallen Ork earlier, Smoke hurriedly created a wide spiral funnel with his Earth Manipulation.

However, this charitable structure was not biased. It saved the lives of those it caught. It slid them down its spiral slope and landed all of them safely on the ground.

With pin-point accuracy, Smoke aimed his flame-swords at the Orks entangled together with his allies. He made sure to finish them off, before the could harm anyone else.

“Faux! Thanks for saving us, Man,” said a Paladin Lord.

Smoke recognized him to be Edel, the Sonstwelter who earlier offered him to join his guild.

“We were following Chrys’ orders, of pushing these monsters off the ledge,” explained Edel. “But these Orks are more than persistent. A lot of them grabbed on to us, and brought us down with them.”

“I’m glad you are all safe,” replied Smoke.

He glanced over at the people he rescued. Doing a quick count, he estimated them to be thirty in all, both Sonstwelters and Zectians.

“So, how’s it going up there?” asked Smoke, while launching flame-arrows at the incoming Orks.

With the Automaton Knights surrounding them, Smoke and the fallen wall defenders were for the moment, safe.

Edel shook his head and said. “Somehow we’re holding up well. The Healers are still secured and the wall of melee fighters are still holding up.”

The Paladin Lord strained his neck, as he looked up. “Well, when we were there.”

As they spoke, more bodies were thrown off from the wall. Sadly, Smoke’s earth-funnel could not cover such a broad wall.

Looking up, Smoke knew what to do. “Edel, can you lead the others to defend this place?” he asked the Paladin Lord. “I need to do something.”

“Sure,” replied Edel. “I’ll have a group stand by the bottom of the funnel, to finish off the Orks that are caught. While I’ll position myself in between here and the front lines.”

Then, a blue aura appeared underneath all of them.

+ You are influenced by Paladin’s Prayer Aura
> Defense + 50
> HP Regeneration + 10

Smoke looked around, and was impressed to see that it covered such an extensive area.

Edel then proceeded to Heal the injured, and the other Paladins followed suit.

‘Good,’ Smoke thought. He then extended both his arms downward, and began to add more earth into his funnel.

Ten minutes past, and the area that the Automaton Knights were protecting had shrunk by five-meters. Even his dirus wolf had began to back away from the Orks.

“We got this!” yelled Edel at Smoke, as he stopped reinforcing the funnel.

Five more minutes in, and it slowly began to take shape of a large tree. He directed the thick earth upward, which started to broaden the mouth of the funnel.

“There!” exclaimed Smoke. He then turned around and launched a torrent of flame-arrows. He was taken aback to see that the Orks had been held firm. His wall of Automaton Knights stood their ground, as Edel and other Paladins joined them in the front lines.

Smoke then looked at the aura underneath him and saw that there were now two overlapping auras. He ran closer to Edel, to ask how everyone was doing.

“I’ve activated my Thorn Aura,” explained Edel. “And it looks like the Orks don’t like the taste of their own strength.”

“Great job!” said Smoke. “Let’s keep this pace and thin them out.”

A little over two hours passed since the Orks invaded, Smoke glanced at his unit. With a heavy sigh, he counted his Automaton Knights to now only number 24,000.

On the upside, only 40,000 Orks were left on the western district of Votl. With 10,000 of them constantly trying to climb the walls. Only 25,000 remained on the ground fighting against Smoke and his men. Whereas, the remaining 5,000 fought on top of the wall against Chrys and the Vitztytl Defenders, only to fall into Smoke’s funnel.

Smoke checked his satiety bar, and saw that it was almost at 50%. He glanced at his allies and saw that they looked like they could barely stand. Only the Automaton Knights remained sturdy, as they were mechanical soldiers powered by magic.

Posthaste, Smoke handed a group of his allies one clay-jar of pompom juice. “Share this, but don’t drink it all at once,” he said. Before he proceeded to the next group to do the same.

Steadily, the morale and strength of Votl’s western ground defenders rose.

With that, the Ork numbers began to decline.

“Faux! Looks like it’s over,” exclaimed Edel. A grinning Paladin Lord rushed to Smoke’s side and gave him a strong pat on the back.

“Good work, Edel,” replied Smoke. “You and everyone else did great!”

As Edel started to walk away, Smoke caught the Paladin Lord staring at him.

“What?” asked Smoke. “Something wrong?”

“Did you know that you’re already famous?” blurted out Edel.

“Eh?” asked Smoke, confused.

“The forums… Everyone’s already been talking about you,” added Edel. “They even say that you’re already on the same level as Amahan, Tristan, and Smoke.”

“Really? I don’t think I’d be—” began Smoke, but was cut off.

“But I think that you’ll be greater than all of them,” declared Edel. “If you ever decide to create a guild, please tell me. I assure you that all of the members of Sunrise Kingdom will sign up under you.”

“That’s really not going to—” said Smoke, but was cut off again.

As Chrysopelea suddenly dove down from above. “Faux! The Orks are leaving!”

“I know, they must be retreating!” cheerfully replied Smoke.

“No! They’re headed towards the northern district!” yelled Chrys. “Trottel’s gate has been busted open!”

“Damn it, Trottel!” shouted Smoke.

* * * * * *

Riding Freifahrt at top speed, Smoke led 14,000 Automaton Knights towards Trottel’s side of the Votl City. He left 10,000 mechanical Iron Knights with Edel and the other defenders near the base of the funnel.

Moving in the same direction as the Orks, Smoke and his special unit were ignored by the green giants.

‘Looks like their one track mind works in my favor too,’ he thought, thankful.

However, the fast-pace marching of the Orks gradually decreased, until it came to a sudden hault.


Smoke was able to stop Freifahrt at once, but the rest of the chasing Automaton Knights bashed their armors into the Orks.

The loud commotion made the green giants turn around.


Sharp clashing sound of steel against steel, echoed on the grounds of the northern gates. Claymores and great two-handed weapons collided with brute force.

As Smoke and his special unit defended against the Orks in the back, more and more MoriHai turned around to fight them.

The outnumbered Smoke and his Automaton Knights were steadily being overwhelmed. So, before they would be completely surrounded, he let out his Digger’s Wand and dug a deep trench in front of him.

Hundreds of MoriHai instantly fell in Smoke’s trench. This, gave him a better view of the northern city gates. Thousands of Orks flooded to rush inside, creating a choke point.

Elemental attacks came from above. Smoke saw powerful Lightning strikes aimed at the invaders who got inside.

‘That must be Trottel,’ surmised Smoke, shaking his head.

Yet, the Lioumerean’s hopeless attacks did nothing to stop the Orks’ advance into the Votl City.

‘Good thing all the residents have been evacuated behind the Castle Walls,’ thought Smoke, as he watched Sonstwelter stalls in the market district being broken into pieces.

Although, he was more than two-hundred meters away, Smoke was confident of his Earth Manipulation. Seeing the gates were destroyed, he pointed both his hands at the gate and constructed a thick earth-wall. Yet, its initial height was only three-meters.

The Orks on top of the rising earth-wall fell down from both its sides. The green giants who were left outside, scrambled to grab hold of the rising top ledge of the wall.

Smoke had no intention of stopping. Not until he had completely sealed the gate that was ten-meters tall.

However, a massive dirus wolf came charging towards him, from the other side of his trench.

Freifahrt shook Smoke off its back, and lunged at the incoming dirus wolf. Both gigantic mounts dropped into his freshly dug trench, but not before the Ork rider leapt off and landed in front of Smoke.

“Boangi or brave? Which one are you?” asked an Ork that was almost twice the size of Niemand. He did not have a two-handed weapon like most Orks. Instead, he had two ornate gauntlets with knife-like finger points.

“Guess I try,” said Smoke in Orkish. “You are UrukHai Colonel?”

“A DarkElf who speaks the most beautiful language,” replied the UrukHai, who stood up straight. “You are right. I am Colonel Vergewaltiger.”

Smoke took a quick glance at his earth blockade. He grinned from behind his Paradox Mask, as it had grown to at least eight-meters, before he was interrupted.

“What are you looking at?” asked Vergewaltiger. He turned around and spotted his earth-wall. “Oh! You must be proud.”

“Gukgukguk!” Vergewaltiger chuckled. “You are Boangi! You locked yourself outside with all of us?”

Then, the MoriHai Orks who fell into his trench climbed back up, and stood behind their UrukHai Colonel.

Unconsciously, Smoke took a step back. He scrambled his brain for what to do next.


A powerful tornado instantaneously appeared in front of the blocked city gates. Ouragan flew inside it, and pulled in all of the MoriHai Orks. Their massive green arms and legs flailed in the turbulent winds.


Ouragan threw the Orks against Votl’s walls.

However, Vergewaltiger remained where he stood.

“Prime Wizard Ouragan! Always a pain in the ass!” said the UrukHai Colonel. “Guess that means the fight in the southern side is already finished.”

“Smo— Faux! Are you alright?” yelled Ouragan from above.

“Yeah! I’m fine!” replied Smoke.

“Think you can handle him?” asked the old HighElf.

Smoke did not reply, but only stared at the monstrous UrukHai Colonel before him.

“Right! I’ll deal with the small fries,” said Ouragan. “And you handle him!”

Ouragan then flew towards the recovering Orks, and created his amplifying casting circle in the air. Fire Mages immediately took advantage of this, and directed their spells to pass through it. Several of the Orks below were pummeled into the ground by fireballs.

“Automaton Knights!” blurted out Smoke. “Go and finish off those Orks!”

At once, the 14,000 Iron Knights behind him marched around his trench to hunt down the green giant stragglers.

“Gukgukguk!” Vergewaltiger chuckled once more. “Ouragan left you to deal with me? Elves are really boangi! Gukgukguk!”

Suddenly, Vergewaltiger vanished.


Smoke’s Cunning of the Dire Fox sensed an attack coming from behind. So, he leapt forward with his Hyper Jump ability. Yet, even then, he still received a damage of 20,000 points from the light scratches on his back.

He leapt further away, but Vergewaltiger instantly caught up with him.

The UrukHai Colonel did another double strike attack with his tiger-like gauntlets, but Smoke deflected it with his flame-shield.

‘How could he move so fast?’ wondered Smoke, seeing as the UrukHai Colonel was the largest Ork he had seen.

He then counter-attacked with eight flame-arrows, at point blank range.

Vergewaltiger was forcibly pushed back by Smoke’s rush of flames. The Ork’s life bar displayed (1,492,000/1,500,000 HP).

Pestered by the Ork’s fast movement, Smoke launched eight earth-pillars which interlocked. A stunned Vergewaltiger was caught within it.

Smoke then Hyper Jumped behind the Ork, and unleashed a torrent of flame-arrows.

Eight flame-arrows, sixteen, thirty-two, then sixty-four. The damage of Smoke’s flame attacks piled on. Coupled with his passive Fire damage enhancing abilities, he dealt a total damage of 240,000.

“Aurgh!” screamed Vergewaltiger, as the flame-arrows left a myriad of blisters on his back. He turned his around to give Smoke a stare of death. A mixed look of anger and disbelief was clearly seen on his face.

However, Smoke was the one who was more surprised. He had only attacked him with flame-arrows and it dealt this much damage.

‘The Fire Blister can’t have this much of an effect?’ he thought, wondering. Then, it hit him. ‘Of course! Serval’s Glow, Paradox Pyro Face, and Xantico’s Inheritance.’

All of these abilities turned him into a Fire specialist. The passive bonus he got from them, increased on an exponential scale when his flame attacks were stacked up.

Amused at his newly discovered power, Smoke neglected to notice Vergewaltiger escape from his earth-pillars.

With an elastic twist of his wrists, the UrukHai Colonel used his tiger-like gauntlets to free himself.

“Raaaagh!” roared Vergewaltiger, and his sharp gauntlets dug into Smoke’s shoulder. He then pinned Smoke to the ground. With his free hand, the Ork began to claw his armor off.

Smoke’s life bar quickly drained. Each strike dealt 10% on his HP.

Desperate to escape, he used his Hyper Jump ability to propel himself diagonally on the ground.

“Aaaah!” yelped Smoke, as a large chunk of his flesh got torn off from Vergewaltiger’s death grip.

Smoke quickly propped himself up, but saw the UrukHai charging straight for him.

‘I need to get away from him,’ thought a distraught Smoke. ‘Guess there’s no helping it!’

He propelled himself upward with a sudden launch of an earth-pillar, and opened his Wings of Cologus in the air.

“Coward! Come back here!” yelled an angry Vergewaltiger. “Are all Elves just good at running away?”

Smoke did not mind the Ork’s taunts. He was more worried of the people on the northern wall, who had seen him fly.

“Maybe they didn’t see me?” he said to himself, unconvinced.

“Fine!” blurted out Vergewaltiger from below. “I’m going after the flightless boangi people in the city!”

The UrukHai Colonel then sprinted towards the walls.

Checking his life bar, Smoke had only 28% left. Although his mana bar had a higher maximum capacity, it displayed 10%.

He quickly got out a pompom juice, and drank the entire clay-jar in one gulp. Yet, it only increased his MP to 30%

‘I can’t stay up here any longer,’ he thought, as he saw that Vergewaltiger had almost reached the city. He knew that the UrukHai could easily scale those walls.

Gliding at top speed, Smoke headed in front of Vergewaltiger to cut him off.

‘My Fire can pierce him, but I need to use my Earth to hold him down,’ he reviewed his game plan on his mind. ‘But after stunning him, my mana will only have one more attack.’

In his synergized form, Smoke let out dark flames from his body. Moving in closer, he tucked his head inward and dove.


The ground where he landed on scattered upward, and molten rocks flew everywhere. He used his Comet Crush attack to stun the UrukHai Colonel.

‘Should I attack or hold him down?’ he asked himself, given this second of a fully stunned Ork.

Confused on what to do, Smoke melded both his Fire and Earth Manipulation abilities. Eight pillars struck out from below Vergewaltiger, but these were not the same ones as before. They had red hot lava swirling around its shaft and on its sharp tips.

Magma-pillars pierced through Vergewaltiger’s green skin. Only to melt when it went through his body. The UrukHai Colonel was raised off the ground, suspended by Smoke’s melded ability in mid-air.

The Ork was immobilized and his life bar quickly drained to 70%.

“I did it!” shouted Smoke. He raised his right fist in the air in celebration.

He then checked on the Orks near the wall. Ouragan had frozen the invaders in solid blocks of ice, while the Automaton Knights finished them off with their claymores.

“Looks end is over,” said Smoke in Orkish.

Turning to face Vergewaltiger, Smoke’s eyes widened when he saw the sharp points of the Ork’s gauntlets aimed at his eyes.

Smoke had overestimated the strength and durability of his magma-pillars. He should have known better, and was now going to pay the price for this mistake.


The created flame-shield instantly shattered, but the Ork’s gauntlets now struck his chest instead.

Smoke was pinned down to the ground, but this time, Vergewaltiger had a better hold on him.

“You can’t use that same trikasi on me twice,” snarled the Ork.

After using the Comet Crush and the melded magma-pillars, Smoke only had enough mana to do a Hyper Jump ability once.

He kicked the Ork in the groin, and tried to Hyper Jump diagonally. However, Vergewaltiger remained unfazed and dug his gauntlets deeper into his skin.

Smoke’s life bar quickly drained, and his Decay Aura activated. Aside from receiving the damage from the Ork’s attacks, his life bar also went down 100 points per second. The curse aura, however, also inflicted the same damage on Vergewaltiger.

“Is this your dying will? Your final attack?” questioned the UrukHai. “This is pathetic!”

Vergewaltiger stopped attacking, and held him down with both hands instead. “Let’s see who dies first?” he taunted. “Gukgukgukguk!”

“You want a final attack?” asked Smoke in the common tongue. “I’ll show you my Suicide Attack!” he said, but both his arms were pinned down by the Ork’s legs.

“Don’t speak anything but Orkish,” said Vergewaltiger. “It will only make your death more batigir.”

Immobilized, Smoke glared his eyes at the Ork. Yet, given this few seconds, he had recovered enough to create one last earth-pillar.


The sudden launched earth-attack sent Vergewaltiger’s feet off his right arm.

This final attempt only angered the Ork. Vergewaltiger’s gauntlet came crashing down on his shoulder.

Smoke did not want to admit it, but he knew that the Ork’s attack would hit first.

However, before the gauntlet hit him, a notification window popped up.

+ Level UP!

You have 10 stat points ready for distribution.
Your HP has increased by 7,800.
Your mana has increased by 7,800.
Fame has increased by 1.

His eyes dilated with excitement. Smoke’s life bar and mana bar glowed, as they were refilled to its new maximum capacity.

Vergewaltiger’s gauntlets still pierced his shoulder, but sixteen magma-pillars lifted the Ork Colonel off of him.

As he made the Ork’s limbs spread out like an eagle, Smoke added in another sixteen more magma-pillars, four on each limb.

“You think this can hold me?” cried out the suspended Vergewaltiger. “Just you wait! I’ll break out of here in no time!”

Smoke’s magma-pillars gradually thickened, as he reinforced them with more Fire and Earth.

The Ork’s life bar displayed 40%.

Now, that his mana had been fully replenished, Smoke prepared himself to use the stacked up bonus of his flame attacks.

Smoke leapt up, and stood on the broad shoulders of the Ork in mid-air. “You shall never touch another Elf again,” he said in Orkish, before he sent a rain of flame-swords at Vergewaltiger’s back.

Even with the massive life bar of (600,000/1,500,000 HP), it only took Smoke less than three minutes to finally finish off the incapacitated UrukHai Colonel.

+ You have dealt a fatal blow to Vergewaltiger, Colonel of the UrukHai.
+ You have killed Vergewaltiger.
+ You have gained 2,000,000 XP.


As the Ork’s body disappeared, only his gauntlets remained.

+Acquired rare item: Gauntlets of Orcinol

Seeing that Ouragan and the Automaton Knights were still fighting with the Orks, Smoke quickly stowed the freshly lotted item into his bag. He rushed forward to help out.

When he leapt over his trench, Smoke spotted two massive dirus wolf pelts on the bottom. He had wondered where Freifahrt was. Now, he knew that his mount had bravely fought to the death, and had left him with honor.

Smoke stopped, and went back down to fetch the two pelts. He picked them up, and clutched one of them dearly. “You will be missed,” he said to the fur with the flame markings on its paws.

“I shall have all these Orks escourt you to the afterlife,” he added with conviction.

He climbed out of his own dug trench, and used his serval shoes to reach the Orks faster.

* * * * * *

It took another twenty-minutes of grueling battle at the northern side of Votl City, before they finally saw the last of the Orks there. A few of them had fled off, but there were still who remained to fight with their last hit points.

When the deed was done, an exhausted Ouragan flew down next to Smoke.

“We finally did it!” said the old HighElf. He let out a heavy sigh, as he leaned on Smoke’s shoulder.

Smoke was panting hard, trying to catch his breath. “What about the other sides?”

“After an hour into the invasion, Magietrois Florissant squashed the Orks on the eastern district,” explained Ouragan. “I think, I could have done it in a similar time, if I had better companions with me,” he said with a wink.

“So, how long did it take?” asked Smoke.

“I just finished when I arrived,” replied Ouragan. “And the ones that survived from both my area, and Magietrois Florissant’s both ran for their lives.”

“What about Chrys’ district?” asked Smoke.

“I don’t know,” replied the old man.

Then, a Prime Wizard in green appeared overhead.

“Looks like he defended his side too,” said Smoke, answering his own question.

Chrysopelea softly landed next to them.

“Thanks, Faux!” said Chrys. “If it weren’t for you, I’m sure the western gates would have been opened too.”

“You mean it remained shut, the entire time?” asked a surprised Smoke. “Guess that means only Trottel had a busted gate.”

“Let’s check on him,” said Ouragan, and hovered.

“Alright,” replied Chrys and flew next to the old HighElf.

“I’ll see you guys there,” said Smoke, as he was about to use his serval shoes to run at fast speeds.

“Smo—Faux, why don’t you just fly,” blurted out Ouragan. “Everyone on top of the northern wall already saw you, anyway.”

“What?” screamed Chrys. “You can fly too?”

“Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.” the green Prime Wizard clicked his tongue. “Just what can’t you do?”

“Plenty!” replied Smoke with all seriousness. He scowled behind his mask, as he remembered how far he still was from paying off the debts of his Avendre Mercenaries. Then, there was also his lack of large scale leadership abilities. In the incoming war against Duke Burmistrz, he knew that he could not allow the same losses as he experienced today. The Automaton Knights could be rebuilt, but not the lives of his Avendre Mercenaries.

“Faux? You okay?” asked Chrys. “Looks like I lost you there for a second.”

Smoke waved his hand in dismissal. “Sorry, was thinking about something else.”

“Well, you better do your daydreaming another time,” said Ouragan. “We really should see how the inside of Trottel’s wall is doing.”

With that, Ouragan led all of them in flight. Moving with purpose, they flew to the top of the northern wall in no time at all.

“No! No! No! No!” cried out Trottel, as soon as he saw Smoke flying next to Ouragan and Chrysopelea. “No way can you fly!”

Trottel strongly shook his head in disbelief.

“That was an advanced form of the Fire Levitation, right?” asked the Lioumerean Prime Wizard. “But you just learned the Fire element recently. You can’t possibly—” Trottel stopped himself, and scratched his head, bewildered.

“Earth, Fire, and now Wind?” further lamented Trottel. “Don’t tell me you can use Lightning too?”

Smoke had half a mind to get out his twin lightning-rods, but decided otherwise. “Of course not,” he said and shook his head in denial. He would have loved to see the look on Trottel’s face, but knew that his lightning rods would be a dead give away of his true identity.

“Hmmp! Well, at least you suck at leading an army,” blurted out Trottel. “I can’t imagine how you managed to destroy almost all of those powerful Automaton Knights.”

“I lost a lot of them trying to save your side of the city,” said Smoke. “Yours was the only one who got its gate busted open.”

“Of course it did! There was an UrukHai Colonel leading them,” reasoned the Lioumerean.

“And what of Chrys’ and Ouragan’s side? Didn’t they also have UrukHai Colonels?” challenged Smoke.

“Not on my end,” interjected Ouragan.

“Same here,” added Chrys. “The strongest one there, was the Ork Commander you killed earlier, Faux.”

“Really?” said Smoke. “That’s odd.”


Suddenly, Eleve teleported herself in front of Vitzytl’s Generals.

“Magietrois Florissant, we did it,” greeted Ouragan, and lowered his head before her.

Smoke, Trottel, and Chrysopelea hurriedly followed the old HighElf’s lead.

“Indeed, we did,” said Trottel. “My men are just double checking for any surviving Orks, but I’m confident that we’ve—”

Trottel’s boastful ramblings was cut off, as Eleve’s voice overpowered his.

“We’ve been had!” she yelled.

“Because I was too busy defending, I just got the report now,” began Eleve. “As we speak, UrukHai Orks have been spotted outside the cities of Vona, Vectas, and Vlahui.”

“No!” exclaimed Ouragan. “Vona only has its standing army left to defend it.”

“The same goes for the rest of the cities,” added Smoke.

Ouragan quickly took to the skies, and was about to fly off to his home city.

However, a massive red phoenix with flaming wings denied the old HighElf to do so.

“Are you senile?” asked Eleve. “You can’t get there in time by flying!”

“What about the teleportation circles?” asked a troubled Chrys.

“Unfortunately, the teleportation circles have still been powered down. As their dedicated mana had been redirected to the Breathtaking Ballistae,” explained Eleve. “It will take two hours before they are fully functional again.”

“But we can’t just stand here and do nothing,” added Chrys. “I just became a Prime Wizard for god’s sake.”

“That’s why I’m teleporting all of you to your respective cities,” said Eleve. “Regrettably, your cities are so far apart, that my current mana can only send the three of you.”

She paused, as she surveyed their reactions.

“Send me now!” replied Ouragan.

“I don’t care,” said Chrys. “I just need to be there.”

“Send me home as well,” added Trottel.

“Fine, then,” said Eleve. “I’ll pray to Tlaltezin for your success.”


One by one, Eleve sent the Prime Wizards to their respective cities. Only fiery afterimages of themselves remained where they stood.

“You think they’ll be able to do something?” asked Smoke.

“I’m not sure,” said Eleve. “But I think Ouragan and Trottel will manage somehow.”

A worried Smoke walked up to her and asked. “What about Chrys?”

Eleve gulped. “The report had one other thing I intentionally left out.”

“Well? Spit it out already!” said Smoke.

“It appears that Wertlosvati’s banners were seen heading for Vectas City,” she replied. “Maybe he’s after the city because Chrysopelea has no real experience in being a Prime Wizard.”

“Then, you have to go there,” pleaded Smoke. “You can’t let those Orks destroy Vectas.”

Eleve strongly shook her head. “I can’t leave Votl City defenseless. I’m bound to protect the capital above all else.”

A disheartened Smoke looked down.

Shortly after, he grabbed the old HighElf’s shoulder.

“Send me instead!” exclaimed Smoke. “Chrys has no way of defending a city against Wertlosvati, alone.”

“And you think the two of you will stand a chance just because you’re there?” asked Eleve.

Smoke fell silent. He knew that she was right, but he could not bare to imagine all of those Zectians to be raided by the cruel UrukHai General.

Wracking his brain for a solution, Smoke opened his map of the Sawtorn continent to confirm his idea. He grinned and gently tugged on Eleve’s red robes.

“I have a plan,” said Smoke. “Can you send me here?” he asked pointing to his map.

“Why? Anyway, I don’t have enough mana to send you there right now,” explained Eleve.

“But how could you teleport us from Pincer Island to the Seminary so easily?” asked Smoke.

“There are certain places that are a special case,” replied Eleve. “Being the 16th Magietrois, it doesn’t consume my mana to get to them.”

“Then, drink this,” he said, and fished out his last two jars of pompom juice. “I’m sure it will barely increase your mana, but maybe it will be enough to teleport me.”

“Alright, let’s give it a try,” she said, and drank the two pompom juice in one go.

“You made this yourself, did you?” Eleve asked Smoke. She then paused, as she checked on her mana. “Would you look at that. Just enough to teleport one more schmuck.”

“Great! Send me there, now!” begged Smoke.

“Are you sure?” asked Eleve, one more time. “I highly doubt sending you to Diebe Den would be of any help.”

“We won’t know unless we try,” said Smoke. He took in a deep breath and gave her a respectful bow.


“Godspeed, Faux,” she said to Smoke’s fiery afterimage.

As soon as Smoke disappeared, Eleve was forcibly teleported into one of the three tallest spires in the city.

Smoke’s Flame Master stood in front of a beautiful young maiden. Eleve quickly bowed down before her.

“Please allow me to help them out, Mistress,” she pleaded, and the old HighElf groveled at the young girl’s feet.

Eleve’s Mistress forcibly shook the old HighElf off her legs. “Stop that! I told you, you need to stay here and defend the capital.”

“But you can defend this city all by yourself!” argued Eleve. “Heck! You can even destroy all of the invading Orks at once, if you wanted to.”

“That’s right! I could. If… I wanted to,” replied the young maiden. “But I didn’t! In fact, I didn’t lift a finger in this entire fiasco, did I?”

“Of course, Mistress,” said Eleve. “Please forgive my ignorance,” she said and lowered her head even further.

“Besides, you are the acting Magietrois Florissant now,” said the young maiden. “And I am just a carefree observer.”

“Of course, Mistress,” meekly replied Eleve.

The young maiden then motioned for Eleve to stand straight.

Eleve obediently stood up, but grumbled as she did.

“What was that?” angrily asked the young girl. “Did you say something?” she said in a threatening manner.

“Mistress, I just find it odd,” answered Eleve.

“Odd?” asked the young Mistress. “What’s odd?”

“I thought you liked Faux,” replied Eleve. “But the only thing you ever did for him, was allow him to be one of your Journeymen.”

“Eleve, Eleve, Eleve,” said the maiden while shaking her head. “In all our years of being together, you are still the same naive young girl I first met.”

The Mistress let out a sigh. “I told you, I’ll only reveal myself to him after he finishes the real King’s Quest.”



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