Author: John Nest
A fiery image of a DarkElf began to materialize in front of a well-guarded cave. This was the headquarters of the OrkElf rebels, Diebe Den.
‘Looks like Cynar got an upgrade on their equipment,’ surmised Smoke. He saw young OrkElves, barely in their early twenties, wielding broadswords and round shields. Then, there were the older ones carrying two-handed glaives, their muscles more defined.
Before Smoke could even speak, sixteen of the well-armed OrkElves rushed towards him. Eight OrkElves with shields and swords guarded the ones brandishing the glaives from behind them.
“I’m a friend!” cried out Smoke, and raised both hands. “Tell Cynar that Faux is here.”
The OrkElves lowered their stance, planting their feet firmly in their place. Their weapons still trained at Smoke’s body.
“It’s alright,” said a familiar voice which from within the cave. “You can put down your weapons,” added the voice who was obstructed by the OrkElves.
At once, the armed guards who confined Smoke lowered their weapons and stepped away from him.
Parting their way, Smoke finally saw a Flame Knight donning a silver armor. He easily recognized him to be Blaise, Cynar’s right-hand man.
“Hey, is Cynar around?” asked Smoke. “I have some information that I’m sure he would love to hear!”
“It’s not related to how our captive nobles escaped, is it?” asked Blaise. “Now, that’s certainly something I’m interested in.”
“I can’t believe how you got Cynar to believe in you,” said Blaise. “In all my years of being with him. This is the first time I’ve seen him this hoodwinked.”
“Mm…” replied Smoke, shaking his head defensively. “Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Sure! Of course, you don’t,” said an antagonizing Blaise. He walked over to Smoke and angrily pointed at him. “How many years do you think I had to work as a slave for one of those royal nobles? What kind of missions do you think they had me do while I was under their service?”
Smoke did not respond, slightly confused at what the silver Flame Knight was getting at.
“I endured all of that! In order to assure Cynar’s rise into power,” added Blaise. “And now, you, appear out of nowhere and expect Cynar to listen to you?”
“That’s enough!” exclaimed Cynar, who stepped out from the depths of Diebe Den.
With one glance, Smoke recognized that the masked OrkElf Assassin had changed. He had an aura of power about him.
“Blaise, I told you to forget about those children already,” said Cynar. “And can you get over how many times you’ve sacrificed for our cause? Don’t think that you’re the only one who had to suffer to get to where we are.”
The Flame Knight backed off, he turned around while shaking his head in disapproval.
Cynar removed his mask and smiled at Smoke. “Welcome back, Faux!” said the OrkElf Assassin and offered him his hand.
Smoke smiled back behind his Paradox Mask and said. “Good to see you again, but we have to hurry.”
“Huh? Why?” asked Cynar, confused.
“I know where Wertlosvati is,” replied Smoke. “How many of your men can you—”
Smoke was not allowed to finish his question, as Cynar suddenly appeared in front of him.
The OrkElf Assassin pointed a black knife at Smoke’s neck and said. “You better not be joking.”
“I’m not!” exclaimed Smoke. He firmly held Cynar’s arm, preventing the blade to go any further. “He’s attacking Vectas City as we speak,” he added.
Without waiting for any more confirmation, Cynar yelled out a series of commands. “Sound the horns!” he cried out. “Priority one is here! This is not a drill!”
One of the guards standing outside the cave blew on the horn of an ancient bison.
TOTOOOOTT TOTTOTTOOOOOOT TOTOOOOTT TOTTOTTOOOOOOT
Less than a few seconds later, a thunderous galloping sound came from a different side of Diebe Den.
‘Looks like they also improved the cave,’ thought Smoke, grinning at the incoming dirus wolves before him.
From the new exit of the cave, he saw hundreds of dirus wolves come out, each one of them mounted by two OrkElves.
Two unmounted dirus wolves came rushing forward towards Cynar and Blaise. As soon as the mounts got closer, the two OrkElf leaders sprang on their respective steeds.
“Faux, you can ride with me,” offered Cynar. “Tell us where Wertlosvati is.”
“Thanks, but I’ll just lead you from above,” said Smoke. He leaped up and opened his hooded cloak. Without a word, he glided towards Vectas City.
“Faux? You can fly? Since when did you—” called out Cynar from behind him, as the army of OrkElves chased after him.
Glancing below, he roughly estimated three-thousand dirus wolves. Smoke’s current top speed is 210 kilometers per hour. However, in order for the OrkElf army to follow him, he decided to reduce his speed by a fourth.
“Vectas City Location!” called out Smoke while gliding.
An information window instantly popped up.
MAP LOCATION: Vectas City
Coordinates: Latitude: -15°23′ S, Longitude: -11°35′ W
Note: One hundred kilometers away from current location.
‘At this rate, it will take us at least an hour to get there,’ calculated Smoke.
“Hey, Faux!” called out Blaise from below. “Is that the fastest you can go? Because my wolf is already complaining. Hoffart is not used to running this slow!”
“Are you sure?” asked a skeptical Smoke. He observed the horde of OrkElves on dirus wolves and saw that their mounts were not bothered by the pace at all.
“Alright, let’s go!” yelled Smoke, and increased his speed.
They picked up a large cloud of dust, as they traversed the sandy plains with great haste.
Occasionally, there were coalitions of sand cheetahs that tried to attack them, but Smoke casually dug trenches too wide for the sand cheetahs to leap across.
By neglecting any of the incoming aggressive monsters their way, Smoke and the OrkElf army reached the outskirts of Vectas City in only forty minutes.
A relieved Smoke was grinning behind his mask. From his point of view, he saw a city on top of a hill, with its walls still intact and four breathtaking ballistae still installed on top of its walls.
‘Phew! Looks like we made it in time,’ thought Smoke. ‘Vectas looks even smaller than Centzo City,’ he mused, thinking that this was the smallest city he had seen so far inside the game.
“Faux, stop!” called out Blaise, and ordered the army to do the same. “Most of our mounts have already spent half their stamina getting here this quick,” he explained, patting Hoffart’s head.
“You were the one who told me to go fast,” countered Smoke, as he hovered directly above both Cynar and Blaise.
“Alright, let’s focus on where our enemy is,” said Cynar. “Normally, I wouldn’t even defend this city, but seeing as Wertlosvati is here, I’ll make this one exception.”
“So? Where are they, Faux?” asked Cynar. “Where is the Ork Horde? Where is Wertlosvati!”
“I don’t know,” replied Smoke, looking around at all directions. “Maybe, we arrived before they—”
Before Smoke could finish talking, the walls of Vectas City before them crumbled to the ground.
Hundreds of Orks were seen running wild in the city streets. Hundreds of Sonstwelter Merchant stalls laid to waste, as their broken pieces scattered on the ground.
Several of the green giants were busy loading their mounts with sacks. All of which were clearly filled with loot.
Yet, the most disturbing sight of all was that of the captured Zectians. Even though they were in the streets, the Orks began to rip off their clothes.
“Don’t worry,” said Cynar. “We’ll save them,” he said and led a blitzing charge for the broken wall.
With most of the Orks preoccupied with their spoils, Smoke and the OrkElves reached them without being noticed.
SHINK SLINK SHUNK
Numerous broad swords and spears resonated, as Smoke and the OrkElves outnumbered the UrukHai in the area by 6,000 to 2,000.
The OrkElves riding in tandem displayed how well they were trained. Focusing on one Ork, the driver of the dirus wolf engaged from the front, while the passenger stepped on the Ork’s shoulder and clung to the neck, simultaneously stabbing the back.
Of course, the OrkElf leaders would not be outdone by their underlings!
Blaise faced the UrukHais by himself. Equipped with his Salamander’s Tongue, he swiftly took out his flamberge from its scabbard. Thus, revealing its blade to be covered in orange flames. While mounted, he was evenly matched with the height of the green giants. He swung his fiery flamberge across the Ork’s neck, igniting him into flames. After he finished with one, the Flame Knight hurried to hunt down his next Ork.
Meanwhile, Cynar dismounted from his dirus wolf. Moving in a black blur, the OrkElf Assassin slit the throats of all the UrukHais he encountered. He left them to die, with their life bars steadily diminishing, inflicted with the Bleeding and Poisoned status.
On the other hand, a flying Smoke carefully chose his targets. He focused on the Orks who had captured Zectian Elves. Using his Synergized state, he gathered his mana into his palms and created a big whirling flame in front of him. After he finished the ability requirements, he let out thirty-two flame-swords at once. Each one given a simple instruction, to pierce the UrukHai it was set upon.
In less than twenty minutes, Smoke and the OrkElves killed all two-thousand Orks in the immediate area.
Without bothering to pick up the dropped loot by the Orks, Smoke flew upward and scanned the city. Using his Telefax Vision, he saw that the rest of Vectas was in a similar state. Looking further inward, he finally saw the brunt of the Ork Horde. It was surrounding the city’s castle. The Breathtaking Ballistae on the castle walls, let out a continuous volley of green balls of poison at the invading Orks below. However, it proved to be ineffective against them. The interlopers simply stood back up after being hit.
“Wertlosvati is about to break down the final walls of the city,” said Smoke, pointing towards the Duke’s Castle.
“Then, what are we waiting for?” said Cynar. “Men, onward!”
* * * * * *
“Green Prime Wizard, open gates of yours. Allow us entrance to yours!” yelled Wertlosvati at the flying Chrysopelea.
“Why would I do that? When you are about to surrender,” replied Chrys. “As we speak, the Mages inside are creating a powerful spell to kill you all.”
Wertlosvati chuckled loudly. “Kaningi boangi, makatoni patyoni kunin tanir nilar!”
Thousands of Orks laughed after their General explained Chrysopelea’s bluff.
“Guess surrender we better be doing,” replied Wertlosvati. “But, Orks said to be boangi. Oh, sorry, I meaning stupid. Stupid that we fear no death or empty threats of yours.”
“Also, do yours Sonstwelter know how to count?” asked the UrukHai General.
Chrys did not reply but merely furrowed his eyebrows.
“Do yours not see? We are more than ten-thousand Orks here,” said Wertlosvati. “Thousands more ransacking the city now,” the Ork then strongly shook his head. “Why you asking us surrender?” he sarcastically laughed.
Turning to face his UrukHai army, Wertlosvati screamed out. “UrukHai, sakaanir nakamor!”
Without delay, the Orks beside Wertlosvati began to scale the castle walls.
In response, Chrys flew down and braved the thrown mallets and axes at him. He spread his arms apart and created a powerful wind from both palms.
Suddenly, Chrys’ spiraling winds began to merge, increasing its speed even further. Loose rocks and branches flew towards the swirling tornado as they were picked up by the strong winds.
However, only the orange hairs of the UrukHai were pulled by Chrys’ sudden air vortex. Their grips on the castle walls remained firm.
Chrys then yelled out from within his cyclone. “Mages, now!”
FUG VLUG FUG VLUG FUG VLUG FUG
A rain of fireballs, comets, and flame arrows fell down on the climbing green giants. Each fiery attack had doubled its size, buffed by Chrys’ chaotic winds.
One by one, the Orks clinging on the walls were dropped, but this was only for the ones near the tornado. The UrukHais outside the range, steadily continued upward, unaffected by the elemental magics launched at them.
With several Orks reaching near the top, Warrior Guards switched out the place of the Mages. There were less than a thousand of these melee fighters, but they were the city’s last line of defense.
Without warning, the bricks on the walls began to stick out, critically striking the Orks’ faces. Either their eyes, nose, or mouth, whichever part the brick hit, blood was sure to come out.
A flying Smoke hovered a hundred meters left from Chrysopelea’s tornado, manipulating the fragments of the wall to obey his bidding.
The targeted UrukHais lost their grips. Their wanton cheers vanished, replaced only with screams of falling to the ground. Due to their high life bars, more than half of them survived. Yet, the stragglers were only spared 20% of their maximum HP.
“Chrys!” shouted Smoke over to the twister, with the Vectas Prime Wizard in it. “Move to your right!”
“Faux? Is that really you?” asked Chrys from within the spinning vortex. “How in the world did you get here?”
“Never mind that,” replied Smoke. “Let’s just spread out and stop any Orks from climbing over the walls.”
“But attacking them while they’re climbing would allow us to face them at their most vulnerable,” answered Chrys. “I know that you have an impressive amount of mana, but even, you, can’t keep the Orks from climbing forever.”
“I don’t plan to,” said Smoke. “We just have to drop them down so that they could deal with them,” he explained, pointing down at Cynar and his army of OrkElves.
“Where in the… How did you—” babbled Chrys but stopped himself. The troubled expression on his face conveyed the alarming reality. Even with the OrkElf reinforcements, they were still outnumbered.
“Stop hesitating,” called out Smoke. “And just fight!”
“Like we have a choice! Let’s do this!” replied Chrys with gusto, and his cyclone shifted farther the opposite side of Smoke.
Spreading themselves to cover almost 80% of the wall, both Smoke and Chrys sent thousands of UrukHais downward, severely injuring them from attacks and the hard fall on the ground.
* * * * * *
Smoke placed his trust on Cynar, that he would lead his men to finish off the fallen green giants, but the OrkElf Assassin had other things in mind.
“Charge! Charge! Charge! No one stop for anything!” commanded Cynar, riding his dirus wolf at full speed. “Wertlosvati’s head will roll today!” he added with angst.
“Cynar, wait!” called out Blaise from behind. “We might get locked in if we continue with this madness!”
Cynar did not budge. Instead, he increased the pace of his mount’s gallop even further.
“We need to thin out their numbers!” Blaise explained while riding after Cynar.
But still, Cynar continued on, focused on his horrific monster of a father.
“Are you even listening? Going in like this doesn’t assure us of Wertlosvati’s death,” argued Blaise. “This only guarantees us of an early entrance to Mictlan!”
Throwing paralysis darts with astounding speed, Cynar momentarily incapacitated the UrukHai blocking their way.
Blaise unleashed his flamberge. Red flames wildly spewed out from its blade, as if searching for flesh to devour. With a single strike on the backs of the Orks, his salamander tongue slew the green giants. For those who were fortunate enough to survive, they were inflicted with the Burned status. The life bars of the charred Orks steadily depleted. The OrkElves under the Flame Knight’s command synergized with his fiery attacks. They slashed their broad swords at the Orks and opened a path for Cynar to pass through.
As they rode fifty-meters deeper into the throng of Orks, the strength of their enemies exponentially grew. Yet, despite their slower advance, Cynar remained unchanged. It was then that Blaise angrily yelled out. “Cynar, stop! We need a plan!”
Blaise’s flaming sword still held its fury, but his men had lost their fire. Most of them were panting heavily, trying to catch their breath.
Instead of listening to Blaise, Cynar clutched more paralysis darts in his hands. With blitzing hand movement, targeting the Orks blocking his path to Wertlosvati.
“Fine! Run to your own death!” exclaimed an infuriated Blaise. “But you’re not taking my men with you!”
“Inferno Squad, move left towards the wall!” Blaise commanded.
With the silver Flame Knight in the lead, two-thousand out of the six-thousand OrkElves disengaged from the mad charge against Wertlosvati. The sudden shift of their movement, caused the Orks to topple against each other.
Apart from losing their footing, the Orks also became confused. Several of the green giants fell backward, pulling down many of the Orks beside them.
Seeing this, Cynar quickly took advantage of this crack in their defense.
“Forward! These stupid Orks don’t know what to do!” Cynar called out to the OrkElves behind him. “Werlosvati’s head is ours for the taking!” he screamed.
A sudden boost of morale fell over the OrkElves under Cynar’s command.
Cynar then motioned to one of the bulky OrkElves behind him. “Beistand,” he called out. “Take the lead and refill the gap in our formation.”
In less than ten seconds, Cynar’s assault pushed on. Even with his decreased number of men, they still plowed through the Orks with little care for defense. Their life bars slowly chipped away by the attacks they choose to ignore, solely focused on getting to where Wertlosvati was.
After crossing two-hundred meters of Orks, more than five-hundred OrkElves had fallen. Yet, Cynar paid it no mind, as he finally saw a white banner with two double-headed axes crossed against together. The weapons were positioned in a way that the axes formed a “W.”
Paralysis darts, broad swords, and spears pierced through the final wall of Orks, as they forcibly pushed their way to the UrukHai General.
Finally, Cynar and his men arrived at their destination. They were gasping for air in front of a dark green Ork, more than three meters tall, brandishing two double-headed axes.
“Me impressed,” said Wertlosvati, mounted on top of the biggest dirus wolf in the battlefield. He then lifted both his axes and motioned for the Orks to give them some room.
At once, a clearing appeared between Cynar and Wertlosvati.
“You, my weakly son from… Quelle Village?” asked the Ork General, pointing one of his double-headed axes at Cynar.
“Me remembering yours to be thinner,” went on Wertlosvati. “Yours seem to have put on some meat. Plan to take on my straight attacks?”
Cynar did not reply, and only clenched his fists. Looking straight into Wertlosvati’s eyes with an abyss of hateful silence.
“Yours silent making me remembering yours mother,” said Wertlosvati. “She no making sound when me came to her. She no even fight me.”
As Wertlosvati spoke, the Orks continued to back away. An engrossed Cynar failed to notice, that he and his men were now enclosed. The path that cost the lives of hundreds of OrkElves, now vanished.
“That’s right,” replied Cynar, breaking his loathsome quietude. “I heard she didn’t resist you. Do you know, why?”
Wertlosvati guffed. “Of course! Because looking at me? Me am most handsomest of all!”
“Gruk gruk gruk gruk,” came the noise from Wertlosvati’s maniacal laughter.
“Gruk! Gruk! Gruk! Gruk!” chimed in the rest of the Ork Horde.
“No,” said Cynar, shaking his head slightly. “It was so that she could give birth to me.”
“Yours mother wanted my children?” asked an astounded Wertlosvati.
“She did,” replied Cynar.
In a blur, Cynar’s hands disappeared as they went to his quiver of paralysis darts. He unleashed the last ones, targeting the Orks behind his father.
“Yours missed me!” snorted Wertlosvati. “Gruk gruk gruk! Yours weak and cannot be aiming! Gruk gruk gruk!”
Cynar reached deep into his robes and let out a new weapon on each hand. They had a short, wide, triangular blade of forty centimeters in length.
“Them are strange weapons,” said Wertlosvati. “But nothing—”
Cynar stopped Wertlosvati from yapping on, as he screamed. “She had me born to kill you!”
The OrkElf Assassin disappeared from sight.
SWISHK SWISHK SWISHK SWISHK
As Cynar materialized behind the Ork General, a rush of deep stab wounds inflicted Wertlosvati’s back.
“How do you like my katars?” asked Cynar, driving his triangular blades deeper and faster.
Wertlosvati screamed in pain. “Warraah!” He extended his axes as far back as he could reach, forcing Cynar off him.
SWISHK SWISHK SWISHK SWISHK
Sounds of twin katars piercing Wertlosvati’s flesh resonated in the skirmish, as Cynar reappeared in front of him.
“Nagunsair kamori dirah! Atakir!” bellowed Wertlosvati. He stroke down his double-headed axes, and hit nothing but the ground before him. “UrukHais, atakir!” he yelled and commanded the Orks around him to attack.
Without needing for Cynar’s instructions, the remaining OrkElves in the clearing charged forward. None of them showed signs of hesitation, as they plunged into the fray of Orks.
“They may have us surrounded, but we’re now about even in numbers,” said Cynar, as he pointed over to the direction of the Orks on the wall, who were fighting against Smoke, Chrys, Blaise, and the Inferno Squad.
“HOOH-HA!” screamed the OrkElves in cheer, as they brandished their long spears and broadswords at the UrukHais.
With the morale of his men at an all time high, Cynar repeatedly vanished instantaneously. But he always dealt a massive amount of damage on Wertlosvati each time he reappeared.
“Weakling, face me like a man and take my attac—” taunted Wertlosvati, but was silenced when a katar went straight through his mouth and the triangular tip exited the other side of the Ork’s face.
“I knew that I was far below your strength,” explained Cynar, stabbing his detested father. “That’s why I heightened my speed even more.”
SWISHK SWISHK SWISHK SWISHK
Afterimages of Cynar appeared from all side, as he sped up further.
Despite having the advantage, Cynar suddenly stopped. “How do you like me know?”
A bleeding Wertlosvati replied. “You’re more Ork than you think.” The Ork General went down on his knees and dropped both his axes.
Cynar sneered and stared down at his father. “Don’t call me that just because I’m about to kill—” began the Assassin, but was cut short.
In one sudden motion, Wertlosvati raised Cynar up by the neck. Next, the Ork General pried off Cynar’s katars and disarmed him. “No, no because of killing,” explained the smug Wertlosvati. “Yours Ork because yours arrogant and stupid!” he said and began to crush his son’s neck.
* * * * * *
When Blaise and the Inferno Squad broke off from Cynar’s group, they started targeting the fallen Orks near the base of the castle walls.
The arms of the mounted OrkElves swirled fast like windmills, slashing the exposed necks of the green giants.
Despite being injured, the Orks fought back. Using their mighty two-handed swords, mallets, and axes, the UrukHai brought down one out of ten mounted OrkElves to the ground.
The ones who were grounded would not last a minute, as the UrukHai would focus on the tripped riders until their last HP left them.
Abandoning the lead, Blaise turned around and went to help one of his grounded subordinates.
Since there was a wide gap between Blaise and his men, he used one of his flaming flamberge’s active abilities. The salamander tongue segmented into several parts, extending its length to five meters. The flames of the sword became hotter in between the broken blades, burning the green skin off the Orks.
Using a flurry of whip-like strikes, Blaise saved one of his subordinates. However, there were eighteen more of them lying on the ground, dead.
“Suerte, take my mount and lead the rest of the Inferno Squad towards Faux,” Blaise said to the OrkElf he just saved and dismounted from his dirus wolf. “I’ll grab their attention and hold them off here.”
“But, Sir. There are too—” began Suerte, but was silenced with a stern stare from Blaise.
Before the Orks could reach them, the silver Flame Knight hurriedly propped up Suerte onto his mount and said. “Now, go, and don’t look back!”
When Suerte was out of range, Blaise used his sword’s ultimate ability, Incinerator. The segments of the lengthy flamberge broke off from its handle and flew in all directions, stabbing and slashing the Orks within its range of ten meters.
Within seconds, a dome of blades and flames materialized with Blaise at its center. Whenever the Flame Knight moved, the dome of segmented flame blades moved with him.
Only after two minutes, Blaise depleted all of his mana. As the flames of the Incinerator ability died out, the salamander tongue returned to the shape of a flamberge.
Dozens of burnt Ork bodies laid on the ground. Most of them were severed off to tiny portions while a few only had missing limbs.
However, the Orks who were outside the range of the Incinerator had now gathered around the silver Flame Knight.
“Come!” said Blaise to the Orks with bravado. “I’ll send all of you to Mictlan today!”
Despite putting up a powerful front, the injured Orks swelled in numbers as they gathered around him.
Even after the Inferno Squad’s initial charge and Blaise’s Incinerator ability, the UrukHais near the wall still numbered two-thousand. Only half of them were killed.
Trapped, Blaise held his flaming flamberge with both hands. Sixteen Orks came at him at once, from opposite directions. Swinging wildly, he struck two of them and sent them flying back to the throng of green giants.
But the remaining Orks, who got past Blaise’s desperate swings, dealt heavy blows to his body. While he barely dodged a sword aimed at his head, a mallet slammed hard against his back. He received more and more blows, as his life bar displayed (180,000/860,000 HP), and was still quickly declining.
Additional Orks charged towards Blaise, a cloud of dust picked and directed the sand towards the green giants’ eyes. Chrys’ cyclone did little damage to the UrukHais, but it still served its purpose of distracting them.
Smoke stepped out from the dust cloud. He launched several magma-spikes from the ground, piercing the Orks from the back.
At the same time, Suerte and the rest of the mounted Inferno Squad charged for another run at the Orks.
The combined attacks of Smoke, Chrys, and the Inferno Squad left the UrukHai bewildered. Most of them turned their backs and ran towards the flag of the twin axes.
It was then, that Blaise saw Cynar was being strangled to death.
“Faux!” called out the injured silver Flame Knight. “You have to help Cynar!” he said desperately, pointing to Wertlosvati’s banners.
Smoke then turned to the green Prime Wizard of Vectas. “Chrys, I’ll leave this area to you,” he said and glided towards Cynar.
* * * * * *
With the walls free from Orks, the Breathtaking Ballistae trained their attacks on the UrukHai near Wertlosvati. A timely occurrence since the OrkElves under Cynar now outnumbered the Orks two to one. They might hold the advantage in numbers, but it needed two regular OrkElves to fight one UrukHai.
Yet, despite the favorable odds, a disarmed Cynar was suspended in mid-air. He was gasping to breathe, held up solely by Wertlosvati’s right arm.
“Boangi, yours a weakling till the end,” Wertlosvati said to Cynar. “Yours die before me leaving.”
“Aawak, aack, aack,” was all Cynar could reply as he pounded his fists against Wertlosvati’s muscular arm in futility. His life bar displayed (64,000/664,000 HP).
“Goodbye mine weakling,” said Wertlosvati, tightening his grip around Cynar’s neck.
Then, a bright light from the sky made the Ork General pause and turn towards it.
Several pieces of rocks flew everywhere, as Smoke used his Comet Crush ability right next to Wertlosvati.
With the Ork General stunned, Smoke used his melded elemental manipulation. Sixteen magma-spikes erupted from the ground and pierced through Wertlosvati’s body.
Smoke focused one of the magma-spikes towards Wertlosvati’s arm, freeing Cynar. The OrkElf Assassin fell down with a loud thud.
“Thank you, Faux,” said Cynar in between breaths, as he gulped for air and massaged his neck.
Meanwhile, Wertlosvati was screaming in agony. The burning magma-spikes inflicted the Bleeding and Burned status on him. His life bar had 25% left.
Smoke gathered magma in front of him, and was about to launch the killing blow, but Cynar yelled out.
“Stop, Faux! I’m the one who’s supposed to kill him!” Cynar said to Smoke, as he crawled to where his katars where. “I’ll kill you if you do!”
Smoke continued gathering his magma and said. “Sorry, but we’ve got to end him now.”
Then, an unexpected notification window popped up.
– WARNING: Killing Wertlosvati would decrease your Intimacy with Cynar.
A war hammer struck Smoke squarely on the back. His head skidded on the ground. Fortunately, his pyro mask took most of the damage, but his spine took the full attack. The force of the sudden back attack pushed him down, sending him to skid face first for three meters.
A green gigantic Ork landed next to Wertlosvati. He pulled on the iron chain attached to the war hammer, bringing it back to him.
“Are you sure you’re fit to be our General?” said the wielder of the war hammer.
Smoke was still struggling back on his feet, but he could understand their Orkish clearly.
“Shut up, Wertlosrauber,” replied the captured UrukHai General. “Just get me out of here already.”
“Stop!” yelled Smoke in Orkish. “None of you are going anywhere!”
“A DarkElf who speaks our tongue?” said the one called Wertlosrauber. “Maybe he really is more powerful than he—” began the Ork Colonel, but was cut short. Green wind-cutters pelted on his chest, which made the Ork parry the attacks with his hammer.
Dozens of Orks swarmed around Wertlosvati and Wertlosrauber, blocking any clear shots at the two UrukHai leaders.
“Faux? You, alright?” asked Chrys hovering from above, flying closer towards him. He then created amplifying casting circles above the UrukHais near Wertlosvati. Shortly after, fireballs from the Mages on the wall passed through them. Debris flew everywhere, as powerful spells rained down on them.
“Chrys, what are you doing here?” asked Smoke. “What about Blaise?”
“Who?” replied Chrys, while attacking the Orks who were about to assault Smoke.
“The Flame Knight I left you with,” explained Smoke, as he fought attacked the incoming green giants with magma-spikes. “What about the Orks near the wall?”
“Most of them were already dead, that’s why the Flame Knight told me to back you up here,” said Chrys, as he fired wind-cutters on the Orks guarding Wertlosvati. “So, that’s the leader, huh?”
“Yeah, we have to kill him now,” said Smoke while attacking the same area as Chrys. He switched to using earth-pillars, as his mana bar was already running dangerously low.
With Smoke and Chrys focusing their attacks on the Ork guards, a half-dead Cynar jumped over the assaulted UrukHais and dove straight into them.
“That suicidal idiot!” shouted Smoke. He stopped attacking with earth-spikes and followed suit. He leaped up and used his Comet Crush ability on the gathered Orks. He hesitated to use it before, as he would have practically no mana left to defend against the Orks at such a close range.
Eight Orks near the epicenter of his crash site were blown away. Given the little clearance, Smoke spotted the mad Cynar desperately stabbing his katars at the nearest Orks.
Almost depleted of his mana, Smoke equipped his brown manatl staff. He ran towards Cynar and fought the Orks beside him.
“Where is he? Where is he!” screamed Cynar, while stabbing his triangular blades into an UrukHai’s neck.
“I don’t see him anywhere,” said Smoke, beating an Ork on the head with his manatl staff.
“How could you let him go?” Cynar asked Smoke, flailing his arms everywhere.
Smoke did not reply to Cynar’s idiocy. Instead, he focused on fending off the Orks closing on Cynar’s back, as he was confident that the ones facing the mad Assassin were being handled with his bloody katars. His brown staff did little damage, but it proved to be effective at crowd control, pushing the mob of Orks backward.
After three-minutes passed, wind-swords pierced through the Orks Smoke was fighting against. A flying Chrys killed them, as he drew closer.
“The Flame Knight and his OrkElves are heading this way,” said Chrys from above. “We got them, Faux—” Chrys was cut off, as the sound of loud horns echoed in the battlegrounds.
TOOTTRRROT TOOT TORROOT TOOT TORRROOT
All of the UrukHai immediately stopped attacking and scrambled to escape.
TOOTTRRROT TOOT TORROOT TOOT TORRROOT
“No! Not again!” screamed Cynar. “Someone give me their dirus wolf!” he ordered to his OrkElves.
Cynar ran over to the first dirus wolf he saw.
“Wait,” called out Smoke and blocked his path. “Let’s regroup first. We can’t just—” he was cut off by Chrys’ warning.
“Faux! Behind you!” yelled Chrys.
Smoke turned around and saw Wertlosvati’s double-headed axe heading straight for him. Without a second to spare, he put up a concave manatl in front of him.
Wertlosvati’s ax made a loud noise as it smashed into Smoke’s purple barrier.
Smoke grinned, as his manatl stood firm. But his smirk vanished as soon as he saw the Ork General’s second ax flying past him. It was headed directly for Cynar.
With what little HP the OrkElf Assassin had left, Smoke was sure that Cynar would be killed by the ax.
Before anyone could react, Blaise appeared in its direct path. The silver Flame Knight sliced the double-headed ax with his salamander tongue.
Unfortunately, the first half of the ax plunged deep into Blaise’s cranium, while the other penetrated into his chest.
“Blaise! What did you do?” screamed Cynar, as he caught the falling body of his friend. He rested Blaise’s head on his lap.
“Faux, I’m going after the Orks,” said Chrys. Without waiting for Smoke’s reply, the Prime Wizard of Vectas flew towards the broken walls, where Wertlosvati’s banner was escaping out of the city.
Seeing Blaise’s life bar quickly draining to zero, Smoke used his Life Share ability on him.
Small white orbs of light launched out from his palms. They latched onto the dying Flame Knight laid down against Cynar, but his life bar did not increase. The Bleeding damage from the embedded ax segments overpowered Smoke’s poor healing ability.
Using his last bit of strength, Blaise threw his salamander tongue over to Smoke and said. “Faux, take care of Cynar for me.”
A stunned Smoke caught the lengthy flamberge, and a notification window popped up.
+ Acquired unique flamberge: Salamander’s Tongue
“What are you doing?” asked Smoke. “You’re not dying yet,” he said, unconvinced of his own words.
“Shut up, and do my final wish!” exclaimed Blaise.
Blaise laid down with his eyes obstructed by the chunk of an ax in between his forehead. “Cynar, don’t follow me to Mictlan just yet. I hope that you’ll lead our men to—” the Flame Knight could not finish his final words, as the last of his HP drained out of his body.
“Noooo!” screamed Cynar, and mounted his dirus wolf. “Everyone!” he yelled, almost bursting his lungs. “We’re chasing after the Orks.”
Before the OrkElves could mobilize, Smoke hurriedly put up several earth-pillars around Cynar.
“Let me go, Faux!” screamed Cynar.
“Do you want to waste Blaise’s sacrifice?” yelled back Smoke . “You and your men don’t have enough strength to face him today.”
“Let me go, or I’ll kill you!” bellowed Cynar.
“No! No one else is dying today,” said Smoke, reinforcing the barrier which prevented Cynar and the rest of the OrkElves from chasing after the UrukHais.
Then, a notification window popped up.
– Intimacy with Cynar has dropped to ‘Despised Acquaintance’
* * * * * *
Nash pried open his game pod. Dragging his legs over the entrance, he sat there for a few seconds and let out a deep sigh.
With the room indoor wide open, Seth spotted him looking all dejected.
“Hey, something wrong?” asked Seth.
“Huh?” said a startled Nash, looking at his younger brother. “Nothing,” he replied shaking his head. “This game is too real sometimes… still can’t get over the deaths of Zectians that I know.”
“But that’s why you’re heading over to that afterlife place, right?” said Seth. “What was it called again? Mixland? Mechland?”
“It’s Mictlan,” replied Nash. “But let’s forget about that. What about you? How are your advance lessons going?” he asked, trying to change the subject, and also wanting to take an active role in the life of his brother.
“Actually, there’s something I wanted to show you,” said Seth. “If you have some free time now?”
“Sure,” replied Nash, all curious.
An excited Seth led Nash to his room.
Seth’s room looked like it came out of a minimalist magazine; neat, functional, and spacious. His double size bed all made up, his one cabinet all spick and span, even his laundry hamper was empty.
Yet, there was one section of his room that stood out. Near his computer desk, stood a black tower with several racks in it. It had various cube-fans, rams, motherboards, video cards, and other computer parts Nash did not even know about.
“Where did you get all that stuff?” asked Nash, surprised. Right then and there, he made a mental note to check on Donny’s room sometime after.
“I’ve been going to the recycling center near Maine Street,” explained Seth. “And they have tons of useable parts you can pick up, free of charge.”
Nash walked over to the black tower of computer parts and scrutinized it with ambiguity.
“And you made a working computer from just using recycled pieces?” said Nash in disbelief. “You know I would have given you some money if you asked.”
“Nah, it’s more fun this way,” replied Seth, sitting on his desk and booting up his self-built supercomputer. “It has a hexadeca core processor, thirty-two terabytes of ram, and two petabytes for its hard drive.”
Nash looked at his brother more confused than before. “Is that good?”
“It’s not the best,” replied Seth. “But it could already work as a decent server.”
“A server for what?” asked Nash, leaning over at Seth’s screen.
“I’m getting to that,” said Seth, as he showed a website of the Zectas APIs.
“What are those things supposed to be?” asked Nash. “Sorry, if I keep asking questions, all of this just looks strange to me.”
“No problem,” replied Seth. “I was like that at first.”
“These are Zectas’ open APIs,” said Seth. He then scrolled over to an API called biometric-login. “This one here allows the system to recognize the players in the game. Like how you step into your game pod and it automatically synchronizes with your Smoke persona and links your entry into Zectas.”
Nash nodded, but his face clearly conveyed his bewilderment. “I see,” he said and paused, staring at Seth’s screen. “Now, what’s an API, again?”
“API stands for Application Programming Interface,” explained Seth. “These are tools for programmers to make one software talk with another software.”
“Alright,” replied Nash. “And what is it that you wanted to show me?”
Seth grinned, all excited. “Here,” he said, giving Nash his smartphone.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” asked Nash, looking at the phone’s screen with a DNS logo on it.
“Use your thumb for the thumbprint recognition,” instructed Seth.
“Okay,” said Nash, and did what he was told.
The phone’s screen then displayed Smoke’s character profile. His current equipped items, zecs, and other basic information of his in-game persona.
“Whoa!” exclaimed Nash. “This is awesome! What else can it do?”
“Hm, that’s just all for now,” said Seth. “But I’m still thinking about other possible uses that would make players like yourself want to use the app.”
A proud Nash kept nodding his head, and he scrolled through Smoke’s information on Seth’s phone.
“I was hoping you could give me some idea,” said Seth. “What you might want to see or do when you’re offline with your game character?”
“Um. I don’t know,” replied Nash. “If there was something, I think I’d want to see what my personal army was up to.”
“Mm, don’t think there’s an open API for that one,” said Seth. “But I’ll look into it.”
“How about I ask Sherry?” said Nash. “Maybe, she has something good you can use?”
“Yeah, that would be great,” said Seth.
Nash smiled. “I’m sure Mom and Dad are proud of you,” he said to Seth, ruffling his brother’s hair. “And thanks for giving me an easy job as a big brother.”
“Stop that,” said Seth, swatting Nash’s hand away.
“Alright, alright,” said Nash. “I’m going to make a sandwich, want one?”
“Nah, I’m gonna try and look for that API you said earlier. Maybe, there’s something close to it.”
“Okay, I’ll leave you to it, then,” said Nash. “By the way, what does the DNS stand for?” He asked Seth, as he stood in the doorway.
“Right now, it just means Donny, Nash, and Seth,” replied Nash’s younger brother.
* * * * * *
Only two days had passed since Blaise’s death. Smoke tried to go with Cynar to Diebe Den, but the OrkElf Leader did not want anything to do with him.
Upon logging in, a notification window popped up, which informed him that he was summoned by the King.
Doubtful that he could fix his lowered Intimacy with Cynar anytime soon, Smoke went directly to the royal castle. Unlike before, the leather-armored Warrior Guards welcomed him without any problem.
Walking across the castle grounds, he heard someone calling his real name.
“Smoke! I mean, Faux,” yelled an old HighElf.
“Ouragan! Hey, how are you?” greeted Smoke, smiling behind his paradox mask.
“Shut up and come with me!” said a troubled Ouragan, pulling Smoke towards the secluded gardens in the palace grounds.
Smoke did not resist and followed the old Prime Wizard of Vona City. “What’s going on?” he asked, bewildered.
“Hurry, we don’t have any time before we need to meet the King,” said Ouragan. “Let’s sit over there,” he said, pointing to the marble bench in the castle gardens, hidden behind a couple of fir trees.
When the two of them were seated, Ouragan uttered the words. “Verum mendicis!” A casting circle appeared briefly and covered them in a dome of light.
“What was that?” asked Smoke. He looked around and tried to touch the invisible barrier, but his hand went straight through it.
“It’s a sound barrier that modifies our conversation, but that’s not important,” said an impatient Ouragan. “My Shades have informed me, that the King is not pleased with the results of the Ork Invasion.”
“Huh?” asked Smoke. “What does that mean?”
“I guess I’ll start with the city you were in,” said Ouragan. “Vectas suffered a great loss,” began the Beggar Evocati. “A third of their population was killed, and over half of the establishments were destroyed. The total damage cost was estimated at over one billion zecs.”
Smoke unconsciously removed his pyro mask, as he found it hard to breathe with it on.
Ouragan exhaled deeply before he went on. “But the most significant of their loss the city suffered were the deaths of Duchess Cible and Duke Facile.”
“What? Even the Duke of Vectas was murdered?” said Smoke, as he had no idea that the Orks’ invasion killed them.
“Afraid so,” replied Ouragan. “Sadly, Wertlosvati’s invasion coincided with the Duke and Duchess’ usual trip to the city’s orphanage.”
Smoke clenched his fist and lowered his head.
“They never made it into the castle walls, as their priority was the safety of the orphans,” explained Ouragan. “There defiled bodies were carelessly scattered on the streets where they were ruthlessly killed by Wertlosvati and his UrukHais.”
“What about the other cities?” asked Smoke.
“Well, Prime Wizard Trottel spent most of his fortune on hiring Sawtorn Continent’s strongest Mercenaries,” replied Ouragan. “The Kaufen Mercenaries are all OrkElves, but my sources tell me that their fighting abilities are far below Cynar’s specially trained soldiers.”
“Don’t tell me Vlahui City was completely wiped out?” asked a concerned Smoke.
“Almost, but thankfully Trottel was blessed by the great god Tlaltezin that day,” said Ouragan. “The entire city was ransacked and razed. The only thing that survived were the citizens and the things they carried inside the castle walls of Vlahui,” he explained. “The Kaufen Mercenaries may lack training and fighting experience, but they make up for it in numbers. Last I heard, there are over thirty thousand of them who fought against the Orks.”
“And Trottel hired all of them?” asked Smoke, astonished. He gained a new respect for the tiger Lioumerean. He thought Trottel was greedy and rotten to the core, but this made him think otherwise.
“There were even rumors that Cynar tried to hire the Kaufen Mercenaries,” added Ouragan. “But he backed out when he learned how much one Kaufen Mercenary went for.”
“I bet,” said Smoke. “Cynar probably asked them to join his cause for free, promising the death of all the Orks.”
“Most likely,” replied Ouragan in agreement. “But now there are only ten-thousand of the Kaufen Mercenaries left. My Shades tell me that 75% of Vlahui City was destroyed that day.”
Smoke’s face immediately fell sullen. It did not cross his mind that they would suffer that many losses.
“What about Vona?” asked Smoke, concerned. “How is your city?”
“It was a miracle,” said Ouragan with relief clearly seen on his face. “It was practically untouched.”
“As expected,” proudly said Smoke. “That’s why you’re the champion of the Magi Gagnant Tournament.”
The old HighElf smiled but shook his head. “No, I barely did anything.”
“Huh?” said a confused Smoke.
“The great god Tlaltezin also blessed me with good fortune that day,” explained Ouragan. “Sailors and Sonstwelters from Wysteria were the ones who drove off the Orks.”
“Really? I didn’t think that there would be that many,” said Smoke.
“I know, I was surprised myself,” replied Ouragan. “It seems that many of them came to buy pomegranates.”
“And what about the Orks?” asked Smoke. “Did you get all of them?”
Ouragan shook his head and sighed.
“No. Even the Ork Colonel got away,” regrettably replied Ouragan. “It seems he was wiser than I gave him credit for.”
“I see,” said Smoke, exhausted. “Wertlosvati and his Colonel escaped me too,” he added, joining Ouragan’s sigh. “I should have suggested that we bolster the defense of all the cities, instead of leaving only the standing army.”
“Actually, that’s the other thing,” began Ouragan. “For some reason, King Kajou blames you for the Orks’ invasion on the other cities.”
“What!” asked Smoke, startled.
“I know. If it wasn’t for you, who knows what would have happened to the capital itself,” said Ouragan.
“So, why does the King really want to see me?” asked Smoke.
Ouragan shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t know,” he said. “All I know is that Magietrois Florissant went over to talk with the King himself. After that, the King then summoned the Prime Wizards and the nobles of the city to the throne room.”
“Now? All of them are there, now?” confirmed Smoke.
Ouragan nodded. “We can expect some form of mad punishment from King Kajou, but I do want you to come see me after this idiocy,” said the old HighElf.
“Why after?” asked Smoke. “Can’t you just tell me now?”
“Well, I can’t very well make you—” began Ouragan, but a middle-aged HighElf with blond hair walked out and interrupted him.
“Prime Wizard Ouragan, Sir Faux,” said the royal court Herald of King Kajou. “It is almost time to meet our King.”
“We better go, Smoke,” said Ouragan. With a flick of his hand, he canceled the sound barrier around them.
“Faux, and I are headed over there now,” said the old Prime Wizard, and waved at the Herald.
Smoke offered his hand to Ouragan and helped him up.
Together, all three of them headed for the throne room.
* * * * * *
Vitzytl Kingdom’s throne room was filled with all the nobles who lived in Votl City. They wore the flashiest robes with matching sparkling accessories.
As he headed for his spot in front, Smoke could not help but scrutinized them.
‘If only half of these Zectians would think about helping the OrkElves outside their walls,’ thought Smoke, peeved at their egocentricity.
Among the nobles, he saw Avilo and Jack. He thought they were good people, but aside from helping the captive nobles in Diebe Den, Smoke did not see them do anything else that was charitable.
‘I should talk to them about the OrkElves,’ he reminded himself, as he walked.
Eleve—the acting 16th Magietrois Florissant, Trottel—Prime Wizard of Vlahui City, and Chrysopelea—Prime Wizard of Vectas were already standing in front of the assembled nobles.
“Finally, took you long enough, Faux,” Trottel said to Smoke.
“I apologize for our delay,” replied Ouragan in Smoke’s place. “But I had something important to discuss with him.”
“Oh, I see,” said a humbled Trottel. “Well, we’re still early anyway. King Kajou hasn’t even arrived yet,” added the Lioumerean Prime Wizard, smiling wryly.
“Faux, come here,” called out Eleve.
At once, Smoke hurried to his Flame Master.
“Did Prime Wizard Ouragan tell you?” she asked.
Smoke nodded. “Don’t worry, I’m prepared to face the consequences.”
TUG TUG TUG
The Herald slammed the bronze metallic staff on the floor, stopping all conversations in the throne room.
“All, bow down before his royal majesty, King Kajou—the brave and Queen Ella— the benevolent!” announced the Herald.
A small hairy monarch walked in, hand in hand with his beautiful wife. The Queen’s long black hair shone even more against her porcelain white skin. As they walked towards their thrones, the King was stroking his prominent brown facial hair, composed of his beard and long nose hair.
Once King Kajou and Queen Ella were seated, the Herald called out to everyone else in the throne room. “You may all be seated!”
“It is common knowledge, that our capital was attacked by the largest Ork Horde any of us have ever seen,” said the Herald. He paused and bowed down before King Kajou. “However, it was not only our capital that was attacked,” he went on. “As you may know, all of our cities were raided by the Orks as well,” he said and unabashedly looked at Smoke. “The King has recognized that this was due to the incomplete Intelligence that was given to him.”
The King let out an exaggerated cough and stroke his facial hair.
Immediately, the Herald stopped talking.
“Such a faulty information caused thousands of our citizens to die,” said King Kajou. “Personally, I wanted to banish such an untrustworthy person out of the Kingdom. But the 16th Magietrois Florissant has enlightened me to do otherwise.”
The King stopped stroking his long nose hair and beard. “Herald, you may proceed.”
“Thank you, your Highness,” said the Herald and lowered his head.
“Despite the Orks horrendous invasion, the Kingdom of Vitzytl has survived,” said the Herald. “And that is because of five individuals.”
The Herald paused and bowed down before the Prime Wizards and Smoke.
“Today, we have gathered to honor the heroic achievements of these individuals,” loudly said the Herald. “To rank their achievement would be truly difficult, as all of them acted as Generals for the defense of our beloved capital.”
“But our wise King has decided on their rankings nonetheless,” added the Herald.
“Sir Faux, please step forward,” said the Herald. “As the General of the invincible Automaton Knights of Florissant, you served as support to Prime Wizard Trottel and Prime Wizard Chrysopelea in the northern and western districts.”
Only a couple of nobles clapped, while the rest erupted into murmurs, discussing the way Smoke defended the city.
“Let it be recognized that Sir Faux, killed the Ork Colonel Vergewaltiger,” said the Herald. “It was because of this that the Orks, who opened the gates of the northern district, were all vanquished.”
“Let it also be recognized that Sir Faux went to Vectas City, and helped Prime Wizard Chrysopelea defend it. Prime Wizard Chrysopelea himself, attested that if it wasn’t for Sir Faux, then the city would have likely fallen.”
“Because of all his achievements, the Kingdom of Vitzytl awards Sir Faux with five million zecs,” said the Herald.
The nobles let out a forced applause, but even then it was still faint.
“Also, he is given the task to wipe out the Orks,” added the Herald. “As such, today will be the last day, Sir Faux will be allowed to enter any of the cities of Vitzytl.”
A stoic Smoke stared at the King, as the Herald went on.
“He will only be allowed to return when the UrukHai General known as Wertlosvati has been slain,” added the Herald.
This time, the nobles clapping became a little louder.
– Intimacy with King Kajou has dropped to ‘Untrusted Acquaintance’
A displeased Smoke bowed down before the King and Queen, before stepping backward to his place.
“Prime Wizard Trottel of Vlahui City, please step forward,” said the Herald. “Despite allowing the Orks to break down the northern gates, you still managed to drive the invaders out of the city.”
The nobles clapped loudly, which made the Herald pause.
“Not only that, but you also rushed to Vlahui City and spent an incredible amount of zecs to defend it against the Orks there,” continued the Herald. “Due to this, the Kingdom of Vitzytl awards you with ten-million zecs and will sponsor the creation of one village that will be under your own jurisdiction.”
The gathered nobles once again erupted into applause, but this time, clearly louder than Smoke’s.
Trottel bowed down before the King and Queen, before he returned to his place.
“Prime Wizard Chrysopelea of Vectas City, please step forward,” called out the Herald.
There was a noticeable difference in the applause when it was Chrys’ turn to receive his reward.
“For successfully defending the western section of our capital, not allowing one Ork to pass through the gates, the Kingdom of Vitzytl awards you with fifteen million zecs.”
“Although you managed to drive off the Orks in Vectas, Duchess Cible and Duke Facile still died during the UrukHai’s invasion.”
The crowd of nobles gasped.
“Unfortunately, the Duke and Duchess did not have an heir,” went on the Herald. “Although, Lord Wayland is next in line, the King has decided to appoint Prime Wizard Chrysopelea as the next Duke of Vectas City.”
“But your, Majesty!” protested Lord Wayland from the crowd. “I’m the one who’s suppose to be the Duke! Unfortunately, I was just here during the invasion and was not able to—” he was cut short.
TUD TUD TUD
The Herald lightly tapped the bronze metallic staff on the floor, calling forth four silver-clothed Warriors into the throne room.
“Guards, please escort Lord Wayland outside,” said the Herald.
At once the silver guards did as they were instructed. They took the hysterical nobles, who was shouting foul words at the Herald.
“I apologize for that interruption,” went on the Herald.
“Prime Wizard Ouragan of Vona City, please step forward,” said the Herald.
The Beggar Evocati nodded before the King and did as he was told.
“As expected of our strongest Prime Wizard, he did not allow a single Ork to pass through the southern gates.”
The nobles gave Ouragan a normal applause, except for a small section, which clapped loudly.
Smoke did not need to turn around to know that the loud applause came from Avilo, Jack, and Mouche.
“And like the other Prime Wizards, you also rushed to your own city to defend it against the Orks there,” added the Herald. “Due to this, the Kingdom of Vitzytl awards you with twenty-million zecs and will sponsor the creation of two villages that will be under your own jurisdiction.”
Ouragan bowed down before the King and Queen, before returning to his place.
“Finally, it is time for our Prime General during the Ork’s invasion,” said the Herald.
“The 16th Magietrois Florissant, please step forward,” said the Herald.
At once, Eleve did as she was asked. She presented herself to the King and Queen, lowering her head before them.
“She is the main reason our capital has survived, rather are entire Kingdom for that matter,” began the Herald. “It was her sound judgment in assigning the Prime Wizards their respective posts, her invincible Automaton Knights which aided the battle, and her long-distance teleportation abilities that allowed all of the Prime Wizards and Sir Faux to defend the far away cities.”
This time, the gathered nobles clapped their loudest.
“Because of this, the Kingdom awards Magietrois Florissant with fifty-million zecs,” said the Herald. “The King has also offered five villages to be under her, but she refused. She instead requested that the money would be funded for the repairs on the capital and the other cities.”
Eleve thanked the King and Queen with a small bow and returned to her place.
“With that, we have finished celebrating the heroes of our Kingdom!” exclaimed the Herald. “We look to them to protect us again in the future!”
As soon as the recognition ceremonies finished, Ouragan pulled Smoke away.
However, before the two Beggars could leave, Eleve blocked their exit.
“Where are you, two, going?” asked Eleve.
“Magietrois Florissant, I have important matters to discuss with Faux here,” replied Ouragan.
“I see,” said Eleve. She then turned to Smoke. “Faux, before you go disappearing on me, I want you to visit me again in the Seminary.”
She walked closer to him and whispered in his ear. “Don’t bring anyone else,” she said with authority. “Remember only a student of Florissant may be allowed to enter the Seminary.”
“I understand,” said Smoke, and bowed down before his Flame Master.
With that, Eleve allowed the two Beggars passage.
* * * * * *
An hour after they left the palace, Smoke found himself inside a small secluded room with no windows. It only had a single door and a platform with an oil lamp on it.
“Let’s be glad that the idiotic King was persuaded by Magietrois Florissant,” said Ouragan. “And only sent you out to kill Wertlosvati instead.”
“I’m not sure about that,” said Smoke. “It kind of feels the same for me.”
“Anyway, there is one other thing that I didn’t tell you about what my Shades told me,” said Ouragan.
“Wait,” said Smoke, and raised his hand. “Before you go on, what exactly is a Shade?”
“A Shade is a power given to us Beggars,” said Ouragan.
After his obtrusive explanation, two pairs of small eyes appeared within the room.
As it moved closer towards the oil lamp, Smoke saw that they belonged to two black house cats.
“And these are my Shades,” said Ouragan. “Rosee and Katze.”
After calling out their names, the two black house cats transformed into two young girls. They wore ordinary Zectian clothes and bowed down before Ouragan.
“A Shade can typically transform from an animal to a person,” went on Ouragan. “And even their type of animals and person depends on how you train them, and your Beggar Level, of course.”
“Awesome!” was the single word that came out of Smoke’s mouth, as he watched Ouragan’s Shades with astonishment and envy.
“Now, that I’ve explained what a Shade is, can I go on to what I was about to tell you?” asked Ouragan.
“Of course,” said Smoke, half-listening. His eyes were still fixated on the two small children, who suddenly reverted back into black house cats.
“Anyway, they’ve informed me that Wertlosvati has left Vitzytl,” said Ouragan.
“Then, that’s a good thing, right?” asked Smoke.
“Not really,” replied Ouragan, shaking his head. “You see, he went into the Thanotl Kingdom.”
“What!” exclaimed Smoke. “What does he plan to do there? His army shouldn’t have already recovered to attack anyone.”
“Precisely,” said Ouragan. “Since his army of UrukHai and MoriHai were almost wiped out, I think that Wertlosvati plans to meet up with the Generals of the OlegHai and the MaduHai.”
Smoke let out an involuntary cough. “More Ork Tribes?” he asked, worried.
“Yes,” said Ouragan. “In recent years, the Ork Tribes divided the Sawtorn Continent amongst themselves, and the OlegHai and MaduHai choose to stay in Thanotl.”
The old HighElf paused and stared at Smoke with pleading eyes. “That’s why you have to stop Wertlosvati before he completes the alliance of all four Ork Tribes.”
“How?” asked Smoke. “I don’t know anything about the Thanotl Kingdom?”
“The cities of Thanotl Kingdom are a mix of Wizards, Knights, and Magical Swordsmen,” said Ouragan. “But I’ll give you some of my books about the Kingdom as well.”
Rosse, one of Ouragan’s Shades, transformed into a young girl and brought over a brown bag filled with books.
“Still, this alone won’t be enough,” said Smoke. “Sure, I nearly beat Wertlosvati when he only had the UrukHai and MoriHai, but with two more Ork Tribes… I don’t know,” he said, doubtful.
Ouragan chuckled. “That’s why I spoke with my superior.”
Smoke looked at the old man, confused. “What do you mean?” he asked.
“The Beggar Quaestor of Vitzytl approved of my decision,” went on Ouragan.
“Oh!” exclaimed an excited Smoke. “He’s allowing you to come with me?”
Ouragan smiled, but shook his head. “No, his allowing me to give you this,” he said and gave Smoke a small black stone.
It took Smoke less than a second to realize, that this was an empty essence diamond.
“I, Beggar Evocati Ouragan, recommend Beggar Smoke to become a Beggar Evocati!” said Ouragan.
+ You gained Beggar Evocati Ouragan’s Recommendation to rank up to
+ (2/2) Beggar Evocati Recommendations.
> Unlocked Conditions for Job Upgrade: Beggar Evocati!
+ Job Change!!!
You have successfully changed your job into a Beggar Evocati.
Life has increased by 10,000 HP
Mana has increased by 10,000 MP
STR has increased by 20
AGI has increased by 20
INT has increased by 10
DEX has increased by 10
* NPCs will either loathe and hate you because of your appearance, or pity you and try to help you as if you were their blood brother.
* Items will appear shabby, even if you use mithril equipment crafted by God Hand Dwarvius.
* Sonstwelters get fame points by spitting on you, or by feeding you, depending on their alignment.
* Players will not turn into ‘Killers’ if they kill you within Kingdoms that promote the killing of Beggars.
* Earning Charisma is twice as hard.
Level: Intermediate Level
* Can bypass job requirement on items/weapons/quests/events
– When using the adaptation ability:
> Can only use LVL * 25% of the weapons damage
> Can only use LVL * 25% of the items potential
=> Beginner: 1
=> Intermediate: 2
=> Advanced: 3
=> Master: 4
Level: Intermediate Level
* Can ask NPC to give gold, information, or food.
* Success of ability depends on charisma, luck, LVL of ability, and intimacy with NPC.
Level: Beginner Level
* Summons a Beggar Shade to obey your bidding
Note: Beginner level Shades cannot fight
‘The passive increase to the HP and MP are almost negligible’ thought Smoke. ‘But the limiter on items had been increased from 25% to 50% of its maximum potential!’
Smoke was grinning from ear to ear.
Igniz flew out of Smoke’s chest, and surprised everyone in the dimly lit room. For the dark ember sprite, who was but as big as a fist, had grown twice in size.
“Hahahaha!” laughed Smoke. Igniz merrily flew around and made the small room even brighter.
“Thank you, Beggar Evocati Ouragan,” said Smoke.
With an open palm on his left hand and a fist on his right, he made both his hands meet in front of his heart. Smoke bowed down and saluted the equally ranked Beggar Evocati in the manner Darius taught him.
“Beggar Evocati Smoke, there is no need to be so formal,” said Ouragan, chuckling. “Well, why don’t you give it a try?”
“Give what a try?” asked Smoke.
“Your Beggar Shade,” replied Ouragan.
“Right!” said and enthusiastic Smoke.
“Beggar Shade!” called out Smoke, activating his newly obtained Beggar ability.
At once, a small shadow appeared before him. Shortly after, a gray mouse meekly stepped out of the shadow and lowered its tiny head before Smoke.
“A mouse…” said Ouragan. “That’s…impressive.”
“Really?” asked Smoke, clearly not believing the old HighElf.
“I can honestly say, that it’s the first time I’ve seen a Shade take such a form,” said Ouragan. “Anyway, what do you plan to do now? Do you plan to go into the Thanotl Kingdom as Faux?”
Smoke shook his head. “No, I think I’ll go there as someone else,” he replied, and got out Blaise’s salamander tongue.