Death Mark

by

RenegadeSage

Ch. 1: The rise of the dead

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"Has it ended?"

Dante always thought of war as an opportunity where the hero would rise to glory while the evil enemies would succumb to his awesomness.

But reality proved him wrong.

Here he was, faking death on the battlefield, hoping to save his little life from the merciless attacks of the enemies.

It wasn't his first time on a battlefield, but this was simply too much for someone like him.

The battlefield was now enveloped in a deathly silence.

After hearing no more sounds of weapons clashing or any footsteps, Dante thought that it was safe for him to stand up and run for his life.

"I swear I'm never setting foot on a battlefield for my entire life, could the heavens damn me if I don't settle myself and marry a good wife after this close call."

Murmuring to himself, Dante stood up, while shifting to the side the corpse of an enemy he had used as a cover.

Wary of his surroundings he began to look around.

"This is hell."

A sea of corpes greeted him, while lying on the ground he almost threw up because of the smell of death and blood that permeated the battlefield.

But now he knew the reason behind such a large scale massacre.

"It should be the work of a Necromancer, but on a battlefield of this scale someone of his status shouldn't have appeared."

This smell of rot and decay wasn't something which could from in an hour.
It was a signature of the Necromancer's work.

Even if the enmity between the Lytal Republic and the Lank Kingdom ran deep, it wasn't worth it to displace a Necromancer to this battlefield only to massacre everyone.

"It doesn't make sense... Nevermind I shouldn't think too much about, my first priority now is to report the result of the battle to the higher ups. If I were to do that, it will surely be considered as a great contribution to the Republic!"
Hahahaha, if I'm lucky i'll be even rewarded with a noble title and some land and my name will be famous throughout the nation, bards will sing the tales of the One who survived the massacre!"

With that in mind Dante began running back to the nearest fortress. Even if the fortress was 40 kilometres from where he was, thanks to his Soldier level power he could still return in less than an hour.

"Let's go, an easy life of pleasure and calm attends me."

Even if he said that with a smile, there was a tinge of regret in it.
Since his childhood, he had always dreamt of becoming one of those great figures who could decide the life and death of many with but a thought and live as carefree and happy as he could.
Now that he knew his place, he understood that he would never be among those powerful people.

"I'm just a coward who can't even kill the enemies of his country, what a trash. Even if I cultivated all my life I wouldn't even hold a candle to those great Commander level figures with great background.
The heavens have really fated me to remain ordinary."

While running, Dante was deep in thought about his waste of a life and his regrets.
He didn't sense a killing intent coming from one of the corpses he ran by.

No, he didn't run by it. He stepped on it with his full weight added with his Soldier level strenght, breaking one of the "corpse's" arms. The "corpse" didn't even flinch, but a muffled sound could be heard.

For a brief second it glared with eyes full of killing intent, before resolution replaced it.
But Dante didn't sense it, he was too absorbed in his thoughts to sense it.

Half an hour passed, Dante had already entered the forest which surrounded the fortress.
He didn't feel a shadow tailing him from behind.

"That fucking Necromancer, he killed everyone without even caring for his allies.
If I survive this, I will do all I can to kill him.
All the brothers of my troop died because of that bastard!"

Peter was at the Lieutenant level and had already gone through thick and thin with his comrades, coming to treat each other as brothers.
He deeply cared about them so the enmity sown by their death was something that could only end with his death or that of the Necromancer.

"After killing the shithead who broke my arm, I will dedicate all my efforts to vengeance!"

It couldn't be blamed on Peter, due to his careful nature he didn't dare move a muscle as he feared that the Necromancer could detect him.
Just restoring his crippled arm to its original state would take him at least a medium grade healing potion, which costs 200 gold coins.
Even for him, a Lieutenant level, that wasn't something he could buy without flinching.
If he didn't kill the bastard who broke his arm, Peter wouldn't be able to sleep well.

"Now it's time to end this chase."

"What the fuck!?"

Dante almost shitted himself that moment, a powerful aura spread and covered a radius of 300 meteres.

A bulky human whith blonde hair and white skin appeared 20 meters away from him.
He radiated an aura of power which made him shudder for a moment, but he managed to steady himself and get into a combat stance.

Observing his enemy he noticed that the human's left arm was dangling by the side, most likely it was crippled, while in his right hand he had a sword which carried a graceful and light weight to it.

"Time to meet your maker demon!"

Dante knew it, his enemy was a Lieutenant level Human, he couldn't outrun him even if he fled to the fortress at his maximum speed. 
But he had a chance, with that left arm crippled, the danger the human posed to him was basically halved.
Now it was time to grab that chance!
All of this took a while to describe but it actually happened in less than a second.

Kicking the ground with all his might Dante managed to cross the 20 meters in less than two seconds, surprising his enemy.

"Hahaha, I'm too clever, the human thought that I would flee the moment I sensed his Lieutenant level aura, he didn't expect me to attack immediatly!"

Aware of the danger posed by the human, Dante chose to attack the already crippled left arm of the Human and completely chop it off of him, weakening the Human even further.

Raising his sword in a chopping motion, Dante lowered the blade on the Human's left arm while using his shield to defend against the sword in the Human's right arm.

But in that moment a glowing dagger appeared in the Human's left hand.

"FUUUUUCK!!"

Dante would have never expect that the left arm which he thought was crippled, was in fact the Human's true unharmed arm.

"Hahahaha, this Demon is so simple-minded, taking the bait rightaway without any precautions."

Using the concealed dagger he had in his left arm's sleeve, Peter attacked the foolish demon without holding back.

"Shit, is this the end? I can't die like this!"

In that life and death moment, the only Orb which Dante had on his body lit up.
 


 

 

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A note from RenegadeSage

Fixed some grammar mistakes.


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About the author

RenegadeSage

Bio: I'm a young man with a passion for reading mangas and novels. In the past months, I decided to write down a story which I had been writing notes on for about a year. Dante's adventures in the Death Mark are part of a much larger world that will slowly unfold before the eyes of the reader. I will try my best to give you the best experience possible, your feedback will be greatly appreciated. I believe that an author should always try to keep the readers to avoid dragged out arcs and other problems. There isn't much else I can say so let's hope you enjoy my work(s)!

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hiddennoir @hiddennoir ago

Interesting start. What you don't write is why the lieutenant let himself be stepped on. Was he under a lot of corpses or was he just waking up?

Liutenant level Human

=> Lieutenant level Human