The wind rushed by Rainer as the party made their way forward. Kara slowed her pace allowing Gunthar and Theodore to take the lead. The clamor of undead running throughout the city filled the air.
As a patrol of ordinary [Skeleton Warrior]s turned the corner, Gunthar took the lead. He weaved through disabling the undead. So long as enough damage occurred to the skull, they would lose their connection to their undeath.
“Rainer and Lady of the Fae!” Theodore yelled as they moved forward through the wide-open road.
Rainer merely nodded his head acknowledging he could hear him over the noise. He did his best not to laugh at how formally Theodore still called Luna in such a situation.
“Try to form a spell in your hand Rainer and let her flame consume it!”
Luna, who was already peeking her head out of Rainer’s coat looked a bit confused but held out her hand in preparation.
Understanding that Theodore would only bring up such a thing if it were important Rainer steadied himself on Kara’s back and formed a [Rock Fist]. He viewed that as the safest test subject, despite his misgivings about the spell.
Luna cast her flame forward, and while there was superficial damage, the fist remained.
“Lady of the Fae, focus on consuming the magic. Eating away at it. Make your flame’s singular purpose to burn not the physical but Magic!”
Luna showed a rare moment of seriousness as she focused on the floating [Rock Fist]. Whether it was during his trial or after the [Arch-Lich]’s assault, she had felt the powerlessness of being unable to help Rainer. She fully understood the ramifications of what Theodore asked of her, though she knew not how he came to this conclusion.
She extended her hand, leaving Rainer’s coat, and placed it on the [Rock Fist] itself, floating over his hand. She did not think of only consuming the rock but of the death that had pervaded Rainer’s body.
The violet and black flame slowly spread from her hand, and at its finish left nothing of the spell behind.
Rainer looked on in shock as he felt his connection to the magic severed as the spell disappeared. He recalled how oddly effective her flame had been against the [Arcane Magic Beast]s within his trials and now understood why; It consumed Magic.
“I remember reading about a similar flame in an old text on the Fae. Next, when you are faced with the power of death, think not only of healing but of consuming the very magic!”
Luna nodded and headed back into Rainer’s coat.
“Theodore!” Rainer then yelled out, “Where exactly are we heading?”
“To the Enchanter’s hall. Beneath it is a secret chamber known only to our Enchanters and chosen members of the City’s Government. The most powerful enchantment we had ever constructed keeps the Mana-Well locked in place!”
“Good! I’ll go in with Luna, everyone else stay back and keep any undead from heading in!”
“Rainer! I have a method to prevent the [Arch-Lich] from controlling me. I shall make sure our backs are covered and then I shall assist you.”
Rainer knew Kara would only be a liability facing the [Arch-Lich]’s Death Magic, even if he wished for her help in dealing with any 2nd Tier undead guarding the [Arch-Lich]. Gunthar could very well be turned against him. In the end, with the horde of undead rushing toward them, their purpose could only be to give Rainer a better chance. He hoped he would not need Theodore’s help.
In only a few minutes at their fast pace, they approached the Enchanter’s Hall. It stood as a massive building surrounded by a circular path. Large steps lead to its mighty closed doors. The white stone building had a giant symbol of the Sun as its banner. Most telling of all was the undead converging from its sides, rushing to defend their master. In the sky [Ghoul Wyvern]s were led by a 2nd Tier undead. On the ground, a [Lich] led a horde forward.
Rainer on Kara’s back cast a [Spear of Arcane Holy-Light]. The [Lich] hastily prepared a barrier of Mana, but the shining spear of violet light pierced through with abandon. Rainer did not even note the minor experience that flashed by as the spear took many of the surrounding undead with it.
Kara enhanced herself with Aura as she dashed forward, past Gunthar and Theodore, and stopped in front of the large doors. Rainer slipped off in the last second, using [Gravity Domain] to soften the fall. The massive doors not locked by an enchantment for hundreds of years easily opened with Kara’s strength.
She looked back at him, one eye crimson and one golden, and spoke, “We won’t let a single one past us,” Theodore had already charged into the horde intent on taking out the [Lich]s ahead of time. Gunthar moved to Kara’s side focused on the flying [Ghoul Wyvern]s and the 2nd Tier undead leading them.
Rainer rushed past her into the hall, activating [Arcane Sight] and using [Soul Detection]. He looked curiously at the entrance; A hall filled with benches, a waiting room. He then moved forward through another set of doors.
He passed by numerous rooms noting strange runic lines engraved into the ground leading to desks. He imagined it was the system that allowed enchanters to draw from the Mana-Well. Why the Mana-Well could be used for such a purpose and not for casting Magic directly, he knew not.
He entered the final room with an opened bookcase. Behind it, a passage led directly downward. He felt the presence of 5 Souls not far from him. He prepared at any moment to use his shield mode and brought [Arcane Awakening] to 50%. He constantly converted more Arcane Power as he rushed forward.
Luna hid within his coat, focused on the familiar bond and prepared to heal or consume anything that afflicted Rainer.
Rainer reached the end of the steps and looked out into a wide open underground room. He immediately [Appraised] the 4 undead standing guard at the [Arch-Lich]’s side and then him as well.
[Undead, Male, Deathbringer(2nd) lvl 12, Skeletal Swordsman lvl 16]
[Undead, Female, Deathbringer(2nd) lvl 7, Skeletal Spearwoman lvl 21]
[Undead, Male, Sword Lich(2nd) lvl 11, Death Knight lvl 24]
[Undead, Male, Deathbringer(2nd) lvl 4, Skeletal Swordsman lvl 16]
Rainer looked toward the man in the center. He stared back at Rainer with a slight smile on his face. Long white hair fell past his shoulders, his eyes a pale blue. His skin while pale lacked any imperfection. He wore a black robe lined with gray runic lines.
[Undead, Male, Arch-Lich(2nd) lvl 20, Spatial Weaver lvl 25]
Were it not for his [Arcane Awakening], the strength of Arcane versus all magic, and the powerful attributes of the [Archon] class, Rainer would no longer be sure in his victory.
“Welcome…Archon,” The [Arch-Lich] spoke, his voice echoing in the stone room. The blue glow of a black cube behind him attracted Rainer’s attention.
The glow of the armed [Arcane Bolt]s behind Rainer flared as he brought his [Arcane Awakening] to the maximum. He had no interest in talking.
The bolts launched forward causing the [Arch-Lich]’s guards to scatter to the left and right. He, however, merely lifted his hand at the 4 bolts that focused on him. They redirected midair and flew by his side as Rainer felt the spatial fluctuations.
Rainer had begun casting an [Arcane Spear of Holy Judgement] the moment his armed [Arcane Bolt]s fired. Strangely the 2nd Tier undead scattered further in each direction.
He immediately canceled the spear and activated a [Holy Shield] all around him as the [Arch-Lich] instantly cast a storm of death around him. The spell grew and moved to encompass the entire underground room.
The Death Energy was like a fog, leaving Rainer to use [Spatial Domain] and bring his hilt to his hand. Not wishing yet to reveal his control over Death, he instead used the [Holy Shield] to block the thick energy around him. It did not directly attack him.
He used [Spatial Domain] to not only sense for the 2nd Tier undead but to sense any Magic from the [Arch-Lich].
He reformed his armed [Arcane Bolt]s as he heard the [Arch-Lich] speak once more.
“There is no need to be so hasty, Archon,” The [Arch-Lich]’s voice seemed to enter Rainer’s mind.
Rainer opened his [Arcane Sight], and while the thick fog of Magic was too dense to see through, he formed a plan.
“Then speak your piece. I don’t mind listening to your last words,” Rainer used [Arcane Sound Infusion] to infuse Arcane energy into the fog. With his combination of manipulation skills, he prepared to turn the situation around at a moment’s notice, now quite thankful for the [Arch-Lich]’s inclination to talk.
“Such bravado from a man about to die. I mind it not,” The [Arch-Lich] too, did not waste his time. He used his massive mana pool to pour more Death Energy into the air, bringing it under the control of his [Death Storm.], “I have not had one to speak with for quite some time, you understand? Must we be in such a hurry? Or perhaps, your meager Mana Pool cannot hold on for so long?”
“It’s more than enough,” Every word, every breath of Rainer’s sent more of his Arcane Energy into the fog. His focus supreme prepared in acting at any moment. He guided his hands to manipulate more Arcane Energy around him.
[Arcane Sound Infusion has reached level 2]
[Experience Gained: 5%]
“Have you thought about it, [Archon], why you were chosen for the quest and not a true [Hero]? Even if I must expend my mana, and be ill prepared for future chosen, you shall die. Only serving to pave the way for others to gain. Can you not feel it? The certainty of your death!” He yelled as the Death Energy surged around Rainer.
“I’ll give you one chance; I’ll even pull back my undead attacking your companions, to use that ring of yours and transfer out of here…”
Rainer read his mana as the [Arch-Lich] spoke; He was not lying. In the end, Rainer was not even truly listening, focusing only on pouring more Arcane Energy into the fog. The fog behind Rainer, however, opened.
“Do not let your greed for the Mana-well or whatever quest rewards are offered persuade you. Leave with your life…”
“And how can I be sure you’ll keep your word?” Rainer’s only goal now was to spread as much Arcane into the Death Energy around him as possible. Just as the Magic blocked Rainer’s senses, it too limited the [Arch-Lich]’s.
“What have I to gain from fighting you? You think I have a vendetta toward you for some scattered undead of mine you eliminated and…stole.”
“But I have everything to gain,” Rainer called out as his [Arcane Awakening] surged to 100%.
The [Arch-Lich] ordered his 2nd Tier undead to charge forward, yet he soon found himself shaken as his [Death Storm] refused to attack the [Archon].
The [Holy Shield] fell as a violet Arcane-Death swirled around Rainer. It grasped at the Death Energy around it and merged it with all the Arcane Energy present in the fog. The massive amount of Death Energy, an amount he could not produce many times over, gradually fell under his control.
He could feel the 2nd Tier undead rushing through it. With but a thought, they fell one after another. Like puppets removed of their strings. Their connection to the [Arch-Lich] and the Mana-Well gone, and unlike Theodore, they were not capable of surviving on their own.
The [Arch-Lich] teleported backward in a panic and pushed the remaining [Death Storm] he had control of away from him, cutting off its mana supply.
“How…?” The [Arch-Lich] couldn’t help but voice his disbelief aloud. He gritted his teeth and vanished.
The violet Arcane-Death Fog soon faded. Rainer had no intention of powering it with his resources. He looked out in the room and could not see anyone besides the fallen skeletal corpses of the 2nd Tier Undead. Ignoring and putting away the experience gained messages that flashed as his companions outside killed undead and he killed some of his own, Rainer immediately focused on sensing with his [Spatial Domain].
Appearing from nothingness the [Arch-Lich] attacked him from behind. Rainer spun around. A hilt entered his hand, and an [Arcane Blade] clashed with a blade of Death Magic that launched forward from the [Arch-Lich]s hand, flying horizontally through the air.
The [Arch-Lich] stared in fear as he watched his powerful death magic dissipated by Rainer’s blade. He hurried and teleported away as Rainer charged toward him.
Rainer’s Mana reached the half-way point as the [Arch-Lich] rapidly teleported around him, his mana seemingly endless. Rainer constantly focused on converting more and more Arcane Power. He had only time to fire [Arcane Bolt]s, as anything else would leave him open.
He increased the gravity around him in a surge but only heard the distorted laughter of the [Arch-Lich] as Rainer instead felt the gravity on him increase instead. Yet it disappeared as the [Arch-Lich] teleported. Not before leaving a gift.
[Skill Gained: Spatial Resistance lvl 1/10]
A hand appeared from behind Rainer, and in a flash of an [Arcane Blade], it was removed. Before the hand even hit the ground, Rainer sensed another spatial fluctuation behind him. He spun around with his blade. Yet the moment it cut into the [Arch-Lich], the spell forcibly dissipated as the [Arch-Lich]’s hand gripped around Rainer’s neck.
The hilt fell as Rainer found strength leaving his body. He collapsed backward, fighting desperately to keep his [Arcane Awakening] running, not understanding why his body felt so weak and he couldn’t cast magic.
“You are nothing but a man!” The [Arch-Lich] roared out as his already regenerated skeletal hand gripped Rainer’s neck. The flesh weaved around the skeletal hand returning to its original form at a fast pace.
Rainer gasped for breath as his left hand grasped at the [Arch-Lich]’s around his neck. He found himself unable to access his magic and his thoughts circled. Even as he tried to push the [Arch-Lich] away his arms lacked power, barely able to exert any force. Were it not for his [Arcane Awakening] Rainer believed he couldn’t even move.
His face began to wrinkle as he felt his Life enter the [Arch-Lich].
[Skill Gained: Life Drain Resistance lvl 1/10]
The message proved of little aid.
“How fragile...” The [Arch-Lich] mocked Rainer as he watched him age to an old man.
Rainer stared at the runic lines on his arm, that shined even through his coat. The arm that weakly tried to remove the [Arch-Lich] from him.
Shield mode…no, then I’ll have no power left and nothing will be changed. I need to be stronger…
He knew using [Arcane Rage] and bringing himself past 100% would tear apart his body in an instant, causing all the Arcane energy to spiral out of control.
And so he focused on those runic lines on his outstretched right arm, to change them to resemble his most notable ones, Mana Input and Output. They, however, would guide not his mana.
Luna understood through the familiar bond her healing attempts on Rainer were futile, and her flame couldn't consume the [Arch-Lich]'s technique. So she attacked.
A flame burst out of Rainer’s jacket and assaulted the [Arch-Lich], tearing away at the very magic that made him. But a swipe of his hand sent her flying, and unconscious. Rainer’s eyes opened wide in anger using the time and temporary relief she brought to finish his task.
Runes lit up on his right arm, and another on his forehead, a Rune central to any Arcane Spell. A final Rune formed on his hand, and with the aid of his class, the Runes slightly corrected and formed exactly the skill he sought.
[Skill Gained: Arcane Awakening: Final Arcanum lvl 1/10]
[Final Arcanum], He intoned out in his head as he activated [Arcane Rage] and burnt more Arcane Power. The Rune hiding his unknown [Magic Beast] flashed for a brief moment before receding, somehow knowing it would not need to make an appearance.
The Arcane Energy within his aged body swarmed out of control, and a mass of Arcane erupted from his hand. The [Arch-Lich] opened his eyes wide in shock as he cast last minute defenses. A bright violet energy poured out, depleting all the Arcane Power in Rainer’s body, and launching the [Arch-Lich] away.
The air and ground shook as the energy slammed into the ceiling and barreled further, revealing the floor above. The entire hall quaked from the shockwaves.
A hoarse cough escaped Rainer as he struggled to sit up. He immediately felt for Luna through his familiar bond and knowing she was alright, took out the Fairy Dust from his ring. Rubble fell from the ceiling around him as he inhaled the Fairy Dust, recovering his decrepit body just enough for him to stand.
[Fairy Dust has been absorbed. Affinity +4, Lifespan + 1]
[Fairy Dust has been absorbed. Affinity +4, Lifespan + 1]
[Fairy Dust has been absorbed. Affinity +4, Lifespan + 1]
The messages flew by as Rainer staggered over to the burnt and destroyed body of the [Arch-Lich], ignoring the feeling gained from the dust. The [Arch-Lich] had just his right half remaining, burnt entirely as his immortal form desperately tried to heal. He struggled and pointed a hand toward Rainer, too weak to even cast a spell.
In a haze, Rainer simply thought while sensing his own Life Energy within the [Arch-Lich]’s mana pool.
Rainer kneeled over the [Arch-Lich] and placed a hand over his head. He drained and took back the Life that belonged to him. Entirely his own, there was nothing lost as the life entered him. His skin returned to a fair healthiness, his wrinkles vanished and his foggy mind cleared.
Rainer attempted to form an [Arcane Blade] on his hand but found it impossible. He panicked for a brief moment before he felt his control over his mana and then Arcane Power returned. Understanding it was a consequence of using his new skill and not a permanent effect of whatever the [Arch-Lich] had done to him.
“You…can’t…all these centuries…this…”
The [Arch-Lich] desperately tried to teleport away, but Rainer brought down his [Gravity Domain], keeping him in place.
Rainer gave a reply to his last words. He stabbed an [Arcane Blade] into the [Arch-Lich]’s head, severing the soul’s magical connection to this undead form.
Rainer rushed over to Luna as more rocks fell from the giant hole in the ceiling, that extended to the floor above.
Moments before the [Arch-Lich] perished, wings of Holy Light formed on Theodore’s back as he took to the skies. At a blazing speed he tore through the air, the light of his form burnt the [Ghoul Wyvern]s as he approached. In an instant, his shining sword cleaved the 2nd Tier undead leading them. He hurried downwards, aiming for any [Lich]s.
Every second burned his powerful soul, and he would spend the last of it fighting the [Arch-Lich]. He had no fear of being controlled in this form.
He then flew quickly through the Enchanted Hall and reached the very end, yet the view that entered his eyes, and the message that followed, left his wings to fade and sent his mind into confusion.
Rainer sat feeding a sleeping Fairy, healing her entirely.
Rainer looked up at Theodore and the messages across his screen.
[Main Quest Completed]
[Teleportation will commence in 24:00:00]
[Main Quest: Retake the Fallen City of Nalmar Completed]
[Experience Rewarded: 400% Static Experience Gained]
[Small Party Bonus: 400% Static Experience Gained]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 7/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 8/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 9/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 10/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Having reached level 10 in your primary class related Skill Store and Hidden Attributes have been unlocked]
[Hidden Attribute Unlocked: Arcane Alacrity]
[Arcane Alacrity: Increases the speed of which Mana can be converted to Arcane Power. Increases the speed of which Arcane Energy can be used.]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 11/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 12/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Chronomancer has leveled up to lvl 9/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Chronomancer has leveled up to lvl 10/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. ]
[Having reached level 10 in your primary class related Skill Store and Hidden Attributes have been unlocked]
[Hidden Attribute Unlocked: Gravity Control]
[Gravity Control: Improves one’s ability to influence the fabric of space-time around them in the form of Gravity.]
[Final Rewards shall be given 1 minute prior to Teleportation]
In the stream of messages, Rainer did not see any experience gained for killing the [Arch-Lich]. In distress, he used [Soul Detection], but detected nothing except for his and Theodore’s. He could only assume it was part of the quest. He appraised the corpse of the [Arch-Lich] before breathing a sigh of relief and appraising Theodore as well.
[Human, Male, Deceased]
No longer a member of the undead but simply an unmoving corpse.
[Undead, Male, Holy Guardian(2nd) lvl 9, Magic Scholar lvl 13]
“Looks like you were too slow,” Rainer said with a grin.
“So I was…” Theodore responded as he walked over to what resembled the former [Arch-Lich].
No longer having their connection to the Mana-Well or the [Arch-Lich] the undead collapsed in a wave. The entire city shook as tens of thousands of souls departed. Seeing the messages flash by them Gunthar and Kara ran into the Enchanter’s Hall.
They found Theodore standing over a burnt and mangled corpse and Rainer with Luna in his lap.
Kara hurried over to Rainer while Gunthar headed to his father. She shifted back to her wolfkin form.
Kara and Rainer’s lips found each other as he stood to meet her, cradling Luna in his arm. She had reached level 25; Rainer noted as he then appraised Kara.
[Half-Demon/Wolfkin, Female, Blade Dancer lvl 21, Demonic Werewolf lvl 18]
Rainer looked over at Theodore and Gunthar for a moment before cutting the victory short.
“We only have 24 hours, we need to gather as much as we can,” Rainer spoke out.
“We are in luck; your monstrous magic hadn’t destroyed his Spatial Ring, Sorcerer. It seems we have him to thank for protecting himself well enough from…whatever caused that,” Gunthar said shaking his head as he looked at the massive hole in the ceiling. Rainer was inwardly thankful for Gunthar focusing on the task at hand even as their city finally escaped the [Arch-Lich]’s grasp.
“Gunthar and Theodore, go out and gather whatever you need from the city, you can use my old Spatial Ring,” he said tossing it over to them as Gunthar, in turn, threw the [Arch-Lich]’s. Theodore stood unmoving.
“We don’t need to look for armor anymore, though,” Rainer said as he looked out over 3 of the 4 armor and weapon sets that had survived from the 2nd Tier Undead.
“Let’s go, father; it will be good to have a proper look through the hidden library and our home,” Theodore said nothing but followed his son out of the room.
“I’ll help gather the armor and weapons,” Kara said. She understood that while they had 24 hours, Rainer likely wished to visit not only the library but the other mage towers. Time was of the essence.
“Luna, wake up,” He reluctantly woke up the Fairy, wanting her to appraise the [Arch-Lich]’s spatial ring.
As he awaited the fairy’s awakening he looked at the new options in his skill store with much excitement, even if he currently lacked the 100 skill points for the [Archon] ones.
[Archon Class Skills Currently Available]
[Arcane Revival: Cost 100 Points: The Arcane is the true origin of magic, and its uses are far reaching.]
Rainer stared at the first skill, assumed it was for healing, and not in the slightest understanding how Arcane could do that. He knew as the supposed origin of magic; healing spells would be included. But he did not know where even to start at getting this skill on his own.
[Time Manipulation: Cost 100 Points: The very nature of Arcane energy is to be drawn from beyond one’s current world. The Energy is closely intertwined with the nature of space and time.]
He knew right away his original hopes of [Chronomancer] having [Time Manipulation] were dashed. In fact, he now understood how false such hopes were given the power of manipulation skills and the rarity of which they were described in tomes of magic he’s read.
He paused, not seeing the third skill. Whether he already had it or had yet to unlock for some reason, Rainer wasn’t sure. He moved on to his [Chronomancer] skill store as Kara moved part of the second set of Armor up the stairs. Given the hole in the ceiling, this underground room wasn’t the safest place to gather.
[Chronomancer Class Skills Currently Available]
[Temporal Resistance: Cost 10 Points: To grasp both Space and Time, a [Chronomancer] bends the very fabric of the universe and can peek into its secrets and resist its power.]
A rare skill, Rainer understood, for anyone but him. He was, however, impressed with the selection even if he had no plans on buying it. He could only assume [Spatial Resistance], something he already had, was the other skill. And seeing no third, Rainer knew at the very least he’d be choosing a different class when the time came.
“I’m guessing we’ll be heading to the mage towers?” Kara asked while carrying the last piece of the last armor set up the stairs.
They didn’t need a guide, given the height of the towers.
“I’ll be up in a moment, take Luna with you,” He said handing the Fairy who refused to get up, over to Kara. Rainer’s own appraisal of the [Arch-Lich]’s Spatial Ring was no different than Yalin’s.
[Spatial Ring: allows the user to access a small pocket dimension outside of normal Space-Time for storing and retrieving objects.]
But given the curse that was on one of the [Lich]’s robes in the past, Rainer would wait until Luna awoke. She had been hit quite hard, he noted and decided to let her rest. His powerlessness to defend her had the [Arch-Lich] spared her another thought entered his mind.
Leading him to the very purpose of this fight.
He walked over to the Mana-Well. A black cube that would occasionally pulse with blue mana laded runic lines. It floated, held in place by a strange enchantment in the very air around it. Runic lines surrounded it and pulsed out. Opening his [Arcane Sight], Rainer quickly shut his eyes and reeled back in pain.
“Fuck.” He swore aloud as he rubbed his head. It was not a blinding flash but instead the enchantment he saw contained simply too much magic. He couldn’t comprehend the amount in the slightest, and his sight drew into the Mana-Well right after and caused him severe pain.
Compared to the enchanted books of the 2nd Class Advancement the Mana-Well was a bottomless ocean to a droplet of rain.
He walked over and placed his hand around the cube. He used what little mana he had remaining and recharged to fill up his Arcane Power, and he began lightly assaulting the enchantment. He noticed a slight weakening of it, only for it to immediately return to its original form.
“The Mana-Well is constantly empowering it…” Rainer noted. He now understood why the Mana-Well was the quest reward. He was confused, seeing it, as he thought he could simply take it and it would hardly be a quest reward then.
He’s now not sure if even all his Arcane Power poured fiercely into it would disable the enchantment. At the very least he didn’t wish to risk damaging it and possibly causing an explosion.
He turned and headed up the stairs after appraising it one more time.
The [Appraisal] did not even give an [Unknown] like it did with the former [Magic Beast] Rainer had tamed.
Kara already shifted back and sat near the pile of armor and weapons. Rainer decided to take inventory of it later, far more interested in trying to reach every tower possible and visit the libraries. Though he recalled, he had no idea where the Libraries were and would have to use Luna’s connection to them to track Gunthar and Theodore down.
Kara took a long gaze at him as he walked over. His original Lifespan was more than recovered and the improvement of his Charisma made her inwardly curse at the timer given to them. She knew nothing would distract him from exploring as much of this city as possible.
Grabbing the sleeping Luna from the floor, Rainer jumped on Kara’s back as she moved forward.
“Where to first?”
Rainer looked out around and noted which tower he had already visited and looked in the opposite direction.
“Head to our right, toward the tower that is the farthest from us,” He said pointing in the distance before realizing that Kara, could not, in fact, see him pointing.
Kara dashed forward as Rainer held on. With both of them at a higher level, Kara not only had her speed increased by a large margin she also could move faster with Rainer on her back.
Reaching the first tower, Luna finally woke up with a stretch and appraised the ring for Rainer, finding it a normal spatial ring. He entered his second tower, took what he saw of value and moved on. Luna fashioned him a bag to carry things outside of his rings. Given his improved Strength, it was an easy task for him.
They quickly went between the towers, Rainer focused purely on grabbing spells of use and then moving on. The city was massive and the distance between towers long. Kara could not keep running forever, and he still needed time to properly search through Nalmar’s library and enchanting library.
As Luna gave directions to Kara toward Theodore and Gunthar, Rainer looked over some of the contents of the [Arch-Lich]’s ring. The Idea of teleportation excited him, but he found no notes on the subject, only the [Arch-Lich]’s necromancy research.
His mood, however, brightened when he found the research on the [Arch-Lich]’s immortal body. Whether or not Gunthar himself could tolerate it Rainer didn’t wish for him to be stuck forever in a skeletal body, his father as well. He felt a little strange about hunting unicorns, given the mythology of his world, but, in the end, he viewed them no different as any other monster.
He heard Luna’s voice in the background.
“You see She-Wolf, that’s why Luna is the best. I mean look at Luna, Luna has 8 things, She-wolf only has 5,” She said moving her wings, “If She-Wolf could fly we would already be there. That’s what Luna expected when she told you to go that way.”
“But even if I could fly that would still be in a different direction…”
“She-Wolf still doesn’t understand. Let Luna explain again…”
“Rainer…are you using a riding skill on me?” Kara growled in her werewolf voice interrupting Luna’s directions.
Kara coming to a halt nearly threw him from her back. She had thought of the possibility before but given the difficulty of beast riding she put it away, only now fully considering Rainer’s ability to easily gain skills. As such an unreasonable ability, it was often easy to forget how the impossible becomes more possible.
“I said, are you using a riding skill on me?”
“If, hypothetically I was, is that a bad thing?”
“…so you are,” She said while turning her head to glance at him from the corner of her eyes.
“And you didn’t think to tell me?”
“Well, you kept hitting me with branches whenever we went through the forest, and I thought it best not to distract you with such…trivialities,” Rainer said scratching his cheek.
“You’ll carry me…”Kara spoke quietly.
“You’ll carry me the whole way back to town after we leave Nalmar. You’ll fly too.”
Rainer chuckled as he answered, “Alright, deal.”
Gunthar and Theodore walked through the city, crossing over an ocean of bones, that cracked under their steps. They headed towards their home. The sun, to their displeasure, shone down on them no longer blocked.
“Have you thought about it Gunthar, why Nalmar was chosen as the site for a quest?”
“Because our city was taken by undead, no one else could free it?”
“I do not think the quest givers are such benevolent beings,” Theodore while a believer in the Holy One, did not take a view that the Holy One was almighty, or alone, “Whatever the [Arch-Lich] planned to use the Mana-Well for, something did not wish it. I am worried…”
“That we won’t be able to go back with them? I had such an initial fear. But, I have already been to their world, I see no reason why that would change,” Gunthar interrupted.
“I see…” Theodore spoke no more as they then hurried to their home.
Neither Gunthar nor Theodore took any time to look for items of sentimental value, and instead prioritized things they could use. Gunthar took one of the extra enchanted items they had for assisting in the unlocking of one’s Affinity attribute, assuming they had affinity at all.
Theodore went down into his basement and took his own personal research on the soul. He had methods for strengthening it and planned to restore the damage he caused to his own. The path forward, he did not know, but he sought now to at least try, finding the liberation of the city to be bittersweet.
Standing in the Enchanter’s Hall, the group spent the last hour of the countdown sorting what they would take with them. Theodore and Gunthar had taken suitcases from their home. They used them to carry any extras. Rainer’s ring was filled to the brim with both the [Arch-Lich]’s research material and tomes he didn’t have enough time to read to bring later up in [Sleep Learning].
After meeting up with Gunthar and Theodore, Rainer headed to Nalmar’s library and then finally on the way back took any enchanting books with him. He found most of them too complex for a quick read.
Gunthar had assorted items from his house, the formerly collected [Scaled Wyvern] blood, and two sets of armor and weapon, himself wearing one of the armor sets. In one of the suitcases, Theodore put everything he thought would be useful from the hidden library.
[Grand Paladin’s Full Plate Set: An enchanted full set of plate armor and helm of blessed steel: +18 Constitution, +18 Endurance, +18 Strength, +9 Aura Attunement]
The same as Theodore’s armor.
Nearly all enchanted items slightly changed sizes to fit their wearers; rings especially. While It was far less for armor, the clothes Luna created also helped keep the armor, larger than his original, on Gunthar’s body.
“It shall be hard, but since the armor is one where the enchantment altered the item itself, a proper [Magic Blacksmith] could do alteration without damage,” Theodore who had been quiet up until now commented as Luna made a final adjustment for the armor to fit properly.
“When we return to your world, I would like to head to the North immediately,” Theodore said.
“We should meet up first with someone who can help us, he’s done a lot of research on the matter.”
“I wish to go alone, for a while…” Theodore said and seeing the distressed faces added, “Do not worry I will not venture in deeply, and I am more than capable of defending myself. I merely wish some time alone. Truly alone, without the [Arch-Lich] within my mind. You can track with my connection to the Lady of the Fae.”
Changing the subject, Rainer asked an important question given Gunthar’s new level.
[Undead, Male, Death Knight lvl 25]
“Did you get the quest for advancement?”
“No. I did not receive anything.”
“I’ll look through the [Arch-Lich]’s research. Maybe the immortal body has to do with it. We’ll figure it out.”
“Do not worry about me, Sorcerer. I am more than content; I can always level another class with the Lady of the Fae’s help. Who knows what my undead form may offer me?”
Rainer nodded as the timer counted down. He sat down quietly with Luna sitting in his lap.
[Party Leader Granted Reward: The Object known as the Mana-Well.]
Suddenly the message distorted and changed.
[Party Leader Granted Reward: Overcoat of Arcane Constitution]
A black coat lined with violet runic lines landed on Rainer’s lap as he looked on in a confused rage. He shoved it away without even appraising it, but before he could run down the stairs toward the Mana-Well another message stopped him in his tracks.
[Gunthar LothFane Removed from Rainer’s Party]
[Theodore LothFane Removed from Rainer’s Party]
“What the fuck is going on?”
“Something…someone…does not wish for Nalmar’s secrets to leave,” Theodore growled out.
“Luna add them back. Go!”
She flew out from Rainer and tried to draw the magic symbol for the party onto their hands, but it found no purchase, simply fading each time.
“Rainer what’s happening?” Kara asked as she ran over to Luna, but she could do nothing to help them.
Rainer’s thoughts raced as the timer ticked down. He knew what was happening. Again he believed some entity in control of the system sought to impede him. Yet no matter what he thought he didn’t know what to do.
As the timer ticked down the rings and items, Rainer gathered from Nalmar slipped through his hands as he phased out of this world.
“No, no, no, Gunthar quickly, give me your hand,” Rainer desperately tried to grip onto a still Gunthar to take him with them, but his hand simply slipped through.
“It was a pleasure…Sorcerer,” Gunthar held out his hand in the very handshake Rainer had shown.
“Gunthar…” Kara softly said as she stared at him. Her arm gently passed through his shoulder as tears formed in her eyes.
“Gunthar has to come with us, Luna demands it!” The fairy flying through and around him yelled out, but Gunthar was unmoving.
Rainer reached out his hand, and held it in Gunthar’s, even though he couldn’t touch it.
“Thank you for the time you have given me, to feel alive once more."
Kara and Luna faded back into the other world. Rainer’s hand faded from Gunthar’s leaving the Father and Son alone amidst a dead city. Silence permeated the room.
And yet...the calm became chaos as a man tore back through the void.
He borrowed from the very power that threw him away and wielded the magic that sent him to this new world.
[Spell Gained: Void-Walking lvl 1/10]
[Title Gained: Voidwalker]
[Experience Gained: Deferred]
Numerous messages continued to flash by Rainer but seeing the ones he desired his focus was undeterred. He pushed through the void toward Nalmar once more with a new strength. And in this void a divine might roared, but its audience did not heed the call. Rainer’s second created item shattered in its use.
[Ring of Granting Resistances: For 1 second increases one's ability to learn resistance skills by 210%. Does not work on any physical, magical, or elemental resistances. Destroys on use.]
For anyone other than an [Archon], a useless trinket. Prior to learning of his memories being erased by a system related force, he could only see this object as a strange paranoia of the unknown. Rainer later learned he tried to directly create something to resist some sort of god-like figure but was unable. He found by adding enough relevant negative restrictions the percentage could be improved to a useable amount.
Rainer looked at the messages allowing him to fight the power weighing on him.
[Skill Gained: Divine Resistance lvl 1/10]
[Divine Resistance has reached level 2]
[Title Gained: One who defies Divinity]
[Experience Gained: Deferred]
Gunthar’s skeletal face could not express his emotions as he felt his hand gripped. Rainer grabbed him and flung him back on the path he took, sending him to Kara and Luna.
The Runic lines of [Arcane Awakening] shone in their full power as Rainer trudged forward toward Theodore.
Theodore hesitated for a moment before he rushed over and picked up all the fallen rings, the rewarded coat, as well as the suitcases and then allowed Rainer’s hand to grab him, sending him to his son.
Rainer gazed toward the stairs leading to the Mana-Well and without pause moved forward.
Each step he fought against the power seeking to return him. Rainer knew, that without having used this power, which already opened a passageway, moving between worlds was too difficult. He welcomed this power, and he still had a use for it.
He headed down the stairs and approached the Mana-Well. Unbeknownst to him, a Holy Radiance covered him, blocking the full force of the Divine Power.
As if slogging through a thick liquid Rainer finally reached the Mana-Well. He couldn’t help but grin as he wrapped his hands around it.
He could not remove it from its enchantment.
And he did not need to. He honed and focused his spell toward a specific target.
He let the power return him through space and time, disappearing in a massive spatial fluctuation, collapsing the already failing structure of the underground room.
And the Mana-Well went with him.