5: Revenge

I was back again, alive and well. My armor was fixed and my spear perfectly fine. I looked to my right and saw the gate had been opened and more guard bodies lay dead on the ground, coating the snow red with their blood.

The female guard was still dead, too. The sight of her and my comrades lying there, arrows sticking out of their chests and heads angered me to no small degree. That invader would pay for what he did to my-

Wait. Comrades? I mean, yeah, we all served to protect the keep but…but what? Something was…off, here. I felt I should be angry about their deaths and I was but a small part of me didn’t know why. I didn’t know any of these people. Hell, I’d only said two sentences to the female guard there. Why was I all gung-ho about getting revenge then?

Empathy? Maybe, but I’ve never felt it before. I’ve never felt anything before I’d first woken up. This sense of camaraderie and loyalty to the keep lord felt…alien to me. Like it wasn’t something I felt but something forced onto me. Before I could delve deeper into the mind shenanigans happening to me, I noticed I had another notification.

For repeating a specific action, you have learned the skill [Burst]. Skill info: Boosts AGI by +5 for 1 second to evade an attack. (Active, +2 AGI each level, +1 second each level) Costs 3 SP to activate.

For repeating a specific action, you have learned the skill [Charge]. Skill info: Boosts STR by 1 the longer the charge goes on. (Active, +1 STR boost each level) Costs 5 SP per second.

So by doing stuff a lot, I get skills for it? Interesting. “Status menu,” I said.

Name: None (Elden Keep Guard)

Class: Guard

Level: 1

HP: 100/100

SP: 110/110

MP: 7/7

TP: 0

AP: 0

STR: 10

END: 11

AGI 5

VIT: 8

INT: 7

CHA: 3

Skills: [Measure Bribe] – 1; [Lesser Radar] – 2; [Thrust] – 1; [Burst] – 1; [Charge] – 1

Spells: –

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It suddenly struck me that [Lesser Radar] must’ve been the ringing in my head, notifying me of the coming invader. If only I had thought of that before! I didn’t know what [Measure Bribe] did – bribes were never a good thing, though, were they? – and [Thrust]…

Was that a passive skill or an active one?

Picking up my spear, I thrust it forward like I had done when fighting the invader. Nothing seemed to happen. Remembering the invader that had called out [Pierce] and [Double Shot], I did the same, yelling, “[Thrust]!” as I shoved my spear into the air. This time, reddish energy seemed to surround the spear point as it cut through the air. It felt faster, heavier in my hands as I stabbed it into an imaginary enemy.

I felt a bit…drained after the energy faded into red mist. Opening up my status again, I saw that I had lost 5 SP using the skill. Huh.

A commotion from inside the walls drew my attention. I closed my status and looked to see the invader sprinting toward the gate, holding a large sack in one hand and his bow in the other. Four {Elite Guards} in much better armor than I had chased after him, yielding big swords and battle-axes.

I ducked back behind the wall before the invader could catch sight of me, grasping my spear in both hands. Bending my knees, I prepared to lunge forward and ambush him from the side. His rapid footsteps drew nearer and I tightened my fists around my spear. Three…two…one!

“[Thrust]!” I bellowed, shoving my spear into his side as he ran out from around the walls. This time, the point didn’t bounce off and went straight through his armor. A big red CRITICAL HIT rose above his head, along with a -125 HP. Grinning at the successful hit, I tried to pull the spear back. Unfortunately, I found it was stuck in his armor.

His head snapped toward me and I heard him say, “C’est quoi ce bordel? Ce gars est censé être mort!”

“Wha-ack!”

I activated [Burst] not a second too soon as he tried to gut me with his dagger. A sudden burst of speed put me out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, I was still unarmed and, even with my spear in his side, I had no doubt the invader would have made an easy meal of me. Luckily for me, my distraction allowed the four {Guards} to catch up and one slammed the flat of his blade into the invaders back.

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He went down with nary a grunt, a red -50 HP floating above his head.

The invader’s body dissipated in a cloud of green smoke, leaving behind my spear, his dagger, bow, and the sack.

“The help was appreciated,” one {Elite Guard} nodded to me as the others picked up the loot. A second {Elite Guard} handed me back my spear and the dagger that had killed me a second time. “For your efforts,” she said, smiling not unkindly at me.

“Thank you,” I said. It was completely genuine. As I strapped the dagger to the belt tied around my gambeson, I felt just a tiny bit safer about my circumstances.


The words ‘YOU HAVE DIED’ appeared on Jacques’s computer screen after his character got pummeled by the Elite Guards.

“No, no, no!” Jacques slammed his fists on both sides of his keyboard, throwing off his headset. “That Guard was dead! I killed him! I did!”

“Jacques!” his mother shouted from the kitchen. “Are you playing that stupid game instead of doing your lessons?”

“I already finished them, Maman,” he called back with a sigh.

“You’d better!”

Ugh. Stupid school. It’s nothing compared to Raidscape, he thought, respawning back into the game. I bet it was some hacker RPing as a guard. No way it could’ve revived that fast.

He growled as he saw how much loot and experience he’d lost. Definitely a hacker. I am so getting payback for this!

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