“Gah! Hah, hah, hah!” → Shen
I shot up from the bed while looking around agitated. My legs were shaking and barely holding me, my body was sweating bullets while my heart was still racing like crazy. I was still dizzy from the terrifying pain I just felt but shocked by how real it was. I walked slowly toward the sink which with a mirror to wash the sweat from my face. My eyes were cloudy while inside my ears a whizzing sound made me unable to hear clearly. After splashing cold water on my face, I felt like all the dizziness wore off and the piercing sound inside my ears disappeared.
[The last warning, mortal Shen.]
I suddenly heard a domineering and cold voice from behind. The voice was ethereal and the mana around started to vibrate only from the few words it spoke.
“…It wasn’t really me who used that. Right?”
I looked through the window at a young man with golden long hair. His body was fit with a tall posture while his eyes were shining blue. At this moment, his face was solemn and somewhat cold while talking to me.
[The only reason why I’m not taking your life now is because that was a mistake on our part. A second time shall not appear.]
All of this is your fault in the first place! → Shen
I thought while trying to control my anger. I breathed out then shrugged with a calm smile.
“Sure, sure. But if I find another loophole, don’t come at me again with You broke the rules thing. It won’t work, you know that.” → Shen
[…Your pride gives you no good. Better watch your mouth, mortal]
“My pride and will are the reasons why I’m still alive and sane.” → Shen
[We’ll see for how long.]
Suddenly, a strong explosion shook the ship violently.
“W-what the Hell?!” → Shen
I tried to keep my balance without falling, while the other person didn’t even flinch at the sudden shake. His feet weren’t even touching the floor while his eyes were fixated on me.
[It seems you have visitors. Our talk ends here. No more tricks, mortal]
“This only depends on you, Young God Kaveh.” → Shen
I said while supporting myself on the sink.
A normal mortal would’ve crawled on the ground and kissed his foot by now. But I felt no admiration, respect or love for him; only disappointment and even some hate.
[Hmph. You should send a prayer as thanks to Hamata, for she is the only reason we’re not ending your breath right here and now.]
After harumphing with a displeased expression, the young man disappeared in a flash of golden light, his presence disappearing completely.
A prayer? Damn retards! You all should come and sent gifts to me, for I just saved your stupid world! → Shen
I felt incredibly irritated at the gods’ arrogance and frustrated at my own weakness. Even though the highest ranks of power in this world have pompous names like Young God and Elder God; the true God-ranked entities have powers well beyond such beings.
In my visions with Ragnarok, those were true gods. With one fist they broke numerous mountains while with a wave of their weapons, an explosion comparable to a nuclear bomb would break everything in front of them. And these guys… are also such beings. They stepped foot outside the flesh’s limits and reached the universal knowledge… The way I am now, I have no chance. → Shen
I looked at my own hands unfocused then back at the mirror above the sink.
I twitched in shock at how my eyes, from a lively green, turned to a brownish-green and together with this physical change, I felt how my thoughts became more cloudy and dark. Whispers and quiet laughter resounded in my head as if the abyss was laughing at my own frustrations and helplessness.
STOP! → Shen
I shouted inside my own head and tried to sit in a position of meditation. I wanted to seal back the darkness within my own soul, so I won’t lose myself to the sudden darkness which appeared and tried to engulf my being.
All kinds of noises of battle resounded from outside, making my heart-beat restless. I tried to ignore all of that, knowing that Ashura, Bururiba and the others would take good care of the invaders, but it was to no avail.
I can’t damn focus! → Shen
I felt how I was losing my cool little by little. In the end, a strong explosion woke me up from the meditation completely with a strong shock, breaking the limits of my composure. Suddenly, a loud voice resounded through everywhere inside the ship.
“Haha~! I got in! Now it’s time to sink this ship to the ground!”
“Let me sink something in your mouth, ah?!” → Shen
I roared furiously while kicking the door open then shooting out toward the bastard who just completely woke me up.
I searched around and, to my surprise, I observed how that someone was already in front of the engine’s room, trying to break open the enchanted door.
“Damn door! Why is this thing so hard?!”
“So it would keep assholes like you away from what’s inside!” → Shen
Hearing someone actually answering his question, the one who seemed to be a knight with a huge hammer, suddenly looked behind.
“T-there is no one?”
He was confused as from where did my voice resounded just now. Then he felt two cold claws grabbing at his head.
“Boo~.” → Shen
I said with a wide grin before his ear while using all the power I had to snap his head.
I used a tiny bit of primordial energy to transform my arms into those of a half-dragon and use an Energy Stone of Dark element to blend into the shadows to appear behind him. The destroyer dragoon didn’t even know what happened when a sudden snap resounded through the corridor.
Ah, wait! I don’t really have to kill him! W-we can put it back, right? → Shen
To my shock, the strength used was more than I needed, dislocating his neck from the body by mistake. In less than a second after supposedly killing him, I replaced his head back while fixing his bone with another snap.
From the constant shock, the dragoon started sweating bullets and tremble, then lost consciousness with white foam around his mouth.
I got down to see if he still had a pulse then sighed out relieved.
Hoh? Pretty sturdy, good job for staying alive… Now let’s see what the Hell is happening out there. → Shen
With an annoyed face, I walked toward the decks. I smacked the door open, only to see a little dark fairy on the ground, perhaps I just slammed his face.
“Seriously, again?! Who’s the f*****-…”
Seeing my tired expression and sharp wolf-like eyes, the fairy muted instantly. Sweat filled his face while getting up and smiling forcibly.
Deja Vu? → Shen
I had a feeling such a thing happened before, but I ignored that and gazed at the fairy intently. Because of my dark circles under the bloodshot eyes and even the somewhat brown irises, the fairy stuttered involuntarily.
“S-s-s-sir! Y-y-you’re awake- ack!”
Suddenly the fairy bites his own tongue, unable to continue speaking.
“Put aside the formalities, pirate. Tell me where are Tian, Bururiba, and Ashura. I need someone to explain to me what the Hell is going on now.” → Shen
“S-s-sir! Y-yes sir! We’ve been attacked by the Urius expedition troops! They commanded us to identify ourselves but Bururiba started to fight with their commandants. Now we’re in an all-out battle with them…! A-also! There was a someone from their flanks which entered our ship! He wants to crash this ship to the ground. We have to stop him, sir!”
“He’s foaming on the floor now. Continue.” → Shen
“He’s half-dead. Continue.” → Shen
“H-hii~! Y-yes sir!”
Of what I heard from the fairy, it seems the fight was going to our favor. Because of the high ground and a warship filled with tens of war cannons, we were able to decimate most of their troops, even though we were outnumbered 100 to one. While we were only a total of 50, they were around 5.000.
5.000?! We’re our spies wrong? Perhaps there were more troops on their way that haven’t been discovered by the mice-men. Anyway, more importantly… That damn moron actually started a war with numbers 1 to 100?! → Shen
I massaged my temples while a terrifying aura evaded my body without my notice. I felt how the darkness from the devil tried to take control over myself through the rage I was feeling. I calmed down then looked again at the trembling fairy.
“Alright. Now tell me where that Bururiba is.” → Shen
He gave me only troubles from the day we’ve met. → Shen
“C-captain Bururiba is right below the ship, killing anyone who tries to destroy the anti-infantry cannons.”
“Good. Well done, brat.” → Shen
I patted his head then rushed back toward the lowest parts of the ship.
The fairy looked at my back completely baffled. He expected for me to turn back with fire evading from my nostrils.
M-maybe he’s a good person? → Shen
“Hm? Hey, it won’t matter if I go right through the floor, right? We’ll have to repair the entire ship later anyway.” → Shen
I asked the fairy then I took out a yellow Energy Stone. I covered my entire left leg with Earth element from the stone, then stepped hard with all I had.
[Mountain’s Step] → Shen
The floor broke and I went right through it like a meteorite, reaching the last floor in just a second.
The fairy looked baffled at the hole I just made then reformulated his thoughts.
I retract all I thought about him. He’s a monster…
I smashed through the floors until I reached a much sturdier ground made from black iron. In front of me, Bururiba looked at me with huge and sharp eyes. It seems he already just killed a few soldiers of the Urius Kingdom.
I had no time to shout at Bururiba for suddenly starting a war, when his gun appeared in front of my face, shooting instantly. Happily, for me, the moment I observed his hand move, my first reflex was to incline my head.
A pained voice resounded from right behind my back, then something hit the floor heavily with a thud.
I looked back, only to see a human in heavy armor with his sword drown out. It seems he wished to cut my head, only to have his heart pierced by Bururiba’s bullet.
We both stood there mute, unsure what to say until we heard another loud roar from right under us. There, Ashura and Jian fought like two titans against the other soldiers, together with another group of pirates from their group. An army of around 2.500 trained soldiers fought in an organized manner. Around 200 mages tried to bring down the ship, while beside them, the same number of corpses covered the ground in a pool of blood. It seems the cannons focused mostly the ranged troops, while the infantry was taken care of by elite pirates which tried to distract them until the cannons cleaned them all away. This tactic was extremely risqué, having huge chances of friendly fire. However, to my surprise, everyone knew the exact moment when the cannons would start shooting and where fleeing right before the huge magic cannon-ball would strike. I was extremely curious about how they did that, but this wasn’t the time for chit-chat.
“… We’ll continue this on another time. For now, recall all your troops.” → Shen
“W-what? If we continue we’ll win! Why would we-“ → Bururiba
“Bururiba.” → Shen
Hearing his own name, Bururiba froze the next moment. He felt like a devil just pronounced his name out loud, a devil from the deepest parts of Hell. He then looked at my eyes and was even more shocked to see a slight shade of red slowly taking over my brownish-green eyes. However much he hated to be bossed around, my silence was too suffocating while my gaze was as if burning.
“Ptew! You better have a plan for this!” → Bururiba
He spat on the ground to relieve some stress then shouted at me in annoyance. Right after that, he shot out and a sudden gong was heard from inside the ship.
“B-but we’re winning… Damn it!”
Everyone was either confused or frustrated for the sudden command of retreating. They all stepped back, then Bururiba, Ashura and Jian stepped foot on the decks where I was waiting. After a light talk with the tree of them, I was able to convince them of something then jumped off the ship in one go.
[Captain of Urius Kingdom! Cease your fire and let’s have a talk first!]
Suddenly, from below the ship, my strong shout resonated all over the battlefield like a thunder.
“…A talk?” → Ashura
Ashura asked dumbfounded after hearing my words.
“He’s not thinking of signing a treaty of peace with Urius now, is he?” → Jian
Jian asked just as baffled, looking at the corpses everywhere around the battlefield.
“No way. We killed almost half of their troops. This won’t go down without a fight.” → Bururiba
Bururiba shook his head with a meek smile, then a sudden thought that it might actually be possible because the one who decided such was me, after all.
The three of them then shot out and saw me walking slowly in the middle of the battlefield, surrounded by the other soldiers from the Urius Kingdom.
“S***! That idiot! Fast, let’s go after him!” → Bururiba
Bururiba said in a hurry as the trio shot out from the decks and landed right behind me inside the encirclement.
Bururiba ignored the tense atmosphere around him and with quick steps, he appeared right beside me. He then whispered at my ear with a nervous and angered voice.
“What the Hell are you thinking, bastard?! Do you wish to be taken as a prisoner again? I ain’t rescuing you for s*** this time!” → Bururiba
“Keep quiet and observe. Stay sharp. Don’t forget what we talked about.” → Shen
“Eh? It was for this?” → Bururiba
“Are you dumb?” → Shen
I asked while staring at him like at an idiot then ignored his awkward smile and focused in front. The pungent smell of blood, together with the rising dust made the tension only rise by second. From behind the tense and desperate soldiers, I saw how more silhouettes were making their way toward the middle where we awaited.
“Make way! General David with Lieutenants Daniel and Denisse are coming through!”
A strong voice of a soldier made everyone else aware of who was stepping in.
The four of us waited with serious faces, nobody saying a word.
In the end, the soldiers in front of me stepped back and made way to three people: A wildcat man, a dragoon woman, and a tall human with sharp eyes, a huge scar from between his eyes to the right of his chin and a black huge beard on his face. All three of them showed an air of superiority and power as if telling everyone they are of a different status than them.
“Wait a moment. You… are you Prince Jian Tian?” → David
The captain David asked with a little shine of surprise in his eyes. The other two lieutenants looked shocked at Jian until they recognized the Jian symbol on the hilt of his sword.
“I-it’s really him! But why is prince Jian wearing such clothes? And why isn’t he inside his palace?!”
“Hmph. Have you already forgot about the latest reports? The Jian kingdom has fallen! Sava Kingdom has occupied it with the accord of Nostrug Empire for numerous crimes.” → Jian
The wild cat looked surprised while the dragoon with contempt.
“And also, there it’s a bounty on the prince’s head, together with an Irregular player named Shen. Captain, I say it would be a good idea to arrest them with haste. We’ll be greatly rewarded by the king if we succeed.”
“Hmm… I say to not hurry, captain. We’d better wait and see.”
“Wait for what?! We got the targets right in front of us! We can’t lose any more time now-“
“Both of you. Quiet.” → David
The captain David said in a harsh tone. Then he changed his focus to me, staring sharply.
“Hey, bitch! You better watch your tongue! Tian is my brother, so you better don’t spout any more s*** now!” → Bururiba
“He’s right. If you dare touch Jian, then you better prepare for a war.” → Ashura
Bururiba and Ashura shouted severely while taking a step forward in front of Tian.
“Guys…” → Tian
Tian had complicated feelings. Even though he saw both of them as great comrades, he only saw them as “good allies”. Never has he thought they saw him as a “friend”. Jian shook his head with a self-mocking smile.
So I’m the only one who thinks of everyone as only “allies”… Friend, huh? Sounds nice… → Tian
“Calm down you lot.” → Shen
I told both of them in a more relaxed tone. Seeing the unity between the three of them made me relax a little.
I’m glad the three of them made up. Even though the main cause is Tian, Ashura and Bururiba are now able to talk with each other in a more amicable manner. If Tian leaves, then internal strife will sooner or later restart between them. → Shen
Seeing how I was leading an Adept Saint, a Semi-God and a former King with such a relaxed face on, made the general look at me in another light. However, he said nothing, as if waiting for me to talk.
“Please excuse my late introduction now, General David. My name is Shen and I’m indeed a player. This young man here is the captain of the ship, Captain Bururiba, the young dragoon is my assistant, Dhavala Ashura, while you already know him: King Jian Tian.” → Shen
The three of them were completely shocked by what they heard, and even more so by my audacity to actually pronounce such names in front of him. All the three names were well-known by the higher-ups and good money would be paid for even the slightest bit of information about them. However, the general asked only such:
“King? Isn’t he a prince?” → David
“No. My father died poisoned by the revolted nobles right after asking for reinforcements from the empire. Henceforth, I suppose you know the story.” → Jian
Jian answered in my place while I kept my calm vision on the general and his group.
“I see.” → David
The general answered plainly then looked again at me.
“So… Shen, was it? Why did you call for a cease-fire? I was able to see your group end up as a victor if everything continued as it was.” → David
Shrewd damn old fart.
I was able to read a scheming mind in his eyes. By his relaxed tone and gaze, I was able to tell that they still had a trump card in case they failed.
“I must excuse myself in advance first. Because I was recuperating from an old injury, I was unaware that General David asked for identification. And even though we had full chances of getting out from here unharmed, we’re still well-behaved people; we can’t just break bones from a misunderstanding, right?” → Shen
I asked while looking at the general with sharp eyes. Even though our conversation seemed polite and well mannered; in truth, it was just another subtle confrontation.
Even if you got an Ace, we’ll simply smash it back in your face.
The general remained silent while looking at me with a dark face. In the end, he said in a grave tone.
“I thank you for the cooperation of identifying yourselves, but the damage dealt only for this much is still too much.” → David
You’re not getting away after killing a third of my army.
“I understand your feelings and I’d feel the same. But I think one must know when to reason with a cool mind, general.” → Shen
At least get the hint that I stopped this fight so you and your minions could see tomorrow. You have no chance of winning, old fool. → Shen
The general’s face darkened even more while his aura exploded to the outside.
“Bastard! Don’t even think of trying something funny!”
“You better stay back, lowly beings!”
Bururiba shouted out while the dragoon woman took out her sword.
Both me and the general shot out at everyone to quiet down. Even the soldiers around shock from the sudden command, freezing in place.
Everyone quieted down, not saying another word. They finally felt the tension between me and the General. In the end, the general retracted his entire aura and opened his eyes wide.
“So to understand. You’re the head of all the events happening around in the Nostrung Empire, aren’t you? Warlord Shen.” → David
“Excuse me?” → Shen
Warlord? What kind of lame joke is that? → Shen
“I understand now your character, Warlord Shen. You’re much more dangerous than the entire kingdom has ever thought, we truly underestimated you.” → David
“W-wait a second. What’s up with the Warlord joke again-?” → Shen
Suddenly the general took out a hidden blade and stabbed right through my heart.
I spat out a mouthful of blood and fell on my knees with a shocked expression.
“W-what the hell are you doing?!”
Jian took out his sword while dashing toward me, Ashura looked with wide eyes unable to do anything, while Bururiba was completely shocked about how I let him stab me so easily. Even so, Bururiba was still not so perturbed as the others.
“You’re not going past me!”
The woman dragoon engaged Jian, blocking him with her sword. To his surprise, both of them were at the same level.
“I’m sure another chance of taking out the leader of the rebellion won’t come a second time. I normally don’t do such cowardly moves like sneak attacks, but you can only blame yourself for being such a danger for the empire, Warlord Shen-… Hm?” → David
The general wished to retract his short blade from inside my chest but was unable to do so, as if it was stuck. The general then felt something was amiss and looked more intently.
Suddenly a scaled arm grabbed him, feeling like a metallic claw just locked his arm in place.