… Why… has all of this happened to me…? → Shen
[…Even I am unsure… The road of a mortal is normally easily predicted, but you’re more than just a mortal, while your destiny is continuously changing. Just as you dodged death many times, you also had to die when you weren’t supposed to. By how I see it, far more superior spirits are now working together on building a new road for you to step on after it became so chaotic. The more complex a being, the more dangerous they can be once corrupted, and their destiny can easily be altered, making it even harder to predict, and even harder a path to build. This is also the reason why we dodged destruction for so many times as the destiny was placed on your own hands alone, able to go past the worst through will-power alone. Now all you have to do is to fight your demons and walk the path that has been tailored for you, don’t dare stray from it!]
Wait! Hold on! Is that all? Are you just going to threaten me?! Do you even know how it feels to die, revive, then not knowing whenever I’m still dead or alive?! I’m like an undead! I bleed but won’t die! I feel hurt but won’t pass out! Parts of my body are ripped or cut off but flesh would simply grow right back without a trace of a wound! What’s even scarier is that I can control this… Sometimes I feel like simply deactivating Prana’s channels… → Shen
[… A man should never live such experiences. However much I’d wish to tell you to rest, the All-Father already created you another path so you shan’t stray from it… Stay strong for a little while longer. Your Karma has been paid, now fortune shall be on its way to you… as long as you continue fighting for it.]
I was unable to speak or even think straight anymore. Even my trance slowly canceled as space I was in started to fade because of my lack of concentration, my conscious being shaken again and again.
As for the last words, the Superior Spirit told me such;
[To destroy the cell… Only an external being can help you now. With the help of the All-Father and his assistants, you were able to meet roads with your dear Luna. She is the only one who holds the answer on how you can break the seal you yourself placed in a moment of cowardice. Return to her like you did before and open yourself! Only like this can you save this life of yours from ending in such a tragic way.]
W-wait! W-who’s Luna-… → Shen
I then woke up, my eyes still watery after the conversation with my Child-spirit while I felt how a heavy burden suddenly pressed upon my shoulders once again. With tired eyes, I gazed at the moon and thought for myself.
Luna… The moon?… He told me that I meet roads with someone called Luna? Or was he literally referring to the moon? He didn’t say “crossed”, which means I still have a connection with her… But just who is that person? I remember no one called Luna or ever going on the moon… She might be someone whom I lost memories of… → Shen
I sighed helplessly then laid down on the branch, feeling quite sleepy as my mind was exhausted by the deep trance I was in. As the blue rays of light shone down on me, I feel asleep until the next day when everyone was preparing to depart after Alexander told them everything.
I walked by his side from one tree to another while assisting him with the preparations and started talking about the villagers.
“I will contact my friend to send someone and welcome your group. However, you better talk with them right now, we won’t accept those who wish to turn into bandits or thieves. They either behave or get exiled into the Danger Zone.” → Shen
“No problem. Besides me, nobody here has any thoughts of dirtying their hands, nor any with the intentions of biting the hand that’s feeding them.” → Alexander
“Wait, what?! Then I want to stay with father and be his right-hand man!” → Owen
Suddenly Owen shouted from behind us after listening to our talk, looking at both of us with a revolting gaze. We both stared surprised at him, then I glared at Alexander in contempt. Rising a young man into a bandit? Wasn’t he telling me that he’d rather not have the newer generation go after their footsteps? What the Hell was he doing now?
Feeling my stare, he raised his hands in surrender with an innocent gaze on as he excused himself.
“Wait. I have nothing to do with this wish of his, okay? And you damn brat. What do you mean by my right-hand? Are you even aware of what I’m going through to get some edible food for everyone here? Are you that stupid to jump into the jaws of danger when food is already lying down in front of you?” → Alexander
“Dad! I only wish to be like you! I don’t care what others say! You’re the best!” → Owen
Seeing the shine in his eyes, Alexander wasn’t even able to joke about it. He scratched the back of his head nervously then asked seriously.
“Owen. What about Amalia? Who will take care of her? Won’t she remain alone? Who will protect her? Before opening your mouth try to think about your responsibilities as well. She is your sister for God’s sake.” → Alexander
“B-but…” → Owen
“I’ll be fine on my own, father.” → Amalia
Just as Owen was about to fall back from his foolish decisions, Amalia stepped in with a firm expression on. This time even I felt that it would be quite complicated from here on, but I didn’t know what to say so I simply kept my mouth shut. Alexander, on the other hand, was even more troubled and started to scratch his head in frustration.
“Even if you’re fine with it, I’m not. I won’t let you be alone in a foreign place like a kingdom in the Danger Zone. Even though it’s a safe place, I’d be more at ease knowing that your able brother is with you. Besides, won’t you feel lonely?” → Alexander
“I stopped feeling lonely the moment our mother died. If Owen wants to follow father then I can only accept and pray for your wellbeing.” → Amalia
“Yes! As Amalia said!” → Owen
Amalia’s resolution was even boosted by Owen’s high spirit. But this only irritated Alexander who smacked Owen on the head again.
“Ouch! What was that for-“ → Owen
“Listen, both of you.” → Alexander
The two children froze in place after they both felt Alexander’s firm aura as he gazed downwards at them, his arms crossed at his chest.
“Bandits are placed on the same rank as wild or demonic beasts. They are killed on sight and the ones who bring back their heads or bandana will only be rewarded with riches. We’re a toxin to the kingdoms and hated by all and everything that has a heart-beat. Owen. I won’t let you be part of such a plague to the world. And Amalia, even if you accept your brother to come with me, that won’t change anything as I don’t accept it. You both remained alone in this broken world, surrounded by corruption and discrimination, and I won’t permit it for the two of you to be separated when all you still have is each other. Now go back and pack up everything. We’re leaving at noon.” → Alexander
“Y-yes…” → Owen
Both of them had their heads down as they turned back to climb the trees toward their hut.
“You did well.” → Shen
I nodded in approval as I couldn’t think of a better option to deal with such an event. Alexander then sighed out and with a tired expression, he shook his head.
“Please tell me in case that brat has any attempts of sneaking inside our luggage or something. I can trust you with detecting him, right?” → Alexander
“For sure. But do you think he’ll do that?” → Shen
“… I taught him a lot of stuff about stealing and such…” → Alexander
“…What kind of father are you?” → Shen
“A bandit!” → Alexander
“Figures that much…” → Shen
His proud smirk made me want to punch his face, especially after hearing that he taught his son how to steal, and maybe even more things that only bandits would do.
While everyone was prepared to depart, I didn’t really have to inform Alexander of his son’s attempts because he was able to detect him every time. When everyone was ready, I informed Ryu about the new group and he instantly froze after hearing what my future-plans were with the group of bandits.
Wait, what? I did hear from Bonny such news but, using them to create Antara’s personal black-market? Do you wish to create an underworld for Antara?! Just how many things will you continue doing without telling me beforehand? → Ryu
A kingdom also needs its own underworld to keep it standing. But calm down, we’ll be able to keep this one under our control. And maybe we’ll also be able to do quite a lot with this. Also, you said Bururiba is returning to the pirate peninsula? What is he going to do? → Shen
Oh! About that! I also ordered him in your name to get more inner info from the kingdoms that sponsor the Pirate Peninsula from now on and to also report everything related to that spawning spell Babowang used that one time to summon the Demon. → Ryu
In my name… Just when were you thinking to tell me such important things? → Shen
Uhm… One more thing to say. I also sent Gregor with him to use his military knowledge and start a conquest over the other pirate bases. Lissa also left with him for obvious reasons. → Ryu
… And you’re telling me only now? → Shen
Oh hey! Now we’re even! Good for us. → Ryu
You’re like a brat sometimes… Well, whatever. Has Bururiba finished his problems with Khalid? I remember that being the only reason why he allied with us. → Shen
Ah, about that… It seems that Khalid erupted quite harshly at him for killing people with the weapons he created. Bururiba didn’t know what to do afterward, so when he left, he was really depressed. Even his crew didn’t know what to say to him. → Ryu
Haah~… Did nobody try to pacify the waters between them? → Shen
Tara did, but every time she tried to talk about Bururiba, Khalid would simply ignore her or make her leave him to work in silence. → Ryu
So stubborn. → Shen
Tell me about it… Haah~, anyway. Sylvia told me that on the Pirate Peninsula, there might be someone who could cheer him up in some way or another. Do you have any ideas who it might be? → Ryu
Someone who can cheer Bururiba up…? Hmm? → Shen
Then an image of a brown haired tanned voluptuous and enchanting woman in a tightly mulled blue dress, with eyes just as blue and mesmerizing, suddenly appeared in my mind. Her every move would charm any man while her power would bring just as many to their knees. And exactly this woman, weirdly enough, showed interest in the childish and naïve Bururiba that annoyed me for so long. With a plain expression on I thought that Bururiba should be able to cheer up instantly once he got back.
Yeah… he should feel blissful the moment he arrives there. → Shen
Eh? → Ryu
Nah, nothing. → Shen
After finishing talking with Ryu, the villagers escorted by the Last Cause left toward Antara, not before giving Alexander the ring of telepathy.
“Here. Be sure to report me anything weird you might observe along the travels.” → Shen
“Woah there, boy. I feel flattered, but I’d rather receive the ring from a big-breasted hottie. Even more, I’d prefer to be the one to give it, you know?” → Alexander
“What c**p are you talking now? Just take this telepathic ring so we could keep in contact.” → Shen
“Eh? So it’s not a proposing ring?” → Alexander
“Do you want to die?” → Shen
After Alexander put on the ring, he tried it out and because he was unable to control his thoughts all that well, the ring was activated almost all the time every few minutes. While I flew through the sky I would constantly hear his voice in my head, random thoughts invading my mind.
God damn, we have no more bacon… Hm, I wonder if there will be any babes in the brat’s kingdom… Do they eat pork? I wonder if they’ll have pork… My feet are kinda sore… Wait… what the f**k?! I have a hole in my shoe! That f*****g craftsman! He sold me c**p!… Will there be any babes with nice bodies? → Alexander
For the love of all! Take off that damn ring! → Shen
His thoughts were all over the place and they echoed so irritatingly in my head that it made me burst at him telepathically.
Woah?! Who da f**k?! → Alexander
Who else but me, Shen?! If you can’t control your own damn thoughts then take off the ring! → Shen
Oh? Ahahaha~ how embarrassing. Sorry, sorry~. I’ll wear it the moment I’ll need to talk to you. → Alexander
Not “talk” but “report”. I don’t need to uselessly chat with you. → Shen
Wow, what an ass… Ops. → Alexander
… If you don’t want me to take a fly towards you and take off that ring together with the finger, you better do as I say. → Shen
Woah s**t! This brat is scary!… Damn, I did it again. Okay, okay! I’ll do it now, geez. → Alexander
I massaged my temples as I flew toward the nearest big city, flying above other villages and towns. However, before I could calm down, I hear his voice again.
One thing I have to ask before taking this thing off. → Alexander
What is it? → Shen
You said that what’s mine is now yours, right? Then, how should I proceed with backstabbers? → Alexander
His voice calm but eerie, I was able to tell that he was being serious. I also turned more solemn and asked:
Does that mean you got some rats into your group? → Shen
Some of the new members. They wanted to follow us, thinking that we’re just another bunch of thugs that want to steal, rape and kill like any other bandits. They gave me a few difficult times before even in the village, thinking that the women of the village are just some “free toys” to play with. → Alexander
I see… Remember, the way to Antara must remain as secret as possible. If you think they’re just some rats then do as you see fit. The same for future members. → Shen
Alright then! Tomorrow someone will wake up without a head! Hahahaha~! → Alexander
As you wish. → Shen
After giving out my last reply with an indifferent tone, I closed the conversation and continued my flight. At one point, I landed once again atop a great tree and took out the map to see where I was and just how much longer I had to fly to reach a great city.
So, I’m beside this little town named Biros, which is below a city named Iesha… Hm~ around 6 hours by carriage and I should arrive there… But with my flying speed, in less than an hour and I should be able to even see the walls. Alright, on my way to Iesha. → Shen
But just as I was about to shot out flying once again, Yuri’s voice resounded inside my mind, his connection weak and almost fading.
S…Sir Shen…? → Yuri
Yuri? Focus on the connection. Ignore the interferences and concentrate on the connection. → Shen
A-Ah… Is it better now…? → Yuri
More or less. How come you know how to use telepathy? → Shen
Sir Ryu… taught me. He said it will… be helpful in the future… → Yuri
I see. So? What do you need from me? → Shen
Sir Shen… We just passed the… Victoria’s borders. Where are you…? → Yuri
What. Only now? I’m almost reaching Iesha City. → Shen
I-Iesha?!- → Yuri
Then the connection dropped and I had to remake it again, this time more stable.
Did Sir Shen just say Iesha?! But that city is more than 3 days of flight from the borders! How is he so fast?… → Yuri
Mister Yuri. → Shen
Woah?! → Yuri
It seems he wasn’t aware that the connection got restored, his shout making my temples throb again. The reason why I had to deal with two beginners in telepathy on the same day made me feel even more against the idea of teaching it to someone else.
So? Do you have anything else to ask? Or can I just continue on my way? → Shen
Eh? Ah! Y-yes! Continue on your way toward Iesha and please wait for everyone there. Afterward, we’ll have to meet up with the queen inside Donaria capital and report everything that happened. Is this fine with you, sir? → Yuri
It’s alright. Well, if this was all then I’ll close the conversation- → Shen
Ah! Please wait for a moment! → Yuri
He instantly interrupted me then added something that stunned me for a moment.
It seems that King Tian separated from Bururiba’s group on his own and decided to come with you, Sir Shen. → Yuri
That damn Ryu! → Shen
I instinctively cursed at Ryu for not informing me about this beforehand. Yuri was stunned for a moment then continued sheepishly.
S-Sir Shen? → Yuri
No… Nothing. However, why did he decided such? Is there a reason? → Shen
He said that he wants to search for allies that might be able to help him to retake his throne. He’s worried for his people and the Sava Kingdom is known to be merciless with their vassals… Or so King Jian said. → Yuri
If he said so, then that’s how it must be. I know Tian all too well and I can say that he’s a trustworthy person. As for to come with me… I’ll make him play an important role in the future plans, but his role as a bandit won’t change for now. → Shen
Understood. I will tell him your words. → Yuri
Alright. Then until we’ll meet at Iesha City. → Shen
Until then. → Yuri
After finishing the connection with Yuri, my flight toward Iesha was a peaceful one. However, after I reached the walls I found myself unable to enter because I had no money.
… Should I just sleep on a tree then? But… → Shen
I then remembered Sylvia’s pouting and angry face. Even though I had no reason to care about what she thought or said to me, for some reasons I still had a feeling to go with her words.
But I have no money on me, while Sylvia told me not to sleep outside or in something that’s not at least resembling a home… Oh well, I guess I’ll make my own house then! → Shen
Three whole days passed when I finally get a message from Yuri.
Sir Shen? We arrived at Iesha City. May I know at what inn you’re staying? → Yuri
I got no inn. → Shen
Excuse me? → Yuri
I said I didn’t rent a room in any inn. → Shen
A little bit surprised, Yuri then asked unsurely.
T-then where are you staying at the moment? → Yuri
Oh, right beside the forest from the Southern Gate of the city. As you go out from the city, go in front of the forest and walk to the left until you reached the other end. There, you should see a little wooden hut. → Shen
A… a hut? → Yuri
Yes, a hut. → Shen
Not even an hour later, Yuri and his group arrived at my place right beside the forest, welcomed by a little house sculpted from a great trunk of a tree. The walls, the roof, the wooden windows and door, everything was sculpted from the same gigantic piece of wood.
The entire group was left dumbfounded at the sight, then Yuri stepped forward and knocked on the wooden door.
“Err… Shen?” → Yuri
“Yes, yes. Please enter.” → Shen
My voice resounded from inside the little wooden house then Yuri and the others entered the surprisingly spacious place with surprise written all over their faces. The little Jinxy and all the fairies even had their mouth agape, watching how everything inside was only made from the wood inside the log. There was sculpted a wooden bed, a nightstand with two shelves, besides, it a big wardrobe with two doors and right beside it another one but with four shelves inside. Beside every window, there was a little shelf while on top of them, different tableware or some other things used in the kitchen or inside the house, everything made from the same wood. In the middle of it all at a table with four chairs, I was sitting relaxed while sipping some tea from a wooden cup I sculpted exactly from the same wood. I then looked at their dumbfounded faces with a calm expression and asked:
“Yes? Is there a problem?” → Shen
“Wait, Sir Shen?! How did you change your appearance?!” → Yuri
If not for his Soul Eyes to observe the unique chain-seal on my body, he would’ve never guessed that it was me. The others also starred somewhat confused my way, then completely baffled after Yuri’s exclamation, questioning my appearance as well.
“Please don’t mind it. This is my true appearance since back on Earth and it’s also a way to evade troubles. I’ll also ask you all to call me Johan in front of anyone else.” → Shen
“Uhm, err…” → Yuri
Yuri was the first to open his mouth but was confused as to what to say. However, Alfarr asked as direct as always, Zhin following right after:
“Putting aside the appearance, why is Sir Shen outside the city and living inside this, uhm… wooden house?” → Alfarr
“Moreover, did you build this house by yourself?” → Zhin
“Hm~… Let’s say that I invested my money in something else and had nowhere else to stay in until you lot arrived. And yes, I sculpted it out of one log. Even though it’s my first time sculpting a house, I can say it’s pretty good.” → Shen
“Y-you invested them?!” → Tom
Tom was dumbfounded by my words and wanted to ask, but I stopped him right after I got up.
“What I did with my money, you lot don’t need to know. And now that everyone is here, we can go on forward to Victoria’s Capital: Donaria.” → Shen
“Uh, alright then.” → Yuri
Yuri scratched his head and everyone exited the house. I then opened my inventory and placed the hut inside it. After I got everything back in my inventory, I turned around and asked:
“Alright, now I suppose we need to continue North-… Guys?” → Shen
“… Sir Shen? May I ask where did the wooden house go?” → Darius
“Inside my inventory. Let’s go.” → Shen
The dark fairy Darius asked completely baffled and even Yuri was in a state of shock, mostly because he understood what had happened.
D-did he put that entire huge house inside his own inventory in one go!? Was it possible? → Yuri
Normally, it wasn’t possible. But after I finished sculpting the entire house in just 2 hours, I had enough time to research the System we achieved after being summoned into this world, and just like with the skills, by intently focusing on the spatial inventory I was able to insert even larger items by simply uniting the free slots inside the inventory.
And I only had to unite 9 slots for this wooden house. From the total of 50 slots I got, I could say this is a good exchange. → Shen
After finding out some things about the inventory, I continued examining the other windows the system is showing. Even though the status description hasn’t shown much, the skill window and the spatial inventory seemed to be more than just what the game made us believe.
I simply brushed their next questions with only “We’re players. We can do a lot of things.” then rushed them to continue on our travels. Before we could all set flight toward the capital of Victoria, I consulted with Tian about the external affairs. His wish to ally with the Vestria continent while his kingdom is in Nostrung. This was a goal which hasn’t been heard of even in the historical books of this world.
“If this alliance will form, you might be the first one in thousands of years who would shake the balance of power between Vestria and Nostrung empires.” → Shen
I looked intently at Jian and I was able to see a frown filled with worry and at the same time, with an unyielding resolution.
“If so, then be it. My people, my kingdom is now suffering because of Nostrung’s interventions. As such, I have no longer any obligations to bow my head in front of them. I will take back my throne and I will eradicate the entire palace of Sava kingdom, then put them under the Jian flag.” → Jian
“… In that case, I only wish you luck and you have my full support. Maybe not as the founder of Antara, but as one of the self-called best mages on Sario.” → Shen
“I thank Lord Shen for this, and I will need your help a lot in the future.” → Jian
We shook hands for a future agreement, then started moving toward the Victoria capital. On our way there I continued examining the skill-window, scrolling through the skills and trying to find another way I might be able to organize it:
The skill-window seems to absorb any kind of skill or spell I used and integrated it into my own set of skills together with descriptions on how to use them and the effect. In case there are any backlashes those are written down as well together with the bonus effects. The more dangerous ones which can harm the user are written with a blood-red color, the ones which can kill masses in seconds are written with black, while the skills above “Great-Spells” rank are written with bright yellow and, in case the skills are also deadly, half with a color while half with the other. Anything else is written with white. Also, there are the skills or spells which can be made into Great Skills or Great Spells simply by imbuing more mana or chi into them. And this is also written with yellow in the description of the respective skills. → Shen
I then opened the skills-window and saw more bars on which there were written:
[Frost], [Fire], [Wind], [Earth], [Darkness], [Light], [Soul].
And every bar showed more skills that had the respective elements. At the base of [Earth], [Darkness], [Light], [Soul] skill-bars, there were more skills that had their names written with a brown-yellow, purple-dark, golden-white and ghastly-blue respectively, showing that the respective skills were above the norm and noting in comparison with any other skill inside the Skill-bar.
These skills… → Shen
I watched them all and some of them even made me confused as from where they appeared:
[Ira Daemon: Dei Incarcerata]
[The Holy Rosse Cross Set]
I have no recollection of ever using [Nucleum Eruptio], [Dei Incarcerata] or [Jovis Noctem], as for [The Holy Rosse Cross Set], it seems that once I open it, more other skills appear; the [Space Control], [Devil’s Set] and so on as well. So now there are also branches of skills, huh? And for some reason, I also have something like [Buddha’s Word: Banishing Devil]. What? I’m not even Buddhist. And [Personal Deva]? Just how do these skills work? The description is quite confusing, on all of them is written: [Must be in the respective state to use]… Just what the hell is that? In what state? → Shen
I felt like I already heard some of these skills but I was just as sure that I never truly used them.