Aleks stared out of the window of his carriage as he contemplated his thoughts silently. Lenia was somewhat uncomfortable, but she said nothing, not wishing to disturb her master from his thoughts. They had been traveling by carriage for almost a week and most of the time there had been an awkward silence between the two. Or at the least, Lenia was beginning to feel awkward because of the silence.
The carriage was expensive and had a variety of enchantments placed on it which made it both comfortable to sit within and soundproof to the outside. This meant that the only sound that could currently be heard was the sound of their breathing and the occasional sound caused by Lenia’s fidgeting. There were some guards that were escorting them that had been hired from a station just outside Andor’s Edge, but this was mostly for appearances and not because they needed protection. ‘Soul Marionettes’ and ‘Soul Puppets’ could only last a short period of time so it was necessary to hire the escorts.
With a few carriages in tow it could easily attract bandits, but with so many guards accompanying them it kept the bandits away. Aleks and Lenia had nothing to fear from bandits, but they wanted to keep a low profile. Also, with several wagons loaded with their spoils, they needed manpower in order to manage their possessions. The guards were similar to mercenaries but they worked on contracts and were relatively trustworthy. Even if they had any nefarious thoughts, one look at Lenia when she released her aura made sure they kept those thoughts to themselves. The mercenaries were intermediate class beings with their leader being at the peak of intermediate. None of them could match up to Lenia and even if the dozen or so of them fought her together, they would most likely lose.
Aleks could just have easily put everything into his ‘Soul Realm’, but his powers were too unique and would draw attention when arriving at their destination. It was much better to give everyone an illusion of him being a young master setting out on an expedition. This was the reason why he went to all this trouble. The upside to all of this was he had plenty of time to consider his plans as well as sort out his thoughts from everything that had happened. He was still somewhat perturbed by the thought that his sister might still be alive.
Even though Aleks had been reincarnated into other lives in the past, he had never considered those lives to be truly his. He was more like a passenger being taken on a ride he had no control of. While he lived those lives he had no memories of who he was and only when returning to the cycle of reincarnation would he be aware of his true identity. Because of this, those lives seemed as mere illusions. The only lives he considered to truly be his own were his original life and his current one. He was also losing the memories of those other lives and the only memories which remained were the ones he considered to be truly his own.
With that being said, he had no blood related siblings in his original lifetime and his parents had died when he was very young. Having been raised by the state and indoctrinated in their ideology, while also harboring immense hatred for religion and those who were religious, he had lived a lonely life. The only bright spot was his one closest friend and brother, but even then he was still distant and cold towards others despite many wishing to develop a relationship with him. There was only one thing that drove him then and in this life, he had fallen into a similar role.
But this life is different. I had a family that loved me even though I was unable to receive their love. I had a sister who adored me, though I found her to be a nuisance. I only realized what I had, when it was taken from me. Even still, my hatred has not abated and my determination is not one whit less. While I hope that was truly her, I also don’t wish to see her. It’s better if I don’t involve her in any of this. Let her live a life of peace and safety somewhere far from me.
Having come to this conclusion, Aleks finally turned to look at Lenia.
“I wish to ask you a question and I hope you will be honest with me.”
Lenia turned her head to the side and looked at Aleks with curiosity, “Of course, I would never lie to you.”
“Do you think I am evil?”
Lenia wasn’t expecting her master to ask her such a question and it was one she couldn’t immediately respond to. In a sense, she understood what good and evil meant, but at the same time she also understood that things were not always so black and white. Her master had spoken to her on occasion of his past and she was aware of his unique situation.
Could she put herself in his position and understand the plight and horror that had been his existence? It would be simple to say yes by the standard of many in this world, but how many of them could honestly say that if they were forced to endure what he had that they could retain their morality, or even more so their sanity?
Lenia’s ability to think on a more complex and deeper level had improved greatly over the time they had been traveling. Her maturity and consciousness had reached the level of an adult and she no longer was as confused or muddled as she had been.
“I don’t believe that I have the right to judge your actions master. You created me, you gave me life and without you I would be nothing. I can’t truly relate to your experiences and I can only guess at your pain. I will stand by your side always no matter the consequences.”
Aleks was pleased with her response and a light smile spread to his lips though it was covered by his mask.
“You have truly matured well, I am pleased.”
Lenia smiled but she no longer acted with the same enthusiasm as she had before. This was because she realized that it wasn’t appropriate to act in such an over exaggerated manner. That didn’t change the fact that his compliment had truly made her happy and giddy on the inside.
“I should explain some things to you now that you can fully comprehend. You have your natural instincts when it comes to battle because I made you that way, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for growth or that there is nothing left to learn. You have an advantage over others because you have me. The ‘Tower of Babel’ system grants me information that others do not have and understanding these principles should aid you in future battles. Normally, those who have a class are able to generally sense the power of others with classes through their aura. Every being that has a class also has an aura, but this type of sensing ability isn’t very accurate. They can normally only sense with some accuracy those who are either close to them in level or beneath them. It is possible for those possessing higher levels, or those with special abilities or spells, to suppress their auras which may confuse others as well. My ‘Soul Analysis’ ability allows me to see without any doubt, the class, level, and abilities of any mortal being that has not achieved divinity. It is not yet powerful enough to be used on gods or some peak demigods, but that isn’t necessary at this time. Do you understand so far?”
Lenia nodded confidently and leaned forward slightly, “Yes, I understand. I have fought several times now and have felt the differences in aura and have effectively used my aura to intimidate those of lower level on many occasions. This has been part of my instincts since you created me master and is easy to understand.”
“Right, this is the basic battle instinct that anyone who has a class understands. However, there is an underlying system behind it all which is a mystery to all but me, and perhaps the gods. Although I’m not certain how much they are able to discern with their power of divinity. There are also spells and abilities which can give some of the information that I see, but it isn’t as detailed as what the ‘Tower of Babel’ shows me. To put it simply, you have what are called stats and these stats can be displayed numerically. You have seen these numbers and symbols on my mask. Vitality determines your overall physique and condition as well as stamina. This is both a display of your health and also your pool for using abilities. If your Vitality were ever to decrease below 0, you would die. Both PHY. ATK. and PHY. DEF. represent your battle capabilities and is a way to quantify how effective you are in battle. This does not include equipment, spells, or abilities that boost your combat effectiveness. In order to do significant damage, your PHY. ATK. must exceed the PHY. DEF. of your opponent. A normal male citizen without a class would possess a PHY. DEF. and PHY. ATK. of 10 on average. You could consider yourself to be approximately twenty times more physically powerful than an average mortal. AGI is a representation of your speed, mobility, and deftness. Again if you consider the average human mortal as having an AGI of 10, you would be approximately nine times faster. MAG RES functions similar to PHY DEF except against magic. These are the most relevant stats for you and you should do your best to familiarize yourself with them. Keep them in mind and this will help you in battle. If someone is faster, you know their AGI is above yours and you will need to find a way to adapt. If your opponent isn’t taking visible damage from your attacks or your attacks are too shallow, you should understand it is because their PHY. DEF. is too high and you need a means of overcoming this obstacle.”
Aleks continued his explanation until he was interrupted by a sudden knock on the carriage door. Although the carriage was soundproof, there was a device on the outside of the carriage door in order to inform those within that someone wished to speak with them.
“Hmm, well that was most of what I wished to say. Open the door Lenia.”
Lenia opened the door and peaked out, noticing one of the escorts standing outside the carriage door. She noticed the carriage had stopped moving.
“Ma’am, we have arrived at our destination. We are currently going through the checkpoint and it will take some time for the city guards to inspect the carriages. I will inform you of when we are ready to enter the city.”
Lenia nodded and then closed the door. She repeated what the escort had said to Aleks.
“Good, we have finally arrived. It’s been more than a month since I left Brock in this place. I have no doubt he will have a few words to say to me.”
Lenia had heard the name Brock mentioned before by her master and so she was curious who this person was exactly.
“What words will he have to say to you master?”
Aleks chuckled, “certainly not good ones. I didn’t exactly inform him of where I was going or what I was doing. He has probably been pulling his hair out in worry. Listen Lenia, no matter what Brock says or does, you are not to do anything. Is that clear?”