Chapter 85: That which is hidden (2)

It took them a full day of riding, but Aleks and Nelay had quietly returned to the meeting point where Lenia and Aleks’s army were awaiting their return. They had entered quietly because Aleks didn’t want to deal with Lenia right after arriving and instead wanted to freshen up. He knew he couldn’t avoid the issue though and Nelay had disappeared immediately after their arrival. Aleks felt somewhat helpless about her behavior but he also found it to be amusing.

“MASTER!” Lenia’s loud voice could be heard clearly piercing through the din of the military camp. She came stomping into Aleks’s tent equipped in full armor with her shield on her back and sword sheathed at her hip. It seemed almost as if she were ready to go to war as she rushed towards Aleks’s side.

Aleks had already removed his mask and changed his clothes and his servants were busily grooming him while he washed his face when she arrived.

Lenia immediately began complaining to Aleks incessantly while Aleks finished freshening up. He appeared to be listening to her words, but wasn’t paying the least bit attention. He already understood why she was complaining and didn’t pay it any mind. Instead he was wondering if this was what it was like to be married. He had never been married before, but had heard stories from those who were in the past. Mostly they were complaints about their spouse or significant other.

She finally ran out of breath by the time Aleks was done and sitting on his temporary throne and ended her tirade with a, “How could you?”

Aleks simply waved away his servants and looked at Lenia, “Are you done?”

“Yes.” Lenia said while blushing in embarrassment. She had realized that she had let her emotions get the best of her and suddenly felt shy and nervous about losing control.

“Do you wish to grow stronger?” Aleks asked, still completely unperturbed.

Lenia nodded vehemently in response.

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Aleks beckoned her closer and said, “Kneel.”

Lenia kneeled right before Aleks’s feet while holding her breath. She suddenly felt even more nervous and couldn’t look Aleks in the eye, instead staring down at the floor. Aleks stood up from his throne and walked in a circle around Lenia while his eyes seemed to bore into her very being. Her body shook slightly from his deep and piercing gaze.

Somewhere nearby, Nelay was completely hidden and watching Aleks in the tent. Of course, Aleks was aware of her presence as none of his creations could hide themselves from him. Lenia, however, had no idea that Nelay was hiding nearby and silently observing. Aleks didn’t say anything to Nelay and continued with his actions until finally standing before the kneeling Lenia.

“Lenia, you are the first of my creations and I especially modeled you after my mother in this life who is now dead, and partially after my sister who may still be alive. Do you know why?”

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Aleks voice was soft, but loud enough for Lenia and Nelay to hear. He was saying this not just for her, but also for Nelay.

“I don’t know master.” Lenia said, her voice quivering slightly.

“I never knew love.”

Those words were somewhat difficult for him to say, but he didn’t hesitate.

“I never knew my mother or father in my original life. I don’t know if I had a sister. I had a brother.. once.. but we were not related by blood and I realize now that I never truly reciprocated the brotherhood between us. But in this life, even if for only a brief moment, I had a family that loved me even though they did not know what I was. I am a monster. I am not one destined to love or to know peace and happiness or joy. You represent that brief glimpse, that single moment of repose. You are my memorial to the one thing that I shall never possess.”

Aleks’s words fell heavily upon Lenia’s shoulders. Her heart ached deeply for she could sense the deep despair that resided in her master’s heart. She finally looked up to glance at him, but he wasn’t looking at her, instead his gaze rested upwards to some unforeseen sight.

Her master took a deep breath and almost as if releasing a deep sigh, he said, “Ah, such irony, such hypocrisy. Despite my deep regret and unwillingness, I still desire it. As if to fill that abyss that lies in my heart, I still lust after it. I am filled with envy and my arrogance shall not be quenched, for I know that out there in that vast and lonely void of space lie the hidden truth I seek. The closer I get, the more my humanity fades away and it is only when my eyes fall upon you that I am reminded of the cruel hand of fate.”

He then looked at her with eyes devoid of life and uttered one last phrase, “For I had all that I needed, but I threw it all away.”

“I don’t understand master.” Lenia replied with uncertainty.

“It doesn’t matter, all you need know is that you are special to me. You shall always be so. You are my guardian and my knight. Through you, my feet stand firm upon solid rock. The foundation of my will takes root in your steadfast resolve and with your shield, my domain will ever prosper.” Aleks said while cupping Lenia’s face in his hands causing her face to turn bright red.

Aleks’s eyes glowed brilliantly as numerous symbols and numbers flashed across his retina and his hands began to shimmer in a warm light. Lenia didn’t even realize, but Aleks had already begun to advance her class as soon as he spoke and touched her face.

“Henceforth you will be my Eternal Shield.”

Name

Lenia

Eternal Shield

     

Class

Warrior

Knight

Warlord

Guardian Sentinel

Master Rank

Level

30    

30

30

10

Total Level 100

Vitality

300

600

900

600

Total HP 2400

Magic

0

0

0

0

0

PHY. ATK

60

60

90

50

Total PHY ATK 260

PHY. DEF

60

90

90

60

Total PHY DEF 300

Agility

30

30

30

40

Total AGI 130

MAG RES

30

60

60

50

Total MAG RES 200

Abilities

Martial Sweep (Attacks up to three enemies within 5 feet of the user, PHY. ATK must exceed PHY. DEF)

Bulwark (Redirects a portion of the damage from the target to self, scales with damage received,PHY. ATK must exceed PHY. DEF)

Double Strike (Attack twice in rapid succession, Second attack reduced PHY. ATK by 25%)

Daunting Strike (Powerful strike that adds 25% to PHY. ATK, Deals double damage when target is stunned)

Knight’s Aura (Continuous aura that boosts PHY DEF by 10% of allies within a ten feet radius)

Shield Bash (Chance to Stun PHY ATK vs. Agility)

Valorous Charge (Charge forward at 2x speed causing knockdown effect and double damage, Ignores 15% PHY DEF, can be dodged with high Agility)

Warlord’s Aura (Continuous aura that boosts PHY ATK by 10% of allies within a ten feet radius)

Penetrating Strike (Ignores 20% of PHY DEF)

 

Guardian Shield (Combines existing auras and provides an additional boost to PHY DEF and MAG RES by 10%, Total aura boost: 10% PHY ATK, 20% PHY DEF, 10% MAG RES, Affects the user and all allies within a 100 foot radius)

Indomitable Will (Immunity to all negative mind effects such as fear, sleep, domination, etc.)

Repelling Force (Repels 15% of all damage to VIT back to the attacker as damage)

Ethereal Slash (An attack that ignores PHY DEF and directly damages VIT doing critical damage x2, Can only be used once per battle)

Fighting stances

Dual Wielding

Shield bearer

Two-handed

 

One-handed Bastard Sword

When he finished advancing her class, Lenia didn’t know how to respond. She closed her eyes and reflected on her new strength and power. Aleks let go of her face and sat back down on his throne and watched her patiently. Lenia continued to kneel as she delved deeply into herself with her consciousness and began to fully understand her new strength and abilities. After several moments, she opened her eyes once more and stood.

“Thank you master.”

Aleks nodded and smiled lightly, “Are you satisfied?”

“Yes.”

Lenia blushed once more remembering her embarrassment and she backed away from Aleks and bowed. Nelay, seeing all of this, finally slipped away without saying anything without anyone knowing what her intention was in hiding there.

“I must return to my duties.”

Before she turned, Aleks called out to her, “Have the adventurers we sent out in advance returned yet?”

“Not yet master.” Lenia said with a hint of frustration. She was growing impatient and wanted to move on to their objective already.

Although Aleks felt the call of the last piece of Origin that still existed, he didn’t know its exact location only the general direction. The adventurers had been hired ahead of time and sent out in advance to find the correct path and location. Since they were well experienced and knowledgeable of the terrain and geography of the Steppes, it was only a matter of time.

“It’s fine, then we will continue to head to the next predetermined meeting point and will continue to advance until we meet up with them. You may go back to your duties. Do not disappoint my expectations for you.”

Lenia bowed once more and left. Aleks remained alone in his tent and his gaze lingered on the spot that Lenia had been standing in. Only he knew what thoughts were burdening his mind.

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