20 「The Scripture of the Dead」
Lowering his fingers from the corner of his forehead, Jack's eyes rested on the caskets resting beside the base of the Citadel. There was a large plot no too far away which was being built by the golems. It was being gated in as trees and bushes were being planted as decoration. It was the beginning to a cemetery. A cemetery that looked probably thousands of times better than the one in E-Rantel.
Those who've been killed and laid to rest here, will never raise again as a member of the undead. As it was partly because of Jack reciting the spell of 「True Death」over the bodies.
Ninya stood beside him as they were both looking over their friends closed new homes.
In the hindsight of his mind, he could still hear their voices. The friendly voices of Peter, Lukrut and Dyne. Out of all of them though it was clear that Jack would miss Dyne the most as out of all of them he was the most accepting.
"Ninya... The Slane Theocracy has made a move to the South. I'm going to intercept, will you be alright alone?" His voice was calm despite the words hidden in his eyes.
He knew he had to go, but he didn't want to leave her here. However at the same time, he knew he couldn't take her with him. Like their friends, she was much to weak to fight at this time.
"Jack..." Ninya appeared to smile up at him, emotion was overflowing from the rims of her eyes. She had wished that it be raining to hide her tears, but that be not the case. "I want to continue my training."
Jack stared through her with these words coming from her mouth. She wanted to continue her training? Was it because it would cause her pain, or was it because it would make her stronger? Or was it becaue of both? He understood the power of emotions and things that it could make people do to themselves or say to others.
"Are you sure?"
"I need to become stronger, otherwise even if I find my sister, I'll be unable to help her."
Slowly Jack began to nod, understanding her plight. She understood that her friends were far to weak to go against a mere two people. The fight had been three against two, and from what she saw, Momon was the only one who landed blows on the enemy.
"As long as it is what you want," Jack sighed as he brought a hand up to run his fingers through her short hair. Caressing the side of her head, tracing the top of her ear, before letting his hand fall back to his side she could let her cheek sink into his hand.
"Thank you," she lowered her head to look at the ground, feeling shame and guilt. "Thank you for asking me to stay here with you while they went ahead."
This was indeed on her mind. She had lost great friends, but she hadn't lost her life and that was thanks to him. His confession and kindness, it inadvertently kept her alive.
"There is no need to thank me," A shallow smile was resting on his lips as he took a step back from her, slowly increasing his distance. "If I hadn't stopped you from going, you would've experienced death and lived through it."
Ninya's lips parted as he said this, saying that she would have lived even if she had died.
He had placed the spell of「Delayed Revival」 in the back of her mind. It was a delayed spell that was activated subconsciously before the brain stopped working, bringing the user back several minutes afterward.
"Thank you..." She said again after the awkward pause before suddenly, he vanished upon reciting a single spell 「Greater Teleportation」. He was going alone to confront the Black Scripture which had just encountered a powerful Vampire known none other than Shalltear Bloodfallen.
After a quick visit to the coroner in the E-Rantel Fortress City, he made his appearance in the forest. In his hand was a bloodied brown sack. The blood was drying already, so it was assumed whatever was inside wasn't at all that fresh.
He could hear the people that he deemed his targets shouting, "Retreat!" Several soldiers and members of the Black Scripture were making a run for the border of the Re-Estize Kingdom.
Many of them were unsure if the power of the world item would even hold the Vampire at bay.
It had been capable of taking out two soldiers, bodyguards, and putting Kaire in critically lethal state.
What as their mission in this Kingdom? It was unknown what their purpose was, but it was very well assumed it was something to do with attacking the Kingdom. However that was not the case. It had something to do with the divination spell used on Commander Nigun Grid Luin which was countered.
His eyes traced over the seated members of Black Scripture which were present. This included their Captain, who had black hair and what appeared to be red eyes. He was strong compared to the others present, physically anyway.
His attire was also rather impressive.
His eyes skimmed the others though and quickly he took note of Cedren who was dead and Karie who was severely wounded wearing a world item.
"Huh..." Jack stared at the item, he already knew what it was since it was from YGGDRASIL and was indeed a world item worth getting. He'd decide right there and then that would be his target.
Yet before he left his cover behind the trees, he wanted to take in the sights of the other seated members present. Using 「Greater Identification」on all of them one by one.
They were clearly stronger than the average joe. Especially the higher he went up the food chain. However, they weren't necessarily on the level of fully fledged players or Dragons. Except for the Captain that is. Apparently he was considered a member of the God-kin, descendants of players.
The idea that they considered players Gods sounded pretty good to him. The only problem was their eccentric nature to believe humanity was on the top. To him that was a grand mistake. Though he had yet to know that the Black Scripture had a half-Elf on their roster.
With a single use of this spell, the dress being worn by Kaire vanished as she was being carried to safety. This immediately caused just about everyone to stop and regroup.
"Get into formation! We're not alone!"
The Captain was quick to get all the members present into one location. They took a circular formation. Soldiers would dig their long shields into the ground, while the seated members took a look around from where they stood in the center.
He had his spear at the ready.
Jack grinned as he had the dress hanging over his left arm. He then snapped his fingers, causing the bloodied sack to vanish from his own hold and reappear directly above the group.
As the bag fell from the sky, it turned and opened. And from there Jack began to whistle a tune, one from his own world and the song itself had been stuck in his head for a long time.
"Oh my darlin' Oh My Darlin' Oh My Darlin' You are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorrow, Clementine."
The decapitated head of Lady Clementine, landed with a putt sound directly in front of her brother, the fifth seat of the group. He was a summoner and they looked quiet alike.
His name was Quaiesse Quintia, also commonly referred to as the One Man Army.
When the head landed, bounced, and rolled to his feet. He stared down at it as the head of his sister stared right back up at him.
His sister was a traitor who was attempting to escape from the Theocracy's assassins Scripture. It was clear someone else however had killed her, took her head and dropped it in front of them.
"The former Ninth Seat." The Seventh seat seated as she pushed her purple framed glasses closer to her eyes. She observed the cut mark, it was clean. The decapitation was post mortem.
She was dressed in a female schoolgirl uniform, had light brown hair and orange eyes. She was quick to look in the direction of the male who had teleported it to their location as he stood up with the dress in hand. Yet as she went to speak, her jaw hung low as she watched the clothing vanish into a rip in space time. It was just like the Gods in which they worshipped, the inventory.
"What's with the bunny ears?" Jack asked casually as he came stepping out into the clearing before the group. The soldiers of the Scripture moved and formed a semi-circle with their weapons pointed towards the unknown man.
"You are aware that uniform is for girls who attend school, right?" His head lulled to the side as he wasn't given an esteemed response by the seventh seated member of the scripture.
Overall she looked cute, but at the same time it just didn't feel right. Out of all of them, she was wearing modern clothes and even carrying a modern bag.
"Identify yourself!" Shouted the Captain.
"Cipher. Or Ci, for short. Your not my friends, so I'm not going to bother giving you my true name."
"Not our friend?" Laughed out the second seat known as Time Turbulence. One could only assume what kind of powers or power they're known for using from the name.
"Huh..." Jack looked over this person who was dressed in green, with green eyes and medium brown hair. "Almost thought yo were a girl." his eyes were stuck on the miniature hat on the top of his head.
Turbulence froze for a brief second as his hand idled on his weapon.
Two members of the group were already dead, the other was going to die if they didn't get her back to the Theocracy. What were they going to do? A battle of Attrition? This man was stronger than the Vampire that they had locked into a mind control.
So what were they going to do?
"You have the Ruinous Beauty, will you not let us go?"
"After the Sunlit Scripture attacked Carne Village?" Jack chuckled with malice, "You'll just keep coming back into Re-Estize, and I can't have that. Your wounded will die. And your dead, will stay dead." His chuckling got quite a bit louder as he marched towards them until he was only standing mere meters away.
From the corner of his eye, he saw movement. Yet as he kept count of the group, he noticed someone was missing. There was just an after image.
Turning to the side, he set his eyes on a boy in green. It was Turbulence. His rapier was mere centimeters from his back. It would've definitely pierced through this back and through his heart if he had one. He could xonly chuckle as they assumed he was amongst the living.
Taking a few steps to the side, the spell was deactivated and the young man found himself stumbling forward and looking to the side once he caught himself.
The Third Seat of the Black Scripture raised a brow rather intrigued. This individual wasn't dressed as a mage, not a typical one. He looked like a soldier out of armor, or an officer of sorts, than a field operative or a warrior.
"Most Intriguing..." He himself was a mage, powerful in his own right as apparent of his accessories and magical items which surrounded him. Strange orbs which flanked him on either side, and the relic weapon in his hand. "And what are you?"
"A God, what else would I be?" The seventh seat might as well already had this conclusion as Jack shared it and tilted his head slightly. Though he was just playing on their religion.
Suddenly that's when he felt a poke against his side, a rapier was poking against his Divine class attire, but it wasn't even tearing through it. Jack just glanced on over to the boy who had attacked him again with this dumbfounded expression on his poor little face.
A split second later, a red line appeared across the young man's neck before the head simply rolled off his neck and plopped onto the ground. Blood began to shoot out like a fountain as the body took a few steps back before falling onto the ground twitching and convulsing.
Of course that is just how it appeared to the other members of the scripture. He had once again used 「Stop Time」, to halt all those present and their perceptions of time and cut off the boy's head.
With a hand stretched out to the body, he said one thing「True Death」.
All of their mouths began to open slowly in shock that the second seat fell so easily. However, the Captain wasn't so shocked. He was the descendant of a God, he was sure as this person was a God, they'd be much stronger than anyone of them here.
That's when the Captain stepped forward, his men moving aside like separating the red sea.
He pressed the butt of his pole arm weapon into the ground and stared through Jack for a moment before focusing. His orders were to have his people retreat, but this man was standing in their way.
"You won't let us pass?"
"No. You will die here. Most of you..." Jack's eyes wandered on over to the Seventh Seat, then back towards the Captain.
"I challenge you to defeat me in a one on one duel. If you kill me before they make it to the border, they're fair game."
"Dutiful until the end it seems..." Jack said as he admired what the man was trying to do. "But I'm not an honorable person. I am a thief, I am killer. I love to be loved, fear to be feared. Anyone who stands in my way of my interests will perish."
Just then Jack's eyes noticed the crackling of electricity, followed by an attack
The Third Seat, the mage looking fella, fired a single bolt of third tier magic at the man. Just as it reached his skin it fizzled out, hardly leaving a burn mark on his tunic.
However the one thing that was entirely visible to them was the fact that his skeleton was now visible. Jack stood there with semi-transparent skin, his skull and sapphire jeweled eyes were entirely exposed.
"...What are you...?"
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They were left speechless as a weapon appeared in his right hand.
It was a staff approximately five feet and five inches in height. Five more inches and it would've been the same height as himself. Its head was in the shape of a draconic serpentine beast bent at the neck, facing forward. Its eyes were glowing a bright blue, and the entire body of the item appeared to look like the scape of the foreign night sky. It seemed to have a glass-like texture.
This item was an overpowered magic staff with modified values known as "The Lord's Century," which he had created in game mere months before the servers were supposed to shutdown.
He hadn't had a chance to use it.
Jack then mouthed a single word which caused confusion,「Assimilation」.
This spell was invisible, various tendrils began to slither through the grass at the feet of his prey's feet, hardly noticed due to their close proximity to one another.
They were all looking every which way though as the Third Seat could sense the use of magic, but not what spell it was or what it was going to do.
「Assimilation」was a super-tier spell which could be used only once every thirty days. It had an area of attack and its targets were very selective. The spell itself was used to devour and assimilate the strengths, values and data of other beings and transplant it into the caster themselves by turning them into dark colored potions.
Originally in the game it could only be used against lesser leveled MOBs, NPCs and players within fifty levels beneath the user. Jack was quite curious though, just how would this work out?
He watched as the Captain changed his stance, getting ready to lunge. He had both hands on his pole arm with the blade pointed towards Jack. Well, until the almost invisible transparent tendril wrapped around his foot and caused him to look down.
"What in the--" The Captain just stared, that's all he could do as he lost the capacity to talk. According to their rankings, this man was the strongest. He'd be the hardest to take down. He wanted to hold him off long enough for the others to escape.
Jack was pretty sure the Captain would be very capable of doing just that with his level of willpower to keep going and resist his attacks. However, he was beginning to wonder, how resistant was he to instant death attacks?
Jack's eyes moved to Clementine's brother who was summoning a creature only to freeze in place. His summoning instantly cancelled.
His eyes then trailed on over to the Eleventh Seat, a girl with blue hair and a large hat. She was floating a few inches off the ground, though some of her clothing was in contact with the ground.
She looked terrified as she was quickly noticing what was going on. By then though it was too late as all the male members of the Scripture were already held in place.
They couldn't move, they couldn't cast magic and they definitely couldn't talk or make a sound.
"It's too late," Jack said calmly as his eyes rested back onto the face of the Captain who was stuck in an offensive stance. He wore an indifferent expression.
The Tendrils continue to coil over the bodies of the males, distorting them visibly after completely engulfing them and beginning to gain a color of their own. They were becoming a dark crimson red.
"You two have a choice to make. Submit and become imprisoned, or die."
The Seventh and Eleventh Seats took a slight step back.
The soldiers weren't moving either, but unlike the seated members of the scripture, they were just standing corpses. They couldn't even tell when they had died, but they were bleeding from the eyes and mouth like weak fountains.
Both of them were already estimating whether or not they could run away from him.
The eleventh already figured that he wasn't here the entire time. She had felt that they were being watched by multiple entities using high tier surveillance magic. He must have teleported here without being detected.
Hearing a foot come down on the grass, having moved from where it one was. His eyes narrowed on the Captain who had moved about six inches with so much effort, that he was immediately exhausted.
The tendrils were tightening, soon enough those whom were entangled within them, they became shrinking cocoons accompanied by the sounds akin to the crushing and liquefaction of bone.
The girls could hardly move as they watched their comrades and some they'd likely call friends, be reduced to vials of what looked like dark crimson potions. All of which raised from the ground on their own and flew directly into Jack's inventory as he used「Telekinesis」to do so.
A grin formed deeply over his lips, "So... What shall it be?"
The reason he didn't kill them immediately was because he wanted to give them the chance to live, to survive. Whether or not they ever joined him didn't matter. He just thought it would be a waste to kill them after he already showed his magic prowess.