Romain poked his arm at his side while Sophie was immersed in checking his stats.
Only 1.0 Energy Level in strength? He could not resist cursing the NPC’s uselessness. Even a skeleton has 1.5 strength!
All the representation units for the stats are in OZ, the simplification for the ancient word Oauth, also known as Energy Level. 1 OZ in strength would allow one to raise about 50 KG worth of weight, and the punching strength will not surpass 150 KG. This was roughly the equivalent of an adult’s strength.
Even the players’ basic stats in the game are 2 OZ in Strength, Agility and Physique, while Intelligence, Will and Perception were 1.5 OZ. They were about two times the stats of a normal person, and the Overall power rating was 5 which meant that they would have no problems facing off against 5 normal people. (TL: Science weeps over your logic there…)
Brendel was even a civilian soldier who trained several months. Even if the players had the ‘Hero’ stats, it should not as ridiculous as this where the stats are this far apart right?
To think he even mocked the players’ titles as ‘Heroes’ for having the combat strength of two skeletons. But when he switched to Brendel’s point of view, he realized that the players were really the main characters molded in the hero form.
When he thought about how he was not able to even beat a skeleton, he fell into a state of sadness.
Brendel stroked his arm, but the faint green numbers still remained in his retinas. He discovered there was still a difference from this world and the world that he knew. In the game a bandage would restore 1 HP per minute, and the civilian’s 6 HP would only require six minutes to be replenished like before, but it needed a few days here.
This was a bad sign.
Fortunately the method to use the skill sets were one and the same. If he thought about the ‘Basic Knowledge’, it would bring up the common things regarding this world. If he thought about the ‘Military Organization’ he was able to gather information about Aouine’s army structure.
Even though there was also some slight differences, the information seemed to directly exist inside his real memories and not from a system. For example, his skills in the sword. He could clearly feel that his techniques were accumulated from several months of training. The form on where to strike, the position to place his body weight in, where his eyes should look at, and how to perform feints and strikes based on the enemies’ own form.
The game would display the approximate paths as to where the sword should be swung at, and automatically aided and corrected the angle. But in this world, it was sufficient if he possessed the skill sets as he was automatically able to utilize them subconsciously.
Even though the veteran gamers have their own insight to attacking, they still needed the system, so you would not be able to find these gaming otaku become a swordsman or martial artist.
There were some things that had no shortcuts there.
Sophie felt his own hands. The feeling that he possessed the skill sets were much more awesome compared to the rigid feelings within the game. Everything in his memories felt like a natural part of himself and not just mere ‘skills’.
Of course, while he was thinking all of the above, he still reacted quickly and alertly when Romain poked his arm. His ears shook slightly as he heard some faint noises coming outside the house.
“Brendel, you heard that?” The merchant lass went behind his back and whispered.
He nodded. There were footsteps making a “Kakaka” noise, and there were quite a number of that. His heart made a loud thump, as he immediately figured out that the vanguard of the Madara’s huge army had arrived. He made a noiseless gesture and pulled Romain to flee from the back without delay.
The vanguard came earlier than expected. Right at this moment, the rural areas of Elsengran were still in sleeping deeply in their sweet dreams, and no one expected the disaster which was going to rain down next.
Except for them.
The urgency from the impending countdown made him creased Sophie’s brows. He brought the southern end of the corridor, entered the room there and closed it lightly. The dust in the room was everywhere and they made muffled coughs. This was a room that had not been used for a very long time, but he knew the window led to the outside as well as allowing the ability to oversee everything outside of the manor.
He walked over to the window and softly swept away the dust and raised the curtains.
“Where did these things come from, you actually know right, Brendel?” She withdrew her hand without trouble and asked curiously.
“This is the Madara’s army. A war is coming.” He answered as he carefully inspected the outside area.
It was indeed the Madara’s vanguard. He drew a light breath. In the center of the manor’s estate was a black pile of skeleton troops. He counted three teams, the total number forty-five. A bunch of red light was dancing in the darkness. On the side were three necromancers controlling these low level undead. They were of a classic design; a skeleton wearing long robes, its hand holding on to a bone wand, with green fiery eyes darting around as it inspected the low level skeleton soldiers.
Brendel’s grandfather’s old house sat on a hilltop not far away from Bucce and was able to oversee the entire village from below. This was like a small manor that was located beside the town. There were originally five or six families but they moved away, and only Romain and her aunt remained behind.
The young girl gasped quietly in the dark.
“Where’s aunt Jennie?”
“She went to a nearby town, and will only be back a week later.”
Sophie turned his head to glance at her. He only saw a pair of gleaming eyes filled with a strange excitement.
“Are you not scared?” He blurted out.
“I don’t know,” She replied in a whisper, and raised her head: “But my heart is pounding, like it’s really excited.”
Sophie went speechless. Looks like there was quite a difference between this girl and a normal person. Well, some people were born for adventure, and maybe Romain was someone like that.
He pretended that he did not hear any of it and gazed outside the window again. The necromancer had not paid attention to their house yet, and Sophie was able to continue observing them without any worries. Shadows seemed to appear in and out of the forest, perhaps there a great number of invaders there.
He roughly estimated the initial force was slightly over a hundred. This was not a small number, and with such a force there must be an undead acolyte wizard commanding in the shadows. This was a news of dreadful proportions to him.
In the game, an undead acolyte wizard was roughly equivalent to a level 10 player. Even if it fought alone against seven or eight well trained male adults, be it militia or the army, they would not the match for it. Romain and himself were only two people, while that foe also had a large army behind him.
Sophie tapped his finger on the window impatiently.
The guards from Bucce would need at least 5 minutes, which meant if they encountered they had to hold on least that duration of time, with the condition they even discovered the attack in the first place.
But how were they supposed to alert them?
He felt a little vexed. The best way was to set a fire, the bright flame and smoke would be able to reach far away in the night, and a natural warning to both humans and animals. But it was also a question on how to even set off a fire.
“Brendel? Are we going to die?”
The dark room fell into a deep silence.
In this deep darkness, a ray of moonlight streamed inside from the corner of the window and created a small silver colored path.
After pondering for a few moments, before he was about to set down the curtains down to settle his emotions down and think of a way to escape, they started talking.
“Where is that pitiful worm’s body, bring him out and let me take a look. Didn’t the report only stated there were were two women here?”
This first voice sounded like a young man and his voice was cold and sharp.
The second voice sounded raspy and old, as though the dried firewood was cracking.
“He was merely an unfortunate fool, my master.”
Apprehension struck at Sophie’s heart, and he peered outside again, and quickly discovered the sources under a tree’s shadow. Over there, a figure wearing a broad black robe was talking to his necromancer underlings.
Sophie’s eyes quickly cast his eyes on his sleeves, and faintly saw a greyish white bone insignia. This proved that he was an undead acolyte wizard.
His guess was not wrong.
“…… Know this, I do not need your opinions. All of you merely need to follow my orders.” The robed wizard suddenly stopped and raised his head to the Sophie’s direction.
Sophie’s heart pulsed with dread and immediately let go of the curtains. Damn it, he still thought he was a veteran warrior with 130 levels for a moment. He completely forgot that the enemy’s Perception was many times higher than his stealth skills.
Even though he was not immediately discovered, he must have raised the enemy’s suspicions.
Just as he had expected, that figure outside said: “That’s enough. Quickly carry out my orders. I feel that there is someone alive in this house. All of you better search carefully, I have the suspicion that our plans have already been discovered.”
This was the end of things. If they discovered Brendel’s ‘corpse’ disappeared, they would immediately act upon it. Sophie’s mind spun quickly. His immediate thought was the kitchen’s back door, but Elsengran was a farmland and there was no place to hide in the open.
There was a small forest at the bottom of the hill, but there were at least a hundred meters of uncovered ground, what could he do in this situation?
“Brendel?” The girl queried him with her eyes.
“Come with me.” Sophie gritted his teeth. One step at a time, there was no choice to it. (TL: If you want to live! Lulz.)
He opened the door, and saw a necromancer and two skeletons entering from the door. The necromancer that wore a long robe swiftly raised the bone wand when it discovered Romain and him.
But Sophie’s reaction was faster and he had no hesitation in raising in his right hand. He pointed his ring on his forefinger at it.
He prayed for the ring to work. And it answered his prayers with a slight warmth, and the air in front expanded violently with a loud bang!
It was as a hurricane swept past in the house, and the necromancer with the two skeletons and front of the entire building exploded in a fury. Countless splinters and pebbles along with bone debris were hurled outside, and fell raining down onto the ground like countless butterflies dancing in the air.
The instant when the explosion happened, five golden colored orbs flew respectively from the necromancer and skeletons’ bodies and dissolved in Sophie’s chest. Everything happened in the blink of an eye, and the youth did not even realize that himself.
Even after the explosive wind ended, the ground was left with the evidence of a colossal aftereffect of something firing from within.
After everything fell to a silent still, Sophie showed an expression of utter shock. In the game it was 30 wind damage, and certainly more than enough to kill a lower rank necromancer and the skeletons, but the effect was not that exaggerated right?
Although it was a gaping hole in this whole building that was left behind by his grandfather, Sophie did not think twice about it and immediately promptly turned around and ran.
“Brendel, you’re a wizard!” Romain exclaimed behind his back.
“No, I’ll explain this to you later.” He took a deep breath, pulled her and rushed down the stairs to head towards the kitchen. He needed to reach there before the enemies reacted.
“Wait, Brendel, I can’t catch up with you…..”
“Careful, we’re moving down the stairs”
The sudden explosion made the skeletons turn their heads, but they lacked the intelligence to comprehend things and only reacted to the noise. Thus they still waited at the same spot and waited for the necromancers to give the orders.
The necromancers’ green flaming pupils flared up, and they raised their bone wands with embers forming at the tips.
“Don’t use fire, you bloody fools!” The black robed wizard pushed their bone wands down and rebuked them loudly. The explosion had most likely incurred the attention of Bucce’s citizens. If there was a fire it would have merely sent a warning to them.
He immediately turned back to point to the house: “Soldiers, catch those two bastards!”
The sounds of swords flourishing echoed out as the soldiers drew out their swords together and rushed inside to the house.
Sophie had already dashed down to the bottom of the steps and he saw waves of skeletons rushing towards him. Uncountable red lights flickered in the darkness, and he felt goosebumps crawling all over his skins. He was not a veteran soldier with hundred of levels, and the ring on his finger was still in the recharging mode. He could only braced himself as to what would come next.
Once the skeletons caught up with him, he would most likely become minced meat from being hacked by their swords…….
“One woe doth tread upon another’s heel!” Sophie felt helpless upon seeing this situation.
His injury in his chest hurt terribly, but they still managed to reach the kitchen before the skeleton soldiers, and closed the door behind him. Before he could even relax, multiple swords immediately stabbed into the door.
Fortunately he withdrew his hand quickly, otherwise he would have pinned down.
“That was too close for comfort!” Sophie’s heart raced quickly. He looked around, and although at the other end of the kitchen was the exit, he knew he needed to find a way to warn Bucce. That was the only way to save their lives.
Furthermore, fire could be used to repel the low level undead.
“Brendel?” The merchant girl bent her waist and panted. She could not help but raise her head to look at him. He had greatly surprised her with his decisive bravery.
“Miss Romain, please guard the door.” Sophie quickly said. He needed to spend every second to think.
“Kssh, kssh, kssh!”
The soldiers started to break the kitchen wooden door. It was never meant to be used for a defence and very soon there were several opened holes on it
“Me?”. She blinked.
“Yes, give me a little bit of time.”
“What are you going to do?” The merchant girl asked curiously.
“I’m going to try to think of a way to warn the people inside the village. This is Madara’s undead grand army, we need to warn them.” Sophie tried to hard to calm down, and replied while he searched for flints.
Where was that thing that he recalled?
“Okay, sure, I’ll do that.” Romain immediately went over to the door to defend Sophie.
“Will you be fine?”
“Of course.” The young girl shook the masonry hammer in her hands and replied confidently: “I’ll do my best, since I’ll become a great merchant in the future!”
Sophie stopped and looked at her, nodding.
“You certainly will, Miss Romain.”
TL: Bone butterflies…. cool but…. barf.