"Milord. I have something important to report." A man wearing medieval armor saluted a person wearing gaudy Medieval-style nobility clothing.
"Our Far-seeing Apparatus has spotted something... unusual, Milord."
"Something unusual? Be clear about it."
"Yes, Milord. They spotted a... crawling beast... moving towards the town. It was something that they never before seen, Milord. The beast is all made of metal and moves on the ground with something akin to wagon wheels. The unknown creature was spotted around 50 tanmetuz from the town walls. And it approaches us at a speed of 8 tanmetuz per tanzun."
"An unknown crawling beast? Are you sure of this, Centum-Leader?"
"Yes, Milord. Even I cannot describe it myself. If you want, we have marked it to be seen at the Far-viewer."
"Very well. Mage, activate the Far-viewer. Show me this... beast."
"No need to do that Alar." An old man interrupted the meeting. He's wearing a long flowing robe, colored in deep burgundy. And carrying a gnarled staff topped with a rough-cut yellow crystal that glows dimly.
"Master Trevaim. This is a serious matter. The...."
"The 'beast' you call is a construct formed form a Divine Gift. Its Bearer rides within it."
"A Divine Bearer? Truly?"
"Yes. And you'll appreciate what he has brought with him."
"What kinds of things, Master Trevaim." The newly-identified Alar spoke.
"Truth is, I don't really know myself. But the Winds whisper me tidings of death and destruction. Pointed to the Devourers. But be warned, these tidings might very well turn against us. If you make an enemy out of the Divine Bearer."
"Truly you jest, Master Trevaim." Alar mockingly answered.
Then a crushing pressure enveloped the area. A suffocating silence blanket the group.
Then Master Trevaim spoke in a grave, threatening.
"I shall kill you myself if you do so much as think about coveting his possessions. Only reason you still rule this town is that the Council cannot afford to send anyone to replace you. This is not a threat, Berran Alar Morgass of House Rusek. If I'm forced to act on this, rest ssured, the Mages' Guild is willing to teleport your replacement right away."
"Yes... I understand." Alar forcibly choked out his words.
"Good." And the pressure disappeared. "Well then, I will set off with my guards to meet the Bearer. You shall ready a feast for our return. Fail to do so and you will face my wrath."
"Now I must take my leave. Good day to you."
And Master Trevaim, High Magus, left.
"You think you won, old man. Let's see if you can survive this." A man in a blacked hooded spoke. While holding a jagged blood-red and black crystal the size of his fist.
Ah... civilization at last. Primitive it may, compared to where I came from, but it's still civilization.
I hope my baby here won't frighten the locals too, much. That would be counter-productive to my plans.
Huh... it seems something approaches.
And it looks like a group of people is moving fast towards me. Riding some kind of horses, perhaps? Can't really tell from here.
And if I'm right, they came from the direction of the walled settlement. I hope it's a friendly greeting party or at least a scouting party sent to learn of my intentions. Don't want to shoot up the natives.
Hmmm... should I deploy the Mobile Yard or keep it as is. The increase in firepower is nice if this turns ugly. But if I do that, they may construe it as an act of hostility and may react negatively.
What should I do?
Oh wait... it seems they are slowing down a bit. No... they're speeding up again. Wow... they're much more faster now.
[Devourer Swarm detected. ETA: 5 minutes.]
SHIT!!! This is bad! A fucking swarm of Devourers just popped up behind the riders, coming from both sides. I need to get those guys out of the line of fire if I want to deal with those pests.
Come on! Faster guys!
No choice. I'll spend 2000 Power Points for Mortar Sub-Module for the Turret Fabricator. That should allow me to shoot behind them.
Setting up turrets.... Come on... come on!
'WHOOMP! WHOOMP! WHOOMP! WHOOMP! WHOOMP!'
'BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!'
Nice shots! That would give those men some breathing room.
<Continuous Barrage... Fire!>
Wow! That robed guy shot out a ball of fire from his staff. Nice! Great job!
Here... more incoming fire.
'BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!'
Bunker turrets now have open line-of-sight.
That's it! Fucking assholes think they can sneak up on us, huh. Take some more of this!
'BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!''BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!'
There's more than a fucking thousand of these monsters! How the fuck they were able to....
Fucking shit! Now this is just great! Tunneling Devourers. We now have burrowing monsters. This will invalidate any walls that keeps them out.
And there's more popping up from them. The dead's just getting replaced.
I'll deal with those thoughts later. Need to concentrate with this.
I need an edge.
Power Points is... wow. 11249 Power Points. I can buy the....
Focus, boy. Deal with these monsters first. Nifty things later.
Good. They're already at the Bunker entrance.
"Get in!" I shouted at the intercom. I opened the entrance gate, allowing them to get inside.
'Thank you for your assistance." The bearded old man spoke to me.
"Yeah, yeah... talk later. Need to deal with these monsters."
"How rude." A man wearing a fancy suit of armor scoffs at me.
"The Bearer is right. We need to deal with the Devourers before we can deal with other matters."
"You just stay here. My turrets can deal with the horde."
"Yes, your... constructs were quick to rain death on these abominations."
Give these men guns? No, they're not trained to fight with them. Right now it will be a detriment.
13528 Power Points.
I really want to save the points... fuck it.
<Purchase Special Weapon: Bombardment.>
[Special Weapon: Bombardment, purchased. Cost: 10000 Power Points, deducted.]
[Bombardment Power, Online.]
Okay... three shots per day. Shot used replenishes at midnight. Area-of-Effect Radius is 100 meters. Range is Line-of-Sight. The damage is powerful enough to kill or heavily maim the monsters in the horde.
Line up all three shots. Target the largest clusters near the tunnels.
Then I heard a LOT of 'Whoosh' sound above me, heading towards the target.
Then shockwaves reached the Bunker, buffeting it with strong winds. Good thing we are inside it or we would have been deafened by the explosions.
"By the Gods...."
"Lemnos, protect us...."
"Child, that was very destructive. Now I know why the Winds whisper to me portents of destruction coming from you."
"Yeah well... it's between them and us. We never chose this. They want to destroy us thoroughly. I say we give them the favor back."
"Such harsh from you, my child. But I cannot disagree. The Mages' Guild knows that these abomination won't stop until all life is stripped off from Ekrios."
"But the devastation... truly frightening." He muttered to himself, the words barely audible.
"We're standing discussing things like old friends. But I don't even know your name."
"Forgive my manners. I am Wilmeck Trevaim. High Magus and member of the Mages' Guild. With me are my companions and protectors. Sur Cartom Visen, Guardian-Rank Defender. Sur Rezzim Helmtan, Battlemaster-Rank Swordsman. And my apprentice, Constana Meerrim of House Edumon. You can call me Wilmek."
"And I'm Marcus Wilson...."
"A Bearer of the Divine Gift." The apprentice girl interrupted me.
"Can you please let me finish? Okay... I'm Marcus Wilson. And I'm here, because I was tasked with saving the whole palnet. On the orders of someone I don't really know. Heck, I never saw his face. I only know that person's a he, because of the tone of his voice. Very masculine."
"And I'm here because I want to sell my products to the people in the settlement."
"Katteros. The name of the town you're heading to is named Katteros."
"Aren't you a Bearer of a Divine Gift. Why aren't you fighting these monsters that plagues the world." Rezzim rudely interjected himself.
"First off... what's a Divine Gift? And why are you call me a 'Bearer'? I can even hear in your voices the capitals in those words."
"Let me explain then." Wilmek answered. "Divine Gifts are powerful abilities that are bestowed to certain individuals by the Divines, powerful beings that shaped Ekrios into what it is now. Or what it was before the Devourers came."
"These Divine Gifts are varied in effects and capabilities. No two Divine Gifts are identical. Some Divine Gifts may similarities due to the fact that the source of the Divine Gift must be the same Divine. But all scholars agree that Divine Gifts are powerful. These Gifts were the source of the most powerful artifacts and magics that exists."
"Bearers are what we call the people that 'bears' the Divine Gift. They are the wielders of said powerful abilities. Each and everyone of them has a hand shaping the life and society on Ekrios. Great heroes and powerful warlords. These individual almost all of the kingdoms that exists or existed. And almost half of the Noble houses on Ekrios trace their origins from a Bearer."
"And Divine Gifts and its Bearers are very rare. Currently, there are only 3 known Bearers that exists. The most number of Bearers that we had at a single time was 10. And that was almost 2000 years ago, during the War of the Heavens, where several Divines had rebelled against the Divinity Accords, the laws that governed the actions that Divines can commit on Ekrios itself."
Huh. Why is that not included in the info dump that I got? And why do they revere us 'Bearers' so much?
Oh. There are no more Devourers coming up of the tunnels. They must have realized the folly of their actions. Just need to deal with some of the stragglers and... there we go!
Sending Collector Drones out to harvest the bodies.
Estimated collection times is... 18 hours! Bloody hell, that gonna be annoying and boring. Also dangerous too.
Spending 2000 Power Points for an Expansion Sub-Module for the Collector Drone Bay.That will double harvest time, I think.
Estimated collection times is... 9 hours. Yep... cut harvest time by half.
"You seem to be thinking of something else, Bearer."
"Sorry. I was dealing with the remaining stragglers and sending Drones to harvest the monster corpses. It will take 9 hours to clean to area of any remains."
"Nine hours? It will take days for us to harvest the bodies. Unless we use mages and then just burn the bodies instead of harvesting them." Cartom replied in a surprised tone.
"Nine hours is still a lot of time. I cannot leave the area while the drones are conducting their harvest. Their function is attached to this structure. This structure cannot be moved until the drones are finished."
"So we're stuck here waiting for you to greedily take away all these resources while we risk our lives outside the town walls?" Rezzim answered rather insultingly.
"You are free to leave if you want. No one is forcing you to stay here. In fact, continue to insult me and I will definitely kick you out."
"Try me, you...."
"Enough! Rezzim, have you no respect left? We are guests here. And I am your superior. So be quiet or I will report you to Lord Belsham."
"And Master Wison, please forgive my companion's rudeness. We are just very stressed with the situation. I hope you understand."
"Hmph! I have reason to believe that this... 'Bearer'... may have brought these Devourers to ambush us. Then amaze us with his Divine Gift so we will serve him unconditionally." Rezzim mockingly replied.
You want to play this game, huh? I'll play"
"Really now. Then I accuse you of the same. And unlike you, I may have proof."
Fucking dickwad. You should have shut your trap. You just reminded of something weird happening earlier when they were chasing you.
And I played out the scene where they were being chased by the Devourer swarm. It shows clearly that the Devourers ignored Rezzim while the other received multiple attacks. Only with Cartom's physical and the 2 mages' magical shields that they were able to escape the swarm unscathed.
"See. Quite strange right. Why would they avoid you specifically while the other were attacked relentlessly. In fact, the monster should attack you first since you were in between the horde and the others. Makes no sense, right."
I want to see how you dig yourself out of that hole.
"Yes, I remember now. I noticed it earlier, but there were other more pressing concerns at that time." Cartom replies
And then Rezzim suddenly attacked me.
Or tried to.
"So now I know who's the snake in my group. You think you could away with that, by wearing several anti-magic charms? I know ways to bypass those protections, since I was on that designed the enchantment on most of these." Wilmek answered in a flat, emotionless voice. But I can easily feel the burning rage hidden beneath.
Then he starts patting Rezzim's body. Looking for something, maybe?
"Wait a second... what's this?" And I was right.
"Stop. Don't look inside!" Bad choice of words, my 'friend'. Very bad.
"My... oh my." Now Wilmek switches to a malicious and mocking tone. "What is this I found? A Repellent Stone, specially designed to hide you from Devourers. Now I know where one of these stones from the stolen shipment is. It was with my 'loyal' follower all along. I'll take this, since you don't deserve it."
"And as for your punishment.... You will be stripped of all possessions, branded with the Mark of the Betrayer, and then sent out to the wilderness. To die of thirst or hunger. Or be eaten by monsters or Devourers. Don't know which punishment is better suited for someone like you."
"WAIT! I can explain! I can tell who...."
And his head just exploded into fine chunks.
That's fucking horrible!
... Why don't I feel horrible? No disgust or anything.
"BLEURGH!" The girl is vomiting on the steel floor. That should have been my reaction.
"This is worrisome. Whoever they are, they are willing to keep their existence a secret." Wilmek spoke.
"Yes, Master Trevaim. To the extent that they will kill their minions." Cartom replied.
I'll get the drone to clean up the body first. And the puddle of bile that Constana spewed out.
"Wait! Master Wilson, leave to us the body. We might find more clues if we are able to study it."
"Very will, Wilmek. I'll leave the body to you."
I'll have drone just wrap the body up then.
"Thank you, Master Wilson."
"I know you have question burning in your mind. Me and my companions have them too."
"Then let's exchange questions and answers then, to pass the time."
"An excellent idea, Master Wilson."
And then we talked all throughout the night, swapping questions and answers until the break of dawn.