Ch001-A False Start
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Just for reference, this chapter is a little longer than the others, because I didn't want to split it into two. The other chapters are all around 4k words.

Ch001-A false Start

 

*Sylver

There were very few moments in life when Sylver had cried as an adult. After he had tied his soul to his phylactery, he hadn’t cried even once. And it upset him to no end, that he didn’t know if he was crying right now because everyone he cared about was being killed right in front of his eyes, or just because his soul was back in his body, for the first time in over 10 years.

Aether was the first to die. And the one Sylver cried the most about. Then Lenora, then Adam, and then the rest of his colleagues. The brightest minds the world had ever seen, were now dead. What was even worse, was that he didn’t have time to be emotional about any of this. He had a duty to carry out, and even with the feeling of his heart getting stabbed over and over again, he would get it done.

After the woman he only knew as the cook with freckles had died, he thankfully managed to repress everything he was feeling. About the only good thing about this situation, was that he didn’t have to worry about blowing up later. The woman’s corpse fell unceremoniously to the floor, as her soul joined the effort. The traitor continued to torture and kill his way down the ranks.

The last remaining members of Ibis were now only Sylver and a butler he hadn’t seen before. Going by his colours, he was one of Edmunds. Sylver made a mental note that the man died with honor, only silently crying as his arms were crushed, his intestines pulled out, and finally, his head slowly compressed until bursting open. His soul too, almost eagerly, joined the effort.

The traitor walked up to Sylver, now the archmagi, by process of literal elimination. The ancient magic worked as perfectly as it had done a few minutes ago, when the nameless butler had temporarily become the archmagi. 

“Sylver Sezari. 10th tier arch necromancer. And for some reason, always last in line for the title of archmagi. After you, it’ll be transferred to your three pupils. Oska Sezari, then Helca Sezari, and lastly Sonya Sezari. At least in theory. Does it still work, even if they aren’t members?” The traitor asked.

“I’m not entirely sure to be honest. I would guess no, but we’ve never really had to test out how well the system works. But I don’t suppose that’s going to be enough for you to just leave them alone?” Sylver  now the archmagi asked.

“I’m afraid not.” The traitor answered. His voice was entirely lifeless, as if he was repeating a speech he had been practicing all his life. The words had lost all meaning to him, now just sounds for him to mimic.

“You do understand that you can’t hurt me, right?” Sylver asked. His voice sounded as dead as the many many bodies that were next to him. He only needed a few more minutes.

“Of course. Undead and all that. But given how I’ve already destroyed your phylactery, I’m hoping you are desperate enough to live that you will just give it to me.” The traitor said.

“Seven hundred and sixty-three,” Sylver said.

“I beg your pardon?” The traitor asked.

“Seven hundred and sixty-three. It’s the number of people that came before me and were archmagi. At least today. Not sure how many there were before that. But among today’s there were newly sworn in apprentices, retirees, wives, husbands, children, and even a talking wolf for some reason. But did you ever wonder, why a 6-year-old child was in front of me in line for the title?” Sylver asked. He moved his splintered skull sideways to look directly at the traitor.

“Because Aether hated necromancy?” The traitor asked. He walked towards Sylver, so they could talk better, but stopped exactly 10 meters away from him. As with everyone he had fought and killed today, he knew Sylver’s range and abilities. 

Sure, he had longer-ranged spells, but if Aether’s attacks didn’t land, Sylver’s had no chance. Plus, right now he was busy, and couldn’t spare even a drop of mana to attack him.

“I never did figure out where that rumor came from. Aether’s mother was a necromancer. I was his mentor, and I’m a necromancer. My best guess is some dipshit said it while drunk, and it just spread out. Aether was the mage of light, it’d make sense he’d hate those who work with darkness. You’ve heard of Nyx, right?” Sylver asked. The traitor cocked his head to the side and rested his hand on his sword.

“I have, yes.” The traitor said.

“Well, she was my master, before she was Aether’s mother. She took me in, trained me, gave me love and support, and quite honestly was more of a mother to me than my own was.” Sylver explained.

“So why are you the last in line?” The traitor asked.

“I’m getting there. Nyx was a revolutionary necromancer. Truly, if there was a record of all spells and magic, related to necromancy, there would have to be a before Nyx, and after Nyx, section. It made all the shambling armies of zombie’s people used to work with, look like child's play. The greatest liches to have ever lived or died never came anywhere near her level. The advances she made, rippled out everywhere else, and sped up the development of all magic as a whole. Necromancy is one of the few magics where you need an understanding of everything to do it properly.” Sylver explained. His hoarse whispering gradually gained volume and momentum. Only a few more minutes.

“So why are you the last in line?” The traitor asked. There was no urgency in his voice, he didn’t look around or behind him and merely stared at the talking corpse. At most he sounded a little giddy.

“Before that. Do you know the story behind my name?” Sylver asked.

“Your hair?” The traitor guessed, the same thing just about everyone assumed.

“Surprisingly no. The change happened many years after she gave me the name. I made a mistake with a training exercise, I was trying to permanently give myself mana sight, it’s not important. No, she called me Sylver, because I couldn’t use white magic. Or positive magic, or ‘silver’ magic, as her people called it. As an adult, I enjoy the irony, a whole lot more than when she first named me. Because of that in most cases, I wouldn’t have been allowed in. But Nyx stuck her neck out for me and forced them to accept me. Later she found a way to allow me to use it, since dark magic is all magic’s combined into one, again, not important.” Sylver explained.

The traitor sat down onto the body of a man who was considered the most powerful glaciomancer and rested his sword over his knees. After he continued to stay silent, Sylver carried on.

“Initially, Nyx taught me purely dark magic. But I hit a wall fairly early on, on account of not being able to use white magic, so I studied the theory and practiced what I could. One thing, in particular, I excelled at was raw mana manipulation. A worthless skill most of the time, but useful if you need to be precise. Artificers tend to practice it a lot, but not to the extreme I have.” Sylver continued, his rambling doing its intended job and keeping the traitor from moving around.

“But after she helped me unlock my white magic, she decided to retire. This is when my training for the other half of necromancy began. The part no one ever talks about. Have you ever wondered what we do, when one of our members misbehaves?” Sylver asked. 

“Bribe officials, and cover it up?” The traitor asked, a hint of amusement creeping into his voice.

“When they get into a drunken bar fight, sure. But when they decide they’re powerful enough to start doing whatever they want, that’s when Nyx got involved.” Sylver said.

The traitor reacted as Sylver had expected, and sat a little straighter. His relaxed expression turned into a barely visible smile. And people used to say he was shit at telling stories.

“Necro comes from the word corpse. So, who better to handle killing, than someone who deals with death on the daily?” Sylver asked. There was only a minute left. 

“You’re saying Nyx killed other mages?” The traitor asked quickly, leaning forward.

“She did. All alone, for many, many, many years. I never did find out her real age, but my best guess was in the 500 area.”

“So, the reason necromancers, and you included, are last in line for the title of archmagi, was because they could kill their way up the ladder, and no one would be able to stop them?” The traitor asked, a smile tugging at his lips, figuring it out.

“That’s part of it. Death magic is awfully difficult to defend against. A spell targeting the soul? You would need extremely specific training to resist it. If two mages have an equal amount of mana under their control, the one with death magic will always win. Even holy magic losses against it, all things being equal.” Only a few seconds left.

“What about the other part?” The traitor asked. His eyes were alright now, his boredom alleviated entirely. 

“The other reason necromancers are always last in line to become archmagi, is because they are the only ones who can kill anyone. At the cost of their own life. Every single one has to have his version of the spell. Otherwise, they don’t get to be called an arch necromancer,” Sylver answered.

A loud cracking sound in the distance, caused the traitor to look sideways. He jumped off the corpse and disappeared into thin air. From the direction the sound had come from a hollowing ringing, of metal striking something came.

Thank god’s, I made it in time. Now all that’s left, is to keep his soul in place.

“You were stalling.” The traitor said, returning. Sylver wanted to smile at the hint of panic in the man’s voice. But with his jaw and face missing, that wasn’t really an option.

“And you had your head so far up your ass, you sat there and listened. Let the dead man ramble, it’s the least I can do. Aether was the greatest archmagi who’s ever lived, and if you didn’t stab him in the back, he would have ground your fucking bones to fine dust. This is it for you. And for me. The fucking reason I’m last in line, the fucking reason i’ll always be last in line, the reason Oska would have been last in line, is because if there ever comes a time when the arch necromancer becomes the archmagi, it is their  duty to make sure they kill whoever killed the ones before him. I swear on my fucking name and title, you’re not leaving this place alive.” Sylver shouted as the dome began to contract, pushing in the bodies, of the people that had helped create it.

“Well, that’s disappointing.” The traitor said, looking up and around the dome. “But it’s fine, I almost got it. The next run will be perfect.” The traitor said. He looked around the dome, and Sylver couldn’t feel a single drop of fear from him.

“So Aether was right... You’re a chronomancer. Or at least you have the abilities of one. You don’t care about dying here, because you’ll get to try again. Out of curiosity, can you control it, or is it automatic?” Sylver asked. The spell was finished. Now all that was left was to hold the traitor’s soul in place, and wait.

“Normally I’d be against admitting anything. But seeing how I now know to kill you before you finish the spell, I’ll tell you. Every time I die, I go back to the day of my birth.” The traitor explained.

“How nice. You get to spend an entire lifetime practicing and growing, and with the knowledge of everything that will ever happen. Not to mention, you can’t even fail, because you get to try again, over and over, until you win. By all logic, there’s nothing that could possibly win against such an ability,” Sylver said.

“But this will be the last one. I managed to kill everyone, and didn’t even take that much damage. Now it’s just a matter of doing it all over again, and killing you before you start doing whatever this is.” The traitor said. He yawned slightly, and stretched his body out.

“So, this is your first time seeing this spell?” Sylver asked. He couldn’t help but smile at this revelation. It means he hadn’t tried and failed already.

“I’ve never managed to kill all of you, up until now. And I’m pretty sure this is the first time you didn’t immediately die when I destroyed your phylactery. No wait. I remember now, your emperor shadeling got me on a few of the first runs. I wasn’t really expecting him to pop out of Aether’s shadow, and made it a habit to kill you before I went after him. I didn’t really pay attention to you after that. Not entirely sure why you survived in this one.” The traitor answered.

The spell had already started to work, and Sylver could feel the tug at his soul. The traitor must have felt it too, because he was suddenly on the defensive, his breathing rapid and heavy.

“No…” the traitor said, almost under his breath. “No. You don’t understand.” He shouted, walking into Sylver’s range, absentmindedly. “You’re doomed without me. The whole world will end if I die. Stop this Sylver! Please! I’ll let you go, you can start over!” The traitor pleaded.

“You’re pathetic. And even if you’re not lying we’ll survive without you. And we’ll come out stronger. And if the world is so fucking desolate that it needs to be saved by the likes of you, I’d rather it all burn.” Sylver said. His broken-down body started to turn into ashes. His soul was just barely inside of it now. The traitor swung his sword at him, doing absolutely nothing but ruining an already destroyed corpse.

“Please! You don’t understand, I had to do this, you don’t understand!” the traitor screamed, spittle flying out of his almost frothing mouth.

“I called this one, Fallen Dawn. Nyx theorized it, but I managed to get it to work. Technically this makes me the first 11th tier necromancer. Even Nyx couldn’t find a way to destroy a soul. The only downside for using something so powerful is that it takes a few minutes to get it going. The spell is in two parts. One part uses the souls of the people you killed to lock us both inside. And the other burns my soul, hot enough, to melt and mangle yours beyond repair. With your ability, you could hypothetically find a way around anything. Just keep trying, until you got it right.  But there’s no walking away from this. It’s probably the only thing that could permanently kill you. Lucky you, I happened to be close enough to my phylactery, that my soul just jumped back into my body.” Sylver said, his voice a hollow boom, as the yellow dome continued to move inwards, a wave of corpses coming at them from all directions.

“I can’t die like this! Not when I was so close! You’re ruining everything! I’m the fucking hero of this story! Not you! Not you! I can’t die to the hands of some fucking SUICIDAL PSYCHOPATH! You’re a nobody! I’m the fucking hero!” the traitor screamed, his glowing sword ripping through Sylver’s lifeless body. Cutting it into tiny pieces, burning it away. But without Sylver’s soul, it was the same as any of the other corpses coming for him.

The dome had shrunk to the point the traitor had to move to the center, to remain standing upright. His white sword bounced harmlessly off the dome, the attacks, and power, that had killed the greatest mages that this world had to offer, couldn’t even dent it. He screamed unbearably loudly, blood red fire surrounding him and burning its way through all the corpses. The fire continued to burn, his skin blistering and charring, but even his most powerful spell, couldn’t get through his regeneration fast enough to kill him. And even if it had, Sylver already latched himself onto his soul. Alive or dead, didn’t matter at this point.

The traitor continued to burn himself alive, screaming with the voice of a child, desperate to do something.

But it was already too late. Sylver was gone. The husk of his soul, had already started the process, and would now effectively destroy the time traveller’s soul, permanently.

 

*Ciege

Shoving the framed photographs and memorabilia, off the shelves, one small stone statue, fell to the floor and shattered. In its midst was a small silver-colored needle. Reaching down to pick it up, Ciege missed slightly and the needle pierced his finger.

The world went completely black, as Ciege was now standing upright, and looking at a mirror image of himself. The only difference was the ashy white hair and completely black eyes.

“Ciege is it? Nice to meet you. Your father died a few days ago. And now you’re planning to drink yourself to death and set your house on fire with you still inside. Because the love of your life has been stolen from you?” The mirror image asked, speaking with the tone that it was reading the words out from somewhere. It’s face didn’t move when it spoke, but Ciege could hear the questioning confusion in its voice.

“What are you?” Ciege asked, trying to back away from the figure, but finding himself not a single step further away from it.

“Where are my manners! Allow me to introduce myself! I am called Sylver Sezari. Successor of Nyx Nosfora, mentor of Aether the Archmagi, and the first 11th tier necromancer!” The figure said, closing his fist over his chest, and lowering his head at Ciege.

“Your woman. Yeva? Yes, Yeva. I can save her for you. But I’ll want your life in exchange.” The figure said, looking around the dark abyss and focusing on something behind Ciege.

Turning around Ciege saw the image of Yeva, walking through the market, a weaved basket in her hand, and a bright red flower in her hair.

“Look at that! Isn’t that lovely? Your would-be-bride, the love of your life, getting to live on, and be happy! She would wake up every day, thinking of Ciege, her true love, and savior, thanking the moon and stars for giving her such a heroic man’s love.” Sylver said, holding Ciege by the shoulders as he showed him the image.

Yeva looked stunning beyond words. Her smile seemed to make the dirty little market place, feel as bright and wonderful as a field of flowers. Ciege reached out with a hand, and could almost feel the fabric of her dress.

He was then abruptly turned around and faced a different picture.

On it was Yeva. Her hair in clumps and soaked in blood, her eyes empty gouged out holes, her lips cut off, cheeks ripped open into a sickening smile, limbs twisted beyond any chance of repair, with tiny green figures dancing around her as the rest violated and wounded her, laughing at her screaming and begging. Ciege felt the urge to throw up, but the rising bile never manifested itself.

The screaming and begging got louder and louder until he had to press his hands against his ears to try to deafen the noise as much as he could.

“Or you can forget about her. Just another village girl, who died tragically to goblins. Nasty little critters. One of the few intelligent species that revel in the suffering of others.” Sylver said, waving with his hand and changing the image back to Yeva strolling through the marketplace.

“You know what always fascinated me about goblins? They know better. I used to know this one guy, who told me about a whole city full of goblins, living peacefully. And he told me that they take in ‘wild’ goblins, like the one with Yeva right now, and in just a few days surrounded by goblin civilization, they become perfectly upstanding citizens.” Sylver said, scratching his chin, and tracing the scar down his left cheek. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, and was happy to find the scar wasn’t down to the muscle.

Ciege was sobbing into his hands, barely hearing a word the phantom had said.

“Don’t cry Ciege. I’m just informing you of what could be. I don’t know if Yeva is still alive, to be honest. I’m just speaking from experience, that she’s probably being tortured first. Now if they have a mage or a warlock with them, then she’s most likely not even that badly hurt. They normally do a ritual sacrifice in cases like that.” Sylver explained.

“I can’t do anything to you. This will only work if you let me inside Ciege. I can be there in a few minutes, kill all the goblins, and Yeva gets to live happily ever after! I’ll even be as gentle as possible with you; you won’t feel a thing.” Sylver said, looking at a memory of Ciege confessing his love to Yeva. It was night time, and a bright red bonfire was burning in the background. Yeva’s dark hair caught the light in an astonishing way. “But the clock is ticking. So, it’s best if you decide quickly. Every second is another second closer to Yeva already being dead.”

Ciege stood silent for a while, doing nothing but looking at the image of Yeva getting tortured.

“Look... I’m a little desperate. I have no idea how the fuck I’m here, but I’m not letting the chance slip by. Believe me, if I had any other option, I wouldn’t be standing here, trying to manipulate a 19-year-old, into trading his life for his love. I feel disgusting and pathetic doing this, but that isn’t going to stop me. I’m not spending another second in that thing unless I have to. So, for all the marbles, Ciege, are you going to let me go save Yeva for you?” Sylver asked, crossing his arms over his chest and looking straight in the face of the red-eyed man.

Ciege stood still for a few tense seconds, looking back at his grey-haired mirror image. His eyes cleared up, and he stood a little straighter.

“No.”

 

*Ciege

Ciege woke up on the floor of his house, and couldn’t take a breath deep enough to satisfy his lungs. He thought the whole thing a drunken dream if it weren’t for the needle sticking out of his hand. Pulling the thing out, he shoved it in his pocket and grabbed the sword that had belonged to his father.

I could just let it go. Forget about her and find someone else. Sell the smithy and move away, start over.

The grip felt far too large for him, and the long blade too heavy, but he had steeled himself and ran towards the nest of the goblins anyway. In the dead of night, he only had his memory of running around the forest as a child to guide him. Trees that had grown wider since he last ran here, caught his clothes and ripped and tore at them, branches that had fallen over the years, tripped up his legs and stabbed at his feet. 

No. A world without Yeva isn’t worth living in.

Patches of briars sliced through his skin, and his sword fell out of his hands a hundred times before he arrived.

At the entrance to the cave stood 3 goblins, each holding a dagger or knife, covered in rust and dripping with poison.

The heavy blade shook in his hands, and almost clattered against the roots he was hiding behind, but this wasn’t the time to be afraid.

Mustering every single ounce of courage, he had, he screamed a loud battle cry and ran towards the cave.

[Notice: Requirements for perk [Brave Heart] met!]
*Req: Attempt to fight a creature 10 levels higher than you.
*Req: Non-Combat class.

[Perk: Brave Heart]
-Overcoming your fear, you managed to pull out every ounce of strength that you have.
-When fighting an enemy 10 levels higher than you, all attributes are increased by 10%

The message popped up just in time, and turned Ciege’s shrieking scream, into a shout of power. He was faster, stronger, and felt like he could take on the world.

The three goblins in front of him flinched and for a moment lessened the grip on their weapons. He stomped his foot on the stone floor, so hard that he was afraid he would break through the stone. His stance and swing was absolutely perfect. The blade almost whistled as it cut through the air, and hit the goblin, perfectly in the neck. The splatter of blood went into the next goblin's face, and eyes.

[Goblin (None) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10, levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

As he had done countless times in practice, he spun the sword around, and with the newly added force, cut his sword through the blinded goblins head. Like a hat being blown away by the wind, the green skinned top of the goblins head flew off, trailing dark blood behind it.

 

[Goblin (Warrior) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

[Blacksmith Apprentice] has reached level 15!
+Perk: [Craftsman’s Signature]
+5AP

Barely registering that he finally reached level fifteen, he shoved all 5 points into dexterity and felt the world slow down ever so slightly around him.

The third goblin had already drawn its weapon and shoved the blunt and bent dagger at Ciege. One of his few combat oriented skills flared to life,and Ciege managed to backhand the dagger out of the creature’s hand before shoving his blade through its chest.

[Goblin (Archer) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

Breathing heavily and sweat already dripping into his eyes, he wiped it off as best as he could, before venturing deeper into the cave.

He heard the sound of metal striking bone, before he felt it, and looked down to see a tiny goblin holding a dagger that was embedded in his leg. Kicking his leg away, he stomped on the creature and heard a childlike scream that was quickly snuffed out.

[Goblin (None) Defeated!]

[Notice: You have been poisoned by ??? ???]
[-2HP/S for 22M 58S]

Pulling out the small dagger, he threw it to the side, thanking every single time he sliced his fingers or broke a bone, for the fact that his pain tolerance was high enough to ignore it.

Walking on wet and slippery mud, in the dark, he had only the pale light at the end of the tunnel to guide him. 

He heard the snap of a bowstring but reacted too slowly to dodge the arrow. It struck at his shoulder, and went inside, scoring the bone. Breaking off the wooden shaft of the projectile, he forced his way deeper into the cave, zig-zagging left and right randomly, and seeing and hearing arrows land into the wet muck covered floor, missing him by tiny margins.

He rounded a corner and saw exactly what the voice had shown him. There was blood everywhere, bright red flesh exposed to the elements, white bone and sinew sticking out like a crow on a winter’s day, and staring at him lifelessly, with empty holes where the eyes are supposed to be.

Through pure reflex, he blocked the blow from the side, his hand going numb from absorbing the force. Pushing back against the attacker, he managed to make the giant goblin stagger backward. Slashing the creature through its exposed stomach, its innards dropped out of it, as the large creature fell onto the floor in an attempt to retrieve them. 

Blocking another hit from the back, Ciege kicked at the small goblin and caused its body to fly a fair distance. Rushing over to Yeva’s corpse, relief unlike any other, coursed through his body.

It wasn’t Yeva. It was Callum’s sister. A girl with the same raven black hair as Yeva, but now missing clumps and sticky with blood and other fluids. Discarding the corpse of the woman he had played cards with during the winter, Ciege ran through the dark opening, where he could hear screaming coming from.

The large goblin hiding in the shadows almost managed to knock him onto his back, but the ground was at just the right slant behind him, that he managed to stay on his feet. Swinging down at him, with a crudely made wooden club, Ciege let the weapon fall, shattering the stone steps that they were standing on, and pierced the creature through the torso, dragging the blade downwards, and slicing it open.

The large goblin fell forwards, toppling down into the mud, its screaming adding to the other disemboweled creatures.

Stepping on a sharp spike, Ciege ignored it and pressed forward, too full of adrenaline right now to feel anything. Yeva’s screaming got louder and louder as he got closer, and he barely looked at the goblin hiding in a corner, as he beheaded it.

[Goblin (Warrior) Defeated!]
[Due to defeating an enemy 10 levels above you, additional experience will be awarded!]

The bright light inside the dark cave blinded him for a moment. His eyes didn’t adjust in time, as he blindly blocked a thrust towards his head, and with more luck than skill, managed to parry the blow and disarm the attacker. Kicking the large goblin in the groin, his sword was too far away, so he punched it in the face, breaking several bones in his hand from doing so.

Between his screaming and Yeva’s, he couldn’t hear a word the dark-skinned goblin, wearing scraps of robes said. He went blind again, as a ball of fire appeared out of nowhere, and before he could even react to it, his entire left side was engulfed in flames.

Too much for whatever allowances his adrenaline was allowing, he dropped his sword and fell to the floor, rolling around and trying to put out the fire. His skin cracked and blistered, and before he could fully put it out, something heavy stepped onto his back, compressing his insides, and making them threaten to come out.

When his eyes adjusted, he could see the wart covered creature, holding a long thin knife towards the naked Yeva, stretched out on a table. This one was much smaller than the goblins he faced until now, and a child compared to the huge one pinning him to the floor.

Ciege felt the pressure increase to the point where he couldn’t even take a proper breath.

“Dis is yours. Yes?” It asked, gesturing at the screaming woman.

“Take me! Please! Do whatever you want to me, but let her go!” Ciege screamed, his mouth full of blood, bile, and dirt.

The pressure on his back relaxed a tiny amount and gave him enough room to take a shuddering shallow breath.

The robed goblin tapped the long thin knife against his face, the sound of it hitting one of the many fangs that went over his lips, the sound somehow clearer than the deafening screams coming from Yeva.

“No. I tek both.” The robed goblin said.

Ciege felt his arm being grabbed, and the large goblin standing on top of him, pulled at it until it came out of its socket with a sickening crunch. It continued to pull, and Ciege began to scream again, from the pain of his muscles and tendons informing him of every single piece of damage being done to them. He watched his health bar drop down to half, and every second it ticked away, even lower.

“Gods damn it!” Ciege screamed, as his arm fell limply down into the puddle of blood he had created.

The large goblin on his back chuckled at something, and Ciege felt a blade enter through his back, piercing his left lung. His health was down to almost nothing now, the red line barely visible.

His scream was cut short, as he ran out of breath far too quickly. He searched his mind for anything else, a skill or perk he had forgotten about, but with his darkening vision, he couldn’t see a damn thing.

He could feel the large goblin reaching for his other arm from the increased pressure on his back and looked at Yeva a final time.

“Yeva! I love you. More than anything in the world I love you.” He shouted, causing the robed goblin to look down at him from the stage-like table he had set up.

“God’s damn you! Fine! Take it! Do what you want, just save her!” Ciege bellowed, reaching with his remaining functioning hand into his pocket. He barely felt the needle enter his finger.

45