I laid on the ground as I got my breath back.
“Haa… Those were a lot of stairs…”
“You know, I am impressed that you were able to keep up with me,” Jer nonchalantly mentioned as he looked at the surroundings. “Although, looks like I am indeed dead…” He paused with slight regret as he looked at the collapsing temple. “So much time has passed huh…”
“Yea…” Ari awkwardly agreed.
“Well, time for the thing I came for. Fufufu…” I cheerfully pulled the item-bag I was given as a reward for my harsh efforts, oddly enough the adventurers weren’t around. So, there was that.
Without hesitation I looked into the opening of darkness inside the bag, seeing I had no vision I just stuck my hand and waved it around. I felt a strange sensation almost as if I was touching pebbles and some various flat items. Without much hesitation I took hold of one and slowly pulled it out of the bag, only to reveal a sword with a gray blade and black handle.
“Oh, looks nice…” I muttered as I saw the purple metallic shine it had.
“I mean, aside from it being cursed I think it looks fine…” Ari reluctantly informed me.
I paused for a moment and took a look at it, I did not feel anything but it gave me an ominous feeling, although… It was positive somehow… What kind of curse could be beneficial? Was it because of karma? Wait, now that I think about it… It has been very useless in affecting me and helping… Well, aside from scaring people every now and then…
Although it did not help thinking about it, Ari was right on it being cursed. I mean, simply by logic wouldn’t something with a blessing be something like fire to me? Well, I didn’t know if blessings were around, I only recall enchanting weapons, now that I think about it, it doesn’t matter, does it? Just avoid what you don’t know and don’t try to fix what is working! Yea!
“Jer, have this cursed sword…” I threw it to him, for some reason he accepted it without hesitation, then he dropped his other sword. I realized that the one I gave him was an actual sword and not a pointy-stick, so i guess he was still a knight.
“Well, let us see… What does the bag hold?” I stuck my hand inside and took a pebble, or what looked like a pebble. They were rocks! Well, no… They were minerals, mostly rubies and sapphires, as well as some emeralds. For some reason, I felt extremely lucky to get something of such value, even though I had no idea if they were useful here… Although, I bet they are useful for enchanting.
“Y-Yami!” Ari desperately called for me.
“Did you just take out an emerald, and um, just a lot of expensive stones in general!?” Ari asked in a bit of excitement and confusion, I nodded with slight hesitation. “Awa… I heard rumors about dungeons giving great things but… I did not think you would get enough to buy your own castle!” Wa… I have a bad feeling about this…
“You know Ari, I normally would be happy to hear that, but it came with a cursed sword which can just be interpreted as bad luck, I can be called the manifestation of bad luck if you think about it. Don’t you think the gems would also be awfully cursed?” She paused.
“Well yeah… I cannot tell if something is cursed unless I am touching it, but the sword you had just had a weird aura coming out of it…” Oh, I didn’t notice…
On second thought I looked back at the sword, it had a faint aura, although it seemed rather pleasant to me… Weird. I shook my head and sighed, pulling out a small stone, seeing all of them were well… big-pebble sized, could fit in my hand I guess. Without thinking much about it, I took a closer look at the stones and… I felt it…
“Hey Ari, do these things have mana?”
She paused. “Yeah, minerals tend to have at least some mana imbued in them by nature, you know. Mithril is the richest in mana after all.” Well, that made perfect sense.
Without thinking much about it I tried absorbing the mana, and it slowly drained into my hand. This time it did not feel like I was being forcefully shaken by an earthquake and turning into jelly, it felt like… Soothing and relaxing, although there was still something. Wasn’t it cursed? It felt relaxing in general, almost as if all my fatigue was relieved.
“Hmm, well… I don’t think they are cursed... “ I muttered with doubt, Ari came closer and took it off my hand, it was turning opaque but it still had some shine to it.
“Yami, just because it doesn’t affect you… Doesn’t mean it’s not cursed…” She muttered with regret as she touched it.
“Blessings sure come in handy huh…” I mentioned with surprise.
“... Yeah…” And… she had turned bitter all of the sudden, I guess I shouldn’t mention it…
“I know that both of you know each other already, and that I am dead. But like… I think we should move away from here…” Jer intervened with worry.
“What do you mean? Didn’t you just get reported by necromancy? I don’t think we want the church to show up here…” Oh…
“Yeah… Even though I am the complete opposite to your new undead toy I agree…” Ari reluctantly said her words.
Although, first of all, I wasn’t a necromancer, I was a summoner. I couldn’t really raise the dead, however, what I could do was find some undead and force a contract upon them. Kind of like enslaving them, but I wasn’t a big fan of the idea, which is why I only had contracts with smart summons.
“I mean, I am not a necromancer…” I voiced my inner-voice. “And also, what’s such a big deal about it?”
Jer and Ari simultaneously paused. “W-Wait, Yami, you are telling me you don’t know what the church does whenever there is a necromancy report?!”
“What a problem…”
“Yami, they are going to send a holy knight! Just to kill you… So… let’s run, while we can…” Ari seemed worried and upset, although, what made a holy knight? Holy equipment?! That doesn’t even exist.
“Yami, I know you are used to danger, but believe me, you don’t want to face a holy knight, they use Divine tier equipment, given to them by the church. There is only about fifteen holy knights in existence and all of them are said to be just as strong as the capital’s Guildmaster… Or as Dan… Huh… that sounded weird…” Ari confused herself as she realized how important Dan truly was. “Anyway… Let’s run while we can.”
“Do they use full plate armor?” Ari nodded hesitantly to my question. “We are staying.”
“Y-Yami, what are you even thinking about?”
I paused. “I want new armor for Jer, since we can’t have something that is obviously a skeleton walking around with us.” They both paused and looked troubled.
“Yeah, but the armor can wait, besides you can probably make one!” Jer hurriedly nodded in agreement.
I shrugged… “I suppose…”
“Now let’s lea—” Ari paused. “Where did we come from?”
“Now that you mention it…” We were in the middle of a forest.
“Well, I don’t know this forest, but I can say that it’s that way…” Our friendly knight pointed towards a tree. Making Ari confused and tilt her head.
“How do you know?”
He pondered for a second as if it was obvious. “Well, if you pay attention to the ground is worn out and the tree has slight markings.” Upon closer inspection, the dry forest ground on that side was slightly caved in like a track, although I did not see the tree markings he was talking about.
“Well, let’s get back to the capital before anything bad happens…”
“Wait… Should we even go to the capital first?” Ari questioned with concern, making me tilt my head. “Well, I doubt you want to let go of your new-found summon…” Ah…Right… He literally looks undead…
“Hmm, what a problem… Let’s just get out of the forest now, and after that we… think… Yeah…” I didn’t really know what I was doing, I really did not think the adventurer’s would run away from me.
Without much thought, I started walking through the tracks with Ari and Jer, following right behind me, the greenery of the forest was quite interesting, around the temple it looked bad and rotten, but it was bright green now, and the thick foliage covered most of the sun. Yet it still allowed pleasant rays to pass through.
We slowly and calmly walked down the forest, Jer was also admiring it, I guess it was the first time seeing something like that… I mean, who knows how much of his memories are left? As for Ari, she seemed to also be able to appreciate the forest, so it wasn’t a big deal to take our time.
Some more passing through, I kept hearing rippling from the surroundings but nothing ever really approached me.
“You know, I kind of wonder how you manage to scare all of the monsters away Yami…” I kind of stiffened, it wasn’t a nice comment, but I wondered the same.
“Wait… you are telling me you don’t see it?” Jer asked Ari with disbelief.
“No?” She tilted her head.
We paused and looked at him with confusion.
“When I first saw you I thought I was going to die in no time, even though you were just a girl… That aura or presence rather… it’s not human…” He said with slight confusion. “Although, I did not think it could get scarier when I saw your mana leak, I froze…” He was talking with sadness and he seemed slightly ashamed…
““Eh…”” Both of us were confused.
“Probably monsters can see my aura…” I muttered, Ari paused…
“W-Wait, J-Jer… Did she look like death herself and the look of her eyes was pure evil?” Ari asked with slight panic as she recalled her memories. Jer nodded with silence. “I saw her like that before… It’s… scary…”
“Just stop! Jer shouldn’t even feel hostility from me since I am his master now!” I exclaimed with resentment, annoyance and a bit of embarrassment. They couldn’t talk about me like that… I didn’t even seek to be like this…
I froze and looked at my hand with slight regret. “The day this breaks, it’s going to be hell…” I muttered with pain as I looked at my glove. I didn’t really have the means to make a new one, or anything of my important things for that matter.
“Yami, is something wrong?” Ari asked with concern.
“It’s nothing…” I dismissed her, not really wanting to talk about it. She sensed my coldness and not persuaded any further, although she did seem to be weirded out by how I was. I guess I would’ve normally just negated it without being so… cold.
We continued walking without much talking, eventually getting out of the forest and finding ourselves in yet another predicament. We kind of knew the general direction of the capital, mostly by the visible footstep marks from the adventurers that ran away.
“So, do we go back?” Ari asked me, leaving the decision to me.
“Hmm… Well, I am sure Aizen is having fun… I guess we can take our time. Let’s just... go to the nearest town from here and try to get something done so that Jer can exist around normal people…” It really did not sound promising but both of them nodded in unison not really having many options.
With defeat, we started walking to the opposite side to the capital, since it was just a road for horses, it wasn’t a big deal. Although it did concern me.