Chapter 155 – Pareth: 155% ?
560 2 47
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

Back in the civilized world, Sofia had checked the time and found out that she still had more than a week before the meetup time with Alith. There were a few things to do before which she could get out of the way, like finding Zerei some clothes. It was not that demons had to worry about being naked, but it could be problematic if she just strolled outside looking like… Well, like a demon.

Unsure what to do, she thought she could ask Valeure for help, as she was the higher authority in the city. The Saintess wasn’t there; she had left a bit after Sofia had and still hadn’t returned. But Sofia still got to meet with a High-priest at the Wind temple. She had explained that as long as someone didn’t steer trouble or inconvenience the population, they could as well be a Goblin, and nobody in the city would care. Officially at least. So even the Apostles were fine, but it was better if they hid their appearance. It was a bit of a pleasant surprise but not unexpected. Sofia had seen a lot of different non-human people out on the streets of Hooasow, at one point even a tall lady elf carrying a bunch of swords, but no Demons yet.

Toward the end of their short discussion, the High-priestess even assured her that the Saint alliance included Apostles in their ranks. After all, Apostles had to pass the Saint trials.

With that taken care of, Sofia also stopped by the local Vasperian Embassy to see if there were news from Astelia, and there was. It was a simple letter dated three days back.

“To Sofia A.

Hi! I have some quick news for you!

Congratulations on your new citizenship; you could have asked to be a citizen of Vasperia, you know. I’m sure you would have had no trouble making friends here with your abilities.

Anyway, I keep getting visions from Moon, which pesters me to go through my trial as soon as possible. I don’t know why. But since you're progressing fast, I would like to go with you when you go, if you don’t mind. If you agree, just send me a letter saying when and where you want to meet, and I’ll be there soon after. Please don’t feel rushed, though; I am not actually very eager to go. Leveling up now will only slow my growth further…

Also, you may want to know that Uncle Cardinal is investigating the strange happenings in Skyreach, something about a spreading curse. You will need to contact him yourself if you want to know more. You can send him a letter like you would for me.

Lastly, our Saintess still has not shown any signs of life. I will keep you informed if that changes.

I hope you liked my small gift last time, don’t use them when there are other Vampires around. You can keep the ring. Take care, friend,

Astelia Glacier, Duke of Brehmin”

Sofia smiled as she folded the letter and stored it in her ring. She wrote a quick reply saying that she would love to have Astelia around for the trial and that she would go whenever she was ready. She expected that to be in a few months to half a year, but it could vary depending on her other traveling companion’s plans.

She also wrote a concise letter for Cardinal, not inquiring about the ‘curse’ but telling him all she knew about it. She explained the presence of soul parasites and said she knew more but would only talk about it face to face.

With that done, she left the Embassy. She bought a bunch of stuff for Zerei, including a small storage ring and some clothes. The Avian was reluctant to accept more things from her savior. Still, she relented when Sofia pointed at the staff floating by itself in the middle of the room, waiting for Sofia to pick it back up. It was hovering above a small bone pedestal of sorts. Zerei had covered it in ritual circles meant to further bind the item to Sofia. It would allow it to track her down and fly back to her if she lost it.

Unsure what would even fit the Avian Demon, Sofia had bought a lot of different clothes. They were mainly from a beastmen shop since they also had winged species. Zerei went for a loose red silk garment with long flowing sleeves that could hide her wings. It was held together by a colorful sash bound around the waist. She wore that with a wide wooden hat that looked like a conical barrel lid that Sofia had bought as a joke but which Zerei actually really liked.

Zerei now had all the tools to leave if she wanted to. She decided not to. Not only did she want to repay Sofia somehow, but she had admitted to having no plan for what to do past enjoying her favorite meal. She expected the world to have changed during her absence, and it did. Now that everyone she used to know was long dead, and having lost her old class, she wasn’t especially interested in studying rituals anymore. “I just want to enjoy life, yes. If you’ll have me, I’m strong and can help out, yes? I might leave at some point to search for what’s left of the other tribes. Until then, I would be happy to go with you and Skeleton man!”

I don’t mind, she’s a strong bodyguard, and her personality is nice. She could be a lifesaver against bounty hunter attacks. Thinking about that, I should learn more about divination… What will Alith say about this new member, though? Ah, one thing at a time. Let’s take care of Pareth for now.

“Sure, but know that I move around a lot and usually get into an inordinately high amount of danger on a regular basis. Also, necromancy.”

“That is not a problem, no! It’s nice, and I want to move a lot now. And necromancy is just magic, yes, like cursing. There is no bad magic.”


Sofia and Zerei flew north in search of the stone ogre tribe; the Avian flew much better and faster than Sofia, which isn't a surprise. Sofia had explained how Pareth worked and how she had hunted a stone Ogre before. Zerei was already familiar with stone ogres and wanted to try hunting an Alpha with her new powers. She had been staring at her Apostle abilities for two thousand years without ever using them; she was rearing for a fight. Scholar or not, she was someone who had fought her way up to the fourth filter, and now she had a new and improved body with strong skills built in.

Sofia was concerned that the Alpha might be too big and unwieldy as a skeleton. But Zerei swore it would be perfect for the next trial, so she trusted her. Also, the prospect of an even stronger Pareth was quite exciting. Not only would the skeleton of the Alpha be a colossal strength boost for Pareth, but there was a good chance that Zerei could help her improve the ritual to make him even stronger.

They stopped high in the sky when they saw the first hints of the Ogre tribe in the distance.

Sofia was the first to talk, “How do we do this? We don’t know each other’s skills.”

“How do you usually fight, yes?”

“I either explode things in one hit from a distance, actually explosions. Or let Pareth and the skeletons handle close combat.”

“You have more skeletons?” Zerei asked as she had never seen or heard of the book.

“Yes, they’re just not permanent. Some of them also take less damage when lit by the sun.”

“Oh, interesting, yes, that will be strong in some parts of the next trial. But for now… Do the explosion from a distance, and I will go in after. You can do what you want, but I would like to fight the Alpha alone. Also, the skeletons can get close, but it could be dangerous for you, so stay at least five hundred meters away; some of my curses don’t make the difference between enemies and allies, I think…”

“That’s fine. Are you sure you can handle the Alpha? He could be above three hundred.”

“Not sure, no. But I won’t die,” Zerei finished, taking off her clothes.

She doesn’t want to damage them. I guess I did go around naked, too, as a Demon. Not like a Demon needs clothes with all the big scales, and in her case, the feather-shaped things.

It was still day, so Sofia started by summoning the twenty-five paladins and spreading them around the ogre tribe in five groups. They would be here primarily to bait the females and the Alpha’s sons away from the Alpha. That would give plenty of space for Zerei to fight. Of course, Sofia made sure to be sure to remind Zerei that she needed the Alpha's skeleton intact.

With their battle plan ready, Sofia started to channel two bolts.

Zerei watched aghast as the attacks formed and then exploded into the Ogre tribe, even forgetting that she was meant to start fighting then. Instead, she felt compelled to comment while watching the ensuing chaos.

“You weren’t joking about the explosions, no no no no no… How- How many times can you do that exactly?”