Chapter 11 The Beginning – Safety & Monsters (Part 3)
After killing the third goblin with my skill I got my second level up. Then turning to face Kaden. Daichi rushed towards them seemingly with no fear as he stabbed a goblin in the head with pinpoint accuracy and then ruthlessly began stabbing at the one on Kaiden’s leg until his whole back and chest were littered with stab wounds.
I can’t be sure but I think he was smiling the entire time… He’s… Scary. There’s something not right about him.
This was my first life and death experience where I was awake. I was scared, terrified even. I pushed myself to kill in order to survive. I kept thinking about how I don’t want to die in a place like this. My parents are definitely dead. I passed their corpses at the front gate but didn’t say anything. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. I know I was sad but I didn’t feel anything. I felt defeated, lost and for a minute I wanted to just give up and throw myself under a rock and die, but then I remembered my mother, my father, everyone else who mattered.
They were dead. They died and they woke up one day thinking it was going to be a good day, no different then the last and without even getting a chance to struggle they were killed. They suffered an injustice so wrong it can’t be made right. I won’t die the same way. I won’t die for them.
My desperate will to live pushed me to kill, to push my feelings to the side and move forward. Someday I might have to kill someone, not a goblin or some monster but a human and I think I can do it. Even it means surviving. I think I can do it.
Then I felt a sensation coursing through my muscles as they all contracted giving me a sense of pain I wasn’t used too. I knew it was my body leveling up. I knew I had just gotten stronger… That was the only thing that kept me from freaking out. After so much, I know I was feeling jumpy.
Wanting to focus on something that felt more constant. I checked my <Status> screen.
| -Status- |
| Name: | Ava Kajiya |
| Level: | 10 |
| Race: | Human | Evolutionary Path: | ??? |
| Title(s): | Accidental Survivor |
| Divine Protection: | None | Attribute(s): | None |
| Health: | 70/100 |
| Mana: | 20/220 |
| Strength: | 11 | Agility: | 10 |
| Vitality: | 5 | Spirit: | 1 |
| Intelligence: | 22 | Wisdom: | 10 |—————————————————————————————————————
| Aptitude: | 24(+5) | Ability: | 10/500 |
| Skill(s): |
| Melt |
| Ability: |
| None |
| Inheritance: |
| Unawakened |
I focused my mind on my *Title* and the information just appeared in my mind.
In a situation orchestrated by the Gods where death was imminent. You survived by accident. Congratulations.
What?? Was I meant to die?? What kind of a joke title is this?? Can I even get rid of it?
What does aptitude even mean? *Aptitude*
Representation of Inborn natural ability
– Rate of growth (experience/level)
– The “Limiter” of potential
– Cannot be manually changed through stats, appears at birth and can be influenced by the “Gods”
My head is spinning. The feeling of having information just pop into my mind was something I never felt comfortable with. On top of which the content was making me a little confused.
I have too many thoughts running through my head at once. It’s like all the rules from the previous world are different. I knew the status window was different but this doesn’t make sense. How can everything be so different? I feel exactly like I did when I woke up, suddenly my world’s been flipped upside down. The more answers I get the more confused I feel. If this happened because I reached level 10 will it happen to everyone?
Evolutionary Path Unlocked: Dwarf
You have met the level requirements:
You have performed smithing.
You have a Blacksmith related Skill.
You have dwarf blood in your veins.
You have reached Level 10.
Would you like to evolve down this Path: [Yes / No]
Only one evolutionary path may be chosen as a Human.
No! Absolutely not! My immediate thought is a no and the window is closed immediately. I didn’t even have to think about that! No way would I want to become a dwarf! I would get even shorter than I already am!! Tch. People already think I’m way younger than I actually am because I’m 5’0 if I turned into a dwarf I might get as short as those goblins from before *shudder*.
I think it’s about time I share… This is too big to keep to myself… “Eh. Everyone…I think I have some answers.”
I finally take my eyes off my status screen and look around and notice Daichi staring at me oddly before saying “Answers?”.
Tch. I don’t like his stare. Something’s off with this guy “Yeah… But before that, I think we should get inside the cellar. We’re all a bit hurt and if more goblins come *shudder* well yeah it won’t be good. Lets go in and talk” I turn around and realize that midway through that sentence I finally started to feel the pain in my back.
Tch! It must be from earlier when the goblin cut me! Right! Even my health was down! Grrrr stupid goblin! I need to change my clothes, I need a shower. I walk up to the cellar door and whisper the incantation necessary to open the doors. “أبواب البكم تفتح الآن”
The doors slide sideways respectively into the earth and a path of stairs are left before us.
At least the cellar wasn’t destroyed or worse. I glance backwards and catch everybodys looks of uncertainty which helps put me at ease a bit. I begin to walk down the stairs and lead the way. The second I step past the third step the gems imbedded in the ceiling and sides of the walls begin to glow. Lighting the entire path downwards.
The entire scene looks majestic but it’s something basic for a blacksmith to be able to imbue magic into gems or crystal for later use. The easiest form of doing so is imbedding a gem with magic for the sole purpose of lighting an area. The gems can do so indefinitely in theory, since after they have been imbued with magic they can stay lit or light up on command as long as there is mana to draw in to it’s core from around it. Although that takes a higher level spell to be equipped to the gem.
Calming down from the entire incident just minutes ago and trying to focus on anything but the pain radiating from my back I begin to explain the cellar and it’s intricacies to the others “The cellar was created by the first Kajiya. He was a famous blacksmith with incredible ability for magical weapons. He first came here when the town was first being built. He made a big name for himself but in his later years became a total recluse. Some people thought he left town because he never went out anymore and anyone who visited the house never saw him anymore but he didn’t. This was where he spent all of his time, he lived and breathed smithing down here but no longer the conventional kind. He was working on trying to find an alternative method to creating Mana Rings without using void magic.”
“Did he succeed?” Daichi exclaimed.
Hmmm. This counts as speaking out for this guy. “No unfortunately he did not, but he did leave in his notes that he was certain that there was a way he just couldn’t figure it out. He said that based on the principles of magic, void magic wasn’t the only form of magic that could link two separate places together, but no one in our family has been able to do anything with that piece of information since then.”
Hearing a disappointed sigh behind me, I expected as much. No more disappointed than any of us. My entire family has spent their lives building on this, and now there’s no one left but me. Getting depressed again, I stifle those feelings again. “We’ve arrived. This cellar is unique in how it was originally built. It was created through smithing techniques and void magic. No before you ask, it wasn’t my relative but his best friend who was a void magician, and together they built this sanctuary. It is 5 floors deep, this is the first floor.” I waved my arms as I walked down the final step and the entire room began to glow as the gems were triggered. What appeared before us was a large space, over 1000 sq ft.
“There are three doors, the first to a small wash room. The second to a pantry with stocked goods. The third that leads further down to the other rooms” I said with slight satisfaction. No one had achieved as much as my great-great grandfather had. He was the pride of our family. Even if the majority of what he did was unknown to everyone outside of my family. We understood how great he was.
“This was the first time a Kajiya is bringing outsiders into this room, you should all be honored” – The first time a Kajiya brings down outsiders and likely the last time I’ll be here I thought.
Taking a deep breath I walk over a shelf and find some medical supplies, antiseptic and bandages for the wounds. “Hannah, you come with me. We can change our clothes from our uniforms and you can help me as well. You two.” I walk over most of the supplies to Daichi “You two can fix each other up over there on the couch.” I turn and walk away
I pull Hannah’s arm and head to the washroom.
I go to pull on the door to the washroom only to find rock on the other side. There’s nothing that, just rock. No room.
Confused I closed the door and open it again. Same thing. I don’t know why I tried it a second time I just couldn’t believe my eyes. “The washroom is gone.”
I feel them rushing towards us and take a deep breath. “There’s wall, not even wall just rock, there’s no washroom, it’s as if it was never even here.” I try to keep my voice as steady as possible. This is disconcerting.
I move away from the door and try the pantry. Same thing. Only rock, I move to the stairwell entrance and again, only rock. “All the rooms are gone, even the stairwell is no longer here” the corner of my mouth twitched and my eyes were suddenly filled an astonishment and confusion that is difficult to hide. In order for all of this rock to form perfectly like this it’s almost as if there was never anything beyond these doors in the first place. It’s the only way to really explain it. After the day I had yesterday, it’s not as far-fetched as I would have thought so before either.
Daichi not one to hide his interest despite the inappropriate reaction was first to summarize the situation “This obviously has to do with everything that happened yesterday. So these rooms and floors are probably gone, the town crumbled, just about everyone we know died and somehow we’re seemingly the only survivors for some at least yet-to-be-explained reason.” without even stopping for breath his eyes widened even more as he grinned sardonically “This is of course only the half of it, if that. Then our status windows change, something astronomic and even harder to believe and the gods message us again after nearly a thousand years.”
Not wanting to keep what I know to myself any longer I tell the boys to get to the corner and turn around, Hannah and I are going to change and I don’t want them to see. I go to the end of shelves near the washroom and pull off two towels and underneath where I’d left them before some spare clothes. Without anybody noticing I pull out a gold embroidered box from in-between two towels and take my ancestor’s ring out from the box and place it in my pocket. Then I pull an extra school set of skirt and shirt and a knee length white summer dress with frills on the sleeves. The only sets of clothes I’d left down here. I keep the skirt and shirt for myself and offer the dress to Hannah. “Are you sure it’s okay for me to wear this?” Hannah glancing at the dress then me then back at the dress.
“Of course it’s no big deal, hopefully it’ll fit.” Looking a little more self-satisfied then I meant too. I might be shorter than this red head but at least I don’t lose out to her in the breasts department!
I towel myself off and making sure the boys aren’t peeking, I have hannah pour some of the antiseptic on my wound and then wrap some of the bandages around my chest and back before putting on my clean set of clothes. After Hannah changes as well we walk back to the boys. Taking a look it seems as if they didn’t bother with much and just wrapped some gauze around Kaden’s leg and shoulder and seem to be discussing what to do next.
“I got a few status updates when I reached level 10. Before you ask anything let me just say everything I can and then you can ask, okay?” glancing around and nothing no objections I continue “Okay. When I reached level 10 I was told that I could finally have full access to my status window, titles. I was also told that I had reached the basic requirement for this new world, whatever that means. Also apparently as a human we have now gain two stats per level that we can distribute how we like after level 10 which is the same as before… Except it’s a little strange that it mentioned “as a human” Finally finished speaking I was feeling exhausted and hoping everyone else would be able to handle the news with some form of helpfulness.
“Wow do you think that means I can get a skill at level 10 now??” Hannah was looking at me like I was her role model, wide eyed with stars glistening in her irises. Almost like the most excitable puppy I’ve ever seen.
“Man i don’t even know. That’s a lot to take in. So we all have to reach level 10 before we can get full access, eh does that mean you know what each of the new stats mean? I have a feeling they’re all different from before and not just the ones that changed” Kaden was in the thinker pose, holding his chin while almost too deliberately looking like he was thinking hard.
Looking down at the floor and coming off as pensive Daichi chimed in “Since there is too much to go over. It seems that the general gist of things is that level 10 is the starting point for this new world. Anything under level 10 may as well be a child and everything included on that level is destined to die to something else. Why else would the ‘system’ phrase it that way?” making a grimaced expression.
Looking at this person, Kaden and I all stared at him revealing uncertain, and confused looks. Only Hannah had a rather surprised look in her eyes, her brow furrowing as a light flashed momentarily in her eyes before it vanished, leaving only me to notice that quick change.
I looked at Daichi challenging his eyes “I guess. Well for now we still have some food supplies in here enough for a week for the three of us. The door closed and the magic re-sealed itself after we all walked far enough down the stairs we’re safe for now.”
Without missing a beat he stared at me contemplatively and answered in a calm and unperturbed voice “You’re absolutely right. There’s no need to rush. Although now that we have some more information… It’s clear to me that we’ll need to kill more creatures to get stronger. Although the wounds should heal in a while and in the meantime we can look for the ring. Let’s find it first and then discuss what we should do afterwards. Is the ring in this main room or was it on a lower level?” his gaze unchanged made me feel like that combined with his words, I’d already lost.
Since when do I let some guy boss me around? This is outrageous. I should be leading us, instead this guy is always one step ahead. He says the right things at the right times and it’s ridiculously annoying. Tch.
Lifting my chin a bit and swirling my right hand around a lock of hair “Actually. I already found the ring. It was where it was supposed to be.”
His expression falling for a second before he recomposed himself, clearly annoyed. Finally. “So, what is inside?” he tried to act indifferent but I can he’s itching to know what’s inside.
“Two swords forged by my great-grand father, plain but made of mithril. They were experimental blades. One spear, the entire length of it made from an earth dragon’s bone and the bladed edge also from mithril. An advanced piece while he was experimenting. A few short daggers plain but made with silver.” My expression even. I know I’d won this round. Bow before the greatness of my family!
“Oh, that’s all?” glancing away Daichi started walking back to the couch.
What!? You IDIOT! These are near legendary items!
Glancing back at me with a smirk on his face “Yeah I thought you were goading me. haha. Of course that’s amazing. Also, don’t try to tease me unless you’re fine with being teased back. So the items, who gets what? You’re not going to hog everything right?” His smirk growing wide enough that I want to smack it clean off his face.
I close my eyes and count to ten. I open them back up to look at his smirk is still plastered on his face before closing my eyes again and counting to one hundred.
“Uhh… Hey Ava are you okay???” A soft voice right next to me surprises me and wakes up be up from my thought-calming-number-counting.
“Okay what does everyone want? No point in keeping everything when we’re all going to be working together from now on. Of course that’s under the premise that we all have the same goals in mind. So what is everybody’s goal from this point on?” I look over at everyone making sure I see every twitch of their brow and every micro expression theirs eyes make.
“No goal. We just want to stay alive” Kaden wastes no time in voicing his opinion. He’s always straight forward. If he wasn’t always leering at me like someone who’s thinking something perverted 24/7 he might not be so bad.
“I want to go to a city. I think it’s best if we find people and work together. Is what you’re going to say right Hannah?” Daichi surprisingly speaks up next, and for Hannah no less.
“Yeah…” Hannah said softly
“I agree. We should head towards a town. The portals are probably destroyed or not working so we can try to work our way towards one of the closer inner cities. Even so… We’ll likely run into opposition along the way. We’ll need to get stronger before we even leave. So I think that if there *are* more goblin around, we scout them out and we kill them. Aside from Ava the three of us aren’t even at the starting point for this new world. We need to get stronger fast. Then we can level up some in this town since I doubt goblins are going to be our only concern. Once we’re strong enough to travel through the forests where a wide variety of things and people might appear. Then we can leave. What does everybody think?” Daichi finishes speaking
Tch. Once again. Another logical proposition. There’s something about this guy that seriously bugs me.
He hasn’t checked me out once so far. Not once. Not normal.
“Okay. Then let’s use this cellar for our base for now. We can gather more supplies, more intel on our surroundings and any threats and try to get stronger. I refuse to die like this. So I want to get stronger too” Looking as determined as Daichi was Hannah and Kaden followed up as well “Us too!”
Hopefully this is the right decision was the unanimous thought.