Ascension Rebirth – To save someone (Chapter 15)

Ascension Rebirth – To save someone

CHAPTER XV

PART ONE

“I’m lost.”

Let’s face it, no matter how you look at it I have no clue as to where I am right now. All alone in the woods filled with monsters that can maul off my face at any given moment.

That’s no good.

Just how exactly did I end up like this?

Thinking back it all happened 3 hours ago.

PART TWO

It’d been about half a day since we entered the forest.

“Sister, don’t you think it’s time we took a little break. The soldiers also look rather exhausted from all that walking.”

Turning back to check the conditions of the soldiers and seeing that they were indeed rather tired, my sister conceded that fact and went through with my suggestion.

“Then we’ll have a 10 minute break.”

I heard the sounds of sigh and relief from the soldiers as they dropped down to the ground.

I know that they were trained soldiers and all but walking in such a humid forest in full body armour couldn’t have been easy. I’m actually pretty impressed.

The soldiers replenished themselves with the food and water they brought along.

As for me I also brought something to eat. However I wasn’t physically carrying it.

I had a special skill for that.

[Inventory].

Just like in games the [inventory] is used to store items and equipment.

Of course that also means I can store food as well. It’s kind of hard to exactly explain how the [inventory] system works, but I can open a small warp hole in the air to pull out objects.

Obviously I did it in secret so no one would catch on.

I took out a small piece of sandwich I made earlier that morning and was happily eating away.

I noticed the presence of two small enemies. Most likely they belonged to goblins.

From the looks of it there weren’t any other monsters in the vicinity either. So I had the bright idea of thinking that it was a perfect opportunity to fight a 2v1 battle.

“I’m going to check something, I’ll be right back in a minute.”

I told my sister and Soumee in advance.

“I’ll go with you.”

Soumee wanted to come along, since she’s my bodyguard I suppose that’s a fair point. However I wanted to do this alone.

Call it a gamer’s pride but I feel like this small task I can do without backup.

“It’s fine I’m just going to go pick the flowers.”

“Pick the flowers?”

“Leave it at that Soumee.”

To my aid was my sister who stopped Soumee. She understood what I was trying to say, of course it was a lie that I needed to go.

“Then at least please take this.”

Soumee handed me a small stone like object.

I inspected the object carefully.

[Magic Stone. Contains one spell].

“What’s this?”

“It contains a onetime use magic spell. It will shield you from any attack for a period of time. Once that magic is activated I will know to come to you.”

“Thanks.”

I give her a cute smile as I excuse myself from the area.

Now I was alone.

Seeing that the two goblins revealed themselves to me.

Pale skinned, slightly taller than me, ragged clothes and stone weaponry.

They looked rather vicious with their sharp teeth and jagged nails.

The first thing I did was check their levels.

If they were too high I would immediately back off into the soldier camp.

[Goblin fighter. Level 8].

[Goblin fighter. Level 7].

From the looks it things they wouldn’t really pose a threat.

I also checked the surrounding area with my [Keen Mind] to see if there were any others waiting in ambush.

There were not. Though I shouldn’t overestimate my abilities, since [Keen mind] was still only level 1 I couldn’t be too sure.

I decided that if more goblins show up I’ll immediately bolt from here.

“Kii…”

“Kii, kii.”

They were whispering amongst themselves.

They didn’t look like they were going to back off, perhaps they’re planning some sort of strategy? I’m not entirely sure on the intelligence level of goblins in this world but usually in RPGs they’re the dumbest creatures.

After talking amongst themselves one of them started to walk closer to me.

Unlike me who can clearly read their levels they couldn’t. Most likely due to this they were judging me based off my physical size.

One of the goblins raised his club while walking towards me.

As he stood in front of me he swung down with all his strength.

Since that attack was telegraphed from a mile away I was easily able to dodge it using [Blink].

I positioned myself behind the goblin.

It was the perfect position for any assassin.

[Back Stab] + [Assassinate] were a very dangerous combo.

It took only one strike to kill an ogre, killing a goblin wouldn’t be much different.

As I calculated the goblin didn’t even see it coming as he fell down. That’s one down.

The other goblin was clearly stupefied. He didn’t even move for a solid 5 seconds.

Giving me ample of enough time to [Shadow Dash] in front of him and stab him through the chest.

Thus the second one fell.

I managed to avoid any blood spill on my clothes. Looks were important after all.

Feeling all triumphant since I was able to best two measly goblins I decided it was time to head back to the camp since they were waiting for me.

And that’s when it happened.

“Kii!”

“Kiii! Kikikikiki!”

Strange noises were coming from the dead corpses of the goblins.

I turned to see that a strange yellow crystal was forming on their deceased bodies.

The two goblins I killed rose up as though they were zombies.

Correction they probably were zombies.

They had a vacant expression in their eyes and their body was now covered with a yellow crystal like objects.

[Crystalline Goblin. Level 11].

[Crystalline Goblin. Level 10].

When I checked again their levels were higher and their names have changed.

That’s no good. That’s no good at all.

By this point I was pretty confused as to what the hell was going on.

Then I realized. This was what we were here for.

The ‘odd monsters’ that were appearing within this forest. It was most likely referring to these strange crystalline monsters.

I [Blinked] once more towards the crystallized goblin and gave a good stab through the heart.

However to my surprise, it did not even flinch. Instead it immediately counter attacked sending me flying away.

It’s power was barely weak enough as to not break the bones in my developing body. It was also a little faster too.

I slowly tried to back away but I heard a rustle from the nearby trees.

Out from them came a few more monsters. All with similar crystalline structures embedded onto them.

[Crystalline Ogre. Level 14].

[Crystalline Dire Wolf. Level 13]. X3

I was captured by complete surprise. My [Keen Mind] wasn’t alerting me to their presence. Even now it was telling me that there was no danger or any hostility aimed towards me.

That was complete crap. I could clearly see with my own two eyes that there were monsters that were ready to tear off my face.

As a gamer there was only one thing that I could do.

We gamers have been conditioned to find the most efficient means of dealing with any situation presented to us.

Right, it was my ruthless training in the online world that has prepared me for this day.

You probably already know where I’m going to go with this.

That’s right, I’m going to run.

I was far too outnumbered to even try anything. It was also dangerous to fight without my [keen mind] working properly.

Turning around to head back to the camp my exit was blocked off by a large figure.

A large black spider.

Its eight red eyes staring right at me with full intentions of pouncing on me. On its back was a large yellow crystal.

[Giant Crystalline Spider. Level 19].

Each of its legs were bigger than me.

It towered at about 2.3 meters tall.

It slightly opened its mouth. Acid like drool emitted steam as it hit the floor.

I noticed something else.

All of these monsters had a particular status below their names.

[Crystalline Frenzy: those inflicted will attack anything not infected with the Crystalline curse].

‘Crystalline Curse’?

Perhaps everything that dies within the forest turns into these crystalline abominations.

No, now isn’t the time to be thinking about such a thing.

Fortunately for me, the [Assassin] class is well known for the myriad of escapes it possesses.

Using [blink] I jumped onto the giant spider’s back, then immediately used [Shadow dash] to run.

However I was too slow as my legs were swept away by the large spider.

As a result I fell down a nearby cliff.

It was pretty steep but using my acrobatic skills I was able to avoid it.

I fell what seemed to be about 50 meters.

This may have worked in my favor since the crystalline monsters weren’t inclined to jump down after me. At least I know they aren’t suicidal.

Still, this was a pain, I needed to get back to the camp to warn everyone.

PART THREE

Thus I ended up wandering around for the past three hours trying to find my way back to the camp.

How did it end up like this? I was having lunch just a few hours ago…

I guess I already explained that.

Sigh.

I am getting a little worried though. Those crystalline monsters didn’t react to pain. Was it because they were already dead? That does make some sense.

“Liliana?!”

As I walked for a few more minutes, I heard a familiar voice calling out to me.

“Sister?”

I looked around to see Lyssa all by herself.

Her clothes were visibly tattered.

I immediately ran to her and supported her from falling over.

“What happened?”

“Monsters appeared. Strange monsters with crystals attached to them.”

“I see.”

It must have been immediately after I was knocked down the hill.

If she’s here alone then most likely the soldiers are either scattered about or…

No, at the very least Soumee should be alive. I just can’t imagine her being bested by some crystal freaks.

“Sister-”

I stopped myself.

Lyssa looked at me. She was visibly fatigued, or at least that’s what it appeared to be. The left side of her forehead was scratched and blood was dripping from her legs.

I immediately drew my knife. I didn’t want to do this but I felt like I was compelled to.

I proceeded to stab this ‘sister’ of mine.

“Ugh?!”

I then used [Shadow Dash] to back off.

“Why…?”

She was grabbing her stomach that was now bleeding.

“Why? Because you’re not my sister.”

That’s right, her stats were completely different.

[Noel. Level 18, Illusionist].

I have no idea why she would pose as my sister but it was probably not a good reason.

“Where’s my sister?”

“H, how did you?”

At the very least it seems that the damage I did was real. I felt a little irked that I just stabbed another human being but she shouldn’t die from that small injury caused by a four year old.

I must have been the worst match up for an illusionist. As long as I can see their stats I won’t have problems of being fooled.

No I guess I shouldn’t say that, I was almost fooled.

The illusionist, Noel transformed back into her original form, or at least I assumed that’s what it was.

She had purple hair and wore half a mask, just enough to cover the left side of her face.

Her eyes were blood red. They were glaring at me with intense anger.

Scary.

She wore an odd red robe. It contrasted really badly with the forest. The extent some people would go through for their own sense of fashion was astounding.

Still, I couldn’t relent in this situation, as a gamer, asserting your own dominance upon others were the most important thing.

“Noel the illusionist, I’ll ask you again, where is my sister?!”

She revealed a shocked expression as she stared at me. The magician being tricked, she could not have expected this much right?

“What are you?”

“That’s none of your business. Now tell me where she is.”

“Hah.”

“?”

“Hahaha! Die.”

“Eh?”

As she revealed such words she wasn’t even looking at me anymore. I followed her gaze and noticed it was behind me.

I turned black and noticed the giant crystalline spider.

Instinctively I [shadow dashed] to the side as it tried to stab me with one of its legs.

Close call.

Or not as behind me were crystalline goblins.

Their weapons were no longer stone clubs but crystalline clubs.

It looked like that would hurt more. I swung down with amazing speed but it was still a goblin so I was able to predict that much.

I [blinked] to the back of it and executed [assassinate] once more.

I stabbed deep in its back but it did not fall. I don’t even think this thing took any damage from that.

It turned around to attack me once more but I [blinked] away in time.

Soon I found myself surrounded by all sorts of crystalline monsters.

I see we’re back at step 1.

From the looks of it that Noel person was controlling these monsters. I figure that since she wasn’t targeted by these freaks even though she was clearly not infected.

Then I guess I can only target her.

I [blinked] to escape.

[Blink] was an awfully convenient skill. I could teleport anywhere within 10 meters as long as I had sight of it.

Truly a godly skill.

When I played assassin like characters in my previous life I took that skill for granted but when using it in real life it was extremely powerful.

Anyway I was sidetracking.

In just a few seconds I was next to Noel.

She was taller than me. No surprise, since I was only really four.

“Wha-?”

I used Noel as a shield so the crystalline monsters didn’t approach within a set distance. I see, so it wasn’t as though she was controlling them, rather it was that they couldn’t get near her.

It seems that even though she was level 18 she didn’t really have any way to retaliate now that I saw through her.

That was good. Out of all the bad things today, this was the first bit of good news.

I took out my knife and threatened her a little.

“Now, why don’t we walk to where you’re keeping my sister.”

“Tch.”

She begrudgingly followed my orders.

PART FOUR

I was taken to a small camp.

There was a small tent and campfire.

Was she alone?

The center of the camp was what really caught my attention.

There was a large yellow crystal floating above the ground.

From it I could feel some sort of power emanating. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that this was what was causing the monsters throughout the forest to mutate.

“What’s that?”

“Why should I tell you?”

“Because I have a knife.”

“Hmph. Not for long.”

“What are you-”

Before I could even guess at what she was saying I was attacked from behind.

Sent flying a smashed into the yellow crystal and onto the ground.

“Ugh. Ouch.”

Pain ran through my back and limbs.

I looked back to see who it was.

The sight horrified me.

What I saw were soldiers. Dead soldiers infused with the same yellow crystals.

But the worst part of it was that those soldiers were familiar faces. The soldiers sent from the West capital to deal with the strange monsters that were propping up recently.

I now knew their fate.

For a moment pitied them. If their fate was like this perhaps death would have been a preferable option.

“Hahaha. Idiot, you think I didn’t have any back up?”

But how? I though the crystalline monsters weren’t able to get within a set distance.

“From the looks of it you must be confused as to why these soldiers are able to get close to me.”

It felt vexing to have my thoughts read by someone else.

Noel continued.

“I’ll tell you, it’s all in the intelligence of the target. Those smart enough to register commands can fight the instinct to stay away from me. Or more specifically a piece of this crystal.”

She took what seemed to be a small shard of the yellow floating crystal.

Just what is that crystal?

“Mmm! Mm~! mm! m!”

I thought I heard something. I panned around to see what it was.

In the distance within the tent was a familiar figure.

It was my sister, Lyssa.

“Lyssa!”

Her hands and legs were bound and her mouth was gagged by a piece of cloth.

“Aren’t you happy that you could be reunited? Hahaha.”

I glared back at her.

“Oh, how scary.”

I stood up, albeit I was still shaken up from the initial shock. As agile as this body was it was also fairly fragile. I am distributing my stats as a sort of [Glass Cannon] after all.

If you don’t know Glass canons are what they sound like. Players who allocated a lot into their offensive capabilities while neglecting their defensive ones.

There were 9 soldiers.

Three of them were standing guard in front of Noel. I guess that’s a countermeasure for when I get too close.

The remaining 6 were sent to attack me.

They all had swords, shields and wore heavy armour. With my feeble knife unfortunately I won’t be able to do very much.

All I could do was run around avoiding fatal blows.

“Hahaha! Is that all? All you can do is run?”

At least one of us is having fun, but this is no good, I feel like I’ll run out of stamina soon.

I panting heavily.

Using [Shadow Cloak] I managed to evade sight for a little while.

Since it was only at level 5 there really wasn’t much I could do. It only lasted about 12 seconds at most.

I thought I could get into striking distance of Noel but those crystalline soldiers were deceptively fast. I’d be chopped to pieces before my knife even lands on her back.

Then what? Do I attack this floating crystal thing directly?

What that even work?

I guess it’s worth a shot.

I [shadow dashed] out of my [shadow cloak] and tried to [assassinate] the floating crystal.

“Haha! You think you can break that thing? With your level of strength the most you could do is scratch it.”

As I revealed myself I was once again under attack.

However I couldn’t dodge forever.

Eventually one of the soldier’s swings hit me.

I was thrown about by the impact and landed on her tent where my sister was.

Thanks to that the gag on her mouth came undone.

Unfortunately for me I had a large wound on my stomach.

“Liliana!”

I could clearly hear the panic in her voice.

PART FIVE

In my previous life I was all alone. I never had parents much less siblings.

My parents passed away when I was only four years old.

I was taken in by my relatives and passed around once they got sick of looking after me. At first they were accommodating but sooner or later they would show their true colors.

They looked at me like I was some sort of plague and baggage.

Perhaps they thought I was some sort of small animal that was left alone in the rain that they needed to take care of. Once that novelty wore off they wanted to get rid of me as soon as possible.

I always cried myself to sleep pondering what I did wrong. I wasn’t some prodigy, I wasn’t dumb either. I was just a normal child.

In the end I realized it was because my relatives were after the inheritance money left over from my parents. Once I learnt that I decided to live on my own.

School wasn’t that much better. I was bullied by the other children to the point I had to quit school.

If I had parents I may have been able to endure the stress but alone it was impossible to deal with. Thinking back I probably made the right choice to drop out of school.

I only got so far as middle school.

It was around the age of 13 that I started getting into otaku culture.

I would watch anime, read manga/light novels and play games throughout the entire day.

By the time I caught track of the time the sun had already risen.

What was it about that stuff that captivated me?

It was entrancing. The protagonists in those kinds of stories always win.

Even if they were also bullied or had a tragic past they would always pull themselves back together and make tons of friends.

However reality didn’t work like that. Even though I was going through the same thing why was it that things never went my way?

Why didn’t I have any friends that would pull me back together?

No one bat an eye when I was going through hell. Not even the teachers at school would lend me a hand, they had all thought it was bothersome. They must have rejoiced the moment I was gone; one less problem to worry about.

Like that I spent the next 10 years holed up in a single room.

I grew fatter and lazier as time passed. When I looked in the mirror not even a shred of what I used to be remained.

All I saw was something I despised.

It was a vicious circle, every time I saw myself I averted my gaze and used otaku culture to escape thereby repeating the entire process.

When I was around 23, I noticed that I was soon going to be out of my parent’s inheritance and that I would need to start working to live.

But how could I? I became fat and ugly. Not only that I didn’t even have any sort of real life skills. A middle school dropout, who would hire such a person? I wouldn’t.

I was then given two choices.

The first would be to continue on as I was. Eventually I would burn through the money I had left and end up homeless. Perhaps then if god felt merciful I would end up dead.

It was the first time I had even considered facing reality. It hurt to even say those words to myself. Thinking about how I would end up was a real wake up call.

The second choice was to slim down. Then I would start working part time. It didn’t matter where, just enough so I could sustain myself for the time being until I figure out the next step in my life.

The choice was obvious right?

The choice was very obvious but it was also very hard.

I was lazy.

It was hard to even move and I would have chronic pains. In such a state could I even slim down?

Such thoughts kept me from even trying.

However I still had some pride. I had to go through with my choice no matter what, else I would end up dead in a gutter somewhere.

I then started some light jogs in the mornings. Every day without fail, through rain or hail I would do it.

It was tough. There were days I wanted to quit, no that’s not true. Every day I wanted to quit, but I couldn’t, because I knew the moment I do stop even for a day I would revert back.

I think I would have quit as well but there was one event that helped me through.

I remember it well because it was snowing that morning.

One day as I was jogging through my usual route I fell down. I don’t even remember what I fell down on, it was just that I fell down and twisted my ankle.

There was no one there to even help me up. It was then I finally realized at that time I was truly alone in the world. No one would give a crap that I died.

Even if I decided to never move my body from that exact spot no one would cry.

I thought back to all the times when I had a chance to change myself.

After I dropped out of middle school I could’ve gotten a job.

I should have swallowed my pride and contacted one of my relatives.

I should have done something but I spent my days wasting away in a dark room.

As I realized that, tears came running down my face.

I was disturbed at myself.

It wasn’t the world that gave up on me; it was me who gave on trying.

I could only wryly laugh as the snow continue to fall.

“Are you alright?”

It was then I heard a voice reaching out to me. It was the voice of a man.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little afraid of men. No, I was a lot afraid of men. It was trauma from middle school, I was bullied mostly by the male students.

But looking at myself right now who would want to do harm to me right? A pathetic overweight slug, they’d gain nothing.

The man came up and stared at me with sympathetic eyes. He was a few years older than me, by how much I couldn’t really tell.

From the looks of how he was dressed he was also going out for a light jog.

Even though it was snowing, he went out for a jog. He was considerably fit as well. I was amazed and a felt a little pathetic about myself.

He helped me up. Even though I thought of myself as disgusting.

He wiped the snow off my shoulders and gave me a light pat on the back.

“Shall we continue?”

He said in a friendly voice.

I remember it clearly, I had a dumb expression on my face as I jogged from behind him. Or maybe it would be more apt to say that I was chasing after him.

“Whew. That was a good run. You have pretty good stamina.”

He gave me a compliment as we finished the course. I didn’t even know how many laps were ran. I was only chasing after him.

“Well them, I’ll be going now. Bye.”

“U-um!”

I stopped him. Why?

I don’t know. Perhaps I felt some sort of attraction? Even if I did there was no way he would reciprocate my feelings. I wouldn’t if I were him.

“Yes?”

He had a quizzical expression on his face.

“D, do you come here to jog often?”

“Hmm? Ah, yes I come here every morning at around 6:30 to jog.”

“I, I see. i-if you don’t mind, can I jog with you next time?”

I thought he would reject me. ‘Why would I want a disgusting pig running with me?’

As you can see I had very low self-esteem.

“Sure.”

He gave me a cool smile as he replied without a hint of malice.

After that every day I managed to jog with him. Eventually we became jogging partners.

We talked a little.

I actually confessed everything about myself to him.

About how my parents died when I was young.

About how I dropped out of middle school.

About how I became pathetic.

I didn’t even know why I was telling a stranger all this, but I felt like I needed to tell someone; to get this off my shoulders.

That person didn’t look at me in scorn even after I told him all that. He gently stroke my hair as he said it would be alright.

He told me he’ll continue jogging with me until I slim down.

After that I cried. I cried till no more tears came out.

It took me over a year to become slim again. It was a long and tedious process but I managed to become slim.

I couldn’t thank that person enough.

“How about a party to celebrate?”

He said as a joke, of course I declined. I just managed to lose all that weight after all.

He then gave me a business card.

I thought it was his but he shook his head. It was a friend of his.

Since I now needed to find a job he said if I asked that person he may be able to help.

“An insurance company. Huh.”

I sighed.

“Do you not like them?”

“Oh, no, it isn’t that. I just have no real life skills.”

“If it’s about that, don’t worry, I’ll put in a good word for you and you will learn as you progress through the job.”

“I, I see. Thank you very much.”

After that day I never met that man again.

I think he was only continuing to jog for my sake. He never returned to our jogging route, of course I continued on just for the sake of it.

“An angel.”

I said to myself. I met an angel.

After that I managed to get into the insurance company he recommended.

Even after that I still continued with my hobbies. It was such an integral part of my life in the end. I couldn’t just give that up.

The job wasn’t super exciting but it was decent. I always had my otaku stuff to get back to when I got home.

“Ah, come to think of it I never asked for his name.”

I felt really stupid when I realized that.

Even if I would never see that man again I still wanted to know his name.

Like that 6 years passed by. I was still rather indulged in otaku culture, but I also managed to get promoted a few times.

I actually even managed to make some co-worker friends and we would have regular parties after work. Even though it was nothing that amazing I felt that it was all fun.

One day my boss came to me for a special assignment. We were to negotiate with some of our sponsors about how our company was heading.

I accepted. I was honoured to even be given such an opportunity.

After a few days I got onto a plane.

It at that point I met that person again.

My angel.

He was sitting on the window seat seemingly a little distracted. He was playing around with the settings on his phone.

“Hello.”

I called out to him. I was extremely nervous when I did.

“Hello. Pleased to meet you.”

He gives me a very professional smile and handshake.

He had forgotten about me. It wasn’t really a surprise, I should have expected.

It has been 6 years and the aura around me has changed quite a bit. I was more mature now so I didn’t let it get to heart too much. Still, it was a little disheartening.

I immediately tried to make various small talk.

“That’s a cute strap.”

I wanted to talk to him at all costs.

“Aha, thanks, my fiancé gave it to me for my birthday last year.”

As he muttered the words ‘fiancé’ I felt all strength in my body escape. Well, of course, a man like him would definitely be popular.

After that I decided to finally give up on him. I gave a wry smile. I feel all my professionalism wear off.

I continued to talk to him.

When it came to the topic of my past, I lied and told him I was raised by my single father from Tokyo. I wanted to tell him it was actually me from 6 years ago but I didn’t.

After that, you all know what happened.

I died and was reborn in this world.

Now then, why did I confess all that?

As I laid on the floor with blood spewing from my stomach I wondered the same thing. Was this the thing that happens when someone is about to die?

You know, how a person’s life flashes before their eyes.

I don’t know.

However there is one thing I wanted to do before I die. That was to save this child.

Unlike me who actually had the experiences of a full life, Lyssa was still a child. I wanted to save her.

Save her like Hiyama-san saved me.

I slowly dragged my body up.

“Liliana! Are you okay?!”

“I’m fine. Just give me a moment.”

I took a few moments to catch my breath.

I didn’t have any sort of healing magic.

“Hahaha.”

I let out a small pathetic laugh. Even though I found conviction to save this child with my body in this state, what could I possible do?

“What are you laughing at?”

Noel starts to get agitated. What was I laughing at?

Indeed. What was I laughing at?

“It’s because I am a gamer!”

“Gamer?”

Noel parroted my words.

“That’s right. To a gamer there is nothing better than dying while having the last laugh.”

“I don’t know how you can say that when you’re about to die. You don’t even have enough stamina to run around anymore. Once I command my soldiers to attack you’re dead.”

“That’s exactly why! I’m doing this!”

I took out a small stone from my pocket.

It was the magic stone that Soumee gave me.

I casted the spell around my sister.

“Liliana?!”

Unfortunately that spell only works on one person.

Lyssa tried to struggle out of the shield but she was still bound.

“Good bye dear sister. I hope you live a better life than I did.”

“Liliana! What are you doing?! Why did you do this?!”

Soumee will come soon. When she does Noel will die and Lyssa will be saved.

That’s fine.

I did it, Hiyama-san. I was able to save someone as well, just like you.

Will you praise me?

Will you gently stroke my hair and tell me I’ve done good?

If god lets me, I wish I could have seen you for the last time.

I shook away my tears and tried to form a smile towards Noel.

She was clearly agitated about what I just did.

“Now then! Noel the Illusionist! Come at me! Come at me with all you have!”

“Liliana! No!”

“Argh. You’ll die!”

The crystalline soldiers charged at me with their swords all intending to stab me to death.

That was fine.

I did what I wanted to.

PART SIX

-LYSSA CROW XIX ARIADYNE’S SIDE-

A few hours ago we were all having lunch with the soldiers, but everything went to hell.

Out of nowhere strange monsters attacked the camp.

Creatures imbued with a yellow crystal. No matter how many times we cut them down they would not die.

These were the strange monsters that we were sent to subjugate.

Soumee was able to blast them off using magic but even then they wouldn’t die.

Slowly one by one the soldiers died and also became one of those strange monsters.

The only one left was Soumee and myself. The soldiers we had just been fighting with were now fighting against us.

We managed to escape the camp. I was however left with a small sprain.

“Lady Liliana!”

Flustered Soumee called out for my sister. I was also getting worried since she was gone for so long.

In the distance we located my younger sister running away from some of the monsters.

However as I was sprained I could not run after her.

“Go Soumee! Save my younger sister then come back immediately.”

She was a little hesitant but agreed.

That’s how we were separated.

In the end the one Soumee chased was not my younger sister. It was an illusion cast by this illusionist.

Unable to fight, I was caught.

I was taken to her camp where I saw a large floating crystal. Most likely this was the source of the thing that turned the monsters here strange.

“Ufufu. I’ll go get your younger sister as well, then we can begin the real experiment. Why don’t you stay here quietly.”

The illusion turned herself into me to lure my sister.

When they arrived my sister was the one with the upper hand. Odd I thought, but thinking back I do remember that she had special training from Soumee. She must have over powered her somehow. This was great.

However Liliana didn’t notice me. Or rather only noticed me when it was too late. The soldiers from before came back to attack Liliana.

She managed to run around for a bit but in the end the deceased soldiers had nearly infinite stamina and Liliana’s would run out anytime soon.

The situation worsened when she was finally wounded.

I called out to her many times. She seemed unresponsive for a bit but then got herself back up.

That was good, if she died here I think she’ll suffer the same fate as the soldiers.

However with myself bounded and her injured there was little that we could do.

Or so I thought but Liliana started laughing.

“What are you laughing at?”

The illusionist asked. I wanted to know as well, how could she be laughing in such a situation?

“It’s because I am a gamer!”

‘Gamer’? sometimes Liliana would say strange words. That was also true at home.

She took out a small stone and cast a magic barrier around me.

It was the one that Soumee gave to her earlier.

No! this isn’t how it should be! I was the older sister! It was Liliana who should live.

She gave me a wry smile as she told me to live a better life than hers. I didn’t understand what she was trying to say. She was always like this. Cryptic and never doing what was obvious.

She looked at me with same eyes as what some adults have. Why does she possess such a gaze, even though she’s only a four year old?

As the Illusionist commanded her crystalline soldiers to attack, I pleaded and pleaded. Yet, Liliana only stood there protecting me with a smile on her face.

“Lady Liliana!”

The soldiers that were about to kill my younger sister were blown away.

Soumee descended from out of nowhere to save my sister.

At once I felt a sense of relief overcome me.

“S, Soumee?”

Visibly injured Liliana also had a sense of relief in her eyes.

“Just a second Lady Liliana, I’ll heal you.”

Soumee is good at a lot of things. Holy magic is one of them, she was able to heal Liliana immediately. For now it looks like Liliana had lost consciousness.

I daresay that Soumee may be a better cleric than even our own Nicholai.

After making sure Liliana was going to be alright Soumee’s facial expression took an immediate 180.

She was extremely furious.

Noticing that she was the target of that fury, the illusionist tried to inch away. Shaking due to fear she tried to run away but fell down.

“Soumee, that floating crystal, I think if you destroy it, it will undo the strange curse that’s been plaguing the forest.”

“I see.”

A single punch. A single punch from a furious Soumee was enough to shatter the large crystal. Falling and crashing as it landed.

A burst of yellow light spread through the forest. As it did I saw the strange crystalline monsters get instantly annihilated.

Suffice to say, what happens next was not a kind scene.

Without any escape the illusionist violently met her end. I was once again reminded why Soumee was known as the [goddess of the battlefield].

PART SEVEN

-LILIANA CROW XIX ARIADYNE’S SIDE-

It seems that I’ve lost consciousness.

So then why am I talking as though I haven’t, you ask?

Good question, I want to know the answer myself.

Or maybe I was dead. That does make sense as well.

Everything was dark; in every direction it was just a massive void.

From the darkness words appeared. Literally, glowing words appeared in front of me.

[System patch… 15%]

[System patch… 45%]

[System patch… 85%]

[System patch… complete]

[Custom Editor updated]

Ominous robotic-like words appeared before me.

I was understandably shook by this point.

[Custom Editor Ver. 2 initializing…]

[Initialization complete]

That’s good… I think?

[Please select secondary class]

[Magician]

[Knight]

[Archer]

[Cleric]

[Necromancer]

[Brawler]

[Alchemy]

What…

‘Secondary class’?!

I’ve heard of this. It’s actually quite a rare system but some games do have this.

The coveted [Dual Class System].

It’s a game setting that allows the player to choose two classes instead of the standard one.

Developers sometimes add in such a feature to make the game more unique compared to others.

Of course gamers being gamers tend to go for the two that synthesise the best and offers the most maximum damage or utility.

Understandably the [Assassin] was taken out of my secondary class option.

But to think that this world would also have this system. As a gamer I’m super pumped!

So many choices! My heart can’t take it.

What would go well with an [Assassin]?

An assassin that can use magic does sound interesting as well.

Then again the recent battle has shown me that I lack any sort of recovery moves, so [cleric] might not be a bad idea.

[Archer] does tend to go well with the [Assassin] class for the most part. Using archery from long range and when the opponent gets too close I can utilize assassination for close combat.

[Necromancer] and [assassins] tend to have bad synergy, there’s really no way to use the two skills efficiently.

The same goes for [brawler]. If I’m already using assassination up close there’s no time to be using my fists.

[Alchemy] might be useful. Creating supplementary weapons or equipment that I can use in a pinch. It does bring a lot of utility to the table.

Maybe I can start wearing a utility belt as well like a certain man-bat.

Okay, okay. Let’s sort out the information first.

[Assassin]/[Magician] combo brings the most pure damage. That time with the slime was a bit of a wakeup call. I actually have no way to attack monsters that have complete physical damage resistance.

Therefore picking a magician as my dual class can be beneficial.

The downside to picking magician is that I’ll have no way to heal myself should I sustain any sort of injury. As my most recent battle has shown that could lead to my death.

Another problem with this class is that I don’t exactly have the stats to back it up. My [intelligence] stat wasn’t even touched.

The [Assassin]/[Archer] combo is one that a lot of people go for in online games due to its sheer viability. As a gamer I understand this point. I even have the [Dexterity] necessary to utilize this combination.

The only problem with this is, like the [Assassin]/[magician] combo, it lacks any sort of recovery skills and now all of my skills will be physical damage. I still have no way to deal with enemies with complete physical damage resistance.

The [Assassin]/[cleric] combination is a good one as well. I can use assassination as my main method of fighting then use holy magic to keep myself sustained in fights.

The problem with picking [cleric] as my dual class is that as an [assassin] I really shouldn’t be getting hit all that much. The whole point of picking this class was to be an elusive fighter.

Lastly the [assassin]/[alchemist] dual class is pretty nice. I might be able to synthesise some sort of health potion to heal me. I can also keep them within my [inventory].

Not only that, I should also be able to make those [magic stones] like the one Soumee gave me earlier. If I make those I might have access to magic based damage.

Hmm, I guess that settles it then?

[Alchemy] it is!

I tapped on the [Alchemy] tab.

[Do you wish to finalize this decision?]

[Yes]

With that I once again lost my consciousness.

PART SEVEN

As I woke up a bright light flashed in my eyes. Has my time come? Is god calling me?

Or so I thought, but it turns out it was just the sun’s rays coming through the window.

I was lying down on a bed.

Lying down on the side of the bed was Soumee who was asleep while sitting upright.

Next to her was my sister, Lyssa.

I see, we all managed to get out of the forest.

I do feel bad about the soldiers who lost their lives. I’m sure they also had friends and family waiting for them back home.

I offer them a silent prayer.

Now that that’s out of the way it was time to check my [skills menu].

Upon opening it, all of my original skills were there but there was another addition.

[Alchemist’s wisdom: allows for creation of alchemic skills and tools].

Sounds about right. Traditionally in RPGs, the alchemist class was one that utilized tools to do most of their stuff.

I feel a rush of excitement in every inch of my body just looking at my [status menu].

[Status Menu]

Liliana Crow Xix Ariadyne. Level 12

ASSASSIN/ALCHEMIST

Strength: 13

Dexterity: 59

Intelligence: 5

Insight: 13

[Status point: 0]

Right there was the [Alchemist] class added next to the [assassin] class.

“Ufufu.”

“Nngh?”

My creepy laugh must have awoken Soumee.

“Lady Liliana?”

“Ah, sorry, did I wake you?”

“No, it’s fine I shouldn’t have been sleeping in the first place.”

“It’s fine to sleep more you know. Do you want to lie down on the bed?”

“I’m quite fine thank you. How about you, Lady Liliana? How are you feeling?”

“I’m feeling wonderful thanks to you Soumee.”

I try to give her a smile but I think it came off as a little creepy. Sorry, I’m still so excited about my dual class!

Trying to distract myself I change the topic.

“What happened to that illusionist, Noel?”

“She, she’s taken care of.”

“I see, then that crystal that was affecting forest?”

“I’ve destroyed it.”

“I see.”

Somehow I feel like that crystal was important. I think that I was able to gain a second class was somehow due to that crystal, or so my instincts are telling me that, but I have no way to actually confirm it.

“At the very least, it isn’t over yet.”

“What do you mean?”

Lyssa woke up from hearing our conversation and tried to join in.

“Good morning sister.”

“Mm~ good morning Liliana.”

“As I was saying, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about this case. What was that crystal? What was Noel trying to do? Are there anymore of those crystals?”

“I see, then I should have kept that woman alive. My most sincere apologies, I will receive any punishment.”

“No, it isn’t your fault. Don’t worry about it too much. I think once we get back to the west capital if we send out an investigation team it should put us right back on track.”

“I understand, thank you, lady Liliana.”

After the events of today I think my life will start to get a lot more hectic.

From that battle I finally understand that I’ve been quite weak all along and that I need more training. Especially now I was given a second class I think now is the perfect chance to get a little stronger.

Just watch me Hiyama-san!

I’m doing my best even in this world!

END REPORT

[Status Menu]

Liliana Crow Xix Ariadyne. Level 12

ASSASSIN/ALCHEMIST

Strength: 13

Dexterity: 59

Intelligence: 5

Insight: 13

[Status point: 0]

[Skill menu]

(PASSIVE) [Alchemist’s wisdom]: Level 1

(PASSIVE) [Instincts of the Assassin]: Level 4

(ACTIVE) [Shadow Dash]: Level 4

(ACTIVE) [Shadow Cloak]: Level 5

(ACTIVE) [Assassinate]: Level 7

(ACTIVE) [Blink]: Level 3

(PASSIVE) [Night Vision]: Level 2

(PASSIVE) [Back Stab]: Level 3

(PASSIVE) [Keen Mind]: Level 1

Ascension Rebirth - The beginning of everything (Chapter 14)
Ascension Rebirth - My past and purpose (Chapter 16)
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