Chapter 35

A champion arises.

Zalgo – God of Chaos and All Things Fleeting – grasped his spork tightly and started waving it around expertly as he choreographed his next masterpiece.

The out of tune melodies reverberated from the orchestra arrayed before him, and his smile slowly widened as the randomly arranged notes arose into a cacophony of discordant glory, describable only as a crescendo of chaos. A chaoscendo? That’d be an apt choice if he had to define it.

Then the chorus began, and it was sung in a thousand two hundred and eleven tongues. Most were dead to the world, and some were from planes where his influence extended, or absolutely ruled.

Some of those planes he had personally created, some he had conquered, and some he had subtly converted to his cause, in the days before The Wheel.

He paused in surprise, as the beauty of that long forgotten memory brought a single, multi-hued tear to his eye. He wondered what the mortals of olde would have done to obtain such an item in the past.

It had been a long time since he’d last shed a tear so strong and pure. Or maybe it was just 32.4486291231 minutes? He wasn’t quite sure.

He raised his Implement yet again – now in the shape of a writhing vine – and resumed guiding the symphony.

His work was never done.

• Due to your fallacious deceit of a devout follower of Order, which directly led to an oath-breaking, you have been granted two new titles: [Advocate of Chaos], and [Faithbreaker].

• Local Announcement: An agent of divine judgement has descended in your immediate vicinity. If you try to interfere with its mission or hinder it in any way, it will consider you amongst its enemies. Beware the consequences!

Ethan wasn’t really surprised, he’d expected something similar to happen and confirm his original suspicion that The Eternal Eye of Judgement wasn’t really dead. This confirmed that it was an instanced entity, and that a ‘version’ of it would descend every time it was summoned. It made more sense.

What surprised him as he scrutinised this instance of the Eye however, was its stark differences compared to the previous one he’d witnessed. It seemed the variant of the Eye that descended differed depending on the occasion. This was very evident now, because this Eye was at least ten times as large as the one he’d previously fought, and in addition to a seemingly much more formidable body, it looked remarkably more scary.

This one had the same basic shape and general look, scaled up to match its larger size. Yet the most eye-catching feature was the patterns adorning its body, and the feeling of terrible menace it was positively leaking.

Simply put: this was the executioner, not the judge.

Ethan was ready for it, though. It appeared to be much stronger than last time, true; but Ethan was also much more prepared.

His first impulse was to [Analyse] it, and he did – or at least attempted to – only to get an error notification telling him that his target was immune to scrying spells and skills so long as it remained unsubdued. He tried again using the sceptre, but nothing happened at all when the skill was channelled through it, except for the telltale glow as it was cast.

He wondered what that meant, but his mind went to the last notification, it was interesting information.

So, subduing it is a possibility?

He expected it to divert its hostility towards him when he cast [Analyse]. Instead, it remained unaware, or ignored his attempt completely. It remained focused on its original target. Ethan followed its hateful gaze towards a helpless [Paladin] that was still unconscious in his cage.

It was an ironic situation, really. Ethan had been its target while occupying a similar cage not too long ago. He could sympathise with the [Paladin]’s current predicament.

It was all going the way Ethan planned it. Adrian had fallen for his rudimentary psychological trap as expected. A trap which consisted of lulling him into a false sense of security, and putting him at ease with a very casual conversation, then interjecting with a very serious question about his faith and whether he had second thoughts about his binding oath to Eterna.

It was all an effort to find out if the [Paladin] was being mind-controlled or not, which Ethan found himself suspecting once he learnt about the binding oath that prevented the man from ever lying.

When the [Paladin] had almost responded with the truth about his regret for pledging to Eterna, then became flustered, then silent; it was all the confirmation Ethan needed, and another plan was quickly put into action.

The first step of that plan was stealthily accessing the skills store, deliberating on his available choices, and purchasing a specific set of new skills. A just-in-case measure, if his hunch was correct and the Eye descended as a consequence.

The second step was tricking the [Paladin] into a making a promise – or as it happened, a magically-binding contract – that afforded Adrian no leeway from the upcoming trap, in exchange for a promise of freedom, and then using the liar’s paradox to force him to break his oath.

This part was a fifty-fifty gamble if Ethan had to be honest, because it depended on a big assumption to succeed: that the rules governing the oath were as cruel and rigid as Eterna’s apparent snobbiness and arrogance – made evident by her choice of binding her [Paladins] with this brand of mind-control to begin with – seemed to suggest.

If the rules governing the oath were a bit more lenient when it came to judging a paradoxical scenario like the one he’d just fabricated, then this would not have worked at all. Ethan would have had to follow up on his promise and free the [Paladin], only to kill him later in self-defence.

The sole reason he’d chosen to make this gamble was that, with either outcome, Ethan would still learn a new fact about The Wheel and the effects of a binding oath in this magically imbued world. It was a win/win situation when it came to collecting some new intelligence, in his opinion, which suited him just fine.

And if you looked at it from a different perspective, Ethan was still keeping his promise of setting the [Paladin] free. It was just from another form of captivity, and a different captor entirely.

Ethan wasn’t delusional enough to convince himself that it was for “Adrian’s own good” or something equally as stupid. It was not his prerogative to “free” the [Paladin] from the consequences of his own life choices and free will that led to his current predicament.

Ethan especially hated this type of hypocritical reasoning adopted by manipulative people as an argument for forcing their choices and ideals upon those around them.

No, he was simply dealing with a future problem he foresaw: if the [Paladin] and his church were going to come after him no matter what action he took to remedy the situation; then perhaps an unconventional solution was required to deal with this problem at its roots, and an experiment to see what would happen when the biggest variable preventing a peaceful resolution – the binding oath compelling them to follow Eterna’s edict and attempt to kill him – was negated from the equation entirely.

If the [Paladin] persisted on the same course of action after he was freed from his oath, then Ethan would have no compunctions about ending him – and any that would follow the same path – permanently. In a world without laws – a world that only recognised strength and might – it was only fair to fight back for your own life, and in that case he’d make a good example out of him to warn and deter any others that might have the same idea in the future.

If Adrian relented, however… then an entirely new method for dealing with that stupid crusade would come into play. A new weapon against the followers of Order would swiftly and conveniently land into Ethan’s arsenal.

Not to mention that it would set a huge precedent for [Paladins] and [Priests] in service of Eterna, especially when the news of her subjugation of her followers – and how Ethan had the ability to break it – spread.

Especially if those with lingering doubts about their life choices chose to seek his help. That would put a big stain on her name, and drive another nail into the coffin of her faith.

She’d already made the choice to make an enemy out of him. Now she would have to deal with the consequences firsthand. Goddess or not.

Ethan focused back on the scene happening before him, the Eye had finally finished descending from the hole in reality. He was thankful he had his AI recording everything in the highest detail possible ever since he first started implementing his plan, and now had a very high detail recording of the Eye’s spawning process.

He’d analyse all that information later, though.

Holy energies were flowing like a maelstrom from the Eye’s terrible visage, and it was floating closer towards the cage of the unconscious [Paladin]. Its unbearable screeching was getting exponentially louder, and some people were fleeing to a safe distance; whilst others were rushing over to investigate the local announcement.

Ethan shouted a command at the guards, and the cages were soon in the process of being emptied. All captives were being evacuated a safe distance away, except Adrian who remained unconscious in his cage at Ethan’s orders.

The shadow grew and grew, as the Eye descended closer to the ground. Ethan clenched his sceptre and started stepping forward to challenge it, before it reached Adrian’s cage.

But that was the moment when he felt a firm hand on his shoulder, and someone stepped forward to stand by his side.

He glanced to the side with a frown, only to find Kothar staring him in the eye.

“Allow me to help.” That was all Kothar said, stepping forward next to Ethan and taking a similar stance, his spear held at the ready.

Ethan wanted to stop him from taking this unnecessary risk. He wanted to tell him that he was woefully unprepared for the magical attacks of the Eye. That his strength and physical defense would prove insufficient for this challenge.

In truth, he was fearful for his friend’s life.

But that serious look in Kothar’s eye… It made Ethan aware that there was something different about his friend.

Something that had definitely not been there, before now.

It gave him pause.

Heedless of the mortals in its way, the Eye advanced.

If the ensuing battle had to be described in any way, Milandera would not describe it as the epic bloodbath she was dreading. If anything: it was quick, brutal, and ended quite anticlimactically, despite the unsettling events at its outset, when Kothar unexpectedly stepped forward to join the upcoming battle.

She’d hid behind a crate when everything started, and observed the situation as it unfolded. She wasn’t insane enough to challenge a divine agent, even for the sake of her friend’s life; it was suicide.

Although… thinking back now, her deep worry for Kothar’s life – and Adrian’s fate – had caused her heart to thunder and her blood to pump through her veins. Thankfully, before the rush of her excitement and rising dread completely overwhelmed her reason and caused her to do something rash, Ethan began to act.

At the beginning of the battle, Ethan West had started to glow with a strange light as he channelled spells or skills – she wasn’t quite sure of the details – through his strange sceptre.

A strange, semi-translucent sphere surrounded him, and maelstrom of mana rushed around him in a spectacular display. His eyes glowing with a magical blue radiance. Power thrummed off his body in cascading waves.

Following this, he launched into the air towards the Eye. Some sort of energy pulsed out of his sceptre and shot into it, hindering it in its progress entirely, which had the benefit of silencing its incessant screeching, and the intended effect of keeping it frozen in the same spot.

The Eye reacted by shooting a ray of brilliant golden light towards Ethan. It successfully collided with him, and when it hit his body, the strange field around him flared brightly. Cracks of violent blue energy began to appear on his skin as it was torn apart by the overwhelming charge.

Ethan’s scream echoed in the silence that followed, but Milandera was distracted by a familiar roar that she recognised. She turned in surprise to see Kothar surrounded by a different halo. A halo similar to the ones employed by [Paladins].

That had to be of divine origin, but how? When had he received a [Paladin] class? Did he join the new church while she wasn’t paying attention?

She felt somewhat betrayed, but it was possible that this was something else.

The reason for her sense of betrayal at this revelation was what she’d just witnessed with Adrian’s ordeal, and his apparent regret at Eterna’s ways of indoctrination into her service. She was feeling distrustful and wary of [Paladins], [Priests], and of the Gods in general.

She didn’t get the chance to think it over for too long, though.

“[Mass Manipulation]! [Kinetic Charge]!” Kothar hollered.

She felt her heart pause in its beating for two full seconds as she witnessed Kothar’s brutal charge. He fearlessly rushed the Eye. His expression was fierce as he leapt into the air at unimaginable speed. His spear extended as he channelled yet another skill she’d never seen him – or anybody else – use before into his weapon.

Speaking of which, why the hell was he using that wooden training spear to fight something so powerful? It made no sense to her.

At the highest point of his arc, and right before landing his attack, he used yet another skill.

“[Terminal Velocity]!”

His spear was immediately enveloped in a swirling buildup of energy, thicker near the posterior than the tip, before it completely disappeared from his outthrust hand.

A gaping hole appeared in the middle of the Eye’s body, almost at the exact centre of its huge pupil, and golden liquid exploded from the burst iris. It struggled visibly in the air, but was still restrained in place by whatever attack Ethan had first employed.

All was silent as Kothar descended to the ground, and Milandera’s body shook slightly at the ferocity of his brutal performance. She noticed a new light in her peripheral vision, and looked back to Ethan, who appeared to be ignoring his injuries and preparing to channel a different spell and put an end to the battle, or so she thought.

Milandera watched in awe as torrents of mana rushed off Ethan, and unlike her expectations, the Eye was not his target. The unfathomable stream of mana bypassed the Eye completely, and went into the walls of the volcano.

At that point she witnessed something she’d never thought would happen. The crimson vines hanging from the volcanic wall moved with a keening sound. They latched to the stream of mana, absorbing it to empower their movement somehow. After a few moments, and with a look of intense concentration crossing Ethan’s face, they shot towards the immobile Eye.

The vines quickly wrapped themselves around the eye, and seemed to immediately sense the gaping wound in its huge iris. When the vines reached that area, and finally touched the golden blood, they went into a feeding frenzy, sucking the liquid and swelling in size, then pulsating and shrinking as the liquid was sucked away through them to who-knows-where.

When the vines started digging into the Eye’s body, it tried to take countermeasures and defend itself. A halo of divine fire suddenly sprang into existence around it in a spherical shape, but the vines didn’t seem to mind it at all. They were completely unaffected, gulping the extra energy hungrily.

The golden sheen surrounding the Eye slowly shimmered out of existence. It quickly lost all its power, and its shrivelled husk was all that remained. It was then discarded by the creeping vines, after its lifeforce was completely spent.

Ethan sighed and nodded to Kothar in respect, “Well, that’s one crisis averted… Cool new skills by the way. Scintilla’s work, I presume?”

“New class. Champion of Science.” Kothar nodded happily.

“Congratulations. Although… that’s completely unfair! Why didn’t I get any cool abilities like that from her? I’m her freaking [Harbinger] for goodness sake!” Ethan appeared envious.

“Did you ever ask?” Kothar asked with a knowing smile.

“Well, no. Not really.” Ethan replied dejectedly.

“Then there’s your problem.” Kothar chuckled and patted him on the back.

Ethan sighed, returning the happy smile, “Let’s go check on my victim now.”

They turned to check on Adrian.

Milandera looked between them both in utter disbelief. How crazy did you have to be to banter so jovially after defeating that thing?

She soon discovered the truth behind her observation, and how it apparently applied to an entire nation of unhinged people. As mere moments later, the cheers of the Krell rushing their position in celebration rose to the sky.

Giran sat by Adrian’s side. He was still unconscious, despite having been carried from his cage to a tent that Ethan West had designated for them to use.

It appeared that Ethan did not trust them completely, as he had ordered some guards to watch over them, with instructions to notify him immediately when Adrian’s condition changed or when he woke up.

The multiple healers who had seen to him had said that there was no damage to his body, but that his mind and soul were traumatised, and appeared to be in a state of turmoil that Ethan had simply described as ‘going through shock.’

It was, in hindsight, something to be expected. It was a miracle his condition wasn’t worse after his binding oath was so forcibly broken in such a manner.

These were uncharted waters. It was the first time an indoctrinated follower of Order had had their oath broken in recorded history – as far as she knew, and Giran knew a lot of things. Her Half-Elven ancestry graced her with a much longer lifespan compared to a typical human.

Poor Adrian… She felt responsible somehow. She felt as if her recent breakup with him after their disagreement had somehow directly led to his current state.

She still had feelings for him… she just would never admit them to his face. Although, in his current state… maybe she would set her pride aside for a little while longer, at least whilst he remained unconscious.

When Ethan had tricked him into revealing his real feelings about Eterna like that… It shocked her to the core.

Giran couldn’t believe it. She couldn’t believe she’d known him for so long and yet never realised how many doubts and deep insecurities he hid, lurking underneath his rigid exterior. He was always so… stoic and firm.

In that moment, she hated Ethan. She felt a deep hatred for the man who had managed to expose her ex-lover for who he truly was, but simultaneously: an equal sense of respect and gratitude for revealing this aspect of her man. So many of Adrian’s past behaviour and mannerisms made sense now.

Then came the terrible guilt for her own past behaviour towards Adrian, and then crushing despair when she realised that the man she loved was forever trapped in Eterna’s clutches.

Her jumble of emotions didn’t make much sense, she knew, but that was the way she felt. Until that madman actually managed to break Adrian’s binding oath with a masterful stroke and set him free from the tyrant goddess’ control.

She feared the worst, then. She feared it was Ethan’s cruel way to make an example out of Adrian by having him killed by his own oath, and expose Eterna’s cruelty in this manner.

But then he went on to surprise her again. Ethan had risked his own life to defend a man who had personally threatened to kill him only moments before, while said [Paladin] lay helpless and unconscious in the confines of a cage.

Kothar had surprised her, too. He’d offered to help his friend freely against an unfathomable foe.

Then they’d both displayed skills – and in Ethan’s case, spells – out of this world. In all of her long life, she’d never witnessed anything like it. What exactly were they?

She shivered slightly when a certain memory flashed back into her mind.

That last scene. She vividly recalled a single image of the vines as they decimated the divine agent of judgement. How they’d sucked it dry and flicked its discarded husk to the ground.

To think she’d foolishly thought to use the same vines as a means to escape before. If only she had known what they were capable of…

She was quite thankful that this scenario had remained just that; a foolish plan that was never actually implemented. Otherwise, she might be dead now.

She thanked her lucky stars and suppressed her shivers, then put a gentle hand to Adrian’s forehead. He was still sweating profusely.

She hoped their good fortune would continue. At least nobody else had died… well, except for poor Jormun, that was her fault.

Her mood soured instantly with the emergence of that memory, and she sat back, deep in thought.

Felwar Ironvine’s mighty hammer struck the Flexibronze with its powerful blows, bending the difficult metal into a specific shape.

It was too hard, darn it all! Why was this so difficult? The damn alloy was supposed to be flexible. It had ‘flex’ in the damn name.

Everytime he struck the metal into shape, it would slowly revert to its previous configuration. He had to shape it quickly, or else his strikes would have no apparent effect in mere moments as it returned to its original state.

An hour of stubborn incessant pounding passed, during which he kept dismissing the annoying notifications that kept on popping up every now and then about his progress in skill levels – or lack thereof. He thought he spotted a weird “local” announcement he’d never seen before, but he wasn’t really paying attention when he dismissed. Nothing would distract him from the task at hand.

Finally fed up with the fruitless task, Felwar grumbled a complaint towards the nearby Krell [Empiric Metallurgist] – whose name was Kani, as Felwar discovered. The man then simply laughed and told him to “think with his thick dwarven noggin’” in what Felwar considered a quite condescending tone.

After a passionate eruption of quality Dwarven insults had passed from the slighted dwarf’s lips – and some rude hand gestures for good measure – the Krell finally relented. He told Felwar to actively channel his raw mana into the metal whilst striking, in order to “tell it” what shape to take. It had to be forged properly like a mana-forged weapon ought to be.

Which was precisely what Felwar was struggling to do now, and the keyword here was ‘struggle’.

Performing such an involved physical task whilst also channeling a stream of mana was simply impossible for him, as it stood. For a non-mage like him, it was quite difficult to control mana normally, and that difficulty was amplified tenfold when it came to channeling mana and simultaneously hammering the piece of metal into a specific shape.

So he was forced to go slowly, with an unbroken state of focus that only a master [Monk] could ever hope to achieve.

It was a challenge, and there was nothing like a challenge to his skills to spur him on.

After many failed attempts, he suddenly had a brilliant moment of inspiration: what if he channelled his mana into the hammer, and not the metal itself?

Wouldn’t the mana from the hammer leak and affect his target metal with every new strike that brought them into contact? Without him having to consciously direct it all the time?

A fleeting moment of introspection passed as he considered this new idea. It could work.

And so he began testing this new method, and his hammer glowed with blinding light and sent sparks as it struck the now-mellow ingot of metal. It turned completely malleable under his masterful strikes.

Each impact of the hammer forced it to take shape, and he felt like a god of thunder as harmless bolts of magical lightning were discharged from the sites of impact. They arced from the metal to his hammer, only to dissipate into the air.

Unbeknownst to the Dwarf, a big crowd had gathered behind him. The workshop and smithy area was full of people now. Smiths, glass-blowers and leather workers stood together and pointed at his back, watching him work in awe.

With the last strike of his hammer, his new item was complete. He put down the hammer in relief and wonder as he lifted the item and inspected his handiwork. He turned around to show it to Kani, but was instead surprised by the commotion behind him.

He glanced at the piling notifications he had been ignoring, and found the most recent one not directly related to the forging process.

It was a local announcement, informing everyone near the settlement of Felwar Ironvine’s accomplishment of re-discovering a long-lost mana-forging technique. It was an ancient technique only once discovered by the legendary smiths of an civilisation long past.

Oh, and his new class upgrade: [Arcane Smith].

Badtooth sat in his cage. It was an interesting day.

He’d got himself captured thanks to his gluttonous and careless behaviour, that was true, but it was an interesting day nonetheless.

Badtooth scratched his butt in deep thought.

Today he’d witnessed the stinkeye get killed, no… get completely wrecked, and by two of the mountain humans, of all possible races.

Granted, the one responsible for his current predicament – and humiliating capture – looked a bit different, but all humans looked the same anyway.

They were a bland race, unlike Goblins who differed in size depending on status, and evolved into glorious, perfect Hobs when they had enough food and time to build up their strength.

Badtooth had dreams of a glorious evolution to call his own. He wanted to become a Hob, too.

After his brother evolved and became chieftain of their tribe, the witless git had felt threatened by Badtooth’s ambitions, and in a cautious move of unprecedented insight, kicked him out of their community.

So Badtooth had had to move away from his tribe’s home. He had kept wandering aimlessly around the mountains.

He’d found new tunnels to explore, and found a lot of useful things discarded by witless fools. Like that strange stick tipped with metal he’d used to dig his way here.

To be frank, the only reason he’d managed to get here was thanks to the treacherous flows of liquid rock restricting his path.

While exploring a dark mineshaft, there had been a leak of the deadly material that drove him to flee in a southerly direction. He’d completely lost his way, and got turned around multiple times. Then he’d found himself trapped at the end of an abandoned shaft, with nothing but his bushcraft bag full of previously discarded treasures he’d collected over the course of his journey, his loincloth, and the digging implement he found thrown carelessly at the dead-end of the tunnel.

So he did what he could; he started digging. It was harder at the outset, but then the hard stone transitioned to loose dirt – some of which he ate to make space. It had been a sign that he was going in the right direction. He continued digging upwards at a slight angle, trying to reach the surface and find an exit.

When he’d struck a – cleary artificial – ceiling made of very hard stone, he’d cursed his luck; but also started working faster. A ceiling like that meant people, and people meant food. He remembered feeling excited after eating nothing but dirt for three days straight.

He’d managed to break the reinforced stone and then he’d carefully popped his head into a dark room. His racial ability of dark vision had allowed him to observe some strange-looking things. There were coiled wires and things he had no name for, but most importantly: he’d discovered food!

A pile of the strange new food was sitting right next to a strange-looking contraption, which he felt was similar to the incomprehensible scrawlings he’d previously seen abandoned in some ruins near his old home. A single look at food after all that time eating dirt – and on a lucky day: insects and worms – had made him drop his things and rush towards it with mindless desire.

He’d went at his new meal with gusto. It hadn’t smelled or tasted bad, and his senses had informed him that it was edible!

It had been his lucky day! Or so he’d thought. The new food wasn’t even rotten! Who’d throw perfectly good food to the ground like this? Only the foolish people of other races, of course!

Suffice to say, he’d gorged himself that day, and when he ran out of food, he’d started sniffing around for more. The problem was: this type of food was scentless. It smelled like nothing at all.

But he’d had to find more. His instincts had told him that this was a new type of food that didn’t spoil or go bad. It would keep for years if stored.

His meandering footsteps had led him towards the strange thingie at the centre of the room. It was sitting right next to the pile of food he’d recently devoured.

Why would it be placed here, right at the centre of a mostly-empty room?

He’d investigated the hole at the bottom, and managed to spot some faint traces of the new food in there.

Could this thingie… make the food? Maybe it’s an altar to the gods that requires a sacrifice to give more food? He’d thought.

He’d then scoffed at that idea. Altars were made of stone and bones, not metal. Beside, there were no hints of blood around it at all, and no smells. Except maybe near the top, where it smelled a little like cow dung.

Wait! Could it be… that this thing was an altar that accepted cow dung, and gave back food?

But he had no access to cow dung.

Would it accept some of the… Goblin-made variety?

He had to try.

Badtooth had climbed into the smelly hole at the top, he’d slid his loincloth to the side, and made a generous ‘offering’.

He’d went back to the hole at the bottom, but there was no change. So he’d kicked the contraption, but nothing happened as a consequence. Except the echoing ringing sound from the hollow thing.

Wait! It is hollow! The thingie is empty inside! He’d made an important discovery!

Maybe he had to climb inside it and see what was going on?

Hesitant to try the hole near the top, thanks to the presence of the earlier ‘offering’ he’d deposited there, he’d finally decided to start with the other opening near the bottom.

He’d crawled into the hole, pouncing on any morsels of food he could detect and devouring them loudly. He just had to get to the bottom of this. He knew it! He’d have more food very soon!

Alas, his budding enthusiasm was his undoing. His sensitive eyes detected light spilling into the room behind him as the door was quietly opened. Shadows danced in the room as someone had peered in.

He’d been discovered! He quickly backed out of the hole.

“Is that a goblin?” A man had uttered in shock, and a gaggle of armed people had rushed through the door, in the wake of his stupid announcement.

In hindsight, if Badtooth had known about the terrifying magical might of this particular human, he would have been less inclined to resist his impending capture.

So he’d fled around the room, trying to reach the hole he’d made into the floor to get here. Unfortunately, his stomach was still digesting all that food he’d devoured at the time, which had made him slow and sluggish compared to his normal, agile self.

There was also the fact that at that time, there were at least 5 guards chasing after him.

Badtooth couldn’t pay much attention to their leader’s actions then, but from the corner of his eye, he’d observed the man thinking deeply, before speaking something that went unheard. Then the man had bellowed a command, and the guards had stopped chasing him.

He’d tried to capitalise on this new development to make his timely escape, but the leader had surprised him again by casting a spell that had made him fly into the air.

This was Badtooth’s first hint at the power this man possessed. Goblins were completely mundane creatures when it came to magic. They had not a shred of mana, and no resistance to magic. Only fully-evolved Hobs ever got the chance to learn how to use spells and skills.

Badtooth had tried to hiss at the man, only to feel himself belch loudly. It had felt as if something had just moved inside him. A strange energy flowed through him… then everything went dark.

Badtooth had fainted, and when he woke up again… he woke up to witness a glorious event.

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