This was a battlefield of blood and fire, being fought with a dense sea of bugs.
Doron sliced another approaching bug with his longsword, splitting it apart into two. The originally sharp blade was now covered with the disgusting fluids of the various bugs, its edges chipped and jagged from use.
Any normal day this would’ve caused him great heartache, but at this point he didn’t even have the time to examine his sword properly. The army was like a lone boat in this sea of bugs, being rocked by wave after wave of death.
Death lingered around them without end, and all Doron could do was to wave the sword in his hands around numbly, killing one monstrous bug after the last. His comrades kept falling all around him, humans and orcs alike, but he no longer had the energy to care. He pushed forward without rest, stepping over the corpses of his comrades in pursuit of their common goal: he had to destroy this nest of evil!
In this war for survival, there was no way for them to withdraw and escape. The orcs and humans formed the most cold-blooded of armies, killing all deserters without hesitation even if they were related.
“Hah… Am I going to die here?” Doron was breathing roughly, his powerless body feeling like lead.
However, just at the moment all of his stamina was about to be exhausted, as he was about to be drowned out by the sea of bugs, things suddenly grew bright once more. A golden light cleaved through the sea, allowing him to see the purple nest at the heart of the marshland.
Hymns began to sound in the surroundings, “Under the rays of the gods, all courageous soldiers shall be fearless…”
Doron immediately brightened up. He managed to find the wizard who’d killed Jimmy, grievously injured and fleeing into the distance. A surge of strength came out of nowhere as the power of vengeance gave him the strength to stand once more.
He stared hard at the wizard, evidently injured from a previous encounter. The man’s black robes were now in tatters, traces of lightning burns left behind on his body. He didn’t even have the strength to open a portal anymore, only able to crawl to the depths of the swamp.
Doron followed closely. The wizard obviously wanted to escape, and his path was already offset from the nest of the bugs.
“Stand right there, you darned bastard!” Doron threw the sword in his hands. The meticulously crafted blade formed a beautiful arc in the air as it pierced into the man’s thigh.
“ARGH!” The fleeing wizard swayed, falling down into the smelly marshes.
“Got you!” Doron excitedly darted forward, finding the wizard lying in the dirt. He was bleeding profusely from the wound on his thigh, seemingly having fainted.
“For Jimmy!” Doron fumbled around the area, looking for the sword he’d thrown. He wanted to reveal the identity of this wizard.
However, the ‘fainted’ wizard suddenly revealed a scroll in his hands.
Acid Splash! Doron instinctively turned away to avoid death, but this burnt the entirety of his right shoulder, turning it into a mix of corroded flesh and blood.
“Shit!” The great pain caused him to punch the wizard’s face without hesitation.
The black veil fell down, revealing the man’s identity. The haggard face of an old man showed itself, looking extremely pale from the blood loss. His eyes seemed to be dead.
For some reason, even though he’d killed many times since the start of the Dark Ages, Doron felt a fire burning in his heart.
“WHY,” he shouted as he grabbed the wizard by the collar, “WHY ARE YOU HELPING THE BUGS AGAINST HUMANITY?”
“Cough cough…” Wizards were naturally weaker than fighters. This one was even injured gravely, unable to cast any spells as he was still coughing up blood. Even a child could kill him easily right now.
The wizard looked slightly confused for a while, but after hearing Doron’s questions he suddenly began to laugh. His pale face twisted with a smile, the blood causing Doron’s stomach to churn.
“What are you laughing at?” Doron was full of ire, “Do you know how many people you killed? Jimmy, and all my other foster brothers. They have people back at home waiting for their return… Why? Why are you going against your own kind?”
“My own kind? Keke…”
The old wizard’s smile widened, “Are you my kind? While I was still a high-ranked wizard, a whole bunch of people respected me, sang praises of me, and longed to meet me. However, after the collapse of the Weave, those ruffians… What did those ruffians whose souls should go to hell after death do?
“They took everything from me in front of my face, killing little Benji, and… and…” A hint of sorrow flashed on the wizard’s face, “I no longer treated them as humans… When the shadow wizards found me, I joined immediately for the sake of my vengeance. I’d be willing to sell my soul to the devils for my revenge!
“Hehe… Now I’ve had those bastards enjoy the most painful and regretful deaths they ever could have. My purpose is done, kill me!”
The old wizard closed his eyes, and Doron froze in place. The wizard’s face morphed into that of Holdman in his vision, bringing back memories of his manor and his family that stayed outside town.
The condemnation of the wizard caused him to remember his own actions, that night amidst the flames appearing once more before his eyes as if he was experiencing it all again.
“Oh… I! I…” The veins on the back of Doron’s hands popped up, and his face began to twitch as if he was trying to weigh his options.
“Perhaps… we’re all at fault. Blame this wretched world!” Doron recalled Lina, who was still waiting for his return. He gritted his teeth and picked up his sword.
“Come… Chop off my head and make this your achievement!” The wizard snickered and closed his eyes.
“Ha!” The sword dropped down on the wizard’s head with all the strength Doron could muster,
However, it felt like he’d pierced into cotton, not flesh. Doron opened his eyes in shock, finding the sword in his hands stuck in mid-air as a great pressure enveloped him.
“Sorry, little guy. While I’m sympathetic of your plight, the camp does give out rewards based on merits…” A pleasant voice sounded, and Doron’s vision went black…
“The gods… are already recovering…” Leylin’s clone watched the collapse of a huge hive in the distance, a strange smile on his face.
“As for you, loser… I’m benevolent, I’ll give you another chance…” A dark red lustre wrapped around the old wizard’s body, causing him to cry out pitifully as a strange transformation occurred to him.
“Kukulkan, my Lord… You are the mighty Lord of Original Sin, the sole source of sin in the universe. You are the master of everything!” What had once been the old wizard knelt before Leylin, his grievous injuries long gone.
“Go…Go somewhere else…” Leylin waved his arms, and a dark red teleportation gate opened up to take the bowing monster away.
“This test failed, huh…” Leylin shook his head, gazing into the distance. A few orc avatars were lying there in wait.
“So, Gruumsh? Are you regretting the fact that you only sent one avatar here?” Leylin smiled as he gazed at the head of the orc pantheon. Even encircled by many gods he didn’t look flustered.
‘The gods have recovered rather quickly, and set up eternal sources of light in their divine kingdoms. They can send divine spells to their priests in the prime material plane already?’ Leylin knew full well that without the help of the gods the Silverymoon Alliance and the Orc Empire couldn’t destroy a nest.
“Night Serpent… Sinner that devoured the sun…” the gods condemned him in such seething fury that they could burn even the void itself as they descended to fight him.
“The battle’s only begun…” Unfortunately, the avatar dissipated before Leylin’s punishment arrived for him, leaving behind several enraged roars.
“How is it?” Leylin was standing in front of Mother Core, watching the events in multiple locations in the prime material plane.
The few survivors in the mortal world had obtained great support, beginning to send troops to destroy the nearby hives. Priests were playing an extremely important role in this process.
“The counterattack of the gods is beginning…” Mother Core said with a sigh.
“That’s normal, but the timing…” Leylin stroked his chin, “It’s at just the right moment when we’re planning for the support of the Magus World’s World Will, unable to make any clones…”
“What are you trying to say?” Mother Core focused on the Lord of Original Sin in front of her.
“There’s a traitor in our midst.” Leylin turned solemn. Since Shar could become a Magus, why couldn’t a Magus side with the gods?
“The power of sin in the World of Gods is telling me something. If we don’t treat it seriously, the consequences will be dire…” Leylin looked at Mother Core in front of him, speaking sincerely, “I hope to call a joint conference of the Magi immediately.”
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