CassReyes Hey, this chapter is gonna read a little bit 'same-y', like deja vu as I wanted to show the 2 perspectives of the fight.


First part of the chapter is heavily tainted with the perspective of Brant, keep in mind you get to see both sides. Hope you enjoy my attempt at humour


Hope you enjoy reading.

"I see you've improved your summons Smokey" Brant spoke gallantly, preparing for combat with Smokey; even if she used robes to hide her appearance, she could not fool him. The hat and skeletons gave it all away. Brant could never forget the player who had once humiliated him. This would not occur again, he would make sure of it.

"... Uh... Thanks." Smokey stuttered, clearly shocked to see Brant once again.

"We now have the opportunity to face once again! But do not believe yourself superior, for today we will see the truth behind your ability!" Brant spoke, posturing himself like the hero he was, "In our first battle, you caught me by surprise making use of trickery and stolen abilities; but I can see through all of these lies and know my training cannot fail me! For it is now that I show the true power of Golden Radiance, for what I seek is not redemption. And so it is today that I will defeat you, to show the world the truth of how you can never match our light!"

Brant gave his speech, knowing it had instilled great fear in Smokey as she was stunned to silence, before pathetically sputtering a response:

"Huh?" She barely managed to reply before trying to hide her fear, "Yeah, cool dude. Let's fight."

"Haha! It seems you have accepted the inevitable!" Brant announced, beginning his assault.

He ran forward, seeing that Smokey had increased the number of her hand summons, that positioned themselves around him, but he did not worry. 9 simultaneous bolts of green energy launched themselves at him, but through his gracious movements all but 3 were easily avoided; and now he was within range.

Having closed the distance, Brant grinned, displaying his perfect teeth, before activating his skill: [Precision Slash].

Following Brant's humiliating defeat to Smokey (A/N: Chapter 8, 'Inevitable Conflict') he trained rigorously, improving at incredible speeds in many skills; such as [Slash] one of the first skills the [Warrior] class grants to players.

After reaching level 10 he was given the choice of 2 evolutions: [Heavy Slash] that was given to all players and [Precision Slash].

[Precision Slash] came as a result of Brant making use of classical swordsmanship training when practising the skill. Brant, as an upper class man, had many hobbies that were not available to the plebs below him - one of those being fencing. As such, he was very familiar with swordsmanship before entering the game which allowed  him to use that knowledge and training to rapidly improve his [Swordsmanship] skill.

(A/N: Same as Gloria who had prior experience with [Demise Blade])

He also used this training when practising his skills. Under normal circumstances doing this would be useless as one was only awarded skill XP for successful activation of a skill, such as using it to damage an enemy; but Brant's use of the skill managed to activate a hidden feature of ELO.

If getting XP from using a skill on a foe could be considered practical experience, then what Brant had done was theoretical experience.

By using the skill in perfect form for a slashing attack, Brant managed to increase the level of the skill. This, of course, could be repeated with any skill, but it would be rather hard to do so - hence the extra skill option for managing to do it.

[Precision Slash] was an extremely useful skill. While it lacked in damage compared to even [Slash] it made up for it in accuracy, should the skill not be blocked, a hit is guaranteed; even if they dodge. He had finished many fights using this attack by managing to hit a vital area like the neck - the skill truly was the bane of all speed type fighters.

(A/N: ELO has a feature where vitals count as Crits, severing the head is an instant kill in most cases making Liz's [Doll Anatomy] quite a powerful ability as it negates the possibility of crits)

Brant did not expect Smokey to have high END as a summoner, who were notorious in the beta due for their poor physical abilities, so he truly believed his attack would seriously damage her. Unfortunately, there was one thing he didn't account for.

As his sword began moving, he felt as though his body was trapped, unable to move. Looking back, his own shadow had extended outwards and wrapped around his body and before he could even turn back to face his enemy, he was flying through the air.

She had used a much more powerful ability after her attack was guaranteed.

It seems I once again underestimated her. Brant thought, quickly downing a healing potion and reducing the effect of [Bleed] he had received. But it does confirm a suspicion of mine: She cannot summon any more undead to aid her, she needs them to take out the baron's guard.

Brant smiled realising this, he had a chance so long as he could avoid that binding skill she used. 

Brant and Smokey continued the fight, Brant often taking the upperhand. She stuck to a mixture of 3 skills: The green energy attack; the shadow binding skill; and the large bone structure for when he was bound, almost always ensuring a hit.

I have to admit, she is quite an adequate fighter, but she cannot beat me with only this! Brant thought, pushing himself to avoid 8 of the energy attacks again.

The only problem was that Smokey seemed to be quite fast, she could evade most of his attacks and use those puppet hands of hers to escape his range when she could not dodge alone.

Brant prepared to attack again, but felt his movements become restricted. He struggled against his own shadow, watching as a large mass of bones grew above his enemy - one much more imposing and menacing than he had seen her produce ever before.

This must be her last effort to defeat me!

As 5 seconds elapsed, Brant broke free of his bindings and rushed forward; desperate to cancel the coming spell. Even his venerable self could not walk away unscathed from an attack like that.

He quickly got into range and activated another of his skills: [Kinetic Strike]

The skill had been acquired by practising with one of his skills, again using theoretical knowledge of swordsmanship. It had initially been [Forceful Strike], but Brant found that it quite resembled a disarming technique he had learned, so he practised it with that in mind. In return he was rewarded with [Kinetic Strike], an exceptional skill that not only had decent damage, but also inflicted the [Staggered] status effect for 1 second, effectively cancelling any skill being activated as well as knocking the enemy back depending on their weight.

His sword made contact with her chest, launching her backwards but not stopping the skill before it flew forward. 

Brant leant back desperately to avoid the attack, fully evading any damage. He sneered as he watched his enemy pull herself back to his feet, revelling in his victory.

At least until he heard screams from below. 3 of the knights had died and the leader was heavily injured.

Even from such a distance away he could see the burning hatred on the knight's face.

"ENOUGH!" The head guard shouted, stabbing his sword into the ground and killing all of the skeletons within the arena through some kind of AOE attack. Though Brant did find it strange that only some of the defeated skeletons created piles of bones on the ground. From the corner of his vision he noticed Smokey getting back up and prepared to continue fighting.

"Damn you! I'll be sure to succeed next time!" As she yelled angrily, the knight woman and all of the archers disappeared. Next to Smokey a large bestial creature appeared, carrying Smokey away.

It was incredibly fast, not allowing anyone to pursue as the injured needed to be healed. Around 10 minutes after she escaped the golems that had blocked them also disappeared and she could not be seen anywhere on the horizon, Smokey had gotten away.

It is a shame she got away. Brant thought as he watched potions be handed out. But she has faced defeat nonetheless! Golden Monarch is victorious!

"The Baron!" One knight yelled frantically, "THE BARON IS GONE!"

Everything went dead silent.

"FUCK!" The head guard screamed, kicking one of the piles of bones away.

Brant's joy quickly soured as he realised that Smokey had never once taken him seriously.

The ambush was going well for Liz.

Everyone was far too preoccupied with protecting themselves from the undead that no one had noticed Nina sneaking down and picking the lock to the baron's carriage.

There was some trouble, with some kind of assassin attacking. For a moment he had taken the upper hand as he fought Gloria, but that ended after his stealth was broken.

She really looks cool with that axe. Liz thought, watching Gloria fight.

Before they had left:

Gloria's sword had broken in the fight against Rigo, Liz had momentarily worried about this, buying the right sword was important and the only weapons that Gloria could reliably use would likely be very expensive.

But her worries were quickly dispelled:

"What about that bandit's axe?" Gloria had asked when the 3 of them (Liz, Gloria and Nina) were considering how best to proceed.

"Bandit?... Ah! You mean Rigo!" Liz realised, "What about his axe?"

"Well, if you have his axe I could use that. I'm certain it is of high value." Gloria explained as though it were obvious, despite the revelation blowing Liz's mind. Nina wasn't that invested so she didn't have much of a reaction.

"But I thought you were a swordsman. What about your swordsmanship skill?" Liz asked, opening up Gloria's status.

"That is but a blademanship skill master." Gloria corrected respectfully, "Axes have blades just as swords do."

So many ideas popped into Liz's mind as Gloria spoke, could Gloria even use weapons like whips if they were bladed? By her summons using [Swordsmanship] and [Shieldmanship] she was gaining points for it, albeit quite a bit more slowly than she would have liked. But if she was able to evolve [Swordsmanship] into something more inclusive like [Blademanship] then she could theoretically equip her summons with almost any weapon she wanted.

(A/N: Liz has 150 soldiers simultaneously making use of the 2 skills, so it is actually increasing at a pace that is only slightly below average compared to a single player using it - further showing just how OP [Voodooist] really is)

Liz handed over the axe for Gloria to equip, settling the issue of Gloria's weapon. Following that Liz purchased the [Archery] skill for her archers and after ensuring they had everything, she, Nina and Gloria all set off to set up the ambush.

Back to the current:

Liz desperately wanted to just decimate the entire escort, the only problems would be the actual knights who could likely put up more of a fight, otherwise she could easily take them down. Unfortunately, that would be counterproductive.

They had agreed that the best course of action would be to secretly take the baron and let the convoy go on for as long as possible, not having the desire to chase after them. As such, Liz needed to make it seem as though she was only slightly stronger than the escorts.

This meant no using her hounds; she could only use a limited number of her soldiers; the golems were obviously off the table in case they hit the carriage; at the very least her new warrior were acting as good shields for the soldiers and she could make use of her archers freely due to their low number.

As of now Liz had only killed one lower level player.

Liz looked over, seeing that Gloria was about to land a finishing blow when her axe was stopped; or more accurately parried.

"I see you've improved your summoning Smokey." The man who parried her blow called out, looking past Gloria and straight at her.

"... Uh... Thanks." Liz muttered having no idea who that guy was, before turning back to the fight to make sure she didn't overdo it. Liz then thought for a moment, these weirdos up here could be a good excuse to run after Nina got ahold of the Baron.

Yeah. That's a good plan. Liz nodded to herself, not realising she had completely ignored the ramblings of the man who had parried Gloria's axe.

" -demption. And so it is today that I will defeat you, to show the world the truth of how you can never match our light!" He finished, pulling out his sword, ready for a fight.

"Huh?" Liz stuttered, finally tuning in and looking at her opponent, "Yeah, cool dude. Let's fight."

"Haha! It seems you have accepted the inevitable!" The man said before charging at her wildly.

Liz in no way felt threatened by his foolhardy charge, having her hands gather around the man in order to fire off 9 [Leach Bolts]. Liz was rather impressed at how he managed to dodge 6 of them, only being hit by the last 3.

The swordsman tried to use some kind of skill, but the attack was interrupted by Liz activating [Shadow Bind] for the first time. She definitely liked the skill that her new weapon granted her, believing it was worth the tradeoff of losing her floating ability.

Once bound, Liz fired off a [Greater Bone Spear], pushing him back quite far. She was also happy to see [Bleed] had activated since it almost never did.

Well... I'm lucky in other ways. Liz thought to herself, completely ignoring how much fate favoured her.

Liz's ruminations made her miss the swordsman downing a potion and restoring his health and furthermore, dampening the effects of [Bleed] as many of his injuries faded. This annoyed Liz slightly, but she ignored it and began attacking again.

Liz made avid use of [Leach Bolt] watching in great surprise as her enemy managed to increase the amount she could dodge. She only really used [Greater Bone Spear] when he was bound so as not to waste mana, but the fight was not much of a challenge for her.

She even used the time to practise a new technique she wanted to try out. She realised that the [Puppet Hand] skill might be able to let her fly, as such she was checking to see if the hands could reliably pick her up.

She used them to pull away from attacks up until she received a message;

[Nina: done]

Behind her mask, Liz smiled. Everything was in place, she just needed to make the exit realistic.

As it stood she had killed a few more players, but not enough to push her past level 69.

She trapped the swordsman a distance away from her, making sure to keep a keen eye on when he was freed as she made use of [Greater Bone Spear]. 

She channelled the skill, increasing its strength many fold as skeleton soldiers in the back of the attack turned to piles of lifeless bones - not that they were anything else before - and the moment the swordsman's attack was going to hit, she let it loose.

She made no effort to avoid the attack and was flung back quite a lot, but was able to see the man in golden robes dodge in an exaggerated manner and something clicked in her head.

He must be from Golden Reprobates, it would explain why he acts like a total douche. Liz thought before turning back into her acting mode.

Liz saw that her attack had killed 3 more knights and injured their leader, she ignored the levelling up message and the new skill as she watched what happened.

The leader, even in his injured state, made use of an AOE attack that killed many of the skeletons closest to him; at the same time Liz dismissed all of her other undead.

"Damn you! I'll be sure to succeed next time!" She yelled, loud enough for everyone to hear. She then jumped on one of her undead beasts and headed to where Nina was waiting with a bag that was moving around excessively.

"Good work." Liz said, bringing Gloria back out, "Gloria, if you will."

"Of course, master." She said, taking the bag from Nina and punching it harshley, "Silence yourself before you find your lower half more closely resembling that of a woman's!"

The struggling settled after that.

Liz and Nina boarded the same beast while Liz summoned a second for Gloria.

All they had to do now was reach the safehouse so Liz looked at her menu, seeing she had only levelled up once.

I suppose it is to be expected. She sighed internally. They were all lower level than me, besides the leader and he managed to evade a lethal attack. Well, let's see the skill then...

Liz saw that [Leach Bolt] and [Greater Bone Spear] had reached level 3, before seeing her newest skill:

[Soul Sight (0%) (E+): Allows user to see the soul of themselves and others. Passive skill can be toggled on and off. Unlocks [SOU] stat]

Liz was mostly shocked to see a hidden stat had been given to her, but before she even had the chance to look at it a message she had not even remotely expected popped up:

[«NOTICE» Requirements for hidden skill: [Soul String] paritally met]

[Soul String (0%) (S+): Manipulate your soul and extend it in the form of a piece of thread]

[Condition: , , ,

"S+ RANK!" Liz exclaimed loudly!

CassReyes Hey, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the chapter.

I'm going to give a few extra bits of info today, hope you like it:



First will be relating to theoretical experience.

This can be gained in any skill, simply by practising it perfectly. For magic, this involves improving the understanding of how a spell works, or gaining more in depth knowledge about the element

For martial skills, one must pull of what are essentially practise swings with perfect for in order to get the XP from it

This system works similar to how passive skills improve in proficiency. However, to maintain fairness, the XP gained this way is much less than just using the skill unless you realise something massive relating to the skill - like when Liz read through 2 entirely new recipes and her [Apothecary] skill gained massive bonuses - otherwise it's a better use of time to just kill monsters with a skill.

[collapse] Spoiler


Second part is relating to [Soul String] and its conditions, as a means to display the difficulty of actually obtaining them

1st, is a , these are fairly rare on their own which massively limits the number of people who can access the skill

2nd and 3rd and are also not easy to gain, Liz was lucky to gain it at the same time. Obviously I plan this stuff out in advance, but within the story there is no defined path when getting class skills, while in many cases (especially the lower classes) people will get the same skills at the same levels, this is not always true and a level 70 [Necromancer] could get a completely different skill than Liz did.

Furthermore, at the moment I have only devised 2 classes that are both both subordinate-type and have soul skills available (all subordinate-types have soul bound but this does not count), the first being [Necromancer], the second being one I plant to introduce later in the story.

And to top it all off the 4th condition [Puppet Hand 10/100]. This is a race skill, meaning it is only available to certain races, massively limiting it once again.

Overall, one would need to be a [Necromancer] with a soul-type skill - and a second sensory one if the first soul skill was not already one - as well as one of the races with access to the skill [Puppet Hand]

[collapse] Announcement I'm moving tomorrow (the 15th) for university, meaning I'll likely have to put both of my stories on hold for a while until I can figure out how to balance it with my new schedule. Sorry :(

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