Sarah scowled at him and asked “Bastard… Have you ever actually killed anyone before?” The only hair left on her entire body, were those two thin eyebrows, which furrowed in anger.
The half-submerged man snickered, and then told her “My name’s Michael by the way, but no. I’ve honestly never had the need, or reason, to kill anyone yet. Well, I’ve been in plenty of fights before coming into this world, but that was at least seven years ago. There were a ton of times where I ‘wanted’ to tear someone’s trachea out, or gouge their fucking eyes out with my fingernails… but I never did. The only reason that I haven’t snapped your scrawny neck already, is because you’re interesting. You should become my Companion.”
She furiously shouted “Why the hell would I ever want to do that?!” while bobbing up and down in the water. The weeping Priestess’ black-furred, cat-ears twitched upon hearing him say that phrase, and managed to return to her senses a bit.
Michael smirked at the worm-girl, and said “Isn’t it obvious? Hehe~, sure, dying might suck, but immortality has its perks too. How long do ya think you’ll live on your own? Goblins have a lifespan of what? Twenty, maybe thirty years… with your evolution, you’ll probably be able to make it to fifty or so, but who knows? Even if you never aged, you would still get killed eventually. Heh, how many people do you think were probably massacred tonight? Sure, you’ll never be able to cut my head off again; if it makes you feel better, each time you die, I’ll suffer from excruciating pain for a few seconds.”
Sarah right eyebrow raised slightly, as she asked “Wait, doesn’t that mean you can directly consume mana-cores to evolve?” While they were speaking, the curious cat-woman slowly entered the water, without even taking off her white-robe.
He immediately glanced over at Elina, but quickly returned his gaze to the slimy Goblin and pulled out a greyish bead from his inventory, into his left palm. Since she didn’t seem to have a ‘Scan’ ability, he directly told her “This is from a Rank-G, Level-1 Field Mouse. Ugh, this is gonna suck…” before swallowing it.
A message popped-up, and he said “Sure, a tenth of an Aura-point, plus half of a Vitality-point, might not be worth the horrible agony I’m feeling right now… but what about this?” Then Michael groaned as he retrieved an ominous, pitch-black bead; her face twitched, because she was actually able to recognize it.
Sarah muttered “It has almost the same exact aura as the one in your head right now…” He snickered, before attempting to swallow it, but a barrier appeared and prevented the pearl from entering his mouth.
Then a monotonous female voice resounded in the air around them: “Players may not consume their own mana-cores.”
Michael sighed, and muttered “Well, this is embarrassing…” but the two girls had expressions of amazement, fear, and awe on their faces.
Elina yelled “The Goddess of Light?!” as she frantically looked around, trying to find the source of that ‘divine’ voice.
However, Sarah immediately shouted “What the hell are you talking about?! That was obviously The Goddess of Darkness speaking! It sounds exactly the same as when I learned ‘Shadow-Step,’ ‘Shadow-Cloak,’ and when I leveled-up!”
The Priestess and Thief didn’t have the chance to argue farther, because Michael started laughing hysterically, interrupting their pointless debate. They both glared at him, as if he was mocking their faith, but then he tried to swallow the little black bead again.
As if it was an exact recording, the ‘Goddess’ said “Players may not consume their own mana-cores.” and when he repeated the action, “Players may not consume their own mana-cores.” resounded again. There was absolutely no difference between the three phrases, and he didn’t even receive some sort of punishment for attempting to defy her will.
They both stared at him, as if he were going to suddenly burst into flames or be struck by lightning; yet even after the tenth time, nothing happened. Michael finally stopped and told them “That isn’t some divine entity… It’s obviously just an automated message that plays every time someone tries to break the rules of this world. Do you honestly believe that some supreme being is going to personally yell at every asshole who does something they aren’t supposed to? How many millions of creatures in this world gain skills and level-up every second?
“Even if I’m the only ‘Player’ in this whole fucking universe, I still get a damn synthesized, mechanical voice… How do you even know it’s female anyway? Sure, it might sound kinda feminine, but still, have any of you even seen these Goddesses?”
Elina yelled “Bl-blasphemy!” Although, she wasn’t able to retort any farther than that. At least she was able to temporarily forget about her brother and sister dying, because the very foundation of her entire belief-system was on the verge of collapsing.
Sarah on the other hand, simply furrowed her brows and squinted her pure-white eyes, before muttering “I always did wonder why The Goddess of Darkness would bother talking to someone like me…” She was obviously a lot more open-minded than the cat-girl: at least when it came to religion.
Then Michael said “Well, for all I know, there might actually be some kinda overpowered deity for every element. I mean, something must have created this world, right? Who or what, I have no clue… I just got here a few days ago after-all. There’s definitely some sort of system, which governs this entire reality, and I don’t have the ability to edit it in any way.
“However, back to my original sales-pitch; be my Companions. It’s not like I’m asking you to marry me; ya probably don’t even have to stay with me. I won’t say that either of you are particularly ‘lucky,’ but this is seriously the most important decision of either of your lives! Also, I’m pretty sure that you don’t actually have to be near me to keep the immortality. Well, I wouldn’t want to test that theory though, heh.”
Then he pulled out a second pitch-black bead, which was still covered in a bit of vomit; Michael gagged a bit, before tossing it to Sarah. He handed the other one to Elina and told them “I’ll even throw in these fancy, level-four, rank-F mana-cores. I wouldn’t suggest taking them until after you agree to be my Companions though.”
Surprisingly, the irritable Goblin-girl was the first to say “You’re a fucking moron, but if I didn’t take advantage of your stupidity, then I would be the real idiot. Now hurry up and make me your Companion.”
The moment she finished speaking, her name changed directly from bright-red, to dark-green. As he smirked, that monotone voice asked him “Would you like to accept ‘Sarah Carelia’ as your second Companion? Warning: You may only have a maximum of six Companions.”
Hearing her ‘Goddess’ speak, Elina suddenly stopped hesitating and also made her decision. Michael snickered and then answered “Yep!” which caused both of their bodies to glow with blindingly bright radiance, and then her entire status-screen popped-up in-front of his face.
Mana Regen per minute: 10
Health Regen per hour: 20
Attack Rating: 5
Defense Rating: 1.5]
Immune System Boost Level 5: Resists level five infectious diseases and illnesses.
Superior Regeneration Level 1: Organs and bones that have been lost, can be completely regenerated. Recovery speed is dependent on the amount of mana consumed.
Cutaneous Respiration Level 1: Able to absorb oxygen through the skin, as long as it’s properly hydrated. Effectiveness is dependent on Vitality.
Darkness Affinity Level 2: Dark environments increase the speed of health and mana recovery. Increases damage to enemies with Light Affinity by 20%.
Dagger Mastery Level 3: Increases Attack Rating while wielding knives, short-swords, and daggers by 15%.]
Shadow-Step Level 3: Teleports into the target’s shadow. Range is dependent on Agility. Costs ten mana-points to activate.
Shadow-Cloak Level 2: Creates a shroud of darkness around the caster and all allies within range. Range is dependent on the Aura stat. Costs one mana-point per second.]