This chapter is 9 parts total, so I’ll be posting in 3-part sections… Which are basically the same size as a single chapter of HCOP or TDoE. Aside from that, I guess I’ll talk a little about morality for a moment. Feel free to skip my ramblings though :P.
I can remember loads of times when I was writing “Immortal Soul”, “Hardcore OP-ness” and other stories when people complained to me about my “Twisted sense of morality.” First of all, everyone has a different sense of morality. Even two people who were raised in the exact same environment would have slightly different values and ideals. It’s innate, but also influenced by external factors as well.
In this particular story, Azrael and Uriel are twin siblings. However, they still manage to have contrasting views on many subjects. If you’ve read some of my other stories, Azra and Yuri are even direct enemies at times. Yet, in this particular series, they’re twins. And regardless of whether they disagree with each other, there’s still that magical factor called ‘love’ which can easily warp and twist your morality into whatever shape is necessary :P.
Anyway, they’re definitely the protagonists, but I wouldn’t necessarily categorize them as ‘good’. I’m the author, so a lot of times, my morality comes into question based on the things I write. But you have to understand that I have to remain neutral most of the time. Because if I don’t, then I won’t be able to write antagonists.
Speaking of which, you all realize that the antagonists in pretty much all of my stories, are actually protagonists in other stories… right? At the very least, they aren’t generic ‘Bad Guys’. There are plenty of trash mobs that just get killed without even a proper introduction, but I’m talking about actual characters.
Rather than just being pure ‘evil’ or generic ‘monsters’, the antagonists are usually just characters who have different priorities or objectives than the main protagonist. Of course, I love a good ole fashioned rampage as much as the next person… So there will always be those assholes who you just want the MC to murder immediately after they meet, but the ‘real’ antagonists are a lot more sinister. They could be the MC’s friends, family, lovers, clones or even the environment that they’re forced to survive in.
Well, that’s enough of my nonsense for now. I put some music videos in the chapters lately… Idk why, but I just feel like it spices things up a bit?
Chapter 6: Ethics
Part 1: Heaven or Hell?
“What’s wrong? Huh?!” When Henry turned towards the little girl, she was blankly staring at the wall in front of her. However, what shocked him was the scene that he witnessed when he stood up and looked outside of the double-doors.
There was nothing. No forest, or creek, the village was gone and the ground was so flat that he could easily see that border. It was dark and the moon was waning, so it seemed like the world simply ended after three and a half miles.
“This can’t be real… All of this… I must be dreaming. Or maybe I died? Back when I met Sariel in the woods… The angels of death… It all makes sense now. I’m dead. Then, is this Heaven or Hell?”
The stench of the corpses was terrible and three people he had known practically his entire life were laying dead in front of that mysterious Goblin. He eventually turned and walked over to the tiny woman, “Am I really dead? Hey, talk to me!”
However, before he could reach out and touch her, Ailyn vanished into thin air. Then a few of the archers who were sent to the roof, rushed into the hall from the back door. They were all just as shocked and confused as Henry. As for the people in the cellar, they didn’t have any way of knowing what was happening. All of them were still praying for salvation.
[Quest Completed: You have protected Salmon Creek Village from the Rusty Saber Bandits. You have also obtained one of Uriel’s Pawns from Henry Lucas. 35 villagers survived. 19 Bandits were killed by your forces. Both Henry and Joanna Lucas survived as well. You have also captured all of the villagers.]
[Quest Rewards: +100 Karma, +69 Souls, 1 Pawn of Uriel, 35 villagers, Henry Lucas and Joanna Lucas.]
Meanwhile, in the spot where Yuri and Azra originally activated the chessboard, they were sitting across from each other and having an important discussion.
“It would be illogical to release them. There are too many variables. We are far too weak to allow our secrets to reach our enemies. If magical artifacts such as this Divine Chessboard exist, then perhaps there could be others as well. No matter how incredible this device may be, we should not become overconfident.”
“Sis, I get it, I really do… But what else are we supposed to do? Just keep them trapped inside the Chessboard World? They aren’t mindless avatars or stupid animals! They’re fucking people! What about once we start spawning? We know practically nothing about those assholes…”
They were both cautious, but Azra was a bit more empathetic than his cold and calculating sister.
“They will likely starve or freeze to death if we do nothing. Your territory is quite unforgiving at the moment.”
It was practically impossible to survive under the current conditions within that temperate climate. They had no food or firewood, except perhaps the corpses that were littered around the great hall and the stairs.
However, there was another ‘person’ who they had forgotten to consult about the situation.
[My suggestion is that you simply purchase this property.]
Part 2: Limited Time Offer
[By capturing the entire population of this village, you have gained the ability to import Salmon Creek Village into the Chessboard World. This process is rather expensive for your current financial situation. However, the price is far lower than if you wished to purchase the buildings individually.]
Azra muttered “Yeah… Honestly, that’s a really good deal. A freaking thatched hut would cost five souls… A ‘Thatched Hut Village’ costs fifty souls.” The screen in front of them was running the Shop program and displaying the few items that were actually unlocked.
[Salmon Creek Village: You have saved and captured the entire population of this small village. There are a total of 31 buildings mostly constructed out of timber. 20 log cabins, 1 inn, 1 hunting lodge, 5 stores, 3 barns and 1 chicken coop. All artificial structures were be transported into the territory of your choosing, at the specified location. Natural landmarks such as the creek and forest will be replicated through the terrain program. Any lifeforms in the vicinity will be caught up in the teleportation. This is a limited time offer. Within 24 hours, this deal will end. Cost: 50 Souls.]
The girl in the white gown nodded her head and stated “It would be unwise to neglect this opportunity. We would be required to purchase or construct infrastructure for the creatures we wish to spawn, so there is no reason to decline.”
“Yeah, we accept the deal DC. Go ahead.” After they both confirmed their order, they picked an area only a kilometer to the south of the silver keep. The ground began rumbling a bit and their Souls went down to nineteen, but they weren’t sure that anything actually happened.
[Teleportation has been completed. However, reconstructing the terrain will take several minutes.]
“The board is missing…” Yuri was the first to notice, but it wasn’t surprising. When they were within the Chessboard World, the magical artifact couldn’t enter inside of itself.
Azra stood up and walked around the chilly log cabin. He was too nervous before, but now that the two of them were alone together, he couldn’t help but admire the craftsmanship of the structure.
“Sis… We bought a house, hehehe~. Well, there are a lot of buildings that are unused. We could totally pick any one of them we want and move in together… It would be like those stories we read about.”
“I refuse.” However, Yuri instantly rejected his proposal. She elaborated, “We are the rulers of this world. It would be illogical for us to dwell in these tiny structures, when we possess keeps. Most importantly, the temperature in this climate is far too low. Come, we should return to my territory. Our avatars need us to direct them now.”
Part 3: Salmon Creek
Battles are messy. Both Reaper and Ailyn needed to be thoroughly scrubbed clean in the river outside of Yuri’s gigantic tree-fort. Of course, the situation was a lot more complicated and difficult over in Azra’s territory.
“Look! Over in the distance! Isn’t that Salmon Creek?!”
Everyone was busy trying to drag the corpses out of the great hall when a young boy shouted from the battlement. The first person to react to the announcement was Henry, who was standing at the top of the stone staircase.
He yelled “We can deal with the dead later! For now, we need to hurry up and get back home!”
Joanna walked over, the blood on her clothes was mixed with snow and mostly frozen. She smiled at her son and gloated “I told you we weren’t in Hell! Look! This is obviously Heaven! Hahaha~!”
Since no one understood the situation, they were all convinced that the Chessboard World was either Heaven or Hell. The optimistic ones chose Heaven, while the realistic ones felt that they were in a horrible frozen Hell.
Those strange little creatures were nowhere to be seen, but there was a sneaky linx that they found in the cellar. That dog-sized cat was afraid of the living people, yet had no qualms about nibbling on the dead.
There were plenty of other miscellaneous animals from the forest who were swept up in the teleportation of the village, even a small portion of the forest had appeared. Although bears, deer, foxes and other similar creatures were above Threat Level Zero, they hadn’t been ‘created’. It would be possible to pull all sorts of monsters into the Chessboard World under the right circumstances, but that wasn’t necessarily a good idea.
Once the twins had cleaned off their avatars in the river, they all returned to Yuri’s bedroom. Reaper and Ailyn were exhausted, so they were able to sleep without even requiring any sexual relief.
“What are units exactly?” Yuri noticed that even though there were humans and other animals in Azra’s territory, they weren’t actually considered ‘units’. The other buildings and structures weren’t towers either.
[Those that have been marked with the Ankh of Samsara. Immortal soldiers of the Death Gods.]
“Well that’s pretty damn disturbing…” Azra snickered, before asking “But seriously, what the fuck are units really? Be more specific and less cryptic.”