In a kingdom far, far away, there was a puppet master who performed folklore and children's tales for the public every week. When the weather was fine, and there was a crowd, the puppet master conjured spirits to slip into his lifeless toys. In his collection of toys were one of each of the many races living in the world.
The Humans - valiant, courageous, wise and numerous. The humans were never too proud to learn from their ancestors' mistakes, collecting and archiving every piece of information on their enemies as they could, to dominate the lands with man-made swords and bows. Jack of all trades, master of none, the humans easily integrated the cultures and ways of other races to benefit themselves.
The Demihumans - strong, unyielding, resilient and caring. The demihumans came in all different shapes and sizes. Where they lacked in magical prowess, they more than made up for with physical strength that oft-times matched their figure.
The Elves - proud, intelligent, territorial and unchanging. The elves cared not for the world, its pains and griefs, only for their homes - the forests. Their strong beliefs and sense of traditionalism cultivated a haughty attitude towards those who were not of their kin. Being able to live off the forest and not needing to rely on trading with the outside world, the elves were an independent race.
The Dwarves - stubborn, rowdy, reckless and kind. The dwarves easily made a name for themselves with their craftsmanship and engineering abilities. Any single dwarf would be able to showcase an entire house-full of their creations, whether it be tools, weaponry, or even furniture. Stumpy as they are, their hardened bodies showed an innate resistance to both the heat and the cold, making theirs one of the sturdier races.
The Giants - silent, enduring, crude and tyrannical. The giants cared not for wordplay or diplomacy. Where it came to anything to do with using one's wits, they easily resolved to forsake it all for brute strength. With lifespans upwards of thousands of years, and with brains that resembled neanderthals, these overly arrogant beings quickly resort to punching first, asking never.
The Dragons - dominant, honest, gentle, and timeless. The dragons were unrivaled. None were as big, strong, or as smart as they. Their name became synonymous with immortality, living an unending life, and this made them bored of one another. Separated, the dragons lay in wait, like a sort of self-proclaimed deity, promising great treasures and rewards so they may have a chance at amusing themselves by playing with the lesser beings.
The Demonkin - violent, overbearing, impatient and deranged. The demonkin, more commonly known as 'Demons' or 'Monsters', bowed to none. Their race, and their race alone, had no sense of loyalty, devotion, or humility. Always out to ravage, always out to destroy, never sane enough to give in to reason. The demonkin found pleasure only in the pain of others.
They say higher lifeforms existed in the world, although, for millennia, humans had not seen any such being. Legends and myths spoke of beings of light descending from the heavens in times of need, beings bigger than the kingdoms themselves floating in the skies, and beings not of flesh roaming lands man dare not go. Folktales told of fish-like beings emerging from the depths of the seas, human-like beings that could never see the sun, and beings considering themselves higher than all but God.
The puppet master told the story of the times of great war between the humans and the demonkin, when the humans had sought the help of the other races to aid them in sending the demonkin back from whence they came! His toys would fight each other, their stitched on swords and bows and arrows waving around everywhere! The puppet master knew how to get his audience going, as the children would all laugh and bellow at the sight of these flashy and heroic displays of valour!
When the low point in the story came, where the demonkin had forced the humans and their alliance back into a corner, out of nowhere a Hero emerged! The children cheered, and their parents would smile at how enthusiastic their young'uns were, knowing how they were just as enthused when they first heard this story. The Hero led the humans and their alliance to defeat the demonkin, and the Demon Lord, saving the world from a terror no man should ever see! The story had come to a close, but the children would continue talking about it for days on end.
The puppet master released his conjuration magic, returning the spirits to their realm, and started packing away his toys and stage booth. An ominous wind blew past him. As though a voice was calling him, the puppet master raised his head to face the heavens.
"Alexandria..." a hoarse voice groaned. "I'm coming for you, now."
James Tarker and Jun Long panted as they sprinted up to the stone gate leading into Jovial Town. James Tarker had activated his movement enhancing Skill: 'Quick Feet' to arrive faster, leaving Jun Long to chase after his back. Who would've known that the first town that he arrived in would be attacked that very same night? The thought that his existence in this world may have broken a balance, or something of the like, ran through his head, which made Jun Long feel guilty.
As they two came closer to the stone gate, the air had gotten colder all of a sudden, they noticed that the guard posts were unmanned. Jun Long would not know what kind of signs to look for, not in a million years, but James Tarker's eyes were different. In an instant he could tell that there was no struggle; no forced entry of any kind. The gate was left open, as if to invite Jun Long and James Tarker in.
Jun Long looked at James Tarker, whose face showed an anger that would put The Hulk to shame, trying not to agitate his usually cheerful partner. However, before Jun Long was able to get a word in, James Tarker had already started rushing down the town's main road.
"Jun," James shouted behind him. "I'm going ahead!"
"O-okay!" Jun Long half-shouted back. "I'll try to catch up!"
"Try to find out where everyone's meetin' up! Go there!"
Without waiting for Jun Long's response, James Tarker's figure disappeared into the heavy dust clouds.
In the air above Jovial Town, looking down at the people as though they were ants, there stood a lone small figure. It was wearing bright red clothing, that did little to nothing to cover its chest area, and had unkempt shoulder length hair. The figure snickered and sneered at the sight of the people on the ground, making its contempt toward those under it apparent.
"Run and cower, stand and die. You who saw me as trash, who treated me like dirt, have brought this upon yourselves!"
On the ground, where their vision had been limited by the dense dust cloud, the humans, demihumans, elves and dwarves were all fighting an enemy normally seen only in the most desolate of places - the undead. All around the town, in the open streets and down any given alley, the dull clanging of metal meeting bone and explosive magics sounded. The click-clack of the skeletons, as they chased after their frightened victims, echoed off the brick houses eerily.
Adventurers who were brave enough to answer the call to arms, and stayed to fight off the sudden appearance of the undead, raised their weapons against the unending mobs of skeletons and zombies.
Many adventurers had resolved to fight against the undead, initially giving all those around them a reassuring boost in moral. As the fight went on, and the number of skeletons and zombies continued to grow, there were those who show reluctance to stay and fight. Regardless of how strong you were, how experienced you were with your weapons or magic, everyone had their limit - most were already nearing theirs.
James Tarker arrived at the town center, where the bulk of the undead army resided, and quickly assessed the situation. It looked grim.
All around him, from the east side of the town center to the west, James Tarker could see a collection of adventurers and normal townspeople trying to fight back against rotting carcasses and skeletons. Without bunching up their forces too much, the adventurer and townspeople side had formed small teams to best utilize everyone's skill sets and personal strengths. There were plenty a team that consisted of up to three front-liners, up to three ranged attackers, and up to two dedicated healers and/or supportive roles. The townspeople would assist by providing the town's resources, such as vials of potions and arrows, or hand the close-quarter fighters and shield-bearers new equipment when theirs broke.
James Tarker didn't stand around to watch for long, seeing that there were a number of people already close to collapsing on the spot, and rushed to assist the teams where he could. The teams that noticed James' arrival showed a renewed energy, thinking that reinforcements were coming, but were let down when they asked if there were more people coming to help.
"Young'un!" one of the burly spear-users called to James. "We aren't gonna be able to hold this army off much longer - you've gotta go get some help."
An adventurer who was familiar with James nocked an arrow and pulled back to shoot and crush a skeleton's skull. "Tarker, you're still young, you should get outta here while you still can. Let us oldies handle this."
"No way!" James replied, his youthful vigour overflowing. "Jovial Town saved me when I was young, now it's my turn to pay it back ten-fold!"
"Haha!" the burly one's laughter boomed across the battlefield. "If the young'uns ain't backing down, what right do we old fogeys have to do so?! FUCK'EM UP!"
"GET PAID!" everyone chimed in.
James Tarker smirked at the ever-classy motto Jovial Town's adventurers used.
In another part of Jovial Town, in one of the only locations that Jun Long could recall with ease, the traveler from another world jogged toward the Adventurer's Guild. His newly acquired monocle depressed him, as the word 'DECEASED' was showing up everywhere he looked. With all that was going on, and with his mind wrought with worry about not only his own safety but also the townspeople's, Jun Long hadn't noticed that the gold rimmed monocle had no trouble staying on his face.
Jun Long quickly arrived in front of the Adventurer's Guild, but was shocked at the scene in front of him. Having jogged from the stone gate all through the town to the street he was on now, as depressing as it was to see the many dead bodies littered on the road, Jun Long was fortunate to not have encountered any enemies. As soon as he turned the corner, to see the Adventurer's Guild's red and yellow building, Jun Long's eyes widened as he watched a pack of zombies grabbing fleeing townspeople and adventurers and biting into them.
The screams of anguish and fear made Jun Long sick to his gut. This kind of scene could only ever be compared to public mass shootings, where everyone ran for their lives while gunmen would run them down with their assault rifles or pistols. Jun Long keeled over and covered his mouth to try stop himself from throwing up from the shock.
Slowly recovering from the sudden traumatic sight of human flesh being torn apart, Jun Long wiped the saliva from his mouth and pushed himself up. Although he couldn't consider himself to be the type of person to rush to other peoples' aid, at the first sign of trouble, he wanted to use his new-found power to help these people who looked so desperate. Was this how he looked during that time in the goblin cave?
Jun Long steeled himself and lifted his hand to his chest.
Please switch to the pop-up to complete the payment.
Complete the daily and EXP missions, as well as every week’s reading missions to obtain EXP and coin as rewards.Learn more about the rules 1. You can obtain the corresponding Fast Passes, EXP, and Points as rewards by completing growth missions, as well as daily missions. 2. A Fast Pass can unlock a chapter (of any price). The chapter will remain unlocked forever. It will expire after 7*24 hours, so don't forget to use it in time! 3. Obtained EXP can raise your user level. 4. Daily Tasks and corresponding rewards renew daily at 00:00 UTC+8. Don't forget to claim your rewards in time. 5. The weekly reading time is calculated while your device is connected to the Internet. This might result in a delay of several minutes. 6. Rewards may vary according to app version.
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.