"Congratulation to the user, you have met the requirements to evolve. Please choose the evolution:
2- Plague Ratman."
As expected, that one kill was enough for my level up. But I cannot do it here, I have to wait. I have to exit this city.
It is only the morning, but the entire populace of Ronta already knows the latest news. Apparently, inside the very Guild that protects them from the monsters, both receptionists have suffered a terrible fate. They were poisoned, and since the butcher should have been guilty, how could he do that? He was already dead, therefore the authorities have lied to the commoners and even the nobles. From my observation point, I can see a lot of people rushing toward the City Hall for an explanation. And even more toward the different gates to escape.
Apparently one of the two victims was the daughter of the Guild Master. So that beardless dwarf was a female? Apparently, but it is not the main point. What is important is the powerless Guild Master. He didn't even manage to protect his own daughter. Seeing that, nearly all the adventurers can be seen bickering with the guards to leave as soon as possible the town. My opportunity is here.
Even if the local guards are a bunch of cowards and weaklings, they have a lot of power and numbers. If the city doesn't fall, they will keep all the advantages and different bribes from the fearful merchants. That is why, even if they have a chance of dying, they are still keeping their calm, because of their greed. If they leave too, once they reach another city, they won't have a great chance to be a guard again. And that uncertain future is a lot worse than a potential madman. In fact, in their head, they probably think that since he is alone, he won't ever attack them.
I can agree with this reasoning. As I am a lone agent behind the enemy line, I cannot attack the masses, I can only target a specific location or people. If I evolved right now, since I can, I could probably bring this very city into despair. But that will be so stupid to expose myself after everything I have done. That's why even if I am level 20/20, I don't evolve. I just need to find a cart with an owner visibly afraid. That way he will bribe the guard and they won't check too much since they already have to prevent the adventurers and a lot of people of leaving. Ah, that plump man looks good. And yes, a lot of carts in that caravan. You will be rewarded, my fat friend.
I hide once again in the deepest hole of the wagon. This time, I don't need the protection of a chest to survive the travel. I am strong enough to prevent myself from being crushed. I heard the guard and the trader negotiate and this time the guard is imposing a tax enormous. 100 gold for 12 wagons. He clearly is enjoying the situation and use the panic to increase the bribe. Even if the merchant is furious, he is too busy running for his life to really care about money. And as usual, I pass a security check easily. If the mayor were to know this, he will probably punish every city guard. Now, what does the South will bring me?
(Meanwhile, in the North Gate, the Seven Gods of Destruction finally learned what happen in Ronta when they were away chasing the mysterious Matriarch Ghoul. I still don't understand what happened inside their brains.)
"What do you mean Audrea died? Are you talking about Audrea, the one from the brothel, right?"
"No, no, no. Audrea, the daughter of Lansco, she is dead. An entire orphanage has succumbed too. It is a poison master, hiding in the city. All the adventurers are leaving. You should do it too Khozak. It is a dead city. Nobody is safe anymore. Lansco has lost his mind. He hadn't left the body of his daughter since she is dead. He doesn't eat, doesn't drink. So I hope you will make the right choice, but we are getting out of here. Farewell!"
Everyone from the group was stunned. They left for a little more than 2 weeks and when they returned, the entire city is now in a state of panic and everybody is fleeing. The worst is, they didn't even catch that damn Ghoul. Even the great Lansco, a dwarf from the Iron Beard, has fallen. At the same time as they were hearing this dark story, Irion was looking weirdly at Richard. The latter defended himself.
"Hey, I never thought it was that bad, I just said that if someone talked about the Ghoul Matriarch in the future we should get the hell out of Ronta. Because we failed and it is our fault. But apparently, that escape plan can still be used."
"Aren't you supposed to be a holy knight, saving the widow and the orphans? Or are you a bloody thief, fleeing the danger whenever you see it? No offense, Jimmy."
"Oh don't worry, I like to flee from danger, that way I stay alive. But yes, Richard as a holy knight, you should act like one."
"Hold on, we voted for the escape and it was unanimous. Who am I to contradict my companions?" Said the upset, and not so brave, holy knight.
"He got a point."
That time, it was the three warriors that were agreeing with Richard. They wanted to flee as soon as possible and that discussion was ruining their plan.
"Ok, I got it. Sorry Lansco but I hope you will forgive us one day. So we were debating before learning that news, did we stay in the holy kingdom or we go to the Notongrod Empire?"
Shortly after the chief Khozak threw this question, the all group started bickering again.
(At the first stop of the caravan, a weird rodent could have been spotted leaving one of the wagons. Unfortunately, or the opposite in that case since they would have all died, no one noticed it.)
Like I said, plump man, I owe you, so I let you live for now. I hope you will sell your merchandises well because that damn guard stole too much gold from you. But I am finally free, I can probably evolve in peace in that forest. Yes, a forest again. Don't they have another environment? I don't know, mountains, hills. There was a small mountain back at the undead cave, but a small one.
Anyway, I first need to hide in a safe spot. I wonder what monsters or animals I will encounter. I didn't hear what was the destination of that trader, so I don't know where that road leads to. Maybe it is the road toward the dwarf kingdom since there was a representative of that race back in Ronta. I should start exploring more and think less. It is a new world opening before me. I need to know what is the apex predator, what are the different monsters living there. I use my old technique for that, the tree-walk.
Even after one hour, I don't find a truly safe spot. The thing is I can probably evolve right here and right now and I will be fine. But I don't know, what if a gryphon or some stupidly overpowered monster appears right now. I will be doomed. But I don't know why I feel that the forest looks safer as I progress toward the East. Maybe it is the air, that looks purer or the trees, more living. I see countless insect alive and small animals. That is a problem. What could let those animals live in peace? Only something so dangerous, that no fox or wolves dare to come here.
"Hello, my little friend, what is your name?"
OUCH! WHO IS IT??? SHOW YOURSELF??? Where did this voice come from, is it talking to me? I fell from my branch because of it.
"Oh, poor little creature. I hope it is not hurt, ah, it's good, it is alive. Over there little rodent."
I look toward the sky and there I notice a small fairy. Yes, a fairy like the one in the fairytales. Small, two wings, a dress made of grass or leaves I don't know. So that was the cause of atmosphere. A fairy will naturally make the forest more living and safer.
"Wonderful, you instantly saw me. You are very smart, sometimes I spend minutes to make the animals look at me."
And most important, beautifully and completely innocent and naïve. She still thinks that I am a normal rat lost in the forest. But damn, she made me fall. I lost 16 HP because of this.
"So what is your name little rat?"
You know that animals can't talk right? And since none of my sarcastic remarks have reached you, you can't read in the minds of animals. Maybe I should still respond something. Not that I can talk but maybe she can understand my scream. I try to say, Marc.
"Sleek, that is a name quite fitting to a rat."
Moronic fairy. Yes, why not, why shouldn't I be called Sleek. Hey look, it's me Sleek. Stupid spirit of the forest. Making me fall and then mocking my pronunciation. And that moronic name. Just thinking about saying in a conversation My name is Sleek sc….
"System acknowledge the choice of the user, the name: Sleek has been chosen."
No, you didn't. You didn't do that. Show me my attributes.
Level : 20/20
He did it. He really did it. WHY? WHY AM I SO STUPID??? Ok, I am done, this fairy is dead. Someone has to pay the price.
-Marc Cassidy chooses: Plague Ratman!
"System acknowledge the choice of the user, the evolution: Plague Ratman has been chosen."
I can clearly feel my entire body grow taller, stronger. My claws expanding, my teeth getting sharper. I didn't care about the choice; I just want to make her pay.
"Gr-great fairy, you-you granting me a name has allowed me to evolve."
"Oh, I have this power. I knew it, you are right to call me a great fairy, I am the Great Fairy Lula."
"Yes-yes, please let me thank you, gr-great fairy."
After saying this I extended my hand. She was too far in the sky for me to catch her, I have to make her come closer.
"Th-this is the way for my people to thank their benefactors. We sh-shake their hands."
She will fall for it; she clearly saw me evolve right in front of her but I say that I know the usages of the ratmen. And she will not even think about it.
"Oh, I never knew that such a thing exists but I will allow you Sleek, to shake the hand of the Great Fairy Lula."
Yes, come to shake the hand of Sleek, miserable worm. I will give you something you have probably never seen. Yes, come, come. Finally, she comes closer and put her hand inside mine. I gently shake her hand, reducing the suspicion.
"It is a funny thing Sleek, I will report it to the other Fairies for future encounters with the ratmen."
"Th-thank you Great Fairy."
And now that she is enjoying it, the Coup de Grace. I didn't check if I have new skills, I use my old [Create Poison], one that I have specifically modified. And she is still clueless. Now I see her eyes getting bigger, she is shocked as she watches the poison in her hand.
"Sleek, what is this thing?"
Your death moron. I can see her slowly losing the power of her wings, she will fall shortly after. Since she was at less than 1 meter from the ground she is fine and will not die from the fall. But each time she tries to stand up, her weak legs fail to accomplish the task.
"Sl.. Sleek, … what…. What did…. Did you do?"
"No-nothing Great Fairy Lula, it's just-just a small gift to you."
I can see her, fighting to keep her eyes open, she is beginning to be lethargic. She loses her force slowly and steadily as I approach her. Her eyes are filled with tears.
I crush her skull with my feet. Because of her, my name will be forever Sleek. But my anger is not satisfied. I heard her talking about other fairies. The wrong of one will be paid by the death of others. None will escape my wrath.
End of the first book.
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