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Forgotten - Chapter 220

Published at 14th of May 2022 05:41:07 AM


Chapter 220

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Ryan's finger hovered over the button the System offered him. The tiny window had made it quite clear that he did not have to accept the invitation, but a chance to attend 'a test of strength and an opportunity to grow in power' was too good to pass up.




It was true that he had gained a handful of levels while doing menial tasks, but his biggest jump in abilities had been when the weird Elf lady had teleported him to the forest. The local boars had not taken kindly to his sudden arrival in their turf, and the combat was as inevitable as it was exhilarating.

Closing his eyes, he pushed his finger down. Somehow, the tiny window stopped his digit as he touched the button, as though it were a physical object. A mere moment later, he felt like he was being ripped apart, squashed together, and thrown across the room all at the same time.

As soon as the feeling had begun, it ended and when he opened his eyes, he was presented with a large expanse of green that slowly filled with more and more people. In the distance, Ryan could see a large spire stretching itself towards the sky, most of it made of glass that was supported by pillars of marble.

At the foot of the large tower, he could see a variety of smaller buildings that leaned a little more heavily towards what he would call Greek or Roman construction. The biggest difference was that the stone used was not the normal blinding white, but a silver that somehow shimmered black.

He took a step forward when a new group arrived, this one featuring someone he knew. The large Elven-looking woman did not spare him a glance, instead setting her gaze on the tower in the distance. Even without seeing her face, Ryan knew that she was pleased with herself. Almost like she made that thing…

Considering that this was the woman that simply teleported both him and his partners in crime out of that vault, he wouldn't put it past her. He was certain she had said something back then, but his memory of the entire day was a little fuzzy. Too fuzzy for his liking.

He shook his head as he failed to recall what the woman's words to him in the vault were, trying to clear that line of thought from his mind. Whenever he thought of that day, he inevitably got a headache as his mind filled with ideas and notions he was sure were not his own. An all-encompassing presence that stared at him, saw all of him and judged him wanting.

"Everything okay, man?" a dark-skinned man asked, placing his hand on his shoulder. "You don't look too well."

"I'm fine," Ryan replied and rolled his shoulders to get the other man's hand off. "Even if I wasn't, it's none of your business."

The man raised his hands and took a step back. "Okay! Just wanted to make sure, all of this is a little weird after all." He nodded towards the tall, muscular woman. "And that's the one that was on TV, right? Standoff with the police, seemingly unbothered by the fact that she could be shot."

"She's dangerous," Ryan said before he could even think of the words.

"Oh, I am sure of that," the man replied with a nod. "Name's Jacob, by the way."




"Ryan," he huffed in reply, setting his eyes back on the Elven looking woman. "Do you know what this whole thing is about? I only got a message telling me that this will be an opportunity to measure my strength and gain more power."

"Got the same message," Jacob said. "No idea what exactly was meant by it, though."

"A dungeon, of course!" one of the passing people said. "We're gonna fight some monsters and gain some levels. Don't you guys read?"

Jacob only shook his head at the words, not seeming to pay the passing man much mind. Ryan, for his part, had no real idea what the off-handed quip had meant, but also didn't really care. What he wanted from this place was, simply, more power. Enough to allow him to do what he wanted without being teleported around by a random Elven bodybuilder.

Perhaps if he could teleport on his own, that could be prevented. But how do I do that? The levels he had gained since awakening had not really given him much besides some points he could invest into strength and the like. He had, as yet, not been given any option to gain new skills, but he had also only gained a total of three levels. If the passerby was correct, however, that would change soon enough. He would become strong enough to show that Elven idiot who's boss.

///

Aperio began to hum one of the many songs she had heard on Earth as she followed Eleanor towards the tower she had created. Why the mortal was so excited to go inside when she had been present for its creation was beyond even the All-Mother, but she would not stop her. A bit of excitement was good, and perhaps it would help lessen the tension she could feel in the mortals surrounding her.

Instead of focusing on the mage, she looked through the rest of the arrivals, noting the absence of every single member of the council she had visited, as well as Merlin. It would seem they want to remain in the shadows…

For a moment, she considered simply pulling them to this island, but decided against it. They probably had their reasons for staying away. Even if the idea was still pleasing to her, using mortals for her own entertainment was exactly what she wanted to avoid.

"She's awfully excited, isn't she?" Caethya asked, her usage of the Elven language blending in with the countless other tongues being spoken. "You'd think she has seen something like a dungeon before."

"Perhaps," Aperio replied in a whisper. While her voice was quiet, it still caused heads to turn in their direction. A slight glare was enough to make the mortals mind their own business again. "But she is young. At least, I think she is."

"I'd guess she is about as old as Adam," Caethya replied. "Definitely younger than me, though."


"How old is Adam?"

"Twenty-two, I believe." She shrugged. "Almost a decade younger than I am. Somewhere around there, at least."

"One of these days I should figure out how old I am," Aperio mumbled to herself. If she went by her life as a slave she should be around Caethya's age — Probably — but if she went by her actual age, she would most likely be older than the universe she was currently in. "On second thought, perhaps it is better if I do not do that."

"Figuring out your birthday is much more important," her love replied with a smile. "Celebrations are important."

"Indeed," Aperio replied as she pushed a few drops of her mana into the large tower, causing a blue glow to run up the entirety of its length. "I think it is time to get this one started."

///

Jacob followed the lines of blue with his eyes as they raced higher and higher along the spire's surface. It did not take long before the light vanished beyond the clouds and a low rumble ran through the entire island. The shaking of the ground was, however, not the thing that caught everyone’s attention. No, that was reserved for the deafening roar that somehow echoed across the otherwise empty island.

Just like most of the people that stood before the tower, Jacob looked around to find the source of the noise. Before he could even find a hint, a gust of wind pushed him down a little and another, much closer roar caused him to freeze.

There was no message or anything, but try as he might, Jacob could not move a single limb. The only thing he could do was move his eyes and take shallow breaths. In the corner of his vision he saw a gigantic dark blur rush past. The only things he could readily identify were its wings and four limbs, though he could have sworn that the light glinting off of its body hinted at the being’s skin being covered in scales. Dragon?

As if to allow him to answer the unspoken question, he could move again, and the first thing he saw was a Dragon, curled halfway around the spire. It looked down at them, dark blue arcs of lightning — or were they of mana? — jumped between not only its horns but also its wings, as well as the tower itself. For a moment, Jacob thought that it stared directly at him; met his eyes and smiled. He could see the large fangs in its mouth for the briefest of moments before the beast roared once more and pushed itself upwards, vanishing shortly thereafter.

New quest unlocked: Clear the Point Nemo Dungeon.

This is a cooperative quest. Rewards will be issued in accordance with participation.


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"Guess that answers the question of where we are," Ryan said as he dusted himself off. The Dragon's appearance had caused him to fall over, and he was mildly thankful Jacob hadn't noticed. "Truly at the ass end of the world."

"Buys us some time before every nation of the world sends their navy here," Jacob said. "Though, I am not sure they will ever make it. Something tells me this island is supposed to be outside the jurisdictions of any country."

"It has a fucking Dragon," Ryan replied. "I doubt that thing gives a damn about bullets or missiles. That tower is obviously made from magic bullshit, too."

"Looks like glass and marble, but with how tall it is…" He glanced towards where the top of the tower likely was, though it was so high he couldn't see it, then looked over at the woman he presumed to be Aperio. "Well, it also probably just appeared here. So yes, magic bullshit as you put it."

Further conversation was cut short as a large doorway appeared in the otherwise seamless facade of the tower. Most people in the crowd surged forwards, a few individuals even going so far as to teleport short distances as they strove to be the first to enter. Jacob and Ryan were pulled into movement along with the rest of the people around them. It was hard to move against the current, and why bother? They were heading there anyway.

What was surprising to Jacob, even though it probably shouldn't have been, was the fact that Aperio herself did not enter the tower first. With everything he had learned from Elder Wu, it was all but certain that she had been the one to make it, but to keep up appearances he had assumed that she would be the first inside. Or is she trying not to stand out by letting others in first?

The ploy shouldn't have worked, as most anyone would recognize an Elf that stood out of the crowd, but contrary to Jacob's expectations most people completely ignored Aperio. The bulk of the curious glances that came her way seemed to be due simply to her height and build, and not recognition. Only a few people looked at her and then proceeded to whisper something to their companions. From what Jacob could tell, they were from the States like he was. Well, that or Canada.

"Do you know her?" Ryan asked, following his gaze to look at the self-proclaimed All-Mother. "Or is she just your type?"

"Know her? No, not really," Jacob replied. "I know of her, but that's about it. I did have a talk with one of her acquaintances, and what they told me has me more than a little intrigued about her presence here."

"And why would that be? Do you think she can just teleport herself to the end and beat the dungeon? Claim all the rewards for herself and get even stronger?"

Jacob could not help but snort at the words. "No. I'm pretty sure she will not even enter the dungeon, let alone beat it."


"And why is that?"

"Just a feeling," he replied, offering a shrug. Jacob shifted his gaze away from Aperio and back towards the tower. "You ready for some fighting?"

"As ready as I'll get," Ryan replied and rolled his shoulders. "What do you think is inside that thing?"

"I have no idea, but whatever it is, I am sure we can handle it."

///

Laelia let out a long sigh as she lowered the letter she had received from Maria. It would seem their Goddess was up to yet more shenanigans, this time on another world. She had known Aperio had left Verenier, having felt the moment her presence had disappeared. Why the All-Mother had seen the need to go to some backwater world was not something she understood, but apparently it was needed.

What was of more interest to her were the visions Maria had of Aperio creating more worlds and expanding the System. What little she could glean from Maria's writing and sketches certainly looked to be more expansive than anyone would probably think. And once people figure that out, even more will want to join her church.

After Aperio had practically erased the other Gods, the church Laelia oversaw as Aperio's Scion had seen a large influx of followers. Since many Gods were now dead, many assumed that they would now have to follow someone else, and simply did not know where else to go. Why they thought they had to follow anyone was beyond Laelia, but she wouldn't question their devotion and the coin they brought.

Most of her knights gallantly refused to be paid, but equipment still needed to be bought and she would be a poor Scion if she did not compensate the people serving under her for their duties. Especially when those duties involved hunting an Assassin that would likely try to 'meet' with her at one point or another.

Adalita's attempts would fail, of course, but they were still bothersome enough to cause Laelia a small headache. Or at least the mirage of one. She had, in fact, not felt the tiniest bit of sickness or even general discomfort since acquiring her Class. Whatever magic Aperio had woven into the thing was certainly potent. Very potent.

GamingWolf

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