Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Volume 1 - Chapter 14 - Surprise


The wall on the opposite side of the large room reveals a peek of the glowing night sky. To be exact, the night sky is illuminated and the slowly melting masonry is just revealing the scene as though it's a cinematic. It would be amazing if the heat isn't so intense that they feel like they are being roasted.

"God damn it, is Kun sending fireballs our way?"

"It's one hell of a distraction in any case, let's go!" Not bothering to unlock the door, Bell sends two slicing kicks at the hinges of the door before completely kicking it out of the brackets.

"Nya!" There is some resistance, so she adds another kick to get it out of the way. Running out with a bag in each hand, she runs out onto the rampart and jumps off the eastern wall after a cursory glance.

*tatadadatata* *ufuu*

"Wait! What about me?!" Rick follows right after, stepping on the unevenly laid door on the floor while ignoring the miserable sound escaping from under the door.

"Just jump! I'll catch you!"

Looking over the rampart, the youth is looking down at the felinoid below, with two bags on the floor and her arm outstretched.

"Are you sure?" The blonde youth looks back at the door and sets it on fire with «Flame».

"Yes! Or I'll leave you up there!"

Taking a quick look into the room where they were a moment ago, Rick jumps down, he doesn't want to be there when the ones logging in stampede out of there.


"Nya!" The catwoman catches the youth with ease, grabbing him by the torso to redirect his momentum and absorbing the shock with her entire body by lowering herself. Using her shoulder as a pivot, she lobs him onto her shoulder as support with the changed momentum. She dumps him onto the ground on one side afterward like a sack of potatoes.

"I swear your class is just unfair."

"Or you are just weak, now move it!"

*kasa kasa pafyu*

The two run with all their might all the way into the bushes to the east of the outpost. Rick collapses on the floor breathing heavily while Bell leans forward and rests her paws on her knees after dropping the two bags with a loud *zudo*. The two are feeling heavy, no doubt crashing from the surge of adrenaline that had kicked in when they were inside.


"What's up?"

The youth's question hangs in the air, with no answers forthcoming. He just keeps resting like that.

"Eh? Really? It can be done like that? Oh... my..."


Bell spreads her paws toward the two dancing flames to the west. Rick, not sure what's happening, got up with some efforts and whistles appreciatively at the scene. A fire tornado is sending its whirling flame into the sky where the fireballs were, while a massive fire burns at the outpost they were at. They can't see it clearly since it's on the opposite side of the outpost from where they are standing, but they know it's intense since the wooden gate at the front is burning and the stones have a silhouette of melting ice cream on a hot day.

"Did Kun do that...?"

"Yes... and I'm going to see if I can do the same." There is a really sharp glint in her almond-like eyes as she stares into burning fires. "Hide the loot and yourself, if you think you are up for it, sneak around the place and see if you can snipe some people off." With that, she sprints toward to the fire tornado on all fours after dropping the backpack.

"Wait! Where are you go-" The cheetah-like dashing figure can no longer be seen from the bush.


Rick simply sighs and gives himself a stretch, although she said to hide them, how on earth is he supposed to move all these bags by himself? Resigning himself to playing guard duty, he starts checking the loot, finally noticing the blinking icon for an external message. "Oh, Kun sent a message."

* * * * *

"Damn it, why isn't it working?!" I am standing outside the edge of the fire tornado's influence, I intend to keep a close eye on the wind to prevent myself from getting into a position where I would be sucked in.

I'd been trying various «Spell»s only to have it fizzle one after another.

What's different from when Kun did it? Let's see. The fireballs were cast by him, so the resulting mana can be counted as his... but he was forcefully logged out and his spells have ended, so why is there a fire devil remaining here?

I begin to break down the sequence in my head like the way Kun explained before. [Source] + [Conversion] + [Action]. The [Source] is the fire tornado, there is no [Conversion] since I'm keeping the the Fire mana as is, [Action] is merely to send a ball of Fire mana flying forward.

Right, I need to make the Fire mana as mine, but I'd need to convert to Light mana first... but I don't have enough mana to even start the conversion process. The fire devil is here because Kun's spell caused a natural phenomena that persists after the spell itself is gone... then... can't I have the process in a different order?

I think back on all the experiments I completed throughout the years, the physics classes, the various demonstrations. The problem with explosives in our world was due to the Aurora causing an ionization of the area, leading to oxidation of volatile chemicals. But what happens when you have a fuel that's under pressure releasing into an environment? What about dust explosions? Hmm... right, let's do it this way!

Lighting a match by using a flamethrower, there's nothing stopping someone from using the match to light another fire. With the idea set in my head, I go around gathering burnable material, fortunately Kun left them all over the place as he was looting. Was he planning on detonating himself if he was going to be killed? I can't really understand that man sometimes. I pack a handful of leaves and broken branches roughly into a ball the size of my paw and cast a modified «Entomb» on it. Using the minimal mana, I make it a hollow, airtight shell to hold the material, imbuing it with a homing [Action] targeting the general area of the other outpost. Satisfied with the general shape, I lob the ball into the direction of the fire tornado. It swirls in ever shrinking circles before reaching the center, glowing red hot from the intense heat, I then release the spell.

Aided by the fire tornado's hot, rising air, the ball of glowing earth arcs in the night sky.


Unexpectedly, it explodes while mid-air.

"Holy shit, was that you Bell?"

Reaching for her ear with her right hand, "Yeah, that was me, trying to get it working right now."

"Okay, try and aim for the back, they have several mages trying to block off the fire so they can rescue their guildmates and valuables. They are pretty much exposed if they are attacked again."

Wait... that actually makes sense. Guess even an idiot can come up with a decent plan sometimes.

"What have you done to Rick? How do you know this?"

"Ha! Jokes aside, I snuck back after throwing the bags on top of the bushes, the same way Kun did."

Hm... yeah, that would indeed be best if we are short on time, only someone from the air can spot it easily, to spot it from the ground is another story.

"Okay, be careful."

"hehehehehe, don't worry, I found something awesome from the weapons we stole."

He really needs to fix that laugh of his, his normal laugh is fine, but that... creepiness when he finds a new toy hasn't changed.

I quickly make another ball, with a thicker, stronger outer shell with the «Entomb» and repeat the launch. The earthen ball explodes on impact, ending up with a fiery explosion before extinguishing. Unfortunately, it was about a hundred meters short.

[Personal note: Using a fire tornado as a makeshift mortar launcher... wtf Bell. And he isn't the only creepy one with new toys -_-;;]

I start making several more balls in a similar manner, but pumping in a bit more MP for the additional distance needed for the homing factor. Launching one in the air, it flies toward the outpost with a beautiful arc before landing somewhere on it.



It isn't anywhere as destructive as Kun's, but I'm using a fraction of the total MP he did. Since I've a smaller mana pool, I should focus on efficiency instead.

"Aim for the southeast wall, I'm pinning them down there. Seems like they are sending a team to check on you."

I quickly throw 4 balls into the fire tornado after adding a touch more mana into them.

*don don don don*

"More! Send some to the back too!"

I start following his instructions, I can't see anything aside from the impact from my position, so I'll just have to believe in his judgement.

* * * * *


I release all my spells that are currently in use. The thin sheet of ice covering all the weapons shatters before fading away. Going through them, I see a shabby looking pair of metal daggers attached together. I intend to throw them away, something seems off about it. Picking them up, I realize they aren't daggers at all. Swinging the second half silently into its upright position, it looks like an unstrung bow, albeit a really small one.

I look around the bag, but there doesn't seem to be anything like a bowstring. I turn the bow-like object around, but there doesn't seem to be any notch for the string in the first place. I grab it by one of its horns to collapse it, unexpectedly, a faint string appears, catching onto my finger. Looking at it closely, there even seems to be a faint, transparent arrow notched. Intrigued, I pick up the bow and test fire it.


A bit of earth flies in the air as the projectile bites into the ground. Walking up to the point of impact, I can't find a trace of the projectile although I can somewhat see the small hole in the dark. I take another shot, a small one, into the sky.


Another bit of earth jumps into the air. Walking up to it, the hole is closer to a vertical position, but I still don't see the projectile.

Where did it go? Hmm... I know!

I ready another shot, but coating the arrow with the ice attribute, and send it on a small arc.


There's no piece of earth flying, but I can see the shimmer from the ice reflecting the faint orange light from the burning flames. Walking up, I'm shocked to find there is still no trace of a projectile, save for the coating of ice that embedded itself into the ground.

Eh?! EHHHH?!!!!!!

Invisible arrows?! This is awesome! I feel giddy for some reason, is this the reason why Bell's always trying to find something new? Poor Kun has to put up with her incessant theories all the time.

I collapse the bow and strap it to one of the loops of my harness. Copying Kun, I unfurl a robe and tie it to one bag, then chuck them onto the top of the bush. I toss the other bags near it, effectively hiding it. I start running back to the outpost right after, I can kill those bastards without getting caught if I play my hand right.

Man, Kun thinks up the strangest things on the spot and they freaking work too. He really is something. How many new spells did that guy make? It's no wonder that Bell has been in such a good mood lately. Just reading what he did already made me shiver, using a fire tornado to power another spell? He didn't even get to finish high school right? This is a sad waste of talent!

I reflect upon my own situation, being the only child, spoiled by my high-ranking parents since I was young. If Bell and her family hadn't showed up, what kind of entitled brat would I have become? Would I have become a playboy, using my shoulder injury as a crutch? I shudder at the possible me that would exist now if I wasn't set straight at the time. Now that I graduated from high school, I don't even know what I'm going to do. I said I'm taking a year off to find myself, but I already know I'm an idiot. Simply put, I'm not all that smart, all I have going for me is my good looks, connections, and physical abilities. Now that my shoulder is healed, can't I train and try again? I probably won't be selected or even given a scholarship, but I am sure I will still be above average. The reason why I moved out was to learn some independence, hmm... maybe I should learn to how to cook as well...


While I'm deep in thought, jogging silently, I hear an explosion up in the air. I send a message asking Bell if it was her. There's no one I can think of that would be capable of exploding anything in the sky at the moment.

Huh, so it was her. Looking at the outpost, it seems they've put out the fire I set on that door and they have a line of people going all the way to the back gate on the ramparts, relaying material out of the room. It also looks like an Earthen Wall is popping in and out of existence, I guess they are trying to contain the fire while bringing everything out? I let Bell know of the situation, before heading off.

*pyu pyu pyu pyu*

I maintain my distance and fire off some «Trick Shot»s over the line of people and have the arrow fly back from the west, making it seems as though they are being attacked from that side. I staggered my shots so that it looks like it's fired as a volley from a group.


I hear the sound of an explosion, but it didn't seem to do any damage to the outpost.

"@#$%, we are under attack from the west! How many of these #$^&ers are there?!"
"Shit! Where are the leaders?"
"Tabeus got killed at the other outpost! Keely got skewered when he logged in!"

I can't help but smile at that last comment, there's nothing quite like a plan going exactly the way you intended.

"We are on our own then?"
"Yes! Everyone, get over here and shield yourself with the wall!"
"Yes sir!"

An explosion rattles the top of the outpost.


*pyu pyu pyu pyu*

"Damn it! Siska, bring a third of the team to the west to deal with the archers! Wang, take a third of the team and go catch whoever is launching that shit at us! I will keep try to keep the evacuation going!"

I launch another series of «Trick Shot»s before asking for some support from Bell. The team going to the west isn't going to be an issue, if anything, it will help us along, so I leave them be. But I can't let the other two teams do what they want.


I use «Rapid Fire» as cover fire to hold the other two teams in position.

*don don don don*

"Shit! Go around the back!"

About a quarter of them got swallowed by the explosion, they didn't all die, but I used the explosion as cover and help them logout with a barrage of arrows via «Rain of Arrows».
Not needing arrows is freaking awesome! Till won't have to help me pick up arrows anymore with this!

"More! Send some to the back too!" I give Bell another PM. This continues for several more rounds, them being restricted by my invisible arrows, Bell sending rounds of exploding balls and then me finishing off those that were caught in the explosions.

"Sorry! But I don't want to die! I'm getting out of here!"
"Me too!"
"Sorry, there's no leaders here, and we are just sitting ducks!"
"Alright, full retreat, let's get out of this hell hole!"

I continue to send waves of arrow at them, picking them off here and there.

"You damn cowards! We will get you for thi-"
I send a stream of metal attribute arrows that strikes the man from several different directions, shutting him up.


The rest of the group runs to the south, soon after, some people start to leave the room. Some of them are moving slowly, carrying some bags. They are probably the mages and trying to take some valuables with them.

*pyu pyu pyu pyu pyu pyu*

I send another barrage of «Trick Shot»s before using «Aimed Shot» to nail one of the bigger silhouettes carrying one of the bags. The rest of them drop everything before running south too.

"Um... Bell, you can come back now, they've all retreated."


"Bell? You there?"

"Yeah... I'm just overwhelmed."

"By what?"

"By what you ask? You do realized we somehow managed to destroy 2 guilds right? That's several thousand users, there were only four of us."

"Oh... I'll... damn..."

I'm overwhelmed too. I didn't realize it due to all the excitement. But wow... we actually did that, didn't we?

"I'm going to get Till to bring some porters, it's not like we can carry everything back with us."

"You know what, get Till to go to Orllewinwell and ask for the Feian captain and get him to send what he can, just tell them I asked."

"Will they come?"

"Trust me."


* * * * *

Bell and Rick had stood guard for 2 more hours, just talking away before Bell logged off.
Rick stayed behind, thinking about his own affairs as he waited for reinforcements. The roads are there, but it will take at least until noon before they reach here. But that's fine, it's not like there's anything pressing he'd need to do anyways. He immersed himself within his thoughts as time trickles by.

It is a pleasant surprise when Till shows up with a group of students landing in a small clearing in the bushes. They walk toward Rick bearing some food, drinks, and cloth. It's a surreal scene, Isnic in particular is in awe and nearly drops everything she is carrying. The entire group of students keep looking at the two of them before looking back at the scene of destruction, especially at the still burning fire tornado. They had landed to avoid getting accidentally dragged in by it just a moment ago. It is almost like watching synchronized swimming, with demihumans and elegant gestures replaced with turning, tilting heads.

"Are senseis heroes or devils?" One of the younger crow-like demihumans asks no one in particular, tilting its head.

"Hmm... I guess you can say we are devils to bad immortals?" Rick smiles before giving a quick rustle on its head.

"But doesn't that make you heroes?" The crow-like one continues. They had seen the size of the armies fighting when they were ferrying the 3 non-flyers, it's by no means a big battle of some war, but to those that haven't been outside of their forest home, it might as well be one.

"Of course they are heroes! Headmistress trusted them after all!" A demihuman with bat wings interjects, with the others nodding in approval.

"Sh... let's set up the cloth and wait, Rick-sensei should be a little hungry."

"Yes big sis!"

The entire group works in unison, setting up a makeshift picnic area. It is an odd scene, young ones picnicking with an older youth, surrounded by a scene of burning ruins. Nearby, an unmoving felinoid sleeping with a content face.

* * * * *

They had set out as soon as they received a message from a tiny girl that dropped from the air. Had it been anyone else, they would have waited until daybreak, but since it was Rick, they held some expectations.

But none of them expected the utter destruction before their eyes. A supposed outpost is now cratered, another is missing a good chunk of its masonry. The still burning fire tornado is making them gulp and look up, they've heard tales of these fire devils that are several meters tall. This one is practically trying to reach for the sky.

Till had to extinguish the fire tornado with «Air Hammer» and «Downburst» since using water would just make acid rain. This snapped them out of it, the captain soon starts dividing them into teams and gets them into the action of loading the loot.

*zun zun dottaa*

Horses are whining as guards start filling up the wagon with the various loot. The scar-covered captain walks toward the odd group that's enjoying a picnic. Rick gives him the usual salute with two fingers before offering the man some tea and trail mix. The man gladly takes a cup and takes a small, sticky cluster of trail mix. He had some of the sharp, citrus-like tea before when he dropped by the academy with Rick en route to Ashentor. The trail mix is something new, he takes a bite and is pleasantly surprised by the texture and crunch, it goes perfectly with the tea.

"So... what happened here?" The captain is curious; who wouldn't be after seeing this scene.

"The senseis took care of the bad immortals!"
"Yeah, there was this DON explosion last night that lit up the sky."

*kon kon*

Till give each of them a chop on the head, "keep eating and let us do the talking, okay?"

"You shouldn't pick up Bell's bad habits you know?"

"I don't think you have the right to say that Rick-ni." Till gives the youth a sad look before turning back to the captain.


The captain chokes and coughs a bit before drinking some tea.

"We took care of the immortals, that's all."

He looks at Rick, who tilts his hands back and forth before shrugging and giving a nod with a smirk on his face.

"Hnn...!" Rick stands up and stretches a little. "Come on Till, let's grab the loot on the bushes before logging out, we have been logged in too long."

"We already got them in a pile... but you've a point."

"Captain, please bring us back to your barrack, you can just leave us in the carriage. We should be safe in your hands." Rick is also pointing at the cat-thing behind him with his thumb.

The captain shows a complicated expression as though he wants to talk some more, but there's no point in stalling them when they are this tired. They can always talk when they come back. He nods before pointing at one of the caravans. "You guys can go rest in that caravan, I will make sure you folks get back safely."

"Thanks cap'n, you the best." Rick gives the man a clap on his shoulder while Till gives him a short bow. The youth drags the unresisting felinoid onto his shoulders before heading to the caravan, with the aquamarine-haired girl right behind.

"The Fertility God, The Little Witch, The Cat Amazon huh, wonder where's the fourth one."


  1. Thanks for the chapter!
    Rick is one bad@ss acher/sniper with that bow.
    Bell is crazy destructive with trying to create new spells.
    The was a good chapter to read. :D
    I hope there will be a chapter on there backgrounds and how they meet soon.

  2. Yea I want the backgrounds I also want the timelines cleared up coz Im confused esp from the headmistresses perspective. She said 19 years? with til? or did I misread that but then later said 6 years since immortals showed up?

    If you had some illustrations with the characters and some intros to whose perspective we are in, sometimes theres no clear idea till later, why make us confused unnecessarily its a more interesting story without the confusion.

    1. It's explained in the first few chapters I believe, time in Amoatlz run at the same rate as Earth, but their calendar is different, I think a day is like 2/3 as long or something with fewer days in a year? I don't remember the exact years, but you can probably do the math yourself to get a good ratio. Till is also a special case, which you will see in her sidestory later on.

      There were some really rough cartographic illustrations with (messy) info dumps, I tried to remake them into one coherent map with world painter only to have my machine run of out ram and unable to continue on that front, and no one know any other free map making software I can use. >.>

      And yeah... I'm still deciding if I should "modernize" this and remove the trollage between the authors. The reason why it's confusing it's because it was intentionally made to be confusing as the project get passed around between the authors. The idea was to make an interesting story (for the authors themselves), so it was written in a way that the story itself will progress, but the different authors will have to adapt to unexpected changes and figure out what's happening each time it's passed around. There are still stuff that I find interesting reading through it again and again as there are hints of foreshadow and stuff everywhere.


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