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Chapter 4: Death
Date Published: May 17th, 2015
Chapter 4: Death
The two collided their heads together as they glared at each other.
“How dare you kick me off a cliff you damned wolf! Womanizer! Pervert!” (Geeves)
“Why the hell are you still alive you unknown gender! Trap! Stalker!” (Rice)
The two continued to fight clearly under the effect of the enraged status…well, probably.
Looking over the two, two beings can only sigh at their idiotic behavior.
They were a race called [Phantoms]. Beings that can only exist in darkness. They are the shadow people.
Aurora, he was found by Geeves in a cave near the point where he landed. Aurora is the same as Geeves, meaning, he also has a face that can be mistaken as a girl. Short hair that fell up to his shoulders and an expressionless face.
He was the typical ‘Kuudere’ look only…well…he’s a boy and as for whether he will show a dere side…one can only wait for it to happen.
The other [Phantom], Azoth, was found and freed by Rice.
He was, in a manner of speaking, completely opposite of Aurora. Short hair and a bright expression. He was the typical noisy yet fun guy often found in the class.
[“Aha! I knew this will happen!”] (Azoth)
[“Haah…can these guys even stand a chance against [Death]?”] (Aurora)
After Aurora’s constant nagging, Rice and Geeves broke up reluctantly.
“Tch- so how are we supposed to deal with [Death]?” (Rice)
“How about the damn geezer in the chapel? Maybe he knows the way.” (Geeves)
“Give me a break. I doubt I can hold myself back if I ever see that guy’s face again…” (Rice)
[“Well, nothing we can really do about it right? That guy’s the best shot we have.”] (Azoth)
After agreeing somewhat, they made their way towards the chapel while Rice and Geeves still glaring at each other.
After the two of them met the [Phantoms], they understand the situation of the mountain better.
It would seem that [Death’s] curse takes time to take effect but the caves are more potent when it comes to Dark attributes so the time it took sped up once they entered a cave which led them to be affected by the curse faster than normal.
The [Phantoms] were not affected no matter how long they were here since they seemed to live off in an entirely different plane.
The two [Phantoms] however, were stuck inside the cave they were in for a different reason not even they know.
They only knew that the only one that can free them is the only ones that can see them. [Death] can also see them but it chose not to free them since its spells were not effective against the two which resulted to them hating [Death].
In any case, in order to defeat [Death], they need information. And the prophet is most likely the only one that can give them that.
However, reality can be so cruel.
When the four reached the clearing, they saw the prophet being hold up by a dark figure holding a scythe.
“Damn! I thought there was a seal in this place that prevented monsters from entering!?” (Rice)
[“This must mean that [Death] is just that strong.”] (Azoth)
[“…But why target this old man?”] (Aurora)
“I don’t know…but it can’t be good! Let’s go!” (Geeves)
Geeves nocked an arrow and shot it towards [Death] who was able to easily deflect it with his scythe.
[Death] then turned his skull head towards Geeves and snorted.
Without paying them anymore attention, [Death] looked towards the prophet he held once more.
“What pitiful creatures they are. Did you drag them yet again to a conflict that doesn’t concern them, [War]?” (Death)
“Gh-! I have no idea what you mean! I no longer have my sword so I cannot possibly do that!” (War)
“Fuh, well of course you don’t have it. I already merged it with my scythe and now…you are nothing but an old man.” (Death)
[Death] continued to talk to the prophet…no, to [War].
“[Death]…[War]…d-don’t tell me they are…!?” (Geeves)
“What? Do you know something Geeves!?” (Rice)
“Do you know of the [Four Horsemen] from the [Book of Revelation]?” (Geeves)
“How the hell am I supposed to know that!? Just quickly tell me!” (Rice)
Geeves explained what he only knows so far.
[Conquest], [War], [Famine], and [Death]. They were the first four of seven seals that Jesus opened in the [Book of Revelation] as the harbingers of the [Last Judgement].
Each of them has the power to end millions of lives if they were to wish it.
“O-oi, if what you’re saying is true…then we’re in serious shit!” (Rice)
“We can’t possibly handle this with just the two of us…but if we were to walk away now…” (Geeves)
It would be against their pride to do so.
Of course that wasn’t the only reason. If [Death] were to expand his reign of terror, then even living inside [Harus] will be troublesome.
[“H-hey. If you’re saying there are four of them…then where’s the other two?”] (Azoth)
“I don’t know…but if all four of them were to appear now…” (Geeves)
Just thinking about it makes their legs wobble.
Just then, Aurora calls out to them.
[“You guys. The old guy’s dying.”] (Aurora)
“Old guy…you mean what [Death’s] been calling [War] for a while now?” (Geeves)
“Come to think of it…if he’s [War]…then why are they fighting? [Death] also mentioned something about merging a sword and scythe…” (Rice)
Hearing Rice, Geeves suddenly had a theory.
“Could it be?...No, that’s certainly it! Guys! The scythe is his power! If we can take that out of his hands, then our chances of winning will increase!” (Geeves)
“C-calm down hey. Explain.” (Rice)
Rice, getting irritated by the fact that Geeves seemed to know more about the situation more than him, held back his own pride and asked.
“The enrage status we have. It’s not [Death’s] curse but [War’s]! More specifically, it was originally [War’s] power!” (Geeves)
“I see…and since the old man just said that he is no longer capable of doing such a thing because he no longer has the sword…then the same principle must work on [Death] as well! Who are you and what did you to Gavin!?” (Rice)
“What’s that supposed to mean!?” (Geeves)
Having an actual goal now, they continued to think of a plan to rid the scythe off of [Death].
“But still…can we even go toe to toe against [Death] himself?” (Rice)
“U-ugghhh…hm? Where’s Aurora?” (Geeves)
Geeves and Rice looked around only to find Azoth.
[“Ah, if you’re looking for Aurora, he went inside the chapel. Ah, there he is now.”] (Azoth)
From the direction of the chapel, the figure of Aurora could be seen.
It seems [Death] has also seen Aurora enter and leave but as he cannot do anything to him, he ignored Aurora instead.
“What’s wrong?” (Geeves)
[“I tried looking inside to see if there’s anything that can help…but all I saw was rubble and an old book.”] (Aurora)
An old book!
All three of them exclaimed as they most likely thought of the same thing.
It’s most likely that the old book was the [Book of Revelations] that Geeves had talked about seeing as there are already 2 of the horseman here at the same place.
If it wasn’t, then the least they could do is check on it as it might help a bit.
“But the problem is how to get there with [Death] still nearby…” (Geeves)
“Let me take care of that.” (Rice)
“I’m telling you to leave it to me and just go!” (Rice)
Rice grabbed Geeves by the collar and threw him as far away as possible towards the chapel.
[Death] seemed to have noticed it as well and decided to move but Rice was already closing in on him.
“[Canon Punch]!!!” (Rice)
“Futile. No matter what you’re trying to do. There’s only one end for all of you.” (Death)
[Death] merely ‘caught’ Rice’s skill with his bony hands and crushes it whilst sending Rice a cold glare that sent a chill down Rice’s spine.
“G-ghh…heh, if we weren’t in this situation, I would’ve commented that [Death] just made a pun but…haha, I can’t even joke about it.” (Rice)
Rice made a forced smile upon suddenly being wrapped with [Death’s] killing intent.
[Death’s] shadow loomed over Rice, holding his scythe up high in preparation to swing it.
“Dammit Geeves! Hurry up!” (Rice)
+ + +“Ughhh…that damned staple food of a pervert…” (Geeves)
Geeves sat up while rubbing his butt from the landing.
Even though he complained about it, he knew there were better things to do so he shrugged it off and went inside the chapel.
Since Rice had thrown him near the chapel, it didn’t take much time to get inside.
Looking behind him, he can see Rice distracting [Death] but he knew that wouldn’t last long.
“Aurora, where did you see the book?” (Geeves)
[“Over there, below the cross.”] (Aurora)
Looking over where Aurora was pointing, Geeves found an old book.
There were no decorations on the cover, it was just a tattered old book.
Seeing the old book, Geeves sighed inwardly in disappointment.
“Well, let’s see what’s inside first.” (Geeves)
Geeves renewed his expectations and thought to not judge the book by its cover.
But that expectation was also destroyed utterly.
Inside the book was…nothing.
It was completely blank.
“Damn! Does this mean that all our efforts were useless!?” (Geeves)
Geeves slammed the book to the ground in frustration.
That was when he noticed something was off.
Since the book was too old, the durability should’ve been quite low already and Geeves’ STR should’ve destroyed it when it collided with the floor but it was still intact.
Confused with the sudden occurrence, Geeves tapped the old book twice to see its description.
Name Book of Revelation IV
“When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
“T-this is!?” (Geeves)
Just as he found out about the book’s true nature, he heard a scream of a very familiar voice.
Geeves ran towards the voice and found an unnatural scene.
Rice was groveling beneath [Death], screaming in pain while [War] was collapsed on one side.
“NGGGG!!! AARRGHHH!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!” (Rice)
“It hurts doesn’t it. That’s because you’re rejecting it. Embrace Death, for it is the natural end of all beings” (Death)
[Death] spoke in a weak voice while looming over Rice.
“In the end, you are a mere [Human]. Unable to do anything but live…then die.” (Death)
But Rice never gave up.
He was still gritting his teeth while enduring the pain that, for whatever reason, felt very real despite the pain filter system.
“Give up. Don’t you get it yet? You were made to DIE. There is no use fighting Death for it is impossible to win unless you’re immortal.” (Death)
“Too hell with that! I know of someone…someone that has faced Death in the face many times! He was eaten by a dragon! Forced to have a whole city turn against him! Poisoned twice by an assassin! And there’s still probably more but the point is-! I’m going to surpass him!” (Rice)
Rice declared loudly and stood.
“If I can’t even surpass this, then there is no way I can surpass him!” (Rice)
“Nicely said Rice.” (Geeves)
Geeves moved closer to Rice with the old book at hand.
“…What unnecessary effort. I see that you have my book. But that will not help you here.” (Death)
“Is it? So you don’t care what happens to your book?” (Geeves)
“Hah! Why would I? If anything, that book is my prison.” (Death)
“Dammit Geeves! After I sacrificed myself, you don’t have a plan at all!” (Rice)
Out of anger, Rice grabbed the old book, slammed it to the ground, and trampled it countless times.
“Ahhh!!! What the hell are you doing!? That could be our only way out!” (Geeves)
Geeves frantically tried to stop Rice but was unable to since Rice had a higher STR.
During this, Aurora and Azoth sighed in disbelief at the two who decided to pick a fight with each other at a time like this but they soon changed when they noticed something from the sidelines.
More specifically, they saw [Death] seemingly in pain.
[“!? Could it be that the book is his life line!?”] (Azoth)
Hearing this, Rice and Geeves stopped fighting amongst themselves and noticed [Death’s] circumstance as well.
“I take it back, you’re a genius Rice! Destroy the book!” (Geeves)
“Hah! No need to tell me twice!” (Rice)
“NOOOO!!! STOP IT!!!” (Death)
[Death] tried to lunge towards them but with his weakened body, he had difficulty even with just walking.
Rice and Geeves continued to strike the book with their skills completely ignoring [Death].
“Heh-! For someone who governs death, you sure are afraid of dying! [Canon Punch]!” (Rice)
“It’s over! [Charge Shot]!” (Geeves)
With their last move, the old book finally gave in.
Black light appeared from the cracks scattered in the book and at the last moment, released a burst of energy which made Rice and Geeves, who were the nearest, to be blown away several meters back.
Finally, [Death] disappeared as he leaves behind an echo of his despair.
For a while, nobody said anything.
They all just let themselves be swallowed by the calm silence that came after a fierce battle.
Geeves, no longer able to hold it back, was the first to celebrate.
“YAAAAAHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! HAHA! DID’JA SEE THAT!? WE JUST DEFEATED DEATH HIMSELF!” (Geeves)
“Hah! It’s thanks to me that we were able to defeat him! I’m sure even that Lucas hasn’t defeated a monster as strong as this!” (Rice)
[“Wohooo! Now we can finally say goodbye to this mountain!”] (Azoth)
[“…Fuu, nicely done.”] (Aurora)
Each of them was already in a celebrating mood that they completely forgot of the other horseman.
“Ah, there’s still [War]!” (Geeves)
“Hm? You mean the prophet? I thought he’s dead already?” (Rice)
They approached [War] to confirm his condition. Since they still don’t know whether he is ally or not, they approached carefully.
“Oi old man. You dead yet?” (Rice)
Looks like he wasn’t dead yet.
All of them thought as they see the old man coughing up blood but still conscious.
“Foolish brats! Do you have any idea what you have done!?” (War)
[War] shouted with all his might despite the heavy injuries he has.
“What’s with you. [Death’s] dead so there’s nothing to worry about.” (Geeves)
“You idiot! The book is the only thing that’s weakening him! Now that it’s destroyed, he is free to roam the world!” (War)
“And do you seriously think you can ‘kill’ [Death] itself!? HOW MUCH OF AN IDIOT ARE YOU!!!???” (War)
It’s true. For someone who is the embodiment of death itself…is killing it even an option?
Not only that, but there was another thing that’s odd when they killed [Death].
“…Our levels…they didn’t increase!?” (Geeves)
Geeves, realizing this, assumed that there can only be one reason why they didn’t gain any EXP from killing [Death].
“Huhuhuhu, foolish humans. Your kind has always been so arrogant.” (Death)
Different from before, the voice [Death] made was no longer as hollow as it was before.
Turning their heads towards the voice, was not a skeleton in black robes, but a pale knight in full body armor riding on top of a pale horse holding a pale scythe with red linings.
“I must thank you though. [War] made through such great lengths to disguise my book into a tattered old book to keep me away from it…but thanks to you, I didn’t have to go out of my way to destroy it myself. Now I am finally free from that damn promise with ‘him’.” (Death)
“Wha…but you were in pain when we damaged it!” (Rice)
“Ah yes. That was truly exciting. It was my first time feeling pain. Well don’t look at me like that, it wasn’t an act mind you. The book and I have a bond of sorts so to say, so of course severing it would hurt but that was a necessary pain to be freed. It’s like…cutting your own hand to free yourself from the shackles that bind you.” (Death)
For some reason, [Death] was more talkative than usual and the four can only look at him in disbelief.
“You…don’t look like you lost anything though…” (Geeves)
“Oh? I did you know. I can finally ‘die’ now.” (Death)
Not just Geeves, but everyone including [War] opened their eyes wide at the news.
After all, this means that they can finally have a chance to defeat him.
“Hooh? As thanks for freeing me, I was thinking of sparing you for now but…shall I silence you?” (Death)
The surrounding was immediately surrounded with a thick mist. As if darkness itself was swallowing them.
They could clearly feel that they will die if they moved even one millimeter from their positions.
It was the type that can suffocate you just by being within his presence.
“Guess not? Well, I’m sure we’ll meet again. When you’re life’s spent that is. Kukukuku” (Death)
Like that, [Death] disappeared into the mist leaving all of them still shivering in fear.
No longer able to hold it, their legs all gave up and they were forced to collapse on the ground.
No one spoke a word.
All that was there was an absolute silence…until Rice spoke.
“[War]…was it? Why did you keep his book from him?” (Rice)
“…For what else? To save every being of course.” (War)
“But you’re supposed to be the embodiment of war. Why is it that you want to ‘protect’?” (Rice)
[War] fell silent, as if contemplating whether he should tell them or not…then he spoke again.
“…Do you think I enjoyed it? Bringing war and conflict to every place I go? Why do you think I chose to live in a secluded place like this?” (War)
Not having any answer, Rice and the rest can only listen quietly.
“We of the [Four Horseman] cannot die as summons. So one day, I decided to destroy the origin of my summon, the book. But I made a mistake. I thought it will end me but it didn’t. It freed me from the promise we made and made me vulnerable to death yes but…When [Death] found out, he also moved to destroy his book.” (War)
[War] paused for a while and stared towards the stars as he lied down.
“Fearing the chaos he might release, I took his book and hid it. I tried killing myself in order for [Death] to no longer have a way of finding it but…he just brings me back. Over and over…while exchanging another being’s life. So I decided to live in a remote place. At least here, he can only use the monster’s life as replacement.” (War)
[War] sat up so he can look at Rice and the rest properly.
“As years pass, I met a man. A man powerful enough to seal [Death] but alas…the seal’s effect had worn off 3 days ago where [Death] took my sword and merged it to his scythe which led to this situation. During those years [Death] was sealed, instead of killing myself, I decided to help the humans. Since I still govern over war, I know where, how, when, and who will start a conflict. Disguising my knowledge as a ‘prophecy’, I was later known as a ‘prophet’. After that is just as you’ve seen.” (War)
For a while, the four listeners grew silent.
“…I’m sorry. If I hadn’t found the book then…” (Geeves)
“No, if I hadn’t destroyed it…” (Rice)
“It’s no use trying to blame yourselves. Right now, [Death] can finally be killed. If you really feel bad then get stronger. Strong enough to kill [Death] himself.” (War)
[War] intervened when Rice and Geeves was blaming themselves and gave them a light punch.
“I’m afraid I can no longer run away from death…so this will be my gifts to you. I hope they will help you in your quest to defeat [Death].” (War)
Congratulations! You have gained a new Title: War’s Apostle!
The red horseman, War, had given you his blessing! Chances of winning in a war will increase greatly through ‘unexplained coincidences’!
Immunity to enrage status
You have learned a new skill, (Active) [Conflict Arise] Beginner LVL 1 (0.00%)!
This is a power given to you from the Red Horseman, War! You will now be able to cause conflicts within 3 meters of you using this skill! For some reason, everyone that is within 3 meters of you will have a sudden desire to fight and cause trouble!
Note that for every use of this skill will decrease Fame by 100!
“Go find the rest of the [Four Horseman] and warn them…there is no doubt that [Death] will come for them and steal their power.” (War)
Find the rest of the [Four Horseman] and warn them about [Death’s] actions! You must hurry before [Death] himself finds them and steal their weapon!
Note that this quest cannot be removed.
Requirement: Defeat [Death]
“Rank SS…” (Rice)
“More like…there wasn’t even a confirmation.” (Geeves)
Rice and Geeves can only look at the windows in disbelief.
“Now then…” (War)
Out of nowhere, Aurora shouted before War fall into eternal rest.
[“You lived for a long time right? Can you tell us why we were trapped in that cave from the start!?”] (Aurora)
Seeing Aurora shout was a first for all of them.
“…You are…ah yes…come to think of it…he mentioned something…about creating…a new race…” (War)
[“He!? Who’s ‘he’!?”] (Aurora)
“He…the one who…sealed…[Death]……………” (War)
[“WHAT’S HIS NAME!!!???”] (Aurora)
Before [War] can even finish uttering the name, [War] drew his last breath.
Seeing him die like this, Aurora cannot help but clench his fist in frustration.
“Come with us. You too Azoth. Whatever you want to ask [War], the other horsemen can most likely answer as well.” (Geeves)
“Let us help you find the truth. And you will help us in finding the remaining horsemen.” (Rice)
Azoth and Aurora opened their eyes wide.
With this, they now have a definite goal that they can take and are no doubt, the best offer they had heard.
Not only that, but they can also be with them and journey around the world which has been their dream being stuck inside a cave and all.
Seeing the stretched hand of Geeves, even though he knew he would just phase through it, he still placed it on top.
Seeing Aurora place his hand on top, Rice followed and soon, Azoth as well.
“Find the truth!!”
+ + +Seeing the four leave, a hooded figure approached the body of [War].
“…Sorry, I forgot I wasn’t supposed to say your name.” (War)
“It’s fine, I was able to ‘mute’ you before you completed it anyway. Moreover, do you have any last wishes old man?” (???)
“Heh, I’d say kill [Death] knowing you can do so easily but…it’s no good huh?” (War)
“…Yeah, sorry. Those two are destined to kill [Death]. There is no use of me doing it.” (???)
“I see…well then. Remember the sweet you gave me…1 000 years ago? When we first met…” (War)
“…Yeah. You sure liked it old man…here.” (???)
The hooded figure took something from his pocket and gave it to [War].
“So you have it...just smelling it reminded me of our first meeting…and the taste…is still the same as it were…” (War)
“…Thank you…for giving this old man a second chance…” (War)
“…Tell me…what is it like after death? (War)
“…Nothing you have ever felt before.” (???)
“Haha…so you can’t tell me huh? You really have been there…do you….”(War)
With that, [War] dissolved into light and dispersed.
Falling from [War’s] hands just before he disappears was a plastic wrapper that fluttered along the wind.
Just like that, the hooded figure disappeared as fast as he appeared.
There! Finally done wit the side characters!
Haah, I have to admit though, I regret writing these side characters in succession...well, I won't do it again.............well frequently. Since I know that a different POV is still needed so it will still happen in the future...well....rarely.....
Anyway, at least, for those that did read it, you get to see a glimpse of who the hooded person was that killed Slazore. Yes, he is the same hooded ??? from that time.
I think I gave too much clues already so you probably know who he is...
A-anyway, just as how Ashclad and Blood is focused on the Labyrinth, Rice and Geeves' main story line is meeting the Four Horseman.
Seriously, this is a hard story to write since the Four Horseman are seriously OP so killing it normally is a no go...so all that's left for me to do is to let [Death] spare them for now.
Later on, this will be a full scale battle and Lucas will also be involved one way or another as well as the Labyrinth story from Ashclad and Blood.
Also, I'm sorry to say but [War's] backstory will not be shown in this series :3 Haha, the foreshadowing for this one is too long when it will be revealed.
Anyway, I can finally go back to Lucas' story! Haha, I noticed some commenting that they wish the side stories will be finished on the next chap and so on, seems like they didn't read the AN that said that it will only end on chap 4.
Two new [Phantoms] has also been introduced! And even a glimpse of their origin!
So! How will Geeves and Rice defeat Death? How can they track the other horseman? Will the other horseman cooperate with them?Will Aurora and Azoth find the truth of the [Phantoms]? And finally, how will Lucas life be from now on that he accepted Trask's offer?
Till the next chapter!