Author’s note: I apologize for the day of delay, life happened. Next chapter within three days, then I’ll take my time getting the glossary done.
Taking the north path, I slowly reached the target.
On the eastern side, next to the roaring river there was a blue energy swirling.
Jumping right into it, I was teleported.
I found myself in the middle of a rough stone paved road bordered with low burning torches providing a dim, but warm, light.
Following the road ahead of me I can see what looks to be a village in the near distance, but between it and I, trouble.
A massive 3m high black minotaur boasting a set of greyish-white horns stood at the villages border, its large glowing yellow eyes looking right at me.
Faced with such a polar opposite to Nyu, I could not help but spare a glance to my shoulder.
No wonder it seemed significantly stronger than Tyxx…
Talking about Tyxx, I asked him if he wanted to come out and meet his mom, but he was reluctant, so I didn’t force him.
That black minotaur came towards me and, with a hand on my shoulder, took me to its leader.
At least I assumed so.
There was a big cauldron with some sort of “soup” being boiled, I sure as hell hope it’s not meant for me.
On the way, I saw some other muscular, scarred minotaurs.
One glance was enough to tell that these bulls had a lot of veterans.
Presuming that minotaurs live way over 100 years this wouldn’t be hard.
There’s simply no way they can have any shortages of training partners nor capable training staff.
Wish I could make these guys join my “cause”, whatever it is.
For now it would most likely be “get rid of the church” or make them unable to act and rob the Dark Trackers.
Getting back at the devs can wait.
Following the road which had a lot of parched earth at its sides, I arrived before one of the tents.
It was the biggest one, supposedly the leader’s.
Guessing at the numbers in this camp I would assume around 700 minotaurs in total.
Adding the fact that these minotaurs have battle experience and are well-trained, this is a really powerful unit.
*sigh* At the rate I’m going now I won’t be able to solo them in a year…
Let’s hope Eshel’s teachings are successful.
Only that can help me grow faster.
Black Minotaur: Boss, there’s someone here wishing to see you.
A deep, low voice came from inside the tent.
If I didn’t know it’s a female, I wouldn’t even dream of taking it as such.
Tyxx’s mom was at least 4m tall, she had brown bulging muscles all over and wielded a sanguine colored great waraxe.
Her eyes were crimson red, waves of killing intent radiating wherever she gazed
Two white horns curving outwards shined with unprecedented sharpness.
Fuck, imagine the knives I could make out of those things!
And that waraxe… even the blood on it is dried!
How many people did she have to kill for it to become like that?
Well, she’s most likely not a match for me in this regard anyways…
Porras: Who are you, human? You’re clearly not from the village. There’s a familiar scent on you too. The scent of blood.
That’s funny, Porras was actually able to smell blood off me even after I’ve taken a “bath”.
Shit, just thinking of it makes my teeth itch!
I’ll kill those guards when I get my hands on them!
Icicle: It’s a pleasure to meet you, Porras. My name is Icicle Whitesnow, I’ve come here to talk about a very peculiar case.
Porras: Oh really? What is it?
Although our talk seems pleasant, there were at least a 100 minotaurs swarming around me.
Their average level would be 500.
There’s no way for me to fight back, especially in this “disabled” state.
For the next 24 hours my mana usage can only be minimal.
I can’t even use mana potions to recover it faster!
Not that I had any…
Icicle: Mm, how do I tell you this? Basically, as a future owner of this place, I would like you minotaurs to stay put.
Porras: Hahaha, did you hear that guys? This human is really hilarious!
Ground shaking laughter rumbled all around me.
Minotaurs who were brown, black and even yellow laughed madly.
Porras: That’s a really funny thing to say, young one. Humans from a floor above want to attack us and then you come here asking us to stay put? What, you think I didn’t know about it? I can gather basic intelligence. We’re not as dumb as you humans think. If it wasn’t for these damned Dark Trackers everything would have been fine. Speaking of which, how did you get in here? Don’t tell me the Dark Trackers sent you here!
I was already itching to kill some people after the second village incident, now when Tyxx’s mom talks shit like this and treats me like a bug only irks me further.
Nyu’s soothing helped only a little, but these guys are really too prideful.
Couldn’t they choose another day?
Why do all of them have to piss me off at once?!
Icicle: What, are you worried?
Porras: Why would a mere human make me worried? Hmph, don’t overestimate yourself. The only thing that bothers me are these intangible shadows!
Icicle: Oh, them. Then you’re probably interested in this [Skeleton Entrance Key].
Porras: The key?! So Dark Trackers really did send you!
Didn’t she call herself smart just a moment ago?
Maybe it’s being smart in her species…
Icicle: Why would I serve Dark Trackers? It’s obvious I killed them all.
Porras: Hahaha! You’re a true comedian. I can see your current state, human. You’re walking with difficulty, how could you possibly defeat those creatures? Even I am not a threat to them. Now, hand over the key.
Icicle: It seems you’ve misunderstood something. I’m not here to beg, I’m merely informing you of what’s already set in stone. Don’t cause trouble, that’s all. Now then, I’ll get going. Play nice.
As I was about to go out, Porras grabbed me by the collar.
Well, I didn’t think it would go this smooth either.
Porras: Don’t think you can order me around, human. Even if you somehow did manage to kill the Dark Trackers, you’re not my opponent. Hmph, treating me like your equal, you’re really audacious. I have to say, although you’re really stupid to play your cards that way, you’ve come bearing a great gift! The key to my people’s freedom! So, being as magnanimous as I am, I’ll let you live. The key, now.
With her hand stretched, Porras was expecting me to suddenly whip out the key and give it to her.
Does she think I’m retarded or something?
Just look at that axe, it’s obvious she would kill me right after.
Not to mention the fact that I’m not ever going to hand over that key.
I haven’t pocketed the key right after showing it to her for nothing!
Porras: Is that your answer? Very well. Guys, get the key from him, then we’ll start preparations to move out. We’ve been out of the game for so many years, I wonder how the outside looks like. Who’s up for some fresh meat?!
Tossing me over to the middle of the camp, Porras returned to her tent.
In the middle of their rallying cries, many minotaurs closed in on me.
So shall it be, erasing the second’s village idiots was already in my plans, adding one minotaur settlement won’t be a problem.
Icicle: You can only regret it later, Porras. I’ll be back.
[All roads lead to Zaryoux Temple]!
Feeling a little nauseous I disappeared from the [Forsaken Labyrinth] and appeared at the hidden floor of [Zaryoux Temple].
Zaryoux Temple, Clare’s POV
I was painstakingly training with Headshot and Kohure under RapidFire’s guidance when I heard a yell.
The entire floor trembled a little and what little dust was on the recently cleaned floor rose in the air.
That voice sounded familiar.
After hearing it everyone nearby ran to see what’s going on.
I saw FieryRed hurrying over.
Apparently recruiting wasn’t for her so she came here to duke it out against some former paladins, [Undead Elite Guardians].
When I got to the epicenter, I saw my brother Jason.
He was in a terrible shape.
But that’s not the most concerning part.
When I looked around him, there was red smoke rising!
At first I didn’t connect the facts, but it was clearly killing intent!
Killing intent that took shape!
Approaching closer and closer, I could see the red smoke forming into a giant skull behind Icicle.
The scariest part was that my brother looked completely calm!
How the hell can he make me feel like this?
It’s so overbearing!
There’s not much difference in stats between us, but I feel like I’m an ant compared to him!
I was supposed to reach his level, even planned to defeat him!
Why did he have to develop so fast?
Based on my feeling, in my current state, I wouldn’t be able to even last a minute against him…
Zexna: Master, you called?
Icicle: Gather everyone quickly and prepare to head out!
Zexna: A-Are we going to war?
Icicle: Not quite, but something like it. Make sure that everyone makes it and hurry up. There’s no time to waste.
FieryRed: I want to go too!
Icicle: You’re here? Why aren’t you with the others? Oh well, doesn’t matter, hop on board. SIXXY! Get your ass in here! There’s a huge fight coming up, don’t tell me you want to miss it!
I was about to say that I want in too, but Jason was even faster, the only “response” I got was a cold glare.
Icicle: It’s not a place for you. Don’t even bother asking. I wouldn’t let you go even if you paid me. Your little brother is caring about you, so don’t trouble him, okay?
After gently ruffling through my hair J took his companions and left.
There were only two people left that I could practice with…
That doesn’t matter though!
My brother praised me so I’m all good.
Sooner or later I’ll catch up to that rascal and teach him a lesson for underestimating me!
Lisa’s POV, Café near the Albatros Company
That goddamn duo, irking me so much!
Eating a muffin and drinking hot coffee was somewhat soothing.
I still couldn’t help pouting though.
Hm, who is it?
Jack: Boss, it’s Jack. You should come back, there’s something big. Wait, what am I saying, aren’t you home already?
Lisa: N-No, I missed my bus so I’m still around. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.
Jack: Alright, hurry up.
What could it be?
I was gone for a couple hours and something already pops up…
*sigh* I’m lying to my subordinates too…
It’s not like I can tell them that I was sulking so I went to the café, right?
Those two idiots wouldn’t understand the girl’s struggles.
Ten minutes later I was already upstairs, looking at the screen completely dumbfounded.
Jack and Carl were right, this is really something unprecedented.
A player followed by 3000 undead rushing through the roads!
How could there be an event like that?
I’m sure many players will report this soon…
Great, more trouble for me.
The dev team from beta tests didn’t have so many players to cause such a scene.
Even if they did, no one would praise them for it since they were the only ones playing.
Many features didn’t exist back then, for example the seasonal dungeons’ change.
What Icicle is doing is not impossible to pull off, what’s astonishing is that he’s so decisive and ruthless!
Even more astounding is the speed at which he’s adapting to the game…
I can only wonder what he wants to do, but total annihilation of [Forsaken Labyrinth] wouldn’t be impossible.
Staring with my eyes wide, I awaited the resolution of the events.
Lariette’s POV, first village inside Forsaken Labyrinth
After that rascal Icicle left, I felt at ease!
There was no one and nothing to be worried about.
On the contrary, Eri was somewhat sad that Icicle’s gone but she’s young, it will pass.
Happily hanging my laundry to dry, I hummed a song.
That’s when I started thinking, just how the hell could that young bastard be so confident?
Even though he had that lich mask, no one will believe he’s a necromancer unless he proves it!
He may have been able to fool me, but to fool Zhan? Fat chance!
As I was pondering about this, suddenly rumbling noises started spreading out.
What’s more it sounded like horse hooves!
Looking at the direction of the sound, I saw something inexplicable.
Red mist roiled around the person riding a horse in the forefront, while around 500 other riders followed him.
The shocking thing was that the leader was none other than Icicle Whitesnow!
Icicle looked calm and collected, completely different than before, yet there was almost palpable killing intent surging from him!
A powerful expert! He’s monster!
What scared me witless was the appearance of the other riders… they were all undead! Even their horses were undead!
Is this an army from hell?!
Heavens, have mercy!
Eri who was playing nearby ran up to Icicle and started asking him to play with her.
Seeing this my heart skipped a beat.
That’s when an even weirder thing happened.
Next to Eri floated a female ghost!
Aspena: What a cute little girl.
Eri: Who are you auntie?
Aspena: You may call me Aspena, it’s nice to meet you, err?
Eri: I’m Eri. Do you wanna play together?
Icicle: Aspena get going. We’ll play with you later Eri. Stay at home for now.
Eri: Eeeeh? That’s not fair!
Icicle: Stop gawking around, Lariette. You’re coming with me. Get someone to take care of Eri.
I was confused, what is going on?
Am I being kept hostage now?
What for? I’m not worth much, this rascal knows that!
Don’t tell me really wanted to do those things with me…
Whatever, there was no time to think about all that.
If this bastard had such thoughts I’ll punish him later! Hmph!
I called Ourang to babysit Eri for a while.
Immediately following Icicle, I was met with strange glances from the villagers.
They were both scared and confused.
Hmph, they were confused?
What about me!
I looked behind and there were not only undead riders, but guardians, ghosts, vampires, mummies, skeletons, necromancers and even priests!
This whole setup is ridiculous!
Can it be that Icicle really is a lich?
But that’s impossible, he showed me the mask!
What if that mask was simply a diversion and he really was a necromancer?
No, that’s inconceivable, Icicle told me he’s human.
Why would all these undead serve him then?
So many secrets!
*sigh* What am I getting so worked up over?
It probably has something to do with his background.
Even in the Astar continent we’ve heard of Ice Mages.
Moving along we reached the bridge.
After crossing it several guards raised alarm, but Icicle didn’t even care.
One of the guards stepped forward trying to block him.
All that poor soul get was meeting with Icicle’s sword and getting ruthlessly slammed into one of the residential buildings…
I assume he’ll be wounded for quite some time.
Arriving in the middle of the plaza, Icicle was greeted by leader Zhan, for some reason Zhan wasn’t haughty.
He was even polite!
Icicle’s expression didn’t change one bit.
Who could have thought he was actually such a monster!
Not only has he fooled me, but he fooled me twice!
Where was his supposed “weakness”?
Weakling? This guy is a goddamn killing machine!
There was a huge crowd surrounding the plaza.
People from the village were trembling in fear seeing the large amount of undead.
Who can blame them…
I was in an even weirder spot, following this army from hell!
Zhan: Come on, Icicle, let’s not make a ruckus, everyone’s watching.
Jumping down from his undead horse, Icicle made a gesture.
Icicle: Of course not, here, let’s have a handshake.
Giving a dry laugh, Zhan whipped out his right hand like lightning, probably scared of Icicle changing his mind.
Zhan: Thank you for being so considerate Icicle, we’ll definitely hear out your request, heheh- *krghhhhhhhhhhhhh*
Zhan’s right hand was still in the air, waiting to be shook.
Icicle’s right arm was about to shake it, but suddenly it flashed, like a python Icicle drew his sword and pierced Zhan’s throat!
Is this what you “invited” me for, scoundrel?!
To let me see such acts of cruelty?!
I only saw Icicle spinning the sword inside Zhan’s throat, after which I looked away.
Zhan’s lifeless body has fallen to the ground.
There were no screams.
When Zhan got stabbed, yes, few people exclaimed, but now that he dropped dead, no one dared to utter a sound.
Looking through my fingers I saw some people pissing themselves from fright.
I honestly thought that after giving birth there could be nothing worse, but apparently I was wrong.
Hearing Icicle’s next command I was assured of it.
Icicle: Bring those guards to me.
Pointing at one of the trembling group of soldiers, it was like a death sentence waiting to be carried out.
I could even see Icicle playing a role of Grim Reaper in my mind.
When several armed villagers wanted to go up and stop the public execution, the undead side didn’t stay passive.
They had a few of them step forward as well.
In this stalemate, everyone watched with mouths agape as Icicle’s next words fell like thunder…
Icicle: Pull their pants down and cut their balls off! Make sure these vermin will never breed again!