It was clear to him now that his enemy was far more resourceful than he thought.

He nervously chewed on his finger, his mind swirling with many possibilities of who this stranger could be. How could he have known about the bombs? Even dismantled all of them like they're nothing. This is no regular individual, it's someone dangerous, very dangerous.

It was as if he knew about his traps before Emperor even thought of it. Every single one of his highly volatile bombs was destroyed. He even made sure to use unrefined Dust, to make it so unstable that even the lightest of touches could trigger them.

Yet, they were expertly gotten rid of. What was he, a demolitionist? Unrefined Dust bombs are considered suicidal weapons.

He sent men to investigate, and they discovered tiny holes in the walls, exactly where the bombs had been. How could this have happened? What exactly is this Black Phantom? Does he have a spy? Is he allied with another crimelord?

What kind of allies does he have? What sort of tools or weapons is he using? How did he make those holes?

Emperor realized that he wasn't dealing with an amateur here. This man was clearly very experienced in the business, able to easily disarm his trap like that. Where did he come from? Why is he striking now? Why was he his first target when he could've killed Hound or Ghost considering how easy it is to find them?

Not to mention, there was no trace of the Cleavers anywhere. All that's left was the ashes of his victims. Were they killed as well? Did this man truly fight three gods damned Cleavers and came out victorious?

Did he gain this power through drugs, or was it his own?

Pig Emperor grimaced at the second possibility.

Could Nahkriin have a… Great Soul?

Is he possibly a wielder of the same power the ancient heroes once used? Overwhelming Aura pool and an absurdly powerful Semblance? Everywhere he went, there was nothing but ashes and the occasional mutilated corpse - nothing was able to stop him so far.

"Why do I have to suffer like this?" He groaned, leaning back on his chair.

The irony of that question wasn't lost on him, but he couldn't care less. If he's really against someone with a Great Soul, he needs to be extra careful, first by canceling all the other auctions except the big one before the Vytal Festival. He needs to safeguard his resources, try to come up with a plan to take this Black Phantom down before anything catastrophic happens.

Canceling his yearly auction is out of the question. It'll ruin his reputation - make him out to be a coward and a weakling. His men might defect and join other crimelords, and he'll be left alone and weakened, giving the others the perfect chance to simply devour all he has.

But even if all his operations are ruined, he'll still at least remain unknown for a while. It's his greatest strength - his anonymity. His criminal organization getting destroyed is only a setback and not the end. He can rebuild his gang, but not his reputation as a loved and good-hearted figure in the overworld.

Right now, he needs to make an alliance with other crimelords, especially Hawk. Information about this Black Phantom's identity and whereabouts are the most important things. His enemy shares his strength, after all.

It's concerning how there's nothing known about him other than his strange-looking mask, fire semblance(?), and brutality. He never heard what he sounds like or seen what he looks like. An unknown enemy is the scariest kind of enemy. That's why he made sure to remain fully anonymous throughout the years.

He blinked as his scroll buzzed on the coffee table, making him lean forward to see Hound's name in it. Most likely gonna complain about losing his men or something, throwing a hissyfit. Really annoying stuff.

Well, not really his problem. The moron gambled and lost, why does he need to be held accountable for things he had no control over?

"Not pulling the pin on that grenade," He muttered, standing up from his chair before leaving his balcony.

He'll deal with Hound's tantrum later.

It's this Nahrkiin he needs to worry about now.


(Reid)

"Right, got the key," I mutter, looking at the purple wormhole-looking thing. "Another Epic dungeon so soon. Gotta be my lucky day."

It's been around twelve hours since I've killed the slavers, and I've been running around and looking for dungeons since. With the perk that makes me sense them whenever I'm close, it wasn't as hard as it was back in the day. Twelve hours and six dungeons is a pretty good record.

Two Common, two Uncommon, one Rare, and now an Epic. I've finished the first five and refrained from using the Gacha I had from before, which were 7 tokens. So on top of the 7 tokens I had before, I got 10 more, meaning 17 Tokens to use in this sixth dungeon.

The items I got weren't that good - weapons and armor I'm most likely gonna forget in my inventory till the end of time. I did, however, level up. Quite a bit, too, 12 levels, while also leveling up Emission a few times, up to level 10 now. Good thing is that both my Fire and Sword mastery skills are at the brink of being maxed out, 97 and 96 respectively.

Speaking of fire, I've been meaning to make an 'ultimate spell' for a while now, and I did it. It takes a lot of magic, but it's devastating. It's a close-ranged spell, though, basically a far more powerful variant of Fire Burst.

[Flashfire] (LV 1/15)

Unleash a powerful burst of flames from the palm of your hand that deals 25,000 damage

Costs 12,000 MP

Might not look that impressive, but it's still at level 1 out of 15. I can improve it.

Gwyn finally got a chance to stretch his legs for a bit, got a few more levels, and ripped most of the mobs to shreds. I love this dog.

I throw the little marble sphere as the wormhole transforms into a door. Without wasting any more time, I open it and enter my sixth dungeon, quickly hissing in pain as something bright hits my eyes. Once my sight is adjusted, I frown at the huge pyramid in an empty desert I'm in.

Oh, a desert dungeon.

I grimace. I don't like it already. Holy fuck it's hot in here.

[Tomb of Sheekh]

Objective: Find the lich and kill him

Bonus Objective A: Clear out the entire Temple

Bonus Objective B: Find the Treasure Room

Rewards: Major EXP, 4 Gacha Tokens, Sheekh's Amulet, Orb of Darkness

Bonus Rewards A: Moderate EXP, [Dungeon Diver] Perk

Bonus Rewards B: Minor EXP, 3 Gold Blocks, 1 Gacha Token

I raise a brow. Major EXP? That's weird. It always showed numbers before, why is it vague now? System updated or something?

I shake my head and quickly head to the temple, the heat of the sun making it really difficult for me to stay in one place. There's shadow inside at least.

I already have Goldbrand out, looking for any enemies inside. I click my tongue and rub my neck in discomfort. What, is the heat making it act up again? How hot is it anyway? Because I've never felt this thirsty in my life before.

62C Outside, 56C inside

"God," My eyes widen. "Definitely not a good idea to stay here for long. I need to finish this quick-!"

I duck under a swing, quickly countering and killing the monster with one strike. I click my tongue as more and more enemies surround me, from armed skeletons to mummies, even a few gross-looking bugs.

Thinking fast, I inject myself with a stat increase potion, blitzing through all of them with my boosted speed. One thing managed to block my attack though - a giant skeleton with a huge mace and shield. I back off, checking its stats to see that it's not really a threat. Not much stronger than the Cleavers I dealt with before.

But just to make sure, I use a powerful Light spell, a beam that penetrates its head and kills it instantly. Undead usually means unholy or dark, and that's weak to Light. Using it is easily my best choice here.

But Fire Magic is just a few levels from maxing out. I should focus on it a little more before switching back to light or water.

I feel myself getting slightly tired, my chest heaving as I find it difficult to breathe. It's unbearably hot in here, holy shit.

Race weakness discovered

Dry body(Stage 1): As a leviathan, your body needs moisture from natural water to survive. Being dry weakens you and could even kill you. All stats are decreased by 15%. Cold-Blooded Adrenaline disabled.

Great…

Stage one, meaning there are other stages that are even more severe. Natural water means my Water Magic won't work, would it? Shit, I really need to finish this quickly before it gets any worse.

I survived true monsters that can wipe out armies, I'm not dying to fucking heat. Fuck you, sun.

And here I wanted to use my Gacha…

I quickly start looking around, killing everything in my path from undead to insects to even slimes for some reason. I feel something try to attack me from behind, but my familiar quickly jumps out and pounces on it, ripping its head off before growling threateningly.

"Gwyn, try to ignore the monsters and look for the boss room," I order him. "We're not suited to fight in this environment. If you really have to, come back. Do not push yourself."

He barks in affirmation and runs off. I'm not worried, he can take care of himself just fine. He probably has it easier than me too seeing my heritage. You know, at least I discovered this before I got to Vacuo. It would've sucked to go unprepared like that.

Two more of those giants attack, this time alongside a huge spider. I dash towards the bug first, seeing how dangerous it is compared to the others, and slice two of its legs off in one swing. It screeches in pain, and I suddenly feel pain in my back as something smashes into me, sending me flying to the other side.

I flip and growl, seeing that it's the giant that did it. What the hell was that? Why couldn't my Haki pick that up? Is the heat affecting it too?

Having had enough, I extend both arms and unleash a huge torrent of flames, burning them all down before I fall to my knees, panting in exhaustion. More monsters attack as I feel it's getting hard to focus. My vision was starting to get a little blurry, and my muscles felt weak.

Dry body(Stage 2): As a leviathan, your body needs moisture from natural water to survive. Being dry weakens you and could even kill you. All stats are decreased by 30%. Cold-Blooded Adrenaline disabled. Magic costs 50% more. Exhaustion.

This isn't good. It's only been a few minutes since I've been here and it's already at the second stage? Magic costing that much is only making it harder. I don't have any water on me, and Water magic is likely ineffective.

I try to cast a water spell on myself, even drink it, but I don't feel any better.

I hiss and pull my mask out as it starts to burn my face, but ignore the painfully hot grip of Goldbrand. My stats are still far above the monsters, but it's getting harder and harder to actually dodge. Any more and I'll be overpowered.

Leveling up doesn't get rid of this debuff either.

Damn it…

I'm hit in the back by something, prompting me to look around with a glare. I spot new undead - floating and holding wands and staves. What now, liches? Can't catch a fucking break, can I?

I rush forward, crushing before they get problematic later on. Shaking my head, I begin ignoring the monsters as I look for the boss, scowling angrily. I wanted to finish the fucking side mission, but I can't at this rate. I have to kill the boss and get out of here as fast as I can.

As the potion effect runs out, a mummy surprises me and gets a hold of my leg, tripping me and forcing me on the ground. I gasp for air as monsters start to pile up on me more and more, holding me down in place as I feel myself suffocating. The bugs try to eat me as I'm frozen in place, biting and gnawing at my armor, clothes, aura, and eventually my flesh.

You've been inflicted with [Poisoned]!

I narrow my eyes and activate my Semblance, pushing all of the monsters away from me with an explosion of hot steam. This wasn't a good idea at all - the hot steam in my body alongside this intense heat only accelerated the race debuff, but I had no other choice.

My Aura is on the verge of breaking, and I quickly release a burst of steam at the monsters coming at me, getting rid of its heat as I fall to my knees. I can barely breathe, everything is getting dark and I'm shaking uncontrollably.

Dry body(Stage 3): As a leviathan, your body needs moisture from natural water to survive. Being dry weakens you and could even kill you. All stats are decreased by 50%. Cold-Blooded Adrenaline disabled. Magic costs 100% more. Magical and physical resistances are reduced by 50%. Exhaustion.

I've said this before, but I really need to get out of here.

I inject myself with healing, antidote, Aura restore, and stat increase, then rush forward as I continue my search.


(Gwyn)

With a growl, the wolf rammed into a group of monsters, scattering bones and innards all over the place. Gwyn rushed as fast as his legs could take him, resisting the heat much better than his master could. He knew he didn't have much time.

And there was no end to them, coming out of every direction to attack him. They were dealt with easily, and with his power being increased by his master's strange 'potions' he zoomed around this maze with ease.

But even with how fast he is, he was worried. His master is a powerful man no doubt, and Gwyn liked him quite a lot as well. Him accepting the Soulstone made him swear to obey his orders for all of eternity, and so far, he liked being in this new pack consisting of him, his master, the red one, the yellow one, and the new strong one.

Sure, he spends most of his time slumbering in his master's soul, but he's fine with it. He didn't quite understand why his master doesn't let him out a lot, though sleeping has always been something he liked anyway. As long as he gets to stretch his legs every now and then, he doesn't care.

And every time he was outside, his master treated him well and with respect. Throughout his time, he got smarter and understood human emotions more and more, due to his master's weird powers that made him stronger the more he kills. He comprehends Reid's feelings now, even the more complicated ones.

His hate towards those other humans he keeps killing, and his love for his mate. He didn't get to interact with her much, but Gwyn liked the red one, she was nice. So he couldn't let his master die here, for her sake as well.

Gwyn stopped as the fur on his body stood upright, alerting him of a powerful enemy nearby. He growled as a floating corpse hissed and groaned at him, a crown on its head as its metal, strangely shaped staff glowed purple. Behind it was a lock of sorts, making the wolf conclude that this might be the way.

He rushed forward, leaping left and right as he dodged the monster's dark magic. He roared and tried to pounce at it, but a forcefield blocked it, pushing the wolf back as he snarled at it. He barked threateningly and rushed once more, going faster as he tanked a blast, his Aura flickering a little as he ignored the pain.

This seemed to surprise the floating being as it summoned another forcefield, but Gwyn knew what to do this time as he slammed his head into it, cracking it a little and forcing the monster to rush back. Gwyn broke through the magical barrier and bit its leg, making it groan in pain as it kicked him away.

More orbs of dark magic floated above them, soaring towards the Great Wolf as he tried to evade them. They were much faster than before, hitting him in different places each time. They took quite a bit out of his Aura as well, and Gwyn started to feel the effects of the potion dying out.

He needs to finish this.

With a howl, Gwyn ignored all of the orbs, aiming for a one-hit kill. The dark magic couldn't slow down his dash as he leaped, smashing into the floating corpse before biting its whole top. It tried to escape, but the wolf's teeth ripped it in half, stopping its resistance completely.

He spat it out and looked at the locked stone gate, ramming into it to see if it could be broken with his strength. The potion effects left him, making him growl in annoyance. How can he open this gate now? What's he supposed to do?

There's a giant keyhole in the center of the gate, but where's the key? And if it's this big, how can he miss it?

Gwyn began to look around, gazing at the top half of the monster as it had its grip on the staff. He blinked, then looked to the keyhole, then back to the staff. They look identical, so surely this is the key?

Seeing no other choice, the Great Wolf tried to grab the staff with his teeth, only for the monster to come back to life. It groaned, preparing an attack, but Gwyn reacted quickly and stomped on its head, crushing its skull and killing it for real.

He suddenly felt rejuvenated, the effects of what his master calls a 'level up' coursing through him. Without wasting another second, he plugged the staff into the keyhole, and the gate opened. Gwyn swished his tail, feeling proud of himself before entering the room.

A dead end. It was a room that led to nothing.

Gwyn felt excited, however, as this room was filled with tiny lakes and puddles of crystal clear water and the shiny colorful things Reid loved a lot. This could help him - his master desperately needed water. He needs to know about this.

When Gwyn sent a mental message, he froze in fear as he felt Reid was close to dying. Their link felt incredibly weak, preventing him from teleporting there quickly, so Gwyn ran. He ran as fast as he could, whining in worry and terror as he ignored the arrows and magical blast that hit him.

Even with the intense heat, Gwyn only sprinted faster. He couldn't let his master die, it's his job to protect him! He needs to get there, but he's not fast enough. He needs to be faster.

He must be faster!

It was then when Gwyn felt a burst of wind, his eyes widening as his prayers were answered. The wind was helping him? It pushed away the monsters, it pushed him to be quicker. Everything seemed like a blur as he zig-zagged around, getting quicker the more he ran.

He ignored it, for now, heading for his master who was slowly losing his strength.

He can do it, he will do it.

Nothing can stop Gwyn from saving his master.


(Reid)

Dry body(Stage 4): As a leviathan, your body needs moisture from natural water to survive. Being dry weakens you and could even kill you. All stats are decreased by 85%. Cold-Blooded Adrenaline disabled. Magic is disabled. Magical and physical resistances are reduced by 100%. Severe Exhaustion.

I could barely stand or see at this point, panting and gasping for air. Breathing felt like the most difficult thing I've ever done, and the only thing keeping me alive was my Haki. I've coated my whole body with Armament for increased defense and attack power that even a swing of a steel axe did practically nothing.

Fighting back was difficult - no magic means no ranged, so I can't keep the monsters from getting close. My attacks barely do any damage due to the immense decrease in STR, and using any of my sword skills made me feel like I'm about to pass out.

Even thinking feels like pain. Headaches, blurry vision, and general exhaustion. The bastards are taking their time killing me, whittling down my defenses until I can't do anything, and I can tell they're enjoying this.

Something tackles me from behind, making me grunt in pain as my Aura finally shatters. I pant as it slowly digs its weapon - I couldn't tell what it is - into my back, making me growl as I try to push it away.

"Get… off!" I grunt as it penetrates the flesh, my exhaustion finally wearing off my Haki.

It cackles as I lose more HP, and while I thankfully have a lot, the other monsters begin rushing forward. If I stay like this any longer, I'm dead. I need to do something before they get close.

"I said…" I gather all my remaining strength for this one last desperate attempt at surviving. "GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME!"

The burst from my Conquerors flings them all away, but not too far. It is however enough for me to get back on my feet, moving away until my back hits a wall. Right, no more surprises. Hopefully.

The bugs were out, thankfully, but not the undead. They lacked the will I needed to overpower, so Conquerors wasn't as effective. Pushing them a few meters without dealing any damage isn't much, but it's something at least.

I don't know what the fifth stage of Dry Body will do to me, but I'm not looking forward to it. My throat is damaged, lungs feel like they're on fire, and I'm starting to lose consciousness. This whole dungeon would've been easy if it wasn't a desert temple.

Even in this situation, I couldn't help but chuckle as a dumb thought crosses my mind.

I don't think I'm gonna like Vacuo very much…

The monsters are suddenly pushed away by a powerful gust of wind, and I quickly recognize the familiar energy of Gwyn. Though, I didn't even get a chance to praise him as he grabs me by the collar and sprints. I couldn't even process what was happening at this point.

Did he find the boss room? I knew I could count on him, though he must be tired from how hot it is. He's better off than me, but he's not exactly suited for this kind of weather. Well, at least we have a chance at surviving.

My eyelids feel a lot heavier, and the hot weather isn't making it easier to keep my eyes open. I think I can… leave the dungeon boss to him. He's strong, he can probably handle it. I need to conserve my energy if I want to survive.

The popup for the fifth stage shows itself just as my body goes limp.

Dry body(Stage 5): As a leviathan, your body needs moisture from natural water to survive. Being dry weakens you and could even-

My eyes widen as I'm thrown in the water, feeling my all strength returning to me at once. I gasp as I look around, trying to process what the fuck just happened. I was in a different room, this one filled with the clearest water I've seen in my life, alongside a gigantic treasure chest at the end of it.

I blink a few times, before breathing a sigh of relief, finally coming to a conclusion that this might be the 'Treasure Room'. Holy hell that was close. Gwyn pounces at me and licks my face, just as happy to be alive as I am.

"I knew I could count on you." I grin and scratch his chin. "I definitely wouldn't be alive without you here."

He barks as his tail swishes happily.

"What was that anyway?" I ask him. "I felt something weird from you when you got to me - and how did you get where I was so fast anyway? You couldn't teleport, and the potion's effects likely ran out. Did you find something that helps?"

Wind, ally, faster.

"The wind helped you?" I raise a brow. "How? Can you do it again?"

Gwyn nods. Stepping back before a gust of wind forms around him, acting like a barrier for him. Even with my limited magic senses, I can tell this was no magic, and when I checked with Observe to make sure, I saw his Aura decreasing.

So this is Gwyn's Semblance?

"Wind Control," I state. "You controlled the currents to help you run faster. That's incredible."

He looks at me with pride in himself, his tail swishing intensifying.

"We're definitely gonna test it out later," I scratch his chin. "Let's just find the way out for now.

"Not the boss room, but this is better," I gaze at the chest. "Alright, let's rest here for a bit. We'll go out in a few minutes."

I stand up and shake my head, rubbing my neck as I head towards the chest surrounded by piles of gold and gems. I'm not making the same mistake and converting them all to Lien this time. God, I'm such an idiot sometimes.

I send all the stuff to my inventory before opening the chest, taking the stuff inside it. A very dusty book, a magical hammer that's half the size of Gwyn, more gold and gyms, few potions, and a necklace.

I use observe on all of them, smiling as I read the description of each item.

-Stormlander

A hammer filled with the power of the storms, a powerful artifact used by ancient warriors that brought peace and war when their god demanded it. Lost to time, this weapon longs for combat once more.

Deals 2500 + STRx8 Physical Damage + 5000 Lightning Damage

Summons lightning that deals 10,000 Lightning Damage when slammed to the ground. 60 Seconds cooldown

-Endurance Potion

Decreases all damage received by 10%

-Sex-change Potion

Switches to the opposite sex

-Heat Protection Necklace.

Wearing this will make the user much more resistant to natural heat

-Sheekh's Book of Rituals Vol.1

A book containing all the rituals known to the Ancient Lich, Sheekh, including many forbidden and dangerous ones. Do not read unless you aren't afraid of the gods.

What interested me the most was obviously the book. Ancient forbidden rituals? Fuck yes, I'm studying the hell out of this book.

Stormlander is a pretty powerful weapon, but eh, I'm a sword user. Maybe I'll give this to someone else.

As for the potions… Well, I'm probably gonna need to study them rather than use them any time soon. Aside from me wanting to keep my dick, I don't think the Sex-change potion is gonna be that useful.

Okay, I'm a little curious to see what I'd look like as a girl, but I'm not gonna risk that until I have a guaranteed way of turning back.

Endurance looks like an OP potion when done right. I'll keep that as well.

Finally, the necklace, which is obviously used now to keep me from getting the Dry Body debuff. Gonna see what I can do with it once I get a chance to study it more, maybe implement the enchantment in armor or something.

Though, that's not all I do. I look at the little lakes and take out a couple of empty bottles, filling them up with water. I might be able to make strong potions with this, it's definitely top grade ingredients.

I wear the necklace and turn back to Gwyn. "Are you ready to head out?"

He barks in confirmation.

"Alright, let's move," I put on my mask and unsheathe Goldbrand. "Let's clear out the whole place. Whenever we need to rest, we'll get back here."

Speaking of clearing out this temple - holy shit there's a lot of monsters. I think I already killed like, a couple of hundred at least. I'm level 201 for fucks sake, I was 176 when I got here. I mean, I'm not complaining, but why are there so many mobs?

My Observation Haki already maxed out and I unlocked the next stage, and just as I guessed, it's Future Sight. I can only see one-tenth of a second into the future right now, but that's a huge boost as is.

[Observation: Future Sight] (LV 1/100)

An advanced state of Observation Haki that makes the user see into the future

Able to see 0.1 second into the future

[Back Off] - 500 DEX

Whenever you're hit with a powerful attack, your speed increases by 150% for three seconds

I love it.

Well, regardless, I'm killing everything here. They're definitely not good guys seeing how they attacked first. I don't feel bad for what I'm about to do.

With that, Gwyn and I spent around thirty minutes going around the place, killing everything as my familiar retreated to my soul whenever he got too tired. Even with the necklace, I'd get a little tired as the weather itself was dry as fuck. Whenever that happens, I return to the Treasure Room and rest a bit before heading back out.

I even started dismantling some of the bodies of the bugs, storing their parts in my inventory for future use. I don't know about you, but there are a lot of weird insects here, some definitely magical. I'm not wasting anything.

I found the Boss room at some point, a huge and empty chamber with a green orb on top of a pillar in the middle and a coffin at the far end of it, but I never got back to it until I made sure there were no mobs to kill. I enter the room, feeling rejuvenated as the potion effects course through me.

The coffin explodes as a powerful-looking lich comes out of it, floating with its green staff glowing.

I can see intelligence in its eyes, though. It's probably sapient.

Name: Sheekh

Title: Forgotten Necromancer

Age: 7500

Race: Super Undead

Level: 390

HP: 50,000

MP: 645,000

AP: [Locked]

STR: 512

VIT: 335

DEX: 549

INT: 4130

WIS: 5020

CHA: 15

LUK: 50

I'm quicker, I can end him in an instant before he casts any spells. It really comes down to who's faster in this fight.

"One who sets his foot in the tomb of-" He pauses, hissing a second later. "Oh… How surprising. It's been years since I've seen one of your kind."

I narrow my eyes slightly as Gwyn growls, "You know what I am?"

"Of course I do." He answers. "I've fought alongside kings and queens of Poseidra many millennia ago. But I've never seen one so… young, before."

Mentioning Posidera made me freeze. What the hell? How does he know what Poseidra is? That's another dungeon entirely…

...Could the dungeons share one dimension instead of being separate ones?

"I am Sheekh, an ancient necromancer that roamed the lands once upon a time." He looks at me. "And you two?"

"...Reid Astera. This is my Familiar, Gwyn." I reply after a moment. I can't sense any ill intent from him.

"Not a Delmar?" He comments. "How strange, but that is none of my business. May I know why you're here?"

"Just traveling, I thought I could explore this place when I saw it," I respond with a shrug. "Everything tried to attack me, though. Had to defend myself. Don't think you'd let me go? Doesn't have to end up with one of us dying."

"Why should I?" He questions, and even then, no ill intent. He's just curious.

"Because you'll die," I answer bluntly. "I'd rather not kill someone if there's no reason to."

He chuckles, a ghostly voice echoing out in the chamber. "Amusing. Very well, you may leave, but on one condition."

"And that is?"

"Free me," He said. "I've spent countless years in this tomb, and I grow weary of it. Destroy the seal, and I'll be in your debt."

Haki is telling me that he's telling the truth, but I'm not so sure. I need more info. "Why were you sealed in the first place? What happened?"

"Due to my constant use of the forbidden arts, I've angered certain spiteful but powerful beings-"

"It's gods, isn't it?" I deadpan.

"Gods, yes," He confirms. "Seeing as they could not interfere with the mortal realm directly, they sent their champions at me."

"And they sealed you?" I raise a brow. "Why didn't they just kill you?"

"They were not strong enough," He states before continuing. "However, I've unwittingly fallen into their trap and they sealed me into this tomb."

I wait for him to finish.

"They hoped this seal would weaken my powers, make it possible to vanquish me," He said. "They were right; I'm nowhere near as powerful as I was before, yet for some reason, they've never visited this prison again."

"Seeing what you look like right now, I doubt they're still alive," I say, making him grin in amusement. "What're you gonna do when you're free?"

"Travel the world," He answers truthfully. "I'd like to see how much it changed in my absence. If you're afraid that I'll rampage, worry not. I've never done something so childish, and never plan on doing so."

I frown in thought. I don't know what I'm supposed to do - Haki is telling me he's truthful but is he really? What am I gonna do if he decides to kill innocents when I'm not there to stop him? This isn't really my world, but I don't want to be responsible for the death of innocent people.

However, he doesn't seem to be aware of my Haki, and there's nothing evil about him. Dark, yes, but not evil. Assuming his story is true, then these 'gods' likely hated him due to his necromancy, just as he said. My past knowledge of gods like Greek, Norse, and even the brother gods in Remnant tells me enough. Never trust them, because they're self-righteous pricks and are almost always evil.

The only god I remotely trust is the one that keeps mocking me, ironically enough. Even then, it's not like I'm trusting her with my life, assuming I had a choice anyway.

I can take him on, kill him without any issue if I'm quick enough, but I don't have to do that if there's no reason to. From what I read in the Poseidra history book, the Leviathans are usually brutal, but honorable and generally good people. If he's fought alongside them before, then he must be similar in that regard, right?

I frown in guilt as I shake the thoughts of the water dungeon away. I don't want to make the same mistake again.

...maybe it's not my place to judge, and I should free him. Necromancy isn't viewed positively most of the time, but personally, magic is magic. Dark or light arts don't matter. Hell, this guy might be doing something good by resurrecting good people.

But the quest says I need to kill him.

Ah, fuck it. I'll help.

"Alright, what do I have to do?" I sigh, loosening my grip over my sword.

"Excellent," He grins, though seeing what he looks like, it was gross. "Take my amulet and wear it. I'll begin the ritual."

The amulet around his neck floats up then towards me. I still feel no evil intentions from him. He's likely being truthful.

"You know, I've never done a ritual like this before. It's kinda scary."

"A student of the arcane arts, are you?"

"Something like that," I nod. "I just like magic a lot."

"So do I."

-Sheekh's Amulet

A powerful amulet belonging to the ancient necromancer, Sheekh. It increases one's dark magic to enormous levels but comes at the cost of weakening one's life force. It has been cursed to act as a seal key to keep Sheekh from escaping his tomb.

Increases effectiveness of all forms of Dark magic by 150%, and decreases their MP cost by 50%

Decreases HP and AP by 50%

It was a golden necklace decorated with purple gems, and a bright green emerald in the center. I wear this with a grimace, though I can't say I'm not excited about this.

"Once the ritual is complete, you will battle Hallious, my jailor," He explains. "You must defeat it on your own. Neither I nor your familiar will be able to assist you."

"Uh, why?" I blink.

"Because your physical body will remain here, as your spirit travels to Hallious' domain," He answers simply as if he's talking about the weather.

"Anything I should be worried about?"

"I am sorry, I'm unfortunately not knowledgable about this particular spirit." He says. "Are you prepared?"

I open my mouth to ask more but shake my head. "I am. Let's do it."

"Very well," He turns to the pillar in the middle of the chamber and spreads his arms.

Sheekh then starts chanting strange words, the chamber shaking as the orb on the pillar glows brighter and brighter. Gwyn growls threateningly as I tightly grab my blade. The orb suddenly shoots a beam of green energy at the lich, piercing his heart as he falls to the ground, dead.

My eyes widen. "What the-"

The beam then shoots towards me, at my necklace to be more specific, making me feel numb. I couldn't think about anything at all for a whole minute before getting a hold of myself. I look around - I wasn't in the chamber anymore, instead, it was just… gray desert. Nothing to see for miles and miles.

The sun was emerald green, the skies were pitch-black, and I feel a strange energy behind me. I quickly turn around to see green magic in the shape of a big golem, roaring in anger. That's the jailor I assume?

Name: Hallious

Title: Servant of the Gods

Age: [Unknown]

Race: Super Spirit

Level: 310

HP: 160,000

MP: 200,000

AP: [Locked]

STR: 1293

VIT: 543

DEX: 789

INT: 1300

WIS: 900

CHA: 0

LUK: 0

Yep, it is. Creepy realm...

I quickly inject myself with all the potions I need, refreshing their effects before getting into a stance. I narrow my eyes as I spot something within it, a small black sphere of some kind. A core perhaps?

I'm much faster, but it's tanky as hell, and I don't know what kind of magic it has. I need to somehow pierce it and destroy the core.

It roars as energy blasts fly over it, exploding from every direction as they shoot towards me. With my improved Observation and speed, it was fairly easy to dodge all of it, rushing forward as I put Goldbrand back in its sheath. I'm aiming to end this fight in one hit - I don't want to be lost in it. I need to keep a cool head.

As I get close to it, I sense something and quickly back off as its body explodes. Almost got hit by that, wouldn't have been pretty.

I try to circle around it, finding an opening as my blood begins to cool down. Good, more buffs. I need to be faster so I can land a devastating blow. It realizes the disadvantage it's at, so it's playing defensive.

I release a burst of flames from my feet as I shoot towards it, much faster than it could react, and activate Emission just as I dig my sword into its outer shell, damaging the core before being pushed back. I flip and land on my feet before grinning.

That dealt 70k damage. Almost half of its health is gone in one hit. It lacks any sort of defense it seems. I assumed it had enough power to resist some of the damage at least.

The outer shell, which was in the shape of a golem, breaks down as the core flies high up in the sky. The green energy forms into many smaller golems and flying enemies. There was a lot, I mean in the hundreds, while I'm just one man.

The good thing about this is that the core barely has any protection around it anymore. A few more hits and I can destroy it. I just need to not get hit by these things, because they all share the ridiculous amount of INT and WIS, meaning a fuckton of magic damage.

I take off to the air using fire magic, launching myself around the gray desert as I look for an opening. Beams, arrows, lances, and more soar towards me - thousands of energy constructs coming at me from all directions as I sharpen my focus, creating barriers of light to block whatever I couldn't dodge.

I may be very fast, but not faster than the projectiles, and seeing there's so many, I need to be extra defensive. There's no telling how much damage these things deal, not to mention, they follow me around.

Seeing that getting close to the core is out of the question, I start shooting it with fire magic, hurling fireballs and spears at it. The flying golems block the spells, but they're not tough, a few hits and they're down.

Maybe reducing their numbers before attacking the core would do.

So I do just that; launching myself at the golems and destroying all of its aerial support before plummeting down, one-shotting the ones on the ground with Goldbrand. I can tell that the jailor is using the energy of the destroyed golems to make more guards, but I'm killing faster than it's creating, finally giving me the window to attack it.

My magic was running low, but it's enough for me to fly towards it, the increased speed due to Chaos Conversion doing wonders as I slash it once more, reducing its health to a measly 5k.

However, while I saw it coming, an explosion sent me flying to the other side, destroying my Aura and breaking my arm in one go. I bite down a scream as I stand up, eyes widening at how low my HP was.

2k. If this attack was any stronger, I would've died.

I quickly heal myself, just in time as the core itself rams into my stomach, dragging me across the ground as it readies another explosion, magic swirling around it. I grit my teeth and push it away, forming a light barrier with one hand and restoring my Aura with another.

I was still damaged by the explosion, but the barrier did reduce it by quite a lot. I sidestep as the core tries to ram into me again, flying upwards as hundreds- no, thousands of blasts forming high in the sky rains down on me. I know I can't dodge this, so I create another light barrier and restore my MP.

I heal myself again, as well as restore my Aura before my eyes widen. It's charging a powerful attack, but the rain of magic isn't finished yet. I'm stuck in one place - if it finished charging, I'm done for.

How the hell do I get to it like this?

I take a deep breath as I get a risky idea. It's better than standing here waiting to die.

Just as the barrier shatters, I launch myself towards it, tanking the magical blasts as I charge a powerful fire spell in my hand. Its roar shook the ground beneath us just as it released the magic wave, prompting me to unleash my fire spell as well.

When the two spells hit, the shockwave it caused made the ground under me break apart, making a giant crater. It was slowly overpowering my spell, but I had something it didn't, and that'll lead me to victory.

I have TWO hands!

I charge another Flashfire spell in my free hand and release it, and that utterly annihilates its blast as it gets completely consumed by the flames. With that, the core was finally destroyed, prompting me to smirk victoriously.

Level up x8

Fire Magic leveled up x3

Flashfire leveled up

Choose a perk-

I'll do it later.

I fall down to the ground and ignore the messages, for now, looking at my hands with a strange look.

"...So this is what a beam struggle feels like?" I mutter in amazement.

I don't think I even stood a chance without my hax, like Haki for example. Such a broken power.

The amulet suddenly starts to shine, brighter and brighter until it fully blinds me. All I could see was white for a few seconds, before hearing something getting closer. I blink a few times and see that I'm back in the chamber, with Gwyn looking at me worriedly.

He whines and licks my face as he sees me awake. There was one thing going in my mind right now, though.

What the fuck just happened?

"Astonishing, isn't it? Don't worry, your shock and confusion are well-placed." A voice I don't recognize asks, prompting me to look around for it.

Where Sheekh died, in his place was a frail old man with long gray hair leaning against the wall, shaking uncontrollably as he smiled warmly at me. His most striking features were his weird eyes - black sclera and green pupils - and his long ears. Is that… an elf?

I blink in confusion before the realization dawns on me.

"You're Sheekh," I state.

"That I am." He nods. "Must be surprising, but this is my true form. I have been stuck in that monstrous one since the time I've been sealed."

"That so…" I stand up, looking at him in a bit of concern. "You need help?"

"I appreciate the offer, but I will be fine." He says, wincing in pain. "I only need to rest to regain my power."

"If you say so," I say. "...You sure you okay, though?"

"Hearing your genuine concern is heartwarming, but I assure you, I will manage." He nods. "You've done your part of the deal, so you can leave now."

He points at a new entrance that opened up, and from there I can see the door leading back to Remnant.

"You've freed me from torment and given me another chance at life." He states, and all I can feel from him was genuine gratitude. "I'm in your debt. Thank you, truly."

I give him a smile and throw him a healing potion as I head towards the door. "Don't mention it. Try not to get sealed again, will ya?"

He chuckles and catches the vial as I head towards the door. As the entrance closes down behind me, the quest finally ends, making me grin at the rewards. So saving him is an objective after all, a hidden one too.

Even if it wasn't, I think I made the right choice. He genuinely looked thankful.

[Tomb of Sheekh]

Objective: Find the lich and kill him

Bonus Objective A: Clear out the entire Temple

Bonus Objective B: Find the Treasure Room

Hidden Objective: Free Sheekh

Rewards: Major EXP, 4 Gacha Tokens, Sheekh's Amulet, Orb of Darkness

Bonus Rewards A: Moderate EXP, [Dungeon Diver] Perk

Bonus Rewards B: Minor EXP, 3 Gold Blocks, 1 Gacha Token

Hidden Rewards: Major EXP, 2 Gacha Tokens, Tremendously Increase Reputation with Sheekh, True Sheekh's Amulet, Sheekh's Book of Rituals Vol.2

The first thing I do is up a lot of my stats using the 290 remaining points I have, get them to a decent level before checking everything else while also getting perks for my LUK and VIT. Always good to have balanced stats.

Level up x2

Name: Reid Astera/Alaric Delmar

Title: Titan Slayer

Age: 17

Race: Human/Leviathan Hybrid

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Level: 211 (86%)

Professions: Gardener, Chef, Teacher

Mentors: Kazuma Kiryu

Students: Ruby Rose, Yang Xiao-Long

HP: 31,250 [Regens 3125 per minute]

MP: 20,000 [Regens 2000 per minute]

AP: 52,750 [Regens 5275 per minute]

STR: 650

VIT: 500

DEX: 550

INT: 400

WIS: 400

CHA: 400

LUK: 250

Points: 74

[Iron Heart] - 500 VIT

Your heart is tougher than normal, increasing your overall HP and HP regen by 25%

[Lucky Find] - 250 LUK

There's a small chance of finding items one tier above the chest it's from.

[Dungeon Diver]

Whenever you're in a dungeon, stats will increase depending on the dungeon tier.

2% for Common, 5% for Uncommon, 7% for Rare, 10% for Very Rare, 15% for Epic, 20% for Legendary, and 25% for both Mythical and Divine

-Orb of Darkness

An Orb swirling with powerful dark magic.

Increases effectiveness of dark rituals when placed near by 50%.

Increases success rate of dark rituals when placed near by 25%

-True Sheekh's Amulet - Legendary

The true power of this amulet has been unleashed, tremendously increasing the dark magic of the wearer as well as empowering all undead minions nearby. Individuals with weak wills are not to trifle with this artifact, for it can drive anyone mad.

Increases effectiveness of all forms of Dark magic by 200%, and decreases their MP cost by 70%

All undead minions are 200% more powerful, and their weaknesses are nullified.

-Sheekh's Book of Rituals Vol.2

The second Volume of Sheekh's Book of Rituals, containing even more data and stronger, more complicated rituals. The gods are warning you, and are demanding you to burn it

That's… a lot of stuff. Holy shit.

I'm significantly stronger than I was before entering this dungeon, and the rewards are amazing. I don't think I'm gonna benefit from the amulet since I'm no dark mage, but I could probably study it and try to replicate the enchantments somehow, maybe invert it and make it light-based?

What I'm most excited about are the books. I'm not knowledgeable about rituals all that much - mostly used to make golems anyway, so the possibility of making and discovering new things is great.

Those are gonna need to wait though, I still never touched my Artificer skill at all. I have to start working on it.

...I still have a lot of tokens, and this space is too small to use them in.

I open the door to Remnant with a sigh. Guess I'm gonna have to look for a bigger dungeon to use these in.


(Ruby)

"This isn't working, Yang," Ruby sighed as her sister held a thick block of limestone in front of her.

"Not with that attitude," Yang grinned. "C'mon, punch it. This is a test of strength."

"I can't break that," She groaned. "I'm not like you. I don't have your strength - I'm speed and agility focused."

"Could've fooled me," The blond rolled her eyes. "Swinging that giant scythe around must've made you strong."

"Yang, look at my arms," Ruby said with an annoyed look as she threw her arms up in the air. "What are they?"

"...Uh-"

"Twigs!" She cut her off. "They're twigs. I'm good with the scythe because I use its weight to strike, not my own strength. That's why speed is my strong suit - my momentum helps me do more damage."

"Okay, okay, I get it," Yang said with a sigh. "Just humor me this once?"

"Fine," Ruby grimaced and cocked her arm back. "This is gonna hurt."

With a bit of hesitation, Ruby threw a punch at the stone block, her knuckles flaring in pain as soon as it hit. She yelped and jumped back, holding her fist in pain before glaring at her sister. She was about to yell, only to see the crack she made on the block, making her eyes widen.

She actually did something?

"Woah, look at this!" Yang chuckled. "Way better than I expected. I knew you could do it."

"I… huh," Ruby blinked as the pain in her hand faded away. "I thought I couldn't."

"Man, Reid wasn't kidding. This training is way better than the one at Beacon," Her older sister said. "Hehe, maybe I should drop out and just train full-time here. Not a bad idea, eh?"

"You're gonna miss a lot of other stuff, though," Ruby said.

"Pfft the only thing I'll miss is my team," Yang rolled her eyes. "In fact, they're the only thing keeping me from actually dropping out."

"I can't tell if you're joking and that's very concerning."

"Well, it's not important right now," The blond cleared her throat. "Let's start the next part of our training, which is speed… actually, let's skip that. How about endurance?"

Ruby smiled as she saw how excited her sister was. She knew Yang always wanted to teach her martial arts, sometimes even disguising it as regular training by asking her while Crescent Rose is being repaired, or accidentally misplacing it.

It annoyed her at first, but Ruby couldn't help but look back at those times fondly. She loves her sister of course, seeing her happy made Ruby happy, so it was concerning whenever Yang showed that sad look.

"How's that gonna work?"

"Well...hm," Yang rubbed her chin. "I never thought that far ahead."

Ruby snorted in amusement.

"Oh, wait, I got it," She snapped her fingers. "Push-ups until you can't."

"Sure, I think I can do it."

As Ruby was about to get down, her scroll vibrated in her pockets, making her pause. She took out the device and smiled when she saw Reid's name. At first, she thought he'd be too busy to give her calls, but thankfully not. It warmed her heart to see him take her words this seriously - it made her feel butterflies in her stomach.

She was about to answer the call, but glanced at Yang and noticed the same sad look she had every time Reid was involved in something with her. Ruby frowned, having had enough of this. She'll get to the bottom of this right here, right now.

If Yang won't answer her after asking nicely, then she needs to be a little forceful. She learned that sometimes, being direct and blunt is the way to go

Sorry, Reid… She thought as she denied the call, glaring at her sister.

"Uh, you're not gonna answer that-?"

"Okay, what's wrong with you?" Ruby cut her off.

"Huh?"

"Why do you look so sad?"

"Ugh, Ruby I told you: I'm not sad-"

"Don't lie to me, Yang," Ruby's frown deepened. "You're my sister; I know you more than you think. I know when you're sad, angry, or happy."

Yang flinched, looking away uncomfortably.

"Every time Reid and I share a moment, you always look like you're about to cry," Ruby said softly. "Yang, I just want to understand you. Please talk to me."

"Ruby, let's just continue training," Yang said. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Well, I do," Ruby crossed her arms. "So we're not gonna do anything until you tell me."

Yang scowled. "Fine, I guess we're finishing early today. See you tomorrow."

Ruby blinked in surprise as the blond began walking away, unsure if she said the right thing. "Yang, stop. Let's talk this out."

She didn't reply, stomping over to the exit as Ruby followed after her. "Yang!"

Ruby quickly realized that words aren't gonna do much. She needed a way to get her attention, and what better way than literal magic?

Without a second thought, Ruby shot the door with an arrow made of light, successfully stopping her older sister in her tracks. Yang's eyes were wide as she turned to look at her little sister, not capable of processing what happened.

"What was that?"

"Magic," Ruby answered truthfully. "...Reid gave me a core a few days ago."

"You have magic?" Yang frowned. "And you never told me?"

"I was gonna," Ruby fidgeted. "I just didn't know how to. It's... complicated."

"Complicated how?"

"I'll tell you how a core is made," She hardened her gaze. "Only if you tell me what's been bothering you."

Thankfully, Yang didn't storm off this time, but still looked very uncomfortable. She turned her gaze away, unable to meet her sister's eyes. Ruby noticed the irony of this situation, as it usually happens in reverse.

"I just want to know," Ruby started. "Did I do something wrong? Did Reid do something wrong?"

"It's not that," Yang answered quietly.

"Yang," Ruby thought about her next question carefully, having had suspicions but never had the courage to ask until now. "Do you like Reid?"

Ruby noticed the signs; Yang would only show that look whenever Reid is involved and would intensify whenever he was affectionate with her, like kissing or cuddling. Ruby wasn't as dense as Yang thought her to be, but it took her a while to figure it out.

She wasn't fully sure, and even then, it was a frightening thought. Does that mean that every time Ruby showed her affection to him, Yang was hurting? Sometimes, even Reid would push her away and say something along the lines of 'people are watching'. Was he subtly telling her that and she didn't realize?

Ruby only felt guilt as she put herself in Yang's shoes. She didn't think she could handle it if she had to go through that, yet her older sister never once complained or tried to distance herself from Ruby, because she knew it'd make her sad.

Yang thought about Ruby before herself the whole time.

Her sister didn't answer, but the flinch made it very clear.

Ruby stepped forward and took Yang's hand. "I won't be mad at you. Please tell me the truth. I need to know."

"I…" Yang was forced to look at her sister's eyes, and under the pressure, she broke. "...yes, I do."

"I see," Ruby muttered. "I knew it."

"I'm sorry." She whispered, on the verge of tears. "I didn't mean to."

"It's okay. There's nothing wrong with it," Ruby smiled. "I'm a little happy that it's not because I made you mad and didn't know. I guess I'm just a little surprised."

Yang wiped the tears as she calmed herself down. "Don't worry about it. It's just a stupid crush that'll go away soon."

"Eh? But Yang-"

"Listen, Ruby. I don't want to ruin your relationship," Yang sighed. "You being happy is enough. I don't want anything more than that."

Ruby looked at her silently, shocked that her older sister would go so far. She'd hurt herself so much just to keep her happy? And she's satisfied with that?

"We can't do much about it," She smiled. "So let's just forget about all of this, okay? Trust me, it's for the best."

She took a moment to process her words before frowning deeply. "No."

Yang groaned. "Ruby please-"

"Shut up."

Yang clamped her mouth shut, flinching slightly.

"I don't know who gave you the idea that your happiness doesn't matter, but if I ever see them, I'm kicking their butt," Ruby growled. "You think everything is gonna be okay if you sacrifice this much for me?"

"I-I mean-"

"What if I don't want you to do it?" Ruby cut her off. "Ever thought about that? About how I feel?"

"Ruby-"

"D-do you think I'm okay with seeing you like this?!" Her voice shook a little. "Yang, I feel the same way as you do. Whatever makes you happy makes me happy! Seeing you suffering so much hurts me too."

Yang didn't reply.

With the knowledge of Yang's feelings alongside Reid's words a few days ago, Ruby finally made a decision she's sure of. The three of them were very close to each other - she knew this relationship won't break due to that. They'd hang out and train all the time, so what if they added 'kissing' or 'making love' to that list?

Ruby cannot in good conscience live while knowing she could've done something to help her sister but didn't. If it means sharing, then so be it, because she knew that this was the best way to make the two happy, without anyone being sad.

As for Reid… well, he's gonna be double happy.

"I know you've sacrificed so much for me over the years, and I'm really grateful for that," Ruby hugged her. "So let me do something for you at least just this once, okay?"

"What- what do you mean?"

"...T-the way Reid makes cores is really intimate. We did it right after our date," Ruby revealed, noticing how Yang tensed. "And if he's gonna give you one, then… w-we can share if you'd like."

Yang short-circuited, looking in shock at her sister to have offered such a thing. Ruby felt a little nervous under that gaze but understood why.

"A-are you out of your mind?!" Yang's eyes were wide as her heart skipped a beat. "I- just- look, I appreciate the offer, but do you know what this could mean?!"

"It's okay, I made my decision," Ruby looked up to meet Yang's eyes. "I'm sure of it."

"Ruby, it's fine. I've already accepted that I can't be with him," She tried to argue. "It's okay to be selfish. He's yours, you don't have to share."

"I am being selfish," Ruby said. "Knowing you're sad makes me sad, so if you're happy with him, then I'm happy too."

"What kind of ass-backward logic is that?!"

"I call it being selfishly selfless," She grinned. "You have no reason to reject this if I'm okay with it."

"W-what about him? What if he isn't fine with it?"

"He is."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Cuz he told me himself," Ruby answered simply. "It'll be alright, Yang. I'm really okay with it."

"I just," Yang looked lost. "...Don't know what to say."

"Like you said, it's okay to be selfish," She assured the blond. "So now it's your turn."

Yang took a moment to think, reciprocating the hug slowly as she smiled slightly.

"I guess if you're fine with it."

"That's what I've been saying the whole time," Ruby giggled. "I love you, Yang."

"I love you too, Ruby," She tightened the hug. "I love you too."

Ruby grinned, feeling genuine happiness that she managed to help her sister and get her out of her funk. It wasn't every day she got to do this, always seeing Yang as her hero when she was younger. It felt really nice to have her older sister finally lean on her for support.

She didn't know what the future holds, but she was confident that this three-way relationship is gonna work, and maybe in the future, she'll be fine with this harem idea that Reid presented. This could be like the trial version of it. If she liked it, then maybe more women mean more fun.

Ruby couldn't wait to see what face Reid will make when he comes back for this. He won't know what's coming~


I forgot to address this last chapter, but quite a bit of people want this to be single-pairing, which surprisingly feels flattering due to how some of the reviews are phrased. It means a lot of people love Reid and Ruby's chemistry and their relationship, meaning I'm actually writing decent romance.

Damn. Thanks a lot, guys.

Unfortunately, scrapping the harem idea means scrapping a lot of my plans, and I don't have the patience to rework everything. So thanks for the kind words, but I'm afraid it needs to be a harem.

If you want to chat with me, ask me about future plans, or see real art I paid for of my characters (Reid, Akane, Zenith), join the Discord server: (Discord . gg / wd3tUYWVCd) No spaces.

If you want to support me, here's my pat reon link: (Pat reon dot com / Mirlnir)