The 2nd chapter of my ongoing WebNovel series called “The God of Lyn”. Well, technically first, since the “first one” was prologue, but you … well, get it, I guess. At the bottom, you can find a roughly sketched map of the continent, and I’ll fill it in as I get deeper into the story. This chapter is a bit longer (~3k words), but oh well. Feedback appreciated.
THE WINGED BECKONS
“Alas, all living must one day bow to the dead.” – H.R. Wrath, Year 312 of Moon-Lyn Calender
From the information he had prior to entering the world of Lyn, and from what he learned as he spoke to the villagers, he was currently stationed on the continent of Laar, lore-wise dedicated to the younger sister of Lyn. The continent was home for four different Kingdoms and twelve different races, all varying in numbers, most of which were humans. The Kingdom of Ashland was to the far North and it encompassed mostly rural areas with high dosage of mountain rings, and was home to humans in greatest number, with High Elves, Doomed Elves and Mutated coming in behind them. It was the second largest Kingdom size-wise, and it boosted high military force. The Kingdom of Weer was beneath it, stretching throughout central part of the continent and towards the West. Its geography mainly listed vast, agricultural fields and platinum mines, and was home primarily to H’ans, sub-race of humans that had developed high affinity for magic. Most of the exotic fruits and linen came from within the Kingdom, and although its military strength ranked the lowest in numbers, because of their affinity for magic, no one dared invade them for the past one hundred years. What Eon found curious about the Kingdom is that it prohibited entrance for every non-human class, excluding Fallen, as even there the race is considered one of the High Races of the Continent and is given a lot of benefits.
The Kingdom of Men, occupying remaining central parts of the continent, stretching to the East and Southeast, was best known for its economical strength, as their banking systems seemed to be far more advanced than any other Kingdom. Estimated number of gold mines still being excavated is in the high thousand and, as the name suggests, it’s primarily inhabited by humans, although racial toleration is rather high, with only race of Demons being prohibited from entering. Its military strength, at least in numbers, ranks first, but since most of their military force is composed of Knights, they don’t consider themselves the strongest. The Kingdom is currently ruled by princess Ashal, the only Magus of Archmage status in the entire Kingdom, and it seems she’s currently looking for a King, to further strengthen the Kingdom.
The Kingdom Eon found himself in was called The Kingdom of Lost, occupying most of the southern parts of the continent. It doesn’t have and distinct geographical features, as it encompasses both vast fields, forests and mountain rings. The racial toleration is at its highest as every race is allowed to live within the borders, and the numbers exchange on weekly basis. It is also the only Kingdom that’s currently without the monarch, as two sons of the previous king are currently battling over the throne. Dusk Village is placed on the far Southern parts of the Kingdom and is just one of the hundreds of small villages that run by the Southern border. Apparently, most of the exotic things are imported from other Kingdoms, but The Kingdom of Lost did boost the highest wine, ale and seeds production. Its military strength, both in numbers and value, has always been bottomed, and the only reason why it was never invaded was because of the geographical position of the capital, Downfae, as it was built inside three mountain rings, making it impossible to invade successfully without large losses.
Of the gear Eon started with, nothing really stood out. He wore simple, iron armor with leather gauntlets, and had a two-handed claymore as his designated weapon. Its attack seemed rather low, barely at ten per hit, but because it had innate Cleave ability, it seemed good for the larger groups of enemies. He started with no additional items save for the book titled The Fallen, which had basic information of his race. According to it, there are no more than fifteen Fallen currently inhabiting the world. Eon found that rather strange as he thought a lot more players would choose the race simply because of its visual flair if nothing else. This further led him to believe that he’s no longer within the game.
As he pondered all the information he had gotten over a rather shitty wine, he noticed guard Hawk, a nineteen year old boy, running towards him, fear across his face.
“My Lord,” he panted as he reached him. “Please, come with me.”
“What’s the matter?” Eon asked, curious.
“The tax collectors from the nearby village are here,” he said. “Despite the fact that we’ve already paid our taxes this month.”
“Why are you paying taxes to another village in the first place?”
“Well … because …”
“I understand,” Eon said as the boy stuttered. What could they do with two guards anyway? “Let’s welcome them then.”
Eon followed the boy out and, in the near distance, he noticed three people walking down the road towards them. They all had rather average iron armors and were of human race, without any other distinctive features. From what Eon felt, their levels didn’t go beyond three, but what surprised him the most were their stats – they were terrible. Even as level one, Eon had better stats across the board, including defense and HP. Their average strength was at whooping eight, which nearly had him burst out in laughter at the mere prospect that these men were about to threaten him. No one’s HP surpassed one hundred and two of the three had their intelligence below one. As they approached and noticed Eon, they suddenly froze. Of course they felt the difference in strength, Eon realized. After all, his strength was at one hundred eleven, and even if they had one hundred men, they would still be cautios of him.
“Wh—who the hell are you?!” one of the men shouted from the distance. “Why does a shitty Dusk Village have a Fallen?” they also seemed to have immediately known his race, despite the fact that his kin should be extremely rare.
“Tell your leader,” Eon said, slightly bored. He was hoping there would be a fight, mainly because he wanted to test his strength. However, from the looks of it, it’s going to be awhile until he’s actually challenged. “That the Dusk Village is currently under the domain of Lord Clay, and that if he dares approach it again, he will know the Lord’s wrath.” he said in his most threatening voice, almost blushing with embarrassment upon even uttering those words. Anger flickered on their faces and Eon knew they wished to retaliate, but the basics of fear kicked in before they had a chance.
They turned around robustly and walked away. He knew that wasn’t the last of them, so he turned to the villagers that had all gathered behind him, including Hawk and Lye.
“It is a high time we made an entrance, don’t you think?” he smiled. “Lye, what do we have of supplies?”
“Mostly food and water my Lord,” Lye was slightly older than Hawk and had more mature air about him, as he mostly remained silent. “We do have some oil and cloth stocked up.”
“Women and children will encamp at the clearing on the other side of the village,” Eon said, looking towards the small rise at the other side. According to Hawk, it was a spot where people would go to drink in peace. “Hawk, assemble a group of fifteen men and bring shovels. Lye, gather all oil and cloth you have and bring me empty bottles. The rest of men, start chopping the trees down and start building spikes and further wait for my instructions.”
“Yes, my Lord!” villagers said in unison and scattered about. The only one that remained beside him was Lye, who still seemed rather curious about what was Eon’s plan. “Something on your mind Lye?”
“Ah, forgive me my Lord,” the young man stuttered. “I was just wondering what was your plan.”
“Was it simply a case of defending the village, I’d have done it all by myself,” Eon said confidently. “However, most people here lack the mindset that’s necessary to survive. We must all learn how to fend for ourselves, without relying on other people’s help.”
“Thank you for explaining it to the lowlife like me, my Lord.” Lye bowed down humbly. Despite the fact that Eon enjoyed the status, he was also slightly annoyed at the sheer lack of confidence within these people.
“You aren’t a lowlife, Lye,” Eon said, surprisingly gently. “None of you are. Well, maybe when compared to me you are,” he added out of habit. “But, within the next week, I’ll prove to you that strength doesn’t come from the name or race.” Lye simply looked at him, dumbfounded, at lack for words. “Now, stop looking like an idiot and do what I asked of you.”
“Ah, forgive me. Of course my Lord.” the boy ran off, and Eon was left alone at the village’s entrance.
The nightfall was just around the corner, but he wasn’t worried much about it. He estimated it would take the other village a day or two to completely assemble their forces and march over to attack. If all their soldiers were of similar levels like those three, it wouldn’t really be much of a battle. The only one he was worried about was their leader, since perhaps he could have better stats than the rest.
Hawk returned with fifteen men, all carrying shovels, awaiting Eon’s commands. He told them to dig ditches, one meter deep, at both sides of the road, two meters wide. Although men seemed confused by his request, they did as told and quickly got to work. He asked for ten ditches at each side, and they had to be done before the dawn would set in. While they dug, Eon built armatures out of straws and wood to cover ditches and mask them, and, when he was done, Lye brought a small barrel of oil, ten pieces of white cloth and twenty empty bottles. Should be enough, Eon thought and began building low-budget bombs of his own world: Molotov cocktails, after confirming that the oil was flammable. He planned on using one, maybe two, just to scare them, and leave the rest for the future, more difficult battles.
Alongside that, he built dozen of simple slingshots to give to other men so they can fight, and as the other large group of men began bringing in chopped pieces of the wood, he began building spiked barricades, just outside the gates and atop of the low, wooden walls, just in case the other village had horses.
Before long, his whole plan had come to a fruition, and, as most men went back to their homes to get a deserved sleep, he looked at his creation. Some ditches were uneven, but he couldn’t really blame them as it didn’t look like they did it before. Truthfully, he wished for deeper ones, but he knew they didn’t have that much time or workforce, but the shallow ones should do the job. Spikes, alongside providing defenses against the cavalry, also acted as a scare method, and he wished he could have built at least a single ballista behind them, but that would have also taken a long time, and he doubted there was anyone in the village who could actually wield them. When men woke up, midway through the day, he had finished building additional thirty slingshots, and had began giving them out. He gathered everyone at the central part of the village and showed them how to use the slingshots. Because his crafting wasn’t the greatest, the slingshots had rather low range, barely at ten meters, and attack power was a whooping two, almost making him cry. It wouldn’t do any true damage, but at least it should be able to slow down the advance. Most men seemed rather enthusiastic about finally fighting back, and he had hoped to teach them archery shortly after the battle ends, since he can’t use any of the long ranged weapons. It seems that some game-restrictions still applied to this world as well.
The enemies’ forces came fifty strong two days later. Although some had iron armor, most had either leather or even cloth armor, and aside from some swords and axes, most had blunt weapons. They didn’t have any horses or any siege weapons. Eon almost felt embarrassed by how much he prepared for this, but he didn’t regret it. He hoisted some men at the walls and some deeper into the village, equipped with slingshots, he himself, alongside Hawk and Lye, standing at the very entrance. They didn’t seem to have noticed ditches, but did seem confused by the random spikes. As for the strength of enemy forces, it was even worse than he predicted. Aside from seven who wore decent armor, all other exchanged between level one or two, no one’s strength passing four. And the man he was worried about the most, although better than the rest, was still laughably weak. He was level seven, with strength at sixteen and HP and two hundred and fifty. The only special thing about him was the longsword he had, illuminating Eon’s eyes because he found a decent upgrade.
“Listen, you two,” he said to the two boys who started shaking out of fear. “When I knock them down, you stab them and kill them. And, don’t worry, I’m not letting anyone from our side die out here, you got it?”
“Y-yes my Lord!” the boys replied with hesitation, but seemed to have stopped shaking. Eon suddenly felt a visceral surge of odd feeling within him, and, much like prompts in video games, his head was briefly filled with Basic Leadership. So this is how the acquisition of abilities works here, he noted, smirking. The enemy’s leader stepped in front of everyone else, stopping at around ten meters away from Eon.
“So you are the rumored Fallen,” he said, trying his best to hide his fear. “What are Gods thinking, giving one to the back-row, shitty Dusk Village. Have they finally gone mad?”
“Well, you can either blame your Gods while pissing your pants, or just admit you suck. Doesn’t matter either way.” Child Taunt – Eon barely held back laughter when the ability popped up in his head. What’s worse, it seemed to have worked, as the leader seemed rather flustered by his declaration.
“Men, charge!” the leader yelled out in a battle cry, and Eon prepared himself for the very first battle within this world.
Well, to call it a battle might be a slight exaggeration. The enemy force had no strategy and they blindly just charged forward, in the large group. After throwing a single cocktail, he had already killed twenty or so men, as the rest scattered in screams. He heard gasps of men behind him, and two guards next to him seemed bewitched by the magic he has showed them. Realizing that it’d be a waste to simply keep throwing them, he decided one would be enough. Shortly after, around ten enemy soldiers fell into ditches, and after Eon beheaded their leader in one swing, they seemed to have lost their morale. Chasing them, thirty minutes later, he had won. Out of fifty or so soldiers, forty-two were killed and three were captured, while some managed to escape.
Summarizing the battle, Eon had gained four levels and three abilities. Four levels meant that he can put eight stat points into anything he wished it seems, and he split it between agility and strength. Strength rose to one hundred and fifteen and agility at thirty six. Hawk and Lye seemed to have gained some levels as well, and were now both level nine, while even some villagers stationed at the gates, firing of slingshots, gained a level or two. Of the abilities, he gained Intimidation, causing all wild beasts beneath his level to never attack him out of their own will, Warrior’s Soul, which boosted his attack by five percent when he fights alongside his allies, and he felt as if the ability’s level can be increased further and, finally, his second active ability, Singular Strike, which enhanced his next swing, causing it to always critically strike, dealing triple the damage. As Fallen didn’t use mana, he could cast the ability indefinitely, since it had rather short cooldown period of four seconds. Of the items, as he thought, the most valuable was the leader’s longsword. It was a simple, steel-forged sword which he probably stole from someone, but it had decent durability and base attack of twenty-eight, far above any other weapon he had encountered so far.
The villagers quickly assembled and threw a large party, rejoicing over their victory. He took the best items for himself as well as some copper coins he found, planning to distribute the rest to others. Tomorrow, he thought, he’d begin building a small military force with volunteers.
“You are truly amazing, my Lord,” Hawk and Lye joined him, spirited looks on their faces. “On the behalf of everyone here, we thank you.” Hawk said, bowing his head, Lye doing the same.
“It is only the beginning,” Eon said, smiling. “So don’t celebrate too hard.”
“O-of course, my Lord!”
“Also, there’s something that’s been on my mind. How did you know my name before I even introduced myself?”
“Ah,” Hawk said, smiling. “Two or three days prior to your arrival, a wandering priest came to our village and told us that, soon, a Fallen would descend from the far Heaven Skies, and lead us to greatness, and that his name is Clay Longsun. We didn’t believe at first, of course, but when we saw you in that field, we immediately knew who you were.” What? Eon was baffled. After all, someone knew what he would name himself before even Eon knew. He held back his surprise, but this prompted more questions than it gave answers.
“Do you know who the priest is or where can I find him?” Eon asked.
“I’m afraid not, my Lord,” Hawk said apologetically. “He didn’t say his name and he stayed only for a short few minutes. He was cloaked, so we didn’t even get to see his face. Forgive us.”
“No worries then,” Eon said. “Let us celebrate this first, of many, victories.”
“Yes, my Lord!”
Eon had found himself asking a lot of questions, but found it ultimately pointless, as he innately knew he couldn’t get any answers by blindly guessing. Whoever that priest was, he’s somehow connected to whatever has happened to him, but since there was no way to track him down, Eon decided not to dwell on it. He decided that, after establishing more guards within the village, and training some men, he’ll have to venture out and make connections with other nearby villages, charting the map to his slow but steady rise to power.