Around the same time I left town the woman who sealed my fate burst into the throne room out of breath. After I was thrown out yesterday she did some research to see if there had been similar cases in the past like mine. She ran across some text that referenced the exact same situation as mine that occurred two thousand years ago. The powers that he received shocked her, and set her into a panic. That is why she ran all the way back to the throne room.
“Your Highness, I made a horrible judgement call!!”, she said throwing herself on the floor, “We need that made on our side else our enemies will overwhelm us!!”
The King and his court looked at her a bit confused. Events from last night had all, but left the minds of the court. The only one’s who did remember where the other summoned people.
“You mean the man we threw out last night into the lake below?”, the red knight asked.
“YES!!!”, she said, “We need to bring him back at once!!! I realized my test weren’t working on him because of his skill!”
The King now vaguely remembering that asked what my skill was.
“He has the Skill of the Keeper.”, she said, “It is an extremely rare skill that has only ever been recorded once before.”
“This skill…what does it do?”, the yellow knight asked.
“Any skill that can be learned, inherited, or used he can start using within moments of being shown.”, she said, “For instance, if a master swordsman were to fight him by the end of the duel he could be on par with the swordsman. The skill doesn’t enhance anything like the other seven, but the fact he can use any skill after seeing it used once is dangerous. If our enemies find him they could easily turn him into a dangerous weapon. Think of the destruction a magician could wield if it only took a few days of training to master several different magic classes…he would be a force without equal, and could very easily walk in here to wipe us out. He may have already learned of his abilities if he was shown a skill.”
“I don’t see a difference between him, and a normal magician though…”, the blue knight said.
“Normally to become a Sage level Fire Magician takes easily forty years. At that point the magician is out of his physical prime, and only has that class of magic at his disposal. You would send a Water Magician of the same caliber to fight him, correct?”, she said.
“Yes.”, everyone agreed.
“In his case he would be in his prime using Fire Magic. If we sent a Water Magician to fight him he would simply switch magics, and overwhelm the magician we sent.”, she said, “He isn’t limited to spending forty plus years like a normal mage. He could master all the magic arts in as little as three months.”
Everyone snapped back into reality realizing the possibilities. If I were to wield a sword, and use magic very few people could match me. The King realizing the threat ordered everyone out to find me. They were given strict orders not to use force as I may gain that particular skill they would use on me. Magician’s stationed in the castle informed all the border crossings of my description, and that I was to be taken alive. Meanwhile I was making good progress towards the border.
Since leaving town I had travel several miles after finding a small creek that was flowing in the direction I needed to go. I had made a small makeshift raft to float down stream faster than I could walk. In the process I managed to earn several skills apparently such as Gathering, Survival, and Shipwright. The whole skill earning pop up was really starting to wear on me, but I was relieved to be relaxing as I floated away. By the time it was around noon a road came into view that spanned the stream via a bridge. There were several guards, and the red knight from the prior.
“Shit! I thought she said this crossing was a days ride from town…how did they beat me here!!!”, I thought to myself as I pulled me makeshift raft out of the water.
I quickly hid in the trees to evade them. Quietly as I could I attempt to circle around them, but there was another bridge cross a deep gorge. There was no other way of crossing that I could see except climbing down, and out the other side. As I was surveying the area I was spotted by one of the guards.
“There he is!!”, he shouted pointing at me.
As the guards by the second bridge charged me I drew my sword to block an oncoming attack.
“You idiots!! I told you to take him peacefully at all costs!!”, she said throwing her helmet aside.
The words “Swordsmanship Skill Learned” appeared as the swords made contact. I started slashing around trying to work my way to the bridge. Each time I hit them or their weapons I got a level up just like the hammer hitting the metal last night. The longer the fight drew on the better my skills seemed to get even though I hadn’t picked up a sword before. Even though my sword skills improved I was getting exhausted quickly without a meal in almost a full day I was starving. I knew I had to end this fight quickly, and run across the bridge. With one hard swing I managed to blow the men back far enough to make a run across the bridge.
As I started running across the bridge I felt something was following me, and at a high rate of speed. I turned around to see a small fireball headed straight for me. The only thing I could do was hit the deck which is exactly what I did. As the fireball flew passed me the words “Fire Magic Learned” also appeared. Not wanting to stick around any longer than I had to I attempted to use a spell.
“Fireball!”, I shouted pointing my sword at them.
A fireball ten times the size of the one I dodged flew out of my sword, and collided with the dumbstruck guards. Using this opportunity I took off across the bridge, and lit it on fire to stop pursuers from following me. When it was burning at a good rate I took off into the forest on my side of the bridge leaving the injured guards behind.
“You idiots!!”, the red knight said falling to her knees, “You did nothing, but attack him the moment you spotted him. Now he is sure not to join our cause anymore. He has also set the bridge ablaze so where is the next crossing?”
“Five days ride in either direction.”, the magician said, “Ten days in total to reach that spot on the other side.”
“Damn it!!”, she swore, “He will be long gone by then!!”
As there was no longer a border crossing to protect the red knight ordered the men back to the castle. The men gathered on a magic circle engraved in stone as they were told. A short magic chant later the guards, and knight were teleported into the throne room. She wasted no time in making the men kneel by force.
“The Eighth Hero is gone! These men attacked him against your orders, and ended up giving him Swordsman and Fire Magic skills.”, she said bowing her head to the King.
“You informed them not to, correct?”, the King asked.
“Of course your majesty!”, she replied.
“Then there is no choice, but to have the executed for crimes against the kingdom!”, the King ordered.
They were immediately dragged out of the throne room, and hung by their necks off the highest point on the castle. She immediately informed everyone of the event while I continued to make my way further from the border. I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going the only thing I had going on in my mind was to flee the scene. After running for fifteen minutes or so I had to stop to catch my breath. I looked behind me, and waited to see if anyone followed me. When no one appeared I decided to find a place to camp for the night so I didn’t sleep under a tree.
I picked a level spot on the side of the mountain. The top would be extremely windy which could blow a tree down on me. The bottom was no better because the night-time cold air would freeze me to death. Middle of the slope made the most sense to me so that is where I made camp. I gather a bunch of long poles to make a brush shelter with. Lots of leaves, pine branches, and moss made my roof water proof. I gather a lot of pine branches to make a bed for the night so I could have a comfy bed. The last step was to gather a lot of firewood, and start a fire with the magic I learned.
I gathered some water in some shattered pottery I found, and used it to boil myself something to drink. As the sun started to set I climbed into my shelter for the night. Looking down the slope I saw many lights in the forest below. As I looked longer it became apparent it was a village hidden away from prying eyes.
“I wonder why they hiding themselves. Are they bandits or just people that want to keep to themselves.”, I thought.
I went to bed thinking I would check the village out in the morning. As the night went on I heard noise coming from down below, but it wasn’t headed towards me so I didn’t mind it. Around 1am an ea piercing howl ran through the area causing a chill to run up my spine. I heard shouting coming from the village, and the sound of fighting could clearly be heard. Looking down the hill I saw the villagers with torches fighting off what appeared to be werewolves.
“Do I help them or not?”, I thought, “If I help it could make a good impression on the villagers. The flip side was I would be putting my neck on the line, and it could possibly kill me.”
The fact I was in another world had become quite apparent as I laid freezing under the tree two days ago. I died once already, and really didn’t want to die a second time as it may be permanent this time. As I was thinking I heard the sound of panicked families screaming, and crying from fright. Looking back at the village several villagers were on the ground bleeding out. I saw the men desperately trying to fight the werewolves off, but they were losing the fight.
“Damn it!”, I thought getting out of my bed, “I can’t watch this, and not help them.”
I made a torch quickly out of nearby materials, and ran down the hill to help them out. My hope was I could make it in time to help them before they all got slaughtered.