Ashen Eclipse

Chapter 02: The Archways

Volume 01: Start Again

Chapter 01: A single tick

Ah, my head. Why does it hurt? Trying to open my eyelids I quickly ran into a problem as my eyelashes seemed to have crusted over not allowing me to open them.



All the liquids sitting at the bottom of my stomach were pulled out as I felt a punch straight into the bottom of my stomach. I could not force my mouth closed as all the thick liquids flowed out accompanied by a small amount of blood dripping down all over my chest soaking my shirt. After a couple of seconds of retching out my stomach, the flow of liquids began to slow, and only small dribbles began to fall out the edges of my mouth.

Now squirming in pain trying to move my body I only now noticed that both my arms and legs were bound to what felt like a metal chair. I was about to open my mouth to try and speak out but before I could my mouth was grabbed by a large hand.

”No no no. This is not your time to talk. ” The voice of a man whispered into my ears as I felt their hot breath smack the edge of my left ear.

Who are these people? Don they know that I work for Atlas Corporation? They will not let one of their team leaders just die without hunting these people down. These were the things I wanted to shout out to try and buy some time for myself but could not as my mouth was trapped in the grasp of the man.

”Mikael Walker twenty-five years of age and an orphan since eight who quickly in the new era made a name for himself in the iron-tiered colosseum arenas at the age of twenty to pay back a rather large loan for yourself. Fighting to… Oh, look at this an impressive forty and zero battle record defeating even the strongest of iron-tiered players even when you had only been able to awaken to a mere copper-tiered player. Even with this record, you could not get a favorable contract for yourself forcing you to take a rather crappy contract as a small team leader under the small at the time Atlas Corporation barely scraping by with a single battle team that was not even your own. Impressive. With this record you could have even worked with us had we found you first but sadly we did not. ” This was the voice of an older man who seemed to be standing across the room speaking to me.




A hard slap made contact with the side of my face throwing my mind into a frenzy shaking my thoughts. My mind began drawing a blank as I could not even draw up a single thought to try and figure out a way to escape this situation. The only good thing that came out of this action was now my eyes were able to open but even as my eyelids broke open, I could barely gauge anything in the room as my vision seemed to be stained red.

”Ah, don kill him we still need to find out what information he knows. If we find it out, we can get an even larger payday holding the item as collateral. So, stop hitting him that way I can ask him some questions. ” The older mans voice rang out in the room.

As I tried to turn my head to peer at where the voice came from, I felt my head bobble once again as the large hand threw my mouth away from its grasp forcing the back of my neck into the head of the chair I had been sitting on.

”Ah! ”

I wanted to reach for the back of my neck to try and massage the pain, but the rest of my body would not budge from the straps that had me stuck in place.

”Good, you can still make sounds. I only need to ask you only one question anyways so it will be quick and if you answer well enough, we will give you a quick death. If you do not, we will slowly torture you until you tell us yourself anyways, so please do not lie because we will not allow you to die until we find it. ” The old mans voice rang out once again.

A couple of seconds passed as I slowly took in the words as I slowly lifted my head back forwards and once again tried to look towards where the old mans voice came from but found that I was only looking around a dark room where the only light source was directed downwards at me.

”It would not matter even if you could see us boy you would be killed afterward just like the rest of your team. So here is the question. Why would the Atlas Corporation want you dead and want something you earned from a quest? ” The old mans voice sounded out rather seriously now as he asked the question.

… My entire mind drew a blank as I thought about the words of the old man. My mind began to deviate from caring about the people in the room to thinking about why the corporation I helped build from a small business to a medium-sized corporation would try to kill me.

”NO! That can be true! I won believe you! ” I shouted out as I drew my vision away from the darkness where the old mans voice had sounded from and began to stare downwards toward the green and red floor that lay beneath me.

”HAHAHA! Do you really think they cared so much for someone who was merely a copper tier? Fine here look at this. ” The old mans voice laughed out.

*tink* *tink*


”We would like to confirm the hunting of Mikael Walker team leader of Iron guild Ferrin. If you understand, then please confirm. ” The voice of the old man broke out from below me.

Seeing this device, I immediately lifted my eyes to stare into the holographic screen that was now being projected in front of me. As my eyes finally made out the pictures on the screen I immediately froze.

”I understand and will pay sixty percent up front, but I would like to also have it show in the contract that any items that are found on the body of Mikael Walker are property of my Atlas Corporation. His body can be disposed of by any means your team finds convenient, but this order needs to be taken care of quickly as he is heading toward Feilr Citys safe zone. We have someone traveling with his team so we can have someone send you updated location information on them. ” These words could be seen coming out of the mouth of a single man. It was Lotri the CEO of the Atlas Corporation and the man I respected the most in both worlds.

I watched as the video shook up and down as if confirming the words Lotri had just stated. Nodding his head back I watched as Lotri began to sign the piece of paper that was placed before him on the wooden table.

Staring at the only person on the screen I watched as he signed my life away. We had known each other for five years and had even personally told me how he had thought of me as his own son.


The screen cut out and the small silver box just laid on the floor no longer making a sound. As I continued to stare at the small box, I could no longer think of anything as the only thing that repeated in my mind was the signing of the paper and the uncaring demeanor, he showed doing it.

Maybe I was nothing but a mere copper player to him. I began to tremble in anger at the thought of falling for such a façade for such a long time.

”So, boy you now know we are telling you the truth so why don you screw over that scamming bastard one last time before you die and give us the item. Tell me where you hid that obsidian tiered quests item? ” The old man sounded out once again.

Thinking about the words of the old man I began to think back.

| Previous Day |

”Team leader we did it! The gold-tiered quest we took gave us an unexpected harvest now we will be able to become famous and move up the ranks of the Atlas Corporation with this quest. ” A young man dressed in red silver armor began to jump around.

[Quest Completed]

[Forgotten Memories | Hidden Quest | Obsidian Tier]

[Reward: Small golden pocket watch]

Looking down at the palm of my hand I watched as a small golden pocket watch appeared. Trying to examine the item I flipped it back and forth in my hand but could not get any information on it.

[Item bonded to User [Mikael Walker].]

What is this? My eyes widened at the sudden notification.

”Oooh. Is that what we got from that hidden quest? It looks so pretty why don you let me hold it Team Leader until we get back to the headquarters at least I never get to do anything cool. ” A petite girl ran up from the back of the small encirclement of people waking me up from my shock.

Is this the girls first quest with us because I have never seen her before? Looking over at the girl I shook my head and then looked around.

Looking over the rest of my team members I noticed they all had rather relieved looks on their faces and were looking at me with a hint of joy but as I examined them closer, I noticed they were all rather beaten up and weary. Seeing this I placed the pocket watch into my pant pocket out of sight.

Patting the small girls head I turned to look at everyone before announcing to everyone, ”We should keep moving we were barely able to complete these quests no need for us to stay here any longer. We will follow Baron who will lead from the front as I overwatch from the rear. Once we get back to the safe zone, we will look over the spoils of our blood and tears. ”

Listening to my words the people standing around began to nod their heads before they slowly merged into a small movement formation. The only person that seemed to be hesitating was the petite girl who seemed to not be listening to my words and was staring at my pant pocket where the pocket watch was. As I noticed this, I turned back to her and clapped in her face to draw her attention.

*clap* *clap*

”I know you are new to the team, but this is standard procedure for us to go over everything when we get back to the safe zone that way, we do not get ambushed or lose anyone to thieves who stalk end quests. ” Hearing my words, the small girl seemed to snap out of her stupor making sure to grimace her face before she turned and jogged back to fill into the formation.

As everyone fell into position now, I turned and shouted, ”We are heading back to the city of Feilr. Move out! ”

Our small group slowly made our way through a dark dense forest running into low-level creatures, but my experienced group of copper and iron-ranked players quickly handled everything with the utmost efficiency. We traveled quickly and were closing in on the safe zone of the city before Baron halted the group.

”EVERYONE PREPARE FOR BATTLE! ” Baron shouted out from the front of the group.

Hearing his words everyone immediately started their battle preparations.

But it was too late…I watched as the sky began to redden.



| Present Time |

Recalling these events everything made sense now as to how we could so perfectly be ambushed. Ever since we completed that obsidian-tiered quest we were already set to be killed. All for the pocket watch…wait the pocket watch? My eyes widened as I recalled that the people had told me they had not found anything on my body.

As if responding to my reaction the old mans voice sounded out, ”Did you remember something? You know what we are looking for don you? We want that little shiny pocket watch you got from the quest. Tell us where you hid it. ”

Realizing what they wanted I began to think about where it may have been, but my eyes had blood flowing down from the top of my head dousing my face red. After all this time my vision and thoughts were beginning to become hazy.

That was when a message took up all of my vision.

[Chronos Pocket Watch: Activated]

[River of Time]

Activated? What did I activate? I tried to move my body, but it felt like it was stuck in thick water not allowing me to break free.


AHHHHHH! My head began to burn, and my entire body felt as if had begun to be pulled through a flowing river.

My vision went dark, and my mind went blank.

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