Ashen Eclipse

Chapter 05: Awakening

Volume 01: Start Again

Chapter 04: Fateful Encounter

As I took several steps away, I stopped before turning back to look once more at the large Rockman. Thinking for a couple of seconds I turned back and walked back to the pair.

”Excuse me. ” Standing behind the pair I spoke out.

Hearing the voice come from behind them the two turned back and now seeing me again looked a little confused after having watched me walk away.

”I already checked you in so you can go? ” The man spoke out as his face looked a little annoyed seeing that I didn seem to understand what he had said before.

”Yes, I know but what are the benefits the army can provide if you don mind me asking? ” I spoke out to the pair.

Listening to my question the two looked at each other before they both laughed.

”Hahaha. Boy if you are thinking the government will just pick up anyone then you are very wrong. Anything under the silver tier is almost nonexistent for any good position in the army. So, if you do not even have that then you should go outside and look for a small fry that can sign you with them ” He chuckled to me.

”Also, since you are an undead race there are very few large corporations that will take you in as they will see you as having no growth potential as you will eventually be hunted by the church of life. So, I think it will be best if you find somewhere small to join. ” The woman joined in.

I looked between the two and then nodded my head. ”I understand. ” Responding to the pair I walked away now without looking back.

How annoying I did not really want to join anyways but getting such a response is annoying as I only wanted to know at what stage the current governments were recruiting. Seeing their attitudes, it seems there are no large territory wars yet. Anyways now I need to go to the Willow Library to get my basic skills and awaken my stats. After that, I can start looking for a place to settle down so I can start leveling. Continuing towards the front of the building I opened the wooden doors and then stepped out.

Outside the large tower that was usually the center of all cities, it was in; I was met by the warm and bright sensation of the hanging sun. This sensation never got old as back in our own world we lived underground so there was no warmth of the sun or the cool sensation of the passing wind only the light buzzing of the overhanging lights.

Standing in place for a couple of seconds I took in the beautiful sky and then turned to walk to the edge of the large walkway that connected the tower with the same checkpoints that had appeared back home, but this one was different as instead of lines with army soldiers there stood a large dome shield that encompassed the entire tower. Only those screened could get through as these were the security measures against foreign travelers from other countries as anyone could travel around this world and use the archways to sneak into a new country.

As I neared the exit for the individuals exiting the tower a group of soldiers was also set up here keeping watch over the group of people leaving including myself. Leaving the dome, I saw the groups of people holdings signs and pieces of paper issuing their teams requirements for all to hear. There were also several large booths set up for the rather large corporations that had several people working them screening prospective new players.

Dodging all these people I passed right by. This was not too hard of a task for an undead player such as myself as many teams did not want to include such a race as all church-related quests are automatically voided with me on their team.

Continuing out of the park that resembled the one which I came from I stepped into a large square that connected the front of the park to a cross of cobblestone streets. I watched as on these streets many people walked around in groups wearing different armor and robes carrying around exotic weapons of all colors.

It is just like I remember it. I need to hurry to the library that way I can get my skills and check my stats. Walking down the crowded streets I seemed to stick out like a sore thumb as many of the passing players were scanning me as they passed. The undead race was always rather rare to see anywhere in this world even rare among NPCs. This continued all the way down a couple of streets until I finally made my way in front of a large wooden building that had pillars lining the outer perimeter of the building making it look ancient.

On the gate outside the building was a plaque labeled [Willow Library]. Seeing this sign, I nodded and then continued through the front gates into a large courtyard that had a stone path that lead to the buildings front entrance. Before the entrance was a couple of people in black cloaks heading down the front stairs talking to each other but what drew my eyes to them were the shiny crests that they wore on their cloaks.

A ruby and diamond-tiered player? What are they doing here only low leveled players come here to check their beginner stats and get their skills? Especially since this is such a small city in the first place there should not be any players of this magnitude here as the larger cities usually have bigger libraries for all levels and classes. Seeing these people my thoughts began to churn as I knew from experience that these tiers of people were really rare to encounter outside of special locations in large cities or high-leveled zones in the wilderness.

As the two people got closer to me, I could feel something looming around their bodies that my body seemed to be attracted to. Noticing this I stopped in place allowing the pair to enclose on my position but as they got closer, I noticed that one of them stopped and looked directly at me before they could pass.

The player that stopped was the ruby-tiered player who was wearing a white bamboo hat that had a thin red veil hanging down the entire brim of the hat hiding the facial features of the player. Their gender would have been impossible to tell if it had not been for the long black hair that flowed out the back of the veil.

Seeing this action, the man wearing the black mask that stood beside the woman also halted and began to look between the woman and me.

Seeing that the woman was no longer walking and solely focusing on me I decided to not bother with whatever I had felt before and began to attempt to walk past the duo. But before I could even take a single step past the pair the woman took an almost undetectable sidestep in front of me stopping my advance in its tracks. Luckily, I was able to catch myself before I completed my step, or I would have been breathing into the thin fabric in front of the womans face.

”My lady? ” The tall mask-wearing man reached one of his hands behind his back.

”No stop. ” Holding out her thin white hand in front of the masked man the woman spoke out with a crystal-clear voice.

Seeing this action by the woman the masked man nodded his head before he brought his hands back to his side and then seemed to lose all interest in watching me as his gaze was drawn to the front gates where other players were entering and passing our small group on the path towards the library.

”You seem to be a seedling. Have you signed with any organization yet? ” The woman spoke out speaking directly to me.

As I heard this question, I could not help but look a little shocked as I did not expect to be asked such a question in front of the library. But quickly getting my wits back I immediately calmed myself down.

”Not yet I am here to receive my skills, ” I responded coolly.

”Oh, it seems like you know quite a bit about everything seeing as you have not signed anything before coming here to receive your skills. A good seedling indeed. Very interesting. How would you like to join me after you are done? ” The woman spoke out nonchalantly.

Hearing these words not only made me shocked but also the masked man as we both took a small step backward after hearing the offer the woman had just given was a rather big deal for any player much less a new player such as myself. The offer by the woman was like an open invitation to be interviewed and scouted.

Not knowing how to respond the three of us stood in silence in the middle of the courtyard. Redrawing my thoughts, I tilted my head and began to think. I think any other person would have jumped at this opportunity, but I am not looking for something to tie myself to yet.

Thinking up to this point I looked directly at the red fabric where I thought the womans eyes would be and responded, ”How about we discuss everything after I see my skills and awaken my stats. ”

Hearing my response, the woman began to chuckle lightly to herself before she sidestepped out of my way.

”Go ahead you seem rather confident even after seeing our crests so we will wait for you out here. ” After stating these words, the woman walked off the walkway and continued further into the courtyards side areas where tables and ponds were situated. Without any other actions, the masked man followed closely next to the woman making sure to not leave her side.

I did not expect the woman to stay I only said that so she could be the one to leave and not force me to decline someone who seemed to have a backing. I just expected her to give me some contact information or blow me off entirely as she has yet to even see my crest as all crest tiers can come to this library to get their skills and awaken their stats. Thats why I came to this one specifically. Watching the woman leave to sit off to the side I could not help but shake my head at the absurd situation that I was in.

Shaking this off I walked down the pathway and up the small staircase that led up to the main entrance of the library. Stepping into the building the smell of thousands of books hit me right in the nostrils. The libraries in every city had always been my favorite locations as the smell and atmosphere had always relaxed me.

”Welcome to the Willow Library. Are you a new player or returning player? ” A small rat-looking man with large golden glasses that stretched across his large protruding nose greeted me.

”New player, ” I responded having to look down at the small rat man.

”Good, good. My name is Darwin Monroe you can follow after me and I will get everything situated for you today. ” The small rat-like man turned on his heels and began to scurry through the large center aisle of bookshelves.

Following behind the small rat-like man he quickly brought me to a small room where a single book could be seen through the doorway laying on a stone pedestal at the center of the room.

”As it is still early, and we do not have too many players yet so you may come indirectly. This book here is called The Pendulum. After you place your crest on this book it will not only awaken your starter abilities, but it will also awaken your stats that way you can start leveling. ” The rat-like man Darwin stepped into the room and began to move towards the large book at the center of the room.

Pretending to be shocked I nodded my head at the words of Darwin acting like someone who had seen the most amazing thing in the world.

Seeing my expression Darwin seemed to be satisfied. Darwin then grabbed ahold of my boney arm and began to drag me towards the pedestal.

”Okay, you may start whenever youd like but I must wait outside before you begin. So, I will wait for you outside. ” After bringing me to the pedestal Darwin quickly instructed me before he scurried out of the room shutting the wooden door behind himself.

He is quite the character. Anyways this is where everything begins. Taking out my crest from my pant pocket I admired its color and texture for the first time as I had never once seen a jade crest before even in my last life.

It was hard fighting the urge to immediately take this out, but I could not help but think back to all those people who revealed their crests without having any backgrounds who were immediately hunted down. If you did not accept the first offer you were given you were most likely marked, then killed silently as others would see you as competition or a threat against foreign territories. Pushing these thoughts to the side I brought the white jade crest before the large book and placed it on the top.

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