3 A Scheming Child
The first of three paths I was presented with the option to choose was The Necromancer Path. This was to say that Necromancy was a part of Dark Arts, which I specialized in. And so, regardless of whichever path I chose, I was obviously going to learn the abilities of Necromancy. And that was my ticket to OP status.
Well, here's how.
The next day, at breakfast, a quest menu appeared in front of me. It seemed like no one except me could see the menu as neither my mom nor my siblings reacted in any way to it.
That was something to be relieved about but more importantly, the quest that had appeared stated:-
[The God Path - Quest 1: "Kill 10 dark wolfs in a day" has arrived]
[This quest has two rewards]
I almost choked when I read that. I mean, yes, I knew it was going to be hard but not that hard.
Adult dark wolves were as big as bears and had black skin and fur. Sometimes, dark wolves with brown fur were found but they were rare. And these creatures were famous (or infamous) for three things - extremely sharp senses, extreme thirst for violence, and the strength in their body (which could make an African Lion feel shy).
To put it into better perspective, a single dark wolf generally needed three decent swordsman to take it out. And there I was - a 5 years old kid with barely any experience in fighting.
How was I supposed to defeat 10 of them?
It looked like it'll be impossible, didn't it? But, it wasn't. It was, in fact, quite easy.
I just needed to somehow acquire 2 gold coins.
In order to acquire them, I went to a merchant I knew and made a deal with him.
"Give me 2 gold coins today and I'll return you 3 tomorrow." I told him so.
"Yeah, whatever, kid!"
He, obviously, dismissed it as childish blabber at first but then I kept nagging him for a while and he understood that I was serious about it. Therefore, he gave me 2 gold coins and said that he would ask my mother to repay them if I don't.
I figured that's how it would go from the start so I wasn't surprised.
The next thing I did was go to the adventurer's guild and ask them to post a quest to kill 2 dark wolves, with the reward being those 2 gold coins. At first, they also thought it was childish blabber but convincing them was easier as I could make up a story like 'my elder brother is ill so he asked me to come here and post the quest'. Also, when they saw that the gold coins I was carrying were real, they thought it must have been given to me by that sick elder brother of mine and so they accepted the quest thinking my made-up story to be true.
Pretty soon after that, a party of adventurers came and took the quest. For any party of new adventurers, a quest like that would have been a great opportunity as, despite being quite strong, when overwhelmed with great numbers, a dark wolf can fall pretty easily. If you had 7-8 decently capable people in your party, killing a dark wolf would be a breeze. Also these wolfs, especially the ones found near the city I lived in, didn't like being in packs so when you find one, it would probably be alone and there will be very little chance of a second one emerging from somewhere.
Henceforth, that party was quite happy taking that quest of mine. As soon as they left the adventurer's guild though, I started following them. I followed them for two hours straight before they finally decided to head out.
It took another half an hour to finally find a dark wolf. I had followed them very stealthily so they didn't know they were being followed. But, the dark wolves, as they have great senses, could sense me pretty easily.
Fortunately for me, the numbers and hostility emanating from the adventurers, who immediately threw their bags and got ready to fight, kept its attention and so I wasn't harmed. I wasn't about to return the favor though. I stepped out of hiding and threw a rock at the wolf.
To those 8 idiots, it might have looked like a scared child trying to hurt the thing he is scared of. The purpose, however, was to make the adventurers all nervous at the 'sudden' appearance of this little child and make protecting that little child their first priority.
They did just as I predicted and covered me with a defensive formation. That gave me the chance to get to the bags they had thrown away to make fighting easier. I quickly salvaged through it.
There were a set number of things that adventurers were asked to carry at all times. One of them was a potion to repel monsters, and one was a potion to attract them. I was after the one that would attract them. Actually, I was after both of them but the attracting potion needed first.
As soon as I found it, I sprayed it all over the place. In fact, I threw the whole bottle with precise aim right under the wolf's feet so it breaks and the whole potion spills, which obviously increased the effect it had.
One or two of the adventurers noticed what I did but as the monsters started rapidly approaching the place we were in, they had to focus on them.
That gave me the chance to spill more of that. Then, I took a few bottles of the repelling potions and ran away. When some monsters tried to chase me, I drowned myself in repelling potions and so they stopped chasing me and started hurrying towards where the attracting smell was coming from.
That place soon became a bloodbath. I couldn't stick around to see the whole mess but from what I later heard, monsters after monsters came there and overwhelmed the adventurers. Those 8 died, obviously. But, it didn't stop there. The potion continued its work for a long time, attracting hordes of monsters to that spot. That led to the monsters killing each other. It kept escalating to the point that the guild had to issue an emergency quest to all adventurers to team up and stop it.
All in all, it took two days for the whole situation to calm down. However, my purpose was fulfilled that day itself. In that bloodbath that had happened, more than 10 dark wolves had been killed. And since I was responsible for that incident, the system recognized that as me killing those monsters. Henceforth, the quest was completed.
[The God Path - Quest 1: "Kill 10 dark wolfs in a day" has been completed]
[Your quest rewards have arrived]
There were two rewards. And both were very helpful.
[Quest Reward No. 1: 10 gold coins]
That reward allowed me to pay the 3 gold coins I had to give to that merchant. It also allowed me to use the same strategy again as I still had left 7 gold coins.
[Quest Reward No. 2: Ability "Necromancy (Rank D)"]
That was the first Dark Art ability I had learned. And it opened the door to becoming a master at quickly rising to top of it.
As soon as I gained that ability, I ran back to 'the sight of the bloodbath'. As it was still the very day that it all had started, things were pretty messy and I couldn't risk going back much deeper. Good for me that I didn't need to go deeper anyway. All I needed was to find the corpse of a monster.
I had checked the ability's description and it went like this –
[Necromancy (Rank D)]
[One of the basic Dark Art abilities. It allows one to control the souls of the undead. These souls can only be controlled if they are extracted from the corpse before the connection between the soul and the body is completely severed.]
As someone who had experienced first-hand what dying was like, I needed no clearance on the subject of souls and the time it took to be severed from the body. I knew I still had time. I knew I could extract the souls of those monsters and make them my puppets.
And fortunately for me, after going in a little deeper into the forest, I started encountering a few corpses. Those were probably the monsters that had gotten hurt, tried to run away, but ended up dying because of their injuries being too severe.
A very irritating extra line in the description of Necromancy was –
[At the abilities' current rank, you can only control the souls of low-tier monsters]
I guess it's something you'd expect to be the case. But, did that make it any less irritating? It did not.
Anyway, since I couldn't get the souls of stronger monsters, there was no point in trying to go deeper into the forests. I extracted the souls from the corpses I had found and returned.
All in all, I had been able to extract five souls.
Two of them were of goblins.
Two of them were of a bird called Wysks, which are basically dwarfed Wyverns.
One of them was of a dark fox.
Easily, the dark fox was the best. I mean, it was no dark wolf but it was far superior to the goblins and Wysks.
[Progress Made Towards Next Stage: 1%]
That was the message the system showed me as I went to sleep that night. For the next two days, the city was in chaos over that incident in the forests around the city.
In those two days, the system didn't show up. And so, I decided to spend my time trying practicing Necromancy, hoping to get a little better at it.
From that point on, I had decided that I would make those undead pawns of mine, who were bound to increase in quantity and quality over time, to do my dirty work – so I could speed through this incredibly hard path.
Yes, making them help me was the idea that had made me choose The God Path.