8 The Rank-Up That Turned The Tables!
I wasn't planning that many steps ahead when I had ran to the mayoral office.
All I had in mind was going to the underground prison of the mayoral office, finding the corpses of the numerous monsters that are kept there for various reasons (like government-funded research or experiments), and turn them into my undead minions.
For the sake of the research and/or experiments, those corpses were preserved as much as possible. Hence, even if I couldn't get as good results as I would get from a fresh corpse, I would still be able to turn them into my undead soldiers.
I had planned to use most of those soldiers to distract Gahan, and run away to the forest with some of them.
Then, I would have used them to kill more monsters, turning them into undead and sending them as distraction and repeating these steps many times over as I ran away.
However, things changed when I turned a hobgoblin into my soldier.
The hobgoblin wasn't the reason though, the reason was that it was my 50th undead minion. Hence, the second quest had been completed.
Being wrapped up in getting away from Gahan, the quest had slipped my mind for a while, but when that happened, the system showed these messages:-
[The God Path - Quest 2: "Form an army of 50 undead monsters" has been completed]
[Your quest rewards have arrived]
The first of the two rewards was the same as the last time - 10 gold coins. But, it was the second one that changed everything.
[Quest Reward No. 2: Ability "Necromancy (Rank D)" has been modified to ability "Necromancy (Rank C)"]
After just a second's delay, another message appeared.
[Ability "Necromancy" has been ranked up!]
[Now, you are able to turn humans into undead.]
I smirked when I saw it as the system was basically telling me that not only could I escape alive, and take Valerie, but I could also take Hena with me. Hence, all my schemes would not go to waste.
Immediately, I told two of my dark wolves to go and grab Hena, especially telling them to not be too rough with her so I don't find a corpse of a 2-year-old when I see her the next time, and told them to go to the person with the strongest aura of light (which was Valerie).
With all that done, I had easily discarded my previous plan and decided to bring my whole army out to battle Gahan head-on.
Not that I thought they stood a chance or anything but with the one benefit I had been given from the rank up of Necromancy, all they needed to do was buy me a couple of seconds.
When, while ascending the stairs back to the surface, I caught the silhoutte of Gahan, I couldn't help but chuckle.
"What the!" He exclaimed, seeing the little army of monsters in front of him, ready to fight him.
I said with a smirk as I stepped back on the surface, "The second quest was really giving me a dilemna. I might have wasted a lot more time completing it, normally. So, I thank you for having sped up my progress!"
Taking my words as mockery (which they partly were), Gahan yelled, "You think these could stop me?!"
Instead of answering, I turned to my monsters, signaling them to start attacking.
A six-and-a-half feet tall hobgoblin threw a boulder half its size at Gahan while all the dark wolves present surrounded and growled at him, creating blind spots for imps to hide in and start using whatever projectiles they had.
Gahan easily crushed the boulder with his bare hands but because of the many rocks, arrows and sticks being thrown at him and making his body itch, he was still unable to keep his eyes on me as I ran away on a dark wolf - to increase my army.
A had run to the west side of the city. Then, I had run to the east. Then, the south. The north is where the mayoral office was so that was, in a way, already covered. So, when I reached south, I had ended up covering the whole city.
It had taken me about twenty minutes, all in all. It would probably would have taken a lot more if I hadn't been riding on a dark wolf.
Anyway, when I reached the south part of the city and saw the exit to the city, from which all the alive residents were being evacuated from, I noticed my family. They were frantic as hell.
My mother was bugging the officers repeatedly, Hans was trying to stop her, and Helga was try to stop him from stopping her. Seeing as how neither I nor Hena was there, it wasn't a challenge to figure out what she was bugging them about.
I wanted to get in closer and listen in without being noticed so I could confirm if those dark wolves had taken Hena or not but I couldn't, as I heard Gahan's roar not very far away.
"Finally done with the dummies, eh?"
Everywhere I had gone, I had turned a few people or monsters into undead and sent them after Gahan. They had constantly held Gahan back from catching up to me. As it was only a matter of time though, Gahan killed all of them and caught up to me.
"I-Is that the monster who attacked the city!?" A panicked idiot shouted from near the exit to the city. That led to everyone present, no matter what condition they were in, turning their heads to look at the monster and starting to panic.
The guards tried their best to calm them down but they were lacking their leaders, who had been killed in the attack at mayoral office. And so, they couldn't stop the people from going crazy with fear.
It'd be a boring hassle to describe how they all ran away from there looking like they were statues portraying fear. And anyway, it's not like I cared much to look at their faces.
The face I cared about was the red, ugly, four-eyed face of a Rakshasa who was running towards me with clear intent to kill.
'Now!' I gave this command within my mind to all my undead soldiers throughout the city.
As said before, I had turned into undead and sent after Gahan - some people. The rest, the majority of the dead-turned-undead, I had made them follow me as quietly as possible. And in that moment, I had told them all to come out - and come out they had.
The few people who were still near the gate and were looking Gahan's way noticed all the adventurers, priests, priestesses and guards who had been killed standing there with a dark presence surrounding them and looking directly at Gahan with intent to kill.
"HAD ENOUGH OF THIS!!!" Gahan too was frustrated after being stalled by the same strategy so many times. He looked ready to charge right through them and at me, enduring anything my minions throw at him.
As if that wasn't predictable!
I gave all my minions one command, 'Pray to God Zywar to stop this monster!'
They all immediately got down on their knees and started praying. Even as angry as Gahan was, he was left surprised by seeing that.
But it was the obvious thing to do.
The only other option would have been to do what was I doing all this time - leave all of them to stall him while I run away. But, how long was that strategy going to last? In the furious state Gahan was in, I doubt it would have worked even one more time.
So, the only thing I could do - was make these former humans pray to the god this monster served.
For better or for worse, Zywar had not sent Gahan to kill me. If that had been the case, he would have sent more like Gahan to make sure I was immediately dealt with.
It wasn't concrete proof but it was a pretty safe bet, still, to think that Gahan was acting on his own.
So, praying to his master was the best way to stop him.
And - it worked.
When those hundreds of humans got to their knees and started praying to him, even the laziest of gods would check out what was going on.
And, just according to my plan, after he did see what was going on, Zywar immediately commanded Gahan to return.
The monster made a grumpy expression, looking like he was trying to justify himself but was told to shut up and do as is told. And so, Gahan backed away, looked at me with scorn one last time, and started running in the other direction.
Seeing that, I took a sigh of relief. But, just in the next moment,
'That was well played, Vilome.' I heard Zywar's deeply enigmatic voice in my head. 'I have to applaude you for that.'
'No need, Zywar.' Talking to him felt like I had DID, as I was talking to someone in my head.
But, in any case,
'Well, since we have got this opportunity to talk, I should probably tell you - this isn't going to be the last time someone tries to kill you. Every single god in the entire universe hates you after all.'
'While I don't know why that is, I do know that Gods would only come after me if I tread in their domain. As long as I keep my interference minimal, they don't have any right to try to kill me.' I reasoned.
'Perhaps, but morons like Gahan are in every God's army, not just mine.'
'Ha! Well, we'll see what happens then.'
'Yes, we will.'
And then, as if a call had been cut, I felt my mind getting a bit lighter, as the telepathic connection to Zywar had left my mind.
"Hah!" I took a long sigh, getting off the dark wolf I was riding, and stretching my arms and legs.
When my gaze fell at a broken clock which probably belonged to one of the houses near that place, I realized that only a little more than half a day had passed. The whole thing with Gahan had made it feel like an entire day's, no, an entire's week work.
I was tired. Really tired.
But, as the city had been destroyed, and many of my plans were half-way completed, I couldn't afford to rest.
I got back at the dark wolf, told all my new human undeads to disappear once again, and rode out of the city, far away from the road to make sure guards and my family and others don't see me.
While I can't bring myself to like Gahan in any way, I had to admit that his attack had helped me.
Well, folks, stay tuned!