Editors: Queen of Hearts, Marshy, LamB
V.O Artist: Seraphim
Listen to this Chapter.
I Killed the Immortal
By: Oro Prizyvaushiy
“So. You’re not Gottfrieds, right?” I said while crossing my arms. I had to take advantage of the situation right now.
There was no way they could be my relatives. Among the Gottfrieds, there were both good and bad people—there were even people who’d go beyond and do terrible things. However, I had never heard of a single Gottfried who would rob the graves of noble families—much less their own—with a crowbar.
Among the Gottfrieds I know, there were no necromancers, marauders, or even vandals, who would’ve fallen this low. Not to mention, they do not have the physical resemblance—all Gottfrieds had black hair.
The guys awkwardly looked at each other while the blond one winced.
“Do we look like Gottfrieds?” He answered without any confidence. His right arm was slowly and kind of unwillingly moving towards his jeans’ pocket.
“I also think there is no resemblance.” I stepped forward, slowly moving my hand across the gravestones. “Then, what the hell are you doing at my father’s grave?”
Yes, that was a question that was hard to answer right away. I also wouldn’t mind the sudden quiet—after all, I was not in the right condition to start a fight. I was not fully confident that I would succeed—not after just reviving.
The creation of this body has drained almost all my powers, and the rest of them were spent on the transition between worlds. Nevertheless, even simple words were enough for now. The terror was rising in the eyes of the blond guy, and it looked like he was about to…
The crowbar hit the back of my head with a loud thud. I was not expecting that, and it made me lose my balance. Damn…! I was looking at the blond—the leader of the duo—and at some point, lost the other one from my sight.
“Dunk him!” The brown-haired guy shouted, striking me again. “He’s… uh… a zombie!”
It was painful—and I meant that in the simplest meaning. My head seemed fine—but it ached—as I jumped away and kicked the brown-haired man in the stomach. He winced, giving out a pathetic sound, but didn’t drop the crowbar. It looked like he fell into a stupor while trying to find a word to say.
“A zombie…?” The blond guy slowly but absently chuckled. He was speaking calmly, without raising his voice—as if there was no fight happening nearby. “Nah… He’s just some psycho, maybe a surviving Gottfried. It’s not like someone counted them.”
Then he pushed out his palm forward.
At first, it seemed to me that the light was coming from something like a seal on his palm—a triangle mark divided into many smaller triangles. In a second, I realized that the light was not coming from the palm itself. It came from the thin amulet, its chain wound up on the guy’s arm. That was when I fell on the cold stone floor, pierced by a wave of pain.
“Well, yeah…” There was no third strike, but the brunet froze over me with the crowbar in his hand—standing in an intimidating pose. He was ready to hit me at any moment. “He doesn’t look like a zombie. But he said something about his father. And he opened the grave, maybe even took that thing from there!”
“He didn’t open that grave.” The blond guy lowered his hand. With it, the pain in my body disappeared. But I still felt terrible, so I wasn’t even trying to get up yet.
“Maybe… The grave of his father… and his clothes… He crawled out from there. You know, I’ve heard about this. People fall into a coma, live like that for years, without food or water… and then wake up—but life passed by already…” The blond uttered as if what he was talking about was possible. What’s even worse, the brunet agreed and quickly nodded.
Such idiots. To lie for twenty years in a grave and stay alive? Only morons could believe in that. Moreover, I was literally split in half during that marriage.
I listened to my body again. I had almost no mana left after creating this body out of nothing, but it doesn’t mean anything. It was not to the extent that a human can deal with me using just their bare hands. On the flip side, my head was still aching, and I could still feel the backlash from that magical attack.
“So, who do you say you are?” The blond guy bent down with an unpleasant grin and lifted up the gravestones. “Arthur Gottfried. Never heard of this one.”
“He looks too healthy for someone who just got out of a coma.” The brunet said, still posed as if he was ready to hit me if I moved. He was very nervous, fearing I would come up with something… and, to be fair, I could.
He was not a problem. With or without the crowbar, he was an easy target. But his friend seemed far more dangerous to me. After all, the brunet also had an amulet, but he still used the crowbar against me.
“When you attack, you don’t just land the first strike.” Vissarion used to say. “When you attack, you take the initiative—set the tone for the whole battle. Make your first strike frightening, and the opponent will be afraid of you throughout the whole fight. Make your first strike unexpected, and the opponent will constantly be making mistakes, fearing some kind of trick. And, well, if you want to lose, then make your first strike just a first strike.”
I didn’t always agree with my master, but he was absolutely right about this.
“Don’t make a fuss.” The blond guy threw the gravestones to the side. “He already realized that bucking won’t help, so now he’s listening.”
“Listen, listen. There is a lot to tell. You’ve slept for a long time and missed a lot, buddy.” He smiled widely at me.
“You can always find someone who’ll help and enlighten you.” I turned from my stomach to my back and looked closely at the blond guy.
“So will you enlighten me… buddy?” My voice was full of cynicism, but the guy was quite okay with it.
“Why not?” His smile became even wider. “Where should I start? His hand was toying with the amulet, some green sparkles running over it like static electricity.
“This is your sister’s grave right there, isn’t it?” He made a step through the narrow crypt. “I remember her. My father decided to have a funeral… as the last handout. When she was buried, it was pretty crowded here. Many people regretted her death… You know—good, skilled whores are valuable, and she was one of them.”
I was silent. Maybe it was possible to see some emotion from my face, but I was hoping for the opposite.
“Not for the elite, of course.” The blond guy kept speaking. “But ordinary guys also need to have fun with somebody. At first, it was just a lesson to your dad for being disobedient, but… well, no one would throw away such a good thing. She served for so many years after he died.”
Even his nervous friend relaxed a little and lowered his crowbar. I still wasn’t moving—it looked like he took it as a good sign. The same unpleasant smile his friend had was now slowly appearing on his face like an inkblot on a list of paper.
“And do you know how your dad died?” He wasn’t stopping. “He thought too much of himself… didn’t acknowledge the authorities. You know, an absolutely unbearable person. My father had to teach him a lesson.”
Now I was completely sure my face wasn’t expressing anything. I didn’t let any of the emotions coursing through me be seen on the outside. I could do it in a matter of minutes but on the inside… What was happening there shouldn’t concern anyone but me.
“When your sister was given to our fighters for the first time…” The blond guy stopped right in front of her grave and tapped it with his fingers. “He was watching the whole time. Surely, he was angry…! It’s understandable. Anyone would be angry in his situation. But I doubt he could do a lot with chopped off hands.”
“Who else was in that family? Come on, help me! I shouldn’t be the only one talking.” He turned to his friend.
“But he doesn’t react at all!” The brunet pointed at me with the crowbar. “Look at his face. He was in a coma for twenty years; he’s probably a vegetable now. Maybe he doesn’t even understand what you say.”
“No, no.” The blond guy laughed shortly. “He clearly understands everything. He just pretends he doesn’t care with that poker face… but his eyes don’t lie. Look for yourself!”
Note for the future, I thought distantly. Do something with the eyes. If they really give me away, it could become a problem someday.
That thought was flying above the swarm of the other thoughts—like a white pigeon above the flock of black, shouting crows. It was easy to distinguish the pigeon from the whole picture, but if I try to see the difference between the crows in such a mess…
“So what should we do with him?” The brown-haired guy moved his eyes on me from his friend. “Should we put him back to sleep?”
“Back to sleep?” The blond guy laughed. “No! No, no, no. What are you saying? First, he’ll go to my father, and then…”
I wasn’t listening to him anymore.
All the power—to my hands. In an instant, I jumped from the sitting position. Before the blond guy had time to realize anything, I snatched the amulet from him—together with his hand.
I had mana just for one dash; after that, I wouldn’t be able to light even a little green light. But that dash was quite enough.
I actually managed to distinguish one of those dark thoughts from the others. I thought about how I had heard enough. When all that stuff was happening, these morons were probably still kids. Everything they just told me was either from their childhood memories or from hearsay.
I didn’t need them anymore.
Dilated eyes—a couple of seconds of silence—before a blood-curdling scream echoed in the crypt. The blond guy fell to his knees. The blood was flowing out of his torn arm while I was calmly and distantly unwinding the amulet’s chain.
The good thing about artifacts was that you don’t need mana to use them. They work using their internal energy—you just have to recharge them from time to time until the magical deterioration destroys the item.
The brunet froze in place, then looked up at me in fear. He started silently backing away to the door, holding that useless crowbar in front of him. The blond guy was rolling on the floor, lulling what was left from his hand. It looked like he couldn’t concentrate on anything else but his arm, but his friend definitely didn’t want to die.
They looked pathetic.
“Stop!” He screamed, awkwardly bumping into the wall behind him. “I… We didn’t do anything! These were…!”
I didn’t say a single word, just pulled out my hand with the amulet and gave a mental order to activate pain.
I stopped only three minutes after the wheezing—which started as a scream—trailed off. Only then did I turn off the amulet. After such active usage, the shiny, thin metal became black. This cheap trinket won’t last long.
Calmly and without rushing, I checked the pulse of both of them. Nothing, there were just two dead bodies. But it was still better to play it safe. This first strike had to be bright and memorable, but the last one… could be dealt with a simple crowbar.
Two strikes. Two smashed heads. Then, we were finished.
I wasn’t going to clean the blood from the floor—the crowbar left a lot of it. A decent amount of blood also leaked from the blond’s hand. However, it wouldn’t hurt to hide the bodies.
Luckily, one grave has just recently opened up.
All the news that I just heard wasn’t meaningless to me, but my brain… it worked with some kind of detachment—filtering my emotions from precise, measured actions. Before messing with the bodies, I wanted to get some fresh air. Just… to distance myself from the scene that just ended.
The crypt door quietly creaked, letting me out. The dusk turned into real darkness… but this time, I also noticed that emptiness didn’t mean loneliness. Well, maybe I should’ve torn their tongues out before activating the amulet—I was surprised that only one guest came after all these screams.
“Good job.” A man was standing in the shadow of a large tree with spread-out branches and leaves. One whom I had yet to examine in detail. “It’s nice to see you’re in good shape, Arthur.