CHAPTER 33: A PRAYER IN THE DARK

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‘Whoa’ she exclaimed, her eyes sparkle and her face was full of excitement.

‘Is that what happened? You’re not lying to me right?’ She asks again. Hearing his story she almost didn’t believe it herself.

Pillars, evolution but all the evidence is in front of her eyes.

Azief is taller than before; like a sudden growth spurt, which is impossible, and he also gives off the aura of being superior than her even without trying to.

Azief tell her that if she reached his level, the suppression would not affect her as much.

And it was not like he is intentionally trying to intimidate her but the aura and the superiority he possess could not be suppress.

It was like in ancient time when a superior species meet an inferior species.

The inferior species would trigger the fight or flight response and most of the time they would choose flight and this particular instinct exist in everyone.

So, she could not help herself feeling inferior than him other than leveling to his level or find some skills that could nullify his pressure.

She looks at him and she could see he was smiling while his eyes look at the river.

‘Why are you looking at the river? Something interesting caught your eye?’ She asked as she throws another dry branch to the fire.

‘I’m thinking of diving down there and search for the Unique Skill.’

Hearing this alarms rings off in her hearts.

‘What do you mean? You don’t know how to swim or even dive. And there is still two crocodiles there, prowling under the river.’

‘I will be in the morning. And about the two crocs, don’t worry. If I encounter them this time, it wouldn’t be like last time.’

‘What makes you say that?’ she asked puzzled.

‘Just something’ he smirked in a way that hides his intention. Sofia just sighed and then she said

‘I guess it is good that you evolve. You’re stronger now.’

‘And you need to be stronger too’ he said.

‘I know’ she said, her eyes was full of determination.

‘So?’ she asked

‘So?’ he said

‘What are we going to do next?’ she asked. In a way, she has already regarded him as the leader of their duo.

‘Sleep.’

‘Who’s going to guard the-‘

‘I will guard. You sleep.’ He said, thankful for her concern.

‘You just woken up from your injury and you just level up so-‘

‘You dive down the river, unmindful of the danger and then nurse me to health. So, you are now tired and you need to rest’ Azief cut off her words.

She was about to say something else but Azief put his finger on her lips and she pipes down.

‘And I saved your life.’ He said

She shrugged off and said.

‘Probably ‘she said

‘Probably?’ and he chuckles.

‘I definitely saved your life and you know what that means right?’ He said, smirking a lecherous smile

‘What do you mean?’ she asked, puzzlement in her face and she move a few inch from him. He giggles a bit, looking her blush

Teasing mode activated he mused

‘It means you owe me.’ He said, as he inches closer and Sofia inches farther away.

‘Owe you what?’ she mustered her courage to ask.

‘Whatever I want. And you know exactly what I want don’t you?’

‘What?!’ She said, there is a little bit of anxiousness in her voice that she tries to hide. And he leans closer and whisper to her ears, with an arrogant smirk on his face and he said.

‘Go to sleep’ and he chuckles again.

Sofia blushes red and covers her face in embarrassment. She was thinking of a perverted thought before.

She was in that position for a few second before taking ad deep breath and then lowers her hands and she glares at him.

That’s mean she mused. Since when she sees him as a man? She asked herself.

Before, she can’t even see him as a man but now her heart beat accelerated and she is too fast in drawing perverted thoughts.

‘I guess that is fine’ she said as calm as possible, but there is trembling in her voice and her cheeks is still red from being teased.

Azief couldn’t help but tries to stifle his own laughter

She got up, walk to the tree, store her bows and arrows inside her rings and she sit under the tree and closes her eyes slowly.

Azief look at her, trying her hardest not to open her eyes, and he chuckles silently.

She is too cute. Wait! No, she is not cute. She’s just…..fun to tease he concluded. And then he maintains a look out around the area with his divine sense.

He then quickly put 4 skill points to divine sense which make his divine sense encompassing 700 meters from all of his directions.

When it reached level 04 he not only could sense life around him but he could also see all around him like he was there.

He could see 700 meter from him in all directions if he focused, kind of like a psychic.

He could see fresh bodies sprawled a round a field, fresh kill.

He could also see nearby monster hiding in the tress, apes and monkeys, their fur is red and they are sleeping.

Some are coming near them but it is still far away from here.

Other than that, there is no threat. He still has 19 points to spend on his skill. Then he spends 3 of the skill points into his fear aura.

SKILL: FEAR AURA LEVEL 04

YOU CAN EMIT AURA OF FEAR AFFECTING THE MENTAL STATE OF BEAST AND MUTATED SAPIENS IT WILL ALSO MAKE THEIR MOVEMENT SLOWER AND THEIR SPIRIT WILL BE LOWERED BY 30 PERCENT. A PASSIVE SKILL. TO USE IT, ONE NEEDS TO WILLS IT, THINKING IT IN THE MIND. CREATE AN IMAGE OF THEIR DARKEST FEAR. A MENTAL ATTACK. USER AND MONSTER WHO IS UNDER LEVEL 30 WILL BE INSTANTLY PARALYZED WITH FEAR

No wonder when you evolve you are practically a powerful existence. Anyone under level 30 monster or humans both are powerless?

Basically unless the opponent is level 30 he is basically invincible.

By now he also found out what beats he kills before. A Unique rank monster which is equivalent to level 40 monster.

How did he know?

He buys a book about ranks and monster from the world Orb shops.

It cost him 500 gold and the moment he learns it, all information about rank and levels entered his mind.

The world Orb shop sells variety of things that is useful. Skill books, life skill books, pills, potions, weapons, armour and all that stuff.

When he checks life skill he found something interesting and he decides to buy it later in the morning.

His trump card for diving tomorrow.

He also sees a Pillar Forming pills which amounted to one hundred thousand gold.

Whoever have that many gold should think of buying other things like skills or books that could give information about this new world, at least that is how he thought about it…..of course, if he were rich and doesn’t care about gold, then he could buy as many as he could.

Thinking about it now, it was stupid of him not to collect every single dime that fall down when he killed monsters or stiffs.

He sighed for a while.

Looking at the fast sleeping Sofia he smiles again.

Then he calls upon his beast and send Badge to deals with the ape but also instructed him telepathically to not go to the fields fill with bodies.

Maybe after he is done with his plan in the morning he would check out the bodies.

He has a few ideas on what happens but he prefers to wait. Unlike Sofia he could maintain not sleeping tonight.

He has sleeps enough. And he rested enough and with all of this energy and unboundless stamina that he have, he could stay up and look after her, like she did for him.

Then looking at the menu of the shop he buys a few life skills.

At first he wanted to buy it in the morning but since he has decided he would not go to sleep tonight, why delay right?

He buys swimming skill which cost him a thousand gold, breathing underwater which cost him about 2000 gold and diving which cost him 5000 gold.

The price depends on the difficulty of the said skills and the proficiency of the user.

For example, a swimmer who buys the skill for swimming might buys it at the cheap cost of 100 gold whereas people who have never swim or do not know to swim might have to pays a thousand gold.

The skill is also different in that it uses the system of acquiring experience by doing the action.

For example swimming.

He is now a novice. If he wanted to advance his rank he needs to swim a lot and increase the skill proficiency.

Life skill cannot be learned by doing the skill in real life unless you unlocked the requirements.

If that was the case he would have gotten the swimming skill as he tried to swim before like in the games.

The other way of learning a skill is to buy it and he has a lot of gold.

And he is gunning for the next play. A mountain of loot is hiding under the riverbed. He would be an idiot if he does not tries to get his hand on the loot.

A hundred crocs, a large super croc, dying in a river. Imagine the kind of loot that fall down on the riverbed.

There is a reason why he bought this skill and it was not because he was ashamed that he couldn’t swim or he almost dies because he couldn’t swim but because he wanted to loot the treasure on the riverbed.

But shame and almost dying because he couldn’t swim plays a …little part on why he chose that skill in particular.

He is betting there is a lot of gold and treasure to be found and he is not about to let it go. With that gold he might be able to buy many life skill that will help him in the long term

In the morning he would tell Sofia of his plan and then he would dive down the river while Sofia could train with the apes.

After all Badge is not going to be able to kill the apes all by himself…or more accurately he doesn’t want Badge to kill all the apes by himself.

After killing a few apes, Azief could see that his pet is becoming larger. Of course, the only reason that his pet is able to defeat the ape is because of his level suppression.

He just has to walk near Badge when he is fighting and his racial skill will be automatically activated.

Since, Badge is his pet, he is not affected.

When Azief realizes that Badge is getting stronger and doesn’t need his help anymore he retreated back to the shelter and let Badge handles the patrolling jobs.

And it’s not like the ape has stones for brain.

When they realized that he was an evolved user, most of the apes run away and stay away from the shelter.

So ,sometimes every few hours, he would send Badge to hunt a few ape just for fun.

He just sent him to kill a  few of them and when there is heat to return immediate to the shelter and recovers.

Looking at the river, his eyes could almost see the gold, on the riverbed. Next time he will be going shopping like a rich man in the world orb shop.

Smiling, he swiped the notification windows away and he got up from his seat and looked at the moonlight and the peaceful sleeping face of Sofia and thinks about all the things that has happened since the Fall

Looking at the moon, thinking about all of that has happen, he is grateful that even in the darkest night, he still has a companion, and that he is not yet going crazy.

Then he thinks about what happens to his mother and he thinks about the lights that have ripped away everything, buildings, cars, everything that he knows of modern life and its luxuries vanished.

And he thinks about the kind of force that could do such a thing and he is coming up with a blank.

Was this the so called Judgment day and if it was why he is still here?

And if it’s not that, if it’s not god or some supernatural entity doing this, what did this? he knows that the force that is doing this is the world orb but what is the world orb?

Is it a who? Is it a thing? What kind of entity is it? And what is it purpose? If it purpose is to destroy the earth, then with it power it could have.

If it was the one who sent the monster coming down from the skies, then why give humanity weapons t fight?

Why give them power to evolve and become powerful.

Only one thing makes sense. The World Orb is testing. Testing humanity, picking out the best, the strongest amongst them, to survive this new world.

It is nurturing them and the world Orb does not take losers.

Those who survive, either by luck or by perseverance or by ingenuity, is the one approved by the system.

But then another question arises. Why? Why does it needs humanity to become stronger? For what possible reason, this force wanted humans to thrive?

In the history of humanity on earth, humans have faced countless of extinction events.

Fiery rocks from the skies once came to earth and obliterate the dinosaurs and humans survived that.

Biting cold once covered the earth and humanity survived that too.

The world was split into continent breaking off, mountain was formed from flat grounds and humanity was separated and still humans persevered.

And then came the harsh environments, blistering heat in the desert and deadly cold in the northern region and humans survived them all.

Humanity survived the plaque and all kinds of disease that if you see throughout all history it was almost a miracle, that humanity could reach to this moment in history.

And each time we survived this events, humanity become stronger, tempered by all these event.

Then, Azief think of something.

But after a long time, humanity evolution stopped. But the World Orb want humanity to evolve.

he thinks about this and he does not think he is wrong. The World Orb wanted humans to become stronger, smarter.

It wanted the best of humans…..for what? And this is what troubles him. He doesn’t know the full story.

He always wanted to know the full story. It bugged him.

It bugged him when he doesn’t know the full story because when he doesn’t know, he could make the wrong choice, make the wrong decision.

And he has a lot of track records in choosing the wrong ones.

‘Hmm’ he sighed and then he walked to the large tree. He looked at Sofia, her neck leans onto one of the branches, sleeping peacefully.

He could see her swollen eyes, her messy hair and he is touched. She took care of him and he is touched because he never been taken care of like that.

Not even by his family.

A man needs to be strong and a man needs to endure. It was not what his family taught him but he knows.

He knows that is what is expected of him. He did not come from money and he knows he is not going to be rich.

So he endures and he tries to be strong.

In his country there is a caste, an invisible caste. You think that people could become rich if they worked but no.

If you have people, the right people, then you can be rich. If you don’t play dirty, you can’t be rich.

The rich in his country all of them has sins in their hands, no matter how small. He was raised with a worldview that is either black or white.

There is no gray.

But as he grows older, he becomes more mature. The world is not black and white it’s gray.

And he has given up trying to change his country.

Why?

Because in his country people like him have no voice. They aren’t heard. Money does the talking.

And even that he did not have. So…he did what any normal person would do. He gave up. And giving up…..that’s easier.

But The fall changes everything.

In all places of the world right now, he is the only person who is level 39.If he wanted to he could break that barrier and reach level 40 anytime he wanted.

But he wanted to collect more pillars. Then looking at Sofia, knowing, that there is someone who got his back in this new world, he is touched.

It felt good to be taken care off. So, he comes closer to Sofia and he with his exceptional hearing could hear her breathing, slow and calm.

He could hear her heartbeats, beating like a slow song.

He look closer and under the moonlight her face was….enchanting. He smiles and run his finger through her hair, swiping the hair from her forehead to her ears.

And then he pick her up, carrying her in princess style and he could not hide his smile. He doesn’t even know why he is smiling.

Slowly he walked until he reached the bed of leaves.

Slowly he put her down and then he brought out the blankets from his storage rings and uses it to cover her from the cold.

He stay beside her, and he keep watching out the dark, a silent protector watching over her.

Looking at the moonlight, he put his hand together and there is something welling up in his heart and then, for the first time in a long time, he prayed.

He prays to whatever forces out there, that hope is not lost. That there is a chance for a future.

That  whatever this event means, they would survive the horrors ahead. And looking at her, he smiles and he keep watching.

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