Derrick grabbed everything he needed and secluded himself deep in the forest. He needed to be sure that nobody would disrupt him during this very important process. It was finally time to eat the Leshi's meat!

He had tried conserving it the best he could, but after sitting idly for more than a week, it started reeking. The worst part was that... he couldn't cook it... The meat's nature would be destroyed and there wouldn't be any chance for Derrick to gain a skill with his Devour ability.

What he was most excited about was how much strength he would gain. He had preserved about 3 kilos, and he intended to eat every single bit of it.

"Let's start..."

Taking out his small knife, he began cutting portions that were smaller than what he had previously calculated. He remembered the episode of Drako's meat when he had almost fallen unconscious, even though he had been careful.

Following that step, he stripped the traces of... mold? Derrick wasn't even sure himself, but he tried cleaning the pieces, so that he wouldn't have a terrible aftertaste in his mouth. The process took a few minutes and when it was done, he sat down and immediately ingested a slice from the small pile.

[Energy Surge detected! The host will be incapacitated for the next 5 minutes]

"This is new... Must have been an unannounced part of the upgrade..."

He had been right to readjust the portions. He felt more comfortable and his body wasn't greatly straining itself.

[Hosts' body is refining energy! Stats are being recalculated...]

[Energy has been refined! Would you like to see your stats?]

"Not now, I'll do it at the end"

The pile contained 30 portions, which should take him around three hours. However, the more he consumed, the more he realized that he had been too optimistic. He was also frustrated that he hadn't gotten a skill yet.

When he was about to vent his frustration, a prompt popped up in his mind.

[The Energy is accumulating beyond Host's current capacity. Major risk of crippling its body! However, Host's has a chance of obtaining ??? if he continues]

What the fuck? You goddamn tease!!!

It had already been 5 hours since Derrick had started refining, and he had only gone through 50% of the pile. When the message had appeared, he had immediately stopped and became angry. The system was trying to make him gamble his future! What was he supposed to do now?

He started thinking, and the more he did, the more sweat trickled down his forehead. On one hand, crippling himself would limit him immensely further down the road, and on the other, something that the system couldn't identify was surely a major boon. He began analyzing his body and tried to see if he could hold on. His gut said that he could, so he went forward.

One piece after another, he slowly consumed them and fought to remain clear-headed, but in the end, he had overestimated his capabilities. His consciousness finally slipped into darkness...


"Where... Where am I?"

After what seemed to be a short nap, Derrick grudgingly woke up. After a few half-hearted glances, what he saw made him jump up in fright. All around him was void, void that seemed to extend infinitely. He wanted to say that it was like the time he died, but something felt... different.


No answer.

He started somewhat panicking. The system was linked to his consciousness, so where the hell was he?!

No matter how many times he spun around, there was simply nothing. Was it what it meant by being crippled?! That was way more than being merely crippled for fuck's sake!!!

Suddenly, an enormous pressure swept him, filled with eeriness and hatred. It was as if the entire world had a vendetta against him. It was so intense that even the sweet release of death would be welcome.

"Oh? What do we have here? It has been thousands of years since I met a soul..."

Out of nowhere, a booming and grave voice blasted Derrick from every angle, suppressing him even further. It was so domineering that he thought he was dreaming. He was sure that no existence was that powerful.

As if reading his mind, the voice cackled and spoke again.

"You don't need to know who I am. Just know that the gift I give you will surely come in handy someday..."

The harsh voice then stopped talking and everything ceased...


Derrick opened his eyes and straightened up immediately, full of sweat and panting. What was that?! Was it a dream?!

After getting back his bearings, he inspected his body and felt... strong. Incredibly strong. It was like his entire body had crossed into another realm. After a lengthy inspection, he didn't find anything out of the ordinary.

He came to the conclusion that his brain had been overloaded and had imagined the whole episode. It wouldn't be the first, and probably wouldn't be the last he thought.

"System, did I get it?"


"What's it called? Give me its description!"

[Trait : ??? Description : ???]


"System, don't joke around..."

[The system cannot identify the new trait. To have more details, the system suggests that the Host gets stronger to trigger another upgrade]

Currently, Derrick only felt one emotion. Rage. Pure and unfiltered rage. He had thought that once he earned it, it would have been specified. He had risked his future for... something that couldn't even be quantified?! Derrick stood up and started tearing apart the forest, wrecking havoc on the poor nearby vegetation.

After a solid five minutes of trashing, he regained his composure. The thing that really irked him off was the fact that he didn't know the upgrade conditions and when he asked, he never got an answer. The only thing he could do was getting stronger.

He sat down cross-legged again and finished the remaining slices of meat. The sun had already started peeking through, which meant that it was the final construction day of the forge. He would have to go there afterwards and set up the equipment he previously bought.

"Show me my stats"

[Derrick Tarlin, 16 years old (Body), 37 years old (Mind)]

[Class : Necromancer]

[Strength : 12]

[Agility : 11]

[Endurance : 13]

[Vitality : 10]

[Magic Power : 19]

[Spells : Banshee's Cry, Reaper's Blade, Veil of Darkness]

[Enslaved Subordinates : Eloise Tornomi (General - Human), William Enceworth (Scholar - Human), Fomamli Trollfall (Blacksmith - Dwarf)]

[Traits : ???, Enhanced Body, Enhanced Vision, Death's Valet, Gluttony, Aphrodite's Blessing, Language Guru (Language Database)]

[Skills : Superior Appraisal, Potentus, Contract (3/3), Summoning (2/3), Master Craftsman, Submission, Death Warrior (42/100), Empire Professionals (3/10) *Concerns the Scholars (1/2), Blacksmiths (1/2), Researchers (0/2), Generals (1/2) and Ministers (0/2)*]

(NEW) [The Skill Summoning has evolved! You can now summon 3 contracted souls]

Seeing the insane bump in numbers and the evolved skill, Derrick was overjoyed. Even though it had been a fruitless endeavor in terms of skills gained, such additions more than made up for it. The previous indignation instantly went to the back of his mind, completely forgotten. He felt unstoppable and even a little arrogant.

In his head, Derrick pulled out the regional map and inspected it. He was looking for a juicy target that would allow him to subdue more subjects and, more importantly, gain more Death Warriors. He had not seen them in action yet, and he was getting antsy.

Derrick looked and looked until... Bingo! There was a big village of 800 people eight kilometers to the north of Akata. Realistically, they would have at least 80 soldiers, which would fill up his skill capacity. It would also help him develop a few tactics, to which he was currently beyond oblivious. He would go about it the way he usually did : on the fly!

Now that his plan had been set, there was one last thing... It was time to summon the Leshi. If there was a God out there, he prayed to it to obtain a reasonable companion. With a voice filled with doubt, he proceeded.


The same birth (like Io's and Drako's) occurred. However, before the gigantic half-bear, half-deer finished forming, it resounded in Derrick's mind. His wish had apparently fallen on deaf ears.


With a wave of his hand, Derrick instantly muted the beast, a trick he had learned after Drako had taken too many liberties for himself.

"Listen to me you beast. You're my possession now, whether you like it or not. You will obey me and respect me. Now, tell me your name. If you say another word than what I asked, I'll cut off your tongue without allowing you to scream"

The Leshi looked absolutely furious to be threatened in such a blatant manner, but nodded in compliance. After all, it had to listen to Derrick no matter how outrageous his demands were. Waving his hand again, its voice returned.

"My name's Cernunnos"

"Good! Come hide in my shadow, we have to go back to the town and I don't want to terrorize everyone"


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