Derrick returned to Lacha's house, where Thomas still laid beside Eloise, filled with remorse. It appeared that the ex-thug was fragile underneath all the acts of toughness.

When he saw the necromancer return, his face brightened, hoping he had come back with a way to treat the remaining injuries of his General. When he saw his good intentions and worry, Derrick smiled.

"Don't worry about her... She will wake up in three days tops. Us, on the other hand, have some work to do. We're leaving right now and I'll explain on the way"

Derrick left the room, leaving behind a puzzled Thomas. It wouldn't do him any good if he tried to rack his brain around the sudden request, so he followed suit.

They continued together and soon entered the thick forest. At that point, Thomas started having a clearer picture of what would be asked of him. It certainly had a connection to the mysterious power that dwelt inside him. They continued in the unexplored wilderness for a few hours before finally coming to a halt, and Derrick turned around to face him.

"I'm sure you've already guessed, but we are indeed here for you and what you represent. I'm also probably the only one in Akata who has knowledge about your condition"

Derrick took in a short breather before continuing.

"When I arrived at the battlefield, I was shocked by the strength you demonstrated, and I knew that you would be an important part in the future plans of the town. Your training will now be held by me.. And let me be clear, you will suffer pain that you cannot fathom..."

Thomas shuddered. He almost felt malice in Derrick's words, but he wasn't surprised that these intentions could be conveyed by a man to whom killing was akin to breathing.

"However, once it's over, you'll become a man so strong that your name will resound throughout the lands, and legends bearing your name will be born. You will have the power to protect those you care about. I remember the despair you expressed when I killed your friend.. Do you want to feel that way again? Do you want to simply crumble on the spot when a challenger presents itself?"

Derrick paused and saw a torrent of pain invade Thomas's body. The scene was still vivid in his mind, with Derrick's arm drenched in blood and the disbelieving face of Yannick, unbelieving of what had just transcended.

Nevertheless, the thing that haunted him even more was the amount of regret he had seen in his friend's eyes.. The regret of not being able to live a second more, the regret to not have enough strength to change his faith.

There was only one thing that could change such a situation : power. Power so imposing that people would feel terror at the mere mention of it.

While gritting his teeth and clenching his fists, Thomas got down on one knee while looking at Derrick's feet.

"Please, My King, teach me. I want to be strong and I want to make a difference in this world. Allow me to be a spear that can aid your campaign"

Derrick inwardly jumped in joy. He knew that for the process to be effective, every part of the body, mental or physical, had to function at 100%. As a bonus, he finally gained a qualified sparring partner. It wouldn't help him advance in the magical domain, but tempering one's body was always a sure fire way of gaining power.

"Very well, let's start! Before we throw ourselves in the lion's den, you need to know what you are. On this continent, there are users with various abilities. Sorcerers are such examples, but there are also those who are despised, to the point of having to hide themselves to prevent public outrage and avoid the Empires' persecution"

An eerie befell the surroundings and Thomas, which had remained on one knee with his head down, looked up again, only to meet an oppressing feeling of fear. A few steps away from him was a huge half-eagle, half-bat creature that stared him down with its glowing red eyes and black beak.

There had been rumors claiming that Derrick had tamed creatures to do his bidding, but the facts had apparently been warped, as the monster didn't give off any signs of life. To further his theory, its composition resembled more black miasma than actual flesh. It was a terrifying, but fascinating sight.

With Thomas's curiosity aroused, Derrick smiled.

"Your guess is correct. That's my companion named Io, and it's technically dead, making me a Necromancer. I know people think that everybody of my kind is a monster, and they're probably right to an extent, but it doesn't apply to me. Anyway, I just wanted to show you another class that existed among the lot"

Thomas was stunned by the revelation. Necromancers were depicted as scum so filthy they deserved a merciless death. In a sense, it was normal for the populace to be weary of such abilities, as even in death they weren't safe. Before he could wildly speculate on his origins, Derrick continued.

"As for your case, you are what's called a Berserker, a monster that loses its rationality when you fight with your life on the line. From the information I've gathered during our little 'spar', it seems you possess an alter ego that will take over once reaching a critical point. Your fighting prowess and physical abilities are all enhanced, transforming you into a murdering machine that will rampage leisurely"

Thomas, who was still reeling from the previous revelation, was struck down once again. He had to say that the information did coincide with what happened to him, but a Berserker!? Really!? It was the first time he had heard of such a thing.

"Luckily for us, I've managed to subdue that part of you. It will not attack nor endanger the citizens or soldiers that'll fight beside you, so do not worry needlessly over such matters"

Once this was clarified, Thomas felt a great deal of pressure leave his shoulders. Eloise still heavily weighed on his mind, and even though he had promised Derrick to fully commit to the upcoming training, the slight possibility of him losing himself and injuring his comrades had crossed his mind.

Now that his countenance was better, it was time to get this show on the road.

"Io, scan the surroundings"

The beast lowly growled in compliance.

[Echolocation in progress.. 568 entities have been found in a radius of 20 kilometers. Would you like to display them?]


His mind shuffled and a tridimensional view formed, littered with pulsating red dots of various sizes. The ability of Io had already evolved once, increasing the level of detail and information that Derrick could access. The sizes of the dots indicated the strength of the opponents.

After deliberating a bit on which course of action he should undertake, Derrick shook Thomas out of his thoughts, and they both started moving. The next two weeks would be the most hellish training Thomas had ever been through...


Welcome to this website