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  1. Godless and Faithless Chapter 1
  2. Godless and Faithless Chapter 2
  3. Godless and Faithless Chapter 3
  4. Godless and Faithless Chapter 4
  5. Godless and Faithless Chapter 6
  6. Godless and Faithless Chapter 7
  7. Godless and Faithless Chapter 8

Godless and Faithless Chapter 2

Categories Fantasy, Male / Female, Violence

Author: Tyrone Wilson

Published: 11 October 2019

  • Font:

Rayner and Axel had distanced themselves from the Inimi and the coalition forces. They had traveled for most of the day and nightfall was coming. Axel had not spoken since they left, not even telling him why they left or where they were going.

Rayner worried for his friend. Axel talked tough, but Rayner knew there was a deep well of kindness in him, no matter how much Axel teased him on his social justice values.

“We need to talk about what happened,” Rayner said.

“What we need is to find a place to stay for the night. Do you know how to start a fire?” Axel said.

“I didn’t know I was capable of such violence; I know we had to do it but—”

“I’m guessing this world does not have electricity. The forest will be pitch black. We will be as good as blind.”

“We are still covered in blood.”

“Shut up, keep it to yourself!”

“We are in a new world, our friend is not who we thought he was, and we fought a battle. It’s OK to feel upset.”

“I am way past upset, I’m—”

Axel had been facing away from him; he turned to see Rayner shaking and in tears, “I’m sorry, it was my idea to rush in there, and I didn’t know who those people were or what the fight was about.”

"Shit, stop crying man, I am not angry at you," Axel said, but Rayner knew that was a lie.

“It felt like I was really getting something done. Like a hero from a fairy tale.”

“Will you stop crying if I talk?”

He stopped his tears and listened.

“What, were those crocodile tears? Whatever. I kind of blame you, but I knew what I was in for. I was going to look for something to fight anyway, cause that’s what you do in RPGs.”

Rayner and Axel sat with their backs against a large tree, taking time to decompress.

“That ended better than the last time we fought,” Rayner said.

“What was it about? Did I cut down a tree?”

“No, you were explaining why I was a blue pill beta boy.”

“Oh well, I take it back. After seeing you going beast mode on those Inimi, nobody will think you’re a wimp.”

They both laughed. It was time he got around to the important question. “…Are we lost?”

“We would have to know where we are to be lost,” Axel said.

Night was approaching. He had hoped the glowing trees would light the way, but the glow had dimmed as the sun set.

Axel didn’t have all the answers. He had acted like a general during the battle. Commanding fighters and ordering battle tactics. Where did he learn that?

That reminded him. “Hey, let’s check our stats, see if anything changed.”

"Ah crap, how could we forget? I wanted to avoid standing around analyzing our stats. There was not much to see the first time.”

They looked at their palms. Rayner felt his focus being sucked in by the tattoos until he could read his stats.

Name: Rayner, Race: White, Title: Faithless, Level: 1, Class: Barbarian, Mana: 10, Skills: N/A, EXP: 30.

“A barbarian!” Rayner said. That is not how he saw himself at all. Then he remembered what he was doing during that battle. It was an unwanted Class, but accurate.

“Better than what I got,” Axel said. “Look at my palm.”

Name: Axel, Race: Black, Title: Godless, Level: 2, Class: Thug, Mana: 10, Skills: N/A, EXP: 0.

“Why are you complaining you gained a level!”

“My class is Thug. That’s not a Class it’s a racial insult. I thought you would object to this.”

“That’s because you don’t know the history of the word. The word thug originated from a cult of ritual serial killers in India.”

His friend's jaw hung open. The explanation provided no comfort for Axel. “How do you even know that? Wait, I remember, it was part of your corporate training.”

Nodding an affirmation, he went back to focusing on his stats, trying to figure out what they mean. Back at school with Yazid, they would try to come up with their own conclusions first before discussing it with others to avoid group-think leading to a wrong conclusion.

Rayner focused on Class for a minute until new text morphed into view. Barbarian: You are uncivilized and violent and from a foreign land. Again, accurate. However, it did not tell him what he could do with it. Unless the only purpose was to inform, like a dictionary. He focused on EXP, the only other stat that changed, by 20 points. EXP: your experiences. He tried focusing on other stats, but the more he focused the more his eyes stung. He got nothing from this. Hopefully, Axel had better luck.

“I will start. Focusing on a stat can give more detail, but sometimes it hurts. Other than that, I figured out nothing. I can’t think how this helps us at all,” he said.

“Same for me, I don’t feel any different being at level 2. I can guess that my leadership during the battle played a role. It also says I’m a thug because I conducted my murders professionally.”



They had discovered nothing that could help them in a future fight.

“I can understand why you gained a level, but why did my EXP only go up by 20?”

“I actually have an answer for that. EXP must be based on the quality of the experience. My leadership led to the defeat of an army so I got enough to gain a level. You only killed a lot of Inimi," Axel's chest puffed up at his achievement, his previous trauma overruled by his ego.

“Still…only 20,” Rayner said, pouting.

"We will find out more when we fight again."

With the analysis finished they went back to looking for civilization.

Instead of randomly walking through the forest they decided to listen for the sound of water, for where there was water there would be life. They had found a stream, but it was too late. Night had come and they could not see anything. They stopped their travels to make camp.

Or that is what they would have done if they knew how to set up a camp. They had brought many tools with them from their world but had no idea how to use them, and of course, none of the electronics worked.

Rayner saw Axel take out a coffin-like sleeping bag. “What kind of sleeping bag is that?”

“A better one than yours,” Axel said, chuckling.

“OK funny guy, so do you want to take first watch?”

“Watch for what, I can hardly see you.”

“Then listen.”

Axel hissed his teeth. “Sure, but we have not had a single random encounter. This world must not work like that, no weak monsters popping up for us to kill.”

He found that strange. They should have at least run into people from the mountain city battle. It was not the only thing he found strange about this forest. Rayner had noticed not a single animal was seen. Birds, deer, squirrels, nothing. The bird he saw outside Yazid’s cabin prison must have been at the edge of this seemingly dead forest.

Rayner snuggled up in his sleeping bag. "Wake me in four hours and don't fall off asleep."


He fell asleep. Rayner knew because they woke to a group of people dragging them through the forest.

The sleeping bags were comfortable but not suited for reacting to an ambush. They soon stopped struggling. Their kidnappers roughed them when they tried to escape, but avoided dealing them serious injury.

Rayner thought about asking them to stop carrying them, as they would not try to escape, but he was feeling lazy. Let them carry them around and Axel has already gone back to sleep. That guy was something else.

After some time, they arrived at their destination. They were in a large clearing, a village, surrounded by large trees. Light was emitted from round glass bottles connected to the branches, and the tops of the trees bent to form a roof. A village inside a tree-house.

In the light, they could see who had taken them. Pale skinned men and women, with pointed ears. Elves. They came from their homes and behind trees to stare at them. Some looked shocked, even fearful, but most of them were stoic.

Axel woke up. “Wow, are these elves?”

A man, or woman, it was hard to tell, came and stood before them. “Yes, we are.” She or he gave them time to get out of their sleeping bags before she continued. “Why are you here?”

“Some of you, I don’t know who, you all kind of look alike, dragged us here,” Axel said.

Why did Axel have to be so offensive?

The Elf did not take offense. "I will clarify. How did you get past the forest's protections?"

Rayner was about to answer but Axel stopped him. “How did the Inimi get past it?”

The Elf hesitated before answering. “We let them pass.”

“Why would you do something like that? Goblins were with them!” Rayner said. This world may be different from what he imagined, but there is no way Elves and goblins are on friendly terms.

When the Elf leader did not answer, Axel spoke. “They did it because that was what their god wanted. It’s why the Dwarfs had to use tunnels to get Coalition forces to help them, they couldn’t get through the forest.”

“Axel, if you knew this why didn’t you tell me, and how did you know?” he asked.

“I knew there was something wrong with this forest because I marked the trees with my knife. We were going in circles. I didn't say anything because they were watching us.”

That bastard, that means he does know how to set up a camp and navigate a forest. His parents were farmers. Failed farmers, but still farmers.

“Yes, we followed you when it became clear our God did not allow you past the forest," the elf said. "Our God is allied with the Inimi gods, we had no choice but to assist.”

“OK, but why?” Rayner said.

“We used to believe we understood our god, knew its desires and hatreds. We were wrong.”

“Of course you were,” Axel said. “Gods are, like, forever years old. What you thought was a deep hatred might just be an old grudge.”

"That is correct, our God is of Chaos, not of Order like we once believed. It's happy as long we appease it."

This was something Rayner could understand. "By Order, you mean helping your people thrive, and by Chaos you mean it helps itself.” The elf nodded. “You all were just a useful tool for it to preserve itself. This god, it’s the forest itself. Am I right?”

“Yes, it is. It has been of great advantage to us to have a god manifested in such a way. We never wanted for food, enemies could not find us, we were prosperous. Yet our god was not content, it did not care for our happiness. The Dwarves use wood from our forest for their mining, as part of a treaty made long ago. It did not like that, and when it found a chance to stop this, it took it.”

Rayner saw why Yazid believed it was important not to ally with any god. What guarantee does this God have that the Inimi won't turn on it? Their God broke a treaty with the Dwarves. They would be wise not to trust the Forest God.

Axel had played this well. The Elf leader had forgotten the original question of how they were getting through the forest. Something that Rayner did not know himself.

“What happens if we kill your god?” Axel asked.

Shocked murmurs ran through the crowd, none of the sounds of disagreement.

“It is not possible, and what would we do without the forest?” the Elf said.

“Is the god literally the trees and grass and flowers, or is it a part of what is already there?”

“It’s infused in the forest, it turned what was once small woodland into a sprawling forest.”

"OK, but there is no point in living in a forest that aids your enemies and attacks your allies. Killing a god will go a long way in placating the anger of the Coalition for helping the Inimi.”

“Or leave us at their mercy!” an Elf from the crowd said.

Axel continued speaking, ignoring the outburst. “Will they mess with people they think can kill a god?”

“You truly believe you can do this?” the lead elf asked.

“Yes, it’s what we do. When the gods are unjust, we bring justice.” It sounded to Rayner like the right thing to say.

Another murmur went through the crowd. He could not tell if they believed him.

“What do you want for this service?”

He had not thought of that. He looked to Axel, who was also thinking of what to ask for. They did not know what they wanted. Asking for information about stats would reveal too much, they had no use for money yet and the Elves would give them directions to search for the god. Funny, when people get asked what they want, they came up blank.

"We need nothing. Like I said, this is for justice," Rayner said. He saw Axel roll his eyes. There was another reason for this, and he would explain it to Axel later.

“Hey, something’s been bothering me, are you a boy or a girl and what’s your name?” Axel said, rudely. Though Rayner also wanted to know.

“Alvina, I am a woman. Does this matter?”

“Maybe later it will.”

Axel’s answer confused Alvina.

“So how will we find this god?” Rayner asked.

“It will find you,” Alvina said.

Well, that was ominous.


The Elves had rushed them out of their forest enclave quickly after having their conversation. Axel understood why. Conspiring to kill a god was risky, the longer they stayed, the more time the god had to find out what the Elves were up to.

Now that he knew a god inhabited the forest everything made a lot more sense. Not only was Yazid trapped in that cabin, but even if he escaped, he would not have been able to get past the forest god. It also explained why the forest was so colorful. The life of a god was infused into it.

They did not get an answer to why the only life they had seen were the Elves.

“Rayner, why didn’t you ask for a reward? Not even you are that selfless.”

“For the same reason we left the mountain city. The reward is the fight itself, something might happen if we kill a jerk god."

“Makes sense.”

“What makes little sense is how the hell do you think we can kill a god! Just because we come from another world does not mean we walk on water; we are not special.”

“We are a little special. Besides, we don’t have a choice. As long as the Forest God lives, we will wander this forest forever.”

“That doesn’t mean we can…unless.”

"Yep, that's how."

“Our Titles, Faithless and Godless, it means the gods can’t mess with us.”

“That’s what I think. At least not directly; the so-called Elves aren’t going to attack us on its behalf. All the God can do is confuse us, but the Elves gave us something for that,” Axel said, pulling out the compass.

It would not lead them to the God but it would lead them out the forest. It would always show the path out, was what Alvina said. That was far better than anything he could have thought of at the time.

“So, do you have god-killing weapons on you? And what do you mean so-called Elves?"

“I don’t think they dragged us to their home for the purpose of killing their god. They just wanted to find out more about us, probably on behalf of their god. I think we are the weapons. I looked at my stats again and could see the information for Godless says gods can’t bless or curse me.”

Rayner looked at his palm, “Faithless means I can’t worship any god.” After some thought Rayner figured it out. “Together we have protection against the gods!”


“And Elves, what about them?”

“I did not fall asleep when I was on watch. I was only pretending, and I saw several bright lights heading towards us. The same light near the tree branches, that was one clue. Then there was that village, with too few homes for the number of Elves we saw—”

“That could be because they did not bring us to their main location.”

“Maybe, or it was a front to hide their nature rather than their home.”

Rayner took a guess. “The lights from the branches…was their real form, fairies.”

"The last clue was that they had no weapons, and this forest is lifeless, even though this forest is more than capable of supporting it.”

Rayner was in full agreement with him. He did not know their motives for hiding themselves but he was sure it was a good reason. They did not hurt or threaten them and gave them a very useful item. He was helping them for his own reasons. That reason being killing a god sounded cool.

The compass had another use: if it always pointed to an exit that meant if he went the other direction it would lead him to the center of the forest. The final boss is always at the center.

The Faithless and Godless Titles gave them protection, but he wasn't as confident as he let Rayner believe. Their goals, origin, and status would come into conflict with the gods, eventually.

Axel heard rustling behind him; Rayner heard it too. Then it hit him, a lifeless forest, fearful fairies, the alliance the Forest God had with the Inimi; Yazid.


The zombies came in human form, but many were animals and monsters. Rotting goblins, decaying Kobolds, armless humans, toothless wolves came at them from all sides.

Yazid must have raised those zombies for the Forest God, by force or some other agreement; he did not know. It was these zombies that protected the forest and the fairies. No army would be so stupid to pass through a forest full of creatures that were hard to kill and who could replenish their own ranks.

Rayner pushed through a group of three zombie goblins, creating a path for him. "Axel, I got one on the head with my hammer, it did not kill it!”

“I always thought the ‘headshot kills zombies’ idea didn’t make sense. If zombies don’t need a beating heart, breath, or stomach then they do not need a brain either.” Axel knew it was a bad time for commentary. A bad habit he had when he was terrified out of his mind.

“Yazid did this right? So maybe something he said has a clue how to get out of this.”

“When you think of it, tell me. For now, let’s run,” he said as he slashed at a zombie’s face, with little effect.

The duo was still going in the right direction, but zombies were coming out everywhere. From the ground, inside trees, under rocks; one fell on Rayner and Axel had to kick it off him.

He should have listened to Yazid more, turns out he was trying to teach them how to survive all that time. If smashing their brains doesn't kill them, then what could he do? He had no fire, or holy water if that would even work. Running was the only option.

Soon they stopped trying to finish the zombies off and pushed them away from them instead. This was worse than the battle with the Inimi. No backup, no formations could help them against these foes.

“Why are they coming out now!” Rayner yelled while pushing away two zombie creatures.

“The god we are trying to kill got news of its imminent murder and took offense.”

“Jokes, Really!”

He shrugged; the situation needed some humor. He stabbed a zombie in the eye, not like it mattered, these zombies could find them even without vision. If they can move without blood circulation, they can see without eyes. At least the sun was out, fighting zombies in the dead of night would have been a death sentence.

He checked his stats. Nothing had changed. Maybe they should have spent more time staring at their palms until they figured something out. Tough luck, no point wishing for what could have been, he had to figure what to do now.

People on this planet get their power from gods, but if mana is life-force, then everyone has it, regardless of what god they serve. So, gods are responsible for classes or skills. Both he and Rayner had class but no skills, that is the power gods gave their worshipers, skills based on class. He would have to create his own skill using his mana.

He needed time. “Rayner, I need to sit still and meditate, can you hold them off by yourself?”

Rayner looked at him as if he had grown horns. “No!”

“I knew I could count on you.” He put his back to a large tree and closed his eyes, trying to remember how he felt when first coming to this world, how he felt when he died, drowning out Rayner’s curses.

Yazid used mana to get them to this world, it was why he killed them. It was his only experience with mana. If this did not work, he did not know what would. He remembered the sudden pain of being stabbed, his life leaving him. Then waking up being filled with the life that left him all at once. He felt it in a sudden burst.

“I got it; I feel the mana!” Axel said with excitement.

“Good for you,” Rayner said. He had moved logs in a way that caused the zombies moving too fast to trip over them. Rayner would then smash their head in. The zombies still crawled toward them but it slowed them down.

Rayner would not be able to keep it up forever. Axel had to use the mana he could feel and turn it into a skill. He just needed to think of something that could kill zombies. No, not just zombies, then they would be in trouble when a new monster showed up.

Pain, that was the key, it’s what he felt when he died, it would be easy to mimic with his mana. He flowed his mana into his knife. He ran to a zombie that was coming up behind Rayner and stabbed it. The zombie let out a scream, it stopped reaching for Rayner and desperately clutched at the wound as if its hand could heal it.

“What did you do?” Rayner said.

“Made it feel pain with my mana. Your turn, figure out how to use your mana and turn it into a skill. I thought of how I died if that helps.”

“It doesn't. That’s not what I want to think about.”

Rayner took his place by the tree and closed his eyes. It was now up to Axel to fight the zombies, to hold the zombie horde off until his friend found a way to defend himself using the power of mana. Axel would not fail, he would no—.

“Done! Force Hammer!” Rayner said. He ran past Axel, swinging his shining green hammer into a zombie. “Huh, not much damage, but as close to crowd control as I’m going to get.”

“How did you do it so fast!”

“While you were figuring out if Elves are fairies and all that other stuff, I was figuring this out. I can use it 20 times in a row, but If I pace myself I should be able to recover allowing more uses."

Axel did not check to see how much mana his skill used, or how many times he could use it. He underestimated Rayner. Back home, when they played games together, Rayner was a source of running commentary on the sexism of the game worlds instead of min-maxing.

Axel checked his skills. Pain Knife appeared in the skills section. It used 1 mana, letting him use it 10 times. Did that mean his skill had more power than Rayner’s?

For now, he needed to figure out how he and Rayner could use these two skills to get out of this mess. “When I slash with my knife they’ll be disabled, then you push past them.”

“Got it. Can you keep up?”

“Can you? You have never beat me in a race.”

He activated his Pain Knife; a hazy red glow dripped from his knife as if he had already gutted the enemy. Axel stabbed and slashed at any zombie he could reach. It only took a scratch to disable them as the zombies had no defense against the unfamiliar feeling of pain. Most of the zombies dropped to the ground opening a path for them without Rayner having to use his skill to get past them.

They stuck with this formation as they ran towards the center of the forest, only pausing to recover their mana.

“Axel, even if we get to the center of the forest, we can’t fight a god with these things chasing us.”

“Yazid created these zombies, not the God of the forest. The Forest God can command them to attack us, or to hide, but would you let murderous zombies you did not create anywhere near you?”

Rayner took a look around, noticing for the first time that the mass of zombies had thinned out. “You’re right. The zombies I see now are the ones that followed us from the start. New zombies are not being sent to attack us.”

“Then if we finish off the zombies here, we can take a breather. If we don’t run into any others, we are safe.”

Axel charged toward the final group of zombies, knife raised, only for the zombies to step back. He stumbled, not expecting their reaction. When Rayner rushed into them, they attacked again. He quickly caught on. If these zombies were the ones following them since the start then they must have remembered that his knife could make them feel pain. A terrifying possibility for an immortal creature.

Axel motioned as if to stab them, and when they flinched back, Rayner jumped in and smashed their skulls. Beating their heads to a pulp did not kill them, but they preferred zombies that could not bite to ones that could. This was how they defeated what remained of the pursuing zombie horde.


The fights with the zombies left them covered in gore. It was easy to ignore during the heat of battle, harder as they walked toward the heart of the forest. At least they could rule out the zombies using smell to track them as they both smelt like corpses. Either the Forest God was guiding them, or zombies could sense mana.

Zombies being able to sense mana made the most sense. His Pain Knife skill used mana; if the zombies were sensitive to mana it would explain why they felt the effects of the skill.

They took their time, dispatching any stray zombies that came in their path, but most stayed away from them. They were especially wary of Axel.

“It’s about time we talk about how we kill this God, the Elves—fairies did not give us much information on it,” Rayner said.

“Hit the blinking red mark on its body,” Axel said.

“No jokes Axel.”


Talking about killing a god was fine until they got closer to it. They had no idea what it would look like, and only some idea what it could do.

“We can’t just wing this Axel. This is not a game. We don’t get another life.”

“You’re right, I know…It’s only an idea, but I think this god can’t attack us.”

“It’s been doing that since we entered the forest.”

“No, its servants attacked us. Let’s take stock of what we know. It needed the Inimi to drive the Dwarves out, the fairies to take care of the forest, and zombies created by Yazid to hunt us. Maybe some of its enemies are too far away or numerous to attack, but we are getting close to the heart of the forest and other than this oppressive feeling we are fine.”

"Matches up with the gods giving power to those that worship it. They can't fight us directly. Still, if that's true everybody could kill gods."

“Our Titles, Godless and Faithless, are the key. Anyone who has the power to fight a god is aligned with them, but we have power without the gods.”

“And since the fairies no longer worship it, it can’t attack its enemies. Assuming worship is what gives gods their power. We are making a lot of assumptions.”

They were, and they still did not know how to kill the god.

The oppressive sensation weighed on them, making their movements sluggish. It hit them like a gust of living wind. Axel's eyes began to water and his throat grew dry.

Rayner's breathing became heavy, and he clutched his chest, he had it worse than Axel.

“Axel…my mana is decreasing, fast.”

Checking his palm, he saw that the same thing was happening to him. “Same here, but my mana is still at 7.”

Rayner tried to say something but couldn’t. Why was this effecting Rayner more than him? Axel grabbed his friend to prevent him from falling. As they came into contact Rayner was able to stand on his own again, the pressure letting up. They separated and again Rayner's knees grew weak until he got close to Axel.

“It’s your higher level, it must give you a resistance to its attack,” Rayner said.

“That’s great and all but I don’t know if we can fight like this.”

“I have a feeling we won’t have to anymore.”

Without explaining himself Rayner continued into the heart of the forest.


They entered a clearing much like the one the fairies lived in. Blooming red flowers covered the trees, the same flowers covered the ground. At the center of the clearing was a giant mushroom. A glittering mist came off it as it pulsed slowly, beating like a heart.

“This is the God,” Axel said, readying his knife.

“It has to be. Put away the knife. I don’t think we need it. Yet.”

Rayner walked right up to it, the back-breaking pressure they felt earlier no longer weighing them down.

“So much for being careful and thinking of a plan,” Axel muttered and moved to join his friend.

Rayner did not respond and was touching the mushroom, eyes wide open in a trance. Axel shook him, yelling at him to wake up, but nothing worked.

Rayner had walked up to the Forest God with complete confidence. He wanted this to happen, meaning Axel could not start stabbing the mushroom. It could backfire and hurt Rayner. Instead, Axel placed his hand on the mushroom as well. And his mind drifted.

When he regained awareness, he was with Rayner who was no longer in a trance, and Yazid was sitting on top of the mushroom.

“It’s not really Yazid. This is an illusion,” Rayner said.

Yazid nodded in agreement.

“Alright, let’s get to the point. You have pissed everyone off, so we have come to kill you.”

“What my friend means to say is that we are open to finding a peaceful solution.”

“Peace is not possible,” the Forest God in Yazid’s form said.

“Then why communicate with us?”

“I wish to tell my story before I die.”

“You want to give us your Will?” Axel said. This was not how he imagined events playing out.

“You have questions, my dying words can provide answers,” fake Yazid said. He made a gesture and two mushrooms appeared behind them for them to sit on. “I am but a weak, petty god, only special in that I was able to physically manifest myself in a living form.”

"And you chose a mushroom," Axel said.

“I chose nothing. As I said, I was a petty god, a spirit, barely sentient.”

“Until the fairies started worshiping you.”

“Yes, I became their local deity, and I grew as they increased in number. They tended to the woods and flowers until it grew into a lush forest. I became that forest.”

“Until the dwarfs started cutting the trees down, I get that, but what about this treaty? Did the Dwarves break it?”

“…No, they did not. The treaty with the Dwarves benefited both of us. I worked with the Inimi because I wanted more power. For power, I convinced Yazid to raise a zombie army, abandoned my worshipers and betrayed my allies." This God was brutally honest.

“I still don’t understand,” Rayner said.

"I do. He wanted a place at the big kids' table. I assume the fairies don't leave the forest and have little influence. With a zombie army and Inimi allies, you could be a mover and shaker," Axel explained.

It was odd hearing the reasons for conflict explained with such bluntness. Those with power wanted more. No flowery excuses needed.

“What did Yazid get out of the deal?” Rayner said.

“I had the fairies obtain materials and bring it to his cabin prison.”

“Who imprisoned him?” Axel said.

“I did not care to ask. I suppose anyone who did not like the idea of a man who could raise an immortal army at will,” false Yazid said. “He had enemies everywhere. Yazid would be safer in prison than out in the world.”

“Why are you dying? Is it old age?”

False Yazid chuckled, showing emotion for the first time. “I made an agreement with Yazid not to hurt you two. I broke it, hoping to offer you to the Inimi. He set up a fail-safe in case I broke the deal. Right now, every zombie in this forest is draining my deific mana, it is killing me.”

Deific mana? Axel filed that away for later study.

“You can still control the zombies to attack us, but that led them closer to your location,” he said.

Rayner caught on. “Also leading them closer to your deific mana. The more you break the agreement, the closer you come to death. Damn that Yazid is clever, screwing a god from beyond the grave.”

“A perfect necromancer,” the God said.

“Wait, a second. I get how he set it up to kill you, but what if it was not us you attacked?”

"The zombies have mana sensing, remember?"

“Yes, now are you ready to take my will,” false Yazid said.

“You don’t deserve it, but yeah, say what you have to say,” Axel said.

Instead of speaking, the god closed its eyes, his mind drifted again. The illusion dissipated. The giant mushroom gone, the red flowers dead, and the surrounding trees had become husks.


Seeing a god die was not as satisfying as he thought. Fighting would have been preferable to the sight of everything around them dying.

“I think the moral of that story was never double-cross Yazid,” Rayner said.

“Makes me wonder if he has a fail-safe for us,” Axel said.

The thought disturbed them both; it was something they would have to investigate.

"Help me look for loot," Axel said while looking under rocks and searching through the grass.

“No loot fell when we fought the zombies or the goblins. There won’t be any here either. As we keep telling each other, this is not a game,” Rayner said. “Now stop that and come here, it’s time to check our stats. If you focus properly, it will only show you relevant stats, it’s not like we don’t know our race and Titles.”

That got Axel’s attention; stopping his search for loot he went beside Rayner and shared each other’s stats.

Name: Axel, Level: 3, Class: Thug, Mana: 10, Skills: Pain Knife(1), EXP: 0.

Name: Rayner, Level: 1, Class: Barbarian, Mana: 30, Skills: Force Hammer(0.5), EXP: 30.

“This is bullshit!” Rayner said, “I got less EXP than when I fought the Inimi.”

“Other than being able to resist the mana attacks, I have not seen the benefit of gaining levels, I don’t have any points to distribute, and I don’t feel different. At least your mana increased, any idea how that happened?”

Taking a moment to think about it before answering, Rayner said, “I have a theory.”

“Theory sounds good, let’s hear it.” Axel wished one of those mushroom seats were around for him to sit on while they had this discussion.

“It’s like I read in Yazid’s book in the cabin. Mana is a combination of forces; life-force, stamina, health and whatever other magic exists in this world.” Rayner looked to him to see if he understood.

“Alright, I’m following.”

“What we did was like exercise, but instead of waiting weeks to see the results, we see them in hours or days. The parts of mana work together. Life-force can’t regenerate normally, health takes healing, stamina needs rest or food to recover.”

"But magic doesn't, when the magic recovers everything else does too. That’s why you have high mana as a barbarian.”

“That’s the theory or I’m secretly going to be a strong magic user.”

“Maybe you can be? Mana is comprised of different energies, but mana is mana, you should be able to use it however you want.”

Rayner shook his head. “I think my class may restrict what type of skills I can use.”

As they thought on their stats, Axel noticed something appearing on his stat sheet. It was an item, Will of an Unnamed God. He showed it to Rayner.

“Looking closer, I have it too. Don’t know why I didn't see it before. Then again, we weren't looking.”

Axel focused on the item name, hoping something would pop out, but nothing happened. Items being held in a magical dimension of infinite storage were also something that did not carry over from games to this world. Instead, he saw lines of text.

Reading from his palm was not awkward, because he was not truly reading from his palm; it reminded him of the augmented reality glasses back in his world. He only needed to think about scrolling to read through the text. However, like augmented reality and VR, it hurt his eyes when looking at it too long.

Much of the Will was the God complaining about its lack of power, the lack of respect other gods gave it, not having enough worshipers. On and on it went.

“It’s like reading the diary of a teenage girl,” Axel said.

“If that teenage girl was a power-hungry bastard.”

“Exactly,” he said, laughing along with Rayner.

After spending some time reading through it, he found something interesting. “Other than the whining, there is some information about the Inimi in here. Those zombies used to be an Inimi army. They tried marching through the forest to surprise attack the Dwarves but got lost and picked off by zombie animals.”

“I skipped to the section you’re on. The name of the mountain is the Gray Peaks, and they call the city Grayhaven.”

"Well, that explains a lot. We really stepped into a minefield."

“This Will is a gold mine of information, the general makeup of the Inimi army is in here, and so is basic information about the gods.”

“Just the ones he complains about… I wish I got a title called God Slayer.”

“I’m hoping you did not do this just for that.” Rayner looked like he already knew.

Axel heard something snapping, and pushed Rayner to the side, avoiding a falling branch. A tree also fell, and the others looked ready to follow.

“Looks like it’s time to go,” Rayner said. “Seems our petty god had a fail-safe of its own. You got the compass?”

“Yep, follow me. Exit is this way.”

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Doozy woof Hunter — 10 October 2019 15:20
love this story! Ch3 soon please!!!
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