Chapter 12:

Free Day

How I (Accidently) Became a Demon Lord

The words had appeared in front of Rath’s vision, throwing him off in the middle of combat. ‘Mastery- Agnibolt’ sat proudly, quickly vanishing. The monsters of the fourth floor were more bear-like then the wolves of the third floor, and were fewer then the wolves. He had just hit the last creature's weak point, which sat in its chest, and watched it melt into the floor.

It had been four days since Rath’s first venture into the Depths, and the group had all reached only the fourth floor. They always turned back as the day would come to an end, and they worried about being trapped from the shifting dungeon.

Jeel had made a proclamation after they returned that day, they would prepare for an expedition to go lower, and as such were going to take a day off to prepare. The group would spend a day or two into the Depths to try and get deeper. With that the party split for the night, preparing for their day off.

“What do you mean you're leaving?” Rath said, caught off guard.

Kider had his cart set up, and had taken the wand that Rath no longer had a need for, as well as the cores that he was now getting gold for.

“I mean that I will be leaving in a few days.” Kider said. “Not for like four days that is, but I gotta get back and trade what I got here, I just wanted to let you know, if you want to stay I'll be back in a month or two.”

Rath thought it over. “No it's okay, I will head back with you, four days right? We're going on an expedition tomorrow, so i'll just have to go as deep as I can.” He knew they would get deep, and he had learned how to preserve his strength on the earlier floors, even the bears on the fourth floor were starting to get easier.

“If that is the case then I shall wait for you in four days and we can head back.” Kider laughed, counting out the coins that Rath had earned.

“Oh here.” Rath said, handing over the new crystals he had acquired. Kider’s eyes shot up in excitement. When he was finished gushing over his new prize and paid out Rath, the pair gave their farewells.

Rath had found himself with a lot more free time then he knew what to do with. He figured he could try and find Tivis to work on learning magic, but he figured it was best to give her space on her day off. That in mind, he couldn't figure out anything to do with his free time.

Eventually Rath ended up walking around and found a large training area, built outside a guild hall. The guild had the symbol of an air dragon, its feathered wings wrapped around a gemstone. The building of the guild was large, three stories and stretched back a long way.

“Are you interested in joining?” Came a voice from behind Rath, who stared in amazement. Rath turned and caught sight of a man in white armor, a tabard of the guild showing proudly. The man was as young as Rath, and held a sword at his hip, a ring on his right hand.

“I'm not, sorry.” Rath said, watching the man approach him. “I was just wandering around and found this place.”

“I see, that is understandable.” The man said, a wide smile on his face. Rath caught two necklaces under his armor, only seeing the silver chains. He assumed one to be a battery and maybe the other his memento. “The Aerial Gem is always looking for new members.”

“I appreciate the offer.” Rath said, beginning to turn away. He found the man moving quickly to stand in front of Rath, holding out a hand.

“My name is Arwin,” the man said, smiling wider than anyone he had ever seen. “Who might you be?”

Rath took note of the lack of location offered again. “I am Rath.” Rath took his hand and shook it.

“Rath, it is a pleasure to meet you, would you like to spar?” Arwin asked.

“I am fine thank you.” Rath said, trying to get out of the conversation.

“Well I think you should try, see what to expect from the guild.” Arwin said, unshaking in his smile. “We are looking for new recruits before we move out to Dreadfort, we have excellent trainers! Oh but it seems like you are already plenty strong, so maybe you could join us at the Dreadfort, I would love to have someone like you fighting alongside me.”

“You have never met me.” Rath said, caught completely off foot by the onslaught.

“Oh I have a great ability at identifying talent when I see it. I can tell you are powerful and someone worth keeping around.” Arwin said.

Rath wondered about how true that statement was. “Sure, I could use some practice before tomorrow.”

“Yes!” Arwin said, pumping his arm in the air.

The two went to an empty spot in the training yard. Rath drew Freesia, and Arwin drew out a yellow bladed sword. The sword was similar to Rath’s, a hand and half blade. When the pair was ready, Rath moved into his stance, and cast Longjump.

Rath had learned how the spell worked quickly, when cast, it created a magical platform under Rath’s feet and launched him in whatever direction he was pointed. It was instant, no charge time needed, and used so little mana that he still didn't know how many times he could cast it before running out of mana. He also learned that he needed to watch what he did with it. The second time he had used it, he tilted his body to the right and tried to use it, assuming it launched him forward. It did not, and the walls of Depths are very hard.

Rath launched forward at Arwin, his sword raised to stab him. He knew he caught Arwin off guard, closing the gap between the two in an instant. Arwin raised his free left hand to where Freesia came from. The blade was stopped, a magical buckler shield appearing in front of Arwin’s hand, shining with light.

Rath caught sight of Arwin’s sword coming around to hit Rath’s side. Moving himself to point to the side, Rath cast Longjump again, launching to the side. He quickly shifted himself back towards Arwin in flight, forcing his feet to grind the floor. Another cast launched him forward again. Arwin turned to block the next attack, but Rath was prepared.

Rath forced his feet to hit the ground in front of Arwin, casting his spell again, jumping up above Arwin. Arwin was caught off guard as Rath’s sword came down hard, smashing his shield, hitting it almost half way down. Arwin tried taking advantage of the knock back that would have stunned Rath. However Rath had become prepared for the stun thanks to Malphis training, his sword knocking Arwin’s down.

Arwin’s left hand was raised at Rath’s face, a bolt of light hitting him square in the face, knocking him back. The hit blinded Rath for a moment, who blinked away the light. He felt the sword slash across his chest, his shield dropping low after a second slash.

Rath cast Longjump, launching him backwards, dodging a third attack. Now able to see, Rath caught Arwin rushing him, another spell being cast. Rath cast Agnibolt, the two spells hitting each other and creating a large light between the two.

The light did not hinder Arwin, who rushed through it to Rath’s surprise. Arwin charged Rath, the tip of the blade digging deep into Rath’s shield. He felt his shield shatter, Arwin being knocked back and recovered.

The two stood panting for a moment, before Arwin started laughing loudly. It didn't take long before Rath matched his laugh. They laughed for several minutes, drawing the attention of nearby recruits.

“I knew you were something special.” Arwin said, dropping to his back on the ground. “Those attacks were amazing!”

“You were good yourself.” Rath said, sitting on the floor. “Blinding me for free attacks was a great idea.”

“It was a gamble.” Arwin said, still panting. “It left me open for attacks if you were not blinded.”

“A gamble but it paid off.” Rath said. “Thank you for that. I learned something interesting from that.”

“Glad to educate.” Arwin said, his head looking towards the sky. “You sure you don't want to join?”

“I'm sorry.” Rath placed his arm on his knee. “I have to get home soon, I have no intention of adventuring further after I leave.”

“I understand.” Arwin said, his voice seeming saddened. “I would love to have you fight in my personal party. But I understand.” Arwin got to his feet, walking to Rath and held out a hand to lift him up. “It was an honor to fight with you Rath.”

“You as well Arwin.” Rath said, taking the hand to lift him up. “I wish you luck in the future.”

“You as well.” Arwin said, turning to leave. “If you ever change your mind, look for our banner and tell them Arwin vouches for you. Good day Rath.” He turned to leave.

Rath left the training hall, unaware that Arwin watched him go. Arwin stood on a railing as a woman approached him.

“You seemed to have fun.” The woman said.

“He was a good warrior, he would be great to bring with. He might even be strong enough to help us kill Tatalis.” Arwin said, his face glowing in joy.

“Well, can't get them all.” the woman said. “Come on, the rest of us are having a meeting, we're leaving soon, the Guildmaster is waiting for us to bring the new recruits.”

“Alright.” Arwin said, moving to leave. He knew he was nearly beaten, and he was planning to improve on the knowledge that Rath had left him. He hoped that one day him and Rath could fight again when they have learned more. Arwin was unaware that Rath held a similar feeling. 

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