The First Lich Lord - C.128


I sat in the crypt of the Nephelium, focusing on refining a single point of tier 2 death energy. Vitos waiting reply stated he did not feel confident in explaining the process and advised that I talked to Damien. At his prompting, I took a quick trip to my mindscape to speak with the master necromancer.

Technically speaking, being in the crypt wasnt necessary, according to Damien, but he said it would help the process immensely. The amount of death energy emanating in that area would ease the refinement of the higher tier energy. All that was needed was for me to have a death core from some being which had passed level 100. It could not be from a pair of creatures which had been level 50. Damien told me for every 100 levels, the cores gained a certain capacity for the higher tier death energy.

With the core, I used a combination of tier 1 death energy and death magic to build a shell around it. The core was then cracked, and the power was released into the shell. Using the control over my magic, I would then constrict the shell and squeeze the energy. It was a more extreme version of what I had done for refining my death core.

Damien told me I would have to condense the core to a point where it was about the size of my hand, where it couldnt compress any further. In that state, I needed to push soul energy into the process to serve as a catalyst that triggered the innate power within the death energy. After that process was complete, I was to remove the shell and the energy would be absorbed.

I studied the sphere. It was about the size of a basketball, and contained inside was the core. Building it had been remarkably easy. My innate control over death magic made the process simple. Sitting in a small spike of eldritch power, I cracked the orb. The energy exploded out, pushing against my sphere. It wasnt enough for me to worry about, but it was noticeable.

The reason why I needed to be in the crypt was that the ambient death energy also served to help put pressure on the orb. It wasnt only that, however. If I attempted this in a place full of other types of energy, be it magical, natural, etc., they would interfere with the process by weakening my created sphere. Damien said places like abandoned battlefields or crypts were often good places to condense tier 2 energy.

I pressed down with my will and the sphere shrank. At first it was easy, but by the time the sphere condensed to the size of a cantaloupe, I was beginning to struggle. If I did not have such an intrinsic control over death magic, I do not know whether I wouldve succeeded. The sphere continued to shrink centimeter by centimeter, until it reached the point Damien had described. I felt I could no longer proceed. It was like trying to press your hand into a stone wall, there was no give at all.

Stopping, I relaxed, though the strain of keeping the orb that small was hard. I reached out and placed a finger on the orb, carefully pushing soul energy into it. Using soul energy was not something I was well practiced in, but you didnt need to be for this process. The orb shook, and the pressure further increased. Then, in an instant, it was gone. The pressure ceased completely and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Breaking apart the magical sphere revealed an orb the size of a marble so black, it looked like itd been cut out of the world. Before I could study it, the orb flew into my core. Glancing at my status, Id gained a single point of tier 2 death energy. I also gained a level in the process of getting the death core used in the process, so I had capacity for one more point. Fortunately, I had killed more than one, and pulled out another level 100 core, repeating the process.


I left the crypt and made my way out of the ziggurat. Maxwell and Raven met me at the top. Despite only a few days having passed since the initial members of the guild had arrived, it had not taken long for them to get word back to the rest and for more members to begin showing up.

The players were industrious as ever, already building some permanent-looking structures where the army of priests had built their camp. We were enjoying some of the last few days we would get up on the top of the ziggurat before the players overran everything. Eventually, that would change, but for now we would have to wait.

Whats that? Maxwell asked, pointing towards the water next to the land where the players were building.

A whirlpool had developed. As it grew in size, a rumbling developed. Before long, rising out of the water rose the walls of a large, circular stone building. It didnt rise very high, just enough that the stone walls were several meters above the waters surface. The water inside drained away, and from our vantage we could see down into the circular building. freewe(b)novel

Is that a Coliseum? I asked in surprise.

There were rows of what looked like seats circling what was clearly some kind of arena. Standing in the middle of it I noticed a figure. Kellnock stood there. He looked up to me and gave a nod.

Maxwell and Raven were already heading down the side of the ziggurat. I followed a moment later, slipping on the relic illusion ring. It would fool none of the players there but it was a close knit group, and none of us were part of their guild, so we would stand out.

By the time we reached the clear entrance to the Coliseum, the players were already gathering, none of them having entered yet.

Aaron spotted us and asked, What is this?

We have no idea, all we know is it looks like a Coliseum from above, Maxwell said.

I did not stop to talk. If it had just been Aarons team I mightve. But there were lots of people I did not know and did not trust. I was into the structure before anyone even tried to stop me, Raven right beside me.

There was a short tunnel that led to a large, curved tunnel that I guessed circled the entire structure. Following that, we found another tunnel that had daylight shining through. Passing through it we came out into the stadium. I was certain thats what it was at this point.

It wasnt elaborate. The seats were simple stone benches and there were no decorations to speak of. I noticed what looked like an announcers box, and even several large gates down on the arenas floor. After a moment, it was as though I was suddenly back within the dungeon. The sense was faint, almost like it felt when I was standing on top of the dungeon.

Kellnock still stood in the center of the arena floor. He met my gaze and began to move towards me. The arena from where I stood. Most of the seats were below water level, even further downwas the floor itself. There was a ten meter high wall around the arena floor that Kellnock cleared with no effort in a single jump.

What do you think, my Lord? Kellnock asked. Truth be told, its the first time hed actually spoken. The elder living dead did not talk often, and I didnt know if that was because he was still waking up so to speak or if he just wasnt talkative. His voice was deep, ancient, and powerful.

I think I like what youre doing, I said.

Whats the point? Raven demanded.

Kellnock did not acknowledge her, something that annoyed Raven. I put a hand on her shoulder, culling her reaction. He intends to entice players to fighting and dying inside of the dungeon so that they generate energy.

How will he do that? Raven asked.

To this, Kellnock held out a large scroll to me. I unrolled it, and the emaciated skin under my illusion stretched into a smile. This would one hundred percent have the desired effect. fre(e)

Kellnock led the way to the arenas entrance. He stopped just inside the arc, not able to leave. That was fine, he designed it with this in mind. With a wave of his hand, the scroll flowed over to where it lay over a sign clearly designed for this. It was fastened in place by bone rivets.

Welcome to the Arena of the Damned. Our presence silenced the players, and Kellnocks voice drew their attention. Anyone brave enough to compete in my arena risks much but will be rewarded greatly for their triumphs. Who among you is brave enough to face the damned? After those few words, Kellnock turned and walked back into his arena.

There werent many players here, but I knew as soon as word of this spread that would change. Looking at the rewards, I understood. There were multiple determinants that would be set up, along with different types of fights. Everything from a beast category to large-scale team matches. There was a note I thought was there for me about NPCs having additional protection from dying compared to that of players, allowing them to participate as well. I was surprised at how well the elder undead knew how to pull players in.

People can also provide beasts that the dungeon would pitch against other beasts or players. If the beast won, they would be rewarded accordingly. Of course, the best rewards came from the major tournaments. There would be a weekly tournament, a monthly one, and one held semiannually. The rewards even for the weekly one would be enough to get most players interested. The first reward was a rare tier bow.

For the weekly and monthly tournaments, the matches would be one-on-one duels. However, for semiannual tournament, the participants would face off against monsters and other contestants alike. To enter any of the tournaments you had to be there at the start and participate in all of your assigned rounds throughout that span of time.

Suddenly, all eyes were on me. So, all the weapons that theyre offering as rewards are as good as what the dungeon was offering before? a player asked.

They should be, and I would guess that semiannual reward will be better than anything any of you have ever held. I smiled, letting my illusion fade as I slipped the relic ring off. Trust me, I should know, Im the one who made those weapons, and Kellnock is far better than I at making weapons.

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