(Whoops, forgot to schedule this to release as well.)
Book 2. So the synopsis has starts here! It’ll be slow going for a bit as they adjust to their situation, but hopefully you’ll stick around for what comes after.
It’s time to get up, Paige! The cows need to be milked at first light, otherwise, they’ll run dry.
I open my eyes to see an unfamiliar roof above. The rough sawn wood that formed the ceiling was unpolished, as though there were other projects that were more pressing. The smell of fresh cotton and warm sunlight filtering in from outside.
‘It’s just a dream. Just a dream.’ Paige thought to herself. She knew what was going to happen next. Voices drifted in from the outside, a sense of urgency in the voices of the adults outside. Standing up from the large hay bed, her tiny feet crept quietly to the window, as she stepped on her tiptoes to look outside. A single traveling merchant had arrived at the tiny settlement, carrying a bloodied girl back.
“There was an animal attack or something. I looked around, but it seems like she was the only survivor…”
“Peter, go get your sister up. She should have some clothes that can fit the poor girl.”
‘Why did she have to come here? If she hadn’t arrived…’ Paige sighed as she remembered what had followed the days after her arrival.
…It’s the Demons, run away!
….Hide Paige! It’s an attack….
She’s the only survivor…Someone needs to take the Princess class… it cannot die with the stupid girl…
Paige POV (main focus right now.)
Waking with a start, Paige realized that she was not in the mausoleum. Looking around, she watched as the land moved around her. No, not land. Wheat. she was sitting in a field of wheat, the chaffs were about 3 feet tall, the wheat inside just about to break their hard outer shells.
“Zenith? Tyler? Nick? Isabella? Is anyone here?” She called out, looking around the empty field. Paige faltered as she tried to stand, her breath heavy with exhaustion. Paige hadn’t felt this weak in a long time. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, she felt something was odd. She wasn’t in her sleek bodysuit anymore either. Instead, it was a rough cotton shirt and pants, the colors faded from the sunlight. “I, Paige Alduit, of my own accord, request my status,” she called out after a moment. She watched as her mana slowly left her core, the words in front of her fizzling in the dark night.
‘What is happening?’ Although her class was Farmer and she felt exhausted, deep down she felt fine, almost as though she had just received the Princess class for the first time again.
A cry in the woods startled her, and as she listened to the sound in the wind she realized it was the sound of a baby crying. Paige groaned as she stood up. ‘Focus Paige. You can do this. You’ve fought Dragons before. No need to be scared of something. You’re just in a dream or something.’ A sharp pain in her head distracted her, almost causing her to lose her balance due to pain. ‘Can’t lose consciousness. FOCUS!’
Wandering off into the woods, she realized that she had been in this place once before. Yes, she had been here before. ‘The Echoing Woods? Rebecca and I explored this place once before when we were trying to debunk the folk tales in this area. What am I doing here? How had I gotten here?’ She followed the sounds, remembering her past visit here to locate the location of the cry.
Steadily approaching the location of the cry, she unconsciously felt for her weapons and grabbed empty air, stopping her mid-stride. She immediately felt for her other gear, checking to see if anything was left behind. Her heart sank as she came up empty, but brightened when she felt her chest. Looking into her shirt, a single thread of hair was holding a ring slightly above her breasts, a ring that still bore her name on it. “Paige Alduit”. She recognized that the ring was glowing brightly, and quickly stowed the ring back in her shirt. She knew that grabbing any equipment from the ring would be a bad idea at the moment since the mana releasing from the ring would alert any magic user who had [Mana Sensitivity]. Looking around, she opted for a semi-long branch instead.
Paige frowned as she tried to use her mana to shape the improvised weapon and failed. [Weapon Shaper] was a skill most Apprentice Warriors picked up since most would not be using true iron swords straight from the beginning. “A Farmer huh…” She recalled a simple skill her father used to use all the time and closed her eyes, her hand gripping the branch. “[Craft Modification – Plowing].” The branch shifted in her grasp, and as she opened her eyes she held a wooden hoe, even the blade at the end was simply made from wood, it’s edge gleaming in the moonlight. Swinging the hoe lightly, she realized that she had not lost any of her Warrior skills or techniques, nor had her strength decreased. An intriguing find, but something that could wait until later.
Slowly walking into a clearing, she noticed a bundle of clothing directly in the middle, the forest mist slowly settling close to the ground. ‘No traps, but also nothing else is in these woods.’ Paige frowned, thinking something was off with the forest. Peering at the bundle of clothing, she saw a baby wrapped in a dark cape, the moonlight shining directly over them. Looking at the cloth, she realized where she had seen that before. The Demon Lord’s cape.
Paige’s gasped in pain as her memories rushed back to her.
I kept my eyes open, waiting to see what death looked like. I refuse to die with my eyes closed! Suddenly though, I noticed that the surroundings have stopped moving. Huh, so this is how I die? Watching oblivion come to me one slow second at a time. But nothing happened. Or so I thought.
The green glow of the magic circle was replaced by a golden glow, coming from Isabella. This must be her [Divine Protection] skill. Or is it [Divine Right]? But what is the point of this? She noticed that the Shaman ahead of her was looking around in confusion as well.
Paige watched as a stream of mana absorbed the dead, an unknown symbol drifting up from the ground. The golden glow coming from Isabella was being repelled by the red glow from the Demon Lord’s back, but both the glow of mana and the people themselves were absorbed by the weapon in her hand. The weapon and the symbol rotated, a golden orb swirling in a sea of red mana, while a red orb was swirling in the sea of golden mana. The symbol and weapon suddenly cracked in two, separating Paige and the Shaman, as well as each portion of the mana with the two respective people. The formation suddenly turned green above, and then….
Paige frowned. Nothing. ‘Why can’t I remember what happened afterward? We’re not even on the same side of the country anymore.’
The cry of the baby broke her concentration and she crouched down, evaluating the baby. She could already make some suppositions on who this baby would grow up to become, but the question became why did it happen. ‘The symbol split into two separate parts. Does that mean Isabella is with the Shaman?… A heroic weapon that can resist both demonic and divine mana…a magic circle hidden under the mausoleum, and could absorb divine mana…a trap?… But what happens if he dies…’
‘I need more information.’ Paige sighed quietly. Focusing her thoughts, Paige threw the unknowns out and stared hard at the baby in her hands. “Okay baby. Let’s see who you are. I, Paige Alduit, request the true status of the baby in front of me; [[Compelled Advanced Status]].” Her mana weakly gathered around the baby, and she waited, waiting to see what came out of the spell. As the words gathered in front of her, her breath stilling as it formed words.
Class: Blessed Apprentice
‘Well, that’s a whole lot of unhelpful and contradictory information. His race is messed up; his Class is messed up, and he’s being watched by some type of deity. No problem, we can figure out which one eventually, and the guild libraries should be able to fill in all the relevant information. The bigger problem is if someone recognizes he’s the Demon Lord.’ Grabbing the baby, she picked up the Demon Lord’s cloak and shoved it into her spatial ring, disregarding the risks. ‘No sense in leaving it for someone to find. Let’s see if I can find anyone else in the woods,’ Paige turned the baby over and noticed the markings on his back were gone. She thanked every god and star she knew since that was a dead giveaway for at least blood sacrifices. Shushing the baby gently she walked deeper into the woods, as she knew that there was a settlement in the woods.’
Paige stopped after walking for an hour. She knew the settlement was in this area but the area was changing as she walked. By her estimates, she should have walked the entirety of the forest. “Zenith! Nick! Tyler! Are you here?” By now, she was not worried about any enemies, not with her skills. The baby in her hand started fussing and crying, and she knew that she’d have to find something for the baby to eat soon. Looking down at her breasts, she knew that there’d be no milk producing happening before the baby starved to death. ‘No nursemaids here, so what can I do to make the baby live?’ Paige’s eyes widened as she recalled a conversation, one from a very long time ago.
“Father, how come you are able to work so long in the fields? Doesn’t it get hot?”
“Haha, no Paige. I have a very special Farmer spell. Developed especially by Mages for Farmers actually. No one likes a famine after all. Its called…”
Holding her hand to the baby’s stomach, she whispered lightly while transferring the mana over. “[[Mana Nutrition]].” The baby soon settled down after a few moments while Paige leaned against the tree, catching her breath. She never had to deal with flashbacks before, and she realized that her mana core had shrunk significantly. ‘Nothing new I suppose. Just have even less mana to work with right now. Gathering her strength, Paige continued calling out into the forest. “Come on! Hurry up and get out here. I know you guys are out here. Somewheres!”
A faint rustling up ahead alerted Paige. Brandishing her hoe in one hand, she quietly walked forward, shielding the baby between her and the noise. A woman stepped out from the bushes, moving the prickly branches out of her way with a sweep of her walking stick. The woman muttered slightly, not seeing Paige until she stepped fully out of the bushes. She moved the sharpened edge of the walking stick toward Paige. “Who are you?”
“I should be asking that. What is your name?” Paige asked, a hard tone edging her voice. The woman in front of her was wearing slightly expensive and revealing night clothes; something that a villager would wear in the safety of their home, not in a forest such as this. She was Paige’s height and build, her skin a tad lighter than Paige’s skin that was a nice bronze tan from the sun. As she locked eyes with the woman’s evergreen eyes, Paige was sure that she had never seen this woman before, but something in her gut told her otherwise. It was the woman’s hair that threw her off though. Her brown hair was tinged with bright green at the ends. “Wait, is that you Zenith?”
The woman looked at Paige in surprise. “Paige? You look…” Zenith looked Paige up and down. After looking carefully, she realized that Paige really didn’t change much beside her outfit and her weapons. She had a farmer’s tan, as though she was in the sun for a majority of her day, and was using a hoe as a makeshift sword. The only thing that threw Zenith for a loop was the baby now being held in Paige’s arm. “Well, the same really. How long was I out for Paige?”
“Have you even looked at yourself Zenith? You look totally different.”
“Yeah, I know, but there are certain spells that can do that temporarily. I’ve never heard of a spell that can affect someone look permanently, so it is unknown how long I will be in this state anyway.”
“Well, let’s assume nothing right now. Zenith, have you seen Tyler or Nick?”
“I haven’t,” Zenith answered lightly, staring at the baby. “Paige, what happened after we went into the mausoleum? I’ve been trying to remember, but for some reason, everything is a blank. Did we save Isabella? And where did you find a baby?”
“It’s a long story; let’s find Tyler and Nick before I tell you all what happened.”
“Okay. Is the baby alright? I know a few spells that can heal minor ailments.” Zenith motioned to carry the baby. Handling the baby gently, she tried to cast a few spells but failed after a moment. “Strange. I can’t use my usual spells”. Frowning, she handed the baby back and closed her eyes to focus on her status.
“I noticed my status was off as well. I’m a Farmer instead of a Warrior. Are you still a Mage?”
“I, Zenith Hall, of my own accord, request my status.” They both waited, but nothing happened as they waited for her status to appear.
“Are you sure you have enough mana, Zenith?” Paige said as she stared worriedly at Zenith, who was starting to panic.
“I should. I mean, almost anyone can check their own status though! You’d have to have no mana at all to stop it.
“Well, how about I try then. I, Paige Alduit, request the status of the person in front of me; [[ Status]].” The words that were missing soon floated into their view soon after.
Zenith Anna Brent
Paige and Zenith stared at the status, their face a mix of bafflement and disbelief “Uhh, Zenith? Did you elope with Nick when I wasn’t looking?”
“NO! Paige, he’s married. I wouldn’t do something like that before a rescue mission!” Zenith half shouted, hiding her red face behind her hands. “And what in wind’s fury is a Teacher!? That’s more of a title; not a class!”
“Well, I guess it’s just another mystery then. Let’s go find Tyler and Nick then.” Paige said while shrugging her shoulders. “This whole thing is strange. What’s one more mystery?