Dialogue: "Revenge of the Cannon Fodder."
Inner Thoughts: Revenge of the Cannon Fodder
System: "Revenge of the Cannon Fodder."
Spurts of blood splashed in every direction, Jiang Xiuran quickly shoved off his assailant's corpse. Adrenaline surged through his body as he stood from the ground whilst his hand dripped with blood, even his cheeks were tainted. The crimson liquid sharply contrasted with his pale white skin and dark as night hair, complete with a dangerous glint in his eyes, giving him an ethereal yet deadly appearance.
Jiang Xiuran spat at the corpse. It was a rough-looking man that appeared that he hadn't bathed for days, wearing a strange tattered leather equipment of some kind. A gaping hole decorated his chest.
He quickly took in his immediate environment, taking care to listen to any suspicious movement. He was in a cavern of some sort, crude objects decorated the space and only the bonfire crackling a few feet away illuminated his surroundings. A dark passageway was the only exit in the room.
"Welcome back," greeted the sophisticated voice that helped him earlier.
He let his guard up, his fists clenching at his side before he coldly said, "Who's there?"
"I am System."
"System? Who the fuck are you?" Jiang Xiuran spat back, he checked every direction but only he was in the immediate vicinity.
"Oh, how rude. Must that be your greeting every time?" System complained, before it went on again, "As I've said, I am System. The one responsible for guiding you to the betterment of life. Ah, before I forget, 200 points deduction from the swearing."
"Betterme- the hell are you talking about? Show yourself!"
"I'm afraid I couldn't abide by that request. I do not have a corporeal form, you see. As a System, I communicate via a mental mind-link directly connected to the Host, which pertains to you, sadly enough."
Jiang Xiuran was thoroughly muddled by the strange things this voice, or 'System', was saying. He opened his mouth to question System.
"As much as I want to continue this lovely conversation, better hurry and scurry off, plenty of hostiles incoming~" singsonged System in a cheerful voice.
Just then, multiple voices were heard and the once dark passageway at the side had glimpses of light flickering on it, as if someone was approaching with a torch.
"Mayb-... we...-ave a taste."
"Boss said to deliver the goods whole."
"Gaojun is in there with him now."
"That bastard... What're we waitin' fer, let's join in!"
Disgusting laughter was heard at the suggestion and, in just a matter of moments, the footsteps neared Jiang Xiuran's location.
"New Task: Escape from the Bandit's Lair . Level: D. Reward: 100 points. Time limit: 20 minutes."
He stretched and crackled his hand as he got ready for a fight. He didn't know how he killed the fucker lying beside his feet, but the power coursing through his veins made him conceive the notion that he could very well take on this bunch of newly arrived fuckers.
"Warning, you will die if you engage in this fight," stated System, in a matter-of-fact tone.
That immediately doused him in brutally cold water.
"You're normally not this dull, but it would be forgiven, you did just wake up again," System drawled to itself, before continuing, "The one you killed - quite disgusting, mind you - was just a mediocre bandit, you also had the element of surprise. However, while the ones approaching mostly consisted of lowly, uncivilized, and unhygienic bandits - the smell! - there is a hidden imperial vanguard in that group, whom will frankly destroy you. In seconds."
"O-oi," Jiang Xiuran began, not so sure anymore. He inched back a little as doubt began to cloud his mind.
"Would you like to activate a skillset?"
"Get me outta here," he whispered frantically, in a very low tone. He could clearly hear the bandits now, they were very close.
"[ Cloak ] skill activated, one time use. Time limit, 10 minutes. 250 points has been deducted from the original point storage."
An icy feel suddenly spread all over Jiang Xiuran's body, it was both cool and refreshing. He looked down and saw that he couldn't see himself at all!
"Careful," System informed, "even if your presence was erased as of the moment, any movement done may compromise your position. Imperial vanguards are not to be taken lightly."
Jiang Xiuran didn't know what imperial vanguards were, he didn't even know this strange thing called System. However, as much as he wanted to interrogate this 'System', now wasn't the time. The bandits had entered the lair.
As soon as the bandits saw the corpse lying haphazardly on the ground, they immediately entered into a panic.
"This is bad! The boss will kill us!"
"He escaped! Hurry and get that bastard back!"
Some of them immediately went to report on the situation, while others checked the room, any hiding place was ransacked, yet there was no signs of their hostage anywhere.
Jiang Xiuran didn't dare move. From the moment the bandits entered the scene, he already noticed one particular person among them. Even though this 'bandit' was dressed in the same tattered leather armor, there was something different with this guy. It made Jiang Xiuran's hair stand on end.
"That's your inherited skill, [ Intuition ]. You were fortunate enough to learn it in one of your past worlds. Inherited skills are quite rare as they're carried over in between worlds."
He thought frantically, as the imperial vanguard flicked his gaze over Jiang Xiuran's direction.
"Oh, never you mind. The only one who could hear me is you."
Jiang Xiuran couldn't even think straight as the imperial vanguard focused his sight on him. He held his breath in fear that his location would be discovered.
Right at that moment, the remaining bandits began to leave the room. Unfortunately, the imperial vanguard started to head to his general direction, making Jiang Xiuran's heart skip a beat.
"What're you lookin' at?" A scraggly bandit sneered, grabbing the shoulder of the imperial vanguard and tugging it towards the exit. They were the only ones in the room, this bandit was heading out with the others when he noticed that this newcomer lingered on. "Don't fuckin' laze arou-"
The bandit's sentence were forever unfinished as the upper part of his head was cleanly sliced off and sent flying on the ground. Jiang Xiuran watched in horror, he could clearly see the contents of the bandit's skull as the only thing that remained connected to the guy's neck was the lower part of his mouth. The cut was so clean and fast that the blood didn't even had the time to spurt out yet before another corpse hit the ground.
The imperial vanguard coldly casted a final look around, flicked off the blood from his sword, before exiting the room. Only then did Jiang Xiuran slump in relief and took in the long desired breath.
What the hell was that?!
"That's why I said you won't even last a second," System commented, "at least, not in your current state. All skills and augmentations, bar inherited skills, are reset whenever Host arrives in a new world."
As much as Jiang Xiuran wanted to know more, he knew that the priority was to fucking get the hell out of here. He remembered that this System said that he only had 10 minutes before the Cloak skill deactivates. And hell, even if he was stronger than the normal person, or bandit in this case, he knew he wouldn't be able to defeat that assassin, so it's better to get as much distance from that guy.
Before he went out, he grabbed a crudely made dagger from one of the corpses. Jiang Xiuran wasn't sure if the weapon would be 'cloaked' if he carried it, it wouldn't do to get discovered due to a hovering object, but he was happy to see that the dagger was cloaked as well. He checked for any movement outside, and headed out when the coast was clear.
Surprisingly enough, traversing through the cavern wasn't toohard. It may be due to the fact that he had this Cloak skill. Every time he encountered a group of frantic bandits, he would just step aside while they went on their merry way. He knew that he could take them out if he wanted to, but decided that it was better to let them go and not leave any evidence behind. He didn't want that assassin to track him down.
Finally, after a couple twists and turns, and following a small group of bandits, he was now able to see the exit.
He just exited the cavern when the cloak skill deactivated.
Directly in front of the small group that he was following.
"Time's up!" announced System, cheerfully.
"Shi-!" cursed Jiang Xiuran.
He didn't give the time for the surprised bandits to react before he slashed the dagger through a bandit's neck. Unknown battle instincts and muscle memory dictated his every move, like he had done this before. However, for the life of him, he couldn't remember a thing on just how or when he learned this stuff.
In seconds, he eliminated the bandits within the vicinity.
"He's here!" a voice shouted, then dozens of footsteps was heard.
Jiang Xiuran turned and ran. He sure as hell didn't want to be captured again, he just knew that the assassin already heard of the commotion.
He panted hard as his muscles burned in extreme distress. Even though his strength was augmented, this body was lacking in endurance and speed. He could already hear some of the more agile bandits catching up just a few feet away. With a twist of his foot, he swiftly threw the bloodied dagger behind him, successfully embedding it on the forehead of the nearest bandit.
An arrow suddenly barged itself into the tree, just inches beside Jiang Xiuran's head.
"200 points deduction for swearing."
"This is seriously not the time for that!"
Jiang Xiuran continued his bolt, missing trees here, evading bushes there, and generally having a fun time dodging multiple projectiles as a bunch of murderous bandits followed his trail.
All of a sudden, a cold trickle began to flow down his neck as his intuition told him that the assassin was near.
Way too near.
"Ahh!" Jiang Xiuran involuntarily let out as the nervousness within him burst into high levels.
Something told him to duck down, maybe it was System, or maybe his questionable battle instincts did so. When he ducked, strands of hair was immediately cut off. Jiang Xiuran was barely able to avoid a swift death, just like that bandit back in the room.
Tasting the earth on his mouth from where he was on the ground, Jiang Xiuran powerfully kicked and swept his leg towards his assailant, successfully connecting to do a side sweep. He quickly rolled to the side, once again avoiding as a sword deeply embedded into the ground.
Still in his position on the ground, Jiang Xiuran dug his knees and forcibly threw himself in that direction. Sharp pain was felt on his arm as he narrowly avoided the assassin's full attack.
Who knew that as soon as he moved, he suddenly found himself falling through mid-air.
"200 points deduction for swearing."
Explosive curses directed at System swiftly flew through Jiang Xiuran's mind as he continued his rapid descent to, no doubt, certain death.
(If you guys haven't noticed yet... I suck at action scenes.)
(I'm now regretting the opening premise, why did I have to place him in a bandit's lair? Just... why? lmao!)
(I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! Please don't forget to comment and vote, thank you!~)
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