Chapter 5: Early Morning.
Sauron silently crept back home.
Vivian was still sound asleep on the bed, the corners of her mouth slightly raised. But soon afterwards it appeared she had a nightmare, a look of horror appeared on her innocent face as she sleep-talked: “Big brother…….don’t go!……don’t leave me!”
“Don’t grab me! ……you’re all bad people!……”
“Caesar……what happened to you?……don’t scare me like that……”
Vivian’s little hand violently thrashed about. Her eyes were squeezed shut, yet they looked as if they were seeking something to embrace.
Sauron who was about to change his bloody shirt quickly rushed over, softy patting the young girl on the back. But he felt something, and a look of pain appeared on Vivian’s face. Sauron quickly raised her clothing and found the purple, blackening mark on her back. It was a bruise caused by a blunt trauma, the extravasated blood turning black from being trapped.
Sauron’s face instantly darkened, his eyes brimming with a heavy, murderous aura.
He lovingly comforted Vivian, carefully putting her clothing down as he muttered “You little idiot!”
“Why didn’t you tell me about this injury?”
Such a brutal injury.
Yet she endured this whole time without telling him, it must have been because she didn’t want him to worry about it.
The blood on her back was starting to blacken, it must have been quite some time since she was injured. To think, she managed to take care of him while feeling such pain, tears began to well up at the corners of Sauron’s eyes. Sauron was greatly moved by this familial bond. The social welfare of the Interstellar Age were so advanced, parents hardly ever needed to take care of their children and vice versa, to him the concept of family love was both familiar yet vague.
But because of the young girl before him, he felt his heart warming up.
He was an indifferent person.
The bits and pieces from the past half a month formed a tight bond between him and the young girl, a bond more powerful than any he ever had in the past living alone.
“Everything will be alright tomorrow.”
Sauron lightly stroked Vivian’s little head, soothing the young girl in her nightmares.
“I’ll find you some medicine first thing tomorrow. This little injury is nothing, not even a scar will remain”.
Vivian gradually calmed down.
Sauron took off his shirt, revealing a body filled with tightly-packed muscles. He threw the blood-stained shirt into the stove and silently stared at the scars that covered his body. The previous Sauron must have had it extremely tough, it’s impossible for a young boy to take care of a three year old sister under normal circumstances.
He fought and he murdered.
A youth merely eighteen years old, yet riddled with dozens of scars on his body. God knows how many times he cheated death.
There were those from street fights and there were those from whip lashes when he was caught stealing.
Despite being an ordinary youth, his life was without doubt far harsher than many classed adventurers.
A faint firelight glowed.
Sauron changed into a set of clean clothes. Vivian was a very diligent young girl. Despite being only eight, she tends to do everything she can within her ability.
The house was always clean and tidy and the clothes neatly folded.
Sauron touched his face, he could make out a handsome face and ears slightly pointer than normal. Since Sauron’s father was a half-elf with a quarter elf blood in him, Sauron should have an eighth of elf blood in him as well. This was why he was nimbler than the average person, an elf’s agility was inborn.
Sauron’s vision pierced through the darkness.
Almost all half-elves had a certain degree of night vision, they were the best assassins within the shadows.
“Looks like some pretty decent base stats.”
Sauron flexed his wrist, his dagger danced on the tip of his fingers, drawing shimmering lines. “Even though it wasn’t a hero template, nor could the attributes be re-allocated, but the overall stats are definitely much better than most people.”
“The only problem is strength.”
“The average person has 10 strength and 12 strength was about the same as a labourer at the ports”
“He probably never actively trained his strength, choosing instead to rely on his skills!”(1)
“That’s a high agility!”
“But without proper training, a high agility isn’t as useful as high strength.”
“At least you can straight up beat up your foes with strength!”
Sauron swapped his dagger onto his other hand, the fast-twirling dagger practically formed afterimages. His left hand was unnaturally deft, perhaps even more so than his right hand.
This was an innate talent.
With a bit of training, he could even grasp the duel-wield proficiency, a decent combat ability
“Exp is required to raise my abilities”
Sauron’s body began to blur in the shadows as he lowly muttered: “There probably aren’t missions anymore, that leaves me a lot less ways to get exp points.”
“Killing will probably grant exp points though.“
“Will the thief’s lock-pick and trap-disarm class skills grant exp?”
The highest form of exp, allocatable to all classes, subclasses, and transferred classes on the template!
As for a thief’s lock-pick and trap disarming exp, that was merely class exp, only allocatable to the thief’s lvl.
The exp a sorcerer gains from copying arcane scrolls functioned in a similar way.
Gaining exp in ”Godswar” was no easy task. Killing monsters didn’t grant much exp, sometimes you might even need to embark on a legendary-class quest, where the final target might be an adult dragon or even a lich. Even then the resulting exp might only amount to a few ten thousands, barely enough to raise one or two class levels. It initially took Sauron several years to level up into a legendary tier thief, killing 3 dragons and 6 liches in the process.
Only one-third of the entire team survived the journey.
Everyone else had to reincarnate.
“Omnipotent Dexterous Hands.”
Sauron’s eyes were empty as he murmured: “Who knows how long it could take before the debuff from reincarnating wears off(2), if I could use Omnipotent Dexterous Hands again, my prowess would surely get a big boost!”
The night goes on.
Sauron hid his dagger in a place he could reach for at anytime and carefully crept onto the bed.
Vivian’s little body unconsciously squeezed into his embrace. She hugged his elbow with her little arms, and made some sleep-talking noises.
The night passed.
Sauron was awakened by a slight movement. Vivian tilted her little head and stared for a moment, a sweet smile soon appeared on her face.
She carefully got off the bed. Because of the bruise on her back, her small face instinctively winced in pain. She wore her old cloth shoes and began tidying the room, lightly brushing the simple furniture. When she saw the bloodstains on the floor, she made a terrified look and quickly flipped over the sheets. She was relieved after she confirmed that Sauron wasn’t hurt and began to wipe the bloodstains off the floor.
Nothing else mattered to her as long as the blood didn’t belong to Sauron.
When she was very very young, Sauron once got into a fight with a group of older kids over a silver dollar.
Sauron was kicked around by the kids as she hid and cried in a corner. The young Vivian had no strength, but she mustered her courage and threw a stone at the kids. The angry kids slapped her in the face, her cheeks instantly swelled and a tooth flew out.
Despite being very young back then, she could remembered it like it was yesterday.
Sauron looked like he had gone insane after seeing her fall onto the floor. He who was previously silently biding his time on the floor suddenly leapt like a feral beast and bit the ear of a big kid.
A bloody ear was ripped right off!
With maddened red eyes Sauron lifted a rock and smashed the his head until it was a bloody mess. The terrified Vivian rushed to stop him, sparing the big kid the fate of being smashed to death on the spot.
Even though he still died in the end.
Several days had passed when a corpse was found floating in the gutters of the slums, its original form impossible to make out.
They were barely making ends meet, with nothing apart from each other.
It didn’t matter to Vivian whether Sauron was a thief, a criminal, or a murder. Because she was determined to shoulder his sins alongside him!
Vivian carefully cleaned the room.
When she saw the empty rice bag, a hint of worry flashed on her face, but she told herself “Big brother had woke up.”
“The bag will soon be filled with rice again!”
She trusted Sauron and without condition.
She had starved before and sometimes for an extended period. But big brother had never failed her before, even though it pained her to eat food stained with his blood (3).
She continues to believe that as long as big brother’s here, everything will be alright.
Everything will be alright.
And so she forgot her little worries and hummed an off-tune song as she tidied the room.
Sauron slowly got up.
He wore the shirt dyed grey from washing as he lovingly patted Vivian’s little head and spoke softly. “Stay home today”
“In two days we’ll move into the city.”
Vivian nodded lightly, with an excited expression on her face. She never thought about how difficult it was to move from the slums into the city.
That took a lot of money, and a free citizen’s ID!
She believed in Sauron.
Because if Sauron said so then he can do it!
Even if it was a bit impossible, that wasn’t Sauron’s fault. There are just too many bad people in this world.
The first ray of morning light shined onto the inconspicuous run-down hut.
Sauron used his dagger and sliced the hard-as-a-club black bread left over from last night into pieces as Vivian tiptoed to the stool as she filled a bowl with cooked porridge. She wobbled due to her lack of strength. Sauron smiled as he supported her, taking the old bowl off her hands.
The little girl looked up, two dimples appeared on her face as she smiled sweetly at him under the sunlight.
Everything was just wonderful!
(1): This was interstellar age Sauron commenting about half-elf Sauron.
(2): Just to make sure there are no confusions, this was referring to Sauron reincarnating into this world, and not the game reincarnation in Godswar where your character resets after dying three times.
(3): not his actual blood, just a figure of speech…I hope. (EN: It likely means he fought for it, e.g blood money refers to money earnt through the suffering or death of others)