Chapter 5 — Daybreak
Soran quietly returned home.
Vivian was still sleeping tranquilly on the bed with a smile on her face, but her cute white face suddenly cramped and showed signs of fear as she seemed to dream of something bad.
“Big Brother! Don’t go…! Don’t leave me alone…!
“Don’t take me away! You’re all bad guys!
“Heath… What’s wrong? Don’t scare me…”
Vivian swung her arms frenziedly as if trying to hold onto something even though her eyes were still closed.
Soran, who was about to change into a clean set of clothes, hurried over and gently patted her back to soothe the struggling girl. Contrary to his expectations, Vivian made a pained expression. Soran quickly pulled up her shirt on her back to reveal the greenish-purplish bruise. It was the bruise she got after she was hit by the store owner, and it was getting dark in color as blood could not disperse from it.
In the blink of an eye, Soran’s expression was just as dark as the bruise, and his eyes gave off an intense killing intent.
He caressed Vivian’s cheek and tidied her clothes while whispering, “Silly girl!
“Why didn’t you tell me about the bruise?”
It was a serious injury for a young child.
She must had been worried about Soran, thus she decided to hide it from him and endure the pain.
Judging from the looks of the bruise, it seemed that she had gotten the injury quite a while ago. Tears of gratitude swelled in the corners of Soran’s eyes as he thought about the days when he was unconscious. Vivian, bearing the immense pain on her back, took care of him day and night for several weeks. It was a feeling he had never experienced—familial love. The welfare in his previous world was good enough for parents to live on their own, needing neither to care for children while young nor depend on said children in their old age, thus Soran had never experienced the feeling of affection from his parents.
He felt warmth in his heart after knowing what his little sister had done for him.
Soran was a person who went with the flow and was content with what he had.
He had formed a strong emotional bond with the little girl lying asleep on the bed in the past month. Recalling the lonely lifestyle in his previous life, Soran did not miss his life in the technologically advanced world. Instead, he thought living in this world was not that bad.
“Everything will be fine tomorrow.”
Soran lightly patted Vivian’s head in an attempt to comfort the little girl who was having nightmares.
“I’ll find some medicinal lotion for you tomorrow. A wound of such degree would disappear without leaving a trace in no time.”
Vivian gradually calmed down.
Soran took off his shirt, revealing the lean yet ripped muscles on his body. He tossed the bloody clothes into the fireplace and looked at his body covered in scars. The previous ‘Soran’ must had lived a hard life; it was impossible for a twelve-year-old to make a living for the family through normal means.
He fought, and he killed.
With so many scars on his body at just the age of eighteen, he must have escaped from death’s grasp countless times.
Some were from street fights while others were left behind after being whipped for getting caught stealing.
Despite being a seemingly normal teenager, ‘Soran’ had experienced things a lot worse than what most professional adventurers would face in their entire lives.
The fireplace spewed sparks as it burned.
Soran reached for a clean set of clothes nearby. Vivian was a hardworking girl despite her young age, and she would always do anything within her power to keep the house tidy. She would always sweep the floor, as well as folding the clothes neatly.
He touched his face with his hands. Soran could feel that the outline of his head was that of a handsome young man, and the most important feature was his slightly pointy ears. Since his father was a quarter-elf, Soran had theoretically inherited one-eighth of the elven blood passed on by his ancestors. This explained why he was much more agile than most people; nimbleness was basically an innate talent for the elves.
Additionally, darkness could not block Soran’s vision.
Almost every half-elf had night vision abilities, making them the best assassins in the dark.
“Hmm, he’s got the basics.”
Soran twisted his wrists as he slashed with a dagger in hand, drawing invisible lines in the air.
“The attributes could not be redistributed, and he didn’t have a good professional build, but the overall quality is still certainly above average.
“The only weak point would be Strength, I guess.
“The average person has about 10 Strength, so 12 is about the same as the laborers working on the docks.
“He must have been handling everything with skill instead of brute force, and he doesn’t seem to have paid much attention to training his body either.
“His Dexterity is certainly high, but having high Strength is much better for people who haven’t received combat training. At least they could overpower their opponents with brute force!”
Soran switched the dagger from his right hand to his left. The dancing dagger moved about quickly, leaving afterimages behind. His left hand was abnormally nimble; it was even better than his preferred right hand.
This must be an inborn talent!
Soran could even dual-wield if he trained both his arms, and it could certainly increase his combat prowess.
“Levelling up requires experience points.”
Soran muttered as his figure flickered in the shadows and became cloudy, “There are probably no quests in a real world. The means of earning experience have decreased significantly…
“Well, I gained experience points from killing the two thugs, so killing creatures is one way to do so.
“I’m not sure if disarming traps and picking locks would grant experience points though.”
Slaughter Experience Points.
It was top-tier EXP which could be distributed to all professions, sub-professions, and profession change builds.
As for the EXP gained from picking locks and disarming traps, those were of a lower tier and could only be freely distributed within the Rogue build.
Similarly, wizards could also gain experience points from scribing arcane scrolls but could only distribute them within the Wizard build.
Gaining EXP in <<Clash of the Titans>> was no easy task, as killing monsters only gave a little experience. In some of the Legendary Quests, players were required to kill bosses like adult dragons or liches, only to receive several tens of thousands of EXP as their reward. It was barely enough to level up a profession once or twice. It took several years for Soran to gain enough EXP to level up and become a Legendary Rogue. He slew three giant dragons and six liches in the process.
He joined various different groups during his journey, and only a third of the players he had partied with were still alive.
Others all ended up restarting from scratch after losing their lives thrice.
With a sharp look in his eyes, Soran murmured to himself, “I wonder when the status Soul Rebirth will be removed. I’m sure I would be a lot stronger in battle if I could use Omnipotent Hands!”
The night had grown late.
Soran hid his dagger in an easily reachable place and carefully climbed onto the bed.
Vivian’s little body squirmed toward his chest as she held onto his arms and mumbled something in her dreams.
Night was over and morning came.
Soran was awoken by a slight movement. Vivian looked at her brother as her head still lay sideways on the pillow and revealed a sweet smile.
She slowly climbed off the bed. As she bumped into the bruise on her back, Vivian showed a pained expression on her face. The little girl then wore her tattered shoes made out of cloth and began wiping the furniture with a towel. Noticing the stains of blood on the floor as she was holding a broom in her hands, Vivian could not help but panic. She hurriedly ran over to the bed and lifted up the blankets. Vivian sighed in relief after confirming that Soran was not injured and proceeded to remove the stains from the floor.
Vivian could not care less as long as it was not Soran’s blood!
When she was just a small kid, Soran got caught up in a brawl with some older kids as they fought over a single Silver Derahl.
He was surrounded by the older kids, getting punched and kicked like he was a sandbag. The young Vivian did not have the physical strength to resist and could only cry in the corner. In the end, she mustered her courage and threw a rock at the leader. The enraged leader slapped her in the face, knocking out a tooth and making her cheek swollen.
Even though she was small at that time, she could still remember the scene vividly in her mind.
Soran, who was being overpowered the whole time, suddenly went into a frenzy as if a fuse had blown in his mind after seeing his sister lying on the ground. He jumped at the leader like a beast and bit his ear.
The bloody ear was brutally torn off.
With bloodshot eyes, Soran picked up a rock and slammed it repeatedly into the kid’s skull. He did not stop until blood splattered everywhere and Vivian, who was frightened by the scene, went to stop him. She stopped her brother from killing the kid right on the spot.
Yet the kid still died in the end.
Some time had passed since the incident when the corpse was found floating in a water drain in the slums. The corpse was already unrecognizable at that time.
The siblings were leading a harsh life, and they had nothing else to rely on except one another.
Vivian did not care at all whether or not Soran was a thief, criminal, and a murderer; whatever sins Soran had to bear, she was willing to receive half of the burden.
Vivian cleaned the house attentively.
She was slightly worried when she saw the empty rice sack, but soon changed her mind and murmured, “Big brother is now back.
“Soon, the sack will be full of rice!”
She had faith in Soran, and she trusted him completely; it was almost like blind faith.
There was a time when she was always starving, but her brother had never let her down. The food would sometimes be smothered in Soran’s own blood, and Vivian would feel uneasy deep down, but it was food nonetheless.
Even so, she believed that everything would be fine as long as her big brother was there for her.
Yes, everything would be fine.
Vivian was no longer anxious after recalling her memories. She hummed a crude tune as she cleaned everything in the room thoroughly.
Soran slowly got up from the bed.
Soran lightly patted Vivian’s little head and said, “Stay home today like a good girl.
“We’ll move into the city after a day or two.”
Vivian nodded as she hung a beaming smile on her cute face. She never knew that moving from the slums to the city was no simple task.
Naturally, it required a large sum of money. They also needed the identification of Free Citizens in order to settle down in the city.
She was confident that Soran would keep his promise—he always had.
Even if Soran failed, it was not his fault in Vivian’s eyes. It simply meant that there were way too many bad people in the world.
Warm sunlight showered over the inconspicuous and tattered hut.
Soran sliced the black bread, which was stone-hard due to being left out overnight, into roughly equal slices. Meanwhile, Vivian climbed onto a stool and reached for the pot of congee on the stove. Her body shook as she lacked strength. Soran went over to support her and took the pot with his hands.
The young lady looked up at her brother. Under the bright sun, she showed a charming smile to Soran, and two cute dimples appeared on her cheeks.
Everything was simply wonderful!