Shadow of the Soul King (LitRPG)

Chapter 8: Auction House


Mila almost threw up.

It wasn the death. Shed killed thirteen people during her life and shed already gotten over her squeamishness by the time she was a teenager. It wasn even the gruesome way in which they died. It was the ease of it, the realization of how little a life was worth to someone with true power.

The display shed just seen was almost certainly nothing in the grand scheme of things. They were G rank, not even F, and rank almost certainly went up to at least A.

She suddenly felt powerless, even more so than when shed been killed, and she didn like that feeling.

At the same time, there was something very wrong with Aalam. Ever since she realized what type of new world she was entering, shed expected Aalam would excel. Engineering and fantasy stories were the two main things he was passionate about and, whenever he was passionate about something that didn rely on his weaknesses, hed make his peers look like idiots.

When shed heard hed somehow died and entered into the Nightmare difficulty challenge, shed entered to meet him only partly because she thought his lack of combat experience and generally missing social awareness would get him killed but also because she subconsciously wanted to rely on him. He was now acting like a psychopath, however, and she knew he wasn one.

Even if he for some reason thought this was all a dream, his actions still wouldn make sense. The Aalam she knew would hesitate before a mass slaughter and, after said slaughter, he wouldn immediately dispel the shield around them and go looking through the corpses for things to steal.

He wasn as hard and twisted as she was, at least he hadn been.

”Anything particular you
e looking for? ” She decided to join him, picking up every artifact she could find and reading the resulting System notifications.

”Materials and limited time use artifacts. ”

They took about a half hour looking through everything, and they ended up with 23 artifacts they wanted to keep and seventeen skill orbs, including one Aalam had her learn as it could later be fused into a skill which could then in turn be fused into her Legendary skill.

Mana Weapon Enhancement (G-Rare) Magic, Mana Infusion, Enhancement

Stronger weapon, harder hit

Effects: Learn the skill Mana Weapon Enhancement (G-Rare)

Requirements: Free skill slot, able to learn mana infusion based magic enhancement skills

Of the artifacts they kept, one was a bag of holding, a small sack with a relatively small spatial pocket inside, despite being the only other Rare grade artifact. The rest of the artifacts were three bracelets, four swords, six knives, and ten pieces of parchment like the one Aalam had used which Mila learned were called talismans.

The bag of holding was only big enough for the skill orbs, bracelets, knives, and talismans, so they each had to wear two of the swords, and none of the other artifacts were good enough to keep.

As she read over a hundred System artifact descriptions, it had quickly become obvious the Shield of Twelve Elements was an outlier. Most of what they kept was uncommon rarity, but even the one time effects of the talismans were weaker than the rechargeable effect of the shield. The best of the weapons, one of the knives and one of the swords, both had requirements for Law Eggs of an element, Darkness for the knife and Fire for the sword, so it seemed more requirements lowered rarity, but the effects of both weapons were still quite minor.

Finally, from what Aalam said while they talked about the artifacts, Mila realized there was no such thing as a Law Egg of Darkness or a Law Egg of Fire, instead only subcomponents of the larger law like the Law Egg of Night or the Law Egg of Sparks.

Another hour passed and, when the time limit of the challenge was done, a new System message appeared.

Your team has survived the Nightmare Royale

You may choose one skill and one artifact from the following lists as a reward.

The skill can be learned immediately or granted as a skill orb and secretly placed in your pocket.

The artifact will appear on your person, secretly in one of your pockets if small enough.

You have six minutes to choose.

Mila and Aalam both looked at the lists and Aalam chose almost immediately, learning a skill called Meditative Focus (Rare) and taking an artifact called Orb of Skill Combination (Rare), a one time use talisman shaped like an orb of misty energy. As soon as he chose it, the orb entered into his body and, in the future, if he mastered skills of rare grade or lower which could be combined, i.e. the three skills hed already learned, he could instantly fuse them into a new skill.

Mila took a little longer, reading through the lists to gain more information, but she eventually chose similarly, also getting an Orb of Skill Combination (Rare) and learning another skill for use in future fusing, Psyforce Weapon Enhancement (Rare), the psychic equivalent of her Mana Weapon Enhancement skill.

Then something surprising happened as, instead of the challenge ending, a new System notification appeared in front of their eyes.

Conditions met for the bonus round of the Nightmare Royale

Would you like to continue on to the bonus round, where you will compete in the same challenge with winners from other Nightmare Royale instances for further prizes or will you give up?

Your team leader will decide for your team.

Before Mila could say anything, Aalam, whod obviously been expecting this, accepted and the world faded until they were in an identical chamber, this one, however, not filled with blood.

Aalam immediately activated the Shield of Twelve Elements and Mila watched as several hundred others, 429 in total by her count, appeared in the room as well, most carrying a whole bunch of artifacts.

Two minutes after they arrived, when seemingly everyone who was going to join in this massacre had, the System notification appeared again.

The Nightmare Royale Bonus Round is now starting.

You have one hour to kill each other until only one team is left.

If more than one team is living after the hour, everyone dies.

Aalam immediately activated his Gust Talisman and wind started to blow through the room, killing everyone but three individuals. Two African men were seemingly a team and had activated an artifact much like the Shield of Twelve Elements, while the third was a Chinese man fully covered in blood whos robe seemed to have provided him a one time use protection.

Aalam then activated the Gust Talisman again, using the last of its three charges, and wind blasted through the room, killing the Chinese man and breaking the African mens shield. Aalam then activated an extra talisman hed been holding and a fireball formed in front of the Shield of Twelve Elements barrier and flew at the men, exploding right between them, killing them instantly.

There had been people who activated defensive skills, but they hadn been strong enough to block Aalams talisman, and the result was another massacre.

Aalam lowered the shield from the Shield of Twelve Elements and waited for a minute, looking over all the bodies. Then, when no one attacked or seemed to be breathing, he started looting again and Mila joined him.

End result, 3,457 skill orbs, 2,152 talismans, 29 Rare bags of holding, and way more artifacts than they could carry, which they placed in one pile hoping their extra reward would be something they could use to carry them all.

For the low, low price of more than 100,000 human lives theyd gotten quite the haul.

The skill orbs contained Qi Weapon Enforcement (Rare), the last skill Mila needed for the skill fusion to Weapon Enhancement (Epic), and they also contained Artifact Activation (Rare) and Material Strengthening (Rare), the skills shed need to fuse with Weapon Enhancement to form her Legendary skill.

”What would it take for you to pick an epic skill orb for me from the final rewards? ” Aalam continued to look through the artifacts as he spoke, but there was an intensity to his voice that made her know he really wanted that skill orb.

”Build me a Legendary weapon within the next three hundred years. ”

Aalam looked up at that, a slightly startled expression on his face, then he nodded. ”Okay. ”

They had to wait an hour again, but the rewards were far better than the previous round.

Your team has survived the Nightmare Royale Bonus Round

You may choose one skill and one artifact from the following lists as a reward.

The skill can be learned immediately or granted as a skill orb and secretly placed in your pocket.

The artifact will appear on your person, secretly in one of your pockets if small enough.

You have an unlimited time to choose.

The message was similar, the only difference the time limit, but the lists were a lot better, including Epic skills and artifacts.

Aalam wanted two very specific skills, Myriad Thoughts (Epic) and Mental Spike (Epic), so the decision on skills was easy, but the artifacts took longer to decide on. There were a couple spatial storage artifacts with much larger space than the bags of holding and some weapons without requirements which seemed impressive, like a mana, qi, or psyforce powered pistol Mila was pretty sure would work great with her weapon enhancement skills.

Aalam, however, looked at none of those, and he had more information.

”There are twenty-four legacy artifacts, each with built in training for class-based techniques, skill usage, and Law guidance. Powers on their deathbeds make them for the System in exchange for benefits for their heirs, and, while the best legacies are never given in trials like these, they are still far more useful than any of the other artifacts.

Mila looked at the 24 legacy artifacts, and, like the other artifacts on the list, there was quite a bit more information about each than for their previous choices, including full color pictures. There was a hammer called Legacy of the Iron Monger, which was obviously a smithing legacy; a sewing needle called Legacy of the Drape Maker, a tailor legacy; and weapons of almost every type.

Aalam chose his legacy artifact after briefly scanning over each of them and an orange and blue cloth appeared in his hands, covered in tiny intricate runes Milas Omniglot Reader ability couldn help her understand. It was a headband called Legacy of the Psycrafters Apprentice, and, reading over its information now grayed over on the list, Mila quickly realized it fit Aalam almost perfectly.

It gave him a weakened telekinesis skill and, while it had very little in the way of Law guidance, it gave a great deal of information on the use of psyforce and on training the basics of multiple crafting disciplines, from smithing and tailoring to alchemy and enchanting.

As Aalam put the headband on, holding back his messy shoulder-length hair, Mila was trying to decide between three choices. The Legacy of the Shadow Walker was a knife and provided Law guidance on the path of Shadows, whatever that meant, as well as ways to use qi, mana, and psyforce for stealth and assassination. The Legacy of the Sharpshooter was what looked like a sniper rifle and provided guidance on the path of Guiding Wind along with ways to use her internal resources to create stronger attacks and fight from extreme range. Finally, the Legacy of the Weaponsmaster was a blob of silverish metal which could transform into any weapon from a sword or spear to a pair of pistols or a rifle. It provided Law Guidance on the path of Illusion, which she hadn been expecting, and a flexible style of using her resources which allowed for any type of weapon.

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