System Change

Chapter 17: Battle

Chapter 16: Void Call

Would You Like to Learn Void Call?

Derek stared at the message. Finally, he gritted his teeth and accepted the price of the costly skill. This better be good.

Void Call Learned Successfully

Skill Points Remaining: 3

What a hit. Derek was heartbroken to have lost seven skill points on a skill with almost no description. But, for an epic class with only two available skills to learn, Derek did not want to give up the possibility of another great skill like Channel Void.

OK, no time like the present. He knew that Travis had little time remaining, and that once he passed, it would be time to travel again. He did not know how long it would be before he could test his skills again. Derek sucked in a deep breath and focused his mind on using the skill.

He once again felt his body fill with now familiar void energy. This time, however, his mana bar was not depleting. Thats strange. He seemed to be unable to control the void energy that came with his new skill. What started to worry him was the pressure. The pressure from the void energy was building within his body at an extremely alarming pace. He felt as if he were a soda and someone had just shaken him up to the point of explosion.

From Thomass view, Derek looked like he did when he was practicing his other skill. He could not tell the difference between the two. Thomas continued to feel uneasy when he looked at the dark purple eyes of Derek, but other than that, he did not detect that anything was wrong. At least until Dereks head began emitting a startling purple glow.

Then, the purple glow thickened until it shot up, like a beam, into the sky. The beam passed through the clouds then disappeared. Thomas looked back over to Derek, wanting to ask him what had just happened. What he saw when Derek came into his vision was the man slumped over, seemingly unconscious.

Derek was not unconscious, however. He was in a deep meditative state, healing himself. As the pressure from the void energy built up, it caused damage to his organs, specifically his heart, lungs, and brain. Luckily for Derek, he had a vast amount of Vitality and Endurance, and pressure was unable to cause fatal injuries. In fact, Derek had already entered Greater Meditation before the void energy left his body, and the injuries the energy had caused were mostly healed already.

Whew, things got scary there for a minute. Derek joked to himself, relieved. Then he realized what happened, or rather what did not happen. What the fuck did the skill even do? This is bullshit! It tries to kill me, then shoots into the sky and does nothing. Derek went from relieved to angry in no time at all.

“Derek, what was that all about?” Thomas asked once he saw that Derek was fine.

“Id like to know too. I was testing a new skill, like the other one, but then what you just saw happened. The energy built up in me, then shot to the sky. I dont even know what the skill is good for, the description sucks ass. And on top of it all, it damaged me just casting it. Its a scam, a total scam.” Derek let the other two know his feelings. Then he looked up at the sky and screamed. “Give me my skill points back, you asshole system!”

Not seconds after Dereks yell, a loud pounding came from the sky. “Oh, youve finally done it. You have blasphemed the Great System one too many times, were doomed.” Leon was scared witless. I should have told him to stop blaspheming the Great System while I had a chance. Were going to die. He saved us just to get us killed by the Great System itself.

While Thomas and Leon were out of sorts, Derek was actually happy. He had heard that pounding before. It was the same pounding that led to him escaping the void. This pounding was music to his ears.

As Derek expected, a part of the sky, where the void energy had passed through, began cracking. The cracks stretched out like spiderwebs, then splintered off, creating holes in the sky. A dark fist with long claws came out from one of the holes. The hand was smaller than the one Derek remembered, but looked just as menacing as before.

Derek was ecstatic. I cant believe this. Is Void Call like a summon spell? Am I able to summon one of these creatures from the void and command it. Derek was giddy with excitement as he watched the beast break its way out of the void.

Behind him, Thomas and Leon were watching the scene unfold. As the creature ’s head made its appearance Leon whispered. “Void Beast.” He had heard legends about the creatures, but he never imagined that one day, he would be witness to one breaking out of the void. Unfortunately for Leon, he knew what the consequences of a Void Beast appearing were, death and destruction. The Void Beast would maim and kill anything in its way until it was chased back into the void, or got bored and left. In Leons mind, their chance of surviving a Void Beast was worse than when he thought it was the Great System getting revenge.

Meanwhile, Derek was thinking of all the help the monster would be. He was no longer angry with the system scamming him. I wonder what Ill call it? Leon called it a Void Beast. I think Ill call it Asher, yeah, it looks like an Asher. All dark and grey with those same kill me bits. Derek was already treating the Void Beast like it was a new pet he picked up at a shelter.

Thomas was as confused as ever. He would look at the terrifying beast, then to the genuinely happy Derek, then to Leon, who seemed to be muttering a prayer to the Great System. He did not know whether to be happy with Derek, or terrified with Leon. What is going on? He had never heard of a Void Beast, but it seemed that both adults had, and both had extremely opposite reactions to it.

Finally, the dark beast made it out of the void and began its fall to the ground. As before, the cracks in the sky seemed to repair themselves instantaneously. By the time the Void Beast had landed, the cracks were barely visible.

“Were going to die!” Leon shouted at the top of his lungs. His day had been one full of ups and downs. His village being attacked and ravaged left him in despair, but Derek and Thomas arriving and saving him had given him hope. Seeing his best friends family getting to say goodbye was bitter sweet. Then there was everything that had happened with Derek. That was a new ride altogether, one filled with confusion, elation, and now, utter terror.

Leon reached over and grabbed Thomas. “Come on, weve gotta get out of here, now!” He pulled Thomas to his chest and started sprinting towards Brandi and Malorie.

“Stop!” Came a yell from Derek. He was looking at the duo. “Everything is fine.” He pointed towards the Void Beast, who was beginning to stand after falling to the ground. “Its fine, its not going to hurt anyone. Were safe.” Derek comforted Leon and Thomas.

Leon remained skeptical. Derek acted like he was in control of the Void Beast, but he had never heard of anyone being able to control one. There were a few people who could fight with one, but to control a Void Beast, Derek had to be insane. Then again, Ive only heard stories of Void Beasts. Its not like Ive ever been able to study or research anything about them. Who am I to say that he cant control one?

Then a thought suddenly struck Leon. Was that void energy that Derek was channeling earlier? When he shot that beam of energy into the sky, was he summoning the Void Beast? Now, Leon knew that Derek was insane, but insane in a completely different way than before.

The only magic Leon knew of that used void energy was portals. But it was a taboo to use portals. In the early days, portals were widely used as a way to quickly travel a long distance, and the skill was easily learnable, and did not cost many skill points. Many mages invested in the Create Portal skill.

Soon, though, the Void Beasts began to exit out of open portals. Then it was realized that the portals connected to the Create Portal skill were connected to the void. And the void was where the Void Beasts lived.

So now, seeing that Derek actually used a legitimate form of void magic, Leons nervousness lessened a great deal. “Are you saying that you can control a Void Beast?” Leon asked.

“Im pretty sure. I think that skill I used before summoned it. Besides, I met another Void Beast a few days ago. It wasnt a bad fellow at all, in fact, it helped me out a great deal. Youve got nothing to fear.” Derek answered as he stood up and walked forward to the awaiting Void Beast. I knew this skill was going to be awesome. Oh, Great System, thank you for this blessing.

Seeing Derek walking towards it, the Void Beast lumbered in his direction. When Derek was in range of the beast, he opened his arms and spoke to the beast. “Welcome, Im going to name you Asher, is that OK with you?” Derek reached out to pat the creature on its shoulder.

Dereks hand reached the shoulder of the Void Beast. Seeing nothing bad happening when Derek touched the beast, Leon could finally breathe easy.

That was when the monster backhanded Derek in the chest with its iron like fist and razor-sharp claws.

A crimson liquid flew from Dereks mouth as he flew through the air. Landing four meters away from the monster, Derek looked up, blood dripping from his lips. He turned his head towards Leon and Thomas and yelled.

“Run!”

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