The First Reaper

The Freelancers

Freelancers, a contentious topic among many of the ruling class and nobility. They are a unique group of people, with many of them acting as mercenaries but with more brad jobs which they will accept. Anywhere from hunting monsters, joining a war, to helping with small tasks like finding something which was lost. Most of them are simply wanderers, moving from town to town in search of various jobs or something interesting for them to find. They are an unruly lot, mostly comprised of those born into farmers and peasants who had talent but no background to allow their talent to grow at home. There is one absolute rule that all freelancers follow however, and that rule is The strong reign supreme.

Many nobility have tried to tame the wild freelancers, but due to the complacency of most nobility towards their personal strength, almost every single attempt has failed. Of course, some nobility who don leave their strength neglected and have the necessary talent have been able to recruit a few talented freelancers as followers or even knights, granting the freelancer in question the resources they need to truly flourish. This situation, however, is very rare, with the list of people in this vast world capable enough of this only numbering at around 100 or so. Now, this doesn mean just anyone can ame a freelancer, don neglect the fact that each successful freelancer is a monstrous talent in their own right. To tame a monster, one needs talent beyond even the monsters themselves.

-The Histories of the World Grinmal, page 462


Charon sat down in a room slighter bigger than the ritual room he spent the last couple hours in. His direct family was all sitting down spread around the table directly in from of him, With Adam and his wife Charlotte at the head of the table. While Michael was directly next to Adam on the right side of the rectangular table, whereas Elizabeth was sitting next to Charlotte on the left side. Charon was all alone a few feet away at the other end of the table as he glanced around the room before waving his hand. Immediately after his hand passed in front of him the walls and door all glowed purple, preventing anyone not in the room from getting in.

Charon then looked up slightly, at the four orbs of white energy connected to his family members. Each time his eyes glanced at an orb, the person connected to it shivered as they felt as if someone was looking into the very core of their being.

”Brother! Whatever you
e doing, can you stop? It feels like you
e staring at my very soul. ” Adams voice filled with annoyance at this strange feeling he had every time that Charon glanced at something slightly above his head.

”But brother, what if I am? ” Charon had a wide grin like that of a madman appear on his face, even as his eyes went downwards towards the table.

Michael and Elizabeth leaned forwards, as grins very similar to Charons slowly spread themselves across their faces. Eyes filled with a burning desire of knowledge shot towards Charon as father and daughter stare intensely as if asking him to expand on what he said. Feeling the stares burning a hole into him even as he still stared at the table, Charons smile couldn help but widen even further almost covering his whole face.

”Well, as soul mages themselves I suppose father would be curious. Ahhhh, but this poor son, he really wants to hear something from his esteemed father before he helps… ” Charon pauses as his smile shifts towards a more mischievous grin as he looks towards Michael, careful not to look at his soul.

”Tch, this damned son of mine. I won say it, I would be a failure of a father of House Vertigo if I did. ” Micheal glares back at Charon, who only gives a shrug before turning towards Elizabeth.

”Liz, my dear sister. Come here, your big brother has a secret for you but you cannot tell Father until he says the proper phrase to me. ” Charon waves Elizabeth towards him as she also gets a mischievous grin before turning towards Michael.

”Im sorry father, if only your pride would let you admit it… ” Elizabeth then turned towards Charon. ”I promise not to tell father unless he admits what he needs to. ”

Elizabeth, the traitorous daughter, then skipped towards Charon and listened as he whispered something into her ear as her eyes got wide. Michael, seeing this, begins to curse under his breath as Adam and Charlotte cover their mouths to hide their laughter.

”Damn it, alright Ill admit it okay? Charon is… the superior researcher. He is so much better at research than me! Alright now tell me! ” Michaels annoyance at the situation is quickly replaced by his desire for knowledge.

”Alright, so when I activated the Lich ritual, I could see my soul right? ” Charon pauses as Michael urges him to continue. ”So at the end of the ritual, my soul was forcibly pulled inside before my old body… ” Charon glances at the young Elizabeth, who is currently only 16, before coughing.

”… Disappeared, and was replaced with the body of my new race. Afterwards, I received a racial memory for how to use these. ” Charon pauses to gesture at the sigils still floating on his hair. ”In that memory, I saw the ritual to turn someone into my new race and the human being transformed had a floating ball of white energy floating above them. A ball of energy that is floating above all of you, with one tethered to each of you. In the vision, I saw that energy enter into the human before they went through the same process that I did. It was at this point that I was reminded of how I witnessed my soul flying into me before I went through the same process that the human did… ” Charon thought about how he turned fully into ash, ”Well almost the same process. But this made me realise that those balls of energy I see are likely to be the other persons soul. This also means that… ”

”Mind-Body duality Is correct then!?! Not only that but your race is most likely a race which combines the soul and the body, a sort of physical consciousness right?!? ” Elizabeth, in her excitement, interrupts Charon right at the reveal.

”Sorry, Non-soul mage here! Whats Mind-Body Duality? ” Adam jumps in, raising his hand as if he is back at school.

”Mind-Body Duality is only a theory, at least it was until Mr. Superior Researcher over here proved it true. The idea is that the consciousness, the personality, rather the soul of someone is not a physical thing. Rather its a separate entity entirely and uses the body almost like a puppet of sorts, to interact with other souls which are controlling bodies of their own and also the physical world itself. Which what makes the second part about his race so special, Charon took something which cannot fully manifest as a physical object in the corporeal world and almost forcibly made it happen. Its groundbreaking work honestly, and explains much about soul magic while only bringing about more questions of its own… ” After Michael finished explaining to Adam, he began to mumble to himself and falling into what Adam calls Researcher Mode.

”Well, Ive never been as big into research as the rest of the family I suppose. Anyways Charon, Have you tested your new powers out yet? ” Adam turns to Charon, turning more serious. ”How much stronger do you think youve become? ”

”Hmm, at the very least, my strength has doubled. My mana pool is at least four times its previous size. As for physical strength, I have gotten stronger but I am unsure of how much it has increased yet. ” Charon replied while thinking about when he inspected his gains.

”Well in that case, You should probably talk to our current group of hired freelancers. Especially that Hades, he wanted to see how much stronger you got after your ritual. Its the least we can do after he decided to take on a more permanent contract with us. ” Adam thought about when Hades pulled him aside. Hopefully, this will be enough to have Hades fully follow Charon. Hes already almost there, Charon just needed a bit more strength for the monster among monsters that is Hades to follow him.

Charlotte only looked at the overprotective brother she married before sighing, ”Just don overexert yourself Charon, I know how you get when you fight. ”

”Yes of course, I also believe I will need a weapons tutor. I may see if there is one amongst the current group with a new weapon to learn. ” Charon looked at his ring and then his hand while thinking of his shapeshifting capabilities.

”Oh? Weren you specialised in the use of tiger claws? ” Elizabeth looked at Charon with curiosity.

”Yes, however… ” Charon then held up his right hand before claws extended out of his fingers. He then held up his left hand before the flashed and disappeared leaving a sword in his hands, which flashed in another burst of light before revealing a spear, then another burst of light before the ring was back where it was before and his right hand turned back to normal.

A light of understanding flashed in everyones eyes except Michael who was still mumbling to himself about the possibilities behind Charons discovery. Adam gave an easy grin before pulling out a bag which jingled with the sound of coin as he put it down in front of Charon.

”Take it, use it to pay one of the freelancers if you decide to have one of them tutor you. ” Adam gave him a grin before he got and left as Charon removed the barrier surrounding the room.

”Now, lets see how my ability helps me during combat huh? ” Charon gave a grin, as he looked forward to stretching his muscles out a bit.

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