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Chapter 737

As I was going to give the Commander backup, I suddenly found myself facing three enemies on my own. As for the mage, he was already starting to cast his next spell. Realizing I didn’t have time to focus on him, I sent a fireball flying his way. Since I didn’t have Magician equipped, I didn’t have Fireball. I did, however, have enough ability with Fire Control that I could send the equivalent of a Fireball out. If it struck head-on, it might just be enough to burn someone, but only barely.

Compared to a true Fireball spell, which took some time to cast, it was both weak and pointless. However, any living being would have to react to a fireball like it was a real one. If he guessed wrong, its strength might be enough to cause him to lose his head. No one would bet their life on a split-second decision, and thus the mage jumped out of the way and broke off his spell. Even so, casting that with my level of Fire Control not supported by the job system, it hit my mana. It used a good tenth of it, which was almost as much as opening the Portal and keeping it open for that entire length of time. That was the difference between the efficiency of a job skill and attempting to do it from memory.

That said, eventually, with enough practice, my Fire Control could theoretically reach a point where it worked clearer and more efficiently than the job skill offered. At that point, I’d be a magic master though, and forcing Fire Control spells wouldn’t be something I’d be dwelling too much time on. I supposed that was the one weakness of having so many jobs and rapidly leveling. Carmine had said it herself. Where normal people focused on a single job, maybe with a hobby on the side, honing and perfecting it over a lifetime, I was just layering jobs on top of jobs. I had a feeling it was not how this system was set up to function.

Either way, skills were what I had, and after taking the star potion, I no longer had the restriction put upon me by that demon lord. I blinded the demons with Dark Light, which was a flash of blackness that left them unable to see. I then used a Shadow Step mixed with a Dark Slash, taking out one of them right away. The others let out cries as they jumped back.

At the moment, I had True Hero, Hero, Dark Knight, and Mimic equipped. Mimic was allowing me to continue my Karmic Espionage. I was afraid that if I gave it up, I’d no longer be Drakus in the mind of these soldiers, so I had to sacrifice a job to that ability. With Moderate Swordsmanship and Basic Weapon Proficiency, I was pretty skilled at fighting as well. I was eagerly awaiting Advanced Swordsmanship and Moderate Weapon Proficiency though, as I never felt quite as good as my opponents. If I didn’t have higher stats and more skills, I felt like I would lose.

Chapter 738

“How does he have Demonic Knight skills!”

“Who is this guy?”

The two remaining guys were confused that I was able to keep casting Knight skills. Not just Knight skills, but Demonic Knight skills. It seemed like using miasma compared to mana was considered a demon’s ability. Mana was associated with the light races, and miasma was associated with the dark races. I supposed there was some kind of great question about the nature of the universe given this duality, but I wasn’t going to discover it while battling for my life on this day.

“Dark lightning!” The magician cast a spell at me, apparently using a Dark Mage ability this time.

An idea came to me that I wanted to try. Since I had Mimic, I was curious about what other abilities I could do with it. I activated Karmic Espionage, and then pushed my karma out into the soldier I was engaged with and then leaped back. In short, I gave him my karma. I saw a sign informing me I was no longer Drakus. To anyone else from the dungeon, it might appear like our bodies suddenly switched places.

The lightning suddenly arced to the right and hit the surprised soldier instead. I performed a True Strike just as he was incapacitated by the lightning, and I took his life. I also reclaimed the karma almost instantly. The lightning attack he had used was targeted. That was an important aspect of making this work. He locked on to me as a target to ensure it didn’t miss. So, when I gave him the karma the lightning ended up targeting him instead.

It was a pretty exhausting ability, and I wondered if I had stumbled on something that had a less taxing skill later on down the mimicry line. It’d be like using Fire Control to make a fireball before I unlocked Fireball. Technically, it was possible, but it was also sloppy and partially just luck that it succeeded.

“Charge!”

At this point in the battle, reinforcements arrived. Another ten men entered the courtyard. The soldier and magician, now completely outnumbered, tried to turn tail and run, but they were quickly overrun and cut down in their spots. I stumbled over to the commander, feeling completely exhausted after my rapid use of skills. With my life on the line, I probably could have finished the battle, but it would have been close there. Three elite knights and a mage appeared to be my limit. Although, I imagined if most other men said that, they would likely be accused of gloating.

The commander was now sitting up, his head leaning against the wall. Carmine was taking care of him, but he didn’t seem to be doing well.

“I’d heal you, but I have a feeling healing would only damage you more,” I admitted.

My Dark Priest ability hadn’t unlocked anything that helped the undead yet. Maybe, there wasn’t anything. I was thinking of necromancy, which was another job entirely. Still, the jobs seemed like they might have some things in common like a White Mage and a Priest did.

“It’s fine…” The commander said, gasping for breath despite not having lungs… or a chest. “I only wish… I could have… given… you a promotion…”

His head fell to the side, and the light in his eyes went out. The commander died. Carmine had tears in her eyes, but I knew they came from the princess, and not Carmine, who would have no feelings about this commander one way or another.

I sighed, reaching out to grab him, intending to carry him to a spot where he could rest. At that moment, miasma suddenly shot out of his body and into my fingers. It didn’t invade my heart or mind, but instead, immediately went to the spot I was storing karma.

{Commander Stone’s Karma has been absorbed. You can now assume the identity of Commander Stone.}

“Huh?” I set it immediately in wide-eyed wonder.

A moment later, one of the reinforcements came up behind me and saluted. “Commander! The fort is ours! What is your next order?”

It looked like he had managed to give me that promotion after all.

Chapter 739

“Carmine, just out of curiosity, has your… feelings for me changed at all?”

Carmine cocked her head questioningly. “No? Are you talking about the princess?”

“Yes? I’m the commander of this place now, it seems.”

“Haven’t you always been?”

“…”

She blinked and then shook her head. “That’s right, you weren’t. My feelings for you are the same though. It’s like… the two different people in my mind merged into one.”

So, I appeared to have the karma of Drakus, but I also had the karma of Commander Stone placed on top of it. In a way, I was both and I was neither. I guessed if there were any inconsistencies, they were reconciled when I absorbed the Karma.

I stood up and turned to the men. Before, they had looked at me more or less as equals. There was respect as the man who rescued the princess and was close in confidence with the Commander, but now it was the respect of a superior and leader. Like that, I had taken over the troops of this fort.

“Send out scouts. Demand reinforcements!”

“Already done, sir.”

“Right, um… make the fort secure. Tell me how many you need, to keep it protected, and then I’ll send the rest to our fort.”

“My lord, we don’t want to push on?”

“Push on?”

“We are now behind enemy lines. The demons won’t see us coming. This fort would have been their advanced warning, but none survived to give a warning. With the princess safe, I say we let them attack the fort thinking they are protected. Once they break through the walls, I say we destroy our fort using a powerful spell that will take out as many of their men as possible. While that is going on, we then launch an attack at the next fort, bringing it down and further stranding the Demonic Prince. We can then send our reinforcements to hunt him down. If we can capture him, then we’ll be able to use him as leverage as we continue the attack.” The skeleton explained in a clear, concise voice.

“What’s your name?”

“I’m Captain Bones, sir.”

“Bones…” I coughed. “Ah… ahem, good name!”

“Thank you, sir.”

“In that case, Mr. Bones, please send the orders. We’ll be setting up to destroy the other fort. In the meantime, have our men wear enemy armor on the walls, so no one will notice that we’ve taken over the fort.”

“We should leave soon, my lord.”

“Not necessary,” I responded. “Just get the men ready. When the time comes, I will transport them over to the next fort to attack.”

“My lord?”

“Find me the highest-ranking demon in this place and bring me his body.”

If I could absorb karma, maybe I could appear to be a high-ranking demon as well. In that case, it’d be easy to sneak into the next fort and bring them in again. In this way, we could conquer all the forts quickly and efficiently. This captain had suggested a good idea in my mind.

“So, you’ll be leaving, my lord?” he asked worriedly.

“Don’t worry. I won’t take long.” I said.

“Very good, sir.” He turned and began to relay orders for me.

“I will be leaving the princess here though,” I said, partially to myself before glancing back at Carmine. “Carmine, try to rest in the safe room.”

“But…”

I shook my head and leaned close. “I can’t justify bringing you with me into danger this time. Besides, you’re useless as defense right now.”

She looked down, a flash of hurt and anger on her face, but she eventually nodded. She had to admit that I was right in this. Had she been at her full potential, there was no way the commander would have perished in the first place, not that it didn’t make things easier for us.

“My lord, I have relayed your orders. There is a horse waiting for you at the entrance.”

“Good job, Bones, when I get back, remind me to give you a promotion.”

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