Kieran’s entire world stopped as he looked at the information before him.
A World Quest!
That was the highest categorization of quests that existed within Zenith Online. Every World Quest possessed an inherent SSS rating that wouldn’t change even if the player became stronger.
Why? Because of the repercussions of failing.
As the name implies, World Quests were tied to the longevity of the world. Failure could lead to potentially catastrophic results.
Furthermore, although every World Quest was regarded as an SSS Rank Quest, they were not created the same. Some were relatively easy in comparison, and some felt insurmountable. It all depended on the events that triggered the World Quest.
Because Scar mentioned a power beyond Kieran’s knowledge, Kieran felt the World Quest it could potentially trigger in the future could also escape his knowledge.
‘Origin Energies, Origin Principles… powers that a world can’t exist without. All of this sounds extremely dangerous but exciting at the same time. I wonder….’
“If you don’t mind me asking, do you know what these Origin Energies are?” Kieran questioned. After a faint pause, he added another question. “Also, these Dominions you spoke of, what exactly do they entail?”
“Boy… you leave nothing to the imagination, do you? I won’t ruin your experience of Dominions since it’s a power you will eventually come across with your talent level, but my knowledge of the Origin Energies is limited.”
Scar paused, rubbing his chin as he pondered the specifics of the information he recalled. “If I’m not mistaken, I recall that Origin Energies referred to the Energies of Creation, Destruction, Void, Chaos, and Temporal.”
As Kieran listened to the descriptions of Origin Energy, the gears in his mind clicked and began rotating quickly. “The principles you suspected, it wouldn’t be Destruction, Void, and Chaos, right?”
“Correct. I sensed nascent forms of these principles within your Aspect. But, if you truly do comprehend them,” Scar’s expression grew grim with a deep sigh. “Your path as a True Berserker will only become much harder. Although you’ll reach a greater affinity, that affinity will serve to try and corrupt you.”
Kieran pondered Scar’s words deeply before connecting a few of Scar’s concerns to the temptations of that dark, lulling voice tempting to devour his reason. “It’s Argexes’ Blood, isn’t it? It’s somehow connected to these Origin Energies?”
“Energies? No. However, their principles? I believe so,” Scar replied. “It’s difficult to confirm because the number of those who have comprehended Origin Principles does not exceed five.”
“Five? Isn’t that too coincidental? There are only five principles, are there not?” Kieran questioned.
Scar couldn’t give a definitive reply because that escaped his knowledge of that echelon of power. “I can neither confirm nor deny. My knowledge is obtained from Lord Agrianos. Once you are powerful enough to walk into the Wildes, I suggest you speak with him. If not him, then at the very least, you must find Agatha.”
‘Agatha…’ Kieran muttered in his mind as his eyes flashed peculiarly.
“Isadora suggested I visit her as well. Is there any particular reason? Is Agatha not a human? Why is her relationship with the Elves so good?”
“Because she is unlike many other humans. Agatha is quite special, and you will understand why once you meet her. She is by no means a typical woman.” Scar suddenly smiled meaningfully. “Not to mention, her looks surpass many effortlessly.”
“Leave me out of that. If you wish to court her, by all means, go on ahead. I have one focus and one focus only,” Kieran remarked, repeatedly shaking his head.
Due to Scar’s earlier tricks, Kieran had learned to disregard some of his words, especially the ones that felt bizarre. Kieran had vowed never to fall for another one of Scar’s tricks.
General Xithora looked between the two, noticing their unusually lighthearted relationship, almost as if their personalities weren’t too dissimilar. ‘I guess the saying is true. Spend enough time with someone, and you’ll begin to adopt their tendencies and assimilate their personalities.’
“This relationship between you two is quite amazing. I don’t remember the last time I was amongst genuine feelings,” General Xithora spoke, continuing to glance between Scar and Kieran.
Scar crossed his arms with a light smirk in response to her comment. “You’re not wrong. Everyone within the council possesses a hidden agenda, looking to ascend the ladder of authority by any means necessary, even if it means employing facetious facades and creating paper-thin alliances with enemy factions.”
The enemy factions Scar referred to wasn’t actual enemies. It merely referred to members of great authority within the War Deity Council with conflicting views.
Despite the conflict, however, many factions teamed up to reinforce their authority for crucial conferences.
“You’re right. That’s why I have remained neutral all this time. All those old men do is scheme and vie for power with wicked machinations instead of producing ways to better the council’s environment for newcomers,” General Xithora stated.
She sighed dejectedly and retracted her hands. “I require a brief respite. Your wound is much better for the most part, but I wouldn’t suggest you embark on arduous journeys shortly. I’m no expert, but your soul is in a fragile state. Give it time to recuperate naturally.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll ensure that this reckless knucklehead doesn’t do anything foolish,” Scar chimed in, staring at Kieran with a gaze that a parent would deliver to a disobedient child.
Kieran smiled bitterly. Not being able to go on a journey would hinder his progress, especially since he promised to team up with Advent to tackle the dungeon hidden within the Desert of Crumbling Sands.
“General Xithora, how long would you say I need to recuperate for?” Kieran asked.
General Xithora paused before gauging the extent of the damage she gleaned from his wounds. “I wouldn’t say my diagnosis is accurate, but matters relating to the soul are tricky. Everyone heals differently. I suggest you wait until extending your perception no longer pains you.”
“So you noticed that,” Kieran muttered with a wry smile.
“It’s natural. Perception is a vehicle of one’s soul and senses melded as one. A damaged soul means tapping into this concept will cause discomfort,” General Xithora said.
She smiled sweetly after noticing Kieran’s grimace and turned to Scar with a strange expression. “A moment?”
“Understood,” Scar nodded.
The two stepped off to the side, leaving Kieran to groan and sit up in the bed. All of a sudden, a notification appeared before Kieran.
〈System: You have an incoming video call from Ezra. Would you like to answer it? [ Y | N ]〉
“Answer,” Kieran commanded.
An instant later, Ezra’s concerned face appeared before Kieran. “You… I saw all of it! You have really hidden your skills well!”
“You jest. All I did was try my best,” Kieran abashedly waved his hands with a somewhat smug smirk.
“I jest?! If I’m not mistaken, even if you muted the audio, it was clear that you were crowned the victor against monstrous opponents. Does this not make you a monster yourself?! Although…”
Ezra’s voice softened after her gaze fell upon the partially healed wound across half of Kieran’s torso. “You suffered so much in the process. Was it worth it? The rewards, I mean.”
“I haven’t received them just yet. I’ve only recently woken up,” Kieran admitted.
This made Ezra flabbergasted. “Only now?! Do you know that more than a day has passed on Earth?
Kieran blinked in a slight daze.
More than a day had passed?
‘Did Scar forcibly put me to sleep for more than a day? No. What if it wasn’t just Scar’s doing? Lillian did mention my I was acquiring incredible mental fatigue due to my lack of sleep. Perhaps I simply fell asleep to reduce some of the fatigue.’
Kieran considered the reason while looking at Ezra on the screen. “Has anything exciting happened?”
“Oh! Yes! A few things, actually. Can I tell you? Can I?!” Ezra’s eyes sparkled as she clapped her hands with a giddy grin.
“Fine, go ahead,” Kieran consented.
“Alright, so the first matter. A famous player, Daedric, famed for his glorious tanking abilities in other titles, has announced that he’ll be disclosing his new class in the coming days. It’s supposedly some Mythic Class.”
Kieran’s eyes widened after hearing this piece of information. “Daedric was initially a Knight, correct?”
“That’s correct,” Ezra nodded.
‘It’s as Scar said. The other Mythical Heroes are bound to find their class. Daedric must have completed his change as a Mythic Knight. I believe that class was called a Goliath or something along those lines.
Kieran’s memory of Daedric wasn’t great since he joined one of the Leviathans in the end. But he did recall an essential piece of information. Daedric went on a clearing spree and streamed it all in the past.
The Knight’s Mythic Path was admittedly just as terrifying as a True Berserker, perhaps even worse in the right conditions.
After recalling Daedric’s feats, Kieran awaited the other news. “Any other important news?”
“Very important. There has been ample talk involving the eruption of many large names. Due to your actions, players have begun to wonder how deeply involved they can become with established world powers. Also, there has been word that several Overlords and at least two Behemoths show interest in wanting to sign you.”
Kieran expected this outcome but still scoffed. “Come on now, Ezra. Do you really think I’ll agree?”
“I know you won’t. But… just be prepared for the aftermath. I doubt they’ll take your rejection well. Then again, that guy who saved you at the end was unbelievably strong. If your relationship is deep, perhaps you could use him as a deterrent?” Ezra suggested.
“Deterrent?” Kieran giggled and looked forward with a calm gaze. “I have no need. Stepping stones—that’s all they’ll ever be for me.”