Virtues of the Chaosbringer Chapter 4: 3
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"Mom!" Vice shouted in alarm. He threw all caution to the wind and ran straight to the woman lying on the floor. Her hair had long lost its youthful luster, being grayed and withered at this point, and small wrinkles were slowly showing up all over her once beautiful face.
Vice shook his mother a couple of times, trying to wake her up, but to no avail. He then checked her breathing and pulse, and to his relief she was still alive, if only barely.
"Shit," Vice said, as the bitter smell continued to pervade his nostrils. As he looked towards the location of the smell, he saw the culprit, a burning stove top. He immediately took out a cloth from his spacial pouch and threw it onto the burned stove, extinguishing the flames in the process.
Vice quickly picked up his mother, and ran urgently with her to her bedroom. Once inside her spacious living quarters where no luxury was skipped, he rummaged through her cabinet until her found what he was searching. A small bottle filled with a thick red liquid, which he knew to be overly sweet tasting. He uncorked the bottle and squeezed some of the liquid into a Pasteur pipette, before putting it into his mother's mouth.
'Her breathing and heart beat is more stable already,' Vice thought as he held his ear to her chest and his fingers on her neck. He breathed a sigh of relief, and stayed by her bedside checking up on her until the warm rays of the sun entered through the window of her room, illuminating the once dark crevices of the space.
"Uhh, Vice, is that you?" Angeline asked. She rubbed her head and groaned as she postured herself up from the bed, and looked toward the slender boy who was taller than almost any man at his age.
"Mom, you need to rest, I'll go get you some food right now," Vice said urgently, and slowly put her back on the bed. Only a few minutes later did he come back with a bowl of porridge. "Here, eat up, you need some more energy Mom."
The woman gladly took the bowl of food, and wolfed it down with much difficulty, her body still in shock and in need of some rest. "Oh don't worry about your mother so much, you'll get more wrinkles than me if you keep frowning like that," Angeline said as she looked at her son.
"Vice, the potions aren't working as well as they did before… I'm not sure how much longer I can keep up; I can feel my strength waning day in and day out," Angeline said in a soft voice as her eyes teared up slightly. She looked out at the window, enjoying the rays of the sun for as long as they would last.
Vice looked at his frail old mother, and the words he wanted to say couldn't come out. He wanted to tell her it would be fine, that everything was going to be okay, but he knew it wasn't. He knew that she didn't have much time left, and the potions and medicine he went through so much pain and effort to buy weren't effective anymore.
"Don't say that," Vice squeaked out quietly. His black eyes teared up as he looked at the only person whom he truly loved, and the only person whom he knew truly loved him for who he was.
"Vice, I must confess to you about your father, before it is too late. He was not… human, and comes from a land far far away from here. I didn't want to tell you this before, you were too young. But seeing you now, seeing you as the strong man you will surely turn into, I can finally reveal everything to you," Angeline said. She looked into the eyes of her son meaningfully, and then continued. "Your father's name is Xipil, and he's from a land unlike ours. He never told me what is was called, so I cannot tell you. But just know, he didn't leave me and you because he wanted to, that choice was ripped away from him."
"Xipil? Why are you telling me this all Mom, it won't change anything. He's gone, and I'm going to stay here to take care of you!" Vice said resolutely.
"Here, take this. Your father told me to give this to you when you were old enough. I don't know what it's for, but he was adamant about you having this at the right time, which I believe is now."
Angeline handed a small black bracelet to her son. It was nothing special to look at, but the material seemed like it was very high quality. The cold leather-like material wrapped around Vice's wrists effortlessly, as if it had been crafted specially for him.
[DING! Conditions for host transferal has been met. Initializing transfer… Transfer complete]
'Huh?' Vice jumped up as the robotic voice suddenly buzzed into his mind. He stared at the bracelet in confusion, and then at his mother to try and see if she'd heard the voice as well.
"What's wrong sweety? You look like you've seen a ghost," she said, and caressed his two horns softly with her hands, something she'd always done to calm his nerves.
"Oh it's nothing. Uh, I'll go to sleep for now, I'll see you later Mom. And take it easy! Just call for me if you need anything," Vice said before promptly leaving the room and going to his own.
Vice quickly walked through the hallway. The paintings and art pieces were much more beautiful under the sunlight which shone down, as a glass ceiling was what covered the hallway from above. With a quick twist of his door handle, Vice opened the door and entered his room.
'Haha, Vice, talk to your artificial intelligence system. I can't believe it, so the gods really reincarnated me a second time just to become a passenger of another A.I user,' Favian said with a hearty laugh.
'Huh? You know what this is? What is an artificial intelligence system? And how do I use it?' Vice quickly asked.
[DING! This system is capable of many things, such as analyzing items and objects, as well as helping the host to learn spells. These functions are all dependent on the host's power level, do you wish to receive your stats in the heads up display?]
'Heads up display? Wha-'
Suddenly a bright blue screen enveloped Vice's vision, startling him enough to make him punch at the screen out of reaction. His hands however swung at empty air, much to his surprise. The blue screen currently showed Vice's body, and detailed his fat and muscle percentages, as well as his bone density. Above that, all of his stats were shown.
[DING! Health Points: 1000, Mana Points: 5000, Intelligence: 2, Strength: 2.5, Agility: 3, Constitution: 5]
'Oh, interesting. So the system isn't the same one I had, nor does it show the same things,' Favian mumbled in Vice's mind.
It took a couple moments for Vice to process what was happening, as this information influx was too sudden, however after a couple moments he was able to gather his composure. He looked at the blue screen with curiosity, and asked, "So what do all of my stats mean?"
'Hey, there's no need to talk out loud! Just think about it and your system will heed your call,' Favian said.
[DING! Your Health Points or HP are your lifeline, if that value goes to zero, then you will be knocked unconscious. Your Mana Points or MP are used up when you cast spells, if it reaches a value of zero, you can't cast anymore spells. Intelligence determines your maximum MP you have and how fast it regenerates. Strength determines how capable you are physically. Agility determines how fast and nimble you are, and finally constitution determines your maximum HP and how fast it regenerates.
There are more stats however these aren't available for you to analyze yet]
'What? So this artificial intelligence thing that is on my wrist can show me all these things? That's amazing! I would need at least 500 gold to buy something like this from the Mages Guild,' Vice thought to himself in shock.
'Hmph, it's much more useful than anything you could buy from some lowly Mages Guild, trust me on that,' Favian retorted.
Vice spent the rest of the day playing with this new gadget of his, trying to figure out what to do and how to use it. He would ask Favian questions whenever he was confused as this voice in his mind seemed to know almost everything about this system, yet there were still questions he couldn't answer, which he simply stated as 'Your system is different than mine'.
[DING! Quest received, 'Defeat 5 Zombies' has been added to the list of active quests. Time limit of 8 hours has been given to the host, unknown reward available]
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