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12 Twelve Bolts

    [You will respawn in thirty seconds.]

    [30]

    [29]

    [28]

    Seojoon glanced around his surroundings with a curious gaze as he waited for his respawn timer to count down. The world around him was dark and black. He could see shadows moving here and there but whenever he tried to close the distance, they would escape his touch.

    "How interesting," mutter Seojoon without realizing he was speaking out load. "This sort of reminds me of the Jewish idea of Limbo."

    A world of emptiness and darkness, a place of good and bad.

    "It really does fit in with the whole fantasy thing this game has going," analyzed Seojoon with a sparkle in his eyes. "Since we 'outsiders' don't fully die, we are stuck in a limbo like place. The creator must be Jewish or have an interest in Judaism."

    [15]

    [14]

    [Your soul has been summoned back to the over world. Automatic respawn has been canceled. Respawning now.]

    The dark world around him began to stretch and distort as he felt a strong tugging sensation from his chest. When he opened his eyes once more, he was back at the open area with the scarecrows. Standing directly above him was the Vice Captain. Her hands were glowing white as they hovered directly above his chest. It was apparent that the vice captain did some sort of revival ritual.

    Seojoon stared at her for a moment or two before giving her a wide smile. "That was surprising. How did you kill me so fast?"

    The vice captain stared at Seojoon oddly before extending her hand. "You are an interesting one aren't you?"

    "In what way?" Asked Seojoon, genuinely curious. "I'm pretty sure that I'm a normal person if you don't factor in my somewhat above average memory."

    (A/N: Average my ass!)

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    The vice captain stared into Seojoon's eyes and for the first time, he noticed how exceptionally clear and energetic they seemed. It was as if an adult tiger had retracted her claws in order to play, however, still made sure to be alert at all times. They were a beautiful mixture of playfulness and strength, a kind of beauty that could not be hidden by the vestiges of time.

    "You are a very intriguing man, I can understand why Zie took a liking to you." Said the Vice Captain with a twinkle in her eyes. "You have the outsider's gift to reincarnate yet you lack their arrogance. You also do not share their aversion to death, a feature that insults their god given ability."

    "Players- I mean Outsiders don't like dying?" Asked Seojoon while tilting their heads? Why not? Aren't we all immortal?"

    The vice captain nodded her head. "I've come across a separate group of outsiders who called themselves 'beta testers'. They were unable to throw away their dependence on the level system. They were too afraid to lose a level that they ignored honing their skills and traversed on the path of brute strength."

    "Is there something wrong with using brute strength to advance?"

    "Imagine if you had a very strong child or an old man who was proficient with the sword. Who would win in a fight? The old man or the child?"

    "Doesn't it matter based on the individual talents and skills of the old man and child?" Inquired Seojoon with wide eyes. "Like if the child manages to grab onto the old man, I would say the child would win but if the old man was able to avoid getting hit by the child, the old man would eventually win."

    "Exactly. Even a giant is nothing before the sword," said the Vice Captain as she stared off into the distance. It's a saying we have at our village. As long as you have the skill, any foe will appear as a child in your eyes."

    The vice captain took a step back before once again pointing her sword towards Seojoon's chest.  "You, my boy...."

    "My name is Seojoon."

    "Ah, thank you."

    "No problem."

    "You, Seojoon, are nothing but a child in my eyes. I am able to kill you in an instant and you are unable to do anything about it."

    It was undeniable. How could it be when the evidence had sliced him into two not a moment ago. The vice captain was fully capable of killing him any time she wanted to.

    "Now I ask you again. Will you stand up once more and raise your sword to learn the majestic art of the sword, or will you set your value based upon your levels and your attributes?"

    Seojoon picked up his sword and raised it into the vice captain's sword that had been pointing at his chest the entire time. Seojoon had analyzed the tone and word choice of the vice captain and came to the conclusion of what he had to do.

    Seojoon knee that he had done the right thing when he saw a small grin creep up from the corners of the Vice Captain's mouth.

    [Vice Captain Estancia's attitude towards you has changed. Vice Captain Estancia - approval.]

    "You are the first outsider who is worthy enough to receive my teachings. Be prepared, Seojoon. I'll carve my swordsmanship into your flesh as many times necessary until you learn something from it. Now once again, try to survive."

    Seojoon fell into a trance as her blade slowly drew him in. He felt the whole world slow down momentarily as the vice captain readied her strike.

    "The name of my swordsmanship is called <Twelve Bolts>. Soon enough, you will understand why it is named thus. Do not be afraid of death, Seojoon. Accept it, embrace it, and take advantage of it."

    The vice captain hesitated for a moments sadness flickering in her eyes before she whispered to Seojoon in a small voice.

    "If you do as I say, you will surpass your predecessors who came before you. You will be able to surpass me."

    This time, Seojoon was able to catch a flash of light almost as instantaneous as lighting. Not a second had passed when he felt a slight pain in his chest and realized that the Vice captain's sword had already buried itself into his flesh.

    [You have taken 2000 damage. Fatal hit. Health: 0/190]

    [You have died.]

    [As you are level one, you have not lost a level.]

    Although things had played itself almost exactly like the last time, Seojoon couldn't help but let a smirk nestle on his face. The reason for that was a message he received right after the one notifying his death.

    [You have gained insight for the sword art <Twelve Bolts>.

    <Twelve Bolts> - 4%]
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