Home ->A Bored Lich ->74 Praise the Goddess

 Standing at the edges of clearing which served as the center of the battlefield were two lines of men who faced each other. On one side were men from the Acrin kingdom and the other were from the kingdom of Vilbar. Since the clearing had no branches or trees, sunlight shone down over either their place of either promised glory or their probable grave. "Charge!" One word rang out followed by the two groups clashing. Limbs, weapons, screams, blood, bodies, they all flew in every which way.

Three parties were watching the battle from the sidelines: Doevm's squad, which was up in the trees, the Vilbarian captain, who was getting ready to enter the battle, and a group of mages, who were behind the Acrin Kingdom's men.

"Squad leader," one of Doevm's men called out over the noise. "Why are we just sitting here? Won't our army get destroyed at this rate? Our forces are already heavily outnumbered as it is."

"Numbers," Doevm said, "Are not everything in war. For example, look at us. We were able to come out on top because of Hopi and I. Down there, our men may be outnumbered, but the advantage is on our side. Our men are slowly getting crushed but that is what Ashtehar wants the enemy captain to think. He is simply waiting until his prey is close enough."

"Ashtehar is down there?" Hopi asked. "Why? Isn't he a healer? What can a war monk do in battle? I don't even see him."

Doevm chuckled and was about to admonish the Elf but noticed that his men shared Hopi's confusion. "Do none of you know where war monks got their names?"

Hopi shrugged: "I always thought they showed up and healed the most during wartime." The men nodded in agreement.

Doevm sighed: "The war monks do not get their name for healing. In fact, rarely do war monks even have the capability. People just assume they heal because they proclaim themselves as doing the work of the goddess of good. War monks get their name from their actions four hundred years ago, when a kingdom tried to draft them into a war."

"The king's messengers were all sent back to the Acrin capital with their head in boxes. The king of the Acrin kingdom could not take this insult and charged into the sect with an army of a thousand. The war monks responded by sending out a single person in a red robe. In a single day, the king and his army were annihilated. The whole matter was covered up and the war monks were never disturbed again. War monks are not healers or saints. They are, quite simply, the manifestation of violence."


In the middle of the chaos of battle, a single person in a brown robe walked forward. He towered over everything as if it was all insignificant to him. His mouth opened and closed as he sang praises and prayers to the goddess. He stared straight forward at the enemy captain, who stood close to the intersection of the two armies ordering his men around. He took off his robe. Underneath were countless scars on his muscle-bound body, that came together in patterns. These scars were not random or accidental. They formed words of prayer, of Ashtehar's undying worship.

"Goddess," the war monk spoke as he spread his arms out wide, catching two enemies by the throat and lifting them both off the ground. A blood red mist emerged from his pores, condensing around his whole body. His plain white shirt and pants shone bright in the sunlight as if responding to his energy. "This servant humbly offers his body to you in this time of strife and conflict." He bashed the two enemies together, crushing their heads with a pop. The blood splattered on his clothes and into his eyes, but he didn't blink or even seem to notice. "So I may serve as a vessel for your judgement. I will not protect the good as the good will always be protected by your mercy. You are good and can do no evil."

"You created humans as your weapons because only we can sin while staying in the light. I, as a lowly human and servant, will eradicate evil in your name!" He dropped the two bodies and equipped two metal gauntlets. Magic circles enveloped his limbs, spreading mana over him entirely. He flashed various colors as his muscles nearly tore his clothes off.

In this process, some unfortunate soul tried to stab him. The sword, upon hitting flesh, was bent and twisted. Ashtehar raised a single armored fist and punched straight through the man and the person behind him. He withdrew his bloody fist as red stained his sleeves. He threw the two bodies out and advanced. Each step kicked up dirt as he flew through the fight. Everyone in his path was turned into mist, adding to the stains on his clothes. The screams around him were suppressed by his prayers which were increasing in volume. In a radius around him, fiend and foe had to cover their bleeding ears.

The captain was easy enough to identify. He was the one trying to run away back to base, away from the war monk. Ashtehar caught up and stood before him with his prayers shaking the field. He raised a fist and struck but the captain managed to duck and cause a small cut on the war monk's thigh. A red mist escaped him. Compared to Ashtehar's, it was a little lighter and not as condensed. Ashtehar touched his knee and the wound was gone. The captain ordered his troops to stall but they were too afraid to approach.

As the two opponents circled each other, Ashtehar's prayers increasing just like the number of magic circles that enhanced his body. With each passing second, he stood taller. The captain was the first to charge forth, having realized he could not escape. The sword passed through air as the monk jumped nearly as high as the trees.

On the way down, he bent his knees under him as he aimed his entire body at the captain, who managed to roll away. Dirt exploded outwards, knocking the captain away. Ashtehar jumped out of the crater and ran forth.

Behind the Acrin squads, the rest of the mages had appeared. Spells flew forth, wiping out the Vilbarian troops. The entire battle was reversed. "I guess you were right Doevm," Hopi turned to see his squad leader practically drooling. "Doevm?"

Doevm shook his head and looked at Hopi. "Yeah, I was right. He's a monster, especially with that healing magic. That healing magic..." he mumbled to himself. "That infuriating magic."

"Doevm, are you ok?" Hopi glanced at the kid's broken foot. A trail of blood had seeped down the tree and into the dirt. "You know..." he thought back to before. "What if you got the war monk to teach you healing magic?" All of squad six wiped their heads to Doevm.

"Don't be ridiculous," Doevm growled. "Even if I did have magic, which I don't," he glanced at his squad members, who shrugged and turned their attention back to the battle. "War monks only teach their magic to those that join them." He must have read Hopi's mind because the followed up with, "Don't even think of asking for me. War monks are a hyper religious group. They practically brain wash their own people."

"Brainwash?" Hopi asked, glancing at Ashtehar, who was in the middle of a rampage. "Why would they brainwash people into slavery?

"No, it's not quite slavery but their ideals. If you join the war monks you are brainwashed into worship." Hopi regretted asking the question as Doevm's hands curled into balls. "You are turned into a brainless animal. You can only think about the goddess and anything that might be against the goddess is deemed as blasphemy. Punishments are severe, bordering on torture. You are made to memorize countless passages that seemingly have no meaning at all. On top of that, your mind is warped."

"How do you know all of this?" Hopi asked, then he leaned in close and whispered: "Why are you hiding your magic?"

Doevm whispered, "If my magic gets found out, I'll be hunted and forced to join their ranks." When no one was looking, magic circles formed around his fingers. He tapped Hopi on the forehead and lay him on the branch next to him. "I can never reveal it to others."

On the battlefield, Ashtehar had just taken the enemy captain's head. He raised it in the air: "A gift from our fair goddess!" Righteous foam left his mouth as he kept spouting words of worship. "This battle is over!"