3. The Storm Warden [Part 1]

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[Mio 1st, 3728: Fayhelm's Great Forest]

Slimes are often dismissed as unintelligent, unthreatening lifeforms. But Slime jelly has become a staple of the food industry due to its high levels of condensed elemental energy; it's even being used in alchemy! Slimes, however, can also be dangerous when gathered together, or if you have them dripping on your feet.

Even if precautions were taken, there would always be a serious accident regardless of how good the precautions were. It's laughable to think that these cute little blobs with their googly eyes could be viewed as harmless.

These slimes held many advantages over the slimes Owen was familiar with. In Adrios, all slimes were elemental slimes. The slimes could be water, fire, ice, and so on. Slimes are immune to all physical attacks, fall damage, and even their own element's damage. They can also fire bursts of elemental energy at range to launch ranged attacks.

A slime's size can also indicate its strength, so a slime that is bigger will be considered S rank, while a slime that is smaller may only be considered C or D. As a result, jelly from higher-ranked slimes has a greater monetary value.

"The slimes are coming for us," Justine said. "I knew things were going too smoothly."

"I don't know, Justine. Isn't it just a bunch of slimes?" Owen wondered nervously, counting the number of slimes in his head.

"It's time to start using your magic then!" she exclaimed with excitement before focusing her spell toward a slime.

She yelled with delight as a ball of fire blasted out of her hand and landed on one of the slimes, killing it instantly.

Despite being jumped at by the slimes, Owen was able to cast a fireball spell from memory. Fire sparked all of them into flames, leaving only an oozing slime jelly in their wake!

"Well, that wasn't hard at all," Owen quipped.

"As you'd expect from a hero," she said with pride.

As Owen approached the pile of slime jelly, he bent down to touch it.

"This slime jelly actually feels pretty good!" Owen exclaimed as he stared at his newfound prize. "I can't wait to sell it for profit!"

"Though you probably won't make much money on this," Justine said to him as she tossed him some glass vials, "you may find something useful!"

"I'm not convinced," Owen said. "But I suppose it can't hurt."

Afterward, Owen and Justine bottled up the slime jelly in glass vials. After they were done, Owen put the vials in his pocket.

"There should be a road leading to the city," Justine said while gesturing. The landscape on one side was dominated by an imposing mountain, while on the other stood a forest of trees so tall they blocked the sky above them. "It's actually quite close by and has a population of around 3,000 people. I've never been there, but we had an angel scout visit a few years ago."

Owen nodded as they started looking for the road to Fayhelm.

"This might be the best time to explain your abilities," Justine said as she picked up Owen's right hand and placed her fingers on the emblem. "Father Mayhem has chosen you to reincarnate as a Demi-God, principally so that you can harness the powers of 'Light', your legendary class."

What else should I know?" Owen asked.

"This world is primarily based on a ranking system that ranges from 'Unranked' to SS+," Justine said. "The appraisal is here. If you would like to revisit it, you'll need to focus in order for it to re-appear."

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Appraisal

Name: Owen Woods

Rank: B+

Class: Legendary [Sorcerer Of Light] , [???]

Race: Legendary [Demi-God]

Gift: Legendary [Creation], Legendary [Sixth Sense], [???], [???]

Attributes & Star Rating

Strength 3.8*

Constitution 4.0*

Dexterity 3.4*

Intelligence 4.1*

Wisdom 3.5*

Charisma 4.2*

Luck 4.0*

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"Sixth Sense?" Owen asked.

"You're lucky to have that gift. Not only will you be able to perceive what isn't there, you'll know when something is going to happen before it occurs," Justine said. "It will undoubtedly help you save a lot of lives."

Owen joked, "and hopefully make me rich in the process."

Justine laughed sarcastically.

"Anyway, what's up with the question marks?" Owen asked.

"That means those elements haven't been unlocked yet," Justine explained.

"What do you mean? You mean a level-lock?" Owen asked.

"In general, yes. However, it's possible that some are only unlocked when certain requirements have been met," Justine explained, "Although, it's strange that you have one in the class section. That doesn't happen very often."

"Interesting. But how come my attributes seem so low?" Owen asked.

"As you gain experience and rank up, your attributes will reflect this," Justine explained, "So I'm not in a rush to correct your current ambitions. You'll only stand a chance against the Demon Lords when you reach rank S or S+."

"So you're not going to stop me from becoming a merchant?" Owen asked.

"It makes sense that Father Mayhem would not select you if you were going to spend all your abilities on this pointless endeavor," Justine explained, "But don't think you're getting away that easy! You should pay me for the time I'm wasting trying to convince you."

As they walked, Owen sighed, before they reached the road leading to Fayhelm. Owen was surprised to find a smaller, less traveled road. Nevertheless, they began walking towards the City of Fayhelm.

A short time later, they saw someone ahead of them. A young woman stood under a large, circular storm cloud. Brown hair, pink eyes, a modest bust, and expensive clothes characterized this cute brunette. A powerful sword appeared to be on her right hip, along with a grimoire on her left. Based on her appearance, she was probably 22 years old.

"Who the heck is that?" Owen wondered.

As they watched the woman from a distance, Justine conducted an appraisal.

"Oh shit. She's a Warden. This is not good," Justine said, shaking her head.

"A Warden?" asked Owen.

Justine said, "Wardens are like powerful heroes who have reached S rank. They are hard to come by in Adrios due to the fact that you have to be blessed with tremendous powers in order to become one."

"Then what is the problem?" Owen asked.

I think that's the issue. If there is a Warden here, it means trouble isn't very far—," Justine said.

"Dodge!" Owen yelled.

Owen began to push Justine away when a barrage of Ice spikes started to land in her previous position.

"Ow! What the hell was that all about?" Justine said.

"We need to leave now!" Owen shouted as he picked up the Goddess. "I think my sixth sense is kicking in."

Owen began sprinting towards the Warden as he carried the young Goddess. Despite not fully comprehending the mechanism behind his strength, he guessed it was related to his status as a Demi-God.

"What? What are you—oh. Oh shit," Justine said.

Above them soared the target of the Warden's hunt: a juvenile Ice Dragon. The creature seemed enraged by their presence.

"What the hell? We didn't even touch him!" Owen exclaimed.

Justine commented, "It's possible it's going berserk and just attacking everything it finds. It doesn't help that Demi-Gods and Gods have a distinct smell that dragons and few others can smell."

He quipped, "Well, that is just fucking fantastic."

As they continued towards the Warden, the Ice Dragon juvenile flew ahead of them.

"Is this some kind of shitty reincarnation?" Owen asked. "Most anime I've seen has the starting area as one of the safest places. I should be killing slimes and planning my future!"

"I'm surprised that you actually saved me," Justine said with relief. "At least you're not totally hopeless."

"My selfishness may be at the edge of the envelope, but I am not that selfish," Owen said, "You should put more trust in me."

"If that's the case, then you should cast Steps Of Light," Justine said. "Barrier Of Radiance might as well be cast too. He's about to shoot a frost beam at us," Justine said.

The Ice Dragon's mouth opened as he hovered before them, charging the frost beam. Running toward the beast, the Warden pulled out her sword.

"Steps Of Light!" Owen shouted as his feet began to glow. "Barrier Of Radiance!"

The spell 'Steps Of Light' grants faster movement through the use of light magic. The user could increase their speed or dodge attacks with it.

Owen took advantage of this, as the Ice Dragon beam was focused on him. However, each successful dodge prompted the Dragon to recalculate. The dance continued for half a minute before the Dragon finally encountered the barrier. By taking a direct hit, their defenses were shattered, making them vulnerable.

"I'm not buying that. What rank is that Dragon?" Owen questioned.

"My appraisal says A+," Justine replied.

"Well, we are screwed. It was nice knowing you, Goddess," Owen sighed.

A resounding "I don't think so!" came from the Warden.

Lightning tore through the dragon's wing, stopping the frost beam in its tracks. He had a hard time staying airborne.

As the female Warden landed on the Dragon's head and held her sword in the air, a large storm cloud began to form.

"Judgement," said the Warden.

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