The Horadric Cube

Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales

The Knight of Bennett was wearing a plain white calico as he sat at the dinner table. As usual, he had a serious look on his face. Abel never saw him showing much emotions.

Actually, 'never' was an overstatement. The last time he saw any expression from the Knight of Bennett was about a year ago, when he had just woken up from his coma. He could never forget the joy on his father's face as he enterred this world.

Abel's mother, Nora, was a kind woman. She was the one who fed Abel every time he was recovering from his injuries. If anything, she was the reason why Abel acknowledged to being a part of this family.

Abel never got used to saying his grace before a meal. He had been an atheist for all thirty years of his previous life. It was only until recently that he had come to pray to the Holy Light, which almost everyone in this world would devote themselves to worship. 

Nobody talked during mealtime. The knights were the lowliest among royalty, but this family still adhered to their mannerism. Even when it's just them, they would still behave the same way as they would in front of outsiders.

For the dinner tonight, it was a large piece of beef divided into four. Father and Zach received a larger portion, whereas Mother and Abel were supposed to receive much less. Since food was necessary to increase the supply of a knight's qi, there was not enough to distribute the food equally amongst everyone. 

But still, even as a bodybuilding trainer, Abel had never eaten so much beef during his time on Earth. There was about a pound of beef on his plate, and he was only twelve years old. There was also some porridge for him. It wasn't like he couldn't finish his food, though. He finished eating all of it in just a few minutes. 

 "Here, have some more," a gentle voice said. It was Abel's mother, Nora. She just gave Abel more than half of her beef.

The Knight of Bennett threw a quick look towards Abe, but instead of saying anything, he just kept on eating. His hands seemed kind of stiff when he was trying to slice the meat with his knife. There was a slight cladding noise when his knife made contact with the plate, something very unusual for the master of this house. Zach took notice of it, too, but was quickly hushed when the Knight of Bennett threw a glare at him. 

"Thank you, Mother," Abel thanked Nora as he accepted a fraction of his mother's meal. Since this was the way of Nora showing her love, the right thing to do here was to simply accept it.

As a part of the family routine, the Knight of Bennett had Zach accompany him for some personal training after dinner. Abel, on the other hand, wasn't allowed to attend until he was a rank one novice knight, which he might just become before tomorrow arrives. 

Whilst wasting no time to become a rank one novice knight, Abel headed straight back to his room for a knight's breathing session. He had a full meal just then, and the amount of qi he accumulated throughout the day were very much sufficient for his training to make progress. 

A knight's breathing techniques was the most crucial part of his skillsets. Whether it was passed down from the family, or learnt at a knight's academia, every knight had their own special breathing techniques. If a knight was to make a lot of contributions on the battlefield, he could transfer his war efforts in exchange for improvements in his breathing techniques. 

After sitting himself on a rugged floor, Abel calmed his mind to commence his breathing session. The pace at which he inhaled the air went from slow to fast, and his stomach gradually became filled like a drum. He exhaled a streak of white, misty essence, which vanished into the air like an arrow that's just been fired. The food in his stomach quickly dissolved as he was doing this.

After breathing for about twenty times in a row, the qi Abel acquired during the day was now passing through the food he ingested, and it slowly started to form into a single meridian channel.

This meridian channel was quite unstable at first, but just when Abel thought that he had failed himself again, a power suddenly emerged from his meridian all the way across his body. He wasn't sure quite what it was, but both his body and his mind were like he had just gotten out of bed this morning.

He had finally become a rank one novice knight. A year ago, after seeing his father slicing a large trunk of a tree, he had come to realize the existence of the supernatural forces in this new world. Unlike his home back on planet Earth, strength was very much crucial for survival here. 

When Abel asked his father to train him to become a knight, he was given a detailed explanation of the family's circumstances in response. From what the Knight of Bennet told him, a second son should only train himself without interfering with the progress of the eldest son. 

Zach was the priority of the family, basically. All the resources should be given to him first, and Abel would have what was spared. That being said, though, he would still have access to learning the Bennett family's ways of being a knight.

Despite his unfortunate circumstances, Abel still learned a lot under his father. For the several months that he had recovered from his injuries, he was taught the ways of tending to horses, giving maintenance to his weapons, as well as the handling of a bow and arrow. He was also taught the proper etiquette of a knight, and he was taught many other things he had to prepare for before commencing his official knight training, which only happened at about two months ago.

Whilst still cheering for the progress he made just then, Abel noticed that the meridian in his right arm was quickly losing its presence. Good thing that it stopped after a few seconds, though. If this kept going, he would lose all his progress without being able to do anything about it.

The breathing session tonight didn't result in complete failure. Abel lost some qi at the end, but he could easily regain them after a day or two of training. He was not going to lose his rank as an amateur knight. 

But still, having qi drained out of him was a somewhat bizarre phenomenon. To satisfy his curiosity, Abel pulled back his right sleeve and found a light shadow on his arm. It was kind of difficult to notice it at first sight.

Abel took a long, close look at this mysterious shadow. He wasn't sure why, but it sure did look kind of familiar to him.

"It's a Horadric Cube," Abel jumped out of the ground after he figured it out. This thing was a Horadric Cube, there was no doubt about it. As an avid player of Diablo 2 for so many years, he would've never mistaken an important item like this one. 

"It followed me to this world?" Abel walked around his room in excitement. There was not a thing that he was familiar within this world, and seeing a Horadric Cube here was like finding a water bottle in the middle of a desert.

From what it looked like, the Horadric Cube had probably always been there. The reason it hadn't appeared before was because there wasn't any energy to activate it. Since Abel became a rank one novice knight tonight, some of the qi he lost just then probably went inside the cube. 

The Horadric Cube was just floating on his right arm. Abel touched it with his finger, and his vision was suddenly filled with a window. The window was showing his inventory slot. There were twelve slots in total, and two of them were occupied by a single blue book.

It was the "Tome of Town Portal." Abel recognized it on the spot. It was the same copy as the one he modified before being struck by lightning. From what he could see inside his head, the quantity of this Tome of Town Portal would regenerate itself once every few minutes.

"I'll take this Tome out of the Cube," Abel thought, and the Tome of Town Portal quickly appeared inside his hand. It was quite a big book, almost as big as a magazine you would find on Earth. Its opaque blue cover was decorated with dark golden fringes, which would give off an occasional spark to signify how valuable this item was. 

"Can I go home if I use this Tome of Town Portal?" Abel's heart started beating very fast. He wanted to see his real parents. He wanted to get a taste of his mother's cooking, and he wanted to get a smell of his home town. For the entire year that he was in this world, Abel had never been so homesick until just now.

After slowly opening up the Tome of Town Portal, twenty different scrolls of Town Portal appeared. These scrolls were written on white wool sheets and were strapped in blue ribbons. All Abel needed to do to open up a portal was to pull the ribbons away. 

Abel tried placing his hand on one of the scrolls, but for some reason, his finger bounced off whilst he was trying to make contact with it. After trying again with a bit more force, he was able to successfully take the ribbon out of the scroll.

To his dismay, no portal appeared in front of him. It was a fireball that emerged, instead. Abel instantly threw it out of his hand the moment he saw it, which made a burn hole on the rug that he was standing on. It was irritating, of course, but at least it didn't burn the entire house down.

Why didn't it work? Why did fireballs come out? Abel tried a few times more, but the results were always the same. Every time he tried opening up the Scroll of Town Portal, flames would come out and incinerate its content into a pile of ashes. 

Abel cried after that. He cried for a while, then went to sleep as he got tired of crying.

Whilst Abel was asleep, a shed of moonlight shined through the window and lit upon his face. The tears on his cheeks were gradually blown away by the night breeze coming in, which made him feel kind of cold even in his bedsheets.

"Ba Ba, Ma Ma," a young, vulnerable voice called out in the night. It was the desperate call of a son to his parents. No one would understand it, though, as it was spoken in a language that belonged not to this world.

It was Mandarin. The language was Mandarin, the common tongue that Abel used back home. It was the language that a son would speak in when he was far away from home.