3 Chapter 3: plan of action

Leaving the facility through the main gate Markus helped load his necessities as well as equipment onto the carriage as the coach man said.

"I'll only take you as far as the airship port the rest should've already been briefed to you yes?"

""Yes I understand, you just need to get me on that airship the rest will be handled by my own discretion as always""

Markus answered, loading up the final bags of his stuff.

"God even your voice is unbearable, what does the master even see in you anyway? Sure the darkblood series have shown undeniable results on assignments and you are even more exceptional but us thin blood series can do the same too if we tried! And we're a joy to be around too"


Markus stayed quiet for a few seconds.

((The darkblood series is another way to call "subjects" like me who survived the experiment and as for why we're called that? Well it's because due to the Exforia circulating in our veins, our blood is colored almost black instead of red, this guy here is a subject from the thin blood series which specializes in miscellaneous tasks and yet he acts so proud despite being nothing more than a slave, if you have the luxury of pride which we darkblood don't then you should've used it to run away, it makes me sick!...well, not like I can judge him since before this I was a slave too))

""I can neither confirm nor deny the objective authenticity of that statement for it is the master's opinion only but I will say this: if you have enough free time to think about such pointless things then you must have ample time to think about doing your job, no?""

Markus took a pitiful glance at the coach man.


The coachman clicked his tongue in frustration as he couldn't find a retort for Markus's words.

What Markus basically said as far as the interpretation of the coachman goes was"your opinion doesn't mean sh*t, the master deems us superior to you and there's nothing you can do about it, now do your fvcking job!".

"God you darkbloods are so cheeky!"

The coachmen muttered.

Leaving the coachmen's remarks unheard, Markus opened the carriage's door.

Markus got onto the carriage and closed the door finding the silence favourable to finalise his plans for both the short and long term, for now at least there's a specific goal he has to complete once he reaches the Silver household.

((If memory serves me right there's a secret area near the capital of the Randrind empire, Millelith called Starfell lake, there you can gain one of three abilities, although they make gameplay a lot easier, they are not plot-essential items so I should be able to obtain them without any plot altering consequences))

What Markus feared the most right now was that his actions might alter the plot too much and make the story completely spiral out of control rendering the knowledge of the story he gained from his life as Kazuki null and void, even though he knew that his actions will inevitably change the fate of this world since Markus was a boss and essential character in the game and in order to save his own life making plot altering moves were unavoidable, he still wanted to keep the story mostly on the right track in order to more easily guide and manipulate events to his benefit.

Markus could feel that the carriage began to move to the nearest airship port, which should be a 5 hour ride from here.

Currently Markus has two primary long term goals that had to be achieved no matter what:

1. Preserve his life and avoid the fate of him being killed by the heroes at all cost (highest priority)

2. Make sure the heroes fulfil their destiny and save the world since it will have no meaning if he stayed alive but had to live in a nearly lifeless world with the antagonists as the rulers (also should be prioritised)

3. Find himself a peaceful part of the world so that he can live a happy and free life (this one's just his desire so the priority is lower than the two mentioned above)

(Come to think of it, airships huh? They were one of my favourite parts of the game, I remember participating in some airship battles with my little sister)

Markus thought as he was caught in a moment of reminiscing about his former life.

(But now's not the time for that, although I do wonder if she found the money I left for her?)

Despite how it looks, Kazuki was a conscientious and considerate person in his former life, when he got to university he did a million part time jobs not just to pay back his parents for paying his tuition fee but to also give to his sister should something happen to him.

(The money I've accumulated should be enough for her to get into university herself and also serve as startup money for whatever job she's pursuing)

Although he and his sister were never extremely close, they did enjoy each other's presence a lot so Kazuki was always looking out for her in his own way even if their personalities were incompatible in many ways (he was a loner while she was very popular) and even if she tormented him from time to time with her mischievous pranks and fickle endeavours, he still loved her dearly.

((Oh well, the matters of that world should only be resolved by the people of that world, as for me I've got my own hands full of problems that I need to solve))

Pushing all unnecessary thoughts away, Markus continued calculating and planning out every detail of his plans, polishing uncertain factors and planing contingencies in the case of failure as he waited for the carriage to arrived at the port.

((Airships...although the setting of "fires of Valentia" is set in a fantasy type world, there were also many sci-fi elements such as airships and mechas although you can only buy mechs and personal airships from gachas, in other words micro transactions, there was one default mech and personal airship that the game gave but it was the ones with the lowest specs so no one used it in PVP))

((Oh yeah...mechs! I need to obtain one of those, although 99.9% of them are obtained through micro transactions there is an in game explaination as to how the characters in the game obtained them as a sort of flavour text))

Markus thought trying his hardest to remember everything his arduous 100% play through of the game taught him.

((If memory serves me right...the one I bought was called "Niddhogg, the all-devourer" it was the 2nd most expensive as well as the one with the highest stats, the flavour text said that Niddhogg was "an ancient war machine built by the people of old Valentia as the last legacy of the war that eventually resulted in their destruction, built with the intentions of combining the fire power and speed of an airship with the versatility and flexibility of a mech, this single pilot engine of mass genocide will make your journey through Valentia a cake walk" it also came with an airship called Fafnir as most mechs also came with their own airships as a pair which according to the flavour text:"is also a creation of the ancient Valentians that had existed, rumoured to be capable of travelling not just through space, but through time as well although this has never been confirmed" even though it was only ranked 7th among the best airships in the game, both of them can be found laying in the ruins of an ancient facility about 43 miles north east of the capital Millelith, buried by the Forrest of Orm))

((If this world is truly the same as the world of "fires of Valentia" then I should also be able to obtain those two things as I should be the only one with information on where it is, I did spend a lot of money on it after all))

Another objective had been added to Markus's checklist.

((Other than obtaining the skill that I want, another goal is to use the environment provided by the Silver and Rosewood households to continue my training, but I think that I'll have to cut down a few hours on that just to fit in to society and not to raise to much suspicion))

Since the day Markus was born into Friendrich's facility, he had been taught to follow the ubermensch polyphasic sleep schedule which gave him 20 hours to train in swordsmanship, magic, assassination skills and more( subtracting the time he needs for eating and hygiene), normally this would kill a person especially one who was still an infant, but the effects of Exforia kept him alive, when he was 2 he probably already had the physiological faculties of a teenager and he has been training 20 hours a day, everyday for the past 7 years except for when he was on assignments.

But since he'll be disguising as a "normal" person for a long time Markus has decided to cut down his training time to 10 hours at best.

((Most importantly, the thing I want to do most there concerns the person that I was tasked to protect: Sophia Rosewood herself, in the game Reinhart and Sophia's personality is customizable through the actions of the player, Sophia's can vary from an aggressive delinquent tsundere to a strong willed, compassionate and graceful lady with idealistic but revolutionary beliefs. If I want things to turn out the way I desire, I need to point her in the right direction, ideally I want to do the same to Reinhart but Markus and Reinhart aren't supposed to meet until a bit later into the game so that's impossible unless I want to push the plot in an unpredictable direction))

((Actually if I want anything to go my way, I'll need to get my hands dirty with the affairs of all the main characters...but I'm getting too far ahead here))

((Okay, that should be it for now...))

Markus organized everything in his head and breathed out a sigh of relief for the first time since he had two souls merged and occupy the same body.

Realizing that he still had a lot of free time (only 1 hour 12 mins has passed since he got on the carriage), Markus's mind began to wander as a way to pass the time.

((You know, no matter how much I hate Friendrich I gotta thank him for giving me exactly the things I need to succeed...oh yeah speaking of Friendrich, it's about time...))

At that very same moment the ground beneath the carriage shook, the tremors lasted for a few minutes before subsiding.

"What the h*ll was that!?"

The coachman screamed out trying to calm down the horses that were panicking.

""Volcanic activity, the facility is built near the corpse of an inactive volcano after all. Tremors like this happen once in a while, they are nothing but the remnants of a long forgotten disaster, no need to worry""

Opening the veil of the window separating him and the coachman, Markus answered intending to steer the coachman's attention away from that tremor.

"No need to worry!? Are you freaking serious!? What kind of inactive volcano can cause a tremor like that?"

The coachman retorted, finally managing to calm down his horses.

((His reaction is a bit exaggerated but it is as expected in this situation I suppose, let's make sure he doesn't get any ideas...))

""The tremors are much too inconsistent to indicate the reactivation of the volcano, and even if it did our seismic researchers and not to mention the master's prophetic visions would be able to predict it, plus the facility was specifically built to be able to withstand the aftermath of an eruption, everything from the distance to the volcano, interior design to the composition of the building materials so there's nothing to worry about""

Markus reassured the coachmen however much he can but it's a struggle due to his voice being designed to inspire fear in all who heard it.

""Instead of worrying about something so trivial, you should be focusing on the task at hand, the master specifically emphasized haste during the course of this mission, are you sure you have time to go and check every single thing that is slightly out of place?""

Making use of his voice's greatest weakness Markus emphasized "the master" part of his sentence as a subtle threat to the coachman, this magnified by his naturally intimidating tone scared the coachman out of thinking about anything but getting Markus to the port.

"Hiii!! Understood I'll make sure to speed up as much as I can"

Even though the coach man was acting spiteful towards Markus earlier even a fraction of Markus's intimidation factor caused him to listen to Markus's word like an obedient dog.

Leaving the coachman aside Markus was once again back in his thoughts.

((Fuuh...I'm lucky that worked, if I couldn't scare him into believing that lie and he decided to turn around at this point I would've been in huge trouble))

((The tremors? Oh they were just the aftermath of the "present" I left))

Using his alchemical skills to mix an incredibly explosive compound and using his skills as a mage Markus left a makeshift time bomb near Friendrich's office that was to be activated around 1 hour after his departure, although it was crude and made out of things he had at the time such as vials, testubes, copper wires which were taken from the garrotte wire he used to choke people with for assassinations and chemicals which could be found aplenty in the facility with Markus's level of expertise (and a well timed lighting spell) it turned into a weapon of mass destruction that could easily reduce the facility to rubble, after all the facility was built to withstand the AFTERMATH of a volcanic eruption, not the actual blast from the volcano itself so suffice to say the bomb was more than good enough.

((I'm sure Friendrich is dead already, his precognitive visions only happened once per month and he already had one of Sophia so there was no way he could have predicted that I would betray him and even if it wasn't depleted I still doubt he would've seen this coming as the merging of both Markus and Kazuki's soul were undeniably a miracle from god))

((All other subjects of the darkblood series were either on break or out on assignments so no one could have found out where I planted the bomb))

Finally free from the person that held sway over his life for so long Markus felt happy for the first time in his life, but along with that there was also a strange lingering sense of rejection or maybe revulsion.

Perhaps it was because this current "Markus" was also half "Kazuki" a Japanese person who had morals slammed into him since the day he was born, so the stipulations of killing someone weighed heavy on his mind even if that someone used to be a game character to him.

(It had to be done, Friendrich will be a dangerous foe in the future, an enemy with the ability to see the future is very troublesome and hard to beat)

Markus tried to justify his actions in his head.

(And besides he got what was coming to him!)

He tried to get rid of that pointless and irrational guilt he was feeling.

(You and I both agreed on this, we both knew what was coming once we chose this path)

Finally the feeling of regret and disgust subsided as if both sides had come to terms with what they have done.

((Yeah, that's right we both want this, we won't have the chance to live taken away from us again))

Life is suffering no matter how you live and the only way to succeed is to find meaning in that suffering, and if this suffering is what was required to live in the truest sense then they, or should it be "he" will gladly pay that price.

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