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 Leah watched as Carlo's corpse slowly vanished into thin air like a puff of smoke.

All enemies killed by Players would be presented to the God of Games as offerings. It was a rule that came with the blessing of the System through faith in him.

It was true that Xi Wei, who had been watching everything unfold could choose not to take Carlo's corpse and allow Leah to bury her former teacher. However, he had no such intention.

If he started to dote over his believers on every little thing and clean up their mess every time, they could get too used to it. Even if they would feel the grace and gratitude towards him at first, they would quickly become upset should there be certain lacking in his concern, and they might even turn their backs on his church.

That is basically what it means to be codependent.

Therefore, the gods must keep a certain distance from their followers. If they get too close, the followers would instead lose their reverence towards them.

"Your Highness..." Boris looked at the single piece of black bone left where Carlo's corpse had been, his attitude toward Leah in turn becoming more respectful now. "What should we do now?"

Although Leah would join the fight against beasts and magical creatures, they encountered over the last few days, she remained a noble princess and would mostly be the one delivering the last blow to gain EXP. That was why it was only now that Boris finally realized how powerful she was, and could so easily defeat Carlo, whom himself could never hope to best.

As expected of the warrior princess who earned the respect of the God of Games. She was completely different from ordinary footmen like them...

Leah recovered from her silent dejection then.

In reality, not even Leah herself expected that her ability would rise so immensely after gaining the System. Since she never really fought before and the System itself had many vague terms for its explanation of its different skills, she did not find that her new training was any different from the sword skills she learned before.

When Carlo intercepted them, she was also ready to die just like Boris, only to found that the power in the different skills available in the System to be powerful beyond imagination when she really fought. It was Carlo who was cut down in just a few strokes!

Though Carlo himself was taken by surprise thanks to the different skill effects, Leah imagined that she would lose even in a direct clash of swords!

It left the girl feeling the irony.

If only Carlo would have kept a little faith in the God of Games-even if for just a moment longer, he clearly would have earned any power far beyond the blessings of evil gods, helping him greatly on his path to revenge. It was a pity that he could not wait for just a few days more after holding back for so long, joining Rotten Bones and turning his back on the God of Games and finally meeting his fate.

It was lamentable.

Leah's chest felt hot at the thought. With the System's power, she just might reclaim her base near Lancaster.

Still, she threw away that idea right after it came to her. While her sword skill was formidable, she remained a mortal without any supernatural powers and could easily be killed. In the end, Rotten Bones were a cult, and there must be a few cultists who had mastered such powers, meaning that here inferior skills would not be so effective in a fight.

Furthermore, even if all the Rotten Bones cultists would never best her, they outnumbered her group of just six immensely. With limited MP and stamina, they were never going to destroy an entire cult.

That was why their best choice now was to continued their journey to the unnamed town where they could recruit other Players to help their cause. With enough people, they could return to Lancaster and destroy the Rotten Bones in one swift stroke!"

"We'll wait for the others," Leah's said clearly as she sheathed her sword and pulled the strands of her blonde hair hanging beside her eyes. "We'll continue towards the Valley of the Tragic Dead."

"As you command!" Boris replied, half-kneeling as he reveled in her might, and how she was slowly resembling their former king.

***

The Players of the starter village were not idle even as Leah defeated their pursuers and continued on their journey towards starter village.

When Eleena and the others were revived, they trained to level up, earned sufficient reputation to buy Miasma-Clearing Torches and simply formed a new party with the leader of the merchant escort team.

After that, they headed out to the Valley of the Tragic Dead once again.

Thanks to the experience from their last visit, their journey this time was much smoother. With the lowest level of revenants repelled by the divine power in the torches and the absence of high-level revenants in the outskirts of the valley, they fought enemies stronger than low-level revenants but not too formidable-just within their range of abilities.

Be that as it may, it still took them considerable time to finish their exploration quest. It was on their last torch that they finally reached the required 1% exploration, after of which the quest completion message they expected for so long finally popped up.

"It says we just have to stick the last torch in the ground."

Edward, who was acting captain, did as instructed.

In a split second, the fist-sized flame over the torch instantly burst out and consumed the entire torch, before rising into the air to form a massive pillar of flame!

Their entire group jumped and retreated a step behind, startled.

However, the fire did not keep expanding. It descended instead, and turned into a bonfire as Eleena and the others watched, a long spiral sword of unusual design sticking out from it.

"What is it? Is that sword a quest reward?" Delighted at the sight of a prize, Marni went up to pull out the sword, but his entire body was immediately consumed by rising flames and vanished the moment he touched the bonfire.

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The others were certainly stunned by the abrupt turn of events.

"I can't revive him... could Mister Marni have died without a corpse left again?" Eleena tried to cast a revive spell at the direction of the bonfire, but nothing happened.

"Again, indeed." The corners of Gou Dan's lips twitched. "With the 30% loss of experience, it feels like his efforts in this dungeon are wasted."

"It is really sad, but why do I want to laugh?" Warrior Joe scratched his face, slightly embarrassed.

"We don't have to mourn him since he's going to be revived anyway," the escort captain and new addition to the party calmly suggested.

"No, you've got that wrong. It seems that Mister Marni is not showing up as dead in our team list."

Edward the acting captain extended his hand towards the bonfire but did not touch it, and understanding soon showed on his fast. "I see... the bonfire is our god's creation that could send us directly back to the Lifestone! Next time, we could directly resume our exploration deep into the valley!"