When William opened his eyes, he found himself in an unfamiliar room.
‘Where am I?’ William thought as he tried to move his body. To his surprise, no matter how much he tried to move his body, it was not responding. Heck, he couldn’t even move his finger. ‘What’s this? Sleep paralysis?!’
William had encountered this sensation when he was still back on Earth. This feeling was truly scary because you were clearly wide awake, and yet, you were unable to move and even speak.
The red-head boy tried to calm his panicking heart as he recalled the events that happened during the battle against the Cyclops.
‘The last thing that I remember, is using the Finger of Death. After that I lost consciousness,’ William sighed internally. Suddenly, his heart was gripped by a scary thought. ‘Wait! Don’t tell me we actually lost? No way! Did I die again?! Is this the afterlife?!’
As William was really starting to panic for real, the door of the room opened and a familiar handsome boy appeared in his line of sight.
“William? Are you awake?” Est asked as he looked at the boy who was lying on the bed. He could see that his eyes were open and, for some reason, they were staring straight at him.
Seeing that the red-head boy wasn’t doing anything, Est sat beside the bed and frowned. “What’s wrong?”
‘There’s something wrong with my body, but how can I tell you?!’ William glared at Est out of frustration.
“Young Master, is he awake?” Isaac inquired as he walked to the room with his twin, Ian.
“Oi, if you’re already awake you should get up,” Ian snorted. “Are you a pig? Do you like to lie down so much? You’ve already been sleeping for two days.”
‘T-Two days?!’ William gasped internally. ‘Wait. Did we all die together? Damn! I can’t confirm since I can’t move or say anything.’
“Hey, are you really awake?” Est asked as he poked William’s cheek. “You’re clearly awake, but why aren’t you moving?”
Ian smirked and joined Est in poking William’s face. The two children found that doing this was amusing, so they continued to poke him all over.
‘If I can move, I would have already kicked the two of you!’ William was feeling frustrated. ‘Just because I can’t move you think you can bully me?!’
He was trying to use his annoyance to forcefully break through his paralysis, but it was to no avail. He could only glare helplessly at the two bullies and promised that he would beat them up as soon as his paralysis wore off.
“I think something is wrong with him,” Isaac said as he sat on the bed. “Is he perhaps suffering from sleep paralysis or a stroke?”
“Ian, call the Head Priestess immediately!” Est ordered.
Ian left the room begrudgingly as he went to look for the High Priestess. For some reason, he found William’s current state to be quite amusing. It made him want to bully the defenseless shepherd and irritate him to oblivion.
“Don’t worry, William,” Est assured him. “Help is on the way.”
William winked at Est once before closing his eyes. Since help was already on the way, he decided to check the blinking notifications in his status screen.
[ Ding! ]
[ Gained Exp: 1,200,000 ]
[ Congratulations! You have slayed a Millennial Beast! ]
[ Special Monster First Kill Bonus Exp: 500,000 ]
[ You have acquired Giant Slayer Title! ]
[ You have acquired Millenial-Grade Beast Core! ]
[ Dark Mage Job Class had reached its Max Level! ]
[ Would you like to Advance to the next Job Class? Yes / No ]
‘Um? I got the rewards even though Est was the one who killed the Cyclops?’ William felt happy upon seeing the notifications. He would definitely not reject the system’s rewards for his hard work.
[ Giant Slayer ]
“The bigger they are, the harder they fall!”
— Increase attack against Giant Race by 30% 𝙞𝓷𝙣r𝚎𝓪𝑑.＆nbsp;𝒸𝗼𝒎
— Increase attack against monsters that are over 5 meters tall by 30%
— Strength +5
‘Giant Slayer… not bad. This is one good title.’ William looked at the new title with approval. He had been dealing with big monsters as of late, so having this title would definitely make his life easier.
‘Now time to look at my status page…’
Hit Points: 725 / 725
Mana: [ Disabled ]
Job Class: Shepherd Level 30
Sub Class: Dark Mage Level 40 (Max)
[ Strength: 25 (+2) ]
[ Agility: 35 (+3) ]
[ Vitality: 25 (+2) ]
[ Intelligence: 60 (+2)]
[ Dexterity: 16 (+20) ]
Current Exp: 0 / 154392
[ Dark Mage Max ]
Job Exp: 146,283 / 146,283
After checking his stats, he noticed that his Mana was disabled for some reason. He immediately called the system to inquire what was happening to his status page.
‘System, can you tell me why my Mana is disabled?”‘
[ Host, this is the consequence for using the power of the Collar of Wisteria. You will be unable to use your mana for five years. ]
“What?! I thought the effect of the collar would only prevent me from using the Mage Type Job Classes, it also includes any skill that uses mana?”
[ Yes. Any skill that relies on Mana will no longer be usable for the next five years. ]
“Okay, let me get this straight,” William was hoping that there was still a loophole that he could use in order to activate the skills he normally used in battle. “You mean, I can’t even use Bestow, or First Aid?”
[ Host will be unable to use ANY skills that rely on Mana. ]
“Fck!” William cursed. “Master, the last resort you gave me is too brutal…”
The happiness that William felt after getting the rewards of the trial was replaced by depression. He initially thought that his other Job Classes, that didn’t rely on magic powers, would be unaffected by the backlash of the Collar of Wisteria.
Never in his wildest dreams did he anticipate that the backlash would cripple him to this extent. Without the buffs, Ella’s and the other goats’ battle prowess would be reduced drastically.
While William was feeling broken hearted, the High Priestess Finally arrived at the room. She placed her hand over William’s head and used a diagnostic spell to check his condition.
“Full Heal,” The High Priestess chanted and a layer of green light enveloped William’s body.
“How are you feeling?” Est asked with concern.
“Depressed and brokenhearted,” William answered as he voiced his thoughts out loud. “…and maybe a little hungry.”
“Don’t be depressed young man,” The High Priestess commented with a smile. “You’re still young, why are you feeling depressed? As for hunger, although we don’t have much, we can let you have your fill of bread, cheese, and milk.”
“Thank you, Head Priestess,” William replied. “I’ll take you up on your offer.”
“Very well, I’ll ask one of my attendants to bring you food,” The Head Priestess caressed the side of William’s cheek before standing up. “Your name is William, right? Make sure to visit your goats after you eat. They are feeling restless because they are unable to enter the temple to see you.”
“That’s right! My goats!” William sprang up from the bed and hurriedly left the room. He had completely forgotten about his depression and immediately ran towards the stable to see them.
Est, the High Priestess, and the twins watched him go with dumbfounded faces.
Wasn’t he just depressed a while ago? Why was he running away like his pants were on fire?
“Sorry, Mama Ella,” William said as he hugged her Mama’s head. “I made you worry.”
“Mmm, I’m fine,” William replied. “How about you?”
“Don’t worry everyone, I’m fine. Sorry for making all of you worry.”
This was the scene that Est and the twins saw when they arrived at the stable. The other goats circled around William and pressed their heads on his body. With just a glance, one could easily tell how much the goats cared about William.
“He sure is loved by his herd,” Ian commented with a smirk.
“Ian, be more kind to William from now on,” Est ordered. “He is our benefactor and he sacrificed a lot for us.”
“… I understand,” Ian replied. “I’ll try not to be too mean when I talk to him.”
“Why are you being mean to him in the first place?” Est asked. This was the thing he had wanted to ask for quite some time. Ever since Ian saw William, the other had always treated the shepherd in a rude manner.
“I don’t know,” Ian answered. “I just feel irritated when I see him.”
“Don’t tell me you fell in love with him at first sight?” Isaac teased his twin. “They say that when someone wants to be noticed by their crush, they do things to get their attention.”
“Me? Have a crush on him?” Ian scoffed. “Even if he was the last boy in the world, I would never have a crush on him.”
Ian looked at the red-headed boy who was surrounded by his goats. It was true that, whenever he saw William, he felt irritated for some reason. He was, also, unsure why he was feeling that way against a boy whom he had only interacted with for a short while.
As Ian pondered in silence, his gaze landed on Est. His Young Master was looking at William with a tender gaze. It made Ian doubt his own eyes, but Est continued to gaze at William in this manner.
As if the last puzzle on the board fell in place, Ian finally understood why he didn’t like William.
He then looked at the shepherd, who was surrounded by his beloved goats, as a feeling of irritation blossomed inside his heart.
Although he wasn’t certain, he had a feeling that William would take something very important from him, and that was the reason why Ian felt that William was very unpleasant to his eyes.
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