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Chapter 15 - Rewards (1)

Leonel was beginning to see a new pattern in his life that he wasn't very fond of.

Battle to the point of death. Fall unconscious. And finally, wake up without knowing where the hell you were.

Once again, Leonel found himself in a similar situation. Except this time, it was even weirder than appearing atop a Mayan temple, if you could believe it.

He sat on the ground, or what he perceived was the ground, in a blank white space. If it wasn't for some kind of gravity telling him which way was down, he would have a hard time distinguishing just which direction was which.

To make matters weirder, it was hard to tell if the ceiling was a centimeter from his head, or if it was miles away. Was there even a ceiling? He wasn't sure.

However, maybe it was due to his ability, but Leonel found that he adapted quite quickly. Soon, that feeling of disorientation faded and he began to slowly stand with the help of his silver rod.

'Hold on…'

Just when Leonel was feeling that the process was too easy, he realized that his hip was no longer broken. In fact, he felt better than he ever had in his entire life. The only discomfort he felt in his hip was due to his deformed armor pressing into it.

Without much of a choice, Leonel took it off. He wasn't sure where he was, and equally unsure if he still needed to be alert. But, this armor was no longer any good to him in this state.

'Wait… Why am I alive? Unless… I'm not?'

This sort of white space, wasn't it just like every stereotype of heaven he had ever read about? Maybe he really was already dead.

Leonel sighed. After unbuckling his armor, he set it aside. He really did smell quite terrible, but after so many months, it had stopped bothering him as much. His sweat pants and compression shirts hadn't lasted, so he was currently wearing so odd leather pants he snatched from a dead soldier. His chest was fitted with chain mail, but other than that, it was bare.

To sum it up, he was a mess.

'My scars seem to be gone too…'

The number Leonel had accumulated were definitely not few. His body had become a canvas of bullet wounds and blade scars, but they had vanished.

"Oh? It's quite rare for someone to regain their bearing so quickly in this place."

The sudden voice snapped Leonel out of his own thoughts. His tension still running high, his neck practically broke off from his torso turning toward the sound, his silver rod and dagger being gripped tightly.

"Whoa there. It wouldn't be the first time someone attacked their Guardian, but I'd prefer not to be added to that list, please and thanks."

A handsome man that seemed carved of precious stone had appeared a few meters from Leonel. He was more perfect than any human should have been. Leonel had a hard time believing that he was anything other than an ascended being. He somehow managed to wear a gold plated armor without looking absolutely ridiculous to a man of the modern era like Leonel.

"Guardian?"

"Mm, yes." The man said. "It's my job to hand you the rewards you've earned in your Sub-Dimensional Zone. In return, I receive a bit of Karma."

"Karma?"

The man waved his hand. "Guiding a baby isn't part of my job description."

With that, the man unfurled a golden scroll. Maybe it was due to whatever it is he read, but he froze for a very long time.

'He seemed to be speaking English, but his lip movements were nothing like English. Something is translating?' Leonel thought to himself.

"First to clear a Sub-Dimensional Zone in your world, huh? Not bad… Oh, that's unfortunate. It seems that someone skipped ahead and took the World Spirit for themselves, or else you'd have a right to a fourth of it. Shame, your world has Eighth Dimension potential, its World Spirit should have great talent… Not bad, a Third Dimensional world that can create rudimentary Sub-Dimensional Zone analysis technology definitely has a bright future ahead of it.

"Just who could… Oh?" The man's brows raised as though he saw something amusing. "Is Morales your maternal or paternal name?"

"… Paternal."

"I see… I see…"

"Excuse me, sir. Are you saying that my reward should have been this World Spirit but someone else took it?"

"You could say so. But it's less about the World Spirit being taken away and more about it choosing its master. You shouldn't feel that it's unfair, it can only be said that this person is more gifted than you are. Or rather… That's not definitive. After all, this World Spirit was taken even before you were born.

"Also, being the first only nets you a reward of a chance to gain the World Spirit's recognition and the equivalent of a fourth of its power. Many worlds still have the power of their World Spirit split into four, passed down through generations of the same Clan… Not that that matters much to you, now."

"Oh, I see…"

"… Entering a Tier 4 Black Ranked Sub-Dimensional Zone on your own for your first try? With a pseudo Fourth Dimensional world's constitution for a body? You must be insane."

Leonel opened his mouth to answer, but he couldn't make heads or tails of what the man just said. His watch ranked the world he entered a grade 'C'. How did that translate to this man's ranking system?

lightsΝοvεl ƈοm

"It was a Tier 4 Black Ranked Zone meant for four people? What the hell is wrong with you kid? No wonder it took so long for me to fix you up. Leave these kinds of things to youths born in higher Dimensional worlds. It's my job not to be prejudiced against you, but I'm giving you advice. Your world has a lot of potential, more than mine by a good margin. Take your time and stop rushing things."

Leonel was shocked by the care in the man's voice. It seemed out of place… Or maybe he was just a good guy, or was just fond of his accomplishments.lightsnovel

But, he could still only smile bitterly at the man's words. He hadn't known anything before he stepped in. Plus, his father had implied that he should enter. How could he know his old man would send him to his death?

"… Alright, I'll stop nagging you."

"Sir, can I ask your name?"

"My name is Montez."

"Thanks for the advice, Uncle Montez. I'll do my best."

Montez blinked in shocked for a long while before he laughed heartily.

"Uncle it is, then… Hm, your rewards…

"Clearing both side quests. Activating the hidden quest. Completing the hidden quest. Clearing the objective."

"I cleared the objective?.. I thought I failed…"

"You would have, had you killed that little girly. But it seemed you didn't."

Leonel's face twisted with a weird expression. What kind of quest was that? Wouldn't it go on forever then?

"The quest objective was to repel the Spanish and save the girl."

Leonel's expression darkened. The wrist watch told him to save the Chief Priest. What kind of sick joke was this?

Had he known the true objective, he wouldn't have gone into the Sacrificial Room without a plan because he would of deduced the Priest would be his toughest enemy. If he was prepared, he wouldn't have ended up in such a sorry state.

Montez began to laugh, eventually wiping tears from his eyes.

"I told you it was rudimentary Zone analysis technology. How could it be completely accurate?"

Leonel took a deep breath. "Before my rewards, do you mind explaining two things to me? What exactly are Sub-Dimensional Zones and how does the ranking system work?"

"Well, I'm normally not allowed to explain these things… But I think I can get away with it this time.

"Zones are key points in history which connect your Third Dimension to the Fourth. Due to a sort of buffer the Universe has, these Dimensions were 'stored' in time so that they couldn't influence the timeline too much. In order for your world to successfully evolve to the next Dimension, these instances in time must be resolved.

"If they are not resolved, they will begin eating away at your timeline, altering important events in history until your world is unrecognizable. If the problem becomes severe enough, your world could collapse."

Leonel's eyes widened. He hadn't expected the problem to be this severe.

"So I'm guessing… the reason why you higher worlds help us little guys out is so that one day you'll have more help with clearing your own Sub-Dimensional Zones?"

Montez couldn't hide his mouth hanging open in shock.

"… Yes… That's exactly right. It's in our best interest to unite in this matter. A world with as much potential as yours will receive a lot of help. In fact, there should be a lot of influences from other worlds in your own already… You're quite a smart boy, but I really can't say much else. Influencing your timeline too much can have its own poor effects.

"To answer your second question, Black Zones are assigned to Fourth Dimensional events, Bronze to Fifth, Silver to Sixth, and Gold to Seventh. My own world is only of the Seventh Dimension, so I don't know much more."

Leonel had many more questions. Like the man had mentioned 'world potential' before, and even said that Earth had the potential of an Eighth Dimensional World. On top of that, he said that Earth had more potential than his own world. But if that was the case, and his world was already of the Seventh Dimension, shouldn't his world's job be done? Since there was no hope in reaching the Eighth Dimension for them, why did they still help lower worlds?

And if his job wasn't finished for some unknown reason, wouldn't his Seventh Dimensional World be facing Eighth Sub-Dimensional Zones right now just like Earth as a Third Dimensional World was facing Fourth Sub-Dimensional threats? So why did he not know anything about Zones above the Gold grade?

There seemed to be a secret here that was nagging at Leonel's heart. But… He knew better than to ask.

"Each rank of Black to Gold is divided into nine level, one being the lowest and nine being the highest difficulty. In addition, the chosen difficulty is ranked by how many are allowed to enter as well. The Zone you completed had an entry limit of four since it was relatively stable and could support that much influence without collapsing. But, you completed it alone, so it was more like a Tier 5 Black Zone to you."

Montez clapped. "Alright, that's enough. I wasted much of our time together with too many words.

"I'm sure you know by now that the reward system is separate from the Zones. It's something us higher worlds created. Only Silver and Gold Zones can form rewards of their own, kind of like that dagger in your hand… Though that dagger will disappear once you leave this place. That's the difference between low grade Zones and higher grade ones."

Leonel couldn't help but inwardly smile. Every time Montez swore he couldn't tell Leonel anymore, he would continue to drop tidbits of helpful information.

"Either way, since this is a four person Zone, you can normally choose four Tier 4 Black rewards for a minimum clear. But, since you completed the hidden quest, that's good for a Tier 5 Black reward. Including the two side quests… the clearing 100 Spaniards reward is another Tier 4 Black reward, clearing 1000 is a Tier 5 Black reward.

"I also have to factor in the fact you were the first of your world to clear a Zone, and that's worth a Tier 9 Black reward. So, five Tier 4 Black rewards, two Tier 5 Black rewards, and one Tier 9 Black reward.

"You are allowed to trade down by handing in a higher Tier for three lower ones. You can trade up by using five. Don't ask why it's like this, you know people at the top are misers."

Montez clapped his hands. A moment later, a counter filled with treasures Leonel was practically blinded by appeared. Maybe the most shocking part was the fact this 'counter' extended for hundreds of meters to the left and right.