I Level Up With My Family

ILVLUP Chapter 2

Marius’s Family, An Odd Change

 

It was a small, square-shaped room, well-lit by a few incandescent bulbs. The floor revealed under a corner of the fluffy mat had a bright, polished sheen. Simple furniture was laid out around the room: a table in the center and a TV and couch on one side. Two doors opened out to the bedrooms, and there was a kitchen on the other side—a perfect set-up for a small family.

Marius felt refreshed at the sight as he entered, even more so when he looked at the tiny form that greeted him, a little angel hurrying towards him in delight.

“Dadda! Up! Up!” said the excited little girl wearing a long-sleeved shirt. She ran towards Marius with unsteady steps, her arms stretched forward. Her sleeves almost covered her small palms. She had lustrous and unusual purple hair, and her large round purple eyes made her look innocent and adorable.

Marius, who felt rather sullen, smiled as he looked at his approaching daughter. He bent down to pick her up in his sturdy arms, lifting her above his head as he gazed at her beaming face. He said, “Ha ha, my little Rose, you can’t be so cute! How dare you show me such cuteness at this hour? Hehe, are you happy that Pappa’s home?”

Rose looked at her father with excitement, clasping his cheeks with her small palms.

Smiling, she replied, “Hehe, Dadda, I missed you!”

Marius was filled with warmth on hearing this. He gently held his daughter against his chest and spoke. “Ha ha, that’s my good girl. For being so nice, I’ll tell you a little secret. You’re not the only one, for you see, Pappa missed you too.” He laughed heartily.

“Really? Yay!” Rose was elated. She rubbed her head against his chest, creating an endearing scene.

Marius grinned as he playfully rubbed her hair. She closed her eyes and giggled in delight.

Rose was only three years old. Her full name was Rosary Edgewick and unlike other kids her age, she was unique in as many ways as one could imagine. As if to validate this, as Marius stroked her head, her hair parted to the side, revealing two extremely adorable scarlet horns that curved upwards.

Marius’ face had no change of expression; after all, he had seen those horns since the day of her birth. As for others who knew of them, they no longer existed in this world.

Rose was not the only one, as the entire family differed from the norm. Marius’ children were all gifted and blessed with unknown powers. As for his wife, she had an inherent strangeness about her. Since the day they had met, he knew that though she was outwardly human, she most certainly wasn’t so to any degree.

Back when they had first met, she had appeared before him like an angel, or rather, a beautiful demoness from a scarlet portal. Her manner was icy-cold and ruthless, and he was instinctively drawn to her traits. Yet, even in such an encounter, she too had been enamored by him at first sight. The result of their meeting then led to their eventual bonding and marriage.

Since then, Marius had accepted her strangeness; other than knowing that she came from another world, he didn’t press her for more details as he felt that she would eventually explain everything.

His wife was Rialia Zorith, a beauty born of an unknown race. As for his most proud and obedient son, his name was Grevlin Edgewick; Marius couldn’t be any prouder.

As Marius played with his daughter, two footsteps sounded from the side as the final two family members had appeared.

“So, you’re finally home, my dear husband, and I’d almost think you’d miss own on our early dinner party,” Ria said as she walked over with a charming smile. Her features were gorgeous and almost nonhuman. She had long green hair that fell to her back and wore a simple red dress. Yet, despite its commonness, it could not shroud her curvaceous body filled with abundance. Her small nose, delicate lips, and graceful almond eyes tucked below her thin eyebrows added a seductive flair.

“Welcome home, father.” Grevlin greeted as his figure appeared from another side. His actions were akin to a specter that trailed out from the darkness that shrouded a segment of the room.

Upon a closer look, Grevlin had the features of a growing boy, his height no bigger than Marius’ waist, with deep black hair covering one side of his face. Oddly, his arms weren’t visible as they were both secured within his jacket, leaving his sleeves to hang loosely at his sides.

While playing with Rose, Marius turned his attention to them and smiled as he felt even more at ease. His eyes glistened as every ounce of his distraught vanished as he thought to himself.

Yes, it doesn’t matter what happens. So long as I have my priceless treasures, my life will be complete.

Both Ria and Grevlin had arrived at Marius’ side; Marius kissed Rose on her forehead and handed her over to Ria. He then looked down and patted Grevlin’s head while he spoke, “Grev, how was your day?”

Grevlin smiled and replied, “Father, I finally did it. I learned how to hold metal more softly.”

Marius was surprised at this; he looked at Grevlin with bright eyes as he knew full well of his uncommon palm strength. He spoke in excitement, “Haha, my boy, have you really achieved this?”

Grevlin puffed out his chest with a proud look as if seeking praise when he replied, “Hehe, yes father; I will show you later.”

“Good child, that’s my son. Since you’re so sure, then I’ll look forward to it. If you can do it, then we’ll only need to work on getting you to hold something lesser denser.” Marius replied with a praising tone as he patted Grevlin’s head.

Grevlin had a happy grin on his face as he enjoyed the praise. Marius then turned to his lovely wife, staring at her gently as he pulled her close, wrapping his sturdy arm around her slender waist before he kissed her on her lips.

After the two kissed, Marius stared at her up close as he spoke, “I’m home.”

Ria warmly smiled as she held his cheek with one of her palms as she spoke, “Dear, you look troubled. Did something happen today?”

Though Marius kept a straight face, his former sullen mood was still slightly visible in his eyes. Others wouldn’t have noticed this difference, even more so due to his trained abilities to conceal such emotions. However, as Ria wasn’t what you’d call normal, she could see through him, as she could usually sense things of a chaotic nature by instinct.

Marius shook his head and replied, “I can’t keep secrets from you, now can I? Haha, I’ll talk about it after dinner.”

After saying this, Marius walked away with Grevlin following behind him. Ria giggled at this, not replying as she carried Rose along. Not long after, they arrived at the dining room. Here, Marius stared at the decorated table with food, cake, and drinks. He warmly smiled as he turned to look at Ria and spoke, “It seems you’ve been busy today.”

Ria made a matter-of-fact look as she walked over while holding Rose in her arms. She spoke, “Well, of course, I was, it is our anniversary, and I couldn’t have our celebration be like the usual, now, can I?”

Marius laughed as he replied, “Haha, you’re right. We certainly can’t do it like in those old days.”

Ria also grinned, knowing what he was mentioning. Her eyes flashed as if recalling a scene from the past, back when they met and fell in love. A place that was not like anywhere romantic but a brutal battlefield. Corpses strewed about the open plains as blood soaked the earth in all directions. Strangely, an assortment of roses was arranged around a central field, with two individuals facing each other with soft gazes.

One was the ever so beautiful Ria, garbed in a sexy dress. Her hair hung loosely as her bare feet stood on a bloody floor. She held onto a blood-stained dagger with her arms that firmly wrapped around the neck of the tall and bare-chested Marius, his face though younger, smeared by blood as he held a rose within his mouth and stared deeply into her eyes.

As if they both fondly recall the memory, both the faces of Ria and Marius couldn’t help but turn heated as Ria stared him up and down and spoke, “Hehe, mmm, it does take me back. Those days when you were so fierce, so untamed.”

Ria licked her lips upon saying such words, as she now had an enchanting look. As if he knew what that look meant, Marius gulped as he prepared himself mentally to have an exceptionally long night.

Ria walked up to him and stealthily pressed her fingers on his side before acting as if nothing had happened. She then spoke, “Kids, let’s hurry and eat up now; tonight, we’ll all have to go to bed early!”

“Okway, Mama!”

“Yes, mother!”

Rose and Grevlin replied as the family sat down around the table to begin their feast. Ria was feeding Rose strips of meat as Grevlin started to unfasten the interior zip on his jacket, which acted like armbinders.

Marius looked at this in silence; he thought for a bit before he decided to inspect everyone, speaking with his mind. Show Status.

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Name: Grevlin Edgewick

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Level: 0 | Age: 10 | Race: Human (?????)

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Defense: Not Usable | Strength: Not Usable

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Agility: Not Usable | Vitality: Not Usable

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Mana Power: Not Usable | Sense: Not Usable

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Inborn Abilities:

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(???-Rank)???? Arms Level 1 (Locked)

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(???-Rank)???? Calling Level 1 (Locked)

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Learnt Skills: None

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Name: Rialia Zorith

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Level: 0 | Age: 25 | Race: ??????

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Defense: Not Usable | Strength: Not Usable

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Agility: Not Usable | Vitality: Not Usable

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Mana Power: Not Usable | Sense: Not Usable

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Inborn Abilities: ???Sealed

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Learnt Skills: ???Sealed, ???Sealed

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Name: Rosary Edgewick

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Level: 0 | Age: 3 | Race: Human (?????)

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Defense: Not Usable | Strength: Not Usable

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Agility: Not Usable | Vitality: Not Usable

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Mana Power: Not Usable | Sense: Not Usable

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Inborn Abilities:

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(???-Rank)???? Level 1 (Locked)

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Learnt Skills: None

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It’s the same as usual. Marius sighed and shook his head as he then inspected his own stats, causing the screen to pop up for his eyes.

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Name: Marius Edgewick

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Status: Hidden

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Level: 0 | Age: 29 | Race: Human

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Defense: Not Usable | Strength: Not Usable

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Agility: Not Usable | Vitality: Not Usable

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Mana Power: Not Usable | Sense: Not Usable

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Mastery Points: 7665

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Inborn Abilities:

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(???-Rank) Empowerment Level 1 (Locked)

Grade: Tier I

Skill Type: Active

(Skill Mastery: 0/500)

Effects:

Strength and Defense is increased by one--star level.

Warning:

Due to the lack of Mana Power.

Usage of this skill will cause extreme side effects.

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Learnt Skills: None

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Marius had a self-mocking look as he saw his stats; he thought to himself. Even if it has granted us powers to dominate most forces in this world, so what? None of us can level up on Earth; in fact, none of my family can access the system’s powers as I am the only one able to see their stats. Tsk, it seems pointless to have this blessing.

Marius shook his head and cleared his thoughts. He noticed that Grevlin was now trying to hold a metal spoon. Grevlin managed to grasp the spoon’s end with careful movements between his index finger and his thumb. His face had a joyful look as if he was moments from seeking praise, but sadly, as he lost the slightest focus, his fingers unknowingly clamped together, causing the spoon to crumble at its end.

Grevlin looked sad, but Marius stared at him and spoke, “Hey, come on now, Grev, that’s not a bad try at all. At least you didn’t crush it to bits like the ones before.”

Grevlin, hearing this nodded, feeling a little better. Marius then started to feed him, as this was the usual routine, one fed the youngest as the other provided for the eldest.

It was a peaceful scene of a loving family eating, typical in some households. However, there were more circumstances beyond the norm, though it seemed as such.

Ria looked lovingly at her daughter as she fed her, cleaning her mouth with a small rag every now and then as she looked around her with her adorable, rounded eyes. While caring for her gently, she also glanced at Marius, who fed Grevlin with a soft look. It was only at times like these that she felt relieved and a sense of tranquility.

Oddly, Ria’s eyes turned a bit sad as she soon began to recall a few unpleasant memories, thoughts she had long since forgotten, as an emotionless voice sounded in the depths of her mind.

You are bound to your duty, and no matter what you do, you can never escape it!

Recalling those words, Ria bit her lips as her palms which cleaned Rose’s mouth, trembled slightly. The movement caused Rose to react as if provoked by something. Suddenly, Rose’s forehead scrunched up cutely as her nose wrinkled.

“Haa… Haa…” As if bottling up for a big sneeze, Rose closed her eyes with her mouth wide open.

Hearing her daughter, Ria woke from her thoughts. Her eyes turned stern as she contemplated, I’ll need to tell him about that soon, but first, we’ll need to take care of rose.

Following her thoughts, Ria promptly turned to face her husband’s direction. Marius nodded at this as he looked at her and spoke, “Here we go again.”

“Hehe, be careful now, dear,” Ria said with a snicker as she quickly faced Rose towards him. Marius then crossed his arms before him and invoked his skill, “Empower!”

One could see bulging muscles as his arms ripped through his uniform, showing his densely packed muscles and veins. His skin turned darker as if it was no longer flesh but metallic.

“Ah-chu!” Rose sneezed cutely, a truly adorable act, but sadly, the effect was no different from a disaster.

A sinister purple flame spewed out of her mouth with a blazing rage, enveloping Marius’s entire body. The flames turned him into a man of fire, but Rose, who finished sneezing, looked at the scene excitedly, clapping her little arms as she spoke, “Yay-yay! Dadda is plwaying with fire again!”

“Isn’t he a good a papa?” Ria said while rubbing her daughter’s head.

“Dadda is good!” Rose replied with a smile.

Ria chuckled at this as Grevlin looked at the scene in silence, his calm demeanor shown while he chewed the food in his mouth showing he was used to this scene.

After a short while, the flames faded as Marius, whose body was fine except for his clothes, sighed before he spoke, “Oh, the joys of parenthood.”

Ria looked at Marius as the two stared at each other; they began to laugh due to the event. After they calmed down, Ria recalled something from earlier; she looked at Marius and asked, “Dear, so what’s been bothering you today? Did something happen at your work?”

Marius hesitated for a while before he sighed and replied, “Well, you see, about that job—”

Ria made a knowing look as if she knew what he was about to say; before Marius could even finish his words, she spoke with a tender look.

“It’s fine. You don’t have to say it. Dear, to be frank, you don’t need to work if you don’t want to. It’s not your style. Plus, even if poor, no matter where we are in this world, so long as we are together, we can always carve out a future. Maybe, we could return to that time, retaking those contracts.”

Marius felt touched hearing this; he knew his wife was understanding and felt even more proud that he could marry someone like her. He shook his head as he listened to her words.

It was good when I was an assassin. The euphoria from fighting with my own hands was even more exciting. However, now that we have kids, there’s too much to risk. They aren’t even capable of properly controlling their powers. Grevlin isn’t yet old enough for me to start teaching him the family’s heritage.

With his mind decided, He wanted to say something, but right now, not only himself and Ria, even Grevlin and Rose felt a change. An unusual power that now shrouded the room. One that made it seem as if something was crawling underneath their skin.

This feeling… it couldn’t be? I haven’t felt it in a long time, but it feels different today. What’s going on?

Marius’s eyes widened in surprise as he recalled feeling this mood, a sense he had encountered many times as a child growing up.

During his years, it had grown worse. However, it started to fade quite a bit after he met Ria. To be more exact, he hadn’t sensed it again ever since they married and had kids, which led him to be shocked by its sudden appearance today.

Unlike Marius, Ria, had a pale look on her face. Her arms trembled as she looked below her body with a terrified expression.

No, not yet. I haven’t explained it yet! Why is it happening so soon?

As if it heard her thoughts, a change had occurred. In an instant, a large glowing diagram with odd runes appeared directly underneath Ria’s body. The lights focused primarily on her, but as if it sensed something peculiar, it vibrated before immediately expanding to surround everyone in the room.

“Reverse Summon!” A cold and ruthless voice said, carrying a sinister aura that could chill even a seasoned man’s bone.

Ria was even more terrified at the voice, but before she could say anything, everyone looked up in shock as they saw that a hand had covered the entire room, a savage-looking dark purple arm with red nails.

Just by looking at it, Marius felt a tinge of despair and knew that if they were caught by it, death would certainly follow.

I cannot let this happen!

Marius inwardly shouted as though he didn’t know what was going on. He understood that he had a role to play as a husband and a father.

“Empower!” Marius yelled as he jumped onto his feet and invoked his power once more, throwing a punch against the floor as his arm rippled with uncommon power. The concrete formed a large depression with a loud banging noise, but as if it was meaningless, the odd diagram showed no changes.

Marius felt despair as he noticed that not only himself but also everyone in the room was glowing in a reddish light. In moments, they had shrunken by a section as they started to fly towards the direction of the arm.

“Noooo!” Marius cried out, he felt as if everything was over, but it was right at this moment a strange change occurred.

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Ding!

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An otherworldly power binds you!

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Ding!

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User is engaged in a forced summoning!

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Ding!

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Status: Hidden is invoked!

The Otherworldly Power is identified!

Halting Summoning… Overriding Transfer!

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Ding!

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Override Complete!

A path now connects to another realm!

Commencing Summoning…

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Following this notification that sounded in his mind, the Summoning Diagram below them began to flicker with red and white holy lights. Marius and his family now glowed in two unusual colors as if confused.

Before they could even do anything, the space around them had begun to warp. Instantly, Marius, Ria, and their children turned into small light rays that entered the warp portal before they vanished from this world.

“They’ve escaped, humph! It is futile. No matter where they go, I will find them!” The cold voice snarled. The scene soon turned dark as everything faded into nothingness, leaving behind a still world.

 

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