In the background, Gunthar, Kara, and Luna still organized the tomes that were brought back as Rainer looked toward the basic exercises for budding enchanters. In the end, he wouldn’t level anything beyond level 1 until he was in a position to select an [Enchanter] class. Enchanting was not something he needed to rush in [Sleep Learning].
Creating something truly useful would be a time investment he couldn’t afford to make. At least until he had a modicum of safety.
But understanding the basics and possibly using them to improve [Arcane Awakening]? That was a priority.
Whether it was his Shield Mode or Final Arcanum, they surpassed all magic he knew. He recalled the [Arch-Lich]’s ability, that prevented him from casting magic, and sapped most of his strength. Yet even this did not stop [Arcane Awakening: Final Arcanum].
A countermeasure against anti-magic attacks.
Reading the book, Rainer noted the first exercise encompassed both the most important and simplest part of enchanting, inputting mana.
Even when using an external source of Mana, your own Mana would still be consumed in manipulating it. How much then can be preserved in the transfer is paramount. Using a Mana Storage Device one can see how much of the Mana they input is lost in the transfer. A beginning enchanter should try for the ratio of 1/50 before anything else. Anyone incapable of such a ratio should abandon their hopes of enchantment.
Rainer cursed under his breath; he had just remembered the [Mana Storage Ring] taken from the male [Fae Enchanter] was in the guest mansion. At the time, given that it couldn’t be used for magic or replenishing one’s Mana pool, Rainer left it behind with the mithril. He could only hope his magic didn't destroy it.
The items had been hidden in a back room, so he had some hope, though his spell carved a wide swath of destruction. A glowing fire visible to the whole town.
Martin, currently traveling south in the mountain tunnel of Grimlar’s Pass, reminisced over the past night. His father had been tightlipped as to why even he showed such deference to the foreign Lord Magus.
George did not mention the whole conversation, only the trade involving the mithril and the fact that he wasn’t from the north, but Martin could see why now. He had stayed behind, having since forgiven Carver, for a minor vacation.
The violet pillar of flame which erupted in the center of town. The surge of magic, Martin had only ever felt once in his life before. The streak of fire that glowed across the night sky and the powerful Fae who had somehow blocked it.
He was not an heir to power; he was power himself!
Martin now assumed his lack of a Mana pool, one that increased between their two meetings, resulted from passive magic. Spells which increased status or had special effects. The rarity of such magic was to the point where he had not even originally considered it possible for the foreign Lord Magus to possess such a thing. At least in power or number to suppress his mana pool to such a degree.
And given his father’s mood, a mood often only resulting from studying matters related to the far north, Martin decided to head back home and await their future meeting. He was not sure why the foreign Lord Magus returned earlier than he had told George, but he did not consider himself in a place to inquire.
As Rainer reached the end of the first book on the Basics of Enchanting, he thought over what he had learned in comparison to the past.
Struggling with [Mana Manipulation] was an understatement. Rainer’s original 14 Mana was a hard-earned amount that even then related to his Grandfather’s direct help. Whether it was the technique Rainer attempted to practice for expanding his Mana pool, or increasing what he now knows as Affinity; he had little success in either. He did not know what his grandfather did, only that he helped him whenever he practiced them.
Rainer took a moment, focusing inward toward his Mana pool, to mark these skills under the system.
[Skill Gained: Nvos Affinity Attuning lvl 2/10]
[Nvos Affinity Attuning: To attune one’s body toward Mana. A specialized skill for such attunement.]
[Skill Gained: General Affinity Attuning lvl 1/10]
[General Affinity Attuning: To attune one’s body toward Mana. A general skill covering all and basic forms of attunement.]
Where are the Mana Pool Expansion skills?
Rainer thought while focusing inwards. A sigh escaped him as he covered his face.
He realized he had never actually been successful in the skill designed to expand his mana pool, hence his Mana points being directly equal to Affinity. Not even a single time. He would have to use what he knew about it and the [Archon] class bonus to gain the skill. But even gaining the skill, he had no plans to waste time on it, only seeking to actualize it for the future.
No matter how high one’s skill in running, it mattered little if they were a fish. They would never get faster. And Rainer was somewhere between two such extremes, of human and fish.
With the attunement skills, he only saw improvement with his grandfather’s direct help. He didn’t fully understand what his grandfather did, but he knew practicing these skills alone would not help in any noticeable amount of time.
He, however, was a bit different in the past having the [Archon] class bonus that affects all skills, but he had no interest in closing himself off to the world to practice these skills. He needed also to check just how much a Mana Talent would affect the training, as even his [Archon] bonus may not amount to much in comparison. And unable to use [Aura Meditation] to increase his Aura capacity in [Sleep Learning], the same was likely true for Mana.
Brought out of his self-depreciating thoughts, he noticed Gunthar walking over to him. Off to the side Luna was translating a book for Kara.
“How is your progress, Sorcerer?” Gunthar asked.
“Not bad, but until I set my 2nd primary class as some kind of enchanter, I’m only looking for level 1 skills.”
Gunthar sat down next to Rainer and paused a moment before speaking.
“I never did get the chance, Sorcerer. To thank you for coming back for me,” Before Rainer could interrupt Gunthar continued, “Whether it was all else that was left behind or the Mana-Well…you reached for me first…when I saw your hand appear from nothingness, I was sure my hope had caused me hallucinations,” Gunthar paused before continuing.
“Judging from your conversation with my father I imagine you might know I spent most of my time alone. I had not but a single person to call my friend. Yet, even still, I can tell you, Sorcerer, that I shall not ever find a greater friend than you.”
Rainer became a bit embarrassed by Gunthar’s words. He still placed a hand on Gunthar’s shoulder and spoke, “Whether it was a few seconds or a few years, I’d never leave you there.”
“It is good to see you are capable of embarrassment,” Gunthar returned the gesture with a laugh.
“Hah, well then you should know I only took you back first on accident,” Rainer said with a grin.
“It’s too late, Sorcerer, you cannot take back your words,” Gunthar continued his laughter.
Rainer thought for a moment before speaking again, “And don’t worry about your current state Gunthar. We’ll head to the North after meeting up with George.”
However, Gunthar shook his head at this, “Whether it is 1 day or 20 years, I am in no rush, Sorcerer. I spent centuries with little hope, and you have brought it back to me. Not even the strongest of Nalmar dared to venture to Magic and Aura debilitating lands. You must understand, the strongest of Nalmar, died to the strongest of the [Arch-Lich]’s undead, and in turn oft took them along. What was left of the [Arch-Lich]’s undead did not represent our city.”
“I know,” Rainer said recalling Yalin’s spell, one he gradually understood more and more of. The [Arch-Lich] too, were it not for Rainer’s [Arcane Awakening: Final Arcanum] would have likely killed him. His skill to stop magic and weaken one’s strength, combined with teleportation, was too powerful. He’d need to speak with Theodore on the subject, alone.
Rainer didn’t wish to reveal to Kara how close he had been to death, lest her recent lack of worry end.
“Take your time. Your potential is without limit. I shall wait as long as need be. I have faith that whether it is through the [Arch-Lich]’s work or your own, you shall never fail me in this.”
Rainer nodded. He wished to give Gunthar, and his father, a semblance of humanity as quickly as he could, but he knew Gunthar was right. If those even stronger than the current him would fear such land, for him to take it so lightly was foolhardy.
Gunthar left the room, with Luna jumping over to his head bothering him about a new idea to get him to breath fire.
Most of the skills dealing with the basics of enchantment required large amounts of Mana, and Rainer had no plans to put himself in a position of low Mana at such a time. So, Rainer took out a second book on enchantments. The whole book was dedicated to the [Ring of the Nalmar Knighthood] and its creation, along with the cloaked, but less permanent version given to most soldiers of Nalmar.
In fact, Rainer soon understood, given the difficulty in both enchanting and Mana required, that more permanent items were not often made.
But he found his thoughts interrupted by a kiss on his neck. Rainer ignored Kara completely as he continued reading. Hearing Kara’s defeated sigh, Rainer grinned and used [Void-Walking] to appear right in front of her.
Rainer held her face as he brought hers to his. Lips joined, and tongues intertwined as Kara then retreated for a moment.
“Do you think fooling me in such a manner can go unanswered,” She whispered into his ear, but couldn’t stop her lips from forming a smile and her wolven ears from slightly twitching. She pushed Rainer down on the bed behind him, yet before he could get a word out, he felt a strange influx of Aura.
He felt overcome with pleasure, perhaps understanding what she was doing with Luna and that book, yet having no desire to be passive, he vanished.
Appearing behind Kara, he rolled her over while manipulating mana into her. Her breathing became ragged as she felt her clothes dissipate from his magic. She tried to manipulate Aura once more but found herself receiving a small shock.
“It’s still my turn.”
She could barely hear his voice over the waves of pleasure she felt. His hands moved down her shoulders, each pulse of mana eliciting another breath. She struggled as she tried to untie his belt, unable to keep her hands steady, losing all control as she felt a small shock on her breasts, fitting perfectly in his hands.
She growled aloud and lightly bit Rainer’s ear. Only hearing his laugh as she was pushed back down. She managed to remove his coat, throwing it away from the bed. As she felt his hand move down, slowly caressing the side of her body, she shoved it aside and instead pulled him forward. She felt more than ready.
He took only a moment to enter inside her, long since wet enough. Kara recalled all the days she waited, every time she’d listen to his heartbeat as she fell asleep. Every time she’d feel the pulse of his magic, or notice him look at her for more than a glance, she thought of this moment.
Her slender yet toned legs were lifted over his shoulders as every movement brought them both pleasure. His hands gripped her thighs, the smooth white skin pulsing blue under his fingers with each burst of mana. Her nails tore through the sheets as she tightened herself around him, nearly forcing him to a halt.
Violet runic lines pulsed across his body as Kara gave a final gasp, her back arched and her nails tore through the bedding as well. Recovering quickly, she grabbed him and threw him onto the bed. Her tail moved back and forth as she crawled over to a now seated Rainer.
She sat on his lap as they kissed once more. In a single maneuver, she placed herself on top of him. Aura and Mana passed through their lips as they both lost themselves. They both shivered uncontrollably as their energies became in sync and he finished inside her. She joined him, biting his shoulder to keep her voice down, failing.
They laid back down, satisfied. Rainer holding Kara noticed how small she seemed compared to her usual, curled up on his chest. As he looked at her, a light glistening from the sweat on her skin, he felt the desire to protect her swell.
After some time, Rainer left Kara feigning tired on the bed, the day not entirely over.
“I have some things to discuss with Theodore and Gunthar.”
“Good, I’ll take a nap,” Kara said stretching out, still lacking clothes. Looking at her, it took Rainer all his willpower to head outside the room. Luna flew past him, running her flame across him, and after a small giggle entered into the room with Kara.
Rainer closed the door behind him and walked a bit down a hall. Gunthar sat in meditation while Theodore leaned against a wall.
“Theodore,” Rainer called out as he walked over, “I have a matter about the [Arch-Lich] I need to discuss.”
Theodore looked toward Rainer and only nodded his head. Recounting the fight, Theodore only listened to Rainer’s words and then finally to the added theory.
“Perhaps his strength is directly related to a skill he built based off those strange lands,” Rainer spoke.
“No, I do not believe so. The lands only affect Magic and Aura, not one’s strength in the slightest. The [Arch-Lich]’s skill is related to the soul. It all makes sense…” He spoke the last part quietly, though Rainer still heard.
Theodore too did not know how the [Arch-Lich] managed to kill the guards at the Mana-Well and subsequently raise them. Yet he understood now.
“It is a skill of the soul, I believe. In all honesty, I do not know how your [Arcane Awakening] was not subjected to its control.”
“Then learning for me, it’s unlikely…” Rainer noted. If he could operate the skill immediately following Shield Mode, he imagined few warriors could match him.
“Unfortunately, I know not even where to begin.”
“Well, that’s fine. I came here about another matter, Gunthar’s advancement.” As Rainer said this Gunthar stood up out of meditation.
“As of now, we can only assume it relates to the Necromancer. Gunthar and I are not like [Lich]s; we are not supposed to have reason or thought. I do not think even the [Arch-Lich] knew a method of raising an undead to the 2nd Tier from the 1st.”
“That’s why we need to experiment. Once we deal with this Fae, we should head south immediately after and then I can try to make Gunthar my undead. With the effects of Arcane-Death, even if we can’t find a way to bring him to the 2nd Tier…”
“The class or undead variant created from your Arcane-Death would be astounding! And so long as Gunthar is first made your undead, there should be no risk!” Theodore exclaimed aloud. His only regret to this plan being he was already a holy variant and could not participate.
“Does not your experimental subject get a say?” Gunthar, joining the conversation, answered.
“No!” Theodore answered without thought before coughing awkwardly.
Kara came out in the hallway soon afterward, joining Theodore in training the Aura Blade. Gunthar, sat down to try and explain Kara’s skill to make her blade weightless.
“The Aura acts as a transfer point, taking the weight and then putting it forward in the attack, without affecting the user. It is truly an ingenious and difficult use. For you, Sorcerer it may be best to watch Little Wolf use it with your powerful sight, and try to mimic the Aura’s movements. What purpose do you seek the skill for? Little Wolf does not have one for lightening her body beyond her wolven claws. ”
“I want to incorporate it into my [Arcane Awakening] runes. But not the weightless, but the transfer of force. If I can use [Gravity Domain] to slam into the ground, and then transfer that force,”
“The damage would be untold…” Theodore added as he paused his training.
“Then, Theodore, let’s spar. I’ve wanted to for quite some time,” Kara spoke.
Until night Rainer watched on as Gunthar explained him some other properties of Aura. Holding one of the enchanted swords in hand Rainer attempted the skill numerous times but decided he’d have to relate to a later [Sleep Learning] session.
He headed to sleep ahead of Kara, who with her large stamina and Aura capacity continued her training. Though, no longer sparring, they focused on the Aura Blade once more.
In the white void of [Sleep Learning], Rainer focused on recreating that strange space with the Devils he encountered. He opened up [Arcane Sight] and extended his [Spatial Domain] as he carefully recreated the experience he felt. Changing, the white void around Rainer morphed imperceptibly.
With a movement of his hand, he focused a [Gravity Domain] with his [Spatial Domain] and easily multiplied the gravity in a single point. The space resembled the looseness of the strange world perfectly.
Now to see what I can train in here.
Rainer thought as he used [Void Detection], seeking out the omnipresent void. Soon he realized, he was only detecting the area around him. Rainer’s face froze as a wave of understanding hit him. He had called this place a white void by convenience, to describe its appearance, yet in truth, it was a space all too similar to the omnipresent void.
He had created [Void-Walking] from reverse engineering the Runes of [Sleep Learning] and partially [Arcane Bolt]. While he used Earth’s knowledge and a year of experimentation alongside it, there had to have been a connection between [Sleep Learning] and [Void-Walking], so he reasoned.
And now he knew, his [Sleep Learning] space was a void all too like the omnipresent void. Rainer cast [Void-Walking] but only found that it immediately woke him up.
As he lay awake in bed he tried to use [Void Detection] to sense and then reenter his [Sleep Learning] space but, he had no luck. He still didn’t understand the nature of how he existed in the [Sleep Learning] space. Whether it was just his mind, his soul or anything else.
“Luna,” Rainer whispered as he shook the sleeping Fairy awake. He was far too excited to fall back asleep on his own.
“If Rainer does such a thing…Luna will tell…” She mumbled in her sleep before Rainer managed to wake her up.
“Rainer?” Luna asked confused and groggy.
“Can you cast the sleep spell on me again?”
“Rainer always wakes up Luna only for Luna to do things. Luna feels used. Luna won’t cast the sleep spell,” She said as she turned her head away from him in a pout.
Rainer picked up the pouting Fairy as he got off the bed. Extending [Void Detection] toward the roof, he vanished. While keeping a relaxed look on his face he still constantly operated [Soul Detection]. The two sat on a rooftop garden of the mansion.
“You’re right, we haven’t spent much time together,” Rainer said as he looked out toward the clear winter sky with stars far brighter than he had ever seen in his home on Earth. He armed a few bolts of Arcane-Fire around them to keep them warm, not that either truly needed it. With his new increase in attributes, he could arm them far easier. He still preferred the plain [Arcane Bolt]s, charged if needed, given their close combat nature, something not possible for the more explosive variety.
“Do you ever wonder, Luna, what’s out there by all those stars…”
“Nope,” Luna answered simply. She laid on top his hair, supporting her head with her arms with her legs gently swinging back and forth.
“Not even a little?”
“I don’t need to go to a world without Rainer.”
Lacking her usual joking tone, Rainer for the first time found himself slightly blushing at Luna’s outright declarations.
“Of course, I’d be going too. You know, when I headed back from Nalmar, I ended up stopping by another world.”
Luna listened with interest as he described the black rock wasteland. No different than hearing a story of a hero being told, she did not worry for the protagonist.
“We could visit other worlds. Maybe one day my own,” Rainer added, but in truth, he could not even feel any world from here. No matter how he focused, without the familiar bond or some other anchor, he couldn’t find any paths in the void beyond his current world.
“Luna would like that.”
Sitting with Luna here, Rainer felt entirely at peace. Time passed as the two gazed at the stars.
He stopped his relaxation noticing that he wasn’t using [Soul Detection] anymore, causing his anger to rise. He was not angry at himself for a small lowering of his guard; he was angry at his inability to do such a thing without great risk. With his recent [Void-Walking] spell he thought of running, briefly, but so long as he was in this world, he’d fight back with his full force, create a home, and study all the magic he desired.
Rainer took out the Mana-Well from his spatial ring. Staring at its pulsating Runic lines, he found himself calmed. This was his answer, to all who pursued him.
An object feared by the Divine…
He thought as he twisted and turned the black cube in his hand.
Finding himself tired all on his own, he returned to his room. While his movement had startled Theodore, Rainer was still in his range, leading him not to act. That and the lack of any more Magic meant he was fine.
Entering [Sleep-Learning] again, Rainer easily recreated the loose space and opened a [Spatial Domain].
Recalling the spells that had been organized, he hadn’t the time to properly input all of them into his memory, but he knew of their tiers. Apart from [Frozen Sun], there was not another tier 6 spell. Showing both the prowess and value of that Goblin’s notes and even more so Yalin’s [Deliverance] at the tier 7.
Yet all the higher tier spells, hidden away, were of long casts, of high mana costs, they would not be useful in battling a single Fae prepared for combat. Rainer couldn’t help but be disappointed at the lack of utility spells, though he had thoughts on the matter. That these powerful spells from the Mage Towers of Nalmar were like hidden arsenals, whereas the rest passed between student and master.
He still needed to look through those he took from the general library as well as the black magic of the hidden, however, what he desired most was to improve his [Spatial Domain].
[Arcane Awakening] rose to 100%, its runic lines shining brightly as he formed a small wooden box in front of himself.
He focused all his will on this small box. He operated [Spatial Domain] and [Spatial Manipulation]. Whether it was his new bonuses from [Chronomancer] or his 10 additional levels to [Archon] his attempt this time compared not to his previous.
The space shuddered. The fabric of the world resisted his attempt. And yet the box moved forward, not by wind nor force, but by the very shifting of space.
[Spell Gained: Spatial Domain: Spatial Shift lvl 1/10]
[Spatial Domain has reached level 2]
Rainer relaxed as he saw this change, his goal completed. He couldn’t help but be elated looking at the spell.
However, the mana cost matched the unreasonableness of the magic.
[Spatial Domain: Spatial Shift: Shift the very space in the chosen direction. Requires Spatial Domain to be cast.]
Immediately beginning a series of tests involving various objects, his understanding of the spell grew, even if the level did not. However, the shift was not free from basic rules. Trying to shift part of an object only resulted in that object simply being pushed in one place, not split in half. He lacked, as well, the control to shift a smaller space. He found Mana cost sharply increased the smaller he went, beyond the small box he created. Not that he could go that far smaller.
Rainer tested it out versus a moving object by using [Arcane Spear of Holy Judgement] on himself. The violet spear soared straight into the sky. Its energy contained in a condensed spear of light and Arcane. Reaching its peak, Rainer commanded it to descend upon him. A surge of mana followed and…
He reset his body. He had been far too slow. Rainer performed the task repeatedly before finally he timed it perfectly, shifting the spear to his side, and only suffering death at its resulting explosion.
[Spatial Domain: Spatial Shift has reached level 2]
This new task had caused him to understand more about shifting space, and how to prepare the spell ahead of time. Having achieved a satisfactory result, he thought over his [Gravity Domain] and the fact he had no [Spatial Domain] related Gravity spells.
So why is [Gravity Domain] separate?
Gravity was manipulation of space and so he repeated his preparations for learning the [Spatial Domain: Spatial Shift], and even formed the wooden box in front of him.
With a burst of Mana, the box collapsed under a massive pressure of gravity. Rainer had solely used a combination of [Spatial Domain] and [Spatial Manipulation] to achieve this.
He repeated the attempt endlessly, each one costing far more Mana than a normal use of [Gravity Domain]. Slowly, however, his attempts shifted over from being based on [Spatial Manipulation] to [Spatial Domain].
After some time the [Spatial Domain] alone manipulated Gravity.
[Spell Gained: Spatial Domain: Gravity Slam lvl 1/10]
[Spatial Domain has reached level 3]
Each level of [Spatial Domain] improved the spell itself significantly.
Rainer thought over the two tier 4 spells he had gained and thought it was enough for tonight. Thinking over his other magic three stuck out as the most important to him for the coming fight or any fight, his [Arcane Blade] and his two [Arcane Awakening] branch skills.
In terms of power, he knew not a path forward with [Arcane Blade]. A copy of his hilt formed in his hand and a shimmering [Arcane Blade] jutted out. Tendrils of Arcane spiraled around the powerful blade; that cycled at such speed it appeared as a singular blade.
Rainer waved the Blade around before he garnered an idea similar to his [Arcane Awakening: Final Arcanum]. He would force the energy of the blade to go out of control and then aim it forward. Lacking the full power of his Arcane Power, it would be a far weaker version, but then even if an opponent dodged his blade, they might not avoid such an aftermath.
He held the Hilt with both hands and aimed it forward. His mind followed along with the rapidly cycling Arcane Energy. He interrupted this cycle with a random influx of Arcane Energy and focused all his will on shooting this energy forward. Instead, it immediately backlashed exploding outward in a fury of Arcane.
Rainer screamed in pain, as the explosion had not killed him. He refreshed his damaged body as fast as he could and laid down on the ground. During such experiments, he often died at its failure, meaning his actual discomfort was not high. But now, having been partially successful in attacking outward with the [Arcane Blade], the blast wasn’t enough to kill him.
Even if he could get the blast only to go forward, there was no purpose to it in such a manner. He may as well just use other Arcane Magic.
[Arcane Awakening: Final Arcanum] was different. It was a concentrated blast of Arcane Power, not just a localized explosion and it extended beyond just its original target, as evidenced by the destroyed ceiling.
He started again, forming another hilt, though the previous had survived the blast, it had lodged itself in his stomach. This time, he formed an [Arcane Blade] half the size of the previous at 1 and a half feet. Focusing on the cycling of the energy, he tried to a create a way to cause this cycle to go out of control and yet still focus solely forward.
He monitored the cycle, but soon his thoughts drifted. No different than when he had created the [Arcane Awakening] skill he found himself lost in the cycle of the blade. He left the trance after what felt just a few seconds but found his time asleep ending.
Waking up he noted Kara still sleeping. Counting the time in his head, he now realized the time for switching classes was up. Carefully he woke up Luna.
“No…No…Luna can’t do that…” She mumbled before waking up.
“Luna, I need your help to change classes.”
She only nodded as she opened up the class change window for Rainer.
Rainer looked at his classes with Luna’s help. To his surprise and jubilation, he found the new class, [Voidwalker].
[Voidwalker: A being who crosses the omnipresent void, surpassing the restrictions of Space and Time. One who can reach out their senses and grasp at the elusive yet all-encompassing void. Few can block the path of one of the Void. 100% General Improvement to Space and Time Magic and Skills. 50% General Improvement to Space and Time Manipulation skills. 40% Less Cost for all Void-related Magic and Skills. +1 Intelligence, +2 Affinity, per level past 1]
He couldn’t understand why the attributes were so low, until he realized that [Arcanist] originally did not have an increase to Arcane Attunement. He thought this could only mean most of [Voidwalker] improved on a still hidden and locked attribute.
He immediately switched to it, relegating [Chronomancer] to a subclass slot, keeping a 25% bonus to Space and Time and 10% of its attributes. He wanted a place to put his Attribute points without feeling like there was a better option, he saw [Voidwalker]’s hidden and locked attribute as a possible solution.
His thoughts went to what exactly it took to reach the 3rd Tier. In his mind, the 2nd Primary Class Slot wasn’t a reward; it was a requirement.
While he didn’t like Kara’s choice never to take a Fruit, she would be the proof of his theory upon reaching 25 with both her classes and taking the Trial, with ample preparation, of course. Rainer had several thoughts beyond just the Wyvern on how to make her far stronger. One involved the very Fae he fought and their Runes.
His theory could mean he too, no longer would have an interest in using the Fruit. He couldn’t bring himself to restrict his future in such a manner.
In any case, I still have you.
He thought as he felt the spot where Little Snake hid, and part of his fear of the Trial faded. Ascertaining the existence that seemingly lived in his body needed to be done long before any such Trials.
Rainer noted Kara still sleeping as he rolled out of bed. Luna sat on his head, resting, but awake after helping him change his class.
“Luna,” Rainer asked as he moved away as not to wake up Kara, “Can you change your own class?” As of now, he saw the best solution for Luna who still had most of her life ahead of her, to level up sub-classes.
“Luna can’t, she needs to visit World-Tree.”
“Do you know which ones you can switch to?” Whether it was his Arcane that altered her or her Sacred Faerie Flame he knew there should be something of value. Even if she would never advance it to the 2nd Tier such a rare class could be of use.
However, most in their first-tier class would never have such thoughts. Charles, as a level 25 [Knight] spent nearly his whole life training in this singular class.
Luna tilted her head in thought before speaking, “Luna doesn’t know.”
Rainer nodded, it made little sense for her holders to let her get a powerful class.
Now, out of all of them, only Luna could afford to switch to a level 1 class as her first one. Her mana was already large without any levels, and her flame already was powerfully capable of healing.
His hope was more of a class relating to his Arcane, rather than just the flame, as he recalled her skill store as a [Fae Enchanter] had a skill to improve her flame. So even if her flame was special, it was still within the bounds of a [Fae Enchanter], even if no one else had it. Still, a class relating to both, he saw as ideal. And, in the end, he did not have a full understanding of the skill store. Perhaps, none did, he thought.
“We’ll visit the tree later today.”
Rainer took Luna’s nonresponse as a yes. She laid down comfortably on his hair.
A knock on the door took Rainer out of his thoughts as he went up to answer it, he used [Soul Detection] as a precaution. He opened the door and saw a strange letter in Gunthar’s hand.
“This was delivered to the Baron, addressed to you, Sorcerer. My Father inspected it, but it’s best you do as well before touching it.”
Rainer nodded as he used [Arcane Sight]. He even brought [Arcane Awakening] to 100% to be sure in his check, yet he found it no different than the paper Luna oft made for him.
“It’s from the Fae…” Rainer immediately assumed as he took the letter and headed to a desk inside the room.
Theodore and Gunthar both headed into the room upon hearing this. Kara had already awoken from the knocking. They all stood behind Rainer as he opened the letter and read it.
I request a parlay, in my haste I had intruded upon your home and I wish to speak anew. I will be sitting alone in a café known as Redguard’s’, at 14:00:00 of the day you receive this letter. I imagine you will find me easily despite my glamour.
I await your coming,
“Rainer, what does it say?” Kara asked.
“Kara, you can’t read?”
“Of course, I can read,” She said lightly pinching his ear, “But I have never seen a language like this. The letters, everything about it is so strange.”
Rainer froze in understanding.
“A test…” he growled out.
“A test to see if you have the translation ability either granted by a Fae or had a Fae directly read it for you,” Gunthar added, knowing of Luna’s skill.
“Still, a meeting like this shall be better than constantly waiting for her to attack,” Theodore spoke.
“I agree, but first, Luna, do you know this Maiden Elru?”
“…Luna’s caretaker mentioned Elru before!” She excitedly said, “She said Elru is Heroine of Fae, helping lost Fairies come home, and punishing their captors.” Luna’s face, however, dropped soon afterward as she recalled her caretaker who had helped her escape.
“Then, she’s being used? No, we can’t be sure it’s even her. In any case, I don’t wish to fight her if she is unrelated to Luna. I’ll meet with her.”
It was only a few hours before they needed to meet her. They discussed their plans as well as any fallback ones.
With their discussion ended, Rainer spoke a final word to Kara, “Kara, no matter what, if combat starts, instantly shift to your Werewolf form.”
“Rainer if I do that, you could be permanently associated with working with demons! If such a thing spread…”
“I don’t care. Your safety is first,” He said putting his hand gently on her face, “There are worse things than making enemies.”
“Let’s head out early then, we should clear as many people as we can from the place,” Gunthar added, worried of the aftermath of a possible fight.
No one voiced disagreement as they left, and getting directions from a guard, headed to the location.
As they approached Redguard’s Rainer’s group went around telling people to leave by order of the Lord Magus. They went into all nearby shops except the intended one. All it took was a flash of their Aura for people to listen to them. While ordinary citizens lacked detection skills, the powerful presence of an unleashed Aura would give them sufficient motivation.
Just before entering the Coffee Shop, Rainer changed his primary title. He didn’t wish to fight, which meant to a figure capable of [Appraisal], he needed to appear a certain way.
He changed his title to one a Fae, chosen of the World Tree, would fear the most. And with his second class already changed to [Voidwalker], he had high hopes for her being more amiable to negotiation.
Walking in, [Arcane Sight] activated on Rainer’s eyes and he immediately found Elru sitting in the back, alone as promised. He walked up to the counter to the stares of all the customers who recognized the Lord Magus from the rumors.
“Have everyone leave, now.” Rainer simply spoke before heading to Elru. Regarding pure speed, he could not compare to Elru, but with his high Intelligence, it meant he could react faster than her. And bringing [Arcane Awakening] up by a fraction to 5%, he needed only a single thought to activate Shield Mode.
Elru appraised Rainer the moment he entered the store. She first paused on his second class, but not out of fear or shock, rather that she had never heard of such a thing.
Elru had been in the Fae’s archives studying an ancient book on history, with a new language she had never seen before, before being called by Yulia’s servant. Of course, with her translation skill, like most Fae, she could read it. And among Fae, she was a most ardent scholar of history and knowledge, yet she had never seen the term [Voidwalker] in any shape or form. Nothing even containing the word “Void” in a purposeful manner.
She readied herself as she felt the all too familiar surge of magic but calmed down noticing that he made no other action beyond walking toward her. She couldn’t help but take a longer glance at the human she’s not sure she’s seen a more alluring version of. But to a Fae, it was not of consequence.
As he sat down, however, she finally looked it over, the title he held.
The words of greeting about to come out her mouth left her. Her [appraisal] at her age was high enough to read the title’s description, high enough to not even notice Rainer's [Appraisal Resistance].
Various [Blasphemer] titles existed, yet that’s all it was. There was no bonus beyond a small experience gain, as many titles had. It acknowledged they had blasphemed a Divine Power and were labeled as such. But this title, went beyond any of her expectations and had affirmed to her that Yulia had only sent her here to try and kill her. For the first time in centuries, she found herself afraid.
Seeing her not speaking, Rainer started first.
“Look, let’s cut to the chase. I know about your little test, to see if I had a Fae to translate for me, sending that letter in that Archaic language. Now tell me one simple thing are you a servant of the Queen?” Rainer prepared at any moment to fight.
Elru displayed a stunned look on her face, having just now realized she wrote the letter in the wrong language. She was confused. The [Archon] truly had a Fairy, so she couldn’t understand why Yulia would hide his level to such a degree.
She collected herself, partially, before answering.
“N-no, I am not. I have merely come to return a daughter of our race home. Do not take my offer of parlay as a sign of unwillingness to do battle. I will return her home,” Elru paused for a moment, she could not last remember when she was this wary of an opponent, “with or without your agreement. I am, however, willing to…trade.”
She thought in derision. A word she never thought to use when returning a Fairy home.
“And if the Fairy herself is unwilling?”
This caused Elru’s next words to stutter. She had not even considered such a situation.
“T-then, of course, I would not force her…” She answered a bit meekly.
“Luna doesn’t want to go home,” Luna said with her head now popping out of Rainer’s coat.
Elru looked at the little fairy and could not believe she had been unable to notice her.
“This…” Elru could hardly contain her anger. Not only had the [Archon]’s level been under-reported the Fairy may not even be a prisoner. She didn’t completely trust the man in front of her, but it wasn’t hard to see the fairy’s comfort with this man.
Looking at the expression of the Fae across from him Rainer decided to share some information, though of course, he had no intention of revealing exactly what Luna was. With his [Arcane Sight] he could, in fact, see both her true form and facial expression. Added on was this whole time Rainer used [Mana Reading] and found nothing she said was a lie.
“She had been fleeing from the Queen. I found her in the hands of some goblin mage who wished to steal her dust from her. And from then on, I’ve dealt with damned Fae like you who refused to leave us in peace. Am I supposed to believe anything you said when you prepared an ambush for me in my home?”
“No, you should not,” Elru responded.
Rainer couldn’t help but be surprised at the genuine regret the Fae in front of him felt.
“I feel like such a fool. I knew Yulia was using me, yet I still believed I was doing good…”
“Now what?” Rainer asked. He didn’t believe she would just leave. This whole time he remained in [Arcane Awakening], though a small percentage, prepared to activate Shield Mode.
Elru looked to the [Archon] for a moment before speaking, “For my transgressions…I might offer you aid; I can answer many questions about Yulia, The Queen as you’ve put it,” She said with annoyance, “Yet I have a request. I have a skill which can determine truth from lies, so long as you do not heavily resist I need not even touch you.”
Using [Mana Reading], Rainer noted she wasn’t lying. Nor she was a mage, so he felt little fear from such a skill.
“Go ahead,” Rainer said as he flared [Arcane Awakening] to 100%. The moment he felt anything off, he would strike.
She stared curiously for a moment at his Runic lines, never having seen before such a technique, before refocusing. Elru stared into his eyes as hers glowed entirely in a vibrant blue. Rainer noted he felt slightly buzzed, as if having just taken a few drinks, but beyond that, there was no effect. More importantly, he understood how easily he could resist such a thing were he to try.
“Is the Fairy, Luna, with you of her own accord?”
“Yes,” Rainer found himself slightly compelled to answer and let the feeling through.
“Have you, or ever had any plans to take her Fairy Dust forcibly?”
“Are you an enemy of the Fae Queen?”
Elru’s eyes stopped glowing as she canceled the skill. Her face was visibly tired. She had never tried to use her skill on someone with such a degree of Willpower. She could not see his exact attributes but the effort alone, even with him letting her in, she had not ever experienced before.
[Mana-Reading] did not show any inconsistencies. Rainer had many questions to ask about Fae society, and now no longer pressed for time, he’d ask for his desire.
“How about answering some of mine?”
Several miles outside of the Capital of Mier…
Deep within a forest, at a small camp, a man stared at a bounty poster. Said bounty had long since been rescinded. Not all evidence of it existing had been removed. His eyes were blood red and had a serpentine slit as a pupil. A singular horn jutted from his forehead and curved around over the top of his black hair.
“What do you think?” A kneeling hooded man asked.
“I think the Prince shall be pleased…what else do you know?”
“I’ve inquired about her; she seems to be traveling with some sort of Lord Magus. I have conflicting information. Some cite her as a guard, others as his lover.”
“We shall report it as the former,” The serpentine man immediately replied, “Gather the agents. And one more thing, have you knowledge of her current whereabouts?”
“No…only the place last seen, was the town of Grimlar’s Pass.”
“We shall move immediately. We will not lose her again, however, make it clear no one is to attack until the Prince’s order. We are only to follow,” The serpentine man's horn receded and his eyes turned blue, still retaining their slit, as he took on a less demonic appearance. There were races which had such eyes, and as well, the blue scaly skin that covered the sides of his face and hands.
Different from Kara’s transformation, anyone with even a basic [Aura Detection] skill could see through him so long as they focused on him. But it was enough, to slip past most.
They had waited a few hours before all were gathered and they moved forward, intent on capturing their target for their Prince. Moving about in Mage Guild lands presented a large risk. Nearly all demons considered capture by Mage Guilds a fate worse than death. Yet given the reward offered by their Prince even the least loyal of his subjects were interested in locating this Wolfkin.
They did not know of her true nature nor why the Prince would be interested in her.
But they cared not.