Walking to the Baron’s Mansion, Rainer retreated into his thoughts. A slight alcoholic haze over his mind as he thought about his future, about the riches in the North, and about the relationships between Mages and Countries.
He learned from George in their conversation that Mier and the Skyborne Mage Guild were a unique case. To most royalty and nobles, the Mage Guild was a needed, but unwelcome presence. But in Mier, the Royalty were closely allied with the Skyborne Mage Guild.
The current crown prince, a talented 2nd Tier Aura user, was betrothed to the daughter of the Guild Master. Along with a close relationship to the Guild Master himself.
George, supported by Matheus, walked with the party. He had drunk the most out of the group. Ending the dinner in a tirade on how his 3rd wife was being cold to him.
Entering the Mansion, Rainer left his contemplations at the appearance of the 2nd Tier reinforcements for Mier. Three 2nd Tier Mages, and Three 2nd Tier Fighters, not counting the crown prince among them. Rainer noted “Grand” among most of the 2nd Tiers, apart from the Prince and a single fighter.
He guessed they failed at unlocking anything else.
“Charles, is this the Foreign Lord Magus who discovered the monster horde?” A gray-bearded green-eyed man asked. His similarly colored hair was in a ponytail.
[Human, Male, Sword Saint(2nd) lvl 19, Swift Knight lvl 15]
Detecting Rainer’s low Mana capacity everyone’s guard was raised. Charles kept his report brief but mentioned the Foreign Lord Magus and his Guards were all but certain to be in the 2nd Tier.
They trusted his report. Which could only mean the Magus in front of them used the incredibly rare powerful passive-type magics to increase his power at the cost of his maximum Mana capacity.
“Greetings Lord Magus, this one is known as Protector Elijah. We were wondering if you could tell us a more accurate account of the Monster Horde,” He asked and bowed slightly.
“That’s fine. You may know me as Rainer,” He said before sitting down at a large table in the center of the room.
Gunthar and Theodore maintained their roles as guards and Kara sat next to Rainer.
Before Rainer could speak someone else spoke first.
“We need not discuss such things with a common Mutt around,” The long blonde hair prince spoke. He was clean shaven, and his blue eyes stared with anger at Kara.
Rainer froze, appraising the man who had just spoken once more.
[Human, Male, Sword Saint(2nd) lvl 3, Knight lvl 9]
Before he could act, however, George was already by his side.
“Rainer, the Crown Prince is heavily favored by my Guild Master. You could say he is a Prince of Mages and Men. Do not act rashly,” George whispered after using his Mana to sober himself.
Kara nodded, agreeing with George.
“David,” Elijah harshly spoke. The Prince, however, ignored him and continued with his glaring.
Rainer, not wanting to make an issue of it as Kara looked fine, started speaking. He left out the Flame-Touched aspect of the Fire Sage, and in fact, did not mention anything more than a few spells exchanged at long range. He explained the full strength of the monster horde, though Kara added a point.
“Even this may have been another aspect of padding,” A term now familiar to Mier after the message sent, “The actual horde may be even large-“
“Who allowed the dog to bark at the table?” David asked annoyed.
Kara tried to hide her anger again, but Rainer saw it this time quite clearly. Still inebriated from earlier he was about to act. But he decided against making a new enemy.
But just as Rainer was about to let it go, his thoughts turned.
[Arcane Awakening] flared to 100% and he disappeared into the void. He appeared several feet behind the Prince. [Spatial Domain: Gravity Slam] hit unto the Prince. Even with his hasty application of Aura, focused on his head, his entire body lurched, his organs shook, and the chair shattered beneath him.
He kneeled on the ground trying to stand and recover. Everyone around him rose to fight.
A [Gravity Domain] extended across the room. Yet before anyone else could act, Rainer’s [Arcane Blade] reached next to the Prince’s neck.
Even a common man could sense the power of the blade before them. In its new form, where space fluctuated around it, they knew he held their Prince’s life in his hands.
A drop of sweat merged into the blood that went down the Prince’s chin.
All the 2nd Tier experts feared to make even a slight move. The majestic Magus in front of them glowed with an unfathomable violet magic and seemed immeasurable in power.
“Tell me. Do you think your father or your Guild Master will act should I kill you? That because of them you can act as you please?” Rainer growled out; Arcane infused into his voice.
“They…” The Prince had mumbled before Rainer interrupted him.
“They would act alright…They would grovel and beg that my rage doesn’t extend to them.”
“Lord Magus I kn-“ Elijah took a step forward.
“Silence!” An Arcane Infused yell stopped Elijah in his tracks.
“I won’t ask for something meaningless like an apology,” Rainer said, taking the prince by the hair and slamming him against the table. He whispered to him, “If you so much as speak to me or any of my companions again, I’ll kill you. And then when those who for some reason care about your worthless existence come to find me, I’ll kill them too.”
“Now fuck off,” Rainer said as he slammed him against the table and Void-walked away.
Rainer took a deep breath and walked back to his room, the party in tow. No one spoke nor did any of the 2nd tier experts follow. Maintaining his [Arcane Awakening], Rainer used [Soul Detection] as well lest they attack their backs.
He had for a moment truly planned on killing the Prince. He knew why he was this angry. It wasn’t just an insult, though, for a Wolfkin being called a Mutt was about the worst word to say to them. It was another reminder that his power was meaningless. That all his training and strength, mattered not. That Luna needed to stay hidden in his jacket. That Kara had to keep half herself locked away. That Gunthar wrapped himself in a mask and cloak. Rainer was almost still no different than on Earth when he would have to hold himself back and follow the laws of society.
He refused to live in such a way.
“My Prince, are you okay,” Elijah walked over to help him stand but was rebuked.
“It’s fine, leave me to myself,” The Prince grunted out, still severely injured. He sat on one of the sofas in the foyer. One of the Skyborne 2nd Tier mages began chanting. A stream of crystal-like water moved around the Prince’s injuries.
Elijah looked out towards the others in the room.
“You saw what was on his hand, right?” He asked.
“A Spatial Ring…and all his enchanted equipment…especially that coat. “
“And that teleport, I only detected his mana decrease.”
“The Ring itself, it's likely far larger than our Guild Master’s,” Another mage added.
“Yarric, did it work?” One of the mages asked the one currently healing the Prince.
“No, and when he noticed and glared at me…I had thought I’d seen death,” Yan said while revealing the appraisal orb that was hidden in his pocket.
Elijah only sighed while looking at the Prince. After a Beastkin assassin had killed his mother, he had grown incredibly racist. He only wished the Prince had read the situation better.
His arrogance increased after passing the Trial at such an early age, and even as a Bastard Prince, he was made the Heir. Added was his close relationship with the Skyborne’s Guild Master, and his potential in the future was limitless.
Elijah slightly shook remembering too, the Aura of one of the Magus’ guards.
It was far greater than mine, what kind of person is he to warrant a guard to follow him in such a manner...
It's true Elijah would protect the Prince. But he wasn’t a servant or a guard by any means. Protectors, 2nd Tier experts who worked for the Royal Court, had a similar status to the King. While Protectors had no authority themselves, a King could never truly demand anything of them. They were there as deterrents in War more than anything else apart from any that were truly loyal. Were it not the payments and lifestyle given, along with the possibility of ready experience, most would not be here now.
Matheus looked at Rainer’s departing back in a stunned horror.
He took his lifespan…and that teleportation magic, I couldn’t even feel it…
Matheus with his Psionic Energy was, in fact, sensitive to all manners of energy. He noticed a small portion of Life leaving the Prince. Not enough to noticeably affect his appearance, especially given his pale and injured self, but still an amount.
He continued looking at Rainer’s back as he walked off into his own separate wing. After seeing his outburst, Matheus had no intention of asking any questions that might elicit his anger and returned to his residence.
Rainer’s party moved as he looked into his Mana Pool. Unlike when he drained his own life back from the [Arch-Lich] Rainer didn’t know how to add this to his lifespan.
A usable resource.
Rainer thought as he recalled the skill’s description. It would allow any drained life to become a usable resource. He guessed the [Arch-Lich] planned on regaining Mana.
After playing around with the Life Energy in him for a little bit, he was unsuccessful in doing anything with it before it naturally faded.
“Had you not acted I probably would have,” Gunthar, walking beside Rainer, said, “Though I suppose with my recent change in class, it wouldn’t be for the best.”
Rainer was a bit surprised no one disagreed on his outburst. He ventured the Prince had insulted Kara more than he originally assumed.
Theodore and Gunthar stayed on guard as Kara followed Rainer into the room.
“What happened?” Kara asked. Being called a mutt had enraged her as well, but she was sure she didn’t show any of it on her face.
“You know in my world, doing something like that would end a lot differently. You would end up being imprisoned. Rich, poor, powerful or weak. More or less everyone was subject to the law. Of course, some got around it, but it wasn’t smart to go around attacking people because they insulted your girlfriend. It didn’t matter what they said, you would be seen in the wrong in the eyes of the law.”
“But here…here is different. Here I have power, and yet, even then I had to put up with it. To say nothing, and just walk away. What’s the point Kara, of all this power, if I have to do nothing when you’re insulted in such a manner?”
Rainer knew the alcohol had affected him and, he should have cleared it away.
Kara smiled and walked up beside him.
“I wished I could have done the same,” She said leaning into him. Forgiving it easily when Rainer made a dog-comparison and forgiving in this context, were two entirely different matters. Were it not for Rainer’s otherworldly origins; she certainly wouldn’t have forgiven him on the same day.
“I took some of his lifespan you know,” Rainer added. It was the thing that calmed him down and stopped him from going too far. A little piece of revenge. Even just a day of life was precious when you were at the end. He took years. Less than when the [Arch-Lich] cursed him] but still a decent amount.
“So what now? I’m not sure, but compared to the [Fire Sage]…” Kara said
“These people aren’t enough. They may not even be able to do any real damage to him. I left out he was Fire-Touched. I didn’t want to reveal I survived such an encounter. But with Matheus here, even without me, it should be fine.”
“We need to wait for Elru to return, in any case” Kara added.
“How am I supposed to make an academy if I cannot handle an arrogant noble…” Rainer sighed.
“The Dragon Isles, they are a different society. It is rare for a Prince or King to reach the 2nd Tier in most places. It is something you need to train your whole life for, and even then most fail. A King will often abdicate his throne before attempting the Trial. Not everyone can be like you...But in the Dragon Isles, one cannot hold a throne without it. They often have numerous wives and even more kids, and the strongest inherits the Throne. They only make the important decisions and leave the ruling to ministers and higher nobles. ”
“When did you learn this?” Rainer asked.
“Weren’t you paying attention during dinner?” Kara asked confused.
Rainer only laughed. He had lost himself in the possibility of obtaining Magicite for his future academy. Many methods, some including the Arachne, flew through his head.
He judged the current relationship between the Mage Guild and Arachne as a necessity. They were not in any real alliance.
Remembering how the Arachne had treated him, Rainer thought that if even the slightest hint of how they obtained Magicite, and other resources got out, the Mage Guilds would invade and likely kill them all. Such was the respect, and perhaps fear present.
Rainer knew he needed numbers before he could truly approach them. Even if his current party became stronger, they were but few. They could survive and likely flee if needed, but they couldn’t protect.
Rainer and Kara headed off to bed, a longer night than usual as leftover emotions from before played to their benefit.
Entering [Sleep Learning], Rainer thought over his next course of action.
He had numerous tasks to accomplish. Reaching level 10 with [Voidwalker] and unlocking its secrets, creating new magics to gain skill points, learning enchanting and improving the power of his companions. He needed to improve his [Arcane Awakening] and newly acquired [Arcane Revival] as well.
He saved the skill points for later. [Time Manipulation], he ventured, would likely cost far more Mana to do anything of true use than he could afford. Some thoughts went towards altering time within the [Sleep Learning] space, but he saw a major problem with that.
If he accelerated himself in relation to the white void, would it increase his time here? It may not change anything. He already changed the void to be like the devil world, but the time dilation that was present in the Devil World compared to this world never happened.
First Rainer stared out over the white void of [Sleep Learning]. Were he to practice enchanting, he needed a place where he could save his work.
Looking over to the endless white void to his right, Rainer began forming a long stone walkway. After several hundred feet, he created a black line perpendicular at its start. It went miles into the distance. The Pathway would lead to whatever he was working on, whereas the other half would be used for any damaging spell practices.
Marking it in half in such a manner, made it easier for Rainer only to refresh one side of the line.
Rainer nodded, happy with his work, before being hit with an idea. By this logic, he manipulated the white void. Immediately, he wondered if he could achieve such a skill in reality.
He only had minor hopes, as his previous tests told him he couldn’t use [Void-Walking] in [Sleep Learning] without waking up.
“I have to do something different than before…” Rainer said to himself.
Using [Void Detection] Rainer focused on the space around him. This time he wouldn’t be replicating the looseness of the devil-filled world, he would be creating it on his own.
Opening a [Spatial Domain] Mana poured out of him as he tried to will the space to change. To weaken the very essence of Space itself, instead of just copying his previous experience automatically.
Mana continued to pour out of him before he finally felt a difference in the white void with his [Spatial Domain]. The Void bent to his will, and become looser.
[Skill Gained: Void Manipulation lvl 1/10]
Rainer immediately stopped. He wished to level such a skill outside of [Sleep Learning]. He ventured something so powerful, something that could not only reduce the cost of [Void-Walking] but perhaps affect the world with the Void, would grant considerable experience.
And with his [Archon] class bonus affecting level 2 skills, he knew it might not take long.
He was a bit disappointed too. [Void Manipulation] was unrelated to how he created almost anything he pleased in this [Sleep Learning] void. But it hardly dampened his mood.
Excited by his progress Rainer went straight away to reducing the cost, and improving the strength, of yet another Space related magic.
Regarding pure combat power, he ventured nothing could make him stronger now than combining Arcane and Spatial.
He sat down and thought over the merging of Space and Arcane. He knew they were closely related, but he didn’t have any idea how the two energies might mix.
A small Arcane-Flame burned above his hand. It was the first mix of Arcane he created. He used Arcane to alter the [Cone of Fire] spell.
Suddenly, Rainer grew confused. His class cited Arcane as the origin of magic. Why did mixing elements cause them to change and become empowered?
The flame vanished, and Rainer called forth a small ball of Arcane Energy.
What if I wasn’t mixing, but rather changing the Arcane…using the Arcane to create Fire Magic…Using my knowledge of [Fire Manipulation] to not merge, but to bring out the element of Fire from within the Arcane.
He recalled too Luna one time explaining to him the [Arcane Bolt] for most was a common training spell. One that looked far different than Rainer’s powerful magic.
The Archon is a legend to have freed people from the terror of monsters. Could the Arcane be used to create other magics? I used not only the formula for [Sleep Learning] but also [Arcane Bolt] in my study to create what I thought to be a wall-walking spell.
Rainer did not deny one could skip the knowledge of Arcane to create other magics. Manipulation skills allowed such a thing to a degree. But without it? He wasn’t sure.
Different from before he sought to morph the Arcane, and the Arcane alone into Arcane-Fire and then simply Fire Magic. If he could do this, Rainer now thought of another method to create the element of Arcane-Spatial.
With [Arcane Awakening] at 100% and [Arcane Sight] monitoring the small ball of Arcane Energy in his hand Rainer focused. He had not a teacher nor someone else to show him the way, so he could only rely on his already existing skill of [Fire Manipulation] and [Arcane-Fire Manipulation]. He would use them to understand Fire, to understand how to make Fire Magic from the Arcane.
The Energy flickered in his hand as he manipulated, trying to pull the essence of fire from it.
In Rainer’s world, only the Arcane existed in front of him.
Time flew by and without even realizing how long it had been, his time asleep ended.
Rainer was awakened earlier than expected by Kara. They headed out of the Baron’s Mansion.
A message from the [Fire Sage] had come.
As Rainer headed out, he noticed George, Matheus, and everyone from Mier and Skyborne already waiting.
He used [Arcane Awakening] to a minor degree, lest he needs to use his Shield Mode quickly.
Not sensing the same level of power as before, no one reacted to it. He saw the mage, who had chanted the healing spell, and the Prince were missing.
“Yo Rainer,” Matheus was the first to greet him. George was a bit awkward and didn’t say anything.
Rainer nodded to Matheus. He understood too; George couldn’t openly take his side.
“I heard there was a message?”
“Yeah, a classic goblin war message. In the middle of the night, a flaming spear launched through the sky before landing in front of the gates. The fire spread and then left the Muknar word for Parley on the ground. Or snow in this case,” Matheus explained as the rest of the group headed forward.
Elijah approached Rainer, though he still kept a healthy distance.
“I won’t excuse the words of my Prince, but you should know as a bastard, his mother was his whole world. And she was killed by a Beastkin assassin, misinformed that the King valued his mother and was hiding her for some reason.”
“If he’s smart, the past is the past,” Rainer responded. He ventured any possible retaliations would be below board. Intentionally, he left his Spatial Ring in an easy to see spot, “As you can see,” Rainer said while raising Kara’s hand, one which held the second Spatial Ring as planned, “Your Prince got off easy…”
Elijah stared in wonder at the second Spatial Ring. If the first only gave a chance that the Foreign Lord Magus had an incredibly high status, the second on what looked to be his mate confirmed it to Elijah. As well as to the rest of the 2nd Tier experts around.
In this world, there was no tradition of ring symbolizing marriage, but as a Spatial Ring, it clearly meant this Wolfkin was important.
“Might I ask your interest in these matters?” Elijah asked. It was a question on all their minds.
“Charles has become a friend, after an unfortunate misunderstanding involving his son and a bounty on my mate,” He laughed a bit to signal it was in the past, “With his loyalty to his country, he would not flee here. I’d not see him die,” Rainer revealed the past with Carver to show that the relationship between him and Mier was not burned. With his Charisma, his words were more believable to the group from Mier.
[Skill Gained: Acting lvl 1/10]
Rainer hid his surprise, something that suddenly became a bit easier to do. He understood that perhaps [Acting] was an incredibly difficult to acquire skill, given all he’s done in the past. Gaining some more knowledge with the first level of the skill, he found himself correct.
It wasn’t just acting a certain way but careful controlling of facial reactions, some incredibly minute. Muscles, he couldn’t use in the past, he could feel slightly. Too were techniques for the cadence of one’s voice.
The group headed outside the gate and toward the North, but not entering the forest.
Suddenly a flame erupted in the sky. Everyone but Rainer’s party flinched. They recognized it not as an attack but the arrival of the [Fire Sage].
The Ball of fire descended and, with but a puff of smoke, returned to the [Flame-Touched Goblin] it was.
“You…” Elijah, stunned, looked over at Rainer. No one knew of the Flame-Touched nature of the [Fire Sage], and seeing it gave them a sudden revelation.
That the Goblin asked for a parley solely because of the Foreign Magus.
“We meet again,” The Goblin said while stretching his formerly removed arm, “The others may call me the Fire Sage, but you two may know me as Furtak,” He ignored everyone other than Rainer and Matheus.
“Rainer,” He replied his name in turn.
“Matheus, Hunter’s Guild Master.”
“Let us talk alone first, Rainer, unless these people are related to you?” Furtak said waving his arm toward the Mier Kingdom experts and Skyborne Mages. They all flinched at this, causing Furtak to laugh.
“They aren’t,” Rainer still maintained his [Arcane Awakening] as low as he could, “But the city is,”
“No matter. Let us speak alone. Unless you are afraid?” Furtak asked with a toothy grin.
Rainer, unperturbed, followed the Goblin who had turned his back to the group.
Rainer stood across from the [Fire Sage] far out of hearing range from anyone but Kara.
“So?” Rainer asked.
In truth, he was quite interested in what the [Fire Sage] had to say. He reacted instantly and attacked last time, but now he had other thoughts. The [Fire Sage] could be his first potential Mage member of his academy. As well he considered the possibility of him knowing much about the forbidden lands to the far North.
“I’m curious as to your stake in this fight. Other than that Fae, none of the others give me worry. But I imagine he has personal interests rather than national ones,” Furtak spoke.
“So long as you don’t slaughter the town or kill the Baron, Charles, I couldn’t care less. But, I’ve learned some interesting things recently…”
“About the deposits of Mana Crystals, Azure Haze, Karator’s Fungus, and the Magicite,” Furtak said.
Rainer hid his excitement within. Not even the Mage Guilds knew how the Arachne acquired the Magicite. This could mean Furtak was a far more valuable person than initially assumed.
“Exactly. I have my own interests.”
“Then for your non-participation, I can simply give you more than you could use in your lifetime. The effects of Magicite do fade, what have you for entire mines?”
“I had something else in mind. You may be able to handle them, but if they can’t win the North on their own, what happens when other Guilds get involved. Can you fight their Guild Master on your own as well?”
Furtak’s wrinkled face frowned.
“Can you make sure we are not overheard?”
Furtak nodded and following a pulse of magic, one of his rings lit up. A square barrier of air blocking sound around them formed.
“I wish to gather a group of mages. Interested in studying, learning, and researching magic freely. Away from the politics and secrets that hold back the growth of magic. Of course, to free possible people from their guilds and other affiliations interested in such a thing…”
“You need resources,” Furtak answered excitedly. He viewed the deposits as belonging to his tribe even if they lacked the number of mages ever to use even a fraction of it. But this option interested him greatly. And it gave the possibility of an ally.
A large problem among his tribe and others was the lack of spells. Were it not for the Great Fire Sage of the past who founded their tribes they wouldn’t have any spells above the third tier. But now, they could only truly train those who had a fire affinity.
“And you care not for race in this group?” Furtak asked. He didn’t discount the possibility of him being used for even a moment.
“Not in the slightest. How about a show of good faith and the advantages such an Academy of Mages could bring? Which Element?”
“Light Element, a healing spell,” Furtak answered after a shocked pause. To trade Magic so freely was unheard of. He hoped he had assumed Rainer’s intentions correctly.
From his Spatial Ring, he removed a piece of magically constructed paper and wrote down a tier 2 healing spell he planned on learning when he had time. In truth, a healing spell was of little interest to Rainer. Kara and Luna could be healed with [Mana Manipulation] and Gunthar and Theodore, of course, required no such thing.
Finishing the formula, Rainer wrote down the chant next.
He handed over the finished product to Furtak. With Luna’s skill, he could write in Muknar if he thought of the language.
Furtak read it for quite some time. He couldn’t cast it, but he could verify whether it was indeed a spell. And with the Chant, the general purpose could be seen.
“Might I ask a question in regards to our fight?”
“Where did you learn that fire-breath spell?”
Rainer told the story of how a Goblin raid had captured a village he was indebted to. And how he ended up fighting them after they refused to release the prisoners. And then how he found the notes of the Great Sage. Even with his [Acting] skill, Rainer felt the need to add half-truths to his lie still.
Furtak didn’t show any displeasure. This was clearly a tribe removed from his own, and he could not care as he believed Rainer’s telling of the story. It wasn’t a wanton slaughter. But at the mention of the notes, his eyes lit up.
“The completed notes…with Inferno….”
Rainer nodded, knowing this could finish the negotiation. Even if Furtak learned all the spells on the notes, it would be a long time before he could cast them, let alone without the chant. By then Rainer had full confidence of surpassing this Goblin if need be.
Of course, Rainer wouldn’t give away his version with the Mana output and input runes until his Academy was fully in motion.
“I thought Inferno was truly lost…”
“I don’t mind giving a copy to you. Let’s talk how we’ll handle this situation, however.”
Rainer and Furtak continued their conversation. Furtak revealed the location of their tribe and gave Rainer a token he could display so as not to be attacked. With Theodore, Rainer planned on visiting before leaving. Furtak already confirmed they had some understanding of the Forbidden North though they did not explore too deeply.
Rainer walked back to the group. Furtak had agreed to ignore the dungeon and the nearby town so that Matheus would no longer be an enemy either.
He also agreed not to attack the town as well as ignore the surveyors for now. Monitoring them, until they began taking away large amounts of resources.
More importantly, Rainer came out the Hero. He’d rather not truly anger the higher ups of Mier. He imagined there might still be some personal vengeance from the Prince, but after this, he didn’t think the country would attack him.
Looking at the experts, the reveal of the [Fire Sage]’s level, from an appraisal orb, as well as his identity as a Flame-Touched, caused them all to understand how unprepared they were for such a fight. They awaited Rainer’s words, as they saw the [Fire Sage] had no more interest in speaking with any of them.
“Matheus. He’s agreed not to touch the dungeon town or any hunter’s guild member so long as they don’t attack his tribe.”
“Good enough for me, thanks, Rainer,” Matheus responded before walking back to town. He decided to head to the Dungeon town and stay a while before leaving, to confirm Rainer’s words.
“And his horde?” Elijah asked.
“He’s backing off and heading back north.”
“Might I ask what you traded…”
“I promised not to cut off his head. Given his recently reattached arm, he valued that greatly,” Rainer summoned his hilt and spun it in his hand as he walked passed the stunned group.
They looked over to the [Fire Sage]. Showing a bit of fake fear and resentment in his face he nodded in agreement, before becoming fire and flying off.
In truth, Rainer’s threat was something planned. Furtak had underestimated and played around in his duel with Rainer. The result of a second duel was by no means clear.
The 2nd Tier experts had known the magic blade he used was extremely powerful. But not to the degree of damaging one Touched by magic.
“Thank you for your assistance, Lord Magus. The Prince was certainly in the wrong; I shall try to talk him down from anything rash.”
“Do as you wish.”
Returned to his room, Rainer told of his conversation with the [Fire Sage] to the party and now they discussed their next destination.
“I’d like to take up the Arachne’s offer and visit their city. At the very least we should be strong enough to run away if need be.”
“Then I shall remain here. I am quite interested in these deposits as well, though I shall be careful. “
“After visiting Furtak’s village, we’ll make way to the Arachne Tunnels. Theodore, before I leave, we should see if I can use Luna’s connection to you as a means of [Void-walking].”
“I can go over a way with the Lady of the Fae as well on how I can let her know I require you to come to me.”
Rainer nodded. He assumed with the new skill of [Void Manipulation] and his improved [Arcane Blade] he should be able to Void-walk any non-world crossing distances. But with [Void Detection] limited sensory range he needed a target.
Only Rainer remained in the room. He went over and decided to commit all the tomes to memory while waiting for Elru. So long as he properly looked through, with extra time on the Magical formula itself, he could burn or bury the books and free up space in his ring.
He was in the middle of reading one of the books from the hidden library on [Devil Summoning]. He earlier ventured there truly wern’t any evil magics, but he now knew he wasn’t entirely right.
The spell itself required blood sacrifices. Which was fine, but it was almost impossible without improving the sacrifices and having sentient ones. Improving, by causing suffering during a long sacrifice. This was needed to increase the emotion and empower the summoning enough to connect to a Devil.
But his interest in [Devil Summoning] was more related to navigating between worlds. He too would like to visit Nalmar again. But more than anything he wanted to visit home. He hoped to use some powerful tracking magic to seek out his family, but other than that he didn’t have a plan.
His greatest worry about visiting home, though, was that he’d lose connection to the system. At the very least, Rainer wanted to find a way first to get strong enough with the system’s added attributes before heading home. Things like Fairy Dust or [Nvos Affinity Attunement], improved him regardless of the system.
He needed at the very least to be strong enough to void-walk back.
Rainer dove back into the books.
“What do you think?” Elijah asked his Prince, David Hathor. He had just explained the result of the parley.
“Of course, we’ll send scouts and remain here for some time, but if he’s [Flame-Touched]…”
“We’ll have to ask the Guild Master to come personally. Prince…I do not think you should involve the Guild Master in any attempts of ven-“
David held up a hand interrupting him.
“He’s at least stronger than a level 22 Flame-Touched Fire Sage. I don’t want to see Father-in-Law hurt even though I believe he could kill him. There is no point if he has let the matter go. I spoke rashly.”
Elijah couldn’t help but be surprised at the Prince’s words. He had watched him grow arrogant as of late, but now he seemed genuine in backing off.
David, however, thought in a completely different direction. If his father-in-law died, a good portion of his support and power would vanish. Without him, he thought his fiancée had little value as well. But if he simply abandoned a grieving daughter his relationship with the Skyborne Mage Guild would plummet even further.
Added on was the current Vice Guild Master was antagonistic to him, though not openly.
He did believe Skyborne’s Guild Master could win, but nothing was determined in life and death. The Prince now only wished to get away from this strange Foreign Magus as soon as possible.
“Let’s go send a messenger for Father-in-Law then,” David said standing up.
Taking a break, Rainer decided to try and level [Void Manipulation].
Using [Void Detection] Rainer reached his will out into the void. He focused on a point where he wanted to Void-walk to. Just before casting the spell Rainer manipulated the void to try and reduce the cost. Yet the moment he acted, a chilling feeling touched him.
He jumped back, canceling the spell, but the Void did not close.
A black clawed hand reached out through an opening in the Void. A powerful language attacked Rainer. The words shook his very soul.
[Soul Resistance has reached level 2]
But he was unyielding. His training with Theodore had not entirely been for naught.
[Arcane Awakening] flared to the maximum. Rainer used [Void Manipulation] to try and close the gap he created. If he lost but a moment of concentration, he felt the powerful Devil would climb through. And its power, he had never felt something so strong before.
His violet runic lines flared as Arcane seeped into the air. Sweat covered his face as his mana depleted.
[Void Manipulation has reached level 2]
[Experience Gained: 1488%]
The Void closed shut as he slammed his hands together.
The clawed hand, separated from its body, fell onto the ground. Theodore burst in through the door, having sensed the soul of a Devil.
“Rainer, what happened?!”
“That happened.” He said pointing to the severed arm. Not having a moment even to use [Appraisal], Rainer knew not how strong the Devil was. Only that it petrified him.
Theodore walked over to the severed arm, and stabbed it once, to be sure of its death. But found his sword unable to penetrate the skin until he used the recently learned [Aura Blade].
Kara rushed over to Rainer’s side.
“You look exhausted, are you alright?”
“I’m good. It was a scare, but I’m safe now.”
“Luna doesn’t like it…” The Fairy recalled the ordeal in the Dungeon. She felt ill looking at the severed arm.
“It’s alright, Luna,” Rainer said comforting the Fairy in his lap as he sat down.
“How did you even summon a devil, what did you use as a sacrifice?” Theodore asked.
“I manipulated the Void, trying to loosen the Void a bit, and that thing reached out to me out of nowhere.”
“The Void?” Theodore asked. He had never heard of such a place.
“It’s hard to explain, let me rest, and I’ll try to.”
Rainer looked at his messages. Already having crossed the level 3 to 4 barrier the barriers up until level 9 to 10 weren’t too high. His [Voidwalker]’s experience was at 89%, just a jump away from level 10. Even though the situation had devolved in a direction he didn’t expect; he had been rewarded.
He was a bit surprised at the experience. But he remembered that leveling up [Arcane Sight] had given him experience in his 2nd Tier. A skill like [Void Manipulation], that depended on his [Archon] class in both its gaining and leveling, that was assisted by the looseness of the Devil world and [Sleep Learning], was not ordinary by any means.
He understood it wouldn’t give a small amount.
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 5/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 6/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 7/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 8/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 9/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
However, thinking it over, Rainer smiled genuinely. This meant his thoughts on [Devil Summoning] being able to help him navigate the Void proved far truer than anticipated.
He had hope.
Hope to see his home, and his family once more.