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A note from Aternus

Current Word Count for the Week: 6,000/18,000

ETA: Late Tuesday EST

Sorry for the delay.

Anyways,

Enjoy.

Rainer caught his breath as he looked at the Devil’s arm stabbed with Theodore’s sword. The skin was black and seemed to absorb all light. Long thick nails of a lighter shade.

[Devil, Male, Devil King lvl 3]

Rainer grew confused for a moment. The dead never showed their class when appraised. At first, he just assumed because the main body still lived, the arm showed a class.

“Theodore, get back!” Rainer yelled out as a tiny wisp of miasma leaked from the arm. His fear toward the miasma so great he didn’t even consider that it does not affect the undead. The vile purple cloud began rapidly spreading.

He threw Luna, who had been sitting on his lap, behind him. [Arcane Revival] created flowing violet lines across his body as he rushed forward. Yet before he could cast an Arcane-Flame spell, his shoulder lit up and a serpent flew out.

It opened its mouth revealing sharp teeth. In an instant, the spreading miasma entered its mouth.

“Theodore, it’s a friend,” Rainer quickly noted, causing Theodore to stab toward the arm again. The arm jutted to the side, dodging the Aura covered blade.

But before anyone could finish it off, the serpent was already consuming the arm from opposite its claws. A powerful suction force came from the serpent’s mouth as the arm, far too large for the serpent, begin to be consumed nonetheless.

Just as the claws were about to strike the serpent, Rainer’s [Arcane Blade] stabbed into it, leaving the serpent to finish its meal.

“Sorcerer, what manner of creatur-“

Before Gunthar could finish his thoughts the translucent violet serpent, showing no signs of what it consumed other than its body being slightly more physical, fled into Rainer’s shoulder once more. 

The room stayed silent for a moment before Rainer’s laughter resounded out.

“I think it was shy,” He managed to add. Feeling such an emotion from the familiar bond. But no matter how he thought, the serpent refused to come back out.

“Well, where should we start?” Rainer asked, seeing the questioning looks around him.

“How about with the snake that is inside of you…” Kara said, laughing a little.

“What happened to the shy little wolf…” Gunthar mumbled right after.

Rainer explained how he tamed the magic beast from the trial. Including, how some force had tried to take the magic beast. He, however, left out the part where he nearly died, only mentioning the snake had later assisted him.

“And your [Appraisal], it shows nothing? like for the Mana-Well.” Theodore asked, completely intrigued by the situation.

“Not like the Mana-Well. The Mana-Well shows…four question marks. Whereas my little snak- My friend,” he changed, after hearing Kara giggle in the background, “Shows Unknown. Not a race, a name or a class, just Unknown.”

“And it is your second familiar?”

“Exactly. Unless there is an Attribute for a familiar count, it probably has to do with my friend’s nature.”

“There is no such Attribute. It is the class itself that would allow for more familiars,” Theodore answered, “Nothing else we can do then if your friend refuses to come out again.”

Rainer then spoke what he knew about the void, which wasn’t much. Only that it was listed as omnipresent, was how he traveled to this world, and that his sleeping skill was related. And finally, what he was trying to do when the Devil’s arm came out.

He then asked why the [Devil King] in the dungeon was far weaker than here. Learning it was a result of the strange chains that held it in place, the chains he partially destroyed with Arcane Magic. The fight had been made far harder than it ever should have been.

“Sorcerer, it would be hypocritical of me to suggest you not practice such magics, given the magic you have and will use for my aid, but at least have another around when you do it.”

“I won’t be practicing [Void Manipulation] out here for quite a while,” Rainer added. If a level 3 [Devil King] had scared him to such a point, he could only imagine what types of monsters might come through were he to loosen the void once more without full preparation.

“I’ll return to memorizing the less exciting books,” Rainer said as he went toward the collection of books. He would use this night to finish skimming through all the books well enough that he could then use auto-piloted [Sleep Learning] to commit them all permanently to memory.

He needed the rest in any case, Rainer thought as he rubbed his forehead.

He began on the first set of notes. These were the remaining ones related to the Frozen Sun mage guild. When it wasn’t a spell formula, Rainer didn’t even need to read too closely but only glance through the pages quickly.

Luna fluttered over onto Rainer and laid onto Rainer’s hair before speaking, “Luna is glad Rainer handled her roughly. But Luna would have liked a chance to use her flame…”

“Luna…”

“Luna knows. Luna is happy for the concern,” She said while poking the crinkle that formed in Rainer’s eyebrows as he thought of their past encounter with Miasma.

“Then how about this?” Rainer said as he armed eight [Arcane Bolt]s. He dimmed the power considerably for Luna’s practice.

Luna struggled against his Arcane Magic, even at its weakest, only consuming a small portion of a single armed bolt. But she was unperturbed. Any time she’d run out of Mana she’d simply rest in Rainer’s lap as he continued to read through the books.

The rest of the day flew by quickly. With his higher Intelligence, while he wasn’t directly smarter, his mental speed had increased numerous times. He easily went through the remainder of the books. Only the higher tier Spell Formulas and a few more complicated books from the hidden library remained.

Laying back in bed, he could finally enjoy a full night’s sleep. 


As dawn approached, the Skyborne’s Guild master had already arrived. With his power, it was a far quicker trip, than the messenger’s, sent to retrieve him. The Prince then explained everything once more that had happened.

Yarik stared at the Prince before a slap resounded in the small room. He then spoke with his arms on the Prince’s shoulders.

“Foolish child! You are to be a King of Men and Magi, and yet what had you nearly become? Some footnote in the long annals of history. To be laughed at as some common bastard, who went too far above his station,” Yarik scolded. He looked to be around 50 years of age, were he an ordinary human. Long straight brown hair and a mustache on his face. His eyes were brown though seemed to contain a hidden power.

“Father, I…” David acted as if regretful. Even dropping the “in-law” as he often did when speaking to Yarik.

“You are talented at Aura. You have nearly unlocked your Affinity and, even with your small talent, you can at least extend your life with my support. So you will not be bound by a pitiful lifespan of a human. Is it worth it to throw away to insult some Wolfkin? Do you understand the irony? You nearly threw away your life for the very race you hate. Now, where is this Foreign Magus?

“Guild Master I don’t think you should act against him. If-“ Elijah said.

“Calm yourself, Elijah. He might have even rendered us a great aid. Even after David had insulted his mate with racial slurs. I will merely show him the world is not his playground. And I shall thank him by leaving him intact with his life.”

Yarik left the room and headed towards the wing of the mansion Rainer had to himself. His enchanted gray robe, lined with green begun fluttering as his power rumbled.

He stood at the end of the hall, down which the Foreign Magus’ Guards had already noted his presence.

“The Guild Master of the Skyborne wishes to speak to your master, pardon the hour,” Yarik said. His original plan of rushing in was ruined the moment he detected an Aura larger than Elijah’s.

Had he a complete advantage Yarik could teach this Magus a lesson without any permanent harm being done. But with such a guard, who he thought Elijah had exaggerated about, he could only act to a certain extent. 

Theodore saw how the wind had been removed from this mage’s sails.

“Then you will wait until he awakens,”

Yarik’s face turned grim, but he decided to wait.

But Rainer had already been awoken by Kara after she heard the voices.

Both stepped out of their room, Luna sleeping in Rainer’s coat pocket. Just as Yarik was about to speak, he saw Kara’s golden eyes. He couldn’t help but think of the Wolf-King of the Dragon Isles. The slightly glowing golden eyes of that royal family signaled that the absurd Aura Talent of their line had been inherited.

Yarik had never seen other Wolfkin with such glowing eyes.  And he remembered all too well, the eyes of the man who played such a large role in stopping the North from taking the Dragon Isles.

A massive pressure weighed down on the whole area as Yarik stepped forward, a grin plastered on his face.

He is no Lord Magus. Just some powerful rogue who was recruited by the Wolf-King. I will find their purpose here…

Yarik sneered. He was sure of this. He couldn’t fathom any of the Wolf-King’s children being allowed to freely roam before their 2nd class advancement, without great reason. And the orb in his pocket told him the Wolfkin with an Aura far above her level, was but level 24.

Rainer nearly fell to his knees as he felt this pressure. Mana made the air thick as water, and every step the Guildmaster took, reverberated in his mind.

[Human, Male, Lightning Sage(2nd)lvl 23, Stormcaller(2nd) lvl 13]

[Arcane Awakening] flared but the pressure lessened only partially. But it was enough.

Theodore, somewhat affected, looked on in shock. [Mana Presence] was a skill only the strongest of mages knew, one that he thought required a massive Mana pool and a corresponding control.

As far as Theodore knew, none of Nalmar’s mages had ever mastered it. Some could mimic it to a degree, but it was a pointless affair, only wasting one’s Mana when there were far more effective means.

Yarik’s version cost little, utilizing his large Mana pool in an unknown way. Similar, yet far stronger, than the pressure felt when Aura users displayed their power.

Theodore immediately moved to Rainer’s side, but to his surprise, Rainer’s demeanor shifted.

Rainer’s eyes covered in [Arcane Sight] the moment he felt the strange pressure coming from the Guild master.

He returned the Guild master’s grin as his own power flooded the air.

[Skill Gained: Arcane Presence lvl 1/10]

[Arcane Presence: Wield the power of one’s Mana Pool, laden with Arcane Power, to apply a pressure upon the intended area.]

[Skill Gained: Mana Resistance lvl 1/10]

[Increases one’s resistance to the negative effects of Mana. Can be toggled on or off]

“Can I help you?” The Arcane power flooded around Rainer, protecting his group from the pressure exhibited by the Guild Master.

It easily overcame the Mana. With his [Arcane Sound Infusion] Rainer had already partially stepped towards this skill. Combined with his [Archon] class bonus and the powerful nature of Arcane Energy, it only took seeing the skill with [Arcane Sight] to bridge the gap and understand the skill.

It worked by leveraging a tiny amount of Mana in the air by one’s Mana Pool. With the massive chaotic power contained within his Arcane Power, Rainer could get a similar effect, without the required large Mana Pool. 

The grin on the Guild Master’s face disappeared. Quickly, it was replaced with an amicable smile as he retracted his pressure.

“I merely wished to personally thank the one who helped us solve such an issue,” Yarik said. His thoughts, however, were in turmoil. He now considered everyone else’s conjectures as to him being a strange Foreign Magus of high status to be correct. It was hard for him to accept, such a powerful Mage capable of fighting a Flame-Touched and holding two Spatial Rings. Now he could no longer act rashly.

[Mana Presence] was a skill he learned from an ancient text. He had never seen any other mage use it. A proper application could cause its targets to flounder in their actions or be filled with awe. Even if they were at the same power as himself.

“I simply didn’t wish to see Charles die. Mier has quite the loyal man, rejecting my offer even after such a gift,” Rainer said. He acted like the past matter hadn’t even happened. The man in front of him had a Mana Pool of around 600. And in the end, he hadn’t continued his action, only giving Rainer a new skill.

But Rainer would never forget the hostility with which he approached. The hostility that could have hurt those near him.

Yarik felt like he wished to hide away in a hole. He had forgotten that point entirely. The moment he was reminded by the Wolfkin’s eyes of his past failure, he had lost it. If anything else could prove his status, such a powerful armor and sword could.

“Yes, Charles is a unique and capable man. Even in the face of such generous gift, he stayed true to his country,” Yarik added.

Rainer just looked on at the Guild master in silence.

“I apologize for awakening you, I merely wished to personally give my apologies for the insults David had leveled at you,” Yarik said, struggling to give a small bow to one who may be related to his worst foe.

“Consider it forgiven.” Rainer pretended as if it did not matter.

“Then a good night,” Yarik spoke before leaving.

He hid it too well…”

Yarik thought of Foreign Magus’ face which was not even disturbed in the slightest. Yet this only furthered the idea that he was of someone with noble status. Rarely could anyone but a noble or career actor learn the [Acting Skill], Yarik believed. 

He saw too; his orb didn’t work on Rainer. In his confusion, Yarik did not get the chance to use the orb on anyone else as he left.

As he was leaving, he wasn’t sure what to feel. Whether he was glad this Magus considered the altercation with the Prince as nothing, or whether to be afraid.


“Thanks for the skill,” Rainer said quietly.

As Rainer watched the Guild master walk away he wasn’t filled with confidence, but the opposite.

He understood from the notes he recently committed to memory that a Mage Guild’s strength wasn’t in its single Magus. Even if he could kill the Guild Master he just met, it wasn’t the same as fighting an entire guild.

A Mage Guild’s strength existed in jointly cast and channeled spells. Similar to the three [Grand Runic Knight]’s who formed a triangle formation. Their power was not additive, but multiplicative. Were it not for Rainer slaying the [Grand Fae Enchantress] at the start of the fight; it could have ended far differently.

He now knew more than ever; if he wished to overturn the world order to his benefit, he couldn’t do it entirely alone. Some questions had been raised as well. As Rainer now met another Sage, yet he wasn’t Touched by Magic.

“Elru should be coming back soon; we should talk to Matheus. I don’t want anything happening,” Rainer said.

No one objected as the group headed over to Matheus’ quarters.

Knocking on the door, Matheus was already awake. The door opened on its own.

“Rainer? What can I help you with?” Matheus responded. Enjoying the look on Rainer’s face as he paused mid-knock.

“It’s about one of our party members who is currently away,” Rainer decided just to say it directly, “Sh-“

“A Fae,” Matheus interrupted. He remembered Rainer’s clarification that the Fae Courts, were his enemy rather than all Fae, “It's fine. Unless she is a Prince or Princess of a Court, it is no matter to me.”

“She’s Maiden Elru,” Rainer decided it was best for it not to be a surprise.

“Well, I’m interested in hearing how she stayed around a human long enough to become his traveling companion.”

Seeing Rainer’s face, Matheus waved it off.

“I only ever met her once personally. Of all the Fae, I think she might be the only one who didn’t care I was Manaless. Is that it?”

“You don’t want to meet her?” Rainer asked after seeing Matheus had no interest.

“What? Because she’s the only Fae who didn’t look at me in disgust, I should like her? I simply don’t hate her. But I’d rather not see another Fae. I’ll be leaving town soon. Other than you, I don’t think there is another capable of apprising me or seeing through my Glamour so I should be fine even if she meets me…” Another question floated to Matheus’ mind, but he saw no reason to ask. It only furthered his belief that the [Archon] in front of him could be his solution to getting what he desired from the Forbidden North.

“I’ll make sure the Furtak stays to his word.”

“Assuming there aren’t any problems, I’ll be at Hathor’s Rise for the next several months. Otherwise, George knows how to find me.”

“Then I’ll come find you when it’s time to go North,” Rainer said.

Matheus returned to his seated position. A strange energy floated around him.

Rainer headed back to his room, intent on making use of his last hours of sleep to finally gain his missing Arcane mixed manipulation skills, hoping that he can understand something to help him learn Arcane-Spatial.


Rainer began with water, as he saw it as the easiest. However, he avoided doing as he’d done in the past and trying to mix both water and Arcane together. Instead, he started with just a ball of Arcane.

He Manipulated a stream of water above his head and poured as much Mana as he could into it. His goal was to level [Water Manipulation] as he studied the Arcane Energy.

[Water Manipulation has reached level 2]

He had the Arcane Energy in his hand mimic the circling stream above him. With [Arcane Sight] he reached deep inside and tried to pull out the essence of Water Magic. The very Magic that currently encircled him.

Gradually the Arcane Energy became clear. He circled it faster and faster, now entirely in sync with the raging waters above him. The Energy transformed. The Water Magic that formed from the Arcane was laced with power. He used his knowledge of [Water Manipulation] to help draw out Water Magic from the Arcane.

It was not entirely what he desired. He wished to create with his Arcane, not just copy. But for now, it would do.

[Skill Gained: Arcane-Water Manipulation lvl 1/10]

Rainer stopped his practice. The difference compared to ordinary Water Magic was that it was easier to manipulate. Of course, when added on to Rainer’s massive bonus to the Arcane, this was multiplied further.

Rainer repeated the process with Earth, Darkness, and Ice. Each element took on a different property.

He compressed Earth to his limit.

[Earth Manipulation has reached level 2]

Seeking to then bring out this sturdiness from the Arcane Energy, He gained the next skill.

[Skill Gained: Arcane-Earth Manipulation lvl 1/10]

The Earth became less malleable, but its strength was far stronger than before. 

[Darkness Manipulation has reached level 2]

[Skill Gained: Arcane-Darkness Manipulation lvl 1/10]

Darkness not only absorbed light as before but seemed to use a portion of what was absorbed to fuel itself. It made all Darkness spells cost less in the presence of light.

[Ice Manipulation has reached level 2]

Rainer formed a sheet of ice beneath himself. He manipulated it into many different forms, but until he sought to make colder, could he then take that feeling to bring out ice from Arcane Magic.

[Skill Gained: Arcane-Ice Manipulation lvl 1/10]

[Arcane-Ice Manipulation: Allows the user to directly manipulate and form Arcane-Ice. Mastery will improve all Arcane-Ice Skills and Spells.]

And with Ice, even as Rainer gained the skill he knew not the difference. Vaguely, he understood that the Arcane-Ice was colder, but felt there was more to it. He had struggled to gain [Ice Manipulation] in the first place. Its mysterious power could only be unraveled with use.

Still seeing no title, Rainer assumed there were far more elements out there. And now, he had a method to explore them in the future. More importantly, he reached closer towards gaining Arcane-Spatial.  

His sleep naturally ended soon after.

 


After waking up, Rainer could hear Elru talking with Gunthar and Theodore in the hall. Kara remained to meditate at the foot of the bed after she awoke.

Heading out in the hall, even without the slightest ability to read emotions, Elru’s high spirits were easy to see.

“So, how’d it go?”

“I cannot thank you enough,” Elru bowed deeply before Rainer could stop her.

“Its fine, its fine, it’s a trade remember?”

Elru laughed lightly. A year of her life? To her knowledge, Fae have given up far more for the extra 200 years and power a Fruit of the World Tree provides.

“We can have our reunion along the way. Let’s leave town as quickly as we can before we have a chance to be followed. I want to visit Furtak without any unwelcome members. Elru, can you follow a bit behind and check for followers.”

Rainer felt the whole meeting with Yarik was strange. And given that his word may not entirely be believed, Rainer had no intention of leading anyone from the Mier Kingdom to Furtak’s tribe.

Above all else, however, Theodore noticed someone on the far ends of their assigned Mansion wing loitering about. 

Covered in Elru’s Glamour, the entire group left the Baron’s Mansion and then the city. She had not the power to make them all unseen, but she could disguise them well enough, along with hiding their Mana and Aura to all but the most careful observers.

They rushed forward, barely making it out into the forest before Elru’s Glamour broke.

Walking in the forest, Theodore maintained [Soul Detection] while Elru would on occasion cover herself in a Glamour and check a distance behind them. Rainer covered their tracks. He found the snow easy to manipulate with [Ice Manipulation].

“How was your sister?” Theodore asked.

“Worried. In fact, before I could even explain she began crying. Afraid I had taken a demon’s deal with Yulia. She was half-right, so I could not blame her. I only mentioned that Yulia had asked me to kill someone and instead I decided to protect the target she gave. I then said that the target had been paid by Yulia with a Fruit but betrayed her.”

“And she believed you?” Rainer questioned.

“I said you were a Fae. That answered all her concerns.”

“How often are Fae taken in any case?” Rainer said recalling what Maiden Elru was known for.

“Now that we have cut off contact with the outside world? I have not heard of a case in over a hundred years. It was an easy choice to make. We had defeated our foe in our realm and no longer required any outside aid. We also put in place new rules requiring a certain amount of skill in Glamour to leave home “

“Outside world…is your home, not on this world?” Rainer asked.

“It is a part of this world, and it is not,” Elru paused for a moment. But Rainer had only shown himself a friend to Faekind through Luna and an enemy to Yulia, leading her to continue, “It is a separate realm of this world. And of others. “

Rainer instantly grew interested. But, until he understood just what Luna having the Sacred Faerie Fire meant, to go anywhere near more observant Fae was not an option. At least, until he changed her class once more and Yulia was no longer an issue.

“I think you would enjoy it. It is an incredibly beautiful place, even when dampened by the recent coronation.”

Elru went back one last time to check for pursuers.

“Have you thought about what you’ll be doing here on your own, Theodore?” Rainer asked.

“I’d like to speak with this Fire Sage. Then I’ll spend some time scouting the edges of the Forbidden Land. Until those Mages leave, I have little interest in staying in Grimlar’s Pass. My plans in learning Charles’ technique and making sure he will survive his trial must wait.”

“We have time. Let’s figure out how I can reach you.”

Theodore began explaining to Luna. Rainer noted it was a similar method to Morse code. Where across their vast Mana link, a message could be sent. It was a simpler method, though. One pulse meant to come as soon as you are able. Two meant, to come quickly. And three meant true danger.

“The question is then, can I Void-walk to you.”

“You said you used Luna as a target in the past? Then it should not matter, given your ability, if I am the target. Feel the familiar bond to her, and try to trace a path to me.”

Rainer focused on the Familiar bond first. Theodore had specifically instructed not to try and send a message like he had, saying without having the skill already it wasn’t the type of thing to play around with.

He focused first on Luna. He activated [Arcane Awakening], and then tried to sense Luna’s connection with Theodore. Slowly his mind seemed to follow along the Familiar Bond and then stretch out toward another connection.

Theodore had already moved out of Rainer’s 50 feet [Void Detection] range. Senseing him, Rainer could then detect a small area of the Void around Theodore. And so he vanished.

“Theodore,” Rainer said from behind.

“Eerie…” Theodore grunted out.

“What is?”

“This spell of yours. It does not fluctuate space at all. As if you are just slipping through the cracks of the world. So, what do you think?”

“As far as I understand, the distance only truly becomes a problem crossing worlds. We can test it out before we leave. “

“Sorcerer, how did it go?” Gunthar asked seeing the two of them walking back.

Rainer gave a reassuring smile, “It went well. I should be able to reach your Father from quite a way apart.”

“Try not to call forth anymore Devils in the process, Sorcerer,” Gunthar joked.

Walking up to Gunthar, Rainer put an arm around him before speaking, “Even if I do you’ll be there to block me, right?”

“Please spare the low-leveled me from such a fate, Sorcerer…”

“Oh yeah. Last time you blocked a Devil you lost your pants.”

“Gunthar!” Theodore yelled, drawing everyone’s attention, “To think only a Devil could get you to remove your p-pants.” He barely made it through the last word.

“I feel the only conversation that happens between you and my father relates to embarrassing tales of my past…”

Gunthar’s complaint only elicited further laughter.

“Don’t worry Gunthar; Luna won’t laugh,” The Fairy said as she fluttered to the top of his head.

“I appreciate the thought, Lady of the Fae. But you still cannot make me breathe fire from my mouth.”

“Luna is offended. Even if Gunthar offered Luna wouldn’t make him breathe fire,” The pouting Fairy responded.

Elru returned soon after, not finding anyone following them.

In but a moment, Rainer cast [Arcane-Wind’s Ascent] around the whole party. He soared forward at an incredible speed, keeping low with the tree-line despite Elru once more operating her Glamour around them.

They traveled for an entire day at this speed, only taking breaks when it was time for Rainer to recover Mana. Trees grew taller and the forest grew thicker, further they headed North.

Finally, they reached a series of crags standing above the forest. Finding the one in particular that had a slight crescent shape at its top Rainer landed. Having recently recovered his Mana Pool Rainer didn’t need to pause.

Elru had been told of the negotiation with their former enemy by Theodore during their travel. She still felt a bit uneasy, given how the Goblin had seen through the Glamour she covered Rainer with back then.

Rainer remained on guard as they approached the crag. Saying the password given by Furtak, a door opened. Rainer noted that even with his [Arcane Sight] he needed to focus to see this hidden enchantment.

The door quickly shut behind them. Around them were walls lit up with a strange moss.

[Auer’s Moss]

“It draws small amounts of the World’s Energy to give light,” Elru answered seeing Rainer’s interest.

“Wouldn’t it be a bad idea to live around this for the Goblins? Wouldn’t it slow their monster’s growth?”

“The opposite. They draw in far more than they use. Leaving this area to have a higher concentration of the World’s Energy. They also convert some to breathable air,” Theodore then answered.

Rainer glanced at it a bit longer before Theodore’s words caused him to continue forward.

“Don’t bother. We spent decades researching how to grow it. Other than where it grows naturally, we couldn’t figure out. The problem with natural growing areas was they often changed. I do not know if these Tribes had found a way given the purposeful placement. You can feel the World’s Energy thicken the deeper we go.”

Another wall opened in front of them as they reached a dead end.

“Rainer, I heard some whispers,” Kara spoke.

“Perhaps they were checking we didn’t bring Mier with us?”

The party continued down the tunnel. After nearly an hour of travel, they reached their destination. The entire time Rainer and Gunthar stayed in between Elru, Theodore, and Kara.

Far different than the mine he saw before, it was a city of goblins. Brown of stone abodes jutted out from the walls. Various stairs constructed in between, leading down to a massive manor in the center. The moss glowed all around them. A white light ever so slightly tinted with green.

Rainer couldn’t help but be surprised, the same surprise as the goblins looking at them. An occasional wolf moved between caverns down below. Though, none anywhere near as strong as the wolves that attacked Rainer previously.

But a surge of Flame caused the Goblins to bow in reverence.  

The ball of Fire landed in front of the party. Elru couldn’t but be slightly startled at his entrance. When she staggered back, Theodore chuckled lightly, earning himself a glare.

“Welcome, Friend. I’ll bring you to the place of rest I have prepared. I brought along some maps and what we know of the North,” Furtak spoke as they headed down a stone staircase. Looking over the edge of the thin stone stairs and the dozen story drop caused Rainer a bit of a worry. That is until he realized the numerous tools he had to prevent such a fall.

“Where are the Ice Wolves?” Rainer asked. He immediately realized such a question was inappropriate, but Furtak answered.

“Returned to the wilds of the North. Without the correct Tongue, I doubt you could find them even if I pointed you in the correct direction.” Seeing Rainer’s unmasked surprise, he continued, “The healing spell you gave us. Already our best healer had used it to save a life. He only knew some incredibly simple light spells, but he was an old and well-practiced mage. With a strong Light Affinity. I always thought it is a shame he was forced down the path of a Fire Mage. It is why I instinctively asked for Light.”

“And the other?”

“I have already confirmed it to be genuine. It will take a considerable amount of time, but to even have the Great Fire Sage’s true inheritance is more than enough. What do I owe the pleasure of such an early visit?”

“It’s a stop. We plan on heading to the Arachne Tunnels next.”

Before Furtak could give his thoughts, Theodore than asked a question, seeing the glowing moss all around.

“How do you get the moss to grow here?”

“Theodore. That’s something to be traded. We can discuss spells,” Rainer spoke before Furtak could. He saw the Goblin was truly overjoyed at the two spells he had gotten and prepared to answer. A perfect opportunity to solidify an alliance, he thought.

Furtak opened his eyes in surprise but recovered. The moss was something that ultimately depended on the secrets of the Druidic Magic Tongue. A secret he thought Rainer would have little use for. He felt slightly bad about taking advantage of that fact but decided to bring out his own tribe’s spells in return. He had built upon the Great Fire Sage’s notes in his centuries of life.

“Then let us head down,” Furtak spoke before turning aflame.

Rainer realized his folly and covered his group in [Arcane-Wind’s Ascent]. Elru disguised herself as a normal middle-aged woman, and so was carried by Rainer’s magic once more. 


Sometime earlier at the Baron’s mansion, Yarik spoke with the individual earlier detected by Theodore.

“What do you mean gone?” Yarik asked one of Mier’s second tier experts.

“They are just gone…no one saw them leave. But food, a maid often left them, was ignored. I did not wish to check, but I believe they slipped away.”

Yarik only sighed. There was nothing he could do if they already left. It’s possible they vanished right after their meeting. He would stay here for some time. His Guild members seemed to believe the negotiation was true, but only time would tell.

The mysterious Magus. His powerful Guards. The Wolfkin that was far too similar to the royal line. Such a figure couldn’t be left unfollowed, especially given the sensitivity of the situation in the North. But now, Yarik could only bide his time and hope they returned.


Near the border between the kingdom of Mier and Lancost a meeting took place. Maya, a loyal agent of Yulia’s, sat across a dark cloaked, hooded man. She had reached here through a nearby Fairy Ring.

A small bag was in his hand. He opened the contents and after several minutes of careful inspection finally spoke.

“How much then, are you offering?” He did his best to hide the excitement in his voice. He failed.

“For the death of the 2nd Tier Magus, 10 of what is in your hand. And a Fruit of the World Tree. For the return of the Fairy he carries, double.”

The man practically held his breath at the offer. Looking down at the token of the Blood Soul Guild Master Maya brought, he didn’t dare rob her as she revealed the larger bag under her cloak. It clearly displaying the same trace of magic.

“Our group will be carrying out the task with haste.”

“One last requirement, I will travel with the group, and upon finding the target we will wait 1 day, otherwise no deal,” Maya added. She was to notify the Fae Queen once they were a day away from Grimlar’s Pass. At which point Yulia would risk her escape. Getting in and out wasn’t the problem.

The [Archon] was a rare case. If Maya wished to escape the mage in front of her, she could with ease given the strength of her Glamour.

The mage stared at her for a moment. It was clear she was going to contact whoever was providing the dust once the target was found. However, in combination with the token she possessed and the reward offered, he decided to go along with it. If they were capable of betraying the Blood Soul Guild, they wouldn’t need their services in the first place.

 

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A note from Aternus

Thanks to the kind offers of several readers I have decided to open up a Patreon account, with the link right below here. I don't plan on artificially lowering my release rate, so until I reach a point where I am far enough ahead of my 18,000-word goal to create proper rewards, I'm afraid I cannot offer anything beyond my continued hard-work. XD 

Thank you so much to all my patreons, XD

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy my story! 

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Aternus

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bob16 @bob16 ago

Thanks for the chapter 

Seneschal @Seneschal ago

Excellent work as always Aternus, thank you.

Anom
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Anom @Anom ago

thanks for the chapter

 

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