The Arcane Emperor

by

Aternus

Chapter 41: A Trade

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A note from Aternus

Current Word Count for past Week: 14,800/18,000

Current Word Count for the Week: 0/18,000

AN: Sorry for the delay.

Thank you, everybody for the great support, seeing my story become #1 at Christmas time was a crazy surprise. You guys are the best XD

Anyways,

Enjoy.

 

ETA: Late Monday EST

Rainer thought for a moment as he looked at Elru across from him. His questions were numerous, but he started with what interested him the most.

“Let’s start simple, how strong is your Queen.”

“I would prefer you not call her my Queen. Her name, Yulia, is already more than she deserves…” Elru rubbed her forehead after collecting herself, “I’m sorry. Her rise to the Throne was not a pleasant one. Every 50 years we take a Trial given by the World Tree to decide our ruler. I was the guard assisting one of the candidates of the Winter Court. There is an agreement among courts not to kill one another during the Trial, but Yulia…She broke it many times over,” Elru did her best to control her anger but mostly failed.

“Yulia entered the Trial at the last moment, alone. It was not completely uncommon for loose Fae to attempt the trial but none ever passed the first portion and went on to the competition part. Yulia did. Her first primary class is [Wind Seeker], a 2nd Tier Class, and has a wind-touched Mana never seen before. Not too unlike yours, that’s laden with strange energy, though certainly weaker. I know not her current level nor anything beyond her primary class.”

“No one can see through her [Appraisal] defense?” Rainer knew from Luna and his own experience with Fae that higher leveled one’s [Appraisal], the better they can block attempts.

“No…this is the strange part. But it does not matter now. Her class limits her only to wind magic. It shall be easier to counter her in the next trial....”

Not that it matters for my sister…

Elru thought.

“Why doesn’t she come directly for me?”

“The moment Yulia leaves the World Tree’s protection, numerous Fae are waiting to kill her. She is powerful, but that was within the scope of the trial and as an unknown factor willing to fight to the death. Might I ask why she is so keen on you?”

Elru did not even think it related to Luna. Her thoughts that perhaps Yulia had somehow gotten this [Archon] to agree to help her with the next trial. And then going back on the deal. But Elru’s skill had revealed that he considered Yulia his enemy.

“I’m afraid not. But know I’m more than keen on killing her, even if I need to pull out the roots of that damned tree,” Arcane naturally infused into his voice. The wooden floors and glass windows shook at his words. The fear Luna felt for just one of the Fae who assisted in her experimentation, gave him more than enough anger at the World Tree he now knows is protecting the Fae Queen.

Most Fae would be offended deeply by such a statement, but given Yulia was directly responsible for keeping a Fruit of the World Tree out of her hands, at the Tree’s very protection; Elru was not among them. Recalling his title, [One who defies Divinity], and feeling the power of the Arcane in the air, a part of her believed his statement.

“You clearly aren’t hiding your hate for Yulia, why did you accept her request?” Calming himself, Rainer asked.

Elru’s clear blue eyes look downwards. She sighed and remained silent for a few seconds before answering, “She promised me a Fruit of the World Tree in exchange, but in the end, the prospect of a captive Fairy tortured for dust is not something I can allow…”

As she said the last part she recalled a question she asked the [Archon]. In all honesty, it wasn’t a fair question; whether he had any thoughts about Luna’s dust. Everyone’s thoughts would stray. Perhaps when first meeting her, his thoughts would lean in that direction at least a single time. Yet such was not the case. He never had any thoughts in that direction, greatly surprising her.

“Why do you need one?” Rainer already knew the answer but hearing this he decided where he’d lead this conversation.

Kara refused the Fruit. Gunthar likely couldn’t use it; he wasn’t even able to eat nor did he have an advancement quest. And Luna had centuries of life remaining. By then, Rainer knew he could acquire more, or have her, or the Wyvern, strong enough to where it wasn’t even an issue.

“My sister, she is reaching her last years. Perhaps it is confusing to a human, but us Fae live for hundreds and hundreds of years, to most, it is not worth preparing for the 2nd class trial for a relatively small increase. My sister was among many who while reaching level 25, did not train or practice too strenuously, enjoying life. Even still, if I can prevent her death… Originally by assisting in the trial for the Winter Court, I would have received a Fruit. But my performance, resulting in the death of my charge at Yulia’s hands…..”

“I have a Fruit,” Rainer simply mentioned as he took it out of his Spatial Ring. In part, he tested whether she could control herself.

Elru’s eyes opened wide as she stared at Rainer. Given her new knowledge of a human who did not even have a second thought at taking a Fairy’s dust, she did not even float a single thought of taking it by force.

“I imagine you have a point in telling me this?”

Rainer grinned and spoke, “I want your body.”

She showed a shocked look on her face for a moment before preparing herself. Luna, however, answered first.

“Rainer already has the most beautiful Fairy, yet he wants two!”  Luna said while lightly pulling at his hair, “Luna doesn’t agree. Rainer needs more variety.”

“It was just a joke, Luna. Elru, I want you to act as our guard for a year, train Luna in some fairy skills she lacks, and let me study the Runes on your body. Then the Fruit is yours.”

Elru breathed out a sigh of relief, slightly annoyed that she considered the previous request seriously.

“I accept.”

“Good, we can talk back at where we’re staying. There are plenty of rooms in our section of the Baron’s mansion, given we lack a house…” He put away other questions for now, given Elru would be staying with them.

“I suppose I am in the wrong in this, I should not have acted so hastily and prepared an ambush in your home…”

“It's fine; I tend to overreact, I’m glad there was no permanent damage. Is your companion alright?”

In the first place, he had forgotten about the items stored in the mansion, so he was quite aware at his overreaction no matter who was waiting for him. He still needed to study the [Mana Storage Ring] a bit more before replicating it in [Sleep Learning].

Though, he soon noticed that Elru had one, giving him a pleasant surprise.

“She is recovered. I sent her home. She had only accompanied me to help track you.”

“Track me…how did you do that in the first place?”

“It is surprising. I do not think there are greater magical trackers than the Fae, yet your Mana prevents us entirely. I cannot even notice the presence of your Fairy either. We use miniscule traces of your strange Mana left at wherever you cast magic to track you. Even those nearby, when you cast magic, can have residual traces remaining on them.”

“Can you teach me?”

“A bit. I am not very skilled at it, I only know the basics for tracking.”

“We can discuss it later.”

Rainer had used [Mana Reading] the entire time and found her telling the truth, at least by his standards. He began to suspect his inability to read George was a coincidence, rather than George controlling his Mana. Especially given the strength of Elru, yet her not doing the same thing.

“I had some stuff stored at the mansion. We’ll stop by there and then to the Baron’s,” Rainer said.

“I shall accompany you then,” Just as Rainer got up to leave Elru spoke again, “Might I ask about those two undead who travel with you?”

“Yeah, is that a problem?”

“No…they are just a bit strange.”

“Don’t let the bones fool you; both may as well be living,” Rainer chuckled recalling when it came to Wyvern’s both Father and Son were more alive than anyone.

Seeing Rainer walking out of the store without conflict, the group dropped their guard as he waved them off.

“For the time being we have a new member of our group,” Rainer said pointing at Elru who followed behind him. To anyone but Rainer, her Glamour showed her as an average middle-aged woman with long brown hair and brown eyes. A far cry from the beautiful White-haired Elru.

As they walked to the Baron’s mansion Rainer explained the situation. However, Elru added a point toward the end.

“I must confess, I did not intentionally write the letter in such a language. I had been studying a certain book recently added to the Fae Archives, and I forgot to switch the language of my writing, to the native tongue of this area.”

To Elru’s surprise a deep, yet interested, voice emerged from one of the heavily armored and cloaked undead.

“That language was quite intriguing, might I ask what you were studying?” Theodore asked.

Calming herself at the prospect of a fully sentient undead that was not a [Lich], she talked with Theodore as the group moved forward.

“I was merely studying an old journal trying to determine who wrote it. The alphabet, well I can’t even it call it as such, was so foreign it piqued my curiosity. I do not think the contents would interest you…”

“How could they not,” Theodore responded in high spirits, “I have never seen a language even close to that, and I know 3 dozen. Well, more now…”

Elru long since noticed with her [Magic Detection] that these undead served under Luna. She assumed the 3 dozen were from his time among the living.

“Scholars of the other races had always impressed me with their ability to learn languages. My Fae skill is convenient, but I feel as if I lack something when reading.”

Elru recalled the contents of the journal, and what intrigued her most was her attempt at guessing the race of its writer. The years described meant they either extended their lives significantly, beyond anything seen before by Elru, or were a longer-lived race.

Most longer lived races had a singular language. They had dialects but wouldn’t be different to such a degree.

As the party carried on, none having an interest in the conversation between Theodore and Elru, Rainer operated [Soul Detection]. He nearly walked into a food stand before being pulled away by Theodore. Much to the gratitude of the stall owner.

“Rainer, detection skills are quite useful but extending yourself to such a degree…I am more than capable of handling such things. You must preserve your strength for when it is needed.”

Rainer nodded. He had been aware in [Sleep Learning] more often than not as of late. And constantly using [Soul Detection] in his waking hours took a mental toll. One he didn’t fully need with Theodore, who as an Undead lacked any fatigue from this. But even still, the very first Fae he fought left Rainer with a decent amount of paranoia, given her ability to avoid detection.

Reaching the ruined manor, Rainer noted that nothing had been cleaned. The mansion was nearly entirely destroyed, though most of the damage focused in the center, leaving just small parts singed around it.

“I can go by myself,” Rainer said as he moved forward. With his 59 Constitution and the overcoat itself, which had the strength of a normal armor, he had little fear from possible debris that may fall on him. Though, not even Luna’s [Appraisal] could tell what the coat was made of.

He rushed to where the backroom would be and found the crates that had the mithril armor and blades. The boxes collapsed at his touch, burnt entirely, but the mithril inside seemed undamaged. The enchantments, however, were no more.

He took all the mithril into his rings before leaving, glad he could just borrow Elru’s [Mana Storage Ring]. Given that the mithril was fine apart from ash covering it, he considered it a lucky conclusion.

“Elru, can I borrow your [Mana Storage Ring],” Rainer asked as he wiped ashes off himself and headed back to the group.

She was a bit confused but handed it over with little issue.

[Mana Storage Ring: A ring capable of Storing Mana. Current Capacity 46/250]

“I had been meaning to ask, but could you refill it? If I refill it with my own Mana, I won’t be able to use it for consumption. Fae Mana is slightly different as I imagine you know,” Elru said.

Rainer immediately realized why a Fae would be carrying such a ring. He also assumed the Mana previously here had been used to heal the damage caused by his magic.

No one, however, mentioned the obvious strangeness then by how Rainer feeds Luna. If Elru could take it from a ring, it was reasonable to assume it did not have to be directly injected into Luna.

“It may take me some time to refill it, I’m only modestly skilled in enchanting,” Rainer, of course, did not have any skill in enchanting but planned to gain it overnight. With such a test subject, that could be readily studied, he intended to engross himself in understanding her runes and hopefully finding a way to create them on Kara in one way or another.

Different from before, he could look at them in use.

He had some thoughts to save his enchanting levels, especially the second level he easily gained with [Archon], for an enchanting class. But he abandoned this idea, now having someone like Elru around.

In the end, if I lack experience I can hunt some Monsters…

By having two tireless undead as guards, monster hunting became a far less dangerous task. Whether it be large packs or night ambushes, the combination of Undead guards and [Soul Detection] made what should be a high-risk job, an easy experience source.

Monsters were also quite skilled at evading Detection abilities and had a high sensitivity to the strength of others. Kara’s hiding of her demonic half and Rainer’ low Mana prevented that boar they faced long ago from fleeing long before they noticed it.

[Soul Detection] rendered many abilities for hiding, useless.

And If Theodore’s legend about Demons proved true in this world, Rainer wouldn't lack for sources of experience.

He had regretted in the past, not abusing [Sleep Learning] to its full potential. Realizing now, he almost made the same mistake again.


Back at the Baron’s Mansion Rainer expended 110 Mana but managed to fill the ring by 3 Mana, surpassing the ratio. The [Archon] class offered quite the helping hand, alongside his level 4 [Mana Manipulation].

[Skill Gained: Mana Object Transfer lvl 1/10]

[Mana Object Transfer: Transfers Mana between oneself, or another source of Mana, into an object. ]

[Mana Object Transfer has reached level 2]

“I was just testing something out, I’ll fill it up fully later,” Rainer said handing back the ring to Elru, who had no reason to doubt him. She had just left the room she picked a few doors down his.

“I’d like to get started studying your runes right away,” He could barely contain himself. If he could master such a technique everyone would be receiving an improvement, himself included.

“Might we do it in private?” Elru asked a bit nervously. Many of the Runes and Runic lines were not in the best of places. They were done by a Female [Grand Fae Enchantress].

“You don’t have to disrobe or anything; I can study them fine so long as they’re activated. Rather I’ve already studied them when they were inactive, and it wasn’t too useful,” Rainer said. Though, in truth, it was beyond useful, just not for recreating them on another person. It only helped him alter his Runic lines in [Arcane Awakening].

They all entered the shared room of Rainer, Kara, and Luna; everyone a bit curious at the functionality of Elru’s runes.

“Then I shall start with a simple ability. Unfortunately, I used up the powerful version to block your spell, but this is a more general one,” As Elru spoke a Rune in the center of her back lit up, the lines tracing down to her stomach.

A tight bubble of Mana surrounded Elru as a shield. Far different from Rainer’s defensive ability.  She held her arms slightly out, as to not hide any of the Runic lines. Her height was almost half a foot shorter than Rainer, at 5 and a half feet. Having removed her mithril and leather armor, she only wore a magically constructed light blue blouse and tight black pants with bare feet.

He used [Arcane Sight] as he followed the lines which lead to another rune in her navel. Rainer realized that the other Fairy he studied lacked this one. It likely formed depending on the Rune used.

It’s a shit version of my Mana Output Rune.

Compared to the one he modified for [Arcane Awakening: Final Arcanum] this was like a toddler’s scribbles. Shaking away the distraction, he followed the lines back to the rune resembling parts of his [Mana Shield] spell, this one, however, was far more advanced.

“Another,” He simply said while staring the Mana Output Rune. Its form slightly changed as the Runic lines lit up across her body and then circled back to the center. He studied this Rune far more carefully as he had never seen anything like it before.

“A general body strengthening, based on various [Fae Enchanter] gifts. With my mana capacity and skill in using Runes I am one of the few who has effects similar Gift of Lightning and Gift of the Giants in one. The way the Rune is designed is that it can work in tandem with a Gift cast on me, given one is spirit magic and another is Runic based.”

Rainer’s face did not lack surprise. He now knew why the four Fae he fought earlier were relatively weak. With how quickly he killed the [Fae Enchantress] he practically crippled them from their usual power.

“Aren’t you telling me a bit too much?” He was, of course, happy about the information but didn’t understand her motives to give out so much.

“You are an enemy of Yulia and hold no greed toward your Fairy Companion. I see no reason to hide this information,” Rainer didn’t know the history of the Fae and how much him not coveting Luna’s fairy dust in the slightest, truly meant.

Of course, were she to ask about other Fae, she would not be too happy. Rainer’s thoughts back when he assumed all Fae as his enemy varied from his view of Luna.

“Another.”

A spear formed in Elru’s hand as a Rune lit up there. Once again, the Mana Output Rune changed and the lines now only reached across her shoulder and down to her hand. Several other Runes lit up in concert.

He now knew for sure why studying the ones, not in use, had limited practicality in replicating them.

They were designed to change.

“Another.”

Two runes lit up on each of Elru’s slim thighs,

“It might be better to demonstrate these,” Elru said while jumping in the air as a small burst of mana escaped her feet. The burst sent her over to the left. She repeated this a few times dashing across the air before landing.

“Even with wings such a movement is far more useful,” She added already seeing the question he wanted to ask on Rainer’ face, “With practice, it can even be used on the ground. Each of these Runes grants a skill to be trained, alongside a general one.”

“Hold this one for as long as you can,” He said with great interest. Having [Void-walking], he was more interested in creating something like this for Kara.

Though, when he had the time he would gladly create more skills for [Arcane Awakening]. Gaining the second level with such skills could be an easy source of experience, even for more useless ones.

She continued to maintain this form until her Mana pool reached a third.

“Such Runes are meant for quick bursts,” She added slightly fatigued.

“So what exactly are the lines made of?” He looked at her hand and noticed a difference from the other Fairy. Elru’s lines were practically invisible when not in use.

Recalling the explanation given by the other Fae he interrogated, he realized he had been led down a pointless direction. Discussing the study of [Faraan Runic Language] and other factors related to the [Fae Enchanter] and Runes, rather than an actual step by step explanation.

At the time, he was seeking to improve [Arcane-Awakening] and unknowingly for the Fae; his tangent would later save Rainer’s life. 

“Blood infused with Mana. I had at one point in my youth wanted to be a [Fae Enchantress] before I discovered my love for combat. I can show you the process. The blood can be of any sort, though the stronger the Magic of its holder, the better. Yours might be quite effective with that peculiar mana. But…they are not very useful without the class bonuses provided by becoming a [Runic Knight]. They simply require far too much mana to use without it.”

Easily fixed…

Rainer even had thoughts on how to alter Elru’s Rune given its poor efficiency. But despite his interest in seeing his capabilities, he would not afford her such trust as of yet.

Even now he prepared to Void-Walk at a moment’s notice. The spell itself, outside of the looseness of that space, cost a decent amount. It didn’t change too much at close range. It now cost 21 Mana, after his class bonus.

“Even still, the study helps me with my magic.”

Elru nodded, and Theodore had already told Gunthar to fetch a bowl. To someone like him, the prospect of such a foreign magic controlled his entire focus. Even at the height of his interest, his [Soul Detection] never wavered. Gunthar already returned after a few seconds.

They often placed their dishes at the end of the long hall to be taken and washed. With Luna’s [Appraisal] and the attributes of Kara and Rainer, poison presented little concern in receiving food here.

Gunthar handed over the bowl and a steak knife. Rainer sighed as he sat down and began to lightly cut his hand, squinting as he prepared for the pain.

Surprisingly he felt none. Looking down, he noticed the knife that ran across his hand didn’t even cut him.

“Kara, could you handle it,” He asked, just now recalling such a thing wouldn’t be easy with his new Constitution. He could still cut himself but didn’t want to overdo it.

Elru had confusion visible on her face, no longer covered with a Glamour since coming here. She now fully [Appraised] all his items and while shocked at them all seemingly functioning together, her focus landed on his overcoat.

She knew not what Arcane Attunement was, but for any attribute to be that high, she had a new sense of the man in front of her. Of course, under the assumption that his Constitution resulted from the coat. Her [Appraisal] did not reveal his attributes leaving her to guess that the coat gave him his durability.

The truth, however, of his +1 to all attributes, would be even more shocking

“Remember this feeling, for it shall happen many many times and at far higher degrees,” Gunthar spoke as if speaking to a junior, preparing them for the road ahead.  

Kara dragged her finger across Rainer’s hand, using her [Aura Blade] so that force was no longer an issue. Different from [Arcane Blade] the wound wasn’t cauterized.

The pain was not high with his resistance. He poured the blood into the bowl. Looking at it with [Arcane Sight], he saw faint traces of his Arcane Power laden Mana. Losing none of his Mana Pool, he asked a question.

“Where does the Mana in the blood come from?”

Theodore walked over as he chanted a healing spell. Luna had the sensibility not to use her flame, much to the surprise of Rainer who forgot to remind her.

As the spell cast, he answered, “The Mana naturally affects all parts of your body. Mages can use this effect to expand their lifespan though I know not the exact method nor reagents required. I imagine you’ll find several ways in all the notes you collected, for it was a secret kept amongst the towers. The less Mana you have, however, the less useful. Such resulted in my own choice to not join a Mage Tower. In any case, I imagine the resources used made it pointless to spread. Only 2 or 3 of the highest ranked in Mage Towers lived beyond both a Sun Elf’s, and 2nd Tier Lifespan reward to a noticeable extent.”

Rainer had not yet gone through all the notes and tomes he collected from the 9 Mage towers, but hearing this he likely had solved one of his problems.

He knew Mage Guilds of this world had a similar technique, it wasn’t a hidden thing, and he had long since learned it from his talks with Luna. It hardly could be, when Human Mages lived far longer than they should.

“Sun Elf?” Elru asked confused.

“Me and my son are Sun Elves,” Theodore responded.

“But how…Sun Elves live such a great distance from here, without a Fairy Ring I could not even imagine…” She looked toward Rainer and now knew that perhaps his abilities exceeded even her highest estimates.

“There are other Sun Elves on this world?” Theodore blurted out by mistake before Gunthar could stop him. 

Hearing such a possible secret, Elru pretended not to have heard anything at all.

She sat across from Rainer and placed her hands over the bowl. Rolling up her pants she revealed her leg. Flaring all her runic lines for a moment, she showed a lack of them on her foot.

“The one time use Rune was here; it is a life-saving method incorporating both a shield and an increase in flight speed. You can only fly during its use and shortly after, limiting the combat uses. But such intentional restrictions strengthen the magic.”

Rainer nodded. It seemed that the restrictions he needed to add on to make an item more effective at a lower price were more practical rather than just a limitation of the Trial’s item creation.

“I can demonstrate an example for you. I’ll do a simple one-time use Rune for a burst of speed, restricted to flying. With my skills, it won’t be very strong. A Runic formation like the one that gives me a similar effect to Gift of Lightning and Gift of The Giants took 2 weeks of constant work from a skilled [Grand Fae Enchantress]. That was with the help of some expensive Mana crystals and additional reagents to strengthen the blood used.”

“That’s fine,” Rainer added.

He was wondering how it would connect to her Mana Output Rune, but she answered his question.

As the clothes were magical constructs of her creation, all it took was her finger to open several paths toward the Mana Output Rune.

Gunthar turned around muttering, “Can at least one person who joins us not have such…habits…” He sighed as he spoke further, “Those who hold out their hands in prayer cannot choose the miracle that comes to them,”

Kara giggled at Gunthar’s reaction, given Elru had shown so little skin. Theodore did not join him this time as his interest in the process overwrote his concerns.

“I should note, Archon, I have never seen anyone other than a Fae learn the skill. We have in the past traded with Mage Guilds, back when we had friendly relations, but they had never come close to succeeding. I do not know the reason…perhaps it is our races Magical Nature…the same goes for using it on non-Magical Races,” She had been slightly hesitant in revealing this but had no plans on hiding it.

“It’s fine. I’m not going to cancel on our deal. Your protection for a year and teaching Luna how to use Glamour is more than enough.”

Elru smiled lightly before moving on with the enchantment. Rainer watched carefully with his [Arcane Sight] as she dipped her hand in the blood.

He noted the flow of Mana in her finger, and on the tip of it. Placing her finger on her foot, she began drawing the rune. The originally red blood faded into a silver appearance. Tinged with violet, the color differed from her other lines.

Luna, on Rainer’s head, watched as well.

Elru’s hand nearly fumbled as she noted this change, but continued. She recalled Gunthar’s words and thought to herself.

Looks like there was some truth to them…

After finishing the Rune, she reached for more blood and continued to do so when needed.

She moved back and forth between the now revealed Mana Output Rune on her stomach and the Rune on her foot. The Mana Output Rune, looked far different than when it was in use, resembling a Rune that simply denoted Mana.

The newly formed Runic lines lit up, not in their usual light blue, but a darker one, leaning toward indigo in color. The Arcane power of Rainer’s Mana showing effect.

Elru needed a moment to calm herself at how stronger her originally simple Rune became. She then adjusted the Mana Output rune in the center.

Finishing, the light died down leaving faint silver lines, with a touch of violet.

“To form the enchantment the basis is that one needs to imagine the purpose in their minds, guide that purpose with their Mana, and then match it to a proper Rune. Before altering that Rune to work on the Body. The final step is adjusting the Mana expenditure. It’s generally a safe process, though we practice it on magical bark from Mana-Touched Trees. They can absorb any out of control Mana or Magic to a degree. I don’t know how you can practice, but I’d highly advise not to use your Fairy.”

Rainer gave an annoyed look at her thinking he’d use Luna for practice. But this only made Elru quite content.

She decided to demonstrate the one-time use enchantment. Such a new result interested her.

“I’ll demonstrate the Enchantment’s use,” Elru said but noted Rainer was almost in a trance as he thought over what he saw, “at another time,” She added now seeing him taking out several pieces of paper from his Spatial Ring.

“How about I teach you how to use Glamour in the meantime, Luna?” She asked the Fairy relaxing on Rainer’s head.

Surprisingly Luna flew over immediately. Showing a motivation like when she learned how to use her flame to consume magic.

The rest of the party left the room, to engage in their daily training.


Rainer finished his notes as night came. He wrote down and analyzed the way Elru channeled mana through her finger. The Mana within almost seemed to form several different runes as she wrote a single Rune on herself.

It seemed not even she was fully aware of her actions.  

[i]That may be why no one else could learn it. It’s something Fae might naturally do. It may even be related to the talent to communicate with spirits and use Spirit Magic. Of course, she could be hiding something…but [Mana-Reading] showed no lies.

He didn’t dare attempt something like that in reality. Especially given how different his Mana was. Images of his fingers blowing up floated in his mind. He wasn’t looking forward to it that much in [Sleep Learning] either.

[23:21:45]

Rainer noted the time as Kara walked in. Luna flew in after her, though with her eyes practically closed, she flew into his coat without a word.

“Did you figure anything out?” She asked noticing he was no longer in his fever of writing.

“Far more than intended,” He would eventually share this knowledge with his party but telling Elru, and subsequently all Fae, was not on the list.

“How was training?”

“Elru…Is strong,” Kara said. The distress, however, was clearly on her face.

Seeing the door closed Rainer added some comfort for Kara in this regard, “I figured out why no one else could use Body Enchantment in the past. It shouldn’t be a problem for me; the only question is getting it to be fueled by Aura instead of Mana. Plus, getting it on a body not of Fae origin. But I have hope.”

In the end, his confidence came from the [Archon] class. If the skill existed and a human could learn said skill, it would help him.

“Then?” Kara’s face lit up at the prospect of having similar powers to Elru’s enchantments.

“I may be able to enchant you, though I’ll need something to practice on first. I should probably learn the Fae Variety before anything else. I can at least practice the skills needed for it in [Sleep Learning] even if I can’t test it out here.”

Kara immediately hugged him. She was of course, aware of the gap in their strength. And while it was related to Death Magic, being left behind in his fight with the [Arch-Lich] had affected her. His conversation with Theodore that she very much heard didn’t help the situation.

 “Why do you think I agreed to give her a Fruit? Even if this doesn’t work, I’ll figure something else out. I see how hard you train; I’ll help with that.”

Kara grinned, intent on rewarding him. Rainer slept without the aid of Luna that night.


Entering the white void of [Sleep Learning] Rainer thought over what he would practice first. As always, he maintained [Arcane Awakening] at 100% the whole time he was here.

Unfortunately as a non-Magical Race I can’t use myself to practice on…From [Demon Anatomy] I know Demons are partially a Magical Race.

However, such a thought immediately caused Rainer to curse at his narrow-mindedness. He already depended on the [Archon] class to learn something that shouldn’t be possible for a human, and on top of that to try to make it fueled by Aura instead of Mana, why would he stop there?

Rainer began first with object enchantment, intent on seeing if there was a connection that could aid him.

He summoned his usual wooden box in front of him and created a [Mana Storage Ring] in his other hand. A surge of Mana flowed out of him as he repeatedly emptied and charged the ring.

[Mana Object Transfer has reached level 3]

The mass flowing of Mana had quickly improved his efficiency in a matter of minutes. He now stared at the transfer occurring with [Arcane Sight]. He monitored the loose Mana that would be lost in the transfer and quickly dissipated. He focused his [Mana Manipulation] on this loose Mana. Something made easy with [Arcane Sight].

After nearly an hour, and an immeasurable amount of Mana, both skills saw improvement.

[Mana Manipulation has reached level 5]

[Mana Object Transfer has reached level 4]

That should be enough for now.

He noted a roughly 1/17 Ratio.

General Enchantment, and Runic Engraving…

He recalled the two skills he now needed. Looking at the wooden box still in front of him, he thought of the first enchantment that should be learned, strengthening. It involved a single Rune and depended less on the complexities of enchantment but more on one’s mana control.

The stones that built Nalmar, came from the practice material of beginning enchanters. The longer lasting ones for buildings of greater importance came elsewhere.

With this, Rainer changed his mind, instead forming a block of stone. The wooden box would require far too delicate control to avoid destroying it. Next, one of the enchanted stones of Nalmar appeared in front of him. Without [Arcane Sight], examining an enchanted item involved far more effort.

He stared at the enchanted stone as he brought his hand over to the normal one. The simple Rune for strengthening formed within his mind as the very stone beneath his hand became a vessel for the Mana.

The whole object glowed blue for a moment. But shattered from the influx of Mana.

Any other new enchanter would never use such a reckless method. The book strongly told its readers to only practice under a teacher. One who can deal with the Mana going out of control. Alternatively, an item of a similar purpose.

Refreshing his body, not willing to pick out the pieces of loose stone in it, he tried again. Hundreds of attempts passed by. Only the first few resulted in explosions; the rest ended in the Mana simply fading away. 

But in a realm of infinite Mana, the class of [Archon], and no consequences, the result of even one lacking a talent in Mana, guaranteed success.

[Skill Gained: Runic Engraving lvl 1/10]

[Skill Gained: General Enchantment lvl 1/10]

New information flowed into Rainer as he understood more about enchanting. He quickly leveled both skills, by this time strengthening a far more fragile wooden box. He noted the technique for [Runic Engraving] may have use when forming the Runic lines for Body Enchantment.  

[Runic Engraving has reached level 2]

[General Enchantment has reached level 2]

I guess it’s time for that huh…

He thought with a bit of hesitation as he looked at his finger. Already knowing how to flow Mana through his body due to [Fire Breath], hope filled him. Hope that his fingers would remain intact.

Not understanding the full purpose behind the Runes that formed in Elru’s finger, he could only try and replicate Body Enchantment.

Creating a large bowl, Rainer cut open a vein that would kill any normal person. He filled up the bowl and healed his body. Refreshing himself would cause the blood to disappear.  

If this weren't the case, his attempts in learning [Combustion] would have filled the space with hundreds of his body parts.

He felt a bit dizzy, but his improved attributes under [Arcane Awakening] kept it at a managed level.

He mimicked Elru as best he could, flowing his Mana into his finger. Until the Body Enchantment began, no Runes were formed.

He let the Mana seep into the blood as he dipped his finger in. He looked at his stomach. Removing his shirt with the intention of drawing what seemed to be the most important part; the Mana Output Rune.

He couldn’t just directly draw the Rune the same as he would for a spell. They differed. A difference his [Archon] class bonus facilitated when he created his two branching [Arcane Awakening] skills.

Rainer paused for a moment, deciding to spend some points to level up [Human Anatomy] yet found the cost surprising.

70 points…

He took a moment to increase [Demon Anatomy] from level 6 to 7 at the cost of 6 skill points. Such was the plan in any case. The cost spiked for getting [Demon Anatomy] to level 8. [Human Anatomy] was not special.  

Looks like tomorrow night I’ll be making new spells…

Once he figured out how to level tier 4 magic, Rainer would have fewer worries about skill points. Creating new spells posed a small issue as well.

For now, he returned his focus to Body Enchantment.

Holding his Mana infused, blood covered finger, a Rune began forming in his finger.

He pulled more Mana towards the Rune as it seemed to require far more than he thought. The mana surged beyond his estimation. Unable to control the flow, his entire hand exploded.

Already prepared Rainer, refreshed his body before the pain truly set in, though it still felt unpleasant. Seeing the blood he gathered gone as well; he decided to start on forming the Rune before anything else.

He wanted to avoid pain. So instead, he tried to create a stable Rune with Mana in his head.

Unlike Elru who had an entire magical formula in her finger when writing the Body Enchantment, he focused on but a single Rune.

And this time, one he was far more familiar with, the primary one involved in Arcane Magic. It appeared on his forehead when casting [Arcane Awakening: Final Arcanum].

No longer suffering pain, he lost track of the number of times he died. The slightest influx of Mana meant failure. Evidence, that it was a natural ability of Fae rather than skill.

This did not deter him.  

Every few seconds he died from an explosion of Mana. The amount he could draw on in [Sleep Learning] was quite dangerous if in reality. Every attempt he grew closer to forming the Rune.

Close to the end of his [Sleep Learning] session he found success.

Looking at the Rune formed of his Mana, joy filled him. But realizing that without a proper target, like say an enchantment, the Rune soon went out of control once more.

He imagined if this was a part of a Fae’s natural abilities, the Rune would naturally fade. Returning to one’s body, the Mana would cause no harm.

With his body reformed and a new skill gained, Rainer attempted to draw the Mana Output Rune in the form needed for Body Enhancement. After a few failed attempts where the blood only burnt his skin, much to his discomfort, [Sleep Learning] had ended.


Rainer woke up with a smile on his face, despite that final bout of pain. He hadn’t been successful in enchanting himself, but the skill he gained, a skill that may not even exist for the Fae who naturally do it, was a welcome sight.

He didn’t discount the possibility that Elru kept this skill’s existence from him. But if he questioned her directly, he risked revealing his new secret.

[Skill Gained: Internal Runic Mana Formation lvl 1/10]

[Internal Runic Mana Formation: The ability to form Magical Formulae within one’s body using Mana.]

A secret that may extend beyond just Body Enchanting.

He needed to see Elru draw a Mana Output Rune before his next attempts. He imagined that such a thing wouldn’t be as simple as her previous demonstration.  

“Good Morning,” Kara, still in high spirits from Rainer’s plans, said. She as well noted the content expression on his face.

He kissed her, giving silent thanks for Luna’s fire that handled dental hygiene, before mentioning his success.

“The first stage and likely determining factor is done.”

Kara, who already had faith in his success, only nodded.

They both got dressed and headed out to see Gunthar and Theodore.

“We should head north today and see if we can hunt any monsters on the border,” Rainer said recalling the Yeti’s they hunted. He wished to level [Voidwalker] as well. He, however, had no thoughts on [Archon] receiving noticeable experience from this.

“A fine idea, we can head to the edge of the of forbidden land as well, see if you might gain something from it. We should not under any circumstances enter deeply, however,” Theodore said.

“Let’s stop by the tree first; I want to try and change Luna’s class. Where’s Elru?”

Rainer headed over to her room but, Gunthar stopped him.

“It would be best if Little Wolf woke her up, yes?”

After a few minutes, Kara dragged a sleepy looking Elru into the hall.

“What…do you want…” Elru mumbled while rubbing her eyes.

“Just letting you know we are heading North to hunt some monsters.”

Elru just nodded her head and escaping Kara’s grasp went back to her room.

“Rainer, wasn’t part of the deal for her to be a guard?” Kara said with a bit of laughter at how different Elru seemed now. Especially for a race that didn’t need to sleep. The two Fae they knew enjoyed it quite a bit.

Before he could respond, a fully armored Elru left her room.

“Pardon my previous state, I will accompany you on your hunt if need be,” An Elru, looking nothing like her previous sleepy self, spoke, “You should know, that apart from Yulia coming herself, she may not have many options to send against you.”

“If we are stopping by the tree, and the danger is lessened, should we not see if you can garner Gunthar another class?” Theodore said.

Activating [Mana Reading], Rainer clarified what Elru said.

“So, other Fae aren’t likely to come?”

“None that would be of any threat.”

Seeing she wasn’t lying, Rainer, however, still didn’t want to chance it yet. He thought there was still the possibility of more dangerous Fae coming, even if she was telling the truth. 

“We’ll hunt, for now, there is no rush.”

“Then let us be off,” Elru added, leading the way.

 

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Comments(284)

Misery's End @Misery's End ago

Cheers for the chapter!

Wow....

Etez @Etez ago

Noooo everyone is sooo fast.... Fucking phone....

MisterKaos @MisterKaos ago

Pretty early, huh?

Glad my sixth sense still works well enough, because RoyalRoad's subscription system sure as fuck doesn't...

tarrook10 @tarrook10 ago

It's out! It's out! It's out! Yippee! I'm like hmmm... late Thursday EST, it's pretty late... on a Thursday. Maybe I should check! Wahooooo~

bob16 @bob16 ago

they don't have to be long chapters... just frequent!

 

Draykevero @Draykevero ago

*silently puts pitchfork down on ground* Shhhhh... I would never kill our wonderful, kind, noble Author-sama... *tries to hide the cauldron of boiling oil behind me* 

...

What can I say I like my Author-samas deep-fried.......

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