The Arcane Emperor

by

Aternus

Chapter 42: A Ring's Value

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A note from Aternus

Word Count for the past week: 7,100/18,000 

Word Count for the current week: 0/18,000.(I'll get it this time!!!)

Hey guys: Sorry for the slight delay, but I just hit an eta...woah.

Anyways,

Enjoy.

ETA: Late Saturday EST Timezone.

“I’ll wait out here,” Elru mentioned a bit awkwardly. The Baron had been far more aware than most when she interrogated him, capable of resisting. Even under a Glamour, Elru didn’t have a particular wish to appear in front of him.

Rainer agreed with her choice. No reason to explain another member of their group if they didn’t need to.

Knocking once, Rainer heard Charles’ invitation before entering.

“Good Morning,” Rainer said.

“Good Morning, Lor-Rainer,” Charles spoke, catching his mistake. He was about to speak more when he noticed the added presence of a third guard.

Immense…

Charles’ words got caught in his throat as he felt the new addition’s Aura. He had noticed him earlier but due to a certain pillar of flame didn’t get a chance to look closely. Noticing that both cloaked guards wore the same armor as was gifted to him, Charles remembered his original words.

“Rainer, it is good you came, I’d hope we might speak a moment,” Charles said rising from his desk.

Rainer waved his hand as a go ahead, not saying anything. A minor chuckle left him as he recalled the maids he passed by this morning, gossiping how their Lord never took off his new armor. How he would carefully avoid anyone as he walked lest a spec of dust fall on it, even refusing to let his servants clean it.

“You must know, I cannot accept any offer.”

Making his next declaration quite a surprise.

“Hmm? Charles that’s…”

“I am loyal to my king and country. I cannot pledge allegiance to another Nation. I am truly sorry, please, you may take back your kind gift.”

Is this about my presumed status? Does he assume I’m a prince or something?

Rainer thought for a moment, before deciding to tell Charles the truth. Rather, he had never lied much in the first place, only about his name. It was everyone else who made the assumptions of his status.

“Charles, I think you are misunderstanding something. I’m a wanderer, the thing about visiting my home, not true. It was just the easiest lie for the task I had to handle.”

“But…” Charles said looking at the people behind Rainer.

“My companions. We acquired the sets of armor in a dungeon some time ago. Kara doesn’t wear armor, so we didn’t have a use for it. We can earn money easy enough.”

Charles stared at Rainer’s hand. Wonder filled him as he imagined what sort of dungeon gave out a Spatial Ring. But he quickly shook away such a thought.

“Perhaps for this story in the future, you best hide your Spatial Ring. I’m afraid else none would ever believe it,” Charles smiled. Happy to see him tell such a tale so that he would keep the armor. A smile that reached his brown eyes.

“You recognize it?”

“My king holds the same ring. I know not of anyone but royalty and the Guildmaster of a Mage Guild who could have such an item.”

“Theodore,” Rainer said while stretching out a hand toward him. Understanding, Theodore took off his Spatial Ring and handed it to him.

“So…from a D-Dungeon…?” Charles mumbled out seeing the second ring. And a careful sensing of Magic told Charles that the second ring was Rainer’s original one. The new ring had a far larger degree of power.

“Dungeon,” Rainer confirmed.

Charles sat down at his desk, not able to fathom such a thing. He also noticed the strange enchanted coat Rainer now wore. He did not even have a chance to check the size of Rainer’s Mana Pool in his shock. Otherwise, they’d be witnessing a far larger reaction.

“Well, in any case, we came here to see if there have been any other Yeti sightings,” Rainer asked seeing Charles wasn’t going to speak anytime soon.

Charles just shook his head.

“We’ll be off then, heading out North to see if we might find any monsters. Oh, so there are no more issues, I merely wished for you to travel with us. Don’t worry about it, though, was just a fun thought. In the end, I just didn’t want to see you head to the Tree and not come back.”

Finished speaking, Rainer’s party left the office amidst a silent Charles.

“Gunthar, that is the man who invented the Aura tracking inscription?”

Gunthar nodded, sending Theodore deep into thought.

Meeting up with Elru the group left the mansion and headed toward the tree. As they approached Rainer gave a warning to Elru.

“Elru, it’d be best you don’t Appraise Luna after she changes classes. Fair warning, I will know if you do. Can I have your word on that?” He asked while operating [Mana-Reading]. It wasn’t entirely correct; that he’d know. But he imagined a class related to their Sacred Faerie Flame would cause a noticeable reaction in Elru.

At the very least, he could just ask if she ever did it with [Mana-Reading].

Several thoughts floated through Elru’s mind. Of course, the young Fae’s level was already high for her age. Added on was not only her strange ability to change sizes at will, but her actual size being far larger than her age would suggest. Finally, the struggle to learn even the most basic Glamour.

For Fae learning, Glamour involved their very nature. The mana for the simpler Glamours cost less than even a low Mana regeneration. Yet Luna struggled greatly with just the simplest of Glamours.

“You have my word,” Elru stated.

Rainer, confirming headed to the tree. Luna in pocket, as the rest of the group, waited a bit away.

Further words of affirmation became stuck in Elru’s mouth as she remembered Rainer’s age.

19…

Even with a human’s experience gain, his strength exceeded anything she had ever heard of. She reasoned the magic he used reached at least the fifth tier yet was cast at such speed.

And his Mana…

Elru thought as she looked at her leg. She was even disappointed Rainer had yet to ask for a demonstration, having a desperate desire to see the result of such a strange enchantment.

She looked over to Gunthar and wondered what other surprises laid in store for her.


George sat across a man who made him more uneasy than anyone else, The Hunter’s Guild Master. No Aura, no Mana, no detectable energy radiated off the unshaven man. Lazy green eyes and dirty blonde hair. An average appearance and a short stature, just under 5 feet and 3 inches. Dressed in plain clothes. Yet an unfathomable strength.

He’s the unassuming drifter that could end up being the death of your kingdom if wronged unknowingly.

“George, look I know I’m supposedly perfect for your little trip, but I can’t take that kind of risk, I’ve told you before. You know why the Hunter’s Guild can operate free from the influence of Kingdoms and mostly free of the Mage Guilds. If I don’t make it back…”

George nodded. There was little benefit and few means to challenge Matheus. He had no family nor close attachments beyond his Guild. Even then, it wasn’t as if any could hold the whole Hunter’s Guild, which covered from the North continent to the South, hostage. That would require multiple countries to act in concert.

Toward a group of people that protected the world from monsters, that kind of unity was unlikely.  Add that many of a kingdom’s 2nd Tier experts were once Hunters, and it was even less possible.

Such a powerful, yet unburdened man presented a nightmare for any would-be assailants. Matheus needed only escape, and then take revenge at his leisure.

He can’t fight a proper army alone, yet no throne room can hold an army large enough to stop him.

There would also not be any mage willing to step in, lest he makes the first move, given a past conflict that left a powerful Mage Guild Master slaughtered like livestock.

“Yes but…” George had no intention of revealing Rainer’s class, but he needed some way to mention the new addition, “How about this, you meet the friend of mine and then decide. I promise it isn’t the risk it once was…”

I hope…

“Fine…” In truth, Matheus did have an interest in the North. It was one of the few things that still interested him. But his Guild held a higher importance to him.


Luna paused as she was about to touch the World Tree. A gentle breeze carrying with it a winter’s chill, caused her silver hair to flutter in the wind. But she did not notice.

“Rainer…” A small voice escaped her.

He slightly furrowed his brows seeing Luna looking at him. Her eyes were slightly red, and sniffle followed her words.

“What’s wrong?”

“If I am not useful…” Luna quietly mumbled. She recalled the fight with the [Arch-Lich] and even last night as the patient Elru had nearly snapped at her after hours of trying to teach what should be an easy Glamour. In fact, many Fae didn’t even need to be taught and could often just copy the basic kind with ease.

And now Rainer wanted her to change to a new class.

Rainer only sighed as he looked at Fairy who seemed even smaller than usual in his hand. He recalled the story of the First Hero, perhaps one of the only stories she ever heard. The lightly falling snow and gentle sunlight reminding him about their escape from the mine.

“What happened to your faith in me?”

“I have faith in Rainer’s success but…”

Bringing the small fairy close to his chest he spoke, “What do you think, if one day your Flame disappears, I’ll just leave you behind? You are not a tool Luna; you don’t have to be useful…and you are not just some experiment for the machinations of that bitch Queen. You are my partner, my companion. I don’t care if you never fight again and just hide in my pocket. I’m taking you with me, whether you like it or not.”

The two stood there for a few minutes. Under the warmth of the World Tree, that radiated heat.

Sniffling a few times, Luna wiped away her tears,

“Luna will change her class now.”

She fluttered over on her own.

“Find something related to your flame.”

She was quiet as she looked through them, but she quickly found the one she wanted. She spoke of it to Rainer, and he immediately agreed.

After selecting it, she shared the class with him.

[Holder of the Faerie Arcane-Fire: True Faerie Fire holds within it the power of the Fae. No Magic can stand before its consuming Flame, nor can any light compare to its healing touch. Yet this Flame reaches beyond; it is empowered with the might of the Arcane, and with it imbues the Holder. 100% General Improvement to all Fae and Spirit Skills and Spells. 25% General Improvement to all Skills. 45% Reduced Mana Cost of the Faerie Arcane-Flame. +2 Intelligence, +2 Affinity, per level past 1]

Seeing the lack of stats for such an impossibly rare class, Rainer was all but certain; points went into a related hidden attribute.

“Hehe. Now Luna can say to Rainer no matter how much stronger Luna is than him or how much he teases Luna, Luna will keep him around,” She said, proudly puffing out her chest.

“Then maybe I should tease you more now while I can.”

“Luna was only kidding, only making a joke,” She hurriedly added after flying behind him.

Rainer and Luna returned to the party. She sat on his shoulder, covered in a Glamour she had previously failed at accomplishing, appearing as a small silver bird. Glamour worked best the closer it was to reality. For younger Fae, changing into birds was easier than trying to appear as a full-grown human.

Elru showed surprise at Luna’s success immediately following a class change but held back her curiosity to use [Appraisal]. Something quite difficult for most Fae, her included.

“Rainer, we talked about how we’ll hunt. With Elru’s flight and Glamour, we need only wait for her to return with a location. The usual issues of monster’s sharp senses will be irrelevant. The Yeti we faced, had they been in a normal state, would have never approached Gunthar unless they were sure in killing him, let alone me. And now with your increased Mana…But Elru solves this perfectly.”

Kara said smiling toward the Fae. Quite happy herself at the opportunity to close the gap between her and Rainer. Without Elru to guide them, who knows if she’d even gain experience on such a hunt.

Gunthar dejectedly shook his head, “As always, Sorcerer, to be able to gain experience so quickly…”

How often had he gone on hunts for days and yet found nothing worth any real experience? How much had he trained feverishly in his 52 years of life to reach level 25 as a Paladin? He had hope that on the monster hunt Rainer would experience just a touch of the difficulty leveling most faced, perhaps gain some understanding of the world.

And while he was always glad to see him get stronger, he couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed.

But Gunthar bounced back quickly. He even accosted himself for not expecting such a conclusion.

Seeing no disagreement, Elru shimmered in a Glamour and flew off into the Forest.

As the group walked in her direction, Theodore spoke first.

“I’ll handle guard duty; everyone else may do as they please.”

“Appreciate it,” Rainer said.

“And I was thinking. I’d stay behind in Grimlar’s pass when it is time to leave.”

“You aren’t going to wait for the Wyvern?”

“No, I’ll pass on everything you need to know, but Gunthar likely knows just as much as I on the subject matter, apart from a few more questionable methods. But it is your choice whether to use any; I will provide them in any case.”

“Be careful scouting, alright. There isn’t much you can do alone up there.”

“Scouting is part of the reason…another I am truly interested in the technique of that Baron.”

“I can learn pretty fast…”

“Yes, but he invented it! Even by mistake such an ability, and the application for such a discovery…In my passing time, while investigating the North, I’ll be training him. For such a treasure of man to die in his Trial, it would be a waste.”

Gunthar was originally disappointed at his Father’s choice, but hearing the excitement in his Father’s voice, he did not mind it much. He too liked the Baron and saw this as a good thing.

Heading into the forest, the party eventually reached a clearing before settling down.

“While Elru isn’t here, I have something to tell you,” Rainer said while confirming his statement with [Arcane Sight] and [Soul Detection], “Don’t ever leave her alone with Luna.”

“Rainer, I understand your issue with Fae, but,” Gunthar responded.

“Look. I’m sure Elru is a great person. But there is a chance she isn’t. Or that Luna’s Fire is something that overwrites her ideals. Either way, Luna’s current class is a bit too revealing. Just don’t leave her alone with Luna, I’m counting on you guys.”

“Of course, Sorcerer.”

“Okay, Rainer.”

Theodore signaled his agreement as well.

Finished with the discussion, Rainer sat against a tree and found Kara sitting in front of him right after. She leaned on him, facing in the same direction.

“Rainer?”

“Hmm?”

“Do you remember, shortly after you obtained Yalin’s ring and we entered a dungeon, I had told you of my mother’s?"

“Yeah?”

“My Father…and the Spatial Ring he gave my Mother, I hadn’t thought of it till now, but what do you think it means?”

“That he’s Royalty?”

She leaned back into him more. He wrapped one arm around her and another scratched her ears.

“Why do you think…he left me…” Kara whispered amidst the falling snowflakes.

Rainer sighed. His Father had a good reason, dying before he was born. At least, that’s what he was told.

“If he’s royalty, wouldn’t you be found out? He couldn’t have known that you could hide your demon half so well. I’m sure if he knew he would have happily taken you as his daughter. He gave your mom such a precious gift; he must have cared.”

Or she took it from him…

He thought.

“Do you mind if we stay like this as I meditate?” Kara asked.

“I’d like that.”

Gunthar already sat in meditation across from them, while Theodore looked out into the forest, operating [Soul Detection] and thinking about Charles’ skill.

As Kara begun, her meditation Rainer used [Arcane Sight]. Often, he filtered out the World’s Energy that was all around him, but this time he focused on it. He watched as energy entered and exited Kara. As the energy changed, he stared closely.   

Comparing her and Gunthar he quickly realized another benefit of her Half-Demon nature; She was twice as efficient. Both Aura pools operated at the same time, and while her Demonic Aura was hidden and not able to be used, it still received the benefit of meditation.

He returned to his thoughts. Spreading out [Void Detection] Rainer felt the omnipresent-Void. [Spatial Domain] followed, yet it was unable to grasp at the void at all. Even working the skill and spell in concert, it was as if each eye peeked into a different world.

He tried everything. Pulling at the Void with his will, infusing Arcane Into it, trying to use [Spatial Manipulation] as well. [Void-Walking] feel under Space-Time Magic but even [Spatial Manipulation] provided useless in his attempts.

Looking at Kara peacefully resting against him, he couldn’t bring himself to test out [Void-Walking] with [Spatial Domain] and so returned to a previous task.

With one arm still around Kara, he brought his other to the right. Holding it out to the side, a string-like Arcane Weave began forming. He still had some issues creating a string similar to a guitar’s, particularly giving it an ability to vibrate without causing significant damage.

He continued the task, creating the string in different ways, occasionally strumming it with [Arcane Energy Manipulation].

It relaxed him. He even felt like he was slightly recovering from the tiredness of recent days.


Elru returned an hour later, with news.

“I found a group of high-leveled Yeti, but they were quite strange...”

“They were led by a Goblin?” Kara asked, standing up from her meditation.

Rainer soon after described the group they had come across in the past to both her and Theodore.

“We should return and tell the Baron after we handle them. The question is what are they here for?”

“They are Goblins. Perhaps they are merely interested in raiding?” Gunthar asked.

Rainer recalled the notes he has on fire magic. While the other goblins he killed didn’t seem particularly intelligent there had to be some capable of proper strategy.

“Perhaps they are padding…” Kara said.

“Padding?” The translated word, of course, was familiar to Rainer, but the context made no sense.

“Do you think?” Only Theodore understood her meaning.

“It is a common tactic of m-Demons,” She fumbled slightly, almost mentioning my people “They’ll send out weaker raiding parties and just harass towns or cities. They’ll underrepresent their strength intentionally, and then once stronger people gather; they’ll assault the town for the experience. Were it not for us, there may very well be far stronger people now at Grimlar’s Pass. “

From a normal strategic standpoint, it was clearly not the greatest battle plan. But the strategy was bound to be different in a world of levels and of personal strength that rivaled armies.

“Martin did mention there are Goblin tribes to the North. Living in such a shitty place, I can imagine they’d want to get stronger…Either way, let's go finish off the Yeti.”

The party agreed, and apart from Elru, Rainer covered the entire group in an [Arcane-Wind’s Ascent]. Following Elru, he thought about leveling this spell. Out of all his tier 4 spells, this one was the closest to being tier 3. He had already leveled it twice while on auto-piloted [Sleep Learning] as proof.

Reaching the Yeti, Kara led the charge easily cutting through 4 of them. She had left the party. Due to the Mana needs of Gunthar and Theodore, they remained with Rainer and Luna in a party. Rainer killed the other 4 as Elru swept up the [Goblin Shaman], leaving him unconscious and taking him away from the battle.

Luna had reached level 4, while Rainer reached level 2 with [Voidwalker].  

[Voidwalker has been leveled up to Lvl 2/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]

Luna received 1 attribute and skill point for each level. Rainer could not yet determine if that would be the case for [Voidwalker].

“Elru, we’ll take the goblin back with us. Can you scout for a possible main force?” Rainer asked while draining the [Goblin Shaman] of Mana. He wore only furs and were it not for Rainer’s [Goblin Anatomy], he would not be able to tell the short green creature apart from any other.

“I shall,” Elru, while not an ally of humans by any means, but did not plan to ignore the innocent citizens in danger of such an attack on Grimlar’s Pass.

“Fly back immediately if you see even a hint. We don’t know what kind of power they have…” Rainer said while thinking of the creator of his powerful fire spells.

Elru was no stranger to the real strength of goblins as a studier of history. She needed not his warning.  

Rainer and the rest of the party flew toward the Baron’s Mansion. A swirling of Arcane-Wind surrounding them.


The [Goblin Shaman] sat tied to a chair in Baron’s office. Rainer slapped him a few times, awakening the fully mana drained Goblin. He looked around in a panic yet before Rainer could ask a question a previously hidden stone lit up on the Goblin’s chest, deeply embedded under his skin. A deep crimson color shined.

Theodore acted first, kicking the Goblin away and yelling out, “Run!”

Rainer instantly cast a [Holy Shield] behind the group and the Goblin exploded in a fire a few seconds later, engulfing the room. The blast caused them no damage, as Rainer empowered the shield.

Charles, seemingly unshaken, only gave a grin toward Rainer, “It seems you have a habit of burning down my property…”

Using [Water Manipulation] and [Fire Manipulation] in concert, Rainer easily put out the Flame. With the Baron’s office mostly covered in stone, it was not too difficult a task.

“I assume this is a bad sign…” Charles sighed.

He went for a messenger and explained the strategy of padding. Something Charles had never heard of prior to Rainer explaining the situation.

Given Charles’ war background, this surprised Rainer greatly though he understood, it was difficult to prove, let alone notice. In fact, He doubted Charles would receive a positive response, or any real support, beyond perhaps money for another bounty.

Rainer’s party returned to their room to wait for Elru’s return.


Elru came later that night, unsuccessful in her search.

“So, what now?” Kara asked.

“Elru how sure are you Yulia is out of options for now?”

“Quite sure, else she would not have sought my help. In truth, if I were unsuccessful she’d only be throwing away the little support she has.”

“I see no reason we can’t stay here for the time being. If we find the main force…” Rainer had no positive thoughts toward Goblins, despite his respect for whoever invented such fire magic.

“It’ll make for excellent Experience,” Gunthar answered with a mix of emotions once more.

“Exactly. And, so long as we aren’t in danger here there is no reason to rush south. I wouldn’t mind not walking. Besides, worst case scenario, I can fly us away.” Rainer added, given their only escape route was a tunnel through a mountain.

“Then let’s stay for the time being,” Kara added.

“Luna as you’ve made progress, how about we continue with stronger Glamours?” Elru asked.

Luna agreed, following Elru.

“Can I watch?” In part, Rainer was worried if she used [Appraisal], Elru might try something stupid if they were alone. Another part of him wanted to use [Arcane Sight] and see how exactly the Glamour was cast.

“I see no issue, but it will take some time until the explanation is done,” Elru sat in the corner of the room with Luna. She understood his reluctance to leave her alone with Luna. Though, she did not understand the exact reason.

Rainer agreed and then looked over to Gunthar and Theodore.

“Since we might get an influx of experience, Gunthar, you want to try becoming my Undead?”

Kara sat on the bed, returning to meditation, as Theodore grabbed the related tome from the Spatial Ring.

“I already studied to a degree. Raising an undead is one thing, but just connecting to Gunthar I’m confident in,” Rainer added seeing Theodore bring over the tome.

“Sorcerer…” Gunthar said.

Rainer, however, agreed with the implication, opening the tome.

The part on raising a Skeleton was relatively short. The hardest factor was drawing the soul back to work as the primary power source, controlled and bound by both Death Energy and Mana. The sooner after death the larger the chance. In fact, starting the magic on a living target, and killing them with Death Energy was the best method.

Rainer needed only to connect his Mana pool and Arcane-Death Energy with Gunthar. So long as he didn’t intentionally try to disable Gunthar, the energy posed no threat and was instead a boon.

After some time had passed, Rainer put down the tome. He paused. Realizing it might be best if he raised his own undead first.

“So, should we start?” Gunthar asked

“Wait. Let me trying raising an undead first. Do you think the goblin was killed recently enough?”

The explosion was outwards, doing little actual damage to the goblin beyond burns.

“Any time shorter than a day should be alright, let’s head over.”

Rainer notified Kara, who stopped meditating, and then headed over to Luna who was listening to Elru’s explanation.

“Luna, come along,” Rainer didn’t hide his intentions. Elru wasn’t offended and decided to go with the group as well. Such trust needed to be earned. And the Fae hardly had a good track record with Rainer, she thought.

Hurrying over to the Baron’s office, they found it had yet to be cleaned. Charles looked through the burnt papers seeing what could be salvaged. The Goblin’s corpse sat on the chair against the wall, a hole in its chest.

“Charles, I need to inspect the Goblin’s body, if that’s alright.”

“Good idea. But be careful, Rainer.” Charles said while holding his nose. He had yet to move the corpse in case of other traps.

In truth, no one was in real danger from the explosion. Charles and the other users had their Aura. Rainer had [Arcane Awakening: Shield Mode] if need be, Luna could wrap herself in her flame, and would also be protected by Rainer. And Elru had her lesser but still strong shield given her classes and level.

Taking the Goblin back to their room, Rainer prepared to raise his first undead. They had no choice but to close the door, given the nature of the experiment. Kara suffered the most.

“Kara, you mind?” He said holding his right palm to Kara. As she cut it, Theodore already prepared a healing spell as Rainer began drawing on the corpse. He drew a single Rune. This would help grant the connection to the goblin’s soul.

Placing his still cut hand on the bloody Rune, Rainer began channeling. The spell no longer requiring a chant after his modifications. Constantly operating [Soul Detection] he manipulated Arcane-Death and mixed it with the blood rune. Following a small loss of Mana, the attempt was unsuccessful.

He repeated it. He was performing the simplest of Necromancy raises and with his powerful [Arcane-Death Manipulation], he expected quick success.

The Goblin would likely lose all his levels, if not his class as well. After the 4th attempt, Rainer detected another Soul for the first time. The anger and resentment attacked him, stunning him for a moment.

[Skill Gained: Soul Resistance lvl 1/10]

He fully operated [Arcane Awakening], and was slightly puzzled at not gaining such a skill during his fight against the [Arch-Lich]. He refocused on the task at hand.

Were it not for him being a novice necromancer, his base attributes should have left him unaffected by such a weak soul. But now, he did not even have to resist the soul's attacks actively.

On his 5th attempt, Rainer grasped the soul and bound it to the Rune. The Corpse rose. A rune spread the initially concentrated Arcane-Death to cover the Goblin, drawing the life remaining in its burnt flesh and leaving a skeleton behind.

A guttural roar belted out, but Rainer channeled the Arcane-Death into the pale blue flame of its skull.

The flame turned violet, and the skeleton quickly reformed its broken chest.

An undead stood before Rainer, and a surprising tier 3 spell entered his book. Rainer use of [Arcane-Death Manipulation] instead of [Death Manipulation] had altered the spell.

[Spell Gained: Arcane-Death Runic Skeleton Raising]

[Arcane-Undead, Male, Skeleton Shaman lvl 7]

“It kept half its level,” Rainer added.

“Truly impressive. It is a shame we cannot interrogate him…”

“Why not?” Rainer asked. He hadn’t seen a mention of undead memory retrieval anywhere in the tomes but assumed Theodore might have a clue.

“I have not an idea how. Nor do I think any of the tomes contain such information.”

“Well, it’s fine. We’ll know the truth soon enough.”

9 Mana, 4 Arcane Power…

Rainer noted the passive cost. He had spent roughly 83 Mana in his attempts.

Contrary to his slight hesitation before Gunthar had not an iota now.

He removed his cloak and mask, revealing his skull. While Elru already knew of their undead nature, seeing it still brought her surprise. She thought a bit sadly how his appearance did not match his personality. For either Undead.

Two pale blue flames within the eye sockets.

“You ready?”

Gunthar nodded. He ventured he’d need to be the Sorcerer’s undead in any case, for the future body ritual to be performed.

He placed his hand on Gunthar’s skull. With his Mana pool, he reached out toward Gunthar’s soul. Without [Soul Detection] an impossible task. Perhaps due to Gunthar’s openness, Rainer easily created the connection. This connection, however, was no different than the one Gunthar previously had with Luna. Though the method far different.

He could only supply the Mana needed for Gunthar’s skill to maintain himself.

A wisp of Arcane-Death formed above Rainer’s other hand. It grew as a thread and went into Gunthar’s skull. The Rune was only required to bind the soul, something Gunthar did not need.  

There was no real danger. Everything he knew about Necromancy told him that.

But Rainer couldn’t help but be nervous.

Gunthar froze as his original pale blue flame turned violet. Rainer felt his Aura being drawn from him and entering Gunthar. It depleted entirely. Rainer now felt the violet flames in Gunthar’s eyes instead drawing Arcane Power from him.

He could resist it. Instead, he allowed the flow. Arcane power flowed out of him as he converted more.

The process ended, and Gunthar simply stood there. On his white skeleton, black and violet lines formed. They pulsed before receding.

“Gunthar?” Rainer asked waving his hand in his face. But Gunthar did not react.

“Gunthar, hey Gunthar,” Rainer panicked now, He used [Soul Detection], but found nothing wrong. He reached out his hand…

And Gunthar jumped at him.

“Fuck!” Rainer swore, falling backward.

Theodore shared a look with Kara, as with Gunthar. They soon broke out in laughter.

“Yeah, yeah real funny. I’ll remember this Gunthar…Theodore…Kara…” He said noticing how Theodore looked toward her.

“Try your worst.” She said in between her laughs.

“I’d like to note I do not share the same opinion with Little Wolf. Do not do your worst, Sorcerer…” Gunthar replied a bit nervously, stifling his laughter.

Luna too covered her mouth. While Elru only smiled.

[Arcane-Undead, Male, Death Knight lvl 25]

He stood appraising Gunthar and laughing a bit on his own at Gunthar’s request.

Rainer had not yet learned how to access parts of Gunthar’s information; rather he didn’t think he could. The bond felt strange with Gunthar.

Compared to the Goblin who was little more than a puppet on a string, he felt something akin to a Familiar Bond with Gunthar.

He canceled his connection to the Goblin, causing it to collapse in a heap of bones.

“How do you feel?” Rainer asked Gunthar.

“Powerful…” Gunthar spoke as an Aura of Violet and Black came from his hand. He formed it into a blade before dissipating the Aura. Activating Aura Enhancement, violet and black lines covered Gunthar as his abilities surged.

“Sorcerer…is this what you feel whenever you use that skill of yours…” Gunthar asked in amazement. The enhancement still focused primarily on improving one’s power and speed, but now Gunthar saw a small increase in all his attributes.

“Lady of the Fae, quickly, let’s see what classes he has,” Theodore, quite excited as well asked. His only disappointment was his Holy variance might react negatively to the Arcane-Death. He isn’t sure how the [Arch-Lich] created him this way in the first place.

Luna opened the class screen as Gunthar quietly looked through.

Rainer checked his own status screen, to see how much Mana Gunthar took.

[Primary Classes: Archon(2nd) Lvl 14/25, Voidwalker lvl 2/25]
[Titles: Immortal Slayer, Arcane Scholar, Fae Contractor, Arcane Elementalist, Manipulator of the Elements, Basic Elementalist, Dungeon Pioneer, Philanderer, Trollsbane, Wielder of Space and Time, Master of Space and Time, Wielder of Fire and Brimstone, Wielder of Light, Wielder of the Arcane, Energy Drainer, Voidwalker, One who defies Divinity]
[Exp: 16%, 31%]
[Sub-classes: Chronomancer lvl 11/25]
[Race: Human]
[Skill Points: 41]
[Talents: Excellent Arcane Affinity, Human Growth, Gift of the Fae(Luna)]
[Stamina: 29/30]
[Stamina Regen: .1% per second]
[Mana: 18/129(209)]
[Mana Regen: .0206 per second]
[Arcane Power: 12/85(120)]
[Conversion Ratio: 1-12]
[Arcane Aura: 0/9(19)]

It was a significant drain, and among several resources, but Rainer didn’t mind in the slightest. At this point, he trusted Gunthar implicitly. His strength was Rainer’s and likewise.

He would, however, see to give Gunthar autonomy in the future. Added on was the possibility of using the Mana-Well to support Gunthar, instead of by himself, and the issue was temporary.

“So, how long did you plan that?” He asked, walking over to Kara.

“When you were studying about Body Enchantment,” Kara spoke as Rainer sat next to her on the bed.

Rainer looked off to the side, “While I was working my hardest to give you strength, you create a plan to mock me…”

Kara looked at him in shock, worried she had actually hurt him. That was until he buried his head in a pillow and started sobbing in a clearly fake manner. She let out a defeated sigh and hugged him from behind.

She spoke, each phrase ending with an exaggerated sigh, “You’re right Rainer, I did a horrible thing; please forgive me.”

Yet it was Gunthar who responded to that.

“Sorcerer…I…never intended…”

Hearing Gunthar apologizing caused Rainer to stop the act immediately. He sat up, Kara still hanging on to him and making sighing noises.

Seeing the apologetic smile on the Sorcerer’s face, Gunthar immediately knew it was a fake crying. Were he capable of blushing, the rest of his body would lack blood.

Coughing lightly, in an attempt not to laugh, Theodore refocused his son, “Weigh all the benefits p-properly Gunthar, don’t be distracted.”

How do they cough…and sigh…

Rainer didn’t want to ask, lest he reminds them of their undeath. But he was once more struck with that mystery.

“Rainer, if you are done, I’ll have Luna attempt the second Glamour I’m teaching,” Elru didn’t particularly understand what changed about Gunthar, having no real reaction other than gauging of his. She refrained from appraising him, given Rainer’s previous request about Luna.

Rainer walked over, using the rest of his Mana to convert into Arcane Power. [Arcane Sight] formed in his eyes as he looked at the two Fae.

“It’s a Glamour for masking another object. One important note is unless you are an expert you cannot hide an object’s nature. Making a Steel Sword appear as wood is alright, but making a steel sword appear as a Bow will likely be seen through even by ordinary people.  The point is believability; rather than relating to the material or the object. “

Luna held a grape-like fruit in her hand. It was a vibrant orange color. Rainer recalled it tasted similar to a strange mix of a tangerine and grape, but oddly far better in its bite-sized form.

Rainer stared deeply with [Arcane Sight]. He focused on the Mana throughout her 1 foot tall body, looking for any signs of an internal Rune forming.

The grape-like fruit shimmered for a moment. It quickly started varying between red and orange as Luna tensed.

Rainer finally saw it after looking closely enough. Within her Mana Pool, a Magical Formula operated. Yet it was incomplete. Sometimes it would jumble, or not fully form. But gradually as Luna expended her Mana, a complete Magical Formula formed within her Mana Pool, and then the grape changed.

The Formula did not disappear, but instead changed as she maintained the Glamour. It became a single Rune.

He noticed it resembled somewhat the Mana Output Rune on Elru’s body. The amount of Mana used was truly small.

“Excellent job Luna,” Elru said, lightly patting the small Fairy on the head.

Luna paid no attention to Elru, however, as she looked over to Rainer.

“Yes, Luna great job. You should do it again for me,” Hearing him, she smiled and dropped the Glamour before repeating it. She did it a few more times. Elru gave a curious look to Rainer but paid him no more mind. She knew he was likely trying to figure something out, but she did not expect anything.

he isn’t the first to try nor will he be the last…but it always ends the same.

She thought.

Elru continued her lessons, this time for the Glamour that helps hide one’s Mana Pool. Luna had yet to succeed; it was a Glamour that took most Fae a decent amount of time. But it was one that, along with a Glamour to make them appear as not Fae, was often required before any Fae left home.


Night came as Luna’s practice came to an end.

Seeing Luna discouraged, Rainer noted she had gotten closer and closer to forming a complete formula.

“Luna, it’s okay, you were improving the whole time,”

Not even questioning his words, Luna brightened up considerably before heading to his pocket to sleep.

Elru looked at Rainer the whole time. Even without her skill, she considered herself decently proficient at telling the truth from a lie. He appeared to be telling the truth. But Elru herself noticed absolutely no progress.

She too saw the smile on his face as he watched their practice. Initially, she thought he was just happy for Luna, but now she thought he discovered something.

Whether it was having a class of legend or Gunthar’s words that kept echoing in her head, she felt he had accomplished something. Ordinarily, a Fae might be fearful of such a thing. Would unraveling their secrets mean their dust too could be easily stolen? But remembering his answer to her question about Luna, that he had never a single thought about her dust, calmed her.

Rainer had hidden his excitement over his discovery quite well, and his smile was intended for Luna. Not that Elru would know. He headed off to bed with Kara as Elru returned to her room. This night he’d try and level his tier 4 spell to 10 for the first time.

Gunthar and Theodore headed out into the hall, as Gunthar looked over his options. Many became altered with an Arcane modifier giving him far more choices to look over and compare than expected.  His excitement was palpable.

Originally, the aspect of never reaching the 2nd Tier brought him some apprehension, but seeing what the Sorcerer had already done for him; he no longer had any doubt. He knew he’d reach the 2nd Tier. And while he’d like to do it with his own power, he was happy. That after so many years, he could rely on someone else.


Awakening in the white void of [Sleep Learning], Rainer decided first to go over Yalin’s notes. He had not done so for a while.

Taking out the journal, he read over it carefully. Soaking in every word, and now, albeit with still some pain, every Rune.

Rainer soon understood something. Yalin was just like him. The spell was chaotic, with passion. No different than Rainer’s spell, [Void-walking]. And too were Yalin’s ideas, at least for his time. That Gravity affected all life, substance, energy and beyond. Even time itself bent to its will.

[Deliverance] was based on such a thing. Yalin altered the very substance of gravity to affect only light. All the power of gravity to alter all of existence, focused on a single factor. He tried other methods but only light could be accomplished by him.

And it was this Holy Light created to smite his foes. The undead that brought him to such a point. His pursuit of magic that realized his genius.

Of space and time. Of light and gravity. Of madness and desperation. His magnum opus!

Rainer read on in a fever. The pain in his head ignored entirely. His focus unbridled until the very backlash of such an action brought him outside of [Sleep Learning]. The further he understood, the further he delved, the faster the pain came.

He rolled off the bed and onto the floor, clutching his head. Kara panicked for but a moment until she recognized the scene.

“Are you alright?” She asked.

“More than alright…” He laughed. He did not understand the spell, not even after all this time. But he felt a familiarity with its maker.

He would unravel the spell’s mysteries. He would understand the mind of its creator. It was not an if, but a certainty for him.

 

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A note from Aternus

Thanks to the kind offers of several readers I have decided to open up a Pateron 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 

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Comments(201)

MisterKaos @MisterKaos ago

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

Mideanon @Mideanon ago

Fuck im bored

Lets see this new discord chat thing

Suddenly....chap

Etez @Etez ago

YEAAAAHHHHHH FINALLY

It was a nice chapter =_= I have nothing to complain.

Now I am gonna sleep. 8am ftw.... Fuck me

Garm @Garm ago

People should only comment after reading the whole chapter >.>

TheGoodJ93
Premium

Charles83 @Charles83 ago

I'm confused, the last 2 episodes have been confusing for me.

Redroajs1 @Redroajs1 ago

AIGATOU!!!! Thanks for the chapter!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Very Happy "I'll get it this time" yes yes.... ofc u will.... Tongue I'm only kidding! What matters is you enjoy writing the book instead of feeling like it's a chore!!! That's what makes it a good book!! Cheerios!!! Very Happy

Qanelin @Qanelin ago

 Thanks for the chapter

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