“So… you’re suggesting that I find myself a Familiar?”
“Yes, my Lord. If you have one yourself, the people’s opinions may be more easily influenced — in regards to the other day’s topic.”
And if I never mention it to him, he may end up not making a contract with Tzar. Smooth sailing so far… I guess.
“Influence the people’s opinions, you say… And in addition to that, the upper classes’ opinion toward me as well. Interesting.”
“Very well, then. We’ll be going over the Familiar Contract’s formula today.”
“My Lord, we’ll finally be testing out your Boundary magecrafts today.”
“Ooh, I’ve been looking forward to that.”
“Let’s try targeting Pocchie Mask over there– Huh? She’s gone– OUCH!?”
“Why’d you have to always target ME, sir!?”
“Why not!? It’s not like there’s gonna be any less of you!”
“But I’ll totally have fewer brain cells by the time you’re done with your nonsense! Lord Sagan! Let’s target Leole Mask instead!”
“Hahaha! That’s an interesting idea.”
He sure is having fun, isn’t he?
Does he even know what will happen when his Boundary magecraft is used on someone else?
“What’s up with your face, sir?”
“What’s up with YOUR eyes?”
“You’re not thinking that I’m the only magecraft practice target around here, are you?”
“So you think you know everything, huh?”
“What, you think I don’t know what you’re thinking, Master!?”
“Why the hell are you even asking those questions, anyway!?”
“Because I gotta KNOW! I can’t tell what you’ll do if I don’t ask!”
“What do you mean, what I’ll do!?”
“What do you mean, you don’t know!?”
Suddenly, Pochi and I found ourselves inside a pale blue boundary.
“Your arguments sounded like utter nonsense, but… at least you two make for quite a comedic duo.”
“AHH! WE’RE TRAPPED, SIR!”
There she goes again, acting all dramatic…
Well, I’m more interested in what’s happening now.
Sagan has exhibited an extraordinary aptitude for the arcane arts. One could say that he’s got it in his instincts… no, his SOUL, even.
“How was that? Did I surprise you?”
“Amazing, my Lord! You succeeded on your first try! Isn’t that awesome, Master!?”
Looks like Pochi doesn’t know why I’m surprised, and what Sagan was actually talking about.
“…Yes, my Lord, this is amazing. Even I can’t do something like this.”
“I know, I know! Fwahahaha!”
“Huh? Wait… aren’t you able to cast it up to the Deca level, Master?”
Heh, she still doesn’t get it.
To be sure that this was actually happening, I tried touching the surface of the Boundary.
…Yup, this definitely is working.
Pochi tilted her head, seeming somewhat disturbed.
“Think about it, Pocchie Mask. Have we ever seen a mage who could trap multiple targets within one Boundary magecraft before?”
Looks like she’s finally realized it.
“You’re right, sir! WE are trapped! Together!”
“Yeah. I can’t do this yet…”
“Wait, you CAN’T!?”
Man, why do you always gotta overreact, Pochi?
“Hehehe… Seeing that you two were getting along SO WELL, I figured I’d lock both of you together.”
“What kind of formula did you add into it, my Lord!?”
“You have the wrong idea, Pocchie Mask — this isn’t about formulas.”
“Indeed. I did not even tamper with the magecraft formulas that I had been taught.”
Sagan grinned, his face full of confidence.
Man, teaching him totally was worth it.
It seems that Sagan has quite an excellent understanding of how space works. The distance between him and the target, the target’s height and weight, and arcane energy amount — get all those variables right for both targets, those being Pochi and me in this case, and he’ll be able to figure out where and how to place the Boundary magecraft.
I subconsciously took off my sunglasses as I checked out the Boundary’s surface, and seeing my face, Sagan smiled.
“You have a nice pair of eyes, Leole Mask.”
I scrambled to put my sunglasses back on.
“Full of ambition and thirst for knowledge. I’d have you as a subordinate if I could…”
“Worry not — I’ll teach you the trick to it later. As the saying goes… a good teacher promotes the growth of his students, and good students promote the growth of their teacher! Hahaha!”
Pochi whispered to me,
“With how fast he’s going, he might turn into YOUR teacher soon, Master.”
“…Yah, and you’ll be subject to more testing– Ouch!?”
“How about YOU be the target next time, huh!?”
Another half-month later…
We’ve spent a full month’s worth of nighttime training with Sagan, bringing out as much of his potential as I could — and I myself haven’t been messing around, of course.
During the daytime, I not only hunted monsters, but also studied more magic and magecraft.
And tonight, in what seemed to be a sudden turn of events, Sagan appeared before us with quite a serious look in his eyes.
“Leole Mask, Pocchie Mask… it ends tonight.”
Sagan’s tense voice prompted Pochi and me to look at each other.
I never expected Sagan himself to decide the end of his training, having always thought that God would be the one to tell us to stop.
What’s up with this… heavy ambiance, though? It doesn’t feel quite like the ‘training’ mood to me.
“In a few moments, I will depart to exterminate a monster that has been terrorizing Regalia. Come with me — and observe.”
“…Yes, my Lord.”
Ah, so THAT is what he meant by ‘ends tonight’.
Considering Sagan’s tone, the monster he’ll be up against must be extremely powerful.
Oh yeah, now I remember… Back when I overheard some ladies talking about Sagan in town, they did mention a terrifying monster recently appearing in the lake area…
This is probably the monster in question.
But then again… this place probably isn’t its natural habitat. After all, I’ve been coming to this dried-up Regalia Lake every night, but have never sensed anything particularly powerful around here.
And if there were any, I probably would have been targeted by now, considering that I’d lost most of my arcane energy cap…
“If anything comes up, I’ll take care of it for you, my Lord! Eh-hem!”
Oh yeah, I almost forgot that she’s a Heavenly Beast.
With how much arcane energy she has, none of this era’s monsters would want to get close to her. Hahaha…
“No, Pocchie Mask. Your offer is much appreciated, but I can hunt the monster by myself.”
Hearing Sagan say that, Pochi took a glance at me.
This might be a good chance to see Sagan’s current power level in action.
I shot Pochi a look, suggesting to let Sagan do whatever he wants. In response, Pochi nodded.
…We’ll still be helping him when and if things actually get dangerous, of course.
“Well then, let’s get going, my Lord!”
With Pochi’s shout, we started walking west.
The ruler of the whole War Demon Nation walking down such a dangerous path in the dead of the night… now this is someone no one would expect.
He’s a big guy, in more ways than one… Wait. Now that I think about it, what does Vaas, the War Demon Emperor of my era, even look like?
After walking for about an hour, Pochi and I sensed a fluctuation of arcane energy.
With every step we took, the fluctuation got more and more intense. It’s trying to intimidate us.
Yup… this monster does look quite powerful.
“Lord Sagan, can you not simply tell us what today’s target is? It doesn’t feel right, being left in the dark like this…”
“Don’t give me that look. You’ll know soon enough…”
From the look on his face, one would think that Sagan is perfectly calm… but his voice suggests otherwise.
I’ve been beating Sagan into shape over the past month, so no one would be able to tell, but he’s actually as strong as an S-Ranked adventurer — which is pretty damn impressive for this era, but worrying for me personally… because I did just come from a time when even the average guys were ridiculously powerful by today’s standards.
Considering how tense Sagan is, this monster should be something out of the ordinary.
It must be S-Ranked… or maybe even–
“…There it is.”
Sagan said, his voice shivering.
Is he scared, or actually excited?
Sagan probably doesn’t even know that himself.
Pochi, walking next to Sagan, gradually became more alert, and eventually caught sight of the enemy in the distance.
It’s human… no, it just looks like one.
The figure, standing alone in the middle of the barren wasteland, looks just like a person… But detect its ominous arcane energy aura for even a split-second, and any adventurer would feel death approaching.
The monster stays immobile, clad in layers upon layers of tattered rags.
Its eyes are glowing orange and emanating an overwhelming degree of bloodlust.
And its body is swaying around constantly — a characteristic of the undead.
“…Yes, the King of the Dead. An enemy of Regalia.”
That’s it. An SS-Ranked monster, the Living Dead King.