The Star of Annihilation
Chapter 81 – Surpass (3)
Written by : eleven
* * *
Roy woke up feeling nauseous.
Looking around himself suddenly as he woke up immediately heaving whatever was in his stomach, he looked around with a dizzied look.
His surroundings were extremely confusing.
“Huh… Where am I?”
He should have woken up in the carriage, right?
Roy was extremely confused as he looked around and saw nothing but pure darkness surrounding him. He couldn’t see anything in front of him and raised his own hand to gauge how impacted his eyesight was.
He could luckily see his own hands and body, but anything further than that was impossible.
‘Am I even on the ground?’
Roy belatedly realized he was not even on the ground, but rather floating in this space somehow.
If there was any solace in this, he could at least hear his own voice, but there was nothing but darkness and absolutely nothing around him would give him any kind of clue to where he was.
As Roy tried to look deeper into the darkness, he noticed a very faint blur.
In was grayish if even that.
Roy tried to rouse his mana, but he couldn’t even feel his mana circuit.
However, as Roy expressed the intention to look deeper into the blur, his body started to move in the direction of where he had seen the gray blur.
As his body moved closer to the blur, Roy started to make out a form of something in the darkness where the grayish blur was.
Roy at this point started to feel a pressure that was growing more and more overbearing as he neared closer.
His head started to pound as he started to feel his palms sweat.
His instincts were starting to scream at him to run as far away as possible, but Roy did not know what this place was or what the figure inside this space was.
Eventually, Roy’s body stopped as he was able to finally make out the figure of what was inside the darkness.
It was a gray humanoid that was seemingly naked.
There were no features like hair, skin or bones.
The figure’s back was turned away from Roy so he could not see who it was.
“…Who are you?”
Roy spoke towards the figure, feeling his throat dry from the anxiety and fear he was feeling.
It was something so primal; his fear. Something about this being was causing Roy’s rationality to tremble. His hands were shaking, sweat dripping down the back of his neck.
The gray being, reacting to Roy’s question, slowly started to turn its head.
But that was it. It’s head turned, but not the rest of the body.
Eerily, the head of the gray being turned 180 degrees without moving anything other than its twisted neck.
There were no facial features or eyes. All there was…. Was a blank face with no moth, ears, nose or anything.
It was not human.
As soon as Roy felt his adrenaline pumping at an accelerated speed, he started to slowly feel his vision blur and distort.
As Roy’s vision started to dim and he started to lose consciousness, he thought he suddenly saw a malicious and creepy smile emerge from the face of the being that had no features.
The last thing before Roy completely felt his consciousness fade, was a shrill laughter.
* * *
Roy came to his senses just a few moments later.
This time, he was familiar with the environment.
Even though he was awake and inside the carriage, his body was filled with cold sweat.
‘What the fuck was that?’
His mind raced as he recalled the horrible dream or whatever he had gone through.
So far, everything that came as unexplained circumstances in this life for Roy, had some kind of explanation or at least Roy had some kind of clue that it was something that was not meant for him to know yet.
Sometimes it was affairs from the higher realms and the gods and demons, and sometimes it had something to do with that Star of Annihilation that was inside of his nebula.
Even his regression that was still a mystery, had something to do with a higher being from the upper realms. That much Roy could figure out on his own.
‘But what the hell was that?!’
Panting, Roy was trembling visibly as he lifted his hands to his face.
“Something the matter?”
It was dark out, but Lucius noticed Roy as he lifted the curtains inside the carriage to see what was the matter.
“It’s… it’s nothing.”
Roy couldn’t possibly explain what had even happened to himself, so how could he possibly explain to others?
“Doesn’t seem like it’s nothing. But I won’t press further.”
Roy ended up thanking his master despite feeling awkward about it. For some reason he felt like he had been caught with his pants down and his parents had walked in on him. Though it was a bit of an exaggeration, there was no logical reason for Roy to feel that way. He just did.
“Anyways, you said we’re getting closer right? When can you tell me about the others? Are they also participating?”
“About that… It’s a bit complex. I can tell you a little bit though.”
Lucius looked troubled and Roy had assumed Lucius had his reasons, but now it just seemed like he was avoiding the topic outright.
Roy frowned but nodded his head.
“Well, I assume you’re wondering about Nate, Eliza and that new friend of yours Elias right?”
“They’ll be there at the Central Plains, but the only other participant among them aside from you is Nate. The other two are certainly strong, but there was a lot of controversy over the slots picked by the other two princes, so in the end only Nate was chosen. Not only that, but in my personal opinion, the other two aren’t quite ready for the level of strength you’re going to be facing in the tournament. Even you are barely making the cut in my eyes.”
Roy gulped down his saliva with a bitter taste.
It didn’t feel good that his own master was looking down on him like that, but Roy figured he wasn’t actually looking down on him. Lucius was just in fact, evaluating the other talents from an objective standpoint.
Roy hadn’t even been to the Tournament of Young Lions in his previous life, even as a spectator. Because of that, he had no idea just how powerful the other talents from the continent would be at this time.
Sure, most of them would be older than him and he also assumed that the average strength would probably be around 5-stars. But aside from that, these were continental talents that represented each national power. There was no way they wouldn’t have as many-if not more tricks up their sleeves than himself.
“You look somewhat troubled.”
Lucius spoke as he discerned Roy’s countenance.
“Want to talk about it?”
Lucius rarely ever gave Roy counseling on emotions and personal life since he was his master and had practically forced the apprenticeship on him.
Roy also seemed to be very closed off than the normal individual and although Lucius did hold Roy very dear in his heart, it was harder than it looked when it came to getting closer to his disciple.
“…I’m not sure.”
Roy had a lot of troubles circulating in his mind.
If there were seven spots for the tournament, and the princes each held a stake in choosing two candidates, then what about the 7th? Was it the Emperor’s selection? Or was it the princess’?
Roy clearly drew a line very early that he did not like the second or third prince and they weren’t fools. If anything, this tournament was a perfect timing for them to get back at him or his group of friends who had been making names for themselves within the academy as young talents.
The truth was that the other factions representing the other two princes did initially make the decision to choose every single one of Roy’s comrades.
But something interesting had happened behind the scenes where Emperor Navarro had overturned the nominations and forced the other two princes to choose others.
Why Emperor Navarro did such a thing, many of the nobles had their own ideas thinking either the Emperor was scared of the Dragons, or wanted to put up a false bravado since it was clear that Emperor Navarro did not have much time left in his life, but it was all rumors.
But for Roy, who did not know of any of this, it troubled him greatly.
Not only that, but Roy also noticed that Elias and Elizabeth were not quite at Nate’s and his own level.
They both had their own monstrous growth curves. Elizabeth was named the Blood Witch in Roy’s previous life and had made it to the levels of an Archmage by the time she was 20 or so. As for Elias, he was the apostle of Dola, a god that governed over destiny. He had plenty of benefits from being an Apostle already.
But taking this all into account, Roy had two things that worried him the most at that moment.
Where was Ifrit…. And the other was something he had been putting off in his mind for a long time, but now it was coming to the forefront of his troubles more than ever for some reason.
Just who exactly was his friend Nate?
Chapter 81 – Fin