The Star of Annihilation
Chapter 82 – Surpass (4)
Written by : eleven
* * *
In the city of Ezrest, one of the Tournament Venues in the Central Plains…
“Man this is killing me!”
Elizabeth pouted in disappointment as she turned to look at Elias and Nate who were leaving the magic tools shop with her.
“How can this place really be so busy and raved about when there’s nothing to even look at in these stupid stores!”
Shaking her head, Elizabeth grumbled while Nate tried to console her.
A couple of pairs of eyes from passerby glanced over at the loud girl but went about their way as this was the business district for the city that was incredibly overcrowded due to the large influx of visitors to watch the Tournament of Young Lions.
“It’s alright Elizabeth, we didn’t expect much in the first place right? These are mostly standup shops that move business wherever the commotion is the loudest.”
Elias chimed in as he tried to point out that the store was most likely like the other stores that had setup shop in the area.
Elizabeth snorted but ended up giving in.
“So where to next?”
Nate asked as Elizabeth had been dictating the shopping spree as of late.
“Hm.. Let’s go back to the inn! I need to see Master Ferneth anyways since I promised I would work towards getting stronger recently since he wants me to be prepared for something.”
Elizabeth tried to avoid talking about her worries since her master’s worries were hers as well.
Though she hadn’t been able to get confirmation from her master that he was worried about the Dragons and their actions, she was smart enough to realize that Ferneth had been clearly trying to train her and educate her knowledge of spells at a rapid pace in preparation for whatever was to come.
“Alright, let’s go.”
Nate turned around as Elizabeth started to walk back towards the inn.
Elias followed along, keeping quiet to himself.
Or at least to the world around him.
Inside his head, he was chatting with Dola more about something that had been on his mind recently.
‘I still don’t understand what you were trying to explain to me with the reason about why you want me to stay close to Roy.’
Although Elias found Roy, Nate and Elizabeth really good friends to be with during the duration of his school life, Dola specifically had tried to make sure that Elias did everything in his power to be close to Roy.
Although Dola did not say it outright, she had made it clear to Elias that she needed him to be close to Roy in order for her to observe his changes.
Why did she make Elias her apostle if she was really just interested in Roy? It didn’t make sense to Elias for a god to make that kind of decision based on a whim but it didn’t matter to Elias because he just needed Dola as a means for gathering greater power to change his fate with his own two hands in regards to his family’s treatment of him.
-It’s still too early to say why, but he’s something like a variable that has appeared in your world. A lot of gods that rule over the domains of fate and destiny wrote his existence off, or rather the existence of what he represents as something destined to fail so they didn’t even bother to observe this realm. However, from what I can see, that boy is taking a route that is far from what it expected and could end up bringing great change if he is nurtured properly.
‘It’s not like I can exactly nurture him though? I’m just his friend.’
-Yes, but if I nurture you properly… then you might be able to stand next to him in the future and bring about this great change.
‘I don’t care as long as you can help me achieve my goal of helping me separate from my family entirely.’
-….. You won’t understand just yet, but just the fact that Roy’s existence is present in this universe means that you might not ever have the chance to worry about those things if you don’t help him grow stronger.
Dola’s manner of speaking was rather roundabout, but Elias got goosebumps from the ominous warnings that she gave him.
He remembered the day he had foolishly challenged Roy to a duel at Titanius and felt that trembling sensation of fear from Roy.
Although Roy eventually explained that his demonic and frightening appearance that day was just part of his powers through the contract with the Spirit King he had contracted with, Elias still felt something else beyond those powers that gave him goosebumps.
He had awakened Dola’s holy powers that day during the duel and had been in a state of semi-consciousness, but Elias still vividly remembered that despite awakening Dola’s powers, those powers also helped him notice something far more sinister about Roy.
When Elias tried to prod for more information, it seemed like Roy didn’t even know what he was talking about or had no clue what Elias had felt.
‘Maybe I should talk to Nate about it. He’s been the closest to Roy for the longest amount of time anyways.’
As Elias made up his mind, he wordlessly followed along to the inn with Nate and Elizabeth.
As the group of three arrived at the inn, opening the door to the entrance, a rowdy atmosphere engulfed the floor of the check-in area of the inn.
This was just the daily busy atmosphere of new people entering and leaving, but there were a lot more people as of late checking in for their stay.
Elias took in this sight, as he had never been able to travel outside the Empire and had never seen so many different walks of life gathered in one area.
There were elves, dwarves, beastmen, other humans and even demons walking around.
Occasionally there were skirmishes and disputes within the city as not everyone was friendly with each other, but Ezrest was quick to respond with the city guards.
The city guards of Ezrest were at least 4 or 5-stars in terms of strength and Elias felt confident that he wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught up in something annoying.
As they went up the stairs of the first floor towards the third floor where they were staying, Elias turned to Nate.
“Hey Nate, do you have a few minutes to chat while Elizabeth talks to Ferneth?”
Nate turned around to look at Elias and nodded without much thought.
“Sure, let’s just go inside first and check in to make sure there’s nothing important going on.”
Briefly knocking before entering, Elizabeth walked into the room they had checked into.
It was a simple suite that was quite hospitable with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
Although it wouldn’t be fitting for royalty, this was already a luxury inn they could get because Ferneth had ties to the Empire formally as a Tower Master. It was increasingly difficult to just get a single room in the busy city of Ezrest, let alone a suite.
Ferneth turned around from the table where he was looking at a couple of scrolls that were laid out.
Elizabeth bowed respectfully while Nate and Elias nodded their heads briefly.
[Come sit. All of you.]
Ferneth pointed to the chairs next to him at the table and beckoned to the three of them to come closer to the table.
Taking a seat, each of them looked between Ferneth and the table with curiosity.
[Elias you weren’t there when Nate and Roy met Elizabeth and myself in the forest near the village of Kerto, but I want to show you all something I’ve been researching since the time I’ve spent there.]
Ferneth brought forward the scrolls that were laid out on the table.
On them, were countless characters of an indecipherable language.
Nate and Elizabeth’s eyes widened a bit but waited for Ferneth to continue.
[When Roy and I explored deeper into the Ruins of the Fairies, I was able to study more of these characters and was able to decipher it to an extent. These are runes- the language of the fairies or ancient spirits.]
Ferneth paused before continuing, waiting for the children to understand more of what he was talking about.
[The spirits are not necessarily a full transcendent species from birth, but semi-transcendent. That being said, these runes are a form of power that they use which is already much more powerful than modern magic or swordsmanship on its own. But these runes and their functions if interpreted correctly… are accessible to mortals.]
That statement alone landed heavily for those present.
There was a certain weight to those words since everyone at the table certainly had ambition to grow stronger than their current levels.
[It’s a bit much to ask to have you learn this language since I, myself, am still learning it. However, I hope that once I complete my research, that you all can learn this too.]
Ferneth’s eyes glowed faintly as he was currently in his Lich form. Elias had already long since known about Ferneth’s true identity as an Arch-Lich the more he hung out with the group and it was shocking to say the least since Elias knew how prevalent the Holy Church’s influence was in not just the Empire, but the entire continent.
Regardless, the Arch-Lich known as Ferneth was 8-stars and incredibly knowledgeable in the field of magical science. Elias was never one to discriminate since he had always been
discriminated against in his own family and with his peers before being accepted to Titanius.
As the group listened to Ferneth further…
* * *
Roy woke up again feeling weird.
Panting as he awoke from his nightmare again, Lucius observed Roy’s mental state as he peeked an eye open while keeping his other closed, feigning to be asleep in the carriage next to Roy.
It had been several nights now in a row since this had started to happen.
‘Is it happening already?’
Lucius was slightly pleased at the sight of this despite feeling a bit bad for the boy.
This was part of the process of crossing the wall to the first stage of Transcendence.
Confronting your inner demons was a part of the process to almost every person when they were in the process of breaking through the wall of 4-stars to 5-stars. Every person’s inner demons were different, and sometimes they would appear different every time. It was important to let Roy experience it by himself rather than trying to guide him through it.
Even so, Roy was experiencing all kinds of traumas inside of his nightmares that were causing his mental state to degrade little by little.
The sight of Kerto village burning in his previous life, his mother’s death cries, the face of a father he had never met, an older sister he had never met, or sometimes he was seeing a version of himself who had gone completely mad and killed himself over and over inside of his dreams.
Vomiting again in the bucket next to him, Roy wiped the sweat from his forehead after pouring out all the contents of his stomach.
They were only a day’s worth of travel away from Ezrest, the venue of the Tournament.
Roy would have to somehow hit 5-stars if he wanted to be able to earnestly compete. Lucius thought it would be fine even if he didn’t since Roy probably had a few tricks up his sleeve that would allow him to compete with the other talents anyways, but they were all a whole generation older than Roy so if Roy wanted to win, he would have to be at least at that level in order to bring home a victory.
Other than crossing the wall to 5-stars, there was one other method that could allow Roy to compete… no, it could even help Roy win the Tournament.
Lucius was Roy’s Master in regards to swordsmanship, and in that sense he had already done a great job in making Roy, a boy with little to no talent for the sword, realize and break his limits of talent by developing him into a first-rate swordsman.
The fact that Roy was able to see the ‘lines’ of the world, was already an incredible feat as not every swordsman, martial artist, or individual who walked the path of weapon or body art mastery could attain.
Not even Argenta had been able to see lines despite being able to use aura on top of mana.
The stage above seeing the world’s ‘lines’, where Lucius was at and reaching the pinnacle of, was the stage of ‘grains’.
The world they lived in had imperfections or flaws.
Nothing was an exception to this.
Others like Trent, who had also stepped into this same realm as Lucius, had also realized this and found ways to mask these imperfections or to shift the imperfections around them at a rate invisible to the naked eye by manipulating the ‘grains’ around them, but in the end everyone had flaws.
The only beings that Lucius had yet to meet that had no flaws were the Gods.
Even the Dragons had flaws, and this was already a great blessing that allowed Lucius to have hope that humanity would be able to have a chance if things came to all out war since tension was building.
Although the Gods had never shown anything similar to a flaw, Lucius also did have an inkling of a feeling that they were not perfect as they appeared to be. Just as people of his stage could mask their worldly flaws, the Gods probably had a way that they hid theirs since they were not bound to the confines of a single world.
Lucius asked as Roy finished retching after vomiting what he had.
Roy nodded slowly, taking his hand to wipe the corners of his mouth of any debris.
“Get ready and dressed. I’ll be outside waiting for you.”
Lucius stepped out of the carriage leaving these words after storing his thoughts away for later.
Right now, the only thing they could do was simple.
Roy followed behind after grabbing a different shirt and unsheathing Deletus.
Chapter 82 – Fin