Leguna and Annelotte's expressions changed immediately. It looked like their work would most likely be wasted. Since the designer himself was there, he would probably find a way to rectify the situation.
Should they try to silence him? What a joke. It he truly were a myth-rank magus, then the two managing to escape alive would already be a miracle.
"But don't worry. I won't tell the forces at Seatide about it. I don't intend to help them out either."
The two were completely flabbergasted. They didn't know what he was getting at.
"You really aren't going to help them?" Leguna couldn't help but ask.
"They were the ones who didn't guard them properly. Since they made that mistake, they should bear its consequences," the man said, "Everyone has to pay for their mistakes, no matter who."
Could that fellow be trying to trick Hocke into sending their forces in and crippling them for good? That was the thought held by both Leguna and Annelotte.
"I really won't. More like, I can't. That's part of the rules," said the man with a pained smile.
"Rules?" The two of them didn't understand the good part of his cryptic ramblings.
"Because of those reasons, I am not able to directly interfere in the affairs of others. You could say that I can't interfere with their fates," the man patiently explained, "This... is the rules ascribed to me."
"Who ascribed them?" Leguna realized how weird it was starting to become.
"Who?" The man's expression contorted into one of rage and hate. He looked so furious and domineering that even Annelotte and Leguna felt shaken.
He glared at them and said, "You! Them! Everyone! This whole world!"
The two looked into his eyes only to end up confused and shocked.
"This fellow should be unhinged... Let's ignore him," Leguna whispered.
"Alright." She also felt it would be best to not linger around the man.
They looked at him, who was trying to calm down, and prepared to leave without saying goodbye.
"Hold up!" the man called all of a sudden.
"What? Is he regretting his decision?" Leguna turned around coldly and whispered, "Let's make a run for it when we have the chance!"
"That isn't it." The man seemed to be still slightly affected by his emotions from before and sounded rather cold. He looked at the both of them and said, "If I just let you go like that, that fellow in Hocke will know about my existence. So, it's better if I cover my tracks."
The moment his voice fell, Leguna lost control over his body entirely.
"A petrification spell?" Annelotte used that skill against many an enemy before, but it was the first time she was bound by it herself. She felt rather perplexed about it.
The man continued on with his second dictation.
"Annie, try to run!" Leguna's face was flushing red thanks to his struggles. But even so, he couldn't move a single inch. The magus wasn't lying at all. A normal magus wouldn't be able to hold complete control over him with a mere level-three spell. At the very least, he didn't think Annelotte could be held down by it.
"Don't worry, it's only an order spell." Annelotte could tell from the incantation of the man what spell he was going to cast.
Order spells were level-six enchantments that could make the target obey one order of the user. If the target disobeyed the order, they would suffer the blowback of the spell. The blowback could range from heavy injury or instant death.
Usually, those spells would already be quite impressive if they could last a month. However, the caster was a myth-rank magus. It shouldn't be a problem for it to last three to four months.
"Don't expose my existence to anyone else," ordered the man. As long as they didn't bring him up to anyone else, they wouldn't suffer the consequences.
Oddly enough, when the man was done, he suddenly looked pale as if he had suffered a huge blow. Yet, an order spell wasn't that high-ranked, and he only used it twice. That level of mana consumption shouldn't even trouble Annelotte, not to mention a myth-rank magus, so what was going on?
"Alright, you may leave," the man said in a weak voice and waved his hand powerlessly to dispel the petrification spells.
Leguna got a nasty idea. Even though the magus had let he and Annelotte go, he was still a magus working for Stok. Such an enemy ought to be dealt with the soonest possible, and his weakness seems to be genuine. Should they go for his life at this moment?
Annelotte held him tight and said, "It's impossible. He's a myth-ranker."
Her reminder finally reminded him of the domineering power shown by Marolyt and Kreighdon. Those saint-rankers were so strong that they were completely out of his league, and the old man before them was a myth-rank magus. The reason magi were given the 'myth' designation instead of 'saint' already showed how much more terrifying an existence they were. Even weakened, the two wouldn't be the man's match. At least, Leguna wasn't confident that they could even take on a weakened Kreighdon.
The thought of that caused him to fear how he even came up with that notion in the first place. He shook his head and turned to leave with Annelotte.
After the two left, the man spat out a mouthful of blood. He muttered with a pained smile, "Even though it's only a level-six spell, I had to suffer this kind of punishment... It would be dangerous for me to had cast level-nines like Brain Corruption or Memory Reorganization... Hehe, you guys are really treating me nice and well, aren't you?"
He wasn't in a rush to leave either. He seated cross-legged and closed his eyes to rest for some ten minutes. After that, he appeared to have completely recovered. He smiled and tore open space itself and walked inside it.
The next day in Stok's palace within the Millennium Capital, Saron was grinding his brains over analyzing the design mechanics of the magic cannons. If he were frank, even though he was considered a genius magus of his time, he only distinguished himself in terms of the dominating power he wielded on the battlefield. Dictation was as easy as raising a hand or blinking for him. it was but a mere action. Because it was so simple for him, he had never bothered to properly research the arcane mysteries of magic.
That was why unlike Innilis, Saron sported terrifying ability to use magic but a horrendous understanding in terms of theoretical knowledge. At the very least, he still hadn't been able to decode the construction of those cannons.
The magus whom Leguna and Annelotte met stepped into the study.
"Teacher." Saron greeted the man with utmost respect. If there was someone in this world that could make him feel awe from the bottom of his heart, it would be none other than that teacher of his.
Even now, Saron still didn't know about his teacher's past. Only a handful of people knew of his existence and most people would quickly forget who he was after meeting him. Saron didn't know whether it was because of his teacher's power. However, he remembered the day he met him like it was yesterday.
It was a festival of magic, a tradition in Stok for the imperial family to show their appreciation and respect to the magi. In turn, the magi would use that chance to show their loyalty and prowess to the imperial family.
Back then, Saron was a youth who had just awakened his gifts. His talent was discovered by the empire and he was given high regard. Even though he was but a low-order magus back then, his great potential afforded him the chance to participate in the ceremony with the imperial family.
The ceremony was carried out smoothly. But right before the principal of the Stokian imperial school of magic gave his speech, Saron's teacher appeared.
He was dressed in a bright, long robe and bore the air of a well-studied man. Others saw him as an elegant and polite middle-aged magus, but his actions completely shocked everyone there.
The man pushed away the principal without a care and stated his demands using a voice cast spell. First, he would be a member of that school and his requests would be satisfied by the empire without question. Second, the youth the empire recently scouted who had two gifts, that is, Saron, would become his disciple. He would be in full charge of his education and nobody else was allowed to interfere.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter