I fling the metal door so fast it only leaves a blur in the air as it heads for its target. I wasn’t particularly accurate, so it also takes a good chunk of the wall as it passes through the doorway.
As rubble flies around in its wake, I notice that the wall of the room holding the huge demon-sealing stone is made of several different layers. Regular stone encases some sort of reddish-brown metal. This metal is covered in intricate runes, which flash once then fizzle as the metal door bursts into the room, crushing all obstacles in its way.
Some kind of protective field, most likely. I didn’t feel anything when I wrenched the door out of its hinges, but whatever spell was used to safeguard the room must have faltered ineffectually against the adamantine of my hand.
Trailing debris, the door slams into the demon-sealing stone, eliciting another flash of defensive magic. Thanks to whatever shields were set in place to protect it, the stone doesn’t shatter upon impact. Still, like the formations carved into the room’s outer wall, I threw the door hard enough to overwhelm what defenses the stone had available. The metal door bounces off the demon-sealing stone at an angle and flies off toward one side, while the stone itself is flung toward the other side, embedding itself into the wall there.Continue reading
I rush through Alsomn, sprinting through alleys and leaping over buildings, yet no sound betrays my passage but a slight stirring in the wind.
My destination is the castle sitting atop its stocky, gouged-out mountain.
This late at night, there aren’t many people left roaming the streets, even in the capital, but I still need to be careful. With a population this large, exceptions to the rule are bound to be more numerous than during the previous times I needed to sneak around. It wouldn’t be good to be carelessly noticed by a random passerby.
There are two ways for me to reach the castle. The first and most straightforward is the road twisting left and right, slithering up the mountain’s slope. It leads from the actual city, lying at the foot of the mountain, to the castle I need to reach. The problem is that it’s also guarded and patrolled.Continue reading
With the formations successfully disabled, I approach the walls, keeping an eye on the sentries patrolling atop them.
As expected, avoiding detection by humans who are incapable of seeing in the dark isn’t a difficult task. No problem should occur.
When I step within 100 meters of the wall, a problem occurs. Unexpectedly.
A familiar qi fluctuation, minute but noticeable, like scrambled noise in the back of my ears. As soon as I notice its presence, I grit my teeth and retract all my qi, deactivate all the spells I usually keep up – like the one giving life to my left arm – and firmly cage my soul within the bounds of my dantian.Continue reading
What a big city.
The biggest I’ve ever seen, in fact. I’m genuinely surprised. I didn’t know cities could get this big. What a strange world I live in.
(No, no. I think your sense of what is strange or not is somewhat skewed. The Planar Tower was much stranger than this, you know? And this city isn’t that big, either.)
[…You’ve seen a bigger one?]Continue reading
(A handshake serves as a greeting or a parting that denotes cordiality and friendship. That’s not to say it’s only used among friends, though. You might also shake the hand of a business partner before and after a successful negotiation or something like that. Do you understand?)
(Now, you’ve probably seen it happen between humans in the past, right? There are a few little subtleties to it you might have missed, though. For example, it’s customary to squeeze the other party’s hand a little. Not too hard, otherwise it’s aggressive and confrontational, but not too limp either, or it’s like you don’t actually care about the handshake. You just need to squeeze enough that people know you mean it. You can also cover the handshake with your other hand, for emphasis, if you’re especially happy or grateful or passionate about whatever you’re shaking hands for. Be careful with this, however. Using two hands makes the handshake much more intimate, so some might be uncomfortable with it, in which case you should refrain.)
[…How do I know if they’re uncomfortable with it?]Continue reading
“Haah, haah, haah…”
In a room deep below Alsomn’s royal palace, I gulp down labored breaths of air as if they’re the single most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted in my life.
Right now, they might as well be.
Large drops of sweat are flowing down my face, and my whole body is covered in it. The simple training uniform I’m wearing is sticking to my skin. I must look like I’ve just escaped a particularly rainy day and haven’t yet dried off. What wouldn’t be so easily explained by simple rain, however, are the tremors running through all my muscles. They are the reason I’m sitting; they’re so strong I would topple to the ground in a few seconds if I ever tried to stand.Continue reading
So. If I follow what Phineas is saying, once I’ve attuned to this black suit, I should be able to use it as a replacement for the maid outfit I lost during the battle in Dorn, yes?
It is something of a problem that this is going to take me years of slowly grinding at it though. Which will only start once I’ve found that energy core, even. Which I haven’t.
I wish it could be faster.
<Need. Help?>Continue reading
It’s difficult to retain a precise sense of time, while in dormancy.
It’s quite a long time, admittedly, but not all that long. At least, for unaging gods, it isn’t. And yet, many things seem to have changed, in that time.Continue reading
(That’s right. It’s me. I apologize for the delay, but…) Phineas looks down at himself. (I’m all better, now. Every bit of damage has been fixed.)
His soul was injured.
I’m not quite sure what he’s so proud of, though.Continue reading
plick, plick, plick…
Water, dripping down onto stone, one drop at a time, coming from somewhere.
I don’t know how long I spend listening to this regular sound, as if it’s ticking down the elapsing seconds. Probably very long. Long enough for those drops of water to erode the stone on which they fall, it even seems.
I feel Sanae nearby. She was probably standing guard over me while I slept.Continue reading