Domination and Submission. Numerous people refer to it as something viciously evil, something uncivilized for us humans who have evolved from our betters, deeming it unfit in our new, just world. Yet, like the animals we evolved from, we always check the status quo, comparing one another, seeking who’s fit to rule or to be ruled, see who’s better, powerful, wealthier — superior amongst ourselves.
It’s ingrained in our social nature and daily interactions in plain sight. Managers with their staff, Politicians with their citizens, teachers with their students, and even in the almost equal relationship between a man and a woman. No matter how hard society tries to deny its existence or create a utopian system to prevent our reptilian thinking to manifest its way to societies working, it will always stay with us.
Even more indisputable in this new world with the advent of slavery. Yes. The very same slavery reviled in my previous modern world. It always has been a fussy topic. Denying its existence when centuries ago it was common and even considered as “good” for society. But then again who actually wants to be owned as property and submit to a person?
It is the undeniable truth however, that slavery is the pinnacle of domination and submission we humans can get. The master dominates his or her slaves and the slaves submit to his or her masters to the fullest extent.
Although I must agree it is a very immoral and bad practice, I don’t have time going on about the morality issues or ramifications of it when I first discover its practice in this world. So I ignore it, stored at the back of my mind to never see the light again. It was only until that slave girl came that the notion or concept came to the surface.
That shortly lived existence of hers that makes it through my life puts a rather unimaginable amount of fuel on the once extinguished ideals of mine I hold dearly, on the first day I stumbled upon this world, reborn from my previous treacherous life.
It reminded me of my twisted desires.
I want absolute, unwavering devotion. I want certainty. I don’t want to be betrayed or abandoned. I want complete exclusivity of body, mind, and heart.
But that doesn’t exist. My previous life showed that.
Her slight appearance, however, gave me a revelation — a hope — at the once foolish fantasy.
Her features are cute, but boring I dare say; just another typical person in the vast seas of humans with no major-breaking beauty that distinguishes her from others. But not for me. For her devotion and loyalty towards her master are the personification of my dark desires. Her outer appearance might be seen as a lackluster stone, common in the midst of gravel road, but her inside is where her true beauty is at, diamond resides in her core, radiating its magnificent charm.
It made me question the true cause of the sudden strike of the blade that ended her life. Was it to respect her dying wish? Or… for something far more sinister? Spitting over myself for never experiencing that kind of undying affection one can have from a faithful person. It makes me wonder what if I-
「 RENALD ALDERHIDE! 」
Loud shout brimming with sheer authority echoes throughout the lecture room. The echoes vibrate following multiple eyes peering over to me, their expression disrelish. I’m in trouble, aren’t I?
I sluggishly stand up from my once relaxful seating position. Preparing for the stern lecture.
「 Yes, Professor Meyer? 」
「 Explain to me when the Verum Shihi Era and what is it! 」
「 Uhh… I think… It happened before the start of the Tenebris Shihi Era which starts around… around two hundred thousand years ago by the historian, Cadres Redd, while the dragonkin historian, Kazler, refuses his claim and deduces it, in fact, happened a million years ago or even more. The Verum Shihi Era is a… is an era where mana is plentiful, surrounding the atmosphere. Gigantic races, ancestors to some races such as dragonkin, Rengda, and many more reign supreme at its time. It was due to multiple huge meteors crashing into the world that led to their demise and the start of the Tenebris Shihi Era. 」
「 Hmph, 」a condescending sneer making its way on the professor’s face,「 That answer is correct but that doesn’t justify your overwhelmingly slacking manner in my class. Don’t do that next time. You may sit down. 」
By the time I’m done with putting up the nerve-wracking show, Professor Mayer continues his profound lecture in ancient history. Pointer sticks in his hand, guiding the students as he teaches us the myriad of ancient beasts and dragons drawn on the board.
In the end, all of it is just that. Fantasy. With no true resemblance in reality. I’m not so sure what exactly causes the undying affection the slave girl can have, but It will do me better to be in the present moment right now, focusing on the [History & Politics] class.
So far the history that has been presented in the class doesn’t give me much resemblance to the characteristics of the purple room in that mystical sky palace. There’s no mention whatsoever about the uncanny decagram star magic rune surrounded by the equally strange four hooded angel statues in each corner, nor the alter table. None. I wonder why? There surely must be some historical significance of that room. Am I on the wrong track or just being impatient, too desperate in trying to find the usage or the purpose of that room?
Perhaps I should figure out what kind of era the room perhaps comes from, in order to narrow down my research?
Verum Shihi Era — where true dragons with massive wings, thick scales, and other numerous gigantic races reign supreme. Their superiority stems from their heavy reliance on mana both for simply living and powerful magic that is abundant in the air.
Humans, however, were not so lucky.
The world is an unforgiving, ruthless place for humans at that time. Defeated both in magical prowess and physical endurance, they were left gathering the scraps leftover from the mighty races. Humanity lived the majority of their lives in underground caves or rivers, hiding from the vicious world, unforgiving to the weak.
It is this era where I highly assume the purple room originates from. Humans lived in constant fear and desperate for resources, so it would be very reasonable for them to do all sorts of means to survive in that brutal era. like a blessing or even summoning ritual which I predict to be the room’s purpose.
Tenebris Shihi Era — Not much is known about this era, but the majority of historians agree that multiple meteors crashed to earth starts the mark of this era, changing the world forever. A calamity.
Chaos descents as meteors bend the earth’s shape, its mark can be seen in several places to this day. It also changes the status quo for all living beings.
It disrupts mana. The once bountiful mana around the atmosphere becomes volatile, and slowly but surely depletes.
It causes major unrest for most of the world’s inhabitants. To them, mana is their second oxygen. They are completely dependent on it in order to simply live by. As the mana in the air decreases, their kind dies off — races went extinct.
Human’s small, fragile body, independent from mana in order to live, ironically, becomes the ultimate saving grace that allows us to be untouched and unaffected by the world’s worst phenomena. It’s also the start of humanity crawling their way through to the surface.
Once the humans become more apparent than ever before, and how they seem to be completely fine in a turmoil-filled world. Dragons and other gigantic races start to race their way through in adopting a human form — one without the need of mana to live by. It was their only way to survive.
It was due to this massive trend that results in hybrid races such as dragonkin, and Rengda — former races from their once supreme ancestors.
Minimus Shihi Era — today’s era where we currently live. The current year is 1547 MSE, signifying the number of years after the Tenebris Shihi Era is over. Mana stabilizes and reduces to almost nothingness in the space.
The rise and spread of humanity become more obvious in this era. The once weak and unseen humans become much more prosperous with the absence of gigantic races, replaced with their humanoid descendants. From the underground we came to the vast surface we made claim.
Now, humans are almost in every corner of the world and the majority of its inhabitants.
A bell ring echoes, silencing Professor Mayer’s lecture, marking the start of the monotone buzz of several-ten voices hummed like an orchestra run by fellow students.
「 I didn’t know you would slack off in this class, Renald. You always seem to be the very definition of a diligent and uphold student. Looks like even people like you can fall asleep once in a while in his boring lecture. 」
A friendly smile appears as Elras said that, even when as far as patting my shoulder. Too friendly for my taste. After the《Kualitatem》outlaws encounter three weeks ago he acts differently. Less strict on his request for doing his assignments in this class, all the way to prioritizing his time with me over his friends. His rarely seen eagerness in inviting me to join his next adventurer’s quest for tomorrow is to mildly put it, quite unbearable.
It raises so many questions. The aftermath and how it happened are kept secret thanks to Elras. I bullshit my way through by heavily injuring myself and saying some nonsense excuses. Even he didn’t ask much about how the outlaw was able to be eliminated just by me alone.
I can only assume he’s interested in whatever happened in my encounter; perhaps he knows there’s something fishy and how I might have a hidden ability that helped me. But that’s fine by me since he’s not making much of a ruckus about it.
「 I’m going to meet with Professor Mayer after this class. How about you, Elras and Aaron? 」I ask.
「 I still have《School of Assault Magic》class for today, 」Elras sighs.
「 Thankfully I’m done with university for the day. I’m going to head out to the Saint Goxara Cathedral and the nearby orphanage. Obligatory duties as always, 」Aaron says.
We went our separate ways after class. The nostalgic smell of old books hits me as soon as I’m inside Professor Meyer’s quarter. It’s been a while. He’s sitting at his desk, on each side are bookcases filled with all sorts of books.
「 Ah, if it isn’t one of my favorite students. But also the one who daringly betrays me by sleeping right in my very class, 」Professor Meyer says coldly.
「 Hello Professor Meyer, 」I reply briskly,「 I apologize for my carelessness. Recovering from my heavy injuries hasn’t been kind to my energy. 」
「 That’s reasonable, 」He gestures to the seat in front of his desk,「 Please take a seat, I have a feeling you are not here just to apologize. 」
I sit down, making note of his dragonkin’s iconic characteristic of the two tall black horns with zaggy curves near the tip.
「 I was quite curious. From what you’ve taught us minutes before, are you by chance the descendent of the Mervyn dragon race? 」
「 Wow, for a student who slept in my class, you were still able to pay attention, 」He says, excitement flashed in his eyes,「 For your answer, yes, my bloodline can be traced back to my revered ancestor, Mervyn. It’s very rare for humans to tell apart dragonkin races. How come you notice this rather small detail? 」
「 Well, I always have a curious outlook on what happened back in the past. It just made me look more attentively at the finer details of history. I was able to connect the dots when you went over some ancient dragon races in the class. 」
「 I wish all humans had the same thinking as you do, heavily passionate about the past wonders, 」He mutters,「 It would make my academy professing career… much more enjoyable. 」
Well, of course, I’m not the first or going to be the last one to fall asleep in his class.
「 Do you remember my question about the decagram star magic rune surrounded by four hooded angels? Do you have any clues or leads about it? 」
「 Oh, that one. I’ve already looked into some of my records, and I’m sorry to say this but I just cannot find anything that mentions what you’re looking for. 」
Welp, There goes my hope and dreams in figuring that purple room from the ancient history perspective.
「 I’m not sure whether this will help you with your research, 」He continues,「 I’m building an excavation team, and around the next vacation period, there will be an archaeological expedition. A good friend of mine found what seems to be the ancient site of an unknown dragon race on the other side of Ivrett mountain range. We will be the first to ever go inside the site. Because of this, It will be dangerous for sure, but I would love it if you could join my excavation team. Maybe you could find some insights or clues on your research from it. 」
「 That is quite an interesting offer… 」I say, recovering from my past disappointment, 「 But I would need more details about the operation before I could make a decision. How are you arranging the logistics? 」
「 We will rent a ship and it should take around two days from the Hasten port to go there. The living expenditures during the journey will be taken care of by us. As you may know, an expedition is quite pricey, so an upfront fee of a gold coin would be needed. In return, if you found any treasure that us dragonkin deemed doesn’t hold any historical value, they will be yours to do as you please. 」
「 I’m not so sure Professor Meyer. a gold coin is a huge sum of money for an expedition that might result in nothing. 」
「 I agree. The only small assurance I can give is that I’m not getting any profit from any of this. All of the money will only be used to pay for the expedition cost. 」
「 As I said, it’s an interesting offer. However, I would need some time to make a decision. 」
「 Oh, feel free to take your time, 」He says, quite disappointed,「 My offer will always be on the table before the semester ends. Two months from now. 」
「 Okay, thank you for the offer, Professor Meyer. I came over wanting to know the result of my request. Even though there’s no result, I’m still very thankful for sparing your time and effort into looking at it. I have《School of Wits Magic》class after this, so I must go now. 」
「 No problem, my title as a [History & Politics] professor is not just for show. I look forward to hearing back on your decision. 」
I leave him behind as I ponder whether to join his expedition. It will be interesting I bet.
Regarding the research for the purple room, the ancient history might not be the one. I have to probe about it in relation to the Maria religion from Aaron. When should I ask for his help? I’m going to be quite busy today with my《School of Wits Magic》class that thankfully is going very well, even instructor Cathryn Smush was impressed with my progress. So today is out of the question.
Maybe tomorrow? Oh yeah, there’s the adventurer’s quest…