It’s been three days since that horrifying fight with the wolves and goblins in the dark forest. The expression of my mother when finding out about the severity of the situation is quite horrible to say the least, especially the consequences I suffered from it. I was forced to stay inside the house until I’m sent off to the university. And with Instructor Kalish heavily injured, I wasn’t able to make any progress in learning magic.
So to make up with all this free time, I’ve been holding up in the house library. Most of the books here are just fictional tales, none that could help me understand more about this world that I haven’t read already. But I’m not here to read books. I’m here to travel to the sky palace. I lean down on the sofa in the corner of the library, in an attempt to take a nap.
Closing my eyes, I whisper my spell chant.
Drowsiness comes to me as I fall asleep.
I open my eyes, sitting on a throne in the position I left this place in before. I head over to the palace library to summarize the many secrets I have that would’ve appalled most people.
As soon as I’m inside the library, I sit down on the nearest comfortable chair and desk. And start to write notes on one of the many blank books available here, in Japanese to avoid prying eyes in learning its contents. It’s a way for me to consolidate what I’ve discovered and learned about this sky palace and my mysterious summoning ability.
From the magical spell chant alone, “Ruler of the arcane sky palace”; it would seem that I somehow became the ruler of this sky palace. I do, however, believe this notion quite easily. This palace listens to almost every single of my instructions regarding itself. From simple things such as opening a door to heating the water in the bathroom. It could even do something challenging such as replacing the entire garden layout to a completely different theme.
I also did verify whether this palace is a dream or an actual place. One way to do so is by slightly cutting myself in both the palace and where I came from. Unsurprisingly, both of the wound marks transferred in both places.
And after further investigation comparing two different watches, one in the palace and another in the normal world, I found out that time flows much more slowly in the palace. An hour in the normal world is the same as three hours in the palace. This is an amazing and wonderful discovery since I could use the extra time to study magic more.
My research also led to another discovery. If I hold an object and intentionally want to bring that object to the palace, it will teleport it to the palace. When I go back to my original place that object will be gone. This can be a great way for me to store things.
In that magical spell chant, there’s also the sentence, “The master of all things ancient”. It must have come from my ability to summon shadow minions. The shadows do exhibit something mythical and ancient from their aura.
Personally killing monsters and therefore sucking their souls allow me to summon more shadow minions. It just raises the question of whether it will result in the same thing if I kill non-monster beings and I don’t really want to find it out. Now I have six shadow minions in total; three swordsmen and three spearsmen.
From further experimenting with commanding the shadows and trying out to simulate battle operations, I immediately found out that my combat strategy capability is very lacking, causing their operation to be very inefficient. Interestingly, they are able to operate far away from my location. However, they can only act on my direct command and they can receive it only within around a hundred meters away from me. But thankfully I don’t really have to word my command or instructions precisely as if it were a computer to get them to do what I want.
I’m still quite bothered with this power. How and why did I receive this power? Is this a gift from the god itself? If so, then why? Why me instead of other beings? Praying to the goddess Maria to find some answers sounds like a good idea however there are no responses. This makes me question whether the goddess in this world actually exists or just a worship symbol, similar to the religion back on earth.
And there’s also the fact how I never heard of this kind of power. I’m not sure of the origin of this power but it might be best to maintain a high level of secrecy regarding anything related to it. I’d rather be ignorant about this power of mine than risk other people finding it out.
With all that said, there are still several mysteries and unknown matters that have yet to be answered from my investigation.
That purple room comes to mind the most. Unlike the black room which from this henceforward will be termed as “Adsignatos room”, there are no major reactions. I remembered there was a stream of information coming to me as I stumbled upon that cauldron in the Adisgnatos room. Whereas that mysterious purple room gives me a creepy, sultry feeling. There are no further hints or clues on tracking down that voice, I believe this is due to it being in the realm of mysticism.
The only way I could think of that could further my investigation and try to make sense of that room is to start by figuring out its most distinctive features. Which are the white decagram runes and the four angel statues. For now, I come up with three hypotheses on the purpose of that room.
First, it’s a magical ritual to pray to the goddess, Maria. An offering will be set on the altar and a person will stand in the middle of the magical runes to receive her blessings. This kind of ritual to receive Maria’s blessing I believe is quite common amongst the upper-rank priests. If I’m going for this hypothesis it would require me to get along and ask questions with the Miracle and Blessings Magician or pursue that school of magic which I definitely do not want to.
Second, another religion that I’ve never heard from the other side of this world. Not much is known about the other side of the world. With how the transportation and communication technology is not quite advanced enough, distance is still the biggest barrier in getting to know other cultures and would be very difficult for me to do research on this hypothesis. I would need to travel across the ocean and that could only be done after I leave the Alderhide family.
Third, an ancient religion that’s forgotten as time passes. With how both of the rooms have an ancient feel, contrasting with the rest of the palace. Perhaps it’s a ritual related to an old, forgotten religion. All I can hope is that it’s not a ritual to summon a devil or anything. If I’m going for this hypothesis then, learning this world history on a deeper level would be crucial.
All in all, the pursuit of discovering this lies in the need for heavy research at the university in the near future.
I read what I’ve gotten so far in my notes, deleting and modifying some parts I see fit. After being satisfied with the final result, I close the book and return it back to one of the many bookshelves here.
Done with what I need to do for the day, I head back to the throne room and return to the real-world library.
Waking up, I find myself on the sofa at the corner of the house’s library as expected. It should be around the afternoon, so I head over to the kitchen to grab some food.
While I’m on my way there, I look outside the windows. The bright sunshine shining on my face gives me great hope for what’s about to unfold in the future; my recently discovered powerful ability drives this even further. In the garden, outside the window, I find my mother relaxing in the white canopy.
Oh, she’s waving at me, being the good boy I am, I also wave back to her. She gestures her hand for me to come to her. I change my course and go to the white canopy.
「 Hello, Renald. 」
「 Hello, Mo… ther…. 」
Unbeknownst to me, across where my mother is sitting is my eldest brother, Elric Alderhide. That’s strange, I wonder why is he here? I sit down beside my mother.
「 Hello, my dear Renald-otouto. How’s your injury? I sincerely hope you will recover soon. 」
His gentle green eyes inherited from his own mother looks to me, sending a warm gaze. But his fake friendly smile blows away his cover.
「 Thank you for your concern, Elric onii-sama. The doctor told me it will take me a day or two for my shoulder to fully recover. 」
「 That’s great. How’s that Rengda instructor? 」
「 I heard from his doctor it would take him at best a week to recover and at worst three weeks. He heavily injured himself, stalling the monster in order to let me retreat for my safety. 」
「 Of course. That’s expected for a lowly Rengda adventurer who has low magic capabilities to have a hard time dealing with few goblin riders. 」
「 Hey, at least that Rengda instructor has the integrity to prioritize my boy’s safety first. 」
To think they openly discriminate against Rengda. Is he doing it simply because he thinks poorly of Rengda or he’s doing it to spit on me?
「 Anyway, going back to where our conversation drifted off. How’s Miss Clara doing? 」
My mother says, seemingly trying to lead the conversation’s direction.
「 She’s doing well in her pregnancy, Lady Heva. We recently found out she’s raising a baby boy in her stomach. 」
「 That’s super wonderful! Have you come up with a name for your son? 」
「 I want to name my son Derreck, but she thinks otherwise, wanting to name him as Brayn. I swear, she’s more stubborn in this matter than about the wedding ceremony back then. 」
「 That’s just how women feel about their firstborn son, Elric. Oh, how I remember how I desperately begged my dear boy here to be named Renald. Danna-sama at first wanted to name him Russal. 」
Mother is happily talking with him without needing me here. I wonder if I can escape from this conversation. As if he is able to read my mind, Elric suddenly directs the conversation towards me.
「 This reminds me, Renald-otouto. After finding out about your encounter with goblin riders, my knights and I investigated deep into the forest again. Turns out, that Rengda did guess correctly that there’s a goblin village deep in the forest and we were met with a surprisingly weak counterforce. 」
「 Isn’t that great Elric onii-sama? Thanks to it you have an easier time exterminating those goblin riders. 」
「 It is. Only four of my men were injured with no deaths in the skirmish. However, the size of the counterforce doesn’t add up with the size of the village. It was quite large you know, encountering goblins instead of wolves. It takes such a short amount of time there’s no need for us to set up camp. So we went back home way earlier than we estimated.
Shockingly while we were on our way back, we found six pairs of goblin and wolf corpses. 」
I totally forgot about that. Is this the reason why he randomly visits my mother and me? I need to remain calm and not raise any suspicion.
「 That’s quite interesting, Elric onii-sama. Your knights didn’t exterminate them? 」
「 They didn’t, Renald-otouto. By the time we found them, the corpses had already started to rot; flies hovering around them. 」
「 That’s quite strange no matter how you look at it. Do you have any clues on this matter, Elric onii-sama? 」
By maintaining a curious and ignorant approach on the matter, hopefully, I can maintain my facade. I shouldn’t worry too much about it anyway. It’s not like the incident would lead him to find out about my summoning ability.
「 If it were those members from the 《Adventurer’s Creed》 then the monster’s right ear would’ve been cut. Yet it was still intact when we investigated them. 」
Dammit, I should’ve cut it. To think that minor detail would raise suspicion. He sips his tea while retaining his suspicious gaze into me. But why would he suspect me?
「 I’m still inexperienced regarding this matter, Elric onii-sama. But perhaps it’s a result of a dispute between monsters? 」
「 Heeeh… I don’t think there are monsters that use such a sharp sword and spears Renald-otoutou. The wounds that were inflicted on the corpses used that kind of weapon. 」
「 Huh… Then I’m clueless in that regard… 」
His suspicious gaze on me starts to become more sinister as silence remains in the garden, crawling through my body, seeking for any opening of my weakness. I swear I notice a very small smirk plastered on his face right now. Did he find out?
「 How did you get that injury on your right shoulder, Renald-otouto? 」
His lips curl up into a smile. But what I sense is a “gotcha” expression.
「 I… I got attacked by a goblin spear when we first encountered the monsters with my instructor. 」
「 That’s strange… That Rengda told me otherwise. He told me you weren’t injured when he was with you. Are you telling the truth Renald-ototou? Something doesn’t add up.」
Did he see through my poker face?
「 What are you doing Elric? You don’t need to interrogate my boy like that. What does he have to do with any of this? 」
「 I’m afraid I can’t do that Lady Heva. This is for the greater good of the land and commoners. Everything about this is very surreal. Defeating six pairs of goblins and wolves is not an easy task. With no magic presence in that area, it takes a very skilled person to deal with them. What’s more, I suspect it’s not just one person. I have a suspicion tha- 」
Out of nowhere, butler Drake dashes into the white canopy. His hand is holding a letter.
「 Excuse me, Elric-sama. Sorry for interrupting your wonderful moment. I have received a letter from Lady Carla to inform you that she expects you to accompany her in her noble gathering tonight. 」
Butler Drake gives the letter with two hands towards Elric. He grabs it in a quick motion and starts scanning the content.
「 Well well well… Looks like I have to leave right now. Renald-otoutou, Lady Heva, it was nice having a relaxing conversation with you all. But I must leave now. Renald boy, I hope your right shoulder will recover soon. 」
He then stands up. His posture filled with confidence as he walks away from the canopy we were sitting at.
「 Are you alright my dear boy? Don’t let him get to you. Elric has always been like that, prying deep into people’s minds. I should’ve warned you beforehand. 」
「 It’s fine, mother. I just didn’t expect Elric onii-sama to be like that. 」
That was nerve-wracking… I was very close to having to reveal what actually happened in the forest. This will be a warning for me to be very careful the next time I’m using my shadow summoning ability…