After hearing Tsubaki’s request for him, Libris offered a small nod. “Alright. This shouldn’t be too much trouble for me.” He spoke with a confident smile, beating one hand against his chest.
Tsubaki nodded in relief, glad that she didn’t have to resort to more drastic measures. While it was theoretically possible to help Bella ascend immediately to claim a domain suitable for their needs, they only had one chance at that. And, at best, it was a slim hope.
Using an energy projection, she displayed his form for Libris to study, while also describing his power. At first, he wasn’t sure why she was taking that extra step, but the reason became clear the more he heard, a grim expression covering his face.
“I apologize for troubling you for this matter. However, without a specific domain ability capable of searching him out, it could take us weeks to create a spell capable of doing so.” She made sure not to allude to the fact that they had access to fourth tier magic, allowing Libris to believe that it would simply be an advanced third tier spell.
“Yeah, I got that.” Libris spoke with a serious expression, before cracking his knuckles. “Alright, let’s get started.” Closing all but his middle eye, he slowly walked to the edge of the boat.
When he clapped his hands, the water around the boat seemed to freeze. It did not turn to ice, but rather simply halted any motion, waves suspended above the surface. Turning his palms downwards, he then spread his hands apart. This time, the water in front of him began to smooth itself out, as if one were looking at the water in a simple glass bowl.
“Find him for me.” He said, his central eye looking downwards. The hazel pupil shifted to a deep blue, and the surface of the still water seemed to churn. After a moment, there was a black spot that appeared within its center, white foam bubbling up along the edge to give the water the appearance of an eye.
Within the black ‘pupil’, images began rapidly flashing, faces and figures moving too fast to be properly identified. “If he is within sight of a single drop of water, beneath a cloudy sky, anywhere that there is moisture, find this man for me. Find the one that wishes to be Unknown.”
The pupil seemed to ripple, and a figure appeared kneeling on a stone floor. The figure which Tsubaki sought. The viewpoint seemed to be looking at them from a higher platform, with arms and legs at the corner of the view. As if looking through another’s eyes.
“How has your training gone, Sir Loriat?” A voice rang out from within the water, the effect causing it to sound like a rumbling roar.
The man, the knight, seemed to hesitate. “It went better than expected, however I faced an interruption which caused me to return ahead of schedule.”
The voice from before let out a loud laugh. “Hah! Well, no matter. If you continue your training, I am sure that you will truly become the first of my Holy Knights. The first step to divinity is said to be a true test. It would be unwise to challenge it before you are ready.”
Sir Loriat, to his credit, kept his face neutral as he heard that. “As you say, my King.”
“Go on, then.” The king gestured for him to rise. “I am sure you have matters to attend to, my Knight of Mystery.” He said the title with an amused tone, though there was an unmistakable twitch within Loriat’s eyes as he heard that.
Back within the boat, Libris let out a low sigh. “This seems like the one that you are after.”
“That’s right.” Tsubaki agreed readily. “Can you give me a location?”
“Just a moment.” After saying that, Libris clenched his fists together, and the view changed, shifting away from the king to up above. Now, they were looking down at a grand stone castle surrounded by a large city. “I can’t give you coordinates, but--oh, nevermind.”
His voice was cut off in exasperation when he saw Tsubaki appearing within the vision he was sending. Clearly, she not only recognized the castle, but had been able to send herself to that location before he had been able to finish speaking.
High within the skies, above the human nation of Hanbei, a glowing kitsune appeared. Immediately, her senses spread out to encompass the entire city. Scanning in such a crude way would surely be noticed, but once she had set her sights on this target, she knew he would have no means of escape.
Sure enough, she found the unassuming knight walking just outside of the castle, a short sword at either side of his waist. Immediately, his eyes looked up at the sky in alarm, but by then it was too late. “I am truly sorry for this, you have a valuable ability.” Tsubaki muttered to herself, seeing him immediately take to the skies to flee from her.
“However, I cannot allow anyone that would use their power to harm my Keeper’s world.” She lightly waved one hand, and a silver scepter appeared within. Despite his speed, she was able to easily track him, his figure never leaving her sight.
Within her left hand, a thick tome bound in leather appeared. “I’m not confident in being able to kill you with my domain, without harming the environment.” The tome opened, flipping through a few pages. When it settled, a projection appeared above the book, one that appeared to be an overlapping mess of shapes and symbols.
The next moment, her body flickered and she was hovering directly in front of Loriat. She swept her staff to the side, allowing the blue orb at the top to lightly brush against the projection. “Disappear.” She said in a cold tone.
An icy blue beam shot out from the projection after the scepter’s orb touched it, too close for Loriat to dodge. As a last ditch effort, he tried to make himself Unknown once again. Not to Tsubaki, but to the spell she had fired. Unknown to magic, to the world’s laws.
For a moment, the beam passed through him, and he gave a sneer towards his would-be executioner. However, that beam simply turned around, piercing through his head next. It could still not touch him, but at the same time he could not get rid of it.
“Interesting. How long can you hold out in that state?” Tsubaki asked, closing the book. “Such a powerful ability must consume a lot of divinity. And the moment you stop it, you will die. I can tell that you have yet to break through to the Divine Body, so your energy must be limited.”
She was right, and he knew it. Even while she was talking, he could feel his reserves draining. The only question was, would he run out of energy first, or would the spell? He had to bet his life on the idea that he had more energy with his divinity than a spell that could be stored within a grimoire.
And, had this been a normal grimoire, he would have been correct. However, the book that Tsubaki pulled out did not store ‘spells’, but ‘spell patterns’. While the two seemed similar, the difference lay in the fact that one could not cast spells strictly with the pattern, they also needed the mana source. However, the fact that they were not storing an entire spell meant that they did not have nearly the same limit on what could be stored within.
This, combined with the Archmage’s Scepter, ensured that the spell had more than enough energy to outlast even a powerful god. And, given how calm Tsubaki seemed to be watching this scene, Loriat felt his chances dimming by the second.
Everyone fears what they don’t understand. This was a fact of life that had been instilled in almost every living being. When people mocked his decision to become an unknown knight, to channel his loyalty to his king not into shining brightly, but disappearing, he knew. Once he reached the height of his power, there would be nothing he couldn’t do.
Killing the other half-gods had been nothing more than a test to him. Proof to himself that his path was superior. He didn’t even know that they were being monitored, as his ability had kicked in long before the registry appeared. He simply knew that his power, his Unknown domain, would let him prove his worth.
He assassinated a half-god monk who followed the path of blood, a druid on the path of fire, and had almost taken the life of a priestess on the path to godhood as well. None of them had so much caught a glimpse of him before he struck.
Everyone fears what they don’t understand. So, he became what could not be understood. Only now, he was known, and his enemy was the one using a power beyond comprehension. As his divinity withered away, he felt that the spell had not weakened in the slightest.
Fear began to spread across his features, and Loriat did the only thing he could do. He ran. He turned and charged back towards the city. There were only a few moments left before his power ran out. Maybe, just maybe he could force this spell to target someone else. If so, he would have time to rest. It wasn’t possible for such a powerful spell to be used repeatedly, was it?
As soon as he was in the city, he dove for the nearest large man. In his current state, his body passed directly through the human shield, the unfortunate victim being none the wiser. Within seconds, the spell would strike the man, and he would be able to flee.
Yet, no scream emerged from behind him. Looking back, he saw the icy blue beam still circling around him, completely ignoring the man that Loriat had tried to use as a shield. Another thing that he simply couldn’t understand.
From afar, Tsubaki watched his desperate bid to live. In truth, she was controlling the beam herself. Her sight directed its movement. Meaning that he could only escape it if he could escape her vision. The only way to do that would be to go through a portal, but he could not do so as long as he was in his current ‘unknown’ state.
Once his energy ran out, his face went deathly pale. The people around him finally took notice of his existence, gasping in shock as the beam dug into his forehead. Then, just as quickly as he appeared, he vanished.
Tsubaki gave a small nod, storing away the scepter that she had used to power the spell. Dana? I just tested the Magus Tome. The third execution spell performed flawlessly.
Third execution… Dana’s voice spoke back in Tsubaki’s mind. Oh! You mean the divine erasure spell?
That’s right. Tsubaki’s lips curved upwards as she vanished from her position in the sky. The tome worked just as you expected. Will you be able to prepare another one soon?
There was a faint giggle in the back of Tsubaki’s mind. Yes, I’ll prepare one for the Keeper. Want me to make a customized storage space for them, as well?
Tsubaki’s cheeks flushed slightly pink when she heard that, her mental voice growing tiny. Yes please. You know the drill…
Yes, I do. ‘Nothing is too good’. Dana repeated the mantra that Tsubaki lived by. Nothing was too good for the Keeper. This world was his, as was everything within it. Speaking of, though, I had an idea for an improved storage space, borrowing from the Reality Gems. What if, instead of a world filled with mana, we simply make an empty world?
Tsubaki’s eyes gave a small twitch at that. The idea was possible in theory. However… The gravity of a world that size would be far greater when we increase its scale, right? Let’s study the idea, and see if it can be implemented without adverse effects. She knew that Dale could easily withstand increased gravity, but certain items might be more fragile.
Alright, alright. I get it. Dana laughed off her worry. I wanted to try making something with that dimensium stuff, anyways.
The kitsune had her ears twitch at the unknown term. The what?
Oh, right, you’ve been busy. A new world connected with Deckan a couple days ago. Our connection with their research servers logged a new metal, which is supposedly responsible for card magic. One of the properties listed is to create a new type of storage space.