“So, Eternal Night, huh?” Rakna inquired as his group sat in one of the private rooms of the train along with Gray. The other two guilds had been scattered in other compartments.
“Yes,” Nyx nodded impassively. She raised her hand and a black arc of jagged shadows appeared surrounded by a swirl of dark lightning. “This is Aeter. A perfect combination of both unmatchable power and subtlety, or so they said,” she added and closed her hand to make it disappear.
Gray hummed. “You should be careful with that magic in the future.”
“That is the signature of the Eternal Night God. After his emergence a few years ago, many people were forced to acknowledge that he was the strongest God to ever exist. Parading its power will do you more bad than good. You’d become a target of attention. The implications of that are a no-brainer.”
Nyx scowled at that. ‘Again… The System already told me that man had become the Eternal Night God. But the strongest? What happened after our battle? Was I sent into the future?’ She thought to herself and Rakna glanced at her.
“Hey, Clown, seeing that you were not that shocked when Vera mentioned that element, I assume there are more wielders of that magic within the System, correct?” He asked.
Gray nodded. “You’re right. But, in my opinion, I feel like they are different from your friend here. I met other wielders of this magic, but all of them seemed to be lacking in comparison. Their magic was undeniably Aeter, there’s no doubt about that, but its… ‘substance’ was weak,” he said and looked at Nyx.
“Yours, however, feels complete. As if you had something the others don’t. Well, perhaps it’s because of the small divinity you exude,” he added with a shrug.
When Rakna realized that this conversation wouldn’t be going much farther, he decided to change the topic, “What about Lunar Magic?”
“Oh, that,” Gray raised a finger. “It’s not super rare. But it’s as it sounds; magic made to use the power of the moon,” he explained. “Well, that’s vague I know. But you’ll probably understand in time. Well then, if we’re going to go through everyone’s magic affinities, what is yours?” He turned toward Allan in curiosity. “Every Host out there loves to hear about others’ awakenings.”
‘So, foxy isn’t the only one,’ Rakna commented inwardly and also looked at Allan, waiting for his answer.
“Well, I only have one affinity; Void.”
“…what?” Gray uttered dumbly. “Could you repeat that? I fear my sound sensors misfunctioned for a second.”
The clown grumbled inaudibly before crossing his arms and leaning back against his seat. “Damn, that Quill didn’t even bother to brag about it, huh?”
“What is the Void element?” Flavia asked in confusion.
“Another super rare affinity. I swear you four are so busted,” he said sardonically. “Anyway, Void is the element of nothingness; suiting for the Madness Guild now that I think about it. Simply said, it’s a magic mainly meant to replicate magic.”
“Or I guess it’s more accurate to say that it incorporates magic,” Gray specified and waved his hand at Allan. “Why don’t you explain it yourself? It’s your affinity, after all.”
Allan mused for a moment. “Well, from what I understood, I can assimilate the element of a magic that is used against me and copy it, albeit weaker. I can’t have two different elements at the same time though. At least, for now.”
“So, if I were to cast my magic on you, you’d be able to use it as well?” Rakna asked. “Would it hurt you when you assimilate it?”
“Yeah,” Allan stretched his cheek. “I need to be hit to assimilate one and it can kill me if I’m not careful. But it also says I can do the same with pure magical energy. So, in other words, I could do the same by touching someone.”
“Interesting? Can you do it on me?” Rakna requested.
“I can try,” Allan said and put his hand on his friend’s shoulder before closing his eyes.
Gray squinted his cybernetic eyes in curiosity. Then, Allan’s hand started collecting frost and releasing a chilling mist. After a few seconds, he winced and hastily pulled his arm back.
“What’s wrong?” Flavia asked as he saw him clench his hand.
“Well… I think it failed. Give me a second,” he muttered and seemingly looked at a System window. “Apparently, your magic cannot be replicated, Rak.”
Gray chuckled. “Obviously. Star Magic isn’t something that could be so easily reproduced.”
“Star Magic? And, wait! Why didn’t you tell me before I tried then?!” Allan shouted and the clown shrugged uncaringly.
“I was curious. It’s not like it was going to kill you.”
Allan groaned while Nyx got interested in something else. “You said Star Magic?”
“Yes. Rakna over here has awakened Cold Star Magic. Something that was only known in theory until today. Though, keep it a secret from your respective guilds. I’m confident that my guild can stand against most hostilities but we really don’t want to attract more trouble than necessary. I already made a huge gamble by accepting Rakna and his irregularity.”
“I bet,” Allan snorted. “So, what is this Cold Star Magic thing?”
“For now, the only thing I know is that I can channel mana to generate cold and that my attacks have 10% additional cold damage. Then, I have a Tier 0 spell that I need to try out,” Rakna told in Gray’s stead.
“Oh, and it also did this to my ears and tails,” he added whilst pointing at the white fur.
“Yeah, I wondered why it was like that now,” Allan nodded understandingly. “So, basically, you have super rare magic as well?”
“Add a few more ‘super’s and a ‘mega’ before ‘rare’ and then you’ll be spot on,” Gray jested. “On top of that, you should hear about the lazy little snake there,” he pointed at Pronos who was as always sleeping the day off. “He has two affinities; Poison and Infinity.”
“Poison I can imagine. But Infinity? I never heard about something similar,” Nyx questioned.
“Super super super, etcetera, mega rare affinity as well,” Gray deadpanned. “Though less rare than Star Magic, it’s so uncommon and elusive that no one even knows what it can be used for. It will be up for the lazy snake or Rakna himself to find out. But it’s nevertheless considered Divine Magic as it relates to Ouroboros,” he disclosed and looked at the time; they were about to arrive.
“The last one is you, young lady. Vera said you had awakened six affinities. What are they?”
“Well,” Flavia swiftly brought up the list on her status as she hadn’t had enough time to memorize them. “Wind, Light, Gravity, Wood, Time and Space.”
“…” The room fell silent.
“Even I can tell that sounds like bullshit,” Allan broke the silence.
“You have no idea,” Gray facepalmed. “The first three ones are frankly quite good. Some people would kill to have those three affinities. But Wood, Time, and Space? That’s just crazy. These three have massive potential individually. But you’re saying you have all three of them along with three others AND a Nirvana Skill?” He let out a snicker and shook his head. “Busted.”
Flavia laughed wryly. “Thank you?”
“Well, you certainly have promise as a Chaos Witch. That’s for sure.”
“What do you mean?” Rakna raised an eyebrow. “What exactly makes a Chaos Witch strong?”
“I can answer that,” Flavia said with a smile. “My Path will eventually allow me to use Chaos Magic. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not an extra affinity but a constructed magic that is made by mixing several others together. Hence, Chaos Magic. So, logically speaking, the more magics you use to generate Chaos, the stronger it will be. Though I heard from Lady Vera that it will be very hard to use Six-Fold Chaos, as she called it.”
“Really…” Gray couldn’t help but ask himself how far these four would go. Well, five counting the unassuming pet that unassumingly had the potential to become a sort of Serpent God. Ultimately, even after hearing all that in person, he still couldn’t believe a group so talented existed.
A few minutes after the end of their chat, a chime ringed throughout the train. Then, immediately after, they heard the doors open along with a synthetic voice.
|| The Black Steel’s Spear has reached its destination. Please disembark. ||
“All righty,” Gray stood up and opened the sliding door of their room. “Let’s go.”
“We’ve arrived?” Allan asked confusedly. “I didn’t even feel the train stop.”
“And we couldn’t feel it move either,” Nyx pointed out.
“Of course,” Gray said as they walked in a corridor that you wouldn’t believe was in a train because of its size. “The Black Steel’s Spear is nothing mundane. Its maximum speed is higher than the speed of sound and it operates with both machinery and magic. You have no idea of the distance we traveled during these fifteen-odd minutes.”
Rakna’s group quietly followed the clown until they reached one of the automatic doors of the train and the view was nothing short of striking.
It was a massive contrast from the city-scape. Tall grass shining under the light of the sun, a stunning variety of flowers, and trees of all sorts with some in the distance being even taller than skyscrapers.
But, even more than the beauty of the landscape itself, the more shocking thing was the presence of creatures that Rakna didn’t fail to recognize. His eyes widened as he caught sight of one certain creature with a very long neck, eating at the leaves of a tree.
“Apatosaurus,” he muttered unintentionally.
“Dinosaurs!?” Allan shouted in shock.
“Ah, yes. That’s how the Earth calls them, isn’t it?” Gray said as he spotted Vera and Quill’s group come out from different doors. They were probably taking time to gather everyone. “Well, there will be a few species here that you may know about. But that’s only a small part of all the creatures that live on the First Plateau or on others Plateaus for that matter.”
“Unbelievable… I never expected this kind of scenery after seeing Black Steel,” Flavia whispered.
“Well, Black Steel’s Mayor made it a law to not touch nature more than necessary. While it is true that a Plateau’s surface greatly exceeds most planets, Black Steel has always left it untouched and unpolluted; just expanding the city when needed.”
“Indeed. Black Steel has a good Mayor,” Vera’s voice sounded as the three groups got closer after making sure everyone was here. The other passengers of the train were already leaving.
Right after that, they heard the train’s locomotive roar as a cloud of steam was released. The train slowly started moving again on the rails built on the ground around the grass, and then followed the half-turn defined by those same rails and went back underground through a tunnel.
“Well then, let’s go,” Gray grinned. “It’s time for you to test your mettle on your first Trial.”