108. Infinity
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Pronos calmly dashed through the swamp while looking at his personal map, heading back to the closest town so he could use the Pavilion’s Portal Room. He was aware that Rakna was on the First Plateau and sadly, he didn’t have the privilege of the Badge of Honor so he had to take the normal route.

 

While on the road, the Eion snake went over what he had done in the last twenty-four hours. Other than leveling up twice, he had developed a few spells, increased his skills’ levels, and it had been smooth sailing for the most part.

 

The only thing he still couldn’t understand or use was his Infinity Magic. He could feel it under his skin as if it was demanding to be released but he had no idea how to do it. The description did say something about mastering the Laws of Numbers but that didn’t help him much.

 

Did that mean he could affect numbers with magic? Or perhaps all kinds of values? Like the force of gravity, the speed of the wind, the resistance of the air, or… his attributes.

 

Pronos’ eyes widened. There had to be a connection with ‘Infinity’. Could he turn anything related to numbers into ‘infinite’? Could he increase his attributes until he was invincible? That sounded pretty unlikely but he felt like he was getting to something.

 

He stopped moving for a minute then hissed quietly, musing. He looked at some random rock on the ground and lifted it with his tail. This… was a rock. Now, there was only one question; what numerical values are relevant to it?

 

Weight; kilograms… Size; centimeters… Density; kilograms per cubic meter…

 

At this point, Pronos seemed to have been put into a trance. Additionally, unbeknownst to him, his eyes were now adorned with a golden infinity sign that looped around his pupils. After judging the basic numerical concepts, he threw the rock into the air and inspected it again.

 

Acceleration; meters per second… Force vectors; newtons…

 

Then, as the rock lost its driving force, it began to fall. Pronos watched it go in slow motion and intuitively, his eyes glowed and constructed a small magic circle with a golden infinity sign in the middle. It appeared under the descending rock which consequently passed through it.

 

The result of that was instantaneous. The rock abruptly accelerated beyond standard perception and virtually caught fire as its speed reached absurd levels. When it crashed, barely 0.01 second after it went through the magic circle, Pronos hissed in shock as the aftermath caused a crater to form and the shockwave propelled him back by a few meters.

 

The infinity glowing in his eyes vanished and his consciousness was clear again as he recovered his balance once landing back on the ground. At the same time, he noticed the huge chunk of mana that had been spent. When the dust settled and he saw the outcome, he almost couldn’t believe it.

 

The rock he had thrown was nowhere to be seen, probably either deep underground or pulverized after the impact, and in its place was a five-meter-wide and two-meter-deep crater already half-full with muddy water gushing from underground.

 

The Eion snake openly gaped at the sight. It was just a small rock, tossed half-heartedly and it had nonetheless done this much damage. At least, now he knew that his element didn’t increase things to infinity, since that would have probably transcended physics and caused much worse than this, but it definitely augmented values to a certain extent.

 

He didn’t know by how much, but he had for sure affected the acceleration or the weight of the rock to do that or perhaps even both. However, after taking a look at his status, he noticed that it had taken more than half of his mana pool; more than a hundred.

 

He would have to try that out a bit more. Though, the problem was that he had no idea how he had used it. He remembers consciously analyzing the values associated with the stationary rock and also in movement but the rest was a blur.

 

Maybe Rakna would be able to help him, he thought. He speedily resumed his trek back to town and regretted for the first time not having a way to fly like his master. He already missed sleeping cozily under Sonata while his werewolf friend would soar through the air. He could work on that later on as well.

 

Twenty minutes later, he arrived in town and concurrently shrunk his body back to its smallest state so that he wouldn’t scare everyone who saw him. When he reached the Pavilion’s entrance, he weaved through the crowd and pondered before slithering to the reception. He jumped on it and hissed at the woman sitting behind it who blinked in surprise.

 

“You… the main Filter Dimension allowed you entrance, so you are a pet… right?” She asked with a bit of hesitation and he nodded twice at her. “Do you need something? Are you lost?”

 

Pronos froze at her question. Ah, he hadn’t thought about that. How should he communicate with her? He tried to write ‘1’ with his tail but she just tilted her head in confusion and he groused.

 

[Would you like me to convey your directive?] Alexa, fortunately, came to his rescue and Pronos’ expression brightened, remembering about the AI that he shared with Rakna. He nodded and she replied positively, [Understood.]

 

The receptionist was about to speak up again when a holographic screen to her right lit up and showed her a message. She read it and her pupils dilated. “How rare… We don’t see an S-Class AI every day,” she muttered and smiled at Pronos. “So, you want to travel to the First Plateau, is it?”

 

The little snake nodded again with a happy hiss and she giggled. She typed on a few things placed on her desk and pointed behind her with her hand, “There. I’ve set up the Portal Room. Just take the door behind me and you’ll be transported where you want to go.”

 

Pronos hissed thankfully and jumped off. He slithered to the door behind her and leaped on the knob to open it. He felt the familiar influence of a Filter Dimension when he passed the doorstep and gawked at what was there.

 

The room in itself was massive and was perfectly cubic. Each wall seemed to be around twenty meters long, much like the height of the ceiling. Then, in the center, a large circular gateway was orbiting around a white and silver vortex of energy.

 

He admired it for a few seconds before approaching it. He tentatively touched the vortex with his tail and watched as it created visible ripples. He hissed and then jumped inside.

 

The feeling that he experienced afterward was difficult to explain. It was similar but at the same different from the previous instances where the System transferred him. It was like diving into water and then being dried in an instant before finally getting dropped on the ground… which was essentially accurate when the vortex ejected him inside the Portal Room of the First Plateau.

 

Pronos rolled and looked around disoriented before pulling himself back on the correct side of his body. He left the room soon after and looked around. The Pavilion was the same as ever but the receptionist was different.

 

So, it had indeed worked. He quickly made his way up the private section’s stairs and instantly sensed Rakna’s presence when he stepped into the main lounge. He slithered further inside and heard his master’s voice coming from one of the couches. What he said though, made him draw a blank out of raw bewilderment.

 

“Higure, there are no sex scenes in this.”

 

‘…’ Eh?

 

[…]

 

* * *

A moment earlier.

 

Rakna was still reading his book, having switched his control training from soul to mana after his soul sense and scourge leveled up a few times. He was about three-fourths finished with the book when his local lioness spoke up.

 

“{When do they mate, devourer of mine?}” She asked, returning to her previous way of calling him since it still felt right in her opinion.

 

Rakna stopped turning the page when she heard her. “Are you asking…?”

 

“{Yes, I’m asking when they will have intercourse. This is starting to get boring.}”

 

“Higure, there are no sex scenes in this. This isn’t erotica… I think,” he replied blankly. “First of all, how would I be supposed to know when something happens since it’s the first time I read it.”

 

“{Tch, it doesn’t make sense. This is a story about a god falling in love with a mortal woman. If it was a tad bit realistic, they would have mated when they first met.}”

 

“…why?”

 

“{Because gods are only good at sex, of course. Those crude bastards desire women unlike any other, even human ones. Did you take a look at Zeus’ legends? I can’t even count how many he has bedded or borderline assaulted. Well, at least, from what I know, none of them complained. I guess it does that to you when a god ravishes you.}”

 

“…could you please not invade my head with Zeus’ sexual feats?” Rakna said, a bit awkward with the subject. “And this is a romance novel. Most of them are slow burns. They consist of dense as lead characters who wouldn’t be able to tell if someone cared about them even if they screamed it at their faces. And don’t get me started on the awful ones about power relationships.”

 

“{Hm, you sound awfully invested.}”

 

“Not invested. Annoyed at them.”

 

“{I see…}” The lioness trailed. “{So… when are they going to make babies?}”

 

“No one’s going to make babies with anyone!” In a rare outburst, Rakna raised his voice to drown Higure’s but still preserved his trademark indifferent tone.

 

“{Really? Can you read some after this?}”

 

“No. Get your mind out of the gutter. You need to get laid or something.”

 

“{…are you offering?}”

 

“…Higure, I’m not into bestiality.”

 

“{Hah! What a human-like, useless ethic to have! Is it like those things on incest and age gaps?}”

 

He blinked. “I see. You beasts have completely different views, huh?”

 

“{No, we simply have relationships without meaningless bounds. Who cares if they are of the same family? Who cares if one is twenty years old and another fifty? At the end of the day, if there is love between them, what kind of misplaced selfishness do you need to have to criticize it? Bar children, obviously, since they are biologically inclined to be dumb AND stupid.}”

 

“…that’s harsh.”

 

“{But factual.}”

 

“Why are you starting to convince me anyway?”

 

“{Because it is the truth.}”

 

“…I don’t agree to offer myself to you though,” he deadpanned and he heard a short and relatively muffled noise. “Did you just click your tongue?”

 

“{I did not.}”

 

“You did.”

 

“{I did not.}”

 

“You-”

 

[May I interrupt you, Rakna?] Alexa cut them off and he raised an eyebrow. [There is someone that is seeking your attention.]

 

“What do you… mean… oh,” Rakna lowered his book as he finally noticed Pronos staring at him incredulously. “Is this too late to ask when you came in?”

 

The little snake slowly shook his head.

 

“All right… when did you come in?”

 

[From the moment you explicitly said there were not erotic scenes in your book,] Alexa answered in Pronos’ stead, finding amusement in the situation, though she didn’t even recognize it herself.

 

Rakna grunted. “Where is my luck when I need it?”

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