It was a mess, figuratively and literally. The whole wing of the castle has crack lines running everywhere from top to bottom. Especially in the room that had been arranged for Elena. The ceiling and the wall were gone, leaving the place exposed to the elements like a badly designed balcony, or a cake that was bitten deeply by a beast.
Gathering there were the owner of this castle Marchioness Ophelia, Duchess Anastasia, and Countess Filianore with the latter in a stormy fit. There were all her knights from the county pouring in the room and outside the hallway with weapons at the ready.
“Lionel, explain this right now! Where is my daughter?!”
Kneeling before the three noble Ladies were Mari and Lionel as their heads bowed low. The Countess’ anger scared most of the servants and soldiers around. The other two Ladies were more calm but slight anxiety could be seen on their visage.
“There was an intruder in maid clothes. She got in through the floor and used some kind of artifact to teleport Milady away.”
“And where were you at that time?”
They didn't answer. Any reply would just be an excuse for their failure. They had been right there but teleportation was not something they had prepared for. No one would have a countermeasure for it. The existence of teleportation was just in stories of Heroes, it indicated how legendary a feat that was.
"Tell me everything you know. We need to identify the enemy."
"Milady, the intruder wore full black with high-level equipment. I haven't exchanged blows with the intruder yet but based on their movement, the skill level was that of a master."
The Countess contemplated the information and then looked over the other two Ladies. Her gaze held a silent inquiry but the other understood it. A nod from Marchioness Ophelia indicated some kind of confirmation between them.
A small ruckus happened near the entrance. The other maid of her daughter and the daughter of Duchess Anastasia came charging in.
"What is going on?"
Everyone looked at them with silence except one cold gaze of the Countess. No one answered them but they could guess it by just looking around. Emily saw Mari kneeling next to the captain so she also quickly went to her and kneeled.
Left alone without understanding anything, Cecilia was panicking and looking around wildly until her mother called her to her side. Countess Filianore had intended to pour her anger on Emily as well but seeing that the maid had come with Cecilia she decided to hold back. She inquired Lionel again in hope of finding something they could use to track where her daughter was. She was angry but she was no fool. No one could defend against something so obscured as teleportation. Punishing them at the moment would be a detriment.
“Is this the doing of the kidnapper?”
She gestured to the state of the whole room, or more like the state of the castle as the emptiness about their head was a power that couldn’t be ignored. To remove a part of a castle like scooping a cake just by one person was a threat.
“Ah, t-this is… Mari’s doing. She… punched.”
Well, she had better find a clue about her daughter fast.
“Wait a second! You say who destroyed my castle?”
“Hmm, it doesn’t matter who did that. What matters is rescuing my daughter.”
“No no, this is important too! With power like that…”
The Ladies were sidetracked but Filianore firmly kept their focus on her daughter. That power was her daughter’s maid so she would not allow others to use it however they pleased.
The maid in question was in distress but not by being talked about. Her master had disappeared in front of her eyes while she was powerless to do anything. Even though she had gained this much strength, she still couldn’t do anything of worth to her master. A small rage budding inside her heart. It demanded her to wreck everything around her and found the enemy, then she would destroy them too with every bit of power she could muster.
But she reigned it in without a problem. Her best friend was right next to her and held her hand in worry. The last thing she wanted was to harm Emily and make her sad.
The Ladies were discussing busily who was behind this. It looked like the Marchioness had some information but was reluctant to give them. She had wanted an alliance out of this and the Duchess seemed to also be in favor of it.
But all of their bickerings were stopped by the loud impact of something falling from the sky in the garden before them. Before they had the time to look, the floor exploded again and pushed everyone back as Mari sprinted with her maximum speed toward the location.
“It looks like I have a lot of guests in my room tonight.”
From the garden looking up to her room was Elena in her almost tattered sleepwear. Mari was kneeling in front of her and having her head patted by Elena.
The garden had a two-meters wide crater from her drop down from the sky. Flowers and grass were the least of her care as she stepped on the uprooted vegetarian toward her room.
“Emily, Mari. I will need a bath. Prepare it quickly.”
“Right away master!”
Mari ran back inside the building and Emily quickly went out of the room as if escaping hell. Cecilia in the corner with her mother wanted to say something but didn’t.
With a light jump, she stood before her mother soundlessly. Her hair fluttered in the wind scattering motes of mana light.
"Mother, we should return soon. Our business here is not so important anymore."
Filianore didn't answer her immediately, she rushed over and hugged her daughter, checking any wound or injury while asking various things emotionally.
"My Elena, are you hurt anywhere? Tell me if you feel unwell okay?”
Things turned messy in another meaning thanks to her mother almost stripping her nake in front of everyone. She only wore panty underneath this one piece of clothes so she couldn’t just let her mother continue.
“That is quite enough mother!”
“Oh, right. Sorry, my dear. Ahem! Where have you been? How did you escape?”
Being forcefully calmed down by Elena brought her attention back on the serious matter.
"I was somewhere to the west of here. There was no landmark so I can't tell the exact location."
She had to give some answers to the other Ladies to uphold her role.
"Is that place near here? How did you return so fast?"
Marchioness Ophelia got closer to them and added in her question. The Duchess also moved along with her. These people were all business and no fun so Elena was not too keen on speaking with them. She would lose to them in any kind of argument so she preferred to avoid talking about serious topics. She hated losing. So if lying against these people were dangerous, she just had to tell them the truth.
Elena levered her eyes at them and answered with her most neutral and calm voice.
“I kill them all, of course.”
The blood-red eyes that were looking at them somehow made their back feel cold.
“I ran back here with the use of wind magic but that place is far. It nears the mountain range that is our border after all.”
Speechless was all that could describe their reaction. The sheer absurdity that was the massacre done by a frail noble lady was enough to weigh their mind down, could they even call her frail? Then her trip back was nothing but fiction that they could not accept. Their mind failed to measure the height of her ability but they had some real concern. Elena’s inclination toward killing was too terrifying. The crime of murder was ignored as this wasn't your usual situation and the Ladies didn't want to get on the Countess' nerve anymore.
Noble ladies fought with words and schemes but they didn’t know how to deal with Elena if the time came. The law could only intervene after the murder was done. That was if there were any evidence. They just hoped that no young lady was courageous enough to make an enemy out of Elena.
“Enough of this matter. I want to rest. How about you mother?”
“Whatever you want my dear.”
Even though Filianore said something like that, her head was still fully running with logic.
With how Elena looks, she is not very happy with the others here. It’s good that her captors were killed, I could get all the details later in private. Now I will finalize the business we are here for instead of tomorrow, we have stayed long enough as my daughter had said.
As soon as Elena walked out of the room following a maid to the bathroom, Filianore changed her facial expression from loving to a cold face of a killer. The room’s temperature seemed to drop with just her chilling mood.
"Stop it Filianore. We know how you feel so stop exerting your [Frost Aura]. My daughter is still here."
Although disgruntled, she still retracted her mana back as the Duchess demanded. Her powerful ability had enough time to cover the ground around her feet with a layer of frost.
"Stop playing around. I don't have time to deal with this political crap while my Elena is in danger."
"Without your mask, you are still as ruthless as ever. I see that your daughter takes after you. Your magic has reached a new height too. Perhaps you are comparable with the court wizard now?"
"Don't test me. Seeing harm upon my daughter is enough of a reason for blood to spill. It was just luck that you weren't involved. Or were you?"
Like her daughter, her eyes were flashing red and her black hair started to flutter along with the anger. Her rarely used magic was not weak at all despite how Elena said about it. Just by looking at her, people could see where Elena came from. Some cosmic coincidences for sure but they were really compatible.
"I thought you would never use magic again after accidentally killing your suitor."
"Just because I prioritized my family first doesn't mean I would abandon my magic."
It was an 'accident' because she had made it so. Just thinking about sleeping together with a person that was older than her father was vomit-inducing. Thanks to that she cut ties with her family immediately after she married her current husband and she felt no regret doing it.
"Long ago your ice magic could stop the hearts of a man instantly. How dreadful has it become now?"
"Make the wrong choice and find out. But enough games! I will say it again. House Heuser will not join any faction. We will give aid in dire situations as we are nobles of the same kingdom but do not mistake it for an alliance. Your rank is irrelevant to the king's decree."
Marchioness Ophelia tried to reach out futilely.
"Don't think about adding more terms than that. We wasted the whole day already. If I were going to accept it, I would have done that long ago."
With the Countess dropping all the formality and etiquette due to anger, they couldn't do anything either. If only the kidnapping didn't happen, things would have been much better for everyone.
Matters that would drag on for days ended in a moment. The entourage of the Heuser House would leave in the morning as planned. For the moment, the knights worked double as hard to guard their master.
Meanwhile, Cecilia stood shaking in a corner trying to make herself as small and as invisible as possible.
Elena was sitting in the bath with her two maids weeping her body diligently. The bath was big so the two joined in to do their work naturally. One was the main character of an otome game, one had the bewitching body of a demon, and one had her body perfected through an ultimate sublimation process. If talking about sex appeal alone, the spectacle was at its zenith with nothing could topple. The picture was expectedly calm and serene.
However, their thoughts were all but so.
Emily was thinking about Cecilia. She had seen the supposed villainess’s status and it was nothing near the game’s. Hers was the strongest she had ever seen among the normal people, even stronger than the butler who was the strongest in the mansion. She had forgotten the court magician's status but it didn't change the fact that Cecilia was insanely strong.
By her awkward behavior and the brief mention of Earth Emily was sure of what the girl was. But the problem was whether or not to reveal herself.
She didn’t know if the other incarnator was a good person or some kind of psychopath. Luckily, the other side believed she was the real game Heroine so she would act accordingly in the meantime.
On the other hand, Mari was angry with her powerlessness. She usually didn’t think about those kinds of matters but her growth in combat had reshaped her psyche somewhat. Her enemy running away was something she had expected but they had done it successfully was what set her off. In her anger, she obliterated a chunk of the building by infusing too much of the strange energy she felt inside her into her fist.
A jolt of pain in her head had dispersed her anger and returned her to her senses. She subconsciously knew that she wasn’t ready to handle that power. Or more like her soul was not strong enough to wield it yet. Her anger resumed but now she was angry at herself for failing her job and letting harm fall on her Lady.
Then there was their Lady, the big bad Demon King. She too was suffering from anxiety.
This is really bad. I messed up big time. I shouldn't have done that spell.
The thing she had done to the shady black clothes group she had no regret. But what worried her was the consequences of that spell. Such a thing would no doubt pull their attention.
It wasn't likely that the gods themselves would descend, but their apostles would be running wild in their name. That was the same thing to Elena as her existence was at risk of being exposed nonetheless.
In the heat of the moment, she had used the [Fission Fireball] without thinking. That spell was too dirty for the world. Even she would be irritated if someone used it on her land.
I will put a ban on this fireball for now. Too much heat on my tail is no good.
Her magical nuke was way stronger than the first Hero's just because she was being competitive and didn't want to be weaker in anyway. That bit her in the back now. She could feel the changing in the world. The kind of change when divine power was moving around.
She couldn't sense divine energy no matter how strong she got. Such frustration. But she remembered the ominous air from many clashes with apostles who borrowed their god's power.
Judging by the anxiety in her guts may be biased but the apostles may bump into her soon.
Apostles were a unique kind of nuisance. They were sometimes stronger than a hero and lasted quite long in a fight with her thanks to their borrowed godly power but she wasn't scared of them. Unlike Heroes they didn't have weird power-up mid-fight. A body of an apostle couldn't abruptly hold more divine energy than their limit, they would disintegrate on the spot.
Elena's knowledge of divine power all came from the apostles. Gods rarely did anything and she only knew it after the apostle had bragged to her about their god to feel superior.
The problem was she didn't want to confront the gods here yet. Currently, it was her against the world so she at least had to have a castle ready.
What if the Heroes came and found out that a Demon King, ME, didn't have a castle? How can I live with such shame!
Elena was determined to hold back her power. She had to redo her spells loadout to use less mana. No careless releasing of demonic power or going near apostles. And no [Fission Fireball].
She was so immersed in thinking that the outburst of mana from Filianore had completely slipped by her with ease.
The night passed with the three of them wandering in their own mind. Drowning by their own problems.
At noon above the great crater that Elena had left behind, a gigantic pillar of light descended slowly and blinded the whole empty region.
After a moment, sunlight returned to be the brightest in the area. Appearing above the devastated crater was a woman with sparkling blonde hair. Her beautiful silhouette was covered with a long white heavenly silk that acted like clothes. Two wings of light hovered behind her back like a part of her body without connecting.
"What kind of madness is this? How can something so terrible happen?"
She flew around inspecting the region as her wings followed her closely. She discovered a trail after half an hour of flying across the continent and back. Not exactly a physical one but this incredible sinister feeling appeared in the direction of the crater.
Without wasting any more time, she teleported right above the presence. The enormous pillar of light descended again as she arrived at the place.
Standing below her was a black thing made of long black hair and tattered clothes. A corpse of a girl was thrown aside as two red orbs looked up at her.
“Well well well. Look who we got here. The little girl had grown up splendidly.”
“N-No way! How can you still be alive!? I killed you!”
“Such naivety. Do you think incinerating me is enough? Come on, don’t look down on the only vampire who had drunk the blood of an ancient dragon. On the other hand though, I heard that people have been worshiping some Light Goddess recently that incidentally looks just like you, Lumine-chan. Going up in life huh, hehe.”
“Shut your mouth, scum! By the name of High God Necimos, I declare termination on Blood Corruption - Dracul.”
“Hot-headed as ever. See you later, dear. Huff!”
She didn't like the strange word he had attached to her name. She didn't know what it was but it irked her strongly. The mockery was swept out by the crashing thunders of purification. Countless giant lighting strikes annihilated the ground where the vampire stood. But the sound of gritting teeth from the young goddess was evidence of the result.
In the small crater made by her was the black track of dried blood leading to a tiny hole in the ground where she could detect some lingering presence. Memories of the tyrannical vampire resurface in her mind. Dracul was a name he had taken for himself after draining the blood of an ancient dragon. He had razed the land when she was still a little farm girl, centuries before the Demon Lord was born. She had pledged herself to the almighty creation god to gain the power to eradicate Dracul after he had killed her whole village.
Her first deed as an apostle was the slaying of Blood Corruption - Dracul. A blessing had been unlocked in her proved that the vampire had died, it was no mistake. But he was still standing before her meant he had defied his death somehow. To her, he was something akin to a Demon Lord. But in reality, he was no more powerful than one of the Four Generals in the Demon Lord’s army, and a far cry from the Demon Lord himself who was probably equal to her current self, a peerless Polymath.
Lumine dedicated herself to her god by trying to achieve everything in her eternal life. She had mastered all elements of magic as well as all types of combat and alchemy. People wouldn’t be wrong if they said she knew more than what humanity had. Still, she had no confidence to claim victory against the Demon Lord. It was a matter of raw power. Power so ridiculously high that she couldn’t fully grasp less alone fight. Instead of saying the Hero won the fight, it would be more accurate to say that the Divine Sword won.
Lumine landed with her wings still at large behind her back. The menace that had escaped was surely a problem but she couldn’t ignore her original mission either. The corruption of the land had more priority.
The ragged figure of the girl the vampire had feasted on lied before her feet. There was still life in her but being bitten by a vampire, she would turn into a ghoul soon. As all logic dictated, Lumine would purify the girl and send her back to the world’s cycle of souls.
A familiar pendant was under the girl’s clothes. She only noticed it due to the faint divinity it possessed. She reached into the girl’s clothes and took it out.
“This is the artifact I gave out to one of the holy maidens serving me in the church…!! Then this child is...”
Lumine picked the girl up and healed her quickly. All wounds disappeared but the ghoul transformation was unstoppable with her power. She needed assistance.
She took out a small metallic ball the size of a chicken egg and held it in front of her. Suddenly, two smooth metal bars raised up from the ball and made an 'L' shape. Light gathered along the bars and cast a rectangle surface with them as half the borders.
Image of a flower field appeared on the surface with multiple icons on the left side. She quickly tapped on one of the icons and a small black rectangle appeared over the surface. There was a simplified picture of the planet in the middle with the letters ‘A.R.M.S’ inscribed under it.
“Sister Ashe, I need help!”
Ashe was the name she called her sister for convenience and it got her approval. Her true name ‘Assimilated Realities Management System’ was too long and sounded too foreign for Lumine to read out loud correctly. Ashe was created by High God Necimos just before the summoning of Hero to manage the world. As the strongest apostle under him, Lumine received a device to communicate with higher beings such as Ashe and access to the recording of the world.
After hearing the familiar sound of confirmation, Lumine continued.
“A descendant of one of my holy maidens was bitten by a vampire, she is turning into a ghoul. Is there a way to cure her?”
*Beep* *Beep* *Beep*
The black screen showed three solutions.
‘Soul transferring and soul cleansing’.
‘Race modifying and calibrating to support free will’.
Among the choices, she could do none. Soul was a tricky matter. She could move souls but she couldn't clean them. Not to mention the compatibility with the new body was a matter of miracle unless she made the body for such specifications. Lumine didn't have the capability to perform that kind of magic. Time was a domain of the gods. She could moderately slow the time of objects only. The last choice was not even possible by her logic.
But she didn't need to do any of those. The best choice was the first one while the last choice would just keep her to be herself and not actually cure anything. However, seeking help from higher beings such as Ashe would have a high cost even to Lumine the strongest apostle.
"Um, sister Ashe. What will be the compensation?"
‘Soul transferring and soul cleansing: lv.100 skills × 5’.
‘Time rewinding: lv.100 skills × 10’.
‘Race modifying and calibrating to support free will: lv.100 skills × 1’.
"Ugh! Race modification, please. I offer my [Dagger Skill]."
|[Dagger Skill] removed.|
|Commencing operation. Please standby.|
“That was fast! Thank you, sister!”
There was no reply so Lumine turned off the device and put it back in her pocket. Really, if the higher beings made a move, they could have so much work done in a day. But that was not how their role meant to do. Such was the existence of tier three beings. She didn’t know how powerful that was but just by comparing the power between her, a tier two, and normal people, the tier one, was enough of a guess. Of course, this was not the tier ranking of humans, it was according to the Divine Ranking of gods. The Hero just butchered it and made his own version for whatever reason.
All that existed within the law of the world were tier one. Tier two were entities that could break that law. The Demon Lord was a tier two being so only another of the same level like the Hero could confront such a thing. But both the Hero and she were still not as strong as the Demon Lord because God’s blessing was the factor that brought them to tier two and not their own ability.
Tier three and above were a mystery. The only thing she knew about Ashe and beings of her level was that they didn’t need to exist. Which was a whole lot of mad logic that she couldn’t understand. Did that mean Ashe should die? Or did that mean she was beyond the laws of the world? Anyway, it was none of her business so she wouldn’t try to find out.
She looked down at the poor girl before her. Her soul and body were in harmony again although the skin had become pale white with little to no pink left. She still had her mission to attend to so this girl had to go somewhere. In a blink of an eye, Lumine and the girl were before the altar of a cathedral in the capital of this Kingdom. She spread her aura and wings to announce her arrival.
Almost instantly, a flurry of high-ranking holy men and women ran toward her and bow with the utmost respect. The highest rank among them was Holy Maiden as they directly served her.
Everyone was following the oldest woman at the lead in how to interact with their goddess. No sound was muttered as Lumine looked them over once.
“This is the descendant of a Holy Maiden. Take care of her in my name. There are more urgent matters that need my attention right now.”
She teleported away without waiting for their confirmation. The girl’s business was already done in her head.
When she looked down again at the crater in this newly created wasteland, she took in a depth breath filled with determination.
“Alright, Dracul is less important than some of my assignments. Let start the purification of the land first. Such a strange poison.”
Channeling her god’s divine power to her aura, she bathed the land in it. Lumine watched the glittering light of purification consume the air and earth like a desert devouring rain and making everything glow. She had never seen such a violent reaction before, the land must have been heavily corrupted with whatever poison that was.
Still, the miracle of the god knew no bound. Her aura heal the land completely with just a bit more time than drinking a cup of water. For the moment, she needed to clean the whole region to be sure, and save any suffering from the people around this place. She had seen a few collapsed villages in her previous scout after all. She would leave the recovery of greenery to her fellow apostle that excelled at nature spirit magic. After this, she had to leave this world again.
She still had an on-hold mission of saving another world of her God that was in an undead apocalypse. Magic was banned in that world so she was the only apostle that could survive there. It was a human-only world but the remaining humans were all scattered and were hanging for their dear life. With her otherworldly combat power, she would gather and lead them through the apocalypse. Although with her missing [Dagger Skill], she hoped everything would be alright. Retraining it would take a few decades at most.
She flapped the energy wings and increased her speed. The land under her was rid of any radiation and poisonous substances as she passed.
Elena was not much of a sensor type but even she could tell when the Gods started to move. Waves of unknown power had swept over her mansion continuously in the past few days.
After she had returned from the boring trip, she had immediately locked herself inside her room. Grand formations and world-bending magic schematics spread all over her walls. Elena made sure that no trace of her would leak out as she didn’t know the capability of this world's apostles. Although she doubted anything could sniff her out without her blasting spells left and right, she wouldn't take any chance.
So while she was waiting for the trouble to pass she would read on the bundle of craps the Academy had sent over. She had to attend in just next month.
She read with her eyes but the information flew out of the back of her head. Nothing remained at all. It was too boring so she decided to mess around with her magic.
Elena had gained a new type of enchantment from her family back then but still hadn't tried it out for real yet. She didn't name it because it just increased the spell power. The best she could come up with was 'Magic Power Up' which was lame even to her.
Why would she try to enhance her power even more when she needed to hide it? She wouldn't use it but this type of artifact could cover her ass when she slipped up and went overboard with magic. It was a perfect excuse.
The magnitude of the enchantment depended on the material. Typical condition. Elena conjured a pile of rare metal on her table to work her magic. The metal was similar to mithril but different. This was her version of mithril which she had made when trying to make adamantium. It was an unexpected creation but the quality was better than real mithril so she had named it mithril II and had used it most of the time. The shiny silvery color was beautiful and was very to her liking.
She bent and molded the metal like clay with her bare physique. The lump of metal in her hands had become something of a doll about the height of her head. It was an automaton. The plain automaton started to move its limbs around as it tried to get a balance to stand.
Elena looked at the small thing with a hand on her chin.
The automaton walk around the table with its head turned left and right as if to take in the new surrounding. It disregarded Elena as she still hadn’t imprinted any program in it yet. This was the bare framework of her old toys back then. She had lost interest in them because they could do jack shit to the Heroes. Now though, she had some new ideas to play around with.
She grabbed its head and brought it closer to her. It tried to grab her hands but their strength was too far apart to make any difference. Then it went limp as mana poured into its head. Elena decided to enchant the processor of the automaton with the new enchantment. She put in her pre-made programs one by one with the master-servant recognizer first, then general language, advanced body movement, stimulus analyzer, response presets, and finally some basic spell modules.
With all that done, she left the automaton lying on the table and waited to see how it would turn out. The pseudo soul was a combination of golemcraft and soulcraft. It acted as a processor and had the working of a soul but it wouldn’t support a real one. Soul was complicated things that didn’t want to go into anything but a real body even if the body turned into a machine later. Of course, trapping a soul inside an object was totally doable but it was a different matter to what she was doing. She wanted to see how the pseudo soul would become with the enchantment installed.
She leaned on the table with a hand supporting her head. She still needed to wait for the little automaton to assimilate all the programs. The small thing jerked around as the advanced body movement was calibrating itself. These things were named Marionette by her but the Heroes kept calling them Murderbot… which she actually felt cooler. So if this new automaton was a good result she would name it that.
The automaton soon stood up with smooth movement. It made a bow to her as soon as she fell into its vision. Elena observed carefully every detail on her small toy. She detected small trembling which was never a thing for constructs such as them. It felt more lively somehow like it wanted to say something. She used her full ability to scan it. The pseudo soul was mutated a bit. Furthermore, the waves emitted by the processor in its head were weird. The more she looked at it, the more it trembled, like a panic attack.
Elena frowned. She quickly grabbed its head and repaired the mutation in an instant. The trembling stopped and no abnormal waves were detected. She put it back on the table and nodded to herself. The automaton stood there looking at its hands while doing some basic grabbing motions with them.
“So, it looks like you have more thinking capability than the old model. The old ones didn’t assess the situation at all. ”
She made a thin sheet of mithril II and wrapped the automaton up seamlessly to every nook and crevice. A simple enchantment was applied and the whole thing had a healthy pinkish skin tone along with realistic-looking skin textures. It looked no different than a small bald male now, except that there were no genital, hair, and iris.
It was easy to complete the rest of the detail to make it look one hundred percent human but she didn't aim for that. Elena needed to see how different it was with the new enchantment she had made.
"Blast me with all your spells. One by one following the modules' registered number."
It raised its hands and did as told, a bit hesitatingly. Soon a small circle appeared in front of its hands and a torrent of purple mana shot straight toward her chest. The collision did nothing to both her clothes and her body but her room was unprotected and was saturated with this mana. The spell lasted about five seconds. Elena was waiting for the second spell but nothing came.
“Huh, what’s wrong?”
“Hmm… ah! Mana!”
She forgot that the mechanical doll needed time to recharge their small mana pool. She could add more mana containers but it would become clunky. Elena grabbed its head again and connected it to her own mana directly.
“Now do it properly and blast me with all your might.”
If her room hadn’t been disconnected from the outside already, the whole mansion would have been bathed in concentrated mana and everyone that was not Mari would be dead from mana poisoning. Luckily, none of her creations would normally have access to her massive mana pool even if they had her deadly spells. So there was no risk of mass destruction spells firing continuously like this. The automaton could only fire off one of her spells with their mana capacity. That was because she didn't give them any spell that a normal mage could cast.
After a while, the automaton stopped and resumed its default posture. The ambient mana was absorbed by her magic formations to deal with the exceeded firepower so the air was soon returned to normal.
"Overall increase in magnitude in elemental magic is pretty good. Too bad it was just a five times increase, I need to find better material."
She looked at her new killing machine with a smirk slowly appearing on her face.
"The improved intelligence is unexpected. With this I can give you simple jobs, right?"
It nodded vigorously so it clearly understood and was willing. An early sight of freewill.
"Good. You and your group will go to the territory of Duke Dovantine. Pick a place and make a base. Report to me after everything is done and… Hmm… yeah, just conceal yourself over there and hinder the Duke's businesses. I will tell you what to do when I think of something."
Elena waved her hand over the empty space on the floor. Instantly, fifty more of those small automatons manifested. It took time to design but after she had the framework done, everything was just a matter of mana control. The speed at which she moved mana was out of this world, out of any world actually. After all, it was the fruit of her effort to go beyond the boundary. She was the best out of all the things she knew, except the Gods who she couldn't measure.
The group was fully completed with hair and all the details of the old models of male and female. They had almost the same face with different hair lengths of the same silver hair. They had to style their hair on their own later, she didn't have the patience to design fifty heads of hair. She didn't dye their hair either so it retained the natural color of mithril II but less reflective.
She turned to the one on the table and completed his design with another wave. He was pretty much the same as the others but his short hair was tinted with a golden shine. She mixed a little bit of magic gold that was more mana conductive but not as tough as mithril to get the color. Their hair was soft to the touch thanks to the multiple minor enchantments on their body. Although it wasn't as tough as a real weapon, it was still magic metal that could beat steel in a durability contest any day.
"You will be the leader. Name is Zero. The rest will pick a name from one to fifty each. Now get to work! *clap* *clap*"
Elena clapped her hands and a small hole opened up in the wall for them to go through. Because she forgot to elaborate who the Duke was or where he lived, her new minions would have a hard time to complete their assignment. Nevertheless, they could gather information on their own now with the improved intelligence. Although how well they could do their job remained to be seen.
With the interesting thing gone, she was back to reading the boring documents. Or she could just go to sleep to pass the time. And she did.
The mansion became peaceful and quiet for a few days without her presence moving around.
There were two maids walking around in the market. They looked at all the stalls and restaurants they could pass by. The two were beauties that Silver Pass citizens had only known recently during the undead crisis.
"Mari, look at this! They sell orange juice!"
"Alright, give us two cups."
The people didn't know where those two came from. The city didn't have such beautiful women to their knowledge. So those girls were getting attention like never before. People that knew them just smiled respectfully but the ones that hadn't seen them in the defense battle were stalking with all kinds of intentions.
Mari was aware of them but she ignored the problem. Those people were no threat. She wanted to spend time with her best friend on the rare day off. Their Lady decided to do some sort of studying alone for a few days and ordered them to have fun in the meanwhile.
"Emily, don't run too fast."
"It's okay. Let's go to the park... kyah!"
She bumped into someone and fell down as a lighter person.
"See, I told you not to run."
Mari seemed to not care much but she quickly moved next to her friend and paid full attention to the person she had bumped into.
The man was lean but muscular. He had black eyes and black hair with nothing eye-catching about him. In other words, he was a plain looking youth that could pass as a generic adventure. If the curved sword in his waist was real and not a decoration.
Emily stood up and apologized to the young man but halfway through her sentence she stopped.
"... a katana? What?"
Then she looked at the man fully and her eyes grew wide a little.
The man was silent the whole time, his face was totally red with a half open mouth. Mari didn't like how he looked at her friend so she stepped up in between them.
"Let's go Emily."
"Y-yeah, good idea."
The two maids hustled their way through the crowd to get away from the young man. In a blink of an eye, he was left behind in the corner of the street.
"S-she touched me. Father, I think I am in love."
Another man that was hidden in the shadows of the roof reprimanded the young man. Those two also soon disappeared from the market without anyone noticing.
End of chapter 13.