The middle of summer. Sofia, Alith, Zerei, and Astelia had gone on a boat trip from the southern coast of Couvauz to the Beastman continent. Teleporting past the sea was dangerous, and flying wasn’t much better, so they took the trip on the armored dwarven ship ‘The Metal-Head’. This had gone without trouble, unlike the voyage to the first trial’s towers. A few flying monsters attacked, but the dwarven cannoneers weren’t joking around. The group never had to intervene to help defend the ship. They disembarked at the ship’s first stop, the goatkin city-state at the continent's southernmost point. Without too much surprise, ninety percent of the people there were goatkins with features similar to Karin’s.
Astelia could teleport multiple people, but as she had never visited the trial’s location, she could effectively only teleport up to where she could see. And only if the moon was visible in the sky. So they opted to find a space mage in the city-state instead. Only a few hours after setting foot on the new continent, the group stood on a teleportation platform some kilometers from the trial site.
[Please proceed to the trial site : Ranking Spire, distance : 4153m]
“We can see it from here!” Astelia excitedly pointed out, admiring the tower in the distance. It was very reminiscent of the towers of the first trial, except it was not hidden. Not only was it so high that it was impossible to see the top, but it was also huge. At least the circumference of a small city.
“Oh, I see we have a returner. Welcome back, Miss Kralan.”
Everyone turned to see who spoke; Astelia even summoned her weapons by reflex. Standing next to the group, looking at the tower, was an average-looking man in a white Toga.
“Come, now, no need to be surprised. Welcome to the Ranking Spire, everyone. I am the overseer for this trial, Sen. Please follow me.”
Everyone followed the man in silence. It wasn’t that they did not want to speak, but they couldn’t. They walked until they reached the closed golden doors of the tower. He took his place in front of the door, facing everyone, and finally, they could speak.
Zerei was the first to talk; the ‘man’ had addressed her before. “You are still the one managing this place?”
“Of course, Miss Kralan, now and forever. If the system wills it.”
“I see… Has any Avian made it here recently?”
“That is not information I am supposed to share, Miss Kralan… But I suppose… You could say so, yes.” The Seraph answered with a wink, which left Zerei stunned in place.
This is creepy. This guy… This isn’t a real body. It’s pure mana.
“A very sharp observation, Miss Aphenoreth. But my condition isn’t of much concern to you.”
“What observation?” Alith questioned.
“Is it fine for you to call me that?” No erasing or something like that? We’d be in deep shit if the trial manager disappeared.
“Of course, it is your name, is it not? But enough chit-chat, and you can relax, Miss Glacier. You will perform well; I believe in you. I’m sorry, but as you know, you must stay here, Miss Kralan; you may say your goodbyes now if you wish.”
“Ah! Sorry, Yes. Well… Good luck, everyone! You’re well prepared, the three of you. I trust you will show Sir Sen here a spectacle he shall never forget, yes! I will wait for the good news in the nearest city.”
“Thank you, Zerei. See you soon.”
“Thanks, old bird.”
“Thank you very much!”
“Good. Is everyone ready? You can only enter once, do not forget that. Think that you want to enter, and you will be transported inside the lobby. The trial is not quite ready to start yet, so you will have a bit more time in there to sort out your thoughts.”
“We go?” Alith asked.
“I’m ready if you are.”
Sofia’s vision turned from the man in front of the door to a grand golden interior hall. It was so ornate and clean it would put even the Wind Temple and the Empire’s palace to shame. There were a few more people here spaced out along the walls.
One was an old-looking massive man in heavy armor, sitting on a golden bench with his eyes closed, hands resting on his mithril war-hammer. He kind of reminds me of the Magisterium. But he’s nowhere as tall as that guy was.
[Fighter - Lv. 199]
There was also a much younger man with the allure of a scholar; he was absorbed by a book, only briefly glancing at the teleported newcomers.
[Mage - Lv. 199]
And the last was a tall elf. Wait… Isn’t that the weird Elf I saw in Hooasow carrying a bunch of crooked swords?
[Saint - Lv. 199]
She was a Saintess? The Sword Saint? How did I even miss that last time? I must have been so absorbed by her antics that I didn’t notice the system prompt. Why is she looking at me so insistently?
The elf lady stood up, striding toward the group. She stopped a few meters away, pointing at Sofia, “About damn time that you showed up! I’ve been waiting here for weeks!”
“Excuse me, but… Who are you?”
“I am Mornn! Saintess of the Glorious Sun! And I have been tasked to best you in this trial!”
Oh, Sun, of course. Tall blonde girl with long hair. Well, not so long? She does have that giant braid thing. “What do you mean, best me?”
“I… Have no idea! Probably rank higher if the trial’s name is any indication.”
“Well, uh. Sure then, good luck.”
Sen appeared near the group. “Sorry to interrupt, but I need to have a talk with Miss Alith and Miss Sofia. ”
The three of them disappeared, leaving Astelia and Mornn alone at the hall entrance.
“Well, that was a short-lived discussion. Didn’t even get to hear their name from their own mouths. And you are?”
“Astelia, Oracle of the Moon.”
“I see. No wonder Moon, of all Gods, would choose a Vampire as her Oracle,” the tall Elf said in an understanding tone, finishing with a giggle. “Have you been doing well under Her rule? You look young.”
“No worries, I’m fine; besides asking me to come here now, She usually doesn’t interact much at all…”
“So you came by Godly decree too? This is gonna be an eventful trial; I can already tell. Wanna take a seat near me? Looks like we’re gonna have to wait a bit more…”
Sofia, Alith, and Sen appeared, already seated, in a room that was essentially just a walled-off circular couch around a small circular table. They were sitting in a triangle around the table.
“Are we in some kind of trouble?” Alith asked first.
“Hmm…” Sen looked pensive, “Not exactly, no, but I have to admit you are both quite troublesome to deal with.” The man’s looks were the very definition of average.
“You can go bother Scripture if you have a problem with that.”
“What Sofia said.”
He sighed, looking at invisible system windows. “Listen… Do you want a drink? Have at it.” A bunch of full glasses appeared on the table, each with a different beverage. Sofia grabbed a glass of water and Alith the nearest thing to her.
“Let us tackle the problem with Miss Alith first. For a start, I will upgrade your scribe to a tier 2. That will undo the scribe link you currently have. This is needed for later.”
I’ll take freeing up five thousand mana ‘for a start’. And that’s also good for Alith, nice.
Despite being some kind of false body entirely made of mana, Sen also grabbed a drink and sipped on it. Go figure…
“To make it short, Miss Alith, you are an anomaly within the bounds of the System. Your very existence goes against its core principles.”
“Great to hear it first hand. So what, is this where you kill me? Send me back to my non-existent grave?”
“Evidently not. Since you are an irregular, I shall do my best to regularize you. I only ask that you accept the race evolution after you complete the trial.”
Alith was surprised at the simplicity of the thing, “That’s it?”
“Indeed. As long as you succeed at your trial, of course.”
“What if I don’t?”
“If so, nothing will change.”
“What will happen to my [Maiden Banshee] skill?”
“The line about mana sharing will disappear after the race evolution,” Sen stated.
“And what if I were to delete the skill? What would happen to her?”
“As of now, I would ask that you refrain from doing that. After her race changes, you may do so if you please. You will, as a result, lose the experience sharing and revive ability. Nothing else of note would happen to either of you.”
Well. I won’t be deleting it unless she asks me to, anyway. Actually, I probably won’t, even if she asks me.
“Now, on to your case, Miss Sofia Vakariazrehafin Aphenoreth, Saintess of Scripture.”
No! It's first saintess of the Deep!
Thanks for the chapter
Where is the rest???
@Mornn I didn't even know!! Time to make an account
Lol she has such a daunting full name.
Finally ended the binge ready after finding this series
When your full name and title gets pulled there is very little good that comes after.
Omg her true name is soooo long it's actually funny xDDD thanks for the chapter
Yet not long enough =w=
@Lord_Gamma Well, you can star by putting baroness, and then the name of the land that she can reclaim if she cleans it.