The Star of Annihilation
Chapter 7 – The Ruins (4)
Written by : eleven
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Roy started to notice something awry. The missing puzzle pieces were starting to come together for him. There was something he had missed when thinking of raiding the Ruins he had heard of, for the fairy tears.
Those lucky fellows who had gotten their hands on the treasures inside, had spoken of entering the ruins upon the wake of several monster corpses and dead energy.
Roy started to put together the pieces as this was not a dragon, and it was certainly not just some weird Ogre.
It had been tampered with and when Nate had gotten close, he immediately realized the spike in the dead mana around them.
Dead mana was a form of mana that Undead, Necromancers, Demons, or even Shamans at times, used.
The amount of dead mana around them was by no means something they could handle, and when Nate had approached the fallen ogre, Roy immediately yelled at him and cast two support spells upon Nate as well as a barrier spell.
[Basic Mana Shield]
Nate was quick-witted and immediately withdrew himself before the evil had come.
Suddenly, the fog, the cries of monsters and even the ogre seemingly disappeared.
Darkness enshrouded the boys’ surroundings before returning back to normal as if nothing had happened.
Nate looked around while getting behind Roy, while Roy looked at the spot Nate had just been in, looking at the ominously dark shadow that was sitting there next to the Ogre.
A dark figure slowly formed out of the shadow, arising like a dark ghost.
The hair on the back of the boy’s necks stood up as their senses screamed at them to run away.
Roy knew there was no way they could get away from the being in front of them.
He didn’t know the exact identity of the thing in front of him, but he knew what it was.
Roy’s arm unconsciously went behind him in a protective stance to defend Nate.
“Roy… what is-”
Roy cut him off and started to back up his steps slowly.
The shadowy figure finally turned its head around and revealed the identity of the being.
The skeletal hands that protruded from the sleeves of the robes and the will o’wisps that burned eerily in the empty eye sockets of the white skull that faced the boys.
The bones clacked against each other as the joints of the Arch-Lich turned and pointed its index finger at the boys.
[Was… it you?]
“Sorry we don’t exactly know what you’re referring to.”
Roy responded with a wary but serious tone of voice.
He was sure that nothing good would come out of lying to this being, as it was, from what he could tell, the equivalent to a 7-star Archmage.
7-Star Archmages were not common on the continent, and the total number of them could be counted on two hands.
That being said, he was genuinely confused as to what the identity of this Arch-Lich was, but he was trying to figure out if he could even survive here.
Just because it was an undead, did not mean it was something that was hostile to human beings, as even the undead had joined hands with humanity in fighting against the Dragons. But humanity before the fall, persecuted the undead as it went against the core religion of the Holy Church of the White Light, the state religion of the Empire.
[…Do not speak nonsense with me. Was it you two that caused this disturbance in this forest?]
“If you’re referring to the fog and the state of that ogre… then yes, it was us.”
– Roy, are you sure telling the truth is a good idea to…that thing?
Nate sent a telepathic message to Roy as he was deathly frightened of the Arch-Lich in front of them. He didn’t show it on his face, but Roy could tell on an instinctual level, the amount of fear that Nate was in right now. Nate probably did not know the exact identity of what a Lich was, but he was sure to have felt the monstrous surges of dead mana that were being emitted from the Arch Lich.
– Just wait. There’s no good that will come from lying to it. I’m sure you already know, but that being could kill us with a snap of its fingers. We need to find out what it wants first.
The Arch-Lich started to approach the boys slowly as the will o’wisps flickered; seemingly amused.
[Two boys..not even at the age of ten most likely… One is a one-star wizard already…. And you….]
The Arch-Lich did not express any greed, but rather simple interest as if had found a rare specimen in the wild as it looked at Roy confusedly.
[A 2-star wizard at such… a young age…. That kind of talent…. None in the Empire could possibly…match you… even those children with elixirs of the…noble families…]
The Arch-Lich paused every now and then. It was a little awkward with its speech, but Roy felt suspicious about how passive the Elder Lich’s praise was. Surely, this Arch-Lich would not just let them go as it would be. It would probably want something from them and Roy was seriously sondering the odds here.
“What do you want?”
He decided to be bold and ask point-blank, what it was that the Arch-Lich wanted from them.
[..Hmm…. how refreshing….It seems that I must have made you both….uncomfortable…]
The two boys did not deny, nor confirm the Arch-Lich’s words, but a 7-star Archmage was not an idiot.
[Ah…. I cannot tell you my name… yet…. But… if you’d allow me to… I want to introduce you…to someone…Of course… it is either this or I punish you for ruining my experiment…]
The Arch-Lich turned to the Ogre as it spoke and nodded.
Roy and Nate both looked at each other, wondering what the other thought of it, but they both already knew that whatever punishment came, they would be unable to avoid it.
The boys slowly nodded their heads, and the Arch-Lich seemed genuinely pleased at their responses. Although it was a bit forceful, Roy felt that for some reason… this Arch-Lich was rather friendly, or even happy at their arrival for a positive reason.
There was no substance to back his hypothesis, but Roy decided to remain calm and take it at face value.
The Arch-Lich then turned back around and waved its hands in the air and the Ogre’s body vanished into its shadow. Roy was not surprised as he had moments where he had seen an Archmage’s magic, but he was a little surprised at the silent casting.
The Arch-Lich then turned back to face Nate and Roy, and spoke.
The Arch-Lich then put its hood back on, and waved its hand in the air once more.
The space cracked apart as if it were glass and both Roy and Nate were truly shocked this time.
Little did Roy know, as he was never taught by anybody about the true powers of an Archmage, but Archmages were able to control a certain degree of space around them. A domain was the official term for it.
The Arch-Lich did not satisfy the boys’ curiosity but just stepped through the cracked space and turned around as it noticed the boys weren’t following.
The two boys immediately realized they were being rude and followed after it as they took a deep breath and stepped through the portal.
Chapter 7 – Fin
The Star of Annihilation