The Star of Annihilation
Chapter 8 – The Ruins (5)
Written by : eleven
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Walking through the portal of space, the boys immediately felt the temperature around them turn deathly cold. As they tried to look in their surroundings, they realized it was also very hard to make out what was around them as it was so dark.
Roy was about to cast a spell, but the Arch-Lich in front of him, beat him to it.
An emerald green flame sparked to life in the bony hands of the cloaked Arch-Lich.
The boys immediately stood back in shock as they saw the space around them.
[Huh? Oh… I forgot to tell you what this place is, but there’s no need to do that, is there?]
The Arch-Lich spoke as it gazed with its will o’wisps at Roy, whose expression turned from shock to wariness.
“How did you-“
[All those who intrude as deep as you were, into the forest are here for the source of the rumors, and I have no intention of letting those selfish bugs try and steal something that they can’t even understand.]
The Arch-Lich cut off Roy’s question and answered him in a rather annoyed tone, as if it were angered at the number of foolish adventurers it had encountered.
The reason was simple.
Around the boys and the Arch-Lich, were the walls of a corridor; to be more exact, they were already at the location Roy had wanted to go towards.
The Fairies’ Ruins.
That was the name of the Ruin that was given to it by the Empire after all the findings were documented.
Moss and algae were sticking to the yellow bricks and tiles of the dark walls. The boys stuck closely together as Roy started to seriously wonder the identity of the undead in front of them. He was almost certain this undead was not going to harm them as they followed through the ruins that were filled with several magical traps.
The owner of these magical traps was the Arch-Lich in front of them, and Roy realized just how foolish he had been in thinking he could explore this place with just him and Nate.
Looking at the complexity of these magical traps, there was no way Roy would have been able to decipher them and disable them without knowledge prior. Not only that, but they would have the task of trying to explore this place endlessly if they didn’t have this guide in front of them.
-Roy is this where you wanted to go?
-Yes, but it seems like someone has beat us to it.
-What is this place?
-…. it’s a ruin from the lost ages.
[We’re almost there, I hope you’re not planning anything foolish.]
The Arch-Lich turned back to look at them as it signaled them to follow it down a staircase deep within the ruin.
The boys followed the Arch-Lich down the staircase and once they reached the bottom, they were dumbfounded.
Several flasks, monster bodies that were being experimented on, grimoires, and magic inscriptions.
[Elizabeth, come out and greet our guests; don’t be rude now.]
The Arch-Lich spoke and out of the corner of the room, a small girl, no older than Roy and Nate, walked out shyly, dressed in a similar long and baggy black robe.
Roy narrowed his eyes and started to feel his adrenaline pumping in his veins.
‘No way… it can’t be, can it?’
“Hello…. my name is Elizabeth.”
The pale-skinned human girl, spoke as she hid behind the lengthy robes of the Arch-Lich.
“I’m Nate, nice to meet you.”
Nate waved his hand, staying as wary as she was and maintaining his distance.
When everybody in the laboratory looked at Roy, he had his eyes locked intensely on the girl’s face and then shifted his eyes to the Arch-Lich.
“What’s your relationship to this girl?”
Roy asked bluntly, completely ignoring his introduction and manners.
The Arch-Lich narrowed its eyes in annoyance and spoke.
[She is my disciple. What do you mean by that…?]
Roy stayed silent, processing his thoughts and then decidedly spoke.
“Nice to meet you Elizabeth Franz, my name is Roy Stone.”
Immediately the Arch-Lich started to rouse its dead mana violently and Elizabeth shuddered considerably at the mention of her last name.
[…who are you.]
The Arch-Lich pointed its index finger at Roy, glistening in a dark light with the dead mana. Roy remained completely calm under the deadly threat and responded in a blunt voice.
“As I said, my name is Roy Stone. As for how I know this girl… well let’s just say I’m a bit of a fan.”
Immediately the Arch-Lich became confused and so was everyone in the room. It lowered its index finger and the pressure boring down on the two boys lessened considerably.
Elizabeth Franz. The Blood Witch. That was her nickname in Roy’s previous life. She was a necromancer who was publicly condemned and even murdered in cold blood by the Holy Church in fear of her frightening powers and personal vendetta with the Empire.
Roy wasn’t too specific on the details about why Elizabeth had wreaked havoc in the Empire so brutally, but he had a hunch that it had something to do with the Arch-Lich in front of him.
It was impossible that Roy would not know of this Arch-Lich in his previous life, especially as the master of Elizabeth Franz. There were no records of its existence and Roy started to connect the dots.
“Is this who you wanted us to meet?”
Roy stuck out his hand for a handshake with Elizabeth comfortably; completely ignoring the previous tension that was in the room.
“Can I ask if you can create blood familiars yet?”
“Huh?… oh yes I can!”
‘As expected of a genius.’
She was also at the two-star level as a mage and was probably even a bit younger than Roy and Nate.
Nate and the Arch-Lich just looked at each other as if they couldn’t quite understand what was going on but, in the end, they both just sighed.
“Care to explain why you wanted us to meet her though?”
Roy spoke nonchalantly to the Arch-Lich as if he were talking to a friend he’d known for years.
Elizabeth contorted her expression. Nate could t help but find this slightly cute and blushed, hiding his face and turning the other way.
“Don’t speak to Master Ferneth like that!”
“Ferneth huh?, I have never heard of a wizard named Ferneth…”
[…I brought you here to hopefully see if you’re willing to come here and do some experiments with Elizabeth… and I need something from you.]
Roy’s expression immediately hardened at the second part of Ferneth’s words.
“Stop speaking in a roundabout way and get to the point.”
[I don’t believe that you’re some ‘fan’ of Elizabeth’s but I certainly don’t think you two are closed-minded like the other idiots in the Empire.]
There was a hint of rigid hatred in Ferneth’s voice as he mentioned the Empire. He tried to hide his emotion well, but Roy didn’t miss the slight change.
Nate looked at Roy since he didn’t really know what to say here, and Roy shrugged his shoulders.
“You could say that.”
You’re a magician, so you know nothing is for free in this world.
[What a shrewd little brat.]
“I just have a small request of my own.”
[I haven’t even told you what I need from you.]
“I already got the gist of it, quit acting like you’re hiding your intentions.”
Roy spoke bluntly, seeing right through Ferneth’s intentions. Roy had been putting the pieces together and it was clear that Ferneth had some affection for Elizabeth.
Based on history, it seemed like Elizabeth had been hellbent on getting revenge for someone, and Ferneth sounded like he was preparing to go somewhere.
It was incredibly foolish and something Roy did not expect, but he definitely found some use of this.
[watch it brat.]
“Okay, whatever. Look. I want to study the runes and glyphs here in the ruins for a bit and explore. In exchange, Nate and I can hang out here every weekend with Elizabeth. We have lives outside of here too and parents that grow worried about us.”
Ferneth fell dead silent at Roy’s quick wits.
Ferneth didn’t see much of a loss here, but his instincts were telling him that there was something this boy, Roy, was hiding. No, he was sure of it. He just wasn’t sure if what Roy was hiding, was dangerous to him or Elizabeth or if his request had anything to do with it.
He didn’t have much time left before the Holy Church caught onto his trail. He was desperately looking for someone that could help take care of Elizabeth before she was left on her own in case he ever was forced to leave.
Looking at the three children, Ferneth sighed.
[It’s a long story…]
“Well, we definitely have plenty of time on our hands, don’t we?”
Chapter 8 – Fin