The Star of Annihilation
Chapter 65 – Family (2)
Written by : eleven
* * *
Mathilde and Thomas both held the orb in their hands with eyes filled with confusion.
It was a memory orb.
Something only an Archmage or greater could leave behind after their death that would allow the user of it, to recall their experiences.
“Where did you get this?”
Thomas held the orb with his hands trembling slightly.
His excitement was clearly visible. How could it not be? In terms of monetary value, this orb was already more than enough to buy an entire village like Kerto.
If Thomas sold this, he didn’t even need to go anywhere else with his life and could just retire with enough support for his family.
But Verdante clearly was enjoying this and wagged his index finger with a smirk.
“Trust me, this is nothing compared to what I want to do. Both of you should go ahead and peek into the contents there. You’ll understand everything after that.”
Verdante knew how much the orb was, but didn’t hesitate as he trusted Thomas and Mathilde.
Mathilde gulped down her saliva and did as Verdante instructed while Thomas did the same.
Rousing their mana, they let their mana sliver into the memory orb as their vision changed completely.
* * *
While Thomas and Mathilde were shown the contents of the memory orb, they couldn’t help but be surprised.
When they came back to the moment, they looked at Verdante with a mixture of awe, shock, and suspicion.
It was only natural that they did so, as the memories of the Arch-mage they had looked into, were beyond the natural scope of any other arch-mage.
“Just what was that?”
“Hell if I know, but you saw his final moments well, didn’t you?”
Verdante chuckled nervously, as the ending of the Arch-mage was not a pretty one.
He had died unexpectedly in an expedition, one that Verdante was likely to be suggesting as the expedition he wanted to take.
The Arch-mage, named Ian, was a 7-star Arch-mage from the Eastern Kingdom, Palest.
The kingdom he was from was not very supportive of magic compared to the Empire, and was a rather backwards kingdom in lots of ways.
The royalty was rather corrupt, and the nobility of the kingdom had been imposing heavy taxes on commoners that had little to do with the welfare of the actual kingdom.
Ian had gone traveling into the northern parts of the continent, past the territory of the Iron Fist Coalition and towards the very edge of the continent.
And that was where the mystery began.
Through seeing Ian’s memories and past, Mathilde and Thomas had seen where Ian had been truly engrossed as he stumbled across a plethora of connected dungeons and ruins.
It had all started with the study of ancient runes that Ian had knowledge of in the magical field.
These dungeons eventually had completely piqued Ian’s curiosity.
But curiosity had killed the cat.
But who was Ian? He was a 6-star Archmage from the Kingdom of Palest.
How would he have died?
The answer was clear.
Ian had gotten too close to finding out about the truth to these linked ruins.
“He was looking for…”
“You saw it yourselves. I think it’s clear he was able to find out that there’s a way out of this world.”
Thomas was cut-off as Verdante affirmed his guesses.
Ian had found out about several things but the last thing he had been searching for was a door.
It was a dimensional door from what Ian could put together from the ancient texts, but it was a door that was in the Northern Continent that led to a different dimension.
“This is dangerous indeed.”
Mathilde this time spoke, but her voice was trembling out of genuine worry.
Ian had died, but in his last moments, even he could not see how he died.
He had been attacked by a robed being that was covered in black, but his vision went out and neither Ian, nor Verdante, Mathilde or Thomas knew what had killed him.
“There’s something more to this than just fame and riches, Thomas. I don’t know if you’re up for it…. But it’s clear there’s mystery here beyond our wildest dreams.”
“This… we need to talk about it…”
Mathilde this time, was the one who seemed to be most intrigued.
For some reason, it felt as if Thomas was more reluctant to go on the expedition after he had seen the memory orb, and rather Mathilde had a subtle shift in her attitude towards it.
Thomas stayed silent as he quietly contemplated and revised over what he had just seen.
“Verdante, while all this seems amazing and all, it’s obviously beyond our capabilities…. I’m sure you didn’t just come here without knowing that.”
Verdante nodded. No matter what decision they came to, it was useless to pursue anything if they did not have the means to even do so. That being said, with Thomas as a 4-star Magic Swordsman, Mathilde as a 2-star mage that specialized in healing, and Verdante as a Third-Rate Swordsman who used ki, it would not be anywhere near the firepower of a 6-star arch-mage like Ian. Not only that, but Ian’s strength was clearly not enough for this expedition.
“Are you saying you have a way to do so?”
“Naturally, I’ve thought about it. Bringing people in on this expedition is clearly a risk, but there are certainly a few individuals that naturally are above and beyond such things.”
Verdante chuckled and shook his head at Thomas as if he were missing an obvious point.
“There are those from the Tentaheim, who value honor and honesty above all. If one were to per say have a contract with a high-elf…”
Thomas’ expression turned confused for a moment but started to narrow his eyes as he knew exactly what Verdante was referring to.
“You want to rely on the Spirit Archer of the Council of which you made a contract with for mercenary work? That was a rare incident to even meet a high-elf back then, let alone be of help to them. But do you really think that even if they were to know of this, they would be willing to not backstab us?”
“Well… that’s where you come in. Obviously you know that I wasn’t the one to form the relationship with Spera, the Spirit Archer of the Tentaheim Council, since it was you. But don’t you trust her quite a bit?”
Verdante elbowed Thomas, while Mathilde shot a glare at her husband.
“Who is this Spera exactly?”
Thomas was at a loss for words as he had never told Mathilde about the time he and Verdante had visited the land of the Elves.
“Anyways, if we can convince Spera, we should be solid enough I think in order to at least be at the starting line, don’t you think?”
Thomas was still dazed and confused from everything that he had seen.
It was still like a dream, something he couldn’t truly believe, but yet felt so similar to reality in certain ways.
The biggest thing that shook him from Ian’s memories was a certain mural that Ian had come across during these explorations.
In the mural that was painted across one of these dungeon walls, was a mural that depicted many odd things that did not add up with Thomas.
Combined with Ian’s knowledge of the ancient runes, Thomas felt like he had seen something he shouldn’t have.
The mural was still vivid no matter how much he tried to forget about it.
In the mural, there were several stars and a sky, but the sky was below a great being.
These stars in the sky were above the land, and there were countless paintings of what seemed to be people, bowing down to these stars.
But the stars, if anything, could not show worship or signs of it since their figures were balls of light.
Yet, for some reason, Thomas had a feeling these stars were also worshipping or bowing down to the great being that was above the sky in the mural.
That being had a benevolent, yet creepy smile that Thomas could not erase from his mind even if he wanted to.
Memory orbs were items that were incredibly magical and allowed the viewer to see the entire life of the owner of the orb, in a matter of mere seconds.
That being said, it was unlikely that Verdante or Mathilde had been so focused on such a small scene in the orb.
The being that overlooked the stars, was not something that Thomas could fathom and had already had many guesses as to what exactly it was.
It was no God, Spirit King, or even Demon.
No, it was something that was depicted as universally above everything and had no equal.
“I don’t like it.”
“Huh… wait what? Thomas?”
Mathilde was truly confused.
In fact, after seeing the orb, she started to become more and more enticed by the idea of being able to live happily without having to worry about these adventures or needing to make any money again.
She was already thinking about what she would do if she had another child besides Edith, and this expedition was slowly turning around to become something like a feasible option for her.
Yet now, her husband was backing out.
To this reaction, Mathilde had a couple of guesses as to why, but there was only one name in her mind.
‘Spera! Who is this woman!?’
Mathilde was thoroughly convinced that her husband did not want her to meet this female elf who was a renowned Spirit Archer.
Little did Mathilde know, she couldn’t be more wrong.
“Thomas! We have a chance here for once in our lives to never look back with regret, and you were the one to first propose this idea to me! Now you’re the one backing out?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Then what do you mean to say? It’s a simple ‘yes, let’s go do this’ or, ‘no, I don’t want to’!”
Mathilde was getting angry as she was becoming blinded by greed.
She was a human too, and no matter how virtuous and well-intended someone was, they would have their own shortcomings.
“I mean to say, we need to seriously think about what would happen if we left! Have you even thought about Edith throughout what you just saw? We have a 3-month old daughter and we don’t even know if we would take her with us! You seriously want to do that?”
Mathilde fell silent but did not stop glaring at Thomas.
Both of them were fuming and Verdante was just sitting awkwardly in between all of it, not knowing what to do.
“I know that.”
Mathilde grated her teeth and spat out venomously.
“But if you’re going to tell me that this doesn’t interest you in the slightest and you want to shove it away because you’re scared of a future you don’t know of, then why the hell are we even here?”
Mathilde’s words had a bitter truth held in them.
Thomas felt guilty, since he knew how difficult it was for Mathilde at times to have to constantly worry whether or not he’d even come back alive from one of his expeditions.
Mathilde knew of the dangers. She was a bit better than average in terms of the average person despite not having much of a talent in magic.
The thing was, she always loved magical science and loved exploring the magical world of mana and its concepts.
Seeing the memories in the orb, was like a very dangerous but sweet apple that she had been given a bite of and couldn’t finish.
Thomas caved in.
“I’ll have to get my things ready and contact Spera, but other than that…”
Thomas looked at Mathilde with the most heavy look she had ever seen on him.
“You better be ready for the dangers of this trip. That goes for not just me or you… but also our child.”
Thomas was a father through and through.
Edith, his child, was something he would never allow danger to befall unless the danger got through him first.
Even he had to say it to Mathilde, who once again felt a pang of guilt since she now knew just how serious this trip would be if they had to take a 3-month old child along with them.
Chapter 65 – Fin
Link for purchasing advance chapters! :https://www.patreon.com/star_of_annihilation_eleven
sorry for the tardiness of updates but I thought this double upload hopefully can make up for it – on the bright side, I quit my job due to not being able to balance school, tling, writing this novel, and dealing with rather rude and selfish coworkers. This should see an increase in uploads for this novel and even my translation work!
And last note : the patreon is for purchasing advance chapters and im still currently stocking more. I have up to 3 advance chapters available at the moment, but I’m hoping to get at least 20 advance chapters in the near future! stay tuned for updates on the discord – eleven/betterdays