Dusk faded away, and darkness invaded the Lower Realm. After completing his study, Val carved his own version of ‘Spatial Archive’ around the carvings of his Soul Window. He named it as ‘Inventory’ for convenience, and it got added as a separate section in his soul window.
It was his first time using the Rune Writer, not to mention on his own body, and yet, he didn’t falter with nervousness, he was indifferent toward it. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find a way to store the items by touching them, so he didn’t had any choice but to use water as a transfer medium to cooperate with the soul window.
To avoid the items from getting wet while transferring, he changed the property of water and made it behave like mercury. His creativity gave him a satisfying result. Right now, he is checking his dimensional storage.
Opening his status in the appraisal window, Val went to the Inventory Section. He stored the books of runic language by enveloping them into the liquid which was poured out from his left palm.
- ‘It’s working fine’
[ Inventory ]
[ Runic Language Books(x2) ]
Val thought while staring at his Inventory. According to his novel, the concept of Spatial Archive will get introduce in the future, around one and a half years later. He knew who will come up with that, and that’s exactly what made it more confusing, because that person is not Bell.
A question popped up in his mind
- ‘Is this world really the one from my novel’s ?’
But that was it. He stopped himself there.
- ‘Whatever transpires in the future, forseen or divergent, it doesn’t matter’
Dwelling was useless for him, it’ll get clear on its own once he find that ruin. Placing the appraisal window back on the study table, he turned his chair around.
Peering outside the balcony, he gazed into the dark night while caressing a white tattoo of a flower ring which was engraved on his index finger.
It was the symbol of a divine oath, a promise he made with Ana.
- ‘Tomorrow will be my last day in Kelnar’
The day of trial was at corner and so was his departure. His face was still expressionless but his eyes were unfocused as the past events swirled back in his mind.
After suddenly got spiritually awakened, he died in an accident, but then he found himself transmigrated into his own incomplete novel. He was confused at first, but after getting the confirmation of his reality, his heart was set ablaze with the flames of determination.
He decided to fulfill the ultimate purpose of human life i.e. to break the cycle of birth and rebirth.
The very next thing which came into his mind was his safety measure in this magical world. Because until the awakening of first chakra, his body is need to be preserve in its natural state.
So, he chose to obtain a strongest protection, which might be capable of countering the most threatening existence he knew of, Aramis, a calamity and the main villain of his novel, who’d make his debut one year later by burning Kelnar to ashes.
Obviously, Aramis is not targeting him particularly, but Val is a seedless which qualified him as his target. Their encounter is unlikely, but for his safety measure, it’ll be better for him to take the worst case scenario into consideration because he don’t know how much time it’ll take him to fulfill his purpose.
The storyline of Theo’s novel will start one year later with the death of millions of people and fall of Kelnar. That tragedy will shake both worlds and will force Gods to take extreme measures.
Like every other seedless people in Kelnar, Ana will not be able to survive the disaster, Val knew that but it doesn’t matter to him, whether she die or survive. His indifference is beyond earthly matters.
- ‘Now that I think about it, I didn’t have any interaction with the family members again after the first breakfast’
Thought Val. After his first family breakfast, he never met with anyone else aside from his mother Eira and brother Zion. Well, it’s not his fault, he never woke up normally after meeting with them.
- ‘Zelos has also got chosen for the trial of Vicar and he’ll surely become the next supreme leader. But even though he’d clear the trial and gain the powers from Goddess Hiera, he’d still remain powerless against Aramis’
Val reminded of the day when Goddess Hiera chose Zelos to succeed his father. In whole Kelnar, the supreme leader Asvaldur and Zelos were the only one who can use the God Mode, but even together, they can’t win against Aramis.
- ‘Sigh... Just as I described it, this world is really full of mysteries’
A twinkling star reminded him of a certain pendant which led him to think about its original owner, Mipha Ycluir. She was one of the main character of his novel, but her connection with Val was an unexpected surprise.
Theo didn’t gave her this kind of backstory. He just mentioned that, she despised Aramis for his negative views of seedless people. To save the Lower Realm from destruction, she opposed Aramis and gave her support to the main protagonist.
One year later, many lead characters including Mipha and the main protagonist will join Osiris. Throughout their years in Osiris, they’ll prepare themselves to fight against Aramis by facing atrocious challenges, solving mysteries, sacrificing themselves to get stronger and receiving the blessings from gods.
They are the main characters of this world. One day, they’ll break every limitations, achieve a rank among gods and will defeat Aramis. Compare to them who’ll begin their journey one year later, Val’s strength have already broke the barrier of common sense for a seedless and is still growing very rapidly.
But strength is not his goal but the awakening of chakras is.
- ‘Although, the mana calibration rate increased significantly but the variable which makes the duration of awakening uncertain is the Mental Realization. I need to assimilate with nature’s mana both physically and mentally to completely awaken my mana heart’
After when his subconscious overtook his body in the sparring session, his primal mana breathing became much more efficient, and because of it, his temple rank and mana calibration were increasing very rapidly.
Currently, it didn’t attract anyone’s attention because he was continuously suppressing his temple rank to Arch-Priest, but he also knew that this will only work until a certain threshold.
Once he leave Kelnar for Dunnet-Un, he’ll not need to suppress his temple rank. After all, nobody is crazy enough to enter Dunnet-Un much less roam inside it.
Thinking about his departure and the wilderness outside Kelnar, he got reminded of something which sent chills down his spine.
- ‘What in the world was that?’
Val got reminded of a blurry black figure which according to the original Val’s memory, saved him from drowning 10yrs ago, when Nozroc was ordered to eliminate Val.
But it was not the only time he was saved, that black figure also saved the original Val from a monster, which Mipha and him encountered in a forest, 10yrs ago.
- ‘Unknown identity, unknown intentions, and its timing of saving Val like it was always around him. What should I make out of it?’
After that unknown voice which Theo heard before his transmigration, this black figure is the second big mystery for him. Whoever that black figure was, its intentions are unclear and confusing, it protected the original Val outside of Kelnar but it never acted in his defense when he was assaulted by his own family.
- ‘Now that I think about it, it always saved Val whenever his death was certain. Like in the river 10yrs ago, it saved him after when Val exhausted his both stamina and mana, and started drowning. Same thing happened in the forest 10yrs ago, when he lost all hope defeating that monster. Maybe it never acted in Kelnar because it was not needed.’
Val concluded the actions of the black figure after careful observation.
- ‘But the question which remains is, why it rescued Val?’
Right after asking the question, Val got a second chill ran down his spine. He had an intuition that it’s connected with his transmigration. How? He don’t know, but
- ‘Well, it’ll be known when the time comes’
Val puts his thoughts at rest and went over the bed, he already had dinner before carving the Inventory feature into his soul window, and now, he need a proper rest before challenging tomorrow’s trial.
The pre-investiture festival which was held in celebration for Zelos was ended yesterday but this morning in Kelnar seems as alive as before, like the festival is still going on.
- “The festival is over yet the city seems as alive as before”
Said Lenna as she fixed the armor on Val. The legendary grade armor was a full body type which made of blue hide and beige scales of a rare water Wyvern.
Its upper portion resembled a cloak, with beige scales covering Val's arms and neck. Scales were spread across the entire armor like veins which covered the vitals of body. His hands looked more like a claw than a gauntlet.
Over an all, the armor looked quite vicious, like something a villain would wear.
- ‘I bet, I don’t need a sword to rip through the hides of beast’
Thought Val while opening and closing his fists in front of himself.
- “Yes. After all, everyone is excited to witness the trial of his grace the third”
Said Aleesia while checking the armor, behind of Val.
Ana entered the room carrying a blue hood in her hands, she came behind Val and started attaching the hood to his armor.
- “As your grace ordered, I've prepare a hood which is made of fine materials and same color as the armor”
Aleesia and Lenna also helped Ana to carefully attach the hood.
- “Thank you, deaconess”
Val said softly but it hit them differently. The hood was attached to his armor, Aleesia and Lenna stepped back and stood behind him like maids while Ana came and stood in front of Val.
- “Look how much you’ve grown. When did you get so tall? Your hair has also grown longer”
Ana talked softly while caressing his hair and gently placing her hand on his cheek. Val also realized that his body is undergoing a change with the increase of primal mana calibration.
His body was transforming into its primordial form or natural shape, his muscles were changing and his bones were aligning again steadily.
In result, he became quite muscular, his height which was 5’9ft has grown to 6ft and his hair grown longer covering his nape.
- “It seems like it”
Said Val while gently removing her hand but still kept holding it for few seconds.
- “Take a seat, let me tie them up”
The room had a mix of affection and sorrow hanging in the air. Val sat quietly on the chair while Ana tied up his hair into a small ponytail.
The door was opened after knocks. Two knights came in and knelt in front of Val.
- “May goddess be with you, your grace. His holiness sent the escorts”
- “Wait outside, I’ll be there”
On Val’s order, the knights moved outside the room and closed the door. Val finally turned around only to found Aleesia handing his sword to him while other deaconesses were standing beside her.
Val took the sky piercer from her and hooked it to his side with an expressionless face. He don’t have anything to say nor it was the time for goodbyes, so he gave them a silent nod, turned around and said.
- “Let’s go”
With 8 knights and 3 deaconesses, Val departed toward the Arena of Kelnar.
The Arena of Kelnar was huge. Accommodating 300,000 people, it was built 10 floors underground and 10 floors above the ground.
Val and his escorts came down with a magic lift and headed inside the Arena. Leaving others in the hallway, Val entered the huge circular ground of Arena after passing through a large door.
The whole arena erupted in loud cheers as he made his appearance. Val looked around the huge arena, observing the marvelous architecture. He found a holographic screen floating in the middle of Arena which showed a live telecast of him through magic.
The atmosphere was overbearing but he paid no heed to the crowd. Soon, the arena became silent and Val found the cause of it. At the surface level, a fancy room was built on the Arena for the divine family members which was akin to a VIP box.
And the magic screen was now projecting a full figure of Asvaldur, his father and the supreme leader of Kelnar.
- “May Goddess be with you all”
Said Asvaldur with his dominating voice and he got a reply from the whole Arena in unison
- “May Goddess bless the divine family”
- “As you may all know, Val, the third son of Kelnar, has decided to follow the path of paladin to prove his devotion to Goddess. And we are here to witness his determination which soon will be put on a trial.”
Asvaldur continued his speech
- “We all make decisions at every moment in our lives, but it is our courage that truly tests our devotion. But what challenges and tests our courage?”
- “It’s the very first adversary we face after taking a decision. That's why, Val will challenge the trial of courage before starting his journey”
said Asvaldur as his projection looked down on Val.
- "Do you accept ?"
- "I accept"
Val said firmerly. The projection of Asvaldur gave a nod and continued
- “Then, let the Trial commence”
And a loud cheers erupted in whole Arena, they cheered Val with great excitement, many praised the divine family, and some pray to Goddess Hiera for Val.
Asvaldur stepped down from the projection and Zelos’s figure took his place on the magic screen. Seeing the figure of Zelos, everyone started praising and cheering for him, he was quite a celebrity in Kelnar.
- “The trial is consist of three stages, each stage will test a different aspect of a warrior. There will be no second chances and no rest.”
Said Zelos before raising his hand to signal the start of first stage.Upon his signal, 3 slate gray feral beasts came out on the Arena ground from the opposite gates.
But just after their entrance, their legs were trapped in the ground with magic, restricting their movement.
They roared in anger and frustration with their mouth ferociously open at 180deg.
Thought Val while looking at the beasts, he was getting bored by the speech. Spectators gasped, looking at the beasts.
The beasts were as tall as a horse, with muscular body of a jackal and horned head of a komodo dragon. But unlike komodo dragon, their teethes were more ferocious than a shark and had 4 beastly eyes
- “The first stage is called the ordeal of serenity, it’s held to test your composure in the face of danger”
Said Zelos before raising his hand again over the Arena ground, and suddenly, several walls started emerging from the ground, forming a big circular maze in between Val and the beasts.
- “These 3 rare grade beasts are intelligent predators. Your task is to reach in the middle of the maze before the beasts. Two strength enhancing items are placed in the middle of the maze, a potion for you and pieces of meat for the beasts. Whoever reach the center first, the battle will shift in his favor.”
- “Do you understand?”
Zelos asked to Val as his projection looked down to him. But Val was little dumbfounded