“You’ve finally found me, I thought I’d never be set free from this filthy mana.” A voice echoed out from the ancient staff as it wiggled its way out of the director's grips and shot towards me.
“What? Oh great magical artifact, what of our contract?” The director shouted while the nobles could do nothing but be paralysed in place.
“What contract you evil thing? I never ever made a contract with you, the one who holds your contract is an evil entity and it vanished in the presence of my owner. Meaning your contract is now void and you will face great consequences.” The ancient artifact responded.
Dark magic usually requires a magical tool to utilise as it is dangerous and toxic on the human body for it to originate from the mana core. There are cases where people do not need to use a tool, those are people who are forced to consume monster cores, although they are able to withstand the dark mana, their powers eat away at their souls and humanity leaving them in eternal pain even in death.
“Wielder, that thing did all sorts of evil, that thing cut open young innocent children’s necks and drained their blood and had those other evil things bathe in it. I’ve lost count of how many children had to die… This room is filled to the brim with trapped souls that just want to find peace now.” I knew better than anyone else that trapped souls could not leave freely, they needed to have whatever remains, buried or burned to ashes to be able to reach an afterlife.
“Don’t worry, I’m not here for a picnic. I’m here for revenge.” I spoke to the floating staff as it moved beside me, if it had a human form it might even glare at the director while hiding behind my back.
“Revenge what revenge? Look, you're here for the twins, they’re still alive and breathing, just take them and leave, I won’t even come looking for you.” The director started rambling on and on about how lucky I was to still be able to save the twins.
“You must really take me for an idiot, I know you people I know damn well you’ll chase us to the end of time. Plus I’m not here for them, I’m here for your neck.” I spoke while I conjured up another paralysis spell alongside a torment spell.
Upon impact the director started screeching once again, the torment spells mentally tormented the target, making them experience their biggest fears and hallucinate until they either dehydrate or starve to death.
I looked over towards the nobles who were now fearing for their lives,
“Don't you think it’s funny how they fear for their own lives when they take the lives of commoners so easily?” I asked the staff who did not reply.
“Please spare us! We just did as we were told!” they yelled towards me, the usual nobles who would’ve looked down on me like some pest was now begging that I spare them.
“Why should I spare you? Do you not hear the hypocrisy coming from your own mouths? Your life is precious but the lives of these children are not? What kind of bullshit is that… We never did anything to you, yet you treat us less than a bug. So go on, give me one good reason as to why I should spare you.”
“Please I can’t die like this! I was against this method.” one of them shouted.
“And yet you are here, there is no saving you now. Die and go to hell.”
I opened both of my palms and uttered “Embers to dust” Their bodies went up in flames, and their pleas of insanity only grew louder before ceasing to exist altogether.
While this was happening I walked over towards the children to check on their state, they had been exposed to dark magic for too long and their skins had started to become contaminated, no doubt if they woke up right now they’d be in pain. I cast a shield around the children to prevent any more contamination and keep them asleep.
I turned towards the ancient staff, “You can look after the kids, right? Stay here and make sure this shield doesn’t break no matter what happens alright?”
“Yep, Yep don’t you worry owner, I’ll make sure of that.” I turned around and continued watching the nobles burn.
‘Chimera you can take back the mana it took to conjure up the twin dolls.’
[Is it over?]
‘Almost… I’ll be back soon.’
[Alright, I’ve rounded up all the other teachers, hurry back, the kids in the basement don’t look too good.]
The doll’s disappeared and I walked up to the director to finish her off to return swiftly and let the twins out of my subspace. I released the torment spell I had cast on the directors
“S-Spare me please, I did this to give those poor children release… Sp–Spare me please.” she crawled her way towards me, perhaps I had used up too much of my mana as it felt like my grip on her was slowly being released.
“What you gave to those children was not relief, what you gave to them was nothing short of bitter betrayal”
“They would’ve died without me! They would’ve died cold and alone.”
“EXACTLY! There is nothing in this world that makes a person feel more cold and alone than betrayal from someone they thought would save them.” I screamed.
“They would’ve died anyway, it doesn’t matter when”
“You don’t get it do you? But I'm sure you saw it yourself didn’t you?”
“See what?” she curled up on the floor staring into nothing, confused, shaking like a newly born foetus.
“The look of hope, every time they reached their little hands towards you hoping you would save them one last time and then the realisation that they had been utterly betrayed.”
“... no… you don’t know anything, you don’t understand…” She spoke more to herself than towards me, probably surrounded by nightmares of her own.
“You're right, I don’t because I never looked towards you with hope. Every bastard that’s ever held out their hand with a smile has always shown me betrayal uglier than death, I don’t hold hope in a person anymore.”
“No… they would’ve died anyway… they”
“There is no way to bring back a monster living in delusion. There is no way for you to go back, I hope you roam all of eternity cold and alone, searching for hope and then get bitterly betrayed by the darkness that is yourself.” Human life is futile, they always seem to only regret in their last moments… in that way, I guess I too am human.
I used whatever mana I had left and created a mana sword and pierced her heart, the only way to entirely kill a dark mage is to either drain all of their blood or burn them alive, then smash their mana core, I wasn’t sure at this moment if I had enough mana left to turn the director into ash.
Instead of simply standing by, I started looking around the chapel. I had only been to one other temple in both of my lives and I had heard that every single temple/chapel/church in this empire worshipped the same God, so the view in front of me baffled me.
A giant statue made of pure black marble depicted the most alluringly beautiful yet fearful figure, just then a tiny whisper could be heard.
“Levern? Levern, are you there?” I scanned the building trying to find the source of the whisper.
‘It’s that damn name again, who is Levern?’ I thought.
“Levern? Levern? Please… let me go…” The louder the whisper grew, a heavy feeling settled in my heart.
“Levern! Levern? Levern!”
I ignored the whispers and the heavy feeling and walked my way towards Miss Dandy, who did not once beg for her life; she simply accepted her fate.
“Why aren’t you asking for me to spare you?” I asked with my mana sword against her neck.
“You seem quite used to this kind of situation little girl, I should’ve known you wouldn’t sit still. Haha the jokes on me I guess.” she dryly laughed to herself, perhaps upset she couldn’t get to me first.
“Don’t change the subject, let me ask you one question…” At my sudden hesitation, she looked up towards me while frowning a little.
“What’s your relationship to Sam? Oh and don’t think you can lie your way out of this, I’m quite observant.”
“You saw through that too? How interesting, if we had met in any other way we could’ve been friends.”
“Cut the crap, he’s your son, isn’t he? That’s why such a troublemaker was able to stay in Section A right? But then that leaves the question of why? Why would a mother let her own son stay in that shithole and then actively bring him to his death?”
“... There are some things that you wouldn’t understand no matter what kind of life you’ve lived.”
“Why is everyone telling me that I don’t understand, Oh I understand very well You’re just a shitty mother.” I spat, angry.
“Yh, this was my only revenge for him…” A mixed look of sadness and deep longing bounced around in her iris.
“Revenge? What the fuck are you talking about? What could a kid have done to you to warrant revenge?”
“Not him, this other guy, listen little girl don’t believe everything that a man tells you. He never really meant any of it, I was once a normal girl too, one who wanted a loving family but that all went down the drain…” Any amount of remorse I felt for this woman had but now vanished, she did not even see her own child as someone to protect. If I leave her alive she will come back to finish us off.
“Shut up, I don’t care about your sob story. Don’t worry your son will grow up to be a normal adult, one who’ll create his own family and not live his life feeling bitter towards his own child.” That marked the end of this sacrificial ritual.
- - -
An intense wave of calm after the storm washed away the mass amount of adrenaline that had built up inside me, leaving me dizzy.
“Levern?” The whisper started up again, this time sending a heavier pang across my heart, I heaved. The same feeling that I felt while I went through my second awakening was now spreading throughout my heart.
I had already keeled over before I could gather my thoughts and lost consciousness.
“Arnedan? Arnedan! Don’t leave me, not like this. Please…” A faded echo-drenched in sadness, someone was clearly mourning the death of another.