"Normal speech"


(Silent magic)

[Normal magic]

{Change of location, time or POV}

Hi there! This is mostly a chapter to reset things before we start with the next arc!

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Chapter 31: The Weapon, the Queen and the Soldier

The girl hummed an old tune as she gazed at the moon. It was a really quiet night. The moonlight was illuminating the roofs of the capital, creating a spectacle of lights only admirable from her position. The shining stars in the sky, a gift the gods blessed upon mortals, some said.

Boring, utterly boring. Not that her life has been much more over the last century.

Her sacred duty was forcing her to remain there, a guardian to a silent hall. Her mother always wished for it, didn't she? The lovable monster she could not stop both cherishing and hating at the same time.

Inadvertently, as if acting on pure instinct, her left hand went up to brush her hair, exposing for just a few instants the pointy ears hidden behind them.

She felt bored, and even trying to solve the riddle known as the Rubik Cube didn't seem so entertaining anymore. A blasphemous thought according to the most devout but fortunately she didn't consider herself as such even with the blood flowing through her veins.

Looking back at her bloodline caused the thought of her father to emerge, she tightened her free hand into a fist. 'Well, that's a poor way to ruin an evening…' she mentally sighed, trying to push the unpleasant thought away.

But even then, when her mind wasn't controlled by cold blooded fury, all that remained was unadulterated boredom.

She has already tried every possible dish the Theocracy had to offer, and she had coerced a few Cardinals into having some of the Empire and Holy Kingdom chefs come to cook their typical dishes. Though she doubted anything in the world could ever surpass aunt Nazaire's omelet, she felt a bit of droll come to her mouth at the sole thought.

"You are still awake at this hour?"

Zesshi was pulled back to reality by the familiar voice. She didn't even bother to turn around and just gave the speaker a glance.

"Only children go to bed when their parents tell them to… What did you come here for, boy?"

She said in her usual monotonous tone. The black haired man didn't respond immediately, he didn't have the guts to do so. Even if he was considered a grown man, he still was nothing but a child to her.

"I was sent by the Cardinals to check how you were fairing, Lady Zesshi."

The white and black haired woman felt like chuckling in amusement at that phrasing of the true message.

"Are the children afraid their big sister will run off?"

She asked with amusement, a small smirk growing on her face. Silence stretched between them as no one spoke.

The Cardinals, of course, were justified in their fear: she showed a lot of interest in the events unfolding in the Re-Estize kingdom lately. Or to be specific, events that principally revolved around a certain magic caster.

A massacre of proportions never seen before. Well, not really… She had seen many more people being killed by her scythe than the final kill count in the kingdom, but what intrigued her was the general target. It wasn't every day that someone wiped out a whole army of nobles and paraded their corpses through the capital.

Considering that her interest was already piqued when the man first was assumed to be connected with the disappearance, and probable extermination, of the Sunlight Scripture, it was only natural for her to want to keep an eye on him.

The problem was that with her lack of interest in almost anything unrelated to food or fighting, showing interest in someone outside the Theocracy rang a bell of alarm in her leaders' ears.

Her smirk widened as she felt a mischievous idea forming in her mind.

"And so, what would you do if I decided to leave?"

She asked the man cowardly hiding behind the fake mask on his face.

"Would you try to stop me? You and that stick you carry around, like a child playing knight? Would you bring that little band of misfits down on me?"

She asked, feeling a surge of excitement at the thought of fighting the whole Black Scripture seriously, to the death.

"I would feel like reminding you of your oath of fealty to the Gods and the promise of protecting this country and people."

He answered calmly, making the smirk disappear from her face.

"How tedious and boring of an answer… it would have been funnier if you said you would try seducing me and convincing me to stay."

The man frowned, changing his expression for the first time since he arrived.

"Don't even think about it, boy. You will have to force me to the ground and beat me half to death before I even consider it."

She mocked prompting a retort from the man.

"I did not ever consider it."

The black-haired man immediately replied.

"Ah, is that so. Am I that ugly to you?"

Now she was just messing with him, riling the boy up was one of the most amusing things she could come up with.

"No, of course not Lady Zesshi… you are just… your personality… I do not find it desirable."

The boy almost stuttered out. She finally turned, placing her face just a few centimeters away from his, her hand caressing his jaw, she could feel his muscle tense and fear glint in his eyes. 'A little lamb ready for the slaughter', that was the image that came to her mind.

"Do not worry, little lamb…"

She whispered in his ear.

"The feeling is mutual."

She said before pushing him away, making him stumble backwards.

"Go tell your masters, dog, that my patience grows thin… this foolish and tedious war would be already over if they gave me the opportunity to descend on the battlefield and cut that bastard into a thousand pieces."

She paused as a malevolent grin split her face in two.

"Else I grow bored of this farce and go seek something better to do than rot in a hallway, waiting for an enemy that will never come."

The boy didn't hesitate to scurry away, too fresh from his mother's milk to even think of defying her.

This was the problem with the current Black Scripture. They were all a bunch of spineless maggots, once she got involved. Zesshi guessed that some of it was due to her ritual humbling of them once they joined, but still, it made every interaction with them as dull as a rock.

She, of course, didn't mean her words to the boy. But if the Cardinals were so worried that they would send him to her, it would have been a wasted chance to not capitalize on their fear and make them push more on the war against that bastard she had to recognize as her father.

She sometimes wondered if annihilating the Theocracy should be on her to do list. For all the love she had for her mother, she had the same quantity of hate for the treatment she received. And since she was dead and gone, the better way to spite her would be burning down everything she stood to protect. But then again… the Theocracy was also what aunt Nazaire cared deeply for, and she did not want to disappoint her.

Also, the fact that they were willing to continue warring against the Elven Kingdom was a big part in her reasoning to not destroy them and continue to obey, for now.

Her little internal struggle finally came to an end when she saw the long black hair of the boy disappear from her sight. She really had no idea how such a powerful line, arguably even more powerful than hers, turned out to be so weak.

She pondered that same thing many times before and, after consulting some annals, she came to the conclusion that the previous God-kins were a bunch of fools who continuously mated with inferior beings.

For all her hatred and disgust toward her father and the way in which she was conceived, she had to admit that it had been both her curse and her blessing to be born by such parents.

Her mother, the most powerful God-kin of the time, and her father, a being on the same level with her, or even more powerful, as he was able to abduct her.

She was born of that union, a cursed child of unimaginable and unprecedented strength, even for a God-kin.

That is why she aimed for the same, she will have to find someone on her level or even greater than her and mate with them to continue the cycle. There laid her dilemma as she never heard of such a being existing or, at least, not a willing one. She knew of a few Dragon Lords who could be compared to her, but she doubted they would have been willing to mate, even less with the current disposition of the Theocracy toward them. She could always try to overpower them and force them, but then, what would be the difference between her and her accursed father?

She took a deep breath and released it in a heavy sigh, those thoughts made her even more depressed than before. And if there was anything worse than being bored, it was being depressed.

Maybe she should really take that vacation, it wasn't like the Theocracy was going to be attacked while she was away for a couple months.

She brought a finger to her cheek in curiosity. She wondered, what kind of food would the Re-Estize kingdom have?




{Draconic Kingdom}

{Draudillon's P.O.V.}

The dragon queen sat on her throne, a furious expression on her childish face as the general before her reported the news from the front.

"Are you absolutely sure there is nothing we can do?"

She said from behind her gritted teeth.

"I am afraid not, your majesty. The mithril team Steel Hammer gave back part of their contract money and went back to the kingdom after the brawl with Crystal Tear."

The man reported, prompting the queen to launch her wine glass against the wall, shattering it in a thousand pieces.


She growled out in absolute rage, like a dragon who just discovered part of her treasure stolen.

She would normally never behave in such a way, but the presence of only her closest advisers prompted her to unleash her inner emotions freely.

This wasn't the first time this happened either. Adventurer teams were either bullied or brawled into leaving, and this all came back to Crystal Tear. The only hope of her kingdom became the greatest thorn in her side.

She was sure that that degenerate had something to do with all of this! She was sure! And when this was over, she will have him hanged by his guts in her throne room. Yes… that sounded rather nice.

As of now, losing able fighters was the last thing they could afford. They were completely entrenched behind their cities' walls. The remaining land left to be brutalized by the Beastmen. It was working as the invading army was having trouble feeding themselves, now that they had no more humans to feast on.

This also brought them to recklessly charge against the walled cities, which was nothing short of a death sentence considering the bombardment of magic they received from the defendants above.

The only problem was sending food from city to city while avoiding the Beastmen patrols. That was the point where adventurers were truly valuable, escorting caravans of food from city to city was no easy feat and dead teams or lost food were daily news by now.

The high death rate even forced the kingdom to offer better pays to the adventurers who started to refuse contracts.

Fortunately, the first deliveries from the magic caster Satoru began to arrive, escorted by groups of adventurers for ulterior protection from both bandits and the eventual undead of the Katze Plains. It was a heavy hit on their already depleted coffers, but the result paid off.

She sat down as that thought managed to tranquilize her.

"Have our congratulations to the new Marquis of the kingdom been received?"

She asked one of her advisors.

"Yes, Your Majesty. The Marquis thanks us and wishes us luck in our battles to come."

The minister of external affairs answered.

The queen grimaced. If she just had the chance, a single chance to meet the man face to face, she could have achieved much more. But alas, the circumstances were not on her side, the magic caster never accepted an invitation to visit the capital, claiming to be too busy to absent himself that long. That was somehow understandable due to the Draconic Kingdom's situation, no one would wish to visit a kingdom currently at war.

She, on the other hand, could not leave her residence to visit the magic caster herself. The absence of their Queen could have caused demoralization to take over her remaining troops, which would lead to a disaster.

And now, Re-Estize finally decided to make a move and claim the caster for themselves. It was really infuriating. If the world would have been fair, she should have had her chance to charm the magic caster, but instead the world was unfair and ruthless by nature.

This new development could bring many problems. The relationships between her country and Satoru were merely commercial and mutually beneficial ones, but with his new title this might as well turn into a political mess in which she would be forced to make concessions to Re-Estize, else they stop the line of supply currently established.

If rumors had to be believed, it was even said that the king arranged a political marriage between Satoru and the second princess. An offer she could easily beat, she was a Queen after all. But then again, his current position forced her hand back.

It was incredibly frustrating, and the current situation did not help to calm her nerves at all. She invested too much in this endeavor, she could not fail here, or else the fragile balance she managed to reach in this war might turn in the Beastmen's favor.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the sudden opening of the doors as a guard scurred in, greatly agitated by something.

"M-My Queen! I apologize for the rude i-interruption! But there is a man here to see you! He brought to us the head of the Lion King!"

Those words immediately gained attention of the whole room.

The Lion King was one of the many generals currently leading the invading army, and even among them, he was one of the biggest thorns in the kingdom's side as he was the one who targeted most caravans transporting food from city to city.

The crown had of course placed generous bounties on each of the generals' heads to entice the adventurers in seeking out and killing the leaders of the invading army, but it had yet to provide any significant results.

"Is it the pig?"

She asked, resignation in her tone as she knew there were slim possibilities of another not Adamantite team being able to slay such a foe.

She was of course happy that her enemy had been vanquished, but the act she will have to put up in that case would be really deprecating. She could already imagine having to squeal like an excited girl while praising and congratulating that shit stain of a man. Maybe he will have her blow him a kiss… like last time.

She felt like gagging at the sole thought as bile rose in her stomach.

"N-no, Your Majesty… the man is not even an adventurer by his own claim…"

That caused mumbling to erupt among the ministers. The queen could not help but have her interest piqued at that. 'A warrior capable of killing the Lion King not being an adventurer… he must be some elite force from a different country…' she quickly concocted the most logical conclusion.

"So, who is this prestigious warrior?"

Asked one of her generals, irony in his tone. The guard gulped.

"H-he does not wish to share his name, he just wishes for his reward… he also is not willing to part with his blade, so we could not escort him here."

The young man explained the situation. A complicated conundrum, to say the least. She was really curious to know who this mysterious man was, but at the same time, it seemed like a needless risk. She could have her guard reward him and send him on his way, but she has already lost one magic caster to her hesitation… Another such mistake could prove fatal.

Her decision made, she finally decided to address the guard directly.

"Have this man escorted here, We want to meet him. Ensure that an adequate number of guards is escorting him."

Her decision was not met without resistance from most of her advisors. Even her Prime Minister discouraged such actions, but in the end, she was the Queen, and her word was rule.

It took only a few minutes for the guard to return alongside a platoon escorting a mysterious man in the middle.

The man was well built, no armor defended him as he wore a simple leather jacket and pants. His most distinguished feature was surely his blue dyed hair, but the thing that really jumped immediately to Draudillon's eyes was the sword he had sheathed by his side.

She felt her dragon instincts flare as never before, a craving and desire to obtain that fantastic blade for herself, no matter if she couldn't use it properly. Her tail started twitching as her mouth began to salivate as if an exquisite banquet was presented to her after starving for a month.

"-ur Majesty! Your Majesty!"

She was finally pushed back to reality when she heard the voice of her Prime Minister ringing in her ears. Her head snapped to him in annoyance at the interruption of her contemplation.

The middle-aged man recoiled.

"You have been unresponsive for more than a minute, Your Highness."

He whispered apologetically as he stepped back. She blinked, to her the whole thing didn't last more than a couple of seconds but seeing how her advisors were currently looking at her, she had to concede that her Prime Minister was apparently right.

She immediately straightened her posture on the throne and fixed her crimson eyes back on the man before her.

"Welcome warrior. We have heard of your great exploits against the Lionel Clan, and how you slew the Lion King. We are deeply thankful for your aid in Our righteous cause."

She said clearly for all to hear. The man didn't react, as he merely bowed slightly, just enough to acknowledge her presence. A gesture not appreciated by the court apparently, as many seemed to want to address his lack of manners.

"We wish to reward you personally for your service. State your name, brave warrior."

She said as she had to force her gaze away from descending on the man's blade once more.

"Can't I just get paid and leave? This is starting to make me regret slaying that demi-human."

The man said tiredly.

"How dare you?! To show such disrespect in the face of Her Majesty! You should be begging on your knees for forgiveness!"

The captain of her guard yelled enraged at the man's casual and disrespectful behavior, unsheathing his sword, but that may have been his greatest mistake. In the blink of an eye, the captain's enchanted sword was split in two by a black curved blade. Everyone's eyes widened as panic began to fill the room.

The guards encircled the now armed man, ready to protect their queen until the end. As for Draudillon, she now found herself drawn to that blade more than ever, she felt a physical push toward it, as if the sword was sentient and calling for her.

Her crimson eyes lost themselves into the blackness of the unknown metal, as if it was an endless void ready to swallow her. The miasma emanating from it seemingly alive as it swirled around the blade and hilt, like a lion seeking for its next prey.

"Weak, arrogant and prideful… no wonder this country is doomed, if this is the best you have to offer."

The words were cold and brutal, but not totally untrue, as much as the queen detested admitting such a thing.

As if guided by another's will, Draudillon stood up and began walking toward the man, ignoring every and all protests from her advisors or guards.

In just a few seconds she stood in front of the stranger, his blade was lowered and seemingly unthreatening, but still ready to strike at any moment.

"And are you strong, humble and shameless, may I ask?"

She inquired the man, causing him to chuckle, a sound so unusual to her ears so used to the elegant words of nobility.

"Not at all, Dragon Queen. I am weak, arrogant to a certain extent and prideful in my art, but I am a man not meant to lead others. I am merely a self-serving swordsman."

The man said in a relaxed tone, as if this was but a natural law of the world.

"Is that so? Then, will this self-serving swordsman finally introduce himself?"

She inquired once more, in her current form she had to look up at the man and her neck was starting to hurt. The swordsman took a deep breath before sighing and sheathing his blade, hiding its magnificence from her eyes, much to her displeasure.

"I am Brain Unglaus."

He curtly said, causing a new wave of mumbles to erupt in the room.

Even in the Draconic Kingdom that name was not unknown, a man with enough strength to rival the strongest knight of Re-Estize was nothing to scoff at. But that, at least, meant that he probably wasn't an envoy from any other nation, much to her relief.

"A famous name, I see. What brings you here, if I may ask, Sir Brain?"

The man shrugged, waving his hand as if to push off a particularly annoying mosquito.

"No honorifics are needed, Dragon Queen. I merely happened to pass by when that overgrown cat stood in my way. We exchanged greetings and dueled. I won."

The brevity and nonchalance of the man was infuriating, he seemed to be speaking of a street rat and not one of the greatest enemies of her nation.

"When the big cat fell all the others scattered like the scared cats they were, then I learned that I could make some money from the head of that overgrown cat and so I came to claim my reward."

The man summarized his side of the story, much to the annoyance of many of her knights who lost comrades and friends to the Lion King; she had no idea how they would feel to have such a threat ridiculed like that.

"I see. You speak of a monster who claimed countless lives as if it was nothing to you. You previously said you carried far less arrogance than us, but to me, it doesn't seem like it."

She retorted; the man's face stiffened, he sighed as his hand moved instinctively to his blade, unsheathing it and presenting it to the queen.

"Do not mistake my words for arrogance, Dragon Queen. That demi-human may have been monstrous, but compared to the one who gifted me this blade, he was nothing but a kitten growling."

Draudillon listened intently, but her instincts were kicking in again, forcing her to touch the blade. Slowly, with the utmost care she raised her hand and placed the tips of her fingers on the blunt side of the blade.

Immediately, she felt a foreign energy flow through her every vein, her illusion disappearing, showing many of the dragon traits she hid behind her human façade. Her hands turned into claws and her majestic black scales appeared alongside her body, greedily drinking in the foreign energy. The whole thing caused her some pain but the pleasure she felt by the contact was immeasurable. It was like drinking the sweetest of juices alongside the sweetest of cakes.

"And who was it that gifted you this blade?"

She asked, almost in a trance as the blade's energy drugged her very being into addiction.

"A being above all others, someone whose strength is above all human comprehension, a monster who showed me the fruitlessness of trying to climb to the top of the world… but you may know him by the name he currently uses… Satoru."


{Celicia's P.O.V.}

"Good! Continue like that! Up and down!"

It took all of Celicia's will to not try to murder the man currently standing in front of her.

She continued to move up and down as the shaft she was grasping with both hands became hotter and hotter. She felt her mouth stretch to its maximum to try and take in as much air as possible, otherwise she would risk suffocating.

But her rhythm was not to be as she felt her grip loosen and she fell on the ground ruinously.

"The fuck are you doing?! You stupid bitch! Get up!"

Gritting her teeth, she obeyed. Her body was already flaming due to the afterword of the pull ups, but she knew that the punishment for slacking off would be far worse than the one her body would give her tonight.

"RUN! RUN! RUN! 20 lapses! You have 10 minutes!"

Celicia stumbled up and began running after her fellow students.

"I-I am not even 10… I-I am a m-magic caster… w-why must I suffer t-through this…"

She complained to no one in particular until a voice chilling her flaming chest answered her.

"Because you are an idiot!"

The instructor yelled from behind her.

"Before you are a girl! Before you are a magic caster! Before you are your father's daughter! Before everything! You are a soldier!"

His words cut through her like a heated blade through butter.

"You all are the next generation! You will carry on the name of Seven Hands into the future! But as of now you are filth! No matter which Talent you possess! No matter who your daddy is! You are lower than the lowest worm until I say otherwise!"

The voice rang across the line of running boys and girls.

"""SIR YES SIR!"""

The line cried out, Celicia's voice joining the others into a pained chorus.


The man yelled out, the whip in his hand lashing out onto the ground next to where Celicia was running.


The frightened children yelled out even louder.


Yes, she was sure of it, Trainee Commander Lanz was a devil ascended from hell to torment them. And yet, they could do nothing but follow orders.

The brown-haired girl collapsed on the bed with a groan. She felt like every single bone in her body was grinded into dust and every muscle melted into goo.

Her training wasn't always that hard, no. For more than a year she merely studied magic in all its forms and began training in the art with great success.

But since they were relocated to E-Pasel four months ago, everything went to shit, to use one of the words she got accustomed to during her period in the care of Seven Hands.

When she had to leave her parents were very upset, understandably so, since she wasn't even 10. She remembered her sister crying all night. She wanted to come with her, her sweet older sister. She promised Celicia that once she got to the right age she would get hired by Seven Hands and find her.

That memory brought a smile to the young caster's face. The truth was that it really pained her to leave her family behind, even more so her sister, whom she loved with all her heart.

But she had no choice. Most of Seven Hands' operations have been dislocated to the new Marquis Satoru's territory six months ago.

Speaking of which, the tale of the noble magic caster was already becoming legend.

Someone who was rumored to be able to use the 6th tier of magic, putting him on the same level as Fluder Paradyne of the Empire. A deadly man in both combat and politics, judging by the slaughter of two thirds of the nobles he personally oversaw. Many claimed he paraded their corpses through the streets of the capital as a symbol of his power, others said that he was the most loyal member of the Royal Faction. That last one was probably due to his betrothal to the second princess.

Celicia herself greatly admired the magic caster for his magical prowess, at least. She couldn't say she was thrilled by what he had done, but she wouldn't condemn it either. She still remembered the fear she felt when a noble tried to take away her sister, she was relieved that someone had cleaned up the apparent worst of them.

"Oi! Celi!"

The loud voice of her dorm mate, Alicia, woke the young caster from her thoughts.


She replied sluggishly with annoyance. The older girl gave her a smirk, before pointing outside the window. Curiosity made the brown-haired girl get off her bed and check out the window.

At first, she didn't notice anything, at least until her eyes fell on one of the alleyways visible from their higher position.

Her jaw fell open as she saw Amy, one of her friends, kissing an older boy she didn't remember the name of. She was stunned, as the two continued to seemingly dance on the place as their hands roamed all over each other's bodies.

Celicia blushed from her neck to the root of her hair, she jumped back from the window coming face to face with a smirking Alicia.

"Eheheh… I told you they were a thing."

She said smugly.

"Relationships are forbidden between trainees!"

Celicia hissed with a raging blush still on her face.

"Awww… c'mon! Who is going to catch them? They aren't the Invisible Duo for no reason!"

Alicia whispered back and Celicia had to concede a point.

Amy, she knew, could mimic herself against a wall when she wanted to, that was a very neat Talent in her opinion. The boy whose name she didn't remember was capable of traveling through shadows. Again, a powerful Talent. They surely had a grand future ahead of them.

"He is pretty hot, I have to admit."

Alicia continued.

"I wonder if my Talent would work on him…"

Her smirks became feral as her uglier side showed itself. If Celicia had to describe the girl in a few words, she would have to say she was a greedy screwed fox. Her Talent allowed her to charm anyone by singing, though it only worked with one person at a time.

Due to that she was used to getting whatever she wanted out of people, and one of her favorite pastimes was messing with people. It was true that they were forbidden from using their Talents outside training hours but proving someone actually did was quite difficult, especially with some of the sneakier Talents.

"You are such a bitch sometimes."

Celica said to her giggling friend, using one of the words she learnt in the last year and a half. She was pretty sure her mother would have washed her mouth with soap if she ever heard her daughter say something so crass.

"C'mon Celi, we are all still young. It's not like I'm stealing a married man… even though that would be even more amusing…"

The brown-haired girl scoffed at her ginger friend's antics. She really had no idea how the two of them became friends. 'Us being of similar age and being roommates may have helped' a voice whispered in her mind. She sighed as she took up one of her books and began reading. It was the best way to end a conversation she didn't want to continue. The older ginger girl seemed to take the hint and puffed her cheeks.

"You can't always do that Celi! It's so annoying! You and your stupid books!"

The girl yelled at her junior who simply proceeded to ignore her.

"Fine! I won't speak to you until you apologize!"

Celicia still ignored her threat, last time she said such a thing she barely managed to hold herself for a day before going back to her bubbly personality.

'May the Gods have mercy' the brown-haired magic caster thought in exasperation and a slight glint of amusement.


Welp, that's it, shorter chapter than usual, but as you can see this was mostly meant as an unofficial intermission for the time skip happening next chapter.

Hope you enjoyed the Zesshi part, I had fun writing her.

A huge thanks to all my Patrons!

Remember to leave a comment/review, those always help raising my spirit, even more now that I am going through a not so nice moment!

Till next time and stay safe!