A pentagram array formed entirely of mana suddenly appeared beneath Mo Ke’s feet. Within seconds, Mo Ke was engulfed by the magical array, bringing Shadowfang and the Grimoire of the Dead along with him as he disappeared.
The only thing that remained was the devil egg that fell to the ground having lost its master’s support. Seeing this, Habona immediately reached to catch the egg, stopping it with her palm in the nick of time.
Of those present, Violet Snow’s relationship with Mo Ke was the deepest and was thus the most concerned by this sudden development. Having never been in a Summoning Zone, she naturally wasn’t aware that he had been summoned away, and had assumed that Mimiya had caused him to disappear.
Her concern got the better of her as she yelled at the equally confused Mimiya in a threatening bark: “Speak! Where did Mo Ke go?”
“Ah…Mimiya doesn’t know either…” She stammered in a frightened voice. While it was merely a white puppy that yelled at her, Violet Snow’s furious countenance had frightened her. She stammered, not daring to look the puppy in the eyes: “Summ…summoned by an occultist…probably…”
Violet Snow was stunned by what she heard. Having had no experience on this subject, she wasn’t sure of how to react.
As long as one was a devil who possessed inherited memories, they basically knew about this occupation in the human world known as an occultist. Occultists randomly lock onto the Summoning Zones within the three hells via their chants, and with a summoning ritual, call forth a devil from within that zone.
Without a specific medium to link to a devil, this ritual has an element of randomness to it. While there were chants that could target a specific species, targeting a devil in particular was difficult and wasn’t guaranteed to work. There were even devils who grew old and died without ever getting summoned.
On the other hand, there were those who got summoned the moment they entered the Summoning Zone. In terms of luck, Mo Ke was obviously not the former.
“That situation just now…Mo Ke had definitely been summoned by an unknown entity.” Habona was more knowledgeable than Violet Snow and had immediately guessed that he had been summoned upon seeing him disappear.
“Mimiya right, bring me to see Mo En, even though Mo Ke ended up getting summoned due to fluke, we should still greet him since we’re already here.”
“But…grandpa is really…dead…” Mimiya insisted once more. “That was what grandpa told Mimiya 100 days ago…”
At least come up with a better reason!
Tarnia Kingdom, The City of Azure, Azure Warrior’s Academy.
Recently, the academy had decided to hold a martial tournament for the new students in which every first year had to participate in. This annual event could be said to be a grand pageant and was one of the landmark events in a new student’s school life.
As a special student, Nicole was naturally under much more scrutiny than the average student. It was similar to how a normal person had to go on a murderous rampage in order to become newsworthy while a star merely had to sneeze to get the media’s attention.
Of course, this attention came with a corresponding pressure as well, of which Nicole wasn’t particularly suited to. No matter where she went, she was unable to avoid the gaze of strangers.
These strangers came from a complex gamut of backgrounds. Some were students, teachers, workers and even fans…there were even households who wanted to recruit her in lieu of her talent; and then there were nobles who wanted to marry her…
Of these noble suitors, there was one noteworthy person. That was the son of this territory’s lord, the son of an earl and also the nephew of this city’s lord, Dean Baker.
Unless something drastic was to happen, he would one day inherit his father’s lands. One such territory was the City of Azure.
It thus goes without saying that he enjoys a privileged position in this city. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call him a mini-emperor of this region. This noble young master was also a student of Azure Warrior’s Academy. In fact, he was a senior student who was about to graduate.
When he met her for the first time a month ago, he decided then that he had to have this fiery redhead who had the personality akin to ice.
From that moment on, Dean would often appear at Nicole’s side. This golden haired, handsome youth would always be seen with a rose in hand as he stood outside her dormitory waiting for her to appear.
Even though she never once paid him any attention, this didn’t deter him from badgering her. Truth be told, he wasn’t all that either, ever since his thirteenth birthday, he had bedded at least 500 women. Given that he was 18 this year, he had bedded and discard over 100 women per year.
However, Nicole was different from all of these women. She had an exceptional talent for cultivation. It was this talent that made her a treasure he must have; talented individuals like her gave birth to children with exceptional talent as well.
It can be said that their child would have a talent that was one in ten thousand. A child of this calibre would elevate their household to a whole new tier and would solidify his position within the family. Whether it was out of lust or practicality, she was someone that he absolutely must have.
And yet she wasn’t someone he could force himself on. Nicole was the only special student in the million strong Baker Earldom and thus enjoyed an unimaginably high position within the academy. She was the headmaster’s treasure, and this headmaster was the strongest martial expert in the entire earldom; making him an extremely influential personage in the Earldom.
It would be still be alright if he courted her via normal means, but if he used despicable means and end up ruining her by accident…the old man would probably fly into a rage. As for the consequences of that…it was something he couldn’t bear. Thus he didn’t dare to force himself upon her, and had to resort to courtship in order to slowly work his way into her heart.
Unfortunately for him, Nicole didn’t love anyone, not Sares, not Dean nor any of the other suitors. Even her feelings towards Mo Ke weren’t that of love but merely of concern. She only wanted to locate him as soon as possible or at least confirm his safety.
With the freshman’s tournament coming up, the time she spent training naturally increased as well. She shortened her rest time as much as possible in order to squeeze out more time for training. In the six months since she entered the academy, she spent so much time training, she could almost be called a robot who only knew how to train.
Outside of her rare rest periods, her only destressing activity was going with Nana to the Goddess of Light’s chapel for prayer service.
The reason why she entered the Goddess of Light’s chapel was naturally because of Mo Ke. During her shopping trip with Nana on Founder’s Day, she met a priest by coincidence and ended up joining the Goddess of Light’s chapel. To her, anything that could possibly aid her was worth trying, even if it was useless praying.
What greeted her as she entered the chapel for the first time was a priest in the midst of his sermons. She quietly sat down on the pews with Nana and turned her attention towards his preaching. Time passed by unknowingly as she let the soothing droning of the priest wash over her. It was the first time she had ever felt such peace since Mo Ke went missing.
Ever since Mo Ke ran away from home and Roscar left to create a mercenary troop…her days in school seemed almost surreal to her. She had never known that she possessed such a steadfast side. Even after losing the little brother she grew up with, even after being separated from her father, she never once shed a single tear.
She never gave in and instead stood up and faced these challenges head on. In order to rebuild her broken family, she worked as hard as she possibly could.
It was only after listening to the priest’s preaching for the first time did the torrent of pent up stress finally revealed themselves as she wept subconsciously. She didn’t know what the priest was saying but his soothing voice made her cry uncontrollably.
She dried her tears and turned towards the 10 year old Nana sitting quietly besides her with her head tilted to the side as she dozed off…looks like her weeping would go unnoticed.
Since then, she would go for prayer service whenever she was on break. Naturally, she brought her lucky charm, Nana, along with her as well.
Today was one such day as well. She threw on an austere set of casual clothes and left her dormitory. What greeted her right as she left her dormitory was Dean standing still as a statue by her door, with a bouquet of roses in hand as always. On a flower bed nearby was an exquisitely packaged gift box.
“You finally decided to leave your room, did you know I had to wait a whole ten minutes for you.” He joked with a dashing smile on his face. With his eyes fixed intently on hers, he stepped forward and whipped out the roses he had prepared: “These are the most beautiful roses in my garden, they were all handpicked by me to suit your beauty.”
“…” She coldly looked at him before spitting out an equally cold sentence “Thank you.”
Without accepting his roses, she weaved around him with practised ease and left.
Having been ignored, his face immediately froze. Before he met Nicole, there was no girl who dared to ignore him. However, he quickly suppressed his rage which threatened to burst forth and put on his dashing facade once more. He was the son of an earl after all, this bit of emotional quotient was to be expected.
“Please wait a moment…I’ve prepared a gift for you, won’t you have a look?” He stepped forward and opened up the gift box he prepared, revealing an extravagant formal dress within. “I had to spend 1,000 gold in order to get this dress from the capital, it’s the latest and trendiest…”
After giving the dress a look, she emotionlessly sidestepped him before he could finish his words and walked off without a second look.
“Miss Nicole, the material of your clothes are just too low quality, they’ll ruin your smooth skin…”
“Thank you for your good will, oh Son of Earl.” She couldn’t stand his badgering anymore and had no choice but to turn around and deal with this annoying fly. In a calm voice, she chided him: “My martial arts teacher once said, true warriors do not require such extravagant things, indulging too much in such worldly objects would only dull our spirit, creating a barrier in our path to the top.”
“But isn’t it a girl’s nature to want to be beautiful? Don’t tell me you don’t want to show off a more beautiful side of yourself?”
“I’m sorry, but the me right now has no time for such considerations.” She firmly rejected him in a soft voice. “Furthermore, I won’t accept any gifts from others. Please take it back, perhaps another girl might like your gift.”
Having said this, she turned around and left.
Having had to wait for 10 whole minutes outside her door, this outcome was clearly something he couldn’t accept. Not only did she snub him, she walked off without even acknowledging his sacrifices. If he was to let her go like this, it would be a massive loss of face for him. He immediately chased after her, intending to stop her.
A short distance away, the voice of a little girl echoed down the hallway, within it was a hint of forced anger: “Sister Nicole, hurry up, we’re going to be late for prayer!”
Hearing this, Nicole’s face warmed up immediately. Nodding her head, she turned towards Dean and said apologetically: “I’m extremely sorry about this Young Master Dean, I’m about to be late for prayer service in the Goddess of Light’s chapel, please forgive my rudeness.”
Given her usual coldness, that apology was a considerable compromise on her part. With that powerful old man of a headmaster standing behind her, Dean didn’t dare to push his luck any further. If he wasn’t careful, he might just rouse the ire of the headmaster, at that time, the one to suffer would only be him.
A long, blue-haired little girl with an adorable rounded face, dressed in a white school uniform leaped into the arms of Nicole without a care in the world. As she continously rubbed her face in her chest, she said: “Sis, let’s go for prayer, quick. Once that’s over, we still have to get some crepes!”
“Mhm, today’s crepes will be on me.”
“Wha? Sis did you strike it rich recently?”
“Nah, my father sent me some money a few days ago.” While Nicole was a special student and thus received a number of privileges, all her money was spent on cultivation tools. This resulted in her finances being rather tight despite her status.
Nana was the child of a prominent merchant which meant her household was particularly wealthy. She would constantly pay for their meals whenever they went out. Nana’s father was an astute merchant and thus knew the potential value of their friendship. This was why he was particularly lenient about her expenditure.
“You rejected me again…” Having been rejected again, his desperately wanted to force himself on her but he was simply too afraid of the headmaster’s wrath…
On the other side of the flower bed, Sares was quietly watching this entire exchange with a complicated expression on his face. He stood stock still, not daring to move a muscle until Nicole’s back had completely faded into the distance.