"I... I tripped!" Itchy suddenly shouted in an attempt to smooth over the situation. After all, she was a master deceiver, wasn't she?
Lone sighed and a very unimpressed expression took a hold of his face. "Come on, you can't just trip and launch a massive Darkness attack at someone by mistake like that. Please tell me why you're here? I don't plan to hurt you or turn you over to the king, so just tell me who you are and why you came here and why attacked me. I swear I'll let you go if you do."
'Worst case scenario, she's here to destroy the tree, so I'll need to make her think it's still dying before releasing her and preparing a plan to deal with whatever's going on. Best case, she really did trip...' Lone mused internally.
Itchy wasn't very smart, nor was she very brave despite being an XXX-ranker at heart, however, one thing that Itchy would never become, was a traitor. "I really did fall over! Don't you know that it's normal for all Unhcegila Descendants to emit a tiny bit of Darkness when they're startled?... Hah... hahaha..."
Lone creased his eyes and smiled. "Hahaha."
"Hahaha..." Itchy laughed back with some fear on her face.
"Now, your real answer?" Lone said with an unusually strict tone in his voice. He felt like he was talking to a child that had broken a rule and didn't want to admit to it. As a former teacher, this frustrated him to no end.
Lone ending up spending the next hour or so trying to peal answers from Itchy, but no matter how weak her responses were or how obvious it was that she was lying, the girl never revealed anything about why she was at the world tree or why she had assaulted him.
Lone heaved a big sigh. "We're getting nowhere..."
'Master, let me take over. Perhaps I can learn more about the nature of her essence? After all, as one of the nine primal essences, I can easily discern the origin of any and all forms of darkness,' the element living within Lone suggested.
"I'm not seeing any other options, so sure, break a leg," Lone shrugged.
Itchy visibly trembled when she heard his mumblings. ''Break a leg'?! He's finally resorting to violence?! Why didn't I ask Van to create a Homunculus that could be used from a long distance instead of this one?... Stupid girl...'
The ancient Unhcegila had forgotten that Homunculi were immune to pain and felt nothing, not to mention that the only way to use them was by transferring a whole soul into them, making her long-range idea impossible.
'Wait! Why is his hair changing colour? Wasn't it colourful enough already?' Itchy was very confused when she saw Lone's hair go from a multi-coloured mess to being pure dark-purple.
Darkness walked forwards and closely inspected Itchy before he placed a palm on her head. A few seconds passed until Itchy began screaming in pain. "Please, there's no need to be so loud. I'm only taking a part of your Darkness to test it, not ripping your soul apart or anything. Such a drama queen."
'You're one to talk,' Lone noted from within his mind.
Darkness ignored him and held his chin as he returned to the seat Lone was previously sat in. He nodded a few times and licked his lips. "Indeed. Such delicious and powerful Darkness. This could only possibly originate from the blessing of an Ancient-level Darkness Dragon, no? 'Ythmagobla', was it? Clearly, he's grown up since I last saw him."
Itchy panted from exhaustion after Darkness's 'test' and she started sweating. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Hmm... I wonder about that. Anyway, as you can see, Master, she was clearly sent to either kill you for healing those Foxkin, or to assess the tree. Perhaps both. Shall I destroy her soul? Consuming so much Darkness will kill her, but I should regain a good portion of my true strength by doing it," Darkness suggested as he eyed the frightened girl like a starved beast.
Lone's eyes and hair immediately changed back to normal after Darkness' chilling claims. "There's no need to look so scared. I won't kill you. I don't have a grudge against Ythmagobla and I'd rather not create one."
'He went back to the colourful hair? This is so weird! Still, I can't let him know anything even if he's right!' As always, Itchy remained loyal and chose not to reply.
A sudden burst of magical energy filled the room as a think piece of parchment was created on top of Lone's hand.
The host has created a level 3 contract scroll.
15,000 MP has been consumed.
An additional 15,000 MP has been consumed to compensate for the host's lacking knowledge of magical contracts.
|Congratulations! The host's unique skill [Unique Magic: Contract Magic] has levelled up! It is now Beginner Level 5.|
'I really need to spam create these at some point to level this skill up... it is really useful, especially considering that it helped me allow Kyuubi into Soph's summoning room, and I can never know when I'll need to do that again for someone else,' Lone pondered as he looked at one of his ten unique skills.
|Unique Magic: Contract Magic|
A skill unique to the host, Lone Immortus.
Allows the host to create magically binding contracts that cannot be broken nor removed by anyone, not even the host, once formed.
Contracts must be written and signed using blood.
Contracts must offer an exchange of two things that the host truly believes are equal.
Each contract level has a cooldown. Level 1: A day. Level 2: A week. Level 3: A month. Level 4: Half a year. Level 5: A year.
The host may only ever create five Level 5 contracts. 4 remaining.
|Cost:||5,000 MP per level of contract. An additional 5,000 MP per level of the contract if knowledge of the contract is lacking.|
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 5|
Lone took out a small inkwell that was filled with a sticky red substance along with a feather-tipped pen. This inkwell had been filled by him after he had made the level two contract back in the Crimson Foxkin Clan.
He had gotten tired of writing with his finger and biting himself every time he made a contract, so he decided to cut an artery and fill up a bunch of these inkwells before throwing them in his Dimensional Storage.
He sat there for a few minutes before finally concluding what this level three contract would entail. After he was done writing the agreement and signing for himself, he looked at Itchy.
"If you sign this with your true name, which it will force you to do, by the way, I can let you go. You can do whatever you like at that point. Keep attacking me, leave the tree, live here peacefully, it doesn't really matter to me," Lone said as he held the scroll over her face so she could read it because her body was still paralysed.
'I will not attack or intentionally try to bring harm to any member of The Wanderers or any person living on the world tree except for Lone Immortus. I will not intentionally try to bring harm to the world tree for as long as I am on it. Duration: Forever.
In exchange, Lone Immortus will never kill me or take advantage of me, nor will he ask about my origin or about my reasons for doing whatever it is that I do.
Signed: Lone Immortus
"I can't sign this!" Itchy yelled.
It was impossible. She could clearly feel the power coming from this parchment considering her level and rank, so even if it was an unfamiliar type of magic that was somewhat similar to the commonly used contracting magic, Itchy would never allow herself to sign something of this nature.
Even if she personally wanted her master, Ythmagobla, to ignore the world tree's energy and continue to slumber, she knew that was impossible. This meant that, one day, she would have to help her master attack the eastern world tree and help him kill every living thing on it. She would rather die than fail her master like that.
"Are you sure? I can't risk you being around my companions considering you were sent by a Darkness Dragon," Lone reasoned. he really didn't want to just murder her pointlessly.
"I can't! I would rather you killed me!" Itchy made her resolution abundantly clear.
Lone hold his forehead and looked troubled. "Fine. Stay here," he suddenly ordered and then left his bedroom.
"Like I can move... Damn it... Who is he?! Why did my attack do nothing to him, and what was that about when his hair changed colours?! I'm so confused!" Itchy wanted to cry. "Ythy... father... I'm sorry... I probably won't be coming back..."
King Ele'hunda was roused from his lonely sleep by a loud knock at the door. He knew that the only person brazen enough to do this was Head Maid Bel'lok.
He groggily got out of the bed that was clearly too large for a single person and sighed as he put his clothes on. "Can I not get any peace today?"
Not only had he been busy with proceeding over the tests this morning, Ele'hunda had also toiled over his desk doing paperwork until the two moons of Altros were nearing the peak of their daily cycles.
The muscular and scar-riddled High Elf walked towards the door and opened it cautiously. As he expected, the person waiting for him, was, indeed, the old and unhappy looking Head Maid Bel'lok.
"I can't believe this. Your father, his father, and his father before him, all of them always had that look on their faces whenever I woke them up as well!" Bel'lok complained.
"That's because it's rarely for a good reason, Head Maid Bel'lok," the powerful XXX-ranker bowed his head as he addressed her respectfully.
"I wouldn't have to do this if you boys didn't grow up to be so strong! You always intimidate your subordinates so they push the responsibilities onto me!" Bel'lok's loud and piercing voice was making Ele'hunda's ears ring.
"Okay, okay, I get it!" The only person who could treat the mighty king of the eastern world tree like a child was this woman. "What's wrong this time then?"
"Hmmpf. All of you lot, the damned Ratolas line, nothing but ungrateful fools... The Nine-tails has finally decided to use his four technique chances and he demanded to speak to you about it. The bookkeepers are barely holding him back from browsing all of the techniques immediately to pick which ones suit him, the rash boy." Head Maid Bel'lok shook her head with a frown on her wrinkled face.
She sighed before adding, "Really, what is the point of having guards for the Grand Technique Hall, if not a single one of them can restrain a problematic child like him?! A bunch of useless fools!"
"They know that he fights in the dungeon every day, and they're only A-rankers themselves, so of course they wouldn't risk riling him up even more," Ele'hunda tried to reason.
Unfortunately, Head Maid Bel'lok wasn't having any of it. "Do you remember when Rakmul, that pompous Soul Oracle, tried to demand that we give him ten of our twenty-chance techniques just for visiting us even though he failed to heal the tree? Do you also remember who it was that got him to trade one of his Soul Oracle skill instruction manuals for merely three one-chance techniques in case one our own had the talent for being a Soul Oracle?"
"Yes, Ma'am, it was you, Head Maid Bel'lok," Ele'hunda groaned internally while he replied.
"Exactly! So don't give me that attitude of yours, young man!" Clearly, Head Maid Bel'lok wasn't very happy.
"Calm down, please, Head Maid Bal'lok. I'll go deal with it now." King Ele'hunda was still unsure if Lone was an asset or a hindrance to the world tree at this point, especially now that he had forced this situation to happen.
"I would hope so. You make me worry far too much, all of you Ratolas' do, especially that unfocused daughter of yours," Head Maid Bel'lok noted as she placed a hand on her hip and gave the King a genuine look of concern.
"I appreciate your concern very much, Head Maid Bel'lok." Ele'hunda frowned before he put his crown on and marched over to the Grand Technique Hall. Hopefully, Lone hadn't caused too much of a disturbance, after all, he would prefer it if Head Maid Bel'lok didn't have more ammunition to fire at him.
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