Chapter 15: VS Marcus
Marcus's body flickered and he appeared right in front of Saigo.
Saigo's pupils shrunk. “What speed?!?!”
Before Saigo could react, Marcus spread opened his arms and pulled Saigo in.
“SHIT!” Saigo lost his balance and fell forward.
Marcus wraps his arms around Saigo and held him in place.
Saigo tried moving his arms but to no avail. He tried kicking off from his spot but Marcus's arms did not budge.
“…thank god you are alright…” a soft whisper can be heard from Marcus.
Saigo felt as if he was struck by lightning. He stopped his struggle and allowed himself to be hugged by Marcus. His hands unconsciously grabbed Marcus's clothes. His eyes revealed hints of purple.
“Grandpa…Marcus…” Saigo stuttered. Tears welled up in his eyes and Saigo slowly wrapped his arms around Marcus.
“Why am I feeling this way?” Saigo thought. However, tears still fell and Saigo broke into tears in Marcus's arms.
“Good child…good child. You have done well to endure thus far…” Marcus gently rubbed Saigo's head as he comforted.
“Child, are you hurt anywhere?” Marcus released Saigo from his arms and gently asked.
Saigo gently shook his head.
“Look Grandpa Marcus, I am not hurt anywhere!” He gave Marcus a bright smile as he twirled around to prove his point.
Marcus looked at Saigo in shock.
“Not a single injury? Not that it’s bad but… how?” Marcus exclaimed.
A magic circle appeared on his hand and white mana flew out of Marcus's hand.
“[inspect]!” Marcus chanted and the white mana surrounded Saigo. Marcus's eyes flashed and his jaws dropped.
“Not a single injury… not even a scratch… how can this be? His muscles are in tip top condition, his blood vessels are fine and his bones are denser than before… rather than being tattered, Shiina's body has greatly increased in strength.” Marcus muttered.
“How is it?” Saigo bend forward asked in a somewhat playful tone. His smile was so wide that his eyes were like slits.
“You…are fine…” Marcus, still somewhat shocked, stuttered as he answered.
“Hm? This should be the first time ‘I’ met Marcus…why am I acting like Shiina so naturally?” Saigo thought.
“How is this possible? To have powered up to this extend in merely 6 months? What actually happened?” Marcus muttered.
“Shiina, can you stand still for a bit?” Marcus requested.
“Okay!” Saigo obediently stood straight at his spot.
Marcus smiled as he pointed a finger at Saigo.
“In the the name of my lord, [soul eyes]” Marcus chanted and his eyes shone.
“Lets see what is the cause of this…” Marcus focused and his view changed. In his eyes, Saigo turned translucent, revealing two different coloured flames, one blue and one red, inside him. At the bottom of the flames, two ‘snakes’ of flames intertwined, forming a purple flame.
“A second soul?!?! That blue one was not here before!!!” Marcus exclaimed. A murderous aura clad Marcus as his eyes turned bloodshot.
“Judging from the size of the blue soul, it is the one in control! Right now… this is not Shiina!” Marcus took a deep breath as he forced out a smile.
“Lets go home.”
Marcus sudden declaration cause something to snap in Saigo. The glint of purple within his eyes disappeared, leaving behind pure blue. His bright and ignorant eyes turned blank.
A sharp headache attacked Saigo. He bent down while grasping his head. He grit his teeth as waves after waves of pain struck his mind.
After a moment, Saigo slowly raised his head. His turned sharp as his brain operated at full speed.
“What did this guy do?!?!” Saigo thought as he took a step back.
“Why did I obediently follow his orders? What was that sudden pain? He used a skill called [soul eyes] can he use a soul attack?” many questions appeared in his mind.
“What’s wrong Shiina?” Marcus asked.
“Then lets go.” Marcus's body disappeared from sight and appeared behind Saigo. Just when he was about to grab Saigo, Saigo chanted. “[darkness conversion]”.
His body turned black as he slipped away from Marcus's arms by going through it.
“This is!!!” Marcus looked at Saigo in shock.
“I'm sorry Grandpa Marcus but I will not go home with you.” Saigo bowed slightly as he said respectfully.
“Why is that so?” Marcus's eyes slightly darkened as he questioned.
“After coming to this Million Beast Forest, I have finally understood.”
“I have finally understood that Father is a horrible person and that he is a liar. He is using my Mother as a tool to blackmail me into doing what he wants me to do. Therefore, I am not going back!” Saigo said with a ‘resolute’ look while soaking his clothes with cold sweat.
“This old man is too strong! If I go with him, most likely I will not be able escape!” Saigo thought.
“In that case…” Marcus's eyes completely darkened.
“Stop using Shiina's voice and give back his body!!!” Marcus clad his arm with mana and threw a palm at Saigo.
“SHIT!!!” Saigo leaned back and merged into his shadow, dodging Marcus's attack while creating distance between them.
Saigo calmed his breath and asked “What are you talking about?”
A vein popped on Marcus's head.
“A mere renegade soul like actually try to act like Shiina? What foolishness. [thunder crash]!” Marcus created a large magic circle and launched a giant lightning dragon towards Saigo.
“Renegade soul?” Saigo looked at Marcus in confusion as he dived from shadow to shadow.
“Seize your resistance and return to the cycle of reincarnation! Leave this child alone! [lightning barrage]!” He screamed as a giant magic circle appeared in front of him. Countless [lightning ball] appeared and shot towards Saigo.
Saigo jumped into a tree’s shadow to escape from the barrage. However, after a while, the tree collapsed and turned into ashes after being burned by countless lightning. It's shadow disappeared and Saigo was launched out of the ‘shadow realm’.
“What's with his strength? I am supposed to be as strong as a D-ranked adventurer! Is he C-ranked? No, B-ranked?!?!” Saigo cursed as he dived from shadow to shadow to avoid the [lightning barrage].
“Even if you are a Lord, right now you are still weak. You can't escape! Return Shiina!” Marcus screamed as he added countless [lightning crash]s into the mix.
“What’s with this amount of magic?!?! How much mana does he have?!?!” Saigo looked at the incoming attacks in fear.
He tried to use [devour] but the result was that his arms was blown off.
“Shit!!! RUN! RUN! RUN!” Saigo eliminated his thoughts of fighting back and ran.
He continuously jumped from shadow to shadow. Marcus's attacks left destruction in their wake, decorating the forest with large craters.
30 minutes later, what's left of the area was mere rubble.
Saigo panted heavily as he was ejected from a just destroyed tree’s shadow.
“What… is… this…” Saigo wearily looked around for shadows to escape in. However, what greeted him was just plain ground.
Marcus floated before him in the sky. Like a divinity, he shot magic one after another. Although he was sweating, his condition was still way better than Saigo's.
“You are good at running. But this is the end. You should not have anymore mana. Even if you have supreme darkness talent to lowered your mana consumption, your mana capacity is still at early stage middle tier.” Marcus lowered himself to the ground as he coldly said.
“This… is not over yet!!! God of war, bless me with a dagger to fight my enemies. [create dagger]” Saigo created a dagger and he changed towards Marcus.
“Since you are a mage, you should be weak to physical attacks!” Saigo slashed the dagger towards Marcus's throat.
However, as if without using any strength, Marcus waves his arms and Saigo's dagger broke.
“What?!?!” Saigo exclaimed.
“Foolish. Haven't you figured out the difference in our strength?” Marcus released a kick, blowing Saigo 10 metres away.
“In case you haven't notice yet, I have not used any high-tier magic.”
Saigo's pupils shrunk.
“To be this strong even while holding back…” Saigo despaired as he struggled to stand up.
“If I were to put it in a Lord’s words, I would say that my Magic Attack value should be around…750.” Marcus declared.
Hearing that, Saigo's despair deepened.
“750? Isn't that… A-rank…why is he here in a country like this…” Saigo muttered. His legs felt like jelly and he fell onto his knees.
The country Saigo is in can be considered a low-ranked country in the demonic kingdom where even a single C-ranked adventurer is rare. It is said that even the demon king is only C-ranked.
The demonic kingdom is a merely a branch of the demonic empire at the centre of the demon continent.
“I will give you a chance of survival.” Marcus suddenly said.
“…” Saigo slowly raised his head and looked blankly at Marcus.
Marcus awkwardly scratched his beard.
“When I saw your soul, I got angry and wanted to bring you back to the mansion to slowly remove you from Shiina's body. When you pretended to be Shiina, I got angry and attacked. For that, I apologise.” Marcus bowed his head and apologised.
“?” Saigo looked at Marcus in confusion.
“Now that I think about it, your soul and Shiina's are intertwined.” Marcus continued. “Renegade souls have no ability capable of doing that. Even if you are an exception, I do not think that you would be so foolish as to mix your own soul with someone else's. The other possibility is that you are not a renegade soul but rather a guardian spirit. A soul whose purpose is to protect the host in times of need. From your reaction just now, I can tell that your soul is extremely influenced by Shiina’s. Thus, I can also conclude that your soul is still very immature.”
“What are you getting at.”
“What I am saying is…let's make a deal.”
“Guardian spirits all have one trait in common.”
“When the host reaches 16, the guardian spirits will completely fuse with the host’s soul. The more immature the guardian spirit's soul is, the stronger the fusion..."
“!!!” Saigo's eyes widened in shock.
“But I have a way to prevent that.” Marcus face turned into that of a shady businessman.
Saigo took a deep breath and sunk into deep thought. After a while, he looked at Marcus with a resolutely.
“What do you want me to do?”
“In exchange for me saving your life, I would like you to…be Shiina's big brother.” Marcus said with a smile.
“. . . What?”