Metaworld Chronicles

by

Wutosama

Chapter 200.5 - Interlude - A Prickling of the Thumb

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A note from Wutosama

Time to set up dominos for the next over-arc! 


When enough of his faculty returned, Percy Song found himself in the outskirts of the Lake District encircling the Liu Estate.

Taking a moment to gather himself, he surveyed his surroundings.

He was in an old, abandoned place of worship, possibly Taoist, maybe Buddhist or Confucian, the decrepitude of the ancient pagoda made it impossible to know. There was a half-shattered statue of a headless figure lying on its side, but the visage of the Chinese Gods, with their long flowing robes, was indecipherable to a boy who had grown up in Sydney.

There were bundles of straw strewn here and there, as well as old newspaper, disposable cups and plates, and scrunched up bags of spoiled food that reeked. A dozen baijiu bottles, empty, lay to the side.

An acrid scent of urine furthermore informed him that the dilapidated temple wasn’t as abandoned as he had initially thought, though it was certainly devoid of human presence at the moment.

But none of that bothered Percy, at least not now.

Touching a hand to his Kirin Amulet, the Salt Acylote searched the spirit-well within the Kirin Core like a man noodling for catfish in the muck. Usually, it was dormant, mingling with the collated Essences within Core, providing him with vitality and raw Spirit Essence for his training.

Other times, it seemed to take on a will of its own.
When it happened, each and every time, Percy would be forced to flood the ritual with his Salt-tinged mana. He would ultimately succeed in subsuming the damned things' essence, but then he would be left OOM and vulnerable - a most undesirable set of circumstances, both for the present and the future.

It was the only way to make sure the Amulet was his, and his alone.

The temple was foul and filthy, but there was no helping it.

"Thunder Wave!"

A ripple of clear mana blasted away the grime and debris from the centre of the room.

He listened for the sound of commotion or alarm.

Good. He was alone.

Percy seated himself in front of the headless statue.

The Ritual of the Kirin's Blessing had four steps:

Meditation.
Harmonisation.
Circulation.
Absorption.

Percy crossed his legs, forming the lotus position, then took account of the last half an hour or so. Before he could begin the Circulation phase, his mind must be harmonised and untroubled.

His quandary, however, was that he had a full plate on his mind.

After all, his sister had summoned a Kirin.

Bloody Caliban was already a thrice-damned shapeshifting abomination, horrific enough to turn supporters away from his sister,  but now she possessed a demi-god Spirit? 

At first, he was unfazed. He had immediately recognised it as Gwen's Familiar. Despite its pseudo-Kirin appearance, its gait and that ubiquitous ‘Eeee!’ was a sight he had seen many times prior.

But as the battle climaxed, Gwen had injected her Familiar with a dose of what could only be described as the single most rarified Essence he had ever felt. Ariel's appearance then changed from that of a Kirin-like creature to a semi-divine being.

Feeling a peevish ache in his bosom, a sense self-loathing caught Percy in its grasp.

Shouldn’t he be happy for his sister? A voice had whispered from somewhere within his chaotic mind. Logic inferred that his sister's boon was his gain; that her growing influence served as his pillar of support, that her mightiness would elevate his position as well.

But then he would be lying to himself, and Percy was too smart to fool himself with benumbing platitudes.

The truth was simple enough - he was resentful.
Ever since Australia, a slow-building, gut-wrenching envy had culminated into a deep-seated jealousy, an unshakable feeling that somehow, Gwen had usurped his destiny. Why wasn't it him up there with the Kirin Familiar, battling it out with a famous Magus? Why hadn't Uncle Jun offered to take HIM into Huangshan? After all, Percy had a Kirin Pendant; he would be the bigger beneficiary by far.

High above on the stage, Gwen and Wonsoo exchanged spells.
Her emerald lightning then filled the duelling arena.

Concurrently, his Kirin Pendant had gone ape-shit.

Percy couldn’t think of another word to describe the sensation.
It was as though a Mage Hand had gripped the Kirin Core, tugged it from the red string around his neck, then made a bee-line straight for his sister’s radiant presence.

Percy felt caught in the grasp of an unexplainable panic.
RUN!
An unbidden thought flooded his adolescent faculties; a shoal of white-water over a tidal flat. Turning away from the stage, he had fled, unseen and unnoticed, while all eyes were glued to the cataclysmic forces unleashed between the duelists.

He bolted past the guards, who paid him no heed, then vaulted over the walls with a well-timed 'Jump'.

By now, thanks to his grandfather’s gruelling training, Percy had gained steady mastery over simple, utilitarian Transmutation. When he hit the pavement outside, he buffed himself with Agility and Expeditious Retreat, then ran from the estate, pursued by the urgency of the burning pendant searing his flesh.

Upon reaching the edge of the West Lake, he dove into the thrush, hoping that the frigid pool could temper the scalding stone.

But there was no hiss nor sizzle when he broke through the murky surface.
The heat had been an illusion - or perhaps more mockingly - a delusion.

Percy thumbed the cold exterior of the Kirin Core.

For a split-second, he envisioned tearing it from his neck and hurling it into the dark water.

Percy's mind returned to the present.

When had it all gone pear-shaped?

Two years ago, he watched his clueless sister go off on her Awakening Day at Blackwattle, her mundane, government high school. She had returned home, distraught and confused, almost comically so, and told him that she was a Generalist.

A Generalist!

What the FUCK?! Was the first thought on Percy's mind. She had to be shitting him!

He recalled that his pity had struggled to overwhelm his amusement and that it took everything he had to keep his face straight. Their mother had always stated sagely that Gwen's only worth was her face, and now his sister had splendidly proven their mother's prediction. Having attended a Selective High School, even at the tender age of thirteen, Percy knew better than anyone what waited Gwen - a loveless marriage; the bearing of children who would be her hope; amiable in-laws if she was lucky; an apathetic and neglectful husband if she was not.

He had promised himself that when he became a Magus in the Sydney Tower, he would help her out.

A few weeks later, he heard the shocking news that there had been a ‘mistake’ and Gwen had awoken instead as a Lighting Evoker. The electrifying shift in her fortunes had caught Percy flatfooted, but he had felt happy for his sister, whose life could now take on a less tragic slant.

Then things began to happen around Gwen, seemingly without rhyme nor reason, escalating without end.

First Lightning, then Conjuration, then her Void talent, then her strange Familiar, Caliban.

Names Percy had only heard or seen on the Vid-casts began to circulate his sister’s life. Alesia De Botton, Henry Kilroy, Gunther Shultz, men and women in positions that an adolescent Percy could not even begin to describe filled the rare conversations he held with Hai and Helena. Even their Opa, the weird old Patriarch who had been estranged from the House of Huang since Percy could speak, became obsessively fond of Gwen, going so far as to leave her his share of the Estate, leaving Percy to eat dust.

That had been yet another shock to Percy, but one he could take in stride.
After all, there had been no expectation that their Opa would have left anything to his children, especially knowing the old man's vitriol toward his two ungrateful scions.

After that, the Mermen Leviathan crashed into Sydney Harbour.

His schooling at Prince's, his life in Sydney, his future, came to an abrupt end. Even his uncle, the arrogant Kwan, had lost everything to the city’s sacking, forcing his prodigious cousin, Richard, to seek his chances elsewhere.

As for Percy, he had become disoriented and numb by the destruction. For weeks on end, he had followed his mother and his stepfather without question.

Followed them like a zombie, not knowing what the future held.

But Lady Fortuna had other plans in store for him.

A grandfather he had never known existed suddenly made his presence known to Percy. Guo Song took Percy from the refugee hellhole that was Frontier Sydney and brought him to Shanghai, a tier 1 city.

Not only that, he had told Percy that he would be heir to the House of Song.

His sister was in Shanghai too, but strangely, the old man loathed his sister with a passion Percy couldn’t even begin to understand.

But no matter.
He was saved.

The orgiastic relief and joy that swelled from Percy's heart scoured every inch of his cankerous depression and doubt. Finally, he had found his place in the world; finally, he could fill the shoes of promised destiny.

After that, he barely heard Gwen’s subsequent grandstanding, though he recalled that she had upset his grandfather.

When Gwen passed over the Kirin Amulet, the very same one their father had given her on the day of her Awakening, he had felt such giddiness that his hand trembled. Percy recalled that he could scarcely breathe when Gwen slipped the amulet over his head.

The still-warm Kirin pendant then sat against his bosom.
And Percy knew all was right with the world.

His sister's eyes were misty, and the natural amber-emerald hue of her orbs had become clouded, but Percy couldn't worry about that now. He would make it up to her later, somehow, but this was HIS moment - the moment of his triumph.

After the short ceremony, Guo left for the study.
His grandmother departed as well.

Percy had sat alone under the ambient light of the dimly-lit hall, thumbing his new pendant, just as he was doing now, dreaming of the bright future that awaited him. Sometime later, he had heard a commotion from the west wing, from the training hall. There were shouts of encouragement, sounds of laughter and a few choked sobs. Driven by curiosity, he had peeked through the faux-windows separating the practical section of the estate from its living quarters.

Voices filled his sister's temporary abode.

There was Gwen.

As well as his father.
His grandmother.
Uncle Jun.
Petra.
Tao.
Mina.
Richard.

Laughing, cheering, belonging.

Standing alone, separated by the flimsy barrier in the dark, a caustic panic had gripped Percy's heart, just as it had done now. The amulet grew hot and heavy around his neck, more akin to an iron-wrought manacle than silken strings.

Should he have taken the Kirin Stone? A tinnitus of doubt thrummed in his ear. That was when he had first felt the presence in the Amulet. He had felt a pressure, a touch, a finger on the soft membrane of his brain.

"Thank you all!"
“Thank you for supporting me!”

The clarion voice of his sister rang through the courtyard, and Percy found himself fleeing toward his room, his lungs fighting for every desperate gasp of air.

What had happened after that? Percy pondered. His memory of the event was fuzzy and uncertain.

A few days later, Grandfather had laid out privacy wards in the training hall, sat him down, and told him the family history. There were some gobbledygook about Chinese spirits and an old Kirin, as well as blood curses that sounded as mystical as it was divorced from modern Spellcraft, but the point made by his grandfather was clear.

If he, a Salt Mage, wanted to carry on the family line, he would need the amulet.
If he wanted to ever catch up with his sister, he would need the amulet. Most importantly, if Percy ever wished to wield the power of Salt with impunity, he would need the amulet.

“Both your father and your uncle begin their training shortly after Awakening, but to my knowledge, only Jun managed to utilise the power of the Kirin Amulet fully. As for your father, I could only assume he did enough before he left, considering that you and Gwen are living proof of his mastery over the element.”

Percy had no idea, of course. His father had never mentioned his past, his family, nor his half of the amulet.

“I will now teach you how to cultivate using the Kirin Stone. Percy Song, I now bestow upon you the Kirin's Blessing and the Rite of Essence Transfer.”

The rest of the lecture had been both a threat and a warning.

The training had been difficult, fraught with pain both physical and mental. More than once Percy had regretted taking on the burden of the amulet and its Necromancy-tainted application. As the essence from the Kirin Core nourished his body, his training progressed in leaps and bounds, far quicker than replenishing his reserves with HDM crystals. Both his Astral and his physical body felt impervious to the negative drain from his Salt talent, meaning he was limited only by the extent of his willpower.

For the first time, Percy had become confident he could catch up to Gwen.
Slowly, the jade pendant lost its emerald exterior, turning translucent and white, like Salt. He took it as a sign that he had succeeded in converting the Kirin Core to his use. Later, Guo confirmed that indeed, the Core took on different hues when reacting with different users. Jun's half of the Kirin Core, unsurprisingly, was white, dull and ashen.

Shortly after that, he felt the presence again.
A schizophrenic existence.
Sometimes, it sought to reject him, even attack him during meditation.
Other times, it was inviting and hungry, drawing in more and more of his Salt-tinged mana.

That and the indescribable sensation of drowning in darkness whenever he entered deep meditation with the Amulet active. In these moments, he felt as though cast out to sea, alone and abandoned. He was a drowned sailor, sinking into the murk while painfully aware that something indescribably large waited for him below - a poetically apt phobia for a boy who had survived a Leviathan crashing into his city.

Then one day, unbidden and unexpected, in the midst of contending with his inner demons, Gwen came to visit him.

A few minutes into their conversation, the pendant had gone ‘ape-shit’.

He realised then that there was something inside the amulet which desperately wanted to join its former possessor. After shooing her away, he took a cold shower, returned to the training hall, then with masochistic glee, he had poured his desiccating mana into the damned thing, suppressing whatever ‘thing’ that stirred within the Kirin Core’s depth.

After that, Percy tightened his training regime.
There were additional incidents where the amulet rebuked him, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle. Furthermore, he had questioned his Uncle, who had disputed the existence of a ‘presence’ inside the Amulet.

"Gwen has been through a Warzone, so there's probably any number of Spirits in her stone," Jun had replied offhandedly, his lack of enthusiasm for Percy was poorly disguised on his face. "You should be so lucky to be the benefactor of her woe..."

Jun's reaction was enough. Percy had decided it was safest to keep the complication close to his chest. His Spellcraft training was coming along well, and that was all that mattered.

He felt for sure that he was progressing far better than his sister when she was just fifteen. Having received formal preparatory training since he was eleven, he knew the theory, the practical methodology, and his abilities far better than Gwen knew hers.

Not only that, his new school, Xiangming Metropolitan, provided Cognisance Chamber readings on a fortnightly basis.

Seeing his statistical data increase point by point, month by month, was the greatest satisfaction and the most ardent vindication of his resolution. Things at his new school likewise fell into a routine. He made new friends, mostly among the Guan-er-dai, power-progenies such as himself, as well as finding mixed company in well-to-do Clanners.

Midway through the semester, he met Pei Li. The two got talking, and Pei had asked him if Gwen Song from Fudan was related to ‘the Songs.’ Percy’s answer had remained evasive, and his new friend had accidentally found out about Gwen’s precarious position in the family. Later, another mutual friend told Percy that an Elder from Pei's Clan had been discharged and that the Huashang Lis had lost two of their promising young Mages in a confrontation involving Gwen. When he confronted Pei, the young man shrugged, stating that it was the work of renegades who were now excommunicated from the Clan’s inner circle.

Not wanting to rock the boat, Percy accepted the explanation, even though the thought of his sister chasing him down and demanding to know the truth haunted him.

But there was nothing he could do, so Percy delved headlong into training.

Then news came of his father’s new bride.

Percy had initially thought a new mother would have bothered him, but having met his new family, he rather liked the Lius and what they had built for themselves in Hangzhou. In Percy's eyes, the Lius' history was a good roadmap for his ambitions in China: to secure the position of House Song, to branch out via powerful allies, and to build himself a legacy.

He imagined himself the Master of an Estate like the Lius and rather fancied it. NoMs would quake as he passed; men and women would bow if they were subservient, or dip their chins if they were equals. People would refer to Percy as “Patriarch,” “Master,” “Sir,” and perhaps in time, “Secretary," and "Magister."

Then, of course, Gwen arrived.

As before, the Amulet had gone 'apeshit'.

This time, Gwen had suddenly reached for his Amulet, something she had never done before. The act rattled him to his core, for he knew with absolute certainty that had Gwen laid her hands on the pendant, she would have yanked it from his neck and forever laid claim to his heirloom.

So Percy panicked, again.
He vindictively accused her of having designs on his inheritance, driving his sister from the house.

Good riddance, Percy thanked the Gods for a grandfather like Guo. He had no idea why Guo disliked Gwen, just as he couldn't fathom why Jun had taken to Gwen so strongly.

After that, he retreated to the privacy of his guest room and circulated his mana into the amulet until it had ceased its damned rollicking and he was out of mana.

He had avoided his sister after that, until tonight.

Percy thumbed the Kirin Pendant again.

“Little shit,” Percy said to no one in particular. The insult had come from his sister. It was a spur of the moment thing, but it had stuck with Percy, grated on him, ate away at his innards.

A little shit…

Percy scoffed.
For some reason, the bland and uninspiring insult sat in his kidneys like a stone.

“FUCK YOU TOO!” he announced to the decapitated statue.

The stoic form of the half-shattered ornament informed him that his insult was not very effective.

“Hahaha…” Percy chuckled, hearing his mocking laughter reverberate around the sky well of the shattered atrium, returning the mockery back to its sender.

Percy shook his head.
He had to return to the wedding.
Win or lose; he had to be there, else Guo would be upset.

Percy relaxed.
The rumination felt good.
He felt much better now that his head wasn't cluttered with angst and repressed solicitudes. Nothing like an open-air F-bomb to clear your system.

Collecting himself, Percy rested the pendant between his hands, looking as though he was cradling a miniature Kirin, then began the Rite.

“Drain Life!”

The stowed essence within the Kirin Stone began to flow into his body, strengthening his vitality and fortifying his Astral Body. When the pendant wasn't acting up, the process was almost pleasurable, like being bathed in warm milk.

“ARRRRRGGH!”

A shriek echoed across the courtyard.

A vaguely female humanoid figure burst from the remnants of the broken statue, struck the floor, then began to writhe and twist, scratching and clawing at her throat.

It took Percy half a second to register what he was seeing.

"Shield!"

He tumbled backwards across the filthy floor and came up in a defensive stance, ready to run if his opponent was an ambusher or a Mage he couldn't overcome with his meagre tiers of Spellcraft.

With his Drain Life disrupted, the female figure rolled onto her belly, then onto her hand and knees.

His assailant raised her head.

Hiden behind a crow's nest of filthy, matted hair, a pair of dark eyes looked up at Percy.

A woman? No, a girl.
Percy felt his blood run cold.
She had seen him!
She had seen him exercise the Song's forbidden magic!

He raised a hand toward her face.

“Don’t kill me! Lord Mage! I am… I am a NoM! I just live here... I got scared when someone came... please...”

The voice was coarse, pitiful and weak.

Percy paused.

The woman, or girl, it was impossible to tell, was stick thin and covered in dirt, muck, and grime. Her wild hair was tangled in unpleasant knots, falling over her back and neck like a filthy rope. Whatever was in that statue had furthermore stuck to her rags and her exposed skin, making her more akin to a Night-Goblin than a human being.

Now that his shock had passed, Percy furthermore noted that the source of stench he had noticed earlier belonged not to the locale, but to the vagabond.

His gaze softened.

“No, it’s me who should be sorry,” he replied, breathing out gently. “Do you live here? In such a horrible state? Where are your parents?”

“I…”

The girl appeared caught off guard by the visage of an affable young man in a tuxedo, standing in the moonlight, speaking amiably to her.

“Can you stand?”

“Y-yeah…”

She made an effort to stand.

Percy waited until the girl was unbalanced.

“Salt Bolt!”

A fist of weighed salt launched itself toward the girls' head. It was his most expedient spell. Percy had practised the incantation until he was out of Mana, his lips bled, and his tongue was raw and parched.

“Shield!”

The girl did not appear to have had any formalised instruction beyond mandatory vocational training.

Her Water Shield was paper thin, barely a membrane of semi-opaque liquid.

His bolt cut through the girl’s Shield, scalping her shoulder.

"Arrrrrrgh!"

In a blind panic, she charged him.

Percy sidestepped, too well trained to fall for such a bullish assault. He tripped the girl, seized her skeletal wrists, twisted her arm, then sent her reeling toward the floor, where her profile connected with the brickwork.

The fluid motion had almost been subconscious, the result of Guo's merciless, repetitive training. As his grandfather said, 'If you need to think about how to defend, you've already lost.'

With the girl on the floor, he drove a knee into her back.
The girl screamed and coughed, struggling to breathe.

“Are you a spy?” he asked.

It was a stupid question.
He wasn’t that deluded.
Rogue Mages were not unheard of, especially in the Frontier.

The Chinese government conscripted children from the NoM masses every year by the tens of thousands, throwing them into training to create fodder for the insatiable revolving door of the District Militia. Those who survived and indeed, thrived, were then relocated to the Military. Those who proved to be little more talented than mana-batteries became spell-fodder for the Front. If so, knowing that one's demise was all but inevitable, desertion should come as a no surprise to anyone.

A Rogue Mage then.
It was no wonder then that the poor tramp was living by herself in an old, worn out temple.

“Oi, are you a Rogue Mage? A deserter? Answer me! What are you doing here?”

Now exposed under the bright light of the moon, he could see the girl more clearly.
He could see that she was bleeding. There was a shallow wound that was caught between the folds of her torn shirt. Furthermore, blood seeped from her nostrils and the corner of her lips where her face had struck the floor.

He knelt.

Not knowing why, Percy dabbed a digit into the girl's wound, touching the scarlet gauze, rubbing the hot, sticky glob of gory ejaculation between his fingers.

"Arrrgh! It hurts! Please! Let me go... I'll do anything... anything..."

The girl moaned.

Percy felt a rush of blood to the head.

Reflexively, he gripped the Kirin pendant with his off-hand.
It was an unconscious habit; for Percy, the stone had become something of a fetish. He found himself holding it whenever he felt anxious or unsure.

I should finish her.
He thought to himself.
She’s a Mage, and she saw me use Necromancy.

But she’s innocent, his rational half protested. It’s human decency to show mercy.

No! The girl's a deserter! She's going to die sooner or later anyway; the punishment for desertion was a televised execution.

Percy bemoaned his fortunes.
Just his luck to run into a deserter here of all places.
Who the fuck hides in a hollow statue?

He thumbed the Kirin pendant.

As the girl's blood smeared across its surface, a discolouration polluted the purity of the Kirin Core's lamb-fat complexion.

Unnoticed, Percy tucked the pendant beneath his shirt.

Percy took a deep breath.

He wondered how many people Gwen had killed.
Dozens, probably.

"If I let you go-"

'Creak...'

The sound of rusty gates opening from afar punctuated the tranquil air.

Shit! Percy's ears perked.
Did she have allies?

"LIFAN!!!" the silent girl suddenly began to scream with a vitality that utterly surprised Percy. "LIFAN! HELP ME! HE'S GOT ME! HE'S AN EVOKER!"

Percy placed a hand over the girl's head, then pressed her face into the pavement, silencing her with a resounding 'Crack!'

A spell came to his lips with unerring clarity.

“Drain Life!”

The girl’s face contorted with agony, her gurgling scream ceased as though a facet had been shut. What little vitality that had remained in the girl's battered body filtered into the Kirin Amulet, then circulated into Percy’s body.

Percy's hand came away with a fistful of greasy, rancid, human hair.

In the undulating ecstasy of the life-drain, he had pulled at the girl with more passion than he had intended.

He caught his breath as it ripped from his chest in rags.

The communion between himself and the Amulet was like nothing he had ever felt before. It was as though the Kirin Core had finally become one with his flesh, accepted him as its sole master.

With renewed vigour, Percy gripped the deserter girl by the back of the neck.

“Drain Life!”

But there was no more euphoria to be squeezed from the limp and flaccid carcass.

The vagabond was dead.

“FUCK!” Percy stepped back, feeling hungrier for his unexpected satiation. Like a man who'd just finished an astonishingly appetising entrè, he was now lusting for the main course.

Gods! He felt invigorated!
He felt invincible!
No, more than that.

Percy turned his mind inward.
Something had changed.
It was different this time. Different from when Percy had worked the ritual with only the pendant.

Unlike his once timid sister, he had been trained within an inch of his life since he had exhibited the promise of magic. He knew his body and his capabilities like the back of his hand.

Seeing that no intruders came to rescue the dead girl, he turned his mind inward, searching through his Sigils until he found the source of the disturbance.

“Shield!”

A Salt-Shield sprang into existence.

Percy retracted the Shield.

“Shield!”

A semi-dome Shield erected around his person, semi-transparent and glittering with blue-white crystals.

Abjuration.
It was an Abjuration Shield.

A wild fancy came to Percy.
A puzzle-piece had fallen into place.
An epiphany.

EUREKA!

“SO THAT’S HOW SHE DID IT!”

Gwen had six Schools of Magic.
SIX MOTHERFUCKING SCHOOLS!

And TWO Elements! 
From none! 

But they weren't hers.
She had stolen those Schools, just as he had done now.
Stripped them from her victims' Astral Souls; pilfered via means of illicit magic.

That selfish, immoral whore! She must have figured out a way to abuse the Song’s Necromantic legacy!

“HAHAHAHA! I KNEW IT!” Percy paced back and forth, shaking with uncontrollable glee. “Gwen! GWEN! Gwen! You knew the whole time, and yet you kept it all to yourself. You bitch! You selfish, conniving little bitch…”

Was this why men like Kilroy and Shultz were lining up at her door? Had they thought she was a one in a million genius? A Meister in the making? The fools! If only they knew!

Who else would know? Percy couldn't help but wonder.

Jun.

Uncle, fucking, Jun.

Percy saw the way Jun had looked at Gwen.
He had heard him say that he wanted a daughter on multiple occasions.
This was the reason why he had gone on the trip with Gwen! Her Kirin MUST have something to do with the cannibalistic powers of the amulet! Maybe it could consume Demi-human magic as well? Or Transmute their souls? Uncle Jun had his half of the Amulet and if he had lent it to Gwen-

And his grandfather as well.
What was it that the old man had said to Liu?

‘If a single one of your Clan's juniors can best Gwen, I will join the House of Song wholeheartedly to your Faction. Your grandchild, male or female, will become the inheritor of both our Houses.’

Guo had bet his - Percy Song's future - on his Sister! HIS SISTER!
A FUCKING GENERALIST!
THE BASTARD! That decrepit, senile old bastard!

HE WAS THE FUCKING HEIR!
NOT HIS SISTER!

To think he had trusted the old fart with his future.

“YOU ASSHOLES! ALL. OF. YOU! ARRRRRRGH!!”

“Shield!”

Instantaneously, his Shield sprung into place.

It was not a dream.
The Shield was real.
He had plucked Abjuration from the Rogue Mage! He was sure of it! For months, his Abjuration had lingered at a pitiful index of 0.45. From what he could gauge now, it was at least tier 1!

This proves it!
He always knew that Gwen had cheated, and how he had found her out.
Most importantly, now he could catch up to his Sister, fair and square.
If she could drain hapless Mages in Districts 109 to account for her lack of talent, then so could he!
If HE could attain her level of power- NO!
IF HE COULD SURPASS HER POWER, where would it take him?
To what heights could Percy Song ascend?
Magus Percy Song?
Magister Percy Song?

The greatest was behind!

“We’re alike now! Hahaha!”

Not knowing why, he kicked the girl’s body, sending her tumbling into the headless statue, shattering its terracotta exterior.

“Gwen! I am going to catch up to you! We’re going to be together. One way. Or another!”

'Crash!'

‘WHAT IN MAO'S NAME DID YOU DO TO LI-HUA!’

Percy curbed his manic passion.

A haggard looking woman stood by the doorway, a shattered bottle of alcohol rolling at her feet.

“What did you do?” she uttered in disbelief and shock.

Slowly her eyes adjusted, and the woman saw her companion’s goose-skinned, saggy corpse draped over the statue like a ragdoll.

Percy circulated a full contingent of Salt-tinged mana through his body, supercharging his physical attributes. His eyes became twin orbs of pure white, so alien as to be devoid of pity.

“Oh no…” the woman swallowed, stepping back, trapped between fleet-footed flight and bewildered intoxication.

Percy took a gander at the intruder’s paralytic panic.

Who’d have thought he could affirm his hypothesis so soon?

A sadistic, uncharacteristic cruelty touched his lips as though dredged from the darkest depth of his soul.

“Oh-no?”

Gwen’s little brother sniggered.
He was fully willing to sacrifice a little integrity to advance the human knowledge of Spellcraft, not to mention he was performing a social duty.

“OH~YES…”

 

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A note from Wutosama

Voting for the novel - voting :: Voting button 

Bonus ::  Gwen's Outfits 

Title Ref :: Something wicked this way comes. 


About the author

Wutosama

Bio: I write on the phone and edit at home. Times are tough!

Achievements
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