As it turned out, there was something I did forget. I didn’t remember it until the day before the weekend, when I was finishing up my lab session on Advanced Alchemical Composition. [Alchemist] Raymond had assigned us into two groups— which just meant that we worked with partners, considering the class was comprised of only four people.
Our assignment for today was to use our previously brewed Potion of Corrosions into a Potion of Corrosive Explosions. Yep, that was right. It was a potion that wasn’t meant to be drunk. Its design was to be thrown at someone as a kind of weapon.
It was relatively dangerous. A single-use Medium Grade Weapon. They were always far more effective than multi-use items. It would’ve even been harmful to me! And I was Level 106!
Although, that might’ve been due to my relatively low [Vitality] compared to a [Warrior] and the likes. The Potion of Corrosive Explosions would’ve been less lethal to someone who focused more on their [Vitality] at Level 100. For example, Zix could probably rampage through a blast of the potion.
Anyway, the dangerous nature of the Potion of Corrosive Explosions was the reason why we were given partners to work with. It was so we could combine our skills and Skills to ensure that neither of us melted our own faces off. The fact that potion-making was so dangerous was another reason why a non-[Alchemist] was often wary to attempt alchemy at a higher level. [Alchemists] like Raymond had a plethora of Skills to prevent things from going wrong, such as the lab being blown up.
Not that it was a very effective preventive measure. Raymond told us that he blows up a lab at least once a year due to experimenting and working with dangerous chemicals.
Since we were all Level 100, we’d probably survive if something went wrong with today’s potion enhancement process. With [Alchemist] Raymond here as well as our own individual Skills, the chances of the lab being destroyed in an uncontrolled corrosion explosion wasn’t highly likely. That was also the reason why this lab class wasn’t available to those in the College of Aspirations. Even fourth year student [Alchemists] would have their lives endangered just experimenting with the potions here.
I was paired up with Nolan who insisted on handling the dangerous liquids while I made the preparations for the potion’s tier-enhancement. We spoke casually, already friends from his various tutor sessions with me.
“Honestly, I am surprised you skipped out on class a few days ago. With how much you’ve been studying, I assumed you’d have attended every session.”
I trailed off, remembering the events with Saffron just last weekend.
“Something came up. I had to spend all day dealing with it.”
“Must’ve been quite important.”
He nodded, pouring an extract of effervescent liquid into the base Potion of Corrosion. There was a simmering— steam shot up. But nothing dangerous happened.
“It was! But I resolved it. So, it’s fine now.”
I smiled, glad that I now had a new companion. I grabbed the pre-prepared ingredients and mixed it into the diluted base to hand to Nolan.
“I’m glad for that. I do hope that no other such issues arise before our dinner meeting tomorrow.”
He chuckled, taking the now discolored vial of liquid. I blinked.
Then my eyes widened. I finally remembered what I felt like I was forgetting! I had promised, for whatever stupid reason that possessed me at the time, to go with Nolan for dinner! I nearly smacked my forehead.
“Huh. Oh, um, that… you see—”
Nolan raised a brow. I twiddled my thumbs together.
“Can we, um, reschedule?”
“Oh, of course. Are you having another problem?”
“Nope! I mean, kind of? I kind of forgot about my promise…”
I paused. Wait, should I have said that? Humans were very delicate about their feelings. I had gotten too comfortable around him since he was my friend that my tongue slipped.
He pursed his lips. Then I quickly waved my hands.
“Also! There is another problem! It’s actually for this class, see? I need sagetree saps, so I’m going to an auction tomorrow— it’ll be held here, actually, on campus! The famous [Trader] Ivonne will be selling rare… stuffs!”
Nolan hesitated for a moment before smiling.
“That is understandable. You do have a rather difficult task ahead of you, so how about the weekend after instead?”
“Sure! I’m glad you’re not offended. I was worried there for a second.”
I let out a sigh of relief, and Nolan chuckled.
“It’s not a problem at all, Ms Salvos.”
“Hey— it’s just Salvos!”
I finished the rest of my classes and prepared to spend the rest of the night studying space magic theory. With the amount of focus I had been putting on alchemy, I was starting to fall behind in my other classes. I didn’t want that to happen. Thankfully, I wasn’t a Human who needed to sleep.
I packed my books, about to leave for my Lair, when Saffron stopped me.
“Just to remind you, Salvos, tomorrow’s auction will be a proper social event. While adventurers are often given a pass for their lack of… refinement. You will be attending as my guest. I do hope you don’t sully my name by…”
She eyed the rather large fly buzzing between my fingertips. I blinked. Then I quickly stuffed it into my mouth, crunching it down.
“I know, Saffron. You don’t need to remind me. I’ll have you know, I’m very good at dealing with you Humans and your fickle emotions now.”
I huffed, crossing my arms, pretending that I hadn’t just eaten a bug as big as my fingernails.
“Just earlier, I managed to avoid annoying Nolan because I forgot about our meeting tomorrow night. We arranged to have dinner next week, and this time, I won’t forget.”
Saffron blinked. Then her jaw dropped.
“Wait, you’re going on a date?!”
I cocked my head. She gestured at me.
“A social engagement. You know, for individuals hoping to progress romantically.”
I tapped a finger on my chin as Saffron just stared at me.
“I had no idea you were capable of love, Salvos. I’m… honestly quite impressed. Or wait…”
She narrowed her eyes, peering at me. I just stood there, my confusion was evident. She folded her arms.
“You had no idea you were going on a date. You assumed his invitation for dinner was just an innocuous invitation to eat some food.”
I admitted, drawing my lips into a thin line. Saffron massaged her temples.
“And you accepted it without thinking. I can’t believe… actually, I can believe it.”
“Hey! I take offense to that.”
She rolled her eyes.
“Not only that, you even forgot about your date with him. And you’re saying you told him you forgot?”
“I did. Is that bad?”
Saffron groaned, a clearly conflicting reaction. On one hand, she could be groaning because she thought my question on whether it could be bad was stupid, and that the answer was obviously a ‘no.’ On the other hand, she could be groaning because the answer was instead a ‘yes,’ and she found my actions to be incredibly foolish.
It was quite difficult to discern which one it was.
“Salvos, you do realize that you most definitely offended him with your actions, right? Nothing about what you did is worth bragging about.”
“Hey— I tried my best. I just, um, forgot.”
“And why did you forget?”
“Because I didn’t actually want to have dinner with him?”
I scratched the back of my head. Saffron sighed.
“And there’s the issue.”
She pinched the bridge of her nose, walking back to her room, and gesturing for me to leave.
“I’ll have to explain this to you some other time. I’m going to lie down and inebriate myself with your blood.”
“Um, alright. See you tomorrow!”
I waved at her, heading out of the dormitory. I didn’t see what the big issue was. But apparently Saffron found it to be slightly problematic. Nolan hadn’t lashed out at me for forgetting about the date, and he clearly wanted to go out with me for dinner when he asked. So, why was there a problem?
...as such, space exists all around us. It exists as a whole, just as individuals exist as wholes of themselves. However, this then begs the question, why are there different planes of existence to the Nexeus?
The Spirit Plane, the Mortal Realm, and the Netherworld are three distinct places in space. Or are they? Prior to the Melissian Era, our Mortal Realm was believed to be a separate world from the other two worlds. Summoning a Spirit was viewed as a similar act as summoning a [Hero], just with less resources expended. But after the Oracle of Light herself illuminated the world of the interconnectedness between the three planes, the fundamental understanding of space magic theory changed.
The Nexeus was now comprised of three planes. We all existed in the same fabric of space, just within different folds—
I read through my textbook for my class on space magic theory. The book was called The Origins of the Three Planes, and it explained how the world’s understanding of the Mortal Realm shifted throughout the past few millennia. It went in-depth, explaining how only the Mortal Realm had been called the Nexeus in the past, while the Spirit Plane was given a different name. The Paradius, while the Netherworld had been called the Damnius.
It wasn’t just a historical account, either; it explained the various different axioms that were introduced that resulted in these changes. I found it intriguing. Not just because it was about space magic. But because I could actually link some of what I learned with what I was trying to do.
Professor Isais mentioned something similar. That you had to fold space to move through it. So, if that was the case, couldn’t I return to the Netherworld with a powerful enough teleportation spell?
I glanced up from my textbook, staring at the overfilled sack of books and parchments just outside of my [Temporal Distortion] field. I stepped out of the quickened zone and sifted through the books. These weren’t textbooks or even things I could find discussed in Mavos Academy.
It was my personal belongings— the things I had on me before I arrived at Mavos Academy, and the things I got from the recent battle with the [Cultists]. I searched through all the worn tomes I could find. Anything that possibly elaborated on how exactly the Netherworld was then linked to the Mortal Realm or Spirit Plane.
Most of these [Cultists]’ only wrote about how amazing their Demon King, Regnorex, was, and how it was thanks to his gifts that Demons could be summoned to the Mortal Realm. Honestly, there were a lot of books. Too many for me to look through now. Especially considering that it was already sunrise.
I had to go to my professors’ office hours after this. So, I decided to push this endeavor back for next time. Before I readied to leave, however, I caught sight of my [Temporal Distortion] bubble, still active, and an idea came to me.
I decided to just see for myself how exactly this separation between planes worked. I closed my eyes, activating [Planar Navigation]. As expected, I couldn’t see into the sphere just before me. It was like vision had a black spot.
But it was very evidently a black spot that shouldn’t be there, because I could clearly see the space just before me with my very eyes. It was all the same space. However, time within my [Temporal Distortion] moved differently. And it somehow made it different from the space around me.
It was… it had to be a fold in space. Something was being done to make it this way, and I wanted to figure out what. To do that, I needed to improve my mastery over these two Skills. As such, I finally decided to expend the Secondary Skill Points I gained from killing those [Cultists] a few days ago.
[Available Secondary Skill Points: 2]
[Mystical Projection] - Lvl 5
[Object Levitation] - Lvl 1
[Planar Navigation] - Lvl. 5
[Scatter Shift] - Lvl. 4
[Temporal Distortion] - Lvl 5
I raised [Temporal Distortion] and [Planar Navigation] both to Level 5. Then I nodded as the bubble disappeared, and the sun eked its way up to its zenith. I’d investigate it further in the future. For now, I headed to speak with my professors and lecturers, taking down notes, preparing myself for my upcoming tests.
And then it was time for the auction.