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230. Oneself

The last class of the day was on dimensional magic theory, taught by Professor Isais. I liked the class. It was a good class that helped me learn a lot of things. But apparently, according to the Devil, the things being taught in the class were wrong.

Sal saw my notes and my textbooks and he didn’t like it. That was why he followed me here— which was annoying, because he decided to be annoying.

“Come on, my daughter. How could you possibly hurt your own old man?”

He followed after me, speaking loudly as I stormed ahead of him. Heads turned in the hallway as other students overheard his words, but I was so over it at this point. I just wanted to push through it until it ended. The Devil continued.

“I am hurt— not physically, just mentally, but still! It pains me to see what has become of you. After all that time I’ve spent raising you, you’ve just grown to become… become… become… a rebellious teenager!”

I paused as I turned down a hallway. He halted mid-step, and I glared at him.

“I am not a teenager. I literally cannot be a teenager. I am only five years old!”

He waved a hand off.

“Semantics. I didn’t raise you to be such a pedant, Salvos.”

“I am not your daughter!”

I snapped, turning back around. The Devil dramatically placed a hand on his chest as there was a cacophony of gasps from the students around us. They’d only heard the last bit where I accused Sal of not being my father. Everything I said before had been blocked out by his weird magic, except for me shouting at him about not being his daughter.

Apparently, that drew sympathy from various students as they tried to console him. I rolled my eyes, ignoring him, and hoping that I’d somehow lose him in the crowd. Except, he somehow found me. Of course he did.

Sal entered my last lecture after I found my seat, and I sighed. It begins. He perked up and skipped in my direction, nimbly slipping around students until he sat next to me.

“You thought you could escape me, didn’t you?”

“No.”

I spoke, resignedly closing my eyes.

“No I didn’t.”

“So, when is your Professor arriving? Come on, I want to see this illiterate, uneducated, bumbling buffoon who decided to teach my wonderful daughter the wrong things. I can’t wait to tear him limb from limb, pierce his fingertips with the shards of his own broken teeth, and laugh as he—”

“I’m not your daughter. And don’t harm my professors.”

I cut him off, crossing my arms. He threw his hands up in the air.

“Fine! Then I’ll just embarrass him. How about that?”

“Ugh.”

I groaned, but didn’t say anything. I just sank into my chair, waiting for the inevitable. And it finally came as Professor Isais strode through the door. His gaze landed on Sal instantly, discerning the unusual individual in his classroom.

“And who may you be, Mister…?”

“Sal. But you may just call me Sir.”

Professor Isais raised a confused brow.

“Uh… alright, Sal. And why exactly are you here in my classroom?”

“Why, I’m here to give you a lesson. I’ve heard from my daughter here—”

The Devil gestured at me, and I covered my face.

“Please shut up…”

He ignored me.

“That the things you’ve been teaching her have been… inadequate.”

“I didn’t even say that!”

I tried to protest, but Professor Isais narrowed his eyes. My words didn’t reach him; he’d already been antagonized by Sal.

“And what exactly is inadequate about my teaching, Mr Sal?”

“Everything, my dear Isais.”

The Devil smirked as Isais frowned. The rest of the classroom was deadly quiet as they exchanged uncertain looks at this confrontation.

“Alright, Mr Sal, while I appreciate your… feedback, I will have to ask you to leave.”

“I am a parent of a student at this school.”

Once again, Sal gestured at me, and the attention was focused in my direction. Normally, I’d be welcoming of any and all attention— but that was only for praise. I didn’t like this. It wasn’t… revulsion that others turned to face me. It was just embarrassing!

Professor Isais shook his head.

“While you may be the father of one of my students, that doesn’t excuse your disruptive behavior.”

“Disruptive behavior?”

The Devil snorted.

“You’re just a bad professor. There’s nothing disruptive about correcting your mistakes— especially in front of the rest of your class. I mean, look at this!”

He slammed a book on the table. It was the book he’d been reading before he decided to follow me to Mavos Academy. The textbook for this class. Space-Dimension Theory and Its Applications.

“This damned textbook was published by you! Who does that? You’re making your students buy your books!”

Professor Isais crossed his arms, indignant.

“I spent a year researching on the contents of this textbook, Mr Sal. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t degrade my hard work in producing it.”

“A year? That’s hardly any time at all— no, you should’ve spent at least a hundred…”

Sal trailed off as I gave him a flat stare.

“Ten?”

I didn’t break my gaze from him. He shrugged.

“Five?”

I rolled my eyes, and the Devil nodded.

“Yes, at least five years! Otherwise, it is as ill-prepared, rudimentary, and misleading as what’s taught in this textbook!”

Isais’ brows snapped together.

“Alright, I have had enough of this slander. I am Isais, the professor of this class. I was awarded my Title as Dimensional Professor after I constructed my own pocket dimension and displayed it for the world to see. An entire room, twisted and warped to the size of an auditorium. The spell matrix let it last for an entire year— thousands of nobles flocked over to get the chance to see it. What do you know about space magic, Mr Sal?”

Pocket dimension the size of an auditorium? I was impressed, but the Devil wasn’t.

“Please, that’s something an amateur could do with just a bit of preparation. And I’m sure your work was more than inefficient. Tell me, did you account for the damage you’d leave behind when undoing the spell? What about the temporal properties, that affect the spatial surfaces ability to bend and weave more malleably?”

“Amateur?”

The Professor narrowed his eyes, and there were whisperings from around the room. People were speaking in hushed voices.

“Did you hear that?”

“Yeah, Salvos’ father just called Professor Isais an amateur.”

“What level is he!”

“He’s so amazing and dreamy!”

“Do you think he’s even stronger than Salvos?”

I buried my head in my hands, hoping that it’d finally end. And Professor Isais had enough too.

“Mr Sal. This is your last warning. Leave this class, or I will be forced to extricate you from the premises.”

“Make me.”

The Devil smirked, and I looked up, eyes wide.

“Wait—”

“Fine.”

There was a flash. Professor Isais appeared behind Sal, placing a hand on the Devil’s shoulder.

“Now—”

And the Devil waved a hand off. It was like some forced had pulled Isais and threw him to the side. An invisible force. One that didn’t affect anyone else in the room except for the Professor. He went hurling out of the window, smashing through the glass, before landing in a bush in the first floor.

There were gasps all throughout the room. Someone finally ran out to get Headmaster Clayton Skyshredder. The students there backed away as I sighed.

“That went about as expected.”

The Devil placed his hands on his hips as he stood over by the window, looking down at the dizzy Professor Isais.

“Wh— what…?”

“Maybe you’ll learn to not be so full of yourself, next time, Professor Isais. This is why you Humans are so inept at space magic. Maybe if you were better learners, you wouldn’t need the help of Spirits or Demons to create portals into their planes.”

Shaking his head, he sauntered back to me. I just sat there, watching him approach. The Devil did what he wanted. At least, until Headmaster Clayton Skyshredder showed up.

I thought it’d have been cathartic, watching him force the Devil out of Mavos Academy. But Sal didn’t try anything with Clayton, not that he cared to try. I narrowed my eyes as I identified their levels. I couldn’t see either of their levels, but I knew… I just knew that the Devil was stronger.

He simply took that opportunity when faced with Clayton to emphasize the fact that he was my father, when he was not my father!

It was annoying. Even when he was forced out, I was embarrassed.

I wanted to shrivel up into a ball and die. Well, actually, I didn’t want to die. But it was a figure of speech Daniel used sometimes. Which was weird, sure.Why would anyone want to die? But it was less weird than having him flirt with a professor, seeing my friend crush on him, and seeing him embarrass another professor. Seeing my father do all that was just so weird!

I blinked

He’s not my father!

—--

My last class ended early after the disruption from Sal. Or the Devil. He wasn’t anywhere in Mavos Academy when I left my lecture hall, but I knew where he’d be waiting. I headed out of campus, returning to my Lair for two reasons.

The first was to confront him for what he’d done to my day. And the second was to flee from all the annoying looks and questions people keep inundating me about the Devil. I stormed back into my Lair, wanting to hide my face beneath a stack of books.

But the Devil perked up when he saw me as he leafed through my textbook.

“Oh, you’re back—”

I growled and swung at him. He stepped to the side, dodging it easily.

“Whew. That was close. Good thing I was prepared for that this time around.”

“What is wrong with you?!”

I glared at the Devil, and he shrugged.

“What is wrong with you? I helped you out, didn’t I?”

“You embarrassed me in front of everyone!”

“Why do you care? You’re a Demon, they’re Humans. It doesn’t matter.”

“It matters to me.”

I harrumphed, but he was just amused. With a scowl, I grabbed my textbooks from him and piled them up neatly back where they belonged.

“Ugh, this has been an annoying day. But finally… it’s over.”

I wanted to sigh in relief and collapse on the ground. However, the Devil had other plans.

“Actually, I had so much fun today, I think I’d like to go to Mavos Academy again.”

I sat up abruptly, eyes wide.

“What?”

“Yep. I’m thinking of accompanying you to school every day now. And I’d love to speak to… what’s her name again? Candice? Cloud? That old hag. She’s honestly pretty cute.”

“Lecturer Claudia? Are you serious?”

“Dead serious.”

The Devil grinned, and I gritted my teeth.

“Absolutely not!”

He raised an amused brow as I stood back up.

“Absolutely not? What are you going to do, stop me? Come on! We’ve already fought once, and I beat you with ease.”

“I will, if I have to.”

The Devil feigned hurt as he closed his eyes, placing a hand on his chest.

“My own daughter, how could this have become of his relationship? Strained and torn! I am in so much pain.”

I clenched my fist at his dramatics. Something burned inside of me. It wasn’t anger— it was something I’d felt too much of recently. It was the same feeling that I felt when the [Lux Golmi] accused me of being wild. The same feeling I’d felt when Saffron had condemned me for being a Demon. The same feeling I’d felt when Belzu had bested me in battle.

My pride was in pain. And I was tired of being trampled over.

“I am not your daughter.”

I stepped forward as flames engulfed my body. It burned with more than just anger as the Devil cocked his head. It was not fury, but my pride that carried me forward. The blue light tinted the room, before changing colors as my feelings were poured into the flames. It twisted, breaking off from my body without me noticing.

It almost circled around the Devil, but I paid no attention to it. All I saw was myself being embarrassed further, and I did not want that.

“I am Salvos, and I won’t let you mock me any further.”

The Devil’s eyes flickered. He looked around at the golden room. The way the light danced, as if it came from a fire, but shone like it came from the sun itself. Then he smiled.

“Ah, so that’s what came of this.”

I studied the Devil. It was like I could discern each of his actions— the small details of him even more than before. I was more keenly aware of how he moved and how he breathed and each step he took. But he didn’t approach me, instead he laughed.

“Alright, I will surcease. But you must admit, my methods, while odd, are quite effective, aren’t they?”

“What are you talking about?”

I gave him a suspicious look, and he gestured to my sides.

“That. I’m talking about that.”

I was dubious of what he was trying to do, but I looked at where he was pointing anyway. Then I paused. I stared at myself. No— not myself. At a projection of myself.

A Salvos made of golden flames stood on my left, with her arms crossed. She had my horns and my hair and even my clothes. But she was made entirely of the wispy motes that illumined the room. She had no face and no mouth, and she could move with only my thoughts. I blinked, and she cocked her head.

“What…?”

The Devil applauded me.

“Congratulations. You’ve learned a new Skill. It’s not a Grand Skill. But it’s a pretty good Skill— a kind of clone? No, that’s not right either. But it’s certainly something.”

He walked up to the other me as she blazed and burned where she stood, crossing her arms. I frowned.

“How did this…? How did I create this?”

“By instinct.”

He tried to tap a finger on my clone, but she grabbed his finger because he could touch her. Backing up, the Devil glanced over at me.

“Whew, feisty. Was that your or was that her?”

“That was the both of us— or just me.”

I shook my head.

“I don’t understand. How did I learn this Skill? I didn’t even do anything. It’s not like Lily’s lesson where I had to do things.”

“You’re an Archdemon of Pride, aren’t you? And yet, you have no pride related Skills. Probably because you’ve never had your ego truly challenged. Which makes sense, since you are quite young. This is probably the first time you had your pride hurt for an extended period of time. Naturally, your emotions will spill into your Skills and your magic. And this is what it produced. Yourself. Quite narcissistic, if I’m being honest. To protect yourself, you don’t ask others for help, but you create another of yourself.”

He chuckled, and I glared.

“What is wrong with that?”

“Nothing. Just seems very self-indulgent, don’t you think?”

I folded my arms across my chest, and he waved a hand off.

“It wasn’t an insult. It’s an observation. And it’s good— because the higher-leveled you become, the more you’ll learn, and the more you’ll lose grasp of yourself. As long as you remember who you are and what defines you, you will continue to evolve and get stronger.”

“Huh.”

I exchanged a glance with my clone, before finally she vanished. I nodded slowly, turning back to the Devil.

“I see. Thanks, I guess?”

“It’s fine! I wanted to see what would come of this, and it is an interesting development. Anyway, don’t thank me yet, because next up—”

He gave me a sly smile.

“Next up, we’ll get you a Grand Skill



Skill [Salvo of Vanity] learned!

Experience is awarded for the learning of a Skill!

General Skill [Racial Skill: Partial Mortality] has leveled up!

[Racial Skill: Partial Mortality - Lvl. 5] -> [Racial Skill: Partial Mortality - Lvl. 6]!

Experience is awarded for the leveling of a General Skill!

General Skill [Racial Skill: Demonic Essence] has leveled up!

[Racial Skill: Demonic Essence - Lvl. 2] -> [Racial Skill: Demonic Essence - Lvl. 3]!

Experience is awarded for the leveling of a General Skill!

General Skill [Racial Skill: Demonic Essence] has leveled up!

[Racial Skill: Demonic Essence - Lvl. 3] -> [Racial Skill: Demonic Essence - Lvl. 4]!

Experience is awarded for the leveling of a General Skill!

General Skill [Identification] has leveled up!

[Identification - Lvl. 5] -> [Identification - Lvl. 6]!

Experience is awarded for the leveling of a General Skill!

Subspecies [Daeva Cambion] Level Up!

[Daeva Cambion – Lvl. 108] -> [Daeva Cambion – Lvl. 109]

Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!

Class [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus] Level Up!

[Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus - Lvl. 47] -> [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus - Lvl. 48]!

Gained 2 Secondary Skill Points!

Class [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus] Level Up!

[Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus - Lvl. 48] -> [Worldly Mystic of the Nexeus - Lvl. 49]!

Gained 2 Secondary Skill Points!



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