Chapter 297: The Mythical Footsteps and the Origins of Magic
Even the world screamed because of the giant’s strong arm.
The canopy covering the sky crumbled, and the wind that touched the air was torn apart by its force. The large hammer that seemed to have more than enough power to crush the mountain range was swung down in another world.
The target was just one person. The full power of the founding giant fell on the body of a person who looked like a grain of sand compared to the large hammer.
It was exactly just one swing. Even if one said it was just an illusion, a human body’s existence would surely cease to exist.
How? The body would not just be crushed or broken. It would disappear, without leaving a single drop of flesh, bone, or blood. Neither sorcery nor tricks would work against the overwhelming power of this primordial being.
In front of this menacing attack, the gold in human form fluttered her hair and said the following words.
「…Aside from the fact that the original hammer is real, all of it must be an illusion. Isn’t it so? King of Giants, Great Demon Flimslat. 」
While distorting its lips, the human flesh made a sound. There was no will in the body’s owner, the girl named Ariene.
Its true shadow was almost visible. The outline carved into the soul raised to the surface, as if inspired by the giant’s mighty power.
It looked faint, but it was no longer a person, although it had the shape of a person. It was just a vivid, bare vastness in itself.
The giant did not respond to that demonic voice. It didn’t show any reaction, except roaring with immense hostility towards its opponent.
It was so high in the sky that it echoed to the bottom of the earth, while waving the large hammer strongly.
When Caria’s silver eyes saw the altar of the Great Temple, there seemed to be nothing at all. It was dim and the future was not clear. There was no sound, no voice, and she couldn’t even feel the presence of people.
Under normal circumstances, she would leave this place as soon as possible after finding that man who always acted recklessly. It was all about that man, since she didn’t know what he’d do behind her back.
But today, things were different. Caria could feel the strange feeling of blood all over her body.
It was an indescribable feeling, as if boiling blood was biting her hard from the inside. Her skin was hot, and her breath was rough everywhere.
“I have never been in a situation like this before. It’s as if the blood that flows through my body is going on a rampage.”
Then, her blood spoke. That man, Lugis, was ahead of her eyes. He was in that dim darkness.
“I have a bad feeling.” Caria’s heartbeats became louder and louder. The sweat that licked her cheeks was strangely hot. The destination her blood pointed to was still dark. “Yet, I can see him.”
Caria widened her eyes as she thought of the calm bottom of the sea. Her silver eyes glittered even though her skin was trembling.
“He is there. He is wearing his green uniform drenched in dark blood, with a white blade sprouting from his own flesh.”
Reflexively, she stopped breathing. For a moment, Caria didn’t even know what she should do.
Her fingertips lost their touch, and her feet felt wobbly as she walked towards him. The inside of her skull turned white, and the many thoughts swirling inside disappeared.
“I have a bad feeling. Bad thoughts are stuck in my head.”
Caria tried to shake off all of those thoughts by touching his face. He was cold as ice when she touched his cheeks.
He was not just cold. The warmth that should exist in a living person had been completely lost. Caria swallowed dry upon realizing the truth.
“I am sure. Lugis will die soon. No, even his soul may have already been lost.”
There was no break. So, Caria did not hesitate.
…Without the slightest hesitation, she further cut the wound on her shoulder with her own silver longsword. Blood spurted out.
It was a sight that did not seem very sane. Even Caria herself could say that she lost her sanity.
A sharp pain ran through her eyes, and a large amount of blood jumped out of her body as if it had a free will. At some point, it overflowed from her shoulders and flowed into her fingers.
Caria opened Lugis’ lips with her polite gesture. Then, her blood flowed straight into Lugis’ mouth.
Caria did not have absolute certainty. She just had a premonition that was beyond her words.
The blood vessel of their contract. The blood that Lugis once put in his mouth. It still resided in his body.
And only that blood was pulsating with heat, as if responding to itself within the cold body. Perhaps, it was her own blood that led him here.
“In that case, it must be possible to share the heat with Lugis by using my blood.” Such a ridiculous delusion was enough reason for Caria to harm herself.
“And there is nothing else I can do.”
“After all, I can only wield a sword, so if I can bet on anything, why not bet on it?” Caria relaxed her cheeks, forgetting even the pain that ran through her body. She spoke to Lugis.
「If it doesn’t work, I’ll die with you. Don’t worry, Lugis. 」
It was as if she was persuading Lugis, and also as if she was persuading herself. She did not even expect anything in return, such as words.
However, there were other words that resonated. A distinctive voice that rang in the back of Caria’s ear echoed in the temple.
「What a disgusting scene. What happened to your bravery on the battlefield? Giving up is something created by those who lost their resolve. 」
Blue eyes and hair of the same color emerged in the dim darkness. The Elf Queen, Eldith, said so with a light tone, as if she was imitating Lugis.
However, her complexion did not match her tone at all. Eldith’s skin was pale, and her cheeks, which were whiter than normal, looked whiter and more translucent. Her expression was stiff, and it was hard to say that she was okay.
Eldith crouched down beside them, looked at the blood dripping from Caria’s hand, and spoke. Caria could tell that her eyes had suddenly narrowed.
「…I wonder if it will work. It’s rare to see the bloodline of someone grand. But, if it is real, it should be compatible with an elf’s spirited art. 」
That’s how elves are made, Eldith said with an air full of self-deprecation.
Then, without any hesitation, Eldith put her hand on Lugis’ body and activated the cause and effect of the spirited arts.
A muddy spell crawled through Eldith’s body and caressed her skin. It was a solidified spell, a manifested curse. As it was, it flowed slowly along her skin and poured into Lugis’ body as if it was possessing him.
It could even be called the origins of magic. It was born because the beloved child of the spirits gave a curse to only one individual, instead of all human beings.
Oh, dear, how disgusting. That’s why I curse you. That’s why I’m going to tie you up. While devouring such emotions, a mud-like spell ran through Eldith’s body.
Eldith thought that Lugis’ body was now losing its heat, and so was his soul. With the grand blood Caria possessed, it should be possible to apply heat to his body.
But the soul was different. The soul, once detached from the body, would not let go of the hands of the god of death so easily. It was only the work of gods and devils that could pull him off now.
Eldith was neither a god nor a demon. There was no way she’d be able to keep his soul at hand and manipulate it freely. The only thing she could do was to bind it with a curse at most.
Yes, if that was the case, then it would be fine to tie and lock it up.
Lugis was still wrapped in the spirited equipment that Eldith put her whole soul into. It was from the spirited arts, in other words, it was like wearing Eldith’s true magic form. A body that had been devoured by magic was the same as accepting the real curse.
If so, it would be easy to bind Lugis’ soul to the prison called body with a new technique. All she had to do was sew his body with a curse. It would be nice if Lugis’ body was cursed like blood.
Eldith poured all of her thoughts into her own spells without worrying about her own body. No omissions or errors were allowed. If a single mistake happened, Lugis’ soul would be lost forever.
Eldith laughed bitterly as her cheeks distorted. Mistakes were not allowed.
After all, they even exchanged vows. In that case, even if she harmed her body a little, she had an obligation to fulfill. In her mind, Eldith remembered what Lugis once said to her.
Lugis said that he would not let Eldith escape. That was why Eldith also swore to Lugis.
…I won’t let him escape. Even in death.
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