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Picture quite related.
Maybe I should find those bioluminescent fungi in the backyard, just like Satori suggested. Due to the garden’s sheer size I can barely remember where they are, but finding a glowing patch shouldn’t be that hard, right? She mentioned during the walk that it should be fairly large, so I don’t think I will miss it at all.
Taking the longer, scenic route through the palace, I enjoy the scenery that is basking in the purple light emitted by small… bulbs, spheres? Now that I can see them up close, their shape seems inconsistent, like the lava in lava lamps. I guess these are lights augmented by demonic technology…
Along the way, I see many pets owned by Satori and they do seem rather friendly. Why would they be friendly to some stranger like me? That hellhound Maltese over there would most likely bite me, since I’m an intruder and I’m staying up at night. Maybe this garment of mine smells exactly like Koishi and they assume I am friendly?
Finally, I get to the far end… it is quite a long walk to be honest. Gently pushing the door, I try to make as little noise as possible because everybody is already sleeping- ugh! My body shudders as the cold air passes by me. I forgot that it gets really chilling underground at night…
Alright, I’ll head back to my room and see if I can find something to wear under my yukata. Closing the door, I head back to my room… oh man, this will take some time.
I’m back in the guest room and I hope I’ll find something to wear under this pink flower-pattern yukata. Maybe they left something in this mahogany drawer for me.
Oh, how lovely. Someone left a long, silk shirt and some shorts for me here. They are both definitely for men… it makes me wonder who the original owner was. I haven’t met any males in this palace, not even servants. Do they even have servants? I only saw the many nocturnal pets. Maybe these pets care for their master and the palace? Considering their demonic nature, they would be perfectly capable of cleaning and other basic tasks.
Enough nonsense, I have to get dressed to go outside. This silky shirt has a wacky design. Its lower edge is tinted dark blue, similar to the sea, while the rest is sky blue. And there is this large iceberg floating in the ‘’sea’’ on my back. Coincidentally, the dark blue shorts go well with the shirt.
Now that I am properly prepared for the walk outside, I head back to the backyard entrance… AGAIN. This time, I am attracting even more attention from the pets around here. That little Maltese hellhound puppy I saw earlier approaches me and wages with its tail. Aw, it is so cute with those fiery eyes and red stripes in the black fur!
Hey, don’t get too close, I’m not sure if want to pet you! While your cute glowing puppy eyes do make me want to stroke your back, I don’t think if I can afford losing a finger or getting my hand burned. Young pups don’t have the power, but they don’t have control, either, so they can hurt you quite badly if you don’t handle them with care… besides, I am no demon who could withstand attacks from such creatures.
I better step away, slowly… these critters give me the creeps, but I try my best to hide my fear. Showing fear is the worst thing you can do if you meet demon pets, right?
Steady, steady… hey, I managed to open the door without making a sound! And now I am outside, away from these beasts.
Or maybe not, since something just moved over there, in those bushes. Maybe this was not the best decision…
Wow, this garden has so many plants I haven’t seen yet! This ‘’Gensokyo’’ is a magical world, so naturally I would find many trees, bushes and flowers that don’t exist elsewhere.
For example this bush to my left… in daylight it has normal, green leaves, but in the dark… I feel like I am looking at a completely different plant. The leaves are dark red in the low light and hey, do they sparkle the moment you focus at them? This is truly bizarre and creepy…
Anyway, moving on, I pass the tree section. These trees are rather small since you can’t expect much growth in the underground. Satori also mentioned that they have been planted two years ago or so and were intended to be bonsai, but after the artificial sun was created, they grew much larger…
I guess these are the most ordinary plants around here.
If I am not wrong, then the next department is the one with flowers. No, this is the sector with the many tiny lakes and aquatic plants. Amazing how many different water lilies her garden has. Are those tiny bioluminescent fishes in there? Awesome!
And boy, the miniature landscape is perfect. It has a tiny mountain, a water stream, two waterfalls and even tiny villages in the lower regions… how did I miss this one last time? Was I too focused on emptying my mind and repressing my thoughts about Satori?
Never mind, Leon, she said it was okay and now it is time to move on. In the distance, I see the most beautiful fountains ever. They’re made from the best volcanic glass, the best obsidian. Black, smooth and pure!
This must have been very expansive and I bet the one who made them totally deserved every single penny for his work. It must be hard to make the sharp stone smooth… but then again, if you are skilled with certain kinds of magic, this would be way easier.
There are two here, near the mini-mountain and the largest one is glittering in the distance. What is with that shine? The two nearby seem fine, only the dimly glowing tiles on the ground are producing light. Wow, it took me way too long to notice this, too. The stone I am standing on is dimly glowing!
Oh look! The bioluminescent fungi are strong enough to make the obsidian shine! I found them!
Up close, these little fungi look amazing. Some are shaped like stars and have five, six, seven, nine, eleven or nineteen points! These are mostly reddish or bluish, unlike the other mushrooms that are mostly greenish or pink.
The pink ones are shaped like morel fungi. I think these mushrooms are also called sponge mushrooms… their larger variant is more on the reddish side than pink and their smaller brethren are a strong magenta color.
These are the special ones that stand out, the rest are very tiny or shaped like ordinary mushrooms. Most shine in a greenish light, but the largest mushrooms are golden.
From afar, these fungi are tiny pixels in the large picture, a true work of art. It looks like those tribal tattoos you see every now and then. This is truly fascinating… they represent about one fifth of the garden. I really couldn’t miss it. Satori didn’t take me here during the day, most likely because it would look rather dull.
This was fun, but now I have to hurry inside, it is getting colder every moment…
Once again back in my room, I am getting bored from walking and being watched by those nocturnal pets… not to mention how scary it is in here at night. Good thing I didn’t scream at those two snakes… all hell would break lose when the pets would see me as a threat. You must not show fear to demonic entities, ever.
With the overcharge keeping me awake, I can’t fall asleep… maybe it would be good to put this power to work! By burning this acquired power up, I just might get some sleep tonight. Where should I begin?
Hmm, I was always good at manipulation water and various solutions. My granduncle, a mage society elder, never called me by my name but mocked me as ‘’water boy’’. That wasn’t the harshest, though, I was called ‘’mongrel’’ and ‘’half-breed’’ by many mages, even when I was ten.
Forget the past, Leon, go take a shower now. I get lost in thoughts very often lately…
Finally undressed and in the shower, I try twisting the water’s path and surprisingly, it works with ease. With my spell it now twists in mid-air rather than falling straight down from the shower. This is rather fun, but I am burning only very small amounts of energy. My father encouraged me to use this elemental specialty because it consumes less magic and I have less at disposal than normal mages.
Next, I will freeze the water as in ‘’stop in mid-air’’ not ‘’change its form into ice’’. Cool, I actually did it! The water that I stopped in the air is saturated with my magic and it does not mix with the one that is still dropping down. This is due to some magic force I have yet to learn about.
Last one is the most difficult – water movement as in shooting it like a water jet, lifting it in the air, gathering air humidity and similar. I don’t want to brag, but I can use this skill on par with many masters… sadly, this skill is considered ‘’wasted time’’ for many wizards and they never learn it, even though it is the easiest elemental specialization.
Boom! The water splashes at the force that would rival some industrial water jets! Seems like my ability did not grow weak upon entering this world, haha! Wow man, wow!
Good thing I stopped it just before it hit the bathroom wall or else there would be a rather large dent.
This is my primary weapon. If there is water available, I can blow holes into people like I was wielding a .454 Casull or a .50 BMG, I guess. It does have three drawbacks… the first one is the range, which can be compared with air guns at my stage. The second is my limited magic capacity. The third one is to obviously have enough water nearby. One water pipe is enough for me and rain is like paradise.
That is why I tried improving my water humidity gathering. The bathroom has enough humidity, I should try it… oh wow, its working! All the condensed water on the mirror is slowly coming towards me… but too slowly for me to use it.
Seem like humidity gathering still needs some improvement. Maybe one day I’ll be able to suck water from the air quick enough to form a shot.
Hmm, I forgot one point, the skill I am weakest in… and that is water generation. My limiter is my small magic capacity; water generation takes at least a twice higher magic output. If I were a normal pure-blooded mage, I would be able to create my own water and fire it rapid. While I can do it, it usually leaves me exhausted after one or two 0.33 L shots. Still, with my overcharge…
Never mind, it would be stupid to generate your own water in the bathroom while you are showering. I better get myself cleaned and not use up much.
Well, I can do much more with water than meets the eye. Most mages do not realize this simple fact and do not use water magic for this purpose… but blood is also mostly water. This means if I can control water, I can control blood.
Sure, I need to be close to the victim, but not melee range. If someone attacks me, sorry guy, I will stop the blood in your arteries and send you in the cardiac arrest by freezing your blood in your heart.
Hell, I can speed up your blood flow so that your heart can’t catch up if I concentrate enough, but that would require extra effort.
And if I really wanted you dead, I would reverse your blood flow, but that would exhaust me too much.
And having your blood frozen isn’t the worst. No oxygen, no glucose, bleeding lungs if I am not focused, a heart trying to push blood hard as concrete, your brain shutting down… do I have to continue to make it look horrible?
Yes, this takes nearly 1.7 times the magic to do that compared to ordinary water, but that isn’t high even for me. According to my calculations, I could probably send 5.3 people into cardiac arrest. The 0.3 remaining would greatly help me not collapse from magic exhaustion.
Come to think about it, I don’t even need cardiac arrest. Freeze their blood in their throats, cut off blood supply to the brain… but I’ll have to fresh up my anatomy if I want to do that efficiently.
Ah, a warm shower always makes me feel better. Still, I need to lose this unnecessary, uncomfortably energetic overcharge. Water magic would take hours to burn it, maybe I should try some other magic, something that would go well my current skills?
Well, what would go better with water and rain than thunder and lightning? That dream or hallucination, whatever it was, has inspired me to master that ‘’shock’’ spell I once tried. My dad used to forbid it (only for me, my sister was allowed to do it), but he is not here, right?
Now, where would be the best place to try it? Obviously I don’t want any collateral damage, especially not at Satori’s place.
Eh, I’ll try some low power stuff in this room, away from all walls.
Sitting on the bed’s edge, I hold my hands as if there was some sphere in it, then I try to make a tiny lightning bolt jump from one finger to the other… caution, I must properly turn one finger in the positive end and one into the negative one, the one shooting the lighting.
Usually you just shoot lighting at your foe, but this time there is no foe and I don’t want to fry my finger.
Furthermore, you usually charge up in an instant, but this time I must be careful… careful not to make any actual thunder…
Oh snap! That was one bright bolt! Holy shit, I actually did it! This is the first time I used it in like… four years! Four long years and I can still shoot lightning from my finger!
Some things you don’t forget, it seems.
Magic is like riding your bike, but the bike has weights, a rusty front set, a spiky saddle, flat tires and barely any brakes. Not to mention that you have to back up all your exercise with so much theory, which you must never forget.
Let’s do it again! BOOM! Lightning strikes from my pinky finger to the other pinky finger! Now let me increase the distance between my hands and steadily increase the charge up speed. I am not making much noise at this rate and the guest rooms are a fair distance away from Satori and her merry company.
About two hours later, I have reached my limit with lightning. One day, with enough practice, I will maybe be able to shoot it lightning around my back. At this moment my limit is to bend it around my torso when my outstretched arms form a 160 degrees angle.
And let’s not forget that you have used another finger to create a positive charge. What if you would use that magic to augment the lightning bolt and to direct it at your foe?
Thankfully I also burned up all the overcharge… maybe a fifth is left, but I will be able to fall asleep nonetheless. Here I come, my soft cashmere bed~!
No luck. That fifth is keeping me from calming down and breathing slowly and deeply. That small fragment is like coffee just before bed, coffee that can’t be metabolized and keeps you awake.
Eh, I better get up and find something to do. Shooting lightning and manipulation water got boring… maybe the make-the-lights-go-out party trick? No, forget it, I am too lazy to get up and turn the lights on for this experiment… I don’t want to leave this bed!
And what is that golden thing on my nightstand? Oh look, it is my fancy earring. Maybe I should wear it sometimes, but when I remember the headaches I got from time to time… it makes me think twice… maybe I should sell it.
Well, I got nothing better to do so I could at least examine it. The demon I summoned mentioned that this earring was made by his brother, a master goldsmith that doesn’t make ordinary jewelry, but ‘’magical masterpieces’’. What could this earring do, anyway? Real life is not some video game where it gives you ‘’+6 Strength’’ or ‘’+7% Evade’’.
What could possibly activate it? My mom, my dad and my sister tried forcing magic into it, but nothing happened. If I forced my magic into it, strange magnetic force where emitted.
That was about it. Since we can’t pick up demonic force with our instruments, we hired an exorcist to check it. While he had no idea about the mechanisms inside it, he was sure it emitted demonic power.
Currently I have some assimilated demonic magic inside me; maybe this will do the trick! Alright, here goes my magic power, from my thumb into the gold.
Yikes! It worked, it actually began to glow violet! How magnificent, I made something happen! Now what?
Silly me, I must wear it.
Minutes passed and nothing happened. I don’t even feel strange or anything; I just feel the earring in my ear.
Several more minutes pass and I am wondering if anything will ever happen. Maybe I should check if it fits my new face in the bathroom, it got very hot in my bed suddenly…
Wow, look at you, handsome! This earring goes much better with my new looks than my old! Figuring out what it does will be harder than I first though. Satori must know somebody who can help me with this, maybe the kappa.
Um, now that I am here, I guess I could experiment with my looks. If I brush my hair back and act all serious… hmm, I wonder, could I pull off a certain character from my favorite PS2 game? My hair isn’t white, but bright enough…
HOLY SHIT WHAT WAS THAT?
When I brushed my hair back… my face and hand… glittered. Now, this can’t be real, it must be the visual snow you occasionally see in artificial light… there is no way I would sparkle, right? The mere idea makes me feel uncomfortable… I don’t want to be like that vampire from my sister’s favorite book. That would be… horrid.
Surprisingly, my hair is light enough to keep together for a while. No, I don’t look as serious as Vergil, I am quite close to the real thing.
How about Dante? My hair should be long enough.
Shaking my head- okay, don’t freak out, Leon. This glitter is no reason to lose your c-chill, am I right? I glitter when I try to act cool, like those bishonen. If this is caused by the earring, then it will be immediately removed from my earlobe- where is the clip!? How is this possible, how could my earlobe fuse with the earring?
Oh sure, this was made by demons for demons, not for wizards like. Now I will have to consult a specialist about this, I don’t want that thing in my earlobe… except if it does something more useful than making me sparkle when I try to act cool.
Wait, wait there. How does it know that I want to act cool? Ordinary demonic artifacts have no magic pattern recognition, only limited enchantments. If it has a system that can read my emotions, it must have extensive power-ups. Why would the goldsmith waste such a system for these glitters?
Let me try this thing out by forcing some emotions. The easiest way should be by recalling memories associated with strong emotions. Yes, this should work.
There are few happy memories I have, so I better call upon the negative ones. Such emotions should work just well, but I will rather concentrate on turning my sad feelings into anger.
When I recall how any times unjust actions were taken against me because I had strawberry blonde hair, how many times my younger sister got all the attention for being their kid, the insults I received after I got beaten up by bullies, how she called me disgusting and the final betrayal by my best buddy.
It makes me rage, it makes me want to go back there and use my magic with no restrictions, with no regard that the mage society would kill me afterwards. For my old life was not bearable anymore and the only thing that kept me going was my thirst for knowledge, my thirst for POWER!
That is more like it! This earring, combined with the anger deep in my heart, makes me feel all charged up, all energetic! Even my irises glow in violet flames, the same way the earring did! This violet fire will allow me to freeze the blood in all foes that will dare to mess with me-
I WANT MORE
CALM DOWN DAMN IT
Goodness gracious, I am finally got back to normal…
Being angry isn’t like me. Demonic artifacts like these are prone to augment and amplify anger and similar emotions, so I must be cautious. Seriously, I wasn’t that angry about my memories up to this moment!
My irises were glowing violet, but not like lasers, those were like flames. I nearly lost control over my facial muscles; something made me grin like a psychopath. Was that me or was it some illusion I saw in the mirror?
I need to be careful with this thing… but this sudden rush I felt could be useful in tough situations. It feels like adrenaline, just hundred times more satisfying.
Still, these glitters aren’t that bad as I first thought; it adds another level of ‘’fabulous’’ to be. With my new face, fancy girly yukata and these sparkles, I seriously have to ask myself – am I from some anime?
Bystanders will also ask themselves, is this man gay or is he gay? This is where I answer, no, but I am the most fabulous straight guy out there!
Ugh. This little ‘’exercise’’ has made me tired… my overcharge was finally used up. I can now go to bed. Ah, I can’t wait till I go under those sheets and get some deserved sleep…
Waking up, I can smell those pancakes like they were just by the door-
“Are you sleeping, Leon~?”
“No, I am awake for… for some time now, Koishi.”
Opening my eyes, I see the green-haired girl standing there in her cute yellowish pajama, holding a silver plate with the pleasantly smelling pancakes… and I think she has some marmalade, too!
“Oh, thank you Koishi, you shouldn’t.”
“Well, I thought you must be tired from what happened yesterday… I was very worried when fell unconscious!”
Aw, just look at that cute frown and those sad puppy eyes. It instantly makes me want to hug her and tell her everything is alright. She has a cute charm, unlike her sister, who has a much more mature and calm charm.
“But I am better now, right?”
“Sure, I was relieved when Satori said you woke up yesterday!”
“Hey, your clothes are still in the drier, so I brought you some fresh, warm clothes! It is colder outside today.”
“Thank you, Koishi, you are too kind.”
“I should have given you these yesterday, but it warm and I thought the yukata would fit you better~!”
So it was a joke, but it certainly was a fabulous one. At least I am not uncomfortable with pink clothes like many former classmates, who pointed the finger at you and screamed ‘’faggot!’’ if your clothes have even a spot of pink. Strange, I know.
“I love it. Would you mind if I keep it?”
“No, I wouldn’t mind at all! I’ll be off, then.”
“I’ll bring the plate back later!”
Ah, the delicious pancakes and watermelon jelly combo is something that should have been invented much earlier.
Now that I showered for the second time today, I got changed into the clothes Koishi brought me.
This time I have some not-so-girly bloomer, but they are bloomers after all… I don’t expect them to have any boxers here, so it is okay. My top is a black, quite tight, turtleneck pullover and some classy black velvet trousers.
Maybe I should ask if they have some hair grease in here, I would really love to brush my hair back. Currently I look like a Gregory Peck with his hair to the side. Actually, that isn’t that bad at all. Gah, I shouldn’t lose time with this hairstyle nonsense and return that silver plate to the kitchen.
Luckily, I remember the way to the kitchen and at their current volume; you can’t miss it, either. Seems like their doors are open and they are very busy… which is rather strange, when I compare it to yesterday.
Wow, it is hectic around here. Must be Monday!
Satori is wearing what looks like a slate blue winter dress and I assume she is going out, there is no reason she would have her purse here. That expansive silver hairpin also suggests that, she wouldn’t wear it indoors.
Utsuho is wearing a gray, modern power suit with cleavage that shows only her gem. Strange, that triangle pattern seems strangely familiar… did I see it on her green skirt yesterday or not? And almighty lord, look at that long braid!
Oh, look, Koishi is fully dressed, too. What she is wearing is something I would call a female suit from the 30s which would be considered radical due to the more masculine features the jacket has. Damn, she looks like a female detective with that fedora-like hat! Only thing that does not belong in the 30s is her ponytail.
They are all busy and didn’t notice I even entered the kitchen… only Orin, the cat demon, did.
Rin is dressed casually, a black turtleneck that has dark green stripes with velvet pants that look oddly like mine, just smaller.
“Good morning, Leon. Did Koishi give you my pants?”
Giggling to herself, she makes the other three suddenly turn their attention to me. Feels uncomfortable, man.
“Good morning, everyone. Why are you all so busy?”
“Good morning! It is Monday and I must go check the reactor and discuss future plans with the kappa.”
“Greetings, Leon. My sister and I are going shopping, mostly for clothes.”
“And I’ll just stay at home and watch over the pets.”
“Oh, I see. Umm…”
[ ] Go shopping with Koishi and Satori. You don’t trust their fashion sense too well.
-[ ] Maybe you should pay Yuugi a visit.
[ ] Let them surprise you with the clothes. You’ll rather…
-[ ] Stay here with Orin and play with the pets.
-[ ] Ask Utsuho if it is okay to join her, nuclear reactors interest you!
Update is late due to many things, including personal DESPAIR and the sheer size.
But I CONTINUE TO FIGHT.