Advent of the Three Calamities

Chapter 196 Third Leaf [2]



Chapter 196 Third Leaf [2]

The return to the academy marked the end of the Guild exchange. Quite frankly, I was mentally tired and exhausted from the entire ordeal.

'Delilah said that she wanted to talk to me about something, but she didn't specify when exactly. I'll do so after taking a bit of rest.'

I wanted to feel excited, but I couldn't.

I was simply too tired.

With that being said, I already had an idea of what she wanted to talk about.

'Dragon Bone.'

Or at least, an update on the situation.

The thought of receiving the Dragon Bone made me excited, but at the same time, made me a little apprehensive.

Surely there wouldn't be any conditions attached to the bone, right?

"Haha."

As if.

I laughed a little to myself.

There was no way the Empire would simply give me something so precious without any conditions.

Either way, I was prepared to listen to them before deciding.

Cli Clank—

Opening the door to my room, I felt a wave of nostalgia.

Only a day may have passed, but to me, it had probably been over a week. Time flowed differently in the illusions.

Hopping off my shoulder, Owl-Mighty looked around curiously. It carefully observed every nook and cranny of the palce.

It had been like this since the moment we came out of the Mirror Dimension.

From the sky to the trees, to the bushes... It was interested in everything.

I would've let it be if not for the fact that there was another portal waiting for us after coming out of the Mirror Crack.

"Huam."

Yawning, I felt my eyelids grow a little heavier.

Pomf—

I dropped back on the bed and stared at the familiar white ceiling.

'I really was... back.'

Who would've thought?

I really was tired.

Thankfully, Owl-Mighty was busy looking around, so it didn't need my attention.

"Don't go out without my permission."

But I still felt the need to warn it about going out.

I didn't necessarily think it would be in any danger, but it would still be problematic.

Glancing at it for a few seconds, I finally sunk into my conciousness and the world turned black.

*

The next morning.

I woke up feeling refreshed.

"Looks like it might rain."

Coming out of my room, I noticed the gray clouds hanging in the sky. It wouldn't be long before before it was going to rain.

Knowing that, I hurried my steps and headed for Delilah's office.

Now that my mind was clearer, I could finally feel the excitement of potentially receiving the Dragon Bone.

Of course, I made sure to not get my hopes too high.

I couldn't be too disappointed in case I didn't receive it.

To Tok—

Arriving at the familiar office, I knocked.

"Come in."

Delilah's voice echoed shortly after and I opened the door and entered.

Clank—

Already familiar with the place I didn't stand in ceremony and prepared to take a seat when I paused.

"….."

There were many things that I wanted to say, but couldn't.

Lifting my head up, I met Delilah's gaze.

She looked back at me without so much as a change in expression.𝒩ewW 𝒏ovels upd𝒂tes on nov/𝒆l/b(i)𝒏(.)com

I continued to stare at her.

She stared back.

....And then,

She looked away.

"There were a lot of events that I needed to attend, and with what happened recently, I had trouble cleaning up."

Excuses started to flow out of her mouth.

'Are you watching Owl-Mighty? This is the woman you regarded as scary.'

"Oh."

I looked at all the wrappers and papers that were scattered across the room. I could hardly believe her at all.

I had been gone for… two days.

Two days.

That was how long it took for the office to turn into the mess that it was now.

"…."

I closed my eyes for a short moment before taking a seat.

'It's whatever.'

Wasn't going to clean it up anyways.

Seemingly taking note of my attitude, Delilah's expression turned sharp as she changed the topic.

"You must already have an idea as to why I called you here."

"….I do."

I answered while trying my best to keep my heart from trembling. I didn't want to openly display the excitement that I was feeling.

I was so excited that a few notifications flashed before my very eyes.

They were rather annoying, but it wasn't as though I could remove them.

"Regarding your reward, I have an update for you."

Delilah spoke in the slowest tone possible.

I felt my face twitch at the fact.

It felt as though she was doing this on purpose.

I had to take a deep breath to calm myself down while waiting for her to finish.

"Atlas reported back to me not too long ago. In the end, the Empire has decided to agree to the request."

"…!"

"But—!"

I was just about to jump up from the excitement when Delilah poured cold water on me.

'There it is…'

The catch that I had been waiting for. It wasn't as though I didn't expect it, but it certainly dampened my excitement a little bit.

"There's no need to look that disappointed. Let me hear the condition first.'

"….."

I raised my head to meet her gaze without saying a word.

So long as it wasn't bad, then I didn't mind fulfilling the condition. At the end of the day, the Dragon Bone was too big of a reward for what I had accomplished.

At least, that was what the Empire probably thought.

"In the coming months, there will be a summit between the four Empires."

A summit between the four Empires...?

My ears perked.

"At the summit, Haven will send a few representatives. As the first-year Black Star, the Empire wants you to show your dominance against the talents of the other Empires. You won't be the only one attending. The first years have shown a lot of promise. For that, the Empire plans on providing you with resources to help you grow stronger."

My mind stopped halfway through her words.

It wasn't so much that I was shocked about the announcement since I had heard about the summit in the past, but it was more about…

"Another trip?"

"….Eh?"

Delilah stopped to look at me.

I stared back at her with a bitter look.

"That… Can we not? Can we host the summit here?"

"No."

Delilah cut me off rather quickly.

So much so that I was a bit taken aback.

I thought she'd ramble on about how it wasn't a decision that was up to her and it wa something decided by the four empires, but her answer was completely different from what I expected.

"You bring trouble wherever you go. Be it in the Academy, or outside of the Academy. I'm already facing a lot of headaches over the recent incidents. I'm not hosting any event I'm Haven."

"…."

To her words, I could only remain speechless.

I wanted to refute what she said, but I found myself unable to.

In the end, she was right.

Regardless of whether it was outside of the Academy, or in the Academy, I'd face some sort of trouble.

"….Tsk."

Unknowingly, I found myself clicking my tongue.

The truth hurt.

'….And there's also the fact that the quests are present.'

I could probably ignore them since there was no direct consequence to me, but the power-ups were certainly nice, and I wasn't too keen on finding out what would happen once the 'calamities' reached 100%.

In the end, the only thing I could do was sigh in defeat.

"….When can I expect to receive the Bone?"

"When Atlas comes back."

Delilah replied with her usual flat tone.

"And when would that be?"

"In a couple of days to a week. He's currently in Bremmer."

Bremmer…?

I thought for a moment before recalling.

It was the capital city of the Empire, and where the royal estate was located. He was probably there to collect the bone personally.

Looking at her, I nodded my head and prepared to stand up.

I was just about to when she stopped me.

"Wait."

"….Yes?"

I looked at her in confusion.

Was there something else that she needed to say to me?

"There's something I'm curious about. Sit down for now."

I did as she told me and sat down. Before I could ask her what was going on, she extended her arm in my direction.

"Try again."

"Come again?"

I blinked my eyes, unable to understand what she was trying to imply. From the way she had her arm extended, it almost looked like she wanted me to hold it.

But that was crazy.

Why would—

"Touch it."

"….?"

I felt my mind grow blank.

I was really struggling to understand her intentions, and when I was about to say something, she finally elaborated.

"Back when Leon fought against Evelyn, you tried something on me when we were holding hands. I want you to try again."

"….!!!"

My body tensed at her words.

I wanted to say something but found my mouth sealed shut.

Thankfully, I was able to keep my face from changing too much and kept my shock to myself.

"…."

It took a few moments for me to finally calm down, and when I did, Delilah spoke again.

"I felt a weird sensation back then. It was somewhat faint, and I couldn't really tell what it was. It seemed to want to crawl into my mind, but I was able to block it just in time. It's been on my mind for quite some time. I want you to try again. I'm not mad."

"…."

I swallowed my saliva before bitterly smiling.

'So she did notice in the end…'

It was a good thing that it was Delilah of all people that had detected it.

But at the same time, it made me aware of something.

'The second ability… it can be blocked.'

Most likely, someone had to have higher mental resilience than me for it to happen.

….Which was hard considering that my mental resilience was already quite high.

It also meant that Delilah's mental resilance was higher than mine.

"So…?"

Startling me out of my thoughts was Delilah, and when I looked at her, I could see her looking at me with her deep black eyes.

They seemed to be ready to swallow me at any moment.

"Alright."

Pursing my lips, I soon reached out with my hand and grasped her wrist.

"…."

I held her wrist for a few seconds, and just before activating the second ability, I stopped.

Lifting my head to stare at her again, I had a sudden thought.

My heart raced.

And then,

I pressed the third and new leaf.


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