༺ Subjugation of the Floating Island (7) ༻
A black sky.
The sky was engraved with countless lunar-like substances, each boasting an alien violet glow.
The countless moons seemed to have their own gravity, as unidentifiable auroras twisted and turned, avoiding such substances.
Hilde and Dorothy, who was riding on top of her back, looked around with astonished expressions.
Kalida the Freakish and the minions that filled the Floating Island to the brim scrutinized this new world with looks of incongruity.
Beneath the Floating Island, extending beyond the horizon, was a web of white land that stretched out like a net.
A sweet scent akin to nephentes wafted from under the cliff where the carcasses of various grotesque creatures piled high into the sky.1TL Note: Nephentes is a type of seductive plant.
The center of the Floating Island.
I continuously gathered and combined my mana before unleashing a violent explosion of ice.
A brilliant radiance filled the landscape. The explosion of pale blue mana shattered the Floating Island, covering the minions in a frigid chill.
A mass of ice, akin to a tower, stretched towards the empty sky.
One after the other, I began to unleash a bombardment of ice and rock spells onto this uselessly vast demon landmass.
Dozens of [Winter Shower].
[Abyssal Glacier], which froze and completely neutralized the Floating Island’s attacks.
This place was the perfect spot to rapidly level up: The edge of the Nether.
Various grotesque creatures, without fear or rational judgment, leaving only combat instincts, flew at me with the intent to kill. However, they were all swallowed by the magic I unleashed.
Blood poured from my mouth. Abusing the power of [Ice Sovereign] had taken its toll on my body. I wouldn’t be able to endure for much longer.
It had already been well over ten minutes.
The side effects of [Ice Sovereign]. Pain akin to being pricked by thorns encompassed every corner of my body. Intense agony, as if my organs were bursting, overwhelmed me.
Even so, I couldn’t stop here. If I stopped here, I wouldn’t be able to move anymore.
My rationality was numbed.
I simply roared like a beast, swinging my fist and pouring out mana onto Cavallion the Earthshaker.
Yet, in the midst of everything, I recalled the conversation I had with Dorothy when we danced.
─‘President, there’s something I wanna try.’
─‘Well, I heard that Regel’s Croissants are really famous for being tasty. Let’s go and eat some together.’
Just like some cliché narrative, I have always considered myself the protagonist of my own life.
However, in reality, my life is tainted with an unchanging shade of gray.
Even in the hellish realm filled with massive explosions and cold air, the only sight reflected upon my eyes was a single cramped room.
If one looked around, it was filled with ‘You can do it’ books that would only be seen in bookstores or complicated legal jargon written on little Post-Its that were stuck to the wall.
And below that, thick law books were stacked higher than my height.
It hadn’t been a radiant life for sure.
─‘Oh, and did you know? Lake Frey in the Astrea Duchy is supposed to be really pretty. I saw it in a book. Let’s go see that too.’
─‘They say the moss forest inside the Vantus Woods in Medelnook is super pretty too.’
That’s why the way you commanded your own life was truly amazing to me.
Even when you harbored a heart that was on the very edge of collapse, you, with your seemingly innocent smile, lived resiliently in this world regardless.
You wouldn’t know how much healing I received just by witnessing that side of you, Dorothy.
─‘So that’s why…’
In my chest, a dull sound echoed in my ears, as if a massive iron door was being knocked on again and again.
Above the empty grass field, I began to feel the presence of an iron door, sealed with tightly-wound chains.
I didn’t know what it was, but one thing was certain.
The presence sealed behind that iron door was my power.
Just one step. I just needed to take one more step.
I strained both of my eyes. I ignored my increasingly numb body. I paid no mind to the cascading red blood pouring from my eyes and mouth.
Although I faltered at times, my determination moved me steadily towards the iron door emanating an immense frigidness.
─‘I’m hoping you’ll still continue meeting with this Big Sis like this even after I graduate, President.’
The sound of rattling chains.
Finally, my hand touched the chain enveloping the iron door.
And I forcefully unraveled them.
A sigh escaped from me.
The [Ice Sovereign]’s pale blue chill that emanated from my body took on the form of massive wings.
And the gentle ice mana flowing from my mouth extended out like streams of flames, flickering like will-o’-wisps.
At long last, I felt like I had properly stepped into the pinnacle of the ice element.
After all, just by standing here, the entire area was frozen solid.
Kalida the Freakish deployed a magic circle towards me and vomited out its magic.
A scorching shockwave ripped on the ground and an inescapable wave of lava surged towards me.
I casually extended my arm towards the wave of lava and condensed my ice mana before releasing it.
A powerful explosion of ice pushed back the lava, freezing a fifth of the Floating Island in an instant.
A colossal chunk of ice extended violently, freezing Kalida the Freakish that had attacked me, alongside its lava.
At this moment, my frigid aura could freeze everything in this world.
The Floating Island seemed to sense its crisis, as it emitted a sound akin to a woodwind instrument.
Above in the sky…
An iron door larger than the Floating Island had silently appeared as if it was drawn on the canvas known as the heavens.
The intense chill emanating from it was my own.
Intuitively, I also knew that I was the one who had pulled it out.
I lifted my head and cynically gazed at the iron door.
The iron door swung open and a radiant pale blue light poured out.
With just that, an immense cold swept throughout this world.
The absolute cold emanating from that being could bring about an ice age with its mere presence.
One after another, countless magic circles unfolded in the air.
These numerous magic circles shot out chains, entwining the being inside the iron door.
It wasn’t my magic nor was it the magic of the Floating Island.
Providence of the Nether.
Even Providence itself stepped in to stop the being I had brought out.
Within the iron door, a colossal arm, entwined in the chains of Providence, reached out and gripped the door frame.
Each time it did so, a dull sound echoed and a dark blue aura burst forth.
Soon thereafter, a black monster jumped out from the iron door.
With its crimson eyes flashing, the being roared fiercely at the Floating Island.
Race: Magic Beast
Magic Beast of Ice – Daikan the Primordial.
An otherworldly magic beast that could exist anywhere, even transcending death.
And the power that had lay dormant in me.
It was my minion.
I extended my right arm forward.
Lowering just my index finger, I pointed downwards, indicating the Floating Island.
As I issued the command with a dry voice, a dark blue magic circle, seemingly large enough to engulf even the Floating Island, traced a trajectory toward it.
Daikan roared. It was a roar so loud that it shook both Heaven and Earth.
With just that, this world completely took on the form of a glacial zone.
An astronomical amount of mana swirled.
Daikan’s cold mana twinkled like a clear flash…
And turned into a majestic beam of blue light that engulfed the entire area.
A ferociously unrelenting cold descended.
It painted the entire landscape with the color of its mana.
The relentless dark blue cold showed no signs of abating and stretched endlessly, reaching beyond the horizon.
There was no sound. Even time itself seemed to freeze for a moment.
Amidst the explosion of dazzlingly bright cold mana…
I quietly closed my eyes.
And what was reflected in my vision was the image of Dorothy, who smiled brightly even while sacrificing her own life.
There were things in the world that one could not face with a sane mind. Perhaps, for Dorothy, the desolate landscape of her hometown reflected in her eyes was one of such things.
Therefore, Dorothy, struggling to dilute painful memories, managed to smile bravely, ensuring that the color of her life did not fade even in her dying moment.
The Key of Mysteries was about to disappear. In order to return, I turned the key in the air.
* * *
[Master, I am comi-!]
Upon returning to the mortal world, they were high above the clouds.
Hilde was unsummoned before she could finish her sentence and the protective barrier cast on Dorothy was completely dispelled.
The golem familiar, Eden, had already been unsummoned by Isaac in the Nether.
Isaac began to fall towards the sea, unconscious.
Dorothy, who had started to fall after Hilde disappeared, felt the sensation of mana returning to her body. She was gradually recovering; there was no doubt about it.
The painful sensations that had plagued her body were gone. She spread her hands and realized that the black spots that had covered her entire body had completely vanished.
She judged that she would wield mana no matter the cost. Her voice cried out.
Dorothy swirled inside the dense advection fog, made even thicker due to Isaac’s chilling aura, before pouring out starlight mana.
A wall of starlight mana wrapped around the surroundings.
Within it, Dorothy manipulated gravity to slow down both her and Isaac’s descent.
Then, she held Isaac’s hand.
She pulled him.
She embraced him.
Dorothy was clearly in a daze. After all, she couldn’t comprehend what had happened, her mind was unable to keep up.
By then, Isaac had regained his sense. No, maybe he had never lost them in the first place.
When his voice rang in her ears, Dorothy flinched her head in surprise and gently let him down from her embrace.
The two of them locked eyes for a while.
“Let’s go back.”
Isaac smiled brightly with a face that had become as innocent as a puppy.
It was hard to believe that this was the same man who had ruthlessly dealt with the Floating Island mere moments ago.
Because she hadn’t finished processing everything in her mind, Dorothy couldn’t even think of responding with a smile of her own.
She only looked towards him with a worry-filled gaze
“Ah, but can you move me secretly? I can’t seem to move now that the tension is released…”
How nonchalant of him.
Dorothy couldn’t help but chuckle before bursting out in laughter.
Suddenly, memories of the times spent in the corner of the Butterfly Garden flashed through her mind.
On spring days when flowers bloomed beautifully, she had memories of meaningless chattering with Isaac.
On summer days when the leaves turned a vibrant green, she had memories of going near Isaac, who was training his ice magic, and spending her time with him.
On autumn days when red leaves fell, she had memories of giving advice to Isaac, who was training in rock magic, or playfully teasing him.
On winter days when all the leaves had fallen and only branches remained, she had memories of placing Isaac, who had overworked himself to the point of fainting, on her knees to allow him to rest and recover.
The seasons would come and go, and after a while, spring would return.
And on that spring day, this man would still be by her side
Dorothy felt a sense of disharmony with herself for being so sure about such a possibility.
For some reason, tears welled up in her eyes.
Laughter flowed from her lips, as Dorothy let out a bright smile akin to a flower in full bloom.
“Nihihi, just leave it to this Big Sis.”
The dazzling solar light illuminated Dorothy’s tears.
Holding Isac’s hands tightly, she let out a joyful laugh that sounded pure and bright.
After all, right now in this moment, all the value and meaning of the life that Dorothy had known until now was completely changed.
❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱ 「Act 6, The Floating Island」.
The curtain was falling.
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- 1TL Note: Nephentes is a type of seductive plant.