༺ Ice Sovereign ༻
The summer breeze was slowly turning colder.
Dusk was slowly settling in.
The balloon demon, Heinkel the Hoarder, floated in the sky as if he were a part of the clouds.
He was looking down at the magic circle in Ayla Forest. The silver-blue-haired man he had been keeping an eye on had entered that magic circle.
Heinkel wasn’t the least bit interested in the child of light. The light element made him feel disgusted, the same way a human would feel at the sight of a cockroach.
However, the silver-blue-haired man was different. He possessed a plain and unremarkable ice element. His indomitable will, which gave him the courage to risk his life against the Thunderbird, was quite admirable.
[Ah… bloody… nuisance…]
A battle to the death with the silver-blue-haired man was his. His life was also his.
Since he was a hindrance, he should just kill him. The justification was good enough. Let’s leave the child of light to all the other demons. All Heinkel needed to do was engage that man in a bloody duel.
[Kehehe… hehe… bloodbath… mine… his life… mine…!]
The face attached to his bloated body contorted, a grotesque grin filling every inch of the face.
His mouth was dripping with saliva, just like a dog that found a tasty treat.
[Finally… time… come…]
This puny balloon body was just a way to preserve his strength. Right now, his body was in peak condition.
Several parts of Heinkel’s balloon body popped, and a murky gas began to seep out from the cracks.
As his body shrank, Heinkel transformed into a humanoid with a height of 4 meters.
The thick buffalo horns that had been hidden inside the balloon body were revealed.
He had a sturdy, muscular body. However, sagging flesh drooped from his wrist, sides, and ankles, as if forming bulges of flesh.
The dense wind swirled around his body, elevating him in the air.
Heinkel began to rip off his sagging flesh. With a sound similar to that of a stack of paper being torn apart, he clenched the torn flesh in one of his hands as purple blood began to pour.
The wound healed in an instant.
The flesh quickly rotted and merged, forming a long spear. The sharp blade of the spear caught the afterglow of the sun, which had yet to sink under the horizon.
With well-defined features, Heinkel’s piercing eyes focused on the magic circle.
A solemn voice rang through the air.
He sliced through the air towards the magic circle. The sound of an explosion rang out. His speed was akin to that of a bullet.
There was only a gust of wind left behind in Heinkel’s wake.
[I will face the Trial of Frost.]
The active skill, [Ears to Hear the Sound of Heaven], was a skill that allowed the user to hear anything at will, no matter the distance.
With the help of that, he recited the chant to enter the magic circle he overheard from Isaac.
Heinkel’s body passed through the magic circle engraved in Ayla Forest.
Meanwhile, inside the cave of the Trial of Frost.
The blizzard that was raging inside the trial passage subsided.
Behind the Frost Dragon, the path leading to the Frostscythe had been turned into an eerie passage that seemed to lead into the abyss.
It was because the man with red eyes had overcome the trial and claimed the Frostscythe as his own.
[Welcome, Ice Sovereign…]
The Frost Dragon closed her eyes and recalled the request the Ice Sovereign had made to her a thousand years ago.
Can you suppress the Frostscythe until its new master has appeared?
The Frost Dragon happily accepted the request, saying that she also wanted to play a part in the next generation of people that would change the world.
Finally, at this moment, the potent coldness of the Frostscythe that had been accumulated over the ages was in the hand of one man. There was no longer a need to suppress the Frostcythe’s mana from invading the islands and seas above.
It was a joyous occasion. For the first time in a long time, her heart was fluttering.
It was at that moment when Frost Dragon Hilde sensed another person at the entrance. Her reptilian eyes, glowing pale blue, turned toward the approaching intruder.
It was Heinkel, a 4-meter-tall, muscular demon wielding a black spear.
He walked across the icy floor with his large, clawed feet.
He scattered his dense mana while walking.
Around Heinkel’s body and spear was a dark green wind, a combination of colors black and light green.
It was undeniably the darkness mana of a demon.
[Who are you?]
The voice of the Frost Dragon carried a deep sense of wariness.
[White Dragon, I want. Scales, I want. Meat, I want.]
Heinkel spoke in a monotone, emotionless voice, like that of a machine.
He lightly swung his mana-wrapped spear.
「Gale Fang (Wind Element, ★5)」 + 「Black Wind (Wind Element, ★5)」
= 「Black Wolf Fang (Wind Element)」
In an instant, a storm came forth.
Like a pack of wolves pouncing and biting, the smoky dark green wind attacked the mass of ice relentlessly with flawless precision.
The mass of ice was cut down in an instant, and the Frost Dragon was helplessly attacked by [Black Wolf Fang].
It only left a few scratches on her pearly white scales.
[…Big and hard.]
Heinkel used his limited vocabulary to its fullest and kept his impressions short.
It was sturdy, but that was about it.
The Frost Dragon had been suppressing the mana of the Frostscythe and was dormant for thousands of years. As a result, she was currently in a weakened state.
When the mass of ice began to crumble, the Frost Dragon was released.
She didn’t expect to be in this pitiful state when she was finally walking on four legs again after such a long time.
[You, stronger than me. But, you tired.]
The Frost Dragon bared her teeth and began showing her animalistic wariness.
Heinkel remained indifferent, taking on a battle stance. In the face of his greed, it mattered little whether his opponent was a mythological beast or a legend.
[Reason, not curious. Only meat and scales, I want.]
Heinkel leapt at the Frost Dragon with his spear wrapped in a dark-green wind spell. In an instant, the icy floor shattered and wind scattered around.
「Whirlwind (Wind Element, ★4)」 + 「Black Wind (Wind Element, ★5)」
= 「Thread of Death (Wind Element)」
The destructive power of the spear wrapped in the swirling black winds of [Thread of Death] was at a level where it could even pierce the sturdy scales of the Frost Dragon.
The Frost Dragon had no mana left to deploy a defensive spell. She would certainly sustain deep wounds.
However, Heinkel’s attack did not reach the Frost Dragon.
「Frostfire (Ice Element, ★4)」 + 「Black Ice (Ice Element, ★5)」
= 「Winter Hellfire (Ice Element)」
The cold, dark blue flames raged onward. Its fierce momentum pushed Heinkel’s body back. It was a direct hit.
He then rolled violently on the icy floor, regaining his balance and standing up after a while. The frostbite that had spread along his body quickly healed as he exerted his mana.
At that moment, an eerie sensation coursed through his body.
Behind the Frost Dragon, a thick chill flowed out from within the darkness.
The corner of Heinkel’s mouth twitched.
In the passageway, the man with silver-blue hair he had been seeking was striding out.
The man held a dark blue scythe in his right hand. Like the personification of Death itself, he emitted a chilling aura filled with murderous intent as he came out of the passage.
Inside the icy cavern that was as beautiful as a palace, pale blue mana illuminated his figure, while the sharp blade of the scythe reflected the light.
The Frost Dragon also turned her head to capture the sight with her eyes. He was dressed in light robes, having apparently discarded the cumbersome winter clothing.
Naturally, wizards were unaffected by their own magic. Therefore, the fact that he didn’t feel the cold was evidence that the icy cold of the Frostscythe was entirely his own.
The man with silver-blue hair lowered his gaze. Heavy mana pressed down on Heinkel’s entire body. It felt like the pressure of the deep ocean was trying to crush him.
Then, the man slowly raised his head.
Cold, blood-red eyes turned towards the demon.
“…’Heinkel the Hoarder’, is it?”
My name, he knows.
Heinkel felt chills run through his spine.
[My name, how did you know…]
Heinkel’s [Clairvoyance] allowed him to see things, no matter the distance.
With [Ears to Hear the Sound of Heaven], no matter how far away it was, he could hear it.
However, as Heinkel bore witness to the insurmountable power of the man before him…
…He realized that he had been drunk with power, while being under the man’s thumb all along.
[Excellent…! Excellent! I want this…! A battle with you, a bloody battle…!]
Heinkel shouted in excitement.
The man only gave an indifferent response, as if he were looking at a passing insect.
That demeanor, however, only fueled Heinkel’s fighting spirit even more.
The man with silver-blue hair held his left hand out towards Frost Dragon Hilde. His wrist was engraved with an 8-star Familiar Contract Circle.
An emotionless command came out of the man’s mouth. He couldn’t afford to pay attention to his manner of speaking, as he was adjusting to the Frostscythe’s chill.
The Frost Dragon’s eyes widened.
That cold expression and icy voice… reminded her of the Ice Sovereign who had been drifting through her dreams.
No matter how she looked at it, the aura emanating from him was unmistakably similar to the Ice Sovereign. It was the ‘Authority of a Ruler’ that couldn’t be explained in any other way.
The Frost Dragon let out a faint laugh.
[For a thousand years… I have been waiting for you, Ice Sovereign.]
I look forward to traveling the world with you again.
Is this the right time to use the expression ‘it feels like a dream’?
Her heart was pounding in her chest.
The Frost Dragon freed herself from the sense of duty that clung to her like skin.
She accepted that man, Isaac, as her new master.
The 8-star Familiar Contract Circle emitted an intense pale blue light. The same hue of magic enveloped the body of the Frost Dragon.
Frost Dragon Hilde, the name of the 8-star magic beast in myths, and the symbol of the Northern Duchy of Whiteclark.
At this moment, a pale blue familiar seal was engraved on that white dragon’s forehead.
The powerful mana of her new master immediately flowed into Hilde.
Unlike a minion, a familiar formed a close relationship through a formal master-servant contract. As long as the master was of the same element, it was possible for the familiar to receive mana from them.
Soon, Isaac stood in front of Hilde, facing Heinkel. The Frostscythe glimmered with a chilling pale blue mana.
Behind him, Hilde had begun refining her mana.
As a familiar, Hilde’s magic was under the control of her master, Isaac.
This meant that the spell unleashed by Hilde would only devour her enemies.
No harm would be done to the master unless they willingly accepted the effects of their familiar’s spells.
A swirling icy cold air enveloped the surroundings. Hilde’s unique skill, [Frostwind] had been activated. It increased the power of her master’s ice magic and froze the bodies of their enemies.
It was a powerful blizzard that allowed Isaac to dominate the battlefield.
Hilde’s fierce roar shook the cave.
A frigid blizzard raged due to the effects of [Frostwind]. Heinkel’s vision turned white.
Through the gap made by [Frostwind], the man’s blood-red eyes and the dragon’s pale blue eyes could be seen.
[This man, I want. White dragon, I want…! I WANT!!]
Heinkel’s smile distorted into an exaggerated grin. To counter [Frostwind], he poured out his mana.
Heinkel’s wind stirred. It was imbued with his unique element.
「Zephyr (Wind Element, ★4)」 + 「Serpentine Venom (Poison Element, ★5)」
= 「Toxic Zephyr (Wind + Poison Element)」
The venomous violet winds engaged in a fierce battle against [Frostwind], corroding Isaac’s flesh. It was a potent venom that could bring death to any living being with a single breath.
However, Isaac simply lifted the Frostscythe once and slammed it into the ground, dispersing Heinkel’s [Toxic Zephyr].
A cold, light blue glow spread in all directions.
[Ice Sovereign’s Majesty], a skill that repelled all magic directed at the user. It only targeted magic that Isaac could handle, but he was already far above Heinkel in terms of power.
The peak of the ice element, the Ice Sovereign’s overwhelming power flowed out of Isaac.
Heinkel felt the heat rising from his chest. Excitement! Exhilaration! How long had it been since he found an enemy that made his heart race?
[Kahahahaha───!! As expected, I want this man! I want───!!]
Heinkel used his mana to thaw his body, which had been frozen by Hilde’s [Frostwind], and leapt at Isaac with ferocious speed.
Just before Heinkel could stab Isaac with the spear enveloped by the dark green wind spell [Thread of Death].
Isaac’s calm voice rang through the air.
“You’re… easier than I thought.”
Isaac lowered his gaze.
Heinkel made his first in-game appearance during the second semester of the first year in ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱.
Heinkel was a demon that acted and moved on his own accord, regardless of the orders from the Evil God. He played the role of a Joker-esque demon, appearing as a variable in several episodes.
Heinkel’s power in the game was indescribable.
But in front of Isaac, who wielded the icy chill of the Frostscythe, Heinkel was nothing more than a helpless weakling.
Isaac pointed the head of the Frostscythe at Heinkel. The magic circle of [Frost Explosion] conjured before him.
The moment Heinkel’s spear was about to hit Isaac.
The magic of the Frostscythe devoured him.
In the blink of an eye, Heinkel’s body froze. The passive skill, [Flash Freeze], rapidly froze anything that came near the Frostscythe.
Cold blasts of mana explosions erupted in succession from the magic circle conjured in front of the scythe.
It was a relentless onslaught of ice.
The cold blast fiercely shattered Heinkel’s already frozen organs.
The mass of ice ferociously expanded, encasing his mangled body like a display piece.
His body that was within the ice mass had already shattered to pieces along with the ice.
The massive ice mass formed by [Frost Explosion] turned into a pale blue powder before scattering into the air.
The corpse of the dead demon laid on the ground. Silver mana flowed from the body, gathering in the air.
Heinkel the Hoarder turned into a gray powder and disappeared.
A concentrated aura flowed towards Isaac like a cloud of cigarette smoke.
For a moment, his right eye turned silver before returning to red again. Heinkel’s unique magic [Clairvoyance] was now imprinted onto Isaacs’s right eye.
Isaac instinctually recalled the Frostscythe. In a process akin to thawing, he reduced it into a pale blue powder and absorbed it into his body.
It felt like a new storage cabinet had been created inside his body where he could retrieve and store the Frostscythe at will.
He then turned to face Hilde.
Hilde closed her eyes, bent her front legs, and lowered her head.
With tears in her eyes, she bowed to her new master.
It was an emotional moment for Hilde.
Suddenly, Hilde transformed into pale blue mana and was forcibly unsummoned. At that moment, Hilde was confused and uttered, ‘W-what just happened?’
As soon as her physical form disappeared, the view of the cave started looking unnecessarily large.
Isaac appeared to be in a difficult situation, as cold sweat trickled down his face. It took a ridiculous amount of mana to keep Hilde summoned.
As soon as the unique trait [Hunter] was deactivated, Isaac sensed an immediate crisis from his rapidly depleting mana and quickly unsummoned Hilde.
After Isaac’s undignified exclamation, the cave was filled with silence.
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