Advent of the Three Calamities

Chapter 195 Third Leaf [1]



Chapter 195 Third Leaf [1]

I stared at my arm with widened eyes.

The stinging sensation had disappeared, and what replaced it was a strange warmth that seemed to seep through every part of my body.

Staring at the glowing leaf, I didn't know how to react.

It was an unexpected situation.

How was I even supposed to react to this...?

In the first place, what sort of criteria was there for me to suddenly unlock the third leaf?

'Could it be because I suddenly reached Tier 3?'

Was that the criteria?

I thought about it for a while before shaking my head. Surely it wasn't that simple. There was definitely more to it than my thoughts allowed.

But in the end, I knew that thinking about it right now was pointless.

Looking around me, I quickly bandaged up my arm and sat down on the bed.

"Hooo."

Laying down on the bed, I blankly stared at the ceiling.

I was tempted to try the new effect of the leaf but decided that now wasn't a good time. I needed to be in a safer environment to do that.

'I'll check it out when I'm back in my dorms in Haven.'

Who knew what sort of side-effect the new ability had?

"Are you relaxing?"

"....!"

I hurriedly looked up front where the voice came from.

She was sitting down on the wooden chair by the desk of the room, and her inky black eyes were locked onto me.

Licking my lips, I took a couple of breaths to calm myself down before facing Delilah's gaze.

'When did she get here?'

No, rather...

"Do I not get any privacy?"Alll 𝒍𝒂test nov𝒆l𝒔 on novelb𝒊n/(.)c𝒐m

"Privacy?"

"Yes..."

I looked around the room pointedly. I was trying to hint at her the fact that this was my own room and so forth.

"....?"

But seeing that she still didn't seem to understand the message, I gave up.

"It's been a while."

I greeted her first.

"Been a while...?"

Delilah tilted her head as her eyes sharpened. At that moment, I wanted to slap myself in the face for the sudden slip-up.

.....Only a couple of minutes should've passed since something happened to us. In the meantime, it had only been about a day since we left the Academy.

It was a fact that she understood all too well.

"It's just a figurative speech."

I tried to play it off, but that didn't work.

Her eyes didn't allow me to.

"Do you have any memories of the incident?"

"....."

I didn't answer.

I thought about lying but staring into those deep, piercing eyes of hers, I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of dread.

It was as if her gaze could see straight through me, peeling back every layer of deception. The weight of her stare made me feel like sinking into the deepest parts of the ground, swallowed up by the earth itself.

That was when I gave up on the thought.

"Well...?"

"I do."

In the end, I ended up telling her the truth.

'It shouldn't hurt me anyways.'

She was on my side.

At least, for now.

.....And at the same time, I could use her to find the true culprit behind this.

For that reason, I started to recount everything that happened in the illusion until the very end.

For obvious reasons, I omitted the part about 'Owl-Mighty' and just revealed to her that I had found the page and was able to clear the entire illusion, freeing everyone from the grasp of Owl-Mighty.

"That's about it."

Once I was done recounting my story, Delilah looked at me for a brief moment. She seemed to be trying to gauge whether I was lying or not.

But I wasn't worried.

My story was in line with all the available information about the Ebonthorn tree.

As expected, after a long and agonizing couple of seconds, she turned her gaze away from me and nodded.

"You might be able to receive a lot of rewards if you reveal what happened. Are you sure you don't want to do that? If you want, I can try to get you an adequate reward."

"....It's alright."

I had already received an adequate reward in the tree bone.

Furthermore, things were certainly going to become extremely troublesome in the future if the truth were to be revealed.

"I won't force you."

Delilah stood up from the wooden chair. I thought she was going to leave the room directly when she turned to face me directly.

Her deep black eyes pierced right through me as she spoke.

"You need to hide your strength properly."

"Hm? Wh—"

"In just a day, you were able to improve your strength so much. Many will find this suspicious."

"..."

The realization dawned on me like a truck.

I knew exactly what she was talking about, and I had thought about it beforehand, but her sudden appearance, had made it hard for me to prepare properly.

But, yes.

My sudden increase in strength was certainly suspicious.

I had been trying to rack my brain over the matter, but I had been too busy to give it a proper thought.

Her warning came to me as a wake-up call.

"You should be glad not everyone can see through your strength like me, but most post-leaders can. Be careful of that."

"....."

What could I even say?

In the end, I could only nod to her words.

"Come find me when we reach the Academy. There's something that I would like to speak with you about."

She disappeared shortly after that.

My mind continued to linger over her last words.

'Something she'd like to speak to me about...?'

I felt my eyes widen slightly as realization dawned on me.

'It can't be about that, right?'

A strange sense of excitement surged within me at the thought.

The rewards I had asked about before...

Did they agree?

***

"....."

Leon blankly stared at the city ahead of him.

It was empty, and there was hardly anyone on the streets. Despite that, the current image overlapped with the one in her memories. But in contrast to his memories, the world was entirely red.

In the end...

'I died.'

It may have been an illusion, but it was undeniable.

He had 'died' in vain.

.....Despite understanding the reason why he had failed, he didn't once blame Julien for it. While it was true that the reason why he had 'died' was because of the side-effects of Julien's Emotive Magic, at the end of the day, it all came down to his lack of skills.

"What should I do...?"

The feeling he was currently having felt terrible.

It was hard to describe.

.....But it was as if hands were dragging him down some quicksand, not letting him go until he was completely suffocated.

It was a feeling that Leon hated.

'This sense of helplessness...'

He silently clenched his fist and took a deep breath.

Leaning back to stare at the sky, he closed his eyes for a brief moment before finally standing up and dusting off his clothes.

"Right."

There was no use crying over spilled milk.

He just had to be better.

Turning his head to look towards the entrance of the accommodation, Leon's lips curled up slightly.

He really was...

An amazing guy.

"...."

That thought however only lasted for a brief moment.

Massaging the back of his head, he was reminded of a certain scene and he frowned.

Nevermind.

Fuck that guy.

***

Two days.

That was how long it took for all those involved to be interrogated and cleared of all suspicions.

In the end, the decision was to let everyone return back to where they came from with the supply station being temporarily shut down in hopes of finding the culprit behind the incident.

That was how far I knew concerning the entire situation.

"Everyone, please line up carefully. Please line up carefully! We need proper order or we will not be able to escort you out!"

I was currently standing in line to head out of the Mirror Dimension. At long last, this exhausting exchange came to an end.

'Never again.'

At least for a good while, I wasn't planning on going out of the Academy.

I had gone out about three times, and each time, I'd face some sort of problem. That was it. For at least a month or two, I didn't plan on leaving the Academy.

Hopefully...

I knew that my reality was a lot sadder than this.

There was bound to be an event that was going to force me out of the Academy.

It wasn't even a flag, but just a fact.

A sad fact that reflected the current state of my life.

'I want a vacation.'

Or at least, some alone time for myself where I could just focus on training.

"Hm?"

Feeling a couple of gazes, I turned my head and was surprised to see Aoife and Kiera staring at me. Our gazes met briefly, but they quickly looked away.

Their behavior took me aback.

Why in the...

"I wonder what the outside world looks like."

"....!"

Startled, I looked to my shoulder.

There, Owl-Mighty stood proudly while staring ahead.

'Ah.'

It finally dawned on me.

The reason why I was getting the stares.

"What are you doing? Why are you out...?"

I quietly whispered in order to make sure that no one heard.

The fact that an owl was on my shoulder was already weird. If they learned that it could talk...?

"You should know best that you shouldn't be out."

"Why not?"

"That's..."

"There's no need to worry, human. I am not my main body. Nobody will ever find out. Not even that scary woman you met before. They will just assume I'm a regular spirit owl."

Scary woman?

Was he talking about Delilah...?

'Hmm.'

Thinking about it, she was scary, but at the same time, I couldn't really take her seriously.

Perhaps it was because I had seen her in her smaller form, but she never really came off as scary to me.

To Owl-Mighty she looked scary, and probably the same was true for those who didn't know her well, but she really was the furthest thing from scary.

Either way, I didn't have time to dwell on it.

"Please come this way."

It was my time to head out of the Crack.

Arriving before it, I looked at the guard and waited for his signal. The guard stared at Owl-Mighty for a brief moment 16:46

before taking his eyes away and giving me the go-ahead.

Nodding slightly, I stepped into the portal.

At long last.

....It was finally over.


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