Author’s note: Surprise is… *du dun* *du dun* next chapter being released tomorrow! Enjoy the read.
Nyu: What do you want to know?
Icicle: Fufufu~. A lot of things.
Nyu: If it has anything to do with the thing male and female do, you may not live to see another day.
Icicle: O-Of course not.
Shit, it actually had a lot to do with that.
Nyu: Spit it out already, I want to get some sleep. *yawn*
Jeez, she’s so cute even while yawning.
Ice Mages, thank you for bestowing me with such a great, HOT gift.
Icicle: That scar on your stomach, who or what did it?
Nyu: You’re not qualified to know. If I can’t defeat it, what can you do?
That’s a fair point.
I glanced at Eshel, hoping that he would tell me something.
Wait.. this…! It can’t be!
Icicle: Oi, you little furball.
Nyu: Would you stop calling me that? Shortening my name is already a stretch, now you’ve started calling me names… *sigh*.
I didn’t even mind Nyu’s protest, because I had a feeling that I know exactly what kind of creature attacked her.
Icicle: The creature that attacked you, is it a white tiger covered in blue flames?
Nyu who was laying on my shoulder coiled like a snake suddenly trembled, then propped herself up with her little paws and looked at me with round eyes.
Nyu: Y-You?! How did you…?! Eshel, I felt that Icicle has looked in your direction, did you tell him!?
Eshel: What nonsense are you spouting, Nyuva? Why would I endanger my current owner to this ferocious beast?
Nyu: Then how?!
Icicle: Now, now, no need to roar so much, Nyu. It’s true that I looked at Eshel, but he didn’t tell me anything. What I saw was this!
Showing Eshel’s hilt that had a roaring tiger embedded on a formerly red crystal, which was now glowing with blue energy to Nyu, she frowned.
Nyu: Hmph, using such a dirty trick to make me talk. You really are a shameless brat.
Icicle: That may be so, but I was able to force an answer out of you~. Alright, I won’t pester you about it anymore. When I become stronger you’ll tell me yourself. There are a few more questions though~.
Nyu: Why are you enjoying interrogating me so much? Are you a sadist, brat?
Icicle: Who knows… you’re just so secretive, now that I can make you talk, it really is a refreshing feeling.
Nyu: Hmph. Fire away and let’s be done with it.
Icicle: Your group of nine, is any other furball like you alive?
Nyu: I told you to stop with the furball! As for the answer, I do not know. There were three of us that survived, however we split up to guard important locations of the Ice Mages’ clan. I have no idea if my teammates perished or are still alive.
Icicle: Are the other two males or females?!
Nyu: That’s what you care about?! I’ve told you to refrain yourself from sexual content, yet you still dare to walk on thin ice?! Don’t test my patience, brat!
Shit, I guess I can only be hopeful.
Two extra “Nyu level” beauties, that would be a dream coming true!
Yeah, I’ve given Nyu a whole new level, just to make sure she’s in her own league.
You can’t see a phenomenon like her in real world, after all.
Icicle: Glacia Kingdom, what happened there?
Nyu: Mm, we were battl-
Eshel: You’re not strong enough to know that yet, Icicle. Nyuva, stop talking. Unless you want to kill him off, then go ahead.
After sighing inwardly, I tried to sound grieved.
I knew it was for my protection, but if I didn’t put up an act, even the bits of information wouldn’t reach my ears.
Icicle: Why are you two keeping so many secrets from me?
Eshel: Because you would die if you knew about this. That’s how dangerous knowledge of past events is. I think you’re misinterpreting what I’m saying though. You adventurers can revive, so of course you’re not taking it to heart. What I mean, is that you’ll cease to exist. I presume you adventurers are calling it getting your character/avatar deleted? Something along the lines.
Great, not only do I have to worry about Likaan, but even about some GMs and other devs getting rid of my character through in-game methods.
Fufufu~ This sounds so interesting.
I haven’t been this fired up in a loooooong time.
Finally there’s a challenge worth my time.
Icicle: Oi Eshel, what were you trying to tell me earlier, when we talked about the snitch?
Eshel: Oh, that. I’ll tell you when we’re in the academy. Don’t worry, I was pleased with your results, so you’ll get something good~.
Icicle: Another batch of secrets, huh? Fair enough. I won’t delve into it.
Looking around for Sixxy, I saw her stretching.
I couldn’t help myself but ask.
Icicle: Have you gone on a diet?
Sixxy: Ha ha ha! Very funny. Get Nyuva to freeze you too, you’ll see how cold it is! Brrrr! *tremble* I am still shivering!
Icicle: Stay still.
Using [Three-staged shower] on Sixxy, she let out pleasant moans.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
After she got out of the makeshift shower, my beautiful Naga showed me a wry smile.
That goddamn snake did it on purpose!
*sigh* Even my own familiars are mocking me.
What has this world become…
Sixxy: That hot water was really enjoyable! Come on, let me experience it again!
I’ve just realized it, but…
Why does my body feel so light?
Nyu was recuperating for like 15 minutes tops, there’s no way I wouldn’t be affected now.
Icicle: Umm, Nyu?
Nyu: Again? What do you want, brat? Can’t you let me rest a little?
Icicle: I’m sorry, but… are you able to control your pressure now?
Nyu: Of course I am. Some will still leak out before the wound closes. After a week or so there shouldn’t be any leakage.
Icicle: Does that mean you’ll be able to control it freely?
Nyu: Yup. What, have you turned into a masochist and want to be bullied a little? I’ll be glad to oblige.
Icicle: Look who’s talking, one change into a human form and my adorable familiar has become a sadist…
Nyu: Not really, I simply enjoy teasing you. Strong, independent and arrogant man bullied by a little fluffy creature. Isn’t that a great material for a story? Alright, enough questions for today, if you had any more, no one cares~. I’m going to get some sleep. Don’t disturb me, unless you absolutely HAVE TO, brat. Hmph. Goodnight.
Sixxy: You two are really close, aren’t you? Fufufu~.
Nyu: Watch your tongue little snake, I can turn you into another ice statue in a jiffy.
Seeing Sixxy shivering a little I could only laugh.
To think such a little creature would be able to frighten a Naga.
Well, Nyu’s human form is different.
She gives off enigmatic, mysterious aura.
One that will make you wonder how formidable she really is.
Poor Sixxy. She’s gone rampant and now “reaps the benefits”.
I’m still missing something.
Right, the SSS+++ rank quest.
I need to make some inquiries.
Not even thirty seconds have passed before I got the reply.
Should I tell her?
It would be bad if I didn’t, Clare’s my sister, after all.
I haven’t seen her in a long time, let’s build some trust.
After a while of silence, what came was not a reply, but an invitation.
After clicking yes, I got a message in the party chat.
I guess even if Clare told me that she had one like that I wouldn’t be able to believe it either.
Displaying it in the party chat, I waited for the reply.
Clare: That lucky bastard!
Oopsie, I said it out loud…
Kiyu: What is it, Clare?
Rene: Did something happen?
Sylph: No, nothing happened. I just realized that my brother really has some Artifacts!
Please, let this lie stick…
After a gust of wind, I felt a sharp pain in my right calf.
Turning around, I howled angrily.
Sylph: What was that for?!
Pou: You stinky liar, tell us what really happened!
With constant yammering of everyone around me, I finally gave in.
Wenn: So that’s why he was being so condescending towards us. Not only does he have Artifacts, but even a quest like this! Your brother’s in a whole different league than us!
Brie: He he he, your brother’s really cool, Clare! He even let me become agent 007! Isn’t he a little like M?
I can’t believe all she cares about is that made-up position…
Jason is a sweet talker, sure, but to convince Brie this fast…
What a monster.
Faura: Fufufu, Icicle has made some progress, huh? He may act low profile, but he’s probably in the top rankings when it comes to power. With all the new players surging, Icicle’ll definitely be a powerhouse~.
FieryRed: Hmph, I’ll become even stronger than that! Mark my words, I’ll be a big threat in this world!
Headshot: I… I am outclassed in so many ways. This world is so unfair. How can Icicle get all the adoration from the ladies, yet I, who yearn for it so much receive none?
Everyone took one step away from Headshot.
Mika: SSS+++, huh? Let’s go people, we need to step our game up. Like hell will I let a younger brat take over me!
Hyuto: B-But Mika, he already beat you up, what more do you want…?
Mika: That’s why we’re moving out immediately! Get your ass moving you dumbass! We can train inside the dungeon later, let’s use whatever time we have to catch up!
Liun: Hehehe, she sure is fired up. Thanks for that, Sylph.
Erjie: You had get going before Mika gets nuts. See you guys soon!
Faura: Mm, you guys should take your leave as well. After all, we can’t be always the weakest, right guys?!
Enna: I’ll do my best…
Inferno: Have fun.
Vanessa: We’ll go as well. Come on Haruno, let’s experience the world a little. We can’t shame Master, can we?
Haruno: Fufufu, of course not. Our ancestors would turn in their graves if they learned we were weak assassins.
I think I’ve made a terrible mistake…
Maybe not. I’m not sure.
Nete: Clare, we’re leaving as well, our mage team doesn’t have anything to learn here. Undead have so much hp that we won’t be able to burst them anyway. We need spells and resources. I’m glad your brother has given me a chance, I’ll work hard. Until evening.
Even Nete, who was feeling down recently, has gained a goal.
I hope she won’t give up easily and does her best.
She looks really cute with a smile on her face.
Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
These guys can improve while all I’ll get is a scolding…
I saw one of the Wraiths showing the way out to Faura and Mika’s party.
Now is the hardest part.
Telling J that I made a mess.
A big one.
J is not mad?
After a sigh of relief, I collected myself.
Together with Kohure and Headshot I looked for our new teacher, mysterious archer RapidFire.
Why did I expect a young woman to keep a secret?
Especially when she was amongst her friends…
Oh well, at least I forced Clare to visit me and cook something good~.
Getting these new assets fired up is even better.
Now they’ll train harder and think that the idea came from their own thinking instead of being forced upon them by someone else.
Hahaha, this is truly great.
Two birds with one stone and I didn’t even plan it!
Is it luck, or is it a hidden potential? A flair of ingeniousness.
I wish it was the second…
Let’s return to the quest though.
Maybe my hidden subclass can shine some light on it.
I can’t ask Eshel directly, he’ll definitely keep things from me because I’m weak and whatnot.
All I can do for now is ask about the difficulty.
Icicle: *Say, Eshel, is this SSS+++ quest really that difficult?*
Eshel: *That depends. For the right person, it’s as easy as walking through a park. As for the intruder, as you can imagine, it’s an instant death. A horrible one, if I may say so.*
Icicle: *Please elaborate. I’m curious.*
Eshel: *I know what you’re doing, brat. Don’t worry, you’re not at the state where you can outsmart me yet. Maybe one day you will reach that level of wisdom and cunningness, but you can’t outwit this sly old fox for a long while. *sigh* I’ll tell you what’re eligible to know. Don’t ask for more, am I clear?*
Icicle: *Of course teacher, go ahead~.*
Eshel: *You’re such a handful… no wonder Nyuva enjoys teasing you back. Whatever. Ice Mages’ trial is difficult for several reasons. One of them is extremely cold temperature. Most [Magical Beasts] and human beings freeze in an instant. Even with powerful Artifacts and magic resistance items, you will have difficulty moving. You can compare that to Nyuva’s pressure. The thing is, it constantly changes and never lets you adapt. Apart from that, people who were not chosen or haven’t been recognized will have problems with exuding their energy. In other words, they won’t be able to freely control their mana, stamina focus, or whatever energy source they use within these hidden locations, not to even mention casting grand spells or using formidable moves.*
So you need to be chosen and recognized?
That means Ice Mage related class, or being their relative, plus having your strength or other feature recognized…
Indeed, this seems like a bad place for intruding.
I may have 100% ice resistance, but it won’t matter if the pressure squashes me like an ant.
Eshel: *This type of trial isn’t reserved for mages either. Every profession can enter. There are no limits, as Ice Mages were a powerful clan which was simply remembered for powerful magicians. Ice Mages is simply a brand that was formed by the public. So your ancestors went along with it. In all honestly, the clan had warriors, artisans and Magical Beasts as members! Many long forgotten classes were there too, but that’s for you to discover. I won’t spoil the fun~*
Hmph, more like you’re a stingy bastard who doesn’t want to let me know…
Eshel: *For you, the “location trial” wouldn’t be difficult, since, as we both know, you don’t have any difficulties with resisting ice element. The pressure? It wouldn’t apply to you either, because you’re an Ice Lord. With that kind of authority there would probably two, maybe three trial grounds which would require you to prove your worth. The problem, however, are the guardians. After so many years, counting in ten thousands, you cannot expect them to be as sane as they were back in the day. Their thinking might have become corrupted. Thus, even if you’re the chosen one, they may still attack you ruthlessly. This is only a guess, take it with a grain of salt, but it can certainly happen. Some of these guardians will definitely be pissed off. I, myself, am aware of a few who were promised to be freed after a thousand years or a little more than that. The amount of time that passed is at least ten times that. These creatures are trapped in locations they don’t want to be in. You can imagine the anger and fury they harbor at this exact moment, right?*
After being imprisoned for no apparent cause, other than chief of police being a dick, I definitely can understand that.
Not like I can tell Eshel that…
Icicle: *Yeah, I seem to kind of grasp it. Please continue.*
Eshel: *You’re a smart young man, so you have most likely figured it out. The home of Ice Mages, Glacia Kingdom. The reason they were not messed with was because of Ice Mages’ presence. After the event that occurred 10 000 years ago, the balance has changed. During our time together, I was able to piece some fragments together. My memories of that time are still obscured, somewhat blurred. What I know, however, is that Glacia Kingdom as it is known now wasn’t a place of ice and snow. It was a land of bountiful resources with lush forests, grasslands and fertile soil. About what caused it… I can only vaguely remember that my master, Farren Frostshield, fought against some vile creature. When he was on the verge of death, he used all the mana stored within me, which counted in the millions if not billions of units. The spell sealed that ensued sealed the creature and caused the weather in the region to change permanently. Well, not exactly permanently, but until the seal is lifted or broken.*
Hearing this only made me smile evilly.
If such a creature was hurt and sealed, it means that it was ridiculously powerful!
I need to somehow make it my pet!
Then I’ll be able to have a high standing and venture wherever I want.
Plundering all of the Ice Mages’ tombs and secret areas wouldn’t be a challenge either!
Eshel: *I can see that smile on your face, Icicle. I do realize how cunning you are, but with your miniscule strength it won’t matter. Ice Lords had at least 8000 wisdom, could cast powerful, ancient spells that could level huge cities, yet they were nothing against that creature. I can’t make heads or tails out of its shape. All I can see is blurred darkness. However, there is a way for you. If you’re somehow able to reach [Grandmaster] level in both [Enchanting] and [Mastermind] subclass, you may stand a chance.*
Icicle: *That’s impossible! I can’t level up [Enchanting] past [Advanced] level! [Mastermind] seems a little special, so it probably doesn’t even have levels, but… How the hell do you expect me to do the impossible? I’m daring and bold, but there are things that I can’t jump over! What is a [Grandmaster] level anyway?!*
Eshel: *Heheheh, it’s good that you know some limits, brat. Of course you can’t reach the [Grandmaster] level with your current [Enchanting]. However, if you were to study your ancestors, Ice Mages’ enchanting techniques, it is certainly possible. You’re not eligible to retrieve the book for quite some time though.. This ancient tome contains secrets that need to be strictly guarded, with your current strength it would be lost within days. We wouldn’t want that, would we? As for [Grandmaster] level… During Ice Mages’ rule over this continent, this kind of a level was one similar to current [Expert] level. There are a few levels beyond that, but people that have reached that are either dead or secluded themselves from public. Let me be straightforward with you, kiddo. This continent, where humans rule, is insignificant in a big picture. There are many other landmasses, where the strongest experts from this continent are nothing more than common folks. You should know the saying “There’s always someone better”. That’s how vast the world is. If you don’t believe me, then look at the Deities. They’re incomparably strong. Puny humans like you cannot reach their level of strength, yet they constantly try. Would you agree?*
Icicle: *Of course I agree! We humans are greedy, whether it’s adventurers or people from this world, we’re definitely the same in that regard.*
Eshel: *Heheheh, correct. What if I told you that Deities are nothing more than experts who have transcended being a mere human in this world?*