Chapter 16

Clash of Titans

The Master of All Magic instantly recognized the man in front of him because of his distinct armour.

 

The World Eater left the master bedroom and entered the backyard lit by the moonlight. After locking his client inside using the security console, he finally glanced at the intruder. With a mix of dread and excitement in his voice, the mercenary tried to make sense of the situation. 

      The kid sent you?

The man who fought his way up to the garden simply nodded.

 

The light coming from half a dozen lamps reflected on the World Eater’s armor. Every time he walked; metallic sounds reached his opponent’s ears. With confidence, he was closing the distance, until only a few feet separated them.

 

With the security team gone, only the whistle of the wind vibrated through the land. The Master of All Magic did not intend to let the matter go, and his body language perfectly sent the message. The World Eater, who was worried about potential casualties, made an offer to his future opponent.  

      Should we put up some distance?

Even though the Master of All Magic’s body language did not change, his eyes betrayed some kind of bewilderment.

      “Should I encounter him… on the battlefield, I would run… in the opposite direction.”

He paused for a few seconds to let the World Eater think about his own statement. Unsurprisingly, the mercenary immediately recalled his interview, and the intention behind his eyes went serious.

      “I am brave, but certainly not foolish, right?” What’s wrong with being foolish? I decided to stand before you and my client.

       Don’t make me… kill you.

The World Eater sighed as he was clearly not taken seriously. He then cracked his knuckles before taking his weapon, which had been resting safely on the wall.

      I guess I’ll have to force you to bring you’re a-game.

Spear in hand, the World Eater walked the final few steps in his direction. Following a final look towards his fellow member of the Absolute Trinity, the World Eater overhauled his agility and speed with magic.

 

Witnessing his comrade jumping down and dashing into the forest, the Master of All Magic struck the ground with his scepter after thinking for a moment. 

(So… be it.)

A quantity of Ether rushed down to his legs, signs of the Advanced-Class Flying Magic he learned recently. With its limitations in both speed and movement, the only upside compared to more difficult spells was its Ether consumption. What the Master of All Magic wanted above all else was to keep as much energy as possible.

 

After flying around two kilometers, he found the World Eater on a faraway clearing, concentrating and warming up. Decelerating further and further, the Master of All Magic slowly landed on his feet and finally released his Flying Magic.

 

The World Eater mirrored his actions and stopped using his own enhancement spells. Starting a fight with neither having an unfair advantage had been a staple of their multiple showdowns.

 

Because the World Eater needed his hands to do something, he spun his spear with both of his hands. There was a deep fear inside him about the challenge that was coming. The Master of All Magic would finally fight him with an intent to kill. Despite the mysterious magician not moving an inch, he could feel the aggressiveness hidden behind his eyes.

 

To the Master of All Magic, this was a first. He had known him to be overbearing, emotional to an extreme degree, and arrogant, but certainly not this serious. Considering the amount of firepower at the World Eater’s disposal, the situation was not ideal. To avoid sinking down dangerous thoughts, his expert eyes went on the World Eater’s protective gear and weapon.

 

Even though it looked like a complete red armor, it was the farthest from the truth. His protective gear was a perfectly executed combination of two different parts, boasting different materials.

 

While the first was known for its weight and insane protective potential, the second offered more versatility.

 

Areas like armpits, shoulders, elbows, and knees required a flexible material to not hinder movement. For that, synthetic fibres offered the perfect compromise. It had also been painted in red and black to make it undistinguishable from the harder material.

 

An untrained eye would probably not be able to spot these synthetic fibres.

 

On the other hand, ceramic had been a staple of magic protective gear for a long time because of its effectiveness at dispersing energy. So, the final parts of his armor protecting his chest, arms, and legs, had been forged with ceramics.

 

This combination provided the World Eater with the best protection that materials on Earth could offer at the moment.

 

However, the Master of All Magic was already an expert at enchanting. He instantly spotted the weakness of the armor. In his eyes, the World Eater decided to trust the true potential of ceramic while being fully aware of its poor enchanting affinity.

 

Suddenly, a thought entered the Master of All Magic’s mind.        

(Oh, I see… if I run out of Ether, there is no way I’m going past that armor… He is counting on his own martial abilities to draw my power out, making his armor an invincible shield in the long run.)

While it was the first time seeing the World Eater’s armor, he had faced his spear multiple times. Still, the sight of a brand-new integrated Master-Class Magic spell caused a thought to pop in his head.

(He seriously geared up since last time. The winner will be decided by how fast can one make the other waste his resources. And knowing what I sacrificed to get rid of the security team…)

The World Eater finished his warmup and took a fighting stance, instantly imitated by his opponent. Resting their body on their back foot, all they needed was a sign for the fight to start.

 

Knowing the Master of All Magic’s overwhelming casting capabilities, the World Eater needed a slight advantage in timing. He decided to take on the opportunity and launched his sequence of support spells first and without warning his opponent.  

(In war, everything is permitted on the battlefield…)

Even with that advantage in timing, the World Eater saw the Master of All Magic catching up and even finishing ahead. Seeing the hooded magician taking the time to activate the Magic inside his specter, sweat started to run down the World Eater’s face. Still, if he wanted to compete, he had to take that risk.

 

The Master of All Magic rushed on the offensive towards the red-armored fighter, eating the distance with extreme speed. Planting his feet on the ground, he used the power of his hips to deal a powerful horizontal strike. With this, he was really hoping to end it without dragging this out.

 

The strike connected. Sparks flew off from the clash between scepter and spear.

 

The World Eater managed to finish his own casting at the very last second. With his reaction time being one of his most important assets, he managed to parry the blow with both his hands supporting his weapon.

 

He had also extended the Reinforcement Magic of his armor onto his weapon. Else, his spear would have been cut in half by the powerful Air Magic of his opponents’ scepter.

 

With a swift motion, the World Eater recovered and made a side step, focusing on dealing a sweeping blow. The spear wielder was hoping to break the Master of All Magic’s balance to gain the upper hand in the exchange. The attempt was seen through by the Master of All Magic, who knew the danger and decided to back down a few meters.

 

Two of the most powerful magicians on the planet were clashing, using their proficiency in martial arts. During every exchange, when one or the other felt the advantage slip away from them, they managed to slip away and back down.

 

Despite the Master of All Magic’s superior spells, the World Eater made up the difference with reflexes and a lifetime of martial education. For five minutes, they continued to try their luck at finding a decisive breakpoint, to no avail.

 

After another even exchange of blows, the Master of All Magic backed down and breathed heavily. He was done playing to his opponents’ strengths. 

      I can feel… how hard you trained for this day… how much thought you put into your plan… I acknowledge you… as a worthy opponent. However, you lack cunning…

The World Eater was stunned to see the Master of All Magic running away into the deep forest that surrounded them. He immediately understood that this game of cat and mouse was at his disadvantage. The weight of his armor and the inferiority of his spells made him an easy target for surprise attacks and ambushes. Getting closer to the forest, he let all his frustration out in a war cry.

      Come get me if you dare!

His cry was only met with utter silence.

 

Everything from the vines, trees, bushes, and the absence of sunlight reinforced his paranoia. The man in red armor had a perfect understanding of the situation: the attack could come from everywhere. In a flash of brilliance, he adjusted the grip of his weapon, which reminded him of something he could try.

 

The Master of All Magic used his surroundings to mask his actions. Under his Silent-Step Magic and Invisibility Magic spell, he kept on moving around sneakily, looking for the perfect opportunity. However, the red-armored magician always used his fighting instinct to cover his angles, making it hard for Master of All Magic to strike.

 

After a minute in which he wondered about what to do, he decided to use one of the oldest tricks in the book. Throwing a wooden stick to attract the World Eater’s attention away, he jumped down from a tree once his opponent’s attention away from him. It worked perfectly as the Master of All Magic was now facing the World Eater’s back.

 

He gathered his strength for a second killing blow.

 

Suddenly, before he made contact, the Master of All Magic found himself surrounded by a violent and extremely powerful ranged attack, surrounding all his side with fire. In a tornado of fire, a huge part of the forest burned severely following this demonstration of power. Soon enough, dust kicked up by the explosion replaced the fire.

 

The Master of All Magic did not have enough time to dodge and took the blow head-on, barely able to protect his face. His enchanted coat took a lot of damage as its hood, right sleeve, and left lower side had many holes, symbols of the fire at work. His reinforced leggings and top protected most of his body, but parts of it were still exposed. Therefore, he felt real pain in both his forearms and ankles.

 

The first thing he did after rising to his feet was to verify his coat’s enchantment. After all, it was his life rope and final trump card. The wounded man was flabbergasted to see that, despite all these holes, he could still feel the Ether inside the coat.

 

Still, the Master of All Magic’s morale had been broken quite a bit for falling into such a trap. And the World Eater was aware of that fact.

 

He, who had been teased about his lack of cunningness, perfectly carried out his plan. The brand-new Master-Class enchantment of his spear had been a welcome addition to his arsenal, such that even the Master of All Magic was not able to dodge it.

 

Knowing that he had the upper hand, the World Eater decided to press on his advantage. With heavily burnt ankles, the speed advantage had shifted and the man in red armor slowly caught up. Jumping from trees to trees, it took him less than ten seconds to catch up.

 

His spear finally connected and pierced the abdomen of the Master of All Magic. After spitting a mouthful of blood, the defeated magician moved no more. Time seemed frozen for the World Eater as he experienced both happiness and sorrow.

 

The magician that had been inside his head for so long was finally gone. The magician who was the reason for the hellish and torturous training he had gone through was dead. The World Eater had trained all these years to be the best, and he could finally rest knowing that his final trial ended.

 

He wondered for a few seconds what he should be doing now. No answer came to his mind and training now seemed boring and without meaning. He had slain the most important magician of Japanese society and the source of his motivation.

 

After thinking about this short but intense battle, the final words of the deceased Master of All Magic made themselves heard into his mind.

However, you still have much to learn… You lack cunning…

In a state of panic, his eyes locked onto the Master of All Magic’s corpse, which started to slowly fade away. Akin to a mirage, the World Eater had been duped with an Illusion Magic spell. The Master of All Magic had used the dust to cover up his escape while at the same time using a copycat as a distraction.

 

To make things worse, the World Eater felt a surge of coldness underneath him, coming from an Ice Magic trap. The ice crept up his waist and froze both of his legs. The spear wielder had no choice but to deal with this spell limiting his movements.

 

Inside his mind, anger was slowly building up and taking over his psyche.

 

He was done. Done with all of this.

 

After surrounding himself with flames to melt the trap, the World Eater cast a powerful Flying Magic. Dominating his surroundings, only one word repeated itself in his head: destroy.

 

He condensed all the remaining Ether inside his body into a very concentrated Country-Class Explosion Magic the size of an apple, that he launched towards the ground. After it made contact, everything turned to dust within a kilometer’s radius.  

Separator

The Master of All Magic had been manipulating the battlefield behind the scenes since his running away into the forest.

 

However, when he witnessed his opponent taking flight, he started to worry. Without betraying his position, the Master of All Magic moved to a better observation point. In the meantime, he also looked at his own situation, which was clearly critical. 

(I’m slowly running out of Ether. All I have right now is my Support Magic spells, my staff’s enchantment, my coat, and little reserve. I have to save a bit to deal with my wounds and the butler…)

Suddenly, he sensed that the World Eater was gathering an insane amount of Ether. The Master of All Magic immediately understood what his enemy was up to. He also circled back to how the World Eater wanted to put up some distance between them and the estate.

 

A smile then rose onto the Master of All Magic’s face, though hidden by his mask. 

(Fine, I’ll gamble with you…)

Before the Country-Class spell landed, the Master of All Magic activated his coat’s Barrier Magic.  

Separator

The dense forest, full of life, turned into a wasteland. Nothing survived except a few rocks, which were now proudly standing above the ground. After the ground finished trembling, the dust finally started to move by the effect of the wind.

 

The World Eater remained in the sky to witness the consequences of his actions. Even though he had concentrated the zone of this spell, its destructive potential probably was among the top spells known to man.

 

However, he had no choice but to land as soon as possible since he expended all his Ether. The World Eater returned to the state of a simple fighter.

 

When he finally landed, the dust had settled, and his face became livid.

 

The Master of All Magic was resting fifty meters away, alive after facing the spell head-on. With cracks on his mask and holes in his coat, he was still in a state to fight, with his scepter in hand.

Now in a state of panic, the World Eater realized that he had lost the upper hand.

 

The Master of All Magic dashed towards his now vulnerable enemy and dealt powerful blows backed up by his Support Magic. As he was slowly running out of Ether himself, he attempted to completely crush the World Eater’s armor. He was on the verge of succeeding before both his Support Magic and Air Magic faded away.

 

The World Eater had a final look of hope on his face.

 

However, the Master of All Magic remembered something and announced his victory with a smile, that could be seen through the cracks of his mask.      

      It is my preparations… that saved the day.

Both fighters were out of every option involving their own Ether.

 

So, the Master of All Magic reached behind his back and grabbed the shortsword he was reluctant to take with him a few days ago. The weapon had a Master-Class Fire Tempest Magic enchantment and was also imbued with its own Ether to launch the spell.

 

The Master of All Magic got the weapon out of its sheath and triggered the enchantment. The runes on the blade glowed a vibrant red color and a whirlwind of blue fire appeared from within it. Targeting the World Eater, the flames ripped through the air and fiercely surrounded him to attack every pore of his skin.

 

While the Master of All Magic’s previous attack broke many bones inside his body, the pain of feeling his body being eaten away by fire was enough to make him lose consciousness. The simple fact that he was still alive after enduring the Fire Tempest Magic without any protection was a monument to the World Eater’s vitality. His own body’s resistance was way beyond the limits of a normal human, mainly due to handling Ether on a daily basis.

 

Soon enough, the Master of All Magic reached his side and sat beside him. Gazing at the landscape, he did not look at the burnt body of his colleague. Adding salt to the injury was clearly not something he liked to do. After all, Japanese bodies were considered sacred.

 

After a few coughs, the heavily-wounded man managed to say a few words.    

       You’re probably… cough… not gonna believe me… cough… but…

       What?

       I’m so happy… cough… you’re not dead… cough

After letting out a huge sigh, the Master of All Magic decided to spare the resources needed for his own treatment to patching up the World Eater. After all, he did not wish for his death, considering how it could affect the balance of power in the country and abroad. Should the military lose such an important asset, there could be some really problematic consequences. With a straight face, the Master of All Master started to cast some Healing Magic while giving away his orders.

       Don’t move… I only healed what was critical… The rest you could probably deal… with a cast or two…

        I would rather you… cough… not use Healing Magic on me… cough

      Why?

       Accelerates cell regeneration… cough… reduces life expectancy… cough

       You imbecile…

The World Eater tried to laugh but ended up hurting himself in the process. The Master of All Magic took pity on his situation and offered to call someone for help. However, the World Eater decided to give him what he was looking for anyway.

      Code is… 0704… cough

After making sure he would be in good hands, the Master of All Magic headed towards the estate. With the code he had just been given, the door slid in the wall. Suddenly, a flash of light took over his entire vision and a sound of broken glass reverberated through the master bedroom.

 

The former butler had tried to hit him with a neon tube, to no avail.

 

Under the threatening gaze of the Master of All Magic, there was nothing he could do. The butler felt like his day had come, that he was not going to see the light of day again.

 

Braver than most, he did not try to flee, cry or shout and just stood there, waiting for his death. However, instead of feeling immense pain, words reached his ears.  

      You’re lucky… The kid you raised… does not want you dead. You owe him your life… Do you understand?

The former butler nodded and looked at the ground shamefully. A holographic screen appeared in his vision, displaying the exact same file he had used weeks ago. It was finally time for him to give back what had stolen. With a brush of a finger, the man signed the paperwork and finally abandoned the dream he had been chasing.

 

Storing his GLASS inside his back pocket, the Master of All Magic walked towards him slowly.

 

He put his index and middle finger on the former butler’s temples, activating his secret Memory Illusion Magic. It was his first time using this Magic in a real situation, which gave him goosebumps. Even though this was clearly not the right time, the feeling of Ether gathering to form a brand-new spell always gave him good sensations.

 

A memory materialized in front of his eyes, as an illusion.  

Kaito Shinka and his butler were in a limousine, wearing black from top to bottom. They were mourning the loss of the family’s head. Despite this, the middle-aged man offered a folder of documents for the young man to sign, as it these were just some random administrative paperwork.

 

The young man signed and paraphed all papers without even looking at it twice, trusting the one who had always been by his side. Giving them back to his butler, he then went on to mention that his dad would have been proud to see them go through these tough times together like a family.

 

At that exact point, the hesitation was all over the culprit’s face, who was still torn between asking for forgiveness or continuing forward. He went for the latter, apologized dearly, and got out of the car, leaving the young adult puzzled as to what just happened. 

The Master of All Magic captured the whole scene with his GLASS and turned to face his target one last time.

      This video will be uploaded in a few days… for everyone to see. I forbid you… from changing names, identities, or faces. You will… live with this… on your conscious… for the rest of your days. Am I clear?

Without looking back at the man on his knees crying out of despair, the Master of All Magic left. On his way back, he knew there would be consequences for what happened today.

 

Despite Japan being the one at fault, the Master of All Magic had no doubt politicians would find a way to get on top of this international diplomatic disaster.


What demanded his attention was the question of whether or not his identities had been compromised. He was certain that a mountain of questions was already waiting for Tatsu Jin.

 

Still, the use of an illegal International Teleporter would be his go-to answer, as he did not officially leave the country. In fact, now that he was back in Japan, there was no proof at all that he had ever left it. 

Separator

Sunday, October 14th 2063

When he teleported from Chile to Japan, the Master of All Magic trembled slightly. His body which finally adapted itself to a warmer climate went straight back to the coldness of his home country.

 

But there was not a minute to lose, as Kaito Shinka was already waiting for him.

 

The Master of All Magic entered the apartment at 5 PM and asked for a moment to summon proper clothes. He was then greeted properly by the heir of the Shinka Group, who could not wait to hear his report.

 

They spent roughly an hour debriefing. The involvement of the World Eater stunned them, but probably not as much now. The news of the international disaster was the talk of the town, making its way onto every news channel available.

 

The young adult, who was in a good mood after hearing the mission’s success, did not hesitate to crack a joke.   

       For a fight against the World Eater, we’re seriously underpaying you.

       If you keep… your end of the bargain… it’s enough for me.

       Not only that, if you need my help in the future, I’ll be there.

       I appreciate it… probably more than you can imagine. I’ll keep… your contact info.

Kaito Shinka still stood by his words and refused to know what awaited his former butler. After checking the validity of the paperwork, he gave his friend a slight nod.

 

Both Jake and the Master of All Magic sat on the ground and initiated the lesson. They began with a brief explanation of how the spell was working. Then, they went deeper into the imagination pattern, which was enough for the talented magician to grasp its main principles.

 

Jake tossed him one of his rings, full of Ether, to exercise. He was then impressed by how the events unfolded. During the next hour, the Master of All Magic made huge leaps in the mastery of the spell. His teacher was even astonished by how still and silent he remained while practicing.

 

The Master of All Magic’s overwhelming talent was not really related to Magic itself. He was a genius at understanding the cogs behind every mechanism. Not requiring the help of a master for the final touches, he himself operated small changes and adaptations to make the spell his own.

 

The Ether left the ring and moved inside his body towards his vocal cords. Using the imagination pattern, he tried casting off the spell for the first time. Despite the Magic perfectly working, the Master of All Magic was caught in a wave of uncontrollable coughs. Seeing this, Jake made a special point about the spell’s practicing requirements.   

       This requires delicacy, and therefore many hours of practice… but I guess you’ll only need a few.

       I see…

Now that his part of the bargain had been dealt with, the heir of the Shinka Group was impatient to submit his paperwork and get a hold of his asset once again. After an emotional handshake, Kaito Shinka as well as Jake bid their farewell to their saviour and left the Yokohama Landmark Tower.

 

The Master of All Magic was left alone in the apartment and finally took some rest on an expensive leather couch. He would have liked to debrief again with Ren, but his associate had his own responsibilities. Looking at this place and its huge window bay a final time before its sale, the powerful magician had a thought in his mind. 

(I could probably settle in Yokohama… I would feel at home)

He opened the window bay and appreciated the view with his hair moved by the wind.

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