Chapter 2

The Absolute Trinity

Saturday, September 1st 2063

The Master of All Magic was meditating in his dedicated room of the Underground Palace. Even though he was in his master’s territory, he still kept an eye on his surroundings. He was experiencing with the Ether that ran free throughout his body and enjoyed the sensation. The Master of All Magic had been there for a long time today because he longed for such a silent and peaceful atmosphere. His breathing was slow and his face relaxed.

 

A vibration coming from his pocket made him come back to reality. Every time the Master of All Magic was heavily mentioned on social platforms, he received this kind of push notification on his GLASS device. He wondered what could have triggered the alarm because he did nothing of public interest lately. He found a video that was shared by tens of thousands of people and played it:

      Tonight, on M1, the channel dedicated to magic news, we have a very special guest here. He is no other than the famous World Eater. So, if you want to know about the Absolute Trinity, it’s here tonight on M1.

Despite how surprised he was, the Master of All Magic could not prevent himself from harboring a cheeky smile. 

      Oh…it’s promising to be very entertaining. In that area, he has never let me down. She is probably going to kill him though.

With high expectations for what was to come, he meditated and read until the sun went down. He then downloaded the M1 app on his GLASS before finally relaxing in front of his holographic screen displaying the show.

Separator

Inside the M1 studio, many people were moving to make the live stream possible. Like an ant colony, everyone knew their job. However, these staff members were under heavy stress at the moment. After all, it’s not every day that the regular folk can see a famous Country-Class magician.

 

Tonight’s guest, the World Eater, harbored a style quite fit for a young adult, even though a bit daring. With his half-opened dark shirt, black jeans, and sneakers, he probably was the most relaxed person in the studio. The only element that matched his blond and short hairstyle was his pair of golden earrings.

 

Everything seemed to be in order for the live to start. The director counted down from ten, signaling to both the presenter and his guest that they would soon be on live television. After he finished his countdown, the host started the show.

      Welcome to M1, the channel dedicated to magic news. Today, we are lucky to be in the presence of the widely known World Eater. How are you tonight?

       Thank you… I’m quite happy to be there. I was in such a fancy company a few moments ago. You truly know how to entertain your guests.

The host looked embarrassed while his guest made fun of his company. For M1 to secure this interview, its production team had to agree with his conditions being money, women, and high-class alcohol. Still, the host didn’t stay flustered for a long time and followed through. 

      Even though the world probably knows you already, can you still introduce yourself, as well as the Absolute Trinity?

      Sure, old man. I am known as the World Eater, one of the most powerful Country-Class magicians and currently acting as a mercenary. Keeping things short, if you want something or someone to disappear, just call me, pay me, and consider it done. For the Absolute Trinity, it is a group of the three most powerful magicians in Japan. Once in a while, we gather to discuss political matters related to magic.

      Can you say the names of all three magicians of the Absolute Trinity for our audience?

       Yours truly, the World Eater, the delicious Archbishop, and the mysterious Master of All Magic.

His words and actions were a bit grandiose, even for him. The fancy scotch that the studio provided him earlier probably started to have some unexpected effects on him. Considering the quantity of alcohol M1 provided him, it was finally not that surprising.

 

The host noticed it but went directly into questions that might bring him a scoop. 

      I was wondering, and I am probably not the only one, how is the Archbishop in a more casual environment? I mean… we, the public, know her as the good leader of the Holy Light Church, but I was wondering if she was putting on a face for us.

     Old man… everyone puts on a face in public, even her. In intimacy, she is just a beautiful woman. It is possible to casually discuss with her because she is open-minded, except…

The host’s scoop detector was now off the charts. He knew that something good was about to come to light, so he directly pressed down the matter. 

     Except for what?

      Never ever threaten or badmouth the Holy Light Church in her presence. You have to understand it represents her life; she will take it personally. Offering advice is fine but don’t cross the border. Even though she is charismatic, it’s not preventing her from going berserk.

     Who would dare to do that against a Country-Class magician?

      She isn’t really trained as an offensive magician. Light Magic isn’t really known for its offensive prowess. She specializes in Healing Magic, Reinforcement Magic, and some Illusion Magic. So, knowing that, some idiots tried to take her on.

      How did that end up?

      Multiple broken ribs, cuts everywhere, and traces of terror in her defeated opponents’ eyes. They will probably never be the same again. They learned a valuable lesson. One does not provoke a lady that had the best sword teachers in the world. Magic isn’t everything. A boot in the face still hurts. But don’t let that get to you. She is a pretty nice gal if you follow this simple rule.

The host was ecstatic as this was a national-scale scoop. He imagined that the audience was completely in M1’s favor. He envisioned that everyone was currently switching to his channel to see the “World Eater” give out scoops like free candy.

 

And he was right since M1’s competitors were experiencing a huge loss of viewers to this show.

 

The host was planning to dig out every one of his guest’s secrets, especially on the Master of All Magic, but he needed to be patient and keep the conversation going right now. 

     Is the Archbishop really planning on completely changing how the Holy Light Church functions?

      Yeah, she is planning something pretty dope. I am a hundred percent behind her for this particular project. For a really long time, churches were so self-centered. The only thing they cared about was keeping an iron fist on their cults and strengthening their political powers. The Holy Light Church is one of the most popular churches in the world, so it should be the one leading such a drastic but positive change.

       For those at home that are not aware of it, can you summarize this project in a few words?

       Turning the Holy Light Church into something closer to a humanitarian organization.

       Are her multiple travels abroad linked to this project?

       Yes. She often travels across the globe to prepare this shift. She isn’t only being used by the Foreign Affairs Bureau; she also has her own objectives. 

This was another scoop. No one knew of the link between the Foreign Affairs Bureau and the Archbishop. The host was happy beyond belief and wondered whether or not he was going to be promoted. After all, he did the push to have the World Eater in the guest chair today. Now, there was only one more thing about the Archbishop that the public wanted to know. 

     Do you have a special relationship with the Archbishop?

      Now you’re asking the real question, old man! But we are only fellow magicians of the Absolute Trinity. That’s a shame though because she’s a cutie.

     Weren’t there some rumors about you two?

      That gal does not have any skills unrelated to her job. She might have a hobby or two, but she never mentioned anything. I’m not that interested in someone that only talks about their job… The only thing that happened between us is that she treats me to dinner sometimes in order to ask me a few questions about military operations. That’s all there is to it, rumor or not.

     So, there’s another myth busted by the World Eater. We will be back after this short message. 

Everyone a part of the crew relaxed at the same time. It was such a synchronized movement that it surprised even the World Eater. However, he did not have a minute to rest because the host went back to check on him. 

       You’re doing great. I can’t see any signs of pressure coming from you. You’re a natural!

       Which one do you think is more stressful: an all-out war with tens of thousands of casualties or an interview on television?

       I guess you’re right. After the break, we will be talking about you. Are you ready to reveal your secrets to the world?

       I’m always ready old man. It’s also going to be a nice way to promote myself. 

The World Eater didn’t have to wait for a long time before the crew started to move at a fast pace again. Three… two… and one…

       And we are live again on M1 to talk about you. To start things off slowly, who gave you your nickname?

       In the beginning, it came from my family. It was a kind of competition. Only the strongest in my family was given the right to be called World Eater. I guess it followed me for longer than I had expected. I quite like it; it fits pretty well.

       Why do you think so?

       Because it puts fear in the minds of my enemies. Offensive Magic is my specialty, I can unleash a spell that opens the gates of hell. It’s a figure of speech though, it’s only a Country-Class Fire MagicBut I was told once that my presence on the battlefield was a sign that the apocalypse was coming. 

Fear slowly took over the heart of the host. The World Eater was speaking so casually about magic that had the potential to cause massacres. He gathered all the courage he had and let his professionalism take over. 

      Where did you hone your skills?

     All the magic I’ve learned comes from my family. I just decided to take it up a notch. I also took on some training to add a few more moves to my arsenal. I wanted to work on my weaknesses to improve my win conditions. Now, even famous magicians from all around the world are praising my skills with a spear. All in all, I worked my ass off when I was younger to enjoy life to the fullest now. I am happy around villas, fine wine, and sensible women.

      So, are women your weakness?

      Oh… that’s quite a bold statement. Some have tried but they all failed.

The World Eater used a pretty cold tone for his answer. The host sensed he would be in danger if he was to push any further on this. After all, the presenter just tried to expose his weak spot on live television. So, he quickly changed the topic. 

     How does it feel to be a mercenary?

      It feels great. It feels amazing to be needed. My customers treat me like a king. Also, the common folks treat me with respect. They can expect a beating otherwise because I have no affiliation whatsoever with any organization, except the military.

      Can you elaborate? I think our audience would be interested in hearing more about this.

      It’s quite simple actually. When someone works for an organization, this same organization wants this person to behave properly. It does not want its employee’s behavior to tarnish its reputation. Often, many people use this situation to take advantage of an attendant, or a salesperson. In that situation, the employee cannot respond under the threat of being fired. I’m free because I only work for myself. I can beat up someone that treats me badly if I want to.

      I guess that is one upside of self-employment. But don’t you care about people badmouthing you?

       Because it’s me, they just can’t say anything when I’m around or they would suffer an instant karma. And I don’t really care about people trashtalking me when I’m not around. After all, I do it too, so it would be hypocritical for me to judge them!

The World Eater let out a wild laugh tainted with sarcasm. The host was at a loss for words for a brief second before coming back to his main dish. 

       Let’s go back to your profession. Is it possible for anyone to hire your services?

       No, I have a few conditions. But it doesn’t really matter because the job is always well done.

       What are these conditions? If you can’t mention these conditions now, you should just forget that I asked.

       I guess I’ll take you up on that offer, old man. But I can mention one or two conditions to reassure people.

       It would indeed be good to know.

       First, I refuse every job that goes against the interests of our country. I happen to be close with an officer of the military that I consult regularly. I’m not an army dog, so I could accept one of these jobs, but I don’t want to. It’s a matter of principle.

      This should reassure our beloved citizens.

      It also reassures me. I love my lifestyle here and I want to preserve it as much as I can.  

The World Eater suddenly stopped talking. The presenter noticed that he was dodging the second condition. Sensing the scoop, he pushed forward once again.

       What could be the second condition that you mentioned?

       This condition is the most troublesome for all my customers. Many decided not to hire me in light of what I am going to tell you. I tell my customers that I am in complete control of the operation. I am the only one who knows if it is a partial success, a complete success, or a failure. I grant myself the luxury of choice. If I feel like I have done enough, I have the liberty to stop. Despite having this condition, none of the customers that hired me in the past ended up being disappointed. I am proud of my work, so I do it well. But I don’t want to fight a battle to the death I know I would lose just because of a bloody contract. 

The host was ready. In his eyes, it was now time to make history. He considered his duty to destroy this veil of mystery surrounding the Master of All Magic. And he had the perfect guest to do so. With a hint of excitement in his voice, he asked the question that was haunting him since the beginning of this interview. 

       It is now time to talk about the mysterious Master of All Magic. What do you know about him?

The World Eater let out a wild laugh, heavier than his previous one. As a matter of fact, he laughed so hard that he had trouble staying in his chair. The host waited patiently for him to formulate an answer while looking at the camera a few times. 

       That matter is… quite difficult… old man.

       Why so?

       He is the most secretive person I know. It’s almost terrifying. Do you want to know why?

       Please, enlighten us.

      Information control. That freakin’ dude just tells you what you need to know, no more, no less. Every one of my attempts to know more about him never got anywhere. No one can answer my questions, simply because no one knows. He is a complete mystery, even to me…

The World Eater just shattered the host’s expectations. After all, his guest was the cocky type of person. The World Eater probably felt a little frustrated about that situation and the alcohol just brought it to light. In addition, when he told the host about himself and the Archbishop, he seemed quite detached from the situation. Now, he was proactive, using his hands to accompany his words, and his tone was sharp.  

       So, no one really knows him?

       I don’t know, and that’s the whole point. That’s part of why he is so powerful. Let me ask you a question: Between me and the Master of All Magic, who would you rather have as an enemy?

       I hope none, but if I was pushed into a corner, I’ll probably choose the Master of All Magic.

      Congratulations, you just doomed yourself. 

The host thought he chose the right answer. He did not respond and waited for him to elaborate on why it was the case. 

       You should have chosen me as an enemy. Enough information is available out there to dress an accurate enough profile of my personality and abilities. With this, you can more or less predict what I’ll do to get rid of you, my enemy. You can therefore act accordingly to protect yourself with the resources in your possession. 

       Is that so?

       Yes. In military battles, information is key. Not knowing what to expect is the real nightmare. In there, being in the dark is a synonym of defeat. Now, you can multiply this by a billion and you can finally understand why that dude is at the top of the pecking order. 

This was not really the scoop he was expecting but the host was still pretty satisfied by how the events were unfolding. He wanted to get to the bottom of this, so he kept the conversation alive.

       Why is that?

       The clue is in his nickname. It is one of the rare facts the population knows about the Master of All Magic: he is exchanging magic secrets against favors. He is always looking out for new magic to learn. He could have dozens of rare magic that no one ever witnessed in his arsenal. Do you understand now?

       I think I do. But it would be wise to spell it out for our audience.

      We have someone hiding his face and name as a wielder of absolute and versatile magic. He could strike at any time, any location, with a magic you didn’t even know existed. There are no real records of his real personality, so you can’t even try to predict what is going to happen. He is completely unpredictable. He could be there in the studio, hidden via some kind of new Invisibility Magic and we would probably never know. It’s completely terrifying.

With words that carried a deep meaning, the World Eater exposed the situation. The host was quite taken by it and asked another question related to this particular topic.  

       So, no one really knows about his face, name, magic potential, and personality? Even our secret services?

       He probably struck a deal with the secret services. That’s only a guess but I think he exchanged being a part of the Absolute Trinity against liberty. After all, magicians of this group are working to strengthen the country. At least, I would have done it that way. It ensures that the Master of All Magic is working for us, despite giving away his liberty to act as he wishes.

The host started to feel a little better as a rumor was still better than nothing. 

       Don’t you directly witness how the Master of All Magic acts during the Absolute Trinity’s meetings?

       I do. Both the Archbishop and I know about someone calm and focused that carefully plans the next moves with surgical precision. But again, what question should pop in your mind if you add a bit of paranoia to the fact that the Master of All Magic uses heavy information control?

       What if he was putting on a show?

       Exactly. He seems to have a bit of morality though, I witnessed him turn down an offer that would make him go against Japan. I’d witnessed this first-hand, so the information is a bit, but only a bit more reliable. I also turned down the same offer for the same reasons that day. 

The host looked down at the sheets he prepared before this interview. One question was underlined four times and he was ready to ask it. 

       In a magic fight, would you be confident that you can win against him?

       Hell no. If I happen to see him on the battlefield, I would run in the opposite direction. It’s probably a lost battle already. I’m brave but certainly not foolish.

       Are you sure?

       I asked him a few times for mockup battles. Out of ten matches, I have only won the first three. Do you want to know why I won these three battles?

       Not only I, we want to know.

       Because he faced me head-on using only Offensive Magic, which is my specialty. After my three wins, I got cocky and asked him to face me with everything he had. Since that time, I’ve lost seven times in a row, sometimes I can’t understand why I lost. 

The host clearly already got more than he’d paid for. But he was greedy, so more questions were still on their way. 

       So, if he decided to go against our country, no one would be able to stop him?

       I can’t say with absolute certainty, but I believe that whatever happens, he will still side with our citizens.

       These words for the World Eater will surely reassure our audience. Do you have one last thing to say about him before we wrap things up here?

       I do. Hey, camera guy, over here… zoom on my face!

The staff member in charge of the camera did what he asked for.

      No matter who you are, think twice before pissing someone. The Master of All Magic could be anywhere and closer to you than you can imagine. So, think about the consequences if you make yourself his enemy. If that happens, you are doomed to always be on your guard against everyone. Is that what you want?

The World Eater made a hand sign and said that he was done. The host thanked his guest and started to introduce the next program in line. 

Separator

The Archbishop slowly got out of the shower. After a long day of work, the shower was like a benediction from god to her. Wrapped in multiple towels, she relaxed on her couch and thought about what she could have done better today.

 

Suddenly, her GLASS rang up. She received multiple messages from her friends and colleagues. They all advised her to check on M1, the channel dedicated to magic news.

 

However, all messages had an alarming tone, so she followed their advice and turned on her Entertainment Video System via voice command. She stayed completely still and rigid while watching the program. She actually did not believe what she was seeing and hearing. 

     In intimacy, she is just a regular beautiful woman.

Even though she is charismatic, it’s not preventing her from going berserk.

She is a pretty nice gal if you follow this simple rule.”

We are only fellow magicians of the Absolute Trinity. That’s a shame though cause she’s a cutie.”  

The only thing that happened between us is that she treats me to dinner in order to ask me a few questions about military operations.”

“A boot in the face still hurts.”

She stayed there for a few moments with her anger piling up. With an iced tone, she muttered to herself.

      Next time. My boot. His face. That’s a promise. 

Separator

The Master of All Magic spent a whole hour watching the whole show. A smile formed in the corner of his mouth multiple times. If even the World Eater wasn’t able to say much about him after being bribed with women, wine, and money, no one else could. Still, he muttered something with satisfaction. 

       I guess I should thank him for the free advertisement though. 

With a satisfied look on his face, he went on to the Underground Palace’s workshop. In addition to meditating, he needed to keep his enchanting skills fresh. Magic was based on feelings and imagination, so it was hard to lose any habits.

 

However, a decent part of enchanting was also manual labor.

 

He took out a dagger made out of silver and a carving tool before beginning the enchanting ritual.

 

He visualized a Country-Class Ice Magic’s imagination pattern and carved the required runes on the dagger. In addition, as his signature, he gave to these seven runes the form of a sentence. 

Absolute Zero, bringer of the eternal frost.”

This particular bit of Magic required seven runes to be carved into that dagger, one for each word. Still, the Master of All Magic stopped himself from adding anything else. He felt that if he kept on enchanting, the dagger would shatter.

 

Knowing the materials and the composition of an item was an important part of its enchanting process. Some ores had a better magic affinity than others. For this dagger, seven runes were the maximum it could handle.

 

Usually, to activate a spell inside an item, multiple runes are also there to provide an energy pool composed of Ether. However, right now, if anyone wanted to use the dagger he enchanted, they would have to use their own Ether pool to excite the runes and activate the spell. As activating a Country-Class spell was not an easy fit, this dagger could only be used by really powerful magicians in its current state.

 

The Master of All Magic was pretty satisfied with his performance about the item. 

      For only a target practice, it’s pretty good. I could do better though.

 

Then, he decided to go back to the meditating chamber and let the Ether flow within his body once again. Tomorrow, his former master would finally give his final answer, his final challenge.

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