Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 14

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Episode 014

[You have achieved an accomplishment.]

[Tracing Draka’s Trail I]

[As a reward, you have acquired the title ‘Friend of the Ogre’.]

[As a reward, you have acquired the skill ‘Ogre’s Rage’.]

[As a reward, you have acquired the elemental spirit ‘Avatar of Power, Strang’.]

[**Title**]

[Friend of the Ogre]

[With this title, the likelihood that ‘Ogres’ will not be hostile towards you increases.]

[With this title, you will be able to communicate with ‘Ogres’.]

‘…Communicate, huh?’

Ogres were not capable of speaking human language.

Kinggram being the exception, of course.

But the ability to communicate with wild Ogres is quite a unique occurrence.

I’m not sure how useful this will be… but it’s better than nothing.

I quickly opened my skill window to check.

[Ogre’s Rage]

[Active]

[You borrow the power of an enraged Ogre, temporarily becoming stronger. For 30 seconds, your strength increases by 300, and this increase is gradually amplified by ‘hand-to-hand combat’.]

[Cooldown: 3 minutes]

‘A skill that temporarily makes me stronger, huh…

Seems like a useful technique.

Above all, I like that it’s a ‘growth-type’ skill that grows stronger as I do.’

And then there’s one more.

[Avatar of Power, Strang]

“What is this…”

I mumbled, looking at the small stone in my hand, and Kinggram, seemingly in the know, nodded his head in agreement.

“Seems like you’ve received a quest reward. Draka used to speak into the void just like that.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, let’s see.”

Kinggram, lifting his hefty body, came closer to inspect.

He gazed at the small stone, murmuring,

“Hmm, this is Strang.”

He was right.

The elemental spirit Strang.

I asked Kinggram urgently.

“Do you know what this is?”

“An object? That’s not an object. It’s an ‘avatar’. Impossible not to know him, considering he was always by Draka’s side. Judging by its current form, it seems Draka has been reincarnated into an elemental stone upon his death.”

An avatar, really?

What is that?

But, based on the term ‘elemental stone’, I could conjecture that it’s similar to an elemental spirit.

Elementals…

Elementals are originally sacred beings, and meeting those who deal with them is rare.

I’ve heard that there are spiritual beings who handle elementals in the northern forest.

They are called elementalists.

These elementals are fundamentally rooted in the four natural elements of magic.

However,

“This one is an Avatar of Power. It is often referred to as an elemental, but it is quite different from the typical elementals. A very ill-tempered one, always demanding immense power from Draka. But, if you satisfy its desires, it promises you endless strength.”

‘A power’ and not one of the four elements. An ‘avatar’, not an elemental.

It implies something that embodies the fundamental material of power.

I had never heard of such an entity.

‘Well.. my own abilities are unusual as well.’

Of course, given what I’ve experienced, I wasn’t shocked.

I asked Kinggram,

“Will an avatar be born from this stone?”

“Yes. Usually, avatars won’t reveal themselves anyone but their master, but revealing itself like this means it recognizes you as its master.”

“What should I do?”

“Don’t be so impatient, it will awaken soon. It has found its mother’s embrace.”

Turns out Kinggram was right.

When I clenched the stone tightly in my hand, it suddenly cracked and began to split.

Inside the split rock was…

“…a bear?”

There was a bear.

Of course, it was unnatural in many ways to say it was small enough to rest on the palm of my hand, but the way it rubbed its little hands on its face right after birth was unmistakably that of a cute baby bear.

However, ‘Strang’ seemed displeased with being called a bear and with a glare in his eyes protested,

“Don’t call me a bear, will you?”

“…The bear talks.”

A bear that talks?

Well, if there are Ogres that talk I guess it’s not that surprising.

“Not a bear!”

As I stared at Strang with a dumbfounded expression, Strang kicked off my palm, stood upright, placed his hands on his waist and declared with as much dignity as he could muster,

“I’m an avatar that isn’t bound by form. If I wish, I could become anything. Behold!”

Confidently, Strang bulged his eyes with force!

But nothing changed.

“Uh, what? This is strange…”

The only change was Strang’s face turning red with embarrassment.

“Pfft.”

“Don’t laugh!”

His cute reaction made me chuckle, and Strang spoke with a shaky voice,

“It’s because… I’ve just been born and I’m starving. Give me food!”

“Food? What do you eat?”

“Your strength.”

“My strength?”

The Avatar of Power, Strang.

He grows by feeding on my ‘strength’.

Day by day, as I gain strength from quests, we will grow together, and as I become stronger, he, too, will regain his power.

But…

After scanning my body, Strang inflated his cheeks in apparent disappointment,

“Why is this master so weak?”

“…Master? Me?”

“Yes! Master! The previous one, Draka, was incredibly strong. Of course, he wasn’t strong from the beginning… Anyway, if you want my help, it’s better to focus on becoming stronger. I disdain a weak master.”

Whining about how weak I am, how he dislikes the weak. But somehow, I couldn’t help but smile.

‘I’m the master, huh…

I need to train hard from now on for this guy’s sake.’

Though the term ‘master’ was less fitting than ‘symbiote’, the exact name didn’t matter.

“As I grow stronger, so will you.”

As long as I can become stronger,

I don’t mind how I’m addressed.

“I’m so sleepy right now. Need a little sleep. Wake me up when it’s time to eat.”

Strang said something about needing a lot of sleep when you’re a baby and promptly sprawled over my shoulder and swiftly fell asleep.

I looked at Kinggram and burst out laughing, amused.

It seemed Kinggram felt the same.

“Haha, still has the same willful character after thousands of years.”

Kinggram sounded nostalgic, showing a smile I would never imagine in the testing grounds.

A laughing Ogre.

Still hard to get used to.

After a while, Kinggram and I just looked at the soundly sleeping Strang, and then he spoke up.

“Seeing you takes me back, to the memories of old. To my former homeland, the Skyhorn Tribe, where I encountered Draka.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes. Luin Ardel. The little destroyer who inherits Draka’s will. What do you plan to do from here?”

“What do you mean?”

“That power you hold will surely help you grow, but it may also lead you astray. And you might even be consumed by it.”

I knew it.

At the end of this path may lie destruction.

Like Draka’s.

“If you grow stronger, what will you do?”

I took a deep breath before answering the question.

The reason I wanted to become stronger,

the reason I wanted to be a mage, lies within the Ardel territory.

The desire to protect my territory from the danger of the Demon race.

The hope to become a great mage so that my people could live even slightly more prosperously.

To raise the name ‘Ardel,’ a name unknown to anyone.

The desire to properly show those fat pigs who disregarded and despised the name ‘Ardel’ what my name stands for.

Yes.

For now, let’s just focus on that.

The future beyond that is not something to fear enough to give up the opportunity that has come knocking.

No need to fear.

No reason to refuse.

I looked at Kinggram with determined eyes.

“I am not Draka.”

“Hmm?”

“I will live by my own will. For my people. For my family. And for me.”

“If there’s one thing I promise you, I won’t be consumed by power like Draka was. That’s all for now.”

“…Hmm.”

Perhaps satisfied with my answer, Kinggram smiled faintly and inquired,

“Little destroyer, aren’t you curious why I asked you to choose between 0 points and 100?”

“I am curious.”

“From the lofty perspective of human mages, your magic might seem like nonsense. But.”

Kinggram grinned mysteriously.

“To me, it was the most sublime magic.”

An Ogre who worships power.

Above all, even after such a long time, the magic of Kinggram’s ‘teacher’ Draka must have seemed like the greatest spell.

An ancient Ogre who has lived for thousands of years,

Kinggram.

I had given this living piece of history a glimpse of long-lost memories.

And…

“I look forward to your future exploits.”

I planted a seed of anticipation for the eternal time that will continue to flow ever on.

In return, Kinggram had quenched my thirst for curiosity.

This must have been a necessary encounter for both Kinggram and me today.

“Thank you.”

Returning my thanks, Kinggram began to walk back into the robust Paratium statue where he resided.

It was his turn to fall back into slumber.

“Although Draka was consumed by his own power… Little destroyer, take pride. He was a being stronger than any other.”

And with that, Kinggram merged back into the statue and flickered his eyes shut, succumbing to his eternal rest.

I bowed my head to Kinggram and then turned my back.

‘A pride in power.’

For the first time, I committed to the now tangible presence of Draka.

‘I’ll show you.’

This power you’ve passed on to me.

I will definitely show you.

As I left the artifact room, Professor Heidel waited at the entrance.

Strang was fast asleep on my shoulder, but the professor seemed not to notice.

All the professor did was ask in a neutral tone,

“Have you finished your business?”

“Yes.”

“Then go back.”

Professor Heidel, who could have been curious about my conversation with Kinggram, did not ask about it.

The reason was simple.

A mage has the right to keep secrets.

He silently walked the corridors for a long while before finally stopping in the first-floor hallway to say just one thing,

“Luin Ardel.”

“Yes.”

“I’m looking forward to your next test.”

That was it.

With those words, he turned and disappeared down the corridor.

A rather cold man, in several senses.

“Expectation…

Both Kinggram and Professor Heidel.

Somehow the word ‘expectation’ they have bestowed upon me feels good.

It’s been a long time since I heard it.

Obviously, there’s been no mention of it since I was 10 years old.

Yes.

Many things have changed over the past few months.

I am instilling ‘expectations’ in someone.

And…

“Luin! What did you talk about with that damned Ogre?”

“…Jason?”

“How dare he mix water in my magic? This Ogre deserves nothing but to be fried!”

“Luin! How could you make the class average soar like that? What am I supposed to do with a 7?”

“I got a 3!”

Peers charging at me, wanting to choke me with their boundless concern.

“Can you let go, please?”

“Grinning. To choke the throat of Luin Ardel, the great mage who’s rewriting all records of the Academy. I’m sorry.”

“Stop it.”

“Yes, great mage.”

“Pfft.”

Indeed.

It’s not that bad.

Honestly, academy life has become a bit more enjoyable.

Which, for the past over five years, had felt like ‘prison’, now finally feels a bit…

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