Lord of Arcana – Part 1 – Rebirth of a Monarch
My name is Casta Medora, and I have no idea what or where I am..
I can tell you what I once was.
I was once a simple peasant girl in one of the many villages around the kingdom I called home. We were not wealthy by any means. Some days, we’d have to go without food because there wasn’t simply enough to go around. I really didn’t mind too much. I had a family, a place where I belonged.
That was, until one day, I caught the fancy of the court Wizard, who, with his king, had travelled to our village. He told me he could feel a great power inside me, a proficiency for magic that he had never seen before. After consulting with his king, they had bargained with my family and I was sold to them. I was suddenly this old wizard’s apprentice and I had no say in the matter.
Despite his lecherous glances, I can’t say he treated me badly. He may have made the odd remark about my garments ‘not being revealing enough, but he dared not touch me.. Partly because I had quickly learned spells that could incinerate him in an instant. Nevertheless, he had treated me much like he would his own child. The only exception being he presented me with a sealed visor for my eyes and entructed me never to remove them.
In his passing, I became the new court Wizard. The old king and his son entrusted me with matters that no other member of the court could take on. In fact, I was even the first wizard to be given command over a platoon of knights in case of war, as I had learned the art of weapons and combat through mere observation.
It was only fairly recent, but now it feels so very long ago.
We had received word that a dragon had been attacking village after village within the kingdom. The king had ordered the entire military to go and defeat it within the cave where it had made its layer. I proposed that only I should encounter it. There was something about the power I felt from the area that made me think it was the best option. He reluctantly agreed. I could almost hear the cackling of my former mentor as I set out.
Once I had entered the cave, I had noticed that it had covered the ruins of an ancient structure, possibly a temple. It was filled with monsters, mostly mere goblins, but some were huge, hulking beasts, each guarding the path further inside. I was forced into a side path as one of the the final gate refused to open. Defeating as guardian beast elsewhere, then hit a switch to activate a teleporter to quickly transport back.
Reaching the deepest part of the ruins wasn’t hard, as I was sufficiently armed with powerful fire magic and the best armour and weapons the king could provide. I even took the Dragon King Bahamut with me to be safe. Yet, it was no ordinary dragon I met in the ruins. It was Nidhogg, the Devourer of the World Tree. Even if the entire military were to attack it, they wouldn’t leave a scratch.. and they would just be in my way.
Despite my sealed eyes, I could easily tell where the beast was weakest. The difference in our sizes made a huge difference, as I was much quicker. I kept myself behind it to attack its tail. It got angry as I managed to hack it off. The battle itself prooved long and hard. It was difficult for Nidhogg to hit me and its hide didn’t make hurting it too easy. I had to increase the output of my mana to shred into his his armoured hide.
Realizing the gravity of his situation, he tried escape, limping along as it did. I couldn’t let it leave the cave, so I had continued my assault. I forced it into a desperate fight before I severed his head from his neck. However, as his body began to disintergrate, a spiritual figure clad in fire appeared before me. He was apparently impressed by my accomplisment. He told me I was to inherit his will and with a wave of his hand, I lost consciousness.
Next thing I knew, I found myself in a strange land. Strange yet, somehow familiar. I was in a vast temple, room I was in looked as if it could rival the king’s throneroom. However, the land wasn’t the only thing that has changed. My body itself had undergone a transformation. It was covered in bronze scales, a great bronze tail slinking around my back. My hair now had streaks of white lining the normally pure black strands. I couldn’t see it through the seal, but my sight had improved tremendously. I would give no doubt that my eyes, too, had changed. There was also something else. I had become far weaker.
I was greeted by this strange impfolk named Veddel. They told me I was a new candidate to become Sovereign of this land they called Horodyn. To do so, I have to prove my strength by claiming the Arcana.
This land was apparently named after the first king. He arrived with a great power and conquered it all in just nine days. Was this perhaps the figure that had spoken to me?
I’m told that I have undergone a rebirth. All my accomplishments in the other world had been wiped clean for this one. It showed. I could cast any spells, my gear had been wittled down to just my sword, and it was heavy and hard to wield. I couldn’t even feel the presence of the King of Dragons around me.
Coming out into the town, I was pointed to the Slayer’s Guild, a place for monster hunters apparently. They gave me some basic equipment and I was given a trial to complete in order to fully become a member.
I headed into the forest, which surrounded this village. My task was to slay three Goblins. They weren’t exactly difficult, but it had become quickly apparent how much my strength had waned. Nevertheless, I accomplished my task and was allowed to join the guild. I took full advantage straight away to strengthen my gear.
My next task was to achieve five red stones from the Goblins. Once more, it was a simple task. However, once I had finished, a great power started to flow from the temple. It was calling me.
Touching the pulsating monolith within the circle of nine, I was transported to a desert. Aside from the goblins were also skeletons. An Oasis lay to the right of the path back to town.
Those undead took considerably more effort to fight, but it became a matter of attacking from behind and not getting caught in my own swings.
At the end of the path, I found my challenger, the Fire God, Agni. A beast made of molten rock and a hand that burned like a great inferno.
My ill-preparedness lead to my swift defeat, but after I had properly prepared, I had taken to making that arm my primary target of attack. It became rather annoying that he took a liking to rolling himself into a ball and rolling everywhere. It was easy enough to avoid and he had a tendancy to go over my head when he did it while I was in the middle of my attack.
It was the easiest to avoid when he went to the center of the arena and spiralled outwards, as I just had to wait until he moved outward before taking refuge in the middle. His hardest attacks were actually those he would do while attacking, like swiping with a flame blade from his arm or hitting me with a double punch. At that point, I had to be careful of my attacks and block when necessary.
I took the best opportunity to slash into him while he was open, drawing out several parts and breaking his arm. He was quite angry as a result, but I would just continue as normal, now slashing for his head. It wasn’t long before he was trying to escape. I could show him no mercy. I kept attacking to force him into a desperate situation.
He charged at me, but I slid between his legs and slashed at his back before kicking him. As he came in, I slashed for his body before flying up and come down for a vertical slice. The clash, I used my momentum in the are to swipe away his fist before slashing across his body. The Fire God had fallen, and I had claimed his Core.
Once I returned to the temple, Agni submitted fully to my strength and opened his desert to me. He also offered to help me train. I took the rest of the day to make preparations.
The next day, I took a job to hunt down five skeletons around the desert. Much of the path was now open to me. The skeletons, however, were few and far between. Eventually, after a single round, I made it two the Oasis with three of them taken out. A Goblin mage was protecting the others. I made short work of him and finished the hunt.
Then came a foraging request for five Sand Ripple Roses around the desert. A few spots in the path were inhabited by creatures riding giant monsters. I thought best not to fight them just yet. I had collected three, but the final two were in the Oasis, where one of those creatures patrolled. I tried to fight them for a small time, but retreated when I saw I was clearly not ready. Still, I managed to get the final two roses without it noticing me afterweards.
The temple had called to me once more, but I was not felt fully prepared. Agni had issued a challenge to me once more. I had no idea if he intended to initiate a coup de’ tat, or if he merely wished to test me, as this time, I encountered him aided by two Goblins. Despite his cheating ways, I still proved the victor. It became the same process once the Goblins were out of the picture.
I probably should punish him for using such low tactics, it’s because of his efforts that I was now able to use Fire Magic again.
Now that I was prepared to my satisfaction, I returned to the temple to face my next challenge. I found myself in a cave with a skeleton guarding the path forward. It proved no more difficult than the desert, and my challenger even came to me.
This time I faced the Thunder God, Takemikazuchi, a beast with horns that beat drums to call down thunder and lightning. Those drums were the weakspot here. I quickly took to attacking his back, but he annoyingly had struck me with a bolt that shrunk me.
I kept running around waiting for it to wear off, but to no avail. It was then I was made aware of the ball of light wandering the arena. I struggled to reach it, and then struck. The force of me reclaiming my form had stunned the God, allowing me to attack him and break his drums. It took only a few more hits for me to need to slash into him.
He shrunk me once more, and he had started becoming more viscious with a blade of Thunder, but getting to the orb was more trouble than actually striking it. It wasn’t too much longer before he was trying to get away and I had to force him into a final clash like I had done with Agni.
Like Agni before him, his desperate attacks met with my counters and I finished off by breaking him open before thrusting my sword into him, and with a final swipe upwards, I claimed his Core. Furthermore, much like Agni before him, he submitted to my strength and opened his cave to me.
With the power he granted to me, I gained the ability to cast Thunder Magic once more, and improve myself further. I also had claimed the Darkness Magic of the skeletons.
Training was smoother after that. Between Agni and Takemikazuchi, I was able to become more capable. I wasn’t just reaching my former prowers. I had begun to surpass it.
Two days, two Arcana and two supremely powerful monsters that had submitted to my strength. It was then I started to realize a simple truth about myself. I, myself, am a monster like them. This entire ritual was a battleground for the supreme, and only the strongest can come out on top. A war between monsters, by the law of monsters.
My next opponent will certainly not be easy, and neither will any of the opponents I will face after. I do not take any of them lightly yet, at the same time, I can’t help but look forward to the next big fight.
Casta is now Level 15.
Two-Handed Sword Proficiency reached Lv. 11.
Guild Rank reached Lv. 6.
Darkness Magic reached Lv. 4.
Thunder Magic reached Lv. 6.
Fire Magic reached Lv. 5.
Casta learned Battle Art: Shadowless Prayer.
Casta’s Arcana is now 2.