133. Distant memory
The bell rang, signalling the end of the class.
“Umu. That’s all for today. Do you have any questions?” (Eniyunien)
I raise my hand.
“I would like to ask you a few questions. Firstly, what kind of spirit is the Spirit King?” (Arnos)
“Fuufuufuu. The Spirit King is the ruler and protector of Ahartherun the Great Spirit Forest.” (Eniyunien)
“Fumu. What legend was he born from?” (Arnos)
“I can’t tell you that yet as the Spirit King’s situation is complicated. I think you should study the basics first. Now that you’ve graduated, will you continue to take classes?” (Eniyunien)
Since Shin and the others are here there’s no point me leaving.
“Aah, there’s still more to be learnt here. Let me ask about the spiriting away. My subordinates are supposed to have been spirited away. Do you know anything about it?” (Arnos)
“Umu. Those are the ones who have failed their tests after being admitted to this spirit school. They are taken away by the hidden wolf Gennuru to face terrible make-up classes. I say terrible, but don’t worry. As long as they’re diligent, they can usually return here in about five years.” (Eniyunien)
Five years? I can’t wait that long.
“What actually is the spiriting away?” (Arnos)
“What is it, hmmm. The rumours and legends state that they are either hidden at the borders of the world or eaten by Gennuru and hidden in its body. I don’t know the logic behind it but Gennuru can bring them back here when it needs to.” (Eniyunien)
Is it due to the strange properties of spirits due to them being based on rumours and folklore? If that’s the case, it might be hard to get it back by force.
“I heard that if you ask the Spirit King, he can bring back those who have been spirited away?” (Arnos)
“Umu, that’s right. Hidden Wolf Gennuru is the Spirit Kings watchdog. If he gives the order then he will return those taken away.” (Eniyunien)
“Is there any other way to meet the Spirit King other than going through the spirit trials?” (Arnos)
“No. Those are the rules of this school.” (Eniyunien)
And I guess if you break those rules you’ll be punished. How troublesome.
“You said earlier that I need to take a few tests in order to take the spirit trials. What’s the minimum amount of tests I need to take?” (Arnos)
“Three tests are the absolute minimum and you need an average of 80 points across the three tests before you can take the trial.” (Eniyunien)
Three tests? That’s a lot.
“Make it one.” (Arnos)
“Hmm?” Eniyunien lets out a confused voice.
“I don’t have much time so make it once.” (Arnos)
“Umuu. I’ve given you the mark of graduation but the spirit trials are different. They are the only way to get an audience with the spirit king. I do not have the authority to make that decision.” (Eniyunien)
“Then just condense the thee tests into one for me. There shouldn’t be a problem then.” (Arnos)
“Even though they are classed as short tests the number of questions are enormous. I cannot prepare that right away, I’ll need some time. You’ll have to leave for now.” (Eniyunien)
“Fumu. I didn’t think I’d hear that.” (Arnos)
Eniyunien showed interest in my statement.
“…….What do you mean?” (Eniyunien)
“No, its nothing. I just thought it would be easy for a spirit who is also called the Great Tree of Education to do that.” (Arnos)
Eniyunien stares at me but his voice was filled with surprise and unconcealed joy.
Like I thought. If you praise him, he will be motivated.
“Fumu. I thought if you put your mind to it, you could do ten or twenty such tests in a night, but I guess I was wrong. In today’s class, I was convinced that I was in the right place when it came to education.” (Arnos)
The classroom shakes slightly as Eniyunien hesitates.
One more push.
“If it was a teacher at the Demon King Academy it wouldn’t be impossible as they can season their approach with flexibility. I’m not going to push you though, as each school has its own way of doing things.” (Arnos)
I ended my conversation, stood up and headed towards the exit.
As I was about to leave the door slammed shut in front of me.
“Very well. I am the spirit known as the Great Tree of Education. In one way or another I’ll see it done.” (Eniyunien)
“I see. You’ve really saved me.” (Arnos)
“Nevertheless, you have only been here a very short while Demon King Arnos. As such, you have to score 90 points minimum to qualify for the trial. (Eniyunien)
“That’s fine.” (Arnos)
“Then your next class is in two hours. Until then, study hard.” (Eniyunien)
The face disappeared from the large tree by the podium, and gradually the presence of Eniyunien disappeared as well.
The Scarlet Monument King Gilisris lets out a weird laugh and walks towards me.
“Well, well, well, thou has certainly made a big scene. I don’t like the fact that you think you’re so special. It hurts my feelings” (Gilisris) (1)
Gilisris’ gel-like face twists into a glare.
“Even for me, it took one month to challenge the trial of the spirits.” (Gilisris)
“Hou? Looks like you’ve had a hard time. That’s not like you at all.” (Arnos)
“Remembering things is easy but finding those answers you need to remember is one of the characteristics of this school. Don’t think it will be so easy.” (Gilisris)
“Should we bet on it then Scarlet Monument King? After one week of tests all of us will qualify to take the spirit trial.” (Arnos)
Gilisris reacts uncomfortably.
“All of them? Not just thee?” (Gilisris)
“Aah. All of them.” (Arnos)
“Do you think this me will fall behind inferior mazoku?” (Gilisirs)
“What are you saying Scarlet Monument King. Do you think you’re a match for my subordinates?” (Arnos)
Seems like my words offended him as magic circles appear in his eyes and he glares at me in anger.
“Interesting. What are you betting Demon King?” (Gilisris)
So easy. His pride is as high as ever.
“If we all qualify for the spirit trials, I win and you’ll to tell me who the ‘higher-ups’ are that ordered you to do this.” (Arnos)
Gilisris face contorts into a sneer.
“Very well. If I win I’ll have your origin.” (Gilisris)
Fumu. That’s quite the price to pay. Or perhaps not. Is it that you don’t want people to know what’s going on up there?
“It seems you can’t accept my terms. Then I can’t take the bet either.” (Gilisris)
“No, I don’t really care. It’s fine.” (Arnos)
For a moment, Gilisris is lost for words. He probably didn’t expect me to accept with my origin on the line.
“Have you lost your sanity or are you looking down on me?” (Gilisris)
“You set the stakes. Losing your nerve now?” (Arnos)
Gilisris glared at me again.
“Very well. We have a deal. Don’t go regretting it, Demon King.”
He walks past me and leaves the classroom. As he walked past we also signed with each other.
“You guys are the same as ever.” The Dark King Ejes mutters as he also starts to leave the room.
“Don’t you want to bet anything Dark King?” (Arnos)
“Still talking crap as well I see. Have I ever fallen for your taunts?” (Ejes)
“Twice if I remember rightly.” (Arnos)
“And both of those were out of necessity. This situation is different.” (Ejes)
With that Ejes left the room.
Looking around I saw that Jiste had also left. She must have left in the same black mist she arrived in.
“What’s our chances?” (Ray)
“No idea. I’ll think about that now. Taking our time to up our chances of winning won’t bring us any closer to Shin and the others.” (Arnos)
“That may be so, but what are you going to do if you lose? What if they take your origin? You’ll die.” (Sasha)
Sasha stares at me.
“I won’t lose” (Arnos)
“…..That’s not an answer even though losing is a possibility.” (Sasha)
“There’s no point talking about the impossible.” (Arnos)
Sasha pouted at my words.
Misha stares at me with her emotionless eyes.
“Aah. We only have a week.” (Arnos)
“…..I’m bad……..at studying……” Zeshia says with a dejected look on her face.
“It’s fine. I’ll teach Zeshia properly.” Eleonor says while stroking Zeshias head.
Zeshia regained a bit of energy but still seemed down.
“Even if we say self-study what should we do? You’re not familiar with spirits either are you Arnos-kun?” (Eleonor)
“True, but there’s someone who seems to be well informed.” (Arnos)
Everyone looks at where I was looking.
Rina looks back when she realised everyone was looking at her.
“Are you possibly talking about me?” (Rina)
“You’ve guessed the names of spirits that the Scarlet Monument Kings didn’t know. Don’t you know a lot about them?” (Arnos)
Rina cocks her head to one side and thinks about it.
“While I was working as an informant looking for information on Ahartherun, I also looked into the spirits, but I couldn’t actually find that many…….” (Rina)
Makes sense. True rumours about the spirits are not that easy to come across after all. Just because there are rumours and folklore around it doesn’t mean it’s a spirit. You can only find out if it’s a spirit or not if you actually meet the spirit.
Being an informant doesn’t make you a spirit expert.
“Huh? Then how did you know the names of those rare spirits?” (Eleonor)
Rina’s face took on an unhappy expression.
“……. I didn’t know but when I was here I suddenly remembered…….” (Rina)
“Before you lost your memory, you must have known a lot about spirits.” (Eleonor)
“…..Is that so?” (Rina)
“Do you want to find out?” (Arnos)
Rina looks at me curiously.
“I have a few spells that can bring back someone’s memories. It would really help me with my studying if you remembered about the spirits.” (Arnos)
Rina looked at me while lost in thought.
“I don’t think magic will work.” (Rina)
“Why do you say that?” (Arnos)
“I don’t know….but I know……” (Rina)
Fumu. What a strange thing to say.
“……But can I try it? Of course I’ll help you with your studies as I feel like I also need to meet the spirit king……” (Rina)
“You just know again?” (Arnos)
Rina actually looks confident with that statement but there’s no point in me thinking too deeply about it.
“Try to think as little as possible.” (Arnos)
I place my fingertip against Rina’s forehead and draw the formation for Recollection before activating it.
Ideally, I’d have used Time Manipulation together with and reverted her time but since I don’t know where her origin comes from I can’t. However, if it’s just normal memory loss then should be enough.
Rina raises her voice like she’s remembered something and before long flashes and disappears.
“……..I remembered a lot of spirits……” Rina looks unhappy “But I can’t remember anything about myself…….” (Rina)
Fumu. Then its not just amnsesia.
(1) Gilisris randomly uses archaic words at times.