My attack stat… – V10 Chap 315 – Divine Safety

The Forbidden Lands were what some people considered to be the end of the world. From afar, one could see that there was no life at all upon the barren, white surface. The ground that stood out from the adjoining sea waters was as pale as a ghost.

From the safety of a portal, we could follow the boundary as it stretched along the western side of the continent, separated by a wide channel. With the sun setting in the distance, it would seem like anyone could just step foot there to follow it, thinking that there was a whole new continent to explore.

People had tried to go there, only to be met with a grim realization. Death befell those from a single step upon its shores. The bones of animals collected where the water met land, a distinct warning not to trespass.

Some believed that it was possibly the entrance to Hell and the afterlife, but for otherworlders who did not believe in such tall tales, it merely struck our curiosity.

“Instant death, huh… I wonder from what.”

There were many things that could kill a person in a single moment. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been a television show dedicated to detailing a thousand different methods. For a world of magic and gods, the possibilities were even greater.

But given that I was married to a self-made scientist, such a question merely became the spark for a series of trials.

“A series of experiments should clue us in.”

I glanced away from the portal overlooking the boundary to see that Katalina was holding a slime that was wiggling in her arms. Wondering what she was going to use that for, she nonchalantly opened another portal and hurled the thing in.

The slime spiraled through the air a short distance before landing upon the shores of the Forbidden Lands. And with a plop and a cry, its liquid body shriveled up and fell completely flat. From alive to dead, two seconds after landing.

“Death by mana syphoning, it seems. The moment it touched the ground, its mana signature dropped at an abrupt pace.”

Katalina showed me a screen where some steady signals suddenly tanked before completely disappearing. It was obvious what it meant, but I was still curious how it worked.

“I had the slime swallow a device that reads various vitals, and it recorded a sharp decline in mana. And then… well, the device probably broke also, as it relies on mana too.”

“So the land itself is just sucking everything dry upon touch? Eep, that’s not promising. How the hell are we supposed to even get over there then?”

The location of the distress call was deep in that territory, a place that no one could reach. After finding that out, we returned to our homes to ponder what we had learned. A portable gate was placed in the ruins, allowing for us to warp back to Sistina. And also, for a certain Queen to visit and drool over the technology that was before her.

Several days later of scouring the archives for more information, we weren’t any closer to finding a way in. But we had learned that the ruins were part of this world’s ancient past, before some calamity befell it. Records of the people that lived there showed a closed off community, hidden from the rest of the world.

There was no mention of why they lived like vault-dwellers after a fallout, but many of the reports ended with a similar sign off.

“Gods help us. And grant us your mercy.”

This worship for the divine beings extended to that of the so-called ‘Apostles’, who were like the Electi of the past. The Apostle of Mana was the one that the people of the ruins turned to for guidance. He was a central figure, overseeing a community that remained cut off from everything else. And the sole transmission that showed the destruction of a similar place was the only contact they had with the outside world.

It seemed like more answers awaited if we could only make it there.

“I noticed something interesting in the readings,” Katalina said suddenly, drawing me out of my thoughts. “Here, take this and send your mana through it.”

She handed me a Resonance Stone, and as I did as she asked, another stone in her hand started to glow brightly. She pitched the stone into the portal, and it fell toward the Forbidden Lands.

As expected, we watched the Resonance Stone bounce twice before crumbling to dust. Even passing mana continuously to the object didn’t prevent its doom.

Before I could comment in disappointment, Katalina spoke up again.

“Now try it this time with your ‘Ascended’ power.”

I batted an eye at her before realizing where she was going. Taking a deep breath, I called upon the white glow that was the blessed form of the Electi. Replacing the stone in my hand with another, this time, Katalina chucked its pair at the same spot.

The bright white Resonance Stone bounced and rolled upon the ground, still lit. And even after several minutes of staring at it, the stone continued to be fine.

“It can’t absorb divine energy?” I finally asked.

“I’m unable to determine if it’s unable to or if it simply doesn’t do so. In either case, that appears to be how one could survive the trek to some degree.”

“Right. So I just keep myself ‘Ascended’ for how long as I skip through the valley of death?”

“At your speed, it would take nearly two hours to reach your destination.”

“No way!” I backed away, losing focus on my power. We both turned to see the stone she had tossed turn dim and crumble.

“Oh hell, a moment of my power wavering is certain doom? There’s no way I can stay pepped up for that long. This isn’t ‘Hard Four Hours’ we are talking about here!”

Katalina pulled up more holographic screens. It seemed like she really liked the feel of them after she copied how they were done in the ruins.

“Most Electi can only hold the ‘Ascended’ form for about 30 minutes. The amount of divine power that courses through you during that time puts a high amount of strain upon your core. Asking you to sustain it for four times longer is impossible, even if you were able to somehow condition yourselves.”

“And what about… Ludmila? How long would it take her?”

“15 minutes. But you know what that means.”

A high chance of a one-way trip. With no room for error, Ludmila had just enough speed to enter and exit. But that left no time to examine the location of the distress signal. And if she were to stumble upon a set of ruins hidden underground like the one we found, there was no guarantee that she could open it up and explore the thing.

“What other option do we have? We can’t just send a portal over the spot and drop her off there, can we?”

Katalina shook her head. Even without touching the ground, it seemed like the Forbidden Lands stripped enough mana from a moving portal to cancel the magic. And while moving the portal to a higher altitude helped maintain it, none of us could handle a drop from that height.

Only Eryn had the ability to fly by retaining a demonic level of control in her magic, but she didn’t possess the divinity of an Electi.

“There is one person we can count on,” Katalina poked me in the cheek. “I’m surprised that you haven’t mentioned him yet.”


“The Macali King.”


“Don’t you recall who found Miss Faulkner in the air?”

Suddenly, the light bulb in my head lit up.

“OH! The Gun-, I mean, the mobile suit!”

Certainly, I had forgotten all about that point, as I had been so focused on the Electi alone in an Ascended state. Koujiro was able to wrap his energy around the whole machine while keeping it aloft, protecting the entire unit and its inhabitants inside. ‘Champion’s Cowl,’ he called it.

It was obvious who we needed to ask for help next. There was no doubt that Koujiro had rebuilt his ‘toy’ after destroying the previous one. I had a feeling that was the case.

Calling him up, Katalina and I explained the current situation. We could drop the mobile suit right on top of the location, spending the full amount of time exploring the place. And then, Koujiro could easily pilot us back into the air where the mana drain didn’t affect us.

“Oh? Sharing a ride with another guy in a small cockpit isn’t my favorite thing, but I’ll make an exception for you, buddy.” Koujiro sounded amused by the plan. “But you’re going to have to come alone. There’s not enough space for another.”

“Well, that won’t be good. How are we supposed to figure out anything by ourselves? I’m sure that everyone else would want to check it out as well. Even more so now that we all seem to play some part in this world’s past.”

Certainly, Koujiro was itching to do some exploring himself. He wasn’t able to last time because of his duties, but now, he had the perfect excuse.”

“Can you not activate the ruins, like you did for the other site?” Katalina interjected. “The same divine energy appears to power the ruins in Purnesia, so there is a chance that by doing so, it will blanket the area with a protective barrier.”

“Ah, then maybe we can sustain a portal there?”

“Exactly. I’ve trained you well.” Katalina smiled, giving me a kiss on the cheek.

With that settled, a trip to Macali was the next thing on the agenda. I was ready to get away again, having been occupied with the work of royalty the entire time after I came back, doing Katalina’s portion as well while she analyzed the ruins.

The thought of a break in the Southern Isles, followed by a ride in a mobile suit, got my blood pumping.

“Don’t have too much fun without me.” Katalina flicked my forehead playfully. She could see the enthusiasm bubbling on my face. “That quivering lip tells me that you just can’t wait to portal over there.”

“Oh? Do you have a reason for me to hold off?”

Katalina reached up and clutched my head, her lips brushing next to my ear.

“Maybe. Don’t you want to follow me and find out?” she whispered seductively, trying to play innocent.

I had the sudden urge to tease her. My lips slid along her neck, where I chomped playfully at it.

“Eep!” she let out a cry, pushing me away while taking a few sharp breaths.

“What, you don’t like?” I grinned devilishly.

“You know that your Critical affects me there in the strangest of ways!”

“Then… you don’t want anymore? I guess I’ll be off then-”

Before I could turn away fully, I felt a tug on my wrist. A look of satisfaction filled my cheeks as I turned back to her.

“J-Just, don’t leave any marks, okay? I still have to attend to audiences.”

“Nothing that a little healing magic won’t cure,” I said, sweeping her up and carrying her out of the room. There was no resisting her playful mood when it got like this. Skimpy clothing and mobile suits instantly left my mind as Katalina was what my attention was devoted to.

And if she wanted something, I wouldn’t hesitate to kick all else aside to be with her. The joy ride could wait another day.

The mysteries of the past and the futuristic technology. The divine beings and the Apostles that resembled us. The very secret of the world paled in comparison to what was before me.

It could wait until tomorrow.

My attack stat… – V10 Chap 314 - The Past is the Future (2)
My attack stat… – V10 Chap 316 - A ‘Mobile’ Solution