Bob and Chris rode on the horses, while the others, including Locke who was severely injured, sat inside the carriage. Fortunately, it was big enough to fit all of them inside.
“What does the book say?” asked Mina curiously.
Joaquin referred to her notes as she translated the contents of the black magic tome. Casters' notes were extremely personal and precious as most of them would write about their thoughts and the processes of their growth. Some more emotional casters would even describe their feelings in their notes.
That way, they might find out about the low-rank spirit that could speak and even cast Subsonic Blast, which was beyond its strength. However, Angelina and the others couldn’t join in the translation effort as they weren't allowed to read Joaquin's notes. Although the progress was slow, she made steady progress.
“I’ve got it!” Joaquin eventually said. She’d already deciphered a small part of the book, which should be enough to clue them in on its origins. It read:
'In the year 1441 of the Arcanum Calendar, I arrived at the Three Western Isles. As a black caster, to this day, I still don’t know why I tend to use the Arcanum Calendar that is commonly used by non-black casters. Perhaps it’s because we have the same passion for truth-seeking.
'In 1443, I arrived at the leftmost isle of Three Western Isles. The locals call this place the Missia Continent. Although there isn't a lot of mana essence here, this place is good enough for me to carry out my experiments. At least there aren’t any caster hunters here. They’re really annoying.
'It’s 1446, five years since I arrived in Missia. As I managed to avoid being exploited by other powerful black casters and harassed by caster hunters, I’ve made good progress. I’ve been able to extract half of a human’s spirit from their body, though at the cost of some two hundred human lives. 'I need more resources for my experiments. I’m going to the next country. I can’t believe that there’s a Sanctum in Missia as well, it seems like someone has already noticed my existence.
'I’m now in Aomar Empire, the most powerful nation in Missia. Those hypocrites in the Sanctum won’t even guess that I’m right under their noses. can now extract 72% of the spirit. This is great progress for me. I, Clarelia, the great high-rank Lehrling, believe that this is the first step towards the path to become a Magister. If I can fully extract a human spirit, my magic will reach its peak and I’ll be able to become a level-one lifeform on this plane.
'I suppose that this is a memorable day. It’s the year 1450. 83% of the spirit was extracted from the body of Subject 654. My research's progress is slowing down. A high-rank Lehrling has a lifespan of 200 years. I have only 50 years left, so I’m not sure if I will live to see the day I complete my experiment successfully. But I believe that I’m not far from my goal.
'I’m running out of resources again. I have to go to the next location. The number of missing persons in this location has already reached two hundred people. Based on my experience, someone will definitely investigate this matter soon.
'Lipps province? The name reminds me of the Vermilion Bird that is named Lipps as well. It is a type of level-two high-ranked major monster that I’ve come across when I was cultivating in Magion. I don’t need that many resources this month, I just need a dozen more people for my experiment. I’ve moved to the countryside, and although it is remote, I enjoy the atmosphere here. It reminds me of the simple life that I had before I started learning magic. The lord of this village turns out to be a mid-rank Knecht. He is actually quite powerful and good looking. I don’t understand why he hangs out with his inferior colleagues.
'Herr Monki has come to bother me again today. I’m not sure how he knows that I’m a caster, but he’d insisted on dragging me along to investigate the disappearance of the villagers in his territory with him. Should I tell him that the missing persons in his territory are now lying quietly on the operating table in my basement?
'I think I’ve gone crazy. How could I, the ‘Howling Banshee’ of Darville, Magion, actually tag along with a clumsy and foolish mid-rank Knecht to investigate the disappearances in his territory? Hard as it is to admit, I probably yielded because he looked just like that older boy who lived next door when I was young.
'I’ve learned something when I went out with Monki a few days ago. I will stop using Mud Sink to bury the bodies. It causes the miasma to be too strong to the point of attracting minor monsters.
'It’s already been two years, but the progress of the spirit extraction is still at 85%. I’m not sure whether it’s because of Monki that influenced me to stop using innocents for my tests or whether I'm just tired of doing the same experiment over and over again every day without visible progress.
'It was sunny today. I used to hate sunny days, but I don’t know what came over me. I’ve actually agreed to go for a picnic in the outskirts with Monki. He’s a powerful mid-rank Knecht and would make for a good puppet. The old me definitely would've made him mine.
'It’s 1451. It’s been a long time since I last used the Arcanum Calendar to note things down. In the blink of an eye, I've spent two years in Lipps. The progress of my experiment is two times slower compared to previous years’. I guess I should leave this place soon, my subconscious is telling me that I should focus on pursuing magic as my ultimate goal.
'It’s been two days since I’ve left without saying goodbye. I’m not sure if Monki misses this old crone. Well, admittedly, my skin's still silky smooth and luscious, but I’m already 147... Black magic sure is wonderful.
'In order to not lose everything I have right now, I should work hard and become a Magister as soon as possible. This is the ultimate goal that I want to pursue. As for Monki, he’s just a passer-by in my life.
'Damn it! How did Bryce manage to cross the Straits of Banam? Did those people in the Sanctum just allow him, a black caster, to walk into this place? He must be here for his mentor’s notes. Unfortunately for him, I’ve already memorised all the contents on it and I’ve already burned all of them a long time ago.
'It’s been a week since the chase started. Bryce, who used to be my senior, has improved a lot. I’m no match for him. He’s already only one step away from becoming a Magister. The severe injury in my abdomen is making it hard for me to breathe. I think my lungs were ruptured. I should know; I've cut open more corpses than I can count to be an expert on this... Though, his heart has also been struck by my dimensional attack. Although it didn’t kill him, he must be severely injured. But all of this doesn’t matter anymore, I’m dying soon. He'll be able to take my head with a flick of a finger...
'What is that dark figure? It’s Monki. How did he follow me here? I didn't hesitate to ask him to run. He's no match for Bryce. Yet, a miracle happened. It must be one. I didn’t know where I got the strength from, but when I saw that Monki was about to get killed by Bryce, I braced myself for the pain and threw a ball of dark magic at him. When I saw Monki cut off Bryce's head, I knew he was where I belonged. Monki didn’t mind me being a black caster. He doesn’t even know what black magic is. He just came to look for me. I kept my age a secret and married him two weeks after my injuries recovered.
'There weren’t any blessings from my relatives and friends. I only had the support of the people in Monki’s territory. By now, I regret what I’ve done to them. The only thing I can do is to make up for it using my magic.
'I was severely injured and used too much mana in the battle with Bryce. Although my mental power has increased, the mana in my body was completely messed up. I can no longer become a Magister, but it isn't important anymore. Now, I just hope that I can give birth to a child for Monki.
'It’s indeed a miracle. I’m pregnant and Monki is very happy about it. The people in his territory are exempted from paying the tax for half a year. They sure were eager to bless our child.
'In a blink of an eye, another three years have passed. Britney is our one and only gem. Our lovely child suffers from a chronic cough. I suppose that it’s my fault. My lungs are still messed up, and the disorderly mana in my body must have passed on to her.
'Britney’s cough is getting worse. She is now coughing up blood. Based on my calculations, she can probably only live until she’s eight years old. Gosh... she’s just six years old... As Britney got thinner and weaker day by day, Monki grew so worried that his hair turned white. If a high-rank Lehrling like me can't do anything about it, I doubt the quack doctors in the territory can. I suppressed my desire to slaughter and feed those useless doctors to the scavengers and chased them out. I want to save Britney’s life with my own methods. And I got into a huge fight with Monki because of this.
'Britney cried today. It wasn’t because of the pain she’d felt from her illness, but my fight with Monki that made her sad. Monki and I reconciled quickly. I swear that I’ll cure my daughter.'