Chapter 493 – Cursed Original Magic
“Ursula, your magic isn’t a curse. It’s most likely an original magic which has a strong drain effect.”
I came to that conclusion after hearing her story.
Sure, it would seem like a curse as it can put dozens of people into comatose state or even reduce a monster like doltos to its bones but… If it were such a strong curse, it would definitely have an immense grudge with it.
I am painfully aware that the true nature of the curse, the core of it—”grudge”, is ridiculously self-assertive, thanks to all the cursed weapons I’ve dealt with so far. That’s right, curses are originally the power of a wish, intense enough to easily turn the possessor insane.
However, Ursula did not hear the curse’s voice or touch its wish—in other words, this proves that her power isn’t from a grudge from someone, it’s her own.
That said, one can’t always completely master a power just because they’re born with it. To put it simply, similar to Fiona, Ursula also can’t properly control her magic.
“And so, to get accustomed to your power, it’s best to actually use it. Now then, Ursula, unleash your power at its max potential.”
Ursula looked dumbfounded with no sign of eagerness—or rather, it seemed like she didn’t even follow along. Hmm, I guess no matter how smart she may be, something like magic theory can still be hard.
“That will, probably… be very dangerous.”
“And that’s why we’ve come all the way here, where there’s no one around.”
We had come hundreds of meters away from the village to a vast snow field with only the highway close by. Even if someone were to pass by the highway, we would notice it right away and if monsters come out from the surrounding trees, we have enough space here to do something about it.
For what it matters, I did talk to Randolph about it. Besides, the village is busy dealing with the aftermath of the war with the goblins so there’s no chance they would come all the way here.
After our talk at the church, I decided to bring Ursula here as I thought it’d be best to strike while the iron is hot.
“But, Kuroe will…”
“I’ll be fine. I’m strong against curses, you see.”
“But you said it isn’t a curse.”
“Well, whether it’s a curse or an original magic, I would have to forcibly hold it down so it isn’t really much of a difference.”
That is because I am relying on “Blackening”.
One can strengthen materials or control curses by enchanting black magic. I also trained my favorite horse Merry in the same way
She has become an undead nightmare now but even when she was alive (?), I was able to get in sync with her by pouring mana. So much so that I was able to break through the monster encirclement with Nell and reach the Iskia fortress despite being a horse-riding novice.
“Ursula, I will help you hold the power down. Don’t worry.”
I gently put my hands on her delicate shoulders. Standing in front of her like this makes me realize anew that she still is just a little girl.
It doesn’t feel like she is hiding such immense magical power within her.
“Is it your first time using the power at its max?”
“….Yes. Even I, don’t know, what will happen…”
“It’s fine, it’ll definitely go well. Can you trust me?”
To Ursula, my words might seem completely baseless and in fact, I, myself, am not sure if it’ll really work well.
Even then, I strongly believe that it wouldn’t be wise to have Ursula stay like this. From the Crusaders’ point of view, her power would truly look like a “curse”.
However, that doesn’t make it alright to execute her in the name of exorcism and she shouldn’t have to live in fear of a power she doesn’t understand herself—such a fate is just too cruel.
In short, it’ll all work out if she is able to control her powers.
At the very least, if she is able to control it, she can perfectly keep it hidden. She won’t have to be anxious about accidentally revealing it one day and can live peacefully without worries.
She could even pursue the path of an adventurer with this power. In this world, having strength is welcomed by all means. Even for pure self-defense, such a power has immeasurable value.
Like so, there are many merits for her but at the end of the day, I just want to help get rid of her worries and that’s the biggest reason behind doing this.
“Yes, I will trust Kuroe—”
It looks like she finally resolved herself. The change soon arrived as she closed her large blue eyes.
The white mist slowly gushed forth as steam, making her silver twin tails waver in the air. The pure white steam slowly got denser by the passing moment.
Ursula was wearing her usual nun trainee garments. The mist just endlessly overflowed from the hem of her long sleeve.
And before I realized, my vision was completely blurred by the mist to the extent that I could only barely see Ursula’s face despite being at arm’s length.
And then I felt it, with my whole body. Yeah, there’s no doubt—this is a drain magic which forcibly sucks out your mana.
Long ago, while fighting a guy called Kipros from White Mask, I was hit with an intense drain from his servant snake. This feels exactly the same as back then.
If I recall correctly, it was called “Crime Eater” and was developed specifically to safely restrain the human subjects which could control the black mana. And as one would expect from an exclusive servant, its drain was overwhelmingly stronger than this. It drained at a rate which would suck my mana dry within minutes—and in fact, my mana did hit rock bottom then.
While being completely covered by the mist as Reki had been at that time, I still didn’t feel like the drain was at a dangerous level. It could very well be that my mana increased from back then and that’s why I have such a leeway too.
If that’s the case, then considering how Reki was the only one standing when Ursula used this at the orphanage and she wasn’t weakened from it today as well, it implies that Reki also has high mana—or rather, she has higher vitality than your average person.
Sensing the drain slowly increase in power, I activated my black magic.
I’m using it a bit differently than normal this time around.
While pouring mana to Ursula through my hand on her shoulder, I also defended myself from the drain and released the mana from my body. From a distance, it would look like a dark aura is emitting from my body.
Although I am still exhausting my mana as a result, it still makes a great difference in the amount of consumption. It was like offsetting the drain by hitting it with a certain amount of mana.
However, this is only possible as the amount of mana I am releasing and the drain power is not much different. I can’t expect much from this defense when her drain strength increases from hereon. And there’s no doubt that this won’t hold up against the drain strength which reduced the doltos to its bones.
Well, I am pouring mana to Ursula herself so that she can control it and it doesn’t get to that point, of course.
“What is it, Ursula? Does it hurt?”
With her eyes still firmly shut, Ursula muttered as a cold sweat flowed down her forehead.
“I-I can’t… hold it back… anymore….”
“You don’t need to forcibly hold it back. Let it out as much as you can.”
I could feel my black mana slowly cover Ursula’s body.
Mana isn’t something you can just easily give to someone. As such, I can’t just have Ursula suck in the black mana I am pouring in her as is.
It was more like covering her body’s surface with the blackening. This is based on the theory that by covering her body with my black mana, I can help control and adjust her powers.
That said, this is only possible when I overwhelmingly overclass the other party in terms of mana, just like how I control the cursed weapons.
I chose this method because I had confidence in being able to suppress it with my vast mana amount but—
“I am sorry, Kuroe… I-I…. I want it.”
And just then, Ursula opened her eyes wide. I felt a chill run down my spine the moment our eyes met.
In place of her round blue eyes were bloodshot white eyes giving off a venomous purple glow like that of a hydra.
The glint in her eye somewhat resembled Fiona’s demonized form. These aren’t the eyes of a normal human being. I may have awakened something way more sinister than I thought.
The white mist suddenly erupted with the momentum of a tornado and took my body off the ground. The mist coming out from the hem of her sleeve entangled my feet and a strong updraft of the mist blew the very next moment.
I cut off the blackening immediately and let go of her shoulders and chose to be blown away by the mist. That is because my instinct strongly told me that it would be safer to assume some distance for the time being.
After being blown up 5 meters into the sky, I started falling from the sky due to gravity. As the mist didn’t come with a follow up attack, I was able to safely land.
When I looked back towards Ursula again, her “curse” had taken its true form.
“Wh-what is that…?”
A white human figure floated above Ursula like a ghost.
It was quite big as well. As Ursula wasn’t even 150cms tall yet and it was about twice her size, it was probably almost 3 meters tall. This white human figure is undoubtedly made by the mist thickening to form the shape.
The silhouette looked to be wearing a pure white robe. The reason why I can say that it’s a human figure is because the shoulder lines and the head portion was clearly visible.
It had the face of a woman. And while one could tell that it was a beautiful face from the facial structure, it looked more like a plaster figure than an actual living woman. It wouldn’t feel off even if it was placed in an art gallery.
However, it was clear from the two horns coming out of its head that this thing wasn’t modeled from a human woman. It looked exactly like a Noh mask with horns.
“Ursula! Are you alright?! Get a hold of yourself!”
Ursula reacted to my voice and looked towards me with bloodshot eyes which were giving off a purple glow.
“Fu, fu… fufu, ufufufu….”
She laughed as her eyes turned more demonic.
Ah, this looks extremely bad. It seems she has lost her senses.
“Ursula, get a hold of yourself. Do you recognize me?”
“Fufu, Kuroe… I do… Ufufu, Kuroe, tasty…”
She licked her lips bewitchingly, unbefitting of such a little girl.
And before I realized, the mist had flowed all the way to my feet and was slowly but surely sucking away my black mana.
“Kuroe, let me have you.”
The mist started gaining momentum again, giving off a sharp windy sound along with the girl’s high pitched voice.
As Ursula extended her hand towards me, the ghost behind her also mimicked her behavior.
The ghost’s pure white hand underneath the robe came rushing in with intense speed. It wasn’t like the hand stretched out like rubber—rather the middle portion thinned out like lingering white mist. Sort of like a rocket punch.
The hand magnified and spread out to grasp me. Taking this head on would be dangerous, no matter how I look at it. I can tell just from my instincts that this hand’s draining strength wouldn’t be any inferior to that time when she drained the doltos.
I thought I had dodged it with ease but despite that, I felt a large portion of my mana get sucked out immediately. And in fact, I could even see my mana pouring out towards the hand clearly so there’s no mistaking it.
This is a bit—no, very problematic. This drain has reached the “Crime Eater” level already.
“Fufu, kufufu… Kuroe, Kuroee—”
Ursula extended her other hand too this time.
And now, two big misty hands were drawing in on me.
“Ghh, Grenade Burst—!”
I was forced to resort to attacking it as the hands drew ever closer with immense draining power. I can’t hope to endure this situation by dodging alone.
Of course, I am only aiming for the mist’s hands. There’s no way I would hit Ursula herself. No matter how dangerous it may get, I can’t let her get a single scratch from this.
That’s the least I can do as an adult. Well, I am still only 17 years old, though.
“As I thought, it only works as a stopgap measure, huh?”
The Grenade Burst I launched hit the fists accurately and the burst of black and red flames dispersed the misty hands which only looked pretty on the outside.
That said, there was no sign of damage dealt nor did it feel like the ghost used any mana. The dispersed hands soon weaved back to its original state in no time.
It just reformed like that—in fact, its form in itself probably doesn’t hold much value. Ursula’s power is all of the enveloping mist in the area. This ghost just looks like a woman merely as an illusion and the extent of her drain power is the aggregate amount of the mist she can produce.
“I-I want it, I want it more… Hey, Kuroe…”
She looked happier than ever—or rather, she looked more like she was in a trance as she extended her hand even further demanding for my mana.
“Alright, very well then, Ursula.”
The easiest way to get over this predicament would be to kill Ursula. But of course, such an action would very well be like putting the cart before the horse and I’m not going to do it.
Then, the next option would be to knock her out. It may hurt a bit but the damage to her body would be minimal. However, I am not going to do this either.
To begin with, I was the one who told her to unleash her full potential.
And while her power was more than I expected, this situation is similar to the one I wanted to bring forth. I took this drastic measure with her going berserk in consideration.
“I will give it you, until you’re satisfied—”
Now then, with my resolve firm, I shall accompany Ursula till my mana runs dry.
The sun had already set by the time we returned to the church. I entered, gasping for breath, barely returning alive with my dear life.
“Heyy, welcome bac—Uwahh, Kuroe, you look pale?!”
Reki being surprised was also only normal. I was extremely low on mana as Ursula almost drained it all.
“I’m fine—I’ll be fine after a good night’s rest. If possible, I would like to have dinner right away.”
“Alright! Food’s already ready!”
To be honest, I felt like going straight to bed but if I don’t have a good meal, I won’t be recovering well. And so I did my best to eat properly. Besides, Reki went to the trouble to prepare dinner. I’d surely be punished by the heavens if I were to let it go to waste.
“Uru, are you doing good?”
“Mm… I-I’m fine…”
Ursula replied in a not-so-fine manner and hid behind me like a shy kid.
I am well aware that her hidden face was dyed red by now.
“Uru? What happened?”
“I-I’m fine, really…”
“Kuroe, what happened to Uru? She looks veery suspicious!”
“Ah, that’s ‘cause she drained quite a lot of mana for the first time so she is feeling—”
“No, she is too well, in fact. It’s like she has overflowing mana in her—she’ll also be fine after a good rest.”
That’s the only reason I can think of for now. Back when I asked Fiona about what would happen if someone were to drink a mana potion when they already have plenty of mana, she said it would make them feel hot inside and they wouldn’t be able to stay still—just like how Ursula is right now. She also recommended not to consume any mana potions before battle as it may lead to a decrease in concentration. And in fact, I also haven’t seen any of the adventurers do so either.
Although I gave her such an appropriate answer, Reki seemed sort of discontent as she just said “Mmm” and left for the kitchen with a doubtful expression.
Maybe Reki can’t relate as she isn’t a magician type.
“Ursula, what will you do for dinner?”
“….I’ll just sleep, for today.”
She has a stomach full of black mana so it probably won’t be a problem if she skipped a meal.
“I see, good night.”
Ursula looked awfully fidgety as she went for her room.
Of course, her eyes had returned to their original blue color long ago. It had returned the moment her original magic was undone. As I thought, it is related to her power.
Parting with Ursula, I headed towards the dining hall from where the usual bean soup’s scent was drifting.
“Welcome back, brother.”
“I’m back, Yuri.”
I found Sariel waiting at the table in the dining hall and so we exchanged greetings with our usual barefaced acting. Before I realized, I had gotten used to being called brother by her.
“Were you waiting for us to return?”
While asking that, I took my usual seat beside Sariel. Dinner was yet to be presented on the table.
“You could’ve eaten before us, you know.”
Although, I didn’t think it would take this long either. I should tell them to have dinner if we’re late from tomorrow.
“You have used up quite a lot of mana. It can be assumed that Ursula’s original was stronger than expected.”
“Do I look that bad?”
“In terms of outward appearance, you look pale. However, my 6th sense is accurately perceiving a decrease in mana.”
“As expected of you.”
Seems like her sharp 6th sense is doing well. She could easily take hold of this weakness, how terrifying.
“As you said, Ursula’s strength was more than I expected. To think it was that high—”
“Do you regret it?”
“No way. I am glad I could know of it while I am here.”
A normal magician wouldn’t have been able to stop Ursula at all. I can easily tell that the situation would have escalated to the point she would be brought to execution grounds.
“Ursula’s ability is ‘drain’, as I had guessed. However, it is strong enough to give off a woman’s illusion with the mist. On top of that, Ursula loses her senses if she unleashes all of her power.”
“A common phenomenon when using a strong original magic. It can be analyzed that the one using it would feel a sense of omnipotence and extreme excitement in such a state.”
And so it’s only natural that such a power can turn a doltos to ash within moments.
My current strength is something I basically acquired from the hellish human experiments. Maybe because I have endured unbearable pain that I can withstand being possessed by the overwhelming strength.
I would have probably let it go to my head if I acquired such superhuman powers right after arriving in this world, thinking that I have been chosen or something.
“It felt like Ursula wanted to have more of my mana. She said it was tasty.”
“One of the reasons why drain magic is forbidden in Sinclair is that while using it, the user may feel intense pleasure.”
“O-oi, wait a minute, I haven’t heard anything about that.”
As always, being honest to a fault, Sariel apologized right away. Now that I think about it, I took Ursula there right away after the discussion and didn’t ask for Sariel’s opinion even though she was there too.
It was completely my mistake.
“Then, what does this mean? Does the drain ability have some sort of a drug-like side effect?”
“Yes. I have heard that the ones who acquired drain magic couldn’t help but try and drain all the mana around them.”
“If so, then Ursula is—!”
“She is equipped with resistance. If she didn’t have resistance to it, she would have gone berserk after the first incident and repeated the same crime.”
“S-so you’re saying some are immune to it?”
“The ones who are more likely to get addicted to it are those who do not have the drain ability originally. As an original magic, that control is built into their instincts. They won’t feel excess pleasure.”
“I see… you didn’t stop me ‘cause you knew that, huh?”
“I also agree that being able to control the power would help Ursula.”
Sariel was probably thinking best of Ursula as well as she got close to her recently. I don’t want to think it’s all just a surface level acting on her part.
“But I’ll still ask Ursula about it tomorrow, for what it matters. From what it looked like, she just couldn’t rest easy with all that mana but there’s still a chance for the unlikely to happen.”
After all, in the end, I am just an amateur.
“Well, do you have any idea about her abilities then?”
“Yes, drain ability which forms an illusion—that’s one of the divine protections given by the Gods of Evram.”
I have no idea about the history between Sinclair and Evram. However, I assumed an apostle such as Sariel would have some knowledge about it and so I asked and it seems like I was right.
“Is it well-known?”
“It is well-known in Sinclair as one of the strongest ‘curse’ possessed by the cursed king of Evram, Evraham.”
Long story short, it seems this Evraham dude used this immensely strong drain ability to nullify and drain all kinds of magic and used it as his own power. As he just kept taking the opponent’s mana, he wouldn’t run out of mana himself until his opponent does. Isn’t that sort of unrivaled?
“How did you defeat him?”
“It is said that the 2nd apostle Abel took him down alone, using only his sword techniques.”
I guess he does deserve the title of the hero, huh? Not only did he not have magic, his opponent, Evraham could use any kind of magic limitlessly too.
“Anyway, more importantly, do you know anything about how to control or train it?”
“While the ability itself is quite well-known, only a select few starting with Evraham could use it. It is treated as the innermost secret amongst magic between the Evramians and as such, the details are unknown.”
I guessed as much. Either way, guess I’ll have to look for a way as we progress.
“By the way, did the Barbaric King of Barbados also have such a special ability?”
“The Barbaric King Beowulf was immortal.”
“How did you guys defeat him?”
“The 2nd apostle fought him alone for 7 days and 7 nights straight as he kept resurrecting until he turned to bones at last.”
You again, Abel?
That said, he defeated cheat-like ability holders such as the drain ability user Evraham and the immortal Beowulf. On top of that, he also defeated the Dragon Emperor Dragonov so no wonder he’s a legendary hero engraved into history.
Now if only he lived in the legends, it would’ve been the best but… this guy is still active as the 2nd apostle. At the very least, I wouldn’t even be able to compare to him right now.
Just when I felt like I shouldn’t have asked, Sariel suddenly spoke up.
“…Do you think, Ursula will be able to control her original magic?”
Is this her way of changing the topic? No, she probably is concerned about Ursula herself, given their relationship.
“To be honest, I don’t know. That isn’t something which can be controlled by just teaching her a little about magic.”
“The fact that she lost her senses is proof that she was engulfed by her own power. The risk of it affecting her personality is not zero.”
“Haa… I know, right…?”
Does this mean I was naive in thinking I could do something about it?
No, despite that, I was able to see for myself that she possesses such strength. If Ursula wanted to do so, she could very well kill off every single person in this village in one night.
That drain ability is terrifyingly strong as an offensive magic.
If the output is decreased, it can easily drain away the vitality from people without even making them feel any pain. In other words, she could easily put one to eternal sleep while they’re asleep by just enveloping them with the mist.
And in actual battles, she can turn large-scale monsters to ash in an instant—and so she can probably turn a horde of goblins into ash easily as well. And given its characteristics, it’s extremely effective in cutting through defensive magic as well.
Ah, that reminds me, she also said that she could conceal herself in the mist… therefore, she could easily beat her enemy while not showing herself at all.
The more I think about it, the more terrifying this ability sounds.
However, that is exactly why.
“Hey, Yuri, do you think Ursula can lead a peaceful life?”
“There is a possibility.”
“There is a possibility that doesn’t come true as well, then.”
“Yes. Putting away her original drain magic and considering her personality, appearance and current circumstances, there’s a very high possibility that she will be exposed to danger in the future.”
It’s alright for now. No matter how strong a ruffian comes attacking, I can drive them away. Even if the Crusaders come attacking in full force, I can at least escape with her.
However, in less than a month, I will be leaving this village.
If Ursula were to live in this village forever, the dangers that await her are monster raids like the one today. There’s no doubt she can mix in well with the villagers already.
That said, I can’t forget the fact that after I am gone, the church won’t be left to the apprentice sisters like Reki and Ursula.
“So there’s a chance that they’re moved to a different place depending on the next priest, eh…?”
It’s thanks to priest Nicolay that Reki and Ursula are together.
However, I can’t expect the next priest to have a similar outlook on the matter. In fact, the chances of that not happening are higher. After all, it would be someone crossing over the seas to come over here in the Pandora continent. There’s plenty of chance that they’ll be very pious and fundamentalistic.
Who knows how many priests there are in Sinclair who would be kind to Barbadosians and Evramians who follow second-class Gods.
“After all, the Sinclair Republic isn’t a good place for them to live in.”
“That’s right, and that’s exactly why I want Ursula to be able to properly control her powers. So that when push comes to shove, she can at least run away like I did—”
“Kuroe, food’s ready~”
I almost toppled over my chair as Reki suddenly appeared before me, looking at me with reproachful eyes.
“How long are you going to talk? Reki’s soup will go cold.”
Before I realized, the food was already laid out. The usual bean soup and brown bread and an extra item—potatoes and sauté of salted meat.
“A-ahh, sorry, Reki. Let’s dig in.”
I apologized to her and suddenly realized—that Reki’s posture just now is quite dangerous.
She had come crawling up from underneath the table on top of me. She was basically glued on top of me as I was taken aback.
She was wearing a sulken expression and placed her chin on my chest and while doing so, her surprisingly large breast for her age softly landed on my stomach as well. Even through the thick fabric, I could feel her warmth.
“Come on now, get back to your seat.”
“Ah, you could feed Reki too once in a while. Aaahh.”
Goddammit, she’s teasing me because I am always feeding Sariel.
“Stop spouting nonsense and go-back-to-your-seat-already.”
Reki’s face was close enough such that our faces would touch if I lowered mine just a bit. I pinched her both cheeks as I said that. They were soft and reminded me of Lily.
“Kuroe, you cheapskate.”
After fooling around a bit, Reki returned to her seat reluctantly. As one would expect, she did so exactly how she came, from under the table. Stop it with the bad manners now.
“But really, I am sorry for making it so late. Let’s eat.”
Anyhow, like this, I fought with the goblins in the morning and dealt with Ursula in the evening—what an end to such an unexpectedly exhausting day.
May tomorrow be a bit more peaceful. I was tired to the point I prayed like this…
Chapter 493 – Cursed Original Magic