Once I was done carving Mana Vision into my left eye, I rested. I leaned against the cold stone wall and listened to the cave noises that tickled my ears every now and then.

”There are beasts within the darkness, that is for sure. ” I smiled helplessly to myself. If a beast suddenly decided to wander towards me…

I shuddered. I did not want to die early.

Unconsciously, I scooched closer to the mouth of the cave. Here, I was safe from the cold winds outside and the deep darkness of the cavernous depths.

That was when I suddenly heard footsteps falling and sliding on the mountains gravelly path. It moved closer to me, as did the light of the torch I had only noticed now.

I was still getting used to differentiating between the light of mana and the typical light of flames. They were two very different colours, yes, but in the darkness of the night, the mana everywhere was bright.

Mana eclipsed the brilliance of all things.

I had to adjust the output of my Mana Vision by tampering with the mana program carved into my eyes. It took several moments, but I eventually figured it out.

Just as the person holding the torch arrived before me.

Dirty blonde hair framed this persons face. Blue eyes sparkled with the dancing flame. Daggers aplenty hung by their waist, and sharp, deadly undertones laced their knightly expression.

I instantly knew who this person was.

It was Seth De Zero, one of Virions guards.

I watched as Seths hands drifted towards one of their daggers as they held their torch.

”Who are you? ” Seth asked, with a tone filled with suspicion.

I squinted. It was a good thing that I took off my cloak earlier. The insignia and style of the cloak would have surely given light to the fact that I was of the Luster Mountain Bandits.

Seth would have instantly figured out that I was a part of those who had attacked them. And then I would be dead in the next moment. As simple as that.

”Caelum Phricius, ” I announced this bodys name, similarly displaying wariness by placing a hand on the dagger at my waist.

Two rogues were facing off in the darkness of the night. That was reality, but I was familiar with Seths character.

”Whats yours, knight? ” I put stress on the word [ knight ], expecting a pleasant reaction.

And indeed, as I watched, Seths expression eased ever so slightly upon hearing me address them as a knight.

”You can call me Seth. Seth De Zero. ”

I nodded. I already knew, of course, but Seth did not have to know that.

”A foreigner? What brings you here to these mountains? ” I feigned ignorance of what had transpired hours earlier. I had to make conversation. Seem like a friend.

Seth frowned, ”We encountered bandits who blew up our vehicle… Is there a town near here? ”

”Yes, there is. ” I let go of the dagger at my waist and pointed south. More memories were flowing into my mind without me asking for them, ”Head south until you come across a river. Then head west while following it until you reach the base of the mountain. Theres no road, but it is a shorter hike. ”

I added, ”I can guide you… For a price, of course. ”

Seth shook their head, ”Theres no need. ”

They then produced a wad of cash from one of their pockets. They offered me 5G, which was good enough for a nights stay at an inn.

”Is there anything else I should know? ”

I grinned. Seth was as smart as I wrote them to be, ”Don wander too close to the river. Crocodiles linger just beneath the surface. If you stay within the shade of the trees, then you should be more or less safe. ”

I gestured with my hands as I continued, ”Mountain lions have a distinct scent, and they cover their territory in it by rubbing their bodies onto the trees, the grass, and the soil. If you suddenly sense a drastic change in smell, its best you circle around that area at all costs. ”

Seth nodded and handed me another wad of cash. I was another 10G richer.

”You have my thanks, Caelum Phricius. The Sol family will remember your aid. ”

It was then,

Through my enhanced vision, I noticed a shift in the atmosphere. A great amount of mana was coalescing at a certain point in the distance.

I instinctively backed away, making Seth worried.

”Is there something wrong? ”

”Its best you leave this area immediately, ” I advised, before turning around to flee as fast as possible. ”Goodbye! ”

”Oi— What do you mean by that—?! ” I heard Seths voice as they tried to catch up to me.


A howl pierced the air.


And an earth-shaking roar soon followed after.

A battle between beasts was ongoing and I wanted none of that.

Seth realised what was happening and ceased chasing me in an instant. They turned around and headed back, likely to where Virion and the others were.

I, on the other hand, continued downhill, following my own advice and rushing towards the river.

I could hear the roars and howls of the two beasts in the distance, sending chills up my spine. Mana kept flowing towards those two without rest. Lightning lit up the sky in flashes and thunder boomed right after every strike.

I wasn ready to fight beasts. Not now, not yet.

I did not even have a proper weapon to wield. This rusted dagger was basically a metal rod.

Adrenaline surged through me as I ran, with nothing but the guidance of mana bringing me forward and through the darkness.

After all, everything had mana and interacted with it. Mana clung to the leaves and trunks of trees or lingered above the ground as a blanket.

Some strips of mana behaved like the wind, winding through open spaces and flowing freely like the sea. These strips of mana were the main elements that guided me forward and kept me from tripping on vines and stones or bumping into things.

It worked almost as beautifully as Dark Vision.

I was now very much thankful that I had been given Mana Vision as my first spell. Without it, I might have been trapped in that gloomy cave for an unknown amount of time.

It usually took days for beasts of this calibre to finish their brawls, after all.

”Another event that I don remember adding, ” I pursed my lips and sighed.

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