A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 241

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 241. A Subsurface War (18)



It was terrible.




The peace that had settled over everyone for the past few weeks flew away in a flash.




The sudden appearance of a Level Two Shadow World had blanketed the Hebrion Academy in the heart of Dresden.




Desir stared at the Hebrion Academy as if he could not believe it.




‘How did a Level Two Shadow World already appear?’




The outbreak of the Level One and Two Shadow Worlds were a sign of the impending Shadow Labyrinth. Something like this would mean they would have one or two days to prepare, a fact Desir was all too aware of. However, this was far too ahead of schedule.




The problem they were left with now is what to do about it.





There was still more than a year left before the Shadow Labyrinth should appear, and with the appearance of this early indicator, should he continue assuming the Shadow Labyrinth would appear early too?




It was against the rules in the first place.




The Shadow Worlds had one regularity. Many Shadow Worlds would appear simultaneously, if they were to occur at all, but only once a year.




Desir felt a sense of despair and complexity overwhelm him.




“How did the Shadow World happen so soon!”




Somebody’s cry struck Desir in the ear. The streets of Dresden, where Desir now stood, were bustling with thousands of people.




The students who had lost their bearings so suddenly were confused.





“A Level Two Shadow World?”




“This is impossible!”




The problem wasn’t just when it happened.




The difficulty of the Shadow World that they now found themselves facing was a Level Two.




Everyone except Desir was left perplexed at this rating, something that had not appeared for a long time.




The last time was in Lowellius, the year 3614. No one alive had experienced the perils of a Level Two Shadow World. Of course, there is always an exception. Skull Mask had lived for centuries. He had likely experienced the power of a Level Two.




People looked worried at the advent of such a disaster. They had only ever read about such a thing occurring in their history books.


“We can also clear a Level Two Shadow World… right… ?”




If they failed to clear this, it would consume a portion of the world.




After the rise in the overall strength of mankind due to the publication of the magic crystal enchanting method Zod had developed, mankind had long rid themselves of the feeling of defeat that had traumatized the world for most of the past.




But they had only encountered Shadow Worlds up to the Third Level of strength. In this era of peace, it was unclear just what lay in store for them and just how much they would need to sacrifice in clearing this disaster.




“Calm down, everyone!”




The professors tried to calm the students who had taken to the streets in panic. However, this was anything but an easy task. Rather, the situation worsened as the professors seemed confused by the unexpected situation too.




* * *





With the advent of the Shadow World at the Hebrion Academy, the hotels in Dresden had an unexpected boom in popularity. Unless they failed in their attempt clearing it, the erosion would not proceed immediately. However, many took residence in hotels due to their unease, seemingly calming themselves by surrounding themselves with familiar company.




However, the Starling Party ended up staying in Professor Bridget’s mansion, not in a hotel. Her opinion was that if everyone gathered in chaotic situations like these, they would at least calm down.




It was not easy to find empty rooms among crowded hotels, so everyone readily accepted Professor Bridget’s proposal.




“There’s enough room, so feel free to make yourselves at home. If you need anything, feel free to let me know.”




Bridget took the students to her mansion and hurried back to see if there was anything urgent she could help with. She seemed to be moving to assist with something related to the occurrence of the Shadow World.


“Why did a Level Two suddenly emerge?”




Romantica’s face was uncharacteristically stiff.




“For the last one hundred years, the Shadow Worlds have only had the strength of up to Level Three.”




No one answered. That was because everyone here had the same question as her. They too couldn’t make sense of what was currently happening.




Desir was no exception. He had always offered solutions before anyone else in the party even realized they were in crisis, but this time, he was different. He was just quietly communicating with someone through his communication pad.




When Romantica saw him acting like this, she could feel her anxiety growing even more.




“We’re not going to fail in clearing this… ?”




To Pram’s question, Adjest replied, nodding her head.





“Even if it’s a Level Two Shadow World, mankind has developed beyond comparison to that of one hundred years ago. I’m sure it’s possible for us to complete this.”




As she spoke, Adjest glanced sideways at Desir. He had not yet made eye contact with her since they met up.




She closed her eyes.




Ronde comforted her while thinking that she was concerned about clearing the Shadow World.




“Don’t worry, Sister. It’ll work out somehow!”




At that time, Desir, who had been quiet until now, opened his mouth.




“It’s not that simple.”




Seeing Desir’s rigid expression, the party members noticed


that he had learned something; they sensed that it must be something serious.




“Look at this.”




Desir manipulated the communication pad, producing a holographic map of the continent.




The map was covered in red dots.




Only then did the party members know what Desir had been busy doing. He had been combing the news from all over the continent through all available information networks. He must have been doing this ever since the appearance of the Shadow World.




“Desir, what are those red dots… ?”




“There’s more than one hundred Shadow Worlds of Level Two and above across the continent.”




A sheer silence enveloped the group. There was not even the


sound of a single breath.




The Starling Party members that had scattered all over the mansion began to gather one by one.




Those who were there first explained the map to those who came later, and each time, there was a shocked exclamation.




There were simply too many red dots. It was disorientating having just one happen at the Hebrion Academy, but it seemed hard to believe that they had happened all over the continent. However, they soon saw Desir’s serious expression and were forced to accept reality.




Actually, everyone must have been expecting something like this. They just wanted to look away from such an outcome.




Hebrion Academy attracts people of different nationalities from all over the continent. The Starling Party was no different. They had all been hoping such an abnormality would not occur in their own country, where their families lived.




Romantica clenched her teeth as she looked at the red dots on


Prillecha. Other party members looked at the map in similar manners and hardened their facial expressions.




However, Adjest was analyzing the map from a completely different perspective.




“And the cause of this situation is in Divide.”




All of the party members’ eyes were turned to one side of the map. There was a single country that had no red dots on it.




The Kingdom of Divide.




Despite the numerous Shadow Worlds dotting the entire continent, none of them occurred there. No matter how much information was blocked, they could not hide the powerful detection methods that were employed to locate Shadow Worlds as they appeared. However, the information Desir grasped was clear that there were no Shadow Worlds in Divide.




What were the chances that only Divide could avoid the phenomenon at a time when the Shadow Worlds appeared everywhere else?





It was a strange situation for anyone to see.




Desir speculated that Skull Mask had intentionally brought about the Shadow Worlds. That would explain why Divide had avoided the phenomenon.




He could feel a burning pain in his stomach.




‘Everything’s gone wrong.’




The incident in Divide had caused a sense of uneasiness, but he had pushed it aside as it had not created any immediate consequences of significance. Confronting a common enemy, Divide, the Western Kingdoms had become more united than ever before, and the Hebrion Empire also expressed its willingness to cooperate.




It was a pity for the people of Divide, but sacrifices had to be made for the greater good. They could only suffer the result of allowing Skull Mask to seize control of their country.


But the sudden appearance of Shadow Worlds had put a massive spanner in Desir’s plans.




Romantica expressed doubt at Desir’s conjecture.




“How can he artificially induce Shadow Worlds like this?”




“It’s due to those towers.”




The huge towers that Divide had erected all over its territory. Behind the surface-deep purpose of chimera research and manufacturing, a bigger secret had been concealed. Desir was able to get a glimpse of this secret through Swan’s sacrifice. The basement of the tower they had infiltrated, had been constructed in a fashion similar to what he had seen in homunculus labs. In addition, a huge amount of mana stones had been processed and stockpiled.




“Maybe they’re artificially creating Shadow Worlds using the mana stones they stock there.”




Mana stones were still fundamentally unknown objects whose structure had not yet been fully understood. It was not clear


why they appeared after clearing Shadow Worlds.




In fact, it was only after Zod developed the enchanting method that mana stones could be utilized for the benefit of mankind. Mana stones were most often used to create magic equipment and virtual Shadow Worlds to practice in.




“Skull Mask seemed to know a lot about Shadow Worlds. Maybe what’s happening now is a step beyond simply creating virtual Shadow Worlds with these mana stones. Isn’t that right, Tower Master?”




Desir directed his last sentence at his communication pad.




Desir had apparently been talking to Zod from the beginning.






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