Leaving Trial and Birth of Arnold
Translated by Tianic
Edited by Jiem
Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Webster & Tennessee: Cohen’s trainers on magic and martial arts.
- Fischer: Cohen’s friend and the prince of the Swabia Empire.
I presented the wooden wand made out of black ivy in front of Webster and Tennessee to prove that I was capable of protecting myself. My father demanded that the minimum requirement needed for me to go alone was to at least win a tie against the both of them.
“Are you intending to fight us with a wand?” Tennessee played with his giant sword and said, “When are you gonna stop making fun of yourself?”
“This ain’t no ordinary wand!” I grinned, “You should know that when you saw my weapon. I don’t even have the Machete!”
Webster squinted, “No ordinary wand? I’ll see how special that wand truly is!”
A fireball appeared in Webster’s palm out of nowhere before it enlarged and instantly appeared near my face. Furthermore, I saw two more dangerous spheres of fire approaching in my peripheral vision.
“Air Shield of Tranquility!” I raised my right arm. With the help of the Dragon Pendant, a round shield that shone white light appeared on my forearm. Though it may have been called ‘Tranquility’, the shield that slowly emanated white light possessed great power hidden beneath its facade. To bounce back fireballs of such size was belittling its true power.
“Puff… puff, puff, puff…” I took Webster’s first wave of magical attack before Fischer’s cheering traveled into my ears.
“Not bad! How about this!” Webster said, “Polar Ice Blades!”
A mist of white air emitted from his body and blasted towards me, close to my sides. An overwhelming cluster of mini frost blades came raining cats and dogs on me. If I were to be hit by even a single one of those blades, I could end up bedridden for three days straight.
“Gale Armor!” I withdrew the air shield and recast that mid-tier air spell to cover my entire body. There was only so much I could do with only the help of the Dragon Pendant.
The blades hit my enchanted armor and were immediately crushed into frozen particles by the swimming gale. The ones that had not melted were wrapped and brought to meld onto the armor surface, which covered my armor in a thin sheen of ice and made it dazzle a brilliant white.
“My turn!” I was not going to win just by standing there and being a target for Webster. I held the wand by its head and pulled out the black steel sword hidden within. I had always been a natural sword swinger instead of a spell caster.
Another advantage of Gale Armor was accelerating the caster’s agility. I darted over to Webster while he was chanting. Suddenly, a tall shadow with a giant sword swung down from the sky and targeted me.
“Detach!” I shouted and framed up my sword to shield myself.
With the jarring sound of metal crashing against metal, my long sword with the width of two fingers successfully barred Tennessee’s sword.
“Twine!” My attacks fitted the body movements, then the metal clustered Machete thrust at Tennessee a total of seven times in the blink of an eye. A man as skillful as Tennessee defended them with all thumbs.
By this time, Webster’s chant of the thunder attack was completed. As he finished, I saw a curved slash of lightning bend around Tennessee and dashed towards me!
“BAH!” As I shouted, a sudden flash of black light that kept retracting and expanding exploded on the tip of my Machete.
After a few exploding sounds, I, Uncle Tennessee and Webster stood in silence. Fischer gazed at the two pieces of soil on the ground that were burnt black.
“Impressive! Cohen!” Webster broke the silence, “I didn’t expect the fabled battle aura to appear on you.”
“You blocked my sword while destroying the thunder. Honestly, you’ve already earned your right to travel.” Uncle Tennessee said with a smile.
Before I could emit a laugh, the two said simultaneously, “However…”
I knew millions of things that could follow through by this word. Nevertheless, at that moment, I did not expect that it would cause an event that haunts me for life.
“Pull out everything you’ve got!” My two face-losing uncle said, “We won’t hold back this time!”
No way, more?
“Tornado Chop!” Uncle Tennessee initiated. He spun his body at high speeds and twirled towards me with a blast full of dust. I was swamped by murderous intent before he even came closer.
“… Meteor Flame!” Uncle Webster moaned out his chanting like a mosquito.
He did chant lowly, however, I noticed a big heap of ablazed meteors raining with their dark little tails.
“Ah, uncles, you don’t have to do that…” Fischer’s voice went afar, “Take care, Cohen! I gotta go. Can’t help here…”
Such a situation was not one to be fought by me alone. So, I who was hopeless and without any alternatives, I raised my right hand near my lips and kissed the ring that was adorned with the Ice Gem.
“Showdown!” I shouted and closed both of my hands and raised them up in front my chest, “Occult Copy!”
This was one of the spells passed down by the elves during ancient times. I had read about it in the Elf Note. Different from ordinary shadow copy spells, Occult Copy could make actual copies of the spell caster. The copies that were made would have abilities identical to that of the original caster. The more powerful the spell user, the more copies.
I was unable to cast this spell if I was evaluated under my previous mage level. However, with the help of the Dragon Pendant and Ice Gem, it did not pose to be much of a problem.
My body shook, and a copy appeared beside me.
“Take it. Now, go attack the warlock!” I tossed my sword to him and then told him what to do via telepathy.
He took the sword and disappeared in a flash, and instantly Webster’s cries came from afar.
“I offer my blood, wind bind my foe…” I ignored Webster and cut my finger. At the spot where my blood dropped, branches in the color of red wine burst out from the soil, pushing each other forward and advanced towards Uncle Tennessee. Although Tennessee managed to break the ones in the front, eventually, he was tied up by the innumerable plants like a mummy.
This way, I was able to escape the area where the Meteor Flame impacted. At that moment, Uncle Tennessee was chased by my other copy which prevented him from having the required time to cast the spell.
I took a moment to peel an apple and sat down while instructing my copy to play around with the two uncles.
“How was my performance?” I swallowed the leftover fruit. Both Webster and Tennessee were running out of breath, “Are you satisfied?”
“Stop!” Webster rushed to me whilst my copy followed him, “I’m gonna say something!”
I uncast the spell on Tennessee, and sent out a telepathic message to my copy. It slowed down from its chase for Uncle Webster and stopped beside my body before it restored its original position and stood by the side.
“You won…” Webster sat beside me, his blood vessel pumping, “Poor me, long in the tooth… my heart…”
“Impressive! Cohen!” Tennessee, who still had a few pieces of plants twisted on his arms came over and patted my shoulder, “Your spell is not as good as his, your combat skills are not equal to me… yet you played around with us like mere toys.”
“Hehe, beginner’s luck.” I said with a smile.
“Come on, you cunning little!” Webster said in a low spirit, “You are ruthless… a born politician! Look at you, I said a politician and then you act to be modest.”
“Well, well!” Tennessee brushed the dust off his jacket, “We should go. Cohen, come talk to me before you leave.”
I said goodbye to the both of them. Then, Fischer appeared before me out of nowhere.
“Cheers! I’m glad you passed the test.” He said, “Let’s have a drink!”
I glanced at him and was too careless to comment on his ‘abandon a friend’ act.
“Say…” He continued, “The way you acting modest was really nasty, you know that?”
I had nothing to say to people like him and commented on his words through my actions: beat him up. Afterward, I stood up, feeling satisfied.
“Ha! Ha! Ha!” I bellowed three short bursts of laughter into the air. While I was about to praise myself about beating up a royal blood, I noticed an extra shadow on the ground. I looked up and found my copy gazing at me with a pair of spiritual eyes that glowed a black light.
Weird, I thought the Occult Copy had already expired, so why was this copy not disappearing? Besides, it did not feel comfortable looking at something that appeared exactly the same as me.
“…” I did not come up with a way to handle it and maintained my silence.
“You…” I sent him a string of mind telepathic message, “are still here?”
“Because you haven’t given me an order…” I felt his psychopathic reply clearly, “Master.”
Ma…ster? I cried out involuntarily.
“It’s complicated, Master. My condition…” He looked rather shy, “Can you allow me to explain?”
“Sure… of course!” I said, “I like a direct speaker. Have a seat.”
“Okay, Master.” He watched carefully the way I sat down and sat with the same posture.
“Can we begin?” He asked gingerly, “Master?”
“How dare you kick a royal heir’s ass…” Before I nodded, Fischer who was deeply unconscious due to my kicking, came back alive. Then, he saw two identical Cohen’s who were sitting closely and chatting. His head swayed and dropped straight down, again.
“Hehe.” I said, “Leave him alone! Now, start talking!”
“Yes, Master. It’s like this…” He said, “I… I am the eudemon that once hung over your chest…” Hearing this, my jaw dropped.
Fischer, who was acting to be in a comatose state rose and asked, “No way! Didn’t it die?”
I nodded too hastily to consider the irrationality of a fainted man talking normally.
“Master! I’m really your eudemon!” My copy said anxiously, “I… I know a lot of your stuff!”
“Come on! Everybody knows about Cohen’s shit!” The one who was supposed to be in a coma replied once again, “It’s not unusual to know about it, you know!”
I, the Viceroy, kept on nodding.
“Master, I really am! I… I…” The copy was even more anxious. His face reddened, then without any prior notice, he ripped off my upper attire.
“Help! Anyone!” The comatose guy yelled, “The other governor is violating Governor Cohen…”
I was continuing my incessant nodding but stopped at the mention of ‘violating’ and turned sober. “Clap” I gave Fischer a slap, and he stopped immediately.
“Look! Master!” My copy pointed at the left side of my chest and said excitedly, “I’m the scar that was attached to your chest! Look, the scar is gone!”
I touched my chest. The scar was really gone!
“See? I’m not joking!” My copy… no, my eudemon gazed at me pure-heartedly, “MASTER!”
“Do you have a name? Do you have a type? I have an eudemon, she could be your girlfriend…” Fischer supported himself to get up. As our formal fighting procedure, rising meant he had officially awakened, so I couldn’t be tough on him for the time being.
“Master, I… I haven’t received a name…” My eudemon acted miserably, “Can master give me a name?”
“What should I call you?” Naming was a thing I had never done before, “How about you show me your true self?”
“Yes, Master!” Eudemon replied and voila: he turned into a… puppy.
It was really a puppy. He was a ball of fluff and jumped while he stretched out a pair of pink wings and flew onto my shoulder. It blinked at me with his black eyes.
“Ah haha hahaha!” Fischer laughed hard, “Look at that, Cohen, your eudemon… its fur blocks its eyes! And it has your black eyes… hahaha!”
“Don’t call it your eudemon!” I clenched my teeth, “Now, it has a name! It’s… it’s… right! It’s Arnold!”
“Yes! The name is Arnold, how about that?” I petted the little thing on my shoulder, “Arnold, do you like this name?”
“I luv it!” Arnold licked my lips, “Master.”
“What the hell!” Fischer said, refusing to believe what was going on, “Arnold doesn’t even know if that’s a good name! And, both of your looks… oh dear… look so much the same! Both of you look like stealthy thieves! Hey, Cohen, what ya doing? Hey, why on earth are you bonding me with spells?”
“Are you done?” I yawned, “Arnold! Bite him!”
“Yes, Master. But…” Arnold immediately jumped onto Fischer’s shoulder with bared teeth, “Which part?”
“He earned his life through his pretty face…” I considered, “Bite his face!”
Little Arnold’s widely open mouth was able to devour a pony. It closed its jaws without thinking back.
“Ahhhhh…!” Fischer screamed, “NOOOO!”
“Arnold, you need to try harder.” I said, standing aside, “What a gentleman. Don’t you hear him yelling ‘Ar…nold, Arnold’. That’s your name he’s calling. He’s taunting you! Bite harder!”
“But, Master…” Arnold said, “He yells a little differently!”
“Come on! You don’t know that!” I peeled yet another apple and benumbed Fischer’s tongue with a mini paralyzing spell, “Don’t you see that he’s calling your name in a classic post-modern impressionistic tone? He’s using this weird voice to express his scorn on your flesh and mentality!”
“Yes! Master, I get it!” Arnold’s voice came to my mind.
“Ahhhhh!” Fischer screamed again with an even higher pitch, “Noooooo!”
(A while later.)
“Cohen, do you have any idea that Arnold is in his critical growing period.” Fischer covered his face, “That’ll misguide him!”
“Do you have a problem?” I caressed Arnold’s hair.
“Yes, a problem!” Fischer said hastily, “Eudemons are like kids. They learn whatever they see!”
“Are you talking about… Arnold is acting like me?” I said, “What’s so bad about that?”
“Don’t you know such eudemons like Arnold who are able to transform into a humanoid form are extremely valuable!” Fischer said angrily, “I haven’t seen one before!”
“Well, you’re looking at one right now.” I said, “By the way, Arnold, how can you change into my appearance?”
Arnold explained while he thought back. We finally came to understand that when Arnold was still in the egg, he was hit and broke by the lightning spell. Fortunately, he had been feeding on my mind power. At the moment of life and death, the growing Arnold clung onto my physical body, namely my chest scar, and his consciousness hid in my brain.
As I woke up, Arnold woke up as well. However, his consciousness was unable to return into his own body. Then, I happened to cast the copy spell, and the bright Arnold successfully merged into my copy.
“I see! Your life experience resembles someone…” Fischer was certainly enlightened but when I glared at him, he immediately corrected himself, “Right, what’s your special ability, Arnold?”
“I can transform into Master’s looks!” Arnold proudly dashed from my left shoulder to the right, “And have all of Master’s abilities after transformation!”
“This, we have already seen for ourselves!” I asked, “I wanna know about your other abilities…”
“I’m sorry, Master…” Arnold lowered his voice, “Arnold can’t remember…”
Fischer widened his mouth and pointed at Arnold and then myself. He was on the edge of laughing but dared not ro.
“Never mind!” I comforted Arnold while thinking about my own similar experiences, “Let’s take it slow.”
“EN!” Arnold jumped about again, “But Arnold knows everything about Master, including…”
“Arnold! Those you can’t say!” I prevented via mind link, “To no one!”
“Yes, Master! Arnold will put that in mind.”
“So to speak… Arnold has yet to become strong!” Fischer said, “If he shows up as an eudemon, I’m afraid he’ll be targeted by your enemies…”
“Then… how should we identify him?”
“How about this!” Fischer snapped his fingers, “Arnold looks like a low-level magical creature. You can always tell the others that he’s your adopted pet today!”
I thought about it and considered it to be a good idea. Thus, Arnold’s matters were settled.
“Arnold, are you a gentleman or a lady?”
“Arnold’s gender is none of your business. Are you even his Master?”
“I’m just asking… tell me, Arnold.”
“Arnold is a boy!”
“Atta boy! Say, Arnold, I have a lady eudemon! She’s in her first period dormant, and she’s a beauty…”
“Arnold doesn’t like big sisters…”
“That’s my boy! My Arnold will be the most handsome eudemon on the continent! I assure you, Arnold, as your Master, I’ll teach all my tricks to pick up girls to you. By that time, your Master will pick up all the good-looking girls, while you, Arnold, will then pick up all the good-looking eudemons!”
“Carry on, Arnold!”
“En! Carry on!”
“Way to go, Arnold!”
“En! Way to go!”
“En! Come on up!”
“Hey, hey hey! Cohen, you’ve already got three wives! Aoh, Ahhh! No!!!!”
Then, the two human beings and an eudemon returned to their chambers.