Chapter 9:

A Trip Towards Despair

Mages and Dragons in a New Land? They Obviously Haven't Seen a Modern War Man! Book 2


As Hugo came back, the whole class crowded around him with a bunch of questions. Overwhelmed by the audience, Hugo couldn’t respond well.

“Give the boy some rest!’ they heard a voice saying. They looked towards Rin’s direction and saw Aquarius materializing, with a pitiful face at Hugo.

“Yeah!” Sclandora seconded, “At least let the boy take a seat.”

The entire class got distracted by the fact that the spirits made an appearance. The spirits were utterly confused.

“What’s with the face?” Aquaria questioned.

“It’s just that you don’t make an appearance at all.” Eri responded, “So it was a bit of a shock.”

“Even we exist, you know?” Lustros said feigning annoyance, “But alas, they have forgotten.”

“N-no it’s nothing like that!” Shizuko protested, “It’s just-”

Ana burst out laughing, “He’s just joking. It’s fine! You should’ve seen your faces!”

Her childlike face then had a look of seriousness. She looked at Lustros.

“We did come here for a reason though.”

“Wait, I’m sorry to interrupt but, Hugo,” Shizuko said, “Why is your hand burned?”

“That’s why I went to the principal.” Hugo responded, “There was some trouble with Nico and Luna. Eri ended up getting hurt, Nico and Luna got expelled-”

“Wait what!”

Everyone was shocked. Some had relieved looks. Others had neutral expressions, probably processing everything.

“They got expelled?” Kaeda asked.

Hugo nodded, “And also this.”

Hugo pointed to his left arm. It was unusable at this point because of how burned it was. Even though the arm was intact, the flesh was burned.

“I prefer not to heal it. So don’t worry.”

Everyone then turned to Eri with sad, concerned faces. Eri had a nervous look on her face.

“Relax guys,” she said reassuringly, “I’m fine, see?”

Hugo looked towards Lustros.

“Alright. We spirits need to tell you something… Sullivan?”

Sullivan materialized in his usual black suit and cleared his throat.

“Be prepared. Ever since your contracts, you have been bound to us. And since you are bound to us, you need to be able to use us as well. So…”

“Let’s just say that you all should be mentally prepared for what is about to come.” Sclandora concluded.

“And right when we say that, the challenge arrives.” said Avalon, “Stay strong.”

---

When we jump into the abyss... It only brings despair. It looks into you and brings you the worst of times.

Over these past few millennia, Lustros had learned this the hard way. Being the oldest surviving God from the first generation, he had seen a lot. People dying, suffering, war…

He had seen the death of a friend as opposed to the birth of a big evil. And he will see just the opposite this time.

The birth of an adversary over the deaths of many fond friends.

And he didn’t want that. He had placed his hope on the one believed to be the saviour in hopes of not seeing the harsh reality. But even the hero must learn the truth the hard way.

If only he would be there to support the child during that time.

---

Right after the spirits disappeared, the figure of Tsuneo entered the room with a serious look on his face.

“Good morning, Mr Ige” Harumi wished him, “Where’s Master Akio?”

“Oh, he’s not here today.” Tsuneo replied, “You won’t be having class today either. Instead, you will be accompanying me on an expedition.”

“An expedition?”

Tsuneo nodded, “Yeah, an expedition. We recently found some underwater ruins and figured it would be a good place to test y’all. But, it’s just a normal expedition so nothing to worry about.”

“What if there are strong opponents…” Balor asked.

Tsuneo’s face turned grim for a moment before turning serious again.

“It’s fine.” He responded in a monotone voice, “There are no monsters. In fact, it’s not even inhabited. And besides, you guys are the Advanced Class. I expect you to have the calibre to fight off a few creatures if any?”

The whole class nodded.

Tsuneo sighed.

‘There is only one opponent you will be facing today…’ he thought.

“Well then. Follow me!”

---

The class was led outside. The hallways were practically empty. The others must be in classes on their own.

Passing through the infirmary… the faculty room… the principal’s office, the group went down the stairs. Under the first floor, they stood face to face with a dead end.

Patefacio

The single word caused the walls to split into two revealing a path.

The class was surprised, looking around as Tsuneo proceeded forward. They followed silently as the surroundings became more dark and eerie to the light ahead of them.

“We are here.” Tsuneo declared, motioning to a circle lit with an eerie purple, “This will take us to our destination.

Nobaru checked out the surroundings, noticing how ancient it looked.

“There is a lot of wear and tear on this path.” he commented, “Looks… old.”

“I looked up records in the library on the first floor as soon as we found this ruin the other day. The ruins are pretty ancient, built by the Uminobuzoku… An underwater tribe that believed in power. Accessible from any corner of the world, with the right tools of course.”

“Tools?” Kaeda questioned.

Tsuneo shifted his gaze to her.

“Show me your hand.” he urged, showing her his palm.

Kaeda placed her hand on his palm as a sky blue light shone on his other hand. He closed his eyes and drew a symbol on her hand, a trident. It stretched across her forearm to her palm.

“This ancient symbol represents the tribe. It grants you passage and lets you breathe underwater as long as you are there.” He explained.

He then urged the other students to do the same. As soon as everyone had the symbols on them, they stepped into the purple circle.

“Ready?”

The class nodded, waiting for what’s to come.

Demeo

The ground opened up before them revealing a bottomless abyss.

“Now all you have to do now is jump.”

Shock registered on their faces.

“Jump!?” they shouted in unison.

Tsuneo laughed, “The symbol will protect you. Nothing will go wrong.”

“What all due respect,” Hugo said, “Are you positive that we should trust our lives into a symbol on our hand?”

Tsuneo had a mischievous smile on his face, bracing himself for a leap.

“Yeah, I’m positive that you should.”

The group had nervous looks on their faces. But they had no choice, did they? Taking a deep breath, they took their leap of faith.

It felt like drowning. Time slowed down for them. Every second felt like a minute, every minute felt like an hour, every hour felt like an eternity… They were falling into the dark abyss as a single yet familiar voice echoed above them.

Welcome to the Ruins of Desporia, where you will face the greatest adversary of your life! Wishing you kids the best of luck!

‘When you fall into the abyss… The abyss stares into you.’

Lustros learned this the hard way. And now the children will too.