Chapter 13:

12. Please strip yourself, again.

Lost souls: Road to Godhood

Author note: I mistakenly called a character Odebus in the last chapter instead of Jodoc. Sorry for that. 

Liv winked to Luz before departing, leaving Luz alone with a stranger and a giant bird that stood alert on Master Simon's shoulder while burying its claws into it.

The eagle, whose height was 80cm, stood proudly on Simon's shoulder while staring right into Luz's eyes.

'Why is that creature staring at me?' wondered Luz before staring back into the latter's amber-yellow eyes.

The bird's plumage was a combination of the colors black and brown. The feathers in its chest/belly area were hazel brown, while everywhere else, they were brown. If that sounds confusing, its wings, head, and back feathers are black, while its chest and belly feathers are hazelnut brown.

Seeing how Luz didn't utter any comments, the bird bent to his master before whispering, as quietly as possible, into the latter's ear: "Is that human my meal?"

"I'm not food," sighed Luz, while Master Simon smiled before putting his teacup down.

"So, Luz. That thing on my shoulder, also known as a black-and-chestnut eagle, is my pet," before he could comment further, the eagle intervened, shouting with its horse voice: "I have a name. My name is Jodoc. I'm an intermediate mage and research assistant for the latter."

"Yeah, we get it. But you are still my pet," sighed Master Simon before continuing his speech: "It depends on how much we can help you. The chances are high that you have to live here for a few days or even a couple of months. Anyway, follow me, young lad, so that we can take a few images of your mana core."

"Wait! What will happen with my job if I have to reside here for a few months?" Luz asked in a hurry.

The bird Master duo chuckled both at Luz's question before Simon replied: "Ah, don't worry about that thing. Master Brian would understand that. Also, I would even pay your debts. But that old geezer wouldn't accept any money coming from me."

Luz nodded, and the three went up the stairs till they reached the fourth floor. Luz even got a glimpse of every floor and what awaited him there.

Most of the floors looked ordinary. The first two floors, for example, were living rooms packed to the brim with books.

The sight of all these books sent shivers down Luz's back.

'Damn. I hope that I don't have to read that much to get strong,' prayed Luz. It's not like Luz can't read, but who the hell wants to read that many books?

Unlike the other floors, the fourth floor was a research laboratory where one could see machines that neither Luz nor the narrator were familiar with.

"All right. Follow me. I won't bite," Simon casually remarked before leading him towards a chair that resembled more of a torture device rather than a regular chair.

As they moved towards it, Luz walked past a tank filled with murky water, with no animal inside. On the other hand, the walls were decorated with occult objects that chilled him as he saw a corpse nailed to a cross.

After reaching the chair, Simon instructed him to undress and take a seat.

Luz stared at the chair, which had straps on the armrest, while the machine behind the chair had several sharp, long needles.

Reluctantly, however, Luz did as he was asked, undressed, and took a seat on the cold metal chair.

The eagle that was quiet till now jumped from Simon's shoulder before landing on Luz's armrest, where he tightened the straps. After that, he jumped onto the ground to tighten the belts meant for his leg.

Simon gently placed his hand on Luz's chest before expressing his concern: "Yes, it seems Liv was right. You really used a spell way above your class."

Filled with embarrassment, Luz looked to the side while muttering: "I had no other choice."

"You don't need to justify your cracked mana core," commented Simon before moving towards the machine behind Luz.

From there, he shouted: "Yo. This may be a bit painful, but I'm just going to shoot mana through your body for a moment to create a detailed picture of how much your mana core has been strained."

But before Luz could even comment on why it would be painful, several thin needles were rammed right into his exposed back.

These needles were responsible for either measurement or for the mana transfer.

Groaning, Luz tried to stand up the moment those thin needles got inserted into his skin. But the lashes prevented him from any attempts.

"Stand still," shouted Simon while pulling down one of the switches.

Shortly afterward, a strong mana current shot through Luz's body, almost bursting his mana veins.

Although the current did not last even a second, its strength was strong enough to make Luz's head drop, and blood immediately began dripping slowly from his orifices.

"I think that was too much mana at once," Simon commented before pausing at the sight of his patient before shifting his gaze towards a monitor measuring Luz's heartbeat.

'We are lucky that he still got a regular heartbeat,' sighed Simon before shouting to his bird: "JODOC. Please note that the mana volume rate for mage apprentices should be lowered to a third of what we normally use."

Afterward, the bird-Master duo shifted their attention towards a screen that depicted a few 3d images of Luz mana core and other charts.

After briefly glancing at those charts, Jodoc screeched hoarsely: "Too many cracks. Rehabilitation by standard methods is near impossible. We could delay his death if he was ready to become a mere mortal. Otherwise, research experiment 232 or r.exp. 105 could be of use in his case if he doesn't want to give up being a mage."

Master Simon's eyes immediately narrowed after hearing Jodoc's suggestion. Both research projects aren't on the level where they could be employed on humans.

"No, no, no, Jodoc, we can't try out research experiment 105 even though a few magical medical institutes have succeeded. Transplanting a mana core is well above our weight class. Also, we don't even have the equipment necessary for those experiments," commented Simon with a sigh.

Jodoc nodded in agreement before asking: "What about research experiment 232?"

Simon hesitated to comment on the second experiment, and only after thinking for a minute did he comment on it. "We aren't in the phase of human experimentation. We don't even have any long-term studies regarding the matter, and I'm not sure if it could be a solution for his case."

Jodoc nodded to it while zooming in on a 3D model of Luz mana core.

"But only this method can ensure that Luz Mana's output to the environment is not too high. Remember, we can use him as an experiment. Besides that, the Royal guard uses a similar method," Jodoc shouted back at Simon.

"Yes, but the Royale guard probably uses a different organism. WE HAVEN'T MADE ANY PROGRESS IN ANY OTHER MAGICAL MONSTER. Have you already forgotten that it seized control of all the other magical monsters we tried it till now?" sighed Simon before shaking his head.

"Then let's ask him if he's ready for it. He's young and naive. I'm sure he'd rather die than give up his mage career. If you want to convince him, just add that you'll pay off his debt to Brian," the eagle commented in amusement with a raised chest.

"You have no scruples," the mage sighed before commenting: "well, time to wait for him to regain consciousness."

Author note: Anyway, here is another chapter. I hope y'all like this chapter. Also, I finally structured the arcs on how I plan to continue with this work. Hopefully, you like Jodoc's new design more. Originally he was a general parrot, but a more uncommon species would be cooler.

I got my inspiration from that majestic creature on a youtube reel. XD

black-and-chestnut eagle

Seriko Lee