Chapter 25:

24. Why has a twig so much power over me?

Lost souls: Road to Godhood

"Luz, do you like this place, and how do you feel about this place here?" Liv asked casually as the two walked together through the estate.

"Sis, you are asking a man who had been enjoying vacation here till now," chuckled Luz while appreciating the scenery and the weather.

"Yeah, I should be asking you the question a few weeks from now," Liv commented while gently plucking a beautiful white rose from a bush.

Author note: I know that roses don't grow in bushes, but I don't care. I don't know how else I'm supposed to say, plugging a rose from a tree, so it's now canon that roses grow as bushes in my novel.

"I still like it more than I would like to admit it. But the past continues to haunt me daily in the form of nightmares and self-doubt whenever I am alone," Luz sighed, and Liv nodded without saying anything further while plugging the rose's thorns.

After unplugging all thorns, Liv halted in front of Luz, who looked at her puzzled as she began stuffing the rose into his suit jacket.

"Wait, what are you doing!?" Luz asked, baffled as he tried resisting her attempt since he was no flower girl.

"It's a boutonnière, Luz. It's supposed to ward off bad luck and evil spirits," explained Liv, and Luz accepted it with a sigh.

'Well, at least it doesn't look that bad,' thought Luz before hearing in his mind: Low-quality nutrition food.

'Yeah, because IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE EATEN,' thought Luz annoyed, and the group reached Master Simon's mage tower after a few more minutes of walking.

Before Luz could even knock on the door, Master Simon ripped the door open and hugged the surprised Luz while shouting: "I missed you, my favorite experiment. Come inside."

"Wait- I have a na-," before Luz could even finish his sentence, Master Simon hastily grabbed his arm, pulling him inside before shutting the door behind Luz, leaving Liv outside. Fortunately, that wasn't the case since Liv's foot was halfway through the doorframe, preventing the door from getting closed.

As Master Simon dragged Luz up to his laboratory, he bombarded Luz with questions: "How have you been? Have you felt different? Have you tried using mana, and do you found any differences compared to before?"

Luz didn't even have time to reply before Master Simon asked him another question. On the other hand, Liv walked pissed behind them while sharpening her swords for future revenge.

Shortly afterward, the two reached the upper floor, where Master Simon forced Luz upon the dreaded chair he hated the most. That chair resembled a torture device, as it had straps on its armrests and a machine with several hooks and thin needles behind it.

Seeing Luz resist his attempts, Master Simon swung a slender twig that stopped Luz from moving his body any further.

"Why has a twig so much power over me?" Luz asked as he got stripped and forced down onto the chair.

"Because it's an expensive twig," Master Simon casually commented while tightening the straps on Luz's armrest.

After that, he activated the machine. Thin needles and a couple of thin measuring rods went a few millimeters deep into his back, and Luz thought: 'If that continues, my back will soon become swiss cheese.'

"One, two, three, and go," Simon counted down as he pulled down a lever shooting external mana through Luz's body.

Unlike last time, something strange happened. The parasites inside Luz's mana core sensed the mana current and released strong impulses, permitting the remaining parasites to use their maximum mana absorption rate.

This time, Luz didn't faint during the process and endured the pain while gritting his teeth.

"Strange. How did we lose 20% of the mana?" commented Master Simon before cursing: "Jodoc, we have to call the crappy company later. They gave us faulty equipment."

Luz ignored his words and found the situation strange as he felt full of energy. "Strange… Is it because of the meal? If yes, I gotta eat more," shot through his head, as the measuring rods left his back and blood oozed slightly through their exit points.

Jodoc appeared shortly afterward in the laboratory after Master Simon's comment and immediately released the straps from Luz.

On the other hand, Simon was staring at a picture of Luz's mana core and mumbled: "Interesting… It seemed like all the cracks fully healed."

"Yo, Master Simon, what are these funny black dots?" Luz casually asked while staring at the picture.

"Now that you mention it, what the hell are these black dots," muttered Master Simon while zooming into them.

Upon realizing that these dots were, in fact, some parasites that ended up in Luz's mana core, he immediately had a horrified expression and cursed quietly.

"These dots are nothing, Luz, hehe," Master Simon replied with a smile before immediately changing the subject.

"Anyways, have you felt different over the last few days?" Master Simon immediately added upon seeing that luz didn't seem to be satisfied by his answer.

The latter merely nodded before telling Simon about the funny voices he was hearing over the last few days and that his hunger had been increasing drastically.

Master Simon's face immediately turned white upon hearing such an answer, and even Liv, who had been quietly listening from the back, was puzzled by Luz's statement.

Telepathically, Jodoc told him: 'We are dead. If Brian finds out that we gave Luz a mutated parasite, you and I'll face something worse than death. Hopefully, this mutant parasite collective is of a low intelligence level. Did you find any parasites in Luz's synapses during the examination?'

'No, I haven't found any there yet.' Master Simon replied to him.
'Thank goodness. We need to get Luz on our side so that he won't complain to Master Brian about his side effects,' replied Jodoc back telepathically.
'But how?' asked Master Simon back.

'Let's offer some magic lessons and materials to Luz. Also, we can tell Master Brian that we found talent in Luz and that we two want to tutor him,' Jodoc advised Master Simon.

Their telepathic exchange happened in a mere second, and in the end, they came to the following conclusion: 'We need to minimize the contact between Luz and Brian as much as possible. Only with that is the chance of Master Brian finding out about the funny stuff going on in Luz's body as low as possible.'

"Ehm, Luz… The reason for these voices are due to psychological trauma and so forth," Master Simon hastily commented. But Luz merely shook his head before answering: "I don't think so. Master Simon, these voices are telling me what I should eat. Does that sound like trauma to you?"

Before Luz could ask any further questions, Master Simon hastily stated: "Luz do you want a reward?"

"Yeah, why not, and what are those rewards you are speaking of?" Luz answered with a nod. Who would say no to a reward?

"Well, since your magical knowledge is a bit lacking, I thought of gifting you some magic books, hehehe," explained Master Simon.

"That sounds reasonable," Luz replied, and Master Simon immediately added: "Also, how about I offer you a few private lessons. We will definitely look into the matter regarding your funny voice problems."

"Perfect," commented Luz in satisfaction, and with a sigh, a couple of magic books landed in front of him.

The books were all dusty. But that was mainly due to Master Simon not touching his old beginner books for ages.

"Seeing these old books awakens some old memories," Master Simon sighed in nostalgia while gently moving his fingers over their covers.

Luz, on the other hand, gulped before asking: "Thanks. But isn't that too many books, Master Simon?"

"Nah, Nah, Nah. These books contain all of the basics magic disciplines for your level," Simon replied with an evil grin.

"Thanks, but my interest is quite limited, and I probably won't be able to focus on all magic disciplines," Luz hastily commented while scratching the back of his head while avoiding eye contact with Master Simon.

The latter merely chuckled before telling him in a serious tone: "Sweet. But unfortunally, you won't be the one who will decide what you will learn here, hehehheh."

"Wait, please tell me that you are joking," Luz hastily commented, and the latter answered in amusement: "Do I look like I'm joking.

"Master Simon, I'm really grateful for your offer, but I think I can't accept such an expensive offer since I also enjoy having a life," Luz commented while taking a step back.

"I don't think you can decline such a gift," chuckled Liv as she gently put her hands on his shoulder.

Author note: Forced gifts are not so nice in my experience