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Chapter 852 Adam Leno
"My father was a farmer, and my mother was the same. My lineage was normal, as none of my ancestors had any significant history. I was normal at birth, so I don't think it's genetic."
Arthur ma.s.saged his temples as he stared at the clueless man. If it wasn't genetic, then it might be something acquired. However, this wasn't the problem at the moment. He needed to rea.s.sure him.
"I never asked about your name."
"My name is Adam Leno," said the man with a smile. "Your name must be… Seika?"
"That's not a name but a t.i.tle. My name is Arthur Silvera, and you would have recognized it if you had any connection to the outside world."
"Arthur Silvera…" said the man with a frown before he shook his head. "I'm afraid that I indeed fail to recognize it."
"…he's lying," said Aurora as he walked out from the living room, seeming to have finished treating Zonas Mantra. "He has been honest, but his last sentence is a lie. He recognizes your name."
"Is that true?" asked Arthur with interest as his aura s.h.i.+fted slightly. He prepared himself for a battle since the man tried to hide something but failed. The man glanced at her with a blank expression before he sighed.
"You remind me of my wife. She could always tell when I was lying. I heard a lot about you because the emperor visits me every time. However, from his words, you are an anarchist."
"That's not a surprise," said Arthur with a sigh. "So, what are you going to do? Did he tell me to fight you?"
"Joseph said that if you ever visit, I should simply stall for time. I didn't exactly understand why and even forgot about the matter until you said your name," said Adam with a shrug. "She can vouch for my words."
Arthur turned toward Aurora, who nodded in affirmation. It seems that Adam wasn't lying and didn't fear being killed by the two. It was either confidence or resignation.
"It seems that it has always been his plan to imprison me here, but he did it knowing you would still be inside. That means he doesn't fear you would die and simply doesn't care."
"The reason for that is simple. He gave me art that lets me control my mana," Adam smiled. "Now, I can use this great mana to defend myself. Even if you wanted to kill me, you cannot."
Aurora and Adam were both surprised, looking at Arthur as if he was mad. Adam stared at him with confusion before sighing and raising his hand toward the mountain Aurora used to occupy. Then, he clenched his fist.
A bullet shot from his hand, like a white meteor that zipped across the Abyss and struck the mountain on which Aurora was imprisoned. The mana bullet struck the mountain and disappeared into it.
A resounding echo came from the mountain before the ground started to shake. Then, a white mushroom cloud rose from the hill and vaporized it to nothingness.
An electric-like buzzing echoed in their ear as a great gale of wind made their robes flutter atop the summit. Arthur and Aurora stared at the destruction that took nothing but a single move, and Adam didn't seem to have broken a sweat.
"This is not a threat but a demonstration. It was one of the conditions I had with the emperor to help him: a method to defend myself. He gave me an art that allowed me to utilize a portion of my mana."
"I've seen the demonstration. Now use it on me," said Arthur while staring at the mushroom cloud. "You can even use a stronger attack than that, so I can prove my point."
"And what point is that?" asked Adam with confusion. Arthur turned with a smile and pointed a thumb at himself.
"I am far stronger than you are."
"…that, I wouldn't doubt, but that's not the point here. I cannot leave this place, even if I believed you."
"If hearts are involved, then I would be able to give you a hand," Aurora smiled as she walked toward Adam. "As long as you hold my hand, you can tell when someone is lying."
"As far as I'm concerned, you two are accomplices."
"Forget about right and wrong," said Arthur, interrupting the two and making them turn toward him. "If I prove a better partner than the emperor, you should have no reason to remain a follower of his."
"…and I would know that by attacking you?" asked Adam, and Arthur nodded. "So be it, but don't blame me. Get back, miss. This might get dangerous."
"You can hide behind me, Aurora," said Arthur with a grin. "I promise that my side is the safest place you can find. No harm will befall you."
"Both of you aren't lying, which means someone overestimates themselves. I shall trust Seika on this one because I have foreseen the battles he went through. This is your first, Adam Leno, is it not?"
"I might surprise you," said Adam Leno as mana gathered over his arm, threatening to explode immediately. "Step a bit farther than the house, would ya?"
"There won't be a single missing tile."
A mana bullet flew from Adam through the air toward Arthur, who had Aurora behind him. Until the last second, Arthur didn't move and stood in place. He didn't attempt to protect himself until the moment of impact.
"Break," muttered Arthur as he raised his hand toward the mana bullet, meeting it head-on as black lightning exploded from his arm. "Break under my wrath."
The mana struck the black lightning, and the latter swallowed it whole. There were no traces of it after a few seconds except for the overbearing heat coming from it.
"Wha…" muttered Adam with surprise as he fell on his b.u.m. His face was pale, as he hadn't mastered the mana art. "How did you swallow it? Are you related to the emperor?"
"This is a bit different," said Arthur as he lowered his left arm with his right. The black lightning was running out of control, so he needed to restrain his wrath. "I don't absorb things as he does. I break them."
"Break them?" asked the man with shaking lips. "Then, what happens if that lightning enters my body?" he voiced his thoughts. Arthur didn't know the answer, but he wasn't about to grant the man his wish.
"We can research all we want once we leave this place. However, I can a.s.sure you that there isn't a limit to what I can break, so no mana can hurt me. There won't be a release as long as you are next to me."
"…that means I can go outside again…."
"And even find a cure for your condition. I have this too," said Arthur as he showed him his rune. "This isn't an artifact or a skill, but a true rune that isn't attached to a medium. If we find a method to transfer mana to me, we can use it as an outlet for your mana."
"The Seika is not lying but only hiding a far better deal to avoid making you suspicious," said Aurora with a smile. Arthur glared at her as Adam rose from the ground and looked at her with confusion. "He could grant you an ability that utilizes mana and turn that mana into an element."
"…is that true?" asked Adam with surprise. "However, my mana paths…."
Arthur didn't answer but turned into humanoid flames while standing in front of them. Then, he turned back, wearing the same clothes as before.
"There is no need for mana paths if you have an ability like this one," said Arthur with a smile. "I am a far better partner than the emperor, Adam Leno. Leave his side, and I'll repay the debt."
Adam was silent before he nodded and reached out to shake Arthur's hand. However, as the two were about to make the deal, a cry echoed from the first mountain, where the gate used to be.
Someone screamed from a distance as the three stared at the mountain with confusion. Arthur suddenly covered his nose as the foul stench of nothingness appeared inside this place. Although it has been a while since he met one of them, he would never forget how his body rejected their existence.
"Someone has fallen to the enders and become one of their soldiers," said Arthur with a frown as he stared at the mountain. Something stood atop it, staring at them. "Adam, take Aurora and Zonas Mantra before escaping this place. This monster is coming."
Arthur didn't expect his prison break would be so full of surprises. However, the emperor took extra precautions to ensure that Arthur didn't leave this place alive.
"I can fight it too," said a voice behind them as the battered Zonas Mantra came outside. "Let me fight too, Arthur Silvera."
"Old man, you should really stop trying to throw away your life," sighed Arthur before he used a rune to knock him out. "Take him with you, and let me deal this monster."