455 Chapter 413

I gave Izzy a kiss goodbye.

Despite the whole….situation, it had actually been a pleasant dinner with Hades and Persephone. They seemed willing, no rather it seemed like they were intent on ignoring everything we had talked about previously, and only focused on pleasant conversation.

Mostly Persephone teasing Izzy about the two of us finally getting together.

But I digress.

I was not in any mental capacity to deal with all this right now.

Regardless, I pressed on.

No rest for the wicked.

I still had many other things I had to do, and so little time to handle it all.

I immediately headed over the Clock Tower, specifically Gramps' home.

From the first moment I appeared, I ignored everyone else in the room and reached for my Scáthach who was standing nearby. I hadn't seen her since returning, and I missed my Scáthach. So I did what I always did, and planted my face firmly between her chest.

She would always be my rock. I could feel like a kid again when I was like this.

And she didn't begrudge me. Simply, I could feel her fingers running through my hair.

"Student, we are not the only ones here." She whispered, just enough for only me to hear.

I reluctantly separated myself from her.

She's right, any longer and it'd make everyone else feel awkward. At least for the other two people present.

"Hey Gramps." I greeted, walking over to Yasaka, giving her a smile and kiss and plopping my tired butt down next to her.

"Good evening." He politely replied. "You look…tired."

Scáthach sat on my other side, and she silently took my hand. A gesture I was appreciating quite a bit.

"Meeting the Primordial of Night will do that to someone."

He raised an eyebrow. "Nothing dangerous, I hope?"

"She was surprisingly cordial." It felt weird to even say that. "Hades is in the know now, and apparently Nyx and some of the other Primordials already knew. But I'm not going to say it's surprising as I don't think I have the depth to really say what a Primordial being over there does and does not perceive. But I digress, I'm tired and don't want to think about it at the moment."

"You've been running around ragged." Yasaka's tail wrapped around me. "You need a break."

"Probably." I relaxed. "So much to do. And I basically just threw Jeanne into the deep end and hopped over to deal with other things." My next stop was back over there to make sure she's settling in properly and go from there.

Then check in with Venelana and Mozart. Then head over to Salem, Jinn, and Meridia. I also needed to familiarize myself with everything happening on the war front. What Medea had accomplished so far and where we stood there to see if I need to help out.

And all that crap with Hades and Odin.

And I need to start my Bankai training in earnest, along with trying to figure out other avenues of approach for fighting Solomon.

Was I missing anything? Probably.

"Don't worry about her, I've been keeping an eye on things. She's currently running around with Mordred for now." Yasaka informed me.

"….I won't question it." Not a likely friendship, or maybe I was overthinking things.

"Student, for your health, you need to relax and take a break." Scáthach told me, in that tone of a teacher. Like I wasn't allowed to argue with her.

"If you're telling me that, then it's probably true." I let out a long sigh.

She pinched me for my little jab, but it did make her smile. "Do not be a smartass."

"Perhaps I can help there then." Zelretch spoke up, holding the device he gave me previously to investigate the Singularity in his hand. "Before that….I have received quite a bit of interesting data. I'll need to compile it and sort through it properly before I make any judgments. Once I do that, we can talk properly about what happened and what our options are."

"Yeah…" I grimaced.

"Any luck on fixing the Spear?" Zelretch asked, knowing the broad strokes at this point.

"It's mostly sealed up to prevent any degradation, but the plan is to let it eat up a Holy relic and see where to go from there."

"…..beyond the curtness of how you explained the metaphysical reclamation of Authority and possible resurrection of a Divine Figure, that sounds promising."

"We'll see. Also have some nonsense to do in the Nine Realms with Odin." I waved my hand flippantly.

"I will assist." Scáthach stated.

"You don't even know what he needs."

"It's not difficult to guess that he requires martial Aid." She poked me. "Student, do you look down on me?" She raised an eyebrow.

I dared not say that.

"That's in the future."

"Speaking of the present." Yasaka took the opportunity. "We were going to talk about Kunou's schooling, unless you want to put that off for now?"

"No, no." I quickly denied. "Trust me, this is significantly more relaxing than what I was doing before. And at this point, if I stop 'moving' I'm going to want to bury my head in the sand for a few days and pretend nothing is wrong."

"Mmm, very well." Zelretch tapped his fingers together. "I looked into what I was asked to. It was not a World I had thought about for many centuries. However, it was a world I found myself rather fond of for various reasons. Their system of Magic was…..well, I don't know if I quite have the words to describe it."

"That sounds ominous…"

"No, no." He held a hand up. "Not in that sense but….words don't quite do it justice. I would love to sit here and explain it properly, but I think it might be an enjoyable exercise for you to figure out. Nothing nefarious I assure you, but it is quite intriguing all the same."

"….color me interested then."

If it'll keep me preoccupied for now, I'd welcome it regardless.

"They have adopted a rather ingenious method of actualizing their spells. They have mainstreamed the use of magical Foci – Wands, as it were. Every Magical Child purchases a wand upon coming of Age for School and their whole system of learning is based around using it rather than not."

"A wand, huh?" I wasn't really sold on the idea. I could see the appeal, Magical Foci could be very powerful – as was my Staff. But they can also be a crutch if relied too heavily upon. If you disarm someone of their Wand, are they just neutralized then? "Do they have Magic Circuits or something equivalent?"

"Ah, that is one of the interesting points. They possess no Magical Circuits, no Magical Core no…. Container of any sort."

At that I felt my interest further increase by several fold. "But then how do they actualize spells!?"

"That is the question, isn't it?" He grinned. "I admit it was a mystery to me too for a while. Perhaps you will come to the same conclusion as I did."

"You're really not going to tell me and let me fumble around?"

"The Danger is so incredibly minimal, that I see no reason not to."

"Alright, you can stop trying to entice me, I'm sufficiently hooked. Tell me about this 'school' or whatever, that's what Yasaka and I are most concerned about."

"Where to begin." Zelretch tapped his chin. "I should explain that I have been to that world several times. Popping in here or there. Before the turn over of the calendar…when I was young, it was one of my first explorations. It wasn't particularly noteworthy for my young self who was too focused on amassing knowledge and power, but once I aged a bit, I visited it again under different mindsets. A dozen or so times throughout the centuries. My last time was during their Second World War, as I said. Interesting history there, as there was an entire Magical Fight happening congruently. I vaguely recall some 'Dark Wizard' accosting me or some other nonsense." He looked nostalgic. "Anyways, I'm getting off topic. The School, if you wish to send Kunou there, has been standing since around the 7th or 8thCentury if I remember my history accurately. It's somewhere in the Scottish Highlands, and serves to teach all the Magical Children within the British Islands. It's supposedly the top School in the world, if it still remains at the top, I do not know."

"So it has sufficient credentials?" Yasaka asked. "If we send Kunou there, it isn't just going to be a playground, she'll actually get a proper Magical Education?"

"In a manner of speaking. Their system isn't a perfect equivalent of what we have, but it's a good starting point for a beginner. What she learns there will be a good foundation for anything further she wishes to delve into."

Yasaka nodded, pleased. "And my concerns about Safety?"

"If you're expecting any Higher Beings, I am pleased to inform you that no Gods ever came into existence in that world. One of the purposes of my visits there was to investigate the absence of Divine Beings, yet the world retained Magic. A curious correlation if you think about it."

"And how strong are the average 'Magic User'?" I asked.

"They refer to themselves as Wizards and Witches." He corrected. "And, well….." He rubbed his beard. "Using your standards, I believe the average Adult Wizard or Witch that had a proper education and 'keeps in shape' would be about a Mid-class?"

"And the above average?" Yasaka asked as well.

"Hmm, High-class." He replied. "I'm not quite sure about any outliers that have appeared. But that seems to be how I would rate the 'Dark Wizard' – " He air quoted. "that I encountered."

Yasaka and I shared a look.

"That doesn't sound too bad." She said.

"Certainly, it could be worse. And we can take every precaution." I agreed. "And is this 'Society' out in the open?"

"Oh Heavens, no." Zelretch laughed. "They hide themselves away, pretty well actually. I want to say more…but I think when you see it, you will understand why I find it amusing."

"So….plan?" I looked around.

"There should be a principal…headmaster, or something, right?" Yasaka seemed unsure just as I was. "We reach out? Create some backstory he can't verify?"

"…would that make him not want to accept Kunou then?"

"Bribe?" She offered.

"That's not…. impractical."

"Oh." Zelretch snapped his fingers. "I nearly forgot that I do have a stash of money there. A vault I opened because I thought it was a novel thing. Run by Goblins of all creatures! It's filled with Gold. I think there's a key somewhere around here….probably in my storage I'll need to dig out."

Yasaka and I shared a look again.

"So…should we go check it out?" I offered.

Yasaka bit her lip. "I can't for the moment, I need to get back and settle some things. But, why don't you take a break, go play around and set up a meeting with the head of the School and then we can go together?"

"Alright." I nodded slowly. "Alright." The more I thought about it, the more pleasant it sounded. "I will…just check it out. See what's going on, and report back."

"I just realized, what was this school called?" Yasaka looked at Zelretch.

"It was….something weird, the name of a flower?" He stared off, seemingly trying to remember. "Something pig…Pig war…..Hog…Hogwarts? Yes, that's it, Hogwarts, school of Witchcraft and Wizardry."


I stepped out of a portal, breathing in the air. I wouldn't exactly call it fresh as the air of late 1900th century London was anything but. However, the Magic in the air was abundant and noticeable. I would even call it a degree above my Birth World.

"What do you think, Sir Wiggles?" I glanced up at my familiar sitting on my head.

He twitched his nose excitedly.

"I know, I feel the same way." I was allowing myself to relax more. I was stressed, I think it was obvious to everyone. But at this singular moment, I was slowing down and smelling the proverbial flowers because I couldn't keep going as high strung as I was.

I had plenty to do when I got back, I would be gone for less than a day all things considered, but I would just enjoy my small break.

I took out a notebook full of Gramps' writings. Some notes of his, things he thought I would like in particular, and other references in case I lose my way or get confused about something.

I could mostly wing it, I wasn't too worried.

The biggest issue…was finding the conclave hidden in London. Gramps said he had an approximate location, but I didn't see any Magical phenomena right off the bat. But then again, I popped out somewhere rather secluded and out of the way.

Well, these streets weren't too foreign to me. I still knew my way around London like the back of my hand. So instead, I just found my bearings and went towards the busiest section of the city that I was closest to.

Or just made my way to the closest crowds in particular.

Now if I were a secretive group of Magical people….where would I hide.

I would need to use all of my cunning and logical thinking to pinpoint the exact location. Cross reference lack of traffic with various maps, peer through newspapers for any mentions of illogical phenomena. Maybe even look through some history books for sections of the city that remained standing during the World War 2 bombings. It would take hours of study and research...or I could just follow that person wearing Victorian-era clothing walking down the street without anyone so much as giving them a secondary glance.

….really Gramps? Is this what you meant?

There was the faint pulsing of Magical Energy as it flowed off them as well. They probably had several Mystic Codes on their person by the feel of it.

Oh well, this made things much easier!

I simply did an about-face and began following at a modest distance.

I don't think they noticed me as they never bothered to even check around themselves.

Was I being too cautious? Probably….after everything that happened, maybe it was just my default for a little while.

I was somewhat skeptical as they walked into a run-down looking pub. My skepticism would have increased by this action had the Bounded Fields around the place not been blaring to anyone with the senses to notice.

I walked up, right at the boundary line and touched upon them.


The most powerful one was basically telling people without a certain amount of Magical Energy that 'This building wasn't worth noticing, keep moving along'. I could see some aspects that could be improved upon, but it was a very decent perception filter anchored to a concept to only allow through 'Magical People'.


There were other, milder effects underneath. Looked like some standard non-lethal defenses if someone got a bit uppity. But I ignored them for now, my Magical Resistance wouldn't even notice them going off if I were so inclined.

So I just opted to push the door open and walk inside.

There was a large group of people inside, many of varying degrees of origin. But I would say that the majority of them were wearing clothes that didn't belong in this century.

Seems like I found a good place to start!

Lost track of the person I was following, but it didn't matter anymore.

I just opted to head to the counter where the presumed Barkeep was set up.

He eyed me as I got close. "Haven't seen ya face around here."

"New to the area. Came over from Japan, no idea where the erm…..I don't know what word you lot use around here. Your conclave? Is set up. Could use a bit of directions." I was honest in my intentions.

He gave me a scrutinizing gaze, eyes landing on Sir Wiggles for a moment, then simply shrugged. "Came to the right place, mister. Name's Tom, this is The Leaky Cauldron, one of the public entrances to Diagon Alley." He puffed up proudly. "I'll show you how to get in." He gestured to the side.

Well….that was simple.

He led me off to a back door out into the alley behind the building.

"…are you going to mug me?"

Tom broke out into a fit of laughter. "Not the first time I've been asked that! Never gets old, it does." He shook his head. "Look closely, this is how you gotta do it for now on." He took out his wand, and tapped the stone wall a few times and it began to separate.

I was…admittedly impressed by the scene that unfolded. I watched the Magical effects that unfolded in front of my eyes and didn't really have any outright criticism.

But more so, what was hiding behind the 'wall'.

It opened up to show hundreds of people walking up and down a somewhat narrow street with all sorts of shops lining both sides.

"Thank you, Tom." I made sure to be polite. It cost nothing and could sometimes get you anything. "Next time I'm around, I'll be sure to order a few drinks."

"I'll hold you to that." He said good naturedly.

"Oh, one last question. Where's the bank exactly?" Gramps told me to head there first to get some of the local currency. Said it would be easier than trying to just pay with regular Gold.

"Should be straight down, and on the right. Big white marble building, can't miss it."

I nodded in thanks, and took my first steps into this strange new world. Metaphorically speaking.

I felt that sort of tingle in the back of my head as I began eyeing many things I wanted. Little knick knacks that only served my hoarding instincts.

Okay, my impressions of this place were getting better.

Didn't know what I expected, but I saw a trunk on display that was bigger on the inside. Might seem simple on the surface, but it was difficult to do back home. And they were just sold out in the middle of a shop.

There was another store that apparently sold Magical Animals…. Sir Wiggles suddenly became very interested.

"We'll check it out after getting some money, buddy." I rubbed his head. "Maybe we'll find you a little girlfriend?"

I didn't need to have a familiar link with him to know he was excited by the idea.

I promised him some little bunnies of his own, and it was time I made due on that promise.

I hoped, I can't claim to know what's around here, but we'll see. I can begin to make it a priority and search around.

But yeah, Tom was right, I wouldn't miss it.

There was a large, white, marbled-like building at the corner. It looked like a small breeze would blow it over as the pillars that supported it were sort of…leaning in various ways.

Looked highly unsafe.

Oh well.

There were two guards standing at either side.


They looked about what one would expect from certain myths and legends. Small….and by my 'human' standards, not very attractive…

They looked at me like they wanted to skewer me with their halberds they were holding.

Speaking of.

"That's some fine craftsmanship." I admired it. And I flipped open the notebook that Gramps gave me, finding a section in particular that he thought I would be interested in. "Is that Goblin Silver?"

They didn't answer.

They didn't move….

Well alrighty then.

I guess I would ask inside then. I simply shrugged and pushed the bronze doors open. And the inside was not what I was expecting. I had to take a moment to admire the ambience. For a Bank run by Goblins, it was elegant in presentation.

Sometimes you just have to take a moment to appreciate the small things.

There were plenty of more Goblins inside. In fact, there seemed to be a few dozen sitting at desks in the middle of the room writing with what looked like quills, the scratching sound was rather distinctive. They didn't even care to look up as I walked in, and I too ignored them and made my way to the teller at the front.

Very few humans were inside, so I guess I came at the right time.

"Next." A lazy voice called out, an underlining accent I wasn't familiar with. The Goblin teller was looking at some parchment as he called out, presumably to me. I walked up, waiting patiently for him to address me. "Purpose of your visit?" He was curt and to the point.

"I would like to withdraw money from a vault, please."

"Do you have a key?"

"Yup, right here." I dangled it, yet he still didn't even bother to acknowledge my actual presence.

"Name." He sounded utterly annoyed, to be honest but I held my tongue.


The Goblin seemingly froze. Very slowly, he turned to look up at me. And that's when I noticed that all the ambient noise in the building also ceased as I glanced around me and all the other Goblins were looking my way.

Gramps, what the hell did you do?



I'm driving back home later today, so give me a day or so to recover from the 8-10 hour drive and we'll get back on some kind of schedule.

That being said, friendly reminder, we have a discord – https://discord.gg/M4nABGCmSf

If you want to read 9 chapters ahead or support me, visit my pa.t.r.e.o.n.c.o.m / astoryforone

Next chapter