Nier's wand hit the planked floor with a hard thud, yet even that did not make him open his eyes, as the well of dooms' water only gargled further, which now, evaporated from the heat—making way to a depthless aperture, from where sprawled out what resembled to be a set of hundreds of transparent writhing obsidian-black hands.
"This kid already willed his spell before he had even audibly conjured it!" Margot said in a panicky tone, she would've been impressed by such ability if not for the terrifying phenomena taking place under her watchful gaze.
Only twenty steps forward, the well-stretched the long rubbery hands around the space, which was now shrouded in a miasma of foul mist— the shop shook for a moment as if it going to collapse any second later, and even the weather outside did not escape the well's rage, as clouds huddled together making a shape similar to a cyclone above the shop's roof.
A latent fear took over the present people in the shop, seeing that the hands are beginning to scamper towards them.
On the other side, Nier felt his conscience taken over by the mechanical voice of the Necronomicon's game function.
[A recorded will has afflicted the bearer's mind]
[Does the bearer wishes to hear it?]
"A recorded will?" Nier thought, "Is it harmful?"
"Yeah, let me see what that all about."
[I see that the well of dooms had finally given someone my summoning spell, which means a third wizard had somehow found his way to me again]
"Hm? A third wizard to find you?" Nier was taken by surprise at how the voice spoke so hastily.
[Well, let's make this as concise as possible before Marlock starts taking notice]
"Wait, What does this universe's god have to do with this?" Nier thought, baffled. "Who are you?"
[You must be wondering about my identity by now]
[I'm a minor part of a god]
[His shadow to be exact]
"A part of a god? Oh, don't tell me this is a Marlock's shadow will?" Nier thought astonishingly.
[I will presume that the legends of Marlock did not vanish yet in your current epoch, hence, let me start from the day of my escape]
[My master as you know had hunted me down for almost a billion moon cycle, and just after he was close to recapturing me, I have found a forbidden way to split myself into 5 fragments and sealed each of them in a different artifact across the realm of Dagonvania. You must have discovered and passed whatever requirement I have established, I reckon in this case, I must have demanded potential— my utmost congratulations, you have the upside to be a Godslayer—And I say Godslayer because wielding this fragment will indirectly make you an enemy to Marlock]
[And so I will ask you first]
[Do you wish to defy a god by taking the fragment?]
"Defy?" Nier inwardly sighed remembering the impossible journey ahead of him, he still didn't know how to accept the fact that he would either make gods bend the knee before him or perish trying to.
"I had accepted a power-hungry book before," Nier thought, "What would a fragment of a shadow do, bring it on."
With that, the voice vanished from his conscience, and he found himself back from that blackness that suddenly encircled his mind.
[One of the Main Quests has been automatically initiated]
[Find the 5 fragments of Marlock's shadow]
[1/5 fragment found]
[Additional Infos: each fragment found would not grant points until the whole shadow has been reconstructed]
Nier opened his eyes, to see two witches and a wizard shielding themselves using a rebounding spell, panic still apparent in their blanched faces. He then casually looked around, the well has already calmed down, and the room was so quiet it seemed as if nothing occurred at all.
Eleanor was first to shout, "What just happened? Where have those baneful hands and the frightening mist disappeared into?"
Nier picked up his wand, tonelessly saying, "What hands?"
Lasker's eyes flitted madly as he sounded, "The hands that were about to choke us dead!"
"Don't tell me this man trying to apply that I'm a dark wizard," Nier thought, "I must find a way to disassociate myself with this incident."
"Ah, those," Nier responded. "They aren't real."
"Huh? What do you mean they aren't real? That's impossible. Look outside! The whole town has been battered by your spell!" Laser pointed at the people outside the shop's frontal mirrors, some of them peeking from windows, and some from the threshold of their shops.
"It's all in your head," Nier said innocently. "I reckon what the well has chosen for me was an illusion spell, I mean look closely, I was inside the range of the spell if anything was real then why I'm not harmed anywhere."
Just when he said that, the portrait tsunami raged again, and soon, it drowned the people inside, then pushed the water all the way to Lasker's feet.
Nier took this god-given opportunity to enhance his stance, "See, you can feel that the water is real, my spell wasn't, there is a clear difference between that and that."
Lasker folded his brows, struggling to find a counter-argument. He then heard a faint chortle—it came from Hastur's school surveyor, Lady Margot, which now scratched her chin with a long-nailed finger. "The boy could be saying the truth here," she wisely said to Lasker, "I of no people claims that I wasn't a bit terrified there, unusual effect for merely an illusion but the crux of the matter is that the well until now only gave very swoon demonstrations of spells prowesses, and in my opinion as a surveyor, I don't think this case much differ at all, an illusion spell must be grand to have the desired effect,"
"You sure about that Lady Margot?" Lasker's voice did not lose its reverence, his gaze, however, seemed suspicious as ever.
"I did become a school surveyor by not being sure Sir Lasker," Margot confidently said, only now shutting off the protective barrier. "There is zero chance the well will react like that if it wasn't just for show."
Nier kept quiet, delighted that someone believed his lie.
Lasker sneered, shaking his head, reluctant to believe such nonsense. He wanted to grumble more arguments but was cut off by Nier's eager query.
"Did I succeed then? Am I a Hastur Academy student?" Nier said, in an eager tone. The price he took to completely disband any association with the dark arts might cost him an opportunity to get admitted.
Margot tapped her cane on the floor several times, pondering whether this supposed ability of the boy was any good. "At normal circumstances, I might have rejected you. Even though your spell brought chills to my old heart it is still not a dueling one, fortunately, the school principal's vision has recently been altered in the direction of acquiring more individual abilities—A skillful illusionist might be useful in some areas, thus, I don't see any problem with you being admitted to our school," Margot said pining Nier with her gaze, "I'm not known to give nameless wizards such chances, Don't disappoint my judgment."
"I won't dare," Nier said, slightly bowing.
The witch flapped her Burgundy cloak, "Wait a moment, let me write your acceptance letter."
Margot tapped the floor with her cane, making a special kind of parchment flew from her pocket, soon joined by a quill, the letter scribbled itself under everybody's gaze, halting only after the name section.
"I can't proceed with the letter without a surname," Margot raised a brow.
"You can use mine," the spaced-out Eleanor said. "Nier is my apprentice."
"Nier Roosevelt it is then," The witch mumbled.
Once the letter was finished, the witch pulled a candle, and set it alight. Then burned the letter until only ash remained.
Nier had read about this transportation method in one of the books he sneaked out from Eleanor's desk drawers, the letter will reach its destination as long as the address was correct.
"The school's term will start next month, be sure to head to the nearest portal by then."
"I'll keep that in mind," Nier answered.
"4 students from one town, this must be an unprecedented record" Margot announced collecting the well with a tap of her cane.
"Well, then I must leave for another town—after you Lasker."
Lasker nodded, taking her hand, as they steered to the entrance, but before completely going outside, the baron stole a last wary look at Nier.
"My 3 kids might be interested in knowing you since all of you will be attending Hastur school, do you accept my invitation to my mansion?" Lasker said.
"Sure, why not, but better be an off-day, Eleanor doesn't like slacking," the boy said.
"I will arrange, wait for my invitation."
Nier simply waved at him, sensing that this shrewd man would probably create a lot of complications for him in the future.
After they left, Eleanor finally got to say what she didn't wan't to ask in the presence of those two.
"Nier, are those things really just an illusion?" she said, remembering the black gluttony hand that almost seized her.
"No, it wasn't." Nier mumbled, pulling his hair back, and charming a broomstick to drive away the seawater outside.
"..." Eleanor whispered breathing loudly, as her heart skipped a beat, she didn't even bother to congratulate Nier for his acceptance but rather silently went to her forge, somewhat glad of the kid's honesty, but also frightened of everything else.