By the time I open my eyelid, I find myself in a completely different place. In place of mother nature’s backyard, where wildlife reigns supreme and is unneutered to human needs, I’m in what I think is a grand palace; a place catered to what humans deemed as ideal and luxurious. A lavish and over-the-top place made to show enormous power or wealth to those who own it.
The roof soars in the sky. Two rows of magnificent pillars parallel to each other carved from beautiful white marble reach the sky. Between those pillars is a smooth red carpet leading to a gigantic door and up the few steps of stairs to me… Wait a minute, if this follows the conventional palace design then that means…
Instead of when I last remember laying down, I’m somehow leisurely sitting. I stand up and look at the place I’m sitting. It is a huge black throne, with intricate silver ornaments decoration, its back is three times taller than I am. Behind the throne is an opaque victorian style stained glass window letting a bit of white light into this already bright room.
Why am I… or was I… sitting on a throne?
If I’m here at a palace, then what happened to the me that was in a forest? Is me in that place gone? I need to go back to not worry Instructor Kalish. However, I’m clueless in that regard.
Strange, why am I not confused or shocked or anything? I feel calm — as if I knew this place unconsciously. Is this because I’ve already experienced transmigration?
Intrigued by this place with nothing to do, I decide to explore this palace as I walk down the stairs near the throne and traverse the wide-open room.
On top of each pillar, there’s a pole that should’ve held a banner or a flag. But interestingly, there’s no banner attached to it. If this is an aristocracy palace, there should be banners or flags to showcase its kingdom pride. It would seem this palace is empty and nobody resides in it anymore.
Quite a shame, since the most spectacular palace without a banner is like a hollow attractive person.
What if I put a banner? This palace would not be as majestic without a huge banner. It reminds me of modern aristocratic architecture similar back on Earth. However, beneath its modern look, there’s a historical feel to it. Abandoned and forgotten. Time still continues, holding its magnificence even without any owner — its missing banner identity further proves this notion.
It sparks my creativity and I come up with a banner design that would represent this palace feel. The icon, minimalist design of modern art with a skeleton-like frame in a heart shape. Its base background color would be white, while the logo would be a mix of black, to represent authoritative power, and purple to represent magic royalty.
Yeah, as if I could do that. With how tall and numerous these pillars are, it would take ages to place the banner. Don’t even think about creating and sewing the banner itself.
All of a sudden, the very banner I thought of at the top of my head is attached on each pole, swaying back and forth, as it slowly reaches to standing still.
Bewilderment comes and goes at the speed of light. With all of the crazy events I’ve experienced so far, it’s better to not question things and just go along with them. But does that mean the palace listens to my thoughts and instructions?
I think of wanting the gigantic door at the end of the red carpet to open. As soon as I finished that thought, the door creaks and opens steadily… I… can’t believe my deduction is proven immediately.
I go outside the throne room, the corridor branches off to left and right. Since I’m alright so far, I choose to go right. The corridor is as magnificent as the throne room. Each and every distance there would be a chandelier, but instead of the usual candles, it was replaced with something similar to a modern lamp.
This world has its own version of the lamp; instead of electricity, they are powered using mana energy, absorbing the energy inside of manaritium. However, in terms of design, the lamp present in this palace is much more similar to lamps back on earth. Strange, am I back on earth?
I walk forward in the corridor. The fine details around this palace resemble modernized renaissance era aesthetics which I heavily appreciate; it reminds me of the reason why I love learning history in the past. From the walls, floor, and even several beautiful potted plants. Finally, I found a big window and look outside.
What greets me is an endless stream of clouds stretching as far as the eyes can see flying almost as low as the ground. What was alarming is the fact that I could not see the ground at all. Gone was the previous depressing afternoon sky, instead; it was replaced by blinding clear rays of sunlight. All traces of the green forestry seemingly disappeared out of sight. Where is this palace?
Moving through the corridor I found a dark purple door with a stone archway on top, its carvings felt so foreign to me. The room emits a magical aura I’ve never felt before as if there are several different kinds of intense energy surging out of it — yet why does it feel very intimate? Why do I feel this way? Why does this room stand out much more compared to the other room that follows the conventional palace aesthetics? I must go inside.
『 M̶̛̯̬ȧ̷̰̥̊s̷̬̜̀͠ṫ̵̘͉̔e̵̤̎r̴̗̻̈… 』
Did I just hear a ghostly yet sultry voice echoing throughout the room? Is this place cursed?
Inside, there are no windows and no lamps — Sombre aura fills this place. Yet, on the dark cold floor, an engraved magic circle with its core is a white ten-sided star — decagram, radiates specks of white light to this gloomy room going upwards. On each corner of the room, sat hooded angels, kneeling and their hands grouped together — praying. Strangely, each and every one of them faces the entrance, as if they are waiting for their god or creator to return. Their expression is solemn with the face of tranquil.
Before the magic circle, is a marble table supported by two beams, an altar. I go near it, and on top of it were engraved magic chanting words,
Servire et adorare dominum
All of this reminds me of what an occult ritual to summon a devil stage would look like. Seemingly there is nothing more eye-catching findings left and no clues to track that voice, I leave while sincerely hoping that I was only experiencing auditory hallucinations.
I finally start traversing the left branch of the corridor from the throne room. While walking, I contemplate on what I’ve discovered about this place so far, especially the rooms residing on the right branch.
This place has a diverse and wide variety of rooms. Most are what you would expect at a lavish place, others are not so.
Numerous bedrooms filled with luxurious and humongous beds and other fancy furniture such as sofa and wardrobe. Reminding me of a five-star residential suite.
Several bathrooms with some of its bathtub or shower nowhere to be found and instead were replaced with a damn pool, oh and don’t forget some of them even have a freaking bubbling jacuzzi.
Theatre with rows of red cushioned chairs filling the space. Each row going lower and lower until its level parallels to the grand stage with a grand piano in the middle of it.
Few kitchens with modern stovetops and other numerous cooking equipment that I don’t fully understand.
Glassdoor leads to an enclosed, yet open space garden greenhouse, thriving and vibrant plants and colorful flowers filling the greenhouse, giving off a lively and energetic feeling.
Even a library as big as the throne room. Bookshelves that tower similarly to the pillars found back in the throne room, storing an unfathomable amount of books. These books, however — are blank, without a single word or letters.
That mystical purple room straight out of horror movies.
And many more rooms I have yet to explore…
Other than how ridiculously luxurious each of these European-style rooms, one thing they have in common is how neat and tidy they are, without a speck of dust in sight.
This revelation just makes things even more mysterious. Where is the person who owns this palace? How could this place still look proper and new without being maintained by the owner? My desire to investigate this place increases more than ever before, desperate to find answers.
Then, I catch on to something. A pitch-black door with two shiny but dark armors standing beside it. Their posture rigid and powerful, the gloved armors hold their swords between their legs, pointing downwards touching the ground; seemingly guarding the room. All combined should vibrate an eerie vibe. Yet this time, I don’t feel anything. No… I’m unfazed by it. The room is calling me — pulling me. I walk to it, and it opens by itself.
Inside, it is as eerie as its outer appearance. Walls are covered in smooth dark stone bricks, its tough structure starting to erode — as if time still passes, supposedly forgotten. Flickers of light that illuminate this room originate from inside a cauldron almost as tall as I. The light that is shed upon this room is quite bright, yet the other sides of the wall cannot be seen. In front of the cauldron is a small staircase. I climb up the steps and take a look inside the cauldron.
The white gooey matter is slowly spinning inside the cauldron. Only a small quantity fills it, barely a hundredth of the maximum capacity. The matter looks ghastly as if it is a liquidated soul.
Looking at it, a stream of information barges my mind. It seems to be an unfamiliar magical spell. Unconsciously, I chant,
「 As your one and only lord;
Heed upon your creator’s call;
I summon thee!
『 Adsignatos! 』 」
The matter inside the cauldron gushes out, leaving it empty. Creating wind around the room as they flow carelessly in the air. Then suddenly, a white light blinds my eye. I turned my back, trying to shield myself away from it. What the heck was that? Then I slowly open my eyes.
And there they are. Two dark human-like forms appeared in front of me, kneeling — towards me. Shadow aura emitting from within their body, obscuring their physical details. But the weapon they are holding is clear, one is a spear, the other a sword. My body froze but still relaxed as I try to assess the situation.
「 Who are you? 」
Silence remains in this room. Their only response I received is their heads lowered even further.
「 Who am I? 」
Our… our lord and master.
The heck, that’s not my thoughts. Did they just communicate directly to my mind? I prepare my thoughts as I try to ask them again without saying them out loud.
Why am I your lord and master?
We… Don’t… Know….
Are you human?
We… Don’t… Know….
Can you listen to my thoughts?
Only… when it is your… intention, my lord.
Do you know who you are?
We… Don’t… Know…. My lord.
Do you have any questions about me?
We do not… We just follow… your command.
Their hazy and unclear thoughts transmitted to me. Is this telepathy? They sound ominous but some part of me tells otherwise — displaying absolute loyalty and obedience.
From my weird transmigration to waking up in an unknown palace, and now to this. What am I supposed to do with them? And they even call me master and lord? Did they mistake me as the owner of this palace?
Not knowing how to deal with them, I leave the room. And they followed after me, walking just behind me. I pretend I don’t notice them and continue walking.
We randomly go to the beautiful courtyard, its size is almost twice the size of a soccer field. This huge empty space will be perfect to check their abilities. Since they have weapons on their hands that means they must know how to fight. Let’s see how they fare in combat and test their loyalty.
Demonstrate your strength to me by fighting each other.
Yes, my lord.
I give them space, and they start standing across each other. With a slight nod, they dash to one another and the sound of clashing metal fills this open space. Interesting… do they see my nod, or my thoughts were transmitted to them again? This is quite creepy when you think about it. Do they understand all of my thoughts or they only know the ones I purposefully permit them to receive? I need to understand more about how this mind telepathy communication works. Isn’t this quite similar to the《School of Wits Magic》?
Their movement is agile and their attacks are full of strength, reminding me of Instructor Kalish. But each of their actions seems to be thoughtful, with no waste. The complete opposite of him. He would’ve just brute force any fight and bring down opponents by pure strength.
Then, silence remains, indicating their fight is over. That’s pretty quick I must say.
As expected the spearman won; the tip of the spear touching the swordsman’s highly obscured neck. Supposedly they have the same combat skill, but spears will always have the advantage against swords due to their far reach. It brings me back to how badly I want to learn the art of combat using spears instead of swords due to its upbringing. Sadly, there’s a sentiment or trend in the noble community that “real nobles fight with magic and swords” or whatever. Spears are also cumbersome to carry.
That feeling when I stumble on the cauldron comes to me again. This time, a headache goes along with it. I shut my eyes, grimacing the pain. After it’s over, I somehow “remember” several magic spells. Wait… one of them is a spell to come back from where I was?!
「 Renald, wake up! We got company! 」
I hear Instructor Kalish’s voice within me, shouting, panicking with a sense of extreme urgency. There must be something going on back there.
We’ll end the session now
Yes, my lord. We await your command… Always.
Spinning shadowy aura start surrounding them, after it fully covers them it puffs out, slowly disappearing. The shadow is now gone, with no traces of them left.
I got perturbed but I don’t have time to question how they left, I need to go back. I hastily run to the throne room. I choose to go back to the throne room, not wanting to raise any complications on going back.
Sitting down on the mighty throne, I take another look at this vast palace, making sure to remember its jaw-dropping details. I then start my chant as I see big magic runes appear at the bottom of the throne.
「 The master of all things ancient;
Ruler of the arcane sky palace;
『 Palatium 』 」
My consciousness starts to fade away, feeling tired, as I close my eyes.