Volume 2: Bloodlines Astorm
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
Volume 2 opens with some insight on Oscar. And as a young child, Oscar learned wind magic from his grandmother Emilia, the Head of the House of Rutherford. He is able to see magic spirits, and his grandmother tells him to keep it a secret, and that he should always live his life freely. Oscar grows up as a playboy. He falls in love fast, but he falls out of love eventually. His partners always start with lots of magic spirits around them, but the magic spirits eventually disappear and Oscar loses his interest. He meets Noah at the Academy and finds him odd, and wonders what kind of person would make Noah fall in love. After Mahoro enters the Academy, Oscar is attracted to Mahoro, and Mahoro is surrounded by spirits. However, after Mahoro gets together with Noah, Mahoro just seems to glow even more with spirits, not less. Oscar wonders what is different between him and Noah.
Noah is completely infatuated with Mahoro and plays with his body every night for the past week. Mahoro is conflicted about it. He doesn’t feel the same feelings as Noah, but he doesn’t hate him. Mahoro is willing to give himself over to Noah, but he feels like it’s probably wrong to indulge in so much carnal pleasure. He doesn’t believe that he’s worthy of love.
Noah’s father stops by the villa and wants to meet Mahoro. Noah is completely rude to his father. Noah’s father is a top official in the military and asks Mahoro if he has any idea of Siegfried’s whereabouts, but Mahoro doesn’t know. Noah’s father seems to know about the relationship between Noah and Mahoro, but he doesn’t warn Mahoro off. He wants Mahoro to be useful to the kingdom and to Noah.
The Commandant and Oscar visit Noah’s villa. The Commandant wants Mahoro to meet a researcher of the light magic bloodline. She also wants to take Mahoro to see the Priest of the Forest People. She thinks that the Priest is a light magic descendent and hopes to get more info about their bloodline and if he knows any possible routes to the island that Siegfried might have used. Noah is vehemently against it because that Priest is the one who gave him the Gift, his original magic. In exchange for the Gift, Noah had to give up something that was most important to him—his mother—and it traumatized him. Oscar is interested in going to see the Priest because he wants the Gift.
The researcher calls on the villa a few days later, and Noah grills him to verify his identity. Everything seems okay, but Noah denies him entry anyway, and the researcher turns out to be a fake sent by Siegfried. The real researcher shows up with the Commandant, who was supposed to have other plans this day. The researcher starts telling Mahoro about the light and dark magic bloodlines. The light magic bloodline has very short lifespans, typically living to about 15 or 16 years old, and they can’t step out under the sun at all. They can only consummate with other light magic bloodline descendants or the dark magic bloodline. Noah is so outraged to hear this that he doesn’t notice that something is wrong. Everyone starts feeling sleepy, and someone tries to grab Mahoro, but Noah’s older brother Nicol comes to foil the attacker, who disguised herself as the Commandant. She escapes out the window, but she had used some kind of nerve agent to immobilize everyone. Mahoro is okay after drinking a restorative tonic, but everyone else feels numb, so Nicol carries Noah back to his room to let him rest. Noah is weak to gas, apparently.
Mahoro has dinner with Nicol. He learns that Nicol and Noah are very close, in contrast to Noah’s antagonistic relationship to his father. Nicol is completely different from Noah. He has blond hair, and he’s very sociable. Because Noah was so beautiful, people would always bother him, and Nicol acted as his knight. But after Noah got his Gift, he became openly defiant of his father and refused to do anything that he didn’t like. The family even considered disowning him. Nicol learns that Noah has opened up a lot to Mahoro, and he hopes that Mahoro can stay by Noah’s side.
Mahoro brings Noah a tray of food to his bed. Noah tells Mahoro that he’s frustrated and angry with himself for not being able to protect Mahoro. He realizes that he can’t protect Mahoro on his own, so he will use all the resources he has to protect him. Noah was also incredibly shocked to hear that he wouldn’t be able to consummate his relationship with Mahoro, but Siegfried would be able to. He asks Mahoro a question. There’s a piece of wood floating in the ocean that’s only big enough for one person. If he keeps the wood, his loved one will drown. If he gives the wood to his loved one, he will drown. Which does he choose? Mahoro chooses to give the wood to his loved one. Noah answers that he would probably let them both drown—that if Siegfried were to take Mahoro from him, he feels like he would rather kill Mahoro himself, and it scares him that he thinks this way. Mahoro asks Noah if it’s painful to be with him. Noah shakes himself out of it and tells Mahoro that it’s painful to be away from him, and that he’ll do everything he can to protect Mahoro. Mahoro is relieved, and he realizes that he’s changed a lot since entering the Academy. Siegfried had locked him up in a tiny world, but now Mahoro is looking at a vast new world next to Noah. But Siegfried likely won’t ever give up on Mahoro.
The real Commandant comes over the next day and is shaken to hear the news that someone impersonated her. She tells them to ask her to perform magic to prove her identity if they ever feel suspicious of someone who looks like her. She has news from the military. She is to take Mahoro under her custody and keep him at the Academy with her. She changes Mahoro’s appearance with magic, de-aging him to about 10-years-old, changing his hair to black, and growing it long. She also places a mask on him that won’t come off without her magic. Albion doesn’t want to be put away, so she changes him too and Albion becomes a white pomeranian. The Commandant warns Noah to stay away from Mahoro at the Academy or Mahoro’s identity will be revealed. Noah threatens to defect like Siegfried if he can’t see Mahoro, and they negotiate so that Noah can see Mahoro once every two weeks. The Commandant immediately takes Mahoro with her to Crimson Island, and Mahoro is sad to leave Noah.
Mahoro will be the Commandant’s nephew, helping her with magic and different tasks. It’s a 5-hour carriage ride to the port and a 2-hour boat ride to the island. Most cadets will arrive on the island tomorrow for the start of the new term, but there are some early arrivals. The Commandant takes Mahoro on a broom ride over the island and shows him the barrier that blocks the eastern part of the island where the Forest People live. She needs to get permission from the Queen and make preparations for the trip before they can go there. It is mid January, and it will probably be February when they can go.
The Commandant takes Mahoro to the staff lodgings, where she has an apartment, and Mahoro will live with her. Mahoro will share a room with her, which should be okay, since he’s a 10-year-old boy now, and she doesn’t see him as the type to attack her. She assures him that she won’t attack him either. Mahoro wonders if he doesn’t look like a man to the Commandant and feels bad. He has very little sex drive and wonders if it contributes to his impression. She notices Mahoro feeling down, and tells him that he’s normal, that she read in one of the researcher’s books that there’s very little difference between men and women from the light magic bloodline, that they seem almost closer to fairies. The Commandant comments how she has known Noah for a while and that she’s surprised that after Noah learned that the light magic bloodline was unable to consummate with other bloodlines that his feelings for Mahoro haven’t changed. She didn’t think that Noah would be able to love anyone. That love changes people. She asks how Mahoro feels. Mahoro likes Noah, but he doesn’t quite understand love. The Commandant gives Mahoro the task of tending to the herb garden. She teaches Mahoro how to put away and take out Albion if he needs to, but it’s best for him to keep Albion out all times. She also has two of her Rottweilers protect him, and he can talk to them if he needs her. She will get his message through her familiars.
Mahoro runs errands for the Commandant and tends to the herb garden. He gets a lot of attention around the Academy for wearing the mask and being so small, but he tries to keep out of the way. He sees Zach, but Mahoro can’t go up and talk to him, which makes him feel sad and lonely. Noah will sometimes look at Mahoro, but he keeps his promise to stay away from him. Oscar chases Mahoro around once, wanting to talk to him and see under his mask, but Leon rescues him. A week later, the Commandant invites Mahoro and the Platinum Three to her office. She tells them of Mahoro’s secret identity at the Academy and invites the three of them with her to see the Priest. She wants Noah to come along because he has been there before, and the Commandant went once 20 years ago and didn’t get a Gift. They could use his strength and his familiarity with the place. Noah refuses to go. Leon hears that he will have to sacrifice something he loves, which could be his family, and decides that he won’t go after hearing that Noah didn’t even have the choice to refuse the Gift when he saw the Priest. Oscar says he wants to go. He doesn’t think his family would be sacrificed. If someone were to be sacrificed, it would likely be his grandmother, and she’s lived long enough, she would be happy to sacrifice herself for her grandson. Mahoro thinks that Oscar’s thinking is strange. He seems so happy and friendly, but he doesn’t consider his family to be the most important thing to him? Noah is worried about Mahoro getting the Gift, but the Commandant doesn’t think that it will happen. Mahoro wants to spend more time with Noah since it has been a while, but the Commandant kicks Mahoro out of her office.
Mahoro tends to the herb garden and tries cooking and baking. He makes a quiche for himself and the Commandant, and it’s not bad for a first attempt. Mahoro asks if magic is impossible for himself. She says it’s not impossible. He needs to work on his control, but he should be able to naturally use light magic and the other magic too. Both light and dark magic bloodlines can use all magic. It was how the Commandant thought that Mahoro and Siegfried were both Baldwins. Mahoro thinks that the dark magic bloodline is too invincible, but she says that they have a weakness. The dark magic bloodline passes their magic conduit down to their descendants and loses it, so they’re very selective about when to have offspring. Alexander had been cornered, so that was probably why he had made a child before setting himself on fire. As for working on Mahoro’s control, she’s having him work on the herb garden partially for that purpose.
Mahoro is motivated to work on the herb garden, and when it’s far enough long, the Commandant teaches him a new technique for casting spells. Instead of reciting an incantation, he draws a symbol for the magic he wants to use. Each element has a different symbol, and it uses more magic power than the incantation method. It should make it easier for him to control his magic. The Commandant asks Mahoro to try picking the herbs with magic. He should cut the ones he needs and leave alone the ones he doesn’t. He will have to start the herb garden all over from scratch if he messes up, so he should treat them preciously when he uses magic. Mahoro tries to do as the Commandant asks. He cuts more of the herbs than he needs, but it is much better than before. From that day forward, Mahoro uses magic to pick the herbs, and he slowly makes improvements, which makes him happy.
At the end of the month, the Commandant asks Mahoro to deliver herbs to the Academy’s kitchen. After he finishes his tasks, Mahoro sees a pit bull. He thinks that the pit bull is Noah’s familiar and approaches him, but then the pit bull starts growling and chases after him. Mahoro runs away scared, wondering why the Rottweilers aren’t doing anything to protect him. Albion ends up running in the opposite direction from Mahoro. Mahoro runs through the hallway with the cadets’ rooms. He wonders why Noah’s familiar is chasing him, when he sees a door open, and someone pulls him into the room when he tries to pass by it. It turns out to be Noah’s room, and he had Bull chase Mahoro here. Noah misses Mahoro, and he tries to take the mask off but it won’t budge. He touches Mahoro even though Mahoro doesn’t want to do anything in his current form.
Mahoro refuses to talk to Noah out of anger until it’s February 3rd, the day he leaves to see the Priest. The Commandant releases the transformation magic so that Mahoro and Albion are back to normal. It’s night time, and they’re dressed in military fatigues, carrying a huge backpack with provisions, a knife, and a gun. Mahoro wants to tell Noah that he’s going, but there’s no need. Noah is coming with them. He wants to protect Mahoro even though he hates being reminded of the place. They have a team of 7 elite soldiers accompanying them, and they head out to the training grounds and into the forest behind it. Deep in the forest, they reach a big rock where the magical barrier is. The Commandant recites an incantation to open the entrance, but she refuses entry to one of the soldiers when lightning suddenly strikes down on him. Apparently the god of the island doesn’t want him to enter. When Mahoro enters the restricted area, he hears a voice that says Welcome back. The voice sounds familiar and he wants to cry. He had gathered light spirits to him, and the Commandant thinks it’s a pretty sure sign that he’s from the light magic bloodline. The Commandant steps in last and she reverts back to her original form as a 70-year-old lady. Magic cannot be used in the restricted area, but they can still summon their familiars. It is one of the mysteries of the island. It is said that the god of the island hates magic. Also it is winter, but the forest beyond the magic barrier is warm and bright green. They have a three-day walk to their destination.
Oscar walks up to Mahoro and asks if it’s okay for him to fall in love with Mahoro. Noah doesn’t hear him, but Mahoro panics and doesn’t want Noah to fight with Oscar. Noah senses something wrong and glares at Oscar. Oscar shrugs and moves away from Mahoro. Mahoro wonders if Oscar was joking as usual. He wishes that he wouldn’t do that here.
The forest is like a jungle, and they pass by ruins left by the Forest People. There are dragon nests, dark beasts, and other monsters deeper in the forest. Noah is moody and withdrawn, and when they stop at some ruins to spend their second night, Noah disappears somewhere. Mahoro is worried and finds Noah outside smoking. He doesn’t normally smoke, but he can’t get his mind off of this place that he hates. Mahoro comforts Noah, and Noah tells him that he was 10 years old when his father told him that he had a mission for him, that he had to go to this forest. At the time, Noah still respected him. He thought it was weird that he was given this mission and not his older brother. But when Noah saw the Priest, he was given the Gift and told that in exchange they would take the life of the mother who had raised him. Noah was born from a mistress when his father had an affair, but his father’s wife had accepted and raised him unconditionally as her own son. Noah blames himself for letting her die. He feels bad for his brother, but he’s defied his father ever since then. Maybe Noah can seem cold and broken as a person, but Mahoro thinks that Noah isn’t broken, he just loves too deeply.
Noah asks Mahoro a question. There’s a drug that makes the person he loves forget him and a drug that makes the person he loves hate him. Which one would he pick if he has no choice but to pick one? Mahoro thinks it’s too sad if the person he loves hates him, so he picks to be forgotten. Noah tells him he would pick to be hated. He has the confidence that he would make the person love him again one day. Mahoro tells him that that side of Noah creeps him out, and Noah laughs and hugs him. Mahoro feels warm, but also sad and wants to cry, and he wonders what this feeling is. He says nothing and just hugs Noah back. Mahoro resolves to protect this warmth.
The next day they take an underground path from the ruins. It is too dangerous to go above ground the rest of the way. They make their way underground for a while, but then one of the soldiers finds it hard to breathe. He is being punished by the god of the island for leaving a cigarette butt behind in the ruins, whereas Noah took his with him. Another soldier heads back with the sick soldier to retrieve the tossed cigarette end. If he cleans it up, he should feel better again. Mahoro is uneasy now that the soldiers with them are down to 4 people. Two hours later they run into a glowing white apparition that can suck out someone’s soul if they move in its presence. There is nowhere they can go underground, so they line up against a wall and try to wait for it to pass. It looks incredibly scary to Mahoro, and he fights to keep himself from moving. Just when he thinks the apparition passes by him, it suddenly turns back and brings itself up close to stare down at Noah. Mahoro is incredibly freaked out, but he holds out. But one of the soldiers is unable to stand it and shoots at the apparition. The soldier falls dead and the apparition is gone. But they have to burn the body, or it will become an undead monster after about a day. They decide to do it on their way back.
They exit the underground path and it is night. They decide to set up camp and reach their destination tomorrow. Mahoro learns that the Commandant is childhood friends with the Queen, and Noah praises her too, which is unusual. Mahoro asks if the Commandant asked the Queen to save him, and she replies that Noah likely did something similar too. Mahoro feels grateful to the two of them all over again.
They set off for the village of the Forest People the next morning, but Mahoro didn’t sleep very well because he kept remembering the apparition. They reach the village, and the Commandant warns everyone to watch their manners around the Forest People, because the god of the island protects them. The village chief is an old man named Aragaki who comes out to greet them. He notices Mahoro and immediately recognizes him as one of the light people. He prostrates himself on the ground before Mahoro. It startles Mahoro and he tries to help Aragaki up. The Commandant tells the chief that they are seeking information about the light magic bloodline. Aragaki says that he recognizes Lord Mahoro, that he had once taken care of him when he was very young. He takes everyone inside the village where everyone is wearing toga robes. They have black hair, black eyes, and are pretty pale, but not as pale as Mahoro, and they prostrate themselves on the ground when they notice Mahoro looking at them. Aragaki shows them into one of the domed mud houses, and the Commandant asks for an audience with the Priest and any information about the light magic bloodline. Before seeing the Priest, they will have to purify themselves first, and the soldiers will not be allowed with them in the temple. The Priest does not live in the village. He is one of the light people, what they call the light magic bloodline, and he rarely comes out from underground. The village chief communicates with him by letter. However, two weeks ago, one of the villagers saw a dark beast. The light people protect this village, so Aragaki had sent a letter, but he had received no reply. They wonder if something had happened to the Priest, but Aragaki said that he received a letter 10 days ago informing him of their visit. So at the very least, the Priest should have been okay up until 10 days ago.
The Commandant asks Aragaki about Mahoro because Mahoro has lost his memories of this place. Aragaki says that sometimes the villagers and the Priest take the light people outside. About 13 or 14 years ago, he took Mahoro and 10 other children to the border of the island. The Commandant asks why he would do that, but Aragaki does not know the reason. The villagers aren’t allowed to ask the Priest anything; they only just serve him. But he thinks that they were taken off the island. No one has ever returned, except for this current Priest, to the best of his knowledge. The timeline seems to match up, so did that mean that Mahoro was given to Samuel Baldwin at the time? Mahoro has a lot of questions, but he knows that he must have been born on this island, and that there were other children here too. Aragaki says that the last time they sent children to the border was 5 years ago, they had taken 5 children, and then they suddenly stopped. Apparently the children live underground in the temple, but the villagers have never been there. It is one of their rules. While transporting the children, the villagers would take care of them. Mahoro can’t bring himself to tell Aragaki that the children have all died. He wonders if there are any survivors from the most recent 5 children.
The Commandant asks if Aragaki knows anything about the dark magic bloodline. They used to live on this island, but they had disappeared by the time Aragaki was born. Their settlement is 2 mountains over. If there are still any survivors, he has never seen them. It is too dangerous to investigate it due to all the monsters. The Queen had sent people to explore and find it, and they either died or returned injured, reporting that they only saw remnants of crumbled buildings. Noah looks grim and asks Aragaki if someone named Siegfried with red hair had ever come to this place. Aragaki says no, it is very rare for outsiders to visit. The Commandant thanks him for the information and asks to see the Priest.
They bathe in the river behind the village to purify themselves and change into white toga robes. Everyone has to wear them to see the Priest. Oscar is all excited, but Noah is unhappy, but still beautiful. Mahoro asks if Noah is okay. Noah is just remembering the past, since the procedures are the same, but this time he’s a bystander, so he’ll do everything he can to protect Mahoro. He’s tested out his original magic, and he can still use it here. Noah isn’t wearing his choker. Everyone is assembled, and Aragaki leads them to a ceremonial site with giant boulders arranged in a circle with a large stack of boulders in the middle.
It is the entrance to the temple where the Priest is waiting underground. Those who are invited will be granted access, and those who aren’t will not. Aragaki offers to take Albion from Mahoro, but Albion refuses to go with him. Everyone is placed in front of boulders with different marks. The Commandant has a lighting mark. Oscar has the bird mark. Noah has a cross mark, and Mahoro has a hand mark. Aragaki wishes for their safety and leaves the area. Light envelops the area as a magic circle lights up on the floor. Mahoro closes his eyes from the brightness, and when he opens them up again, the scenery has changed around him.
They are inside a very large temple, Mahoro sees a large altar with long candles placed on either side. It is called the Crystal Palace, and there is no one around. The Priest should be here to meet them. Everyone is worried, except for Oscar, who goes exploring. The Commandant warns him to stop, but he goes off anyway, and they have no choice but to follow him. They head deep inside the temple, but they see no one. Noah had never ventured this deep before. He had received his Gift in front of the altar, and that was it. They see someone collapsed behind a crystal pillar. It is a man in a white toga robe, and his throat has been slashed. He must have been dead for a few days from all the dried blood. Noah recognizes him as the Priest. Everyone pales, and Mahoro notices that the Priest is white and pale just like him. He feels like he knows this person, and the name Magister comes to his mind.
Oscar is unhappy, wondering how he will get the Gift. Noah thinks Siegfried must have come and killed the Priest. Maybe to prevent other people from receiving the Gift. Mahoro spots a little girl about 7 or 8 years old behind a pillar. She’s another one of the light magic bloodline. They try to get her to talk. The girl starts crying. She says that one of the darkness people with red hair had come to see the Priest and slit his throat. It happened 10 days ago, and he had come once before. The girl asks if they can move the Priest’s body for her. The light people aren’t able to touch impure things; it will shorten their lifespan. She has used time magic to stop the body from decomposing, but she is at her limit. The Commandant promises to move him when they leave and asks to speak to an adult, but there aren’t any. The girl sees that Mahoro is an adult and wishes that she can become one too. It appears to be true that the light magic bloodline has very short lifespans. This place feels familiar to Mahoro, but he can’t remember anything clearly.
Oscar shows his frustration, and the Commandant explains that they had come for the Gift. The girl says that she can bestow the Gift. She is the next Priest. Her eyes turn gold, and her hair lifts into the air. Wind swirls around her robes, and sparks crackle around her body. She reaches her hand out and starts chanting. She looks up at Oscar, smiles, and says that she can give him the Gift. Oscar is excited and demands it with his arms wide open. The girl points a finger at Oscar, and a light shoots from her finger into Oscar’s left eye. Oscar screams in pain and collapses to the floor. Everyone rushes to Oscar as he presses a hand over his bloodied left eye. The girl says that she has given Oscar the gift Sleep Temptation in exchange for his left eye.
The girl then turns to Noah and says that she can give him another gift. It is incredibly rare to obtain two of them. Mahoro feels like someone has grabbed his heart. Noah is seized with fear and backs away from the girl. He yells that he doesn’t want it and tries to run away. The girl floats into the air and directs her hand at Noah’s back. Mahoro has to stop her. Noah came all the way here to protect Mahoro, but no one imagined that it was possible to obtain two Gifts. Mahoro doesn’t want Noah to be traumatized again. Mahoro tries to grab the girl from behind, but sparks explode and push him away. The girl says that she will give Noah the gift Spatial Destruction in exchange for the one he loves. Light from the girl’s finger pierces Noah’s back, and at the same time, Mahoro feels a fierce pain wrack through his body, and he coughs up blood. The Commandant screams his name, and Noah turns around and gives a look of utter horror and despair when he sees Mahoro. Mahoro has fallen to the ground, coughing up blood, unable to breath. The girl says that she is only able to give the Gift to two people. That is that last thing that Mahoro hears.
Mahoro wakes up to the sound of singing somewhere. He is in a space that is pure white everywhere into the distance. However, his body is nowhere to be found. He feels and senses nothing. He seems to be just a consciousness and wonders if he’s dead. He remembers the look of despair on Noah’s face. He remembers that he had been coughing up blood on the ground, and that Noah was given a second Gift in exchange for the person he loves. That person is Mahoro, and he realizes that Noah’s love for him is real. It makes Mahoro happy to know that, but is Noah stricken with grief now that he’s died? How much pain must he be feeling now that the second person that he loves has been taken away from him? Mahoro can’t apologize to Noah enough for making him bear that pain. Now that Mahoro is thinking about Noah, it makes his heart ache with pain and sadness. Maybe Mahoro has fallen in love with him. Noah is rude and Mahoro never knows how to handle him, but Noah had given Mahoro all of his love. Mahoro has a complex about his white hair and skin, but Noah told him that he loved him the way that he was. He didn’t know how much it was linked to his confidence, but when Noah praised him, Mahoro felt like he himself was accepted. Mahoro feels terrible for causing so much pain to Noah at the end like this. He tries to imagine Noah’s face, and he wishes terribly to see him again.
Mahoro seems to be moving through the endless white space when he hears his name being called from somewhere. He thinks that it is Noah at first, but it’s too different. Mahoro turns his consciousness and sees a man in white robes. It is the Priest who died at the temple. Their eyes meet, and Mahoro’s memories come flooding back to him. Mahoro shouts out “Magister!” He wonders why he had forgotten this person who had been so important to him. He is his teacher and the head of their clan. Everything Magister had said was law. He had lived his life obeying everything that Magister had taught him. It had been instilled in him. But he doesn’t know if Magister is his true name.
Magister looks at Mahoro without smiling. He has no emotions. It is why he could become the Priest and the head of their clan. Mahoro is sure that he is dead. Magister tells him that he is in a temporary death-like state. They are in the realm of the dead. Magister has stopped here because he has something that he needs to do. If he continues walking to the other side, his soul will be reborn. He never thought that the man from the dark magic clan would come kill him. He should have told him that even if he died, someone else would just replace him. Magister points to a path in the distance that shines with a bright light. It makes Mahoro want to head in that direction. It smells good, there’s cheery music, and voices of laughter. Mahoro wonders how Magister can resist it.
Mahoro remembers the time when Magister had led him outside of the temple. He tries to speak up at Magister, but for some reason, Mahoro starts taking shape again, but not in his normal body, but as a white baby deer. He trembles, and Magister asks if Mahoro is afraid of him. Mahoro asks why Magister had given him and other children to Samuel Baldwin. He remembers leaving the temple and walking through the island at night. They had left the island through an underground tunnel where a boat was waiting for them. Magister had told the men rowing the boat that the children were not to be exposed to the sun, and that they were to be given to Samuel Baldwin. After that, they were taken to some harbor, split up into carriages, and taken to that research facility. Magister had sent them there to be experimented on.
Magister figures that Mahoro has taken the form of a deer because he wants to know the answer to that question. He says that he was using Samuel Baldwin in order to implant the heart of a dragon into their hearts.He knew that Samuel was searching for three things, and one of them was a child of light that carried the philosopher’s stone. Magister gave Samuel the heart of the dragon and told him that it was the philosopher’s stone, that his condition would be fulfilled if he buried it into the heart of one of the children from the light magic bloodline. Mahoro wonders why Magister would do that. Did he want money? Was he threatened?
Magister reveals that he did it to ensure the line of the light magic clan. They live short lifespans. At most 17 years. Typically to 14 or 15. But there is one way to let them live longer—that is to bury the heart of a dragon into their own. A rainbow colored stone appears in Magister’s hand from somewhere. He says that it is not an ordinary dragon’s heart. But a dragon’s heart that had been fed vast amounts of magic stones. When it is taken out, it becomes a very special magic stone that amplifies magic. That is how the light magic clan has ensured its survival. Magister has had the same procedure performed on him. There are plenty of rich people who are happy to listen to whatever lies and dreams of grandeur that he tells them. Because he is the Priest with special powers of the light people. Samuel Baldwin wanted to resurrect His Holy Kingdom of Trinity, and he easily fell for Magister’s lies. Magister says that it is too bad that the other children had died.
Mahoro asks why Magister would do such a thing. Wasn’t there any other way? But the light magic clan doesn’t have the medical technology. In exchange they have special powerful magic. In order to converse with the god of this island, they have to reject all forms of science and technology. There is no wavering in Magister’s voice, and Mahoro realizes that this has been going on for a long time. He asks why this is all necessary. To sacrifice so many children for this. Their lives may be short, but couldn’t they just live underground for the 10-some years that they had?
The Magister says that they must protect their seed. That the light magic clan must not be wiped out. This started because the dark magic clan started to be hunted down and exterminated. They could procreate with the dark magic clan and increase their numbers that way in the past, but now very few people with the light or dark magic bloodlines exist. The young children can’t give them more children. So if one survives out of 11, that makes everything worth it. Mahoro has become an adult. Magister is able to fast-forward and rewind time, and so he has known that Mahoro would return to the temple. He tells Mahoro that his duty is to replace him as the next Priest and to produce children with someone from the dark magic bloodline to ensure the survival of the light magic bloodline.
Mahoro frowns and retreats back from Magister. He starts to turn back to his human form. He doesn’t want to become a stud horse used to breed children. Mahoro tells Magister that he is already dead, but Magister says that the dragon’s heart can bring him back to life. He just has to take this other path. The path is in the opposite direction from the light path. It is a dark and gloomy tunnel, and Mahoro doesn’t want to go there. He tells Magister to take the path himself, but Magister can’t. He has already used up his second life. Magister asks Mahoro if he can hear the voices calling him. Mahoro listens harder, and he hears Noah’s voice. Noah keeps calling his name over and over again. His voice becomes louder, and it sounds so painful, like his chest has been ripped open. Mahoro takes a step towards it, and Magister is satisfied.
Mahoro turns back and asks Magister if he was the one he told him to open the gate. He had heard those words in a vortex of light when he was a child, but Magister doesn’t seem to know what Mahoro is talking about. Mahoro walks to the dark tunnel, drawn by Noah’s voice. There is a light at the end, and when he reaches it, he opens his eyes to Noah yelling his name. But his eyes feel heavy, and pain assaults his entire body. The taste of iron fills his mouth, and he can’t move his limbs. Noah’s beautiful face is clenched up in tears, yelling at Mahoro to stay with him, that he can’t die.
Mahoro sees the sky outside and wonders where he is. What happened to the girl? He feels like he just saw Magister. Mahoro hears Aragaki’s voice yell to take Mahoro to the village so that they can give him medicine. He feels Noah lift him up and sees the Commandant help support Oscar. She asks if there is a doctor, but the village only has a medicine man. Noah is frustrated that they can’t use recovery magic. Mahoro can feel Noah’s hands, which are ice cold and shaking, and tears drop onto his cheek—he almost thought that it was raining. Noah curses out the girl, that he shouldn’t have come here. If Mahoro dies, he’ll kill her and destroy the damn temple, everything. Mahoro thinks at how broken Noah has become with him this close to death. Even though Noah is suffering so much, Mahoro is glad that he returned to him. It is much better for Noah to be himself, even if he’s hurting and frustrated right now. Mahoro wants to comfort Noah, but no sound comes from his mouth. His body hurts all over, and he can’t hold onto his consciousness.
Mahoro receives treatment from the medicine man, but it only consists of herbal remedies. He hangs on the border of life and death for 4 days. Apparently his internal organs have been damaged, and the Commandant wants to take him back to the border as soon as possible so that she can perform recovery magic on him, but they have to wait until he’s recovered enough to be moved. The soldiers make a stretcher to carry Mahoro back. Their progress back is slow, and the Commandant worries that they’ll run into the apparition again. Noah spends his time watching over Mahoro, barely eating or sleeping. They take two days to exit the underground path to the ruins. They run into two undead soldiers left over from the apparition, but Noah destroys them both in an instant with Spatial Destruction. Noah says emotionlessly that they need to hurry back, and the Commandant comments how she wouldn’t want to make an enemy out of him.
They stop by one of the ruins and find a message from the soldiers. It’s from the soldier who had gotten sick from tossing the cigarette and the soldier who had helped him. They were running low on provisions, so they went back ahead of them. They spend another 3 days until they reach the border. When they exit the forest, the Commandant casts her glamour spell to regain her youthful appearance and casts recovery magic on Mahoro. Noah also helps. The Commandant comments that it’s a miracle that Mahoro could survive with all the internal injuries. The two spend a long time casting the recovery magic on Mahoro. They are sweating, and Noah is a little breathless. It takes a lot of concentration for the spell. Mahoro starts to breathe a little easier after some time, and the pain recedes. When all of the magic stones on the Commandant’s and Noah’s wands break and disappear, she asks how Mahoro is feeling. He feels better and tries to sit up, and Noah rushes to support him. Mahoro is a little weak from not eating very much during the journey. Noah is relieved and hugs him. They’ve fixed the major damage to his organs; Mahoro mainly needs rest and food to recover.
Mahoro notices that Oscar isn’t there and asks where he is. Oscar’s injury to his eye had stopped bleeding, and he was restless to get back. The Commandant tried to stop him, but he demonstrated his gift Sleep Temptation, and it worked on the people around him and even animals. The Commandant judged that he should be fine, so she allowed him to go back first on his own. A lot of preparation is needed to get into the forest, but it is easy to exit it.
Mahoro asks what happened with the Priest’s body. He almost calls him Magister, but he doesn’t want to talk about what happened in the realm of the dead. The Commandant tells him that she left the villagers to handle it. Mahoro notices that Albion isn’t around and asks about him too. Apparently Albion disappeared when Mahoro started coughing up blood, but as long as the master doesn’t die, the familiar won’t die either. Mahoro can try calling him out when he’s recovered more. The Commandant cooks for everyone, and they spend the night at the boundary. Mahoro is starving, and he finishes off the porridge fast and asks for seconds, but it’s not good to eat too much in his condition. Noah just watches Mahoro eat, and Mahoro has to prompt Noah to eat. He notices how thin Noah has become too, and he thinks at how much worry he had caused Noah. He didn’t think that Noah was someone who would cry like he did for him.
The Commandant places new magic stones into her wand and casts a protective barrier around them so that everyone can sleep peacefully. Mahoro notices that the soldiers seem to be afraid of Noah and keep a distance from him. Mahoro wants to talk to Noah, so they find a spot away from everyone else and look up at the sky as they lean against each other. Noah wipes Mahoro’s face with a wet cloth, and for some reason his eyes look sad. Mahoro takes the cloth and starts wiping Noah’s face and hands for him. Noah blames himself for coming along. That Mahoro almost died because of him. Mahoro hugs Noah and tells him that he’s still alive, that everything is fine. It’s not his fault. Mahoro presses their foreheads together, and they kiss. Noah notices that it becomes harder for Mahoro to breathe, and he pulls Mahoro into a hug instead. Noah says that it was the first time in his life that he had ever cried so much. He felt like he had lost all the water in his body. He can’t bear to lose Mahoro. Noah seems so weak now, even though Mahoro thought that he was so strong. Mahoro strokes Noah’s back, feeling all of Noah’s love for him, and Mahoro wants to return that love to him too. He tells Noah that he’s glad that he was able to return to him, but he remembers Magister’s words about his duty. That he’s supposed to sire more children of the light magic bloodline. Magister would not approve of this relationship that Mahoro has with Noah, but Mahoro doesn’t care. He wants to feel Noah’s heat. He wants to be by his side. Noah tells Mahoro that he’s scared that Mahoro will disappear and asks if he can hold Mahoro in his arms as they sleep. Mahoro falls asleep, listening to the sound of Noah’s heartbeat.
They return to the Academy the next day, and reconvene with the rest of the soldiers. They are shocked to hear about the death of the other two soldiers and leave to go report to the Queen. The Commandant shoos Noah off so that he and Mahoro can both recover first, and then she will let them be alone together. Mahoro collapses on his bed, and the Commandant leaves 10 of her Rottweilers watching him while she tends to academy business from when she was gone.
When Mahoro wakes up, it is morning the next day, and the Commandant has made breakfast. She is glad that Mahoro is better and tells him that Oscar is fine too. He can’t recover the lost eye, but Professor George cast recovery magic to heal the rest of him. The whole Academy is in an uproar about it. She tells Mahoro that he doesn’t have to do any work for a while. She doesn’t want to cast transformation magic on him while he is still weak, so he needs to stay inside the apartment. She needs to leave the island tomorrow for an overnight trip to give her direct report to the Queen and Noah’s father about everything that happened and about Noah’s second gift. She understands how important Mahoro is to Noah, that he keeps Noah stable. She has never seen Noah cry in front of people, and she’s glad that Mahoro is safe also for Noah’s sake. Mahoro asks if he can call Albion out, and the Commandant tells him to try it. Mahoro calls him out successfully, and it makes him very happy. The Commandant says that it’s proof that Mahoro loves Albion, and that is why he can control his magic.
The next day, the Commandant leaves for her trip off the island. When evening comes, Mahoro hears a knock on the door and finds Noah. Noah pulls Mahoro into a hug and kisses him, and then takes him to bed. Noah uses his mouth to pleasure Mahoro, and when he finishes, Mahoro wants to do the same for Noah. Noah is happy and turned on, and when he comes in Mahoro’s mouth, he’s still hard. Noah tells Mahoro that he’s cute everywhere, and he wants to eat him up. Mahoro tells Noah that he can if he wants. He’s fine with it if it’s Noah. Noah can do anything he wants to him. Noah tells him that those are incredible words of love that Mahoro has told him, and he tells Mahoro, I love you.
They spend the whole night making love. They wake up to Albion’s howling and Noah is happy to eat the quiche that Mahoro made for a late breakfast. Mahoro shoos Noah off to his lectures. Noah doesn’t want to go, but he promises to be back as soon as they’re over. Mahoro washes up, washes the sheets, and bakes an apple pie for lunch with the Commandant. Mahoro hears a knock on the door, and thinking it’s the Commandant, he opens it and finds Oscar. He’s wearing an eyepatch, and it gives him a different feeling from usual. Oscar is glad to see Mahoro looking well and apologizes for leaving when Mahoro was on the brink of death. He gives Mahoro a quick hug. Mahoro says he’s glad to see Oscar too and asks about his left eye. Oscar comments that the Gift really takes the thing that is important to the person. He had prized the eyes that had allowed him to see the spirits. Without it, he loses the compass that has guided his life. He is just glad that he still has his right eye. But his Gift is a little disappointing to him. He wanted a new power that he could use in his fights, but it seems so weak, especially given the price that he had to pay. But he realizes that his Gift is pretty invincible. Mahoro starts falling asleep in the kitchen, and Oscar supports him up. Mahoro fights to keep his eyes open, and Albion starts barking at Oscar. Oscar grabs Albion and throws him in the oven where the apple pie is baking, and his barks disappear. The two Rottweilers that the Commandant has left to protect him fall asleep on the floor. Oscar tells Mahoro that it’s useless to fight once he’s activated his Sleep Temptation, and Mahoro feels Oscar lifting him up and carrying him out of the apartment.
Mahoro wakes up groggy, carried on someone’s back. They appear to be in a cave. Oscar chants a spell and asks for access to pass the barrier, just like the Commandant did when they entered the forest. Somehow they enter the restricted area again, but from a different place than before. Mahoro asks Oscar whey they’re here, and Oscar tells him this is the entrance that Siegfried used. It looks similar to the Crystal Palace, but it’s more natural instead of man-made. Why does Oscar know Siegfried’s escape route? Where is Oscar taking him? Oscar says that there’s a dragon’s nest here, and they walk out to an area with several black dragons. There is a dragon tamer feeding magic stones to them. He doesn’t see any more because Oscar puts him to sleep again.
Mahoro next wakes up on top of a mat, and Oscar is sitting next to him. They seem to be in a hole of a cave or something. It’s cramped and the ceiling is low. There is a lantern for light, and Oscar is eating an apple. He notices Mahoro is awake and offers the apple to him. Mahoro knows that he needs to run, but Oscar pulls his arm back and Mahoro falls back on the mat. Oscar tosses the apple away, and Mahoro asks why Oscar put him to sleep and brought him here. Oscar comments that Mahoro’s spirits haven’t disappeared. He wonders what is so different from the way that he loves and the way that Noah loves, and why haven’t Mahoro’s spirits disappeared yet. Oscar kisses Mahoro as Mahoro struggles to fight him off and yells at him to stop. Oscar tells Mahoro that he likes him and wonders if his spirits won’t disappear with him too. He wants Mahoro to be his lover. Oscar pulls off Mahoro’s shirt and sweater, and tries to go for his nipples, but he is blocked by Mahoro’s chastity barrier. Oscar is surprised, as well as Mahoro. He hadn’t expected that it would pop up here. Oscar tests the chastity barrier by pulling down Mahoro’s pants and attempting to touch him. He finds that it doesn’t pop out if he touches Mahoro normally. Oscar gives up for now, but he’s even more interested in figuring out how to get past it. Mahoro begs Oscar to let him go. That Noah will be furious with him. Oscar replies, yeah, Noah would be furious with him. He loves imagining what Noah would think once he’s learned what he’s done. He can’t wait to see Noah’s face when they meet up again. That beautiful face twisted in anger. It gives him a thrill. He wants to rape Mahoro and provoke Noah even more, but too bad he can’t for now. Oscar ties up Mahoro, and the dragon tamer approaches them to say that the preparations are ready. They get on a dragon as Mahoro struggles against the rope. He asks where they’re going, and Oscar answers to where Siegfried is. Mahoro asks if Oscar has betrayed them—the Academy, Noah, and the House of Rutherford. Oscar says he hasn’t done anything that dramatic. Siegfried is returning the world to normal, and Oscar is just helping him. Oscar hates Loewen Military Academy in the first place. He believes that only the wind magic bloodline should use wind magic. What fun is it to get along with the other Houses? He doesn’t want the other bloodlines to use wind magic. The dragon lifts off and starts flying. Oscar keeps Mahoro in place as they fly away from Crimson Island.
Oscar puts Mahoro to sleep again on the dragon. When he wakes up, he feels a breeze from the window of a room. Outside is a sandy beach and the ocean. Mahoro sees that he has been sleeping in a very large bed. He is probably on the second floor of a house somewhere. Mahoro freezes up when he sees Siegfried sitting in a chair in the room. He is watching Mahoro as he sips tea. There is no one else in the room, and Mahoro is no longer tied up. Mahoro asks if Oscar brought him here, but Siegfried ignores it and asks why Mahoro ran away from him that day of the attack. Mahoro can’t look at Siegfried. To Siegfried, Mahoro ran away and betrayed him. Siegfried was Mahoro’s master ever since he came to the Baldwin estate. Mahoro pledged his loyalty to him. But everything is different now. Mahoro changed since entering Loewen Military Academy. He met Noah and now knows how it feels to be loved. Mahoro answers that he can’t follow Siegfried if he kills people. Mahoro is scared to defy Siegfried to his face, but he can’t betray his feelings. Siegfried stares at Mahoro with narrowed eyes. Mahoro knows that he needs to run, but he needs to know Siegfried’s feelings first. Why did Siegfried do that? Why did he revel in killing people?
Siegfried says that he has known since he was young that he is a descendant of the dark magic bloodline. He heard about how Samuel had adopted him, and the circumstances with his father. He asks Mahoro if he understands how it feels to learn that his bloodline is fated to be killed. Siegfried sits down on the bed and brings his face close to Mahoro’s. Mahoro watches him warily, prepared to run if he has to like last time. Mahoro can understand a little of Siegfried’s grief and despair. He probably lost his will to live at the time, but he could choose to live his life in hiding or retaliate in revenge. Siegfried chose the latter option.
Siegfried places his hand on Mahoro’s cheek. He says that his mistake was to let Mahoro go to the Academy. He should have made Mahoro his before Siegfried left, but Mahoro was so young. Siegfried believed that Mahoro had been destined to be his. Mahoro trembles and asks if Siegfried knew that he was from the light magic bloodline. Siegfried says that is the reason why Mahoro was placed with him. He believed that it would be fine to leave Mahoro alone for a while since the light magic bloodline can only consummate with either the dark or light magic bloodline. But yet… Siegfried grabs Mahoro’s hair and forces his head against the bed. He asks if Noah has taken a liking to Mahoro. And mocks how the fire magic bloodline can’t love him properly.
This is the first time Mahoro has ever seen Siegfried lose control of his emotions. He wonders if he’s jealous. Mahoro tries to get away, but Siegfried is too strong and keeps him down. Siegfried forces a kiss on Mahoro. Mahoro remembers that Siegfried can do what Noah can’t. That they can have full intercourse. Mahoro doesn’t want it, doesn’t want Noah to hate him, and he bites Siegfried’s lip. Siegfried pulls away in surprise with his lip bloodied. Mahoro can tell that Siegfried is furious. Siegfried’s eyes flash gold, and Mahoro realizes that Siegfried used his Gift, but it is too late. Mahoro feels invisible vines trap his body, pricking him with their thorns. Pain runs through him, and Mahoro is stricken with fear.
A few seconds later, Mahoro is looking back at Siegfried with hollow-looking eyes. His arms are limp against the bed, and his face is expressionless. Siegfried was so angry that he accidentally activated his Gift. He licks at the blood on his lip as he runs his fingers through his red hair. He pulls Mahoro to sit up, and he is like a lifeless puppet. Siegfried complains about how easy it is to lose control of the Gift when he becomes emotional. He notices the silver bangle around Mahoro’s ankle and touches it. He figures that it is a magic tool used to track Mahoro’s location. He recites a spell, and cracks form in the silver metal until it turns into tiny little pieces on the sheets.
Siegfried orders Mahoro to kiss him. Mahoro does so without hesitation. Siegfried complains at how lacking the kiss is, but he’ll bear with it for now. Siegfried sucks a kiss on Mahoro’s lips as Mahoro sits there like a puppet.
Familiars were a mysterious existence. Mahoro’s familiar was a white chihuahua, but he looked just like a real living dog to Mahoro’s eyes. Mahoro had named his familiar Albion, and apparently Albion would faithfully obey Mahoro’s orders, never betray him, and stay with him as long as he lived.
I don’t think I can tell the difference between him and a real dog.
Mahoro couldn’t help but have such thoughts whenever he saw the white chihuahua toddle desperately on his short little legs to catch up to Mahoro’s feet. Albion got scared easily and would tremble in fear often, but he could also suddenly get vicious—and then a few seconds later he could become sweet, looking to be spoiled. He had the exact temperament of a chihuahua.
One day Mahoro and Noah were in the bedroom at Noah’s manor with both of their familiars summoned, and Noah had laughed, “It looks like Bull likes Albion.”
Noah St Johns, the owner of the manor, had a muscular pit bull with a glossy, black coat for his familiar. With his vicious-looking features, it was hard to call the pit bull beautiful, even to be polite. His personality and temperament were both rough, hailing from a well-known breed of fighting dogs. And right now that pit bull—his name was Bull—was licking Albion’s face with his long tongue in front of Mahoro and Noah. Albion appeared to be terrified of Bull. He endured the torture, all frozen and stiff.
“Umm… But Albion doesn’t appear to feel the same way.”
Mahoro watched the two dogs next to each other on the floor and frowned. Bull was a shorter medium-sized dog, and he looked like he might crush Albion with the force of his excitement as he enthusiastically licked Albion all over his face.
“Noah, when you first summoned your familiar and Bull appeared, did you not think anything of him?”
Mahoro had been curious about this particular question for a while and decided to ask Noah about it. He was snuggled against Noah in his bed, drifting off to sleep, and he thought that maybe Noah would excuse this rather rude question from him. Noah was a beautiful man, no one would dispute it. But how could such a beautiful man have a pit bull for his familiar? Plus the face was quite scary even compared to the different pit bulls that existed out there.
“What do you mean? When Bull appeared, I remember being happy and thinking how cute he was, of course.”
Noah spoke as if his answer was entirely obvious, and Mahoro let out a “Huh?” in response. He hadn’t known that Noah truly and sincerely thought that Bull was cute. If Noah truly saw the same dog that Mahoro saw with his own eyes, then in Mahoro’s opinion, those words could not possibly come from his mouth.
“Noah… Is there something wrong with your eyesight? You say that I’m cute, but do you mean it in the same way as Bull?”
Mahoro harboured some very serious doubts about Noah’s sense of aesthetics. He turned to face his back towards Noah, feeling horribly dejected. So Noah just simply liked strange things.
“You’re cute in a different way that Bull is cute. But you’re both incredibly cute to me. What are you sulking for? Come, look at me.”
Noah hugged Mahoro from behind and kissed him in an effort to soothe his dejection. From the corner of his vision, Mahoro saw Albion escape and Bull chasing after him. Albion was no match for a pit bull, and Bull immediately caught Albion and mounted the little dog. They were familiars, and Mahoro didn’t think that they copulated, but when he saw Bull vigorously wagging his short tail, mounted on top of Albion, he became worried.
Noah pressed numerous kisses to his earlobe and the back of his neck, and Mahoro gave in and turned back around. He grumbled, “Noah, I think you have strange tastes…”
Noah answered back, “I get that a lot,” and dropped a kiss onto Mahoro’s lips.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.