Chapter 311, The Elves’ Secret Formula
I can’t believe he’s already gone…”
Seeing Bright’s reaction to the news she had brought, Lylia could tell that Bright was perfectly calm.
So much so that those behind him — Ferris and Chappie — had to turn to each other, confused.
“Boy, you’ve lost weight… and really grew out that beard.
I wouldn’t think you were from an aristocratic house, if I didn’t know already.”
“…You are as beautiful as ever, Lylia.
Now you look even younger than Ferris and I do…”
Lylia was an Elf — her race had much longer life spans than humans.
Bright looked at her for a moment, then quickly turned away.
His eyes contained something akin to envy.
Both Ferris and Chappie knew what he had meant to say.
Bright was chasing a nigh impossible dream.
He was sure to think, if only he could live as long as Elves, that he would have a better shot at achieving his goal.
“Not asking any questions about Giorno”
“He’s human, too.
We don’t live long, we’re vulnerable to disease… That’s how we are…!”
Bright tightly clenched his fists.
Seeing Bright tremble all over, Lylia cast her eyes down.
Something completely out of her control — that being the different races into which they had been born — was hurting one of her comrades.
That, and the fact that she had been chosen as one of the Holy Warriors.
Even if for a brief moment, the envy did show through.
Lylia took out a roll of parchment from her pocket, placing it on the desk in front of Bright.
“…What is this”
“A secret formula of the Elves… should suffice as a description.”
Bright opened it, and sure enough, the sheet had a highly advanced magecraft formula written on it.
He read through it without saying a word; the more he saw, the wider his eyes opened.
“Wait, could this be…! Lylia, you’re…!”
Bright, astonished by what he was seeing, turned to look at Lylia.
Ferris, noticing Bright’s unusual reaction, approached him and took a peek at the parchment sheet in his hands.
Although she was not as good as Bright, Ferris had also learned the arts of magic and magecraft from Poer.
She could decipher a good part of the formula.
“…Is this a modified Absolute Zero Wait, no… There’s a Boundary magecraft formula mixed in here What could this be for…”
“It’s a boundary magecraft that completely freezes everything inside it — We call it the Stasis Boundary.”
Lylia kept her voice down as she answered Ferris’ question.
“What do you want me to use it for…”
“Giorno has… spent his time trying to help Asley, but he’ll never know whether his actions will amount to anything.
So I’ve made my decision to make sure that I do know…”
“By using this magecraft that may or may not succeed Just look at it.
It’s far from complete! The magecraft formula just… cut off at some random point!”
“THAT IS WHY–“
Lylia briefly hammed up her tone, interrupting Bright’s ramblings.
“–That’s why I’m here.”
“…! But… does it have to be here specifically!”
“You are the one most well-versed in the arcane arts I know, Bright.
And perhaps your reputation has proven to be a burden to you, but you’re Holy Warrior Poer’s best student, so…”
Bright kept his eyes cast down.
Lylia looked at Bright as the latter turned away, with Ferris holding him by his shoulders.
I want to make sure that Asley gets our help.”
“I’m not sure if I can pull this off…”
Strength welled up in his hands.
For a moment, no one moved, as if time had stopped within this room.
Lylia looked up at the ceiling and let out a sigh, then she caught sight of Chappie in a corner of her eye.
Chappie nodded, signaling for her to follow him — and then he waited.
And so Lylia walked outside with Chappie.
Weldhun was waiting for them right at the entrance, having a good nap.
“He had to run a long way to get me here.
No wonder he’s tired.”
“That’s fair enough… I was insensitive.”
Chappie bowed as an apology to the sleeping Weldhun.
“Heh, so sincere.”
“…I don’t know what that word means.”
“I know you know — it’s written all over your face.”
“…Hmph, I suppose having a friend that knows me SO well can be inconvenient sometimes.”
Well What did you need me for”
Lylia asked Chappie, having not been told before why he had asked her to walk outside.
“Bright needs some time to clear his head.
You would have been in his way, Lylia.”
“I suppose that’s true… But Ferris is fair game, eh”
“Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Ferris is a… VERY significant part of Bright’s heart.”
“I HAVE noticed.
One look was enough for me to know that.”
You have great insight.”
Chappie spread his wings as a gesture of praise to Lylia.
“You think so I’m sure just about anyone can tell…”
“Hmm… I suppose that’s what’s amazing about Elves and humans.”
“Bright himself might be too proud to admit that, though.”
“You can say that again! The last time I talked about it with him, he looked as if he’d seen the Devil King come back again!”
Lylia, taken by surprise, started bursting out in laughter.
Chappie was taken aback, having never seen Lylia react like this before.
“It’s been so long… since I last laughed this much.”
“Now I’m reminded of Asley.”
Chappie wagged his tail happily — just as Pochi would in the same situation.
“And Pochi as well, I suppose”
Chappie flapped his wings, his eyes sparkling.
Lylia kept her smile up.
“I want to see them again.”
“So do I — and I’ll make sure that our reunion comes! Then I’ll have them praise me — my head, my neck, my body! I want to be stroked by their warm hands! Until then, I must do my best… to be a bird that they’re proud of! I’ll like my life to its fullest!”
Chappie spread his wings as he faced the west.
Lylia watched him, and felt as if he was swearing an oath to the setting sun.
And hearing his cheerful tone, she smiled again.
Before long, the sun sank below the horizon, and the air turned unpleasantly cold.
Ferris walked out of the Dungeon.
“Hey, Bright wants to see you.”
Entering the Dungeon once again, they saw that Bright’s expression had lightened up somewhat.
He picked up the parchment roll he had been given, showing it to Lylia.
“This magecraft is packed with too much data.
There’s no one around who can cast it — except me.”
That’s why I’m here.”
“And if it fails, the target may very well lose their life.
You’re at risk of never fulfilling your objective, Lylia!”
Bright warned Lylia of what he had just learned — that the magecraft was not to be handled lightly.
But Lylia’s resolve did not waver one bit.
“…That’s why I’m here.”
And she repeated the same words as before, but gave a completely different meaning to them.
Her expression implied that she had come to this place because Bright, someone she could trust to use it, was here.
Realizing that, Bright was somewhat surprised.
After all, he was THE Bright — the man called a Black Emperor by Asley at one point.
But he quickly cleared all doubt off his mind.
“What about Weldhun”
“I’ll use this thing that Asley gave me…”
What Lylia showed was the parchment sheet she had gotten from Asley right when he was fading away after the Devil King had been defeated.
“This sheet… its text is packed with so much arcane energy.
What does it do”
“It’s supposedly a spell called ‘House,’ which lets its caster… well, house their Familiar within a pocket space, able to be taken in and out freely.
I’ll have Weldhun stay in here, and then seal myself–“
“–And when you’re freed from the stasis, Weldhun inside the House spell can leave, too…!”
Bright grabbed a towel that he had placed nearby, used it to wipe all the sweat and grease off his face, and then quietly said,
“…Sound good to me.”
Then the Black Emperor smiled.
A few years later…
“…What is this place”
“This here is where our Instructor mined the Drynium ore from.
At least that’s what Garm told me.”
“I don’t see any Drynium ore veins around here, though.”
“As I’ve been told, he dug everything out with some strange magic.
Not that I’d know or even be able to guess what that spell is, though.”
“And this is where you’ll be sealing me”
Lylia asked as she turned around to Bright.
I’ll put you here, and then hide this location in every way I can… So that you can be found only by my Instructor.”
“How would you even achieve that”
“First, I’ll set up a Teleportation Spell Circle here, connecting it with a hidden Circle near the ruins of Sodom.
I’ll notify Chappie and the Shamanesses in T’oued of this location, too.
My Instructor is sure to make his way here eventually — and he’ll be able to, because his arcane energy pool was already massive even without his Holy Warrior powers…”
“And he’ll be the only one who can unseal me from the Stasis Boundary… Wait, no…”
Lylia muttered out the last part, as if to deny her own statement.
“You can do it as well, can’t you, Bright”
“–Come on, didn’t you also complete this extremely complicated magecraft in no time at all Just listen to me…”
“Yes What is it”
“…I’ll see you all on the other side.”
Lylia winked to Bright, causing the latter to turn grumpy and turn his face away in embarrassment.
“T-that’s easier said than done! Now, I’m starting it up — get ready!”
“I give my thanks to the great mage Poer… No, the great mage Bright…!”
“Gah, you sure talk a lot for someone who’s practically a living legend! Rise, A-rise… A-rise…! Rise! Stasis Boundary!”
Then another decade or so passed…
Bright had always kept up his pursuit of the Drops of Eternity, but had yet to see any success from his research.
He had yet to find anyone who could handle the Stasis Boundary magecraft, either, despite all his efforts.
Which was why he decided to take another option…
“So what’s the thing you wanted to talk about”
“Ferris, you’re not so young anymore.
How about you change your tone to match your age”
“Doesn’t matter — my voice is losing its youthfulness anyway.”
“I suppose that’s one way of putting it.”
“Anyway… Looks like you’ve had a breakthrough.
Is it good news that you have for me”
Bright pointed at the Key Pendant that was hanging from Ferris’ neck.
“The solution… has always been right here.”
Bright unattached the Key Pendant from Ferris’ necklace and placed it on the desk.
It was a gift to them from Asley.
One of them had been given the artifact, and the other, an induction of arcane force — to serve as their connection with their instructor.
“Using this artifact, the force that was induced inside me, and Lylia’s Statis Boundary magecraft… everything will be complete.”
“What do you mean, Bright”
Frustrated by Bright’s convoluted explanation, Ferris pressed for more detail.
Even Chappie was tilting his head, puzzled.
And so Bright said to Ferris, quietly and softly,
“I suppose it’s time I said goodbye, Ferris.”
Ferris raised her voice, surprised by those abrupt parting words.
“I will… ascend beyond the physical realm.”
“Wait a second! Say that in a language I understand!”
“I’ll untether my soul from my body, and then confine myself in this Key Pendant, becoming a ghost that lives forever.
I will no longer be restricted by the concept of time.
And don’t you worry, Ferris — I’ll be with you for as long as you live.”
“T-there’s no way I can agree to that!”
Ferris grabbed Bright by the collar of his shirt, pulling him in dangerously close and shouting right into his face.
Utterly unaffected, Bright continued to say nonchalantly,
“You definitely can, Ferris… Surely you know what kind of person I am.”
He even cracked a grin as he spoke, causing Ferris to widen her eyes.
Leaving herself not even the time to breathe, Ferris slapped Bright on his cheek.
The sound of the heavy hit echoed through the room.
Despite that, Bright did not change his expression for even a second.
“–Rise, Deca Boundary.”
Unbeknown to Ferris, a Craft Circle had been placed under her feet.
In the blink of an eye, Ferris was trapped inside the Deca Boundary.
“What do you think you’re doing!”
I’ve coded it to wear off after a set amount of time.”
“T-that’s not I’m worried about!”
“You know, I really am trying to be a little nicer here.
I could have borrowed the Key Pendant from you and simply did the thing without you noticing… But in the end, I figured it’d be better to say goodbye properly.
See I’ve grown a little more emotionally mature, right”
“Not all growth is good for you — especially not with that kind of twisted logic! C’mon, Bright, think about this again! And you, chicken! Do something about this Boundary!”
Ferris shouted at Chappie as the latter looked on in silence.
But then Bright cracked a grin.
“Give it up, Ferris.
He’s under the effect of Swindle Sleight.
All he’s seeing is the illusion of you and me going about our daily lives.
Why do you think he’s been saying nothing about our conversation so far”
Bright was, after all, the original Black Emperor.
He had been recognized for his talent by all three of the Holy Warriors.
He was even able to cast the Swindle Sleight, something no one had expected him to be able to, due to Asley having used it for him to see on only a single occasion.
“It WAS quite difficult to pull off, mind you.”
“Aren’t we supposed to help him TOGETHER! What can you even do if you don’t have your body anymore!”
“Ferris, I already have made my objective clear.
I said it on the night of our departure–“
He certainly had said it that night, when he, Ferris, and Chappie snuck out of the Fulbright estate, chasing after the Holy Warriors on their quest to defeat the Devil King.
His words were:
‘–I want to see the future!’
“My ultimate goal is not to assist our Instructor.
It is to see everything… with my own eyes.
When I reminded myself of that, I also realized that I don’t need a physical body to achieve it.”
“Bright! You fool, you fool, you fool! Why do you have to take after Poer in the weirdest of ways! Consider the feelings of all the people around you! And while you’re at it, consider how I’d feel, too!”
“You have been pushing me around for the longest time, Ferris.
Let me get back at you just this once.”
“You’ve already gotten back at me a whole lot ever since the Devil King was destroyed, damn it!”
Ferris’ words fell upon deaf ears.
Bright looked up at the cave’s ceiling, then turned to Ferris one last time.
“I’m… I’m so sorry.”
With that, Bright started drawing a Circle…
“Rise, A-rise… A-rise, Rise… Soul Transmission!”
…And then he invoked the magecraft.
“Bright… YOU FOOL!!”
At that moment, Ferris’s loud, cracking voice broke the illusion spell on Chappie.
The Phoenix immediately sensed that things were not normal.
He leaped forward, busting apart the Boundary that was confining Ferris.
Indeed, he could not simply charge at Bright — because he, Ferris, and Bright were standing on pretty much the same straight line.
As such, all Chappie could see when he came to was the Boundary with Ferris inside it.
Freed from the confining space, Ferris ran.
Bright’s soul had already been freed from his body, and was flying toward the Key Pendant.
But Ferris refused to give up.
She reached her hands out — hands infused loaded with arcane energy on the spur of the moment.
She shouted upon successfully grabbing the soul — but then her whole body was pulled toward the table just like that.
“Wha– wait wait wait wait!!”
“Are you playing some sort of game, Ferris! Looks like you’re having fun!”
“S-shut up! I can’t get my hands off this… HIM!”
And so Ferris’ hands and Bright’s soul made contact with the Key Pendant.
By the time Ferris uttered so… she had already lost consciousness.
The dimension was pitch black and dense with arcane energy.
A voice could be heard echoing from Ferris’ soul.
“……You’re not supposed to feel pain, you know.
It’s how this space works.”
“…Huh, you’re right.
I actually don’t feel anything.”
“I didn’t think you’d follow me all the way here… Is this one of those things that were predetermined by fate”
Bright’s grumbling was laced with feelings of resignation.
“…You want me to slap you again or what”
“Go on ahead.
I won’t feel any pain in this space anyway.”
“If I remember correctly, the last time you peed your pants was…”
“Whoa whoa whoa–!! Why are you bringing that up now!”
“Okay, now I know how I CAN hurt you here…”
Ferris muttered to herself, now in a good mood.
[Bright! Ferris! Where have you two gone!]
Chappie’s voice echoed from ‘outside,’ prompting a swift reaction from the two souls within the Crystal-sealed Key Pendant.
“…Well, at least I can say that I succeeded.”
“And you seem… disturbingly quick to accept all this change.”
Ferris had been caught up in Bright’s project and lost her physical body as a result.
Despite that, she showed no sign of regret.
Bright could not help but find that strange.
“Oh, Bright, just stop and think for a second.”
“Surely… you know what kind of person I am.”
Ferris threw Bright’s words right back at him.
Her voice was pompous, but at the same time full of sincerity.
“…How audacious of you.”
“Hmph, that’s how I’ve always been!”
And so two of Holy Warrior Poer’s best apprentices transcended the physical realm.
All was going according to the original Black Emperor’s desire… The desire to oppose the concept of time time, the world, and even God himself.
“Oh, now I remember! The last time you peed your pants was when you were fourteen, right”
“I stopped doing that when I was thirteen, actually! Ah…”
Ferris laughed like an imp — or a Devil, even.
They were literally inseparable now; where this eternal bond would take them, no one knew.
But time would march on, and one day, hanging from Chappie’s neck, they would enter the era in which their Instructor belonged.
And approximately 5,000 years from now, they would go to the rescue of Lina, Hornel, and their comrades.