Oljharok's eyes snapped open. He gazed at the unconscious boy in front of him, shock glinting in his eyes.
"I didn't think a mere remnant consciousness had enough power to chase me out. Lady Gahrona really is mysterious and unpredictable. Can this brat pass her test?" muttered he.
It wasn't the first time he had experienced a severed mental link, so it didn't sock him too badly. But now that his spell had failed, there was no point in him remaining there. There was nothing he could do to help. Everything now depended on the boy. He called his subordinates and had them haul the kid back to his room.
The various accounts of history all said the inheritors of legacies had to rely on themselves to wake up again. Since it might take quite a while, sending the boy back to his room was the best choice.
A tantalizing human female appeared beside Leguna. Her tanned skin looked healthy and filled with vigor, while her figure was comparable to that of Vera.
She had short hair, like Annelotte's had been two years ago, but they were black. Her face was comparable to Annelotte's as well in terms of beauty. But, whilst Annelotte's face bubbled with the innocent beauty of a young maiden, this woman's face was boundlessly bewitching.
Annelotte gave others the impression of cold beauty, like a piece of ice. She felt unapproachable, like destiny had decreed she may only be observed from afar. Everyone acknowledge her beauty, but it was a kind of beauty that made one ashamed of desiring it. The desire to approach her alone was blasphemy already.
This woman was completely different, she was beautiful and infinitely tempting. Her slanted eyes left a trail of wanting wherever she gazed and the corner of her lips twitched teasingly. In simple terms, she was a temptress that inspired limitless imagination in anyone who set their eyes on her.
Leguna stared at her blankly. She gazed back curiously. The two checked each other out, neither wanting to speak first. Leguna was the one that gave in first. His will to resist her tantalizing gaze gave in, and he spoke.
"May I ask if you're Senior Gahrona?"
"I am her," answered the woman in a coarse, rousing voice, "Don't call me lady or anything like that. It makes me feel like an old crone."
Not just any old crone, an old orc crone, thought Leguna harshly.
He didn't dare appear disrespectful, so he didn't make his thoughts known.
"I heard you were an..."
Gahrona smirked. The slight change in her expression doubled her temptuous aura.
"You were going to say I'm an orc, yes?"
"Yes," admitted the kid with a lowered head.
He felt he would go crazy if he stared at her for too long.
"I did this for your sake, you know," Gahrona said, a hint of laughter in her words, "Would you feel more comfortable if I looked like this?"
Leguna lifted his gaze and found a female orc standing in front of him. The orc's gaze was still somewhat tempting, but her tusks disturbed him. It appeared the orc really was considerate of his feelings.
"I don't have an actual physical body, so I can look however I want," explained the female orc as her form morphed back into that of a human female, "I thought this would make you feel more comfortable."
"Senior is right," agreed Leguna as he looked down again.
Gahrona smirked again, but Leguna didn't see it. She circled him.
"Assassin, shadow dancer, 11th-stratum, human..."
The object of her scrutiny remained silent. She had completely seen through him just by taking a brief look.
"I didn't think my descendants would allow a human to inherit my legacy," she praised, "This is the first time I've seen such a pure affinity for the dark aspect. Even mine is slightly inferior. So, how many gifts have you awoken so far?"
"Two..." Leguna said with some thought, before he corrected, "Maybe three. I still don't have complete control over my third."
"What are they capable of?" pressed the woman.
Leguna looked at Gahrona silently. She smiled.
"You don't have to be so wary of me, kid. I'm just a remnant will. I might disappear for good after the transfer. Even if I wanted to, there's no way I can reveal anything about you to anyone else."
"Oljharok could communicate with me just inside. Is he's still listening?" Leguna was incredibly cautious.
"Come oooon—" she suddenly tugged his hands and shook it left and right. "—I'm just curious, okay? There's nothing wrong with telling, is there? I've chased that priest away. I used to be a saint-ranked expert, so I have at least that much dignity, you know."
Leguna sweated all over. He knew he was facing an old, granny-level orc, but he couldn't digest her disguise and flirting.
He gazed at her innocent, hopeful eyes and felt his will melt away. She was only a remnant consciousness indeed; what harm was there in sating her curiosity about something so trivial?
He eventually revealed his first two gifts stutteringly. His third, Shadow Blink, which he had yet to master, he could only vaguely describe.
"You fell for it!" Gahrona said the moment Leguna finished, "I have a way to contact others. Let me see... I wonder if I can sell this for something useful for the orcs! They will praise me for being devoted even in death! Hehehehe!"
"Y-y-you!" Leguna's veins twitched furiously. The woman's ungraspable personality frustrated him greatly.
"You fell for it again!—" The orc retracted her smile. "—Kid, you're quite talented, but you believe others too easily. You were actually fooled so easily!"
Leguna froze when he realized all the expressions he had just seen, as pure as they appeared, were just an act to test how alert he was.
Ah! I failed already! moaned he.
However, a smile surfaced on Gahrona's face again.
"But that's fine, since you're still young."
Leguna stared at her, speechless. He couldn't tell whether this woman was trying to assess him or just mess with him anymore.
"Alright. Kid—" She patted his shoulders. "—I'm quite satisfied with your talent. You qualify to be my disciple in that regard at least."
Was he going to get a teacher? Wasn't he supposed to be inheriting a legacy?
"What? You don't wanna? When I was still alive there were thousands of assassins, of many different races, that wanted to be my disciples. Not one struck my fancy. You should be honored you did."
"It's not that..." Leguna naturally didn't dare to be fussy. "—I already have a teacher."
"Oh? Who has such a good eye?"
"Wayerliss, Wayerliss Deepshadow," Leguna proudly declared.
Gahrona looked at the kid oddly for a moment. Her eyes twitched and the corner of her mouth lifted as she pressed her lips together unnaturally.
"Pfff... Pfft! Ahaha… hahahahahahahaha! Wayerliss?! That little elf who used to soil himself the moment he saw blood?! He even got the nickname Deepshadow now and is your teacher?! Hahahaha! Tell me, what part of him impressed you?"
"Teacher's a saint-ranked assassin and the chairman of Moonshadow Thieves!" Leguna felt he needed to defend his teacher's dignity.
"Oh? So that kid actually became a saint? And what in the world is this Moonshadow Thieves? Speaking of which, how many years has it been since I died?" asked Gahrona suddenly.
"Hmmm… I'm not really sure. A hundred years at the very least."
"Ah, it's been so long? I bet quite a lot has changed, hasn't it?" asked she softly, her appearance slightly desolate and bleak.
Her gaze seemed to be asking whether he'd spoken the truth.
Leguna could feel the melancholy in the once-world-shaking assassin's gaze.
"Alright, let's stop talking about this—" Gahrona took a deep breath and recovered her previous state. "—You don't have to worry. I can't be sure of Wayerliss's current strength, but I have a good idea of what he'd amount to. While he is quite adept at scheming and plotting, he'd be a little too fresh to teach you actual combat and assassination."
As expected of a legendary assassin! Her words are so confident! thought Leguna.
In the ten or so years he had lived, he once thought Arikos was the strongest person there could be, only to find out he was merely someone Wayerliss ordered around on errands. He then placed Wayerliss on a pedestal in his heart. But now, Gahrona actually called his idol a 'fresh little fellow'. He finally understood what the saying 'there's always a mountain taller than the one you know' truly meant.
"But..." he tried to cautiously remind her, "You're only a remnant will. You might dissipate at any moment. How could you become my teacher?"
"I already said I was lying," she replied, smiling seductively, "I'm not some remnant will. I am Gahrona herself. I'm an incomplete soul now, but I am the original. As for dissipating, we don't need to worry about that right now. Aren't you carrying that on you? It won't be a problem as long as you do. Come to think of it, if it weren't for that, I would never agree to let you inherit my legacy! Alright, I need to check your performance in other areas now. If you pass, then you'll have the honor of becoming my first disciple."
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