EP - 040 - Spiritual Body (2)

   <System Message>

   [ Upon the awakening of the spiritual body in ‘Soul Linker, ʼ functions are unlocked. ]

   [ Confirming fusion of the 'Hero Fragment'. ]

   [ The level of the unlocked skill is enhanced. ]

   [ ‘Skill: Image World’ has been unlocked. ]

As the spirit revealed its form, a white veil unfolded around me.

It’s as if the entire background was being swept away with pure white.

It was similar to the ‘erosion’ phenomenon that occurred when I summoned the Gray Devil, exerting its influence in the surrounding area. 

While it's not as powerful as erosion, which literally stops time itself, this is by no means weak.

  <Item Info>

   [ Soul Linker ] [ Exclusive Equipment ]

   [ Enchantment: Epic ] [ ‘Hero Fragment’ Fusion ] 

   ◎ Built-in Skills ◎

   ■ [ Image World ] [ Skill Grade: A ]


   [ Summon a spiritual body to create a unique domain in the surrounding area. Within the domain, certain abilities possessed by the spiritual body can be used. As the spirit level increases, the wider the range of the domain and the more abilities to use. ]


 Current Available Ability 


   [ Attribute: Solidarity ]

   [ To a knight, comrades are family. You can partially share the buffs you have to nearby allies. ]


Sharing buffs… is possible? 

Does that even make sense?

Of course, there's a caveat especially with the term 'partially,' implying that the full extent of the buffs may not be transferred. However, there are no restrictions on the number of individuals or the grade of the buff that can be shared.

And it is limited within the range of the domain.

‘About a few meters.’

At the very least, it's at a range where it can be effectively utilized in close combat.

Though, the fact that the recipient of this skill is a trash with an All-F stat, and heavily relies on ridiculous buff skills to resolve situations, couldn't be more perfect. 

‘…It was a good decision to get it quickly.’

Yes, really.

It’s not an epic item for nothing. To think that I got such a crazy skill this early.

As I was thinking so, the spiritual body fully materialized in front of me.

A visor covering the face and a full-body plate armor. But what stood out the most was the lion's head emblem engraved on the breastplate.

It's the standard equipment of the Imperial Guards.

They are considered the strongest unified force in the continent.

The difference between an ordinary person and a regular knight is often compared to that between a newborn baby and an adult.

And the difference between a regular knight and an Imperial Guard is depicted in a similar significant gap.

And among the Imperial Guards, there are those who wear the 'Lion Breastplate.' 

They are behemoths who stand at the pinnacle even among such monsters.


A group comprised of only the strongest knights of the era.

They were a group that was a close match to Gideon, who is currently hailed as the strongest in the Empire.

Hence why, they're treated in such a high regard. 

They were the ones who got deployed during the 'Crimson Night,' the incident that swept away Elijah's family, and ultimately decapitated the main instigator.


It's such an unbelievable achievement, that it's surreal.

As seen in the boss battle against the Purifier, devil energy itself summons creatures from the Pandemonium to the material realm. Especially if several fragments were gathered at the same time. 

And yet, against someone who could summon thousands of demons with a single gesture, a few dozen people, who were urgently deployed, successfully dealt with the situation.

So, any one of them deserves to be called a hero. 


I think I know who this is.

“…Nice to meet you, Guardian.”

Upon hearing my words, the knight's gaze slowly turned towards me.

   [Who are you? Where is this?]

The spiritual body's voice echoed inside the Image World. 

As expected, it was the voice of a young man. It has the same feel from someone I know.

For a human to become a spirit, they cannot simply be great. 

There has to be a "lingering attachment."

It's like having an unfulfilled goal that they couldn't achieve before death, preventing them from closing their eyes even in death. Something along those lines.

And among the deceased Guardians, there is only one person who would carry such sentiments.

“I have heard many things about you.”


It's true. 

Not just in game knowledge, but also from someone else.

“Nice to meet you, Caliban.”

The spiritual body's movement came to an abrupt halt. 

Caliban Krisanax.

Granted with the title the 'Knight of Dawn.' The strongest and last Guardian. Even on a low estimate, he possesses combat power on par with a top expert like Gideon. 

A key figure in Chapter 4.


“Not long ago, your sister said that we look alike.”

He is the older brother of the hero candidate, Elijah.


   <System Message>

   [ Checking the current condition of target 'Elijah'. ]

   [ Current favorability level below 'Trust'. Confirmation of contact with target 'Caliban'. ]

   [ When favorability reaches 'Trust', an Exclusive Quest will be unlocked. ]


   <System Message>

   [ ‘Heretic Inquisition ’ is starting to take an interest in you! ]

I read through all the messages that popped up. 

Caliban Krisanax plays a significant role in Elijah's growth in the main story.

He remains the object of Elijah's admiration, and also, the fact that Caliban is her last surviving family member has driven her to desperately seek his whereabouts.

‘…But, you can see for yourself whether he is alive or not.’

If he was alive, he wouldn’t have become a spiritual body.

In the story's progression, when Elijah eventually learned of her older brother's death, she went through a tremendous emotional shock. However, she ultimately overcame this and bloomed into a true hero.

The information the player is given about Caliban is quite fragmentary. Unlike Gideon, who is still alive at the beginning of the scenario, Caliban passed away long ago.

So, there are some pieces of information that even I didn't know.

   [Iya, the memories are flooding back. Even after all this time, nothing has changed, huh?]


   [Ah, when did I start school again…]

This guy is more of a chatterbox than one might initially think.

“…You've been resurrected as a spirit, aren’t you shocked by the current situation?”

As I whispered that to the amulet, a giggling voice echoed in my head.

   [With my memories, I am well aware of the situation I am in. But what's the use of denying reality? Rather than that, isn't it better to quickly adapt?]

That's right. And as you can see, he's very good in adapting.

He even accepted my ‘request for cooperation’ without much fuss, saying that he was in no position to refuse given the circumstances.

As long as it's not blatantly wrong, he promised to cooperate with anything. All of which was arranged in less than an hour prior to his awakening. 

   [Well, I don’t have a choice anyway. Won't I have to do everything you tell me from now on?]

He even left such a comment. 

It felt like a slave signing a contract with the tone of "I'd prefer meat for dinner." 


I guess this just comes packaged with good adaptability.

As expected of the strongest man among the Guardians. His mental is nowhere near ordinary.

   [Well, I have conditions though.]

The voice within the amulet momentarily softened.

He seems to have suppressed an emotional reaction. 

But he soon went back to as cheerful as ever.

   [You can’t talk about me to Elijah, unless I say so. Promise me that, alright?]

“…Yes, I promise.”

I know why.

The fact where Elijah knows about his life or death is itself… ‘danger’.

In the game, when Caliban's soul awakened, events were triggered for both Elijah and the "Heretic Inquisition," which is known as the most ruthless organization in the Empire.

There's a reason why it occurred.

‘…Not unless he says so.’

Recalling what happened, I stroked my chin in ponder.

I think I have a rough idea on when that time is.

The content related to this person and Elijah is the main quest of Chapter 4. The search for the Holy Sword's owner.

After that, Elijah’s fighting power would skyrocket to a level where she could face the demons in earnest.

‘…But I have to deal with the Heretic Inquisition.’

Just thinking about the recent system message makes me feel that way.

I really don't want to get involved with those people. But perhaps it’s better to think that, sooner or later, we'll be seeing each other face-to-face. 

I inwardly let out a sigh, meanwhile amidst my thoughts, dormitory supervisor, Madam Ophelia, clapped her hands and drew the attention of the freshmen gathered in the auditorium.

“So, you all know why we're here, right? It'll be the midterms soon-“

Madam Ophelia's melodramatic voice prompted cries and sighs from various places in the room.

But then again, who in the world likes exams?

This is especially so considering the strictness of Elfante’s regular exam. 

“Although there's still many of you who had yet to choose a major, everyone takes the midterm exam fairly.”

The regular exams for freshmen who don't have majors are always conducted in a similar format.

The Great Plains Survival.

Students are placed on a massive stage and engaged in team battles.

After all, the main enemies officially defined by the Empire are monsters, demons and devil worshippers. Since Elfante itself is an institution established with the purpose of countering such threats, combat ability is naturally an important factor. 

The Knights School's popularity wasn't for no reason.

“A survival team will consist of a maximum of four members. Choose your teammates wisely, as you'll be together for two days-”

In fact, the reason why everyone was gathered in this auditorium was to form teams.

Of course, I could do it alone, and it wouldn't matter. The difficulty might increase, but so is the points.

However, I don't intend to proceed that way.

This midterm exam is an extremely important event.

It’s not just because it’s a test, but also because of the events that happen in between. 

‘Saintess Lucien, the Boy King and the Pope.’

These three individuals are involved in the events simultaneously. 

It simply can't be considered unimportant.

Therefore, I have to form a team best suited for the situation at hand. 

‘For the team formation…’

First of all, Elnore is out of the picture. 

No matter what, it's unreasonable for the Student Council President to meddle in the freshmen's exam. 

She has a separate "role" to fulfill.

So, the first person I need to recruit is...

“Excuse me.”

As I approached Elijah, who was chatting lively with her friends, the surroundings suddenly fell silent.

Everyone was gathered here.

Luca. Falco. Grid. Trisha. The hero party members.


Originally, I would have let Elijah continue on with these guys, but I need her this time. 

“…I'm sorry, but would it be okay if I take her with me for the midterm exam?”

Hearing this, everyone's face was blank. 

They exchanged glances with each other, clearly taken aback by the request. 

‘…Was I too sudden?’

From their perspective, they were just having a good time with their friends, when suddenly some random guy appeared out of nowhere and tries to take one of them away.

It’s only natural to be stunned. 

“Good for you, Elijah!”

“I knew it would turn out like this! You always talk about it!”

“Ah yes! Take her with you! Please, feel free!”

Luca, Grid, and Falco all said so excitedly, as they patted Elijah’s back.

It felt like they were genuinely celebrating a good news that happened to their friend.


What's up with this atmosphere? 

“…Um, is this something worth celebrating?”

When I cautiously asked that, Mage Falco swept his nose and replied. 

“No, Elijah has been singing songs about wanting to take the midterm exam with you. She probably felt threatened seeing you constantly around the Student Council President. This time she said she wanted to do something toge-”

But he was cut off by a fist being lodged in his face.

Seeing him collapse like a puppet with no strings, he probably fainted in one hit.

“Ah, um, the teacher recommended it, so it's a big deal! Yes!”


With a still-clenched fist, Elijah said so in a slightly brash tone.

Her face was a bit flushed, and her breathing was rapid.

“…Are you okay?”

Isn't she overdoing it a bit?

She doesn't seem to be in a normal state.

With that doubt in mind, I asked Elijah. She rolled her eyes while scratching the back of her head.

“Yes, I'm okay! Of course! Ha, haha!”

“…No, seriously, she received an invitation from the guy she cares a lot of, she couldn't be more-“

As Sniper Grid was saying this, he too received Elijah's fist. Watching from the side, Warrior Luca admired the clean execution of the move.

It seems like he also fainted instantly, falling straight to the ground. 

“Really, I’m fine! I'm okay!”


“Okay, let's get out of here for now! Before we hear any more nonsense!”

Good, she seems okay.

Leaving this place is a good suggestion as well.

   […What is your relationship with my sister?]

Caliban's bewildered voice sounded from the amulet, I ignored it and instead turned to Elijah.

“Un, that's good. But we have one more stop.”

“Yes? Where to?”

“We're forming a team. We need one more person.”

To be precise, we needed someone related to Saintess Lucien.


Honestly, having them involved in this event is the worst case. 

But there's no choice.



“Have you heard of the equipment room?”

That is why.

It's time for the monumental debut of the one and only Swordmaster-nim.

“…So, this regular delegation consists of Saintess Lucien Greyhounder and her escort knight. Thank you for graciously permitting this, President.”

“You're too kind, Your Holiness.”

At first glance, this was just a friendly conversation.

In fact, Atallante had a polite expression on her face as she faced the man behind the long-distance communication magic orb. 

However, inside, she was fervently grinding the other person to the ground. 

Thoughts that between educated intellectuals, could get one kicked out.

‘As if you didn't just threaten to stab Elfante if I didn’t give permission.’

What a disgusting human.

Atallante’s evaluation of the Pope could be summed up in one sentence.

Saint Credo Paul II. The current Pope. 

A sly individual who would casually stab people in the back with a smile on his face.

He's a repulsive snake that treat people lesser than worms under the guise of being the leader of the greatest and largest religious group on the continent.

Furthermore, his divine power surpassed the current era's strongest, reaching a level that contends with the mightiest in history.

‘What is he thinking sending the Saintess here?’

Most of the talents gathering in Elfante were individuals with his influence, especially those suspected of being devil’s vessel candidates.

Saintess Lucien was one of them, but even Atallante couldn't fathom the true intention behind this move. 

The Saintess. A religious symbol of the Empire and Holy Land.

Handing over such an individual to the Empire without any hesitation was a striking, and strange decision.

He was demanding to make it happen ‘as soon as possible’ and even threatened just to ensure the Saintess gets into the academy.

He definitely has something planned behind his back. 

“Showing gratitude with empty hands is meaningless. So I wish to offer a small favor to the President.”

His next words naturally followed that context.

“Elfante is currently in the middle of its midterms, isn't it?”

Atallante’s expression twisted slightly.

‘…The midterms?’

What reason could a figure as significant as the Pope have to concern himself with the students' affairs?

Especially with something as insignificant as midterm exams.

The difference in scale is too vast that it's impossible to guess what his intentions are.

“…That’s right. However, it is entirely an internal event within the academy, Your Holiness. You don't need to concern yourself with such insignificant matters-“


The Pope cut her off in a clear voice. 

“Give Lucien a task, President.”

But unlike his voice... 

“She will undoubtedly be of help.”

His gaze was venomous.

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