Important Note: I am remaking my bio in the form of separate blogs. I started with characteristics and powers first. See the new bio here.
You can also read my reason behind the change. Other parts are coming soon.
Name: Keith Mackenzie
Physical Age: 30, usually.
Real Age: 75(Mid-Chidian universal time-table. +25 if we inculde the use of Blue Ether)
Aliases: Puppet Master, the Necromancer, Azure Warlock, Doll-crafter, the Walker, Dimensional Overlord
Place of Birth: Alpha-001, Planet Earth, Canada, Montreal city.
Date of Birth: 11th of December,1920 - Alpha Dimension(Nasuverse) timetable
Height: 182 cm (preferred)
Weight: 72 kg (preferred)
Keith MacKenzie is an enigmatic and mysterious sorcerer. While he's not the most powerful Magus, his skill is hardly comparable to anyone's. He uses highly advanced science to support his spells and achieve incredible results. Keith strives to attain more knowledge. Knowing everything is his ultimate objective. For that reason he travels between the various dimensions, searching for answers and new questions.
Although he's far from harmless or peaceful. Keith doesn't hesitate to use his incredible knowledge and skill when he needs to. He's a fearsome manipulator and schemer who would use everything and anything to get what he wants. He's extremely devious to the point one could never guess his intentions. He views everything as tools born to be used by him. And when relying on the power of others doesn't work he's well prepared to use his own to turn the tables. He's an expert at creating artificial bodies which he calls Homunculi. Over the time he accumulated his own personal army of Homunculi. He can even possess them anytime he wants and appear in the least expected situation. His real appearance and location is a complete mystery. Other than his artificial soldiers Keith is very well versed in the area of spiritual and summoning magic. He captured and enslaved many spirits and demons and his list of spiritual contracts are even more complex than his already confusing human connections.
Despite his great magical powers, his real strength lies in his intellect and the way he applies it. He's indeed capable of turning an obviously losing battle and likely to be a few steps ahead of his opponents. He's extremely fond of finding the weaknesses of others. He's crazy-prepared the very least and can come up with a new counter incredibly fast. Whether he would use them or not it depends on the situation though. Keith prefers to avoid direct confrontations and achieve his objective in a much more subtle or sinister way. He usually controls everything behind the curtains.
In battle Keith relies heavily on his own personal army and network. He often relies on the support of his own devices and armies or summons various demons from his list of contracts(preferably the Lictors). He often abuses the weaknesses of his opponents and strives to end the battle with the least possible effort, resources and magical energy spent. He prefers to turn the rules of physics or other rules independent from Keith on his enemy. He's very prone to set traps with multiple layers to corner his opponents and he never fights without being prepared. To add he has a tendency to exchange bodies in the middle of battle. His elusiveness stays the same even in battle. When Keith believes he can't win or has no more reason to fight he can retreat instantly, leaving his opponent alone.
"Killing people is meaningless. It always leads you into uncomfortable situations."
"Show your smile to your enemies and control them by their simple-minded hatred."
"In this world there are no absolutes. Perfection is nothing but a delusion of man."
"Be watchful of the ones showing hospitality without reason. They are either idiots or your enemies. I don't know which is the worse."
"Kindness is just another well-hidden form of selfishness. Bear in mind and use it as such."
"Greed is the most primitive form of idiotism. Unsurprisingly also the most common one."
"Knowledge is power. Though knowledge always needs power to be safe."
"Your deeds had always had a meaning until you don't believe otherwise."
Early life and participation in the Holy Grail War:
See: Background EP 1 - Birth of the Azure Warlock
By chance he heard the rumors about the Holy Grail Wars of Fuyuki. In the Grail War 7 magi summons 7 Servants to fight each other at the developing Asian city of . The Servants are powerful spiritual beings, Heroic Spirits ( souls of legendary heroes) and they serve their summoner for the duration of the War. The price of this battle royale event is the Holy Grail which grants any kind of wish. Although the later part was just a fluke, Keith saw right through it. Nevertheless, he decided to join this fight. Despite the Grail being a fluke and serving a different purpose it can actually grant Keith’s wish. Using the Grail Keith could reach Akasha, the origin of everything. The Akashic Records contain all knowledge of the world; in short Keith couldn’t resist a chance to attain it.
He participated in the 3rd Holy Grail War at the age 20. He summons an Assassin-class Servant a month before the War. Normally it wouldn’t be possible but Keith found a way to slightly get around the rules. He viewed his own Servant as a mere object and he experimented on him daylily. He tried to force his Servant’s soul into a puppet body. Keith could already make near-perfect human puppets but putting a powerful spirit’s soul into an alien body is a difficult task. That’s why he called the least powerful Servant to experiment on. Not to mention the Assassin-class fitted his future strategy the best. His laboratories could make multiple artificial bodies a day. In 20 days he succeeded creating a working body and he spent the remaining 10 days to perfect it. In the end he put his Servant’s soul into an extremely small puppet body. Interestingly despite the reduction of size his Servant had the same degree of speed and agility as before. To add the puppet body hid Assassin’s magical energy and made his Servant even better at ambushes. Assassin also kept his special ability ( or Noble Phantasm, every Servant has at least one of them) Zabaniya which could turn anyone’s brain to gunpowder at touch and blow it up the next second.
In the War he was known simply as the "Puppet Master". It was mainly cause of his Servant and his mysterious manipulative means. He set his base at the , a place where more than one Lay Lines crossed and it made the location rich in magic. The Servants could leech the souls of people for magical power. While Servants rarely uses this and only really cruel magi force their Servant to do this Keith found a great use of this ability. Using this ability as a medium Keith set up a spell which stole faint amounts of magical energy from the people by giving them special transmitters. They didn’t die just slowly got weakened and eventually fainted after a few days. As the transmitters were spread randomly no one could really point out Keith’s location. Also once someone fell unconscious they instantly came under Keith’s control like puppets. Keith used them for monitoring the whole city and giving him control of the situation.
He essentially had absolute chance to win. But unfortunately he accidentally revealed his Servant in the first battle on the fourth day. He killed the Einzberns’ Servant easily but other magi saw his Assassin in action. As Keith lost the element of surprise he had to think his plans over. Although his action still worth it. The Einzberns are the main founders of the Grail War and the one behind the creation of the Holy Grail. With their primary fighter (the Servant) gone they had no serious power to prevent Keith from stealing the Lesser Grail. Of course in the four days Keith located the Lesser Grail and found out that it was a Homunculous, an artificial human made through Alchemy. His objectives changed and he quickly formed a secondary connection with his Servant. Between the magus and Servant there’s a spiritual connection which fuels the Servant with magical energy. Keith did it reverse and formed a contract which flows the Servant’s power into him. It can make the user theoretically invulnerable as long as the Servant is alive and has enough power. Of course it has an obvious downside. The mage’s life gets linked with the Servants’. With this contract if Assassin somehow dies so will Keith.
He ambushed personally the local church where the Einzberns hid the Lesser Grail. He did so to raise doubt in the Einzberns about the attacker’s identity. If he would attack with Assassin eventually the Einzberns would have known that it was the Puppet Master. But no one knew the real identity of the Puppet Master, like many other participants’. This way Keith could keep the Einzberns in doubt. He met little resistance in his way in and took Ingridsviel von Einzbern, the Lesser Grail without a problem. She was surprisingly light and already unconscious when Keith found her. He was about to took her out of the church when a bullet suddenly pierced his heart.
A Homunculous guardian shot him in the back. Keith instantly collapsed but to the guardian’s disbelief he stood up just as fast. Keith turned back to face his opponent. The homunculous guardian had an American M1 Thompson submachinegun with drum magazine. That was a troublesome situation for Keith. The Enzbern Homunculi rumored to have excellent magic resistance. Keith could stun any normal mage with a glance by the use of his Mystic Eyes of Intrusion. It has next to no effect on this kind of opponent though. His other spell, Brenna could vaporize anyone Keith touches but he’s to far away. Keith had no means to fight. His extra contract with Assassin healed his injuries almost instantly but surviving is far from winning.
The Homunculous didn’t hesitate anymore and released a quick burst bullets. Keith collapsed and got up again. He withstood the pain of his flesh tearing without a sound and just glared confidently at his opponent. He had absolute confidence in his magic and knew he can’t die like this. The Homunculous panicked and emptied out the remainder of the magazine at Keith. This time Keith braced himself and didn’t fall. He slowly marched forward. The Homunculous charged to him as he saw the guns were useless. But he did a grave mistake. The instant he touched Keith his body melted away starting from his hand. The Homunculous guardian was engulfed in intense flames and died in seconds.Keith used Brenna on the human imitation without the slightest hint of hesitation.
After the battle Keith took the body of the Lesser Grail to his base . He did it without anyone noticing and began the examination of the Lesser Grail. The body of a Homunculous beard many similarities to his artificial puppet bodies. Despite that breaking the encryptions placed on the body were extremely difficult. The Einzberns are magi with more than 1000 years of history. He didn’t except any less from them. It was still much easier than breaking the ancient protections on the Greater Grail. Also starting from the fourth day strange energies emerged from down the hidden cave of Ryoudo Temple. The Greater Grail slowly transformed due to unknown reasons and gathered an ominous dark aura. In addition the strange powers disrupted Keith’s work and slowed down his progress greatly. He tried to extract memories from the Lesser Grail and steal the secrets of the Einzberns but the obstructions made it quite problematic. He was short on time.
In the end he decided to complete the Grail and win the Holy Grail War. Initially it was only a secondary objective but Keith thought that with completing the Grail and winning the War breaching the protection of the Lesser Grail would be much easier. He had little interest in using the Grail at his original purpose: to open a pathway to Akasha. Keith realized that even with this much energy the pathway would be incomplete and insufficient for his objective. The Grail War didn’t go well. They were in the 10th day and they still had four participants active. Keith nullified his secondary contract with Assassin and ordered him to kill the remaining enemy Servants.Although he had little time to spare and he couldn't support or look over Assassin's actions.
It isn't surprising that his Servant was eventually defeated ,by no other than the last Servant, Saber and his Edelfeit master. It was on the 13th day of the War. Keith had no chance at defeating the Edelfeits’ mage in such a short time and otherwise he couldn’t steal her Servant. Without a Servant one can’t complete the Grail. He had to escape. With careful but quick planning he used the manipulated citizens as decoys and he quickly escaped without anyone noticing. He of course took the Lesser Grail with him. The two weeks time limit passed and the 3rd Holy Grail War was unsuccessful as the previous two. Keith didn’t give up on his search. He just needed a bit more time. He didn’t know though that his series of bad luck had just begun.
Refugee at the Aozakis:Keith escaped to and found refugee at the nearby land of the Aozakis. He couldn't leave. The Einzberns had a few hints about his real identity. He couldn't be careless. So he made a deal with the Aozakis. For founds and shelter Keith offered a bit of his magic knowledge and companionship on his new research. The strange phenomenon prevented Keith from unlocking the full secrets of the Einzberns' Lesser Grail. His eventual plan was to acquire Heaven's Feel, the Third Magic. In Keith's world the magi knew of the existence of 5 great mysteries known as the True Magics. Heaven's Feel was one of them. It is said that the True Magics bear very close connection to the Origin and they possess miraculous powers even by the mages' standards. Keith the very least knew that the Einzberns' Heaven's Feel was incomplete and faulty. Otherwise they would be extremely famous. Also Keith had a vague idea about the capabilities of Heven's Feel, based on the Holy Grail War's special circumstances.
That gave Keith plenty of free time. Strangely he found great interest at teaching the Rin Aozaki, the youngest sister of the family. She was sharp and quick to learn. He taught him the basics of puppet-making and the transfer of souls. He had no reason just he thought it would be a great mistake to leave her talents in the dirt. She later perfected this skill and the Aozakis became formidable puppet-makers.
It took him two whole months to unlock all seals on Ingridsviel but it was worthy of effort. What he found was more amazing than he could ever believed. Einzberns used quite a few radical and exceptionally skillful methods at creating Homunculi. But what really shocked Keith was Heaven's Feel. It was a powerful magic which could grant the power to control and affect souls. Resurrection, reincarnation, immortality and many other incredible miracles could be achieved with Heaven's Feel. Although Keith couldn't find out everything about this miracle, neither the method of Homunculous Coining. He needed to properly examine Ingridsviel's body to find out. On a side note he also found out the cause of the strange phenomenon. A great and ancient will possessed and corrupted the Grail, effectively making it useless to its original purpose. In short Keith has no reason to pursue that Holy Grail. He needs his own Grail, possibly with even more power. Probably he wouldn't finish it in his lifetime. He thought that way but he didn't gave up his dream. He spent even more time to discover Heaven's Feel's full secrets. Although he still had enough time to teach Rin.
Meanwhile in his absence the careful network he created slowly crumbled. Keith knew something like that would happen sooner or later but he didn't have the time to care. He was obsessed with the miracle of Heaven's Feel. He slowly dismantled and dissected the Lesser Grail, eventually turned it into a pile of body samples. He felt no compassion as the Homunculous before him wasn't human, just a living puppet made by the Einzberns. At the same time Conrad became greedy and took control of Keith's laboratory. Of course he couldn't access the encrypted records but his foolishness revealed Keith's secret doings to the Associations. They raided the laboratory and despite its self-destructing defense mechanism they grabbed a hold of some research documents. Their contents was enough to get Keith Sealing Designated. The Association gives Sealing Designation to magi who went too far in their research and became a potential danger. Originally it served a different purpose though but now it was more like the higher ups' political tool. It almost equals death penalty.
After a year of work Keith managed to learn most of the secrets behind the creation of Einzbern Homunculi as well he got a good clue about Heaven's Feel and even had a working idea about its faulty and weakened version. The Aozakis supplied him with better and better equipment and by the end his workshop was very much like a smaller version of his previous laboratory complex. Of course eventually the Aozakis heard about Keith's Sealing Designation. Fearing the Associations they planned to ditch him and steal the whole research. Perhaps Keith was faster and already predicted this outcome. He burned the workshop down and escaped just in time. The Aozakis hardly found anything to use.
Yuuko's shop:His position was far from pleasant. He had no friends, no allies and absolutely no one to support him. He had no labs, no funds and the only thing remained was a portion of the body sample and the important research documents. In that situation he found a strange building. Before he realized he had passed through the gates already. He was right at the entrance. The place emitted ominous and powerful magical aura, so strong Keith wondered how he didn't noticed it back from the outskirts of the city.
Keith entered the building without hesitation. He was alarmed but he knew he can't do a thing there. The owner of this magic force probably sensed him already. All he could could just keep his composure, not losing to the force lying there at least psychologically. When he met the owner they had a rather interesting conversation:
"It was inevitable you came to my shop. There's no use thinking about it."
"Really? Probably you mean destiny."
" No. The thing which is destined can be avoided by the wishes of people. But against the inevitable there's no way around."
"Ask yourself. My shop grants wishes for an equal price. The proof of your existing wish is the fact you are here."
"That means you know my wish as well. Am I right?"
"I still want to hear it from your mouth though."
"Fine. I play along. My wish is to reach Akasha, the origin of everything. That is the only wish remained in my heart."
"Quite grand wish I have to say. The road is the roughest of all. Is your wish strong enough?"
"Only time could tell. That's all I can say."
"I see. Your wish is so grand you can't pay the price no matter what you do. I can only help you to eventually achieve it."
"Like I excepted to be it otherwise. And how exactly are you going to help me?"
"Take this eye. This will help you to reach your objective."
"What is this?"
"A magical device which allows you to cross dimensions."
"To cross dimensions?"
"Yes. The knowledge you need can't be obtained in this world alone. You need to cross dimensions and experience and learn the knowledge of different worlds. Place this artificial eye in the place of your right. The rest you'll surely know."
"Probably it only works if I put it exactly there. And what about the price?"
"The suitcase you're holding is enough. You've paid the rest already."
"Be warned. You have to sacrifice 5 years both of your springs and winters with the crossing of every new world."
"As excepted. There's a bit of catch on the use too, right?"
"In exchange it brings you to worlds you need to visit sooner or later though not necessary in the best order."
"It sounds really convenient. Well, I doubt I'm going to see you again so goodbye."
"We'll meet if it's inevitable. As long as your wish is alive you reach your goal."
He removed his own right eye without a second of hesitation. He used a strong surgical magic to do it with extreme precision. Then he placed the new magical eye-piece in its socket. He thought he might need to connect the nerves or something but he was wrong. The magic eye did it by itself. First it connected to his nervous system then it fused itself with his flesh but it didn't stop there. It continued to deepen its connection, invaded and reached the very core of his soul. The process came with excruciating pain beyond imagination. Keith withstood the 0.45 bullets tearing up his flesh without a noise but now he was shouting and agonizing in pain without a way to hold back. Later it became worse and Keith was literally paralyzed of the overwhelming trauma. His consciousness was at the brink of death but he had a strange kind of joy and awe. He felt the overwhelming and great power of the magic eye and he felt incredible. The process took about a hour at most but Keith felt like he spent a year in that state.
The mystical eyepiece became part of him. They became inseparable. He named this device Blue Ether instantly at the site. The process of merging almost drove him mad but somehow this name popped into his mind as the pain stopped. Keith couldn't wait any more. His excitement to probe Blue Ether knew no bounds. Somehow he instinctively knew how to operate the device. He couldn't hold back. With a simple thought Blue Ether initiated its magic and the ground began to slightly tremble. Soon an overwhelming blue light enveloped Keith and he disappeared from his world.
Studying in Wales:
The instant he arrived to the new world he suddenly collapsed. When he woke up he appeared to have amnesia. He didn't remember his past or who he really is. All he remembered his name. When he opened his eyes he found himself in a small but comfy room lying on a bed. He had quite a crowd around him and they all were young. Keith was confused the very least. "Are you magi?" Keith didn't know why but he asked this question out of the blue. His words caused great surprise and a slight uproar. The nurse rushed in and chased the students away. After hearing how Keith instantly blew the students cower the nurse didn't have a reason to keep secret that the building belongs to the Negi Springfield Academy. It is a prestigious academy hidden in Wales where amongst others the legendary hero, Negi Springfield graduated. He had collapsed near the academy grounds and the students had taken Keith to her.
He was allowed to stay in the academy. The nurse detected his amnesia and the director approved his stay there until they find his house or relatives. Keith didn't remember what happened to him before he collapsed. From his past he only remembers his own name. They allowed him to go to the magic lessons just like the other students. They had little reason to not to. Afterall Keith despite his amnesia knew about mages and was about the right age for a first year student. Keith didn't realize but he looked younger than he was before the jump, about 15-16 years old in appearance. He initially had difficulties and had to take supplementary lessons to catch up. But he advanced fast and showed great interest in magic. Just after a single month he became one of the top students.
It goes without saying that he became the main topic of the talks and rumors. He easily got popular and everyone helped him to fit in. Strangely, Keith had the most problems with the use of various modern devices like micros, computers or even a single remote controller. Without his memory Keith had no way to figure out why. His basic attitude hadn’t changed though. Despite he formally had many friends, Keith himself felt neither affection nor trust for them. It was more like he subtly used them. It might be because after the first week Keith had occasional memory flashes. He didn’t have many problems with it even though the memories came back randomly. The only time he slightly freaked out when he realized that he was supposed to be 21 years old. Perhaps short moments of confusion appeared time to time in the process.
With the memories coming back his magic potency had jumped drastically. It wasn’t just his previous skill. It appeared that his magic power itself was sealed too somehow with the memories. His prodigal talent surfaced on full bloom and Keith outclassed everyone in his class with his magic skill on the first monthly test. It was then when Keith finally regained his full memories. The last part was his visit at the Dimensional Witch and the scene after that. It filled Keith with joy to know the device indeed worked and not only that. It appears it could not only travel in space but somehow in time too. In Keith’s world it was 1942 while here in his present world the year was 2010! With his new revelation he stormed the libraries and ran through the history books, old newspapers and later even science and literature books. He became like a permanent guest of the library and spent less than one quarter of his free time outside of it. He wanted to find out everything about the world he was in. He wondered just how different this world is from his own.
After 2 months of research Keith came to the following conclusion about his present world, it’s magic and Blue Ether:
Keith's observations and revelations:
- Blue Ether's use made him 5 years younger not only in body, but also in soul. though it in a rather unusual way. The soul stores many things and makes copies about almost any aspect of the human life. It concerns the memories also. If Keith becomes exactly 5 years younger in soul it means somehow he needs to lose 5 years worth of memory as well. But Keith still remembered his time at Clock Tower, the Grail War, the Aozakis and so his time at the witch's house. He found the answer in the fact he wasn't remembering his own birthday. As he had never celebrated it, neither his family had time for that it means he lost his memory of his first 5 years. It matched Yuuko's warning perfectly: "You have to sacrifice 5 years both of your springs and winters with the crossing of every new world." Exactly. Also it seems it takes about a whole month to make him accommodate to the new world's rules. His temporally loss of magical power and mess of memory is the side effect of Keith traveling to a different dimension and losing part of his memory.He believed the memory problems won't be as drastic as in the first jump as both his body and soul accommodates to this kind of travel.
- The world he's in had many differences compared to his own. Part of those are directly related to the difference in age. There's about 65 years of difference between the two world's time. Many incredible scientific advances appeared and the the great change transformed the people's way of thinking also. Still, it didn't explain much of the differences between the mage community of this world and his original one. They both try to hide the existence of magic from the world but they use a different approach. Keith decided to call his original world Nasuverse(Nasu was his father's nickname) and the new world as Negiverse(in honor of the greatest figure of the new world's magic, Negi Springfield). Compared to the Nasuverse the Negiverse has a much more open system and better order at the administration. Negiverse mages views each other as comrades instead of rivals or enemies. Also mythological or other magical beings like Griffins, Salamanders, Golems and else are typical and a normal thing even at a common Magic Academy.
- The magic in Negiverse was rather interesting for Keith. He noticed that the amount of magical energy in the air is many times more rich than in the Nasuverse. To Keith's calulations it was 10 times and 8 times more rich compared to the lands of Fuyuki and the Aozakis' respectively. As a spiritual mage Keith was surprised too when he realized how many alternate supernatural planes do connect to this world. Calling spirits, demons or other elsewordly beings was simpler in the Negiverse. But what surprsied Keith the most was a single everyday use common magic item. They were the extremely advanced magic staffs and wands of the Negiverse. Instead of relying solely on the magic circuits, the magic wands allowed the Negiverse mages to form spells outside their bodies with ease and to absorb ambient magical energy much faster than they supposed to be. With the magic-rich environment of the Negiverse it all lead to a huge step in magic. Although in the process they slowly forgot many of the basics and instead formed the spells according to the methods shown in books. The Negiverse magics were powerful but unrefined. Also it degraded the value of magic circuits and it in turn made the usual mage less sensitive to magic energy. Sensing the subtle flow of magic energy became impossible to them.
The one first to notice Keith's extreme talent was a young, but teacher, Hanz Morrigan. He approached Keith and offered his tutelage and support. He offered private lessons at magic, promoted him to other teachers and tried to guide Keith's talent to the best direction. Unknown to him Keith already had a set direction and only used him. As one could expect Hans was a revolutionist who silently rebelled against the current system. He and Keith shared surprisingly a lot in common, they could engage in lengthy conversations about philosophy, magic theories and literature. Hans was superior in the later while unsurprisingly Keith had more insight in the theory of magic(being from a different world can add some bonus.). Slowly but surely Hans became the very first person in a long time Keith could consider a friend. Although it didn't change his attitude much but he begun to slightly trust him.
Keith managed an extreme progress. His extreme hunger for knowledge filled the whole teachership of the Academy with awe and respect. The Academy had great hopes of him. He became similar to a celebrity in the world of magi. He traveled around the world and had special courses to go on with the Academy's best teachers and with some quest teachers also. All those just to gain more knowledge, status and power.
During his tours around the world he's gotten acquainted with many influential men or women. In the case of later they were often his lovers also for shorter or longer periods .
With few people whom he saw as worthy he formed Pactios. The Pactio is a special bond formed between two people. The one called as Magister/Magistra fuels magical energy to the other(Minister/Ministra). In turn the Minister/Ministra becames the protector of the Magister/Magistra and gains a magical articraft from the Pactio System to ensure this puprose. The gained Articraft represents the Minister/Ministra's character and represented as a special Pactio Card. Both the Magister/Magistra and the Minister/Ministra have one though the abilities of each are differing. The Minister/Ministra can summon their Articraft using that card. The Magister/Magistra in turn can teleport the Minister/Ministra next to him anytime he/she needs it. The card can also function as a way of telepathical communication, making the Magister/Magistra and the Minister/Ministra always in touch.
Forming a Pactio needs mutual trust between the two participants. Because of that the one Keith formed a Pactio first was Hanz, the only one he has ever trusted as a person up until then. Forming a Pactio bonds the two participants on the level of souls. But it's mechanics were not even close to being as complex as Blue Ether's. After the first Pactio Keith figured out a loophole in the system and used this to form other Pactios. Because Keith lacked the trust to others, he needed that kind of trick to form any other Pactio. He made 8 Pactios altogether.
All those were to serve his objective, nothing else. With his newly built workshop Keith was once again capable of making puppets. But with his newfound knowledge and the homunculous coining's technology he improved them into a completely new level. After that he put himself into stasis and let his puppet bodies do his work. But his hunger for knowledge and power has risen a way too high and he became a way too confident. Using his connections and followers he secretly gathered many rare magical articrafts and managed to make contracts with thousands of spiritual beings. His pace of development truly was almost impossible to follow. But with such a fast pace he left quite a few traces behind.
His skill in magic and power increased rapidly. He mastered the basic magics and any common form of them to a masterful level. But he barely found teachers to train him in more rare forms of magic. There were certain exceptions but generally he had to invent his own spells; using the things he learnt at the Academy and his knowledge from Nasuverse as a base. That way his specialty became the combination of spells. He had managed to invent a much more cost-effective way of flying magic or to mix magic elements. Gelu Atra being the best example. A good mixture of the element of ice and darkness with the addition of Keith's spiritual expertize. A black spiritual ice which can freeze literally anything, including ghosts and other spiritual formations as the magic barriers.Keith drew immense amount of magical power from various spiritual beings; beings from other planes who were enslaved to his will and served just as mere magic batteries.
Fallen to Greed Part 1: Assault of Megaloblossia
The power of the most ancient demon and the knowledge going with it was all too charming to miss for him. Keith quickly organized the currently scattered people of his and made Caliga Nostra Nigra (Our Dark Shroud - indicating it's secretive nature). The purpose is obvious. Finding and stealing the 7 sealing crests keeping Ingressius
The sealing items which was necessary to release the demon should probably be guarded in the magical world with the greatest security possible. Not to mention he didn't know the location of them save one . But Keith wasn't worried about it the slightest bit. For his plan even knowing one place was enough. With his followers he assaulted the treasury of Megaloblossia. They planned a rapid and strong ambush of the place at the least expected time.. But needless to say that the treasury of Megaloblossia was and still is probably the most heavily guarded place of Keith know of in dormant. Negiverse. The commander of the guards were a veteran admiral with extreme fighting experience. He called as Admiral Archibald Mendes, the Lightning Lord.
With Keith's basic principle in mind they choose a time when the strength of the defense is at it's weakest and no civilians are around. Also obeying Keith's orders they've decided avoid to kill people but knock them out as fast as possible. Murders would only get a bad image of his organization and increase the hate concentrating on him in the future. In short as usual: troublesome. And perhaps barbaric as Hanz added to that.
They attacked with only the elite core of their members. It means Keith and the 8 people he made Pactio with. Attacking such a heavily guarded place with so few members should've been suicidal. 9 people against more than 500 soldiers . In addition the Megaloblossian International Treasury famously has the best magical defenses. And Admiral's personal retainers are the last but not the least important factor. They were were famed and powerful in the War 25 years ago. But Keith has no worries, knowing the plan he devised should his people be able to handle even a situation like that.
Keith knew what kind of tactical and strategical decisions the Admiral usually makes and also even his retainers and his abilities and powers.All thanks to the fact of the Admiral's fame.It was quite easy to get the information.Also thanks to an insider giving them enough information Caliga Nostra Nigra had a rather good picture about the place they're attacking. Keith was perfectly confident about predicting their every single move. Still Keith would call utterly reckless the plan he based his actions on that day as he's thinking back now.
They've infiltrated the place disguising themselves as normal civilians, a hour before it's closing time. They have special disguising magic items(bough from the black market) to make their identity unrecognizable . While the Megaloblossian International Treasury protects the most precious items of the Magical World it of course also serves as a regular bank and a regular depository. They planned to attack from four different places forming 4 groups, numbering 2 members each.
- The first group was Hanz's and Hildareia's. As a teacher of hers he should be the one protecting her. They are the first to strike and responsible for taking out the most of the regular soldiers, using Hidarideia's Somnium Dulcissimae. Using Hanz's Adheris Cacei they could breach in the guards barracks without much of a problem and put 70% of the guards into a long sleep.
-The second team, Aldeira and Frederica were responsible for scaring out every single civilian. But their main job was to actually breaking in and neutralizing much of the defenses. Needless to say they did an excellent job.
-The third team was Chiaki's and Zaine's. Their job was to cause more confusion and keep the remaining guards busy. As Chiaki's Sparsum Tempestas can split even into small needles if needed and can be coated in strong sedatives, she could take out many guards at once.
-The fourth group had nothing much to do for the first phase. Katherine and Sarah stayed low.
With Keith entering the building the second phase took action. The Admiral reacted relatively fast and only after a few minutes the two retainer of his and surprisingly even her daughter entered the battle. Keith had a worrisome feeling, but unsure to why.
But Keith chased away those feelings as everything went according to his plan. Maybe even better. Finally the fourth group can take place actively in the action. With Sarah's Optimus Speculum she created copies of Katherine in her various forms of armor and ambushed the guards from the back. Being Illusionary creations they were much weaker, but defeating everyone wasn't their objective. After defeating few of them the illusions retreated trying to lure away some of the guards and splitting them up and making a way for Keith to the Admiral.
The enemy's reaction were suspiciously slow and it furthered Keith's worries. But he proceed forward. No one but he c ould enter there. The magical defenses in the inner areas are more tricky and harder to notice. It was created by a famous mage called as Bertolio Michaelis a master of magic traps. He couldn't leave it to Aldeira. He was in a constant telepathic connection with the other members. He gave orders when needed and was constantly informed of the situation in real time. He heard that the guards using golems to reinforce their lines. Another worrisome factor as those should've been in maintenance at that time. He decided to march forward regardless, believing to surely get the answers from the Admiral.
Perhaps due to their immense power Keith noticed them even before he even took a step inside the room. "Impressive. creating such phenomenon. Not to mention the control you possess over it. It's truly like magic." Keith said it while dodged the balls with ease. It's like a total mockery to the Admiral."Don't be so full of yourself, Kid. Quattor Orbis Levitas!" Four additional balls lightnings. The Admiral had obviously more power. Additionally he summoned ball lightnings amongst everything. They have quite a few mysterious abilities which can't be explained scientifically for now. So Keith can't find much of the weakness in it. Or maybe... "Gelu Atra Flata" A spiraling weave of black ice was streaming in every direction. It's power was obviously weaker than of the ball lightnings so it isn't surprising that...
"Brenna!" But suddenly the lightning balls have started to act strangely and collided into each other and created a huge surge of wild electricity. Both Keith and the Admiral needed to protect themselves by emerging barriers."Oh?Just as I thought, the magical field around the balls aren't uniform. There are certain weak spots. And after I find those I just have to deal with it like with an usual lightning. Messing with the charges a little." Mocking the Admiral again."I promise I carve this comment of yours as a gravemark to your funeral.Ferrum Ferito!" The Celling like black sand blown away by the wind disappeared and formed a floating lash of iron dust. "Say your last prayers-"
A strange feeling assaulted the Admiral all of sudden. Everything around him became still, like the time's stopped."So you have finally noticed it, right?" The Admiral couldn't move, but the man before him, Keith seemingly remained unaffected. A wide smirk was drawn over his face and he leisurely walked closer."Wha-What happened." The Admiral's mouth remains stiff but he somehow still left out his voice. "One word: Illusion. The scene a while before was just an illusion." It all made sense suddenly. "I see. You're certainly a scum just like I expected." Keith laughed at the Admiral's comment."Ha-ha! I take this as a compliment, Admiral Mendes." The Admiral calmed himself down."I have only one question. Since when?" Keith smiled. " Do you really need to ask? Of course since the beginning. I can tell the method though you won't understand it either way. I set up a Boundary Field which enforces Intrusion Magic on anyone who enters. The exact details are much more complex and I spare that from you." In essence Keith controlled the whole battle since the beginning. He had used the records about the Admiral to properly guess his amount of Magic Cicuits. Intrusion Magic is a challenge of minds and Magic Circuits. Keith needed all this to defeat the Admiral such a way."Wha-"
Of course the Admiral couldn't comprehend it."In short. mind control. You possessed the information I wanted to get so I used this on you." The Admiral had no words to show his astonishment. He had never heard of a spell with such power."Still. You are quite stubborn of a person, Admiral. I made a mistake on my part too. I won our mental battle just barely." True. Keith had underestimated the Admiral's resolve and willpower even if he had guessed his number of Magic Circuits right."So that's how it is. If you were so confident at defeating me then why you kept me alive?Leaving me in this illusion..." The Admiral slowly started to accept his fate."Well, the term of dream can be more precise. You kept struggling so I needed something to draw out your attention. The thing you saw can be called the simulation how our battle of magic with each other would look like." Indeed. Keith knew that in a direct battle he had quite a chance to be overwhelmed by the Admiral's magic. Keith, despite his rapid development was still far from being as powerful as a legendary veteran from the War. "You may have defeated me but let me tell you something. You won't get off so easily after hurting the pride of the Mendes family this much. You'll surely regret this!"
It was the Admiral's probable last retort. But Keith has brushed off his offensive words with ease."We'll see. But you did something which I already do regret. You are unaware of it, but you managed to take a short peak inside my own memories. I can't left you off with them. Absolutely, not." Revealing his identity would be fatal. Keith has no certain method to erase memories without making it detectable and otherwise it endangers the operations of Caliga Nostra Nigra in the future."And? You're going to kill me, right, Keith Mackenzie?" The Admiral seemed to slowly regain those stolen memories. The mental challenge between the two souls has still raged on. One careless action or hesitation and Keith would've gotten defeated by his own magic.
He has no choice. "I am sorry, but yes. I am short on time and can't think of any other option. Of course I am sure to make it so like you had a heart attack. With the control I have over your body now it's quite possible to do so. I usually refrain from killing anyone as it always has unpleasant consequences, but this way I think I can minimize them. Also, you lived for quite long, right? You're already a part of the past, Admiral Archibald Mendes." Killing him of with the surest and most subtle method is the best. He had to do it before the situation may have gotten out of his control."Go to he-" That was Admiral's last, unfinished sentence.
Even with his enemy being prepared everything was according to his plan. With the elimination of pinnacle of command chain the situation was turning for the better. While Keith's people were going to have some time to breathe he makes his way to the innermost vault where the sealing piece was kept. Every sealing piece was given a number in ancient Latin. The piece being here was called as Primum.
A trap has been activated just by Keith's actions. He first was in disbelief to find a magic undetectable by him b ut the illusion figure confirmed this. It was Bertolio Michaelis, the mage-architect responsible for the defense systems at the Megaloblossian International Treasury. Keith heard about him but only a little. It's bewildering to know despite the poor teachings of basics even here in Negiverse there are people with the skill to emerge a sorts of like a first class Boundary Field. But it had happened and the spell was a rather crafty one. It transported him into an alternate fake space, using the magical energy Keith himself released to fuel it. As he was calmly informed by the illusion figure the spell consumes every bit of magical energy Keith releases for his magics so any kind of method he uses only serves as a way to strengthen the power of the barrier. Keith had to find a way to solve the problem.
Meanwhile the members of Caliga Nostra Nigra could relax. As Frederic Armoebias ceased his assault on Frederica and Aldeira and retreated to check on the Admiral they seized the opportunity to help out their comrades. Hitting hard targets or fighting against magical constructs is the specialty of Frederica's and Aldeira's articrafts respecively. They defeated most of the magic golems turning the tide of the battle. The Admiral's daughter Claire with the support of the enchantress Levanee managed to held out somewhat, but even with the quick return of Armoebias the outcome of the battle had been decided already. They couldn't call for reinforcements or help as Keith carefully emerged a large Boundary Field in the whole building complex, preventing the communication with the outside. But Caliga Nostra Nigra also had to experience bad news as the telepathic connection between them suddenly disappeared.
Despite that he had already devised a method for his escape. Used Hanz's Pactio Card to teleport him right next to Keith. The barrier only prevented the telepathic connections not the exact connection between Magister and Minister. Keith was sure of it as he still felt magical energy flowing to his Minister and Ministrae. Hanz appeared to be surprised as he had summoned without a warning, but after Keith explained his situations and what Hanz needs to do he complied without a question. Instead of arguing he did it without much of a word. Hanz trusted Keith unconditionally.
They succeeded defeating the barrier using Hanz's Adheris Cacei while Keith coordinated his attack and enhanced it's power. Sure, even the genius Bertolio couldn't have ever thought that the one inside his barrier would be a Magister magi having Pactio with a powerful space-affecting articraft wielding Minister magi. Keith fixed the telepathic connection between him and his group to everyone's relief.
That magic was the last line of defense. After that nothing prevented Keith to get his hands on Primum, the first sealing piece of the seven any further. He took it and ordered the retreat of Caliga Nostra Nigra. If he could he would've searched for the main server of the Treasury to clear the records about his presence there. A great part of the plan was about leaving the security oblivious about he, the ninth member's presence. With Bertolio's trap they had failed and as they had no information about the location of the main server storing the date, they couldn't erase it. The building complex of the treasury is a way too big to search for it now. They had to retreat. At least the main objective had been completed.
Keith and Hanz headed back to the main hall, where everyone else is fighting. On the route there they encountered few people but Keith took them out without giving a chance to them to notice it. Using illusion magics he even managed to fool the security cameras, a thing he had done his way there too. As they have almost met with the rest of the group, Keith took out the weakened Levanee with the use of his Mystic Eyes. She possessed some valuable knowledge on magic, especially on the art of illusions. Keith took them in the process.
To his mark Hildareia activated her Somnium Dulcissimae at full power. That way even skin contact would cause them to fall asleep. With a fatigured and weakened opposition that the remaining guards including their leader, Claire represented they had been put into sleep without much of a problem. But Armoelias resisted it's effects. He had quite an amount of Ki reserves and thus he could counteract it's effects. He charged at the now revealed Hildareia, but Chiaki's needle storm prevented him and Zaine intercepted him, using Velox Ver's speed. As Armoelias was much more experienced and a better fighter he pushed Zaine away with relative ease. But that was only a part of Keith's plan to stall him. Aldeira, Katherine and Hanz attacked at him from three different directions. Even if their individual skill lacked compared to him(especially Hanz's who only trained to use his weapon for 3 years), but he couldn't do much against the combined power of them.
With the excellent coordination of Keith they cornered him but he refused to give up. He fought constantly inside the sleeping gas of Hildareia's Somnium Dulcissimae. As it didn't affect her comrades that was a quite large handicap for Armoeilas. Although the members of Caliga Nostra Nigra had a big one too as they weren't allowed to kill him. If something turns out suddenly bad he might have killed or at least injured one of the members. But Keith had a plan. He slowly evacuated every people of his, replacing them with illusion copies. As Armoelias was a way too preoccupied with the fight he had no chance to notice it. First Frederica, then Zaine after that Chiaki, then the fatigued Hanz(replaced by a replica made with Sarah's Optimus Speculum) , then Aldeira(having replaced the same way), then Hildreia and last Katherine and Sarah. Keith remained to protect them from Armoelias who was still capable to fight. Keith thought out a quite good plan for his fight.
Armoelias wasn't stupid to not realize instantly what happened after the disappearance of illusions. He had his suspicions even before. He assaulted Keith instantly but he blocked Armoelias's first attack with a double-layered magic shield. The barrier broke due to the magic-countering nature of the Holy Lances, but Keith had prepared a wind spell already to push him away in time, gaining a bit of time."So... it was you. You're the leader of those youngsters, right?" Armoelias adminstered a calm question to Keith."Quite a sharp sense you have. The disguise magic should hide even that information from you." Keith answered in his usual courteous manner."Don't joke with me! After you experienced as many fights as me you start to recognize people just by their small movements." Nothing less could be expected from another legendary veteran of the War."Certainly. That was a part out of my calculations." Armoelias has started to slowly lose his temper."Your calculations are wrong in many ways. Even if you saved the skin of your comrades who will save your own? You're going to die here!" Keith felt like almost laughing at his statement. "Heh. We'll see."
And the battle continued on. Armoelias was a better fighter and faster than Keith. Keith has compensated this by using wind bursts as a way of moving around. He couldn't really make a barrier strong enough to protect against those spears only to slow them down enough to avoid them. Keith was constantly pushed back. Surprisingly Armoelias had much more Ki reserves than he thought. The fight went on for minutes but in the end Keith made a mistake and evaded the attack wrong. The first attack only grazed him but the second pierced his heart. "I told you. Your calculations are wrong in many ways. We'll catch your comrades pretty soon. No matter what you wanted to accomplish, you failed."
Keith couldn't speak. Armoelias pulled his lance out of Keith's heart and let him collapse and die. But at the instant his soul left his body, the body itself has been engulfed in blue flames, burning the whole body until it became impossible to identify. All it remained was just a human-shaped charcoal. As Armoelias became sure of the body being real, he collapsed out of exhaustion. Meanwhile the other members of Caliga Nostra Nigra escaped without a problem. With Keith's death the barrier cutting of the communications disappeared and the Megaloblossian leadership was informed about the terrible news.
With all the collateral damage caused by Caliga Nostra Nigra it became impossible to hide this embarrassing fact. A group of 9 skilled magi had broken in the magical world's most heavily guarded building, defeated every single guard, cleared out the magical defenses without a problem and probably stole something valuable. Their supposed leader though was believed to be dead after a heroic duel between him and the veteran Frederic Armoelias. Also inside all that confusion Admiral Archibald Mendes regretfully died of a heart attack due to unknown causes. The leadership promoted Armoelias for his heroic deed, making him the new commander of the guard force in the Megaloblossian International Treasury.
But Keith was alive, surprisingly. He transfered his soul into the next Homunculous puppet he created, successfully faking his death. People other than Hanz didn't know about his ability to switch between bodies, not even his inner circle of his Pactio partners. He lied to them, telling that he used a fake body to fool the authorities while he confused Armoelias with an illusion and quickly teleported away. Actually doing that by a similar method should've been less complicated but also less convincing. He wanted his fake death to be as believable as possible. With that even if the ninth criminal's existence became known with his faked death he erased that error and he can work in the shadows the same way he did before. He was already preparing for the next attack.
Fallen to Greed Part 2: Caliga Nostra Nigra
The news of the Magic World were all about the mysterious group who managed to completely break in the world's most heavily guarded place, the Megaloblossian International Treasury. The media even got a wind of them suceeding to steal an extremely dangerous and powerful magic item. The authorities were trying to keep the identity of the stolen item secret. But instead of controlling the situation it made the media even more wilder, starting up whole articles and shows about speculating exactly what kind of dangerous and fearful item they stole. Eggs of an Ancient Dragon, forbidden grimoire calling the whole hell on the world, A legendary magic staff, Elixir of Immortality or even the Philosophers' Stone. Any kind of treasures and magic items. Much of those were only invented by the writer of the story him or herself.
Regardless of the rumors, the Mysterious Eight(the media-crafted name of the 8 members of Caliga Nostra Nigra) became the top topic of debate everywhere. Meanwhile Keith laid low, organizing Caliga Nostra Nigra and searching for the traitor. The later had surprisingly fast results. Their own insider, Lance Alfonses
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