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a cup of mercury

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"A spell that not even the Administrator could break, could such a thing really exist?"


"Well, in theory yes. Technically speaking, the rules of spells don't place any specific upper limit on how powerful a spell can be.

In practice however, if one wanted an infinitely powerful spell, the actual set up would require an infinite amount of space and time, as well as an infinitely powerful being to help you."


"Well then, a spell that not even an Administrator could break does not exist; they are absolute beings, but an absolute spell could not be created."


"Ah, but that's where you're wrong my love."




"For a power that can do nearly anything, shinsoo is still awfully restricted to this one place. I mean, while they are indeed great forces, it would be a bit silly to call beings who restrict themselves to one small zone 'absolute', no?"


"...Still, even if you don't need infinite preparation for such a spell, the set up would still have to be enormous. The Administrator controls the entire Floor, so you must realize how big the casting for something stronger would have to be, right?"


"Well, at least bigger than a Floor, obviously."


"Bigger than a-! ...Wait what?"


"Here's an interesting trick Gustang pointed to me quite a while ago. 

If you draw a circle, and then define everything inside the circumference as "outside" the circle, then that means everything else on the page is now defined as "inside" the circle. You create an object with an infinite area, yet finite perimeter; it's the opposite of a fractal.

It's like building a fence so large that there's so little outside it that you end up not needing that much fence.

Of course, this is just a semantic trick. Trying to apply this to any actual ritual without it being backed up by any inscriptions or items would just result in a drawn circle. Not to mention it'd still be limited in size by the actual walls of the Tower.

And even with the cutting off, the sheer size of the area you've defined would require a bit more than some candles and dust lines to properly inscribe. Quite a bit more, actually.

Of course, luckily we have the adequate tools to fill that role in."


"...You do?"


"Do you truly not know? You see those tools every night. And every day as well."


"The star lights... and the spotlight sun too?"


"They make for quite some good candles."


"I thought the Workshop set those up for you because you missed the Outside skies?"


"Oh trust me, I do, I do so, so much. I know they tried their best, but these fake things simply don't come close.

But that's okay, because I had found another use for them. Have a look, my love."


"What... what is this?"






"...Recently, whatever that means anymore, I had found out that you lied to me, V.

I now know that you've still been mortal all this time. Do you realize how terrifying that is to me?"




"I don't know what reasons you had. But whatever they were, it doesn't matter.

Just know that I forgive your betrayal; that's it's okay now."




"The spell bound to this item prevents any and all degradation to your physical state.

It is cast from the bindings of the great lights from over 130 Floors, and the being whose power I borrowed for this feat, was none other that the Tower itself.

It could prevent a corpse from decomposing for an unending amount of time. It could prevent a living person from taking any and all damage, whatsoever.

It's on par with the King's contract that our child's killer signed so that no resident of the Tower could harm him; it's better, even."


"...I would be like Jahad?"


"While we still can't touch him, he won't be able to touch you either. He could never, because I won't let him.

So what that we lost the war? We can keep fighting V. 

We can avenge our child V, no matter how long it takes, even if every battlefield is reduced to dust and blood. We- you, have all the time you could ever hope for now.

Your mistakes aren't the end of the world V, because I can fix them.

...And, perhaps then, you can help me fix my mistakes; we can retake the 13 Months, and we can climb again. Their binding was cast by me, they rightfully belong to us, V."




"...We've lost a lot, but we haven't lost everything. I haven't lost you, and no matter what that bastard tries, it won't happen.

Some day, in a higher place, we can be happy again V."


"I... I need to think about this."


"I know it's a lot to thrust on you at once, and I'm sorry my love-"


"I just need to process this, okay?"


"...Very well."

The next day, V was discovered to have committed suicide.