Hours passed, and the day soon drifted by and slipped into the beginnings of night. Noah wasn’t sure if the Enforcer meeting was delayed, forgotten, or just always started this late. He didn’t particularly care.

His headache faded and left behind only excitement. Noah slipped out of bed and sat down on the ground to lean against it. He set the grimoire in his lap, resting his hand on its surface so he could pull in any Runes he wanted to while he was in his mindspace.

He then sank into himself. Darkness swirled up and consumed the world around him before blooming to reveal his Runes floating around him. The Space Rune he’d taken from Lee sat across from Natural Disaster.

Combustion's power rippled beneath his feet, and his other two Master Runes bore down on him from overhead. Their pressure pressed against each other instead of just him, saving Noah from having to fight to avoid being crushed under their power.

“Right. Space related disasters,” Noah said to himself. He extended a hand, calling the Rune he’d taken from Lee to himself. It was weak, but it was the first building block and the most important one to understand.

Runes were already ambiguous enough on their own, and a Space Rune was a step above. It was a broad concept. A very broad concept. Space meant a great number of things. It was the area that an object took up, but it was also the distance between two objects — and, if he was really going by every definition of the word, it was also the universe outside of the planet.

Each definition would probably work for making a Rank 2 Space Rune. After all, runes were heavily dependent on intent. The way someone looked at something could completely change the outcome.


Lee included some of these in her Demon Rune, Smoldering Warp. A lot of people will probably use space to travel. That’s the most logical use for the rune, after all. Teleportation is really powerful.

It’s also insanely complex. I can’t even begin to understand how portals function. I suppose it’s got something to do with establishing a connection between two different points in space, but as to how that would actually be done… no idea.

It was easy to see why so few people were able to progress far with Space Runes. It wasn’t just their concept that was broad. It was the ways to use them. Noah studied the Rank 1 Space Rune, his lips pursed in thought.

He drew a trickle of power from it, letting it run through his body and gather at his fingertips. Actually using the rune was another interesting matter. Water Runes needed water. Fire Runes needed flame, and Earth Runes needed earth.

What does a Space Rune need when it’s at Rank 1? There hasn’t been any intent in it yet, so it shouldn’t have a preset disposition to any form of space. But if I’m picturing space as the universe beyond this world, how would I ever be able to use this Rune? I wouldn’t have access to that, so it just wouldn’t work.

Would it just straight up not function unless I thought about a form of space that it could actually access?


Noah extended a hand, picturing the air compressing above his palm. A shimmer of faint purple energy gathered, but that was the extent of the rune’s effects. He opened his eyes in the real world to confirm the results were the same. They were, so he closed them again to return to his mindspace.

“Interesting,” Noah mused to himself as he released the Rank 1 Rune. “It could be that I’m not thinking about this the right way or it could be that a Rank 1 Rune just isn’t strong enough to do what I want.”

Another thought struck him and he tilted his head to the side.

Or it could be the intent in every Rank 1 Rune. They can be specific to one thing, even if I don’t know what that one thing would be for Space. If I want to avoid that, I’d need something that I understood entirely. When I made the Fragment of Renewal, I filled it with my own intent and functionally made my own Rune. Should I try to figure out what intent was behind the Rank 1 Space Rune?

Noah pictured a portal forming before him, but nothing happened. That wasn’t really much of a surprise. If a Rank 1 Rune allowed him to teleport at will, then Space Runes would have been absolutely ridiculous.

He lowered his expectations to just a tiny pinprick of… portal energy. Noah wasn’t sure how else to imagine the churning purple power that Brayden had walked through so many times. Once again, nothing happened.

Eyes narrowed, Noah allowed the Rank 1 Space Rune to float back into position in his soul. He let out a sigh and laid out on the flat expanse of black that was his soul, staring up at the Master Runes floating far above him.If you discover this tale on Amazon, be aware that it has been unlawfully taken from Royal Road. Please report it.

This isn’t the right way to go about this. I’m approaching things as if I’m just any other mage. I don’t know all that much about teleportation and all that shit, but why would I waste my time with that in the first place?

I’ve seen the space between time. The Line. I saw that demon break through literal nothingness to invade. That’s what I need to focus on. I’ll leave normal space to everyone else. Brayden said everything well enough. It’s incredibly difficult to understand and I don’t have the experience with it.

I don’t have the time to truly figure out how it works either. It’ll be one of my Rank 4 Runes, but I can have more than one space-related rune with how broad the subject is.

Noah sat back up and pushed himself to his feet. He had a path before him. He’d seen enough to give him an understanding of space that nobody else in this world could even begin to comprehend.

For that matter, he wasn’t so sure he comprehended it himself. Much of his memories had been repressed by his own mind in order to try and save his sanity. Azel had been steadily picking away at some of those memories to re-release them, but he’d been focused on emotions rather than knowledge.

“What is space?” Noah mused to himself. “Vast. That’s the first word that comes to mind. But that isn’t the only one. Space isn’t entirely its own concept. It feels like it can’t properly exist in a vacuum. There has to be the concept of time as well, even if that concept is the lack of time rather than its passing.”

But even that didn’t quite feel like it was enough. Space and time were intertwined, but words didn’t feel like they could properly encapsulate the feeling that the Line had imposed onto Noah.

Repressed memories stirred as he dug deeper into himself and sought to find knowledge that he’d done his absolute best to completely forget. Ancient thoughts that didn’t even feel like they were his brushed past Noah’s mind, dragging their claws through his psyche.

Boredom. Infinite, mind-hollowing boredom. Nothingness — and yet, everything at once. The infinite black that stretched out in every single direction without any sign of end and the glistening roads of gold that ran throughout it.

Noah’s stomach roiled at the thoughts and a grimace twisted across his lips. Even the memories were vile. He wanted to violently shake his head off and bury his head into a pillow and scream until the thoughts vanished, never to show their heads again.

But he couldn’t do that. He needed the memories. They were the leg up he had on everyone else who had tried to form a Space Rune. The knowledge that — quite literally — no other mortal had access to as far as he was aware. And so, he pushed deeper.

There were so many memories of the exact same thing. The exact same step, taken infinite times over. The same wordless souls surrounding him, and the same golden path. They ground against Noah’s mind like a millstone.

He pressed on. For all the monotony, for all the agony that the Line had been, every memory held a tiny flicker of knowledge. It was so faint that it was almost nonexistent. A single one would have been worthless. Hundreds — even thousands of them would have been no different.

But Noah had far more than that. He had more than he could count, and they were buried so deeply into his psyche that they were part of his soul itself. Those flickers of understanding, a look into a world beyond mortal comprehension, started to pull together.

It wasn’t in any way that Noah could phrase. He’d been hoping to suddenly find that he understood the concept of space well enough to cut a wormhole straight through it, but that didn’t happen.

There was no revelation. There was no burst of understanding or miraculous realization to be found within all the time that Noah had spent waiting in line.

He didn’t know how space worked. He had no way to comprehend how time and space intertwined or to visualize the vast extent of the concept he was trying to decipher. And so he stopped trying.

Noah gave up on trying to figure out how space worked and simply observed. He’d been within that vast expanse of emptiness for so long that it had become part of him. Space wasn’t just an area or the area between two locations. It was everything. Every single thing, living or not, past or present, was part of it.

Noah had no way to fully come to grips with that, but he didn’t need to. Instead of trying to approach it like a scientist prying free secrets, he greeted it like an old friend. Space wasn’t something that a mortal could comprehend. Even with all the experience he had, he was no exception.

But Noah didn’t need to completely understand Space. Not yet. For the time being, that old friendship was enough. It was a connection. A pathway to greater understanding that could only come in time, and the steps he’d already taken thousands upon thousands upon thousands of times over were enough to pave that pathway.

Space is everything. And, by that measure, I am space. My soul has passed through space that everyone else has likely passed through before, but I remember it.

The memories finally peeled back. Noah drew in a deep breath to steady himself and let it out through his nose. He looked down at the darkness of his soul beneath his feet, and he knew how he was going to make his Space Rune.

He couldn’t use the runes that anyone else had made. Not directly, at least. He needed their power, but all the intent within them was wrong. The best way he could possibly make a Space Rune wasn’t by cobbling together runes with so many differing potentials that it would be impossible to comprehend all of them.

“I’ve got the power from the Space Runes and the depth of emotion and understanding from everything I’ve seen,” Noah mused to himself. “I don’t understand life and death, but I know them. They’re old friends, and this is no different.”

The best way to make his Space Rune was to start from the beginning, where his own intent and experience would shape the energy from the other runes without allowing any of their influence in. Fortunately for Noah, that wasn’t something entirely new to him. He’d done it once before, with all the energy left over from his lives and deaths, when he’d made the Fragment of Renewal.

Determination etched itself into Noah’s features. If he wanted the perfect Space Rune for himself, he was going to have to make another rune from scratch.