Damien nearly ended the world. Now, his mistake might be the only thing that can save it.
Good things come to those who wait. Damien Vale didn’t, and he ended up bound to an Eldritch creature from beyond the reaches of space. It has lived since the dawn of time, seen the world born and destroyed countless times, and wants to be called Henry.
Unusual companion or not, Damien was still determined to go to a mage college and study magic. He wants nothing more than to live normal life as a researcher, but if Henry’s true nature is revealed, he’ll be killed.
To top it all off, Damien’s teacher is a madman from the front lines of war, his alcoholic dean suspects something is awry with his companion, and Blackmist might possibly be the worst school in history. Damien has to prevent the end of the world, but he isn’t even sure he’s going to make it through Year One at Blackmist.
Damien accidentally bound an unknowable void being to his soul when he was thirteen and that’s the boring part of the story. The creature of shadows and eyeballs, Henry, promptly takes a four year nap and we skip ahead to Damien heading off to magic college. He gets stuffed into a carriage with four other teens and they’re all assigned to the same school, same professor, and same living area because the school administrators (and maybe also the author) can’t be bothered.
I had trouble getting into this story but once Damien starts school it gets really interesting. Damien is adorkable. He wants to learn cool magic and dig through the library and study all the things. Eldritch beings lack creativity and learn new things from observing humanity, so Henry likes the library trips too. Henry talks like a teenager because he’s bound to a teenager’s soul and plays pranks on Damien because he’s bored.
Damien’s classmates include a pair of noble siblings who are competing to be hier, a half-feral guy with a cool sword, and a standoffish secretive girl. The girl, Sylph, becomes Damien’s roommate and they develop a nice platonic friendship. They only have one professor in this book, Delph the gruff jerk. He teaches combat training, which is just physical fitness with practice duels mixed in. (They’ll have more classes next book.)
Despite Henry intending to destroy the world and the probability that Damien would be killed if anyone finds out about Henry, there’s not much conflict in this book. There nobles give up on any bullying as soon as Damien proves he has power. The upperclassmen we meet are either nice or indifferent. Delph is a jerk but he’s pushing his students to get stronger. There’s a fighting tournament to establish student ranking but even if you lose it’s not that big of a deal.
Slice of life with an eldritch horror. Love to see it.
Students are issued a wristband that can display their stats, like strength, endurance, and magical capacity. Damien periodically checking his progress is the only LitRPG element we see.
This story also uses cultivation elements. How much ether someone can channel is based around the size and strength of their core. Students find a cultivation method early in their school career. There are also expensive herbs that can be used to improve magical ability – a pay-to-win option, essentially. I’m not super familiar with cultivation tropes, just enough to recognize them. Combining LitRPG and cultivation is new to me.