Chapter 111 - Towards the Storm (5)
In the end, Gluttony's tongue wrapped around Laevateinn, who had been trying to run away. It was an odd sight in many ways. In the epicenter of the fire which burned the clouds, a bead of light was caught by a tongue.
However, Theodore didn't have room to enjoy the curious sight. [Hey! Swallow it quickly!]
The duration of the Fluidization effect was reaching its limits. Despite the fact that Gluttony had restrained Laevateinn, the heat was getting worst, and it wasn't at a level which his physical body could survive. Theo would die instantly the moment Fluidization was released.
Somehow, he had to win before that. Theo's sense of urgency was conveyed as the tongue became more taut.
Gluttony shouted in a voice which couldn't contain its joy, -Bastard! Resisting, meaningless!
Then it tugged Laevateinn's body as hard as it could.
This was the final, desperate struggle. Flames soared into the sky through the gaps of the tongue wound tightly around it. The clouds floating tens of kilometers above Theo were scattered like a lie, and the atmosphere distorted.
It was a power comparable to the Dragon Breath Veronica had shown previously! Theodore was overwhelmed as he looked at the torn sky.
'If that flame had turned on us...'
They would have been killed without being able to do anything. It was an output which could sweep away the elemental ruler's power. Perhaps if Laevateinn changed to the fourth form, it could pour out these type of flames infinitely.
However, with a final roar, Laevateinn's body lost the power to resist. Gluttony mentioned this as a weakness of the third form. The body lost all defense functionalities in order to bring out all the power it had.
As always, there was the sound of good food being eaten as Laevateinn entered Gluttony's mouth. Simultaneously, the information about the legend ranked grimoire, Laevateinn, was updated. The contents previously veiled with question marks were now revealed.
[This is a grimoire where the realm of fire, Muspelheim is sealed. At the time of Ragnarok, Surtr had fully unlocked the power of the grimoire and burned the world tree by releasing Muspelheim. However, in return, he was turn to ashes, and the grimoire, who lost its owner, closed its eyes and waited.
* The rating of the grimoire is 'Legend.'
* When consumed, fire magic affinity will rise to the limit. The magic power consumed by fire magic will be reduced by half. Fire damage lower than the user's level will be ignored. Fire damage above the user's level will be reduced.
* When consumed, Ring of Muspelheim will be acquired. Muspelheim's fire can be used step-by-step.
* When consumed, you can't control the power of this grimoire with your current capabilities. If you want to be recognized as its master, you must be at least a 8th Circle master or 9th Circle user.]
It was truly ridiculous.
'...What is this?!'
Theo was so astonished that he forgot about the pain. The grimoire sealed in his inventory, Death's Worship, was also ridiculous. He would be able to absorb 50% to 100% of a 9th Circle warlock's ability and control the undead. However, due to the danger of having his body taken over, it was just a pie in the sky.
In comparison, it might not be unusual that Laevateinn would grant those abilities.
At that moment, the bright field of view returned to normal.
The whole world seemed vague. His pupils had reached their limit after facing such a bright light for a long time. Theodore didn't look ahead and closed his puffy eyelids. He didn't need to see to guess what had happened.
The world returned to its original state after the source of the heat and light, Laevateinn, disappeared. The question was whether he could survive in this situation...
As the air evaporated, his hearing came back. Theo heard the approaching sounds and turned off Fluidization as he started to feel dizzy. He expected Sylvia to take the proper measures. Then the pain from his blackened flesh and boiled blood entered his head.
'Horrible pain!' Theo now understood why burning was the most brutal death sentence.
Even the wind passing by caused his burned nerves to tingle and seize. Maybe it was because the damage he'd suffered while under Fluidization was transmitted to his body, but Theo was covered in burns.
Sylvia looked at his condition and instantly used magic. "Hold on!"
Her hands shone with a blue light as she used Chilling Touch and held Theo's neck. It was to stabilize him before starting to earnestly heal the burns. There would be no chance of recovery if the heat remained in the wounds.
This action was effective in its own way as Theodore's breathing calmed down a little bit. The rest of the group, who came a beat later, added a helping hand to his treatment. They squeezed out their remaining power, creating a bright flash of healing magic.
Then the high elf, Alucard, asked for help from the water elemental ruler, who was still summoned. "El-Mare, please heal him! If the price isn't enough, I will prepare a tribute for you in the future."
The status of the elemental rulers was so high that even high elves didn't dare make demands to them. The water elemental ruler, El-Mare, stared at Theodore with a blank expression. The mana which Alucard provided had already run out, so she would have to use her own power to heal him.
Originally, she wouldn't have accepted the request even with a tribute, but in this moment, she nodded.
[The one who extinguished the flames that were the world tree's enemy and averted a catastrophe... It is an achievement I can't overlook. I won't accept a tribute. Young human, be proud of today's feat,] El-Mare said while spreading out her palms.
An auspicious light spread. The dry soil became wet, and a little bit of vitality returned to the uninhabitable land. It was a power similar to what the high elves had but on a higher level. The light covered Theodore, and his skin started to return to its original colour. The torn nerves were restored, and the pain disappeared as his burned skin grew back.
Theodore was able to half regain his mind. He grasped the situation and bowed to the water elemental ruler, who provided him with such grace.
[Don't mind it.] El-Mare shook her head before speaking again. [All the heat remaining in your body was driven out. But you shouldn't carelessly use the power that you have accepted, or you will know the consequences,] she warned while looking down at Theodore's left hand. There wasn't a burn mark there but a tattoo resembling the sun.
It was the power which Gluttony had extracted from Laevateinn, the Ring of Muspelheim. The power to summon Muspelheim was too much for a mortal who wasn't even at a master level yet. The slightest slip would cause the power to be abused and burn him up.
Theo smiled wryly and bowed while replying, "Yes, Water Mother. It was an honour to meet you."
[I never thought I would meet one being from the Age of Mythology, let alone two. It was an exciting trip.]
Other people might not have understood, but Theodore couldn't help flinching.
Indeed, the eyes of the elemental ruler didn't miss Gluttony's and Laevateinn's existences. However, El-Mare didn't seem like she wanted to expose it as she smiled strangely before disappearing from the material world. A big wind blew past as the huge presence vanished.
As everyone understood that the situation was over, the group couldn't help sighing.
"Hooo... It is gone."
"Somehow, I can't believe it."
"I am the same."
One person was conscious of the death they had just faced, while another person had difficulty believing their own survival. Theodore was the only one injured in this place. However, if he hadn't taken the last step, then the whole continent would've turned into hell.
The fight against the legend ranked grimoire had been terrible. It had been so hard that the victors couldn't enjoy it.
'...It is good that we won.'
The exhausted Theodore leaned against Sylvia and stared up at the sky. The thrill of what happened still hadn't disappeared. Theo looked at the sky distorted by Laevateinn, then he dropped his gaze to his left hand.
'Ring of Muspelheim.'
"I understand... I think."
El-Mare's advice was that the power was like an overwhelming fountain which would hurt his body. It was like an active volcano and was still too much for Theodore Miller. If he freed it now, he would burn himself and everything around him.
Right now, it was time to concentrate on his goal while keeping an eye on this power from the Age of Mythology.
The 6th Circle was carved into his heart. This was proof of the 6th Circle which Theodore had wanted before leaving for Elvenheim. However, right now, it seemed painful to close his eyes and concentrate internally.
Sylvia carefully held his side and asked, "Theo, are you somewhat okay now?"
"...Yes, I'm okay. And thank you for the help. It might've been dangerous if it hadn't been for Sylvia." Theo felt a subtle discomfort as he answered.
Just like with Death's Worship, what would've happened if he and Gluttony weren't here? Could he have won against Laevateinn who had burned the world tree and Elvenehim?
The current result was due to Gluttony being a nemesis for grimoires, but their victory hadn't been through a frontal confrontation. It was more likely that Elvenheim would've sacrificed all their power in vain.
'I don't know if an incident occurs wherever I go, or if I happen to go to places where incidents will occur.'
It might seem the same, but his behaviour could vary greatly depending on the cause. The nemesis of grimoires... Gluttony's existence itself was a strange thing, let alone having such a function. It was like a carnivore drawing in insects with its scent.
However, Theodore's thoughts didn't go much further than that.
"Hua! I thought I would die out there!" At this moment, the high elf Alisa approached the party after recovering her power.
She must be quite tired from calling the wind elemental ruler for several hours, but she moved while showing no signs of it. Thanks to that, the group gained enough strength to start moving. However, Alucard didn't seem to demonstrate the same recovery ability.
"Then shall we go back?" Alisa raised her thumb and pointed at the forest behind her. "Let's have a celebration as soon as we return!"