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 Chapter 183 - Quickening of the Northern Continent (0)

Flash!

There was a flash of light, and simultaneously, two people appeared inside the room. They'd traveled through space movement using the magic circle Veronica had used previously. In contrast to back then, Theodore opened the door with his own hand this time. Then he looked around like a gourmet with delicacies spread out before him.

'It has been a while, but I don't see anything different.'

Unlike humans who lived for a hundred years or so, the Zero Library was a place which had almost 500 years worth of history. So, the configuration wouldn't change in just a year or two. However, Paragranum's thoughts were a little different. "Hoh, the number of books has increased since I was last here. Was it 300 or 400 years ago? Well, this is a good collection."

"300 years... In the meantime, you haven't been here even once?"

"Of course not. For me, this knowledge has no value. It was much more interesting to create this place."

Certainly, Theodore remembered that there were no alchemy-related books in this Zero Library. However, most magicians would be interested in special magic, even if it wasn't their field. After all, there was ancient magic practiced externally or theoretical primordial magic which no one could explain. As such, there were many such rare books in the Zero Library.

The Yellow Tower Master had unfettered access to this library, but she had never once stepped in here for over 300 years. Indeed, this was the grimoire's way of thinking, which was different from a human's.

As Theodore thought that, he followed behind Paragranum who had moved ahead and looked around. Once he entered deeper into the Zero Library, the rareness of the books increased. After walking past the books near the entrance, they arrived at an area Theodore had previously seen.

"...Ah." Theodore stretched out his hand when he saw a familiar red book.

[Hell Fire]

[-This book contains the method to summon a flame which exists in the Demon World, a flame that burns all matter. Once called, the flames of hell can't be turned off by using a normal method. The summon will be ended only when the user's power is exhausted or his life force is cut off. Burns from this magic are difficult to heal. The author of this book has hidden their identity.

* This magic book is rated 'Treasure.'

* Acquisition Conditions: 7 circles, affinity for fire magic is required.

* When consumed, 'Hell Fire' will be learned.

* When consumed, your ability in fire magic will increase greatly.

* This is the original that was directly written by the author. There is a very low probability of absorbing some of the author's proficiency.]

It was magic Theodore hadn't been able to learn in the past, but now Theodore was qualified to learn Hell Fire.

With the requirements of having 7 circles and an affinity with fire magic, apart from Veronica who had inherited the blood of a red dragon, there was no one more appropriate to learn this magic.

'Umm, it is definitely a magic I can use now.'

Theodore also had the 7th Circle fire magic, Inferno, which had a wide range of attack and could attack several enemies. However, it was limited when dealing with several strong people.

If a sword master was his opponent, it would be meaningless if the magic's attack power was lacking. It was a different story if the magic was compressed in some form, like with Veronica, but that was the realm of 'Sorcery.'

However, Hell Fire was powerful enough by itself. Even the 4th stage Superbia couldn't endure Hell Fire. According to records from the last war, Hell Fire was the magic which had killed a sword master.

Abraxas couldn't always be used, so this was a good choice to fill the void.

'It is one of the options that I will consider.'

There were many magic books anyway. Theodore made a note of Hell Fire and looked at the rest of the books. Even if he had already chosen Hell Fire, there was nothing wrong with looking at the other books in advance. This didn't seem to be the last time that he could take a book from the Zero LIbrary.

After several trials and errors, Para nodded as Theodore picked up two more books.

Theodore's list of options was as followed:

[Reverse Shadow]

[-This book describes the negative dimension which is adjacent to the material world, as well as dimension magic which deals with shadows. A shadow isn't simply a blank that appears on the other side of light. It is a mirror of the world where the boundaries of matter don't exist. Magicians who learn this magic can change the existence of reality and illusions, making it possible to use the wielder's own shadow as an alter ego.

* This magic book is rated 'Precious.'

* Acquisition Conditions: 7 circles, needs access to the negative dimension.

* When consumed, the proficiency of permanence magic will increase.

* When consumed, understanding of the two dimensions is greatly increased.

* This is the original that was directly written by the author. There is a very low probability of absorbing some of the author's proficiency.]

[Ultima]

[-This book describes cryogenic magic which can stop all phenomena of the physical world. It is no coincidence that Ultima, from the ancient world 'Ultimate,' has become the name of this magic. In the past, it was said that a magician used Ultima to freeze a dragon, only to die himself. This means that in order to perfectly use this, the 8th Circle is needed.

* This magic book is rated 'Precious.'

* Acquisition Conditions: 7 circles, affinity for water magic (high) is required.

* When consumed, 'Ultima' will be learned.

* When consumed, your ability in ice magic will increase greatly.

* This is the original that was directly written by the author. There is a very low probability of absorbing some of the author's proficiency. The degree may vary depending on the level of the user.]

In addition to Hell Fire, there was a total of three books. Theodore was troubled for a moment as he debated what to choose.

'Fire, ice, or shadow... Their personalities are so distinct that it is difficult to obtain a clear standard.'

All of them were charming. Hell Fire which boasted the strongest power among 7th Circle magic, magic which controlled shadows, and ice magic which had killed a dragon... Despite Theodore's desire to take all three books, he took a few deep breaths and decided to think about it calmly.

First, Reverse Shadow.

'It is ingenious to be able to control the shadows... but I don't know how to blend it with other magic attributes. Furthermore, it is ambiguous since the level of difficulty is too high... It might take longer than a year to raise my understanding to a high level.'

It might rival or be even worse than space magic, which was known for its difficulty. Theodore looked at Reverse Shadow and put it down with a sad expression.

Then it was Ultima's turn.

'Ice magic that stops all phenomena... It's quite attractive, but the 7th Circle is only the introductory stage. In order to use it, I need at least 8 circles. Right now, I can just barely learn it.'

It was a magic which required his water affinity to be near the peak. However, Theodore could learn it if he accepted Aquilo's blood. The problem was the practical use, not the qualifications.

Ultima was ice magic which could freeze a dragon, but it wasn't something that a 7th Circle magician could create. It needed at least an 8th Circle magician with water affinity. According to Theodore's understanding after reading the book, Blundell was the only one who could use Ultima in the Meltor Kingdom

'Finally... Hell Fire.'

Theodore had only one option remaining. He put two books down and looked at the Yellow Tower Master, who understood that Theodore had made his choice.

'Hell Fire.'

It was an obvious choice for a magician of the Red Tower.

However, Para looked at Theodore with a strange gaze and asked, "Do you have a reason for choosing that book? Hell Fire is a powerful attack magic, but it is difficult to control the size of the firepower, and it is inefficient when it comes to the amount of magic power consumed."

"I know, but it is a risk I can afford."

The amount of magic power consumed would be reduced by more than half due to Artificial Yin and Yang. Moreover, Theodore knew all about the disadvantages of Hell Fire. He had great expectations for its power because it was commonly used by a master to wreak havoc.

However, Para didn't stop staring at him, so Theodore gave one more reason.

"...I am interested in the fact that the author concealed their identity."

"I knew it." Paragranum sent Theodore an unpleasant smile. It was horrifying that a non-human existence could perfectly mimic a human.Para seemed to sense Theodore's disapproval and said in a small voice, "Then can you tell me before you eat that book?"

"What...?"

Before the puzzled young man, the grimoire whispered, "The magician who created Hell Fire is..."

Para's voice was so soft that it couldn't be heard from nearby. However, Theodore's eyes widened at her words.

* * *

At the same time, someone was listening to his subordinate's report in the annex of the Imperial Palace.

"-The Meuse Desert?"

"Yes, Your Highness." The knight, wrapped in black from head to toe, prostrated himself on the floor and elaborated, "This is the report from No. 36 and No. 37. According to the archaeologist who discovered the archaeological site on the outskirts of the Meuse Desert, it is believed to have been built in the latter half of the Age of Mythology."

"Did you start digging?"

"I tried, but it didn't work. The exterior walls and door of the ruin is too strong. Ah, there is also a metal I have never seen before."

"...Hrmm."

Prince Fermut of the Andras Empire, the first in the line of succession, touched his chin with interest. (It said 3rd prince in an earlier chapter. Either the author made a mistake, or his brothers died and he jumped up the line of succession.)

If Meltor was filled with magic research, then the Andras Empire devoted themselves to the study of swordsmanship and developing the military. Yet this was a metal which the knights of Andras had seen for the first time? Perhaps it was the discovery of a new metal which hadn't existed previously in this world.

The value of the ruin jumped up by two levels for Fermut. These days, only bad things had been occurring. However, this report was enough to soothe his mood. This was a metal which a shadow unit made of peak aura users couldn't break through... How powerful would it be if it was forged into armor?

"...I will have a new weapon in my hand," Fermut declared.

Then at that moment, a spiteful voice rang out, "It can fill the blank space of the god-sword."

"Seventh... it's you."

"I beg your pardon, Imperial Prince. You seem distressed that I spoke too lightly." It was the imperial sword, Lloyd Pollan. He smiled frivolously as always while mocking the prince for losing the god-sword.

As Fermut's face twisted with slight anger, Lloyd stepped back and bowed his head. "I have returned, Your Highness. I handled it perfectly, so please let go of your anger."

"...Impertinent fellow."

"Isn't that my charm?"

Fermut's eyebrows twitched irritably a few times, but he ended the story. Lloyd was a valuable tool for Fermut, who had lost his sword master, Hyde. It would be a shame to lose him just because of an argument.

However, setting aside Lloyd's value, Fermut had to maintain his dignity. Fermut turned toward Lloyd and said sharply, "This is a new mission."

"Your Highness." Wasn't it clear that Lloyd had just returned? The meaning of his unspoken words was obvious.

However, Fermut gave a different type of answer.

Kukukung...!

"Ack!" Pressure emerged, forcing Lloyd to fall to his knees and bow his head.

This was real power, not a mere presence. It was a physical force which squeezed the bones of the sword master and bent it. The source of this pressure was Fermut, who had stretched out his hand toward Lloyd.

Once Lloyd was beaten down, Fermut said, "Shut up, bat-like fellow."

Right now, Andras was divided into two factions. It was centered around Prince Fermut, who wanted change, and the emperor, who wanted to maintain the status quo.

To Fermut, who wanted to destroy Meltor and unify the northern continent, both his father and his father's faction were nothing but cowards. Fermut had thought about it since growing up. Why didn't the empire fight? If they were so powerful, why agree to a ceasefire?

Thus, Fermut tried to raise his own fire. He would cast the seeds of war over the entire Northern continent. However, his work in Elvenheim was foiled. The god-sword, Claimhb Solais, was also taken away.

So, Lloyd's cheeky words were enough to break Fermut's patience.

"Do you think I don't know that you are seeing both me and my father? You are playing both sides while seeing which one is more advantageous, how disdainful," Fermut spoke spitefully.

"Y-Your Highness...!"

"I won't tolerate any objections. This is a command." Fermut's eyes turned red as he ordered the prone Lloyd, "Go to the ruin in the Meuse Desert. I will be watching to see if you give up or fail."

"T-That is the territory of the Austen Kingdom."

"Are you afraid of idiots who can't fill their stomachs because of a drought?"

"I'm just saying that we should move carefully."

"Bah!" Fermut lifted the oppressive aura from Lloyd, leaned back in his chair and snorted, "Cowards always try to cover their fear by saying it is prudence. I am sick of seeing that. Go to the ruin. If you don't, I will consider you as static."

"...I understand, Your Highness," Lloyd spoke more cautiously before disappearing. It was similar but different to Hyde's 'concealment' ability. Prince Fermut sensed Lloyd's departure and picked up a bottle he'd placed nearby. One drop had the same value as gold.

Kiing.

He used his index finger, opened the bottle and filled up the cup.

"It has already been 700 years since the founding of this kingdom... and the weather in Andras is decaying," Fermut lamented with a grimace and looked into the cup. His loyal servant didn't meet his expectations, and the god-sword he'd received had vanished. However, Fermut's ambitions were blazing because of these adversities.

"I have to ascend to the top." He drank the cup and mumbled as he made a promise, "The north will be unified in my generation."

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