Chapter 200 - Traces from the Age of Mythology (3)
Despite being prepared, Theodore's reading of the Fairy's Book was never smooth.
Of course, the act of imprinting knowledge directly into his brain was familiar due to Gluttony. The 'Primordial characters' helped with comprehension while 'predation' increased proficiency, so the process of reaching the result wasn't much different.
The simple problem was the amount of information.
Theodore throbbed with pain. His head had become cluttered and fuzzy several times, but he gritted his teeth and accepted the knowledge. There were 36 characters, for a total of 1,800 pages.
This was a treasure written by an alchemist of the Age of Mythology, so the difficulty of the contents was a given. In addition to that, there was another variable which Theodore hadn't expected.
'The more difficult the contents, the worse the headache is...?'
Gluttony realized what Theodore meant and replied, -Of course. The more difficult the knowledge, the more burden is placed on User's brain. It is possible that you wouldn't be able to read half of this book if you didn't have Myrdal's knowledge.
'Myrdal? Ah, since the elemental techniques is a common denominator?'
-No, because that guy is □□□□□ □□□... Gluttony's voice became broken. -Hrmm, it still isn't possible? It seems I can't reveal the information at stage 4.
'Does another lock need to be released?'
-That's right. I thought it would be possible after you became a master, but it seems another seal needs to be released.
Theodore recalled some old memories. The first time he met Pride, it was Gluttony's choice which had saved him. Theodore wasn't qualified to argue with its choice. He would be able to find out about Myrdal once he unlocked the next seal.
Then Theodore focused on the next character. If he counted correctly, he had 15 characters remaining. Shortly after that, Theodore realized what that meant and couldn't help letting out an admiring sound.
"I have already read 1,050 pages..."
It was common to take a few days to read theories properly, even if it wasn't a different magic. Additionally, it was common for alchemy to require knowledge from various fields. When thinking about the difficulty of the book written by Paracelsus, it would've taken at least two months to read 1,800 pages. It might take a year for a complete understanding.
Yet Theodore had read more than half of the Fairy's Book in just two hours. This absurd efficiency was due to the 'primitive characters.'
Theodore once again started reading the Fairy's Book. At this time, he didn't know that Gluttony was watching his greed for magic.
It observed Theodore and spoke to itself, -Yes, this is a quality suitable for my user.
This was the reason why Gluttony had chosen Theodore as its master.
With cold eyes, Gluttony continued to talk, -Your brain will continue developing in the long run. Repeatedly doing the same task and learning difficult information will cause you to develop. This luck that keeps on bringing adversity... Theodore Miller, you are the right user to be responsible for my last...
I hope that you will be consistent like this until the end.
* * *
By the time that the moon and stars started to tilt toward the horizon, Theodore achieved the goal he desired.
[* Your understanding is very high. (99.9%)]
Theodore lay down and could barely confirm the information window. Apart from the headache piercing his skull, his body was burning up. It was the price for reading Paracelsus' Fairy's Book overnight.
'I-I feel like I'm dying...'
It wasn't physical fatigue but mental fatigue. Wasn't this a common expression in books? He didn't have the strength to even lift a finger. Theodore was a protagonist, so he didn't have time to relax.
He barely stretched out his left hand toward the slab which was on the bed. If he didn't have something to do right now, he would be falling asleep.
-I understand, Gluttony replied calmly and stretched out its tongue.
['Fairy's Book' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[Your proficiency with 'elementals' will increase greatly.]
[Your understanding of the 'four elementals' will increase greatly.]
[An original book has been consumed. Checking synchro rate with object name Paracelsus... Blocked. Paracelsus has refused to sync with the user. User can't force synchronization with the target without permission. The other side holds a divinity.]
It was impossible to force synchronization! However, it wasn't surprising that Paracelsus was a divinity holder. The creature he had created, Mercurius, possessed a divinity. This meant that Paracelsus, the creator, wasn't a normal human being.
Theodore had known it would happen like this. He waited with a strained expression for the next message.
[Object name Paracelsus is interested in User. Would you like to accept the request for conversation?]
As always, the system asked for his permission.
[After confirming the user's intention, object name 'Paracelsus' will be called. Checking the communication connection... Success, object name 'Paracelsus' has approved the two-way communication.]
[He will temporarily be synchronized with the user's consciousness.]
Simultaneously, the whole area became covered with a familiar darkness. It was the same as that incident with Abe no Seimei. This was a place where only Theodore and the author were allowed.
The familiar light particles gathered before him. Then the brilliant yet contradictory mass of light soon turned into a human figure.
'The physique is similar to mine.'
The human figure's height was around 180 centimeters, and the body's build was quite good. There were no bulging masses of muscle like Blundell had, but functional muscles could be seen through the robe.
The man had a white beard and white hair. His robe was made of an unknown material, and the hanging ornaments were gorgeous. Magic power was clearly moving around him, but Theodore couldn't figure out its meaning.
The figure of the peak alchemist, Paracelsus, was revealed.
As an elderly man, he had taut skin covered in wrinkles and was weathered like a tree. The specimen of a wonderfully aged magician stood before Theodore. Theodore tried to speak but felt his mouth being blocked by an unknown pressure.
Paracelsus' golden brown eyes were looking at him. His eyes seemed to reach into Theodore's bones and organs underneath the skin. No, it wouldn't be hard for an alchemist from the Age of Mythology to know everything about the human body.
After a few minutes, Paracelsus shook his head and muttered, "I don't know who you are, but you have good skills."
"For your age. You should keep applying yourself."
If Theodore's peers had heard this advice, they would be foaming at the mouth. Theodore Miller had become a master in his mid-20s, and those with his growth rate could be counted on three fingers in the history of Meltor, regardless of his original talent.
Yet Theodore was just good 'for his age?' His peers would bite their tongues and die.
However, Paracelsus' rant had only just begun. "You aren't yet qualified to receive teachings from me."
Theodore was resolute, so he tried hard to listen to Paracelsus' words.
"You haven't developed your own magic, and you don't have a great interest in alchemy despite coming to my lab. No, based on the Azoth Sword, you must've accompanied Paragranum. You are the owner of Gluttony. I thought they were cockily designed, but they are more advanced than I expected."
"The Fairy's Book is used as a medium. If it isn't for alchemy, then it must be because it is related to elementals? I can feel a connection with the elemental world... Is it an ancient elemental? The attribute is a land or forest."
Theodore listened to Paracelsus' words and felt an eerie feeling.
Unlike Synchro, which allowed the other person to look at his memories and thoughts, this was a meeting space. In other words, Paracelsus had determined these things by observing Theodore for several minutes.
Theodore felt like he was stripped naked in the middle of a snowy winter. He barely suppressed the tiny spasms he felt and conceded to the mysterious reasoning, "...It is as Paracelsus says."
"Call it out."
After Paracelsus spoke, Theodore whispered a name, "Mitra."
There was no need to talk loudly or use magic. This wasn't the material world but a spiritual world. Mitra was connected to his soul, so he could bring her here whenever he wanted. There was a flash of light and a little girl appeared on Theodore's palm.
[Huuuuong... Deo?] The cute little girl with the flower bud on her head looked at Theodore.
However, Paracelsus reacted violently, "Demeter?!"
It was another name for Dmitra, the prototype of Mitra.
"Do you know her?" Theodore asked.
"It is impossible for me to not know! A god of Olympus and related to Hermes! The great and magnificent Mother Earth, to think I would see you again like this..." Paracelsus spoke with excitement before his voice sank, then he was looking at Mitra with a sad expression.
Theodore heard she had been an ancient god in the past. As such, Paracelsus remembered and mourned her. After waiting quietly until Paracelsus calmed down, Theodore then asked his question about Mitra. It was about the bud that was sprouting on her head.
"The seed of the world tree?"
"Yes, that's right."
"That seed germinated and made a bud..."
Be it because he had overcome his sorrow or if it was because of his curiosity as a researcher, Paracelsus observed Mitra from various angles. The fragment of Mother Earth, the seed of the world tree, and the ecology of an ancient elemental...
These three things were hard to determine, even for the best magicians. Nevertheless, Paracelsus opened his mouth after a ridiculously short period of time. He calmly came up with an answer about Mitra's condition, "The divinity is differentiating."
"The reason why she is Mother Earth is simple. She possesses the divinity of the earth. The god of the forest, the god of rocks, and so on... They are all just subordinate gods of Mother Earth. The only god beyond Mother Earth would be the god of the sea or the sky," Paracelsus explained. Then he tapped the bud on Mitra's head and continued, "In other words, the material world is divided into three upper gods. Can this small body endure such a divinity? An ancient elemental that isn't a complete god but just a fragment?"
"Excessive power can destroy the owner. It is the same for this ancient elemental. A more powerful divinity will destroy the body of the ancient elemental and her ego. Therefore, the ancient elemental found a way to differentiate the divinity."
In order to remain as Mitra, instead of Mother Earth Dmitra, the seed of the world tree sprouted the divinity in different directions. At the end of Paracelsus' explanation, Theodore looked at MItra.
She was gazing at him with clear and innocent eyes, without being aware of what Theodore and Paracelsus were talking about.
Subsequently, Paracelsus put an end to this topic. "An ancient elemental can change their appearance in response to the contractor's growth. Since you have reached the 7th Circle, she will break away from the divinity of the earth and grow another divinity."
"Then what will happen to Mitra?" Theodore asked.
Paracelsus replied, "The answer to that isn't something you can get from me."
Then the great alchemist, Paracelsus, declared, "When you have reached the boundary of a mortal, go once again to the world tree. At that time, there will be an answer waiting!"