The Greedy Grimoire #3
What? There was no time to have doubts.
As soon as the unknown voice cut out, waves of knowledge entered Theodore Miller's brain. The amount of information couldn't be controlled by the human's five senses. A few years of experience filled his head at once.
Simultaneously, Theo had a hunch that he could now use 'Lightning Bolt' fully.
Theo hadn't learned mere knowledge; he had received the wisdom of the author of the book, [Lightning Magic Primer].
He chanted the spell unconsciously. This was a magic which had failed just a few minutes ago, yet the results were quite different this time.
Blue lightning shot out the open window. The image Theo had visualised in his head was a complete success. The leaves which the lightning bolt passed by turned black. If the lightning bolt had hit a living creature, then it absolutely wouldn't have been safe.
It was a spell he had failed to execute several hundred times. Theo had even failed frequently in the basic elements. Lightning attribute magic was considered to have the highest difficulty level, so it was bound to be even harder for him.
Seeing the static electricity on his palms as if he had experienced an earthquake, Theo was glad. Had he really succeeded in Lightning Bolt at once?
'This isn't a hallucination...!'
He folded his fingers which were trembling from the shock and felt the sweat on his palms.
Theo realized this was the turning point of his life. He was a magician lacking in sensitivity and magic power. This was his chance to reach the 3rd Circle which had been impossible for him!
'Okay, let's start over from the beginning.'
This was when Theo sobered up.
The strange phenomenon had cleared his confusion and depressed emotions, giving him a ray of hope. At this moment, his thinking abilities returned to normal. His brain, which even first-class magicians had acknowledged, began doing a high-speed analysis.
This situation had started when he found an unidentified book. He'd felt a horrible touch on his left hand when he tried to pick up the book and the book then disappeared somewhere. After that, a strange tongue had sprouted from the palm of his left hand. The tongue had grabbed and swallowed the book, [Lightning Magic Primer] on the floor, and Theo had learned Lightning Bolt.
...No, just before that, he had heard a voice. Theo recalled the words the voice had said.
['Lightning Magic Primer' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[2nd Circle magic 'Lightning Bolt' has been acquired.]
[After waking up from a long sleep, Gluttony is very hungry. Hurry and relieve Gluttony's hunger. The time limit is 10 minutes from now. (1/5)]
The important thing wasn't the first two sentences. Swallowing the book and learning Lightning Bolt was a secondary thing.
As Theo remembered the last sentence, he mumbled involuntarily, "...Gluttony?"
Unexpectedly, there was an immediate reaction.
A hole appeared in his left hand, and a red tongue emerged from it. The hole didn't just have teeth, there were lips as well. Theo observed the scene closely instead of being astonished or frightened. He was filled with expectations about whether the tongue could talk or not.
However, the answer came from a place he hadn't expected.
[Severe hunger. If you want to talk to 'Gluttony', relieve that hunger. Feed it four more times to relieve that hunger. The remaining time is 6 minutes and 24 seconds.]
[Gluttony is a grimoire which comes from an era not recorded in the history books. It increases strength by eating magic items and likes books the most. The owner can benefit from providing food to Gluttony. However, if neglected, Gluttony might treat its owner as food.]
Although Theo heard the answer he'd been wondering about, it was something he hadn't expected. It would eat the owner if it wasn't fed? The words were chilling for Theo, who seemed to be the owner. Gluttony would eat him if he didn't feed it anything in the next 6 minutes and 24 seconds.
Theo felt a cold chill down his spine as he looked around hurriedly.
Books, books, books and books. Fortunately, the food was piled up like a mountain. Theo looked around with his eyes, rather than moving his hands.
'There is still time. It is in the single digits, but this is enough...'
He moved his feet while thinking continuously. Theo had obtained 'Lighting Bolt' from the book, [Lightning Magic Primer]. This meant that the food and the reward weren't independent from each other.
If he had to feed it books, then he should choose food which would benefit him. Theo knew the location of all the books, so his hand didn't hesitate. The voice had definitely said that it needed four more. Theo pulled out a stack of books without any hesitation.
They were books he had read a few times but hadn't helped him. Theo had understood them with his head, but he couldn't use the magic. Anyway, he'd memorized all the contents, so there wouldn't be a problem even if he wasn't rewarded with anything.
Theo took a deep breath. He pointed at the pile of books with his left hand and called out the name, "Gluttony, eat."
And the mouth answered.
The tongue stretched out again. It seemed impossible to swallow several books at the same time, so the tongue twined around the top book. This was like a frog eating.
The books were sucked into the mouth on Theo's palm in the blink of an eye. More than 500 pages had disappeared without a trace. No, there were some traces left. Was it correct to say it was engraved in him?
['Fundamentals of Subduing the Elements' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[Affinity with the four elements has increased.]
[Gluttony isn't satisfied yet. Feed him three more times to relieve his hunger. The time limit is 5 minutes and 11 seconds from now.]
He was right. As Theo had speculated, he received the knowledge of the book which was swallowed.
The elements were the fundamentals of all magic. The criteria of becoming a master of each circle was to prove that the elemental magic could be used freely. Theo had known this after becoming a 2nd Circle master.
Fire, water, wind and earth...
The flow of magic for each element was now becoming more intense and familiar.
However, there wasn't time to feel emotional. The tongue stretched out and grabbed the next book. It licked the cover, as if savouring the taste, before Gluttony swallowed the books in succession. At the same time, Theo was hit by relentless waves of information.
['The Circulation of Magic Power' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[Your sensitivity to mana has increased slightly.]
['Creating a Magic Circle - Fundamentals' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[You can create 2nd ranked magic circles. Starting from 3rd ranked circles, the probability of success will drop sharply.]
['Application of Defense Magic' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[You can alter the shape of the 2nd Circle magic 'Shield'.]
The aftermath was quite intense after the three books were eaten instantly. Theo wobbled like he was drunk and flopped down on the floor. It was obvious he would've fallen if he hadn't done that.
His eyes were spinning, and his head felt like it was going to burst like a boiling kettle, after receiving a great deal of knowledge. Theo felt dizzy, like he had a high fever. It took around 10 minutes for his status to calm down.
'Damn, from now on I will feed it one by one.'
Theo muttered inwardly as he pressed a hand to his still throbbing temple. This was the first time he had ever got a headache. It was a terrible pain, like his head was being stabbed with an awl. He didn't want to experience this pain ever again. Theo had never imagined this dizziness would occur while eating one book at a time.
Still, the pain was worthwhile.
Magic power was stirring in his body. It spread from his heart and moved through the blood vessels to every part of his body. However, it hadn't accepted Theodore Miller. Just quickly pulling at the magic power usually required a huge concentration from him. The lack of sensitivity was a burden which was hard for him to bear.
His eyes turned red from his choked up emotions. Theo tried desperately to refrain from crying. He couldn't be satisfied with just this.
Right now, he had only reached a 2nd Circle Master. In order to graduate, Theo needed to master the 3rd Circle.
For the first time since entering the academy, after enduring all types of shame, the rope of destiny had finally appeared before him.
"...Yes, isn't it full?"
Theo said in a low, subdued voice. He looked at his left hand on the ground and spoke to it.
"It is supposed to speak after eating five books."
The Gluttony Grimoire had the ability to speak. The voice had said to get rid of its hunger for that to happen. Theo didn't know the identity of the voice, but it had never lied so far. So, he had to believe it for now.
Indeed, the voice didn't betray his trust.
The mouth opened just like when it ate a book. It was a hole with no visible bottom. The tongue popped out of its dark hole and flickered like a snake listening to a flute. This would be a scary sight for a weak person.
Before long, sounds began to emerge from Gluttony's mouth.
-I, eat magic, greed, grimoire, Gluttony.
It was a creepy, eerie voice, like a simmering swamp. Somehow, its way of talking made the gloomy atmosphere more prominent. It didn't have eyeballs, but he could feel its gaze.
After calling Theo's name...
-What... do you... want to know?
The greedy grimoire asked.