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 Question and Answer #1

Due to Gluttony's hungry status, Theo first picked out two books. As soon as he put the books on the bedspread and aimed his left hand in that direction, the hungry tongue quickly swallowed the two books.

['Power of Sand and Wind' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]

[4th Circle magic 'Sandstorm' has been learned.]

['Surviving in Cold Weather' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]

[3rd Circle magic 'Resist Cold' has been learned.]

The books Gluttony had ate today were on the magics, Sandstorm, which was required in a desert, and Resist Cold, which was needed in a cold area. Gluttony fed on two books and quickly sent their knowledge to Theodore.

"Huuuu..."

The sensation of two magic spells entering Theo's brain was still strange. Above all, 4th Circle magic contained quite a lot of information. Theo took a deep breath to calm the aftermath, then he opened his eyes.

At the same time, Gluttony started speaking,

-Two books, it seems like you have a question to ask today.

'Why is there a sense of discomfort?' Theodore wondered before realizing that Gluttony's tone had changed.

The speech, which used to be cut off, now sounded like a normal person. Wondering why the change had happened, Theo asked, "You... Hasn't your way of talking changed?"

-Hrmm?

"Before... you would break off from what you were saying."

Gluttony snorted and responded,

-It is because you have fed me a large number of artifacts recently. It isn't enough to unseal the next stage, but it did recover my voice.

"...There was such a function."

-It is just retrieving my original function. Or did you think I normally spoke like that?

Now that it had recovered its voice, Gluttony talked with more pride than before. Feeding it books would cause it to grow faster, while it almost vomited when Theo fed it cheap artifacts. If he continued listening, this might continue for days, so Theo interrupted Gluttony. "Wait, I'd like to ask you one more thing."

Gluttony stopped talking and then asked,

-Aren't you slow?

"Huh?"

-I answered your question already. Isn't the question regarding why my way of talking changed?

Theo's expression grew distorted. It would only be a one-day wait, but anyone would be frustrated at wasting all that preparation time. However, that frustration soon changed to irritation.

-It is a joke.

"...What?

-Don't you know? Jokes are words meant to cause amusements...

"No, I know what a joke is!"

To think that Gluttony was someone who could play around like this... The grimoire really was a strange creature. The main story hadn't even started, but Theo was already exhausted. He sighed a few times before opening his mouth to speak again. Fortunately, the previous question hadn't counted as a question for an answer.

"Can I transfer my right to ask a question to others?"

Gluttony made an interested noise.

-Hoh, how interesting.

Was Theo imagining it? An 'eye' seemed to appear at the hole the tongue emerged from. It looked at Vince standing beside Theodore and understood the meaning of the question. Even if it said no, Theo was ready to ask the question which Vince had prepared.

Unsurprisingly, Gluttony readily replied,

-It doesn't really matter. You are the first person to do such a transaction, but there isn't a problem with the action itself.

"...Go ahead, Professor."

"Thank you for your concern."

Theo stepped back, while Vince moved forward. Vince was slightly different than usual due to his excitement at communicating with the greedy book. It was the feeling of a magician finally reaching an answer after running down a long, unknown road.

Vince asked in a trembling voice, "Can I call you, 'Gluttony'?"

-Any title is good. Do I seem like I care about such trivial things?

"I see. Then let me ask you a question." He took a deep breath and after several tries, finally asked the question that he had decided, "I want you to teach me about the relationship between language and magic."

***

In the far distant past, magic had existed before humans even gave a name for it.

Elves who had lived for thousands of years, dragons who had lived for tens of thousands of years, demons tied to a false eternity, and countless other species all used magic power under different names.

Additionally, the magic system was different for each species.

Elves danced with the elementals, while dwarves hit metal using fire and earth. Demons mocked the laws using strange rituals, and dragons made the world struggle with just a few powerful words.

Humans were the only ones born without any power. They stole the song of the elves, tapped iron like the dwarves, and sometimes mimicked the rituals of demons.

The first millennium was meaningless. However, the next millennium saw a bit of light. Then in the next millennium, the concept of circles was finally completed. For the first time since the beginning of the world, 'magicians' were born into the human species.

Several thousand years had passed by since then, and the grimoire, which had existed since before the foundation of this world, replied to the question of the human magician.

-The question is too comprehensive. To completely explain the relationship between language and magic, there isn't enough time in your life.

"What if it is limited to the human language?"

-It is the same. There are 526 minority languages, so the amount of information exceeds the limit allowed for one question.

"Hrmm." It was a difficult situation, so Vince touched his chin while thinking.

In the magic towers where the magicians of the continent gathered, there were few who studied archaeology. Hundreds of thousands of monuments had been destroyed in the past two centuries due to wars, so many previous records had been lost.

It wasn't an exaggeration to say that there was no way to explore the forgotten ancient languages except through something like a grimoire. Vince struggled for awhile before opening his mouth, "Then please tell me why the words of the ancient languages and modern language cause different magic effects."

He gave up his greed. Rather than trying to find out too much at once, Vince asked the question he had been facing recently. Words which had the same meaning were often used interchangeably. He wanted to know why it was sometimes more powerful and sometimes weaker.

-That is fine.

Gluttony accepted the question.

-I will define one thing first. I don't know what you human magicians think, but magic is the act of persuading the magic power in the world. It can be said that you are earnestly asking for it to move.

"Persuasion... That sounds plausible."

-I will continue. The concept of 'language' that you are asking about involves persuasiveness. The closer to the beginning things are, the more the world will listen to the voice of the magician.

Vince's expression turned strange at the words. Certainly, magic which used ancient languages was more powerful and efficient than modern ones. That was the beginning of his archaeological research.

However, it didn't manifest frequently, so such incompleteness was a big challenge for Vince. Fortunately, Gluttony explained the part Vince was wondering about without any delay.

-Language is a contradictory medium. Reducing the number of users increases the power. But on the other hand, if there are more users, its existence becomes firmer. If there are few or no users left, the meaning of the ancient language becomes ambiguous.

"I thought I understood ancient languages in my own way."

-It is insufficient compared to the real ancient people. Unless you can replace your daily life with the ancient language, it will be hard to take advantage of it.

As it was a grimoire, its words were more devastating. Even if Vince's research skills were perfect, his language skills were significantly lower than the people who lived in those days. Setting aside simple words, it would become more severe if he used magic spells which involved sentences or paragraphs. That's why it was hard to use ancient languages at higher circles.

Vince listened to the painful words and accepted it.

-What is the name of the ancient language that you are researching?

"It is called Balcard."

-It remains in my records. It was a language used during the time of the Balcia Empire, when magic was at its peak. Foreigners couldn't follow the pronunciation well.

At that moment, enlightenment struck Vince like lightning. He muttered unconsciously with a bemused expression, "...Pronunciation?"

-The true value of the Balcard language can't be seen unless the eight syllables are pronounced harmoniously.

-The same goes for any language. The pronunciation and expression of a language is settled by standard usage.

-The world accepts the courtship of magicians on the basis of words...

It was up to there. Vince couldn't hear anything else.

This was a type of phenomenon called cognitive load. Vince himself had blocked the influx of information since it had exceeded the amount he could handle. He could feel his head turning blank, so any more words would break his brain!

Huuuuong!

Suddenly, a wave of magic power emerged from Vince and gently swept through the room. It was a phenomenon which Theo had encountered once before. During the final match of the Pupil Tournament, he had felt a wave of magic power coming from Sylvia. The fact that the same surge came from Vince could only mean one thing.

'He crossed the wall!' A thrill ran down Theo's spine as he watched Vince while in awe.

There was no other choice. Before Theo's eyes, a 6th Circle magician was coming out of his shell. There were only around 100 6th Circle magicians in the Meltor Kingdom, so how could he not pay homage to Vince as a man and a magician?

However, there was one presence in the room which wasn't moved.

-Hey, user.

At the sudden call, Theo looked back like he had been deprived of something.

"What? It is over, so you should go to sleep again."

-I guess you are joking. Normally I would be sleeping, so I understand.

"...So, what is your point?"

Normally, it wouldn't say anything and would just fall asleep. Theo was aware of this guy's physiology, and it was just as it had said.

Gluttony seemed embarrassed, and its tongue waved around like it was drunk. However, that reaction lasted for only a second.

-I have advice for rapid growth. At this rate, you would be old and dying before you unlock all the seals.

"What is it?"

-As you might have guessed, I have a few more hidden features. Unlike Memorize, unsealing them is something that can't be done without fulfilling special conditions.

Gluttony spoke in a low voice, just like the temptation of a demon in the legends.

-I'll teach you one of the hidden functions, without any conditions.

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