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 The Voices Calling Him #3

The Red Tower Master, who called herself Veronica, met Theo's gaze naturally. Her gold eyes, shining with curiosity and interest, were burdensome in a way that was different from the Blue Tower Master's.

As Theo tried to step back unconsciously, Veronica's white hand gripped his shoulder. Unlike the soft texture, there was a monstrous strength coming from it.

"Eh? You are different from what I heard." She looked Theodore up and down before asking Vince behind her, "Vince, didn't you say your disciple was a 4th Circle?"

"Yes, that's right."

"This guy, isn't he clearly a 5th Circle... No, wait a minute."

Veronica spotted his circle with one glance, but then her expression suddenly changed. She gazed into Theo's heart with sharp eyes and instantly saw the problem he had been struggling with for a few days.

"It is unstable. Did it wake up through this incident? This is what happens if you cross the 'wall' with an unprepared body."

Indeed, he couldn't fool the eyes of Veronica who was a 8th Circle magician. Theo admired her inwardly while nodding.

Speaking of which, Blundell had also instantly seen that Vince had achieved the 6th Circle. So, it wouldn't be hard for Veronica, a magician of equal rank, to figure out that his 5th Circle was unstable.

"Kid, is your magic power wriggling by itself, and the circle keeps opening and closing?"

"Yes."

"It is a typical symptom of disharmony. It occurs when the body can't accept something your head understands, or when the body awakens without an enlightenment. It isn't a problem that can be solved with time."

Theodore flinched at her words. He had accumulated a great deal of knowledge from the library books, but he had never seen a single book describing disharmony when crossing a 'wall.' Basically, it was something which was experienced only after the 5th Circle, so information about it wasn't placed in the academy.

Veronica smiled like she knew that and said to Shugel, "Then can I take this kid, Old Man Shugel?"

"I'm sorry, but I can't do that. Even if you did submit the call, His Majesty is the top priority."

"Hah, Old Man, who do you think I am? I'm just trying to bring him to the reception room instead. Is there anything strange about bringing them to the reception room?"

It seemed like Shugel found her difficult to deal with as he couldn't come up with a response easily. It involved a large incident which could lead to a disaster. However, he thought it was more dangerous to stimulate Veronica, so he eventually stepped back. "Hoo, then please do so."

"Okay! It has been decided," Veronica said as she placed an arm around Theo's shoulder.

Theo stiffened at the sudden contact. It was truly tempting to feel something touch his back while in such a tight hold. This was fatal to a 19-year-old young man. He could feel Sylvia's stinging gaze on him, but Veronica spoke quickly, "Hey kid. Can you tell me about the tournament on the way to the reception room? I wasn't in the capital at the time."

"...I understand."

There was no time to spare for his reunion with his master as Theo was now firmly caught by the Red Tower Master.

***

Her identity was unknown, and her age was unknown. She was one of the few dragon slayers currently in existence. Veronica was the peak of the war magicians, and the strongest and most dangerous person from the magic towers.

Until now, he had only heard about the Red Tower Master through rumours, but he was now having a conversation with her.

'This person... She doesn't hide her feelings at all.'

To put it mildly, Veronica was crude and honest. She was the opposite of Blundell, who always had something behind his smiling face. If Veronica was happy, then she would laugh. If she was surprised, then her mouth would drop open. The sight of her beautiful face change in various ways was quite eye-catching. As for Veronica's violent aspect, it was probably due to her personality, as she wouldn't hesitate to go crazy when she was angry.

As the conversation reached the moment when Theodore became victorious, she laughed without any formalities and knocked against his shoulder. "Fusion Magic! It is an old theory, but it must be quite powerful if you used it to win. It had enough strength to eat that kid over there."

"...I'm not a kid." Sylvia complained in a disgruntled voice as she followed behind them. In response, Veronica stopped walking and just said a few ridiculing words, "No, you are a kid if you are only 17."

However, her reply wasn't the reason why she had stopped. It was because they arrived at the reception room that was their destination. There were magnificent and luxurious doors before the party.

"Then let's go!"

At that moment, the destructive instincts of the Red Tower Master ignited.

Dukwang! She lifted her foot without hesitation and kicked the door! The heavy doors which seemed difficult to push were opened with one strike. This was her strength without using magic?

Even Vince, who was familiar with Veronica's strength, gaped as the door to the reception room was thrown open, and the figures of the two people waiting inside appeared.

"V-Veronica?!" One of them, who had an astonished expression on his face, was the Blue Tower Master, Blundell. The robed covered muscles were still twitching. Veronica frowned at him before turning to the person sitting next to him.

"Uh, Your Majesty. Hasn't it been a while?"

"That's right. Is this the first time since you left for the south?" Kurt III, the blonde middle-aged man sitting in a chair, replied lightly.

"Y-Your Majesty!" The shocked Theodore and his companions immediately fell to one knee.

They hadn't been prepared for it. Theo's head became blank as he had met Veronica and then the king so suddenly. Considering the king's presence, it would've been a big deal if someone other than the Red Tower Master had kicked open the door.

Fortunately, Kurt III didn't care about that. "Oh, don't worry too much about that. It will be hard to praise your efforts if you maintain that position."

"As you wish."

"First of all, get up. Theodore Miller and Sylvia, please step forward." Despite the king's quiet voice, it still contained tremendous power.

Naturally, the two people stepped forward.

The king's purple eyes alternated between Sylvia and Theodore while gleaming with a pleased light. As the master of the kingdom, the appearance of a Superior magician would lead to the advancement of the national power. So, there was no reason not to be pleased.

"I acknowledge your merit for the subjugation of the elder lich that appeared in the Miller Barony. If it wasn't for you, then he might've ravaged the area by now. This isn't the official position, but I wanted to communicate it directly."

"I am much obliged for your words." The two people accepted the praise according to court formalities and bowed.

"A Class 3 dangerous object, the elder lich... Either way, it was a situation that could have developed into a nation-wide disaster. The merit is too big to be recognized with just a few words. Therefore..." Kurt reached out, and Blundell handed him two pieces of paper.

The two pieces of paper were tied with a red string. Kurt handed them over to Theo and Sylvia, who politely accepted the item with both hands.

The contents of the paper were heard directly from Kurt's mouth, "This time, Theodore Miller's and Sylvia's ranks will be upgraded from Basic to Average. We will pay for the additional expenses incurred and reward for a Class 3 dangerous mission, as well as reissue the dimension pocket that was destroyed during the mission. That is the edict of Kurt III."

As the two people were shocked by the words, Kurt gazed at Theodore. "This mission's main contributor, Theodore Miller?"

"Yes." Theo suppressed the shaking in his heart and faced Kurt III.

The king wouldn't call someone's name carelessly. Even if a person were to be called, the king was likely to borrow the mouth of another person. It wasn't an official thing, but he had to have a good reason to call Theodore's name.

Unsurprisingly, Kurt III pulled out an extraordinary reward. "I have determined that your merit is too large to be judged under the existing rules. So, after discussing with the Blue Tower Master Blundell, I have decided to ask you directly."

"I am listening."

"Theodore Miller, tell me what you want."

Theo trembled as the voice of the king resonated through the reception room. "I, at the discretion of Kurt III and Blue Tower Master Blundell Adruncus, will grant you a wish. However, it can't exceed your merit level."

A wish that he desired... There was no greater reward in heaven and earth than this!

Theo listened to the words but couldn't understand them. No, he couldn't accept them. The national power of the Meltor Kingdom might be somewhat lower than the Andras Empire, but the Meltor Kingdom was still classified as a powerful nation in the continent.

Yet, the Meltor King was granting him a wish? It was truly a lucky event which would only occur once in a lifetime.

'...Wish... I will be granted a wish.' Theo's head started rolling before he could feel alarmed. In fact, it was surprising that he was rather calm. Theo calmly measured the gravity of this opportunity. Anyone wouldn't end without just one or two small wishes. Desire was a part of human nature, and Theodore was no different.

'To have one national treasure... No, the risk is too great. I don't know if the elder lich is worth a national treasure and asking about it is too much.'

Perhaps artifacts which exceeded the 'Precious' rating such as 'Treasure' and 'Legend' would be treated as national treasures. Theo wanted to get a national treasure with all his heart, but he wasn't sure if the value of the elder lich was worth one.

Like the old saying, he should refrain from being too greedy or else he might lose more than he gained.

At this moment, he was reminded of a conversation he'd had with Gluttony.

-The quality of the food. Don't just feed me commonplace books.

Thanks to its advice, Theo had been able to obtain Death's Worship after the inventory feature had opened. Until now, Gluttony had never given a suggestion to him. Perhaps it would demand to be fed higher grade books as Theo grew.

'Come to think of it, Gluttony never ate Rare books until recently. Maybe this is a good chance to stabilize the 5th Circle.'

The magic books in the Magic Society and the palace couldn't be read unless he had permission. If he wasn't at least a Superior rank, he couldn't put in a rental application. Additionally, there was a place which was only available when he reached the Prime rank.

The name of the place was the Zero Library. It was the Meltor Kingdom's treasure house which contained magic books and 'grimoires' that couldn't be replicated.

Theodore finally made a decision and opened his mouth, "Your Majesty, I have an impudent request."

"I will listen."

Theo took a deep breath and then uttered his wish in a voice which was as calm as he could make it, "Your Majesty and Tower Masters, if you forgive my impudence, I would like to ask for a book from the Zero Library."

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