Chapter 75 - A Traditional Hero (1)
Ellenoa was surprised by the monster's sudden stop, but as Theodore shared senses with Gluttony, he could hear the conversation between Gluttony and Pride. The voices which spoke in the low-frequency range were not at all gentle. The disgust they had toward each other was clear and out in the open.
In particular, Pride (Superbia) spoke with outright disdain, -You are still obsessed with inferior monkeys. It is shameful to classify you as one of the Seven Sins. What is the value of those who rely on time and luck?
-Beauty and intellect is a concept that a mass of flesh like you won't understand.
Gluttony didn't back down and gave as good as it got.
-No matter how you collect and combine genetic factors, you are still limited to living creatures. You are nothing but a loser who has given up on surpassing the limits of a species. Gathering the best parts of creatures, isn't that nothing more than a chimera?
-Nonsense! Pride dismissed Gluttony, speaking with the arrogance it was named after.
Now, the vocal range was lowered even further. The sound caused Theo and Ellenoa to feel discomfort as they sat down. The unheard shout broke the spirits of the two people. It was a terrifying threat associated with Dragon Fear, something which appeared in forgotten legends.
"Cough!" Theo coughed up some blood. Following the series of shock waves, his circles were strongly shaken by Pride's shouts. If a human didn't know magic or aura, their heart would've stopped.
The enemy's very existence was different, allowing Theo to feel the gap directly with his body.
'Damn it. What the hell is this monster? Why is it attacking us?!' Theo's hysterical question was thrown out without him expecting an answer.
-The autonomous maneuver type grimoire, Superbia. Like me, it belongs in the Seven Sins set. If the attribute I symbolize is [Gluttony], then it is [Pride]. It is a 'species usurper specialist' and is made up of the species it eats.
Gluttony returned with a clear answer as always.
Theo quickly picked out some keywords and asked another question. He had a feeling that this information would determine the life and death of the two of them. 'Usurping species? Is that Pride's power?'
Theodore listened without missing a single word.
-Just like I am a grimoire that collects magic books, it is a grimoire that collects creatures. It has the ability to store the genetic information of a species, regardless of the individual performance of the organism. Once it eats a sample of a species, it can reproduce the innate traits of that species.
'The innate traits?'
-For example, a troll's regeneration or an ogre's muscular strength.
That was enough. Theo's expression turned into one of fright as he understood Pride's power.
Pride had the ability to eat a species and gain its best traits! It wasn't inferior to Gluttony's ability to extract essences from magic books or magic power from artifacts. No, it might even be superior when it came to fighting.
Moreover, based on the horrible creature, the traits which could be reproduced didn't stop at just one or two.
'How many traits can it use at the same time?'
-Hmm. Gluttony looked at Pride for a moment before replying. -It has already unlocked four seals. Right now, it can use five combined... User, do you mean to fight Pride?
'What choice do I have?'
-There is no need. He didn't come to eat us.
The one who answered Theo's question wasn't Gluttony, but Superbia who had been thinking about something.
-Well, it is good. It is a waste of time to chat like this.
The eight legs started advancing. As the ugly form leapt forward, Theo naturally stepped out in front of Ellenoa and raised his magic power. Theo's sensory perception was telling him to run away, but his human instincts made him act. He couldn't seem to run away after thinking of the sacrifices the senior magicians had made.
Then Superbia asked in a strange voice, -What are you doing, Gluttony? I came to eat a high elf. I have no interest in a monkey.
"...Don't make me laugh." Theo ignored his spasm of fear, and while staring at Superbia, he declared firmly, "I won't give anything to you."
It was a courageous action which deserved a standing ovation.
-Then die. The predator sentenced him to death without any hesitation.
Pride changed in an instant. Its eight spider legs turned into four horse legs, while the upper body became a weird mixture of a locust and grasshopper. It quickly shifted to three traits which would produce results: a centaur's lower body; a storm locust's wings; and a spriggan's acceleration ability.
It moved beyond the barrier of sound as the hooves, containing enough destructive power to crush steel, slammed toward Theodore's body.
'Ah, I'm doomed.' Theo was sure he would die from the blow.
His body couldn't even grasp the timing of the acceleration of the huge body, let alone respond to the attack. So, it wasn't Theodore who responded to the death blow, but the instincts of Lee Yoonsung who was sleeping inside him.
The skill, Protection Bangle, was activated. Three shields unfolded around Theo's body in a reflexive manner, then Theo used his magic power.
Battle Song revolved all five circles and improved his reaction speed to the maximum for a moment.
The monster's horse hooves were crazy fast, and Theo sank deep into his consciousness in order to use a secret technique to survive. It was one of the most advanced techniques in the eastern martial arts, Force Dispersion. (TL: literal meaning is using 4 taels of force to win against 1000 jin, or using a little amount of force to win over a greater force)
Theo's two arms moved at a dizzying speed.
Despite alleviating a lot of the damage, Theo was thrown back like his arms were broken. The shock wave, which threw Theo, shattered seven trees and the rocks behind him. If the shock wave had hit him directly, it would've wreaked havoc on his body!
Although the the attack hadn't even hit Theo, it snapped several of his ribs. While sitting down, Theo used healing magic. He was pushed to Ellenoa's side due to the shock wave, but he was too shocked to be aware of it.
It was commendable that Theodore had managed to defend himself, but he couldn't do it again. He couldn't afford to be hit by Superbia even once.
'If I get hit one more time... I will die.'
Putting aside winning or losing, Theo would just die. Superbia's resistance was at least of the master level. Considering Theo's luck, winning wasn't even an option. He would just struggle desperately until he died like a bug. There was a terrible gap in strength between Superbia and Theodore.
However, Superbia laughed at Theo on the ground before giving one last ridiculing remark.
-You are quite good for a monkey. I will forgive this once.
It didn't say anything else as its eyes stared at Theodore. There were six pairs of compound eyes which could observe 360 degrees. The red light coming from the eyes induced a horror which humans couldn't face. Their minds would likely be broken by the sight.
As for Theo, he could stay as he was. Then he could survive. It might be cowardly, but survival was his first priority. Gluttony had advised Theo that he could survive if he just stayed still. Gluttony whispered like a snake for Theo to turn away from the high elf shivering by his side. It wasn't a bad thing to run away.
'...I'm crazy.' Theodore smiled and slapped his cheeks hard.
Jjak! Blood filled his mouth, but that was good.
Theo didn't have to listen to this voice. The magic, which had subsided due to fear and powerlessness, began to boil again. Still, there was no chance of winning, so Theo asked his companion for advice, 'Gluttony.'
'Tell me how to defeat it. No, it is okay if I can't win. Teach me how to beat up that son of a bitch.'
Despite being a grimoire like Gluttony, the opponent was an independent monster which didn't need a user. If so, Theo wouldn't be able to catch it unless Gluttony cooperated.
Feeling Theo's strong intentions, Gluttony asked in an uncomfortable voice, -Why User? Why try so hard? This high elf isn't that precious to you.
'I'm not fighting for that reason.'
If Theo compromised once, it was easy to do so a second time. The third time would be even easier. Theodore Miller would become someone who was alive due to his cowardice. He would rather die of his own will than become a cowardly bystander.
Theo's voice, filled with a determination to die, was transmitted strongly to Gluttony, whom Theo was connected to.
This was a foolish, irrational judgement. However, Gluttony drawn to the unknown choice. -...Okay. I will pay the price in advance. This is the first time I've had a user like you.
Gluttony's previous users had always been cold, and their goal in life had always been to become a master of magic. There had been many magicians who filled these pages to the end and died without leaving a name behind. However, none of them had tried to fight to the end for their own beliefs. Perhaps this strange user might show Gluttony what it hadn't found in the meantime.
The original sin, which collected wisdom, made a gamble for the first time.
[Error! Error! Unauthorized request. The 4th Seal has been released through an unusual means.]
[Gluttony's function has been opened forcibly. The user should check the information window of the corresponding function immediately. However, this function was unlocked via an abnormal path.]
[Grimoire "Gluttony" / C Rank]
[Gluttony's 4th Seal was released through unusual means. From now onward, the user can borrow the power of an author which Gluttony has extracted. However, once the author has been overwritten, the author can't be loaded twice.]
[The C Rank 'Overwrite' has been triggered!]
[The object 'Alfred Bellontes' has been loaded into the user's body.]
Alfred Bellontes was the war hero who had murdered thousands of soldiers during the Bellontes Empire's Revolutionary War half a century ago, and his reputation had become widespread.
Even master level opponents had avoided fighting him, and he had been called a genius of battle. As Alfred's ego, who had been sleeping deeply, overwhelmed Theodore's body and soul, a blue light appeared at Theo's fingers.
This was the fourth function of Gluttony, the greedy grimoire.
At that moment, a hero from the history books returned to the present age.