Chapter 84 - Empire Mission (1)
['Reasons Why Flames Rise' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[5th Circle magic 'Flare Burst' has been acquired.]
[The number of spells the user has consumed is immense. The essence of magic books will be extracted more efficiently.]
As always, the non-emotional voice was heard in Theo's ears, and Theo immediately closed his eyes to focus on the knowledge.
It was different from before, when he had no problem eating several books at once. This was a 5th Circle book, so he received a storm of knowledge. It wasn't an amount which could be accommodated without any preparation.
After five minutes, Theodore opened his eyes again. 'Flare Burst... I thought it would be a more complex magic.'
Vince spoke up from where he was watching on the other side, "Flare Burst is today's final book?"
"Try it once. Try to align the timing of the magic spell accurately." Simultaneously, Vince's magic power boiled up.
The blazing magic power drew a magic circle in the empty space, and a pillar of heat appeared inside. Flare Burst was an attack magic in the war mage period which turned a lot of enemies in a mass of charcoal.
Just before Vince's magic created the fire pillar, Theodore also completed the same magic in front of him.
Immediately before the two fire pillars collided...
Then the flames shot at each other and clashed. The high temperature and flames, which were fierce enough to burn humans, began to spread. This was the flame which had swept up all the hobgoblins on their way to Mana-vil in the past.
"Hrmm, the degree of completeness isn't bad," Vince remarked.
The two magicians had formed a shield and were watching the competition between the two fire pillars. The flames struck exactly in the middle, and after waiting a while, Theo's was gradually pushed to one side. Vince's Flare Burst had a slight advantage. If this was the case, Theodore would have been turned into ashes.
However, the pushing and pulling between fire pillars ended abruptly. As soon as all the magic power contained in the circles was gone, the two fire pillars disappeared like they had never existed.
It was determined that Theodore's Flare Burst was a success. Vince removed the remaining heat and approached the spot where the fire pillars collided. The ground had melted due to the strong flames, but it solidified again as soon as he chilled it lightly.
Vince touched his chin and evaluated it, "...Indeed, it is an incredible proficiency for someone who has never used the magic before. An ordinary magician would have to devote two or three years of training to reach that level."
"But Master's Flare Burst is faster than mine. The momentum of your flames is also more intense."
"Well, if you use the same spell for more than a decade, you will pick up some tricks in using it. That is the difference," Vince explained in a dignified voice before adding. "Things like how to concentrate the flames more reliably and how to construct the magic circle faster... The knowledge gained from books is certainly valuable, but the wisdom refined from experience is also important. Don't forget that the ability of the grimoire is just one part of you."
"Yes, I will keep that in mind." Theodore nodded lightly.
As Vince said, Theo had only gained the fundamental principles and knowledge on how to use the magic Gluttony extracted from the things it ate.
The know-how and application of the magic which mages accumulated after years of experience couldn't be learned from eating. However, Theo didn't neglect his skills, so his talent was much better than it had been half a year ago. It was the result of devoting himself to magic training every day for half a year since the battle with Superbia and the court ball.
"Theodore, you have now reached a level where you can be called a master of the 5th Circle. I, Vince Haidel, acknowledge your accomplishment."
"Now, you are just one step away from the wall of the 6th Circle. It is hard teaching a disciple who grows so quickly," Vince said before giving a warm laugh. His disciple was growing too quickly.
Theo hadn't even been of the 4th Circle when he left the academy, then he broke through the 5th Circle after being sent to his hometown. He was now almost at the end of the 5th Circle and on the edge of becoming equal to Vince.
Vince used his experience to teach his disciple, but it was doubtful he would have enough knowledge to keep up at this rate. After some time, Vince might not be able to handle him alone.
'No, now isn't the time to think about it.'
Vince thought for a while before changing the topic. "Today's magic training is up to here. Then let's start the scheduled mental power training. In fact, there isn't much I can do to help with this part."
"No, I realized how to use this power thanks to Master's advice."
"Well, you can think about it that way."
Theo laughed at his mentor and raised the sleeve covering his right arm.
National treasure no. 3, Umbra... After absorbing the bead on the night of the ball, it had remained in the form of the tattoo and scattered a green light continuously. It was evidence of 'Umbra,' a treasure which surpassed the boundaries of matter.
Theodore's eyes turned bluish. 'Fluidization!'
The moment the light flashed, his whole body turned transparent. Wind passed through his body, and it temporarily transcended the realm of matter. The current Theo could do many impossible things.
Indeed, what were his abilities after training for half a year?
After his body turned transparent, Theo suddenly disappeared into the air and appeared a few dozen meters away. The speed he used to reach his destination was clearly beyond the laws of physics.
If the purpose of Fluidization was to just appear in another place, it wasn't as good as a short-ranged Blink.
'Okay, I will do it a few more times!' Theodore sensed that he was still capable of more as he disappeared and appeared again a few times.
Vince secretly admired Theo's movements around the room.
They were ultrafast movements using Fluidization. Since Theo wasn't affected by the boundaries of matter, there weren't any of the side effects associated with space jumps. Even aura masters wouldn't be able to capture the timing of Theo's appearances.
This was the fraudulent power given by the national treasure, Umbra.
However, the ability also came with something being consumed. Theodore performed five or six space leaps in a row before sitting down with dizziness and a headache. This was the headache which resulted from the consumption of his mental power. It was like the condition of a human body when running long distances.
This terrible pain was an indication that Theo's spirit was growing. The method of training his mental power was extremely simple: use the ability to its limit, let it recover, and then repeat the process. In a sense, mental power was like the muscles. By repeating these actions, the limit could be increased.
Of course, the answer was simple, but the execution was different.
Theo stood up after 10 minutes to see Vince looking at him in an uncomfortable manner. The headache had been so intense that it still felt like his head was spinning. Theo had trained for half a year in Fluidization, but his limit was still half of his original goal of 10 space jumps.
Theo barely regained his balance and wanted to ask something.
Vince noticed his feelings and advised sharply, "Don't be so hasty."
Theo was taken aback and felt ashamed, but Vince just shrugged. Recently, he realized that Theo was getting distracted. No, the reason for the distraction was obvious. It was time to face the 'wall' again.
"As I said before, you have mastered the 5th Circle, so you'll have to leap to the next level if you want to achieve more. I know that it is hard and frustrating, but you will only get hurt if you rush it."
Vince had spent 10 years at the 5th Circle, so Theo couldn't disregard his advice.
The Meltor Kingdom had a much higher number of senior mages than the other countries. It was the result of magicians who had passed the 'wall' transferring their knowledge down to their disciples, creating a cycle which could last dozens of generations.
Theodore listened to Vince's words with a serious expression. "Master, what should I do then?"
"Hmm, if you were an ordinary magician, then I would advise you to build up experience steadily, but... there might be another way if you use Gluttony's abilities well."
No matter how much of a genius a person was, they still needed luck to cross the wall of a circle.
Vince and other Superiors of the magic towers had once been called geniuses, but they rarely went beyond the limit of the 6th Circle. It was a path of despair which they couldn't escape from, other than building up their efforts.
However, a forked path existed for Theodore.
"It is like when I ate the elder lich's Life Vessel."
If he ate a Treasure ranked artifact, then he might be able to break through the wall of the 5th Circle at an unprecedented rate. Of course, it wasn't easy to obtain things like an elder lich's Life Vessel, but it was better than waiting for a moment of enlightenment.
To Theodore, who was tired of being at a standstill, it was the most advice he would be able to hear.
Vince said as he put on his robe, "If you have recovered, let's go. It will soon go beyond the time that we have reserved this room."
Theodore checked the clock on the wall and picked up his robe. "Oh, it has already happened."
The robe hanging on the wall was smooth and well-maintained, looking exactly like when he'd received it before the ball. Theo was now fully accustomed to putting on the robe and headed to the exit of the magic training room one step in front of Vince.
However, the moment that Theo placed his hand on the door knob... "Eh?"
A person opened the door to the training room from outside. He wore a grey robe without the colour of any of the magic towers, indicating that he was an apprentice magician. Instead of completing the academy's curriculum, apprentice magicians earned achievements by acting as the Magic Society's internal messengers.
The magician in the grey robe apologized first with a perplexed expression. "Ah, e-excuse me!"
"It's okay. It seems like you are looking for us."
Due to the difference in positions, the messenger bowed his head a few more times before revealing his purpose. "Are you Vince Haidel and Theodore Miller?"
"Yes, that's right."
"I came because there is an urgent notice from the Magic Society. It has been issued to both of you."
As the two people remained confused, the messenger took out a piece of parchment.
Then he started to read the contents to both of them, "This is a message to all Superior ranked magicians who are in the capital. The Andras Empire has recently expressed their intention to send a delegation here. All magicians who receive this announcement should gather in the auditorium at the center of the Magic Society!"