Chapter 115 - Mysterious (1)
Theodore's face stiffened at the unexpected name. Yet, in actuality, it wasn't surprising that Myrdal was treated as a sage by the elves. In a world where the high elves couldn't call the elemental rulers without borrowing the power of the world tree, Myrdal, however, had managed to call one with his own power.
This phenomenal feat was more than enough of a reason for him to be a valued guest of Elvenheim.
"Sage Myrdal said this." Ellenoa ignored Theo's inner confusion and started to recite the prophecy in a calm voice, "After a long time, the sixth dancer will open their eyes, and forgotten beings will awaken from a deep sleep. Two countries will compete against each other and summon an indescribable disaster. But there is no need to be afraid. The guest who comes from a distant place will avert the disaster. Once that happens, please guide the guest here."
"...Is what you just spoke the prophecy?"
It was like a mysterious puzzle, but Theo was forced to feel a chill since it had all come to pass.
At least a hundred years ago, maybe more than that, Myrdal had visited this cabin and made a prophecy. He predicted the events which began with the birth of the sixth dancer, Ellenoa, and then the appearance of Laevateinn and the visitor who managed to stop it.
Theodore thought up to there and was struck with a crazy idea. 'Impossible... Even if he is contracted to an elemental ruler, how long can a human live for?'
He had met a few existences who lived beyond the ordinary standards of life, such as a sword master who could collapse a mountain with a sword, while an 8th Circle magician who could resist even natural disasters. There were also the guardians of Elvenheim who could reverse a situation with one arrow.
Nevertheless, Theo hadn't felt like this when he faced them. This was a feeling of an incomprehensible awe and fear. Myrdal Herseim was something entirely different from the masters of this age. At that moment, a piece of a puzzle floating around slotted into place.
[An original book has been consumed. Promoting a connection to Myrdal Herseim... Success. Myrdal Herseim has accepted the connection with the user.]
[Connect is starting.]
'Connect' was a phenomenon he had only experienced when he ingested Introduction to Elemental Magic.
"Ah...!" A sound emerged from Theo's mouth. There was no evidence to support his speculation, but his intuition was convinced that he was right.
In the records of the Magic Society, Myrdal Herseim was a great mage who had understood elementals more than anyone else 300 years ago...
And he was still alive. Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that Theo had made a contract with Mitra. In order to bring him to this cabin, Myrdal might have arranged something. However, as he was worrying alone, Ellenoa had continued her explanation.
Then it soon came to an end. "...That is all I can tell you."
Fortunately, Theodore had been half listening and could remember all her words. Only one person could enter at a time, so she explained how to use the Fountain of Wisdom. He inscribed her instructions into his mind.
After finishing the explanation, Ellenoa opened the door. Then the darkness welcomed him.
'It is another space door.'
The door led to another space, so while the cabin might look shabby, the interior was completely different. Theo took one step before turning back toward Ellenoa and saying, "I'll be right back. Wait a bit."
"Ah..." She blinked like a surprised squirrel as Theo completely disappeared into the darkness of the cabin.
Simultaneously, the shabby door closed, and Ellenoa was left alone. However, she didn't feel bad despite being alone. Theo had told her to wait and that he would be back soon.
Ellenoa replied one beat too late, "...Yes, I'll wait."
Her ears peeked through her hair like a rabbit as she lowered her red face.
* * *
After the familiar dizziness of space travel, Theo reached a space beyond the threshold of the cabin.
This was the Fountain of Wisdom. He had stepped into a mystery of the elves, whose true name had been forgotten.
When he saw the reality of it, an exclamation flowed from Theodore's mouth, "...Indeed! This is why it is called the Fountain of Wisdom."
It was literally a fountain. The fountain was transparent enough for him to see the bottom, and there was a blue light shining from it. According to Ellenoa's description, all the elves' recorded wisdom was contained in this spring water. It looked like spring water, but it wasn't. Additionally, it wasn't possible to make contact with it unless a gourd from the world tree was used.
Theo wanted to explore the principles of the magic here, but that would take more than a day or two. The time limit of this place was 30 minutes, so he had to prioritize what he wanted to know.
Theo first picked up a gourd hanging from the wall, as Ellenoa had described. It was made from a seed of the world tree, but there was no difference. When the thickness and sizes were compared, the gourd was slightly lighter.
'Just one time.'
There was a sound as the blue spring water entered the gourd. He tried to soak his fingers as a test, but all he felt was air. The same would apply even if he jumped in the spring water; it would be like falling into a deep pit. This was a place which stimulated the intellectual curiosity of magicians.
Theodore placed his lips on the gourd.
-Drink from the spring water and think about the wisdom that you want. Then you will receive an answer to that question.
The blue spring water flowed down. It passed from his lips into his mouth, and from his tongue down to his throat. However, Theo couldn't feel any of that. Apart from the taste, there was no sensation of liquid being in his mouth. According to Ellenoa, drinking it was just a ritual to insert the spirit of the fountain into him.
'Myrdal Herseim.' Then he started thinking hard about the existence which reminded him of a mountain range, the eyes which resembled the sea... the old man with flowing white hair and beard.
Theo recalled the memories of that day when he couldn't even lift a finger. Then as the gourd emptied...
The blue water started fluctuating. The transparent and clear spring water shone with a white light before moving back and forth, like a wave raising his body.
No, it wasn't a wave raising his body. It wasn't even the spring water. In the middle of the fountain, an image resembling a human appeared. It broke and merged several times, but the final form was familiar to Theodore.
It was the old man with a magnificent presence, Myrdal.
[Hoh, the guest I've been waiting for has finally come.]
Despite having already met once, Theo barely managed to speak. It was just a form reproduced by the Fountain of Wisdom, but Myrdal's presence was remarkable. Theodore shook as it felt like a weight was crushing his shoulders.
However, Theo was different from that time. He had grown in circles and as a person. Therefore, Theo was able to stand firmly without being disturbed by Myrdal's presence.
The old man smiled gently at the sight. [You've gotten better. You are still immature, but you are better. It might be incomplete, but you have gained the primordial flames. If you don't mind, I, Myrdal, want to hear your name.]
[Theodore... No, Theodore. Haha, it is a funny name for a magician.]
(The first Theodore, author uses the spelling with the Korean pronunciation. Second Theodore, author uses spelling for English pronunciation)
Myrdal found it funny...? However, before Theo could ask what it meant, Myrdal shocked him with the next words.
[It has been a while, 'Greed.' No, should I call you Gluttony now?] The old man spoke directly to Theo's left hand.
Theo didn't know how, but it was evidence that Myrdal Herseim knew about Gluttony. So, Theodore couldn't expression his surprise when the mouth appeared on his left hand and a voice flowed out.
-...Yes, it was you. Gluttony's voice sounded nervous. -A fragment of memory calling out to me, how pretentious.
[Huhu, please forgive me. I foresaw your visit, but I'm not able to move at this time. So, I am forced to greet you and your contractor in this way.]
-Giving excuses... Perhaps it was because Gluttony felt uncomfortable that it changed the topic without any further complaints.
Indeed, Gluttony's mild attitude was different than usual. In other words, this person called Myrdal Herseim, was someone who made Gluttony nervous and unable to cope with. Theo listened to the conversation between them carefully.
Gluttony was the one who cut to the chase first. -I wonder how you are still alive. Explain why you waited for me, no, for my user. If the answer isn't acceptable, I will consider you as an 'enemy' from now on.
[You are still too stiff. I am the one who allowed your user to sign an elemental contract. Shouldn't you have been more alert?]
However, Gluttony remained silent. This was a silent protest which meant it wouldn't listen to any more nonsense. It was the first time Gluttony had acted wary toward someone, so Theo watched the confrontation with a strange mood.
In the end, Myrdal raise his hands and answered in a low voice, [It is because your thoughts are too different.]
[That's right, Gluttony. Unlike the other six, you don't pay much attention to the fate of the world. Pride who wants to eat all species, the one who wants to stop the present world...]
Then Gluttony shouted in a sharp voice, -Stop!
Myrdal closed his mouth like he had been waiting for it. Theo didn't know what was going on, but it was clear that Myrdal said something that stimulated Gluttony. It must be bad if the almost emotionless Gluttony was forced to shout. Theodore examined the few words that he picked up.
'Myrdal mentioned Pride. If so, the rest of the information that Myrdal was going to say...'
It was about the rest of the Seven Sins. As if affirming Theo's idea, Gluttony spoke to Myrdal in a voice which didn't hide its anger, -Are you trying to threaten me? A remnant of the myths.
[I am asking politely.]
-...You sure talk very well.
Theo couldn't understand the conversation at all. He merely realized that the two had agreed on something. Myrdal wanted to expose something to Theo, but Gluttony had stopped him before taking a step back.
In the end, Gluttony waved the white flag and spoke in an annoyed voice, -I will tolerate it only once.
[Thank you for your generosity.]