Chapter 127 - Life is Timing (3)
The first sensation Theo felt when his consciousness awakened was the weight of the quill pen being held between his fingers.
He was writing something intently. The lightweight quill pen felt as heavy as a metal spear, and the area from his wrist to his elbow throbbed every time he moved. It was painful for Theodore who had yet to completely awaken.
Still, he calmly reached out with his senses.
Then... 'This- is it a summoning magic formula?'
The hand, which wasn't his own, was writing a summoning magic formula without resting. The writing speed was truly terrifying. This was evidence that he had more knowledge of summoning magic than anyone else.
Theodore was convinced after seeing it. The owner of these dried up fingers was Satomer, the best summoning magician in the modern age. However, Theo wasn't given a chance to be impressed by that face.
"...No, no," an unpleasant voice flowed from his throat. The voice, like scraping iron, sounded like it came from a patient with a serious illness. His phlegm contained blood, and he found it hard to breathe. Nevertheless, Satomer struck the desk with a weak punch and shouted loudly.
Kwang! The ink bottle fell, soaking the sheets of paper.
"This isn't it...!" The magician cried out in a husky voice as he turned his laboratory into a mess. He kicked down the innocent chairs and threw ornaments made of glass. The unfamiliar body was throbbing with pain, but Satomer's frustration was even fiercer.
Theodore couldn't stop the body, so he had no choice but to watch.
The rampage lasted a few minutes. Then Satomer took in rough breaths and turned to looked somewhere. There was a dirty mirror, but it was so dusty that it was hard to see his face unless he got close.
Normally, the surface would've been wiped with a wet towel, but the person in front of it was a magician.
"Clean." The dirty mirror was cleaned with a single word, and the reflection of a middle-aged person appeared in it. He had distinctly pale skin and lips which were bitten repeatedly, with scabs covering them. His eyes looked like they had been unable to sleep for a few days.
'The last summoning magician, Satomer.'
Looking at his appearance, Theodore was reminded that this man hadn't lived over the age of 50. Satomer had a fragile body because he wandered around all types of places in the continent, accumulating fatigue and toxins.
If so, Satomer was already near death at the time he wrote this original book.
At that moment... "Kuk, kukuk, kukukukuk..."
The middle-aged man stared in the mirror with his terrifying eyes, then he laughed hysterically like he couldn't stand it anymore. Satomer laughed while staring at himself in the mirror, but Theodore had the impression that Satomer was looking at him. No, the gaze was intense enough that it wasn't just an illusion.
Unsurprisingly, Satomer talked to him first. "Kuhuhu, did you come to laugh at me?"
"Don't pretend you don't know! Do you want to make fun of this Satomer's summoning magic too?"
According to the records, the possibilities of summoning magic had long been cut off when Satomer was still alive.
The money and materials it consumed were huge, and there was no way to make any achievements. So, in the Magic Society, summoning magic had been treated like an uninvited guest. They might not despise it, but the magicians had factions during gatherings.
Summoning magicians, including Satomer, had been unable to step into any factions. So, in the end, Satomer had left the magic towers, and summoning magic had ceased.
It might be quite unfortunate for Theodore, but that resentment had accumulated for many years and turned into a grudge.
Satomer continued to spit out cynical words, "I don't know why you are here. You are a 6th Circle magician and young, much better than me who stayed at the 5th Circle until I died. Why do you want my knowledge? It is obvious that you want to mock me!"
Theodore wasn't upset by the sarcastic remark. Instead, he felt a bit saddened by the hedgehog-like attitude.
Satomer had been a magician who walked the magic path he wanted until the end, yet he had only been snubbed by the people around him. It was a shame for Satomer, but Theo didn't think Satomer's life was meaningless.
Therefore, Theodore answered in a respectful tone, 'That is a misconception, Senior Satomer.'
However, Satomer's response became even more agitated. He made a hollow expression at Theodore's words, pointing to his own face while muttering, "Senior? I am your senior?"
'I can't think of a proper title. If you are in a bad mood, then I can call you something else.'
"...That's okay, what a funny guy."
What was the reason for this reaction? Satomer spat at his own face in the mirror before sitting down gloomily in his chair. Then he sighed like a tired monk on a hard journey. He stared blankly into space, and Theodore waited patiently for him to open his mouth first.
Satomer continued looking with vacant eyes before speaking. As he recalled Theodore's memories through Synchro, Satomer spoke Theodore's name naturally.
"You are Theodore Miller?"
"What a blessed child. Reaching the 6th Circle in your early 20s, you are really overflowing with blessings. I don't know why a person like you wants knowledge from a loser like me."
His tongue was still sharp, but this time, it was directed towards Satomer himself, not Theodore. Theodore shook his head as firmly as he could. 'Senior isn't a loser.'
"Fuck, don't try to comfort me just because I'm upset. I don't want to hear it from a child whose hair hasn't even fully grown yet."
'If you look into my memories, you will know that I am the owner of a grimoire.'
"What, are you showing off?"
Then Theodore's rebuttal entered Satomer's ears. 'I asked the grimoire something before I came. I asked it why summoning magic is weaker than every other type of magic and if the summoning magic recorded in the legends is just fiction.'
"...Is that so?"
'The grimoire had an answer. The reason why summoning magic doesn't work properly doesn't have to do with the system itself.'
Satomer was so concentrated on Theo's words that his eyes watered because he hadn't blinked. His eyes were paused in a scary way as the glass he held in his hand broke, causing blood to drip down. Satomer might pretend to be cool, but his essence was a magician. It might just be a fragment of the soul, but the human called 'Satomer' was a mage down to his bones.
So, Theodore told him the truth without holding back, 'As the Age of Mythology came to an end, the barriers around the material world became stronger, making it difficult to borrow the creatures and powers of other worlds. It was impossible to summon a senior rank a thousand years ago, and in your days, it was difficult to even summon a lieutenant.'
Theodore couldn't guess what the response would be to his cruel answer. It was just that the road Satomer had been running on for his whole life had been broken from the very beginning. Satomer looked down at the ground for a moment, before looking up at the shabby ceiling and biting his lips.
Then he laughed in an unrecognizable way. "Ha, haha, hahahahaha...!"
'S-Senior?' Theodore asked with worry, wondering if Satomer had gone crazy.
"Yes, that's it! That is why they didn't answer my call! The world itself is the problem, so it is meaningless no matter how many times I fix the formula! The material world itself sucks! This damn timing! Uhahaha!"
Theodore was confused about whether this was insanity or joy. Would he react this way if the work he had dedicated his entire life to was all in vain? However, Satomer didn't think so as the raw expression on his face disappeared.
Then he spoke in a pleased voice, "I wasn't wrong! My research didn't fail! My magic... My dream wasn't shabby!"
Satomer rejoiced sincerely. He had tried summoning magic until the end of his life but couldn't obtain anything. Satomer couldn't summon the existences he dreamed of during his childhood. So, the life of the man called Satomer was literally meaningless.
However, that wasn't it. His efforts were correct. The summoning magic he dreamed of did exist. It was simply that he couldn't overcome the powerful obstacle that was this world. So, there was no reason to feel regretful. The life's work of a magician was saved thanks to this enlightenment.
The magician with a strong pride, Satomer, bowed and expressed his sincere appreciation, "Thank you, Theodore Miller. I didn't know I would resolve my lingering attachment in this way."
'What do you mean...?'
"Well, it is okay if you don't know. It isn't easy to explain it with my mouth. Then let's resolve the problem quickly. There is little time left."
It was as he said. Meanwhile, Satomer's room was filled with an unknown darkness which had already swallowed up half the floor. Theodore had the gut feeling that Synchro would end the moment the darkness touched Satomer's feet. It was proof that the time limit of 40 minutes and 25 seconds was almost done.
Before that, Satomer said farewell, "Take whatever knowledge I have! With your brains, you might be able to get more use out of it than I could."
"I'll give you one hint. If as you said, the barrier of the material world is blocking the summoning, a magician will have to break down that barrier or provide a separate doorway."
However, breaking it down by force was out of the question. In order to be able to break down the barrier of the material world, a legendary grand master was needed. Even Veronica wasn't capable of it, let alone the current Theodore. Therefore, Satomer was clearly trying to teach him about the second way.
As though Theo's thoughts were correct, Satomer smiled. "You are still young. I wish I had a young brother like you, but I'm glad we met. If there is a god, their personality must be quite twisted."
"Go, there is no point saying goodbye to a dead man."
As Theo left Satomer's body, Satomer's voice echoed in Theodore's ears, [Your body already contains a door that leads to another dimension. I don't know where it leads, but if you use that passage with summoning magic, you can call senior level summons.]
[Take the one who signed a contract with me. I forgot its name, but it will be pretty useful.]
The rough voice of the best summoning magician in the modern age, Satomer, faded into the distance. If possible, Theodore wanted to say thank you. What would Satomer's response be to that? Theodore couldn't help laughing at the thought as he was sucked in by an enormous suction power.
He was on the verge of losing consciousness when he heard a familiar voice,
[Synchro with the target called 'Satomer' has ended.]
[Synchro rate is 76.4%, there is no loss of proficiency.]
[Satomer has handed the coordinates of a contract over to you. If you want to contract with his summons, you will need to link the summoning spell while recalling the string of coordinates.]
[A new feature has been added to 'Ring of Muspelheim.']