Chapter 166 - The Road Home (1)
"Sir Adolf, please look after Brother."
"Yes, I will do it well."
As usual, Baek Dongil left Theodore's room with a grim expression, while Randolph sighed at his retreating back. Randolph was fond of Baek Dongil's sincere learning attitude and polite character, but the repeated visits were annoying. However, he couldn't stop Baek Dongil from coming.
Therefore, Randolph suffered from his uncomfortable position in the middle.
'That reminds me. Including today, it has been a week.' Randolph thought about the date and then looked at Theodore, who was lying in a nearby bed.
Randolph had been the one who found the unconscious Theodore, and he had also been the first to notice the situation. Theodore didn't have a fever or cold sweats, so it might seem like he was sleeping. However, the reality of it was different.
Back then, Randolph had looked at the unconscious Theodore and instinctively recognized the situation.
This was the period of transition to go beyond the master's wall!
A mortal body and spirit couldn't handle the power of a transcendent. Therefore, mortals who reached the realm of a master had to evolve their body and mind to the level of the transcendent power.
The term 'Physical Change' referred to the phenomenon in which an imbalance in the body was rectified and raised beyond its innate limits. It was a bonus that all the wastes hidden in the body were removed.
Randolph recalled what he had experienced at the time he'd gone through the same thing and thought that the magician's transitional period was rather modest.
"It was a wrong judgment," Randolph said as he squeezed Theodore's wrist lightly and immediately made a serious expression.
His serious expression was due to the vortex of power swirling inside Theo's body, exactly like it had been on the first day of the transition. The flow was so wide and powerful that Randolph couldn't intervene, despite being a sword master. It was impossible to calm it down from the outside.
Randolph had to wait until the owner of the power, Theodore Miller, could control it himself. However, the biggest problem was if the attempt failed. What if the terrible power Randolph sensed burst out of Theodore's body? The mansion would be shattered, and the damage might reach the faraway town. It was a different type of waste material.
Randolph smiled as he glanced at Theodore's still sleeping face.
'Is Theo is special, or magicians are always like this?'
Of course, Theodore's case was special, but Randolph had no way of knowing this.
However, despite knowing the risks, Randolph didn't leave Theodore's side. He believed that he could stop the crisis or that Theodore would overcome this trial. It was a myth, but in the Andras Empire, the greater the crisis during one's transition, the greater the potential.
If that was the case, Theodore would be reborn as an unprecedented master.
"...Well, it might just be my delusion." Randolph found it funny and laughed as he rose to his feet.
From morning to night, he stayed by Theodore's side. This meant he couldn't even eat properly. Randolph headed to a nearby kitchen in order to drink a glass of water. The duration of time he spent there was three minutes at most.
Soon after Randolph left the kitchen, he grabbed the doorknob of Theodore's room and felt an unknown thrill enter his body.
A sword master's keen senses noticed the before and after change in the room. The unstable flow of mana, which had been like a typhoon, had completely calmed down. If so, there could only be one cause.
'The transition is over.' Randolph gulped before turning the doorknob.
Theodore had either successfully crossed the wall to become a master, or he had been blown apart. It was only after the door opened that he found out which result it was. Then the door opened.
"-Ha, haha," Randolph couldn't help laughing.
This was because Randolph's concerns were moot, as 'he' stood there.
His two eyes contained more depth than before, and he was standing on his own two legs without shaking. After passing through the boundaries of a mortal, Theodore Miller had finally returned.
"Sorry to have kept you waiting," Theodore spoke to the blankly staring Randolph. There was a faint smile on Theodore's face accompanying his simple words of apology. "It took longer than I thought it would."
With seven roaring circles, it was a declaration that another master had appeared in the world.
* * *
His body hadn't changed dramatically like aura users. However, he'd slept for a week, so his stomach was understandably empty.
Without telling anyone first, Randolph placed bread and soup from the kitchen in front of Theodore. If he told people that Theodore had woken up, their surroundings would become extremely noisy. As Theodore had just completed the transition, he needed to rest.
Of course, Theodore appreciated the care.
"Thank you," he said a short thanks and started moving his hands.
He ate the bread and sipped the soup, gradually increasing the volume of the food. Theodore's body, which had starved for a week, absorbed the nutrients like rainwater permeating dry land.
Randolph looked at Theo's ravenous appearance with narrowed eyes. 'It is definitely different.'
There was no visible change in Theodore's body, but the storm raging inside him had completely subsided. The pressure, which would cause anyone who could sense mana to feel nervous, was now out of sight.
Somebody might think Theo was weak, but Randolph's sword master instincts were warning him. Even if Randolph fought his best, he would be unable to predict his victory. This was evidence that a 7th Circle magician was an existence who could match a sword master.
In the end, Randolph couldn't repress his curiosity and asked, "The 7th circle, is it completed?"
"...I'm not sure. It is too ambiguous to call it completed yet."
"What? Ambiguous?" Randolph's eyebrows raised at Theo's vague answer.
Theodore swallowed the soup and continued with his answer, "The number of my circles has grown to seven, but the criteria for a master level magician isn't just the number of circles."
"Then what else do you need?"
"It is just how like a master aura user needs to awaken the Aura Ability. Magicians have something called 'Sorcery' and need to develop their own unique attributes."
Theo said it was similar to Aura Ability, but it wasn't that big. Just like how sword masters had their own specific characteristics with aura, magicians focused on their specific attributes. The White Tower Master's unbelievable space magic and Blundell's water control were based on 'Sorcery.' Theodore had realized it after reaching the 7th Circle. His ability to analyze magic itself had improved.
'Somehow, I couldn't do it even if I ate the original book.'
Theodore had thought he would be able to do space magic or water control magic, but he now knew it would've failed.
When he thought about it, he realized it was natural. It was no wonder that Theodore couldn't understand the essential principles of the magic considering he didn't know what Blundell's 'Sorcery' was.
Additionally, that wasn't the only part that was different from aura.
Theodore looked at Randolph and continued to explain with a smile, "Sorcery is different from the Aura Ability that can be used straight away. The 7th Circle is the minimum condition, and I need to study Sorcery from now on."
"Aha, I see," Randolph said as he took in the explanation.
From the perspective of Eastern philosophy, it could be summarized as 'epiphany' and 'gradual study.' Aura Ability was an 'epiphany,' while Sorcery was a 'gradual study.' Sorcery was something which could only be learned by accumulating the right procedures and efforts. Theodore, who had only just arrived at the 7th Circle, was still unable to use his own unique attributes.
However, Randolph smiled cheerfully and knocked on his shoulder. "Well, it is true that you went beyond the wall though! It is late, but welcome to the realm of a master."
"If I'm late, then what is Randolph?"
"Ah, are you already acting like this? This young guy is really behaving badly."
It was a joke but Theodore's expression brightened. As Randolph said, the wall to the 7th Circle was very high and crossing it meant one thing...
Theodore had escaped the deadline of three years! Within half of the time limit that Myrdal had given him, Theodore had escaped from the confines of a mortal. The future of being crushed by his own power had disappeared.
'It's sooner than I expected, but it is okay to return to the north.'
In any case, 'Sorcery' couldn't be completed in a day or two, and the intellectual properties accumulated in the Magic Society would be more efficient for his research.
He had overcome the deadline, which had been his original purpose, so wasn't it better to return to the safety of Meltor to conduct the rest of his research? Around the time that Theodore was eating the last of his bread.
"Ah, there was a letter for you."
"Letter?" Theodore turned his attention back to Randolph.
What letter? Who would know about them to send a letter here? Randolph handed him the envelope and replied, "Gibra. It has the name of the guy from Sipoto on it. I guess their title as 'the best information guild' isn't for nothing."
"Gibra... Indeed, there would be no one else."
In retrospect, everyone else who knew about him were enemies, except for Gibra. No, he couldn't conclude that Gibra was an ally. However, Gibra was the only one who could send him a letter. The best information guild in the central continent would definitely be able to figure out his tracks.
Now, Theo was curious and wary about why a letter would be sent to him.
Tear. Theodore tore open the envelope and pulled out the sheet of paper inside. He looked at the contents for a while, then he burned the letter and envelope. Randolph guessed that Theo intended to conceal the existence of the letter.
So, he asked, "Is it something that shouldn't be known to others?"
"There is nothing wrong with being careful."
Simultaneously, Theodore spread Silence magic around the two of them. It was rare for eavesdropping to escape the notice of a sword master, but this spell was to block that rare possibility from happening.
"It's news related to the Orcus Company. Meltor has received my message and dispatched investigators to search for clues in the central continent. Due to that, the Orcus Company has shifted its base from the south-west to the east."
"Uhh, the timing isn't good."
"That's right. I think we should keep in mind the possibility of seeing them near the Kargas border."
The power of the two men was significantly higher than when they had fought in Sipoto, but it still wasn't very wise to fight against unknown opponents. They were enemies who had chased Theodore all the way to the Pirate Archipelago. It was fortunate that the enemies had angered Aquilo. Otherwise, it would've been a struggle on the sea.
If they had a death knight and ghost ship, there might be other hidden cards such as a master.
'...I have to return home.'
Was it fortunate that the Orcus Company was moving to the east now? Theodore calmly calculated his speed, position, and the path to Meltor before sighing. Gibra's letter wasn't entirely trustworthy, but it was difficult since he had already seen the contents.
In any case, he had to act carefully to avoid any traps. Theodore thought about the right answer and soon made a decision. He stacked the empty dishes in a pile and got up. Then he said, "We will leave in a week. I have to finish off the work I have left here and then ask Master Baek for one last favor."
As Theodore headed for his room, he had a hunch about something. The time of the suspicious magician, Ted, would end here. From now on, it was the turn of Theodore Miller, the young hero of the Meltor Kingdom.
Theodore's heart grew anxious at the thought of seeing the faces of some people, and he hastened his footsteps. It was time to return to Theodore's homeland, Meltor.