Chapter 207 - Library (1)
Compared to his calm expression, Gluttony's words were bold. However, Theodore agreed with him. It wouldn't be an exaggeration at all if this was the stomach of Gluttony, who had collected all types of mysterious since the Age of Mythology.
This wasn't just the 8th Circle but the realm of the 9th Circle. It was different from the days when more than 100 great magicians had wandered around and dragons often appeared.
The Dark Ages had come after the Age of Mythology.
After the gods disappeared, the demons lost their positions. The war between various species and dragons had then destroyed the material world. Historians estimated that over 5,600 years of history had been buried after the Age of Mythology.
'But not in this library...!'
Theodore could read the history which hadn't been recorded anywhere else. Not just that, it was possible for him to inherit the legacies left behind by magicians of the Age of Mythology. In that sense, it was literally the 'domain of the gods.'
Still, Theodore wasn't completely happy.
-What is it?
"I understand that I can learn magic from the Library. But what is the equivalent price I have to pay?"
-Hrmm, I was about to tell you.
Except for his black eyes, Gluttony looked exactly the same as Theodore while he touched his jaw.
-I will first explain the restrictions of the Library. It is impossible to learn from a book that is beyond User's level, just like the usual predation. It means there is no difference in the learning conditions here or outside.
"I expected as much. And...?"
-As User mentioned, the knowledge in the Library isn't free. It is bound by the law of equivalent exchange in order to maintain causality. So, my system has established the concept of 'achievement points' to circumvent causality.
However, before Theodore could ask the meaning of that, Gluttony continued speaking.
-To summarize briefly, it is a value based on everything User has provided me. Then you can acquire the knowledge in this library by consuming the achievement points.
"...Are you talking about all the books and artifacts I fed you?"
The law of equivalent exchange... This was a system which matched that law. Theodore closed his eyes for a moment and recalled all the books and artifacts he had collected so far.
Perhaps common magic books were worthless, while the rare-rated ones were the real thing. Still, if he counted from Ballistics Magic, there were quite a number of them. However, he didn't know what Gluttony's standards were.
Then Theodore opened his eyes again.
"What are the standards for achievement points conversion? Also, tell me how many achievement points I currently have. It started from stage zero, not stage five, right?
-Of course. I will answer in the order that you asked.
Fortunately, Gluttony was pleased to receive the request.
-Basically, the achievement points depend on the rating. Normal rating is worth one digit of points, Rare rating is worth two digits of points up to 100 points, Precious rating is worth three digits of points up to 1,000 points, and Treasure rating is worth four digits points up to 10,000 points. In the case of artifacts, it is half that.
"Huh? Then what about Legend or Myth ratings?"
Theodore noticed that these two ratings were missing, and Gluttony responded like he had been waiting for that.
-From legendary rating onward, there are no standards. For example, Laevateinn gained you 67,380 points.
"...What is the sum of my achievement points?"
In the end, close to 90% of Theodore's achievement points were from Laevateinn. Wasn't this distribution too biased, even if it was a Legend-rated grimoire? However, Theodore didn't object to the calculation.
He didn't dare go against Gluttony's eyes. After all, there was no one better in assessing the value of a book.
'Ah, that reminds me...'
Theodore belatedly recalled something that was in his inventory. If this artifact was converted to achievement points, how much would it be worth? Theodore was filled with anticipation as 'it' appeared in his hand.
It was a topaz bigger than an adult male's head. At first glance, it looked like a large jewel, but it was actually the heart of the sand dragon, Desertio. The ancient dragon's heart...
It was an inexhaustible source of power which could fuel a magic circle for thousands of years.
"What is the value of this dragon heart?"
However, Gluttony's answer was unexpected.
-I'm sorry, but duplicates aren't allowed. I collected the heart of a sand dragon a long time ago.
"Wow," a bewildered utter emerged from Theodore's mouth.
The heart of an ancient dragon was a duplicate?
It was unlikely that someone would've obtained it in the same manner as Theodore, so it meant the person must've forcefully pulled out the heart of the dragon. Even a 9th Circle magician would find it hard to win against a dragon.
Theodore put the dragon heart away in confusion. He hadn't been planning to change the dragon heart to achievement points, but he hadn't expected this answer.
In any case, the depths of the book eating grimoire Gluttony were really unknown.
-Then I will explain. Do you have any more questions?
-Let's go to the search function.
As Gluttony spoke, he pointed to the overflowing books in the Library. The ocean of books might exceed 10 million books if he included the non-visible angles. Selecting a book was like picking a single grain of sand from a beach.
-The Library's search can be divided into two categories. The magic you want and the ability you want.
-Just like what User experienced with Introduction to Elemental Magic, sometimes the contents have an additional ability. An artifact's skills also falls into that category.
Put into context, it was like Theodore consuming Laevateinn and obtaining the Ring of Muspelheim.
Theodore thought about it carefully.
There was an old saying about not jumping into the fire. It was only recently that he had overcome the time limit of his vessel being destroyed. He already had three types of power in him, so adding another force would break the balance.
At that moment, Theodore felt a strange discomfort again.
'What? I feel like I'm missing something...'
No matter how he looked back, he didn't forget anything. However, the feeling that one piece was missing from the puzzle didn't disappear. He'd gotten that feeling just before entering the Library, like he needed just one more piece to complete the puzzle.
As Theodore was thinking about this, Gluttony suddenly spoke, -User, if you don't mind, there is something I want to recommend.
-From stage 5 onward, it is possible for me to directly advise User's choice. Until now, there were many things that I couldn't say. But it will be different from now onward.
"Then please talk."
The relationship between Theodore and Gluttony was that of adviser and student. At the very least, Gluttony couldn't force Theodore to make a choice. Gluttony received permission and opened his mouth, -Come out, Aiolos Pouch.
As Gluttony's gentle voice rang out, a strange leather pouch appeared on Gluttony's palm. The surface of the pouch didn't have a pattern, but it emitted an unknown energy. Theodore was convinced that he couldn't catch it even if it was only a few meters away.
However, Gluttony broke down that conviction by handing the Aiolos Pouch to Theodore.
As always, details of the artifact popped up.
[+21 Aiolos Pouch (Divine Artifact)]
[-This is a pouch given to a hero as a gift from the god of wind, Aiolos. The owner can trap any wind into this pouch, and it can also seal or distort a specific space. As something made by a god, it contains some of his divinity.
* The rating of this magic tool is 'Legend.'
* When used, wind can be sealed selectively.
* When used, space can be controlled selectively.
* When consumed, a small amount of divinity will be absorbed.
* When consumed, your understanding of space will increase greatly.
* Required achievement points: 51,700 points.
* If you want to extract the artifact, it will immediately be returned to this library when it escapes the user's possession.]
"D-Divine artifact? Furthermore, the artifact can leave?"
Theodore's eyes widened at the unexpected information window. The fact that this shabby pouch had a Legend rating, as well as a divine object, was shocking. It wasn't surprising that knowledge could be exchanged, but he hadn't known it was possible to materialize something which was swallowed.
-It is possible. But in the case of artifacts, there is a limit as stated at the bottom. It isn't possible to transfer ownership to another person, and if you lose the artifact, you must spend points to obtain it again.
A huge 51,700 points... If he blew away his achievement points because he lost the artifact for a moment, he would shed tears of blood. It was much safer and more beneficial to absorb it than to extract it.
'Anyway, it is a divine artifact. I've never heard the name of the god, but I have to search the list.'
Perhaps all treasures of the gods remaining in this age belonged in Gluttony's stomach. Then Theodore thought of how Mitra was a prototype of Dmitra. He suppressed his excitement and turned to Gluttony.
"Why did you recommend this artifact?"
Theodore honestly didn't know why. The Aiolos Pouch was very good, but he didn't know why Gluttony recommended it. It was a recommendation which required Theodore to spend over 50,000 points. He didn't know if he could consume another legendary grimoire, so he couldn't invest all his points into this pouch.
Gluttony stared at him and muttered, -...You truly don't know. Magicians in this age seem to have forgotten the essence of the circles.
"The essence of the circles?"
-Keep calm, User. Think about how the Aiolos Pouch can fill up your shortcomings.
It was like a lightning bolt of enlightenment.
The fragment of Mother Earth...
The fires of Muspelheim...
The blood of the sea dragon, Aquilo...
As soon as he was able to recall the four basic elements, he was able to find out the answer he was guided to.
Gluttony nodded like he had been waiting for it.
-Yes, the last piece needed is wind. When considering the fragment of the Mother Earth, the fire of Musphelheim, and the blood of a sea dragon, the Aiolos Pouch is most suitable for you.
"But that alone isn't an answer. What meaning is there in having all four elements?"
It was an obvious question for magicians of this age but not for Gluttony. Gluttony sighed with the same face as Theodore and pulled out a book from somewhere.
-I didn't think I would be teaching theory about circles.
It was the moment when the lecture, which couldn't be known by any modern human magician, emerged from the mouth of the ancient grimoire, Gluttony.