Chapter 209 - Library (3)
Gluttony recovered his spirit first.
-...User, how did you create 'it?'
Gluttony had the confidence that he would be able to determine its origin if he observed for a while, but the question which emerged from his mouth was pure. He couldn't understand it. He couldn't accept it. He couldn't find it.
There was no magic like this 'flame' in his library, which had been accumulating for tens of thousands of years. It was something strange and unknown.
Of course, there were countless magics which tried to unite opposing attributes. The study of 'extremes meeting' was proven in magic. Some scholars had said that the definition of extremes was 'repudiation,' while some philosophers said that extremes were the reverse of each other.
At the first glance, it seemed that hot and cold would oppose each other. However, this was essentially a force which belonged to the natural world.
-However, this flame is beyond that, Gluttony said firmly.
This wasn't repudiation or the reverse.
It might move and change, or it might not. Hot could become cold, and cold could become hot. Just like how a rock turned into sand would once again solidify to become a rock, everything would eventually circulate in a circle.
However, Theodore's flame deviated from this circulation. The two forces, hot and cold, coexisted simultaneously like two sides of a coin. It was a contradiction. Something which couldn't be found anywhere in the natural world was occurring due to the human wizard before Gluttony. As Gluttony saw this new magic, his black eyes shone.
-Answer me, User. Hurry!
"Uh... What do you mean?" Theodore scratched his head a few times. "I don't know."
Gluttony stared blankly at him. Then Theodore continued speaking, "I remember the process of absorbing the 'Aiolos Pouch' and coordinating its divinity, but I don't know how I made it."
-A magician doesn't even know the magic he used?
"The reason why water and fire can't mix and why wind and earth can't cross each other... Do you know the reason why?"
-I don't know! Gluttony finally burst out angrily.
If someone else achieved a magic which was far superior to other magic, they wouldn't hesitate to 'theorize' it. Unlike aura which relied on senses and talent, magic had a clear theoretical system.
It was also the reason why the speed of magic development was faster than swordsmanship. Magicians handed down their heritage to the next generation, causing more outstanding magicians to appear in each new generation.
However, the words Theodore said didn't sound like those of a magician.
-Why don't you know? Why aren't you sure? This is a huge achievement for a human magician, but you don't know why? Try as hard as possible to remember. Leave no stone unturned! Or User won't be able to leave here forever!
"What?! What farce is this?"
-This is my stomach, where I can do anything I want.
Theodore was blank from the absurdity. This was Gluttony's body, so it was obvious he could control who could access it. Although Theodore didn't know how long he might be stuck here, he decided to give in to the request.
'It is rare for him to be so emotional.'
Wasn't Gluttony a companion who had been with him for a long time? Sometimes it was fine to give in to his stubbornness.
Theodore first erased the flame in the palm of his hand. It was easier to understand the principles of magic if he reproduced it again, rather than observing what had already been done. Theodore ignored Gluttony and closed his eyes.
'Let's revisit it from the beginning.'
He looked at the cycle of wind, fire, water, and earth.
'Fire and water don't mix, and wind and earth can't cross each other.'
Why did they refuse each other?
At that moment, the misaligned teeth locked together again, and the 'impossible' became possible. Theodore didn't miss this moment and used his magic power. Burning Hands and Chilling Touch...
The two opposing attributes mixed together again.
Suddenly, two hands appeared in the air. It was once again the union of heat and cold, which couldn't coexist. Once might be a coincidence but not twice. Gluttony felt a thrill at the spectacular sight.
However, Theodore didn't know what Gluttony meant and cocked his head.
* * *
Once Gluttony had a sense of it, the next time was easier. He observed without blinking every time Theodore used magic. This was an unknown principle, but in the end, it was still based on 'magic,' which was the very foundation of the Seven Sins grimoire.
It took Gluttony 10 minutes of observing the cause and effect to come up with the closest answer. Yet it probably would've taken at least 100 years if it had been the Magic Society that studied it.
-It is forced harmonization. How ridiculous, Gluttony said and then sat down with a delighted expression.
The process of discovering the answer had been rather difficult, but the feeling of taking the fruit after was rewarding. Theodore listened carefully to his explanation and asked, "So, it this my Sorcery?"
The answer was 'forced harmonization.' It wasn't just two opposing forces coexisting; it had the ability to harmonize forces which couldn't coexist. Since it had never appeared since the creation of magic, the name was chosen by Gluttony.
-It isn't just heat and cold. User can mix any desired spell together, regardless of the attributes. The larger the magic, the greater the risk. But such risks exist everywhere in the world.
Gluttony was talking casually, but he was actually full of excitement right now. Was this 'fusion?' It was Sorcery which covered all attributes, not just two opposing attributes.
For him, magic was a type of universal puzzle. The method of trial and error was needed to see which pieces of the puzzle would fit together to produce the desired magic. However, Theodore had a type of cheat key. He could insert it at will... and shuffle it at will.
This privilege was truly unique for a magician.
"...Why?" Theodore couldn't help questioning it. "Why is this my Sorcery? The four elements are gathered in my body, but the other attributes..."
-I think it is probably due to my influence, Gluttony responded to his reasonable doubt without hesitation. -I'm sorry, but User isn't talented. You aren't superior in one attribute nor in sensitivity. If you hadn't met me, you would've never been able to surpass the 4th Circle.
"It is true, but I can't help feeling bad."
-I don't mean to diminish you. However, it's thanks to this that User has grown in a similar manner to me, creating an unprecedented Sorcery. Do you understand what it is?
There was only one way in which Theodore could share growth with Gluttony.
-That's correct, Gluttony confirmed it in a pleasant voice. -Since User wasn't born with anything, you took my influence more than anything else. No, you had no choice but to accept it. There was no other way.
"The power to eat anything... Indeed, it is similar."
-If eating is my role, digesting nutrients is yours. After suffering from indigestion in the form of your deadline, this is the result of your body finally stabilizing.
It could be said that this was the synergy between Gluttony and Theodore. Theodore was convinced by the explanation, but he thought it was still lacking. This new ability shouldn't be possible if he had simply built his power around Gluttony's 'predation.'
Gluttony ate artifacts as well as magic books. Everything he ate was nourishment, and even his host, Theodore, grew because of it. The harmonization of magic... If he widened the horizons-
'There is something like this.'
Any bystander stuck in the 7th Circle would feel like it was unfair, yet Theodore crossed another wall without any fear.
Hwaruruk! A flame emerged.
Gluttony was at a loss for words and stared at it with bemused eyes. The flame wasn't red and blue. It was just red. This was Burning Hands, a common fire attack magic. For Gluttony, that magic had no value now.
Then Theodore's left hand started burning.
"...I didn't expect to succeed in one go."
This was a forced harmonization of body and magic. Theodore was amazed at what he had done as he waved his arm which had turned into a red flame. Until now, there had been a lot of secondary magic used on the body. However, magic which integrated with the body was treated as a fantasy.
Could Theodore apply magic to solid metals or the moisture in the sky, or even harmonize it with living creatures? It was like picking a star from the sky. Yet he had succeeded in something so ridiculous.
'Isn't the range of application for this magic very wide?'
Theodore had succeeded in several achievements today, but he was already thinking about the possible applications of his awakened Sorcery. He could integrate with lightning and roam around, or join with the waves and ride the ocean currents toward the East. Until now, this had only been a fantasy.
Theodore felt an unstoppable inspiration and released Burning Hands which had blended with his left arm. Then the silent Gluttony opened his mouth, -...User.
Contrary to Theodore's expectation that Gluttony would be joyful, Gluttony's voice was actually deeply subdued as he said, -You should return for today. I know that you are excited but using any more magic can be dangerous.
"Dangerous? How come?"
-You haven't realized. This would've been really dangerous if left alone.
Gluttony touched Theodore's body.
Simultaneously, Theodore felt a fierce pang in his body.
"Kuk, uhhh, keeok...!" He could barely manage to breathe through the pain. Theodore fell to the ground as his limbs shook.
-You have absorbed Aiolos' divinity and established the four elements in your body. Then as soon as you awakened your Sorcery, you hastily tried to use it too many times. If this place wasn't my body, you would've died.
"C-Cou-gh!" Theodore tried to answer, but a groan was the only thing that emerged from his mouth.
-You won't be able to move for a while. Go and sleep.
After Gluttony gave his advice to Theodore, Theodore's body disappeared. Theodore had returned to reality from the library. By now, Theodore would be wriggling like a worm on his bed. Gluttony's lips slightly twisted as he imagined it, then he turned back to the main point.
-...Kuk, a loud shout of laughter emerged, -Kuhahahahaha!
The sound was so awful it would cause anyone listening to get goosebumps. A path which hadn't been seen for thousands of years was now clearly visible before him.
-I can reach it this time! The unprecedented field! 10th Circle magic! Kether, where the potential of humankind exists!
Gluttony laughed with a joy which resembled insanity.
-This time, I absolutely won't fail!